Chapter I
  
The Flight to Ikaria

-1-

      On the airplane, on the first leg of our trip back to the land, we live on Nyquil, sleeping pills and tea. No one wants to sit near us, and the poor woman with the window seat has her hand over her nose and face as if that will protect her. Good luck! It took a month of sullen rain in Vancouver to produce this cold, and it’s not to be defeated that easily. We’ve hacked and coughed our way through the last week, and by the time we got to the airport, our colds were in full gear, but there was nothing much to do but get on with it.
      Who knows how many people in our path we infect? The noisy ones two seats up from us deserve it, but the rest are just collateral damage. Regardless, we are going back to living a peaceful existence, in tune with nature, no matter how many people we have to take down along the way.
      In Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, Mina slumps in a seat, draped, face first, over her carry-on, hoping that there are no vultures in the airport looking for a fresh corpse. I wander in circles, searching for mint tea, cough drops, chicken soup, and a new book. We’ve put aside our real problems, and focus on the colds that have us dizzy with fever. Last we’d heard, a resolution to the money market issue was being formulated by a team of lawyers and accountants, with the assistance of the major Canadian and International banks. A likelier band of villains has never been gathered, but nevertheless we believe that our money will come back to us, because we can’t allow ourselves to contemplate anything to the contrary. Or, at least, not out loud.