1970- Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base (The Vietnam war), We are in a dark room, with a projector showing a map of Vietnam.
"You're gonna be flying an F-4 Phantom to drop bombs on a Vietcong naval base located on an island in the middle of Mekong lake,
it's supposed to be a low-risk target since there would be no way to fit a runway on the island, but again this is all based on its geographical location, this is due to all recon teams,
not being able to make it to your A.O.
", announces General Harmand, "shit, sounds easy" whispers Frank Mendoza, he's been my battle buddy since boot camp, and he doesn't give me shit about being a woman.
General Harmand locks eyes with me, "listen, I know that this doesn't look like a hard target but if our last two missions show anything,
even a small frail old lady could pose a serious threat".
This was no lie, both missions were mysteriously shot down around one click from our mission location, " Maddie I know you're different from the rest,
but not just in your gender but in your pure talent in handling the stick, that why I'm sending you and Mendoza" explains General Harmand, "WHAT!?
" Yells Henry, this piece of shit has also been with me since boot camp, except he only sees me as a woman.
"There's a reason it's called a cockpit! Women shouldn't be allowed in a plane, let alone the army!" Frank shoots him a dangerous look but decides to defer the confrontation to later.
"I have nothing else to say, and the mission is dire, so depart immediately, Mendoza and Hill (Me)" Commands General Harmand.
As I walk on the airfield and take in the cacophony of noises,
from B-17 bombers starting up to gas men (I always feel like jobs are made more masculine by adding the word man as if compensating for the job) yelling at pilots that they're good to go.
This always hits me hard, I remember when I was a kid looking up to the sky and seeing grand flying machines causally go throughout the world,
and I remember asking my dad "I want to fly one of those!" And him telling me "no Maddie, that's a man's job".
But I wanted to be a pilot, this want for the ability to fly festered inside of me to this day, this is what powered me through boot camp, it's what powered me through all of the harassment.
"Hey Maddie!" Yells Frank "are we gonna do this or what?!", "Sure, let's do it," I respond.
"Wolf 128 ready for take-off departing northbound through runway two left" I announce over the radio, "Roger that Wolf 128 clear for departure for runway two left northbound" replies tower,
"Good luck wolf".
"You ready?" I ask Frank, he sits in gunner position while I sit in pilot position, "I guess I have no choice," Frank says jokingly, "Your damn right" I reply jokenly.
"Flaps down, throttle full", I recite, this will be my 48th mission in the army, nothing new here.
I look down from my vantage point in the sky, all I see is forests and rivers, very peaceful for an active warzone, then I see my target.
"Small Naval base my ass!" Exclaims Frank, "that might as well be as big as Ubon!", "fuck!
" I say, where intelligence was right was, that there would be no space for a runway on the island, but they created a full Vietcong Air Force base on the water of the lake,
with MiG-17's outfitted with makeshift pontoons, and boats with tanks in them for gas.
Then I see a surface to air missile (S.A.M.
) on our tail, everything from then on happens so quickly, "Fuck!
" I yell, "We're fuck'n dead" announces frank, I try to outmaneuver it I truly do, but in the end, it doesn't matter, we get struck on the tail, and with moments until the S.A.M.
blows up I press the eject button, but I don't see Frank do the same. When those moments pass I see the plane blow up, and I see my only friend die.
My parachute gets tangled in the trees and I get stuck 10 feet off the ground, but I don't care.
I just stare blankly ahead as I figure out what just happened.
Ten minutes pass until I snap out of it, I look down to access the situation and remember my training, I have to move immediately because search parties will be swarming my crash site soon.
I cut my seat off of the parachute and fall to the ground, luckily the seat takes most of the impact, I run to the nearest shrubbery and take out my Colt 1911, I've never had to use it before.
Like most pilots I stayed in the sky, where there was no need for pistols, this also meant that I hadn't packed any extra magazines so I only had eight bullets to use.
I drop down into the shrubbery and hide from the inevitable search party that will be arriving at my location,
I already realized that running away would be a terrible idea since I am ill-equipped for the forests of Vietnam, so I wait.
About 2 hours later I hear a squad of Vietcong soldiers discover my parachute, "this is it!" I think to myself, it's all up to luck now.
I lay down and keep my gun trained at the opening of the shrubbery that I'm hiding in.
I see a gun barrel pass the opening, I hold my breath, the Vietcong soldier turns and looks straight at me and my gun.
I freeze, I'm sure all he saw was fear in my eyes, as if in slow motion I see him start to call out to his comrades,
I try to silence him with a shot to the head but I miss as I try to cock the colt again he shoots me twice in the leg, I scream out in agony,
I see his comrades run over to me and then I blackout as my adrenaline finally runs out.
Light is all I see, "Hey you, you're finally awake" an English-speaking Vietcong soldier says. I look around, I'm in a white room with a table of which I'm chained to, there is blood everywhere.
"What is a woman doing in the U.S.
army? Have they really gotten so desperate that they started recruiting women?
The soldier asks, " I guess that's besides the matter, I won't bullshit you or beat around the bush, if you don't tell us what you know we will kill you,
and if you do tell us you might just survive" The soldier says with a grin. "Fuck you!" I say "you know full well I won't say anything!" I yell, The man smiles "wrong answer".
This isn't finished in the slightest, and I know I have terrible grammar but I just wanted to get some opinions on it.