I wake up one Summer morning and look down at the large scar on my leg. Not many people know how I got it. But those who do, do not like to relive the events that happened in that dreadful week. My name is Rick Herring and this is my story.
September 5, 2010
Blue Grass Airport
1 Hour Before Takeoff
It was a nice, warm day at the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky and there wasnâ€™t a cloud in sight. It was a perfect day to fly.
As me and my co-pilot do our inspection of the plane as to make sure everything is in working condition I see that there is something on my partner’s mind, so I walk over and ask, â€śWhatâ€™s the matter Doug? You seem a little upset.â€ť
Doug looks up and says â€śI just donâ€™t have a good feeling about this flight.â€ť
I place my hand on Dougâ€™s shoulder and rest it there for a minute before saying â€śListen, we have flown with each other for 10 years and I have never had a problem in the air and I donâ€™t plan on having one today, you hear.â€ť
Doug sighs, but nods his head in agreement.
We finish our inspection of the exterior and enter the cockpit where we will be spending the next 10 hours working together to keep this bird in the sky and keep our passengers safe.
September 5, 2010
Blue Grass Airport, Runway 5
â€śPassengers, this is your captain speaking, we are about to takeoff so I need you all to store any luggage you donâ€™t need for this flight in the compartment above you and buckle up your seatbelts. Thank you.â€ť I say once I have all of my equipment and computers ready to go.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€śFlight 40369, this is air traffic control do you copy?
I grab the radio and respond â€śDonâ€™t tell me you think I have crashed this plane before I have even started to takeoff, Patricia.â€ť
Patricia smiles in the control tower and says â€śYou are cleared for takeoff Rick.â€ť
I start the engines of the plane and taxi the plane to the middle of the runway. It is only when I am in the middle of the runway that I see a small figure standing in front of the planeâ€™s path to leave the airport. The problem is I donâ€™t see the guy until we are about to reach the speed in which we are about to lift this mechanical bird into the air and leave Lexington to transport all the passengers on board to California.
I grab the radio and scream â€śAir traffic control there is a man in the middle of the runway and I wonâ€™t be able to stop in time!â€ť As I am yelling this I am working to get the plane in the air to keep from hitting this man. Finally, after what seemed like forever (even though it was just a few seconds) the plane lifts off of the ground and narrowly miss the man on the ground.
â€śFlight 40369, this is air traffic control and I am pleased to inform you that the man on the ground is safe and has been subdued and is going to be prepped for evaluation. Good work captain.â€ť
â€śThank you Patricia.â€ť I say into the radio.
â€śNo problem Rick.â€ť Patricia answers, â€śStay safe.
â€śYou know I will.â€ť I answered. I put the radio up and begin to pilot the plane.
September 5, 2010
Somewhere above the Sierra Nevada Mountains
â€śAir traffic control, this is flight 40369, what is the weather conditions in proximity to my aircraft?â€ť I ask into the radio. I wait for an answer but I only get static over the line.â€ť
â€śCaptain, why are they not responding to your transmission?â€ť Doug asks me.
â€śI donâ€™t know Doug.â€ť Is the only answer I can give him. I lift the radio up to my mouth and ask â€śAir traffic control this is flight 40369, do you read me?â€ť All I get is more static. I throw the microphone down angrily and tell Doug the bad news.
â€śSo, we have lost contact with air traffic control?â€ť Doug asks quietly.
â€śThat is affirmative Doug.â€ť I reply somberly as I look over to see how this has affected him and all I see is a look of surprise and worry.
â€śSir, do you see what is around us?â€ť Doug asks in a voice that is full of worry.
I look up and am surprised to see the front of the plane being attacked by hundreds of raindrops and that there is lightning flashing on all sides of the plane. As soon as I see this, I jump into action, trying to steer the plane out of the storm. But I am not fast enough. Suddenly, there is a bright blue streak zigzagging toward the plane. Then it hits and the passengers on board scream so loud the we can hear them in the cockpit. I press the intercom button to tell the passengers to stay calm and buckle up, only to find that all of the aircraft’s communication and navigational systems are fried. The systems are fried, people on board are panicking and we have no way of communicating with air traffic control. Things couldnâ€™t get worse. That is before I hear an explosion to the left side of the plane and see that half of the wing has been blown off by the engine. Things began to spiral downhill with the plane after that point. So I do the only thing I can do to help the passengers on board, which is scream to tell them to buckle up and I pray to God that we survive this crash. That is what I think allowed me and everyone else on board to survive when we flew into the tree tops.
