literature

Beyond the Impossible

Deviation Actions

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Literature Text

Sep. 5th, 2012
"Hey, Jorge, you ok?" a voice came over Jorge Strauss's headset, snapping him out of a small trance.
Keying up his microphone, he responded."Yeah, I'm fine, just thinking about Rachel that's all."
"Hey, I'll bet she's just fine, ok? Just focus on our job here and now."
Jorge nodded and started up his engine. Jorge looked at the picture of his wife and children he had taped on his console. He placed two fingers on the picture about where his wifes lips were, and closed his eyes a second. He could only think about his home town, and the fact that right now, his home was likely being used as a makeshift barracks for Shenyian Empire infantry, or his garage where a 72 Mustang he had now had a light tank sitting on the mustang.
Opening his eyes to the sound of knocking from ground crew, he received a thumbs-up from his crew chief, which Jorge returned. As the crew chief climbed down, Jorge keyed up his microphone and radioed the tower.
"Razorback 1, requesting permission for taxi and take off on runway 3-0."
The tower came back "Razorback 1, cleared for taxi and take-off, runway 3-0, God Speed and good hunting Major."
Jorge and his wingman taxied to the runway, and commenced a rolling take-off at full military power. The A-10 was able to make take-offs like this with extreme ease, and on a very short roll. As his gear came up, Jorge looked over his weapons. Although he normally did this on the ground, his first experience with the A-10 was probably the most embarrassing moment he had in his career. When the 57th Tactical Fighter Squadron transitioned to the A-10C Warthog, Jorge was still a 1st Lieutenant, and his time and training with the F-16 had him cursing muscle memory when he reached for what he thought was the gear switch, but turned out to be the switch that released his ordinance. After that, his fellow pilots nicknamed him 'Dropper', and he's always made a habit of checking to see that his weapons were still attached, when the gear retracted.
Jorge smiled as he remembered those years, when he was full of spice, and eager to prove himself. Now, he was a veteran with eight years in the seat of the A-10. His wingman reminded of those early days. Barely off of carrier qualifications when the war started, 'Junior' wasn't much for being quiet about his eagerness to serve his country. His father served in World War Two as a B52 pilot, and now here he was flying his very own fighter. What was odd, is that this kid was a natural pilot, and clearly knew Air Combat Maneuvering, but he chose the A-10. No one know why this kid chose a fighter designed for low altitude close-air support, but they were glad he did. In the two months this war raged, he had already scored about 20 tanks and armored vehicles to his credit. He even downed a Z-10, although the ground guys later told us it was on the deck, so he never got full credit.
Jorge, and Junior were being sent to a kill grid, about two hundred miles north of New Haven. Command placed these grids as a way to focus air support, as each grid was broken down into one hundred 'kill boxes', each about ten miles by ten miles. Each kill box had a forward air controller somewhere in the box to manage the fighters making attack runs in that box, once they were below five thousand feet. Above that, the AWACS had them, but Jorge rarely had to listen to AWACS, since their job was to look out for fighters, and vector Raptors or Falcons to kill them.
The two warthogs skimmed the trees, their camouflage breaking up their outline, and making them hard to spot. At this low level, the evidence of war was clear, burning tanks, and dead bodies littered the ground below, and smoke billowed from the front lines ahead. It sickened both pilots that their home land had been invaded, but there was nothing more that could be done. Their job, was not to curse themselves about this war, their job was to help the ground forces repel the invasion by any means necessary. Before they were on station, AWACS came on the radio.
"Razorback One, Razorback One, state your position over."
Jorge keyed his radio and called back. "Inbound towards holding area above Kill Box One Alpha. Over."
"Negative Razorback One, Head to Kill Box Three Ike, report to Oscar One-Four when on station Over.
"Affirmative. Razorback One and Two heading to Kill Box Three Ike."
"Be advised Razorback One, four Hogs, and two Vipers are already on location. Heavy Anti Air is reported."
"Affirmative AWACS, Razorback One copies all."
That was a call for Close Air Support. The location was still a couple hundred miles away, but at full power, the A-10 could still cover that distance in about ten minutes. Jorge looked through his stores, and checked to make sure that everything was functioning. His gun was ready, his six Snake-Eye Missiles were ready, the two Sidewinders under his right wing were ready, and all of his bombs were in the green. He was ready to rock. As he marked his heading towards the kill box, a voice came over the radio.
"Razorback One, Razorback One, Bandits high, and between your tails."
