https://twitter.com/ThunderheadQMArchive (First thread isn't there as it's on a different page. Find it by clicking "Pilot Quest" and scrolling down to July 2016. It's the first entry):http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Pilot%20Quest%201989,--------------------------------------------------------------------The rest of the flight back to Okinawa was tense. Freelancer flight had to take up the rear as the Japanese Kate II's had a head start. You were close enough to them to refuel off them to replace the fuel that you had lost with the near constant use of your afterburners once you entered the previous fight. You followed them to Kadena Air Base and landed just after them the Japanese aircraft parking up on the apron, while you and the rest of Freelancer flight taxied into hanger spaces. Each of the upgraded F-14s being ordered to stop short to power down your engines, before being towed in by an aircraft tug. Your aircraft as quickly set upon by a ground crew as you deplaned. Your ground crew. Mixed in amongst them was a pair of ONI spooks. Even though they wore the khaki of a normal intelligence officer, you could see their patches. The spooks waited as your crew brought over some new cart, or at least some cart that you had never seen before. The cart itself looked for the world like a bunch of computers stacked on a cart and wired together. The huge device was carted over to your aircraft's exposed mission computer and was plugged into an outlet with a thick cable. A minute later, the machine was disconnected from your plane, and was carted off to Weiss's aircraft as your mission computer was closed back up. You hung about there until the rest of VF-21 was taxied in and deplaned, before the spooks took a small, cookie tin sized box from the side of the machine.Your next stop on the base was one of it's briefing rooms. The Japanese were already there, and as soon as you were all seated the debriefing began. A pair of typists in the back of the room recording the debriefing for ONI and whatever their Japanese equivalent was. You all went over the mission on a step by step case. From the moment you when wheels up, to the moment VF-21 landed. Periodically, you stopped to watch footage from the assorted aircraft. Either the gun camera footage from Kenji's aircraft, or the FLIR footage from Weiss's aircraft. Every time, there were questions directed towards the crew of the aircraft. Kay and Kenji were asked why they targeted the short range SAMs, while you and Weiss were asked why you dropped both of your bombs in your first pass.>CONT
>>2370435The briefing began to grow a bit more heated towards the end, around the time when the Japanese commander began to crack. You and Dredd arguing the obvious, that the Japanese commander had cracked under pressure, meanwhile, the Japanese commander argued that he had been perfectly logical and had followed orders. Pretty soon after, he began to argue that you and the rest of VF-21 were bloodthirsty and undisciplined. He even went as far as to accuse Dredd of being unfit for command.Luckily for the allied commander, the lead Japanese spook cooled his heels before he said something he came to regret. Though rather interestingly, you noted that his squadmates kept very quiet.Right now, you were waiting in one of the base's pilot's break room. The debriefing had ended around five minutes ago, and you had been sent off here to wait. You had to stay on base for a bit longer while the ground crew finished off their few repairs to your aircraft. All of you had taken fire in some way, mostly either shrapnel from exploding shells or aircraft debris, but a few of your aircraft had taken bullets from enemy guns. Your jet had taken some lucky rifle fire to the left nacelle and the external fuel tank that was carried beneath it. None had gone through the engine's armouring, but it all had to be repaired. No better time to do it than now. Once that was done, you were to be armed up with a light transfer load before returning to Yokota. And right now, the Japanese commander was the talk of the town right now.>Find the Japanese commander. You want to give him a piece of your mind.>Just sit around and wait for your plane to be refuelled.>Talk with someone (who?)>Other (write in)
>>2370437>Just sit around and wait for your plane to be refuelled.No need to pick a fight right now.
>>2370437>Just sit around and wait for your plane to be refuelled.Sorry, Vermintide 2 came out rather recently.
>>2370437>Just sit around and wait for your plane to be refuelled.It's back!
