"Yuri, you've outdone yourself." I grinned approaching the beastly machine. The Mi-35 was painted a custom desert camouflage,a mix of browns and golds. Both the left and right wings were loaded with two rocket pod launching systems, two anti-armor missiles per wing, a twin chain gun in the nose, and an all weather swivel camera mounted below the chain gun. The helicopter had a tandem double bubble seating for both the pilot and the operator. Dust covers were placed over the engine intakes to prevent clogging and heat shields wrapped the engines main casing. A modern marvel of Russian engineering. A short kid in pilot's greens leaned against the aircraft, waiting till I drew near to hold out his hand. I shook it and grabbed the helmet from him.
"I'll be the systems operator and Yuri sends his regards." I nodded thanking him and began to move slowly around the helicopter, double checking the systems worked. Satisfied I loaded into the front seat of the helicopter, the operator took the rear. Shutting the cockpit window, I keyed up the Comm system.
"Comm check?" I asked beginning the pre-flight checks.
"I'm here," the kid responded. I ran over the mental checklist in my head, it had been a while since I had flown. Flight controls, throttle, scanners, hydraulics, avionics, instruments, and overhead switches...all are good.
"Let's start this beast!" I chuckled, keying up the ignition. The engine coughed and sputtered, eventually growing to a loud growl. A whine chirped from the rotors as the spun up and began their rotations. "We still clear?" I yelled over the engine into the radio.
"All clear, give her some gas and we'll take to the skys." I pressed easily on the stick hearing the helicopter groan as it clawed to take flight. Finally the aircraft found it's wings and lifted toward the heavens. The sun was hidden from view as a large group of storm clouds amassed. Looks like a hell of a storm, I thought pushing the stick and working the pedals. With titanic grace the Mi-35 turned toward the stadium and sped away. It would be a calm 5 minute flight to get there.
"So where we headed?" the operator inquired.
"Stadium. Listen, I want you to stay in the bird, make sure she's set to fly in a moments notice. If the shit hits the fan I want to be skyward before we get hit. Understood?"
"Da," he said lightheartedly. The Comms buzzed to life as we reached the outer 5 mile radius around the stadium.
"Unidentified craft state your Clearance or prepare to get shot down." I typed in a code that I found on the dead spies body and sent it to the ground controller. There was a moments paused, forcing us to slow to a hover over the stadium. Thunder crackled off in the distance as rain began to pour around us. I flipped a switch near the altimeter starting the wiper blades.
"You're clear," the ground controller finally relayed back. Easing on the pedals, I steadily lowered the craft till it touched down at the center of the soaked stadium. The rotor blades began to slow as I pushed the cockpit glass open. A small group of soldiers quickly encircled the craft, brandishing AK-47's in our faces. Luckily I had worn my headdress so they wouldn't recognize me. I raised my hands in the air, as a pair of men approached us and pushed away a few of the guards. One held an umbrella over a familiar man. Removing my helmet, I got a better look at the two.
"My friend," a white man, with a scar across his face, smiled, embracing me then releasing me. "How goes work at the embassy?" This man was Fishner! He had the scar and the same smug look on his face from his mugshot.
"It goes good, sir. Roberts has no clue." Fishner grinned broadly and motioned for me to follow. I walked outside the comfort of the umbrella, rain soaking me as Fishner spoke.
"I'm glad, the American intelligence gather's are...complete idiots." I nodded, we were nearing an overhang near the edge of the stadium. I chanced a quick glance around to the stands, hoping to see Ghost. To my disappointment, he wasn't that careless. "Hytham," Fishner said, revealing the spies name "I have a major deal going down today. This buyer could help spread Hashish to the rest of the western world." Fishner clenched a fist and stopped under the awning. He then turned to me. "Are you hungry? We have some food prepared from earlier..." he trailed off looking at the helicopter.
"Where did you get that?" his voice was on edge. I placed a hand on the man's shoulder and prayed that my bluff would work.
"I found a contact within the embassy, he deals in special weaponry." Fishner thought it over and gave a thoughtful nod.
"Good, good." He checked his watch. "The buyer should be here in 5 to 10 minutes, I'm going to get this deal done with and turn in for the day. I'm not one who enjoys the rain." Fishner turned away talking with his umbrella man, again I scanned for Ghost and his tag along. Dammit, where the hell is he. Ghost knows that this will be Fishner's most vulnerable moment. Comm chatter picked up with the guard as they grew excited. Whoever Fishenr was meeting, they were here. Fishner and his umbrella lackey headed back out into the rain towards a convoy of SUV's that circled around the helicopter.
"Accompany me, Hytham." Fishner yelled over the thunder to me, the rain began to pour harder. Lightning crackled in the sky like a flare. There wasn't going to be any calm before the storm this time.