Daily archives: June 1, 2006

Heavensent 4.7

Shot pistols generally spat clusters of small metal balls in a lethal cone out to a few hundred spans. Mirl’s gunnery officer had perfected a far more interesting projectile. Harren steadied the extended stock against his shoulder and took aim on an Albo.

The recoil nearly toppled him from his chair. Halfway to the old plane a thin trail of flame traced the bullet’s path. It passed through the canvas and the inside of the plane was illuminated with bright yellow light. Harren pulled back the lever over the barrel and fed another shell into the chamber. This time he stood to put a shot through the canopy of the next Albo over. He collapsed into his chair and guzzled down another mouthful of the mechanics’ searing liquor. “What is in those things?”

Mirl held up a shell. It had a metal skin, scarred with predetermined fragmentation lines. “There are two chambers inside. The contents react violently with each other. The propellant drives a nail through them both and they start reacting at about two hundred spans. When the shell splits it releases flaming liquid in all directions. Or it would explode at about a thousand spans and do the same thing.”

“Really?” Harren cranked the handle and fired straight up.

They watched the fire trail thicken and eventually blossom into a white hot teardrop. “We should move.” Suggested Mirl.


“What goes up must come down.”

“Oh. Of course.” They grabbed the bottles of liquor and bag of ammunition and wandered a wavering line back to the mess. Harren remembered the chairs as he stood at the door, and looked back to see them both in flames.

There were mounted commendations all the way down the main table. Each sat atop the growing tower of ale and spirit bottles the associated crew were consuming. Harren’s gunship raid and Mirl’s high altitude bombing were being lauded as grand shows of strength. The heroes were due to embark on a publicity tour. “Drink your fill boys, for tomorrow we must entertain our public!” There was a roar from the crews and a hammering of the table that toppled two bottle towers.

They collapsed onto a bench seat. “Where have they sent you?” Mirl asked.

“Back to Reff, to shine above the grimy city, then some middle of nowhere air show and finally on to Stran Island to talk with the Navy about combined force attacks.”

“We are going even further north, to show the damned logging camps that we care about them by mercilessly bombing trees.”


“This supposed Hidden Army in the woods. Every time a logger gets toxicated and falls in the river it is all about the Hidden Army. So we are going to bomb the forest around the river and maybe kill some river reptiles.”

“That sounds like more action than I will see.”

“Death from above!”

“Death from above!” They saluted each other with spirit bottles.

Heavensent 4.8
Heavensent 4.6
Heavensent 1.1

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Heavensent 4.6

Note Ooops, I got all excited about going to see X Men and forgot to post this yesterday.

The final guidance signal had come on when promised and they had been bearing down it ever since. A white scar on the grey of the ocean had appeared on the horizon and slid toward them. Closer to, it was an irregular shape very low in the water, with two ships moored to the south and another to the west. “Half Time base to Wasp flight. Receiving?”

“Receiving. This is Wasp flight leader. Request permission to land.”

“Permission granted. Your only other option is to turn that thing into a boat. Approach from the west. Light crosswind from the northeast.”

“Okay flight. The Cicciles should land first. They will be closer to empty.”

There was an average length runway cut into the rock, more than long enough for the Wasps, laid with a hexagonally patterned rubberised matting. The fighters landed close together and were bustled off the runway to refuelling spots where their pilots were helped from the cockpits and walked with a cramped hobble to a feeding and flushing tent.

The Wasps landed in reverse order, until Four landed hard. The right wheel collapsed and the plane pirouetted off the runway toward the nearest ship. It came to rest with one wing crumpled against the hull. The pilot and navigator jumped out and ran the best they could for cover, but there was no fire. Two, and then Reed, approached the runway more carefully.

As they taxied into the rest area, Reed noticed the fuel hoses and drop tanks around the other planes. He climbed down to be greeted by an officer in naval whites. With no understanding of Navy rankings he saluted, just in case.
“Wing Commander Reed, I am Captain Browdy, commander of Half Time field.”

“Pleased to be here sir.”

“Come this way and I shall see you are fed and flushed. Our mechanics will want to talk to you about the state of your plane.”

“You are planning a fast turn around?”

“Half Time is tidal. We have about twenty thousand counts until the island is under five spans of water. There is only stowage space for a few planes on our ships, and one of those has been taken by your number four.”

“I do not think any of my flight are ready for another trip just yet.”

“Never fear. We have new crews for all your planes.” By now they were within the tent. At the far end sat crews in fresh gear, all ready for take off. Reed’s flight eyed them suspiciously, between huge mouthfuls of fish stew. “You shall be billeted here for a few days, until the next flight arrives, which you shall then take over.”

Flushed, and with a bowl of stew each, Reed and Jay stood outside the tent watching the refuelling. On the far side of the runway, inflatable pontoons were strapped to the wreck of Four. As the tide rose, so it would be lifted and could be moved to the crane that hung over the ship’s side.

“Horse was right. This is something very big.”

Heavensent 4.7
Heavensent 4.5
Heavensent 1.1

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