While you wanted to go over and chew the fuck out of the Japanese commander, you couldn't see how that would result in anything more than a fight. While you were certain you could win, having been in more fights than you could count, you didn't want to feed his accusation. Besides, this wasn't your home base, you were guests here. The least you could do was not cause a ruckus.So instead you hit up the pair of vending machines, grabbed yourself a bottle of water and some potato chips, and ate them in silence. Listening into, and occasionally nodding at the various insults that were hurled at the missing Japanese commander. You nodded at Weiss's dismay for the pilots under him. He would get them either killed or shot down soon enough. Dredd and Ahab seemed rather quiet about the whole thing, while Kenji was among the most vocal. The irate Japanese pilot hurling some of the more barbed insults, though you had trouble understanding one of his insults. Something about "flying with his sword" that went way over your head. Though from how Tetsuko seemed to flinch a bit at it, you guessed that it was bad.You just about finished your potato chips just before a marine corporal entered the room, telling you all that all of the repairs were done and that you had to head over to the hanger with him. And with the scraping of chairs on the tiled floor, everybody got up and followed the man back to the hanger.All of your tomcats had been fully repaired, armed, and fuelled if the lingering stench of aviation fuel was any indication. All of the aircraft carried a pair of sidewinders and a pair of sparrows, the standard load for a transfer flight in risky airspace. You weren't really armed for combat, but it was good enough to defend yourself from most threats.Or at least you hoped so. You were pretty sure you were hauling vietnam-era J model sidewinders. Hell, if you were then you would be even more worried than usual. Those were air force missiles after all.The flight back however did not have such fun. Hell, you were sure that the missiles would have been more useful back on Okinawa. Your flight was wheeled out of the hanger in the reverse of the order you arrived in, with you leaving last. So you had to hurry up a bit in order to not keep your flight and the trio of C-130s loaded with your ground crews and their equipment. However, once you reached them the flight back was very direct and very simple. With PACOM reporting that the only remaining Soviet fleet was much further out in the fleet, thus clearing you to fly over the Pacific on a direct route back to Yokota. As such, you were all too far to be called in to assist if the reds made some attempt to strike at the home islands. Most of the journey back was taken up again by tails of the past battle.>CONT
>>2371138The sun rose over the horizon while you were in flight, and you reached Yokota as the base launched it's morning CAP flights. IJN F-4J Kai fighters taking off with the most advanced missiles they could. The active radar guided sparrows they carried were inferior to the AMRAAMs you hauled on the regular. But they were something at least. You landed after the last of these upgraded Phantoms was vectored out to it's patrol pattern, and well after the C-130s that were carrying your ground crew landed. The fat planes needing to disgorge your ground crews so that they could quickly do their jobs. You had to hold in waiting for a good few minutes while the crews were transported to your squadron's hangers before you were cleared to land one by one. A good few minutes later, you out of your plane again, now thinking about what you wanted to do next.>Head over to the hospital. You might as well fill in Svetlana on the mission.>Talk with Vampire. She promised that she would tell you what's up once the mission was over.>Ask Kenji or Tatsuko about the former's insult earlier. You don't quite understand it.>Crash out in bed, you feel like sleeping.>Other (write in)
>>2371141>Talk with Vampire. She promised that she would tell you what's up once the mission was over.It's time.
>>2371141>Talk with Vampire. She promised that she would tell you what's up once the mission was over.
You were curious. You had been since you had landed at Niigata. Something was eating at one of your friends, something that was important enough to her that she hadn't even talked to her closest friend. Yet she had decided to tell you. You didn't know why, but you hoped that she would tell you.You didn't have to wait long for Weiss and Vampire to deplane. The German pilot making her way quickly towards one of the waiting trucks that had dropped off the ground crews, and was now picking up pilots. Vampire however seemed to sense what was about to happen, and was hanging back by a good meter or so. She spotted you crossing the taxiway towards her, and cocked her head back to roughly between the German's hanger and Svetlana's hanger. You followed her onto the grass between the hardened aircraft shelters, and eventually around the back, after checking that you weren't being followed."Following a girl back behind the hanger, where nobody can see? Anyone would think that we'd be getting intimate." Vampire began, her tome low and seductive, almost as if she wouldn't mind getting intimate."Maybe later..." You chuckled, before your tone began to grow more serious. "But I think we both know why I'm here.""You're here to find out what's wrong." Vampire asked, her voice flat and resigned. Her eyes remained locked with yours until you gave her a slight nod. At which point, they fell to look at her boots."It's... I-It's a private matter. A family matter. I think you can already guess what it is. So go ahead, ask your questions." Vampire began, her voice weak and worried to begin with, but slowly growing stronger as she steeled herself to the inevitable. However, you could sense the faint quiver in her voice even now.>"What's wrong. Give it to me straight.">"Why didn't you tell Weiss?">"Will this affect your performance in combat?">Other (write in)
>>2371513>"What's wrong. Give it to me straight."
