*watching Six monthers go home from deployment*: I feel like I forgot something...
*training the new guys to take over*: and it was a bit important...
*leaving after 8 months*: but what was it...
*on leave home in California for my little sister's birthday*: ...I'm sure that I'll remember it soon..
*sleeping on my bed in Homestation*: zzzzzzzzzzz
*wakes up to a loud noise and something getting uncomfortably close to a certain part of my body*: (-^-;;)
*opens eyes up to see Crescent Rose's barrel aimed right at me*: 0_o
Ruby: Write. *chambers her beloved* Now.
Amidst the blue skies, a link between worlds and from the past to the future.
The sheltering wings of the protector and the shattered remains of a fairy tail.
I was just a child when the stars fell from the skies. But I remember how they built a cannon to destroy them and in turn how that cannon brought war upon us.
War was an abstract idea; nothing more than a show on TV. As a child, I only saw it as something the happened in some far-away land. Until that final day of summer...
One day, while on my way to school, I looked up in the skies. A sound like distant thunder. In the blue skies far above me, contrails drew dizzying
circles around in a crazy waltz; a battle in the beautiful skies far away.
I could not tear my gaze away from them.
A deafening roar.
Sharp silhouettes appeared, as if to graze the hills, and streaked past me. The fighters played the cat or mouse in turn as they climbed swiftly into the sky. One fleeing plane fell out of the sky, spiraling and spewing orange flames to crash by the cape.
The same cape where my family lived.
Now they only live in my memories of days past. The victor circled around to confirm the kill, and on his craft there was a large number thirteen, emblazoned in yellow. I will never forget this.
The Allies retreated across the ocean before the onslaught of the enemy. Our little town in the heart of the mainland fell into deep isolation.
LOCATION: FORT GRACE, FCU AIRCRAFT CARRIER, NORTH POINT
DATE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2004
The black lenses of her aviators kept the sun from shining into her eyes as she stared out across the ocean. A sense of peace overcame Ruby as she just relaxed there, leaning against the railing and not having to worry about anything at the moment. She had the top half of her flight suit tied around her waist and the sleeves of her shirt were rolled up, which showed the tattoo she had inked on her upper shoulder within the past year.
The tattoo itself was of a rose being coiled by a yellow snake-like dragon, with the dragon's head being on the end of the stem and pointing downward while the petals of the rose were pointing upward, and surrounded by a murder of crows that numbered twelve in all. Each of the crows represented her squadmates that she had lost in her first mission because she didn't want to forget them. Or the colossal failure.
"Hey did you hear?" She heard a voice somewhere to her right.
"The 118th got a new member."
"Didn't they all get shot down by the Yellows recently?" Ruby stiffened and her eyes narrowed when she heard the mention of the Yellow Squadron.
So much for relaxing, she snidely thought.
"Yeah, but apparently he was due in right as they left. So now he's the only member."
"Damn that must suck... being the only pilot in an entire squadron. At least it wasn't a total failure like the operation to destroy Ston-" she heard the sound of a hand clapping down on someone.
"Shhhh! She's right fucking there!" The first voice, not so quietly, whispered.
She clenched her fists as she pretended to ignore what they said. She truly did hate it how everyone tiptoed around her when they brought up Operation Thunderstruck. At first she was alright with it because she didn't want to talk about it, but now she just hated how everyone treated her and the subject like glass. It also didn't help that some people treated her like the plague and avoided her. The only people who approached her were higher ups and those in her squadron, but even then it was mostly for business and not just to talk about everyday stuff. But how everyone knew what she looked like and her name was beyond her.
Ruby pushed off the railing and decided to walk back inside the carrier, directly past the two who had been talking. They stiffened up and went a bit pale as she approached and sighed in relief when she walked past then without doing anything.
"Why is she even here? Isn't she Air Force? Not Navy?"
"Hell if I know what the Brass is thinking. Above my paygrade. But she's one of the few remaining pilots left, so she's gotta have some skill. Right?"
