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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:30 pm 
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They wouldn't, as they'd be handed over to the military.

Daria and Jane have one chance to land that sick bird. Or they get to see how good the F-111's escape capsule works.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:23 pm 
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I've never understood the concept that wearing army-issue skivvies is adequate to keep you from being shot as a spy. If you are not in uniform you're a terrorist/saboteur/generally undesirable guy, and you should be treated as such. At best attacking a shopping mall is a war crime as soon as you kill the first civilian.


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:08 pm 
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Great!


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:31 am 
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Location: UK
Bernard Woolley wrote:
Cihatari wrote:
From the dates, I guess this one is referencing the Gen Sir John Hackett timeline for WW3?

Edit - The Yugoslavia confrontation is in there, so it is :)


It was what I thought as soon as I read the bit about Yugoslavia. In The Untold Story he also has female combat aircrew (a B-52 mission to bomb a Soviet base in Conakry is lead by a female Major). I wonder if the US putting women into combat 'planes would have an influence on the rest of NATO to do the same thing earlier than in @?

Excellent writing, well done.

EDIT: I know that the New York Army National Guard may be unavailable, but what about the New York Guard? I'm also going to make sure I avoid Birmingham and Minsk. ;)


Major Ed Lodge (Edwina Tinkle Lodge). You can't ever really forget that name!!

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:34 pm 
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More of a lurker - but wanted to say really enjoying this! Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:06 pm 
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After the attack on the mall I suspect the regulation on ammunition will change. As will the issue of posting sentries.

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Frankly I had enjoyed the war...and why do people want peace if the war is so much fun?


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:54 pm 
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Jackhammer 11
Over Central Germany
2150 Local/1950 GMT
8 August, 1985

I would like to take the time to give a mention to my writing partner, Matt Wiser. Matt lost his stepfather on October 24th, and I know it has been tough for him. Thank you Matt, for all you have done, and will do for Night Witches and may your stepfather rest in peace

I would also like to dedicate this chapter to the 129 lost in Paris last week. Je Suis Paris..

The German countryside looked forlorn and barren in the cold dark night, punctuated by flashes of explosions and artillery fire and fast moving shooting stars that punctuated the passing of a missile, or a jet fighter.

It was all Jane could do to remind herself that they had slowly climbed their F-111 up to 5,000 feet and were awaiting the fighter escort west. It wasn’t as if they were at risk of outrunning it potentially, as they had slowed the F-111 to just above stall speed so as to stretch the remaining fuel out. Daria had already told Jane that if they saw any kind of threat, they were going to eject, no questions asked.

Both were hoping, in their own private way, that they could simply brazen it out and that nobody would pay attention to a slow moving object on the radar…or would just assume it was friendly.

God, it would suck to die just short of home due to our own side..Daria’s mind raged. She had her hands full keeping the airplane in the air, as it wallowed like a drunk around the sky. She had achieved a delicate balance to keep the airplane in the air, but she had to make gradual control movements, otherwise, she might send the F-111 into an unrecoverable spin. She wasn’t even sure they could make the decent safely, and worse, she had no idea as to the approach plate for this French airfield. Wasn’t like we were planning on paying a visit?

“Butch, I got three sets of running lights,, 3 o’ clock low, looks like our escort finally got here.”

Daria merely grunted in acknowledgement. She was simply too busy flying the airplane.

The dark shapes soon resolved themselves out of the murk of the early evening, and became the sleek, angular shape of a trio of F-15 Eagles. Their ghost-grey paint scheme made them almost slide into the night, if it were not for the faint glow of their formation-keeping strips on the side of the aircraft.

The radio crackled to life in the headsets of both Daria and Jane, the message came through a bit mushy, even though the F-15s were but yards away, it was a testament to the intensity of the electronic battle going on in and around Germany.

JACKHAMMER 11, TOYOTA 22 HERE WITH A FLIGHT OF THREE EAGLES. RINGMASTER SAYS YOU HAVE A WOUNDED BIRD YOU ARE TRYING TO GET BACK TO THE BARN? JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, WE DON’T HAVE A LOT OF WEAPONS LEFT, ALL OF US ARE PRETTY CLOSE TO WINCHESTER AND BINGO,. WE HAD QUITE THE FIGHT OVER POTSDAM, LOST ONE OF US TO A MIG TWO-ONE THAT GOT LUCKY, WE CAN SEE YOU TO THE FRENCH BORDER. BUT THAT OUGHT TO GET YOU OUT OF TROUBLE? OVER?

TOYOTA 22, JACKHAMMER 11, ROGER WE WILL TAKE WHAT WE CAN GET, IF THERE IS A FIGHT, WE ARE GOING TO EJECT AND HOPE FOR THE BEST. VARKS ARE ONLY RATED FOR 5Gs AND THIS HURT BIRD, WE DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE MIGHT DO, OVER.

