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Mirl was managing to climb, but not fast enough. The Mima passed under the wing, circled and lined up for another attack. But the attack never came, with jammed guns or out of ammo it turned away again.

Despite the head on attack, no shells had entered the cockpit. Various gauges, however, were suggesting damage to critical systems in the rest of the plane. �All positions report. Usual order.�

�Navigation. No damage.�

�Comms. No obvious damage. Wing two is not responding.�

�Weapons. The hydraulic system for the bomb bays has been damaged.�

There was a pause, an empty space where the next report should have been. �Top gunner? Report.� Mirl signalled. �Someone check on him. Tail gunner?�


�Do you have anything to report?�

�Sir. Wing two has hit the water. Wing three�.. Wing three is on fire. There is a biplane closing on it. My cannon cannot traverse far enough to�..�

The inside of the cockpit lit up. They felt the shockwave from the explosion rather than hearing it.