This world is a level some people go to before they officially die.
They have not made the grade on Earth.
It is a sorting office for lost souls.
It is a busy airport with a runway and a fleet of planes
where the planes take off matter-of-factly like Easy jet planes.
These souls have to work out things, settle old scores,
make penance for old transgressions
Each person has a passport with their time travel destination on it,
be it the Napoleonic Wars, Ancient Greece, the Crimea,
Victorian London or the American Wild West
The planes will encounter an area of turbulence
similar to that encountered in the Bermuda Triangle,
but it’s all calculated, clearly pre-ordained.
The air hostesses do demos on their OHPs
and deliver crash courses on the history of the era
and the pitfalls to expect.
Faces filled with trepidation may take advantage of the free Bollinger.
Others try to bond with other passengers
to improve their ‘survival’ prospects in these hostile lands.
The airport is full of amateur map readers,
some in short trousers — infant homicidal killers perhaps
with serious faces in contrast to their boyish looks.
The airport runs the gamut of human transgression:
from people who shopped their friends,
betrayed their comrades,
murdered their spouses,
to people who make the same mistakes over and over again.
The mechanics do a fuselage check on the planes,
the pilots talk to Ground Control,
the kiosk workers in the airport work industriously,
all part of a coordinated team.
The pilots and the cabin crew themselves are the oldest lags of all,
sentenced to continual air spins,
eternal timetables and going through the motions
for their part in terrorist offences,
serial-killer murders of innocent people, other atrocities.
But everything is carried out
with the utmost precision and acceptance,
resignation in the face of an immutable Fate.