JACKHAMMER 11, TOYOTA 22, WE WILL HOLD YOU TO THAT, I WILL HAVE TOYOTA 24 RIDE SHOTGUN ON YOU WHILE WE RANGE FURTHER OUT. HE LOST HIS WINGIE SO I’D RATHER KEEP HIM CLOSE IN. TOYOTA 22 OUT.

With that, the trio of F-15s separated, two lit their afterburners, and arced into a slow climbing turn to the north, the remainder, slid in close on the F-111’s right wing. The F-15 pilot was smart, and he kept some distance to give Daria some maneuvering room if she needed it.

JACKHAMMER 11, TOYOTA 24, CAN YOU SWITCH TO CHANNEL 106.63? OVER?

A look of bafflement crossed Daria’s face that was evident even with most of it covered by both a flight helmet and an oxygen mask.

“What the hell, boss, I can watch the aux receiver, just in case anything happens.” Jane quipped.

Daria shook her head in mock frustration: Really, we’re miles from freindlies and some fighter jock thinks “Gee, what a great time to chat a girl up?”

“Butch, it’s just conversation, not a dinner date, and the airplane is stable for now…we are at least half an hour from landing anywhere friendly.”

Daria shrugged, and set the transmitter to the requested frequency.

TOYOTA 24, JACKHAMMER 11, SO, WHATs THE BIG SECRET?

JACKHAMMER 11, WOULD YOU HAPPEN TO BE 1ST LIEUTENANT DARIA MORGENDORFER, OR KNOW HER? I MET HER IN THE LAKENHEATH PX 10 DAYS BEFORE THE WAR STARTED AND WELL, I THOUGHT SHE WAS KINDA CUTE, IN BETWEEN ME BEING TOLD OFF. HELL, SHE WAS CUTE WHEN SHE WAS ANGRY! OVER?

The transmission ended with some muffled and distorted laughter that was unique to being constricted through an oxygen mask.

Daria could only turn beet red, and bristle. Oh dear god, we are getting escorted home by Mr. Soesterberg himself!

Jane smiled and leaned over as far as the restraints would let her. “Hey, Daria. What is the big deal? You’re on a private frequency? He didn’t immediately try to get into your pants, and let’s be honest, he was kinda cute. A little harmless flirting that goes nowhere might be what the doctor ordered for our mental health.”

“Stuff it Sundance!” Daria growled. “It’s not playtime anymore.”

“No, Butch, it’s not, it’s real bombs, real bullets, and real SAMs and real dying. So, I say, have what fun you can, when you can. If you’re not going to answer him…”

TOYOTA 24, THIS IS JACKHAMMER 11 BRAVO, MY PILOT IS A BIT SHY, BUT SHE IS THE LADY YOU SEEK. BAD EXPERIENCES. BUT YOU SEEM NICE ENOUGH. GOT A NAME TOYOTA 24? OH, BY THE WAY, WE’RE CAPTAINS NOW. OVER?

There was a chuckle over the mic, then a crackle as the F-15 driver formulated a response. TOYOTA 24s NAME IS 1st LIEUTENANT ALEX ROTH, AND YEAH, BEEN A LOT OF THOSE PROMOTIONS GOING AROUND, MA’AM. ELEVEN BRAVO, COULD YOU TELL YOUR LEFT SEATER I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM HER THOUGH? OVER.

TOYOTA 24, 11 BRAVO HERE, SHE IS THE COLOR OF A SOVIET FLAG RIGHT NOW. BUT YOU SEEM NICE. THOUGH, I WILL ADMIT, YOU SHOWING INTEREST DID IRK HER. SO, I GUESS WHY BE INTERESTED IN A GIRL WHO WON’T GIVE YOU THE TIME OF DAY? OVER?

11 BRAVO, 24, PLEASE TELL YOUR RIGHT SEATER THAT IT’S SIMPLE. I AM A GOOD JEWISH BOY LOOKING FOR A NICE JEWISH GIRL. WITH A NAME LIKE MORGENDORFFER? SHE’S GOT TO BE THE GENUINE ARTICLE. PLUS, ONE THAT SHARES MY PROFESSION? KISMIT I SAY. OVER.

At this point, all kinds of emotions were warring in Daria’s head. Frustration, embarrassment, and not a little bit of surprise. He is looking for a nice Jewish girl in the Air Force? In the middle of a war? Really? God, he is as stupid as he looks. Oh well, Guess I shoot him down again.