The call made Jorge snap over and look over his shoulder, and sure enough, him and his wingman had been jumped. Four Mig-29s were hot on his tail. As he watched the Migs, he just gave an order of "Follow me Junior", and got down to tree-top level. At this altitude, Jorge knew the Migs had no chance of gaining a radar lock on them, and IR missiles would be easier to evade. There wasn't much he could do about the Migs, except try to evade them. The A-10 was not built for dog fighting, and certainly not with a fighter like the Mig-29.
A missile warning soon blared into Jorges headset, and his instruments turned red as "Missile Warning" blared across his visor. Jorge and Junior snaped their aircraft to the right, and stood their hogs on their wings. They dumped a series of flares and looked over their shoulders for the signs incoming missile. Like all ISA and Angarian Republic aircraft, the A-10 had a series of sensors that detect missile launch. Although previous aircraft had missile warning indicators, they could only detect the lock-on of the aircrafts radar to the aircraft. When the F-22 rolled out with its advanced radar, everything changed. The F-22 was able to lock the target without ever having to focus its radar on a target, which made it able to launch a missile on it with almost no warning. With this new system, incoming missiles could be detected, and the pilot warned with enough time to employ ECM and Flares.
The flares worked. The missile passed by the two hogs harmlessly, and slammed into a tree and detonated. Jorge didn't have time to breathe a sigh of relief though. He knew the Migs were in communication with their higher ups, and if they couldn't splash him and his wingman, they'd surely call for help. His mind raced as he tried to figure out his next move. But before he could, he got another missile warning. Another Mig managed to get a lock and launched another missile. Like the last time, both hogs kicked flares, stood on their wings, and banked sharply in the opposite direction. And just like the last time, the missile missed both aircraft.
Jorge keyed up his mic. "This is Razorback One, requesting immediate fighter cover over."
The call for help was short, but that was all he needed to say. AWACS had his position, and would immediately vector friendly fighters to shake the Migs off. The seconds felt like hours as the two dodged a third missile, and the AWACS came over the radio.
"Razorback One, flight of four F-16s inbound to your position, ETA, ten minutes."
Jorge shook his head, kicking flares to dodge a fourth missile "Tell them to hurry up, we may not be here in ten minutes"
"Be advised Razorback one, two more flights of bandits inbound to your position, hang in there, help is on the way."
Jorge didn't have time to respond. A fifth missile shot past his canopy, and he knew the Migs must be getting frustrated beyond belief. At that point it clicked. At this altitude, the Mig29 cannot maneuver as sharply, and can't match the Hogs slow speed. Just under his legs, slung the most powerful aircraft gun ever fitted. The GAU-8 Avenger Cannon. Three thousand rounds of depleted uranium armored piercing death per minute. If he got just one good burst on a Mig, it was toast. The two sidewinders on the wing could be useful, but between him and Junior, there were only four of them. At some point, those Migs would make the mistake of coming down to their level, whether he had enough flares for that wasn't the issue. The issue was could he atleast evade the incoming heat long enough for help to arrive. Just shooting one or two down would improve their odds greatly.
"Junior, arm your gun and AIMs" Jorge said into his radio, shortly before another missile streaked into the forest below.
Just as AWACS advised, eight more Mig 29s arrived on the scene. The four that were on station stopped firing, and it became apparent that they were giving them a sitrep on the situation, because it didn't take long for the new eight to take up holding positions, and wait their turn. Jorge checked his flare stores, and readied the next burst. But to his surprise, one of the Migs peeled off, and dove in behind him and Junior. Having been a fighter pilot, Jorge snapped his hog over, forcing the Mig to overshoot as it spewed 30mm cannon fire past the Hogs. As it pulled up to avoid the trees, and come around for another pass, Junior rolled over, and managed to line up the Mig in his sights.
"RAZORBACK TWO! FOX TWO!"
One of Juniors AIM-9 Sidewinders ripped off its rail, and streaked towards the Mig. With nothing but sky and the Mig in the missiles seeker, it didn't take long for the missile to find its mark.
"Razorback Two, Splash One."
