Time to Fly

Just take a deep breath, Chris. Think, you can do this. You love this. Just keep thinking. These thoughts ran through Chris’s head as he swung himself into the fighter’s cockpit. For the first time in all his trainee life, he was going to go up without an instructor. A soft breeze played with his blonde bangs, blowing them up and down in synchronized movements.

“Can you do this right, Private?” Major Jones asked with a dismissive tone. Chris was sure he just wanted to get him out of there. He had to admit; learning how to fly came a lot harder to him more than any of the other trainees.

“I think I can, sir!” Chris said with a little shout, considering he was up in the cockpit, and Major Jones was firmly on the ground.

“Take it easy son; you’re not up in the air yet!” Major Jones said with a turn of his heel, heading off to the other pilots on the runway, making sure they knew what they were doing. Chris took another deep breath, relaxing his nerves.

The only part Chris ever had a hard time with was going up. Flying in the air, no problem. Lift off, well, that was his weak point. Sweat made the back of his hair stick to his scalp, and time was running out. He could quit now, and never fly again, or he could go through one lift off. Believe it or not, Chris was considering.

“Man your stations!” Major yelled. Every one of the pilots jumped into their cockpit, except Chris, who was already in his. Without missing a beat, the whole form mantled their helmets in almost perfect unison. They had spent a lot of time in practice simulations to get his right.

Despite his fear, adrenaline rushed through Chris’s systems, and he switched his headset on. “Fighter five to base. Can you hear me? Over.” Chris tested into the mike.

“Base to fighter five. We hear you loud and clear. Over” Chris licked his lips. This was it. The other members of his form all checked in one at a time. Rodney, Chris’s old time buddy, was leading the formation.

“Time to fly! Chris, are you ready? Over. ” Rodney asked through the headset.

“I’m ready for anything! Over.” Chris answered. Others murmured in the heat of anticipation as well, but Chris tuned them out. Fear took hold of him. He had to go though.

“Base to Formation C23. Ready for takeoff. Over.” No backing out now. Chris pressed a button, and his glass shield covered the cockpit. Other’s did the same with their own fighters. Chris rested his hands on the controls. Sweat pulled behind his neck.

“R23. I repeat, lane R23 North West.” Rodney said. Engines revved up, and the formation started to move. Chris kept his focus.

“Steady. Here we go.” Rodney said, the first airborne. He gave a screech of triumph. Other’s yelled with the same pleasure as they went up. Chris pulled back, and he started to ascend.

“I just want to make it back to the ground again.” Chris murmured under his breath. Of course, everyone heard him and laughed. The formation was finally airborne.

Some trainees hooted as the rose and gathered into a triangle, while others silent. Major Jones came onto the frequency. “Wait a go, guys! You are up! I repeat, you are up!”

Chris let out a breath he had kept, and sighed. They did it. He was safe. Now it was time to fly.





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