Author: Mauser-KAR98K PM
What do you have when you take a Spitfire MKXIVE and a V1 BuzzBomb? HANG ON!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Suspense - Words: 2,455 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Published: 04-28-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3511519
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The winds blew in from the south, grazing the tan and yellow wheat field that he steadily traversed. The tops of the dead tall grass waved as if it was an ocean, flowing as the wind shifted its direction and motion. But to him, the scene was only adding more pleasure to an already full afternoon. No sounds of war thus far, but only of his shotgun and dog making their own against the pheasants. So far he had dropped two from the sky and his English setter had retrieved them. And now, the old man was enjoying the walk back home with his over-under shotgun slung across his arms, enjoying the breeze at his back.
His peaceful, tranquil day soon became one with the ongoing war. He heard them before, and he hated their loud, thunderous buzzing as they mindlessly made their way towards His Majesty. It always started soft, the sound fading in and out of the wind as it drew closer. Soon it was recognizable, sounding as if it was a giant angry bee on the prowl for the one who had taken its honey. Then it was deafening.
He looked up to the azure sky; only seeing nothing at first. He stared harder into the void, and with a shining reflection from its aluminum skin, he saw it. With horror he realized it was lower than how they regularly came in. He was able to make out the slender bomb-shaped fuselage this time. Four times a day they'd come, and four times a night they'd awaken him; but on that morning, they let him enjoy his tea and breakfast. Lunch was now out of the question.
With a hard frown, he watched the winged V-1 bomb fly over him, its long tubed engine that ran atop of the tail section showered him with its harsh sound waves, feeling his insides rumble as it thundered by. He shuttered at himself upon realization at the lowness of it. He could have probably downed it with his shotgun as it was so low. He shook his head, forcing his bright but stupid idea from his mind as he watched the flame from the pulse jet fading away from his sight.
He shook his head once more as he sighed. He could still hear the sound of the pulse jet in the distance as he started to make his way across the field, only his face being shaded by the brim of his peddler's hat...
...Something else caught his attentive ears from behind him. For a second he thought it was another buzz bomb, but the sound was too flowing, too crisp; too whiny, but in a deep, throaty way. He tried to turn around but he wasn't quick enough. The off-white blur almost blew him over as it raced quickly overhead. If he would've turned his neck any quicker, he was afraid that it might have snapped it off. The only real glimpse he saw was of it was a yellow ring tracing a dark, blurry circle that hovered around a yellow spot. It was as if the thing had stalked him from the heavens.
He watched, gazing to the north; towards London. He squinted at first but then smiled his wrinkled smile. It was an angel he thought to himself. With his heart slowing its fast rhythmic pace, he slung his fist to the sky in a cheer, shouting to the winged angel what he knew the pilot was saying now...
"...TALLY-HO...TALLY-HO!!! I have it, Control!"
The Spitfire shook violently as the pilot tried to keep it steady. Thermals from the ground, and particularly from the roads, bounced the clipped wing fighter up and down as it sped through the sky.
"ROGER,' USE CAUTION; LONDON NOT FAR," came the female voice in his ear set.
He didn't know if he was sweating from the oxygen mask or the strain from the pressure that he was now under, but he pushed the thought aside. A radar station had picked a blip but it died about as fast as it popped up. He had a feeling, and a aching one at that, that somehow that blip was another one of Hitler's buzz-bombs. He was frighteningly right. He had chased it down so far on a hunch after the radar controller, that happened to be in his ear all the time, gave out the blip. He hated hunches...and now more so.
He grasped his controls firmly, fighting the beast that he was strapped into. He grasped the ring that sat atop stick at first, but then he moved his hand down lower on the stick itself. It was for better control at the rate he thought he was going. He couldn't tell how fast he was going after the dial on his smith gauge traversed all the way around one and half times; telling him that he was at a constant 360 miles per hour. But he knew he was going faster; the racing ground below him told him so.
With the throttle all the way to the stops, he desperately tried to control the torque of the engine and the massive five-blade propeller that it spun feverishly through the sky. But a minor adjustment became a major one on return. He was overcorrecting too much, thanks to the fast moving air over his clipped wing MK XIV/E. He closed his eyes for a fraction of a second, forcing himself to stay calm and keep in control. When he opened them, he felt the surge of adrenaline pump into his body as his ears echoed the sound of the raging engine that was in front of him.
For a moment, he thought his chase was a losing one, seeing no ground being gained between him and the flying bomb. But then he happily noticed the flame starting to glow a little brighter. He still fought the torque of the airplane as he crept closer, the engine pounded away with its loud purr as the smell of burnt fuel mixed with the taste of oil and plastic in his mouth. More sweat leaped into his goggled covered eyes as it flowed from his aviator's cap.
He pushed the stick down a little; it worked. Using a little bit of the mistress called gravity, he used it to gain a little more speed. With the slight downslope, he could see the silver hulk of the bomb just above his eleven to twelve o'clock.
"Oops...too much!" he shouted at himself. He lost his target for a bit from the metal frame of his canopy, but he pulled back on the stick to regain his visual.
