This is the first part of the short story I wrote for the XPRIZE contest.
The little animated plane on the seat-back entertainment screen circled San Francisco three times before we were allowed to land. On the ground, my tiny window allowed me a glimpse of an impossibly white main terminal before the plane turned towards a squat building tucked away by itself.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking,” said a calm, authoritative voice. “We ran into a little paperwork problem, but it’s all sorted out now. Sorry for the delay; we’ll get you out of here as quickly as possible.”
When the seatbelt sign went out, I pulled down my carry-on and followed the other passengers out of the plane. At the end of the jet bridge we were met with a double line of people holding placards with names on them.
“What’s going on?” the middle-aged woman in front of me asked the closest uniformed attendant. …