New additions are here! Ratings went down due to a negative review by an anonymous critic.
Brian sighed as the wheels of another jet touched down routinely and perfectly on time. Brian's job on the U.S.S. Dignity was to simply to direct all of the jets and helicopters to the proper spot to prevent accidents or explosions, but that wasn't always effective enough. Several of his successors had died in the fury of a jet engine or had been incinerated in the heart of a blast when a landing had gone wrong , but he tried as hard as he could to not think of that as he stood on the gently rocking deck of U.S.S. Dignity and directed the next plane into position, where he could hook the plane into the sling, so that it too could be launched out into the vast blue expanse over the ocean. As the final jet of the day’s operations cleared the deck, Brian headed in for his usual coffee break, knowing the first jet would not be back for 45
Far below the top deck of the U.S.S. Dignity was Marcus, doing his usual daily check-up consisting of 30 minutes checking the weather and then reading a mission report. Then, the ship’s loudspeaker crackled to life and droned mindlessly: “All pilots to the flight deck please.” Marcus groaned, all hope of a day of relaxation gone as the usual buzz of activity sprung to life around him as he walked towards the flight deck through the labryrinth of below-deck tunnels. As Marcus reached the flight garage, he stopped by to check on his “baby”, Martha, a well-loved Blackhawk helicopter to make sure that the pre-flight prep was being done properly. He took the staff elevator up to the mid-section conference room and hastily grabbed the mission brief and ran out. As he ran to the staff elevator, he caught a glimpse of his precious “baby” being loaded on to the heavy-duty elevator and rushed to get to the flight deck, afraid that his commander would be upset at him for delaying a mission. As he got on deck, he saw something odd: there were no directors for takeoff on deck, none at all. He shrugged this off and continued walking towards the elevator he knew was soon to raise Martha up onto the flight deck. As Martha was prepped to be raised, Marcus wandered curiously around the deck, wondering why not even the winch man wasn't in his pod, which stuck halfway out of the deck. There was a "Clunk!" as the flight elevator met up with the flight deck and locked into position for safety. Marcus sighed and started heading towards Martha, which seemed to anxiously awaiting for him to reach her. As Marcus clambered into the cabin of Martha, he felt a rush of comfort and familiarity with his beloved helicopter. A door closed loudly across the deck, but he ignored it, knowing it was either Commander Keith or his co-pilot Joseph, who he called "Joey". A second door slam resonated across the flight deck and this time, Marcus knew it was the flight crew that would be on board with him and "Joey".
As he was taking his usual coffee break, Brian also saw a strange thing, another flight being prepped for takeoff, but he just assumed it was a last-minute mission that had been staged, and simply guzzled down the rest of his coffee. He swiped his I.D. card at the security door to the flight deck and ran out, grabbing a flashlight and his reflective jacket on the way out. He immediately ran over to the flight elevator, where 4 other men were struggling to get a Sikorsky Jayhawk off of the elevator. Brian didn't know much about how to operate a plane or helicopter, since he wasn't trained in that specific field, but he was intelligent enough to see that the helicopter's brakes were locked, so he hurdled over the struggling men into the cabin and looked around for the brake switch. Finding it, he flipped it and the helicopter immediately started rolling over the flight deck. As he turned around from helping the men, a very uncommon thing on that ship rolled gently past him, heading for the helipad. All Brian could do was gawk as a Blackhawk helicopter, which was in perfect condition that was gently nudged into place on the helipad. A faint clicking in the distance let him know that this beautiful helicopter's owner was probably on his way.
Marcus sprinted across the deck, heading for the locker room, cursing under his breath for forgetting his pilot's helmet in there. As he came running out of the locker room, he saw Brian scurrying across the deck, from one plane to another, doing last minute checks of all of the planes he was to direct. As he was checking Marcus' helicopter, he tested all of the weapons by throwing a Frisbee off the deck and then firing. Marcus was immediately impressed by Brian's pinpoint accuracy, but felt a little ashamed to ask a deck-boy to be his temporary gunner, since he had just found out that John, his gunner, was down in the hospital ward, because a major cut had been made by a jet turbine in Marcus' helicopter. Finally, Marcus overcame his shame and tentatively asked Brian to be his gunner. Brian immediately jumped up and practically screamed, "YES!" in excitement.
