On Aluminum Wings
Indiana Jones and the Amazon's Gate
Chapter 4: On Aluminum Wings
The Philadelphia airport authorities had looked strangely at the number of cross necklaces in Morgan's carry-on bag, but other than that, the first stage of the "expedition" had gone smoothly, and now the two archaeologists were somewhere above Gettysburg, soaring westward on jet-powered aluminum wings built by Boeing.
"Miss Fletcher..." Doctor Jones rasped, still waiting for the glass of water he'd asked the flight attendant for. "Tell me."
Morgan turned, a dark shadow in her eyes, one that had been there for days. "If it were anyone else, I'd be afraid you wouldn't believe me."
"But I know you too well, is that it?" Dr. Jones smiled, an ironic tone in his voice as the flight attendant wordlessly handed him a glass of ice water as she hurried toward First Class. "We've lived in the same house for four years now, Morgan, and I'm still not sure where you're from exactly."
"No, it's not that. There's a good reason I'm so secretive about my past, Doc. And this is it." She pulled a tarnished silver cross necklace from inside her turtleneck. "And yes, I'm still pagan. This is for protection. What I'm about to tell you is... shocking, at first, but I think you will understand it. After all, you've met the supernatural before... the ark, the cup..."
"So it's not the years, it's the mileage?" Jones smirked. It was a line he'd used before, usually to good effect...
"Something like that." Morgan tucked the cross back inside her shirt, and settled back into her chair, just as the flight attendant delivered their drinks - water for the Doc, apple juice for Morgan. "I don't know all the details, but the short version of what I've been told is that there are certain places where the boundaries between dimensions wear thinner than others, and in these places live vampires and demons and such. Well, actually, you find those sorts of creatures everywhere, but more so in these places."
"Some sort of dimensional rift? Sounds like Star Trek."
"Perhaps. But it's real." Morgan frowned. "I grew up in Sunnydale, California."
"The town we're going to?" Jones turned. "You didn't tell me that."
"You didn't ask... well, actually, you did. But I'm telling you now. And it's one of those places. You don't stay out too long after dark, or you wind up in the obit section in the school paper."
"The school paper has an obit section? That's sort of unusual."
"The school paper needs an obit section. That's sort of... Sunnydale." Morgan grinned. "Sunnydale is... a special place. Takes some getting used to, if you're not born there like I was. et me put it another way. Out of the kids that were in kindergarten with you, how many of them graduated from high school?"
Dr. Jones put down his drink. "Well, I didn't quite have a normal childhood myself, in that respect. A lot of fieldwork with my father. Besides, kindergarten wasn't required back then."
"True. Well, in my case, it was six." Morgan looked down, twisting the cord of the tarnished silver cross hanging from her collarbone. "There's just something about Sunnydale that makes people keep moving there and completely ignore the fact that its death statistics are off the charts. D.C. was never the murder capital of the world, Sunnydale was, but the press skimmed past it thinking the Sunnydale stats had to be a typo. They weren't."
"Well, then." Dr. Jones sipped his ice water, the cubes of ice bouncing against his upper lip. "It's a good thing I'm going in warned, then. What's the cross for?"
"I'm told vampires can't stand them. I've never had a chance to test that rumor, but..." Morgan paused, turning to look out the window, a sea of white cloud blanketing western Pennsylvania. "Better safe than sorry, right?"
"In that case, I hope you packed an extra one for me." Dr. Jones replied, patting her on the leg in what he hoped was a comforting manner.
"More than one, Doc. I packed every cross I own, and bought a couple of new ones." Morgan said, a hint of amusement in her voice. Twisting back around, she asked, "You believe me, then?"
"Of course I do. Why wouldn't I?"