That Hunk of Nothing
The day was dragging on just like the war. Our enemies fired on us and we fired back at them. During a lull I received word about some of my fighter pilot buddies. Gerald was seriously banged up. He'd parachuted before his ibis crashed in the Tresoma sector. But Bruce and Sybil didn’t make it out. I took the news hard and cried like a baby. You either left that sector dead, half conscious, or insane.
Around noon orders to report to Colonel Martin at headquarters came. I wanted to continue fighting though. We'd finally made a serious dent in our enemies' frontal assault. Since I didn't have a choice in the matter I scrambled over to HQ.
On arriving at the colonel's quarters, I received orders to make a delivery to a remote outpost. And wouldn't you know it, Tresoma was the only shortcut. I watched the colonel's lips move and tuned out the rest of her babble. I was screaming my head off in my mind. The reality of the hop was sinking in - I had to fly through Tresoma without any backup.
A grebe was waiting outfitted with a canon and the storage capacity was larger than my ibis. I hated to part with my girl even for a couple of hours. We'd fought in so many dogfights together. She was like a member of my family.
After my briefing, I took a hot shower and changed into a clean uniform. Then I carefully scrutinized the grebe, marking off my takeoff checklist. I brought an ample supply of protein bars and water on board. If only I could've pigged out at the mess hall. A steak and potatoes or a hamburger with fries and a ginger ale would've been heavenly.
I wasn’t too far from Tresoma when an enemy fighter closed in. I warped one to shake it off. But it continued to shadow me. I promptly flew sideways out of range. When I swung back the fighter was still there. I fired shacking it. The enemy fighter spun out of control.
As I entered the dead zone the murkiness was more than I'd expected. Plus I felt someone was watching me. So it was lights off and night vision on from that point. To my dismay the thermal imaging wasn't providing feedback. And the scraps of floating metals was another problem. I was losing time steering around the rubble. Then I heard a chorus of voices yelling my name, “Waset! Waset! Waset!"
I blocked their voices from my thoughts and continued navigating through the maze of unattached debris. Two specters appeared, one on my right side, the other to the left. I took deep breaths to steady my nerves.The ghosts went away as well as the voices calling my name.
Up ahead I observed flashing lights. As I drew closer, I realized the glare was coming from strips of shiny metal attached to a massive body. I almost choked when two gigantic eyeballs glowered at me.
I requested a graphic image of the object from the computer. A space octopus populated the screen. Next I inquired about the glittering ore. The system reported it was two ibises. I was certain it was Bruce and Sybil’s fighters. Surely the canon had enough might and vapor to wound the beast I figured. I slowly lowered the ship parallel to the animal’s mouth and fired. In a matter of seconds, its feelers were thrashing about and my friends' fighters were released. I hoped they could escape from this hell. Meanwhile I had to save my own neck.
I quickly headed for the nearest exit. The octopus wasn't wasting any time either. It was gaining on me, propelling itself rapidly towards the fighter. In no time flat, it was hovering close by. I panicked as one of its huge limbs wrapped itself around the ship. But I had the presence of mind to activate the maximum speed drive. Miraculously, the transport slid out of the chokehold. But the brute's feelers angrily whacked the craft, sending it whirling, flipping, and lurching.
After I regained control of the grebe, I charged ahead. Somewhat relieved when I spied an opening for an exit. The monster was nowhere in sight. Before I could reach the opening the creature boxed in the fighter with its tentacles. I flipped the crate over and started pumping torpedos into the bum like a mad woman. When the joker backed off, I heard rounds of fire coming from overhead. It was Bruce and Sybil. I couldn't believe my eyes, pieces of that hunk of nothing started raining down, splattering all over the place.
Do You Think Women Will Have a Greater Role in the Air Force in the Future?
© 2015 Irma Cowthern