|Wings of Honor episode|
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|Episode no.||Episode 1|
|Game Master||Carl Cramér|
|Wings of Honor episode list|
Our heroes meet and get a job.
It was a slow night. Not many people at the speakeasy in down town Manhattan. The singer only sang slow love songs. After finishing her second drink the blond woman had had enough of loneliness and looked around. At a table not far away the pair staring into each others eyes finally left. They were replaced by a large handsome man. Diana Dale lit a cigarette, rose and walked over. At the same time, a dark-haired woman walked up from the other direction.
"Is this seat taken?" they said in one mouth. After a short laugh he invited them both to sit down.
"You're a pilot from the west coast, aren't you?" the man said nodding to Dale.
"How can you tell?"
"Easy. You're dressed for warmer weather in west coast fashion... and you have a Hughes Bloodhawk brooch. Probably not the number one choice for a Broadway Bomber fan."
"And your eyes are a little red, probably from high-G maneuvering." the woman added with a slight southern accent. "I'm Madeleine Hazard. Call me 'Rebel'. I fly a Fury."
"Diana Dale. I had a long range escort that left me here. All I got to do now is to get a new mission home or make enough money here to pay for the trip back. What's your story?..."
After an hour of conversation and another drink a man was heard over the crowd.
A man with wild blond hair was standing waving from across the room. He walked up to the trio.
"It's been a long time! What are you doing now days? Still flying for the Jersey Jacks?"
"This is Zach Griffin. He's a pilot too. He flies transports."
"Hey! That's still a decent job!" Zach said sitting down on the last chair.
Rebel muttered "Never ask a pilot what he's flying. If he's a fighter pilot, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?" Everyone but Zach smiled knowingly at the old joke. He changed subject.
"It's a hummer I met you. I have a job but I need fighter escort."
"Good thing these girls are fighter pilots then." Rex shot back.
"You gotta' be kiddin'! These zazzy girls?" Zach said in astonishment. "Well then. Let's dust out."
The taxi stopped outside a restaurant with a big red sign in Chinese blinking in the rain. The four pilots hurried into the house. When inside they all shook the water of and looked around. There were a lot of tables but not many customers. It was a high two story room with a balcony with booths, running along the walls and dimly lit by lots of red Chinese lamps hanging from the ceiling. Zach lit a cigar. A waiter appeared and asked
"Table fol four?"
"We're supposed to meet someone. A lady."
"Aaahh! She is waiting up thele." the waiter said, pointing up at a booth in a corner.
The stairs started next to the exit. The meeting place was very good. To be able to overhear a conversation you would have to stand on the balcony or sit in the next booth. Approaching Zach asked tentatively:
There came a "Yes, in here." from within.
Dale couldn't help laughing.
"Suitable name for a secret employer, meeting in strange restaurants..." she whispered to Rebel.
Sitting down everybody looked at the woman who was their would be employer.
"I am representing an organization called the Insight Foundation. We want you to make a long range pick up."
"How long? We only have a range of 400 miles. Double if we can refuel there." Dale said.
"It's 1125 miles. There are plenty of possibilities to refuel." the lady answered.
"What's the opposition?" Rebel asked.
"We don't expect any at all. All you have to do is fly there and back, but it is very urgent."
"What's the pay? I need at least two C just to cover all expenses." Zach said exaggerating a little.
"You get two thousand, and fuel, ammunition and all reasonable repairs paid for."
The pilots all looked at each other.
"No risk, eh? With that kind of pay there's gotta' be a catch." Rex whispered. "We'll take it!" he added out loud.
"Good. Insight got a message from our research station called Aurora. You are to pick up someone there. I don't know her real name, but she was called madam Exo in the message. She was traveling in an aeroplane when they crashed not far from the research station. They got a distress call and managed to get to the crash site and rescue her. She was the sole survivor. We want her and her cargo back here as soon as possible."
"You said ammunition was a freebie. Does that include rockets?" Rebel asked.
"Yes. All rockets you can carry. All not used will be returned or you may buy them at a reduced price."
