NCM Fighter Squadron

A Sighting


I chuckled quite loudly as I finished shutting my computer off. "C5 Fighter Squadron? Sheesh, what will these weirdo's think up next?" I thought to myself. The mail I had just finished reading before shutting down was too outlandish to be real; in fact, it was quite funny.

The clock on my desk told me that it was about 10pm. Feeling somewhat restless, I decided that a quick romp in my pride and joy was in order. I made my way to the garage where she sat quietly. My heart raced the same way it did every time I cracked the driver's door open and hopped into the grey leather clad bucket seat. I latched the seat belt while the garage door opened behind me. My left leg punched the clutch, my right hand cranked the key, and I was instantly rewarded by the sound of the formidable LT4 starting and purring. With a quick snap of my left hand, the parking brake released. A similarly quick snap of my right hand, and I was rewarded with an audible "KaTHUNK" as the transmission dropped into reverse. Carefully, I backed the silver monster out of its resting place, pressed the button on my garage door remote, and then finally, it was time to rock.

Well, maybe not quite rock. With the impending "Batman and Robin" movie due this week, I decided to get myself wound up for it by selecting the Danny Elfman soundtrack for the original "Batman" movie. The CD was already sitting in my newly installed CD changer, so I punched up its disc number, and settled in for some good driving and fantastic orchestral music.

I was unusually oblivious to the weather conditions while I carefully piloted my vehicle through town. Perhaps that's why I jumped slightly when I heard a thunderclap from overhead. Was there rain in the forecast? This would certainly ruin my night. I glanced up through the very top of my windshield and noticed.. it was crystal clear out. The full moon shone brightly, illuminating the road in front of me and the entire area around me. Not a cloud in the sky. "OK," I thought to myself, "now I'm hearing things." I shook my head a couple times, foolishly thinking that would have some real affect on my hearing.

The road ahead of me cleared itself of traffic and traffic lights. I was alone on what would have been an otherwise dark, country road if it weren't for that huge, full moon overhead. I glanced down at my CD changer's controller and decided it was time. I dialed up track #10, "Descent into Mystery," the music that was written for the Batmobile's trip through the woods in the movie. It begins with an urgent sounding set of strings playing a repetitive melody and getting louder and louder as horns cut in to carry the melody further. Flutes jump in and do battle with a soft choir chanting something in Latin. All of this is getting louder and louder; more and more urgent. Finally, an explosion into the late 80s version of Batman's theme. My left foot, normally tapping to the beat of whatever song I was listening to, stood poised, as if it knew it would be needed to punch the clutch pedal. The music continued to crash from the speakers as the speed of my car increased steadily. I could only make out 3 digits on the speedo with the use of my peripheral vision. Over the exciting Elfman music, I could hear the engine screaming to me, "Shift you moron!" *snap* into fifth gear without even flinching.

My eyes focuses on a dreadful sight in front of me. They told my arms "Hey, car."

"Car?" They questioned the all-seeing eyes.

"Yes, car." After "hearing" that response, I twitched a couple of times and missed the slower moving vehicle with several feet between us.

The song ended just as I stopped at a red light. My heart was still pounding hard enough to move the seat belt, which had a very tight grip on me. The "fun" part of the ride was over. I hit the "random" button on my CD changer's controller, and it randomly chose another song on that same disk. "Very random," I thought to myself. The choice was track #16, "Attack of the Batwing" which is played during Batman's flight through Gotham City during the parade. As I started moving away from the light, I heard another thunderclap. This one was significantly closer to me than before. I looked out to the sky for a glimpse of something; nothing. Just the moon, fighting the night.

The landscape opened up even more to the point where the only sign of civilization was the road I was on and the well mowed grass along side of it. I had just relaxed in the pilot's seat when, just outside of my car, another thunderclap struck. This time, my car shook and my ears felt like they were going to start bleeding. I glanced up through my windshield just in time to see a small jet flash past me, not 30 feet from the top of my car. Instantly, my right foot stood up on my brake pedal, which did its best to fight back. I held tightly as the car quickly stopped itself. There were several trees around me, and one was hanging quite a bit over the road. I gently drove the shaken car off the road, next to the massive road cover, and stopped the engine.

My eyes raced around, trying to find some clue of the whereabouts of whatever it was that just buzzed my car. I couldn't see anything through the tree's cover, so I decided to venture out; in retrospect, a foolish decision. As I climbed from the cockpit, something caught the corner of my eye. I looked up at the moon just as the silhouette of this jet began to climb upwards. The pilot was climbing, literally, vertical. I watched with amusement as the jet stalled right as it entered the center of the moon. It's outline looked for all the world like a Chevy Bowtie. "How quaint," I thought. I continued to watch with utter amazement as the pilot performed a perfect hammerhead roll, something Air Force pilots can only dream of doing. The front of his jet rolled starboard and the pilot quickly found himself dropping, literally, vertical. With only seconds to react, the pilot quickly straightened the jet out with 100 feet to spare, and as he blasted overhead, the tree's leaves all rustled violently.

