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Aviator: Chapter 1
My name is Kaita Ryqaera, and I’m twenty-six years old. Most people call me Aviator, or Avi, for no other reason than the fact that I had wanted to be in the air force since I was young. I am rather tall for being female, and I suppose I stand somewhere between pretty and average. Blonde hair just brushes my shoulders and eyebrows, which lay directly above silvery eyes. I’ve been told my skin tone is what one would get if they mixed tan with a very pale shade of grey. My slender face is offset by my broad shoulders and a mid-line muscular build.
The Ryqaera family is an odd mixture of fighter pilots and marines. The only exception was my uncle, who stood as a peacemaker among warmongers (he was executed for leaking some classified information). My direct family consists of my mother, my step-father, and my step-brother. My father died when his plane was shot down (ironically, on the twenty-seventh anniversary of when my grandfather’s had). I lived a decent life in the middle class.
There’s a catch. I’m a werewolf. I wasn’t born this way, nor did I bring it upon myself by dating or getting otherwise similarly involved with a werewolf, it was just a series of coincidences that added together to the night I was turned. However, that is jumping months and a few customs ahead.
When you graduate from your primary school, you have the choice to enter a specifics school or a general school. I entered a military academy specifically for the air force—just as my father and grandfather had—and followed the courses to become a fighter pilot. The courses are very specific: it’s not just history, it’s military history; it’s not science or math, it’s engineering. The people that leave the academy are as much military historians and mechanics as they are pilots.
I barely scraped by with the written requirements. Ask me to tell what happened twenty years ago, or when the first plane was built, and I’ll stutter out an incorrect answer. Ask me to list the components of jet fuel or how many parts make up an engine; I can give you exact answers. Needless to say, I didn’t exactly advance through the ranks very quickly. Frankly, I didn’t care. I just wanted to fly, not give orders or teach.
The plane I used was essentially a prototype, just updated a handful of times. I flew the same plane for so long; it started to feel as if she knew me. The S0X-390, the Halcyon. I still remember how it felt to control her.
I was twenty-four when I took the mission as a scout for a supply plane over some disputed territory. The plan was simple: another pilot and I would stay far ahead as scouts, whilst four planes guarded the supply plane from all four flanks. There was not a hitch, no hiccups. If I wasn’t the only experienced pilot there, I’m sure everyone would have been on their toes and trigger happy, but as it was, I was the only real pilot. We were lucky there weren’t any problems. We landed at base about seventeen-thirty, slightly before the sun set for the late summer night. The base was a mixture of an air force base, an army base, a fortress, and a labyrinth. The only parts of it that were easy to navigate were the hangars and anything otherwise outside of the main buildings. I was to stay there for five days before returning to my own base and assuming normal routine until my tour ended in three months.
I only knew one person at the base—Rhode. He was a good friend of mine, and is probably the only reason I had scraped through my classes. I had contacted him earlier that day, so he was ready to meet me when I arrived. He rushed me through a quick, half-hearted tour of the labyrinth before he sent me to be debriefed, where I had to further explain that I was absolutely positive that there were no issues. The supply plane landing shortly afterwards provided the needed proof, at which point I was sent out of the room to be led by Rhode to my seven by nine-foot, windowless room, sparsely furnished with a three by six-foot cot and a six-foot tall locker for the miniscule amount of items I had packed in a small backpack slung over my shoulder.
After getting everything situated into an area of the room where I was sure I wouldn’t forget it, I changed out of my flight uniform into the ever-slightly more comfortable fatigue pants and the black tank I was already wearing. I knew I wouldn’t have to make any more formal appearances that night, so I had seen no reason to look more than casual. I don’t think I even pulled back my hair (which at that time was longer and less styled). Once again, I found myself following Rhode down hallways until my already poor sense of inside direction was completely turned around. We stopped at the cafeteria (well, one of them), where we, obviously, ate a quick dinner of something that, if my memory serves me, was flavorless and overcooked. I also managed to meet some of Rhode’s friends, but I’d be damned if I remembered any of their names.
I had a few drinks, but not enough to be drunk, or even buzzed, because that’s one of the things you just don’t do. You don’t get drunk at your own base, and you sure don’t get drunk at someone else’s.
The first thing about him that caught my eye as he passed Rhode and me was the white armband that wrapped around his left arm. The double W’s on it were unmistakable, as were the six small circles underneath them. He was a werewolf, and had been for six years. Let me explain the relevance of that. After you are bitten by a werewolf, you must remain out of governmental and military standings for about three or four years, at which point you will go through a series of psychological tests to ensure that you are stable enough to return to your initial occupation. The tests are very difficult; rumor has it that they’re so difficult that even some humans can’t pass them. Which explains exactly why seeing a werewolf in a military base had caught me so off guard.
He disappeared behind another corner in the maze of a base before I managed to really register anything beyond the fact that he was almost a foot taller than me. Rhode and I said a goodnight before both retiring to our separate rooms.