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Episode 17: Spectres of War / In Action

 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
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Location: Prince George

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:57 pm    Post subject: Episode 17: Spectres of War / In Action Reply with quote

EPISODE 17

Smoke and sparks fill a, previously, clean cockpit. The Pilot, Nick Sako, rips his mask from his mouth, shocked and everything around him.

“What the hell is going on?!”

He looks behind and sees the bag of his F16 on fire.

“Father, this is Wyvern. What’s my location over? I…I am on fire. I-I not sure from what happened?” There is no response. “Father…do you hear me wyvern?!” The ROAR or the turbine dies down. Sako looks back and eyeballs the missing ailerons.

“He took my tail off!” The F-16 ADCAP dives to the top of the close mountain, luckily covered in thick snow.

“Dammit. Father, my eject system is malfunctioning. Repeat, my eject system is malfunctioning.” Sako grabs the control stick with both hands and pulls up. He knows he’s most likely dead. He’s strangely calmer now.

“Okay…Okay… Think Yager…Yager. Pull up…” The oncoming mountain is awfully low. The Plane sags.

“…Pull up……Pull up…you tub of shit!”


“SPECTRES OF WAR / IN ACTION”


The F-16 decapitates the mountain. It cuts through the snow on top, but doesn’t hit any rock. This forces the Fighter downward, almost following the angle of the mountainside. The disruption at the surface starts an avalanche. It starts small at first but the potential of something bigger occurring is obvious.

Sako is stone-faced. No emotion. He lets go of the control stick. He knows it's useless now. He reaches back and grabs his seat. He grits his teeth.

Going faster than a gerbil on steroids, the Fighter lands on the snow and skids quickly down the mountain. Behind it, a wall of snow develops. It gains speed and size. Sako tries to not only be still, but not even allow himself to change his facial expression. To move is to give in. No pain. His muscles flex and he digs into his seat.

The wall of white approaches, huge now. The plane keeps its speed on the snow, skidding down at amazing velocity. The angle starts to level off. A small-unfrozen lake and a forest of big, thick, pine trees lay ahead. The fighter still slides across the snow, heading to the water. Snow flies up over the Canopy, which remains intact. Sako looks behind to see the stampede of snow almost catching up. He looks forward to see the lake. He squints. The avalanche almost catches up to the plane, which nears the base of the mountain. No longer affected by gravity, but still going fast, the fighter approaches the water.

It reaches the lake. It hydroplanes across the surface like a jetski. Water flies up over the canopy. The ROAR of the water against the hull sounds like a lion bellowing. Sako shows his teeth. He almost enjoys this. The fighter skims over the surface, all the way to the shore. It reaches it…and keeps going…through the forest. The snow soars over the water. It pushes back most of the powder but some makes it past the lake. The plane moves through the trees that tower fifty meters into the sky in some cases. The fighter disturbs the area, which seemed untouched for the whole season.

It only makes it about fifty feet before both wings are clipped by large pines. It keeps going.
The force pulls Sako forward. He falls back quickly. The whiplash hurts.

The plane somehow avoids the trees. It moves through the growth, getting close sometimes, but never hitting. Branches are a different story. They scrape by. Some of them jab. The plane gets torn apart. It slows down.

Sako’s head bobs and weaves. Branches slam against the canopy. Finally, it shatters when a thick pine arm pierces the glass. Particles and snow fall into the cockpit. Sako screams. Branches pummel the plane. Pine needles, snow, glass, and splinters fly towards Sako’s face. Tell-tale cuts appear.

Sako can hardly concentrate. He barely makes out one very large trunk that this plane will not avoid. A big one, with lot’s of low, jagged branches. Sako is not worried…or scared…just…tired. The plane, slowing down, slams, nose-first, into the tree. Branches impale the canopy.

Pause…silence…then a wave of light snow bathes the entire scene, covering the plane, its crash path…everything.

Silence…


Three hours later, Section 10 headquarters. It's sunset. Greg is working on the GOLEM vaccine. Kobotai calls everyone in for an emergency meeting. A colonel friend of his alerted of a situation that just occurred. A transmission was received on satellite from a Captain Nick Sako. Apparently he was flying a F-16 Advanced Capability Fighter plane when he apparently was struck by a Surface to Air Missile. “Apparently” because he sortie is on no record books. He was stationed in one of the Japanese occupied Russian airfield on a northern island. This would not normally be the subject of Section 10 except for a snipped of his transmission that reached the JASDF:

“Father, this is Wyvern. What’s my location over? I…I am on fire. I-I not sure from what happened? --”

The relays on the fighter were hacked. They can’t track the IF signature on the plane nor can they ascertain the location of the pilot. He suddenly appeared over Northern China. It appears his mission and his cyberbrain were hacked. He cyberbrains anti-viral software must have been able to snap him out of the hack. This plane does match those of the jet that fired upon the JR train in Hokkaido last week. Could this be the plane? There would be evidence of a virus on the black box and the pilot’s cyberbrain.

Obviously China won’t care. Their intelligence indicated they recorded the shot but are still investigating what it was. The JASDF has tried heat signatures and side scanned texture radar but still cannot locate the jet or pilot, nor can they ascertain the position of the pilot. However, they did record his last position from his transmission to be in the mountains of Nei Mongol, a 50 square mile area 100 km North of Hailar.

