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The Hunt for Gold Miami

Guest Ian Rubin

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Guest Ian Rubin

All right, it's been a while since I've written anything. But, this story may contain intense situations (If I can write them), possible strong language where appropriate, and may be written in short bits at a time. It's not that I don't want to make the chapters or installments short, it's hard for me to write with my schedule. If you've ever talk to me long enough, you'll soon discover that I love "Lost". I've had this idea for weeks and now I'm writing it....

When "Lost" meets Lafayette Inc, you get...

The Hunt for Gold Miami

Chapter 1: The Voyage of the Horizon

"Call for you sir, it's the engine room."

Captain Ian Christopher Rubin turned to face the crewman. The fifteen year old human pushed his glasses up his nose, the special lenses doing very little to block out the harsh rays of the sun. It was summer, at least in the southern hemisphere, and the sun was bearing down on the SWL Horizon. Ian had commissioned the ship for the purposes of being the last of the great oil tankers. It was 5100 feet long and 776.5 feet across, and nearly 3.4 times bigger than what had been considered the largest supertanker on Earth: the Knock Nevis, otherwise known as the Jahre Viking. Ian had always laughed when people compared his ships to that. The biggest, named in his honor, was a full mile long. It was impractical in all respects, but it had managed to dramatically change the shipping world. The other large ships in his fleet were the SWL Lee Rubin (Named for his father) and the SWL Maria Rubin (Named for his mother). No one opposed those names, but everyone agreed that the Horizon had to be more than a tanker. Ian had agreed and redesigned it from the keel up to be a six hull multipurpose shipping and research ship.

"SIR?" Said the crewman, a young red fox dressed in a blue uniform. Ian snapped out of his daydreams, realizing that if he kept leaning over the rail like he was, he'd fall off of the bridge wing and hit the water nearly two hundred feet under him.

"Yes Charles, who is it again?"

"It's the engine room sir. They say we're pulling nearly thirty knots."

"Good," Ian sighed. "Very good."

"There's a problem sir."

Ian's grin faded. "That's NOT very good."

Charles gulped audibly. "Well sir, it seems that one of the magnetohydrodynamic engines is malfunctioning. It's not serious, but we'll have to slow down to twenty two knots at the most for them to work on it."

Ian groaned and walked into the bridge, thankful that the air conditioner was keeping it very cool. Stepping up to the controls, he noticed the first officer stepping in from the elevator, and he was visibly sweating.

"What's the matter there Charile, you look like you ran across the ship."

The grey wolf slumped into the communications officer's chair. "No, I was playing tennis on the helipad, but the wind was too strong. Y'all should really slow down."

Ian suddenly remembered why he had walked onto the bridge. "Yeah, right. Look, they just informed me that engine two is messed up."

Charlie sighed. "Again? I thought they fixed it before we left Hawaii."

"They did, but it's got a mind of it's own."

Charlie nodded. "This whole ship does. And in a good way too. It's just not happy we're pushing her so hard."

Ian nodded, adjusting the digital controls to compensate for the engine and slowing the ship down to twenty one knots. "Somehow, I don't think she likes our mission....."

Their mission... was that really all it was? Was it just to sail out into the middle of the Pacific Ocean and search for a wreck? A wreck that never actually mattered to anyone? No, that wasn't true. If it mattered to anyone, it was Ian. He'd lost something very valuable and precious to him, and now it was lying on the bottom of the ocean, nearly two and a quarter miles from his grasp. He'd lost the most amazing jet aircraft ever conceived. But the plane was replaceable. He wasn't just going to find the plane.

He wanted answers.

Answers to why the plane had gone down. Why it had gone from flying normally at thirty two thousand feet, to suddenly ending up in the water. Answers to why over three quarters of the four hundred people onboard had died. Answers to why he'd heard the screams outside the cockpit door, the shaking on the stick, the feeling of being totally out of control. No one had the answers, and Ian was going to find them. When it had left Lafayette Intercontinental Airport in Louisiana more than a week ago, Miami 279er was the same as it had been. It was the biggest, fastest plane in existence, shining in it's gold finish, carrying over four hundred people to Hong Kong and to bring them back home from Thanksgiving holidays. But somewhere over the middle of the vast blue cover of water, something happened that ripped that meaning to shreds. Miami 279er, Golden Miami as it was often called, had been murdered.

"Pull up, pull up! Warning, warning, you are too low! Pull up, pull up!"

Alarms were blaming throughout the cockpit, and the four person cockpit crew were doing everything to make sure the plane wouldn't impact the water in a catastrophic way.

