The Mini-burger

FanFic in the Birmoverse

Secondary Mission WW fanfic Cmdr Havoc

Secondary Mission. STRIKE FORCE 1 Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.

Lt Colonel Havoc, cut a rather mean figure in the cockpit of the B52, affectionately known as the BUFF, which was to be expected given the sheer scale of death and carnage his wing of B52 bombers had just released on New York, the commander embodied this with his sheer physical presence, at least that’s What the Lieutenant Colonel would tell anybody who happened to ask..

As with all his other missions Lt Colonel “Havoc” Porter had participated in ,this one was no different, he simply showed no emotion, this like the rest would be locked away, compartmentalised and reviewed later, perhaps in solitary with a few quiet Ales, for senior command in the Darwinian environment of the military was a lonely place, stout hearts and a clinical vicious streak were the only real requirements.

The crew of the B52  call sign ‘ Havoc” were like all the rest in the 2nd bomber Wing at that moment, running through their standard flight procedures post their respective bomb runs, some were having light hearted banter, others were in silence, machines, automatons, going through the process for this mission was not yet over.

The cock pit of the lead B52 with Lt Colonel Porter and his Co Pilot Captain Hernandez was quiet, save for the small clinking sounds as the young Captain quickly screwed the lid back on to the thermos, stowing it quickly into the fold at the rear of her seat, before reaching across to the mission commander.

“Sir, here’s your coffee”.

Surprised, the Porter took a quick scan of the Horizon, the reached across his body with his right arm and took the steaming brew from the Captain.

“Cheers Hern, mmmm smells good” Porter said, as he grinned wickedly at the Captain, no mention of the fact that he had declined to have a brew previously.  Now, sitting up straight with the steaming brew now clasped firmly in his flight gloves, Lt Colonel Porter keyed his throat mike.

“ Pilot to crew, we are clear of the target area and all ordinance has been expended, lets do a compartment check we are proceeding to holding point Salmon, lamps out for the moment”.

A series of clicks came rapidly back over the head sets. Normal mission parameters strictly forbade the lighting of cigarettes anywhere near an aircraft, let alone inside one during a mission, this crew however was exceedingly different from most others, in that by some seriously quirky twist of fate, the whole crew smoked,

“ Not exactly Pc” Havoc thought to himself, and the Air force had spent a considerable amount of time and money, not to mention threats against both the crew and its the Pilot, to have them, change their ways. ‘Fuck’em havoc’thought.

“ All clear Sir, Threat boards green, Eight Ball has no reported contacts Colonel, we are clear to proceed to check point Salmon”, reported Captain Hernandez.

“great”, replied the Colonel,

“Feel like taking the controls Captain whilst I have this Brew ?”.

It was really a directive, just which Lt Colonel Porter had delivered it in the manner in which it should be to an officer, especially one who had numerous times proven her worth.

“Affirmative Sir,” Hernandez said, “ Co Pilot has the Plane”, she announced over the intercom.

Captain Hernandez gently reached forward and clasped the yoke controls for the big B52H strategic bomber, now cruising at 40,000 feet, then, ever so gently she gave the yoke a slight wiggle to confirm its operation and settled into pilot mode.

Whilst still savouring his fresh brew, Lt Colonel “ Havoc” Porter, decided that they had better check on their status, “ Nav, what’s our status, ETA to holding point please”.

Major Chaplin , like all good navigators constantly updated their present position, given, it was easier with Navstar GPS systems, but being old school as well, if the system went down he used to tell his students, you better know how the fuck to do it manually.

“ Sir, we are 15 minutes from  holding point Boylan, I still have no coms from NCA or from Eight Ball sir, mission is still in the green”.

‘And what a fucking mission it was’, thought Major Chaplin, the B52H was considered by some to be nothing but a serious waste of tax payers money, old, archaic and ready for the bone yard. Problem was, there was no other plane on the planet that could do what they were doing today. And now they were going to do what should have been done sooner in the Majors opinion.

Then the radio cracked to life,

“Strike Force 1, this is Eight Ball, be advised we have 5 bogies inbound to your position, Angels 20 at 650. Profile suggests hostile, recommend you decent to angels 5 Colonel, TFR active, we are trying to raise NCA now Colonel”. The Radar intercept officer on board Eight Ball the Mission control AWAC’s had just turned the day of Strike Force 1 to Shit.

Inside the cockpit of  the 2nd Bomb Wings Strike force 1 lead Bomber, Lt Colonel Andrew “Havoc” Porter, thing really became active. Sculling the last of his coffee the Colonel reached over and grabbed the plane’s flight controls,

“ Pilot has the plane”, quickly wiggling the flight control yoke colonel Porter simultaneously barked a series on instructions into his throat mike.

“This is Havoc lead to cubs, Bogies inbound, descend to Angels 5, TFR, expect bogies will be hostile, on the deck people, stay loose”, with that Colonel Porter pushed the controls forward in unison with his Co –pilot Major Hernandez, both Pilot and Co-pilot grabbed the throttle control, nudging them forward.

Inside the cockpit you could hear 9 big Pratt and Whitney Turbofans spool up to a full throated roar as the mission commanders Buff descended for the ocean’s surface like a massive bird of prey.

The Colonels mind was working overtime, they were still 10 minutes away from their designated holding point , which also doubled as a RV, the 6 Birds they were due to meet at Point Boylan were F16 CG’s, Charlie Golf’s, the Air Forces designated Wild Weasel SAM suppression fighter. During the mission pre brief it had been debated on whether or not SAM suppression would be needed for stage two of the mission, but, at the Lt Colonel’s insistence and being “ready for anything”, they had decided to send them on the mission as well.

“ Nav, get onto Eight Ball and see if they can raise…..”, The colonel didn’t get to finish his sentence as the radio cracked to life once again.

“Strike Force 1, this is Eight Ball, be advised we have weasel package Hawk 1 inbound, ETA your position 5 mikes, they have AA capability Colonel. I’m trying to swing them across to your Frequency now. Be advised, flight profile of the bogies suggests Mig 29’s colonel, I recommend you take’em down to the deck sir”.

Lt Colonel Porter’s eyes betrayed no sign of emotion as he looked across at his co pilot Major Chaplin, receiving just a mere nod.

“ Copy that Eight Ball, Strike Force 1 descending to the deck, recommend you tell Hawk 1 to get their skates on over”. The colonel shoved the Buffs throttles to the stops and continued pushing the flight controls forward,

“ Strike force 1, this is Havoc, descend to the deck, follow me down guys, TFR active, Nav, lets get the radar lit up, as soon as we have firing solutions call it out!”.

Behind the Pilot and co Pilot of Havoc 1, the Navigator who also doubled as the Bombardier flipped the covers of the Radar switches for both the terrain following radar and the surface search / attack radar on Havoc one, toggling both, the switches immediately lit up.

“Colonel, radars are both up”, Colonel Porter could see his TFR scope come to life as the radar interrogated the terrain in front of them,

“Great Major, let’s set the Alt warning at 200 feet, hard ride set on it please Captain”.

Captain Hernandez reached across to her left console, twisting the terrain avoidance controls to hard, then gently click down the altimeter warning setting to 200 feet.

“200 feet set for Alt Sir, hard ride selected”.

Captain Hernandez whilst jolting about in her flight seat, craned her neck around to look out the Buff’s cockpit window, the low level turbulence at 200ft over the Atlantic Ocean was making the aircraft bounce up and down, along with the rest of her anatomy.

“Sir I have visual on the remaining Strike force 1 Birds all seem to be with us”.

The Colonel didn’t answer immediately; Havoc’s mind was elsewhere, trying to calculate who would arrive first, the suspected Mig’s or the F16’s.

“Okay Captain,…….. Eight Ball, this is Strike Force 1 lead, ETA on Hawk 1”. There must have been some tension in Havoc’s voice by the AWAC’s controllers reply.