I thought to myself "Must be some new hotshot out of Andrew's Air Force Base." But that thought was quickly squashed as I watched the jet drop, and settle down on the open road. I could hear tire squeals as the pilot brought the jet to a complete stop. He rolled the jet off the road into a small clearing that would otherwise be unnoticed by passing motorists. "Well? Do I go check it out? Or do I get the hell out of here and act like I saw nothing?" My curiosity got the better of me, as it usually does, and made my way back to the car. I stopped and second guessed myself, "Do I really want to carry a flashlight around, so the pilot can see _exactly_ where I am? No, not really." With that, I left my car hiding, away from the road, and under the monster tree.

As I got closer and closer to where I thought the jet was sitting, I could hear a low humming noise. A generator perhaps? Nah. I pushed the tree branch out of my way and the sight before me made me stop cold. Sitting not twenty yards away from me was the most impressive sight my eyes have ever soaked up. It was clearly the same jet that had buzzed me, then hammerhead rolled. But it wasn't a jet, it was a car. In fact, it looked like a new Corvette, with wings. From what I could see, the front was a Corvette, with two large bulges over where the front tires would be on a car. They looked as if they might be intake cowls for engines. Two engines? Nah. The canopy, which was open at the moment, looked very much like the roofline of the new car. The flying car had monstrous wings right below where the side windows would be. I squinted a little and could see that the wings had enough space to sweep back a little. I carefully made my way around towards the rear of the vehicle. The exhaust for the engines looked as though it exited along side the jet. Smaller horizontal stabilizers protruded from the point where rear tires would normally be. Above them sat a pair of slanted rudders. Under the rudders, a pair of twin taillights sat, glowing rather brightly. The lights helped show me the true color of the vehicle, an eye-burning yellow. Ugh! This was definitely a Corvette, that didn't pass low-flying planes. It WAS a low flying plane. I needed my trusty camera.

Note to myself: buy trusty camera.

My gaze and concentration were both broken by a voice. Someone was talking, and it wasn't directed at me. I wandered around to the other side of the jet, and quickly hid myself further. The pilot could be seen, walking in circles, and holding what looked like a headset to his ears.

"...yeah, I got the roll to work, but I stalled out too quickly."

The radio answered him back, but I could barely hear it. I tried to train my ears in better, just as the pilot spoke again, "it only made it to twenty thousand, vertical, then stalled. I think the turbos ran out of steam or something."

I could hear the radio this time, "Well get it back here so Carl can take a look. Perhaps he can increase the boost."

While the conversation was carrying on, I watched as the pilot opened what looked like an ammo storage container. He pulled out a belt of ammo, picked three rounds from it, and replaced the belt and container. Then, much to my amazement, he began chewing on the rounds. "I've heard of eating lead," I thought to myself, "but THIS is ridiculous."

The pilot continued talking, with his mouth full, "I think someone may have seen me."

"How, and who?"

"Well, I saw what looked to be a Corvette on a back country road. I wanted to get a closer look..."

"And you buzz-topped him, didn't you?"

"Well.. yeah. But the fool had a solid-colored top on his car, so I don't think he saw _too_ much." I could hear the two voices laughing a bit at my choice of Corvette tops.

The voice on the headset began, "You'd better get back here before the local airports and airbases send out search parties." I immediately thought of Andrew's, Dulles International, and Washington National.

"Agreed.." his sentence was cut off by the sound of a branch snapping rather loudly. I looked down at my feet and saw exactly what the pilot had heard. The last thing I remember is thinking to myself "My, how cliche."

I have no idea how long I was out. I awoke and cursed out loud, "Who put that friggin tree there where there should have been a soft mattress for me to land on?!" I shook the rest of the grogginess away and stood up. I noticed that I was completely covered in something, but I had no idea what it was. And for some silly reason, my mouth was watering. I staggered back to where I left my car, and found it sitting there waiting patiently for me. There was a piece of paper stuck under the right wiper. I removed it and held it up to try and catch some of the moonlight.

It would behoove you to completely forget what you saw, and where you saw it. Your continued sanity will directly depend on your unconditional silence. --JYW

I was far too tired and in too much pain to even think of a defiant response to the letter. Not that it'd do me any good anyhow. The pilot, and the strange flying Corvette were, from what I could tell, long gone. A light breeze picked up and the piece of paper slipped out of my hand and landed on some dew-covered grass a few feet away. The paper instantly disintegrated. I cursed again.

I decided to turn my attention to the stuff that was covering me. I drew my pointer finger across my chest, picking some of the goop off of me. As I held it close to my nose, my mouth watered some more. A very sweet, almost confectionery, and very familiar smell attacked my nostrils. I couldn't place the scent though, so I foolishly decided to taste it. "Twinkies...?"



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