Author's Note: To avoid misunderstandings, I want to issue a disclaimer before the story begins. The main characters of this story are my own characters, but familiar faces like Benji, Luther, Brassel and Yusuf still show up. (Remember Yusuf? "This would be a cinch if I could call Yusuf back at HQ" from GP? I felt he deserved being in a story.)

Time-wise, this is set in 2008, before the events of Dunn and Dusted where Skye meets Benji.

I also feel obliged to mention the songs "Release" and especially "Dream" by Imagine Dragons, both of which I played non-stop while writing and to which I owe this story.

Finally, thanks as always to Ellster for beta-reading. Now let's get on with it.

For Charlie and his love of flying objects, known and unknown alike.

Above and Beyond

Transcript of Radio Protocols

US Military Base Groom Lake

2008-03-11 09-32AM

0932 Mayday mayday mayday, is anyone receiving? Flight N216, mayday mayday mayday.

0933 This is Ground Control, you are entering airspace of restricted Area 4808 North, you are not cleared to approach. Over.

0933 November 216 calling mayday mayday mayday, inbound for emergency landing. Over.

0933 216, ident. Over.

0933 Unable to comply. Aircraft is a Cessna 680.

0933 We are authorised to use deadly force if you do not comply. Over.

0933 We are losing altitude rapidly and the ident button has taken a bullet. Over.

0934 216, say again?

0934 I said we are losing altitude rapidly, sinking speed too high, instruments failing. Over.

0934 Stand by.

0934 [incomprehensible] Ground Control, requesting immediate assistance, landing conditions not ideal.

0935 Ground Control, please respond.

0935 We have wounded aboard. I repeat, we have

0936 N216, come in. Over.

0936 Ground Control calling November 216, please respond. Over.

0937 216, do you copy?

-Transmission confirmed lost at 0938AM PST

-Transcript cleared for destruction