Tyra B

by Celefin

Chapter 2: Recycle

Previous Chapter

Parts of Fiona Hughes’ Bel Air AW139 littered the helipad at the end of broad skidmarks. Skidmarks that went all the way to the edge, where parts of the helicopter’s nose, roof and rotors had disappeared down into the depths of the platform. The main part of the wreck was perched right over the drop, balancing on its distorted landing gear.

She should be dead.

She struggled to get out of her pilot’s suit, but the sturdy fabric wouldn’t yield. The discomfort was worst at two points close to her shoulder blades. She gripped the suit with both fists and tore at it in frustration. There were strips of pilot suit all around her.

The easterly wind tilted the hissing gas flare in her direction and filled the air with toxic fumes. She rose to trembling legs. Her shadow moved with the shifting orange light, a beaked demon unfurling its shaky wings.

Maybe she was already dead.

Did demons know fear? Could demons feel sick? Her talons made scraping clicks on the concrete surface as she wobbled to the remains of her helicopter. The wreckage reeked of kerosene. A metallic tang accompanied the stench. Kerosene and blood.

The skidmarks turned bloody two yards before the edge. The rotors had hit something there, judging by the few small bits that remained on the pad. Small bits with fur on them, glistening in the shifting orange light. Fiona knew fear. Fiona could feel sick.

Fiona tried to distract herself by looking at her claws. And feathers. And reddish fur. And paws. And tail. It didn’t make her feel better.

There was a distant whimper. A pained whimper coming from below the opposite edge, somewhere on the fire escapes. She staggered to the edge and peered down into the depths. Far below the point where the crashing helicopter had ripped away the railing and the top of the stairs, something moved in the light of the half moon. Something clad in high-vis orange.


At daybreak she finally decided to trust the wings she had folded and unfolded a hundred times by now. It wasn’t as if there was any other way of getting down from the helipad anyway.

The hard landing on the metal grid shook her bones, but it hadn’t been freefall. There had been lift. It hadn’t been a miss. She wasn’t drowning in oil, wasn’t dead from impact and had only sprained a muscle in a hindleg.

The creature before her hadn’t been quite as lucky.


The white pegasus mare lay on her belly at the wall below the cafeteria’s windows. There was a long blood smear from where Fiona had dragged her inside. Blood from a wing, broken and split in two places. Blood from an open fracture of a shinbone. Blood from a deep gash across her face. Blood from where Fiona’s talons had unintentionally pierced the pony’s hide.

Her name was Sandra Messner, an electrical engineer from Hamburg. She’d been on the transfer flight on the 23rd of May 2015. Not that it mattered any more.

It gave Fiona something to do though. Someone to care for. Something to stay sane for. Important.


There was nothing to drink. There was nothing to eat. She had searched everywhere she could think of. There were no medical supplies. There was bottled water and a first-aid kit in the helicopter. The fire escape up there was gone. She'd have to try anyway.

Talons and claws were good for climbing. Surprisingly good, with a nimble body. A body she was getting used to, one that felt almost human when scaling a network of pipes and ledges. A body that could navigate the insanity. Important. Stay sane.


The wreck was gone, disappeared over the edge it had been perched on. With the first-aid kit and the bottled water. She buried her face in her talons.

When she turned to leave, she noticed some pots and pans filled with stale rainwater. The water smelled of toxic fumes. It would do. It would keep herself and Sandra alive. For a while, at least.

There was a metallic creak. She snapped her head around, squinting against the midday sun. There was a crane nearby. There was a load still attached, swaying in the soft breeze. There was a skeleton in the crane’s girder mast, a skeleton that matched her new form. He or she had to have flown there.


She sat down on the warm concrete and stared at the bony remains while the sun inched its way across the sky. Bones. Fleshy bits. Dry dust. A creature like Sandra had shrivelled up in the cafeteria, one had been squashed on the helipad and another had broken its neck in the crane mast.

She sat in the baking heat, staring up at her dead counterpart. Flown.

Fiona flexed her wings. Fiona wanted to live. Fiona was not going to die here. Not if there was a chance. That would be insane. The former pilot did the sane thing. Important. She pushed Sandra out of her mind and stayed on the helipad.


The pony begged for water when she returned, her lion part dripping sweat. A small pot, only half full. It was all she had. For the pony.

Forty miles to Esbjerg. Forty miles and three platforms. Forty miles with three helipads to rest. Forty miles, high enough over the toxic fumes of the oil slick stretching all the way to Esbjerg. Forty miles to the eastern coastline. Forty miles. She needed to be prepared. Prepared and ready for when the wind would turn and be at her back. Ready to ride the westerly breeze to Esbjerg. She needed to be strong.


Sunlight glinted on the oily soup all around the platform. She hovered on the thermal rising from the sun baked helipad and paid the view no heed. She paid nothing heed. Her eagle sight was blurry with exhaustion and a splitting headache. Not important. Flight. Her gut felt as if it was about to devour itself. Not important. Flight. Steady flight. Steady flight over a thermal. Steady flight, blocking out all sensations but the air currents. Strength.

She would not die here. She landed. Rested. Drank the final drops of the foul smelling water. She took off again. She was so close. She would not die here. Never. She circled the platform and laughed at the pain. She would not die here. Never.

Night fell.

The soft and dry easterly wind changed to a humid westerly breeze.


She sat at the window, the everlasting orange glow reflecting in yellow eyes that were full of angry despair. Full of hopeless fury. Her parched tongue felt like it filled her entire beak. Her wing muscles burned and the hunger had turned into empty dizziness. Weakness. She had been so close. Too weak. Too weak to fly. Too weak to ride the westerly breeze to Esbjerg. She would die here.

The dying pony croaked something unintelligible.

The griffon slowly turned its head.

The griffon did the sane thing.


There was blood. Everywhere.

There was a bird of prey, riding the westerly breeze to Esbjerg.

There was Tyra B. Waiting.

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