I was running away.
That was all I was thinking about above the sea of clouds. Lit by the moonlight, the glow of the afterburner cuts through the darkness of the night.
The pale-blue shimmering cloud carpet was like a field of snow. A silvery world which spreads to infinity. It stretches out from under lapis lazuli dome of the sky, a frighteningly beautiful wasteland without a single trace of life.
The winds roared and the noise of the jet engine propagated into the boundless night skies. The throbbing of my heart was transmitted to the rest of my body. Run, run, run. A voice whispers inside along with the beat of my heart. Faster, even faster, they’re going to catch up. Faster!
The needle on the airspeed indicator had long since exceeded the speed of sound. The pieces of cloud swept up by the wind danced like snowflakes. But, I could not keep down my turmoil. My breathing was choppy and the hairs on my back stood up.
[Командир синих Белому 01. Ваш самолет полностью блокирован. Немедленно развернитесь и следуйте нашим указаниям. Повторяю. (This is Blue Leader to White 01. You are completely surrounded. Obey our orders immediately and turn back. I repeat.)]
A rough warning came from the radio. The radar indicated two fighters behind me. They were flying at a high speed five kilometers behind. The IFF indicated that they were allied forces. However, the voice coming from the intercom did not sound friendly.
[Белый 01, тыне слышишь? Если не подчинишься, то будешь атакован. Отвечай, отвечай. (White 01, do you not hear me? We will attack if you do not heed our warning. Do you copy, do you copy.)]
I raised the speed without speaking. The howl of the wind grew fiercer.
They probably understood that they had been rejected straight away. The speed of the pursuing aircraft increased. Their twin-engines roared, and approached with their safeties off. They were like two birds of prey with the nickname of ‘craneling’.
The voice repeated.
I did not know who it was, but it was an absolute order.
Throw away and forget everything, and run till the ends of the Earth.
Don’t care about your country or comrades. All you need to think of now is how to lengthen your lifespan and escape from the conclusion prepared for you.
The disturbing term caused me to furrow my brows. What is it? Why? But, my consciousness soon turned hazy. My memories were a mess. I couldn’t recall anything, and nothing made sense.
The only thing I remembered was my own name. And, that impulse telling me I had to run away no matter what.
A warning sound came from the radar.
A sensor had locked on to me. It converted my speed and location into data and launched a missile. I only pull on the throttle and try to escape their line of sight. I currently do not have any weapons. My only choice of action to take in a dogfight was to run away single-mindedly. That’s why I had to put as much of a distance between us as possible. I had to pass this plain of snow, cross the ocean and reach the end of the world no matter what.
[Сбиваем Белого 01. (Shooting down White 01.)]
The last transmission was brief.
Hostility bore down on my back. The allied forces on the radar fired the missiles under their wings without any hesitation.
I scattered chaff flares and took evasive maneuvers. I danced above the sea of clouds, scattering silver moonbeams off my wings in all directions.
The still snowy plains were instantly disturbed by pieces of aluminium and glass fibres. Infrared radiation and radio waves crossed into each other in an invisible net.
Flames exploded out.
The flare had misled the infrared guidance of the missile to detonate slightly behind. Static covered the radar. The noise had caused the electronics on both sides to go haywire.
I make use of the chaos to proceed ahead, so as to extend my life by even one or two seconds.
Indeed, all was done in accordance with the voice within me. I aimed straight for one point in the sky. I did not know what caused this impulse, or who was the one instructing me. But, I could not disobey it. Because that voice was the only thing I could believe in right now.
I took in a shallow breath.
After ensuring that everything on the control panel displayed the correct values, I lay my sights on the horizon.
Then, I silently repeated the order inside me.
Head towards the East.
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