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Strike Witches 1990-91 : Desert Heat

By Noel Sora Noir-Alterial

Drama / Action

Rising Tide

[Date : Unknown]

[Time : 1939 Hour]

[Location : Somewhere in Middle East]

The sounds of fire crackling could be heard clearly at the background. Fire razed every single debris as they illuminated the evening desert. Crumbed sandstone walls, blacken walls, crumbled buildings, destruction site was everywhere. The sand road was full of deaths either. Bloodied soldiers in tarred battle outfits were seen lying around. Missing limbs, missing arms. Burning main battle tanks, charred armoured patrol cars and lying truck burning trucks filled the road. Some of the dead soldiers were young girls, in equipment that similar to tanks and military aircraft, the Striker Units.

Between the lifeless situation, an Arabian girl around 20 years old was seen waking up after a moment of black-out after she fell from the sky. Her broken F-16C Falcon strikers were sticked to her legs. The engine areas were popping out thick smoke with snapped wings as she slowly pulled the emergency hatch as the strikers come out from her legs. Slowly, she grabbed her RPK light machine gun which lied near to her side and stood up using her gun as a supporting stick. Her head was bleeding, gushing out deep crimson blood as she tried to overcome her injury. lthough feeling weak, she tried and finally stood up. When she glanced around her surrounding and flashing back through her previous combat that time, she could describe them in one word;

Horror.

The echo of gunshots and explosions could be heard far from the horizon of the desert. Thick smoke rising to the evening sky as screeching sounds could be heard before the sound of the gunshots ends. The girl could only starred at the horizon helpless. She was finally snapped out from her nightmare as her bad condition HMD's headphone crackled.

"Hello? Do anyone hear me? This is command! Anyone hear me?!" a voice asked desperately.

The girl began to mutter into the comm, "This is Wing Commander Sharif... they had broke through the line..."

A moment of silence followed on for seconds.

"I repeat, the Neuroi had broke through our defensive line..."


[Date : September 5th 1990]

[Time : 1513 Hour]

[Location : Near Persian Gulf]

"It has only been weeks since the United Nation had declared the start of The Middle East Neuroi War. On the fateful day which was August 2nd 1990, a large Neuroi hive had appeared in the middle of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. With a quick reaction, the United Nation Coalition Force had deployed to the Middle East and quickly take action against the ruthless advance of Neuroi. Until now, the United Nation 1st Coalition Fleet was now stationed around Persian Gulf to secure the defence of United Kingdom of Jazira against the assault of Neuroi. As for now, the amount of casualty had been piled up and this was the largest warfare against Neuroi since the end of Vietnam Neuroi War," the sound of a radio blaring was heard in the payload of a C-2 Greyhound cargo aircraft.

The aircraft was currently cruising in the sky as two pilots were controlling it with another extra two pilots for night shift toward the 1st Coalition Fleet, carrying supplies for USS Saratoga. The roundel which was two navy blue and maya blue with a 14-point yellow star at the middle was imprinted on both of the wings with the word 'RFMAF' on their sides.

Inside the payload were cargo made out of crates, boxes, containers and four F-5E Tiger II Striker Units in their hatch units with another four witches sitting at the passenger seats.

The portable radio was holded by a 17 years old Chinese girl. A pair of green antenna were hovering on the sides of her black twin tail hair as her white cat's ears twitched. Her hazel eyes kept on staring at the radio while stuffing through her blue duffle bag for her book. She was wearing the standard RFMAF maya blue air service uniform with the 'Flying Officer' rank which consist of a single thick black line with another small blue line at the middle fitted on her shoulder insignia area. A small blue maya blue coloured skirt was worn underneath her with ankle leveled white socks at her legs along with a pair of standard issue boots.

Her focus on the radio ended as the reporter ended his report for today. Quickly, she switched off the radio while calling off her familiar. "That's should fill us back what happen at the desert," she sighed as she dumped the radio into her bag while continue searching for her book.

"Yeah, quite a disaster. About thousands casualties, isn't it, Teo?" a hard voice was heard.

Flying Officer Teo Wen Xin looked up and saw her commander's face looking at her with a smile.

"Feel bad for them being caught in the middle of some sort of alien invasion," she sighed.

