It was a cold, wet, windy night.
The kind of night where most sane people stay wrapped up in a blanket by a roaring fire with something strong and alcoholic to consume. Any insane people are usually nice and snug in their wrap around white coats in rubber padded rooms. But we can ignore them for now.
The rain dripped incessantly off the trees and was dissolved into a driving mist by the harsh southerly winds. Streams of water ran through the muddy undergrowth gathering momentum on their way to a distant sea.
Tucked away at the edge of the trees stood a building of indeterminate use. The passage of time had not been kind to this building. Tiles were missing from the roof and any windows that remained were invariably broken. Weatherboards hung from places that weatherboards were never designed to hang from. The balcony slumped against the side of the building in a manner that said "I would fall off, but I can't be bothered." The front door hung ajar, creaking quietly as it swung to and fro on its one remaining hinge.
If we pan the camera back a bit we see that the building is on the edge of a large open area with a long strip of tarseal running down it. From this we can assume that the building is a ready room for pilots at an airfield. In fact if we pan the camera around to the front and zoom in a bit we can see a sign on the doorway.
It reads "RNZAF - Thunder from Downunder"
All was quiet except for the incessant rain, the howling of the wind, the thrashing trees ÖÖ.. Well, to tell the truth, it's damn noisy, but there is an air of hushed expectation. It is obvious that the current situation will not last. You can tell something is going to happen can't you.
Let's go inside and see what eventuates.
Suddenly the door crashes open and Hotdog, the base Commander, strides in. Various pilots look vaguely in his direction, realise who it is and go back to staring vaguely at the alcoholic beverages they are holding.
"LISTEN UP!" yells Hotdog, but before he can say anything else the front door crashes open again.
"Pizza! Pizza! Who ordered the extra large with anchovies?"
"Hold it right there. Who the hell are you and how did you get on the base? This is a restricted area," said Hotdog, reaching for his side arm.
"I'm from Pete's Pizza Delivery. Someone rang and ordered a Pizza. They said that I was just to head straight on in and they would leave the gate open."
"I'm afraid that explanation is not good enough," replied Hotdog, drawing his side arm and brandishing it in a threatening manner.
Pilots around the room who knew of their Commanders accuracy with a firearm suddenly dived for cover behind any bit of furniture they could find. The Pizza Delivery guy cowered in a gibbering heap, not realising that the safest place to be was probably in Hotdog's sights.
At that moment Carrot walked into the room from out the back. "It was me who ordered the pizza Hotdog, I got sick of waiting for Kilroy to cook the squad dinner." He walked up to the pizza guy, paid him some money borrowed from Buffy, took the pizza and showed him the door.
"Ok, but donít do it again," said Hotdog "Now, where was I. Oh yes." And he turned back to face the rest of the squad to once again give the announcement that he started several paragraphs ago.
"LISTEN UP!Ö. What the hell? Where is everyone?" He stared in amazement at what appeared to be an empty squad room.
But if we look carefully we can see that it isn't empty. See, under that pile of maps I can see a pair of feet that could only belong to Glars. And isn't that Kiro stuck up the chimney? And Krazzi pretending to be a lamp over in the corner. Slowly but surely, as they realise Hotdog isn't waving his gun around anymore, the pilots emerge from hiding places under cushions and behind furniture.
"OK PEPOLE. WE VAHE A MSISON.PURP HIGH CMMONDA WANT SU TO TURECAP A IEFLD."
As one the pilots turned to Carrot who was the cryptographer of the squad.
"We have to capture a field."
"Ohhhhh," they chorused, and turned back to Hotdog.
"EMTE ON TE RUNYWA IN THRTIY MINTUES."
The heads swivel back to Carrot.
"Meet on the runway in thirty minutes."
They swivel back again.
"LOAD YUR LANESP HVEAY. MISSDIMED."
Once more like a tennis match.
"Put some bombs in guys. Dismissed."
The pilots all relax back into their beers for about thirty seconds. Then absolute mad panic erupts as comprehension settles in. Glars, Kiro and Kilroy get stuck in the doorway, Krazzi and Savvvy almost knock themselves out trying to climb out the window with out opening it first, and Raxx and Dartls almost get into a scrap over who goes up the chimney first.
If we give them a few minutes to sort themselves out it should give us time to get over to the hanger where the next phase of action is sure to take place.
Sure enough, pilots start streaming into the hanger and dispersing to their favourite planes. There are curses and shouts and arguments ensue over various petty details.
"I donít care if you want two 500kg bombs. You are only budgeted for one so thatís all you are getting."
"Leaving that birds nest in the engine may be ecologically sound, but it is not mechanically sound."
"No, no. Donít push that button yet!! It raises the under carriage."
"No you can't bring Barbara on this flight. I donít care if you say there is room in the tail gunner turret. You are not taking her. Anyway, its Dartls turn to have Barbara tonight."
"Hotdog!! Thatís my zeke. Yours is the A6M5, this is the M3. See the clipped wings, and the pointy orange thing painted on the tail. That means its mine."
In amongst this chaos wanders the Pizza boy, "Um, excuse me? Can you tell me how to get out of here?"
"You again!" screamed Hotdog, desperately grabbing for his sidearm, only to find that Carrot had removed it for the safety of the squad, "What are you doing here.?"