* * * * * * *
I wake up 5 hours later inside of a makeshift tent and sit up abruptly, only to fall back down and cry out as I become aware of a searing pain racing up my right arm and leg, as well as from the right side of my back. I begin to feel the tent around me start to close in and fear that it will crush me to death. I pass out.
During that dreadful week, I would wake up on and off into a dreamy haze where I could hear murmurs that I couldnâ€™t understand outside of the tent and sometimes I would wake up to Doug spooning broth into my mouth. Then one day, I woke up and was more aware of my surroundings than I had been since I passed out while trying to get up.
â€śUgggh.â€ť I groan as I try to sit up, only to find that I am being held down by a rather attractive woman.
â€śThe woman runs out of the tent and hollers to the rest of the survivors, â€śHe is waking up.â€ť
I muster up enough strength to yell out, â€śI am awake, now can you all come help me out so that I can go take a dump.â€ť
Â Â Â Doug comes running from the fire that they had set up in the center of the makeshift tents and I can tell by the look on his face that he is ready to burst with excitement.
â€śAre you just gonna stand there or are you gonna come here and help a friend out?â€ť I ask him with a smile on my face to show that I am just pulling his leg.
He returns the smile and says â€ś Iâ€™ll help, but I will not help you take a dump in the woods.
We both burst out laughing, which brings back a painful reminder of my current condition and causes me to wince. This causes me to ask.
â€śI know we crashed, but what happened to me?â€ť
Doug takes a seat and is about to begin, when all of a sudden the rapid cracking of gunfire sends Doug on his feet with a pistol in his hand that had come from and hidden holster on his leg.
â€śWait here, Iâ€™ll be back in a minute.â€ť He said quickly, and then he was gone.
I look around the room and see that there is a rifle and a ton of ammunition of different types; .303, .243, and .22, as well as many different pistol calibers. I sit up and half walk, half crawl over to the gun and I grab it. I check to see what type of ammo it takes and see that it takes .243 round. I find the rounds and load the magazine. I insert the magazine into the gun and crawl toward the opening of the hut, all the while I feel my injuries rush me at full force and it almost makes me pass out. When I reach the opening of the tent, I see that an abnormally large pack of wolves of 27 are attacking the camp. I chamber a round into the rifle by pulling the bolt-action mechanism on the gun back, and I slide it shut. As I look around I see that Doug is cornered by one of the wolves and I take aim. Breath. Fire. The bullet soars through the air and makes contact with the wolfâ€™s soft flesh and it drops as I hear the report of the rifle.
Doug looks around and when his eyes rest on me with the rifle in my handâ€™s as I lay on the ground, he burst into a big smile and runs over to me as he throws his gun to the ground. As he runs over, I see that he has red welts on his arm and that his right hand is covered in a shirt. I look from him, to his gun and see that the barrel has been blown open. His gun had backfired on him.
â€śAre you ok Doug? Your gun seems to have backfired on you.â€ť I ask him.
Â He smiles and waves away my question. â€śThat was a nice shot. You oughta teach me how to shoot.â€ť Doug says, which makes me smile.
I look around and see that there are only 5 more left. So I take aim and fire. I feel the kick of the gun and hear the crack of the rifle. One down, four to go. As I look around I see that the wolves are retreating into the woods.
â€śThere they go,â€ť I say, â€śNow letâ€™s check out your forearm.â€ť
Â Â Â Â Doug sits on the ground and as I am about to leave to go and grab some medical supplies, I feel a searing pain and fall to the ground, writhing in pain. I feel someone pick me up.
As I am being moved, I hear screams of fear and panic, but I am too dizzy with pain to hear where they are coming from and my eyes are closed to keep from vomiting. As I am moved, I can hear the sound of gunshots and people screaming getting quieter and quieter until I canâ€™t hear them anymore. The person who is carrying has their fingernails digging in my back the entire time, but I do not have the strength to tell them to loosen their grip. So I go to sleep
I am awoken an hour later when I feel myself being dropped roughly on a bed of twigs. I have gathered enough strength by now that I am aware of my surroundings. Snow covered ground. High peaks. Baby Pterodactyl. Trees. And aâ€¦.. Wait. What. My head whips around and I stare at 4 small dinosaurs. Questions race through my head: How is this happening? Am I crazy? I draw my gun and look for the moma pterodactyl and spot something shiny in the corner along with a note. I slowly walk over and grab the note. As I read it, I am struck with fear and dread as to what is to come.
