AN: Welcome to my newest story! This is my tale of how our fave flyboys meet. I also felt that this would be a good time to publish this as this is Memorial Day weekend. To all of you out there that have or currently serving in the Armed Forces, you have my sincere thanks and appreciation! Thanks to Mysra for looking this over and giving great feedback! Now, on to the story, and remember, my plot kitty, Jhon, loves to hear from all of you ;)
Lieutenant Colonel. That sounded so strange, especially with John Sheppard tacked on. Military Commander of Atlantis. Being able to say it without the "acting" stuck in there was even stranger, especially considering that there were a lot of people that thought he'd never make it past Captain.
Lieutenant Adams, the adjutant that the SGC had assigned to him, put down another cup of coffee at his elbow, startling him from his thoughts. "Sir, have you made any headway?"
John looked up. "Some, but there are several things I want and can't find."
Adams sat down. "What's at the top of your list, sir?"
John sighed, leaning back as he reached up to rub his eyes. "Uniforms. The choices on this list are okay for Earth, but the blues and greens aren't going to be appropriate for Atlantis. I need something that makes me instantly recognizable to my men while allowing me to blend in offworld when trying to avoid hostiles."
Adams considered the choices. "Hmmm, well, sir, did you check the secondary list?"
John sat up. "Secondary list?"
Adams nodded. "If I understand the situation in Atlantis correctly, it qualifies as a forward base in a war zone. From what General O'Neill told me when he gave me this assignment, your background alone would qualify you for the secondary list."
John riffled through the papers in front of him until he found the secondary uniform list. Scanning it, he found exactly what he wanted. "Perfect." He grabbed a pen, making several quick notations on the sheet before he set it off to one side with the rest of his requisitions.
Smiling, John looked back at his checklist. "Next, I want some pilots. For the last year, I've been the only trained fighter pilot in the city. I don't care if they're Air Force or Marine, but they have to have the gene and have prior experience flying attack crafts."
Adams frowned. "But the Jumpers aren't fighters."
John shook his head. "No, but they are very maneuverable and do end up fighting Wraith Darts frequently. We lost a jumper a few months ago because the pilot didn't have experience with piloting a fighter. All pilots also need ground experience as well."
Adams scanned John's laundry list. "You also still need an Executive Officer."
John rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah, that too."
Standing on the flight line at Nellis, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard was watching prospective pilots. So far he only had six that met his criteria. That wasn't nearly enough. He settled in to watch as a new group of pilots entered the airspace. Major Randall, head of SG-6, was standing at his shoulder. He knew all of the pilots in the Stargate Program and was assisting John with his selections. Randall had quickly realized that John had more flight time, most of it in combat zones, than he did so he left off trying to pick pilots for the young colonel and instead concentrated on giving him background information on the prospects.
Scoping out the unit logo on the planes in front of them, Randall identified the newcomers. "This is the Silver Spur group. They all serve on different SG teams, but we have them fly together because of their status. The flight consists of Major Evan Lorne, Lt. Charles Cooper, Lt. Joe Walker and Capt. Rudy Jones. Lorne and Walker are Air Force, Cooper and Jones are Marines and all are adept at ground combat."
Watching the team, John smiled. The lead pilot, Lorne, had just pulled off an excellent evasion maneuver. "I wouldn't care if they were purple or even Army. I'll take them." He looked over his shoulder at Randall. "Any more like these?"
Randall nodded, smiling. "One more, plus a few stray Marines with experience flying stolen Goa'uld shuttles and Death Gliders."
John's grin grew a bit crooked. "Excellent. I'll take them too." He watched the Silver Spurs for a bit before turning to Randall. "Get me a Falcon and refuel them."
Randall frowned. "A Falcon, sir?"
John nodded, already heading for the pilot's locker room to change. "You heard me. I want to put this group through their paces."
Randall frowned. "I understand that, but why a Falcon?"
John paused, turning slightly. "Because if I'm flying an F-16, it will give them an advantage. If I go up there in an F-22, it'll be too easy." He resumed his march to the locker room. "Now get me a plane, please."
Lorne was amazed at the order to land and top off his tanks. Seemed some hotshot visitor wanted to dogfight. Well, if that's what he wanted, Silver Spur would be glad to oblige. The rest of the group felt the same. Refuel done, they headed back up to wait on their victim.
As John did his preflight checks, Randall stood off to one side, a displeased look on his face. "Colonel, this is unnecessary. All SGC personnel are highly trained."
John straightened from inspecting the landing gear. "I know that. Consider this a job interview. This group interests me and I want to see what they're made of before their orders are cut."
Climbing into the cockpit, John verified that everything was correct. He flipped the onboard computer over to wargames, taking the live ordinance offline. He started the Falcon, letting the engines warm up, already plotting what he wanted to do.
Lorne and his squadron circled as they waited for the VIP to join them. As he watched, the Falcon neared the end of the runway then suddenly shot up into a steep, twisting climb. Lorne cocked an eyebrow as that climb was a combat maneuver. Lorne quickly sent his squad after the rapidly ascending Falcon.
Looping and turning through the sky, Lorne was impressed. Whoever the pilot was, he was doing a damn good job of avoiding the F22's that he and the rest of Silver Spur were flying. The Falcon suddenly pulled a series of high G turns, coming up below Cooper to take him out as he slipped by. Following the rules of engagement, Cooper headed back to the tarmac. Walker and Jones tried to catch the Falcon in crossfire but the pilot opened his flaps, the drag causing the two F22's to shoot past. Walker and Jones looped down to circle back, but their target was no longer there. He had put the plane into a steep dive then pulled a barrel roll and took out both men.
"Damn, this guy's good!" Walker yelled as he headed for ground.
"Yeah, where was he when Anubis attacked a few years ago?" That was Jones. He was a veteran of the battle over Antarctica.
Walker and Jones were just touching down when Lorne's radio squawked. "Major, catch me if you can." The easy, unhurried tone stung. It sounded as though the other pilot was bored.
While dodging the other fighters, John had scanned the base below. Toggling his radio, he called the tower. "Control, this is Falcon One. Permission to use section C for low maneuvers."
"Falcon One, this is Control. Permission granted." A chuckle sounded in his ear. "We were warned that you might want to do that. You are clear to proceed."
John grinned into his mask. "Roger, Control ." With the area clear, John headed into the artificial canyons of the hangars and other facilities.
Lorne ground his teeth when the taunt was delivered as the Falcon descended towards ground level. After the tower relayed the other pilot's intentions, Lorne wondered if the guy was suicidal. The F-22 had a much tighter turn radius than the older Falcon, almost as good as an F-302.
After about ten minutes of chasing the Falcon along streets and over, around and even through open hangars, Lorne had to admit that this guy was definitely good; certifiably insane, but good.
Having observed Lorne during the dogfighting and ground maneuvers, John definitely liked what he had seen. With their flight abilities confirmed, it only remained to see what kind of men they were. With that thought firmly in mind, he pulled off a complex set of twists and rolls, managing to take Lorne out. To the Major's credit, he got off a burst of return fire that almost got John.