“ Strike Force 1, this is Eight Ball, easy guys, Hawk 1 in on you now”, with that, 6 F16 CG’s screamed across the top of the B52’s by some 500ft,

“Strike Force 1, this is Hawk Lead, we have 2 slammers  and 2 winders per bird Colonel, suggest you deviate west some just in case”.

Chapter 2 Situation Room Kansas City

The situation room was nothing if not tense, the sudden appearance of the  bogies, suspected Mig 29’s as the Eight Ball AWAC’s controller had suggested, instantly galvanised all within the Situation into action, first and foremost Colonel Ralls.

Standing at the back of the sit room behind all the operators, the President of the United States at his left side, then close, very close to him on his right, he could sense the Presidents chief of Staff, Jed Culver, whilst below him, operators were manipulating their screens, seeking data, and in some cases barking orders to unknowns at the other end of the tenuous electronic links.

Colonel Ralls let the reports flow in from the various operators, all the while, the President stood completely motionless next to him. Colonel Ralls fully expected a series on inane questions, then, swiftly rebuked himself, ‘this was no ordinary President’ he thought.

Satisfied that he now had a handle on the situation even though it was still developing, the Colonel drew a deep breath, and then turned to face the President.

Before Colonel Rall’s could utter a word,  down in the pit of the Situation room a senior technician stood up ,

“ Colonel, we are receiving the live data stream from Eight Ball the AWAC’s Sir, they have shifted their position easterly over the coast, you better take a look Sir”.

The technician’s voice was elevated, Rall’s thought, the crew here were some of the best he had ever worked with and even though the last 4 months had been hell, he’d yet to see them get into a flap of any sorts, the tech who had just called him however, was getting close he thought

Colonel Rall’s turned back towards Jed Culver as the Presidents Chief of Staff stepped back to allow an Air Force technician brandishing a set of head phones through,

“Thanks Jed”, said the Colonel, then placing the com set on his head and turning back towards the main screen, upon which now, was the feed from the AWAC’s.

“ Fucking Hell”, the words came from the Colonels lips and as soon as they burst out he realised what he had done, “ Oh Shit!,…I mean.. Excuse me Mr President”, the embarrassment clearly evident on Colonel Rall’s face.

“Think nothing of it Colonel, please, see to what you have too”, the President gesturing with his hand towards the floor of the Sit room pit.,

“I’m not going anywhere Colonel and by that screen we have leapt into a whole new ball game”.

“ Sir”, exclaimed Rall’s, with that, the Colonel spun on his heels and proceeded past the Chief of staff , turning left  and down the stairs to the floor of the situation room, where he was meet by the Technician.

Whilst the Technician and Colonel Ralls were in conversation, the Presidents Chief of Staff, side deled over towards the President, “Sir, I think things might be going slightly pear shaped”, clasping his hands behind his back, the Chief of Staff now waited for his friends response.

The president was solidified, his engineers brain, clearly was working over the situation in a methodical manner, his face a study of concentration, whilst his left hand was scratching roughly back and forward over the two days worth of beared stubble on his chin.

“mmm I fear Jed, you may be right, The upside is that Lt Colonel Porters insistence that those F16’s be brought along for what was it?…..’unwanted Muppets appearing’.. I think was his phrase, could prove to be their saviour, though, that series of larger dots on that screen has me concerned, we just might have to abort the secondary part of the mission I think”.

The Presidents Chief of Staff didn’t immediately say anything, in response to the Presidents last statement, they both simply continued to watch Colonel Rall’s and his technician, the main screen changed twice in a matter of seconds, before switching to a grey green colour, both the President and the chief of staff blinked a couple of times in quick succession, their faces initially showing curiosity at what was being displayed before almost as one, they realised it was a Visual  image from a satellite…..full of ships.

The Presidents sudden movement caught all by surprise, Including his secret service detail, the nearest agent, USSS special agent Martin Therbs, scrambled to back away from the stairs down to the pit as President Kipper, with the looks of a man on a mission, quickly descended the stairs, making a beeline for Colonel Rall’s. Stopping when he reached both Ralls and the technician who’s name tag he could now see,  a young, pimply faced Matt….Kinky, a Captain as well, the President stopped immediately behind the pair as they were bent over looking at a LCD Monitor,

“ ahum..”, the present muttered in a low tone.

Both men stood upright and looked over their shoulders, the young Captain snapping to attention, “ Not here captain”, the President waving a hand at the young man, “ what do we have Colonel?’, the question, delivered as if mere curiosity was all the President had. Thing was, as the Colonel knew all too well, and by the gathering of the Presidents Chief of staff and Security detail, NOT mere curiosity, he took over.

“ Sir, these here images”, the colonels arm now extended in the direction of the large screen in front of the pit, “ are not all uniform, mores the point Sir, given what we can make out due to high cloud cover and the thermal images you see, it appears we have a combination sailing for our east cost Sir”.

The president surveyed the screen for a second before looking back at the Colonel, “ Go on colonel”.

‘Well Sir, from what we can tell, we have freighters in amongst what are most certainly Surface warfare ships Sir, possibly up to a couple of destroyer sized vessels, in total, that groups got 32 ships in it Sir, estimated naval vessels are at least 10 of those. Its no bunch of Pirates Mr President, that’s almost a full blown invasion fleet”. The last phrase got the Presidents full attention.

Chapter 3. Hawk 1, 200nmiles of the East Coast of New York

For Major Mick Hawke’s things were starting to get interesting, his flight of 6 F16Charlie Golf’s were really on this mission to suppress any surface to air threats that might arise during the B52 Surface warfare strikes, the appearance of what was unknown enemy fighters had added a whole new element, not that he really minded getting an air to air KILL or two, which was one of the reasons they had loaded out slightly lighter on their IRON HAND as he called it, weapons load.

Iron Hand, that brought a fleeting grin to Major Hawke’s face, the Lt Colonel, in charge of the mission, Andrew Havoc Porter had insisted on the Air defence ordinance and taking no small amount of joy in pointing out the Majors age, when he had referred to Iron hand,

“Fucking hell Major, I aint heard that phrase since Vietnam, and even then it was movie footage, showing ya age their Major”, Lt Colonel Porter has said.

Then the radio came to life, “ Hawk 1, this is Eight Ball, Bogies at your 1 o’clock and descending, speed 650, range 60 miles Major, recommend you come left to 265 and climb to angels 10”.

The major thought about eight Balls instructions, that would put distance between themselves and the surface strike package of B52, essentially, they were turning right, his flight would go left and the unknown bogies heading in would be in the centre, problem was  as far as the Major could see, it left no defensive units between the Buffs and suspected enemy fighters, the AWAC’s operator must have been young it was a recipe for disaster.

“ Negative Eight Ball, lets come right and interpose ourselves with the Buff’s and bogies, Rodger Angels 10, Hawk 1 to chicks, throttle up to 700, radars hot, lets light’em up lads”.

With that all 6  F16’s already glowing tail pipes narrowed some and then brilliantly flared to life as each pilot jumped in full after burner, fuel was not a concern, they had tanked when clearing the coast and could top up after the engagement.

“Eight Ball this is Hawk 1, recommend you have the tankers deviate south east as well, we’ll need a drink after this”. Major Hawke’s, scanned his threat receivers, checked his jamming pods were still in stand by and then toggled his radar switch to active, selecting maximum range.

“ Hawk 1 this is Eight Ball, copy last, tankers diverting, be advised, we now have returns for surface targets at 150 miles from your current position, no radar emissions from any of the surface vessels, range to bogies now 50 miles major, Good hunting…get some Sir”.

‘Yeah, we are gunna get some alright’ Major Hawke’s thought, Slowly pulling back on the stick, Major Hawke’s took a quick look around outside his cockpit, all the other birds in his flight were climbing with him, “ Hawk 1 to chicks, combat spread NOW!”, Mick watched and pairs banked away from each of his wing tips about 2000 yards and continued climbing.