Squadron Leader Scalent Khoo Wei Rin just nodded while continue to read her general fiction book. Her male looking face seem very cool accompanied with short reddish black hair that has messy bangs and a pair of red crimson eyes. She also wore the same uniform like Teo expect she had two black-blue thick lines and a black-blue thin line between the other two lines as her insignia. Her sleeves were also rolled up, which showing her left hand tattoo which has a black dragon patented rolled up by another patented blue snake. Teo been wondering why she got the tattoo but she knew that it was part of her family tradition as what her squadron leader told her. Scalent also wore a pair of high black socks rather than ankle levelled white socks.

Teo finally found her book, a thick book with title 'Physic Form 5 Textbook'. Sitting back and flipped it open, she began to read up. Scalent just glanced at Teo's reading program as she grunted beneath her book. "Physics... Bloody physic. Are you going to calculate where miasma red beams flying?"

"Nope, I had SPM this December, senpai (senior)," Teo chuckled.

"Oh, bloody SPM. Hard to become a daring Form 5 student, ain't it?" Scalent grinned. "Don't worried 'bout it when you now heading toward a battlefield. Saving your ass is more important,".

"And is this how you fail?"

"I pass with straight As, you idiot,"

Teo laughed as she subdued it for her to focus on her study. Scalent just let her focus on her study and relieved to see Teo was in this kind of mood. 'Teo still good, morale high' Scalent thought as she started to watch the other two witches who sat opposite her. 'Like those giddies'

The witches, an Indian and a Malay, were playing some sort of game. Well, the Indian like to bully the Malay although her rank was lower than the Malay. Both of them wore the same kind of outfit like Teo expect with different ranks where the Indian has black-blue think line which shows that she was a Pilot Officer while the Malay has two black-blue thick lines which represent 'Flight Lieutenant' rank. The Malay, whom head was hooded with black headscarf expect for her childish face, was Noraini Binti Azaria while the Indian, also a childish girl which dark skin and her hair was tied to long braid style was Darshana a/p Musahari. Scalent just grumbled to herself whether to think whether she should stop Darshana but take the action of not interfering it. Not my problem, was what she thought in her mind.

It been about two days since their departure from RFMAF Kuala Lumpur onboard on this Grayhound. Scalent bored like hell and it broke when she finally hear what she want.

"Ini adalah Kapten Ahmad, kita hampir touch down di USS Saratoga. ETA, tiga puluh minit," the PA system announced.

"Finally," Scalent sighed as she kept her book in her duffle bag.

Then, she glanced outside of the aircraft through the window and sees the bright blue ocean under there. After a few minutes where the witches on board packed their stuffs, the PA system went back online, "Kita dah hampir sampai, dah ada visual contact kat Gabungan Kumpulan Pertama. Touchdown ETA, sepuluh minit,".

Beyond Scalent's field of view, she finally sees the 1st Coalition Fleet of the United Nation Coalition Force. Various of warships were seen tearing through the sea as the fleet was leaded by Orussian aircraft carrier, the Kiev. The Kiev was very large with a combined cruiser weapon in front of it. Vertical launching system cells lined against the weaponry deck with several deck guns on board as Kiev leaded the whole fleet toward Persian Gulf. After gaining landing authorization from Liberion aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga, the Greyhound quickly landed onto the main flight deck of the aircraft carrier smoothly.

The bumping effect did take the witches in the cargo aircraft jumped a bit before it stopped after getting recovered. The sounds of the engines stopped as the pilot announced the flight had stopped on track.

"Awas skuad! Pack up, girls," Scalent said as she stood up from her seat and grabbed her duffle bag.

The rest of the witches nodded and strapped up their bags. The payload door lowered down with the witches stand-by for embark from the Greyhound. As the door ramp lowered down, the witches quickly got down. Scalent glanced at some crews getting cargo off from the Hercules with forklift trucks. Scalent watched the crews using forklift trucks to unload their striker units as they proceed to the hangar elevator with the loads. The deck flight was basically empty without any aircraft since Greyhound need a large space for landing.

"Excuse me, are you the new squadron for this fleet?" a female voice was heard which grabbed Scalent's attention.

Turning her head back to her twelve, she finally sees a young woman in front of him. Dressed in standard woodland service uniform with the 'Colonel' rank insignia, which was a sliver eagle, fitted on it. She's blondie with long hair and elegant face smiling at Scalent, Scalent nodded.

"Yes, ma'am. Squadron Leader Scalent Khoo from 5th Royal Witches Squadron of 1st Air Witches Wing of Royal Federation Malayan Air Force, at your service," Scalent give her a salute with the rest of her wingmates.

"Colonel Sarah McKeniel of United Nation 7th Joint Air Wing. Nice to have you all on our side," Sarah smiled after returning the salute.

