Stories-Pictures 2 You

What Really Happened... By Anand Roy/ Edited By Nilofer Sen 
This story is based upon the tragedy of 911 when several aircraft's where crashed into the World Trade center NY. All characters are purely fictional and not for or against anyone... Trust me I am not bias :D

Chapter 1

1:00pm. I boarded the aircraft United 91 to San Francisco. I was returning from a weekend job meeting. I was waiting to return home. I had not told my wife that I was returning. It was meant to be a surprise. After all, it was my first wedding anniversary.

The air hostesses welcomed the other passengers and helped them put away their belongings. Gradually everyone took their seats and we were ready to make the seven hour journey.

Our flight was due to take off in 10 minutes. But I could see from the look of things that this was not going to happen; the plane had not even started. I enquired about the reason for delay. The air steward informed me that they were waiting for three passengers who had not arrived yet. I stood up to turn off the air-conditioning. I scanned the plane for the vacant seats. There was one seat next to a child and the other seat was at the tail of the aircraft. Just then I realised that the seat next to me was empty.

Five minutes later the three passengers arrived. An air hostess requested them to place their luggage in the over head compartment but they rudely refused. One of the three men took his place next to me. He put his luggage under his seat and laid back.

I was beginning to get impatient. I was not ready to ruin my anniversary because of some people who could not arrive on time. Fortunately, moments later the plane was taxied to the runway. The aircraft finally took off. I tried to turn on the on-board television but the sound socket would not work. After a few unsuccessful attempts I realized that someone had jabbed a chewing gum in the hole.

The man next to me kept looking at his map on the on-screen navigation system. I called the air hostess. I asked for a cup of water and if I could be moved to another. But, unfortunately, the flight was full. By now I was totally irritated and just wanted the flight to reach its destination as soon as possible. I closed my eyes and decided to sleep. But that too was not to be. The man next to me started talking on the on-board phone. I did not understand a word. He was talking in a foreign language.

Few more minutes passed but it felt like forever. The man glanced at his watch over and over again. He got up from his seat and went to the lavatory with his huge hand luggage. I found that a little strange. I thought of the many reasons why he might take his luggage into a tiny cramped space. Was he that suspicious of his fellow passengers? Was he

carrying something really valuable? It did not add up. I thought a bit longer but was too exhausted to give it any serious thought.

Soon the beverage trolley arrived. I took some thick hot chocolate and cookies. I ate slowly to pass the time. I stared at my watch and prayed for the time to move faster.

I suddenly realised that the seat next to me was still empty. I looked at the lavatory sign. It was still engaged. The pilot announced that the flight would now land at 8.30 pm instead of the scheduled 8.10 pm. I moaned loudly. The man next to me came back. But I was too preoccupied with my own concerns to notice that his luggage was missing.

Chapter 2

2:00pm. I had dozed off. I woke up with the sound off screaming.

The three men, who had boarded the flight late, were now armed with AK 47s and were screaming at the passengers. The passengers were terrified. They covered their heads with their hands. They wailed once again. One of them pulled a lady out of her seat and held her at gun point. They threatened to kill her if we did not surrender to their demands. By now we were sure that the flight was being hijacked.

One of the passengers rushed towards a terrorist and tried to tackle him. The other two terrorists started shouting and pointing their guns at the other passengers. Meanwhile, the terrorist, who was being tackled, pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the passenger. The knife pierced his abdomen. The passenger held his stomach and fell to the floor in unbearable pain. The other passengers screamed.

One of them moved towards the man lying on the floor and shot him dead. Everyone was scared. They were either screaming or crying. Some tried to reason with the men but shut up under the fear of being shot. One of the men dragged the dead body to the kitchen while the other two terrorists controlled the crowd.

As time passed everybody fell silent. I could hear the cries and sadness of hundreds of souls, weeping tears after tears damping the skin on there hands. A baby cried out for his mother. The mother laid him close to her and swayed him in her arms.

The terrorist returned from the kitchen, he heard the baby weep. The man went up to the mother and hit her across the face and took the baby away. The baby cried out with a deafening sound. The mother tried

to tackle the terrorist and save her child. But she was brutally pushed back into her seat.

The gang leader announced that they had come to show the world how they could be strong. He claimed that they were the chosen disciples of their great boss. Their mission was to crash United 91 into the United States department of defence.

I heard people gulping and praying for justice and humanity. All I could think of at that point of time was my wife sitting alone in the living room, waiting for my phone call. I looked at my watch. It was 2:59pm.                  

Chapter 3

3:00pm. “Halfway through our flight,” said the pilot who was unaware of the situation. The gang leader slouched on the passenger seat drinking a bottle of water.

One of the members shouted out something. The leader shook his head in agreement. The leader of the gang stood up and instructed one of the members to stay with us while he and the other member moved towards the cockpit.

They kicked the door open and entered. We could hear noises from the cockpit. Three bullets were fired that killed the pilot and the co-pilot. People screamed in terror trying to block their ears. Suddenly the plane bounced. I then realized that the terrorist were flying the aircraft.

We waited quietly. I noticed the map on the navigation screen that was left on by the terrorist who was sitting next to me. We were heading for Virginia. This did not make sense. Why Virginia?

I thought carefully about what the gang had said earlier on. It suddenly struck me. They were going to crash the plane into the Pentagon. I quickly glanced at my watch. It was 3:27pm. The gang leader came back.

