Mick's Rejects

The fiction no one wanted


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 9

Manfred sighed heavily. “Well, as far as that goes, you’ll wear the uniform, but in truth, you’ll be retired. The Fuhrer wants you to make a few appearances around his empire, beginning with Heldon Square.”

“Where’s that?” blurted Xleta.

“Oh I’m sorry, Xleta. I didn’t see you there. It’s a beautifully historic building in Austria.”

That made sense to Sudenjah. Hitler came from Austria where else would he make his debut gloat, but in the country of his birth?

“He wants you to land your Stormbringer in front of the crowds,” said Manfred. “Apparently he wants to show off the saviour of the German empire. Try to revel in the moment, Sudenjah. Both the Germans and our enemies hold you in highest esteem as the ‘Champion of the Skies.”‘

“I see,” Sudenjah said dryly.

If not for the fact that his closest friend and his wife watched him, Sudenjah would have allowed tears to fall.

“What about the uranium negotiations?” interjected Xleta.

“The Fuhrer has told me personally that Australia is yours to do with what you want. Please believe me when say I tried to change the Fuhrer’s mind about letting you stay, Sudenjah.”

“I believe you,” Sudenjah said.

“We know you tried,” said Xleta.

“Thank you; both of you. That means so much to me. It will be a sad day when the Otarkwans leave Earth. There are millions like me who have gained friends among you. I had hoped the Fuhrer might have been swayed by public sentiment. I truly believe Otarkwans and humans could have co-existed. Unfortunately, the Fuhrer is fanatical about keeping a pure race.”

Sudenjah sighed dejectedly.

“It seems we’re to be politicians now,” said Manfred, then suddenly smiled. “It’s not so bad.”

The screen went blank.

Not so bad?  

The day the Luftwaffe retired Manfred from flying almost totally shattered his spirit. Late one winter’s evening, he came to Sudenjah’s house unannounced. When Sudenjah opened the door, he saw his friend swaying on the front porch, whilst carrying a crate of his favourite scotch, imported from Scotland. Manfred utterly insisted on his friend drinking with him.

Xleta left them alone to talk in the study. The conversation began on a moderately good note as they recounted the victories they’d won together. As more scotch found its way down Manfred’s throat, his tone became more melancholy. The tone itself worried Sudenjah. Manfred never complained about his lot, nor expounded on the misery in his heart, yet Sudenjah strongly sensed his friend was on the verge of suicide. If he sent him home, he knew he’d never see him again. Despite not being in the mood, Sudenjah matched Manfred drink for drink until the older man surrendered to sleep on the leather couch. As Manfred snored, Sudenjah placed a thick blanket over him and retired to bed. As small an act of kindness it may have seemed, he realised he had saved his friend’s life.

Sudenjah sighed. “It seems I’m off to Austria in a week.”

***

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 8

Xleta began to walk up the hall to the bedroom.

“I think I’ll exercise for awhile,” said Sudenjah.

He had a routine of calisthenics, which he did for an hour before going to bed.

Xleta looked hurt. “Aren’t you coming to bed with me?”

Sudenjah gave his broken smile again. “Of course.”

When they were first married, he’d abandon anything else to physically intertwine with her. He joined her in the hall and wrapped an arm around her back, leading her toward the bedroom.

The night moved on in the manner he remembered; each tenderly trying to give more to the other. Afterwards, when they were spent, Sudenjah laid on his back, thinking of nothing in particular. To his surprise, Xleta slid and arm over his chest and kissed his cheek. He interlocked fingers with her hand and smiled to himself. A month from now, Xleta would visit Doctor Zalaga and hear the news of her childless womb. He slid an arm under his wife’s head, giving her the opportunity to nestle contentedly into his neck. All at once, he felt his anxiety erode away. He would revel in the time he had with Xleta before she relapsed into her depressive state. For a now; a month at least; he had his wife back.

***

Sudenjah received a call from high command, that he could have two weeks leave. He spent every moment in Xleta’s company, in picnics, and sightseeing, then at night they expended the last of their energy before falling asleep.

A week elapsed in each other’s company, giving Sudenjah a false hope of salvaging Xleta’s happiness. He at least, chose to believe he could.

He relaxed in Xleta’s company in the loungeroom as they always did before dinner, when the phone rang. Although he had told the Otarkwan technicians to allow the natives to advance at their own pace technologically, it had a monitor. It frustrated him to have to listen to a disembodied voice without seeing the caller’s face.

