[James "Ghost eye" Cullen. Old Gracemeria Apartmants. City of Gracemeria. August 30th, 2015, 7:00AM]
James reached out from under his bed sheets and hit the off button on his alarm. Sitting up, he rubbed his eyes and threw himself out of bed. His bedroom was a mess, like the rest of the apartmant it had papers, clothes, plates and other items spread across the floor. James Cullen was actully quite a tidy person by nature. but he didn't spend alot of time at home and therefore had few chances to tidy it.
James Cullen was a member of the Emmerian Air Force and held two separate positions within his unit, the first (and most importent) being the Battlegroups AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) and the second less importent (but more worked) ground based position of "Pilot Affairs Manager" (PAM) which was basically a fancy way of saying "Babysitter of pilots and ground crew". Taking a quick shower and two slices of bread, he quickly put on his work uniform and headed toward the door.
Unlike the pilots and ground crews of the Air Force, Cullen's role of AWACS meant that he had to wear a dark green Disruptive Pattern (real world: Canadian Disruptive Pattern) work uniform which the Army used instead of a olive jumpsuit that other Air force members wore so he could be immediately recognized by others, plus his aircraft was a Boeing E-767.
He shut his apartmant door and headed toward the elevator. As he did his mobile phone begain to vibrate in his pocket. Taking it out of his pocket he pressed answer.
"Hello? pliot officer James Cullen speaking"
"Drop the soldier boy talk, its your big sister" said a female voice in a warm tone.
"Emma?, hay how are you" he said, his own tone now warming.
He entered the elevator and pressed the button for ground floor.
"I'm fine, same old single football mum, you?"
"As good as I can be, working most days" he replied knowing full well what her response would be.
"You work too much" she scofft, he had been hearing that since his cadet days.
"Anyway" She said, her tone now becoming more focused "Me and the kids were wondering when you could visit us, they miss their Air Force uncle"
James let a smile grow on his lips. His niece (aged 13) and nephew (aged 10) had always been rather fond of him and he had always been fond of them in return. He tried his best to see them as often as he could but it was difficult. His sister and her kids lived in Silvat town which was on the other side of the country, his work didn't help with that and so he could only manage to see them at least three times a year. Luckly he was always able to see them for chrismas.
"I'm not sure, I'll have to see if Im busy in the coming months, but I promise too try" He reassured her.
She sighed heavily over the phone.
"Ok, well you go talk to your masters, but tell them that I'll be coming for their heads if they keep you from us too long"
James let out a laugh and shook his head.
"I'll be sure to mention it, well I need to go, duty calls" he said walking out of the elevater.
"Ok then, be careful little brother, your famliy needs you just as much as king and country you know" she stated firmly.
"I always am, say hi to the kids for me, bye"
She hung up and he put his moblie away. Stepping out of the elevator he made his way out of the lobby and into the carpark. After entering his car he drove out of the carpark and into Gracemerica's morning traffic.
15 minutes later
Cullen flashed his ID card to the Guardsman who waved him on threw. After parking his car he procceded to make his way into the main building and to the recption desk.
"Pilot Officer Cullen reporting in" He said formaly.
The clark at the desk snapped a slaute and stood strighter.
"Yes sir, morning sir" He barked.
Cullen nodded to him and made his way to the airmens mess. There he found most of the pilots under his managmant. With not much to do they were ether playing pool, testing each other on the arcade games or napping on the sofas to the far side of the room. He walked through the mess and ordered a coffee from the vending machins. As he turned he found Fiona Redwood (Callsigh: Lanner) standing in front of him with her arms crossed.
"Good morning mum, can I fly yet?"
Cullen sighed. Due to his dual role as AWACS and Pilot Affiers Manager he was more involved in the pilots work lives then even their engineering crews. In the air he provided them with info, alarts, orders from the bigwigs, tacticel advice and most importently of all, a calm soothing voice of reason. On the ground he was their PAM and therefore their go-to-guy. If a pilot needed to send a request, they went to him, if they needed to settle a dispute with another pilot or unit, they went to him, if they wanted the cleaners to stay away from their lockers, they went to him. It was because of all this and his by-the-book attude toward it all that he had earned the nickname "Mother" or "mum".
"I told you Lanner, its not my call, once Command have sent me your flight papers, you can fly, until then your grounded"
The brunette rolled her eyes.
"But I passed my final flight and combat training with the highest score in the class, I don't see why control is making me wait for the paper work to be done"
"Because the Military say so" he said raising his voice. He had been hearing this all week.
Lanner stared at him with an irritated glare before clasping her hands together and puting on a sarcastic little girls voice.
"Ok Mummy, I'll be a good little girl and shut my mouth, because thats what good girls do right?" A bitter look formed across her face.
Cullen closed his eyes and shook his head.
"Thats not what I mea..."
"No I get it Ghost eye" she interrupted. "Its nothing to do with you right? boys come first and girls come second right?" She turned away from him.
"I'm really sick of waiting twice as long for everything just because I have breasts" she spat.
Dispite his faith in the military, Cullen had to sympathize with her. Sexism was still strong in Air Force, especially when it came to fighter pilot jobs.
"Fiona, wait, I'll drop a few words here and there ok, tell them you've been waiting a week for clearnce and it still hasn't come through, but you have to stop being so pushy when it comes to red tape, its bad for your career, understood?" He barked the last part, it was an order.
She sighed heavily had nodded.
"Ok, ok, thanks"
He nodded to her and took his coffee.
"And don't interrupte me again"
3 hours later
A hard knock at the door forced him to shift his attention away from his paperwork.