The plane bounced up and down in the air, tripping up the two terrorists. The leader screamed into the hand held portable radio, telling the gang member flying the plane to keep it steady.

Someone had vomited on the carpet, one of the two men took him by the hair and threw him into the on-board bathrooms and sealed the door with a large heavy duty cable tie. The man banged hard on the door to let him out. He swore at the gang member, cursing him over and over again.

I saw the leader of the gang walk up to the door and tell the hostage to burn in hell. The terrorist fired at the door violently. As blood spilled out of the bullet holes it was evident that the hostage lied dead on the other side.

The group leader cut of the cable tie with a kitchen knife. He went in, threw the knife at the dead body and spat on his blood-covered face. Everyone watched in horror as he slammed the door shut. The terrorist threatened us that if we did not shut up then we too would end up like that fool.

One of the men received a call. He went to the kitchen and murmured into the radio. Moments later he came back and whispered to the leader something about the aircraft’s contact being disabled with the airport control tower. They both smirked menacingly.

Chapter 4

4:00pm. Everyone sat quietly in their seats. One of the passengers indicated that he had to use the lavatory. The gang leader and his assistant exchanged looks. He was escorted to the toilet with a gun pointed at his head.

Suddenly the passenger pushed the gun back on the terrorist, thus, making him trip over the other passengers. The man ran towards the door of the cockpit.  But before he could reach his destination he was brutally shot down by the leader of the gang. Hearing the sound, the terrorist controlling the plane set the aircraft on autopilot and came dashing out. In front of him lay a dead bloody corpse of an innocent victim fighting for his life.

The terrorist who had been hit in the face with the gun was bleeding heavily from his nose. The terrorist flying the plane shook his head at the dead corpse and dragged him to the corner.

The leader of the gang instructed us to move to the end of the plane. Everyone scuttled like crabs to the back of the aircraft where we were forced to crouch down and sit on the carpet.

The two terrorists swiftly opened the luggage compartment and took out two bags of cable ties. They tied our arms and legs. The leader of the group shouted, “In a few hours the United States of America will suffer in grief as their military department will be destroyed forever.” The terrorists left us at the tail of the plane and went to the cockpit.

Suddenly a voice was heard from amongst the hostages, “We are doomed. There’s no escape from this plan, and America, our beloved country, will be in massacre.” We whispered to each other about what will happen. Could we escape from a plane that is over 30,000 feet in the sky? Discussions carried on between the passengers. It sounded like a reception class playing a game of Chinese whispers. 

Chapter 5

5:00pm. A passenger suggested that all of us should call home and inform our families about the situation so that they could at least contact the police.

We agreed to the decision. One of us managed to pull out his mobile from his pocket. We all called our loved ones, informing them of the situation. In that moment I realized the importance of relations and the amount of love that surrounds us all. Each call that was made that day was to express love.

The plane violently turned to the left nearly knocking us unconscious.
Some of us were swept to one side of the plane, leaving the passengers on the other side spearing towards us.

The plane continued its violent journey towards the destination point where the aircraft would be crashed into the Pentagon.

I looked down at my watch to see the time 5:53pm. We waited a bit longer.

Chapter 6

6:00pm. The light outside the window started to dim.

The calls we had made earlier to our loved ones made no difference to the situation. I shuffled along a bit. A hostage next to me tapped me on the shoulder and whispered that there was no chance of survival. He thought that it would be better to try and kill the terrorists and get hold of the plane so we can at least prevent it from crashing into the Pentagon. I passed the message on. Each passenger agreed.

A man near the kitchen tried to shuffle back a bit to grab a kitchen knife lying on the floor. One by one we managed to cut the cable ties and stood up.

Right at that moment a terrorist walked out of the cockpit. He looked at us and instructed us to sit back down; we ignored him. The frightened

terrorist nervously took out his phone from the pocket and contacted the other two inside the cockpit. Both of them came rushing out, leaving the plane on auto pilot.

One of the terrorists shot at us. The bullet hit me in the arm. I screamed in pain and anger, cursing him. The rest of the group ran towards the gang, punching and kicking them. I stood up straight in anger and tightened my fist and walked towards the person who had shot me, without thinking once about my wound.  I punched him in the face as hard as I could.

He picked up a knife from beside him and jabbed it once more into my arm. The pain was excruciating. I punched him several more times before he died. My hands were covered in blood. I grabbed his belt and pulled him out of the way.

I looked up to see the rest of the terrorists. They were wasted, lying on the floor, beaten to death by there own hostages.

I slammed open the door of the cockpit. Another passenger followed in. Fortunately for us he had served in the Royal Air Force. I let him control the plane. The man informed me that the terrorists had broken the radio on the aircraft.

While we were trying to figure out our next move, the man was suddenly hit on the head from behind. I turned around to realize that one of the terrorists had regained consciousness.

Although in pain and bleeding, we tried to tackle the terrorist. The plane was hurling violently towards the ground. The aircraft rolled and bounced constantly.

And then everything went silent.

Chapter 7

9:00pm. I woke up in the hospital. I had been up for a couple of minutes now. The doctor said my wounds can be easily treated. Unfortunately, no one else had survived the crash.

I stayed in the hospital all night but I did not sleep. The next morning felt like a whole new beginning.

I stayed there for the next one week and was then allowed to go home. In the mean time my wife was informed and she had come to the hospital.

I had survived the longest journey of my life; a journey that I never wished to make again.