Once upon a detachment.  

turbulentgrass 43M
2 posts
7/22/2006 2:08 am

Last Read:
10/2/2006 4:47 am

Once upon a detachment.

Some time ago, I was flying a smallish, older generation jet airplane, in which was decided to stick a big big engine.. a victory of power over commonsense.. But boy could she fly...

I was on a detachment in an asian country, can't really remember where it was. On a training sortie as the leader for an eight aircraft low level penetration mission. Scorching around in a guerrilla trail at about 500 knots and
300 feet off the ground. While I happened to look back to check on my wingman's position, I caught sight of something bright on the lee side of the slope we just passed over. It was a statue of a buddha, stark white amidst the dark jungle green. Alone with no other structures or roads beside it. I don't know why but I quickly took out my map and marked it's position down.

After landing, I asked if anybody else had seen it, blank looks replied they had not. Maybe I imagined it? Few days later I was planned as lead again. Great, I thought, lets see if I can find it again.

The mission was a simulated success with the simulated target destroyed and the simulated bad guys thwarted for another day. But I didn't find my statue.

And another mission and another, and everytime I led I made sure at least one part of the route overflew that spot, from all directions and all angles. The missions were all successful with all simulated targets killed dead in a rather simulated way, with no one being killed, simulated or otherwise. Damn, we're good, I thought with an eyebrow raised. But I just couldn't find it again.

Last mission for the detachment and I was determined. This time I even programmed the spot in my onboard computer. Boss comes up to me asking why are we doing the same route again. I told him why. A withering look ensued. "Your job", he stated in tones of utter finality, "is to bring your bombs to the target and drop them, nothing more." (So much for the Romance of flight... but that's another story.)

Those words kept ringing in my ears as I checked my jet, looking at the empty place where the simulated bombs hung.

"Check in" I called. All responded and formed up. Here we go. Push in 30 seconds. The clock hit the mark and we all advanced our throttles to attack speed. Quick glance and everyone's in place. "Push". And we're off.

Ten miles to go, the targetting computer prompts. Designator box faintly tells me where to look. As I crest the hill and flash past, there it it! On the lee just as if I hadn't taken my eyes off the first time. Though now I could see it was overgrown with moss and the weather had slowly eroded it. It looked sad and forgotten, with the jungle slowly advancing and reclaiming it. Nobody else saw it, nobody else cared. Their only intent was to simulate another victory.

Perhaps even the people who crafted it, after finishing it had packed their tools and promptly forgotten where they left it. Having lost their idol to pray to, they sheepishly left the area hoping no one hears of it. Maybe I am the only one in the world now who knows where it is. Then i'll keep that secret safe.

rm_Thamarra 41F
86 posts
9/30/2006 4:09 am

feels like i read a novelette

turbulentgrass 43M
2 posts
10/2/2006 4:47 am

yeah... i tend to go on abit... but any how.. thanks for reading it!

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