24, 11 ACTUAL HERE, YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A NICE JEWISH GIRL IN THE AIR FORCE? YEAH, RIGHT. LOOK, I HAVE A DAMAGED AIRPLANE, AND I AM LOSING FUEL BY THE MINUTE, AND YOU’RE HITTING ON ME? WHAT KIND OF IDIOT ARE YOU? TWO-FOUR, I REALLY AM QUESTIONING YOUR JUDGEMENT HERE, OVER,

11, 24,. SORRY, I WILL SWITCH BACK TO THE MAIN FREQ, BUT BEFORE I DO THAT, I HEAR OUR SQUADRON IS BEING MOVED TO ENGLAND SOON. IF WE ARE, I WOULD LIKE PERMISSION TO LOOK YOU UP? STRICTLY COFFEE AND CHAT. HEY, I HAD TO GET YOUR NAME FROM YOUR WSO THAT DAY. I REALLY AM INTERESTED AND IN A NICE GUY WAY, ELEVEN.

Jane looked over at Daria “Butch, say yes. I am going to ask him out right now if you don’t.”

Dammit…I am a professional Air Force officer, not some fawning girl in high school with the brains of a manatee…but what did ‘Bama say? “Love, or at least a good time, is where you find it in the Air Force.”
I guess that’s doubly true in case of war.
Daria mused.

24, 11, IN THE INTERESTS OF ENDING THIS CONVERSATION, NOT TO MENTION OUR CURRENT SITUATION DEMANDS MY FULL ATTENTION, I SAY YES. PROVIDED YOU END THIS CONVERSATION RIGHT NOW, AND SWITCH BACK TO THE ASSIGNED FREQ, OUT.

“Lord, what an idiot.” Daria exhaled.

“Hey, Butch, it is nice to know somebody cares right now. I ain’t got anyone at home. My parents disappeared when I left for school, and nooone knows where the hell Trent is.” Jane spoke, a tone of sorrow in her voice.

Daria nodded imperceptivity, Trent’s disappearance four years before was a sore point for both women. While Trent had been known to vanish from time to time, the manner in which he had vanished, with Mystik Spiral on the verge of a big break with a 2nd tier record label. It wasn’t the big time, but it was a lot closer to it than any of the band had been. Trent would not have bailed on that. The police had come, investigated, and found nothing, PIs had been hired, and had come up empty.

And we blamed each other for his going missing..God that was stupid. Daria’s mind mused. Enough wool-gathering, time to concentrate on flying the airplane…

45 Minutes Later

The French airfield of Contrexville loomed large in the windscreen as the ribbons of lights denoting the runways winked in the darkness, having been turned on to provide a reference point for the damaged F-111 now landing on their main runway..but it was risky, the lights told everyone around; We are open for business, come bomb us. Roth had broken for home some 15 minutes before. There was no one but Daria, Jane and those on the runway left to witness whether Daria succeeded or failed to bring the F-111 in.

Daria looked on with sweat slicking the palms of her hands beneath her flight gloves, and pouring down her forehead in rivulets. The red light of the cockpit night instrumentation bathed both Daria and Jane in an otherworldly glow.

And it is making me wonder if ‘past is prologue’ here? Daria mused.

The fact remained that even if this was landing an undamaged aircraft, Daria was landing near blind. She had instrumentation, but the aircraft itself was not answering well to climbs or right turns. She had absolutely no documentation on the airfield, especially no approach plates.. Daria thought she could use rudder and engine controls to being the airplane in, but she wasn’t going to bet her lives on it. If the aircraft departed controlled flight in any way, she was going to eject her and Jane, and damn the consequences.

Daria looked at Jane, “Ok, Sundance, let’s do this. Landing checklist.”

The pair went through the landing checklist with ease, having done it so often flying together. The aircraft, for all of her battle damage, was flying somewhat sedately, when Daria brought down the landing gear and the flaps, they came down with no trouble, but there was two small issues, namely, what was the altimeter setting…and the recommended landing speed?

The tower didn’t know, as the French didn’t fly F-111s and had no real experience with them. They had sent the numbers the Mirage IV used for their approaches, which should be similar, but as with many things, the devil was in the details, wasn’t it?

CONTREXVILLE TOWER, THIS IS JACKHAMMER 11, I AM A DAMAGED F-111 WITH TWO SOULS ABOARD. AM WINCHESTER AND BINGO. ENOUGH FUEL FOR SINGLE STRAIGHT IN PASS ONLY. I NEED CLEARANCE FOR A STRAIGHT IN PASS FOR RUNWAY 26 LEFT, OVER?

The mic clicked once then a response came over the receiver, strong, with a high pitched nasal accent that was accented, but otherwise perfect English.

CONTREXVILLE TOWER TO JACKHAMMER 11, YOU ARE CAVU AND WIND IS FROM THE SOUTHEAST AT 5 KNOTS., YOU HAVE PERMISSION FOR A STRAIGHT IN APPROACH TO RUNWAY 26 LEFT, ARE YOU DECLARING AN EMERGENCY? OVER?

