Captain Wayne Hightower was a decorated naval aviator who fought in the Iraq War between 2003 and 2010. Like many who served in that conflict, he and his family made tremendous sacrifices in the “war on terror.”
During the first four years, Wayne got to spend less than eight weeks at home with his newlywed wife. Now things were different. Captain Hightower has transitioned to a career flying for American Oceans Airways. As a civilian, Wayne was home at least five nights a week.
During the war, he was responsible for dropping tons of bombs on the enemy. There is almost no doubt that the captain killed lots of people in the process, but the captain has no regrets. He did it to keep the U.S. homeland safe. Captain Hightower never missed his target. Today’s mission is a piece of cake compared to what he was called upon to do during those glorious days.
Today the captain, his co-pilot and five-person cabin crew, will be flying 233 passengers from Los Angeles to New York City. Leaving at 11:15 a.m., they are scheduled to arrive at LaGuardia at 7:50 p.m. local time. For this flight crew, it is a trip home. They are all based out of the airline's New York hub. They have flown together countless times, and they all know each other pretty well.
At 7 o’clock Captain Hightower announced to his first officer, Jeff Skills, that he would be taking a break to use the lavatory. When he was finished, he uncharacteristically took the liberty to fraternize with the passengers. The captain seemed overly jolly. The crew attributed it to his being in good spirits. He had just returned from a two-week break to address some family issues.
He and his wife of 20 years, Crystal, were going through a rough patch. Wayne had insisted that their children take a paternity test, since he was stationed in Iraq during part of the time when both his 17-year-old daughter Cindy, and 14-year-old son Bradley, should have been conceived. Finally, Crystal gave in to her husband’s insistence that the tests be done. Before leaving LA, the lab had e-mailed the test results to the captain.
The captain seemed a bit off base even during the pre-flight test. Jeff, the first officer, had been wondering if the captain was alright, so he paged him over the aircraft's speaker system. The captain didn’t delay returning to the cockpit. He grinned oddly and nodded to each of the cabin crew members as he passed them on his way back to the flight deck.
Upon re-entering the cockpit, he announced his presence lightly tapping Jeff's left shoulder with his right index finger while imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger's voice in the 1984 movie “Terminator,” the captain secured the door behind him and announced with an ominous tone “I’M BACH!”
“Thank God. I thought Ben Laden had grabbed you. “The first officer responded with a half-serious grin.
“No, nothing like that. I just needed to stretch my legs. I felt a little cramped. If you want to take a break, now’s a perfect time for you to go Jeff.” Wayne suggested with a firm, authoritative tone of voice as he reached into his left pocket to pull out a roll of LifeSavers breath mints.
I’m okay. My bladder is pretty strong. I think I can hold it for another hour or so until after we land.
How about a breath mint Jeff?
My breath smells like an angel’s fart. I’m okay Wayne.
Oki Doki! With that Wayne reached into his right pocket and removed the long white cord to his iPhone charger. He then lunged forward standing behind his co-pilot and wrapped the wire around the seated man’s neck and pulled back with all his might.
The co-pilot was at a disadvantage in the struggle because he was securely fastened into his seat by the complicated seat belt harness system used by commercial airline pilots. Before long he began to turn blue and then lost consciousness, but not before he urinated on himself. Captain Hightower continued strangling him for a full five minutes with a crazed expression on his face until the first officer was no more.
At that moment Captain Hightower knew, after all these years of wondering, that he had what it took to kill a man with his hands. In fact, at that moment he realized that the sensation of smelling a fear-stricken enemy’s urine was something he craved. Now it was time to see if he also had it in him to kill a woman with just as little remorse.
Captain Hightower had assigned himself one last mission. He would crash the Boeing 789 into his comfortable suburban home in Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island. Captain Wayne Hightower was a proud man, and his ego would not allow him to accept the truth that neither of his teenage children was his biological offspring. Crystal had deceived him for 20 years. Now she was the enemy.
Hi, I'm Lester Patterson,