He dabbed the “receive” button, and a face appeared on the screen; Manfred’s. The years had taken its toll on his friend. It had shrivelled his frame and reduced his hair to a light grey film on his otherwise bald scalp. When Manfred became fifty five, the Luftwaffe retired him. As a result, Sudenjah hadn’t flown with him since 1948. He missed those days. Alas, the natives of Earth had a much shorter lifespan. The Luftwaffe had since, steadily promoted Manfred, until he attained the rank of Air Marshal, making him commander in chief of he air force. Manfred gradually grew into the position, as the immaculate dress uniform and gleaming brass buttons suggested.

“Sudenjah, it’s good to see you!”

“As it is, to see you, old friend,” Sudenjah said fondly. “I assume you called in an official capacity?”

“Well, yes. It seems the war is over. I’m calling right now during a break in the negotiations, and now you’re probably wondering what happens to you?”

“I’d like to stay on in the Luftwaffe.”

Sudenjah immediately regretted hearing himself speak the words. He spoke more from desperation than realism, making him sound like a child afraid to leave his mother.

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 7

Sudenjah’s mind struggled with two emotions as the trudged to the front door of his home. When he first married Xleta, he shared tenderness and warmth in her arms. They ate dinner together and spoke about tedious things. After, they would retire early to bed and indulge in lovemaking; not passionate, at least not sordid or an aggressive need to release tensions. They conveyed love for each other, expressed in each gentle touch, and every light brush of their limbs.
Sudenjah once looked forward to his time together with his wife, especially the more intimate moments, but she became increasingly unhappy over the decades. Otarkwan couples did as ordered, producing an abundance of children. Now fifty years after they entered Earth’s atmosphere, some had thirty to forty children. He had heard of a case of a couple having fifty. Unfortunately, so did Xleta.
Often as they laid awake in bed, he held her. She responded with a conciliatory arm around him. The only outlet for her misery came in going to work. When they came home at the end of the day, she barely responded to him, yet at the same time, she would always initiate their lovemaking, in the hope against hope that they might have a child.
Their time in bed became joyless, a mere necessity to an end she felt she needed. Sudenjah inwardly ached. Although he never said anything, he began to dread having sex with Xleta. She didn’t seem to give him any attention otherwise, making him feel empty, and unwanted. Thoughts began to creep into his head.
Why did she marry me? I married her because I loved her. Did she only want me as a way to have children? Is that all I am to her? Is that all I ever was to her?
He knocked on the door. It immediately flung open to the beaming face of his wife. She leapt forward, flinging her arms around him.
That was unexpected.
When she pulled away, she looked into his eyes. “The war is over. They’ve surrendered.”
“Yes, I thought they might,” said Sudenjah.
“We can plan for the future now. We’ll have so much more time together.”
Sudenjah gave a crooked smile. More time together.
She meant that they’d have more opportunity at producing children. He didn’t relish their future. She would indulge in their night time activities with undue zeal for a time, while making regular visits to Doctor Zalaga. What would she do when she inevitably learned that she couldn’t fall pregnant? Sudenjah could only imagine, she’d act a lot more despondently than she did now.
The evening started off a lot more pleasantly than he’d hoped. Xleta chatted excitedly as they sat on the lounge sharing a glass of wine. Together they prepared and ate dinner, then washed up. For two hours, his mood greatly elevated. This evening was special, it reminded him of the happier times he shared with his wife. To go to bed with her now would only ruin a perfect night together.

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 6

Sudenjah gnashed his fangs, spinning his aircraft into alignment. His adversary dived beneath him before he had a chance to fire. He sensed a nuance in the engine’s performance, so slight that no mechanic could ever find it with the most sophisticated machinery. In empathy with the aircraft, he sensed rather than heard the words of a small child… he hurt me.

“He hurt us both, little one,” Sudenjah said to the Stormbringer.

The Mirage pilot didn’t physically harm Sudenjah, but caused an affront to his pride. No one in fifty years had come close to holding him in their sights let alone fire on him. This pilot had achieved the unthinkable, marking his plane, a feat no one had accomplished before, thus tarnishing his unblemished record. It amounted to no less than blasphemy.

He hurtled above the Mirage and thrusted, reaching for the heavens. The Mirage gave chase, climbing after him. His legs quivered and his lungs burned, as the Stormbringer reached its maximum speed, then pulled a flat spin turn, as his radar beeped its shrill warning. Two missiles hurtled ahead of the Mirage’s nose as it swiftly closed with Sudenjah.