Point Boylan, their original RV point with the B52 strike package was now well to their south west, their original intent was to escort the strike group up the coast as they sought out illegal vessels, any suspected as carrying weapons or pirates or the likes were to be sunk, as per the Presidents orders. “Well that was a short lived plan”, Major Hawke’s thought.

Levelling out at 10,00 feet, Micks radar beeped, showing up two bogies, then in quick succession another four appeared, followed instantly by his threat warning receiver screaming at him and a fighter type radar swept his aircraft.

“ Hawk 1 this is Eight Ball, be advised we have fighter radar detected , those are Bandits Major, you are weapons free, repeat,, you are weapons free, Bandits now at 40 miles, speed 700, level”.

“Copy that Eight Ball, weapons free, Hawk 1 to chicks, safety’s off lads, weapons free, lock’em up, slammers first.” Lets shoot’em in the lips first and see what they think, Mick thought.

Chapter 4. Situation Room, Kansas City.

Jesus thought kipper, this day was turning into a real cluster fuck of an afternoon, “Colonel, are we able to be patched through again to Strike Force 1?”

That request caught Colonel Rall’s completely off guard, “well..yes..of course Sir, we still have the AWAC’s connection”.

“Then let’s get it done now shall we”, Kippers voice taking on a command authority tone. Immediately Colonel Rall’s issued a string of orders to a couple of nearby technicians,

“Just one moment Sir, we should have comm’s shortly” said Colonel Rall’s

. President Kipper looked around for his Chief of staff,

“Jed, I think we need to get Admiral Ritchie on the line asap!”. Colonel Rall’s interjected before Jed Culver could reply to the President,

“Mr President, we can do that from right here Sir, or if you wish, we can have him patched through up in the lab Sir”.

The president took all of two seconds to think through the Colonels suggestion, “No, down here will be just fine, let’s get them all hooked in shall we, on speaker if you please colonel”. The presidents last made the Colonels eyes flare a little; the speaker suggestion was most unusual.

“ Sir, right away”, the Colonel disappeared down the end of consoles, grabbing a tech by the arm whilst issuing a  set of instructions, President Kipper watched the young man sprint out of the Situation room via the staff only access door, a small smile breaking across his face, wondering what the Colonel had said to the young man.

“Mr President, Sir I just sent the tech off to get you a portable head set, the system here will still be speakered over the room, but it will make talking that much easier sir”. With that, Colonel Ralls, turned and walked back into the centre of the pit”.

The chief of staff turned back to the President, “Mr President, you know we have no way of telling whether or not that is an invasion fleet, or for that matter if they have women and children, civilians on board Sir”…..

Jed Culver let his last statement simply hang in the air, the President had heard everything he had said, when no immediate response was forthcoming the Chief of staff surged on, “We could Mr President, target just the military vessels I guess, although, I will admit Sir, I’m not really sure just how difficult a task that would be”.

Facing his chief of staff, the Presidents eyes surveyed the situation room, then having completed almost a full scan, they settled back on the Chief of staff,

“ Jed, to be honest, I’m not sure myself, erring on the side of caution could put thousands of troops or pirates or whatever the hell the cargo is that’s on board those vessels ashore”, the President paused before continuing,

“On the other hand, sinking them could also kill thousands of civilians, as you mentioned, we simply have no way of knowing”,the president was about to continue when the Situation rooms speakers came to Life,

“ Admiral Ritchie on the line”,

In the middle of the room Colonel Rall’s was looking at the President, President Kipper simply nodded at Rall’s, turning and pushing a button on the console in from of him, Rall’s the spoke into the microphone in front of him.

“Admiral Ritchie Sir, Its Colonel Rall’s, I have you on speaker in the Situation room Sir, NCA is Present Sir”. Colonel Rall’s stood up and looked back at President Kipper, ’Ah good he thought, the tech had arrived back with the radio head set and the president was just finishing putting the head set on’.

As soon as the President had finished adjusting his head set colonel Ralls announced him over the coms link.

“Admiral Ritchie, this is the President, what do you have for us, do we know anything about the supposed invasion fleet”. The Presidents last statements raised a few eyebrows, none more so than the Admirals, “supposed” he thought, ‘just what the fuck is NCA thinking now’ thought the Admiral.

“Mr President, it is without a doubt an invasion fleet Sir, I will elaborate why Sir”.

Here goes thought Admiral Ritchie, “Sir, first and foremost, a fleet that size would not have been able to transit the Atlantic unchallenged by the various pirate factions Sir, if it was civilian, Secondly Mr President, if they are as we suspect naval vessels mixed in with civilian ships, its sanctioned by another country or countries and whether or not they have troops or civilians on board Mr President in largely irrelevant Sir, they plan to come ashore without our permission Sir”.

Admiral Ritchie briefly paused to allow the president to interject or ask any questions. There were none. “Then Sir, we have the appearance of these unknown aircraft which are almost without a doubt hostile military aircraft Sir, I’ll wager money Sir, they have come from an east coast airfield, Sir, that means transit support to get me here in the first place, then ongoing tech support and the normal logistics issues , plus Mr president, they have an early warning net up of some form, as when we came out to play Mr. President, they sortied as well. That’s no coincidence at all Mr. President”.

All eyes now were on President Kipper, he could feel them from all around the room, locked onto him, waiting for his assessment, his decision, as if the President of the united States had all the answers, ‘fuck, if they only knew’, thought Kipper.

Lifting his head somewhat President Kipper spoke, “Admiral Ritchie are you still there”.

“Yes Mr president”, replied the Admiral immediately.

“Good “Said Kipper, “ Admiral, effective immediately, you are to destroy those aircraft, are we clear on that”.

“Yes Sir we are, but what about that invasion fleet Mr. President”, Asked the Admiral.

Kipper was back to scratching his chin again, it was a habit that had formed over the last year or so and his chief of staff had mentioned it thousands of time, ‘It’s telling everybody you are not sure’ Jed would say.

‘hmp’ thought kipper, “well Admiral, I take it we have some time before they put ashore, what kind of time frame and what assets do we have to potentially meet them on the beach so to speak”.

If president Kipper had been able to see Admiral Ritchie roll his eyes at the other end of the com link and his facial expression he would not have been impressed,

“  Mr president, we have about a day Sir, the issue is, they are almost certainly going to come ashore in un controlled territory Sir, most of our Mobile assets, the Cav and the likes are still tied up Sir, doing mop ups and so forth Mr president, disengaging them posses hazards, then we need to get them uplifted and into position before that fleet arrives Mr. President, we really don’t have enough time Sir”

Whilst President Kipper was listening to Admiral Ritchie’s brief, he couldn’t help but also notice that colonel Rall’s had been called away by a technician, their animated discussion crouched over a console, finally put paid to his control and ability to continue to take in the Admirals brief.

“Admiral, Ritchie, can I just stop you there for a second please” said kipper, “Colonel Rall’s I take it that something else is going on which we should perhaps be aware of”. If the colonel was perhaps not paying attention to the Admirals brief, he was most assuredly paying attention to the President, like a scolded school kid almost, the Colonel dismissed the Air force tech and strode back over to the President and faced the screen.

Colonel Rall’s looked toward the young podgy Captain,

Captain Therbs, if you would please”, instantly the screen changed to a live camera view, shooting over the water towards what looked like a flotilla of ships.

CHAPTER 5: On board HAWK 1.

The changing of tone in Majors Hawke’s head set from being scanned by fighter radar to locked up, dumped a serious load of adrenalin into his system, it prompted other actions as well, not the least was the ‘shit’ exclamation coming from his lips, at 50 miles the bandits in front of him were at least Mig 29 types or better and ‘THAT’ changed the game somewhat.

“Hawk 1 to chick’s, jammers active, light’em if ya gott’em”, with that, Hawk 1 depressed the trigger twice on the stick.

