Sky Captain and the Extinction Agenda
By: Anthony Rakittke
Chapter 1: Portents of Doom
Locked in combat high above the Pacific Ocean, Captain Rock Masterson aggressively pursued the pirate's Japanese Shiden fighter. Masterson's machine guns unloaded a salvo of bullets that tore into the Shiden's underside and sent it exploding into the sea. Grinding his teeth in determination, he growled into the radio.
"Seahawks, pattern Omega Talon Five. Let's show these dogs who's in charge around here."
With deft precision Masterson's squad of ace aerial mercenaries aligned their cobalt P47 Thunderbolts into what looked like the tip of a sword, with two planes flanking its outer edges. Rock settled his plane into the sword's point, preferring as he always did to lead by example.
Eager to avoid confrontation, the pirates banked hard to the left and raced off towards an oncoming storm rolling over the ocean. Masterson grunted in dismay at their cowardice.
"Seahawks," Masterson yelled over the radio. "They're making a run for it. Break formation and intercept! Fire at will!"
The Seahawks gunned their engines and dived into the billowing gray clouds, stalking their prey like ravenous predators. Masterson scratched his grizzled chin; something wasn't adding up. The pirates were only fighting long enough to break through the Seahawks and continue running. They were scared, but of what? Lost in the swirling torrent of ashen grayness, Rock saw a series of blinding explosions burst around him. Fearing his team had been done in for, he jumped on the radio and demanded updates. Ace, the youngest pilot on the squad, made first contact.
"We're okay, sir! I flew by one of them explosions earlier sir, and it's the pirates! Someone's taking them out! Captain, we're not alone..."
Ace's warning was engulfed in a cacophony of destruction. It was a violent, obscene noise, the sound of an aviator's death. Wasting no time, the Seahawks converged on Ace's last coordinates.
And it was there they found Death waiting for them.
Several vast shapes, like titan shadows lurking in the darkness, hovered omnisciently in the air. They were all riddled with tall steel rods that vomited thunder and lightning into the sky. A deafening bang sounded from within the depths of the veiled specters. Too late, Rock yelled for evasive action, watching in horror as the others were ripped to shreds in a furious storm of leaden death.
Masterson shot out of the line of fire, narrowly avoiding the fate of his teammates, but he did not come out unscathed. He glanced down and saw a jagged shard of steel had blown off the console and was now lodged in his gut. It hurt like hell, but he fought off the pain and defiantly spat a wad of bloody phlegm against the windshield. The shadows remained silent and motionless, taunting him to retaliate. Rock knew that without help he'd be dead in minutes. What he needed was a miracle, he needed—
"Joe!" Masterson exclaimed, reaching behind his seat. With his free hand he groped for the Morse code signaler and immediately began pounding on the cold steel pad. It was a code he hadn't used since his days in the Legion, a distress only its recipient would understand and answer. Hurling his plane into the jaws of Death itself, there was no one else Rock wanted by his side than his oldest friend, the notorious Sky Captain.
But will he get my message in time? Masterson thought to himself.
Stay tuned for Chapter Two: A Promise In Death