"What's wrong. Give it to me straight." You asked flatly, not bothering to dance around the question with things that could be asked later. In spite of this however, Vampire seemed to flinch. As if she hadn't actually been expecting you to be so direct."Well... it all started yesterday. After we arrived back from our patrol flight that went to hell and back?" Vampire began, you nodded at her explanation, you had all received mail while you were out fighting. You had guessed that her problem had stemmed from that. If not, then the chances of you needing to bust some heads open would have skyrocketed."We had mail, and it's normal for myself and Weiss to read our mail in separate rooms. Keeping private things private is something that she is keen on." Vampire continued to explain, her voice beginning to quiver as her eyes darted across the grass. This wasn't something she wanted to talk about, but she continued going."I had received a letter from home. I hadn't heard much from them since the war began, so obviously I was keen to read what they had sent. W-Weiss left the room and... and..." Karla began as she looked up to look you in the eye, but she began to quickly break down as she played back the memory in her head. Tears forming in the corners of her eyes as they glazed over, no longer looking at you, but instead staring blankly in your direction. Almost as if you weren't there."M-Mama... p-papa... they're... they're gone..." Karla choked out between the tears as they began to fall down her face. She didn't seem to notice them, she didn't seem to react at all. The sheer realisation hitting her now with full force.>Keep quiet and let her cry it out.>Say something? Do something? (write in)
>>2371888>She needs a hug and a shoulder to cry onoh shit
>>2371888>>She needs a hug and a shoulder to cry on
Right now, there was nothing much you could say. What could you say? That things were going to be alright? You would just be lying to her. So instead, you simply stepped forwards and wrapped your arms around the sobbing RIO. Karla didn’t respond to the contact for a good few seconds, before slowly wrapping her arms around you to return the hug. The shorter woman rested her head on your shoulder as she sobbed, her tears soaking into your flight suit.You had been here before, when Durendal had believed that her brother was dead. Thankfully, that turned out to be a false assumption, and things had normalised from there. But this? You doubted that her parents were alive. If a letter had been sent, it was either from an official source, or from a close friend or family member. As such, it was much harder to misinterpret.The pair of you stood there for a good 5 minutes in almost silence, the only sound from either of you being the weak sobbs coming from Karla. You doubted that anyone could hear her. The nearby roar of jet engines drowned out almost everything else as aircraft taxied to and back from the runway. And when there were none nearby, the sound of loud music from the German hanger was still more than enough to ensure that nobody heard the RIO. “I’m alone.” Karla stated, her broken voice so low that you had to strain to hear her. Yet in spite of that, her words carried a hefty weight to them as she lamented her loss.>”You aren’t alone. You have everyone in the unit.”>”Don’t you have any other family?”>Other (write in)
>>2375281>”You aren’t alone. You have everyone in the unit.”
>>2375281>>”You aren’t alone. You have everyone in the unit.”
"You aren’t alone. You have everyone in the unit.” You reminded the German RIO. While you knew that the unit was certainly not in any way a good substitute for her parents, it was better than nothing. And you doubted that anyone in the unit would deny her a shoulder to cry on. "You'll all die. Just like-" Karla began, only for you to cut past her dejected ramblings."Nobody is going to die. I promise you that much." You stated flatly. You couldn't guarantee that promise. You all risked your lives every time you went out on a flight. But if the last few months were any indication of the rest of the war, you ought to be on the right track. But it something that she needed to hear right now.The pair of you stood there for another few minutes until she stopped crying, and then around 5 minutes after that, until she finally let go of you. You released her and took a small step back, still keeping a reassuring hand on her shoulder."Feeling better?" You asked with a small smile as Karla wiped the tears from her eyes."About as well as I can..." Karla shrugged in response, as if she didn't know the answer herself. Her watery and bloodshot eyes were a telltale sign that she had been crying, but the truth was going to come out either way so it didn't really matter."Come on, let's head back to the unit. We should be on crew rest for the next few hours." You lightly clapped her on the shoulder, before slowly leading her out from behind the hanger. Both of your footsteps being muffled by the damp grass beneath your boots."I don't know how I'm supposed to handle this. What am I meant to do?" Karla asked quietly, a fear in her voice that you hadn't heard before from her. But at the same time, you understood where it was coming from. She was worried about if she would be detached from the unit for a short period of time to deal with her issues.>"Talk to people in the unit. Weiss, myself, Dredd, anyone. They will be more than willing to support you through this.">"Bottle it up. Nobody else has to know, and you can use your emotions to help you in battle.">"There are probably some psychiatrists on base. Maybe you can talk to one of them?">Other (write in)
>>2376336>>"Talk to people in the unit. Weiss, myself, Dredd, anyone. They will be more than willing to support you through this."
>>2376336>"Talk to people in the unit. Weiss, myself, Dredd, anyone. They will be more than willing to support you through this.">"We're here for you."
"Talk to people in the unit. Weiss, myself, Dredd, anyone. They will be more than willing to support you through this." You recommended, building on what you had said to her close to 10 minutes ago. "We're here for you, remember?""Yes. You all are." Karla nodded, before stooping her head a bit lower. "I'm sorry.""No need to apologise." You brushed off her apology as you both reached the taxiway, but as you turned to walk towards the base. You were both almost bowled over by Ahab, the bulky pilot having to quickly sidestep around you as he raced for his hanger."Hey! What's going on?" You called after him as he raced after Ishmael, the small RIO having managed to obtain quite the lead on his pilot. "Fuck if we know, we got turned around the moment we arrived at the barracks." Dredd responded as he stopped in behind you, he gave Karla a concerned look as the both of you turned to face him, before you reclaimed his attention."Just us? What about the rest of the base?" You asked again, now getting even more confused. Even out here, there were still sirens that would be activated in the event of a base wide scramble. And they were currently silent."We're it, now get to your plane!" Dredd ordered you, before turning his attention to Karla. "Are you alright?""I am fine." Karla insisted, her voice suddenly firm and collected as she shoved her emotions aside for the mission."Are you sure? I-" Dredd questioned her further, only to be rudely interrupted."I said that I am fine!" Karla hissed, her voice rising ever so slightly. You weren't sure is she was angry at him trying to dig into her personal issues, or his suggestion to deny her request for revenge. Either way, it caused the both of you to flinch."Now, practice what you preach, and get to damn plane." Karla huffed, before storming off into her hanger. You decided not to wait any longer, and quickly raced into your hanger. You quickly ascended the ladder and dropped into your seat for the second time today, Zeus already sat behind you.>Ask Zeus what's going on.>Get on the squadron frequency and try to find out what's going on.>Other (write in)
>>2376626>Get on the squadron frequency and try to find out what's going on.