Two AMRAAM medium range air to air missiles leap of each wing of Hawk 1’s F16, arcing up slightly as their solid fuel motors accelerated the slammers, as the Air Force called them to over Mach 5, Mick noticed more smoke trails as the other birds all loosened their slammers off as well.

Now things got interesting for the his counterparts out in from, the 6 bandits approaching his formation at 700 knots, had 12 AMRAAMS CLOSING IN ON THEN AT LEAST Mick hoped, two per bird, Major Hawke’s was just doing a quick mental calculation when his Radar warning receiver changed tone again.

The bandits had just fired two missiles each at them, now it was Hawk Flights turn to go oh shit.

“ Hawk Chicks, this is 1, check your jammers are active, commence vertical jinks”, before Hawk 1 could issues any further instructions his radar screen turned to a series of random white blobs and electronic snow, ‘what the fuck’, he thought.

20 miles behind Hawk 1 flight at 5000 feet, two large B52 bombers, who engines if they could be viewed on a thermal screen would possibly have  looked like melt down was imminent, were screaming along as fast as the eight turbo fans would allow each of the monsters

“ Hawk 1, this is Strike Force 1 lead, suggest you go vertical Major, at 20 miles those fighter radars will burn through the jamming,  missiles in the air, but they have no down link back to the fighters, ya clear for now Major”.

Unlike the missiles that were now boring into a wall of electronic noise, the AMRAAM’s fired from the F16’s were unaffected as the B52’s were not jamming that frequency, plus, the AMRAAM missile was fire and forget, not requiring an uplink to the fighters radar for direction.

It didn’t take Hawk 1 lead long to work out just what the Strike Force 1 commander had in mind as he reefed the F16 into the vertical and punched in after burners, his flight all following him up.

“ Hawk 1 to chicks, Select Fox 2, we’ll roll out at 10,000 and descend for an IR shot, don’t over shoot, we have to stay and mix it up with any remaining Bandits before they reach the B52’s copy”.

As Major Hawke’s watched his altimeter whirr away a series of clicks acknowledging his orders we received back over his head set. Hitting 10,000 feet, Hawk 1’s flight leader, snap rolled the F16 as he pulled the throttles back out of full military power, pulling back on the joy stick the F16 arched over, pointing back down to earth, far below now at 2000 ft over the cold ocean surface was the enemy bandits, slammers coming at them from head on whilst enclosed in an electronic storm of jamming from the B52’s.

It suddenly occurred to Hawk 1 that the Radar warning receiver had ceased blaring in his ear, missile lock from the Hostile fighters had been broken, now as they descended down towards the enemy fighters, Major Hawke’s waited for his IR seekers and Lantern pods to seek out the signatures of the attacking fighters…

As Hawk 1 and his chicks blew back down through 10,000 feet, Major Hawke’s could make out the B52’s now down on the deck, jammers still screaming away, then a glint, plexiglass, the enemy fighters just as the slammers reached them, a bright series of rippling explosions strung across miles of sky.

“ Tallyho!”, called  Hawk 1, “ Look for leakers Chicks”, with that, Major Hawke’s shoved his throttles to maximum. Mick took a quick glimpse of his radar scope, the jamming had stopped, looking back out the plexiglass canopy he could see that both the B52 bombers had sharply turned, for one second he feared the worst, missiles tracking the big lumbering bombers, no escape , just the inexorable closing of missiles on them and  another great blossoming explosion.

Shifting his gaze back out as he pulled the F16 out of after burner he could see his radar scope was completely clear,

“Hawk 1 to chicks, any contacts”,

Major Hawke’s scope was clear so there should be no enemy fighters left, but weirder things had happed the Major knew. One after another his flight checked in, the sky was clear, what was also clear was that they had no idea just whose fighters they were, from the glimpses they had gotten, it was definitely twin tailed.

“Hawk 1 to Strike force 1, all bandits down, thanks for the jamming Colonel”,

The Major knew when they landed he would get a never ending series of razzes from the bombers crews and how THEY had saved the arses of the much vaunted fighter pilot, one thing was for sure the Major thought, that Colonels actions had almost certainly saved some lives, he’d forgotten the Buffs had been armed with massive jammers, meant to allow them to reach deep into the old Soviet Union on Nuclear strike missions back at the peak of the Cold war.

“Strike Force 1 to Hawk 1, you’re welcome!, form up on us, we’ll RV with the rest of the flight and see what’s up with this surface fleet out”.

Lt Colonel Porter had a grin from ear to ear, as he looked across at his co-pilot Captain Hernandez; she had a serious look of relief on her face,

“ Pretty Intense huh Captain” ,

Turning back to the controls, Lt Colonel Porter banked the big bomber slightly,

“Nav, give us a heading to RV with the other birds”.

“Affirmative Sir, come right to new heading 330, range 30 miles Sir”.

The Nav, like the rest of crews and its pilots settled back down some, the tension slowly bleeding out of them,‘before the next round’, thought the Navigator

CHAPTER 6. PREDATOR Situation Room

“ what’s this?” asked President Kipper looking up at the video image, a camera image screaming across the water at low level, just coming into view, the President could see a series of grey, white and blue coloured ships on the horizon.

Colonel Rall’s spoke up,

“Mr President, we re-tasked a predator drone Sir, its coming in at low level, I thought it best to have the drone sniff the fleet first Sir, to see what we are up against here, its got an image magnification camera on board Sir, we should get zoom images shortly”,

with that the colonel indicated to a console operator, tapping a series of keys in what looked like a complete blur to the President, the image before them on the screen blurred, then re set itself, there!.. Clear as crystal in front of them was a war ship, a big, rather mean looking war ship thought the President of the United States.

Admiral Ritchie was the first to speak,

“ Mr President, I have the same feed that you are getting there Sir, That’s most definitely a war ship Sir, and if I am not mistaken, it’s a Type 51 Sir, Luda class destroyer”…there was a slight pause from Admiral Ritchie, “ Mr President, that’s a Chinese Navy vessel, though I do not see any Chinese PLAN Flags flying Sir”.

“Fucking great”, snapped President Kipper,

“Anybody care to offer an explanation for this one?” Nobody had really seen the President lose his temper, well, certainly not in public and generally it was abnormal for Kipper to do so, his engineering training, teaching him to logically look at issues and for solutions, this was on the fly and totally unexpected.

Colonel Rall’s was the first to pipe up, “ Sir, it’s quite possible given the issues the Chinese have that somebody has gone off the reservation over there, with enough cash Mr President, I am sure the commanders of the vessel could be persuaded to partake in this sort of activity, they crew simply wouldn’t know Mr President”.

Colonel Ralls, craned his neck some back to the screen, “ Captain Therbs, could you have a scan please, lest see what other vessels we have in the fleet, I want Military vessels Captain and let’s keep the drone back some shall we, If they don’t know we are there yet let’s keep it that way shall we”.

Turning back to the President, Colonel Rall’s continued. “If I may Mr President”, President Kipper gestured for the Colonel to continue.

“ Admiral Ritchie Sir, Colonel Rall’s, can I make a suggestion Sir, that we have the Charlie Golf’s and the 52’sput in a holding pattern Sir, its highly probable the fleet have detected their transmissions, at a minimum, the Bogies will have transmittedthem”.

The Admirals reply was not long in coming, “ Good idea Colonel, let’s get Eight Ball to have them orbit out of harm’s way shall we, Mr President, I think we have only two options at the moment Sir, If I may”.

The President grabbed a chair; Kippers feet were staring to really ache, pulling it out the President sat down at the console next to one of the technicians whose eyes went like saucers at having the NCA in such close proximity.

“Let’s hear it Admiral, I have no options here, what’s your thoughts?”. Kipper pushed back in his chair and tried to relax somewhat.