"You welcome," Scalent said with her usual static face.

"Well, my second-in-command is now waiting to guide you all around the carrier if you like,"

Scalent nodded while looking at Teo directly, "Teo, get your ass over there,"

"Why not Noraini? Isn't she the one was the second-in-command?" Teo snapped.

Noraini just lowered her head as she glanced at Darshana.

"Nah, not my problem," Darshana winked.

"With her. You are my wing anyway. Later you tell me the way to our dorm," Scalent sighed as she passed her dufflebag to Darshana, "Help me take my bag to there,".

"Roger," Darshana grinned as she took Scalent's bag and followed the dark faced Teo whom grumbled toward the mentioned witch by the colonel with Noraini persuaded Teo to calm down.

Sarah just smiled at the situation. "You seems like a straight person,".

"Oh well, I really straight," Scalent raised her eyebrows.

"Sounds like you are just talking to a mere friend,"

"You the one who did it first,"

Sarah just giggled.

"Anyway, my team going to be tasked in the 2nd Air Squadron of your wing, right?" Scalent sighed as she heard the RFMAF Greyhound leaving the carrier on the background.

"Yes, we won't be seeing action until we reached the shore for a joint assault against the Neuroi force near the border," Sarah answered as the sounds of elevators rising for the F/A-18 Hornet and other aircrafts to be loaded up on the deck for preparation. "Probably tomorrow, we will initiate the plan. I will brief with your team about the plan later at 1900 since I have time before the dinner,".

"Thanks. What if today plan change?"

"What you mean by that?"

"Like... sudden Neuroi ambush?" Scalent said.

"Sudden ambush? That will happen but since the front line had been dealing with the Neuroi effectively with air restriction around here by the allied force, any Neuroi come toward our position will be detected by their or our radar, especially since we got AEGIS warships with us," Sarah raised her eyebrows on Scalent's question.

"I see, just ask," Scalent said.

"Then, let's go for your paper works. Still have some registration need to be done before you can turn for full service for the 7th JAW," Sarah said while started to walk toward to the carrier's island.

Scalent nodded while follow Sarah. Scalent just felt the wind changed since just now. So, she been wondering whether an ambush will be taken by the Neuroi. True enough, the AEGIS warships will quickly detect any incoming enemies.

When they started take their steps, they stopped on their tracks when they heard a loud 'thump' sound.

"What's that sound? Someone fired the VLS missile?" Sarah said in confusion as the sound of missile flying started to get clearer.

Scalent looked around as she tried to confirm whether which ships fired missile. Error? No. What surprised Sarah along with Scalent was, instead of seeing missile flying toward to the north or west, a fast trail dropped from the sky and landed right onto one of the 1st Coalition Fleet's escort, a missile guided cruiser belonged to the USL. In a single second, large fireball erupted right in the middle of the bridge of her. The shockwave quickly took nearby ships shaking with some of the crews onboard of USS Saratago almost fell onto the ground. Debris of metals flew onto the ocean as the bridge of the cruiser continue to burn with large fire. Continuous explosion happened on board of her as the ship started to tear apart.

Sarah could only stared at it with Scalent quickly regain her shock.

"Hey, what the hell is going?" she shouted as she hear the battle station alarm blasted to life as crews quickly rush toward their respective position.

"Neuroi ambush! Eleven o'clock!" one of the crews replied.

Sarah and Scalent quickly turned their head toward the direction that the crew gave and only to see a large flying Neuroi starting to fire at Kiev and her escorts. Red lasers teared through the ocean as Kiev and her escorts fired their guns on the Neuroi. It shrieked as it took damage from missiles and guns. Immediately from its top, three missiles begin to throw out as they made their way toward Kiev and her escorts. In a single hit, two of them exploded after begin hit by the Neuroi missiles. Kiev was the next victim as the missile hit onto the flight deck of it. Large explosion erupted from it as fire begin to illuminate the deck. The Neuroi seems to be seriously damaged by the continuous attack by the heavy firepower of the 1st Coalition Fleet, sending it unbalanced as it tried to regenerate part of its wings which was now teared into pieces.

"This is bridge! I want all available witches and pilots to take off now! We got Neuroi ambush! More are coming!" the PA system of USS Saratoga announced as pilots in their flight suits quickly reach their respective planes for take off.

Whatever it going to happen, Scalent knew that 1st Fleet was fuck now. Glancing at Sarah whom looked at her back, "Order?".

"Straight, we should go now," Sarah answered.

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