TOWER, THIS IS 11, ROGER THAT, WE ARE DECLARING AN EMERGENCY, OVER.

TOWER UNDERSTANDS 11, COME STRAIGHT IN, WE HAVE EMERGENCY VEHICLES ON STANDY, AND ARE CLEARING YOUR CHOSEN RUNWAY. IF YOU HAVE TO EJECT, TRY TO MAKE FOR the SOUTH EDGE OF THE FIELD, THERE IS NOTHING BUT EMPTY FARMLAND THERE. BONNE CHANCE, JACKHAMMER 11. OVER?

JACKHAMMER 11 TO CONTREXVILLE TOWER, THANK YOU TOWER, WE APPRECIATE IT. SEE YOU ON THE GROUND, OUT.

Daria and Jane exchanged glances, they knew this could end badly, no matter what the stakes. Nothing more really needed to be said. A glance, a momentary clasped hand, theirs had been a friendship that had lasted longer than their time in the Air Force, and if this is how it ended for the both of them, then where else, but to die in each other’s company?

“Ok, according to the information we got from the tower, ground speed is good, altimeter is set, gear is down and locked, and so are the flaps. We got radar or backup altimeter?” Daria queried.

“Backup, the radar altimeter gave out when the TFR went, hope this isn’t a muggy night down there.”

“Sundance, they say it’s a 5000 foot runway down there, but I am going to dump the nose and hit the brakes as soon as I get her on the ground. I don’t know the condition of the gear tires, and I really don’t want to chance it. Listen, when the aircraft stops moving, do not wait for me, get out and run, do not look back, OK?”

Jane nodded, “I hear you, Butch..but I don’t like it.”

Daria muttered “You don’t have to Sundance, just do it.”

The aircraft slotted into the glide path with little trouble, with Daria gingerly manipulating the throttles and rudder to keep the aircraft on path for the runway. Good, good, ok, drifting a little left, power, ok, we’re back..right rudder, ok..all good…

The F-111 slowly lowered itself onto the runway, and with a low whine from her engines, and a squeal from her tires, the rear landing gear touched the runway…and then disaster struck.

It began with a report like a rifle as the left rear gear tire blew, neither Daria nor Jane knew that some shrapnel from the SAM that had damaged the aircraft had damaged the tire, and with the abuse of landing, the tire gave out explosively, at 100 miles per hour.

The aircraft pulled into a left handed spin, pirouetting off the runway into a dirt strip between it and the nearest taxiway, as the wings crumpled like beer cans with the shriek of tortured metal. In the cockpit bot pilot and WSO were batted around like a cat’s toy, first one way, then the other, as the scenery spun around at a dizzying speed. Then, with a loud snap, Daria’s restraints failed, and she was flung, head first, into the instrument panel.

Jane looked on with horror, the G-forces and the restraints preventing her from doing little more than shrieking “Daria!” as her best friend slammed into the control panel head first, then bobbed back violently into her seat with a loud bang. She was mercifully unconscious after her impact with the control panel.

The aircraft began to slow it’s rate of spin, first a little, than more gradually as it slid across a taxiway, and then onto the main apron, a shower of sparks stretching behind it where the wreckage met concrete. As the aircraft slowed to a stop, Jane’s frantic gasps for air slowed. She was sure she might have joined Daria, except her restraints had held. Once the aircraft stopped entirely, she unbuckled herself quickly from her seat, and clambered over to Daria, her head lolling at an angle, but her chest was rising and falling. She took Daria’s pulse at her neck, brushing aside her flight suit and G-collar. There was a pulse, it was a bit slow, and thread, but it was there.

Jane collapsed with exhaustion, taking in the sights of an airbase at war, and the cacophony of sirens as the French emergency vehicles made their way towards them. They say any landing you can walk away from. Please god. Let Daria walk away from this.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:18 pm 
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There's nothing like danger to stimulate the libido.

Excellent chapter

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:30 pm 
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Nice chapter, and Thanks, Jason. Nothing like a very high pucker factor and the Oscar Sierra warning light to perk things up.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:18 pm 
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Ouch. That's going to hurt.

Great chapter!

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:21 pm 
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Excellent!


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:54 pm 
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Nice work, well done.

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Adrian Carton de Wiart, VC wrote:
Frankly I had enjoyed the war...and why do people want peace if the war is so much fun?


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:07 pm 
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Oscar Sierra.

Looks like Daria's headed for the hospital.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:55 pm 
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clancyphile wrote:
Oscar Sierra.

Looks like Daria's headed for the hospital.


Convenient for the designated hitter in the F-15.

