Pugachev's CobraMature

Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave

"Command, missiles just came in without any lock on warnings screaming!" I shouted back at the AWACS. Multiple voices called over the comms. The bombers beside me wavered and I dipped to the side, dodging another Anti-air missile. 

"Hold up Hound... reports indicate the missiles do not require a heat signature, repeat, do not require a heat signature, flares do not seem effective." I cursed and watched as the once sleeping carrier jumped alive, lights flashed into the sky, AA installments began to clatter tossing bullets and red hot tracers out way. The B-52's that we were escorting spread their lines, trying to make themselves harder target as they began their bombing run of the Chinese ships. My radar began to screech alerting me to interceptor aircraft, Dammit! No one said this was gonna be a freaking ambush!

Eagle six, the middle bomber in the formation began to accelerate. Shouting back towards Young. "I can not deviate Hound one, need a straight line!"

"Chill out Eagle Six, we'll get you out of here!" I shouted nosing away from the bombers to deal with a squadron of interceptors. "Duke tail me and take out anyone at my six!" 

"Roger." I barrel rolled and shifted to the left allowing Duke to get half a Klick from my tail. The lead aircraft of the squadron was the main issue, I had only heard rumors of them. A J-20, the Chinese's newest stealth fighter, supposedly it could match or even surpass the F-22. We'll see about that. I narrowed my eyes and watched the three trailing J-11's break away. Duke jetted after one and Young the second. The third instantly locked into my AAM, and the missile soared towards him. Thank god for 'Fire and Forget', I internally laughed and turned my attention to the stealth fighter. 

"Sidewinder, Six O'clock!" Young shouted. 

"Fuck," I jerked the stick to the right and the Raptor's engines wailed. Explosions and giant burst of flames shot into the sky as the bombers hit their targets. No matter what I tried, diving, accelerating, rolling, and high G turns...the enemy plane stuck with me and matched the maneuvers with ease. I growled and decided to pull out every trick in the book. Nosing toward the water, I leveled out just above the black liquid.

Plumes of white water burst up into the air behind my engine and forced the J-20 to back off a bit. I had to end this dog fight and fast or else I would end up smashed and shredded in the wreckage of my plane. Duke shouted over the comms that he splashed his own bogey and was now helping the retreating bombers exit the combat zone. Young also called that he had taken out his target and was now strafing the remaining enemy forces. Swiveling my head around, I caught one quick glimpse of the enemy plane and took a deep breath.

No time like the present. my grasp tightened around the stick and I blinked slowly. Pitching the aircraft back, the G forces pressed me back into my seat and the clouds speed past my vision.

"Young, I hope your watching this," I laughed uneasily, trying to calm myself down more than I was trying to show off. When I reached 7,000 feet, I hit the afterburner and waited for the J-20 to draw close to my tail. Warning alarms wailed and long high pitched beeps squealed.

"WARNING WARNING, MISSILE LOCK! WARNING!" Thanks, I thought gruffly and took one last deep breath. The maneuver I was about to pull I had only seen other pilots, Aces, demonstrate. The technique was know as Pugachev's Cobra. The move was dramatic and a demanding maneuver. Throttling back I waited. Suddenly I raised the nose to the vertical position then coaxed it slightly beyond that. Sweat poured off my face as I maintained a constant altitude through the entire move. Hovering or as others called it a controlled stall. The enemy jet roared underneath my plane and I immediately followed. Bringing my jet back up to a fast soaring speed. 

It was my turn to go on the offensive while he dodge rolled and looped. It was all for nothing though, after all the shit his country was pulling, there was no way I'd let him escape. The missile's lock on marker froze over the J-20 but I ignored the signal, this was personal and I was going guns blazing. Nearing his glowing tail pipes, I squeezed the trigger and watched as both tracer and bullet alike ripped into his tail section. Sparks burst from the jet's skin and metal fragments narrowly missed my cockpit. The flames began to spread as I loosed another burst into the dying aircraft.

This time, I stuck the cockpit and the plane began to tumble. Flaming all the way till it crashed into the sea's surface. Oil and flamed licked across the black waters, adding to the ominous graveyard of dead ships and crashed aircraft.

"Finally! Young, Duke let's head back and-"

"Missile fired from enemy sub!" Godhand shouted. "Submarine missile launch confirmed! Believed to be burst missile with multiple warheads that detonate in mid-air." Young swung his FA-18 next to my wing and I roared at him to climb.

"Climb, go, Go, GO!" The instant climb wasn't hard on the Raptor, with thrust vectoring engines the motion was easy...the only problem was the fatigue of constant flying was starting to get to me. Lightheaded and dazed, lights flashed and spotted across my vision.

"8...7...6..." Then I realized that Duke wasn't with us, he was still headed back from escorting the bomber squadron.

"Duke if you can hear me, Climb! Fucking Climb!" I screamed as Young and I leveled out at 10,000 feet. No response came.

"3...2...1...missile impact." Godhand warned. Bright white light flashed below us sending out tendrils of red and gold fire. Any allied squadron that had survived, burst apart mid-air. Tumbling in a melted heap of metal to the water below. 

"Duke! Duke you freaking idiot respond!" Silence came over the comms and I starred in disbelief. His IFF transponder wasn't on radar and I was getting no communication. He was gone. Static crackled over the comms and a voice came to life. 

"He....Hey...Sidewinder...Calm down, I'm fine. I bailed out just in time near friendly territory. I'm alright, got a few scratches and bruises but nothing a bandaid can't fix. I probably won't be back in the skies very soon so good luck! Just don't forget to call a rescue chopper for me." His voice had a ring of pride and humor. "Oh and Young, take care of Sidewinder while I'm gone. She's a feisty girl and tends to get herself into more trouble than she can handle. Promise me!" Duke called his voice fading in and out of static. "Promise." I bit my lip hard and swallowed a lump in my throat. 

The End

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