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Penguinmafia
06-25-2016, 11:30 PM
[Seems like himeuta doesn't like me pasting the entire thing in one go so i'm gonna split the prologue up.]

[PROLOGUE PART 1]

I pick the letter off the desk in the common room for Phoenix squadron. Must be something important because there’s a big TOP SECRET written in bold red letters across the front.
< Phoenix squadron is to undertake its first combat mission tomorrow, bombs are to be dropped onto a small island, no planes are to drop altitude below 50,000 feet and not to engage any hostiles unless forced to. Once the bombs are dropped all planes are to return to base as fast as possible, do not drop below that altitude no matter what. >
< Signed, secretary general of nato, Edwin Ismay >


Reading the letter from command I let out a sigh “Well, looks like you got your wish after all Green, we’re flying out tomorrow on a combat mission.”
“About time, I was getting bored just flying circles around the base, and i thought we were on first name basis in civvies anyway.” The young pilot replies from across the room. The kid was fast tracked through flight school and into my squadron, child of a high ranking officer in the US air force or something. Never flown a mission in his life, old man probably got him placed here because this squadron was never meant to fly combat missions. Which makes the order even more confusing. “We get on first name basis when you beat me in the sim, of course since you can't beat anyone here I guess that means your name is Green until that changes” i quip back. He was good at flying, no doubt about that, but when it came to actual combat experience everyone here was infinitely more experienced. We were chosen to test fly the X-2 because this squadron is comprised of some of the best pilots in the world, flying countless hours in combat and they wanted us to try their fancy new billion pound plane before they decided to put it into use. He was chosen because his old man didn't want him in danger, if he wants my respect he can earn it.


The 4 man squadron is made of me, Green and 2 others, our official mission is to test fly the next generation of jet fighter the X-2, invisible to radar and armed to the teeth it carries enough firepower to level a city and still have ammo left for a village or two, it’s also ridiculously quick, able to fly at nearly double the speed of current fighters when going flat out. Of course the squadron is officially recognised as a flight school flying ageing prop planes, command really pulled out all the stops to keep their new toys secret.


Turning to the other guy in the room, I ask “Where the hell is Schmidt? we all need to be well rested for tomorrow, even if it is just a bombing run.”
“Not sure, probably raiding the alcohol storage again, should I go and check?” replies Harris, a stocky and serious pilot that ran countless bombing runs all over the world with the french air force before being transferred here. “Yeah sure, if he fights back remind him that last time I saved him from a court martial, this time he won't be so lucky.” I reply “As for the rest of you, get to bed, I want everyone rested for tomorrow's operation.” Begrudgingly the rest of the squad heads to their bunks, as soon as I see Harris dragging a less than compliant Schmidt to bed I shut the lights off and lie down on my own bunk.

Penguinmafia
06-26-2016, 08:07 PM
[PROLOGUE PART 2]

<The next day>

“There’s the target, it’s a small island in the pacific, we want it bombed. Reliable sources suggest it is an automated missile base belonging to forces that aren't exactly friendly to us.” The official looking pale guy in front of us says while pointing at a tiny black spec on a screen. “If you don't mind me asking, who does it belong to exactly?” I pipe up, I would like to know who we are bombing after all. “Sadly the powers that be haven't let me know that, if I did you would be the first to know I assure you, squadron leader.” The officer briefing us explains. “Now, any other questions or do you all understand the mission? Oh and by the way, command want you to scan for heat signatures after the bombing, not sure why though since it’s supposed to be automated, dismissed.”

“Any idea who it is we’re bombing then?” Green asks me as well leave the building and head for the hangar.
“Does it matter? Not like there’s anyone there anyway.” Still though, it is very suspicious that command want us to bomb an island and won’t even tell us who controls it. Oh well, not a soldier's place to question their superiors I suppose. Green pipes up again “I looked up the maps for that area as well, there isn't a single island within a mile of those coordinates, doesn’t it seem awfully suspicious?”
“Maybe the maps are outdated or something, or they just missed it. Anyway it's not like we are gonna see it anyway, just fly over, drop bombs and leave.” One thing doesn't sit right though, why would they want us to check the island for heat signatures after we bomb it? These are top of the range high penetrating guided bombs that can hit a penny from 60,000 feet going at mach 2, so even if there were any people on the island they would be wiped out with the missiles.

< Mission start >

“Ok, everyone finished with the preflight check?” I ask over the radio to the rest of the squad, five voices reply back over the coms. “Alright i’m gonna take off first, then the rest of you in order. We’re gonna circle around and wait for everyone to be in the air.” With that, i push forward on the thrust lever, setting it to 60% output. The massive jet engine powers up and launches me down the runway, I hit take off speed and pull back on the stick, taking the jet into a near vertical climb. When I get into the air I circle around the base waiting for the rest of the squadron to launch. A voice comes over the radio “I never get tired of how well these things climb!”
“Listen green, this is a mission, radio chatter to a minimum and focus on getting it done.” I reply, it might be a near risk free mission but I won’t accept anyone being lax. I have already lost too many good pilots in easier missions than this. “Can you keep the arguing down, the engine is giving me enough of a headache as is.” a gruff german voice comes over the radio, Schmidt never could handle a hangover despite being almost permanently drunk since he transferred here from his squadron in Germany. “If you hadn’t chosen such a fine night to get drunk maybe you wouldn’t be having that problem.” Harris replies.