"I was thinking a full load of AP... or maybe HE..." Rebel said with a smile.
It was early in the morning. The air was still a little cold from the night.
"It's a lot warmer in L.A. this time of the year." Dale said buttoning her flight helmet.
"So, you're from the west coast, aye?" the mechanic said with a thick Irish accent.
She just smiled and climbed up into the cockpit. He retracted the Bloodhawk's built in ladder.
"Aye, 'tis a fine piece o' machinery, lass." he said.
He backed away and made thumbs up. Dale made the contact sign by circling her index finger and pushed the start button. The engine burst to life in a cloud of blue smoke quickly being dispersed by the propellers. After adjusting the throttle it span like a kitten. Shutting the canopy she checked the instruments. Everything was perfect. Thumbs up to the mechanic who saluted her and headed for the hangar. Checking to her left she saw the others ready for take off. Releasing the brakes the Bloodhawk started rolling toward the runway. She stopped at the end testing the rudders. A quick glance at the wind sock. Not much wind.
Pushing the throttle forward the plane strained against the brakes. She felt the excitement build up in her stomach. Release brakes. The Bloodhawk accelerated fast at full throttle. The nose slowly lifting. Then the moment she lived for. The thing she longed for from the moment she lands. Take off! Flying straight into the sky with a roaring engine. She circled slowly back over the runway in time to see the Mogul start running down the airstrip slowly picking up speed. Although her plane was heavy with rockets and drop tanks it was nothing compared with that flying brick. When all were airborne, they formed the formation they had agreed on. Rebel's Fury in front, Rex's Avenger just in front and to the left of the Mogul and Dale's Bloodhawk high and behind.
Flying out over the ocean they saw the sun glitter in the water. Suddenly the radio came alive.
"Boogies sighted at two o'clock."
It was Dale's voice. The aeroplanes were heading straight for the formation and Rex changed side of the Mogul. As they got closer the blue color of Empire State got visible.
"Hey! You're up looking for pirates?" Rex asked using the radio frequency he knew Broadway Bombers were using "You wouldn't recognize one without a peg leg. Over."
"'King' of the Jersey Jacks! What are you doing flying babysitter? Over"
"A man's gotta' make a living... Over."
With a laugh they wished good luck and pulled away.
The rest of the flight was uneventful. They arrived at Hebron where they were to refuel. After landing they all taxied up to a hangar and cut their engines. After advising the ground crew they gathered around a map. Rex spoke up.
"We're here... and we're going here. It's in the middle of nowhere but it's good within range. There are possibilities of refueling. I think you should leave your drop tanks here. There could be trouble ahead and we don't want to jettison them. That way we know they're here on the way home."
"I think so too. Silver is heavy just with the rockets..." Dale agreed and added "Let's grab something to eat while they're filling up."
"Hey!" Rebel yelled to the ground crew "We're not gonna' need the tanks!"
After lunch they continued their flight north. After a while they crossed the coast and flew out over water again. There were occasionally ice floating in the water. Nearing the location of the base they could see a steep coastline, cliffs raising straight out of the water. They followed the coast and spotted a ledge just above the water. There, crouched near the towering mountains, were research station Aurora.
The main building was circular like a doughnut. In the middle there was some kind of shaft. There was something that looked like a control tower. On both sides there were runways with a hangar each. While approaching Rex announced their approach on the radio. At first there was no reply, but after a few moments there could be heard a weak voice telling them to land on the eastern runway and look for a mechanic meeting them in the main building. They spotted two Avengers parked in front of the hangar on the other runway. While the others landed Dale circled the base and noted that the Avengers were marked as civilian aeroplanes from ISA. When they left their aeroplanes Zach's gunner stayed behind while the others headed for the main building. They met the mechanic who led them through the base. It appeared empty.
"So, where is everybody?" Diana asked casually. She noted that he was very uneasy avoiding to answer. Diana gave Rebel a look. Rebel pushed him against the railing to the pit in the middle
"Don't try too fool me. I know there is something fishy going on here. We can leave you here, or take you with us in the Mogul. You decide."
