Katrina "Sidewinder" Mojave

When the music cut off everything went to hell, screams and shouts filled the comms where the once soothing tunes had been. 

"ENGAGE!" A voice shouted loudly. 

I barely acknowledged the multitude of replies to this, merely waiting to jump into mix, my concentration was on angling the nose of the F-15 Strike Eagle towards the tree tops below. A large black cloud grew in the distance was suddenly breaking apart like swarm of locust. The enemy had brought everything with them and now there was no going back. We were outnumbered but our orders and pride kept us fighting back.  A silhouette became bracketed in white, then red as it grew in my sights to become a sleek and deadly enemy Chinese fighter aircraft.

Other red lights began to flash rhythmically elsewhere on the fighter control panel, indicating that the enemy aircraft’s search radar was reciprocating a missile lock-on. I growled, ignoring the blinking lights and throttled back my speed at the last minute so that I didn’t crash into the trees. We were hopelessly outnumbered but I was gonna give them hell all the way through…for Andrew. I tightened my grip on the stick concentrating on my own movements as Pilots fought at all altitudes. Some streaked high in the clouds while others stuck near the ground.

Young was above me by 5000ft, he was heavily engaged in a dogfight with a J-20. His aircraft danced and spun, trying to throw off anyone who got near his tail while he lined up a shot. I let my thumb idly flicking the trigger that released two AIM-120 AMRAAM, medium to long range missiles, from his aircraft. The ordinance soared away catching on the two nearest aircraft within my radar field.

As the missiles left white streaks that painted the darkening sky. The pilots never saw the missiles coming as they jammed right in the aircraft’s tail pipe and exploded. A small HUD message informed me dispassionately of the successive kills. I let out a cheer but the immediate scream of a missile alert shut me up instantly. I pulled up, climbing for the ensuing chaos above the cloud. Shockwaves from dying aircraft both enemy and friendly made the cockpit canopy shake and reverberate. I continued to scan for bogey’s on my tail and the familiar sight of Young’s aircraft but another multitude of warnings from missile search radars screamed. 

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I growled rolling left and climbing faster, my hand gripping the afterburner tightly, just in case. I was getting sick of the constant warnings and alerts from the simulated voice.

“There’s too many!” A  skittish pilot cried as another wave of aircraft appeared on the horizon. I glared at the sky as I nosed over and dove after another enemy.

“Don’t you damn give up!” I growled back. “Young, you still alive?” I was just hoping to get a hold of some familiar voice that wasn’t dying or shitting his pants. I waited, still trailing after the Chinese pilot until I shot him down too. A nervous tremor passed through my heart as I almost keyed the comm again.

“You need to stop worry, Mojave!” A voice grunted over the comms. I sighed and returned to fighting back.

“I can’t help it,” I chuckled back. A small smile on my face as I kept all the good memories in mind, with ammunition low I was either gonna have to make a run for it or risk re-arming down at the base.  

An incoming missile fired from out of nowhere, I took a deep breath as I threw the F-15 into a high-speed turn that crushed me into his seat.  The massive yet nimble fighter struggled to achieve the maneuver without stalling and dropping the painfully out of the sky.I’ve crashed once and I’ll be damned ft they make it twice. The missile responsible for the turn overshot my fighter by mere meters before the on-board computer realized it had missed and detonated the warhead.

The blastwave overtook my aircraft quickly, covering it in waves of flames as the shrapnel just missed my aircraft. As the flames evaporated, I climbed and leveled out, trying to see if any damage was sustained. Cuts and burns on the aircraft skin showed only superficial problems that would be an easy cosmetic fix. Resting in my ejection seat, I surveyed the battle below…we were losing. I frowned knowing exactly what that meant, Project Serenity wasn’t going to fall to the Chinese…our commanders would be dammed if that happened. I bit my lip and shut my eyes for a moment, a silent apology leaving my mind as I prepared for the worst. 

The End

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