Â Dear Reader, if you are reading this then that means that you are in the same situation that I was in. ALso, if you are reading this, more than likely my plan did not succeed in destroying those monstrous beast and I have been eaten by the pterodactyl babies that lie asleep a few feet from me. So in case that anyone else has been taken to this nest, I have left a AR-7 Survival Rifle and a backpack with 1
I am struck with the realization that the man who wrote this letter must have been attacked and killed by the pterodactyls in the nest when he was writing this letter. I look at the bag the man talked about and pick it up along with the AR-7 the man had talked about and when I look in the bag (which weighs a ton) I find boxes full of .22lr ammunition, as well as 3 boxes of 7.62 by 54R cartridges with each box holding 100 rounds. Confused I look in the bag and am surprised to see that there is a Russian Mosin Nagant rifle from 1943 disassembled in the bag. I grab all of the parts and start putting the gun together. When I have the gun assembled and loaded, I put together the AR-7 rifle and load it up. Then, I go over to the baby pterodactylâ€™s and shoot them all in the head with the AR-7 survival rifle. After I have finished off all of the baby pterodactylâ€™s, I climb down the tree and start to run down the slope, but as I start to run, I get a painful reminder of my injuries and I collapse on the ground and am held there with a mixture of pain and fear. I stay like that for hours, until I muster the energy and courage to continue on down the mountain. As I walk, I inspect the Mosin Nagant and realize that it is one of the Mosin Nagants that the Russians had converted into a sniper rifle, so I reach into a small compartment in the bag that carried the gun and ammo and I pull out the scope for the rifle and some tools to put the scope onto the gun with. After I have fit the scope onto the gun, I continue on my way down the winding, sloped path and come to a river. As I look around for a place to cross, I see that there is a small canoe with paddles on the bank of the river. I walk over to the canoe, toss my bag and guns on the floor of the canoe and push it into the water. As I am getting into the canoe, I hear a screech above me and see the pterodactyl that had brought me up here. I quickly grab the Mosin Nagant and place a bullet into the dinosaures eye socket. The bird makes an awful, pain-filled sound right before it hits the ground. Dead.
I fall to the ground gasping in pain from my leg and sit there for 10 minutes to get the strength to continue on. When I have gathered up enough energy, I stand up with the rifle in hand and sit down in the canoe.
September 14, 2010
Somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
I come to the end of the river and hear the faint sound of voices. I get out of the canoe and slowly grab my bags, then I walk in the direction of the voices. All of a sudden, the sound of talking turns into screaming and I hurry to see what is wrong. Ignoring the pain in my leg, I sprint into the camp that I had been taken away from and stare in horror as I see bodies littered across the ground. I look around for the other survivors and see that they are surrounded by Velociraptors. So I draw the Mosin Nagant and put a bullet into the skull of the biggest one in the group, dropping it in a second. The survivors look in my direction after they hear the crack of the gun and see the dinosaur drop dead. At first they start cheering as I shoot each Velociraptor around them, but suddenly they start pointing at me and screaming. I turn around right as the T-Rex charges me and I run toward my friends and dive out of the way just as the T-Rex bites down on thin air in the space my head had occupied a second before. The T-Rex stops and turns in my direction. This causes me to say.
â€śIf I am going to die, I will at least save my friends.â€ť I get up and start shooting the last two Velociraptors. As soon as I kill the first one, I hear an explosion to my left, but I keep on shooting. I fire one last shot and drop the Velociraptor in its tracks. I look to my left and am surprised to see the remains of the T-Rex lying 15 feet away from me. I look around and see that Doug is walking over to me with an RPG resting on his shoulder.
â€śNice shooting Rick.â€ť Doug says to me.
â€śMe!â€ť I exclaim, â€śYou are the one who just saved my life the that RPG.â€ť
We hug and hear a sound off in the distance. â€śWhat is that?â€ť Doug asks.
I look in the direction the sound is coming from and smile.
â€śThat my friend, is our way home.â€ť I respond, limping over to the middle of the field as the helicopter gets closer and starts to land in the clearing and I think we can finally go home now.