Due to "popular demand" from my new guildies, I'm pushing out the next segment of my character bio this week. Three weeks to go until early access begins. How much more torment is poor Medina going to have to endure?
Better Late than Never
Medina darted to her left as another burst of flame erupted from the ground in front of her. Her face was streaked with sweat, her hair loose and frazzled, her clothes stuck to her skin. She turned to look behind her and saw the four-winged demon bellowing as it continued to give her chase. Crowded around its feet were a mad assortment of smaller creatures; zombies, enraged insects, and bizarre mutants she could not even put a name to. Each direction she turned simply brought more horrors into view. They were coming from everywhere. There was no end in sight. Medina gave one last fitful scream as her legs finally gave out beneath her. She collapsed on the hot, broken earth and waited for the nightmares to consume her. As she gave in to the despair, the persistent buzzing intensified. It got louder and louder as the creatures encircled her, until finally....
Medina screamed and shot up out of the bed, her phone buzzing its persisted alarm on the nightstand next to her. Her eyes frantically searched the room, scarcely able to believe where she was. She was hot, panicked, and exhausted, her nightshirt stuck to her body like a second skin. Finally convinced that she was safe at home and not about to be dinner for demons, she slumped back down into the bed and began to sob. What is wrong with me? What is happening to me? This is supposed to be the start of... suddenly she shot back up and reached for her phone... Oh my god! London! The plane! Sure enough she had missed her alarm by over an hour. She quickly switched it off and flew up out of the bed. Flipping through her notifications, she saw two text messages and a voicemail all from Samantha. Oh god, oh god... I have to hurry! She peeled off her nightshirt and dialed Samantha's number. Her friend picked up almost immediately.
"Zee? Is that you? Where are you? Our plane leaves in an hour." The concern in her friend's voice was palpable.
"I know, I know. I'm sorry. I'm on my way now. Just... stall them if you have to. You're good at it. You'll think of something!" Medina was desperate and it carried through in her voice.
"Ok, ok Medina. I'll... do what I can. Are you alright? This isn't like you at all." For all her "party girl" tendencies, Samantha really did mean well, and really did like Medina. This wasn't like her friend at all, and she knew it.
"I..." Medina's voice shook as she tried to steady herself. "I'll tell you later. Just don't let that plane leave without me. Tell 'em you have a sick grandmother or something." It was a poor attempt at humor, but it was the best she could come up with under the circumstances. She heard Samantha chuckle softly on the other end of the line.
"I'll handle it, ok? Just get here," Samantha replied.
Medina thanked her and quickly hung up. She dashed into the bathroom and tried to freshen herself up. No time for a shower, but she was about to spend the entire day on a plane anyway, not much point in trying to look "impressive." She quickly slapped on the outfit she had laid out the day before, pulled her hair back, grabbed her bags and rushed for the door. As she was locking up her apartment, she swore she kept hearing the buzzing sound from her dreams. She shook her head and tried to block it out. This is no time to go crazy, Medina. You've got a plane to catch. She ran down to her car, tossed her bags in the back, and drove off.
"You made it! Thank goodness. I didn't even have to come up with a good sob story." Samantha beamed at Medina and hugged her briefly as she rushed up to the terminal gate where their plane was waiting. It was a close thing, and Medina did have to come up with a "sob story" to get through the security checkpoint in time. Thankfully she found a TSA agent who was a sucker for a pretty girl with a sad story.
"Gee and here I was hoping to test your creativity," Medina replied playfully. The short drive to the airport had given her time to steady her thoughts and she felt a bit more like herself now. The nightmares hadn't left her completely, but she was able to focus on the here and now.
"Wait till we get to London, then I'll show you creativity." Samantha winked at her and tugged her to the gate. "Now let's get going!"
Seats on the plane were scarce as they were among the last to board. They were able to find a couple of seats together towards the back of the plane, and even more miraculously, space in the overhead bins for their carry on bags. As they settled in, the flight crew went through the usual safety lectures that any frequent flier has heard a hundred times. Yes, that seat cushion will save your life after the plane hits the water at several hundred miles per hour. Medina tried to smile as the plane taxied to takeoff. As they lifted off into the air, Samantha gave a little cheer in the seat next to her.
"And away we go! I swear Zee, you won't regret this." Medina grimaced slightly and punched her friend on the shoulder.
"No, but you might if you don't stop calling me that," she told her. Samantha rubbed her shoulder, feigning injury and pouted her lips.
"Yes ma'am, Miss Medina ma'am," Samantha replied as she gave a faux salute. "Just don't forget to have a little fun, ok?"
"Yes ma'am, Miss Samantha ma'am," Medina mimicked in response as she settled back into her seat. Flying was never something she much enjoyed and when she did do it, she preferred to sleep as much as possible. This was going to be a long flight no matter what. Do I dare try and sleep? What if... she sat up and looked at the packed airliner around her. What if those nightmares happen here? I can't do that. I can't... She swallowed hard and slumped back into the seat again. But despite her concerns, by the time the plane had reached its cruising altitude, Medina was fast asleep. Fast asleep, but not sound asleep...