Jorge breathed a slight sigh of relief as he saw the burning Mig smash into the ground. The other Migs were visibly shocked by this action, most of them remained high above, watching the two Hogs like hungry vultures, while two more dove in behind the A-10s. Again, their cannons blazing, but this time the Migs went after one Hog each. Their move split the flight, but Jorge was easily able to get behind his pursuer. His AIM-9 Growled in his headset, and with nothing but sky behind in front of the Mig, Jorge let the missile off the rail. He didn't have time to watch it hit, he rolled over, and turned towards Junior, who was committing a rookie mistake. The Mig was glued to his tail, 30mm tracers bouncing off of the Hogs tough armor. Jorge saddled up, and aligned himself with the Mig. At this point, the AIM-9 was useless, it could clearly see Juniors engines, and Might go for him instead of the Mig. He switched weapons to the gun, and lined up his gunsight. With the pipper dancing on the Migs right wing root, Jorge squeezed off a quick, fifty round burst.
The heavy armor piercing rounds found their mark, and ripped the Migs wing off the fuselage. The pilot could only watch helplessly as the space he occupied merged with a tree, followed shortly by a fireball. Three down, nine to go.
Junior reformed with Jorge, and came on the radio. "Thanks for the save."
"Word of advice Junior, don't ever leave your wingman, for any reason. Got me?"
"Yes Sir."
"Alright, it's obvious they're feeling this by now, here's what we're going to do. We're going to split off, and cross paths, and we'll keep doing that until the fighters get here. If this works, they won't be able to get on our tails without worrying about the other aircraft shooting them. You copy?"
"Roger"
"Ok, on three. Three, Two, One, BREAK"
The two hogs split off from eachother. Despite the intention of this maneuver, another Mig dove in. This one, dove in on Jorges tail, and even launched a missile that decided to go skyward rather than right at the Hog. This pilot was clearly fresh out of flight training. As intended, Jorge brought the Mig to Junior, who lined up his gun, and with a quick burst, brought down the Fulcrum. Eight remaining.
Jorge looked over his shoulder as he made his third cross with Junior, and could see that the Migs were planning something. And it didn't take much to figure out what it was. Four of them split off, and went in four different directions. Two of them went for the hogs from behind, and Jorge figured that the other two would make an attempt to cancel out the maneuver. His thoughts were correct as one of the Fulcrums came screaming towards him. With only a few seconds to react, Jorge switch back to his Sidewinder, and it quickly locked the afterburning Mig. Jorge called his fox, and released the missile, which slammed into the cockpit, but didn't detonate. But the damage was done, and the Mig slammed into the deck at full speed.
Junior wasn't as lucky. His screamer had put him out of position for the next cross, but he kept his cool. Rather than repeating his earlier mistake, he cut back on his throttle, and almost stalled the Hog, forcing the enemy pilot to overshoot. Junior lined up his gun again, and a stream of tracers left his gun again. One of the rounds must of hit a missile, as the Mig was vaporized in a fireball from the hit. Some of the Migs pieces were ingested into Juniors engines, but the Hog shrugged it off, and kept going. Whatever damage that Mig did, it enraged Junior to no end. Instead of trying to get back in the weave maneuver, he snapped his aircraft back, and lined up a short burst onto his screamer as he was in a turn to get on Juniors from his run. This burst cut the Mig in half, marking the seventh kill the duo had racked up.
Jorge still had his trailer to deal with though. As tracers ripped past his canopy, Jorge backed his throttle off, and carefully watched his rear-view mirrors. When the Mig occupied most of his top mirror, Jorge break rolled and let the Mig shoot past him. With only his gun remaining, he lined up the pipper on the cockpit, and let loose another burst. Jorge was at first unsure if the burst even hit, as there was no indication that he even hit the Mig. But when the Mig just rolled on its nose, and slammed into the trees, he knew he had killed the pilot. He looked up at the remaining four Migs, mentally daring them to come down and fight.
Both of the Hog pilots at this point started to feel invincible. Together, they had shot down eight Mig-29 Fulcrums, and the remaining four were right there in their sights. Both Jorge and Junior firewalled their throttles, and charged the Migs. Two of the Migs broke, and dove towards the Hogs as they climbed to meet them. Jorge watched his pipper, waiting for it to get on the Migs nose. The distance closed rapidly, and Jorges heart rate went through the roof. When the pipper was on the Mig, he let loose a longer burst than normal, which cut through the Migs left engine and wing, while a second burst sent the Mig into the next existence when a bullet struck one of the missiles. At that moment, it dawned on him. Jorge was now an Ace.
"Razorback Two, Fox Two"
With those words, the last Sidewinder shot off its rail, and peppered the Mig when it detonated. This Mig however, decided that enough was enough, and ejected. The pillar of flame that shot out of the Migs cockpit marked Juniors fifth kill, he was now an Ace himself.
