They followed the river as it meandered across the Plain. The dots of trees became clusters became copses became a forest. A nasty brown scar marked the massive logging camp. Their orders were quite clear. �Wing One to flight. We have to put on our show. Descend to three thousand spans and make a pass up the river. Then break west and climb to thirty thousand before heading to the target.� Mirl announced.
The river was black and brown with logs grouped together to float downstream. Stick figures hopped from one precarious perch to the next and tugs pushed and pulled the islands of wood. People started looking up as they heard the wings approaching. By the time they passed over the main sawmill, a crowd had gathered to wave jubilantly. They made their one pass, then banked west to begin a corkscrew climb to height.
The navigator presented Mirl with a best guess line for the river between its disappearance under tree cover and reappearance at the Big Lazy. They marked up three bombing runs that would straddle the water and level trees and structures on the shore. �If they really wanted us to do it properly, they would give us incendiaries.� The navigator opined.
�The object is spoiled if we burn down the forest to protect the loggers. Pass these lines to the others.�
From above, it was a very unspectacular run. They passed diagonally across the supposed track of the river, dropping sticks of bombs at count intervals. The forest canopy shook with the explosions below, and one bomb hit a large enough branch to detonate far above the ground. Some trees tumbled, but the holes they left revealed nothing. They turned and headed back to base. �Same again tomorrow.� Mirl sighed.