“ Mr President, its highly probably those ships have a combination of just about everything, but one thing is for certain Mr President, they are sponsored by either a very rich man or men maybe, or Mr President, it’s a country doing it by proxy, either way Sir, I would rather them at the bottom of the Atlantic than ashore Sir”.

President Kipper closed his eyes for a moment, trying to reconcile with himself the enormity of what he was about to do. Opening his eyes and leaning forward, the President got up out of his chair, turning to his chief of Staff Jed Culver, “Can we get some coffee down here please Jed?”.

Jed Culver stood there for a second completely motionless, somewhat surprised at the President’s request at this point in time, “why certainly Mr President”, before the Chief of staff could issue the instruction he watched Colonel Rall’s point to the technician who had earlier gotten the President the head set, Jed watched the young man disappear once again out the staff only door, ‘another man on another mission thought the chief of staff’.

“Underway Mr President”, replied Jed Culver.

“ Thanks Jed, Now Admiral, if I order those B52’s to strike that fleet just what damage will we do, can we sink them all, I understand it’s the same wing which just flattened half of Manhattan, so I am wagering they are not exactly fully loaded out for this type of attack, is that correct”.

He learns fast, thought  Admiral Ritchie on the other end of the com’s link, “ That’s correct Mr President, we have three birds which have Harpoon Missiles on board Sir, the balance still have a small load out of 500lb general purpose bombs Sir, I wouldn’t recommend Sending those bombers over the fleet, the harpoons however, which are…let me see..yes!.. they have 8 per bird Sir, gives us a total of 24 weapons Mr president, we can’t sink’em all, I would recommend we go after the escorts first Sir”.

Kipper still wasn’t convinced and the slight shaking of his head betrayed such, “admiral, how long to re arm those birds for a proper strike”.

Jesus, thought Admiral Ritchie, he learns fast,

“ Mr President, it’s a four hour turn around for the air legs alone, then add at least two hours on the ground to re fuel and re arm the birds, plan the strike and take off Sir. Figure best case it would be 6-7 hours weather permitting before we could hit that fleet Sir, that’s going to put them within roughly 10 hours of land fall dependant on where they plan on coming ashore”.

President Kipper heard the door open and then clunk shut, waiting a second or two he looked to his left to see the young Air Force technician standing there with a steaming hot cup of coffee, “ Thanks son”, taking the coffee from the officer and having a sip,

“ mmm dam, just what the Doctor ordered”. The president placed the coffee mug on the ledge next to the technician.

“Admiral, let’s bring those bombers home shall we, I want them re-armed and whatever the hell else you need to do for a strike on that fleet”

The President suddenly stopped as if he had thought of something else, “Admiral, that Lt Colonel who is in charge, what’s his name?”.

The ‘Oh shit’, could be heard on the other end of the line..clear across the room from Admiral Ritchie,

“ Mr President, that would be Lt Colonel Andrew Porter Sir, he’s the wing Commander for the First Strike Wing Sir, why do you ask Mr President”.

Jed Culver and Colonel Rall’s were both looking at the President when the Admiral first let slip his oh shit, looking at each other with barely perceptible grins, they now focused on the President…’This will be interesting thought Jed’.

“Well Admiral, as Lt Colonel Porter is on scene and going to conduct the re strike, I thought it might be a worthwhile idea to see what the Lt Colonels thoughts are”. Having delivered the question, the President picked up his coffee and took another snip, whilst doing so looking over at his Chief of Staff, Jed could see the twinkle in the Presidents eyes; he was sipping the coffee for no other reason than to hide his facial features.

The Admirals control was commendable, but unknown to him was the Presidents twisting of his tail, he thought it more like that the NCA wanted to really hear what the Lt Colonels thoughts were and replied accordingly.

“Mr President, whilst I have every faith in Lt Colonel Porter Sir he is somewhat unorthodox in his operation, you are not yet aware Mr President, but those fighters have been shot down Sir, Lt Colonel porter Diverted two of the B52 Bombers and conducted a Jamming run behind the F16 fighters Sir, whilst it did work, it’s not part of our normal play book and its exposed aircrews and airframes unnecessarily to danger in my opinion Sir”. There, thought the Admiral, it was out, ‘fuck Porter and his go fucking solo ways’.

The president held onto his coffee, giving his nose a quick scratch before he spoke,

“Okay Admiral I get your point, any idea on what the Lt Colonel might suggest”.

There, the trap was laid out, ‘let’s see what you do with that Admiral Ritchie’, thought the president.

The reply from Admiral Ritchie was both swift and somewhat shocking to all persons within the Situation room,

“ Mr President, I’ll wager that the Lt Colonel will suggest that we Nuke the fuckers Sir , Cap’em all, will be the Lt Colonels theory if I am not mistaken, as you may well know Mr President, I went through the Academy with Lt Colonel Porter, I am quite familiar with his methods of operation, Colonel Rall’s will be able to give you further amplification if you need it Sir”.

Done thought Kipper, “Okay Admiral, might I suggest then that we lock up the nukes”, that generated a series of subdued laughs throughout the situation room,

“And Admiral, let’s have that drone go in for a closer look, let’s see if we can’t really find out exactly what we are up against. Oh!…. one more thing Admiral, I don’t want the Lt Colonel stomped on for what he did, its saved lives and he is to lead the follow up mission are we clear Admiral”.

The President couldn’t see the Admiral nearly have a cow at the other end of the com’s link, nor the pen that became a ballistic object,

“Yes Mr President, 5 by 5 Sir, I’ll get the staff onto the planning straight away”.

“Thank you Admiral”, with that kipper drew his hand with its finger extended across his throat, whilst looking at Colonel Rall’s, indicating he wanted the link severed.

CHAPTER 7: Strike force 1 somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

Major Hawke’s and his flight of 6 F16Cg’s were now 15 miles from the enemy fleet, his flight screaming along at 600 knots a mere 70 feet above the ocean’s surface. Major Hawke’s was a study of discipline, every 7 seconds his eyes cycled across his instruments, in between searching outside and watching his Head up display. His helmet ear phones were now chirping, surface search radar was ahead.

Micks radio came to life again as he was scanning out to his right, he could make out 2 more of his flight, even though the ocean mist was especially heavy this morning, unusual for him and possibly more so for his young flight of pilots, surface warfare, especially maritime strike was something they had rarely practiced for..” the fucking wave” Mick thought, had changed everything.

“Hawk 1 this is Eight Ball, be advised we have intermittent air search radar coming up Hawk one, its a ground based unit onboard one of the outer ships, 27degrees right of your current heading, range 12 miles Major, trying to get a classification now Hawk one”.

The controller running the intercept was worried, he’d seen the brief transmissions come up from two vessels, the first instance hadn’t really worried him especially when the automatic radar classification had flashed on his screen, but the second instance had prompted a call to the on board mission supervisor who’d turned pale when he had seen the tech’s screen as well. That’s ensured a flash call to the operations centre.

In the mean time Hawk 1 and his flight of chicks had throttled back, Major Hawke’s had altered course of the in bound flight, so that they were essentially running parallel to the fleet, circling them would be the designation in about the next 30 seconds when they altered course once more, keeping the outlying picket ships at 10 miles.

“This is Hawk 1 to chick 3, Mayhem, you have that surface search radar at your  9 o’clock on your scope”.

Major hawks had decided to have the outer plane in his flight piloted by their only female pilot, Captain Patricia Ever last, call sign Mayhem, take out the surface search radar, in reality he was giving the hornets’ nest a poke and then wait to see what further radars came up.

“Copy that Hawke 1”, replied captain ever last,

‘Okay’, Hawk one thought, “here goes”,

“Hawk 1 to Eight Ball, be advised we are about to engage the nearest surface search radar, request weapons free”.

Hawk 1 Major Hawke’s and his flight didn’t have to wait too long for the reply from the Eight Ball controller on board the AWAC’s now orbiting some 200 miles to their south.