"I can't tell you. They said that if I told you anything they'd kill everyone."
"Well, now you've already told us that someone has taken you prisoners. Who?"
"Where's the personnel?" Diana asked.
"The scientists and mechanics are held in sick bay in the south part of the building."
"What were you told to do with us?" Rebel asked.
"They told me to lead you to the bio-medicine laboratory in the north end."
"We better get there so they don't get suspicious." Rex said "When we get there the mechanic cuts the cables stopping them from setting off any alarms, and we jump them."
As they reached the bio-medicine lab Rex looked with suspicion at the door. It was a bulky metal door with a turning wheel operating the closing mechanism as used on boats. Before entering the lab he disabled the wheel on the outside. They stepped into what actually was a small chamber.
"Close the door behind you and open the door in front of you." The voice came from a speaker on the wall. They did as instructed and looked into a clean empty laboratory. Then suddenly ports opened in the walls of the lab and cold sea water started pouring in. Dale and the mechanic tried to close the door in front of them but soon found out it had been sabotaged. Rebel tried to open the door to the corridor but someone was holding it shut and trying to lock it with the turning wheel. It didn't work. Rex helped Rebel and gave the door a hard push. The three men trying to hold it shut was thrown aside and Rebel and Rex stepped out into the corridor.
There were five goons dressed like mercenaries, drawing revolvers. Rebel shot at one while Rex charged another. The goon fired at him forcing him to dodge and his hit was a little off balance, not having the desired effect. The goons fired again but was a little hesitant as they might hit their own, mostly firing in the air. Rebel fired back and one of the goons went down. Rex feinted and knocked his goon out cold with an uppercut.
"Nice chin music!" Zach said from the door drawing his gun. Alarmed by the gunfire Dale rushed out into the corridor. She got out her little Beretta and shot one of the goons dead.
"That was a beautiful move by a beautiful chick." Zach said giving Dale a look that made her knees go weak. Rebel and Rex tried to kill the two goons left. Diana could not help but look into Zach's eyes. With effort she managed to look away and caught a glimpse of one of the two remaining goons. She fired a hip shot that dropped him. Surprised by her success she moved up close to Zach and said looking deeply into his eyes again, saying.
"You inspire me..."
"Look! I've found the probl..." the mechanic stopped when Zach and Diana stared angrily at him.
Rex blocked the escape for the last goon so he tried to barricade himself in a room instead. Rex put his shoulder to the door breaking it open and almost shattering it. Rebel walked in, put the point of her saber at the pirate's throat and said
"Yield or die!"
His gun dropped hard against the floor.
Rebel leaned evilly over him with Rex standing menacingly behind her.
"So. You tried to kill us. What can you give us so we won't do the same to you?"
"No! Don't kill me."
"Who are you working for?" Rebel continued.
"I can't tell you. They'd kill me."
"They'd have to get in line..."
"Okay, okay, I'll tell you... Void Corp. They want the woman."
"Woman?" Rebel said, looking puzzled.
"Madam Exo." Rex contributed "They must have intercepted the transmission."
"Where is she?" Rebel asked.
"She escaped in a boat when we arrived. We sent out two plane to search for her. We haven't heard from them yet."
"Where are the other workers?"
"In sick bay." the pirate said looking into the floor.
"We have to find her before they do." Rex said "But first we must rescue the others."
They started running to the other side of the base where the captives were held. Approaching the corridor running past the sick bay they stopped. "We'd better move silently from here on..." Rebel said and opened the door. Stealthily they went on towards the sick bay. As they approached the door Rex saw some marks on the floor. Rex and Rebel went ahead to investigate. It looked like someone or something had been dragged across the corridor and through another door across a parallel corridor. They guessed that the captives had been moved and opened the door. There were guards who fired after them. A fire fight started as more pirates came out of other rooms.
