Not My DayMature

Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave

The largest compulsion to hit someone burned from within me. This...day...couldn't... get...any...fucking...worse! The helicopters damaged rotors whined at me, alarms clanging and men howling in anger and fear. It had all gone so wrong, why couldn't I go back to that hanger a day ago. Where Hornet, Duke, and I were tossing back shots. At least then my life didn't feel like a total shit storm. 

It all began after the Army helo had picked me up and hauled off towards the mountains. Apparently the airbase, one of our last bastion's of hope torn from our grasp by the filthy Chinese. The air around us whistled, the tops of the trees barley missing the wheels below the craft. It was either fly low and try to avoid the fighting jets above or go and get shot down. Either way, we were a rat in a snake pit and the odds of getting out fell with every second we lingered in the combat zone. The Uh-60 helo trembled and groaned as it's pilot pushed the machines throttle as hard as it would take us.

"Your one lucky pilot ma'am," the co-pilot shot back at me as he refocused on the GPS designator on the dash. A small blue line on the screen marked our front line, red masses encroached further into the blue. If we didn't find some advantage over the Chineses' innumerable soldiers, the war would be over in less than a months time.

"Godhand, this is Seagull! We have Sidewinder on board and are sprinting to the regroup point we-" I interrupted the conversation, pulling on a comm helmet and practically shouting to the AWACS monitoring plane.

"This is Sidewinder, I wann know what the fuck is going on with my squadron! Where are they?" The line buzzed, occasionally hissing with static until AWACs replied sharply. 

"Duke was shot down deep behind enemy lines and is assumed dead..." Dead?! I felt the bottom of my stomach fall away as a burning guilt clutched me tightly. What had been my last words? Was I shouting, did I say how much I appreciated him? I didn't even get to say good bye. Biting my lips hard, the helicopter banked to the right and I spoke again. 

"What about Hornet?" My voice was much more worried and pained that I had wanted to show. This, of all times, wasn't the place to show emotions that weren't needed on the battle field. With Duke assumed dead, Hornet was all I had left. I felt desperate and like a failure.

"He's alive, our radars have him trailing at 1000 meters, heading to where all forces are regrouping we're going to make one last push fr-" the comm shut down as bullets riddled the aircraft and the tell tale scream of jet engines echoed behind us. 

"SHIT!" the pilot spat, steering the chopper to the far right, left and back. More bullet's peppered the hull until the pilot slumped dead in an explosion of blood. The crimson liquid smeared across the windscreen. A loud thud noise and an explosion rattled the aircraft sending us into a tailspin through the air. The engine whined, alarms blared, and the co-pilot shouted...we were going down.

So now you know why officially just want to end this day, I almost took a cynical approach to the crashing bird. Anticipating the crash as the thump of the rotors grew heavier and heavier, we nearing the ground at increasing speeds. The G-forces pinned me back in my seat, straining the belt strapped across my body. Over my helmet, I triggered the comms channel.

"This is Sidewinder, to any aircraft in the area. We're fucked and going down. I need immediate evacuation to the rally point. Hurry the fu-" My head smashed against the Helo's metal skin, knocking me out before the helicopter dropped into the ground.

-O-

Regaining consciousness, I heard footsteps nearing me. I tried to roll over but my aching body protested. The pistol on my side, hovered on the edge of my vision. Tossed from it's holster, it sat just  to my right near the burning and twisted wreckage of the Army helicopter. The steps drew closer, crunching on leaves and twigs. From the sound I could tell there was more than one. Instantly, my arm reached out and snapped up the pistol into my grip. 

"Fucking freeze," I shouted, my mouth dry and my tongue rough as sandpaper. The movements stopped. "Thunder!" I shouted the code to identify friendlies...silence. Sweat began to pour down my brow as my body trembled from surviving two crashes. 

"Storm," Came the reply as three Marines stepped like ghosts from the forest brush. I didn't relax my grip on the pistol, using my elbow to prop myself up. "Easy Lt, I'm Staff Sergeant Hicks...we're with First Marine Recon." I raised an eyebrow, letting the pistols aim drop a small amount. "We're here to get you back to regroup point." I sighed heavily and tried to stand, hearing a small explosion echo not too far off. 

"Ma'am we need to go now!" One of the other Marines said quickly. "The Chinese are closing in." I stood, gasping and biting back a painful scream as blood ran from my forehead and other parts of my body. A large gash rested over my thigh, were a large chunk of shrapnel had torn through my flight suit. Two of the Marine rushed over, supporting me as we hurried to their helo, a more heavily armored craft that i had always known as a "Jolly Green Giant." The craft jumped into the air as Chinese soldiers rushed into the clearing, firing and shouting.  

"Your one lucky bastard, Lt." One of the Marines said, calming his heavy breathing. I shook my head and pressed my palm into the large gash...hoping to stop the bleeding as best I could. 

"No, I'm just to stubborn to die when I'm supposed to..." I trailed off, wincing again as more pain throbbed, this time behind my eyes. "You guys got a radio I can use?" Hicks nodded and passed me a comms helmet. 

"Hornet?" I asked wearily. Nothing..."You still alive, remember you can't die on me. Duke, you, and I are celebrating when this war is over remember? All of us getting slammed on shots..." I stifled my emotions at the mention of both their names, praying to no one in particular that I would hear that familiar voice. 

The End

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