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Old 02-19-2018, 09:54 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Location: Auberry, CA
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Yeager's people leave:



335th TFS, Sheppard AFB, TX; 1115 Hours Central War Time:


Major Matt Wiser sat at his desk, clearing some paperwork that had come in while he was out on the previous mission. At least none of this crap's really important, he thought, but the activities of the species known as bureaucrats meant that, to them, everything was important. Once he was finished with the bureaucratic nonsense, he went to his filing cabinet and took out a form. As he filled it out, there was a knock at his office door. “Yeah? Show yourself and come on in!”

His backseater and girlfriend, 1st Lieutenant Lisa “Goalie” Eichhorn, came in, two plastic bags in one hand, and a carrier for drinks in the other. “The CO ready for lunch?” She grinned.

“Let me finish this first,” the CO nodded. “Setting up Sergeant Crowley's R&R.” Staff Sergeant Mike Crowley was their Crew Chief, and the Major wanted to reward Crowley by bumping him up in the R&R rotation if possible. Guru-the CO's call sign-had found out that Crowley was due in a few weeks anyway, so....”He goes over Christmas.”

“Christmas with family...” Goalie said wistfully. “He'll be one lucky stiff.”

Guru agreed with that. “That he will. Two weeks at home with family, enjoy yourself, and oh, Sergeant, that's an order.”

His girlfriend nodded. “Ordering someone to have fun? First time for that.”

“It is,” the CO said. “What's for lunch?”

“Real burgers, not bison or turkey, but real beef,” Goalie said. “Probably from Australia.”

“That's essential wartime aid,” Guru joked. “Not Foster's. Before we eat, any word on the F-20 guys?”

Goalie nodded. “They're eating now. Then they'll be on their way. And before you ask, I did see Pruitt taking a couple of those suggestion of tri-tip sandwiches.”

The CO shook his head in disbelief. “Said it before, but is he crazy? He must have a cast-iron stomach.”

“He must want to satisfy the Cruel and Unusual Nourishment people,” Goalie joked.

“Guess so. Let's eat.”


After they ate, both pilot and GIB headed outside. There, IDF Major Dave Golen and his flight were sitting on the lawn, having their own lunches. “Dave,” Guru said. “How's it going so far?”

“Paid some Libyans a visit,” Golen replied. “There was a brigade assembly area. We disassembled some of their armor.”

“Via Mark-82 and Rockeye,” Goalie commented.

The IDF pilot nodded. “That it was.”

“How are your temps shaking out?” Guru asked. He was referring to the third crew, who were Major Frank Carson's wing crew, but since Carson was grounded for a couple of days, they were flying with Golen and his wingmate, 1st Lt. Sandi “Flossy” Jenkins.

“So far, so good,” Golen said, and Flossy nodded agreement, as did their GIBs. “If anything happens to Frank, they can come back and fly with us.”

“Be glad to, Major,” Capt. Sean Hennings, who was the pilot, said. “Beats flying with Frank,”

“Same here,” 1st Lt. Melissa Brewster, the GIB, said.

“All right,” Guru said. “You all be careful. Don't need any letter-writing today.”

“Will do, Guru,” Golen said.

Then the CO's wingmate came over. Capt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace was the Assistant Ops Officer, and had the job when the Ops Officer, Capt. Don Van Loan, was out on a mission. Like now. “Boss, Goalie? Yeager's people are getting ready to leave.”

“Now?” Guru asked.

“They're getting set to do their preflights.”

“Then we'd best get over there. General Olds know?”

Kara nodded. “Told him first thing.”

“Well,” the CO grinned. “If you want to see off the F-20s, best get over there. Unless you have grudges, of course.”

“Who, me?” Kara asked with mock innocence. “Just wish I was seeing those punks off with a good kick in the ass.” Everybody knew she was still angry about how the DACT had gone, and being “killed” by General Yeager in that little fracas.

“You're not the only one feeling that way,” Guru said.

“Somebody still needs to teach those young punks a lesson,” Goalie spat. She had been in Kara's back seat when “Killed” by Yeager. “And if we can't, then I know folks who can.”

“Aggressors?” Kara asked.

“You got it.”


When Guru, Goalie, and Kara got there, most of the 335th people who weren't on strikes were there, along with a number of MAG-11's Marines and a few Navy from VA-135. Guru found General Yeager talking with General Olds, Colonel Brady, and two of the Marines' squadron commanders. “Major,” General Olds said. “Here to see Yeager's people off?”

“General,” Guru said, sketching a salute. “You could say that, sir.” He turned to General Yeager. “Sir, it's been an honor and a pleasure to meet you, and to fly with you. Though nothing was really settled on that hop.”

“No, Major, I don't think so,” Yeager agreed. He shot a glance at Clancy's aircraft, where Clancy and Kara were already arguing. “Those two, especially. They've got some unfinished business.”

“They'll meet again,” Olds predicted. “Somebody's going to be an Aggressor, and the other will be visiting Nellis. Sparks will fly-and maybe fists as well.”

Colonel Brady nodded. “I'll have to agree with that, sir. And I'm just glad no fists flew here. Somebody made a remark about the F-20 being the greatest since the P-51, and at some F-15 or F-16 base, those might be fighting words.”

