"The Lightning STC was first recovered by an Adeptus Mechanicus Exploritas team on Kamak II. It took half a millenium until the aircraft finally came into service, operating alongside the Thunderbolt as an interceptor and ground attack aircraft. It is smaller and lighter than the Thunderbolt, carrying less weaponry, but with extra manoevrability"
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The two aircraft banked and climbed through the cloud cover, above was perfect sky with the dawn sun casting a blood red filter over everything.
“Mission control we have 3 hostiles inbound, bearing three four zero from our position, Warbird out”
A few seconds of static passed,
“This is mission control, you are authorized to engage Warbird, have fun boys and girls”
“About time! I was beginning to think these birds were just for show” Jason looked over to his wingman, or should that be wing woman he quietly thought to himself, hell and what a woman, he felt himself blushing. Emma wasn't far removed from the “layed back” art work on her Lightning, Tall, flowing red hair, wasted in an imperial jump suit he thought to himself. His mind suddenly clicked back into the job at hand, giving the thumbs up he slowly banked away in a standard combat maneuvered.
The intercom crackled into life “Take it high Jason, I will draw them in, you pounce em on the bounce, by the book”
“Sure thing Emma lets go have us some fun”!
“On my mark, 3 - 2 - 1”
Both pilots hit the afterburners and the Lightning interceptors tore into the thin air and rocketed towards the targets, as the “Warbird” climbed high the “layed back” maintained a steady course directly towards the enemy aircraft.
Emma punched a few buttons on the control panel and a holographic display appeared in front of her “Orc Bomber and 2 escorts, this should be like taking candy from a baby”
The range meter rapidly counted down the distance between the fighters. Emma kept her eye on the HUD, in a few seconds the small red circle that represented one of the Orc fighters transformed into a bright green cross, Emma heard the familiar growling tone indicating the on board computer had locked onto the target with a seeker missile. She flipped the safety over and stabbed at the button on the control column. Two missiles violently jolted free of the underside of the lightning and began to snake their way into the distance.
The Orc pilot didn't realize what was happening until he was tumbling free fall towards the ground the wreckage of his fighter passing him by, he vaguely remembered a couple of white streaks approaching him and a loud bang. The air rushing by him brought him back to reality and he quickly made a grab for the rip chord on his chute, try as he may he couldn't reach it, he realized why as he saw his lower arm above him and to his left, free-falling with him, he blacked out just before he hit the ground.
The remaining Orc fighter launched a couple of missiles in Emma's direction, but she was too fast, she banked sharply and released countermeasures, the crude missiles were easily fooled and passed by. As the two fighters circled each other the Orc Bomber frantically tried to dive for the cover and relative safety f the cloud.
The Orc was no rookie, as the “Layed back” was avoiding the missiles he had got himself in behind Emma on her 6 O'clock, the perfect firing position. Hot explosive bolts began to spit from the crude jagged toothed jaw painted on the front of his fighter. Emma's aircraft was suddenly surrounded by hot tracer fire as she threw the layed back from side to side trying to throw off the pursuer. She felt the aircraft jolt as the Orcs fire started to find its mark, this wasn't looking good….
“Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw” The shout echoed in Emma's earpiece “Here comes the cavalry!”
Jason swept in from above the Orc fighter, in all the action the enemy had neglected to check his surroundings, focused entirely on the prey in front, it was a costly mistake.
The Warbird used its momentum to quickly close on the fighter, Jason flicked the safety's from both the twin lascannons and the auto cannons, too close for a missile lock, he opened up with a full volley of everything the Lightning could offer.
The rear end of the Orc fighter disintegrated as the auto cannons explosive shells ate into it, at the same time the bolts of high intensity laser energy sliced through the fuselage of the aircraft. The Orc pilot stopped firing, he smelt burning and looked down towards the cauterized severed stumps where his legs used to be, 2 seconds later the fighter exploded in a ball of flame. The Warbird barrel-rolled through the fireball dragging contrails of flame behind it in a spiral of victory.
Emma let out a sigh “appreciated Jason, maybe a little quicker next time!”
“Yeah, sorry Emma, was enjoying the view”
Emma chuckled to herself “OK, lets go deal with that bomber”
The Lightnings peeled off and headed into the cloud………