>>2376626>>Ask Zeus what's going on.
Need a tiebreaker
>>2376626>Ask Zeus what's going on.
"Zeus, what's going on?" You asked as you strapped yourself into your seat, your harness buckling into place with a metallic snap."Not sure, though if I were to guess it's either a strike mission or we're flying escort for a SAR flight." Zeus explained from behind you as one of your ground crew passed you your helmet with a weary smile. You took the helmet with a nod and put it on, fastening the chinstrap as the crewman plugged in your oxygen hose and assorted wires."Why do you say that?" You asked as you gave the crewman a quick salute with one hand while you began your pre-flight checks."We're the only tomcat squadron that can fly either of those missions. And as the squadron that struck the facility, it makes sense for us to be sent in." Zeus explained further as the ground crewman climbed back down the ladder. You checked your mask, confirming that oxygen was indeed flowing through it."What load should we take for either mission?" You asked Zeus as you eyed the corner in which your various weapons racks were stacked. The twin AMRAAM racks that had proven themselves so indispensable were already being readied for mounting."If we have to go after the UN facility again, we should take a pair of GBU twenty-eights. The Chinese will probably have moved more AA units in so a pair of HARMs wouldn't go amiss. An AMRAAM and a pair of agiles would then round out the air to air load." Zeus explained your first mission as your helmet mounted cuing system flashed online. You turned your head to confirm that the wires were an adequate length, even going as far as to crane your neck around to make sure."And for the SAR mission?" You prompted Zeus to continue as you gave yourself a bit more slack on the helmet wires. But not too much slack that it would be an issue."A pair of AMRAAMs between the nacelles for BVR, a pair of dumb one thousand pounders behind them, and either four sidewinders or a pair of agiles. Stations one-b and eight-b would be up in the air though. If we wanted more air to ground ordnance we could take four zuni rocket pods and a pair of decoys, alternately we could swap out the zunis for FFAR's. That would give us more rockets to play with but less punch per rocket. The decoy could also be swapped out for another pair of rocket pods. If we wanted more air to air then we could carry another four AMRAAMs on a pair of twin racks. An IFF locator would take up one of our fuel tanks though, so keep that in mind." Zeus finished off his rundown with the lengthiest part of the suggestion. And while you could certainly see the merits of his ideas, you didn't like the idea of carrying more air to ground weapons.>Wait until you are briefed before choosing your weapons load. >Choose one of the weapons loads (options will follow)>Other (write in)
>>2376881>>Wait until you are briefed before choosing your weapons load.
>>2376881>Wait until you are briefed before choosing your weapons load.
>>2376881>Load agiles on 1a and 8a, but wait for briefing before choosing weapons load Here we go again...
“Chief! Load us with a pair of agiles on stations one and eight A!” You called down to your crew chief, before switching on the squadron frequency as the men below you put the twin sidewinder racks back in their places.“Freelancer flight, this is admiral Harris. Standby for briefing.” You were almost instantly greeted by the voice of admiral Harris, the man behind Freelancer flight’s new role as something greater than a simple line squadron. The admiral was quiet for a few seconds, before he began the briefing.“Around thirty minutes ago, Princess Sakamoto and her flight were engaged by a squadron of Soviet aircraft while attempting to return from a strike mission. While the majority of the squadron was able to escape to friendly territory, the princess and one other aircraft was shot down. You are being scrambled to assist the combat search and rescue flight in locating the princess and recovering her.” The admiral briefed you all, startling you slightly at the sheer weight of the mission. To say that failure wasn’t an option was an understatement.In spite of that, part of you was worried even more for your sister. Was she flying the other aircraft that was shot down?“What is the composition of the C-SAR flight?” Dredd asked, his voice unwavering. If he was worried, he wasn’t showing it.“The flight consists of a single credible hawk, a search and rescue modified blackhawk. A pair of super cobras will fly escort and supporting CAS for credible hawk, but they won’t nearly be as effective as your birds at either hauling iron or air to air. You’ll need to assign a pair of aircraft to stay close to them.” The admiral answered the question after a second. Around as long as someone would need to flip over the page in a briefing packet.“What are the recommended roles and loads sir?” Slider asked, unlike Dredd, she sounded worried. You didn’t really blame her, you hadn’t really trained much for this kind of mission. You were better suited for offensive air combat and low level strike than babysitting a flight of slow helicopters.“The recommended roles are as follows. A pair aircraft are to fly close air protection for the SAR flight, the remaining three pairs are to fly either air or ground interdiction. All aircraft are to carry personnel location pods in the place of one external tank. The aircraft flying air interdiction are to carry as many AMRAAMs as possible to cover the ground interdiction aircraft. The ground interdiction aircraft are to carry as much air to ground weapons as possible, that includes swapping out air to air missiles for sidearm short range anti-radiation missiles. Recommendations are for a large number of small weapons to help suppress the enemy while the SAR birds do their job.” Admiral Harris explained, and you could swear that he was reading off a sheet of paper.>CONT
>>2378620“How long do we have to ask questions an decide our loads?” Dredd asked the question for you as you tried to figure out a load in your head, or at least a load that wasn’t either Zeus’s suggestion or a bunch of AMRAAMs.“A few minutes at most. The longer you spend on the ground, the smaller your window in gets. We cannot allow the princess to be captured. Am I clear?” The admiral waited for all of you to respond in the affirmative, before continuing. “Good, any questions?”>Ask a question (write in)>No questions, skip to deciding your load.>No questions, take Zeus’s suggested load and get in the air.>Other (write in)
>>2378624>>No questions, take Zeus’s suggested load and get in the air.