The primary mission objective is to rescue the pilot covertly and retrieve information from his cyberbrain and the plane’s inbuilt AI. A secondary objective is to remove all evidence the pilot ever crashed. Section 10 will have to be HALO jumped to the area and then they must travel by stealth northward towards the border. Russian allies from Chita will rendezvous with Section 10 and make sure they safely escape the region. They will remain at he border for a 96-hour window after the initial drop.

The longer they wait, the longer the pilot’s life will be in danger. Prep for a full loud out including survival gear. When they drop, they cannot communicate with the satellite for fear of easdroppers. Cyberbrain Communication may also be unwise.


“Father this is Wyvern. Father this is Wyvern. Can you here me…over?

Silence… The wind RUSTLES through the trees, lightly jostling ice particles off a frozen surface.

“Father this is Wyvern 01.

Can you fix my position…over?

The F-16 cockpit hardly exposes itself. In the hole of the shattered canopy, Sako’s shakes his mask. He tries to get the radio to work. He fiddles with unseen controls.

“Come on…Dammit!” Sako hurls the mask forcefully to the controls, trying to do as much damage as possible. It SLAMS against the panel while he simultaneously shouts…

“Fuck!!” The explosive bolts on the canopy EXPLODE, sending it soaring in the air. The branches close by shatter and send off. The concussion wave blows snow in a consecutive ring around the plane. The Canopy tumbles in the air and lands softly with a mild THUMP forty feet away.

Sako pokes his head out. He lets out a really sympathetic sigh

“Made in America…” The ROAR of a distant Polar Bear echoes through the forest.

Sako goes silent. The wind whistles through his canopy. Slight snow frolics around his face. They settle on his helmet. He listens with his eyes. Sako disconnects the mask from the useless cockpit and tosses it outside the craft. He reaches around his head and slowly removes the helmet. He rests it between his legs. He grasps the sides of the “bathtub” and attempts to lift himself up. To no avail…He drops back down. He reaches to his legs. They are intact but pinned from the cockpit that collapsed, pinning his down. Sako tries to wrench his legs but they remain immobile. He gives up.

“Free lunch.”


Section 10 gets ready and they leave. The Tilt Rotor lands at a Japanese airbase, where Section 10 will hook up with Japanese military high-altitude stealth aircraft that will fly them into China. Its nighttime by the time they arrive over China. They drop into mountains. Its cold and there is snow everywhere.


The sun almost vanishes. The remaining specks of light it gives die out one by one. The life starts to die out. The FA-16 remains as camouflaged as before, Miller still pinned inside it. We hear his voice faintly...a sort of off-tone singing.

“It is the song that never ends…it just goes on and on my friends. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was…and they’ll just keep on singing it—you know that’s just because—it is the song that never ends…”

Miller’s eyes daze around, staring occasionally at the sky.

“…it just goes on and on my friends. Some people started singing it, now knowing what it was…”

His head bobs left, then down, then right, then up.

“…and they’ll just keep on singing it, you know that’s just because—It is the song that never ends…”

The night falls…the plane hardly appears. Slowly into darkness…

“…It just goes on and on my friends. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was…and they’ll just keep on singing it—you know that’s just because—it is the song that never ends…

Night…no light. Eventually, there is only black. Complete and absolute. All we hear is the dying song.

“It just goes on and on my friends. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was…and they’ll just keep on singing it—you know that’s just because—it is the song that never ends…”


Section 10 navigates around and notices a dozen Chinese APC and three tanks rumbling across a road. They are here and they are looking. They move by stealth and search the area. The group finally finds the broken mountain and the hidden crash path. They find the plane wreckage but don’t find the pilot. The pilot is hiding and takes a few shots at the group but misses. They eventually prove their case and he reveals himself.

He has a fractured ankle. He has a cyberbrain and cyberarms. Everything else is real. Checking his cyberbrain reveals that a virus was implanted into his brains but his firewalls were not breached. Whoever hacked him had a commander class hacking key. The same goes with the AI on the Jet. Its firewalls are intact and don’t record a breach. The virus was deeply embedded. It has been on the plane and pilot for maybe as much as two months.

There is a hidden file that caused the corruption.

Activating causes the pilot to talk in another voice…

“This is a message to those who find this file. I am hoping it’s you guys. This file was placed when we hacked this man two months ago. Suffice to say, there is not such thing as Mark 13…or Section 10. It was all a hack job by Legion. My group implanted memories in you and other people representing the terrorists. You must get free and contact Section 9. If you have already, then congratulations. I am hoping my comrades have not made the sequence of events totally unavoidable. This corrupt file in the virus may not make itself available in all cases…maybe only one in ten. I am hoping it helps. Good luck.”

The hacking key came from the military cyberbrain taken from the Kuma. Before the codes were changed, someone implanted viruses. This makes one wonder how many other weapons and people have been affected. The virus dictates the plane fly and land in an abandoned area east of here, only about 100 km from Shinyan, also near the border with Russia but in a totally different section. It could be possible that several over military craft are making there way right now. The group decides to move east to investigate.

There they find the tracks of tanks and another helicopter. It looks like a military transport helicopter, a heavy lifter chopper, and the telltale footprints of a Japanese Multi-ped tank. They continue their trek north. They encounter the Chinese army and sneak by undetected. They make camp for the night and suffer the cold.

The next day they push on. However, in eyesight of the border, they are intercepted by Nano and the Chinese Secret Police. Nano tells Sharron that, despite popular opinion, China doesn’t want a war with Japan either. As the governments race to war, the covert intelligence communities fight to prevent it. As a last favor, Nano lets them go.
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