His path barely altered as he fired two short bursts, destroying the missiles. A third continuous trail of white laser bolts hammered into the Mirage. He gave a defiant roar like a mindless barbarian, in order to expel his rage as he continued to fire. His attack, shredded the enemy aircraft, then ruptured in a wide brilliantly white arc. Still roaring and firing, the white bolts, he flew through the raining debris.

Still shuddering in anger moments later, cheers and gradually permeated his consciousness. He severed the link with his fighter to listen, at the same time, consulting his fuselage mounted camera. All of the bunkers were destroyed. Sudenjah’s air wing climbed to bob beside him, waggling their wings in salute to his latest triumph.

“Air Marshal Sudenjah, the Demonic Legion is very unhappy with you,” Morinu quipped on the radio.

“Why is that?” Sudenjah replied.

“You didn’t leave us much. A lot of the enemy are surrendering without a fight.”

Sudenjah snorted. “Well,” he said with a tinge of regret, “it seems this war is over.”

“Effectively; there’s only the signing of the treaty now. See you on the ground.”

“Actually no. If you don’t mind, I’m in no mood for company. I think I’d like to just go home.”

“Yeah, I understand. War’s not the glorious thing we thought it was as young men.”

“No,” Sudenjah said conciliatoraly, “signing out. Flying Circus! You have done your wing, the Luftwaffe, and myself proud! Please excuse me from any celebrations, as I want to return home to my wife.”

He sensed their disappointment in their radio silence, then banked sharply, thrusting ahead of the pack to base.

***

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 5

A Mirage flitted across his nose as he banked had to starboard and thrusted higher. He delivered an incidental burst of his lasers into the fighter in his climb and barrel rolled across the path of two more, spewing white death. Their fuselages jolted, then exploded as Sudenjah sought out more. No emotion stirred in his heart as he cut down one then another in rapid succession, only a sensation of warmth at each mounting victory.

Using sharp banking and thrust, Mirages shattered or flew gracefully one moment, then spun inelegantly to earth. It frustrated Sudenjah, to chase the enemy aircraft and dispatch them in ones and twos. He turned his Stormbringer into the nearest swarm of Mirages and tensed his entire body. Every machine gun, cannon, and rocket  fired at once. Nearly half the ammunition expended from his plane, missed his intended targets, but the rest had the desired effect. A collection of planes exploded immediately behind him as he thrusted at full speed, accelerating beyond the reach of any possible retaliation.

Air about his vicinity seemed less disturbed.

Good.

He had thinned out the skies. His legs trembled as his Stormbringer sprinted ahead. In truth, it was doing  just that. Seconds later, it reached its top speed, then he executed a flat spin turn; effectively a hand brake turn in the air. Only nine aircraft opposed him. Nine dots swung into his immediate line of vision, evolving into triangular winged fighters. He angled left and right delivering short bursts, felling all but the last. During the firing of his cannon, the final fighter had already released a rocket. Sudenjah banked sharply, allowing the missile to rocket past, then deftly levelled out to fire his cannons.

The enemy fighter anticipated the move, firing first.

Clever thought Sudenjah.

Obviously the missile was only meant as a distraction. Fearing collision, they barrel rolled away from each other and attempted to turn for optimal advantage. In this situation, the plane turning fastest would be the victor. Sudenjah made the mistake of underestimating his opponent. From what he had seen thus far, a Stormbringer could easily out turn a Mirage. The enemy fighter cobraed, a tactic making the aircraft pull up savagely like a striking snake, effectively using the entire fuselage as a huge air brake, then turned.

For the first time, Sudenjah’s heart pounded faster out of fear. Despite what he had learned and taught his air wing, panic saved his life in the ensuing cannon fire thundering from the Mirage’s nose. His beating heart emanated in the panicked thrust of the Stormbringer, tearing the aircraft out of the cannon’s path.

He grunted; pain lancing across his left ribs, yet no spreading warmth informed him that his flight suit filled with blood. A colder sensation emanated from the affected area, telling him a round had punctured his fuselage. His heart should have swelled with exhilaration. Whoever flew in the Mirage had offered him his first challenge in fifty years. He should have brimmed over with admiration for the pilot… instead, he filled with rage.

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 4

White bolts spewed ahead of Sudenjah’s Stormbringer in intermittent patterns. No bolt missed the missile launchers. Sudenjah’s fighter angled like a trout in a stream, sending laser bolts into the launchers. Ground weapons fired too late, missing the erratic plane as it flew too swiftly. In three passes, he managed to destroy every launcher. At least a dozen more of his fighter wing had fallen from the sky. Wreckage of ruptured Stormbringers either smoked or burned on the desert floor.

