In the code of the air, it was bad form to shoot an enemy who was powerless, but Amy followed as the other aircraft leveled out and restarted its engines. The second it began to pull up again, she held down the second button on her stick. Her powerful pulse lasers sent blinding streaks of blue light at the other aircraft.
Amy’s visor darkened automatically so that she could see that her shots were puncturing holes all over the aircraft. In seconds it began to burn, smoke trailing from both engines. Then it disintegrated as the lasers hit the fuel tanks in the wing.
“Scratch two!” she called out as she scanned the skies for the third bogey.
“Do you see him, Captain?” She called to Amy.
“Negative, Colonel. He bugged out to the west when we engaged. Wait a minute…”
Suddenly the inside of her cockpit lit up like a Christmas tree. A calm female voice spoke in her helmet, “Alert, enemy lock-on, alert, enemy lock-on.”
Amy screamed into the microphone, “He’s right on top of us, Colonel!”
“Break right, Baron Ten!” Britt barked back as she pulled hard to her left, throwing the throttles all the way open. She was straining the aircraft to its structural limits. The little jet shuddered at the stresses, its engines screaming from the strain.
From the corner of her eye, she saw two missiles crash into Amy’s aircraft and it disintegrated in a blinding flash of flame. “Damn” she thought, “we’re cooked.”
Still banking hard, she saw an explosion blossom ahead of her in a gigantic green plume.
“Acid smart-bomb!” she gasped and tried to add another vector to the aircraft with the jet nozzles. She shot upwards as she turned, but it was not quite enough. Bright green patches of acid landed on her wing. She looked out to see the green patches dissolving and eating away the polymers of her wing. The patches moved and traveled across her wing as if they were alive which, in fact, they were.
They were leaving gaping holes through which her fuel flowed out of the wing like blood. She tried to level the plane to take the stress off the wing that was crippled, but as she did she heard a screeching, tearing sound and her right wing ripped off the plane and fell away.
The little jet bravely struggled to stay in the air as Britt vectored the thrust and tried to slow down so she could hover and maybe bring the jet in to a controlled crash landing. Unfortunately, at that second another patch of smart acid that she hadn’t seen ate through the casing of her engine. The thrust came out at right angles to the plane, sending it into a brutal spin and skyrocketing it like a fourth of July firework.
Britt watched the sky spinning past her canopy. A second later she saw a black shape swing into her view. It was the other aircraft, trying to finish her off.
There was only time for her to think, “That’s what you get for being greedy.” Then the two aircraft smashed into each other and everything went black.
Britt sat stock still in the darkness, listening to the soft whir of the air conditioner as her cockpit settled slowly to the ground. A voice came to her helmet from the darkness, “I’m a little disappointed that you fell for that old backtrack trick, Colonel.”
The lights came on in the room and Britt climbed out of the cockpit and down a short ladder to the floor. She was in a massive room that was spherical and painted pure white. In the middle, a short cockpit sat on a tangled tower of hydraulic pistons and cables. She took off her helmet, and shook her blonde hair loose. She smiled up at the windows that looked out from a booth set high on the wall behind the cockpit assembly. She could see Amy already up there waving down at her.
She chucked a bit to herself and said,” It’s a lot harder from down here than it is from up there, General. We took out three for our two, at least. They’ll think twice about trying to sneak in that way now.”
The General didn’t seem too displeased, but he still told her sternly, “That’s a lot of taxpayer money that you spent today. I expect better tomorrow. I’ll see you in the debriefing room in an hour.” Then he turned and walked away from the window.
Britt looked at her watch. It was already four thirty in the afternoon. Because of the battle she wouldn’t be out of debriefing until after six. That meant that she would miss her son’s soccer game.
“Damn,” she thought to herself with a frown, “war is hell!”
Copyright 2009 by Jonathan St. Ives All rights Reserved