I'm standing patient. Forcing fate. I know what's to come. I draw my sunglasses from my pocket, no more than an innate moment of memory reflex. This mundane act precedes a rush. As the seal breaks I feel it in my spine. Anticipation of what I've experienced countless times before. Passengers behind me avert their eyes as overwhelming light bounces up from the glass runway. I'm back in the arms of the one love who has never failed me. Her name is Aeroplane City.
Secluded in the mountains of the east this compact twenty square mile stretch is more than a paradox, it's one of a kind. No other city in the world is accessible only by airplane. It’s like the moon to most people – they know it’s here, but will never visit it.
I step from my plane, the elements of clean air and busy atmosphere shift my anxious mood into what I can only describe as highly tuned perception. I feel twice as alive the moment I land here. I look down at the glass beneath my plane. My relay isn't resting on some tarmac in a field. It's four stories from ground level in the heart of the dense cityscape. A ballet of flights are landing and departing at etched locations across the landing deck adjacent to the inbound runway. The rotating thrust pivots each relay downward like a bird that has found its nest. Others rise is a hush, defying gravity then propel out and up as if each were in a race to escape. Crews and passengers like mine hurry from each relay toward suspended muted light beacons hovering off the glass which marks access down into the terminal. A small recess in the glass opens after the first passenger reaches it and places their hand into a section of the beam hued in green.
Surrounding me is a breath taking sight of the city to the south, west and north. It is fleeting as I'm expected to exit my plane in a direct line to those same downward openings to enter the terminal. This is the busiest place in the city with a view that can't be savored in the moment, only recalled in wonder.
Even in this day and age witnessing an airport cut into the skyline and blend into a city with seamless harmony is enough to make a seasoned professional linger in the moment. The world recovery from the great war 800 years ago is in many ways incomplete. It's no surprise for all the great inventions helping mankind, we still haven't perfected counterbalance lift for immense cargo carriers. The Eurasian war in 2038 and the Purge in 2040 saw to that. With half the world eviscerated and the remaining population destroying itself in religious persecution it is surprising the human race survived at all, yet a sparse core of scientific minds have moved technology forward. Until science solves this problem, Lynxpoint has two huge runways to accommodate an otherwise cutting edge city. They cross over each other at a corresponding angle enabling both inbound and outbound runways to enter and exit in the same general southeastern direction. Requiring traditional trust, the cargo planes and their hefty payloads made runways an unavoidable necessity. My relay rests on a vast landing deck aside the inbound runway. As I deboard my view is teaming with similar aircraft from relays to jump jets. With the liability of annexed space each city is responsible for I wonder why more cities don't place airports within their skylines? After all with the advent of relay thrust, planes have become silent. The ambient noise from planes is near absent above the city. If it were not for the cargo jets which only fly by day the airport would be an unobtrusive mosaic part to the skyline. Unlike the cargo flights my passenger relay will soon depart from the very place it landed. If it were not for the transports need to drop down to the service bays for exchanging shipments they too could fly out without delay. But Lynxpoint was planned to perfection just like the rest of the city, neither passenger or cargo plane ever taxi ensuring a safe active runway. Once shipping planes drop down exchanging payloads they flow through a short access tunnel that runs along the lower level warehouse space. At its end each plane with a fresh payload elevates back up to the runway and out it will go. Over 100 years of efficiency without an incursion.
I may be home but the cityscape around me leaves me awestruck. Where I stand, Aeroplane City showcases it's beauty through the masterful use of space Lynxpoint employs. If it were not for its runways Lynxpoint would be significantly smaller. Yet simplicity of the airport doesn't end in the air. Within the terminal one can commute on the high rails without ever setting foot on the ground. Below the terminal is Centerpoint Station, the hub of the city's underground transit system known as the Aeromet. Centerpoint Station also provides an access connection to a pedestrian tunnel system which only exists midtown. The four meet in harmony and energize the character of this society.
Taking that last step down from the plane I stop to tie my shoe, then I do something I've never done before. I touch the runway running my fingers along the crystalline surface. I expected smooth, it feels hard. From this near vantage, people below are clear to see. The crowded perspective confuses my eyes with fleeting disorientation. Through my fingers, I see travelers bustle obliviously under the surface of the glass that separates us. A sense of place and purpose return as my pilot walks past me. Looking down in passing he says, "It's the most dense surface made by man. You are perfectly safe."
"Yes, I am." I thought to myself. Statistically the safest city in the world. The world is covered in cities, many famous cities, but this one is one-of-a-kind. No one questions it's the most unique city in the new post modern era. It's a short walk. I step down the recessed stairwell opening and in no time I become one of those travelers commuting through the iron and glass terminal; a face in the crowd. As I should be, because in my line of work, I need to blend in. I do so by instinct.
I'm a man that thrives on instinct. My instinct talks to me now in every measured confident step. A clairvoyant on the plane told me that something good will happen to me today. I told him that I don't believe in fate, but I do follow my instinct. He then handed me his card and told me if I ever needed more than my instinct to contact him. I grinned and told him, "My instinct has never failed me." As long as I listen to it.
He answered, "You don't believe instinct is a form of clairvoyant fate?"
"Not at all." I said. "There's a difference between acute perception and putting your faith in a future you can't control." I'm certain he was mildly insulted by my lack of belief in his commoner trade. My instinct told me to give him back his card but as a courtesy I placed it in my pocket without looking at it. I have a theory on instinct. That is if you don't use it, you lose it. I've developed mine over time. Even now it warns me not to let my bond with this city control my emotion. It warns, respond, don't react. It's the same warning I give myself each time I arrive. For a man whose living is predicated on grasping knowledge from thin air it seemed odd he would ever need to pose a question. He figured that when I laughed as he asked, "What's your name?"
"Shouldn't you know that?" I smiled.
"Perhaps I already do."
I gave him the answer I give everyone. "Me? I'm nobody."
"Well Mr. Nobody, mine's on the card. One day you'll be eager to tell me your name."
After descending two flights down I'm still walking on glass, just not the same grade as the runway overhead. Once again I stop. I look around myself in all directions attempting to contain the feeling of elation. One we all know; such as when you open a long awaited gift. You appreciate that moment you finally possess it. I am home.
Light pierces into my eyes around my sunglass frames. It descends in beams from between the high arches through the glass runway above. I'm caught in one. Standing motionless, I close my eyes momentarily to let my other senses take over. Pulling my glasses from my face I survey the airport corridors. As I look around with a healthy smile I soak my face in the sunlight. I am trapped by curiosity. The moment – I am caught up in it. This is Aeroplane City; the only city in the world accessible by airplanes with building architecture that seems a language of its own.
Aeroplane City should be a completed work in June of 2013. It will be professionally edited and submitted for print publising. It should hit bookshelves by November of 2013.
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