When the first shots where fired Dale ran to the next corridor. She stopped at the corner and peeked down the corridor. There were two pirates firing at Rebel and Rex. Rebel fired back while Rex hit his opponent hard in the stomach. Drawing her gun Dale shot at one but missed. A pirate suddenly opened a door just across from Dale. As he fired she ducked back around the corner. After a short exchange of bullets the pirate went down but were replaced by another. Rex and Rebel managed to defeat several pirates by running up to the doors negating all their cover and firing away or in the case of Rex knocking them out with well placed punches. Soon all but one were brought down. He managed to escape towards the control tower. In the control room they found the personnel tied up. They freed them and gave them revolvers captured from the pirates. Suddenly they were interrupted by a message in loudspeakers echoing all over the base.
"Give up or we will start killing our prisoners. Lay down your weapons and walk towards the control tower grabbing air. You have no other choice!"
Now the pirates knew. Their next move would definitely be to strafe the hero's fighters. To prevent this they decided to get airborne as soon as possible. They ran back to their aircraft. Rex reached his first. They could hear engines starting on the other side of the base, echoing of the cold hard rocks before being lost in the noise of their own engines. Rex was the first to head for the runway with Dale as second and Rebel almost at the same time. Immediately after Rex clearing the runway Rebel ran right by Dale with screaming tires and red lined engine, both taking off at the same time on the very narrow airstrip. The first pirate was right on top of them as they took to the air. Rex and Rebel got a shot at him as he closed in for Dale on her 10. Rex choose to fire all his rockets at a bad angle just to help Dale out. It worked. His AP rockets hit hard, destroying three of the pirates eight guns and sending shrapnel through the canopy showering him in glass before he got to squeeze the trigger. He still fired away with the rest of his Avengers guns at Dale. Stunned and not prepared for the extreme acceleration made by the Bloodhawk he overshot and most bullets missed. A short burst from one 30 caliber gun hit the port wing, dumdum bullets making ugly holes but not damaging any important systems.
Nearing 350 MPH at low level Dale headed for the the other pirates starting.
"I'll go for the ones taking off" Dale said in the radio.
Rebel and Rex stayed with the first trying to finish what they started Rex hammering the tail of the unfortunate pirate with all of his eight guns. Thankful for higher acceleration Dale turned the tables on the pirates. Dale saw one of the starting Avengers just off the ground starting to turn her way in her sights and let her two 50 caliber Sperry-Browning do their work in an extended burst. It hit his port wing but did little damage. Roaring past she braked and pulled hard left coming back on the last two starting pirate Avengers. Rebel had turned her attention to the starting pirates too. She let her HE rockets chew on the last of them. Seeing Rebel's red Fury coming in on their six Dale side-slipped and fired all her four AP rockets. Three of them hitting the first Avenger. It took heavy damage but the pilot tried to push the envelope anyway to get off ground early, clearing the strip for his leader. The rockets probably damaged some critical system because he ran out of runway and plunged into the cold water of the north Atlantic.
The leader, who had opted to start last, payed his price by being swarmed right after take off. Diana Dale turned hard right, tailing him and doubling down with her twin 50:s. Her AP rounds chewed on the pirates starboard wing. Rebel came in on his left firing at longer range with her four 50's hitting his rudder. Closing in on his six Dale continued pouring bullets into his starboard wing. Seeing the glittering small pearls of fuel she knew she had hit the tank. One of her guns jammed. Then suddenly his wing folded and the enemy aeroplane fell from the sky. At the low altitude he never had time to bail out.
"Yiieehaaahh!" Dale yelled triumphantly at her first true kill as she pulled up into a barrel roll to the left over the control tower forgetting to unjam. Two aircraft destroyed, of which one was their leader, and one heavily damaged, the two pirates still flying decided to pull out. Dale side slipped back right. Just barely in range of Dale's 50:s she doubled down with the single operating gun and with a well centered salvo sheared his starboard wing off! A second kill! This was definitely Diana's day!
|Wings of Honor|
|Campaign||Wings of Honor • Episodes • People|
|Heroes||Diana Dale • Madeleine Hazard • Rex Reason|
|Setting||Geography • Squadrons • History|