"No questions sir." You answered, which the rest of the squadron soon repeated."Understood. We already have their rough location, which will be sent to you along secure channels. The SAR helicopters are already en-route. You'll rendezvous with them just prior to going feet wet. You will search for the princess, her RIO and the downed crew from there. Good luck, and godspeed. Admiral Harris, out." The admiral bid you goodbye, before clicking off the channel, allowing you and the rest of the squadron to get to planning."Freelancer two-one and freelancer two-two shall take a mixed air-to-air and air-to-ground load. Zeus will co-ordinate with Scorpion and Vampire." You immediately stated, claiming a mixed load for a bit more flexibility."Do it in here so that everybody else can hear you. We'll all take a mixed load so that we can attack targets of opportunity." Dredd ordered, making a smart call so that none of you would have to wait on a dedicated ordnance truck for the mission. It had been a good idea for when you attacked the UN facility, but only because you actually had time to make a detailed plan."Alright, the load is as follows." Zeus began, wasting no time. "A pair of AMRAAMs on stations three and six, a pair of mark eight-fours on stations four and five. Triple ejector racks are mounted on stations one and eight B for a TALD along with either two zuni rocket pods or two FFAR pods.""The mark eighty-fours won't be too useful if we only have two of them. I suggest we instead take racks for six mark eighty-twos. The TALDs can also go, we'll need either more rockets or more bombs." Vampire suggested, your wingmate choosing a handful of small bombs over the guaranteed tank killers."I wouldn't get rid of them so soon. The TALDs will be useful for drawing enemy fire. To make up for the loss in firepower, I think that we should take FFARs. They are smaller but we can carry more of them." Ahab wisely suggested, and you could sort of see his reasoning. If you remembered correctly, a lot of Korea was mountainous. If you could just leave the TALDs up high then they could draw enemy fire while all of you stayed beneath them in relative safety."Or, we could ditch the TALDs and carry more Zuni pods. We could have roughly the same number of rockets with more explosive weight." Vampire countered, instead favouring the harder hitting zuni rockets."If we're going down the route of more firepower, we could just take more a pair of five-hundred pound bombs, non?" Durendal suggested, following your wingmate's trend to it's logical conclusion.>Take a lot of little weapons (x28 FFARs, 6 5000lbs bombs)>Take a few large weapons (x16 Zunis, x2 1,000lbs bombs)--------------------->Take TALDs (+2 TALDs)>Take extra rockets (+8 Zuni rockets OR +14 FFARs)>Take Mk-82s (+2 500lbs bombs)--------------------->Just sit back and wait for them to decide.>This shit's too complicated, just take a pair of AMRAAMs and a bunch of bombs.>Other (write in)
>>2379403>>Just sit back and wait for them to decide.
>>2379403>This shit's too complicated, just take a pair of AMRAAMs and a bunch of bombs.
Need a tiebreaker.
>>2379567Guess I'll break it and switch.
Instead of giving your own input on the current debate, you instead continued your pre-flight checks and preparations. Stopping short of completely configuring your weapons computer and engines as you waited just a bit longer for your bickering squadmates to come to a decision.“Enough!” Dredd called for order, swiftly silencing the bickering of your fellow squadmates. “We will go with a version of Ahab’s load. Just swapping the FFARs for zunis. Kenji and Kay will provide the AMRAAMs.”“Well, that was easy enough.” Zeus sighed over the internal radio channel, before then disconnecting his microphone so that he could yell your weapons load down to the ground crew beneath you.From there, you took only a few more minutes to be loaded up. The jet had already had most of its mounts from the mission before removed, thus allowing your ground crew to quickly arm your jet with little issue. The only issue was that the zuni rockets and their pods had to be quickly brought in from another hanger. Specifically, from the hangers assigned to one of the base’s A-4 skyhawk squadrons.If their attrition rate was any indication though, then they wouldn't need the ordinance.Once the pods were attached however, you were all cleared to taxi to the runway. The nearby aircraft were all ordered to halt or make way for you as you were given priority clearance for the runway. Allowing you a brief moment to feel smug about how the massive F-12s were forced to wait for you to take your time. You couldn't really enjoy it for too long as you were on the clock, but it was something at least. And thanks to that priority clearance, your entire squadron was airborne within 5 minutes of starting your engines.>Talk to someone (who?)>Ask about the latest intel on the mission.>Keep quiet until you meet up with the CSAR flight.>Other (write in)
>>2380084>Ask about the latest intel on the mission.I just noticed something. Shouldn't it be "hangar", not "hanger"?
>>2380084>>Ask about the latest intel on the mission.
>>2380084>Ask about the latest intel on the mission.
"What's the latest intel?" You asked over the squadron frequency as VF-21 formed up in the airspace above Yokota air base. The squadron holding position for the bare minimum amount of time as everybody mustered for the flight out.“Last report states that the princess and one other aviator went down in the Hamgyong mountains in the north of the Korean peninsula. At most, the SAR flight will only have to try and recover four aviators. Maybe less.” Dredd answered as you and Weiss formed up off your squadron leader. You checked your weapons computer as you pulled into place, and nodded to yourself as you saw no faults.“Where is the SAR flight?” Karla asked, her voice completely level. Anybody listening in would have had no indication that she had been crying her eyes out around a quarter of an hour ago.“They’re already over the sea of Japan. They’ll meet up with a pair of combat talons to refuel before heading in, regardless of if we’re there.” Dredd explained as Slider and Durendal joined you, leaving you all waiting on Kenji and Kay.>Ask about the SAR flight, is that kind of recklessness usual?>Ask about the enemy presence in the area, what can you expect to fight?>Ask about your sister, was she in the other aircraft?>Ask about the plan, is there a search plan that you are expected to follow?>Other (write in)
>>2381642>Ask about the plan, is there a search plan that you are expected to follow?
>>2381642>>Ask about the plan, is there a search plan that you are expected to follow?
"What's the plan?" You asked as the last aircraft joined up with your flight, Kenji and Kay always bringing up the rear."We head in and fly around until the personnel location pods get a signal. From there, report it in and probe around in cardinal directions until the signal grows stronger." Slider responded, listing off the standard protocol that you had all learned back in training."I know how the pods work, I was asking if we plan to fly a pattern over the area, or if we're just going to fly around like headless chickens until we find something?" You reiterated your question, further clarifying your question to get a better answer."Chickens can't fly." Weiss pointed out with a small and almost implacable tone in her voice."For fucks sake-" You sighed, but Dredd cut you off before you could give a response to your irritated wingmate."Can it. I know we're all tired, but there's no need to be a smart-ass." Dredd cut in, before answering your question. "Current estimates limit our search area to a twenty kilometre area. The locator pods are going to limited by the terrain, so to alleviate that we'll try to instead find the crash sites and fan out from there.">Ask about the SAR flight, is that kind of recklessness usual?>Ask about the enemy presence in the area, what can you expect to fight?>Ask about your sister, was she in the other aircraft?>Ask about the plan, is there a search plan that you are expected to follow?>Other (write in)
>>2385159>Ask about the enemy presence in the area, what can you expect to fight?Better not be a Belkan jammer.
>>2385159>Ask about the enemy presence in the area, what can you expect to fight?
"What enemy resistance are we likely to face?" You asked as the squadron turned north, headed out on the first leg of your flight path out."For a start, it shouldn't be too much. The reds aren't likely to dedicate heavy ground units like tanks for the search due to the terrain. Likewise, they probably won't deploy fighters and attack helicopters for the most part. The most we'll have to face will be truck mounted machine guns and transport helicopters." Dredd explained, answering your question as the squadron slowly accelerated to cruising speed. The long wings of the assorted tomcats all sweeping back as one to allow the aircraft to fly past mach 1."Until they hear that we're trying to enter. At which point, things will go to hell in a hand-basket." Durendal pointed out, after all, news travelled fast, and no news travelled faster than the sighting of a flight of intruding fighters."Hell, chances are that they'll raise the alarm the moment they see either us or the SAR birds, to hell with waiting for us to open fire." Dredd sighed, before continuing with his explanation. "Chances are that they will scramble assets to deal with us. At first we can expect fishbeds, maybe floggers at worst. Hinds will probably try and make their way over, but that's if they are close by. Once they find out that we have tomcats however, they will bring in the more important assets. Flankers and the likes.""So once the bullets start flying, we're on a clock." Kay summarised everything that Dredd had just said in a single sentence."Yes. Hence why we have to stay low. If the Soviets spot us with long range radar then the mission is over." Dredd warned you, and by extension, the rest of the squadron. >Ask about the SAR flight, is that kind of recklessness usual?>Ask about your sister, was she in the other aircraft?>Talk to a squadmate (who?)>Shut up until your get to Korea.>Other (write in)
>>2387653>Shut up until your get to Korea.
With all of your questions answered, you kept quiet for the rest of the flight in. There was no point in getting on people's nerves with more questions. As such, you instead kept focused on the more important aspects of your flight, like trying to ignore your growing hunger. Or the cold worry that your sister had been flying the second aircraft.The flight out took slightly longer than expected as you had to refuel twice. The first time from a USAF KC-135, just off the Japanese coast. And the second time from the very same MC-130 that the SAR helicopters had refuel from. However, getting form the first tanker, to the second, was easier said than done. Almost as soon as you were done refuelling from the bulky KC-135, your squadron dived to the just above the crashing waves of the Sea of Japan. While it was certainly more fuel efficient to fly in at altitude, you couldn't risk being spotted by enemy radar. As such, such a low level insertion was required. And even then, your path took a few turns in order to avoid a few unidentified vessels. While the vessels themselves were most likely Chinese fishing ships that were risking the dangers in order to bring in a true bounty of fish, nobody knew if they were also acting as Chinese observation ships in the guise of simple civilians. And with the stakes so high, that wasn't a risk that could be taken.By the time you reached the loitering tankers, you were able to see the Korean coastline. The long stretch of dry land did not promise safety however. While Korea was once a Japanese territory, it was a well known fact that the north was always the more resistant to their rule. To say that the civilians were probably on the side of the Soviets was a suckers bet. Still, that wasn't much of a matter as you connected to the trailing refuelling hose from the MC-130. You topped off your fuel tanks, and detached after a few seconds, leaving the hose open for Vampire. A few minutes later, you went your separate ways. With the MC-130s heading back for home while you and the squadron continued your mission. On the way back, you would meet up with a flight of more specialised HC-130s and their escorts. And they would give you the fuel needed to return home. Fairly soon after you crossed onto the land, you met up with the slow-moving helicopters. The single pave hawk and it's gunship escorts flying as fast as they could to simply keep above your aircraft's stall speeds."Alright, we're approaching the search zone. Call out where you're going to search." Dredd ordered as most of VF-21 began to pull ahead of the slow-moving helicopters and their escorts.>CONT
>>2388240>Search the east of the zone. The mountainous terrain is a perfect place to hide out and await a helicopter recovery.>Search the middle of the zone. The princess and the other aircraft went down in that area, and they are most likely still in the area.>Search the west of the zone. The flatter terrain is far easier to pass on foot, and leads towards the coast for a pickup by SF teams.>Other (write in)
>>2388242>Search the west of the zone. The flatter terrain is far easier to pass on foot, and leads towards the coast for a pickup by SF teams.Should take a bit of extra time to comb through the mountains for the poor saps who have to search for downed enemy pilots from the ground.
>>2388242>Search the west of the zone. The flatter terrain is far easier to pass on foot, and leads towards the coast for a pickup by SF teams.
"Freelancer two-one and two-two, headed for the western end of the zone." You called out over the zone, before switching over to the channel between you and your wingmate. "Better keep an eye out for enemy AA. We can't be too sure that the soviet's haven't already moved their search teams into the ares.""And? They'll probably bring in shilkas and light machine guns." Weiss pointed out, your wingmate apparently not believing that the threat was significant enough to warrant preparation."And they might just bring in grisons and gauntlets. Better to be prepared for them, even if they don't show up." Zeus pointed out as you broke off from the rest of VF-21, peeling off towards the gap between the mountain ranges."I agree, I'd rather not go down out here." Vamprie agreed with Zeus, the two RIOs thinking alike as your aircraft popped up to 100 feet off the deck, your aircraft still hidden from enemy long range radar by the terrain. Your pods both online as you went.The terrain beneath you was packed full of trees. So much so that you had to strain to try and find areas of naturally uncovered ground. A few roads had been cut into the forest, their trails easy to see amongst the rough terrain. And soon enough, something was spotted on that road."Contact ahead on radar, give me a second to bring the FLIR on target." Zeus called out, snapping you out of your search. "I already have them. It's a small convoy of ground units moving down what I assume to be one of the main roads. A pair of trucks, a pair of armoured infantry vehicles and a pair of jeeps. No air defence from the looks of it, but I'm not going to assume that they don't have an igla or two in one of those vehicles." Vampire beat Zeus to the punch, and called out the forces that you would soon encounter."How do you want to handle this Razor?" Scorpion asked, your wingmate deferring command to you.>Take them out now! You can't risk them getting away.>Go around them! You can't risk the Soviets calling for reinforcements right now.
>>2393622>Go around them! You can't risk the Soviets calling for reinforcements right now.
>>2393622>>Go around them! You can't risk the Soviets calling for reinforcements right now.
"We'll have to go around. People would see the smoke for miles around, we can't risk that." You ordered your wingmate, before making to break around to the west of the convoy."Break east. We're getting close to Hwangsuwon air base, and we don't want them to scramble." Vampire recommended as Scorpiuon took hr jet off to the east, you quickly followed suit and followed her to the deck, keeping low to avoid being spotted by the convoy."What info do we have on Hwangsuwon?" Scorpion asked, the curious inflection on her voice could only be described as [i]hungry[/i]. Hungry for something to kill."It's a small airbase. It used to be a major enemy airfield for fighters and later tactical bombers, back when the war was actually raging on the peninsula. As far as reconnaissance says, a lot of their significant assets have been cycled out of the area. As far as we know, their compliment there is mostly made up of fishbeds and helicopters. Very much a second line compliment, but if they scramble then we may just be SOL." Zeus answered, obviously having read up on the information of the nearby enemy airbases in preparation for the mission. You'd have to find out how he managed to get so much information one of these days but that wasn't of much concern right now."What if we attacked the base? We could take out the enemy aircraft before they takeoff." Scorpion suggested, her hunger for easy kills was obvious. And you didn't blame her. It was well know that an aircraft kill counted, regardless of if the aircraft was actually flying.>Go after the base! If you can take their aircraft out before they take off, then you will have heavily mauled their capabilities.>Continue with the search! You are here to find downed pilots, not burn down airbases.>Ask Dredd, it's his call.>Other (write in)
>>2397776>Continue with the search! You are here to find downed pilots, not burn down airbases.Not yet.
>>2397776>>Continue with the search! You are here to find downed pilots, not burn down airbases.
"Ignore it. We're here for the pilots, not to kill aircraft." You ordered, while you were sure that the airbase would scramble if an alert went out, you didn't want to kick the hornets nest right now. There was still a chance that you could get through this without getting every fighter in the damn region scrambled to kill you."Understood." Scorpion replied, her voice ripe with resentment at being denied more kills. You didn't bother to comment on it though, such aggression was unhealthy. But you weren't one to talk."Freelancer three-one to all aircraft. I have a return on some transponders, it's weak, but it's there." Slider called out over the squadron network, alerting everyone that there was definitely someone in the mountains."Freelancer one-one, I have a positive location on a pair of transponders. I've called in the SAR birds to properly search the area. Razor, get your flight over here just in case the Soviets start something." Dredd ordered, his cool and commanding voice following in after slider's call."Sir, I need Razor over here. I'm having trouble finding the transponders in the mountainous terrain." Slider called out. the British pilot insisting on aid in her search."Alright, Razor, it's your call." Dredd passed off the decision to you.>Assist Dredd. You can't risk the Soviets shooting down the SAR bird.>Assist Slider. You need to find the other transponder as quickly as possible.
>>2400590>Assist Dredd. You can't risk the Soviets shooting down the SAR bird.
Need 1 more vote, or we're just gonna wrap up the thread.
>>2400590>>Assist Slider. You need to find the other transponder as quickly as possible>weak transponder signalsome older operation?
Need a tiebreaker...
>>2400590>>Assist Slider. You need to find the other transponder as quickly as possible
"Understood, moving to assist three-one. Do you have a rough idea where we have to look, Slider?"" You called as you lead your flight further up the mountain. Scorpion remaining at distance as the pair of you flew just scant meters above the treetops. Thankfully, the convoy hadn't seemed to have noticed you. Or at least, they hadn't tried to fire at you."Somewhere around the peak, mags will give you the coordinates. The signal was weak, so either the transponder is damaged or it's far away." Slider replied, her tired and slightly horse voice confused you. But not because you couldn't understand what she was saying. Rather, you wondered what would have caused her to sound as if she had just been in a very protracted shouting match."In fairness, we are having to keep fairly low, and that is hampering our effectiveness." Mags pointed out, the British RIO sounding just about as pleased as you passed the SAR flight. The two cobras were beginning to split off from the credible hawk, both of them searching the jungle with their high-powered sensors."And who that we might be getting pegged by enemy radar?" Slider asked, though the venom in her voice told you that she already knew the answer. And that she wasn't very happy with that particular person."Yes, but-" Bats began, only for the French RIO to be rudely interrupted."But nothing. We haven't gotten any returns back for a good five minuites. They should have left, but fine. We'll play it your way." Slider ranged, her obviously pissed off tone drowning out the French woman's protests. Once she was done, she turned her attention to you. "Just stay close to the deck and you should be fine. Assuming that the little frog knows what the fuck she's on about.""Alright, Scorpion, spread out. And keep low, we don't want-" You began to order your wingmate to search the southern end of the mountain range, when a hurried cry cut you off."HINDS! Enemy hinds inbound from the west!" Kay called out over the squadron frequency, you snapped your head back the way you came and sure enough, you saw a flight of inbound enemy helicopters, all getting way too close to the SAR helicopters as the credible hawk began to land.Of course, nothing could ever go according to plan.--------------------------------------------------------------I'm gonna call the thread here. We'll pick this up again on Friday, and dependent on how that goes I might put Pilot Quest to bed for a bit. It's obvious that my writing has gone to shit, so hopefully writing for something else will be a nice change of pace. There will be a poll up on twitter after the next thread about alternate things to run.Anyways, if you you have any questions then do feel free to ask them while the thread is still up. If I don't manage to answer you question before the thread falls off the board then I'll answer it either on my twitter account or next thread.
>>2403663See you soon.
>>2403663See you next time, boss.