Brian was so excited! After a year of being stuck on the deck of the carrier, he was being a temporary gunner in a Blackhawk! Brian knew enough to fly a helicopter without the accessories like night vision, but most important, he knew how to operate all of the helicopter's guns and missile launchers good enough to hit a lunch tray 1/2 a mile away. Brian sprinted across the deck, heading for a room he had never gone into, the flight dress-room. As he neared the door, he realized that it not only had the normal ID scanner, it also had a fingerprint scanner and a miniscule keypad under a large, warm-looking, brassy WELCOME plaque. Brain ran up and scanned his ID right away, then faced the problem of getting the master code, which was put in place for extra security, because this room had so much knowledge, gear, and instructions inside. Then, he struck gold; remembering the master code that all crew members had gotten it put into their vest pockets, but almost all of the crewmembers had thought it was a joke, but Brian had kept his, just in case it really was the master code. He put it in, 1... 4...7...9...2. "BEEP!" the lock clicked, letting him into the room. "Hmmm... I guess that was a good decision to keep that.” Brian thought. As he wrestled into a jumpsuit, he thought about how far up the "food chain" he had leapt today. Ten minutes later, he was clambering into the Blackhawk, while several JayHawk helicopters and two F15 fighter jets waited anxiously behind them. Another 5 minutes later, they were cleared, and the helicopter blades started chopping the air as the last members of the crew ran across the deck and vaulted into the cabin of the helicopter. After a quick system check, the wheels of the Blackhawk lifted ever so slightly off the deck, and the helicopter leaned forward. Brian quickly shoved his helmet with a headset inside on, trying to close out the racket of the helicopter. "God, it is so beautiful up here!" Brian thought as the helicopter gently coasted out over the water and started forward with a jerk. Brian was pinned up against the wall by the invisible G-force of the helicopter's motion, but the rest of the crew seemed unaffected by the speed the helicopter was moving at. Brain peeked over the co-pilot, Johnathan's shoulder at the speed gauge, his mouth gaping as they hit 120 knots, which was only their cruising speed. From the deck, the robot cameras saw only a speck in the distance as the helicopter moved away towards its goal.
As the helicopter slammed forward, Marcus saw his new gunner, Brian, slam back against the wall of the helicopter with a look of shock on his face. "Must be all the Gs we're getting right now, and he's not used to them." Marcus thought. He glanced downward, looking at the black screen that usually pinpointed where the target was. Disappointed by the blank screen, Marcus just kept flying straight. Then, with a flash, the black screen turned a snowy white, and then the target's GPS location was displayed on the screen. Seeing this, Marcus picked up a pair of goggles and glanced into them doing this, he could see what he was doing with the helicopter, and also live video feed from a recon drone, launched 1 hour before them, which showed him the status of their target. According to the time-cast, they would reach the target in roughly 15 minutes. "Get loaded and hold on!" Marcus shouted as he accelerated the Blackhawk to maximum speed and slammed the altimeter needle so far up; it looked like it was going to break off. Then it became peaceful, and everyone started straining to hear some form of noise. Finally, off in the distance, a C-130 broke the clouds. "There's our backup from land!" said one of the many soldiers onboard, who was standing on the landing gear on the exterior of the helicopter as he reached in for his chute. As a resounding BEEP rung throughout the cabin, the soldier who was standing on the landing gear dropped out of sight. One by one, the cabin emptied of the soldiers, until only their commander and the helicopter's staff were left onboard.
Brian held on for dear life as the helicopter surged towards the ground, which was over 1,000 feet below. Then, something caught his eye, a small fighter jet flying directly below them, covered in digital camouflage, which wasn’t there before. After consulting with Marcus, Brian waited a few minutes to make the plane seem to go unnoticed. After the allotted time, Brian let loose on the plane, bombarding it with machine gun rounds and 2 heat-seeking missiles. With a massive concussion, the plane dropped like a rock towards the ground. “So much for the element of surprise.” Thought Brian as whistling rounds of anti-aircraft round pierced the cloud. As the helicopter broke the bottom of the cloud, Brian saw for the first time what he was up against. It looked as though the two bombs that the helicopter was equipped with would be of some use after all. Underneath the helicopter, a massive command post spread out as far as the eye could see in all directions. Marcus pulled the Blackhawk into a hover, and right at that second, a paratrooper glided past the cargo doors, yelling at the top of his lungs. Once again, the helicopter started descending, this time towards a large building with an antenna on top of it. “Arm the bombing system and drop on the count of 3!” Marcus yelled. "3!!” Marcus screamed, his voice becoming hoarse. Brain tapped the icon on the screen, and the two bombs fell away from where they had been secured just milliseconds before. As the bombs fell, Marcus jerked the Blackhawk up as high as he could in the 5 second freefall the bombs had until they reached their target. After those brief seconds of both peace and shock, two massive shockwaves radiated from what was thought to be the central command area. The Blackhawk rocked with the enormous force of the shockwave, and anyone in the air in the surrounding area was thrown about the cabin of their aircraft. The whole time, a backup command team was in a bunker, away from all the chaos, its entrance disguised as maintenance shed. Far underground, the emergency command team sprung into action, commanding an army at least 100 miles away to march forward to the base unless told to stop. Meanwhile, Brian was on the Blackhawk, which was hovering over the area, checking for any survivors or signals for communication. "Found one!!!" Brian yelled as loud as