"I got lost. This is a big base. Did you realise there is a Ki61 being built in that hanger over there? And what looks like a B24 next to it?"
"Those are secret! You can't tell anyone. Its not officially released yet."
The pizza boy wanders off while Hotdog is calmed down from his incipient heart attack. Slowly but surely the squad assemble their planes on the runway. Engines are warmed up, fuel loads double checked and triple checked and then topped up as they realise they got it wrong each time. Guns are primed and the keys for the padlocks to the safety locks on the guns are passed out with strict instructions not to use them till after take off. Sure enough, thirty seconds later a burst of gunfire stitches some holes in the hangar roof.
"Sorry," yelled Kilroy, "It just went off by itself."
Eventually, with much jostling for position, everyone lined up on the runway. Engine noise increases dramatically as power is applied. Planes start to taxi forward and build up speed until with a sudden screeching of brakes everyone comes to a halt. There is further jostling for position and taxiing and this time everyone lines up at the same end of the runway. Throttles are thrust forward again and this time the whole squadron successfully makes it into the air, only 20 minutes later than planned.
After a climb to approximately 10,000 feet they level off. I say approximately because some of the squad were at 7000 and some were at 13000 with the rest scattered at various levels in between.
"Ok everyone. Turn left and head towards field 8," called Hotdog over the radio.
"No, no. Your other left Kzcole."
Meanwhile, Glars looks carefully at his maps, then at his compass, then at his maps again. He ruminates for a few seconds and then picks up the microphone.
"Glars to Hotdog. I want you to listen very carefully and answer my questions. Have you got your hip flask with you? Over."
"Hotdog to Glars. Yes. Over."
"Glars to Hotdog. Is it a metal one? Over."
"Hotdog to Glars. Yes. Over."
"Glars to Hotdog. Now this is important. Where did you put it when you got in to your plane? Over."
"Hotdog to Glars. On the instrument panel. Over."
"Glars to Hotdog. I need you to remove it from there Hotdog and store it behind your seat. Over."
"Hotdog to Glars. I donít see why, but ok. Over"
Hotdog removes the hipflask from the instrument panel and stores it behind his seat. As he does this the compass swings to a new direction as the hipflasks influence is removed. Hotdog puzzles over his instrument readings when he turns back then calls out over the radio again.
"Ok Squad. We need to make a right turn now to head towards field eight."
Twenty minutes pass in relative silence as they trundle towards their target.
"This is Kilroy. I'm going down, I'm going down!!!"
"Carrot to Kilroy. What's happened?"
"Raxx to Kilroy. Where is the con?"
Pilot's lurch frantically in their seats scanning the skies for enemy planes. There are several near collisions as some start evasive manoeuvres Bullets fly through the sky as trigger happy pilots take pot shots at anything that crosses their sights.
"This is Kilroy. Huh? What? I was just going down to pick up my chewing gum which I dropped on the floor."
Fortunately, no further incidents mar the journey to the target and after only two more course changes as Hotdog shifts his sidearm and his clipboard they arrive near field 8.
"Right. Everybody circle round. Flav, I want you to go in first and see bomb the radar. Everyone else wait and see what happens before we all go in."
"In other words, you want me to be ack bait donít you," replied Flav.
"Yes. And your point is?"
Flav dives for the radar. Carefully lining up the target, he remembers to open the bomb bay doors, before dropping the bomb. Ack starts to burst into life. He pushes the pipper and pulls back on the stick, at the same time kicking the rudder back and forth to make himself a harder target.
"How did I do?" he calls as he gets back up to cruising altitude.
There is a pause, then Carrot calls over the radio.
"Umm, I don't know how to say this Flav. But you appear to have got a direct hit with a Pizza boy."
"OhÖ.. Did it do any damage?"
"Yes. The super supreme is completely ruined."
"Oh shit. Well I'm not paying for it"
"Ok Squad. Attack at will," called Hotdog.
"Why? What has Will done?"
Pilots dive for targets. A furious dogfight erupts over the field. Then an even more furious dogfight erupts as enemy planes finally get off the ground to engage.
"Krazzi, enemy plane at 5 o clock."
"Roger. What do I do till then?"
"Thatís an old joke Krazzi."
"No I'm serious. What do I do till then?"
"Break left Kzcole. Ok. Break right then."
"Spit in front of me."
"I donít think I can. You're to far away. But I can try."
"Carrot will you stop teasing that plane and shoot him down."
"But I'm enjoying myself."
"Fossil, you have to open the bomb bay doors before you can drop bombs."
"Wow! I just thought I had really quiet bombs."
"Who has the troops?"
"Kilroy. The ack is down. Bring them in."
Pilots look around for Kilroy to protect him from enemy planes. But there is no sign of him. Then looking down they see a line of paratroopers walking out of the one remaining hanger. It appears that Kilroy has landed and taxied to the hanger and then just waited until the call went out for troops.
"Ok people. Return to base. Well done. High commend will be pleased."
The next day Carrot and Glars are reading the dispatches that arrived from head quarters. His eyebrows rise as he reads one of them. He passes it over to Glars who reads it and raises his eyebrows. They look at each other for a minute, then Carrot carefully screws it up and places it in the rubbish bin. If you look carefully tho you can still see the words "Purp f8 lost to unknown forces in surprise raid."
"Hotdog doesn't need to see that does he."
"No. I think not."
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