Down to nothing but guns, the Hogs turned towards the remaining two Migs, who had decided that it was time to leave the airspace. Twelve Mig-29 fighters had failed to do more than dent two A-10 Warthogs, and panic had taken them over. They lit their afterburners, and began to speed out of the area. But neither would make it very far.
"Viper One, Fox Three"
"Viper Two, Fox Three"
Two AIM-120 AMRAAMs seemingly came from the clear sky, and slammed into the remaining Migs. One of the pilots was soon seen in a parachute heading back to earth, while the other perished with his aircraft.
With the sky clear of bandits, Jorge and Junior formed up again. The four F-16s formed up with them. Jorge looked out at the Falcons on his wing, and quickly noticed they were from their sister squadron. He grinned at the thought of what these guys would be saying when they got back to their officers club. That they bailed a pair of A-10s out of danger so that they could complete their mission of mud moving.
"What took you guys so long?" Jorge asked the F-16 flight lead. "There were twelve a few minutes ago."
"We only saw two" The flight lead said.
"That's because we shot down the other ten." Jorge said in a cocky tone.
It took a few seconds for the Falcon pilot to come back "How do two mud mover shoot down ten fast movers? That's not possible!"
Junior came back with. "Embarrassed that you guys didn't get the kills?"
The Falcon lead merely shakes his head, and renders a salute to the Hogs, and peels off. Jorge relaxed a moment, and looked over his systems. With no AIM-9s, he would be useless if they got jumped again, and he had already used half of his gun ammunition. He really wasn't much good at this point anyway. And Junior was a bit worse off anyway. His left engine was spewing black smoke from the debris it sucked up. Although the Hog could easily handle this, Jorge wanted to make sure that Junior made it back to celebrate his new Ace status.
"AWACS, this is Razorback One, Bingo Fuel, requesting permission to R-T-B."
A few seconds passed and the AWACS came back. "Razorback One, clear to R-T-B. Good shooting Major."
About an hour later, Jorge and Junior were taxiing back to their parking spaces from the runway. Word of two A-10s standing up to, and defeating twelve Mig-29s reached the base without the Hogs ever having to say anything to them. As the engines spun down, the ground crews gathered around the two Hogs, and each member of the ground crew was cheering the achievement. As Jorge climbed out, the ground crews celebrations started to calm down some. Jorge knew they wanted to know how many he got. He smiled, and he raised his hand, extending all five fingers to show his tally. The ground crew erupted again in celebration, and got even louder when Junior wedged his way through the crowd, and pounded fists with Jorge.
However, before the celebrations got out of hand, the crowd parted ways as a familiar sight to Jorge began to run towards him. His son ran towards him, and jumped into the arms of his father, his wife not far behind smiling as she saw her Ace for the first time since the invasion started. A short while later, Jorge came out to see Junior sitting on the wing of his Hog, slightly shaking. In his hand, was a 30mm bullet that he removed from his cockpit.
"Where was that?" Jorge asked.
"About four inches from my head." Junior answered. "Saved by a ring in my seat."
Jorge thought for a second "War is hell, that's all I can say."
Junior nodded. "Thanks for bringing me back. I don't think I could have survived without your help out there."
"To be honest, we were lucky. Most of those pilots had little experience. Had they been better trained, or had more experience, we'd be singing a different tune right now."
"There's that too." Junior said nodding. "But either way sir, I think we just survived the impossible."
"What we did, is beyond the impossible Junior. We had no business being in that fight, and we won." Jorge put his hand on Juniors shoulder. "Just enjoy tonight Ace, tomorrow, we're back in the fight."
"Yes sir." After he hops down, and the two head towards the party. "Think this will make front page news?" Jorge just shoves Junior off, and the two head back to the celebration of their achievement.
This is a short story I decided to write set within the universe of World War 3 Dark Fire. Keep in mind, the aircraft described are physically different from the ones we know, especially the American made aircraft. So some discrepancies will be in place.
Comments3
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KuuztinR's avatar
I could be wrong but don't pilots say "scratch one" when over land and "splash one" when over water? I could be wrong, but I only ask because pilots announce when they're over land or water "feet wet/feet dry".

Anyways, thanks for noting this to me. I enjoyed it.
Shoguneagle's avatar
So far, I really like this excerpt! Plenty of action, an intriguing scenario, and the characters seem compelling to follow. I want to read this later and go with a more in-depth critique, but so far, it has a lot of promise. Will get back to you later on this.
biocoal's avatar
Huh, not bad of a story.