By John Page
We walk into the plane. It is going to be the biggest raid of the war so far. Ten thousand mega bombers, a hundred and ninety thousand regular bombers and fifty thousand fighters are to launch themselves and the capital of the Tallern empire. This will be the culmination of years of raids.
I am a pilot for the lead of the second wave of the mega bombers. It’s a big beast that can carry the capacity of eleven smaller bombers and needs a hundred men to man. Some say it’s more a small warships than a plane. I love the ungainly brute and it can put the hurt on anyone with its million pound of bombs and several light guns. It can fight as a bomber and a raider.
I am a colonel in the 7th Air Brigade- Merikan division. This raid includes planes from ten different nations. My own nation makes up the fourth largest component after Antigone, Kemmis and Solomond.
I get my crew ready and we wait for departure. With some many planes taking off we have to wait a long time till it’s our turn. I joke with the crew and we chat about how we are going to fly some friendly skies.
When it’s time I hit the throttle and we roar down the runway. I pull up the plane and we race to the sky.
We circle around until everyone is ready. With that we head out. We fly as high as our planes can go to minimize attacks. It’s stressful flying with so many planes flying around but I keep on the radio to coordinate. The flight will taken five hours one way so we settle in for a long time.
Not much happens until we get to the outer ring of Tallern airspace. As soon as we got that far we were attacked by swarms of Tallern fighters. Our own fights manage to fight them off with minimal losses.
This pattern continues with increasing bloodshed as we leave the ocean and fly over Tallern land. The air attacks and anti-air fire grows heavy. Scores of bombers are shot down and hundreds die.
The cost is brutal but considering how many planes are come it’s not statistically significant
Eventually we reach our target. It is a massive city that used to be beautiful but is now a battle scarred center of industrial might. Once we reach the city limits we are pummeled by opposition.
Our own surviving fighters hurl themselves into attack and buy us time. We take that time to unleash hell. Tens of millions of bombs fall from the planes and soon the air shakes from their impact. Once we reach the center of the city I take the plane into a drive. My plane‘s heavy guns start up and we strafe train and mage lines. All the heavy bombers follow suit and soon the city center is burning.
We pull up and are assaulted by dragon riders. They bleed us with fire and spell but we soon outpace them. We cheer when defense gunners fell most the beasts.
We reach the other planes and race off to home.
The flight home is worse than the flight before. We really stirred up the hornet’s nest and by the time we reach the ocean my plane is out of ammo and a tenth of our number is burning on the ground.
Eventually we outpace our hunters and we fly in silence. No one jokes but do congratulate themselves for a completed mission.
We land without incident and we head off to sleep. Later on I hear the estimates of our missions we destroyed 30,000 planes, took out a hundred and seventy trains and bombed six hundred miles of city at the cost of 32,000 planes and half a million air crew. Was it worth it? I would not learn until later.