Here's a question... It seems... odd... to me that a pilot's seat restraints would break during a crash landing. Is that something that happened frequently, or is it author's fiat? I'm ok with it either way, it just seems a bit arbitrary as a means to get her into the hospital long enough for the prospective love interest to get transferred back to England.

Either way, glad to see this back. Wish the update frequency was higher, but I'll take what I can get.

Belushi TD

P.S. One other question... A MIG 21 got lucky against an F-15? That seems a bit outlandish as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Belushi TD..

1. Bit of both...the aircraft was basically coming apart when she began to spin, and yeah, there was some fiat.

2. No a/c is invincible. Not even an F-15, a MiG-21 can be dangerous under the right circumstances, as I wrote, he got lucky..maybe he sucked the F-15 into a low-level turning fight, maybe a pair of AA-8 got lucky...maybe the pilots are wrong on who got the F-15...air battles, especially something this big can be confusing...

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:58 am 
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Jason wrote:
2. No a/c is invincible. Not even an F-15, a MiG-21 can be dangerous under the right circumstances, as I wrote, he got lucky..maybe he sucked the F-15 into a low-level turning fight, maybe a pair of AA-8 got lucky...maybe the pilots are wrong on who got the F-15...air battles, especially something this big can be confusing...

Enough aircraft throwing enough stuff about, eventually someone's going to turn up all the high cards. And if it's WW3, there's a lot of somebodies out there waiting for a chance to get lucky.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:02 am 
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RLBH wrote:
Jason wrote:
2. No a/c is invincible. Not even an F-15, a MiG-21 can be dangerous under the right circumstances, as I wrote, he got lucky..maybe he sucked the F-15 into a low-level turning fight, maybe a pair of AA-8 got lucky...maybe the pilots are wrong on who got the F-15...air battles, especially something this big can be confusing...

Enough aircraft throwing enough stuff about, eventually someone's going to turn up all the high cards. And if it's WW3, there's a lot of somebodies out there waiting for a chance to get lucky.



I take your points, both of you.

Thanks!

Now make with the next update!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:06 pm 
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August 9th, 1985
0240 Local/1240 GMT
18,000 feet over the English Channel
USAF C-130 85-0042 Callsign LIBERTY 22

Daria awoke to an incessant droning that just would not go away, Jeez, what power tool is dad playing with now? She had a horrible dream she had been flying combat against the Russians, not home studying for 10th grade finals. But everything was murky, unclear, and her surroundings had a slight echo to them, like she was in a metallic cavern. Crap, what happened, where am I?

Awareness came swiftly at that point..Ok, it’s coming back..I am Captain Daria Renee Morgendorffer, United States Air Force, and I fly F-111s out of Lakenheath with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing. We are at war with the Warsaw Pact, and I was injured..a head injury to be exact, probably a concussion. At that moment, she felt a flash of fear, she realized she could not move her head, and that there was a wooden board directly below her. Oh crap, how badly was I hurt?

Daria began to do the only thing she could think of. She screamed. She screamed of fear, and pain and all the bottled up emotion that she had wrestled with in the late dark of night when she could not sleep, or when she dreamed about the demons that were sometimes given form over the skies of East Germany.

She heard the clatter of feet over the metaled deck, and muffled voices, as the drone of the engines of the C-130 and the gauze of the cervical collar interfered with her hearing. Her eyes were blurry with tears as a familiar shape resolved itself. Jane, oh thank god, it’s you. Please, tell me straight, I’m paralyzed, aren’t I?

“Hey Daria,-“ Jane said with a cockeyed smile, the exhaustion plain on her face, her hair unkempt from many hours in a flight helmet, and her flightsuit stank of sweat, fear, and not a little bit of unburned jet fuel. “-had us all scared there! Listen, you got lucky, amiga. Could have been a lot worse. No spinal injury, just a good shot to the head. Maybe a moderate concussion, whatever the hell that means. You ought to see your flight helmet, though…damn thing looks like a pile driver hit it.” Jane put her hand in Daria’s. “I am not going anywhere, amiga. OK? We got lucky, we got real lucky.”

Daria whispered “Yes, we did.”

Jane smiled “Hey, we’re going straight to Middenhall, then ambulance to Lakenheath. Doc at Contrexville said you should be OK with a day’s rest once you came around. Hope he is right, but I am guessing Doc Cantrell will want a look at you.”

“Jane, I gotta know, you sure about the paralysis, I am gonna be ok?” Daria croaked.

“I am sure Daria, was right there when the doctor checked your x-rays. You’ll walk before you know it. Collar is just a precaution in case the spinal cord got bruised, now, is there anything I can get you?” Jane stated.

“Water?” Daria croaked again, this time, more plaintively.

