Writer's notes: This is the end. It was sort of a short story. Thanks for reading.

In my reseach, the Me-262 wasn't all that great. It was fast, but caught fire easily and was very vulnerable when taking off or landing. It was a quantum leap in technology though. The Fw-190 was also difficult to handle at high altitude. From what I read, June and July, 1944 sucked for the Germans on both fronts and the slaughter of German troops and planes was unbelievable.

Anyway, that's my contribution to the WWII genre. I like the idea of being diverse as a writer. On to something else.

A Final Image

A pillar of dark smoke arises like a ghost from Leutnant Huber's demolished Messerschmidt. My head is craned around, peering through the cage-like canopy, looking for the enemy. The silver, aluminium gleam of the American Mustangs draws my eyes to them like a magnet. The Americans have achieved such air superiority that they no longer care about being spotted…in fact, they want to be spotted. Their yellow, checkered noses display their fighting spirit.

Their arrogance.

"Obermeyer, break high right!" I shout as I bank left and pull back hard on the stick. Gee forces wash over my body and I pant hard as I squeeze my abdomen to keep the blood in my head. Crushing waves of force dim my vision and nausea sweeps my belly.

A Mustang shoots by me, guns blazing, but I roll over to avoid the attack. I must be careful, I am at 300 meters; not much altitude to maneuver and no room for mistakes.

I see Obermeyer in a climb, two Americans on his tail and I snap back toward him. I open the throttle and activate the water methanol injectors; my engine surges with power and my gut tightens.

A Mustang flashes by my nose and I squeeze the trigger on instinct. Cannon and machine gun rounds streak from my gun ports. Puffs of smoke appear on the port wing of the P-51 and part of the aileron tears off.

My opponent's port wing dips and the aircraft spins into the ground. I rocket by the blur of exploding fire, trying to look for the next Mustang.

"Hauptmann! I'm hit!" yells Obermeyer frantically. My head rotates around quickly and I see my wingman, trailing white fumes; his fuel line has been hit and the enemy is lining up another shot.

"Climb quickly," I order him. "Get altitude and bail out." Obermeyer is maneuvering erratically…without purpose. He is near panic. He doesn't stand a chance.

I am too far behind and more .50 rounds slash into the green Messerschmidt. The incendiary rounds ignite the leaking fuel in Obermeyer's doomed fighter. The fumes turn into flames.

"Bail out, Obermeyer, bail out!"

All I can see is dark smoke and orange fire trailing behind my wingman. All that remains now is revenge.

"Hauptmann, I…I cannot open…open the canopy! I am trapped! The fire!" he screams in terror.

There is nothing I can do. I have failed them.

I squeeze off a shot with my 13mm machine guns at medium range and am rewarded by puffs of smoke on the fuselage of the Mustang. It too, begins to streak coolant.

I close in and unleash my nose cannon, firing massive explosive shells through the propeller hub. I am rewarded with a hit. Part of the horizontal stabilizer explodes away from my opponent and I see a man tumble from the cockpit. I am tempted to fire upon him, but there is no time.

Thump thump!

Fifty caliber rounds slam into my fighter from behind. The pack is upon me.

On instinct, I bank sharply to the right, kicking the right rudder pedal. One Mustang zips by. I turn back to line up a shot, but my Messerschmidt shudders again.

I quickly look back to see five Mustangs, guns blazing. It is like a wild west shootout.

Smoke pours into the cockpit and I choke on the acrid fumes as my oil pressure drops. Black liquid sprays onto the windscreen.

Thump thump thump!

My engine snorts as fumes streak from the mufflers. Engine temperature shoots up into the red. The battle is over.

I reach down to take the picture of my beloved Elise. My hand grasps the black and white image of my angel.

As I reach down for the canopy release, there is a sharp sound, like the shattering of metal. The picture is covered in blood.

I choke on the thick, red liquid in my throat and the world begins to tumble around me. The altimeter clocks downward at an accelerating rate. However, I feel nothing but the rising temperature in this tomb.

I hold the picture tightly as it begins to crinkle from licking flames entering the cockpit. I cannot reach the release…the g forces are too much.

All that remains for me is to look into the eyes of my beloved. Her crystal blue eyes like the Danube in Spring…her hair like the wheat fields of autumn.

My Elise.