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 cursing and battle cries. Laughter 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?” A 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, begging 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. Everything I knew was somehow connected with the army.
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 the ultrasound positive of our daughter and smiled for a second, but then I stretched my neck and focused on that iron door.
“Incoming!” A 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 put down the fire. My sight was aimed in one spot, zoned out from the turbulence, rattling sound of the untied gear and moans of the crew. I was ready to roll.
“Flak guns, boys! Get ready!” The second crew member broke his throat screaming and barely taking his eyes away from radiant monitor. “Here they come!” He continued when a thumbing 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 burst 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 shape-shifting 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 the helm and punched the lever, when a rotating cranking sound of the mechanism released my saucer.
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.
Everything turned hectic when a portal opened not far away from our position. The damn enemy jumped forward with their plans of invasion. No time to think, this is tome to act, time to live or die.
Enemy was dead ahead, storming our stellar gates, trying to blast their way in, however, modular gunships and spiky tower guns kept repealing them from the close vicinity of the plasma panels. Swarms of their vessels flew speeding around our post, bombarding the gate’s foundation, distracting fire onto the energy shields nothing could break.
Proton bomb exploded on one of the shields and the thing just shook the blast off. A push on the lever and my saucer took the velocity towards the raging battle. Light became stretched over the cockpit visor as I infused myself among them. Two short twists on the control made me spin around, evading their bursts and over passing. Flaps opened to ease my trajectory, then one punch on the control showed me in the group of five shape-shifting drones every Ildocian pilot hated. My fire aimed at the pillar that held the shield which was covering the ramming laser beam, pointed at the gate. Sizzling of the strong light became louder as I orbited the chrome pillar, when those five drones came sticking on my back.
First hit blew my tale flipper, second passed over my head and the third kicked me towards the laser. Heat of the weapon penetrated my saucer, making me scream out of painful burns and oozing blisters popping on my face. Hard swing of tale brought me back in the sky, rotated me up in the cloud and turned me for another round.
“You are so dead! I’m gonna make scrap metal out of you fuckers!” I growled descending at the laser, when drones jumped out from the cloud, missing me with every inflamed comet.
Shot by shot rang on their protective shield that glowed in electronic grid, but one broke in and destroyed the persistent machine. Computer warned me about my ammunition and lack of it, but I paid no attention, because the laser was half way through the gate. With my teeth firmly joined under the helmet, I screamed the most vile insults, turning the controls to evade the new attack and broke off from the pursuit. Brief time table gave me much needed opportunity to take aim at the defensive drones that were mid-transformation into a ballistic projectiles.
“Can’t catch me, so you’ll try taking me down from the sky? Good FUCKING luck! AAAA!” The shout echoed the saucer and weapons opened fire at the approaching robot.
As time stopped for a moment, fragments of the drone came flying away from a ball of flames that was rapidly growing out of original form. I flew straight through the bastard, ignited my rear emergency guns and positioned myself midair, focusing on the shiny pillar. All I needed was few good shots at the wires and crucial elements that were holding the power charge of the shield. Gently the trigger fell back and rockets went out the vessel, followed by a thick mist.
BOOM, shield went down bending to aside, presenting the weak laser in it’s base. Our towers have elevated the rate of fire and the gunships went for the kill, when the drone exploded heading straight towards me. All of his melted metal poured over me, corrupting the system causing black smoke to rise out of my bowl. Few little explosions announced the big one, so I pulled the eject ribbon and exited the saucer in a neat egg shaped capsule. I was defenseless now, without any weapon on me, just a protective capsule and a seat. My ship spun in axis gravitating towards the overpopulated enemy city, when another laser dispersed it into smithereens. I turned to see our gates falling down, cracked and broken like an old relic. Behind me was an approaching fleet of super drones and five times bigger star-ship with twenty lasers sticking out from its top.
“It figures.” I signed in disbelief and opened my eyes to the stellar gate where our world waited the rage infused invasion.