Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave
It took me a few long painful minutes to finally stand, by then the battle overhead had lulled and shifted farther away. All the sounds of the mountain, finally returned. Birds, insects, water splashing far off in the distance. I would have like it there except I was now behind enemy lines with an unknown amount of injuries and no communication to my squadron.I have to get to high ground, it's my best chance at getting communication. Maybe a better view and a rescue chopper. I laughed at the idea of a chopper picking my sorry ass up. The wounded on the ground would need it more than I did.
I was just one female pilot, who the hell would want me back. Wincing, I finally moved and began to limp down a slopped hill, moss and loose patches of dirt cause me to loose my footing every now and again. By the time I reached the bottom much covered my beat up flight gear and face, no rest for the wicked. Off in the distance, mortar rounds drummed and echoed. Trouble was who did the guns belong to, friendly or enemy. Walking up and crossing my fingers didn't exactly ring like a smart decision. Chinese prisoners of war didn't exist, they didn't take you alive.
Sighing, I continued my slow march. If Duke and Young had been with me, I bet they would have made fun of me. Calling me names like gimpy or Klutz, Damn I miss those guys. A heavy gust of wind blasted through the trees, I was nearing a tall outcropping. If there was one thing that I hated about traveling like a foot soldier it was the slow pace it took you to get anywhere. I swore that I had walked at least 5 miles and still the outcropping was far away. A low noise then caught my ear as I rested up against a nearby bolder.
THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP...
The noise grew louder and louder until I recognized the sound a helicopter. Instead of running, limping, out into the open and screaming for it to see me, I hung back. Training and my better judgement knew that as much as it could be a US Helo, it could be a commie's bird too. The aircrafts black figure bolted right past her position and moved toward her F-22's crash sight.
"This is 1st Lt. "Sidewinder" Mojave, Hound squadron. Is anyone squawking on this channel?" Static buzzed angrily at my ears. Again I repeated the call, watching as the helicopter hovered back and forth over the smoking remains.
"...Si....ind...er..." A voice cut through the static for a moment, kneeling, I focused all my attention on the old style, portable radio. "Ca...ou...hear me?"
"Say again." I said, restraining myself from shouting. I knew that voice...Young's voice.
"Can you hear me?" he repeated coming in much clearer than before.
"Yea....I hear you loud and clear,"Thank god he's alive.
"Can you hear me too?" Duke chipped in, always the comedian. I replied with a quick yes.
"Hey, we have any helos going over my crash sight?" Silence....After finally getting their voices back, silence made me uneasy.
"There's one army helo in the area, they'll pick you up." Young remarked, sounding strained. Of course they would, fighting the chinese somewhere high above. I relayed a message that I was deploying smoke and tossed a canister of red making smoke. The container began to hiss and fizzle creating the mass of red, and catching the helicopter's attention. With the canopy too thick over my head, they lowered a harness and brought me up on the helicopters winch.
"Having fun in the jungle?" One snarky, Army airmen commented. I collapsed back in the seat as we hurried back to base. The sooner I could jump back in the air the better.
"Oh sure, cause crashing and almost falling to my death was enough..."