The Mini-burger

FanFic in the Birmoverse

Just a couple of paragraphs – Chris Babcock – NAoT

The drive was the same as he had remembered as a child, and if he closed his eyes, he could almost hear the non-stop music from his parent’s satellite radio drifting through their ’06 Chevrolet HHR.

But this was 1954 not 2007; it may have been the same US54 with new pavement and stripes, but still 1954. According to General Motors and their newly formed Delphi Aerospace Group, satellite radio was still a couple of years away.

And the four lane highway to Alamogordo was as fresh as this morning’s paper, only 40 years too soon. He remembered the stories his dad told him about the never-ending 2 hour drives from El Paso to White Sands on the ‘old’ two-lane road back in the 70’s. In the other time, four-lanes hadn’t been built until the early 2000’s.

At least being a hot-shot pilot from the future still had some cache, allowing him to be one of the first American drivers to get a new Corvette, which made the drive from El Paso to Alamogordo Air Force Base that much more enjoyable. Even if the ’53 ‘Vette looked more like his ‘classic’ 2008 Z06 from back home.

USN Cmdr. AC ‘Crash’ Babcock still smiled though at the same time trying to wrap his head around ‘Purple Haze’ featuring Chuck Berry’s duet with Les Paul, blasting through the speakers.

While the LA Basin had quickly spooled up to 21st century standards, and the Northeast Corridor played a close 2nd, the desert Southwest could be considered a virtual tie for 3rd, thanks to the mix of German scientists and the 2000 or so uptimers that had descended on White Sands and Fort Bliss to exploit and re-invent all the 21c Tech that came through over a decade ago.

A decade. Ten years, now closer to 15. His F-22 Raptor was somewhere among the countless research labs, aircraft plants and hangars that dotted the landscape around Alamogordo. Disassembled, dissected and reinvented. And it was his job to fly the wonderful mashups, without letting the public see one glimmering inch of airframe.

Rolling through the main gates at AAFB, was like passing right back into the 21st Century. From the Airmen in their standard MARPAT ABU’s to the numerous hybrid HUMVEEs criss-crossing the base to the AAFES stores with Combat Optics ATMs, it was more Holloman circa 2021, than Anytown USA, 1954.

With Slim Jim having bought up most of Groom Lake and the subsequent Federal lawsuits holding up any construction there, Southern New Mexico was now the defacto ‘Area 51,’ with all the skunkworks goodies to go along with the legend.

As he drove down the road alongside the flight line, he marveled at the collection of air power and ingenuity set to protect the free world, shimmering in the setting sun.

Fifteen new B-52C’s were lettered and ready to go, replete with the once-deleted .50cal turrets fore and aft of the massive wings. The dull gray-black radar-absorbing skin, taught over the now-ducted fan engines, nestled in the vaguely B2-like wing structure.

Parked right alongside the BUFFs was half a wing of the equally-new F-14b “SuperToms,” which were already showing up on the decks of the nation’s carriers.

With the thrust-vectoring gleaned from his beloved Raptor and composite radar-absorbing skin kitbashed from the ‘old’ F-117’s database, the new 14’s were very dangerous. The oversized Jolly Rogers painted on the vertical stabilizers only drove home the point. Add to that, the fact that the SuperToms were the de-facto stars in ‘Top Gun’ and its sequel (remake?) with Robert Stack, the entire free world felt “the need for speed.”

But Babcock’s pride and joy, beside his ‘Vette, was ‘Molly,’ and she was waiting beyond the flight line, in a squat, half-buried and temperature-controlled hangar. He named her for his dear-departed great-grandmother, who right about now was in her mid-30’s, dealing with his teen-aged grandmother.

He quickly parked the ‘Vette between a brand new Dodge Thunderbolt (which looked to him like a Viper on steroids) and a couple of USAF blue Packards.

A quick salute or two, a bioscan of his id and his palm and he was into the ready room; mere minutes for another 12-hour jaunt. The pre-flight brief was standard: out to 75,000 feet, wag the wings a bit then haul ass over Alaska and start racetracking over the Pacific until just before sunrise.

With the sun now long gone, he walked briskly over to an open-sided HUMVEE and hopped in. The airman only nodded, as they drove silently to Molly’s hangar. By the time they pulled up, the doors were already open.

Officially Molly’s designation was XR-81, a nod to the original Stealth Fighter first flight date and the SR71’s legacy. In reality, Molly was more SR-lite.

Using most of the avionics salvaged from several Raptors and then crammed into a rounded, lighter A12 airframe, Molly was one of only 3 aircraft the US had that could exceed Mach4. Way Exceed. So much so, Molly was ATS: Above Top Secret.

Just talking about her in public would have been grounds for Court Martial. Or Worse. Axis governments were trying to launch satellites just to get a picture of her.

However, had any avid aircraft modeler bothered to access the fleet’s web archive and checked out Testor’s Scale Model Catalog, circa mid-1980’s, there Molly would have been in all her glory. F-19 Stealth Fighter all the way, just add glue.

And, now here she was, warmed up and good to go.

As he zipped his g-suit and pulled his helmet on, he wondered if the new Apollo program astronauts were having remotely as much fun as he was.

Advertisements

8 September, 2011 - Posted by | Axis of Time, New Axis of Time

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: