“Maybe, prepare to enter the atmosphere and deploy units around the planet. We will commence proton bombardment of all land masses when in position.”
“Yes, Xeteon, I will...”
Suddenly, the Conning Officer and Xeteon were knocked off their feet by the impact of an unidentified object. It was not big enough to destroy the ship, it was more like what a submarine endures from a near miss depth charge explosion.
“Xeteon, we must withdraw or enter the atmosphere. The larger pieces of material cluttering this orbit could severely damage our ships.”
Just then, unit UREN-2 called in to say they had been hit by a piece of space junk. Their ship control system was knocked off line and hull integrity lost. They were losing attitude. Xeteon watched as UREN-2 began to roll. The resulting centrifugal force caused severed cables and escaping gases to spew outward in all directions. Like a comet approaching the sun, the dying ship soon developed a tail. When it entered Earth’s atmosphere it exploded, creating a circular pressure wave that traveled 100 miles in every direction.
“All ships, this is Xeteon, descend to 100,000 feet immediately. We must get out of the path of this clutter.”
*Place: 44th fighter squadron, on station 200 miles off the California coast*
“Wiki, did you see that explosion?”
“Roger Viper-1, I think it was one of the alien ships. No one in the squadron has fired, they must have had some kind of accident?”
“Viper-1, this is Beta Whiskey. An Aegis cruiser south of Hawaii picked up a bogie entering your sector at high speed. It then promptly disappeared. Did you splash the target?”
“Beta Whiskey, that’s a negative. We did see a high-altitude explosion. The alien ship must have self-destructed for some reason.”
“Roger Viper-1, there are still five enemy ships. Maintain station, the 35th squadron is preparing to relieve you, ETA two hours. Beta Whiskey out.”
“Roger, Viper-1, out.”
“Alright 44th, never seen an enemy splash themselves like that. They won’t all be that easy. Stay alert.”
“Mustang, this is Duke, is Sarah free to join Helen and I at the Officer’s Club tonight?”
“Yes, at 7:00 PM and no Tail Hook jokes buddy. She’s still upset with the way women, especially female pilots, were treated.”
“Mustang, Duke, this is Viper-1, stop the chatter, I need your full attention.”
Xeteon’s squadron had dropped out of orbit and were proceeding to their designated positions around the globe. As they approached 40,000 feet, they picked up approaching objects and quickly realized they were not flying blood snakes. UREN-4 was the first ship to arrive on station.
“UREN-1, this is UREN-4, P-3 warships approaching, will engage.”
“UREN-4, other units are reporting the same. All units, destroy a few hundred ships. That should send them back to where they came from.
“Viper-1, do you see the size of that thing?”
“Roger, Big Red; Tuna and Wiki engage in 5 minutes. The rest of the squadron will circle around and come in with the sun at our backs.”
“Viper-1 this is Duke, boss what are you trying to do? The sun only affects visual attacks. These aliens will be using computer-controlled weapons and will care less about where the sun is.”
“Roger Duke, it’s just a way to develop our attack.”
The next fifteen minutes were controlled chaos for the Reniums and an unmitigated disaster for the 44th fighter squadron.
“Viper-1, I’m on fire, ejecting now.”
“Viper-1, my missiles hit but had no effect. I’m...,” the circuit went dead.
Viper-1 watched as Wiki exploded and descended, a cluster of smoking, burning pieces.
“Duke, your being lased, roll out, roll out.”
“Roger Viper-1,” he responded a second before his plane blew up.”