Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave
I stared at Young as he decorated his newly assigned Raptor. He must not remember...or he doesn't want to remember. I shook my head and studied his pace slow but dilligennt, stroking back and forth until he was finally done with his emblem. The right front side of his plane was emblazoned with a a fiery red and yellow hornet. He smiled at the work and moved to the cockpit. I returned my own attention back to my plane, running my hand across the exterior to duble check the mechanics work.
Didn’t want my plane falling apart in mid-combat, now did I. Another figure entered the hanger and moved towards Young’s new aircraft and strutted up the steps to the cockpit. Peering from out from the underbelly of my Raptor, I caught a glimpse of Duke. He may have been dressed in new BDU’s but his hair still stuck up and pointed in all directions. I shook my head, he’d never change.
With all my external pre-flight checks complete, I moved to the cockpit and settled in the seat. All the same knobs and switches, the same lights and radar targeting modules. I’d been on the ground for too long, even if it was only a day. Tossing off the sunglasses, I pulled my helmet on and strapped the comms/breathing mask over my mouth and nose. I flipped a switch to drop the canopy, just catching the tail end of what Young had said.
“...found a helmet in my cockpit." I nodded to myself, finishing my checks as the control tower directed Young out of the hanger and into the sky. His plane whine as it’s engines spun to life, he disappeared from the runway as I began taxi’ing out onto the tarmac. His plane rocketed down the runway and instantly pulled towards the heavens, thrusting with full afterburner. Like a kid with a brand new toy.
“Sidewinder, you’re cleared to take off runway 2. Standby for further orders once in the air.”
“Roger,” I relpied, feeling the aircraft shudder with the sudden full throttle thrust. The G-forces pinned me into my seat as I accellerated faster and faster until I pitched the aircraft’s nose up. The second I left the ground, I climbed to 10,000 feet as fast as the aircraft would allow me.
“Duke, you read me?” I called, catching sight of his speck on the runway.
“Yea, by the way, I owe you for kicking me this morning!” he half growled. I rolled my plane upside down in a sharp movement, paused, the righted the Raptor again. God, I missed this rush! How could I ever stay grounded when I have this freedom?!
“Don’t worry you’ll get me back, I know you. Hang on, Young? You squaking on this channel?” On my radar, I could tell that he was putting his new plane through it’s paces.
“Yea, I’m here.” I nodded and dropped through the skys, leveling out from the dive at just over 3,000 feet.
“Alright boys, after the alcohol induced fun of last night, it’s time to get serious. So Young, I got your callsign. You’re Hornet from know on. Got it, don’t like it well sorry.” I smiled, pleased with myself. At least something good was done.
“Sidewinder! Sidewinder! This is tower, divert west. We have a bogey dope on two incoming aircraft. Comms chatter pegged them as chinese scouts. Are you freaking kidding me?!
“Roger that Tower, I’m diverting.” Pulling back hard on the stick I made a High G turn and tore off after the incoming tangos.
“What about us”? Duke whined.
“Negative, Central command has deemed one aircraft is enough.”
“That’s bullshit!” Hornet shouted.
“Cut the chatter! Sidewinder what’d you see?” The cloud cover broke and reveled two, fast moving shapes. I flicked the switch for long range weapons. Not as safe as fire and forget, but these things could cover quite a few miles and take out multiple targets. The loud ping of the missile’s lock rang in my ear as I stared down the incoming bogey’s.
“Fox three!” I shouted, two missiles zipped from the internal weapons bay and left long trailing vapor streams. The aircraft broke away in opposite directions but not fast enough, the missiles stuck both of the planes turning them into massive fireballs. Plunging the twisteda and flaming metal into the ground.
“I can handle myself.” I chuckled over the comms. But my joyous celebration ended as soon as an alarm rang in the cocpit.
“WARNING, WARNING! MISSILE LOCK!” The synthesized voice shouted in my ear as I sharply looked over my shoulder. Right at my six o’clock was an all black stealth aircraft baring down on me. How the hell did he get behind me?!
“Fuck!” I howled, hitting the afterburner and roaring away from the enemy as he launched a missile.