he could over the chopping of the rotors. The signal that Brian had found was the exact same signal that the team underground was using to communicate to the troops that were on their way. Desperately, Brian tried to hack the system, anxious to find out if it was survivors or enemies. With an anxious "BLEEP", the computer system admitted Brian into the system, simultaneously, the computer ran a quick diagnostics check on the connection, finally determining that the signal was an enemy communication signal coming from about 100 feet belowground. The Blackhawk lurched unsteadily, and the cockpit went ablaze with check engine lights, low fuel lights and various other warning signals. The Blackhawk started plummeting towards the ground, jerkily trying to hold itself in the air. After what seemed an eternity, the Blackhawk behaved again and the wheels touched gently onto the heat-scarred tarmac. As soon as the wheels touched the tarmac, Brian ran over to the nearest undamaged fuel tank, which was only about 100 yards away, and dragged the heavy hose towards the Blackhawk. After 5 whole minutes of fueling, Brian finally dragged the hose away from the helicopter and jumped into the Blackhawk, which was already lifting off the tarmac. After traveling another mile in the air, the GPS pinpointed the signal source, which was directly below them. As the helicopter neared the ground, Brian jumped out, AK-47 in hand. Watching the display inside the helmet he had on, he followed directions until he reached a tool shed, which seemed awkwardly placed. Pausing for a second, Brian wondered what could be on the other side of the door waiting for him. After that chilling thought Brian kicked down the door, looking over his shoulder to make sure the commander and Marcus were coming. Seeing them, he stepped into the darkness of the shed, thankful for the cool air. Taking another step forward, Brian tripped over a rock, only to find his chin hanging over a gaping hole with fluorescent light hanging at the bottom. Brian scooted back away from the hole and picked himself up, dropping all formality, running out of the shed shouting “Bunker!” Hearing this, the other two, who were lagging behind, started running towards the shed, eager to investigate. Once they reached the shed, they snuck inside, only to find themselves at the edge of a gaping 5-foot wide vent shaft with an elevator on the other side. Always on his toes, Brian had already pulled out his 10-foot long robe and 5 stakes. Four of the stakes were for anchoring the heavy-duty rope and the fifth to drop into the hole to measure the depth. Dropping the stake over the edge, he counted, "1,2,3,4,5,6,7" and then a slight "thump!" came from the bottom of the shaft. "It's seven seconds deep, so...it's about 20 feet deep!” Brian practically shouted. Immediately, both the Commander Keith and Marcus went "SHHHHH!" After anchoring the rope, Brian, Marcus and Commander Keith repelled silently down the shaft, praying that nobody would enter it. After reaching the bottom, Brian realized that they were in an electronics shaft, and the equipment was dormant. Off in the distance a faint roar started, growing steadily louder. The smell of spent diesel blanketed the room for a split second, but disappeared almost immediately. Rows of electronics flashed to life, the sea of lights nearing them quickly. Brian, Marcus, and Commander Keith sprinted down the cavern, looking over their shoulder at the steadily nearing sea of lights. They turned a corner and came into a massive cavern, filled with huge generators. Spotting an exit, they bolted for the steel-clad door, ramming through it into an empty control room. Sweating, Marcus closed the door behind them and bolted it shut. They sighed in relief, glad that they had made it out of the massive caverns of computers and machinery. Suddenly, a light flicked on, revealing the new occupant. Unaware of the intruders, the young man walked to a desk, sat down, and started shuffling through papers. The three men held their breath, hoping that the man wouldn't notice them as he walked past. He walked to the door they had just came in and opened it, slamming it shut behind him as he left.
Marcus crossed his fingers, an old habit of his in times of tension. He sighed in relief as the door slammed and stood up, motioning for the others to follow. He slipped around the corner, sticking to the shadows. They soon arrived at the door to the rest of the compound. The solid steel swung open effortlessly, and the team of three were in a vast control room. In their combat uniforms, they stood out against the plain shirts of the command staff in the room. Staff rushed past them, not taking notice of the outsiders in their rush to keep up to the task at hand.They snuck back into the smaller room, heaading for the electronics they had seen earlier. When they finally arrived back at the electronics cave, the generators were all running full-blast, pumping out the sound of raw power. Bright flourescent bulbs buzzed overhead, revealing a cavern filled from top to bottom with electronics. Marcus recognized the setup of the cavern from the days before his military career. This was a cross between a server farm and... a targeting system. Marcus sprinted for a small monitor bank on the far side of the cavern, with one staff member observing all 10 monitors, which kept flicking between displays. When Marcus tried to get closer, a full platoon of enemy guards came sprinting around the servers on full alert. Marcus slipped in between two servers and held his breath, waiting for the platoon to pass. They regrouped at the tunnel to the surface that they had first entered through, and began to climb quickly up the rope they had left, desperate to reach the helicopter. Marcus and Commander Keith did a hasty pre-flight check and lifted off, with Brian still hanging half outside the cabin, still trying to climb in. Marcus jerked the Blackhawk as far up as he could, trying to reach the service ceiling of any aircraft that would try to pursue them. Brian slammed the bay door shut, just as Marcus began accelerating to as fast as the Blackhawk could go. The miles and hours flew by, the landscape turning into a blur. "WAIT! Slow down, I think I see something!" Brian shouted over the throbbing thump of the helicopter blades.
[since this ending is rather abrupt, it's apparent I will be adding on]