Well, I was typing something really interesting on Thursday afternoon when the Easy internet servers went down. And then yesterday it was pouring down, so I didn’t get into town. Those are my excuses, anyway.
A bit of Seeds for you-
The Watney Slender Wasp was a fine mountain aeroplane, maneouvrable enough to pitch down the valleys and far tougher than its slender silhouette suggested. The trimotor they were escorting, on the other hand, was a fat ugly beast of a bird. Reed kept glancing back to check it was still lumbering up behind them. “Kenan’s gap in thirty counts.” his navigator/ gunner told him. Jay looked nervous, it was her first combat mission.
As they approached the turn she began counting down. “Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, now.” Reed banked hard right, flattened and throttled up for the climb. “Horse is still with us, Jay reassured him.
They joined the road at the head of the valley. It clung to the cliff face, curving away from them. “Horse here. We are heading for our drop.” the cargo plane announced.
“Affirmative Horse. We’re going to cause some chaos.”
They couldn’t see the target yet, but no doubt the target could hear them. “Guns live, rockets live, bombs ready.” Jay pre-empted the command.
The valley straightened and ahead of them was the target. The convoy had positioned itself perfectly to be attacked. Most of the vehicles were still in a short covered section built to protect the road from the avalanches that swept down the gully above. Outside the tunnel two vehicles jostled for position, an armoured track and a softskin eight wheeler with anti air gun in its bed.
“Two and three with me, four, five, six around and take the rear. Let’s seal this at each end.” The rear three planes peeled off. “You have the plane.” Reed told Jay. He kept his hands close to the controls, ready to take them back, but he had to trust her. The plane nosed up slightly as Jay checked the targettting scope. A few more counts and the anit air gun would come to bear. Were they closing fast enough to cut them off?
“Rockets away.” Jay announced. Three projectiles jumped from the left wing, two from the right. They were little more than fireworks with shaped charges on the end, and sometimes they didn’t work.
The nose dipped and Jay let off a two count burst from the guns. The bullets reached the eight wheeler ahead of the rockets, bouncing off the anti air’s armour and decapitating a loader. Gravity hadd taken hold of the rockets and brought their trajectory down toward the gun. Two shaped chargespunched through the armour and destroyed the mechanism beyond. One lifted the gun off its mount and the final two found an ammunition crate. The explosion split the eight wheeler, sending the rear bouncing down the mountain, and rocked the armoured track.
The plane nosed up, as six smoke trails passed below. They flew over the track into the mouth of the tunnel, which lit up yellow as they found a fuel truck.
“Bombs gone.” Jay announced. The plane jumped up as she pulled back on the controls. There were mirrors mounted in the lower frames of the cockpit’s glazing. As Reed took back control, she checked on the bombs’ trajectories. “Dropping metal eggs” her instructor had called it. She had always preferred “Shitting death from above.” Thankfully there wasn’t a poetry section to the bombardiers exams. Both bombs collapsed the tunnel roof.
At the far end of the tunnel anti air guns had been brought to bear. The convoy was longer than they had thought. Four, five and six had dropped their bombs and were coming back up the valley three abreast to deliver a volley of rockets and bullets.
Reed brought the plane around in time to see a ripple of explosions along the road. Both anti airs, a number of soft skins and another fuel tanker took hits. Infantry spilled out of carriers to find cover. Not a vehicle was undamaged. One eight wheeler had driven over the edge in the confusion and was sliding sideways down the cliff wall.
“Horse here. Drop done.” came the message over the radio. That had been the primary mission, the chance to carry out this hit and run was just an added benefit.
“Okay. Flight, form on me and let’s go home.”