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story by top_gun
   For the first time in months, the incessant thundering in your ears ceased, and the unaccustomed silence which followed seems deafening to you. As you gaze at the wreckage where there once stood the largest command centre in the territory, the enemy bombardment around the entire base and the surrounding industrial complex has stopped. Your comrades dead tired and too numb to care stare off into the space with bloodshot eyes, pondering the signifcance of this new development.

   You drag yourself into the battered cockpit that was once part of a formidable squadron, a Su-34 in General Klapaucius' 101st squadron, and switched on the radio set. The message that filtered through confirmed your worst fears. The entire sector had been decimated by the enemy's B-52Hs.

    Sitting alone in the stifling atmosphere and stale air of your cockpit, you break down and weep, the pent-up anger, fear, doubts and pain finally flood your senses, like a bursting dam. You wondered how General Klapaucius, who brought the honorable 101st squadron up from the depths of her
misry, could have ever allowed this to happen to all of you. As the tears streamed down your hollow cheeks, the reality of the fate that had befallen all of you set in. No runway to take off from you sit helplessly waiting for the end.
      In time, you hear harsh voices shouting in English. They have come to round all of you up. The latch of your canopy was jerked open and a humongous man in an what looked like an American uniform dragged you out by the scruff of your neck and hand-cuffed you. All around you enemy mercenary soldiers of all different races and nationalities were gathering up the prisoners and at the same time stripping them of their clothes looking for papers and information about your wing. You were next but they took you to the Lt. Colonel leading these mercenary commandos who were now rounding up your friends.

    "Your ransom was paid flyboy" the Lt. Col. half laughing adding "who would want this bum pilot he never got off the ground!" After the ransom paid by your ally, you find yourself seated inside a truck which seemed to be driving miles into no where away from your base somewhere to the interior. As the truck came to a halt, you hopped out immediately and rushed towards the

unfamiliar wing office. The new CO throws a large wad of credits and tells you to go to McCoy's Planes and request an "F-22 because we don't fly anitque soviet junk in our wing." You ordered your plane then went off to Jafa's parts to acquire top-notch components for your plane.

    A few hours later thinking to yourself 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' you dash towards your decked-out and suped-up top of the line 4th generation Air superiority fighter the F-22 Raptor. Throwing yourself into the cockpit, you confiirm the aircraft is a hundred-percent ready. Fuel tanks are full and the 1000 credits you slipped the ordinance payload specialists made sure you were given the best for your first flight in this wing. 6 AIM-120s and 2 AIM-132s. Coupled with titanium amour and a Super 3000 computer system, you are very sure it will be one of the best in the air today. Rolling out you reach altitude in less than 1 min without afterburners.
    The radar warns you of approaching bogeys. Increasing the throttle you match speed to the bogey then you bank the plane hard in a slow turn not losing airspeed in order to lock onto an enemy F-15 Eagle some 7 km away and closing. Firing 2 AIM-120s at the hostile, you light it
up with a deafening fire ball about 3 km off your right. Happy that it wasn't you this time you pull back the throttle and turn back to your base descending through the cloud cover. "I made 21000 credits with that bogey" you radio the tower asking for clearance as you make your final approach... finally your plane is on the tarmac... the CO comes over the mic "You only shot down one plane and you're coming back?" He yells through the mic at you "Refuel and get back out there!!! You wonder why you last wing was destroyed!!!!"

    You are a mercenary pilot. A pilot who has to fight for respect. A pilot of integrity and experience. But, most important of all, you are not alone...



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