"Pull up, pull up. WARNING! PASSING FLIGHT LEVEL ONE THOUSAND! PULL UP! Elevator controls offline. Aileron controls are offline."

The next thing anyone knew, there was silence as the engines died.

"Warning, warning, impact immanent. Pull up."

Ian's head burst from out of the water. Screams filled the air, and the tail of his once proud hypersonic airplane started to sink beneath the waves. Flames were everywhere and he could hear an engine revving up uncontrollably. It exploded ten seconds later. Looking around, he saw a life raft... something he hoped he would never use. In it were some of his closest friends.... but there were only five of them. And two he didn't recognize.


Ian swam as hard as he could, and was pulled into the life raft. Pulling the canopy over it, the people inside looked at each other, and then at their supplies.

"Enough for three days between us." Ian noticed what one of the survivors, a young border collie probably five years younger than him, had in his paws. It was an orange box, with what looked like a light bulb on it. Looking out of the life raft, Ian could only watch helplessly as the tail went under the waves slowly. First the tail art and the word 'MIAMI' vanished, then the words "Rubin Design Aerospace", and finally the aircraft registration numbers located at the top of the tail (M279ER), went under, all the while issuing groans and more explosions. Ian swore it sounded like "Help me." Giving it a final salute, Ian turned back to the people in the life raft and delivered a eulogy to the airplane and the people who were still in it...

Ian awoke sweating. He'd had the same dream every night since he'd be rescued. The same sequence of events, the same bone crunching impact that never happened in his memory, and the same sight of the tail going under. It was all there, in startling clarity.

"I've got to find out what happened."

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Guest Ian Rubin

Chapter 2: "9 to 5ing" It

Ian yawned loudly as he woke up. The house was empty today, save for himself. Vixey Vixen, a very close friend of his, had gone back to New York for a few days and wouldn't be back until December first. Ian shook his head a little, the attempt to clear his mind from the fog of waking up wasn't quite working. Looking up at a calendar on the wall, he groaned. It was five in the morning on November nineteenth. Perfect. His school was on break for Thanksgiving, and travelers were going to be jamming the airport. This was just perfect. He usually didn't mind flying to..... where was it this time? Hong Kong? He usually didn't mind, but he made an exception for today. It wasn't that he didn't like his crew, or the aircraft, it was the passengers that bothered him. Every Thanksgiving that Ian had been in business, the same thing happened. Flight delays, gate changes, ground stops, security... It was pure insanity to get anywhere.

And he was in the middle of it.

He proceeded into the bathroom, and flicked on the light. As he looked in the mirror, he chuckled softly. "I think I need new glasses."

His reflection was not of the normal Ian Rubin most came to know. It was that of a very tired teenager, with short, messed up hair, and an occasional blemish to the face. Turning on the shower, he let his mind wander back to last night. There had been a party, that was all he remembered. It was to celebrate the newest addition to the Louisiana Airlines fleet. Ian had taken a few friends to the test facility on Groom Lake, Nevada to see it lift off for the first time. They had landed back home in Lafayette, parked the jet in the hanger, and partied like never before. He laughed recalling that; they never usually did this. Oh well, things around here happened for no reason sometimes.

Walking down the stairs of his house, the light of the sun had just started to come up. Ian looked like an average pilot: black slacks, a whit button down shirt, a tie, a blue suit jacket wtih a set of golden wings on the front and his pilot bars on the shoulders, and of course his hat. Pulling his rolling bag out the door, he looked out at the street. Cherry Hill was a very nice neighborhood. Mostly upper class people, but Ian didn't care. He hung out with a few of those people. Looking down the street, he frowned. Three houses had no cars in front of them. He was late. "This isn't a good sign," he said, turning the key to the ignition on his Jeep.

The drive to Lafayette Intercontinental Airport was quick, thankfully. Pulling into the crew parking lot for Louisiana Airlines, he looked for his space. He parked, turned off the car and looked out over one of the edges of the parking lot. The sun was starting to rise, and it was casting a beautiful color on the large jet parked at gate 1 A. He grinned happily, knowing that even if the passengers weren't going to make today easy, his plane would. Pulling his bag from the back of the Jeep, several things crossed his mind, but he shook them off. He began to walk into the administrative offices of the airline, a small grin appearing.

"In a few hours, I'll be sitting back in the living room at home, and I'll be able to relax after this."

Little did he know that his assumption was horribly wrong. A few hours was about to become the longest week of his life, but he had no idea of the events unfolding to make this happen.

