Operation: Flame-Out

Captain Patrick "Bird Dog" Roy

Stonehaven, Bear Valley

New York State

1145 Hours local

September, 16, 2006

My training as a werewolf was going fairly well, at least according to Jeremy, the Pack Alpha. I had just finished eating when Elena (the only female werewolf) called me to the phone.

"He says that you know him," she said handing the phone to me. "He calls himself 'Tombstone'? Does that mean anything to you?"

It did, Tombstone was Donald Scully's official Callsign, although, he rarely used when flying. People feared his squadron designation: Mobius 1.

"What's the gouge, Stony?" I asked. Stony was short for 'Tombstone'. Probably because his face was so hard and expressionless that it reminded people of a tombstone. The gouge is military for 'what's up?'

"Oh nothing much," he replied. "Just that we're about to do some test flights on two new aircraft."

"Really? Interesting… what's their designation? Maybe I've heard of them before."

"I doubt it. These are completely new airframes designed by North Osea Grunder Industries."

Grunder Industries, the biggest aircraft manufacturing company in the world. As soon as Grunder became established, it's planes where shipped to all over the world.

"These planes," he continued. "One of these new planes is a variant of a design they already used. It's known as the ADF-02 'Angel'. Tests on the initial prototype say that it can withstand almost anything short of a super weapon strike. It's like the ADFX-02 in a couple of ways, now that I think about it."

"When are the first test flights?" I asked.

"In about two days. Oh, and by the way, are you going to be coming back to the Air Force anytime soon?"

"We'll see, Stony. We'll see." And I hung up.

Of course, I couldn't just disappear for a few days, so I had to tell Jeremy about it.

He considered it, and agreed to let me go see it. Naturally, I wouldn't be going alone, Elena would be coming with me as a temporary vacation away from Clay.

The two of us arrived in Moscow the next day after about five hours of flying, which made me nervous as hell. As a combat pilot, I HATE flying as a passenger. After we got out of customs and out of the airport altogether, I started acting like a tour guide, pointing out famous landmarks such as the Kremlin Walls, the Red Square, Moscow River, and others. When we got to the base, I showed my ID, and was let in.

We got to the hangers when I saw someone in a flight suit walking over towards us. I waved him over to us.

"Well, well, well," he said. "Bird Dog, it's good to see you again!" Tombstone said.

"Likewise, Stony," I said. "So, where are these new toys you told me about over the phone?"

"I'll have you know that these are NOT toys. These are highly advanced prototype combat aircraft."

I chuckled and said: "until they get into the air, Stony, that's all they are."

We went inside the hanger to where the two planes where being kept. The ADF-02 looked very similar to the ADF-01, except it was slightly bigger. Probably, I thought. To accommodate more weapons. It was also a slivery-grey colour, very close to what Solider-style aces use on there FALKEN. Mercenaries use a blue camouflage scheme, while Knight Aces use a light green camouflage scheme.

"The reason why it's so shiny like that," Tombstone explained. "Is because Grunder is using a new technology on it. Ever hear of 'adaptive camouflage?"

"Yeah, but I though that was years away from being operational."

"You'd be surprised. Apparently, the Brotherhood of Nod is loaning Grunder the technology they use in there Stealth tanks. Grunder makes planes with this, and gives a sample of the profits to Kane. While at the same time, Kane makes more money from airplanes, and begins selling this to Navel shipyards to make stealthy ships and subs. pretty cool huh?"

I had to admit, it WAS a neat concept, and I could certainly see an advantage of using this technology on non-stealthy aircraft. As good as the SU-37 'Terminator' was, it could still be improved by some form of stealth function.

Elena was completely bewildered at our conversation. Being a civilian who had never flown in combat before, what Tombstone and I where talking about must have seemed like a completely different language to her.

Supreme Commander Boris Romanov walked in while I was busy doing a hands-on inspection of the X-03 'Dragon' the other experimental plane. This one was all black, and looked like a cross between the F-14 'Tomcat' and the X-02 'Wyvern'. In fact, I was almost positive I had seen this design before.

"We found the blueprints for this aircraft in a warehouse for aircraft that never made it into production." He said. "The original plans called it the XFA-27. For whatever reason, despite outstanding performance characteristics, it was scrapped." He shrugged.

Then, another man walked in. this one, I (like everyone else on the base) knew him only as 'Yuri'. I kicked myself mentally for not remembering him. Yuri was THE most powerful psychic in any universe. He went over to the Commander and started whispering. My enhanced hearing picked up only a few words Yuri's report.

"Commander… problem… Werewolves… continue… my office."

The Commander turned towards me, and I snapped to attention.

"We'll discuss this later, Captain." He said in a low and dangerous voice.

"Yessir," was all I could say to that. The Commander left with Yuri, Elena looked at me, and said: "what was that about?"