Clouds in the night sky were beneath us with all of the things we love so dearly that stayed behind. Red light illuminated the cargo area in which we were getting bored, hooking up gear and checking operating systems. Sharp wind whirled in the top of the vessel, just above the crew that was busy with tasks. Headphones were full of chatter, loud cursings of joy and battle cries. Laugher also entertained us while we sat in our spots, waiting for deployment. Turbulence rose from the right wing when the whole thing shifted in the designated route. “Few more minutes” – someone said and comms went silent. Now, everybody was at their final preparations for combat, except me, because I did that hours ago.
– Are you nervous? – comrade asked, smirking in his fragmented helmet with a holographic visor.
– No. War is my nature, my legacy and my calling. My grandfather was a Colonel in the First Ildocian Battalion and my father managed to become a General in the artillery. I was not far away from the army, so the military life comes naturally to me. – I replied with the same smile and looked at the cockpit of my friend.
He was praying in mimic for the God to spare his life and give him plenty targets to shot on, then he draw a circle on his chest and bowed his head. Many pilots looked nervous, scared and worried about what is to come, but not me, it was all too familiar to me. My training begun since I was a boy, a little child that gazed at the stars and rockets, piercing through the night, aiming high with their flames. Everything I knew was somehow connected with the army and I knew a lot.
A pilot, opposite from me was clicking on his equipment, playing with his belt, staring at the iron door and waited for them to open so he can soar and saw death. Our leader was giving us a motivational speech, but no one listened because we had other thoughts on our mind. I jammed my wife’s picture next to the one with a ultrasound positive of our daughter and smiled for a second, but then I stretched my neck and focused on that iron door.
– Incoming! – crew member screamed his last as a rocket blew the rear compartment and turned his body into a carbonated puzzle.
Alarms started to blare and drones buzzed away to place foam on fire. My sight was aimed in one spot, zoned out from the turbulence, rattling sound of the un-tied gear and moans of the crew. I was ready to roll.
– Flak guns, boys! Get ready! – crew member broke his throat, barely taking his eyes from radiant monitor, – Here they come! – he continued when a thumbling sound of gunshots became ever present and constant in my ears.
Everything was shaking, falling down, even the air got a flare of fire and burnt meat. Senses went crazy when another rocket punched the hole in the bowl of our carrier. Things came flying onto us now, hitting the thick glass and denting our folded wings as the vessel was losing control.
– Blood Squadron! Code “Aramon”! I repeat: code “Aramon”! All lights green! Go, go, go!
A courageous cry bursted in the radio as iron doors were getting wider, and wider, and wider. My eyes turned into brilliant polished glass and visor lit the incoming drone targets, heavy shapeshifting fighters. The group of them was coming straight at us, just a hundred of kilometers away. Grip on weapon control grew firmer and my teeth clenched in anticipation of a glorious fight.
– Ripper Four Gama Tango One Niner, deployed! – I said in helm and punched the lever, when a rotating cranking sound of the mechanism released my sourcer.
I started to descend with a climbing speed, breaking the clouds and seeing the lights of the city we had to destroy. Strong beams of light searched for us in the sky, while the comets from the flak guns boomed around me. My visor was showing the drones and more of the fighter jets I had to remove from the air. It will be an easy dog fight.