All the wing bombers had been grounded. Command couldn’t risk losing any more of their flagship planes. They didn’t seem to understand that the planes were only a threat when they were in the air.
Stuck on Stran Island, with Cora and Munss locked down in preparation for a security crackdown, Harren and Karn had taken up fishing. Neither of them was very good at it yet, but they were mastering the whip needed to get the lures out beyond the breaking waves. The sea floor shelved away rapidly on this, seaward, side of the island giving them the dream of large fish and eels awaiting capture.
“That is a big empty space.” Karn commented, “Looking out over it, I think I can understand how the mountain folk feel when they come down to the plains.”
“Five days out of the air and you have turned into a philosopher.” Harren laughed. He wedged the end of the pole he held into a crack in the rocks. “How would you feel about flying across it?”
“Over the ocean? We would never make it all the way, or have mere counts over the target. Even if we had the range- to get there and back- it would be such a waste. Why bother with that when we can just as simply fly over the mountains?”
“Ah, but they would never expect it, precisely because it is so unexpected. Imagine the psychological impact, even if none of the planes came back.”
“A waste of good men and equipment. You could only justify it if you followed it up with landings or some sort of sea borne assault.”
They watched their floats bob on the swell. One of the smaller patrol boats rounded the island and raised its bow as it neared maximum speed. A pair of Corkscrews passed overhead.
“It is a good thing we do not have to depend for food on what we catch.” Harren sighed. “We would have wasted away by now.” He studied the horizon. A large thin cloud was heading their way. It moved strangely, stretching up into the sky as a long straight line. There were another three, each running parallel to the first.
Karn realised at the same time as Harren what they were seeing. They dropped their rods and set off at a run for their trikes. “Rockets!” Karn announced, “I always knew they had rockets.”