What is it that Yang would say? ...That they're weak? No, that doesn't sound right... Ruby thought back to the few memories that she had remembered about her older sister. Then she shrugged when she couldn't think of anything that could help her. Meh, whatever. I'm sure that som-
The alarms on the ship started to blare.
"All pilots, report to your planes! I repeat, all pilots report to your planes!"
"Shit!" Ruby ran inside to go one level down to the hanger. If I remember correctly it's a left here then a right and I'll be there, she thought as she ran through the tight corridors of the carrier. As she ran into the hanger, she unrolled her sleeves and put her flight suit on properly, and finally she looked upon the only type of planes that they had onboard.
It was a twin engine powered jet that had a single tail wing and two angled stabilizers on the outside of the engines. The fixed wings were angled towards the ends of them. The nose of the plane was straight until it hit the cockpit, which was a dual seater, and the large rectangular intakes on the side, just before the wings began. This naval blue colored aircraft was the F-4E Phantom II.
"What the HELL are these old things even doing here!? I thought the E model couldn't take off from carriers!" She grabbed at her head in frustration and leaned back as she yelled. "Not to mention that they decommissioned these things ten years ago... they must be desperate if they're pulling them out of retirement."
She quickly looked to her right and saw a bag flying towards her. Ruby caught it and opened it as fast as she could to put on the equipment inside.
Questions later, work now! She grabbed the helmet with and ran to the F-4E that had her Crow on it. When she got inside one of the two cockpits she could already see that the radar intercept officer, or RIO for short, was already in the back seat.
"Everything's good to go for take off Ma'am," the young officer said.
"Thanks. And don't call me Ma'am," the RIO looked a bit confused at this. "I work for a living." Ruby had been wanting to say that line that all those who were enlisted wanted to day at least once. But now that she was commissioned, she really couldn't say it. And she did get a laugh out of the RIO's expression so she guessed it was worth it, especially since she wasn't a desk jockey.
As she was giggling to herself, Ruby put on her helmet and threw the gear bag where it was suppose to go. The directional guide motioned for her to go to the lift for take-off and she inhaled before she exhaled, releasing all that she was just thinking about and started to focus on the task at hand.
Ruby got onto the main deck as saw as another Phantom II that had what looked like a pointed eight as an emblem take-off. Then she was guided to the end of the carrier, where a holding attachment was for her plane, and a plate was raised behind her plane.
"Crow 1, you are clear for take-off." Ruby powered up her engines to the maximum output and when they reached a certain speed, the holding attachment let go and she started to move across the deck.
This is actually a lot scarier than it seems, she thought as the end of he carrier quickly approached. When the Phantom II dropped a little bit after clearing the deck, her heart skipped a beat as she thought that something went wrong and she was going to plummet into the ocean. As the Phantom II started to fly normally, her heartbeat returned to normal and she let out a breath that she didn't know that she was holding. If that's what take-off is like, I can't wait to see landing on a carrier is like.
When Ruby was up in the sky with the rest of the pilots who were launched, she grimaced at how few pilots were in the air. There were only six of them. Herself, the new guy from the 118th with the eight emblem, two guys from the 71st, and two guys from the 709th.
It's not even that were short on pilots, she returned her attention to the skies around her. It's just that those damnable Yellows.
"AWACS here. Callsign SkyEye. Do you read me?"
"Roger that SkyEye," Ruby replied.
"Afirm," another pilot said.
"10-4 good buddy," someone said in a weird accent.
"Roggg," came a lazy voice.
"Yessir," someone said with a yawn.
"You, from the 118th," SkyEye called out. "Since this si your first sortie your designation from now on will be Mobius 1. How copy?"
"10-4. Mobius 1, reporting in," Ruby swore that the voice of the now dubbed Mobius 1 sounded hauntingly familiar, she just couldn't place where she had heard it before. And it was frustrating her.
"Alright, listen up. Several of our early warning systems were destroyed and allowed Tu-95 Bear Bombers, by our count six, and their escorts to get through. It's my birthday today, so the best gift you guys could give me is taking these party crashers out." Ruby chuckled a little bit at SkyEye. He seemed like a good person to her.
Then she saw blips on the edge of her radar and her silver eyes hardened.
