“The Warp” Today was the first time I was flying completely alone. No one was coming with me and it was my job to do this training flight and come back in one piece. The original F-15, refined several times since I had been here, was a marvel. My “talents,” if you could even call them that, made the jet seem clumsy and unstable, but T-Bone’s patience in teaching me to fly, changed that. The hours of flying and taking “G’s” all paid off. I was a great flier when it came to doing basic flying. I could spin, turn, bank, ascend and descend pretty good. If things ever turned into a dog fight though, it would very different…
I checked the harnesses one more time and put on my helmet. Yes, everything was in good order. I had preflighted and rechecked everything. Engines, wings, landing gear, all looking great. Learning to fly and keeping the jet in good order was work. A jet didn’t stay in good condition by itself. I waved to Jake down below, and he moved back, giving the signal to start my engines.
I closed the canopy and flipped the switches to start the engines. The familiar whine of start-up filled the cockpit and soon I would out there, flying. T-Bone had gone out earlier in the day and checked the targets I was assigned to hit. This flight, this training sortie, was to see how much I had learned since the lessons had begun two months ago. Two months ago… It didn’t seem like much of a time lapse, but who was complaining? I’d already been in the Kat universe for more then a year.
I shot out of the underground hanger and headed straight towards the canyon. It wasn’t that familiar to me, I’d only been there three times: the first being when I arrived in this universe, the second and third, for short training lessons. This flight was different. I was here to scout out, find and destroy four small bogies. Four small planes about two meters long, that could turn on a dime. The small jets didn’t have any weapons, but they did have complex computer systems. I was going to be flying around chasing these little midget planes that probably knew more about the canyon then I did.
The great big walls of rock that signaled the beginnings of the canyon soon greeted me, and I climbed higher, looking for anything that might be a target. The colors of the rock in this place were drab, but the rock formations were neat. Arches and pillars of rock, interesting to fly by and threw; good places to hide a small jet.
It was all I could do to hug the terrain and hope I got lucky. The little drones I were to find were, from what Razor said, supposed be very easy to find on radar. I flew on, enjoying the view and prayed for one of those little creeps to leap out. Ten minutes passed since I had come to the canyon and there was no sign of the drones… Twenty minutes passed… I was getting a little annoyed, but I didn’t give up. They had to be out here somewhere.
About twenty-five minutes into the canyon, the first little ship appeared. It hovered fifty meters away and scooted. I followed hoping to catch up before it hid itself again. I flew around a bend of rock and saw it climb for the sky. A mistake. Out in the open skies without the walls to protect it, I could get a clear shot and take it down. I rose above the canyon and followed the plane.
Somehow, the ship just seemed different from what I should of been chasing. I recalled Razor saying the targets would be gray and yellow. This one was blue and white, while the engines looked different. I dismissed the thought with a quick shake of my head and proceeded to knock the little ship silly. The only weapons I had with me were the gating gun in the right wing, and two pairs of regular missiles. No big special weapons rack for me, just the beginners’ armaments. Not that it bothered me, that little craft was going down.
I followed the jet through the sky, but never could get a target lock. The plane was a tough little flier and good at being very annoying. Finally, acquiring a lock, I fired a missile and hit the little jet right on. I was waiting for the explosion as the missile hit the ship, except there was none. It just wobbled and continued flying away. What had happened was that I had seen something bluish in color show up like a shield. Like a shield from a science fiction movie. The ship disappeared then, as I flew in a straight line, thinking about this. Should I call the hanger and report what had happened? I thought about it for a moment, then decided not. If I came back with anything less then three out of the four bogies down and destroyed, T-Bone might think that all the training I had gone through was a mistake.
A little further out, I thought I saw a flash of light. I had no idea why anyone would be using high-power lights out here, so I flew above the cliffs and decided to check it out. What I saw shocked me: a huge train-like transport vehicle hanging thirty feet in the air, crashing down onto the rocky floor. When the train hit the ground, it seemed to make the entire world shake. The jet felt like it had been put on vibrator mode for a full fifteen seconds, as the train landed
The dust settled quickly, and the transport seemed undamaged for the most part. I was getting ready to pick up the radio and call the hanger, when the train launched mini ships. About sixteen in all. Some looked like the one I had been chasing and the rest were armed with small cannons. I hesitated for a split second, and then turned around, deciding it was time to leave. I didn’t even get a meter away when the small attack jets fired and knocked me out in several
perfectly placed bursts. I picked up the radio to call the Swat Kats just to realize: radio’s damaged. The engines, blown out of commission, left me with nowhere to go but down. Now I was ready to panic. I turned and looked back at the tail of the jet. It was engulfed in roaring flames; the flames ready to consume my jet. I wasn’t that high so my fall took only seconds.
I landed atop train, and felt ready to pass out. It took lots of control not to. The canopy release was jammed and there was no way out of the jet. The landing had shaken me up, so my vision swam, and I ached all over. Everything was being to fade out, but just before I could lose consciousness, there was another intense flash of light. This time brighter, since I was at the source of what had made it. I covered my eyes, and waited for it to recede. When it finally did, I realized I no longer was in Mega Kat City…
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