"Come in" He called.
The door opened and Marcus Lampert (Callsign: Shamrock) appeared in the door way.
"Sleep well mother?" He asked
Cullen shook his head. that damn nickname was never going to go away.
"Of course I did, I don't have a screaming kid at home" He shot back.
Shamrock laughed and walked up to Cullens desk.
"Hay, I wouldn't trade it for anything" he chuckled and sat down on the chair opposite.
"What can I do for you?" Cullen asked, but he already knew.
"I wanna know who my new wingman is, I can't fly without one and I'm dying to get back up there" Shamrock explained.
Shamrock had only just transfarred to the capital defence force from northen defense about a month ago and hadn't been able to fly since. The reason for this was quite simple, active combat pilots were not allowed to fly their aircraft unless they had a wingman on stand by and/or with them. Shamrock had been waiting for a wingman for three weeks now and was getting restless.
"We haven't find you one yet, but I promise you we are looking"
Shamrock crossed his arms and frowned.
"Thats what you said two weeks ago, they must have known I was coming here right?"
It was true, it had been hard to find Shamrock a wingman as almost all the other pilots already had one and the only other pilot without one oparated a spealist aircraft that command feared a typhoon (Shamrock's aircraft) couldn't keep up with.
"Look, I'll go ask around, see what I can do and get back to you" He reasoned.
Shamrock sighed deeply and nodded.
Shamrock then got up and left.
10 minutes later. lunch break.
The huge hanger was filled with mechanical noise and smells as per usual. Cullen made his way past rows of thunderbolts ll's, Tornados, typhoons and fighting eagles. One aircraft stood out however. The F22 Raptor was a fifth generation aircraft that Emmeria had purchased from the Osean Federation a year ago. Currantly, only one was active in the Emmerican air force. Its pilot stood on its wing writing on a clipboard. Aaron Milton (Callsign: Talisman) was not the kind of person you would expect to be the sole pilot of the most advanced fighter jet in the Emmerican Air Force.
Normally, you would expect the pilot of such a craft to be young, full of life, ruthless and cocky. Aaron Milton was pretty much the exact opposite. He was a 41 year old father of four daughters and grandfather of two. He was in no why ruthless or cocky either, Aaron was known in the Division as an all round good natured man who more often then not was seen as a kind of father figure to the younger pilots.
Aaron's light blue eyes flicked from his papers to his pilot officer and smiled.
"Hay mum, whats for breakfast?" he asked with a grin.
Cullen grinned and shook his head, ignored the joke question.
"Hi Milton, hows the famliy?" Cullen asked.
"Not bad, Jessica's taken them to Canerd in Nordennavic for a few weeks, everyone went exept me"
"How come you didn't file for a holiday?"
"I did, but I couldn't get the time off due to the Raptor trials"
"Sorry to hear that"
"Well I get the house to myself for the first time in 10 years so..."
He shrugged again. Cullen noticed a slight unease in his expression.
"Hows that working for you?" Cullen asked.
"It feels weird" Tailsman replied "Without the girls or my grandkids it feels...really hollow being there"
Cullem laughed and got out his data pad.
"You've been a father too long" He muttered.
Tailsman shrugged a third time and climed down from the Raptor.
"So you need something?"
"Yes I do" Cullen answered "Marcus Lampert, know him?"
Tailsman thought for a moment. In the distance a thunder-like sound could be heard, due to thunder like sounds being common on airbase's, no one paid attantion to it.
"Isn't he the new guy from Northen Defence?"
"Thats him, his Callsigh is Shamrock, he flys a typhoon, he needs a wingman and your the only other pilot without one"
"Would a typoon be able to cover a Raptor?" Talisman asked raising a brow.
That thunder-like sound roared again, this time a few engeeners turned their heads towards the hangers entrance, talisman also turned his head.
"well a typhoon is as advanced as that generation gets so I don't see a problem" Cullen said, now turning his own head towards the thunder.
"Is that thunder?" Talisman asked.
"Shouldn't be, its sunny today" Cullen told him.
The two walked across the hanger (as did many engineers) and towards the large entrance. Before either of them could exite the hanger to check the sky an engineer suddnly ran in and screamed as loud as his lungs could.
A fighting falcon that had been placed near the hangers entrance suddnly and violently exploded, slamming cullen and tailsman to the ground. superheated shards of metal rained down upon them making cuts and burns. Three engineers who had been unlucky enough to have been near the aircraft when it exploded burst into flames and screeched as their flesh burnt. It was over quickly for them.
The base speaker system suddnly came to life and the Airbase commander's voice boomed out of it.
"All pilots! all pilots! get airborn immediately, this is not a drill, I repeat, NOT A DRILL, get airborn and counter enemy air forces, all AWACS are to get airborn and active as soon as possible"
As soon as the Commander was done talking Cullen and Talisman got to their feet and scrabbled to their aircrafts.
"Push her outside!" Cullen heard Talisman shout while pointing to his craft.
Sprinting as fast as he could Cullen ran out of the hanger and toward the pilot reck room. As he ran he looked up to see their attackers. Jets painted black or red roared as they passed, dropping bombs and misslies. Cullen kicked open the reck room door and entered. All of the pilots inside were rushing about, franticly dressing themself's into their flight suits.
"EVERYONE TO THEIR CRAFT, NOW!" He bellowed.
As they all rushed past him he spotted the pilots to his Boeing E-767. Mich and Rail zipped up their flight suits and ran to him.
"OK lets go" Mich yelled.
Cullen nodded and the three of them ran outside.
Next chapter will be up soon :) hope you like.