“I'll take that under serious advisement,” Yeager said. “Major? Thanks again for the DACT. You guys gave us a good run.”

“Likewise, sir,” Guru replied. “Those of us still alive after the war? We'll be up for a rematch.”

“Take you up on that,” Yeager grinned. “It was good to have Robin up on that one.”

General Olds had a grin on his face himself. “Wouldn't have missed it for the world, Chuck.” He turned to Guru. “Major? Any word back from the Chief of Staff on either the Yak kill or the DACT?”

“No, sir,” replied Guru. “Not yet, and I'm wondering if that shoe will drop.”

“It will,” Olds said. “I know Sundown, and he'll probably be advising General Dugan on a course of action. Though when he comes around, hopefully he'll be kicking someone else off base.”

“That snotty Major?” Yeager asked.

Guru nodded. “The same.”

“Couldn't happen to a nicer asshole.”


Over by his F-20, Clancy was talking with Kara and a couple of others. “You're good,” she said. “But way too overconfident.”

“Thanks,” Clancy grinned. “Even though you did 'kill' me. And you guys were just as cocky.”

“We'll settle this,” Kara declared. “Nellis. Sometime after the war.”

“If you two live that long,” Hoser said. He'd listened to the exchange. Though he, too, had a score to settle with these punks.

Both antagonists shrugged. “Well, we'll have to see,” Clancy said.

“That we will,” Kara nodded. A chance to show this punk-again-who was superior, though it was likely she'd be the one in the F-15E trying to nail this guy in his F-5 or F-20. If the AF decided to use them as Aggressors, she thought.

“Leave it, Matt,” Pruitt said as he went to his bird. “Last thing we need is a grudge with these guys. Still got the Russians to worry about.”

“We said, 'after the war'.” Clancy shot back.

“That we did,” Kara added. For once, she agreed with Clancy-and that was probably the only thing they ever would agree on.


“Major?” Prada said as she came to shake Guru's hand. “Thanks. For letting me know about Daria.” Her sister had been confirmed as a POW in Cuba, and Guru had been the one to tell her-along with General Yeager.

“You're welcome, and be glad you're taking that IP job,” Guru said. “One less thing for your parents to worry about.”

“Don't worry about missing out,” General Olds added. He reminded her, “You're not missing a damned thing. And when you do come back? We'll be on the Rio Grande, and still have plenty of work to do.”

“That we will,” General Yeager agreed.

“I know, sir,” Prada nodded. “Doesn't change the way I feel, though.”

“Understood,” Yeager replied. “Take my advice: it's for the best.”

Prada smiled. “It is, sir.”

A captain from the Air Base Group came over and said a few words to Colonel Brady. Brady nodded, then said, “General, both C-130s are loaded up and ready to go.”

“Thanks, Colonel. It's been fun, but time to move on. Time to drop in on the ROKs,” Yeager said. “Robin,” he said to General Olds. “I'll check back at Nellis before we go back to Edwards.”

“I'll brief General Tanner on how this little fracas went,” Olds said, shaking Yeager's hand.

“Colonel?” Yeager said to Colonel Brady. “It's been a pleasure being here.”

“And an honor to have you here, sir,” Brady replied, shaking Yeager's hand.

The General nodded, said a few words to the Marines, then came to Guru. “Major? Glad to have flown with you and your people.”

“Thank you, sir,” Guru replied. “And sir? It's been an honor and a privilege to have met you, and flown with you. Even if it didn't work out the way both parties wanted.”

Yeager laughed, and nodded in reply. “Well, Major. You're doing a good job, and good luck. Not just with the bad guys, but the RAF when they get here.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Then Yeager rounded up his people, as the two C-130s taxied for takeoff. People backed well away as the three F-20Cs and one D started engines. And it was strange to see one with eleven and a half German Crosses and one Red Star on the side lead the F-20s to the runway. Then all four taxied for takeoff, and it wasn't long before they rumbled down the runway and into the air.

“Well, folks, show's over,” General Olds noted. “If you don't have a mission yet, you'll have one shortly.”

“You heard him,” Colonel Brady said. “Back to work, people!”

As the crowd broke up, Guru found his Ops Officer. “Don, glad to see those people go?”

“Be glad to be back to normal,” Van Loan said. “For twenty-four hours, then the RAF gets here.”

Guru sighed. What was it about this base that got this kind of attention? Oh, well. “Got a mission for us?”

“Birds should be ready. Mission briefing packet's ready for you, and several others.”

The CO nodded. “Okay.” He looked around for someone from his flight, then saw one. “KT!”

“You asked, Boss?” She replied.

“Round up the rest of the flight. Briefing room in fifteen.”

“On my way, boss,” Hoser's GIB said.

Goalie then came up to Guru. “We've got a mission?”

“That we do. Once more unto the breach,” Guru said.

“Henry V”, Van Loan said.

“Yep. Just as long as we don't do that 'close the walls up with our dead', crap,” Guru said. “Time to get back in the game, people.” The day was still only half over, and there were missions to fly.
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