“ Hawk 1, this is Eight Ball, be advised you are cleared weapons free, I say again, weapons free, any other radars come up you are clear to engage Hawk 1, be advised we are starting to get visual data from the drone as well Hawk 1, Eight Ball out”.

The controller looked back up from his console in the AWAC’s; standing in front of him was the senior controller.

“Sir, I had two more flashes of Air intercept type radar, I’ve got a classification now Sir”

The air inside the AWAC’s plane Call sign Eight Ball was like all other aircraft, more so given the highly sophisticated electronic equipment they had on board, that didn’t stop people line the Senior electronic warfare officer, Commander Dave Sagg sweating profusely as he had waited for the system to determine just what the fuck sort of radar it was that was popping up occasionally.

“Okay, Lieutenant Let’s hear it, what’s this high tech piece of shit saying it is that’s out there”.

The Air intercept technician Lieutenant Tony Nooman was like his boss, Commander Sagg, sweat pouring off him, the difference between the two though, was Tony, whom the whole tech crew called Naut was about 50 pounds heavier and it seemed his fatigues were always loosing the fight, straining to keep his sheer mass within. At the moment, that was the least on Naut’s problems, he fully expected the commander to not believe him, when he explained what the radar was.

‘Here goes thought Tony’,

“Sir, it’s a Hawk. Block 3 M series SAM system radar sir, designate as MIM23M”, there, it’s out, now all that was required was for the Commander to relieve him figured Tony.

Commander Sagg, pondered Lieutenant Nooman’s findings for all of three seconds, then stepped sideways into the aisle of the AWAC’s stopping at the Lieutenants side so he was able to see Tony’s screen, Commander Sagg [placed a firm hand onto the Lieutenants shoulder, as he could see that the tension in the young Lieutenant was about to have him explode before his very eyes.

“Easy there Lieutenant”, Soothed the commander.

“Bring back up your last intercept and lets have another look shall we, ..what do you know about the Hawk 23 system?”.

Commander Dave Sagg could feel the tension immediately leech out of the young Lieutenants shoulders, ‘Good’ thought Dave‘last thing we need is a junior LT Going tits up mid mission’ he thought to himself.

The lieutenant’s hands dashed across the keyboard, stopping twice to scroll his mouse over the screen and then stopping,

“Here Sir”, Tony pointed to the flashing indicator which was a bat symbol on the screen,

“ That’s the last sweep we got from the unit, by the way Sir, there are two units out there, the second unit is in the middle of that fleet, here”,

Tony flipped the screen back to wide area and a series of surface blips reappeared, “there that one Sir”, his finger firmly placed on the blip in the centre of his radar screen.

Commander Sagg, was upright now his arms folded loosely across his chest, “ I believe you Lieutenant, so what do we know about this system”.

The young rotund Lieutenant visibly took in a deep breath,

“ Well Sir, the Hawk system has three radars Sir, that’s what’s had the puter here chucking a minor fit, the MIM 23 K model Sir, uses several different ground radars and control systems. The radar systems include the AN/MPQ-35 C-band PAR (Pulse Acquisition Radar) for high/medium-altitude threat detection, the AN/MPQ-34 CWAR (Continuous Wave Acquisition Radar) for low-level threat detection, the AN/MPQ-33 HPI (High-Power Illuminator) which tracks designated targets and provides target illumination for the missile’s seeker,  all of which the data base would easily recognise Sir”.

The young Lieutenant stopped there and looked up at his Commander, searching his face to see if he was still with him on his explanation,

“You follow me so far Sir”.

Commander Sagg simply nodded, “yep, keep going Lieutenant”.

The Lieutenant was now animated, the detailed explanation of what they were dealing with had settled his nerves, the fact the Commander was able to stay with him, only added icing to the cake.

“ Okay Sir, so none of those radars have come up on the screen, what a lot of people do not know, is that the improved Variants of the HAWK missile system also have a ROR radar as well, that’s Range only Radar and it only transmits when told too, the other systems are typically either on or off. Plus, the ROR radar is in the K band sir, that’s very hard to jam for starters, plus Commander, it’s a band that’s utilised by all sorts of electronic equipment and prone to false signals unless you have big processing power and state of the art algorithms as well. Whoever is using those sets Sir, knows what we look for here, they probably figured it would be ignored, Shit Sit, I nearly missed it and even the fighters threat warning receivers didn’t go off or we would have heard from them real fast”.

Commander Sagg had already reached his decision, but he wanted confirmation for what he was about to put on the air waves.

“ So what you are saying Lieutenant, is that a US trained operator, or US operators for that matter, are operating a US  SAM system on those ships…..Did we export the HAWK system overseas at any point? Lieutenant”

Lieutenant Nooman thought about the Commanders last question for a minute or so

“ No Sir, not that I am aware of, certainly not the later series, M was the designation I think, Commander, that version, the M series has a low level and high altitude ceiling up to 58,000 feet Sir, its slippery as well, top end speed of Mach 2.5, those F16 Charlie Golf’s are well inside its lethal range Sir”.

The AWAC’s aircraft Eight Ball at that moment rocked slightly as they flew through some minor turbulence, the Commander still upright in the Aisle grabbed an overhead hand rail which had been specifically installed to allow the crew to move about in all but the most extreme of weather, taking a quick glance to the installed light on the bulkhead to his left, Commander Sagg noted that the fasten seat belt light had not yet illuminated, ‘I wonder if that comes on when missiles get shot at them’, he thought.

The commander hoped they would not find out, still clutching the over head rail, Commander Sagg leaned back towards Lieutenant Nooman.

“So lieutenant, what else do we know, I’ll have to ping this to NCA very shortly and I would suggest we give Hawk 1 a heads up as well hey!”

Lieutenant Nooman shuffled forward in his seat and quickly adjusted his head set, toggling the push to talk switch on his console,

“Hawk 1 this is Eight Ball over”.

Major Hawke’s and his accompanying 5 F16’s were still at 70- feet over the Atlantic, having just received weapons free clearance from the AWAC’s mission controller, he had decided to extend their current leg by another 5 miles or so before making the left turn, which would continue to have his flight orbit the fleet in an anti clockwise motion, ‘should give us a bit more of a buffer’ thought Mick, when the AWAC’s controllers call came through.

“Eight Ball, this is Hawk 1, read you over” ‘what now’ thought Mick wanting to get on with the job instead of skulking about so close to the water.

“Hawk 1, be advised we have K band target acquisition radar, intermittent from the nearest surface vessel, suspect its Block 3, HAWK SAM system Major, very intermittent, the operators only transmitting for 2 seconds or less, just a location sweep, the secondary unit is located at the south western end of the major central fleet ship in the middle. Recommend you put some additional distance between yourselves and that outlying picked ship Sir”.

Well If that don’t get his attention I guess nothing will’, thought Lieutenant Nooman.

Major Hawke’s stiffened in his ejection seat at the AWAC’s operators call, ‘FUCK’, thought Mick,

“Copy Eight Ball, HAWK SAM battery on outlying picket ship, now 12 miles from my current position please confirm”.

Hawk 1 was not going to wait for the controller to confirm, the presence of a hawk battery at this distance could spell disaster for them all,

“ Hawk 1 to Chicks, copy Eight Ball call, SAM HAWK battery on nearest vessel, on may mark break right…mark…mark….mark”,

With that Hawk 1, broke right, and gently pulled back on the stick to ensure he didn’t lose any altitude as tended to happen with breaking manoeuvres, lest he dip a wing into the cold waters below and become another statistic and at 600 knots, it would make for a spectacular entry into the record books at that..

“Watch you altitude Chicks”, Hawk 1 decided now that he had rolled wings level and they were headed directly away from the surface fleet at 600 knots, he’d better confirm all his flight were still together.

“Hawk 1 to Chicks confirm status is in the green”.

“Chick one green”

“Chick 2 Green”

“Chick 3 Green”.