Jane smiled and handed Daria a paper cup with a straw “Ok, short sips, don’t take too much or you will choke and we cannot have that Daria. I don’t know what I will tell your parents if that happened? M’kay?”

Daria nodded. “So, what’s happened since I was out?”

Jane shrugged “Not too much, the C-130 came and got us before dawn. We are getting a flight back with a maintenance crew that got sent out to strip our bird of anything sensitive. Not much left of her by the way. French are going to scrap her, they said. Then, they bundled us aboard and off we went. Last I heard about the war? Russians still pushing forward against heavy resistance. All the newspapers they had were at best, three days old. Le Monde had a good article on an up and coming artist in Paris.” Jane smiled.

Daria giggled, then it became a chorus of cries of pain as the laughter caused a headache. Her grimace told Jane all she needed to know.

“Hey, Senior Airman, I need you over here, you told me to let you know when she is in pain?”

Another clatter of feet came over that resolved itself as a painfully young black man in his twenties. His eyes were bigger than the rest of his face, but he had a caring visage, and his touch was strong, but gentle.

The flight medic surveyed his patient with a glance and reached into his medical kit “Hi mam, good to see you awake. That really is a good sign, but I don’t think it is a good idea to push this. Um, I can’t let you take any oral meds with the C-Spine on. But I am going to inject you with a low dose of Demerol. It should kill the pain, and will let you sleep. You need it, mam. Doc already x-rayed your head and said it was good to go, with the exception of a moderate concussion. We don’t wanna push that too much, OK?”

Daria rasped “No swelling?”

The medic shook his head, a trace of Chicago in his voice. “No mam, that French doc was damn good, seems in civilian life, he was a neurosurgeon. You picked the right place to have your head meet the instrument panel, mam. Ok, mam, you are gonna feel a little pinch and you are going to be very drowsy in a minute or two. This stuff works fast.”

Daria felt the pinch, and smiled a soporific smile “Amiga?”

“Be there when you wake up, Daria, I promise.” Jane nodded.

A warm darkness soon claimed Daria.

August 9th, 1985
0530 Local/0930 GMT
Dover AFB, Delaware
USAF C-141B S/N 65-2281

We aren’t even off the damn ground yet and already I am nauseous. Nobody had mentioned to her that since the aircraft was going to be packed to the gills with cargo, that the few passenger seats (mostly very tight lipped folks who looked like they could bench press Quinn with their pinky) were going to be facing backwards.

Who in the hell flies transatlantic backwards? Apparently, the Air Force does. Ok, look at the ceiling, no, wait, bay is spinning, and I am trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey. God, I really do hope we don’t crash.

Quinn decided it might then be best to break out her briefing book that the DoD had thoughtfully provided her on England in general, and Lakenheath in particular. The “Media Combat Survival Course” had been useful, especially the NBC part..Quinn shuddered at the idea of being exposed to nerve gas, the footage from Germany had been horrific. But it had been shown to make a point: Don’t forget your mask.

Most of her classmates in the course were going straight to Germany, and more than a few had been in places like Lebanon, Cyprus, and the Falklands. Quinn was worried she might just freeze when the shooting started. Some new Quinn I would be then, huh? Worse yet, Daria would see it, and still think of me as the bimbo who never grew up.

So far, Quinn’s trip had been a lot of “hurry up and wait”. She had gotten to the base to travel what they called “space available”. That had been five hours ago, and she had been bumped from two previous flights. I am beginning to miss the bench in the waiting area, however. This backwards crap is for the birds.

It was then that Quinn felt the aircraft begin to move, as it slowly began to taxi, with the aircraft making a series of turns. Suddenly, the whine of the engines increased in pitch, and the aircraft began to hurtle down the runway. Before too long, the C-141 struggled into the air, and the pitch continued to remain the same, loud and annoying. Now I understand why they handed us the earplugs. Quinn quickly got the earplugs out of their paper case, and popped them into her ears, firmly seating them as she had been instructed by the loadmaster before the flight. His pre-flight safety brief filled me with confidence…oh yeah, as it had been conducted with the usual gallows humor one finds in the military. Most of it basically stated the obvious: If the plane had to put down over water, they were more than likely dead.

Quinn decided to take in the atmosphere of the rapidly climbing aircraft, the smell was something between metallic, and an old sweat sock, and every metal surface was worn and scuffed, but clean. There were no windows, except for two small ones that were part of the emergency doors. The loadmaster had come by earlier, to let them know the flight would be six hours, with a layover in Iceland for refuel, crew rest and a box lunch consisting of an AAFES hot dog, a bag of potato chips, and a can of Coke. They had been most pointedly told NOT to wander around the cabin, as the aircraft might have to make “sudden control movements”. Quinn shook her head. Well, it’s getting me to the war zone, isn’t it?

Well, maybe the loadmaster might doze off, if he does, and eventually, we are going to stop climbing. I can get some pictures and get enough to file a story out of this? Six hours? Ugh.

2 hours later

Sure enough, the C-141 had stopped climbing and the loadmaster had dozed off after checking the cargo a few times. Quinn looked over her restraint system, and it all seemed to link into a metal plate just above her chest, a good sharp press of the button here…and..voila! The button in question released the four belts that fed into the central metal piece and fell away like puppets with no strings.

Quinn gingerly made her way out of her seat. First thing is first, nausea bag. Then, a bathroom, I have been needing to pee for the last two hours. Then I want to take a look out that window.

She gingerly made her way around the aircraft, trying not to wake the now-snoring loadmaster. He’ll be out for hours. She spied the sign that said “Lavatory” across the crowded cargo bay, but noticed a path had been left down the middle of the bay to allow people to get to either end of the filled aircraft. Pretty smart of the guys who loaded this thing. Or was that for our benefit?

Quinn quickly entered the lavatory and shut the door behind her, it was Spartan, with a metal sink barely 2 feet square and a chemical toilet that did little to mask the smell of urea. I gotta go so damn bad, does it really matter how nasty this bathroom is, Look at it this way, CBGB on a Friday night was worse, by far.

After Quinn had done her business (and had used an epic amount of toilet paper to cover the seat), she made her way towards the window on the left hand side of the aircraft. The view was spectacular, and also a bit ominous. There were transport aircraft as far as she could see. And they were flying really, really close together. Her own aircraft had a wingtip within 500 feet of a 747 painted in Pan Am colors.

Why the hell is everyone flying so damn close together?

It was then that Quinn felt the thump of a hand on her shoulder. ****.

She was turned around and grabbed by the shoulders. Sure enough, it was one of her fellow passengers, he was an AF Major in a flight suit, or so Quinn had been told. Why he wasn’t flying a plane of his own over, Quinn had no idea. Would make a good question to ask.

The Major was trim, but muscular, with ebon skin and slightly receding hair. He was dressed in a worn, but well-maintained green AF flightsuit. But the most interesting thing on his flightsuit was the Strategic Air Command patch on the left breast. His leather name tag on his right breast had a pair of wings, with the following legend below, “MAJ RICE”. His voice was deep baritone, but he had to should just to make himself heard over the din of the aircraft “So, you must be the reporter? Didn’t you listen to the damn safety brief? Seriously, if we have to make a break turn in this thing, you’d be strawberry jam all over the opposite cabin wall? What the hell is wrong with you?”

“I was getting sick, and I had to take a powder, and I am a reporter, thought I would take a look. Why the hell are we so close together?”

Rice’s face softened, “Ok, Ms. Baltimore Sun, but this is off the record. It’s so the Russians can’t get an accurate count of just how many given planes we are sending over at any one time. They’ve been having MiGs make dashes into the airbridge over England and France to try to shoot planes down, and they do get lucky from time to time.”

“Christ, really?”

“Yeah, we may die within sight of England, to think, an AFEES box lunch might be our last meal?” the Major Rice shrugged.

“So, why no plane? You are in the Air Force, why aren’t you in your own plane?” Quinn asked.

Rice grimaced, “I’m SAC, navigator on a B-52, or I was. I had to punch out of a B-52 that lost power on takeoff four months ago, screwed up my back. So, now I am on the planning staff at Omaha. Right now, well, all I can say is I am delivering some messages to some people that are too important to let the Russians hear.”

Who am I on this plane with? “Sheesh, who are those other four guys? CIA?”

Rice broke into a winning smile “I could tell you, but then, Ms. Baltimore Sun, I would have to kill you, and you are much too pretty for me to have to do that, unless, of course, you’re a Russian spy?”

Quinn giggled “Nope, not a Russian spy. Don’t even know the language.”

“I do, helps to know your enemy.” Rice mused.

“Why the hell did this start? I mean, it can’t have been just over Yugoslavia?” Quinn queried.

Rice hesitated, a lifetime of reticence around members of the press was hard to overcome, but he was too polite not to try to answer the lady’s question. “Simple reason? Two big dogs finally decided the neighborhood wasn’t big enough for the both of them. Guess it was bound to happen.”

“Seriously, that simple? We were doomed to do this?” Quinn stated, incredulous.

Rice simply nodded.

“****..well, listen, hate to change the subject, what with the fabulous conversation we are already having, but where can a girl get a barf bag on this plane?”

Rice had a good chuckle “New to flying backwards? Yeah, one of the joys of flying on Uncle Sam’s dime. I will have a word with the loadmaster and have him hunt one down for you, but let’s get you back to your seat. Ok?”

