Baby Hawk Spreads its Wings
“According to our intelligence, the enemy is leveraging trade ships to transport firearms they purchased. Our job is to locate their business teams and eliminate them. Your mission is to locate them on your own and destroy their transportation route!” Oraina’s command brought down the gloomy sky.
Lin Chucheng’s fingers behind him fidgeted. He had prepared himself to take lives, but when he was commanded to actually bomb living beings as opposed to white rings, fear manifested in him. He wondered what went through his mother’s head the first time she took up her sword.
“Prepare to sortie! Lin Chucheng, Wright and I will scout the north. Gunners, check the map and inform your pilot to return to the hangar once you are out of the boundary. We don’t have fighter jets for convoys this time, so don’t let Troy City’s air force spot you!”
The laughter and jokes from yesterday were replaced with a stressful atmosphere. Lin Chucheng noticed his hands shaking when he grabbed onto the handrails of the ramp leading up to his aircraft. He rubbed his face and exhaled hard. As Alice entered the aircraft after him, the sound of the gun and smell of oil were extra distinct.
Alice thumped the back of his seat to indicate they were good to go. Lin Chucheng steered to the runway as if it was a routine he was used to and popped on his headset. The stillness accentuated his heart beating erratically. The weight of the explosives and, more importantly, the lives he was about to take weighed on him in more ways than one. He, nonetheless, persuaded himself he was beholden as a soldier. He wanted to complete his mission perfectly and be awarded, yet a part of him wished he didn’t succeed.
The aircrafts split off in their assigned directions once they were in the ether.
“Once you reach your designated location, descend and began your search for the target.”
Lin Chucheng dove below the clouds. Even without sunlight, the ocean waves were always the same. Humanity’s huge ship was tiny from above.
Alice knocked on the back of his seat and shouted, “Lin Chucheng, can you fly lower?”
“Yes.” Lin Chucheng descended and began their comb.
It was as quiet over the radio as it was on the ocean. Nobody found any signs of the enemy ship.
“We’re short on fuel. We’re going to be heading back.”
Hearing the report over the radio, Lin Chucheng checked his fuel and responded, “We’re also short on fuel. We’re going to be heading back.”
“No signs of them?”
“Let’s head back, then,” ordered Oraina.
Lin Chucheng heaved a heavy breath and turned his aircraft around.
“Nine o’clock! Two trade ships at our nine o’clock are sailing north!” Alice belted.
Startled, Lin Chucheng looked to his right. They weren’t visible from where he was, but they were soon visible by the time he closed in.
“TF-6 reporting. We have found the target. I repeat: we have found the target. The coordinates are…”
“Our allies close by have returned, and we are near Troy City’s scouting vicinity. It’s dangerous to pursue them. Lin Chucheng, come back,” instructed Oraina.
Lin Chucheng dawdled to contemplate: But… But… if I go back now, what’s the point of me joining the military? Would my mother choose to turn away now? I’m her son. A hero’s son should do what a hero should, right? I… I can’t run… I’m not useless. I’m going to be a true hero. I want to be someone everyone is proud of. I can’t run away in my first mission. Is it fair for me to risk Alice’s safety, though…? Who am I to decide on her behalf?
“Alice, I want to continue the mission.” Lin Chucheng removed his headset.
“Yeah? I’m fine either way. I trust you.” Alice sounded confident and calm. She prepared her gun and thumped the back of Lin Chucheng’s seat as if to share some courage.
“Lin Chucheng is continuing the bombing mission!” Lin Chucheng yelled.
Lin Chucheng swooped down on his targets. The ships had firearms on them; however, their armed forces had to be limited. The soldiers on board saw and heard Noble 78’s threatening descent. Lin Chucheng heard the bullets zipping past and circled in from the side. Once he was above the ship, he smashed the red button with his shaky hand…
All the bullets were clearly audible even though there was glass separating them. The golden eagle dropped the bomb and sped away, grazing the surface off the water as it begun to ascend back to the blue sky!
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