At the check-in counter for Miami Airlines, twenty five men no one had ever seen before were buying last minute tickets for Flight 279er. Some were furries and some were human, but all had one thing in mind. Across the check in terminal, eight men with tickets for the same flight walked through security, and were captured on camera. They walked up to the inter terminal tram that would take them to Terminal A silently.

Several of the flight attendants were walking up to Gate 1 of Terminal A, Miami 279er's huge fuselage visible through the third story window. They began to walk down the jet bridge, completely unaware of what would happen that day.

Families and friends all bound for Hong Kong, 425 all together. With the crew, there would be ten more. Only thirty three knew of the events that lay in waiting, the rest were simply happy to be meeting their families at their destinations.

They didn't know that the next few hours would change their plans, and lives in the most profound ways possible.

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Guest Ian Rubin

Ian had just cleared through all the flight information: filing last minute flight plans to the FAA, air traffic control instructions, UHAVOR (Ultra High Altitude VOR) flight path clearances over the Pacific Ocean, all sorts of final computer measurements for winds at 252000 feet, the meals being served..... mindless useless work in his mind. 'Pilots used to just hop in the planes and fly. Now, the FAA and TSA are all on our case....' He continued to file the flight plans when the beeper he was wearing sounded. He grinned slightly as he put the papers in the right place.

"It's go time."

Walking out of his office, he proceeded to walk down the maze of corridors leading to the check-in terminal. LFX (Lafayette Intercontinental Airport) was designed with a single terminal to handle all of the check-in and baggage claim work, as well as transportation. It was connected to the main gate terminals via a monorail and several trams. Ian walked onto the main tram station and stood in the line in front of Tram A: the International Departures Tram. Quite a few people recognized him. He had seen some of them at the live show he did last night and started to make conversation while the tram arrived. After promising to do a slightly different show that evening after 'work', Ian turned and noticed a large group of people, humans and furries mostly, muttering amongst themselves and staring at him. Gulping loudly, he turned to face the doors of the 'Tram tube' (The section of enclosed track that led into the terminal). He wasn't exactly liked by everyone, and it hurt his reputation when he became a strong activist for furry rights during the so called 'Fur Coat Wars'. Ian was always opposed to that name. The war had only lasted for eight months, but it was the most intense battle ever fought. Ian, who was a neutral, but still actively supported furry rights, became an instant target. Now, thirty people were staring at him as if he was from Mars. Ignoring them, he waited as the tram slid into the station and it's doors opened.

"This is a direct train to.... Terminal A.... Terminal A.... International Departures...."

Pulling his bag onto the train, Ian took his seat. Opening a copy of USA Today, the headlines seemed to spark his interest.




The first one was the only one he bothered to read, but a picture caught his eye. There, on the front page, was a picture of a rather snobbish looking jackal. Looking up over the paper, Ian noticed that there was a jackal sitting across from him who looked a lot like the one in the picture. The jackal noticed his stare and growled. "What're you lookin' at.... HUMAN?" Ian winced at the last word. The way he said it.... it was frightening in a way.

"I'm looking at you. It's America, can't I do that?"

The jackal growled and stared at him. "Don't give me any of that First Amendment crap you pull on people. Enjoy it while you can. You would've never lasted in the War."

Another monorail train passed by theirs. Ian gave the jackal a smirk. "I might not have, but I'll tell you this. It's the stupidest war ever fought. Didn't even need to happen."

By now, everyone was staring at the two. The jackal looked at him. "Why do you say that..... HUMAN?"

Ian chuckled as the train pulled into the Terminal A station. "Because.... JACKAL..... it could've been prevented by going to the Global Congress, and asking for equal rights. They would've listened to about four billion people." Tipping his hat, Ian walked into the departure hall and walked towards Gate 1. He never noticed the jackal talking to the group of thirty people who began to follow him.

Approaching the gate, he saw about forty people at the counter and at least one hundred and fifty sitting around the gate area. He said hello to the gate agents and walked down the jetway towards the plane. Through the windows, he could see a few clouds brewing, and several fuel trucks pumping hydrogen and HydroGas into the tanks, as well as baggage handlers loading the cargo holds. An LSG Sky Chefs truck pulled up to the rear of the plane, and began to lift up towards the aft door. Glancing down at his watch, Ian sighed. 6:30 AM. The scheduled departure time was in an hour. There was still plenty to do as passengers checked in, and the crews serviced the airplane. Sighing loudly, Ian pulled his bag through the door, and into the airplane. "Just another day in paradise..."

He couldn't have been any further from the truth.

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