He saw a road; passed it; felt the plane jump up ten feet. He cringed at the thought that he lost a little speed over it, but he still saw the buzz-bomb slowly drawing painstaking closer. He swore he was counting the distance gained in feet, which was something he didn't want to do. His distance was getting shorter and so was the time. Fighting to keep airspeed, plus keeping the plane up right was becoming a raging fight against a beast that seemingly wouldn't die. He wanted to nose down a little more, but if he got too low, he would lose the precious momentum he needed to stay with the bomb when he climbed back to it.
The harsh whine from the two stage super-charger brought his hopes back up from his toes. The Griffin engine was pumping out the over 2,000 horsepower that he wielded by the thrust of a handle. And with it, a smile... the bomb was getting closer. He could start to make out the silver panels on the slender wings now, but he was still two hundred feet away.
He quickly glanced away to look at the ground beyond the dark green and brown color of his wing. To his horror, the farm lands were starting to disappear . He figured that in another minute, he would be out of the buffer zone that he needed to down the flying bomb.
"Should've brought ammo with you this time," he scolded himself, having only wanted fuel before he took-off that late morning.
The glimmer of the shiny metal skin from his target only furthered his resolve as he crept closer and closer to the buzzing weapon. He could hear it now over his own engine.
Soon, he was flying in formation with it; the ground below him becoming a blur of yellow, brown, green, and grey as he thundered alongside the flying bomb. He was gaining, but to him it was painstakingly slow. Houses became more frequent; fields became fewer; his endurance was waning. Sweat rolled down his body and soaked in his heavy flight suit.
His wing wasn't more than forty feet away from the bomb. The sound of his engine morphed with the buzzing of the pulse jet. The belching flame was mesmerizing...almost too much for the pilot. He worked his rudder, pushing his right foot ever so gently, fighting the shakes and jolts from metal bird. The Spitfire began to yaw a little, just enough to line his left wing up with his target's right. He pulled gently on the stick, raising his raving beast up ever so slightly.
He lost some speed and he frighteningly knew it. For a brief second he saw his target hang with him, almost dropping back. He breathed out in his mask as he inched his way closer... closer... closer.
He felt as of he could touch it now. Looking under the wing and the fuselage of the buzz-bomb made him sweat even more. He pulled back just a hair...it was enough. His wing crept under his target's airfoil. He realized how much he dreaded flying this Spitfire. Since they shortened his wings, he had to get closer to the pilotless bomb. One fragile mistake at this point could end his life in a flash. That feeling always haunted him with every minor adjustment he made. His body trembled from the vibration of the fast paced flight which made his left hand shake on the control stick.. When he saw the leading edge of his wing go under the flying-bomb's, he throttled back some.
His heart skipped three beats when his plane drifted towards the bomb. He forgot to compensate the trim for the torque of the massive propeller that whorled in front of him. Realizing this in a fraction of a second, he gently pressed his right rudder pedal in and lowered his stick gently at the same time.
Regaining his nerves, he pushed back on the throttle and crept back under the wing of the buzz-bomb. This time he found his edge and kept pace with it.
Glancing ahead with a snap of his eyes that fell back to the side of the Dooblebug, he saw for a brief instance a horrid picture --houses...and lots of them. He glanced back once more and he breathed a quick sigh of relief. A farm field, green with brown lines that stretched from east to west was just ahead of him. He smiled inwardly, but gapped his mouth open to breathe.
With his renewed courage, he gently pivoted his flight stick over to the right; raising his left wing under the buzz-bomb's. He didn't want to touch it, but only disrupt the airflow just enough that it would lift the wing of the bomb and send it out of contr...
...His heart stopped...he saw it just as quickly as it came; a twin line of tress...shading a road. The updraft of heat from the rough concrete road was just enough to lift his plane ten inches. In the blink of an eye, he heard the sound of aluminum rubbing as his wing touched the buzz-bomb. Panic took over from training. Fearing that he was about to buy the farm in a blow-out way, he yanked the stick over further to the right, slamming the throttle to the stops as he did so. When the horizon became vertical, he pulled back on the stick hard. The added G-force pushed his eyes back in their sockets. He swore that the back of them would have traces of grey matter if he could pull them out.
He skid-turned around, looking up through the tear-drop canopy as he fought the effects of his body weight being added to his seat. Then came the rumble of a loud explosion behind him. When he leveled out, he thought quickly as to where the V-1 might have landed. For an instant he felt that he had failed in his over all mission by having the thing tip over into someone's house. He scanned the ground below him...he was gratefully wrong.
Fire engulfed the tree line in the field that he had spotted. With this image being portrayed in his sweat-glistening eyes, he took off his oxygen mask and breathed a deep sigh of relief.
"It's now the fire brigade's problem," he gratefully told himself, panting deeply.
"Lone Blue to Control, Dooblebug downed; heading home!" he said through the mike of his oxygen mask.
"ROGER, LONE BLUE!"replied the soft female voice chattered though his earphone.
He circled the field for a bit before he marked his heading and brought his Spitfire around to it. Before he did, he saw two young kids down below him on a road heading north. He smiled as he saw them waving at him from the ground. He returned it, moving his stick side to side, making the whole plane wave at them.
They saw it; chanting to the pilot as if he could hear them over his engine and the September breeze. They went back to their toys that they held in their hands as the Spitfire disappeared over the horizon; their wooden planes mimicking the real one that they saw. As they galloped and leaped back to their house, savoring their adventure of the day to tell their folks, they could see the smoke plume coming from the field up ahead. And before that was a sign: