Katrina “Sidewinder” Mojave
I watched as Young pulled up the nose of his plane and angled back towards the dog fight, I was currently trapped in. Three planes shifted from my 9 o’clock to my 6 o’clock.
“Dammit all!” I shouted, pitching the aircrafts nose at the sea. The wind and roar of the Raptor’s engine howled at the earth, chocking when I jammed back on the stick and leveled out. Two of the three fighters broke away to engage Duke and Young, that left only one fighter on my tail. Hope you like quick thrills, I thought back at the Chinese pilot. Shifting my flaps, the raptor pitched its wings perpendicular to the ground and began to turn in a wide angled circle. My altitude slowly increased as the circle widened.
The J-11 followed without hesitation, gaining closer and closer for a missile lock. An alarm clanged loudly in the cockpit, alerting me that the enemy on my tail was ready to fire a missile right up my tail pipe. Suddenly I slammed the stick right and broke away from the spiral, racing over the clouds and jerking the aircraft into a hairpin turn. The G-forces pinned me back in my seat and the edges of my vision began to blur.
“Fox two!” I heard Duke shout, followed by the tell tale explosion. “Splash one!” he cheered. Bolting out of the turn I throttled up and aimed the nose of my Raptor right at the approaching bogey. It was now a game of who had the fastest trigger pull. 10 miles…8miles…the distance began to close, my finger cradled around the trigger. 5 miles…3 miles, at 2 and a half miles a loud whine sounded from the panels. The missiles tucked in the stealth bay were hot and locked on.
“Fox one!” I shouted over the comms and watched the missile spring out of the lower weapons bay and bear down on the bogey. The bays beneath my aircraft immediately shut and I jinked right, turning my cockpit just in time to watch the large fireball tear apart the tiny J-11 and blast its pilot into oblivion.
“Splash two, Young…you tag your tail?” I called as Duke returned to a trail position on my 6 o’clock. The familiar silhouette of Young’s FA-18 glided calmly to a position at my 4 o’clock.
“Yea, I don’t think we’re gonna have to worry about him.” I craned my neck around and grinned at the new kid, even though he couldn’t see it. Returning my gaze forward, I switched comm lines and called over the radio.
“AWACS Godhand, Bogey dope on that recon plane?” While waiting for a reply, I turned our small squadron back towards the air base.
“Hound Squadron, be advised. The Chinese recon plane has disappeared off radar, it must have egressed from the battlefield. But we have other issues to attend to. Rearm and refuel at the base. We’re sending you on a bombing run, Chinese ships are shelling our men just up the coastline and we need to take them out. Also, be advised. If you see any aircraft Carriers or heavy battle crusiers, they are your primary objective…No exceptions.”
“Roger that Godhand, we are currently headed back to base at Angels 10. Be back soon.” I tapped the comms and switched to the inter-squadron radio. “You boys get that? We’re gonna run full afterburner.” Without another word, I throttle up completely and ran the afterburner hot. The Raptor screamed through the skies and adrenaline pumped through my veins. This place was my only true home, lost amongst the clouds.