NEURODIVERGENT ARTHUR. POSSIBLY AUTISTIC ARTHUR. ARTHUR. ARTHUR. ALL THE ARTHUR.
A sudden flood of sunshine spilled into the portakabin as Carolyn marched through the open door, clipboard in hand.
"Up, my boys, up! We’ve got a last-minute booking to Ipswich in two hours. Martin, flight plan, go, yes, your crossword can wait." Martin set his paper and pencil down and grumbled his way out the door. "Arthur, stop fiddling with that and get the cabin ready—make sure you stock those less horrible biscuits we save for the less terrible customers, we’re making actual money on this trip. Douglas," she raised her voice, "go do whatever it is I pay you to do for being a pilot."
"Ooooh, Ipswich! Where I learned how to understand people!" Arthur exclaimed, springing out of his swivel chair and seeking out the higher-grade snacks stacked somewhere on the other side of the portakabin, while Douglas continued to read the hardback resting on his crossed legs.
"If we’ve got two hours, there’s no rush to do the walk-round. Martin’s got the fun bits to finish first, and we’ve still plenty of time to waste til he gets back," Douglas answered, without looking up from his book.
"Douglas," Carolyn warned, "walk-round, fuel, now." Her eyes didn’t budge from Douglas’ until he begrudged to meet her stare.
A stage-worthy sigh. “Fine,” he conceded, slipping a bookmark between the pages, picking up the keys to the plane, and heading out onto the tarmac. As he slowly approached G-ERTI, the rustle of plastic and hurried footsteps followed from behind.
"Yes, Arthur?" he asked, turning to look at the steward, whose arms were full of individually-wrapped specialty biscuits and mini fruit-and-cheese platters.
"Oh, sorry, it’s just that Mum told me after you left that I should have gone with you to put the snacks in the galley before I do the pre-flight extra-cleaning and you’ve got the keys to the plane and she said sometimes you take forever and so maybe could you open the door for me?" Arthur explained, a few packs of biscuits falling onto the pavement.
Douglas shook his head and unlocked the door, extending its staircase so that Arthur could deliver his payload.
"Thanks Douglas!" Arthur cheered, as the first officer picked up the lost snacks and threw them into the empty cabin.
He was three minutes into his walk-round, or rather, three minutes into his impromptu tanning session, when the cabin door closed and Arthur came around to join him.
"We didn’t do a lot of understanding people the last time we were in Ipswich, did we, Douglas?" Arthur chimed in, freed of his burden at last. "I mean, there was sort of understanding planes and blow-up rafts a bit which was excellent, especially the swimming part, but not really people, which is what my other class in Ipswich was—"
"Yes, Arthur, I know. You’ve told us half a dozen times," Douglas interrupted, "Where does one even find such a class, anyway? The Ignoramus Anonymous postings in the Times?"
"Oh no, Mum found it for me! It’s just like the classes you take when you’re in school, Douglas, don’t you remember? ‘What does this face say?’ ‘Oh, that’s a sad face!’ Or, ‘Ooohh, maybe that’s an angry face?’"
Douglas frowned. “No, Arthur, I didn’t take such classes in school. There’s no class in school about how to read faces.”
"The social skills classes! They’re brilliant. You get to try and figure out what people are thinking based on what their face or body is saying, like a secret code! You know?" Arthur tilted his head to the side and studied Douglas carefully. "Like right now… I think… you… are… hmmm… maybe… confused?"
Douglas gave him an exasperated sigh. “That’s not something they teach in school, Arthur, you just… know it. Well, maybe you don’t know it, but let’s just add it to the ever-expanding and likely infinite list.” He looked up to inspect the starboard engine.
"Oh, well," he began, following Douglas’ eyes up to the engine, "I used to go to them every day and all the teachers were brilliant! They taught us how to do stuff like talking to people in shops and following directions and we used to dress up sometimes in costumes! Once I got to be a cab driver, which was BRILLIANT, and I had to take someone out for a drive—a fake drive, not really in a car, you know—and ask them where they were going and it’s just like acting!" His hands waved excitedly as the pair walked slowly around G-ERTI.
Douglas was silent, absently examining the plane, a sudden thoughtfulness holding him back from his usual words. “And did you enjoy your class in Ipswich like those classes, Arthur?”
"It was brilliant! Everyone was kind of older, not like old-old, like you or mum," Douglas huffed at him, "but like me-old. And there were less games. And I made friends with another bloke there… but, um, I can’t remember his name. He was nice though!"
Douglas smiled. “Well, Arthur, perhaps we’ll run into your nice bloke when we’re waiting in Ipswich, hm?”
Arthur’s face lit up. “Really?! You think so, Douglas?”
"Ipswich isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, and besides, we’ll probably be there for several hours. The chances might be in your favor." He clapped Arthur on the shoulder.
"Gosh. That would be BRILLIANT!"
G-ERTI sits at her hanger, just having landed from a long flight from Finland. Her engines are powering down and tension hangs in the air.
Carolyn: “Don’t be ridiculous, Arthur, I don’t have time for your Wellsian attempts at sparking terror into all our oblivious and feeble hearts!”
Arthur: “No, but Mum, look at those people! It’s definitely exactly like how zombies act with the slow-walky bits and rotting flesh stuff. Eugh.”
Carolyn: “Arthur, enough, now please—”
Douglas: “Carolyn, you know how I hate to be the cloud on your sunshine-filled days, but might I remind you that we did have to land without any ATC clearance whatsoever, seeing as every channel we tried was completely silent.”
Martin: “Well with a piece of G-ERTI falling off every time we open a cupboard, I really don’t think—”
Douglas: “And the strange intermittent static from Stockholm until we cruised over the North Sea? I’m sorry Carolyn, but this is seeming rather suspicious and those scraggling groups of people do look rather…”
Carolyn: “Oh, don’t you dare say it!”
Arthur: “Guys, listen! This is exactly what happens in that one movie with that guy in it who wakes up from a coma and everyone’s already zombies! We absolutely cannot go outside.”
Martin and Carolyn groan.
Carolyn: “Dear heart—”
Douglas: “Uh, Carolyn, I did just pull up the news on my phone.” (shows the crew the screen)
(moments of silence)
Arthur: “Well, since we might be here a while. Shall I put the kettle on?”
Racebent Cabin Pressure! Blame icarusing for this.
I was going for something like Inuit!Martin, Asian!Douglas, African!Carolyn, Hispanic!Herc, and Mixed race!Arthur (African and Indigenous Aussie).
AHHH YOU DID THE THING
so this is pretty old at this point, but i’m finally able to post my piece from the cabin pressure artbook!
Has anybody else noticed that Benedict Cumberbatch reminding everyone that he did the motion capture is starting to sound like Martin Crieff reminding everyone he’s the captain?
In the unlikely event of actor non-recognition, actor doffs cap and gestures to motion capture dots.
this is the standard amount of gold they put in a dwarf kingdom…
World’s least impressive troupe of jugglers…
I’m so upset. WIP.
CAROLYN: Ah, at last. Now then, guess who’s got a job tomorrow? I’ll give you a clue: it’s us.
DOUGLAS: And they call Hitchcock the master of suspense.
Cabin Pressure commission :)
Cabin Pressure - MJN Crew
(aka how to make Clo laugh until she cries)
so I really dig those pilot&captain airport code t-shirts so I took a stab at making one for fitton and you can buy it on a shirt if you want to!
I was on the cabin pressure wiki and
every episode tbh
thank you for flying mjn air