One by one all the members of his six aircraft flight checked in, if Hawk 1 could have seen the Captain, Patricia Mayhem Ever last and the sheer anger creeping across her face at having now, been denied the opportunity to‘shoot the fuckers in the lips’ as she called it, he would have been dismayed, for Patricia was known for her coolness.

The wave event, however had changed all that, the total loss of her family and kin folk, turned to mere puddles was almost more than the young Captain had been able to deal with. It had taken weeks, fuelled with booze for her to come to grips with it and there had been numerous fights with both Squadron mates on deployment with her in the Middle East and the support staff.

As one staff sergeant from the flight crew had learnt….female pilots, especially fighter pilots didn’t like being called girls and to ‘grow a pair’, that had earned the Staff sergeant a broken nose courtesy of the Captain before the bar they were in erupted into a complete brawl.

Chapter 8:  Drone Cam

Down at the end of Eight Ball, the AWAC’s aircraft, was a console completely different to all the others located throughout the fuselage, as the Commander approached the operator, he could see that in certain sections, the wiring had still not be fully covered with the duct work, the haste with which the drone operation capability had been installed was clearly evident.

Standing upright as much as he could, Commander Sagg looked over the top most section of the drone operator’s console, to see that the operator had his head down in a scope, not unlike the radar scopes operated on ships, which totally blanked out the surrounding peripheral vision of the drone operator. All that belied the presence of a human was the ponytailed blond hair of the operator.

Stopping just short of the operators side as he didn’t want to unnecessarily startle the young operator…a..Captain by her rank which he could just make out, Commander Sagg gave a slight cough, and then spoke.

“Excuse me Captain, do we have visual on those surface vessels yet”.

The captain head appeared from against the scope, Commander Sagg was immediately taken in by the young officers pale skin and piercing green eyes, framed with the soft facial outlines, gathering his thoughts and closing his now open mouth, Commander Sagg spoke.

“err um, Captain, what do we have on those surface vessels, I take it we have a closer visual on then now”.

The commander could now feel the colour draining back out of his facial features, it was not everyday, you met somebody as striking as the young Captain here, driving a Predators drone into the teeth of the enemy, that was stunning to boot, Dave could see from the Captains reaction that she was not unaccustomed to his type of reaction and merely took it in her stride.

“ Sir, if you watch the Screen here to my right, I will transfer the images from the scope”, with  that, the Captain pressured a button on her console and the Predators nose mounted camera images flashed up…..Commander Dave Sagg’s mouth was once again open as he stared at the image of a Chinese Destroyer type vessel he thought…..and..what was it?…Missiles on the Fan tail where the helo pad would be.

“Captain, can we get the camera to zoom in to the aft section of that ship, I would like a closer look at what’s on the Helo pad”…” Please captain”.

Captain Rethus didn’t see the commanders facial express when he first glimpsed the Predator image, had she, there might possibly have been some concern, Commander Sagg suspected he knew exactly what was on the back of the destroyer if only because the Radar transmissions and subsequent discussions with the young captain had foretold what he was possibly looking at.

Commander Sagg with one hand on the over head rail and the other spaced out on the edge of the console watched intently as captain Rethus zoomed in the image onto the fan tail, the gyro stabilisation of the onboard camera was something to marvel thought Commander Sagg, ‘fucking brilliant’.

“Okay, hold that image there captain, are we recording this”, the questions was innocuous. The young captain flicked her mouse across the screen, bringing up a drop down selection bar and selected record.

“Yes Sir, we are now commander”.

“Commander, that looks a lot like a HAWK Missile battery to me Sir, I am no expert, but neither the Russians ..nor the Chinese have anything like this”,

Stabbing a slim finger at the screen as she spoke,

“That I am aware of Sir, that big green camo box and radar dome forward of the launchers Sir..If I didn’t know better I would suggest its one of ours Sir”.

The Commander was now bent over the young Captains shoulder, straining for a better look at the screens image, twisting his head slightly to face the young captain,

“Tell me captain; are we able to down link this image to Mission Command, whilst i get on line to them in real time?”

Young captain Rethus beamed, “Yes Sir, I can do it from here if you wish”.

Standing back up right, Commander Sagg picked up the head set sitting on the edge of the console in its hanger, when he had it in place Commander Sagg inserted the head phone jack into the auxiliary socket. “Let’s do it then shall we Captain”.

Young Captain Rethus called up the Mission controller further up the plane, after a brief discussion she looked back up at Commander Sagg,

“Should go through any second now Sir, you will hear a series of clicks, it should be Mission command after that Sir!

Commander Sagg, watched as the Captain punched in a series of numbers. Not unlike re directing an internal telephone call, Dave waited patiently hearing a series of clicks and then the Mike became hot,

“Mission Command, this is Eight Ball, Mission Commander Sagg, to whom am I speaking?’ here goes thought Dave.

Chapter 9: Situation Room Kansas City.

The large screen to the left of Colonel Rall’s flashed red briefly before a series of letters appeared showing an incoming call from Eight Ball, the AWAC’s operating over the Atlantic at present.

Colonel Rall’s tapped the tech on this shoulder who was seated in front of him, “Patch him through son”.

“Yes Sir “ said the technician , he quickly punched a button on his computer key board, the screen that Colonel Rall’s was now looking back up too changed to green, then an image of a camera that was fixed on a naval ship.

“This is Colonel Rall’s Mission Command, what do you have for us Commander”, Rall’s said rather matter of factly.

The line from the AWAC’s back to Kansas City was well over 500 kilometres, yet the clarity of the digital electronics made the Commander sound as if he were next door to the Colonel, the video feed streaming live onto the large left hand screen was almost as good, the Naval warship in its centre however, was worrying the Colonel.

“Sir, we are streaming to you live drone coverage Sir, we have a development here which is kind of disturbing Sir and If I am right, might have serious National Security implications Sir, you may want to take this in the battle lab Sir”.

That made Colonel Rall’s ears prick up and the President of the United States as well, strolling immediately over to Colonel Rall’s the President looked at the technician too his front, motioning to the tech he wanted his head set plugged in.

The tech nodded to the President.

President kipper placed a hand over his boom mike and leaned into Colonel Rall’s, “Colonel If I may?”, motioning towards the screen, stunned, Colonel Rall’s simply nodded.

“Commander, this is the President, what do we know about the other war ships that are in that Fleet there commander, have we made out who and where they have come from yet Commander”.

Colonel Rall’s was about to interrupt and answer the Presidents question, however something else was nagging at him..the picture on screen clearly showed a HAWK type missile system on that Chinese destroyer…’But why’.

“Mr President”, It was the Commander on the speaker, “Sir, I’ve held the Predator drone on the ship you see on your screen Sir on my authority, we have an unusually situation developing and we need to get some clarification Sir”.

Immediately Admiral Ritchie’s voice flashed over the PA system,

“Commander, Its Admiral Ritchie here, what’s so important that the drone was held back son, I take it, this will be good”.

If Admiral Ritchie had flushed earlier on his com’s line, then the change in the Presidents facial colour was nothing short of an eruption, Colonel Rall’s watched as the NCA’s face coloured up and the appearance of his chief of staff, Jed Culver very deftly nudged the President who shot him a daggers sideways glance…it was enough, just enough to take the edge of the Presidents reply.

“Commander Go on please, let’s hear what you have to say son”, there, thought Kipper, ‘get fucked Admiral, two can play this game’.

Commander Sagg came back up again, “Mr President, Sir, we received a couple of radar flashes which one of the technicians here picked up Sir and it was most unusual, we’ve classified it Sir and had the F16’s stand off a little further Mr President, It’s a HAWK Missile battery on the back of the Chinese Naval destroyer that you can see on your screen now Sir”.