Quinn nodded, what else could she do?

August 9th, 1985
1135 Local/0935 GMT
Office of the CIA Station Chief
US Embassy to West Germany
Bonn, West Germany

Amy Barksdale was bored out of her mind. Since she had been, along with most of the USBER staff, evacuated from West Berlin on the 3rd, she had had little to do but help out some of the more black propaganda efforts over at Radio Free Europe. Who knew I had a voice that was similar to a prominent East German State Radio news anchor?

But it was not what Amy had joined the “Company” to do. Her country was at war, and she was sidelined! Even Harrison had been sent on to another assignment, last she had heard, he was playing games with the KGB in Geneva. Am I finally to old to go into the field? Is that what everyone is afraid to tell me?

Amy paced the borrowed office, which had been converted from one of the larger closets at the Embassy, and pored over the latest reports coming out of Eastern Europe. The SAD and Special Forces folks were trying to whip up a resistance movement, to varying success, with the best results occurring in Poland and Czechoslovakia, but the Stasi had rolled up most of the networks that the CIA had spent 40 some odd years establishing. Most of it had been wiped out within the first 72 hours of the war. God can only imagine what the Stasi will do to the folks they take alive. Amy let out an involuntary shudder at that last thought.

A cry however, pierced the din of the overcrowded Agency section of the Embassy, “Barksdale, you’re needed in the Tank.”

Amy’s head perked up, the “Tank” was a room that had been built to be a secure as possible from any form of eavesdropping. It had special sound-absorbing foam in the walls, there was white noise generators built in, it had no windows…and the door was lined with RF defeating metal. In short, short of getting someone in to the “Tank”, it would be difficult to tell what was going on in there. And only the most sensitive business went on in the “Tank”. Every US Embassy had a version of this room.

Amy grabbed her coat, as the Tank was kept cold to keep the electronics running, and she always found it unpleasant to sit there for long periods of time without something to keep her warm. She bounded down the stairs, took the second right and flashed her badge to the Marine guard in front of the outside door to the Tank, she then was stopped again at the interior door, where another Marine searched her, politely, but thoroughly, finding nothing forbidden, he gave the thumbs up and held the door open for her. Even with the gravity of the situation, she found herself unable to stop smiling. Dammit, I am going back out! I get to cross swords with the KGB again!

She noticed there was only three people in the room, First, an unfamiliar gentleman, who was thin, and might have been muscular, but age was withering his carriage. He exuded a very strict bearing, probably ex military. Amy’s mind reported. He was wearing a Saville Row suit, navy blue, with an ascot instead of a tie. British, has to be MI-6. Has that public school thing all over him. Lovely…now I get to hear how we suck at being spies from the damn Limeys. The other person in the room was also unfamiliar, he was wearing a Marine Service Uniform, with both USMC Combat Diver and Navy Jump Wings very prominent on the wearer’s chest. Oh dear god, Marine Force Recon. Well, they are at least subtle compared to the Rangers. The final person in the room was Greg Hanson, her station chief, he was a portly man who was in Amy’s opinion, way too genial for this business. But he’s been crossing swords with the KGB for 20 plus years, so he must be doing something right.

Greg motioned Amy to sit in the empty chair that had been set up before a hastily setup folding screen that was in front of a overhead projector.

The suited gentleman walked over to Amy, stopping just steps away from her. “Ms. Barksdale, you come highly recommended from your superiors at Langley. I do hope you don’t work out like the last two highly recommended individuals your Agency sent. It would be a tragedy.” His accent was British, very public school, clipped, severe, with every word perfectly pronounced and annunciated..and said in a tone as cold as a blade to the heart.

After a short pause where the gentleman took a short sip from a glass of water. “So, let’s get on with it. You are wondering what this is all about-“ he then walked over with a deft motion to the projector and turned it on. “There is a friend of ours, he is stuck in Poland, and we need him to get out of Poland. We are a little busy, so we figured, why not ask our cousins?”

“Who is he?” Amy asked.

The gentleman smiled, “You might know him.” as he slid the manila folder covering the overheads off of the plate on the projector. The picture was not the best, but the image was unmistakeable. Amy’s jaw dropped.

It was Lech Walensa.

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In the Soviet Union, fun is outlawed as a capitalist plot against the glorious revolution and Mother Russia. State Security will talk to you about this so called “fun.” - Jemhouston


Last edited by Jason on Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:30 pm 
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Location: Auberry, CA
Daria's going to be grounded for a day....normally, in peacetime? That's at least a week.

Quinn's probably going to get to Mildenhall with her head in the airsickness bag....and wondering what she's gotten herself into.

Snatching Lech Walensa? Good luck with that....

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 Post subject: Re: Night Witches
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:03 pm 
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That ambitious

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