“Sarah” Derek said, “I’m going to fall off if you don’t get a handle on this”.
Hawk piped up, “you’re not fully strapped in you idiot. You’re sitting on the bloody harness”.
Derek had thought his seat was particularly uncomfortable and now he knew why. Sarah kept it steady enough for him to pull the harness out and strap himself in. Just in time “incoming! Behind us!” Sarah said. Derek swivelled round and looked up. At first he couldn’t see because of the sun, but then he saw the shadow of a wing. “Hawk, you keep flying you hear, I’m going into evasive maneuvers. Derek, don’t just sit there, put your call of duty to use. FIRE!!
Derek snapped into action when he felt the first evasive maneuver. Now he could see the bird heading straight for them. He turned his gun on the bird and fired. “Peas!”.
“What?” Sarah said.
“This thing fires peas!” He shouted!”
“I’m really busy right now!” She said banking hard left, then hard right. “Just do it Derek!”
He fired again and the bird went down and landed on a branch, he spotted it coughing and spluttering. “Bulls eye!” He shouted.
“Well, that’s fantastic Derek but there’s another at three o clock!”
Realising it wasn’t over, he quickly rotated round to where the bird was and fired.
“Damn, sorry. Too quick on the turn. Missed him”.
“That bird is female!” Hawk said. “And if you two don’t get better fast, we’re going to be eaten!”
“Sorry skipper.” Derek said as he rounded for another shot at the bird. “Bam! Got hi.. her guys.”
“nice one Derek.” Just don’t get complacent or big-headed! You know what happens then.”
Derek was too busy checking for the next attack to respond. His first two wins were exhilarating. He never thought he would ever do something like this for real. As he looked at his firing console, he spotted a button underneath the swivel stick. ‘What’s this do’ he thought. Pressing it, he suddenly found himself spinning underneath until he was hanging upside down.
He looked up towards the ground just in time to see a frog taking aim at the team in front. He fired and hit it as it opened it’s mouth. The frog choked for a second, swallowed the pea and, looking very annoyed, took aim at Derek. Derek waited until the frog opened his mouth, then fired, the frog choked again, giving them time to fly out of range.
The team in front hadn’t had such a good success of it so far and were heading down after a bird attacked them at the same time as the frog. Having lost a wing they were spiraling to the ground. Spinning back up top, he told the others “We have to help them!”
Sarah looked down and saw the other team. She turned Hawk into a nose dive. Faster and faster they went “you’re gonna have to grab ’em as we go past.”
Derek understood. He swung back underneath and reached his hands ready. Sarah did her part and Hawk slowed down to match speed and spin of decent. Tumbling over and over the other team saw what was going on and releasing there straps, held on for dear life while reaching out for Derek. ‘Come on’ he thought. ‘touching fingertips. Just a bit more’. Grabbing the wrist of each person they grabbed him with all their might, dislocating one of his shoulders and pulling the muscle of the other.
“GOT THEM!” He shouted. As soon as they heard. Sarah and Hawk straightened up and flew up as fast as they could.
Once clear, the two new team members thanked their rescuers and introduced themselves as Mackintosh and Carter.
Realising Derek was injured, Mackintosh swapped places in the turret while Derek showed him how to use it. Hawk got Sarah to press a button and two more seats appeared. Carter strapped Derek in, then himself.
“MACKINTOSH, 11 O CLOCK!!” Sarah said with particular urgency. In the distraction, another bird had spotted them and was coming in extremely fast.
To be continued…