You yawn and stretch your arms and feet out like a cat. Wow, you haven't moved in quite a while, your still sleepy brain tells you. Your eyes flutter open- wait, where I am? Still unable to get up, your eyes survey the scene- you're sitting in a quite comfortable chair. Looking to the side, you see rows of old but comfy-looking chairs and benches, with a few unremarkable people sitting in them. Among them are a few scattered tables secured to the ground, with magazines on them. The same thing repeats itself on the other side. In front of you are planes taxiing outside through a snowstorm and a connector thingy- you realize you're at an airport by a gate.
You manage to bend your head down to look at yourself. You are a woman dressed in a U.S. Navy uniform. Apparently, you have the rank of Commander and are wearing some sort of headcloth- a hijab?
Finishing your stretching, you look behind you and try to remember what you are doing here. But you can't, no matter how hard you try. All you can muster up is that your name is Priya Kapoor. You are a 31 year old South Indian Muslim and you are in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (called Seatac for short). focusing your mind to the scene behind you again, you see a information center with maps, brochures, and helpful employees. Behind it is what appears to be a food court, not very busy. Looking at a clock in the info center, you realize that it's midnight. You are surprised that the food court is still open- until you remember that all food courts here are open 24 hours a day. How did you know that?
Looking down again, you see you have a suitcase with you. Thinking that opening it might give you some clues to what you are doing here, you rummage through the usual travel clothing and stuff- toothpaste, shirts, pants, underwear, extra food, water, tampons...it's all mundane.
Suddenly, a vision of sorts overwhelms you. It's coming back, it's coming back..
Dazed, you look around the gate area. For some reason, you decide to rummage through your pockets. You have airline tickets! Airlines, Flight 289, tomorrow morning (how did you know that?) at 11:39 AM, from Seattle to Los Angeles. And another flight onward to Sydney, Australia. there are two tickets, one for "Amita Bhatia" (that's you) and one for "Mannion Casmir" (that's Matt). Well, at least you can get out of here...
Gazing at the flight information monitors, you shake your head briefly to look again- ALL FLIGHTS CANCELLED DUE TO SNOWSTORM. Darn.
Out of the corner of your eye, you see some nondescript black man glance at you briefly with a look of surprise. Is this because you're a hijab-wearing Muslim woman in a Navy uniform, which would turn a lot of people's heads, or is it something more. You know it's not Matt, however...