The admiral was obviously having a very bad day, not getting the Presidents previous slight at him and believing he had the answers he rode in again on the conversation,

“ Commander, that’s all well and good, assuming that it is a HAWK missile system on that vessel and assuming it was the HAWK radar that you detected, it could be from literally anybody, god knows we have enough stuff missing from various sites that we have not yet secured, sites that we should already have under our control”,

The last burst was aimed squarely at the President; it was well known that Admiral Ritchie and the President had locked horns on the tasking for Military sites securing the President preferring that resources be diverted to some non military sites. The battle had apparently been epic and very animated.

President kipper snapped, the head set came off in a blur, speeding across the floor of the situation room and slamming into the wall 30 feet away, by the time the head set impacted, the President had already turned towards his startled Chief of staff,

“I want him on the line in the fucking lab now!”. With that the president started to ascend the stairs towards the secure battle lab room.

immediately behind him, the video footage of the naval ship changed yet again, rapidly zooming into the radar van stationed in from of the SAM missile battery, it got everybody’s attention save for the Presidents who continued to make his way up the stairs a string of expletives coming from him as he stomped his way upward.

Colonel Rall’s was motionless, torn between following his Commander in Chief and the rapidly changing video link back to the predator drone, once more the image changed , this time to infra red and zoomed in to within a virtual 10 feet on the side of the radar van.

“What’s that” called one of the front technicians, then the PA system flared to life again, it was Commander Sagg.

“Colonel Ralls, Sir, its Commander Sagg, can you make out the image on the screen there Sir, it’s kind of hard here on the small LCD screens on board Sir, it’s looking like a series of Lightning bolts or something in a circle Sir”.

The ‘Oh Shit!’ from Colonel Rall’s came out before he even knew he had said it, spinning instantly towards the battle lab and the still climbing President he called out.

“Mr President…Sir, you better have a look at this”. The president stopped and spun towards the Colonel.

“Colonel, I have business that about to be attended to, make it quick”, snapped President Kipper.

“Commander Sagg, can you orientate the drone upwards some, I expect it might expose it some, but I want a better angle on that symbol please”.

Immediately the image started to change its angle as the drone received commands from the controller on boards Eight Ball the AWAC’s, “ Colonel Rall’s, Commander Sagg, that’s about as high as I dare take her Sir or we could have the platform compromised Sir”.

“Very good commander that will be sufficient replied colonel Ralls.

Spinning back towards the President, Colonel Rall’s took off at a dead run, bounding up the stairs two at a time, finally, panting with the sudden exertion and the now extremely curious stare of the President of the United states, he came to a halt.

Still panting Colonel Rall’s spoke, “Mr president Sir, we need to enter the lab, you will want Admiral Ritchie on the line Sir, plus I recommend that General Murphy,  and Colonel Kinnimore be on the line as well Sir.. Immediately”.

With that, Colonel Ralls pushed past the President of the United states and opened the door to the Battle lab, the attending tow technicians we issued instructions to have the colonel, general and Admiral Ritchie patched through immediately. President kipper came through the door followed by his Chief of staff, “OK Rall’s, what’s going on that so god dam urgent all of a sudden”.

Rall’s looked up from the key board that he was furiously typing away on,” Mr President Sir, If I can have a minute of two I will explain everything Sir, I just need to check some more details Sir, It will take a minute or two to Link up with Colonel Kinnimore from the 7th Cavalry Brigade combat team and general Murphy as well Sir”.

Colonel Rall’s had stopped his typing on the keyboard whilst he had addressed the President, now, calm and with the room deathly quiet he stared at the Commander in Chief of the US military machine, awaiting his Presidents command.

President Kipper waved a hand, “Fine Colonel, let’s get to it, it sounds urgent, Jed, can we get some more coffee up here please”.

With that Jed Culver shot a look across to one of the techs who lifted a telephone and placed the order for the assembled officers.

President Kipper stood there and watched Colonel Rall’s, the Colonel picked up a telephone hand set and punched in a series of numbers before speaking.

“ Eight Ball, this is Colonel Rall’s, I want those F16’s pulled back into an orbit, no closer than 100 kilometres from that surface fleet, Copy”. Kipper couldn’t hear what was being said from the other end to the Colonel and was surprised that Rall’s was pulling the 16’s back at this point in time.

“ Good Commander, have the B52’s return to base and re arm for a possible full surface warfare strike, I want them on the ramp ready to roll at the President order clear”, Rall’s head nodded, as if he received the reply he was looking for.

Stealing a quick glance up at the president to see if he had exceeded his authority, Colonel Rall’s when no words came from the President punched in another series of keys on the keyboard, three images immediately flashed up on the screen behind him. Then the technician announced he had Colonel Kinnimore and general Murphy on the Line, plus Admiral Ritchie.

President Kipper had now seated himself at the end of the long board room table which sat squarely in the middle of the room, taking a cup of coffee from the technician who appeared, he took a swig, then called out to the remaining Air force technician still seated opposite Colonel Rall’s.

“Put them all through please son,….except the Admiral, let’s keep him on hold for just a minute shall we”. The last elicited a grin from the tech, “Yes Mr President, Colonel Kinnimore and General Murphy are now on the line Sir”.

Colonel Rall’s stood up and walked over to the table, pulling out a chair and sitting down, before looking up towards the ceiling, which house the very sensitive microphone, “General Murphy, Sir, Colonel Kinnimore, its Colonel Rall’s, I have with me President Kipper and his chief of staff in the battle lab, Admiral Ritchie is on the other line on hold, we have a developing situation here”.

Both the general and Colonel addressed the President first, then it was General Murphy who spoke first.

“ Colonel Rall’s I take the images I am now getting are what the call is about, this surface fleet that steaming towards the coast is part of the issue no doubt”.

Colonel Rall’s was nodding,’ thank Christ general Murphy was quick on the uptake’ he thought, “Yes that correct general, I did a quick check General, the symbol you see on your screen there, it’s from the “……Colonel Rall’s was cut off by the General.

“ Rall’s, cut the bull shit Colonel, I think I know what you are about to say, suffice to say, the President is not yet aware, let’s get to it Colonel”.

Rall’s didn’t take any offence at the Generals break in to his line of conversation, he merely picked up from where he had been interrupted.

Looking over now to the President, who also had his Chief of staff Jed Culver seated next to him, Colonel Rall’s continued.

“Mr president, that Symbol up their is without doubt the unit patch for the 69th, Air defence Artillery Brigade Sir, the HAWK units were phased out of the army, however, they are stored on US soil Mr President, in exactly the same location as the 69thMr President”.

Colonel Rall’s waited for the President to absorb what he had just said and see if the President made the link, when the President simply continued to look at the Colonel, he pushed on.

“Mr President, both the storage of the missiles and the location of the 69th Air defence Artillery Brigade are at Fort Hood…Texas Sir”. Now, Colonel Rall’s waited, the next call had to be the Presidents and his alone.

Colonel Kinnimore came up on the PA before the President could speak,

“Mr President, Colonel Rall’s is right Sir, I can confirm what he has said, without doubt, the marking on the side of the van have been painted over Sir, but we have known for some time that the infra red spectrum will show unit markings on tanks t and associated vehicles that have been hastily painted over…as has been done in this case Sir”.

President Kipper was still silent, and the Chief of staff had not spoken a word either, General Murphy came on line next.

“ Mr President, I concur too Sir, I should also point out Mr President, its explaining how those ships possibly got their fuel, how the support was available for the fighters and god knows what else Mr President, certainly, those 16 CG’s are safe at 100 kilometres Sir, but my recommendation is that we sink that entire fleet Mr president, as soon as possible, as for the possible involvement of Blackstone’s units, I think we need a separate conference for that Mr President, this has now gone to a whole new level”.


22 July, 2010 - Posted by | Without Warning


  1. I think we know who the hero is in this little episode and he is clearly the only one that can properly fill his uniform.

    Comment by Naut | 10 August, 2010 | Reply

  2. filling it at a …stretch!

    Comment by havock21 | 23 September, 2010 | Reply

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