I press the transmit button on the radio “Alright since everyone is here no more pointless chatter, set engines to maximum and follow me.” Pushing the throttle lever to 100% thrust I am thrown back in my seat as it approaches maximum speed. Even at this speed we still have an hour of flying to make it to the island from base. As we fly over the active military base on the way it seems really empty, I can't even see any planes on the runway, must all be in hangars. The anchorage on the coast is also near empty, only 2 small destroyers are currently docked, both heavily damaged.

A beeping on the radar indicates we are approaching the target. The sky is completely clear and i can see a small black speck in the distance, since it’s the only thing I can see it has to be the target. Pressing the coms button again I tell the rest of the squadron “Drop speed, we’re approaching the target, prepare to arm bombs”, flipping the bomb arm switch on the control panel I wait to get into range, “I’m gonna drop first, then Harris, Green and Schmidt in that order.” A green light on the control stick indicates I’m in range, a press of the button sends two guided bombs hurtling towards the ground. The other three in my squadron drop their bombs and we start circling the target, waiting for the bombs to hit.

The first bomb hits the island, creating a huge explosion, almost instantly a hail of gunfire erupts from the smoke cloud, taking out one bomb before it hits and the other four hit the island, silencing whatever automated aa guns were present on the island. “WOOOHOOO, DID YOU SEE THE SIZE OF THAT EXPLOSION!” an excited voice comes over the radio.
“No green, I must have missed it. Still though, why didn't the guns try to take out the first bomb?” I reply. “Who cares, job got done, now can I go home and sleep off this headache?” a less than happy Schimdt asks over the radio.
“Sure let's go, IR camera shows nothing alive on the island, not that there’s even any island left after that.” I radio back. Setting engines to max the squadron heads back to base.

< An hour after returning to base >

After the standard “Well done good job.” debrief I get pulled aside by an officer. “Apparently the higher ups want to talk to you privately, follow me.” I follow him through the base into a meeting room. It’s all wood panels and leather chairs, complete opposite from the porta-cabin vibe through the rest of the base. “You are the squadron leader of phoenix squadron, Halsey, are you not?” Asks a man in the room, I recognise him immediately, aide to the secretary general of nato, Nathan Rimmer, but i’m not so sure about the other two. One is a classic hardened military type but the other looks more like one of the researchers working in rnd put into a suit several sizes too big. “Yes sir, that’s my name, i assume this is about the mission today?” I reply in as formal a tone as i can muster with a salute. Rimmer takes his glasses off to wipe them “I think we can disregard the pleasantries Halsey, we need to know everything about the mission,” with that the researcher pulls out a notebook and begins scribbling, “ specifically how the defences on the island responded to the attack.”
“Well we were visible coming in and the aa guns only seemed to activate after the first bomb hit, Not much else happened.” I reply. The researcher carries on furiously scribbling in the notebook. The hardened military guy turns to Rimmer and whispers into his ear, he obviously wasn't trained in subtlety because i can hear nearly everything. “Maybe these jets could be the answer, they obviously weren't detected flying in and they were able to bomb from high up so it didn't see them as a threat, I can have the first ones off the production line in a month, just give the order.” Rimmer is obviously much better at keeping his voice down and whispers back.
“That’s all for now, you might not know it but this mission may just have saved us all.” He tells me after stopping his consultation. “Well all we did was drop 6 bombs from an extremely safe height, was the missile base that important?” I ask but the interview is clearly over, the officer from earlier shows me back to the building for phoenix squadron.

“Welcome back Sir, how’d the grilling go?” Asks Green.
“It was really weird, there’s definitely something they aren’t telling us, sounds like the X-2 is being pushed into mass production though. Feels rushed though, something has the higher ups all riled up.” I reply. But something just isn’t right, first the near empty airfield then the naval yard being near empty. It seems like too much of a coincidence to not be connected. “That certainly is suspicious, but I guess the X-2 was going to be pushed into production eventually.” Harris replies. Collapsing onto a chair, I talk to the other three in the room. “You’re all free to do what you want for the rest of the day, I don’t expect command to send us off on any missions any time soon.”

< Three weeks later >

There’s a letter on the table waiting for me when i get in, with TOP SECRET in bold red letters across the front, it’s even in the same place the last one was.
< From this point on Phoenix squadron is to be disbanded, as the only 4 people in the world with any experience flying the X-2 all members will be required to help several countries around the world train their pilots on flying it. pilot officer Green will be sent to the US. flying officer Schmidt will be sent to Russia. flying officer Harris will be sent to Germany and squadron leader Halsey will be sent to Japan. This decision is non-negotiable and all involved will be required to learn the local language. Good luck >
< Signed, secretary general of nato, Edwin Ismay >
After finishing reading the letter out to the squadron there is a moment of stunned silence. “Looks like this is it for the squadron, now if you excuse me i have a crash course in Japanese to get to,” The other three begin to head back to their desks, mountains of paperwork to fill in, “and guys, we will always be phoenix squadron, don't forget that.” I say.
“If anyone happens to be up in Russia, I’ll buy first round.” Schmidt retorts.
“I'll be holding you to that, Schmidt, if you can remember after going through all that Russian vodka that is” Harris replies. Green seems happy, after all he’s the only one going back to his own country. “When this is all over I hope you’re all ready to lose in the sim” Green says enthusiastically.
“Yeah right, like that’s gonna happen,” I reply. After a toast using some of Schmidt's whisky that surprisingly, the overly serious Harris took part in, I head out to the giant C-130 sitting on the runway and settle down for a long flight.