I was seventeen and a noble which was how I became a knight. First was military training and then flight school. After an evaluation they determined I should fly fighters. After months of training I turned eighteen and was sent towards the border. We had been at peace but the neighboring country to the south was aggressive and known to be hostile.
I was on the wing of a seasoned pilot with the whole squadron. We were doing routine border patrols when I saw the planes above us. I opened the channel, "fighters at two high."
I heard someone curse and the squadron leader answered, "climb and prepare to engage."
I followed my wing leader as he accelerated and began to climb. I looked back and down and hissed, "bombers approaching the border at four low."
There was a lot of cursing as it was relayed and half the squadron rolled and turned to head for the bombers. I still did not expect the Nones to really attack until their fighters passed over the boarder. I flipped the safety off my weapons as we rolled and turned to meet them. They began to fire before we merged and my wing leader cursed as his plane burst into flames.
I rolled and yanked the control back as he ejected. Enemy fighters were everywhere and planes were streaking around and shooting. I twisted and turned and glanced back at an enemy fighter as it turned in behind me. I growled and yanked the control back and shoved the throttle all the way forward.
The enemy tried to follow as I rose and then turned and rolled. It had broken off and I accelerated after it and angled ahead of it and fired a stream of rounds that it ran into. I stayed with it a moment before I stopped firing. I rolled upside down and pulled the control back as the plane went from smoking to being engulfed in flames.
I turned and rolled to follow another enemy behind one of the other fighters and fired a long burst straight into it. I turned away and headed toward the dizzying swarm of planes. An enemy plane started to flash past in front of me and I turned and fired to rip the plane apart. I twisted and rolled away and kept checking behind me.
The fighters finally broke and ran after I shot down a sixth plane. I dropped the nose and accelerated towards the bombers heading out. I checked my ammo indicator before switching to use alternating guns. Gunners started to fire at me as I streaked in and fired straight through where the wing fuel tanks should be.
I pulled back and turned as the bomber exploded and went right over it. I fired into the bomber that had been on its wing and rolled and yanked the control back. The rounds struck the nose and ripped down the side and into the wing where the fuel tank was. Flames engulfed the plane before I sped over it and it exploded.
I was turning to go after another when I got the recall and turned away. I checked around me as I began climbing back to meet up with the squadron. Only half were there and I slipped into place quietly as I thought of those missing. War had come and I knew my world was about to change or die.
When we landed I saw the damage from bombs and my ground crew guided me towards the side with trees. After I shut down they turned and backed the plane into the trees as I climbed out, "any word on who made it?"
The sergeant in charge of my crew shook his head, "not yet sir."
I nodded and glanced at the plane, "you know those curved four bladed propeller blades?"
He nodded and I gestured, "put them on and add that hot mix to the fuel you were talking about last week."
I looked at the men, "I hate to say it but find a couple of sets of wing guns and make positions to shoot enemy planes down."
I glanced at the squadron leader as he stopped, "also I want those rockets you were telling my wing leader about. Put three under each wing with a ignitor switch in the cockpit. Rip out the one meter space behind the cockpit and put in a second fuel tank."
The sergeant was grinning and nodding, "anything else?"
I nodded, "break the links for the ammo. I want a tracer every five rounds."
He straightened, "that will heat up the barrel."
I snorted as I turned, "not with how fast we are flying."
I nodded to the squadron leader and he grinned, "let all of the plane crews know to do the same thing."
We started walking and I glanced at him, "any word on..."
He shook his head, "they hit most of the border units and every airfield."
I ate and then went to check on who had made it. I grinned when my wing leader walked in looking pissed, "about time."
He nodded, "Jefferson, Donalds, Edmond, Henry and Smithe are dead. The bastards shot them in the air after they ejected."
That hit us hard and everyone sat. I was sleeping when the siren went off and rolled out of bed and dressed quickly. I ran out and jumped into a vehicle speeding across the field towards the trees. When I jumped out at my plane the new prop was already spinning. I could see the rockets under the wing and climbed up and into the cockpit.
While I was buckling in and checking the instruments sergeant Gregson leaned in, "see the red button on top of the control yoke?"
I nodded and he gestured, "that will fire the rockets one at a time. You will have a range of a mile straight out using your gun sight."
I nodded, "did you get the second tank in?"
He grinned, "yeah. Give them hell kid."
He dropped to the ground as I opened my radio, "Fox eight green."
I pushed the throttle forward and closed the canopy. I moved out and lined up and when it was my turn I slammed the throttles all the way forward. The plane started to move and in seconds it was streaking down the runway and I pulled the control back, "damn!"
I heard several of the others laugh as I headed for the sky. I rolled and turned to follow the ones before me and we climbed several thousand meters. In the dark I could not see the ground and could barely see those on each side of me as we formed up. The sun was peeking when we saw the enemy planes.
The bombers were flying low and fighters were already weaving and engaged with another squadron of our fighters. I was flying without a wingman and when everyone split up and rolled over and dove towards the bombers, I followed. I shoved the throttles all the way to the stop and in moments my plane was shaking.
I streaked straight through the fighters and rolled and turned and then touched the red button. A bright red trail exploded away from the plane and streaked out and hit one of the bombers. One wing was ripped off as it exploded and I flashed under it as I pulled up and rolled to fire another rocket.
This one left the plane and exploded in the side of the bomber as I went behind the tail. A moment later it vanished in a huge explosion and I was rolling and turning to go back. A fighter shot past and I fired my guns and several tracers and four times as many rounds ripped through it. I continued my turn as the enemy fighter burst into flames.
I rolled and started to turn the other way and a line of rounds went over and behind me. I glanced back to see another fighter as I pulled back and headed for the sky. I rolled as I went straight up and then pulled back and turned. The other fighter tried to follow but turned to short and I yanked back the throttle and turned.
I fired and tracers and rounds ripped into the fighter. There was a bloom of fire as I rolled and turned and dove and checked my six before I fired another rocket. As the enemy bomber exploded and broke in half I was turning and firing again. I killed six bombers with rockets, two with guns and the two enemy fighters before my plane began to sputter.
I turned away and headed back towards base and flew low and kept watch behind me. The sputtering grew worse and the engine started to cut out. I shook my head and looked ahead for someplace to set down. I saw a field ahead and barely had time to lower the wheels and slow. I put the flaps down and almost did not clear the stone wall as my engine died.
I rolled across the field and came to a stop with a third of the field left in front of me. I grabbed my carbine and opened the canopy. I looked towards the dark farmhouse and climbed out and dropped to the ground and started walking. I had to cross two stone walls before I reached the house.
I ignored the two small dogs that were barking at me and knocked on the door. The door was yanked open and I was suddenly staring at a man pointing a shotgun at me. I looked up and into his face and he grinned and relaxed, "I was not sure you were one of ours."
I nodded and glanced towards my plane in the dark, "one of the bastards must have hit my fuel line."
He glanced out and gestured, "come in son."
I stepped in and the door closed and suddenly the room bloomed with light. A woman and eight children were in the room. I smiled, "sorry to wake you."
The woman smiled, "better you than a bomb."
The man gestured, "can we fix you something to eat?"
I shook my head, "I need to call in."
That was easier said than done. I had to write the message and one of the lads took a horse to ride to the nearest call box. While I waited they cooked breakfast as the sun began to rise. I was drinking tea and looking out a window when one of the daughters whispered something.
I glanced back when her father laughed and he grinned at me, "you married lad?"
I shook my head, "most of the girls are not..."
I looked at the girls and his wife, "um ... amorous."
He laughed again, "know anything about farming?"
I smiled, "my family ... no I do not know about farming."
.... There is more of this story ...