Two of them. Must be the tip of the formation and a 'pointman,' Ruby thought as she saw the rest of the formation begin to pull away from her. One of them is a Bear and the other one is a F-5 Tiger II. She pushed the throttle forward and went in a straight line towards closest target.
The Tiger II broke off from the Bear Bomber and started to intercept her. The Tiger II was very similar in design to the F-16 and Ruby thought that it must have been what the F-16 was disgeinged off of. It had two fixed wings, two horizontal stabilizers, and a single vertical stabilizer but the two main differences between the F-5 and the F-16 was that the F-5 had a twin engine instead of a single engine and that the nose seemed to be longer on the F-5. And the F-5 had Air Inlets on both sides of the main body.
On her HUD, the red diamond for a Lock-On appeared and started to track it's way to the F-5. SInce they were both going straight still, it didn't take long and she fired at the same time the F-5 also fired. Not waiting until the last possible moment, Ruby deployed her flares and barrel rolled out of the way. Luckily for her, the missile went for the flares.
Unluckily for her opponent, they got hit. A fiery red-orange explosion engulfed them and their radar signal was lost. As was the signal of the Bomber. Ruby checked the skies around her and saw that the bomber was on it's way to meet the ground, with Mobius 1 flying past the wreckage.
Not bad for a nugget, she mused to herself.
Blips appeared on her Radar again and everyone took off after them.
The fight between the fighters was an encompassing cloud of smoke trails, hot lead, and very high amounts of concentration. Every friendly fighter had to make sure that they were not going to hit one another, hence why they used codes like 'Fox-2,' to both indicate what type of missile they were firing and so that other friendlies could plan accordingly.
There was a point where she was chasing down one of two MiG-21bis, a fighter that looked like it was a turbine engine with wings, a cockpit, and weaponry on it, and she nearly got nailed by friendly gun fire.
And as any person in the military would do, she politely told them to get their eyes checked when they were done... except she said it more in a way that her Drill liked to say things... well in a way most Enlisted said just about anything. Either way, the words fucktard, to get ready for a shit sandwich, or to prepare their pucker factor once they landed. Not at all did those words come out of her mouth.
Nor did she use a knife hand in the middle of a combat situation to get her point across.
Nor did the RIO behind her pale when she did not make nonexistent threats that she had based off of what her Drill may or may not of said.
The kill count was mostly attributed to her and Mobius 1, with her mostly going after the fighters and Mobius 1 going mainly for bombers before he helped clean up the fighters. She had killed one of the bombers and two of the fighters while Mobius 1 had killed three of the bombers and one fighter. The last two bombers and two fighters went between the rest of those who sortied with them of off Fort Grace, which she was currently landing on.
The tailhook of her aircraft snagged the arresting gear on the carrier and her F-4 quickly decelerated, almost making her hit the panels in her cockpit. It took a moment to get to the correct speed that she should be at but when she was, she was directed to the elevator that had recently come back up. Gently pushing the throttle forward, she put her jet onto the elevator that lead to the hanger.
That was where she saw Mobius 1 getting out of his cockpit and taking off her helmet. He had hair short, sandy blonde hair and a it was still able to look a bit messy. But when she saw his eyes, his azure blue eyes that Ruby got lost into, did it finally click on who it was.
I really do apologize for the months long wait. Originally I was just gonna take a two week brake along with my other story to give myself a breka since i just finished up Arcs on both of them, but then it turned into a few weeks, then a month. Then I had this half written for several weeks and when I went to bed at a stopping point and went to pick it up the next day, I just couldn't write. No matter how much I tried to some up with anything, I just couldn't for a long while. So I figured that I would give myself a bit of time away to try and come up with something, for I truly did have writers block.
I would like to thank all of you,except for one person, for being patient with me and my writing. I am back at Homestation now and I did have things I had to do here as well, but I do have more free time than when I was deployed... to a certain degree. I have also been replaying Shattered Skies... a lot.
To that one person that is a guest... I don't leave fics for dead or abandon them. It may take me a while to do things, but I will always finish what I start.
Read, Review, and Enjoy