Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave
I pulled my fighter high into the sky, the wings of my raptor slicing through the darkening clouds. As I broke the cloud cover white hot light from the sun flashed into my visor, momentarily blinding me.
"SIDEWINDER, EVADE!" Duke Suddenly screamed at me over the comms. I never had a chance to escape, the second I turned hard to the left the missile struck my plane. The impact and following explosion detonated on my rear fin. Shrapnel burst through the canopy, shredding my radar and other vital electronics.
A wash of fire and chocking black smoke engulfed the plane as it tumbled back through the clouds. I felt frozen or a moment, the wind screaming in my ears as the ground appeared before me. My helmet connected with the panel, smashing the tinted visor and ripping cuts into my face. One loud warning alarm screamed as my altitude decreased.
“Pull up! Pull up! Warning, Proximity Warning!” Half conscious, my right hand found the pull cord to eject. Sending a silent prayer up, I tugged hard. What was left of the mangled canopy broke away as the plane spun and wobbled like a top. Groans from the aircrafts metal skin mixed with the deafening wind as my chair rocketed from the dying plane.
My dying plane... The radio on my breast pocket sounded with a familiar voice but my head pounded and my body ached. Just a five minute nap...The sudden jerk of the parachute deploying and the pilots chair falling away, brought me back to semi-awareness. Other planes both friend and foe, zipped past me, their high caliber bullets missing me by feet. Out of the corner of my shattered helmet, I noticed an enemy plane zeroing on my floating canopy.
His machine gun blazed, landing several shots into the olive green canopy. The mushroom top collapsed and suddenly I was falling again towards the ground. Today is just not my day! I rocked and flipped, trying to reorient myself as I loosed the dead fabric and found my second rip cord. The roaring noise of a dying Jammer echoed not too far off followed by the tell tale crash and explosion. Jerking the cord on my back-up chute, I felt the fabric release from it’s pack and unfurl overhead. As the parachute filled with air, it wasn’t soon enough.
My eyes looked down to see the ground coming up to meet me. Branches of trees scrapped and tore my flight suit, drawing more blood from my skin as my legs took the violent impact into the rough dirt and grass. My body crumpled and fell limp, laying still, too injured and dazed to do anything else. After a long time of listening to the battle raging in the skies overhead, I rolled onto my back. A sharp pain lashed through my legs, up my spine, and around my ribs.
Eventually the electric shock jolted my head and caused a loud scream to rupture from my lips. I didn’t know the full extent of my injures but from what I could feel, escaping the enemy on the ground would be hell! It took my ten minutes to crawl to a nearby tree and prop myself against it, my hands finding the spare radio I had. Rasping, I tried to get a hold of my squadron.
“Hornet! Hornet you there?! Duke! Respond Dammit!” Fear clenched my heart as only static responded to my pleas. “Hornet? Duke? Anybody? Fuck!” I chucked the radio on the ground next to me and pulled my helmet off. More pieces of the broken visor fell away onto my lap. Now I could feel the slick warmth of blood coating my face, dripping onto my flight suit and mixing with the dirt.
Resting my head against the tree, I shut my eyes and allowed my body to go slack. I had failed, not only had I failed my country but I had failed my squad. The flood of anger and sadness caused tears to course down my face. I had to get back up into the sky, I had to fight back! With my last bit of strength, I pulled the pistol from my hip holster and grabbed my radar. I had to find my squadron.