Sudenjah hovered a moment to assess the situation. He turned his head in the cockpit to witness the last two missiles circling to penetrate his fighter wing. Concentrated cannon fire destroyed one as the other missile veered and pointed almost head on with Sudenjah’s fighter. He angled sharply and ended the explosive dart’s existence with a contemptuously short burst of his cannon.

Cheers erupted immediately over the airwaves.

“Contain yourselves; this is far from over!” Sudenjah barked.

Surely they would’ve known the enemy wouldn’t launch missiles with their own planes in the air at the same time.

“Climb!” he shouted.

He angled up and hurtled for the heavens; an endless expanse of blue, uninterrupted by clouds. It would take minutes for his wing to detect enemy aircraft. Sudenjah didn’t check his monitor. In empathy with his Stormbringer, he would sense the presence of an enemy fighter before relying on instruments. In ten seconds, Sudenjah’s Stormbringer reached 17,000 feet.

“Level out!” he ordered.

Approximately ten seconds later, the rest of his air wing, bobbed into view around him. He led his air wing in a circular pattern, keeping an eye on the ground. Massive rectangular sink holes had already opened in the earth. Sudenjah dabbed at the keys on his flight computer. The camera on the bottom of the fuselage activated; at the same time, activating a second monitor. It showed the red earth, littered with the wreckage of battle. He panned to take in the rectangular openings; concrete, flanked by large AA guns. Tapping the keypad, enlarged his view on the monitor. They were shallow ramps, not bunkers, as he first assumed. A triangular shape ejected from the opening, followed by others. One of the AA guns swiveled in his direction and jolted, silently spewing short bursts of flames from the barrels.

Sudenjah thrusted ahead of the exploding rounds meant for him. Three other Stormbringers adjacent to him, ruptured in the air and tumbled to earth.

“Mirages!” said a voice over the radio.

“Flying Circus; these are your orders,” Sudenjah said into the headset. “We have to stop more planes from exiting the ramps! Every plane is to concentrate their fire on the ramps! Destroy them to prevent more aircraft from joining the fight! I’ll contain the threat in the air!”

He knew the price would be heavy as he angled after the first of the fighters. The enemy was a cornered snake, left with either the option to fight or die. Ground gunners would protect their taking off Mirages at all costs, but the Flying Circus were just as desperate. Although only a single battle in the entire war, the Flying Circus’ personal existence weighed in the balance. If they didn’t contain the threat on the ground, they’d be overrun in the air.

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5


Leave a comment

ALL THINGS – Chapter 5 part 3

Sudenjah climbed to 12,000 feet and looked over the desert floor. Its red mat and stifling heat made it look and feel like the bowels of Hell. It seemed people on this planet believed in an afterlife as well as an abode of the damned. He had learned of these concepts from his Bible, given to him by the Red Cross man fifty years earlier in the prison camp. To this day, he still had it as it was the first book he learned to read in the languages of the humans. Kept out of nostalgia not from belief. The natives of Earth were a heathen breed who had no knowledge of Kilmere.

Rapid beeping interrupted his thoughts.

“Misiles!” said a voice over the radio.

Sudenjah looked at his radar. Fine dots littered the screen, heading for the larger dots; his air wing.

“Converge on the launchers,” said Sudenjah speeding ahead of the pack.

He released his chaff and angled above the first wave of fiery darts. They weaved askew of each other, as others chased their intended victims.

“One of them’s locked on me!” a panicked voice said into Sudenjah’s headset.

“Keep calm!” Sudenjah growled. “Give quick, precise movements. Missiles are not driven by emotion, so remember, to panic, is to die.”

The missiles were small, therefore short range; they also came from the ground. Movement showed on the red surface. He angled into a shallow dive, hurtling to earth like a comet. Square missile launchers sitting atop their pedestals, looked up to the sky. The ground opened up at various points, creating sinkholes in the sand. In their place, more missile launchers sprouted and swiveled to fire.

Sudenjah swooped on the nearest of them, releasing a rocket. The launcher exploded beneath him in mid angle as he launched his second rocket. He intended to angle to port, and destroy a long line of launchers.

A truck with a heavy AA gun mounted on the back motored almost into his line of fire. He angled away from his intended targets and fired once. His rocket led a fiery trail, obliterating the truck on impact, then he pulled up savagely, separating himself from the ground enough to renew his attack.

On his climb, he witnessed his air wing dart and slow down to turn like hornets to dodge the surface to air missiles. At least three of his fighters shattered in the air, that he could see. He banked and throttled aside to avoid one of his men parachuting to the ground.

Sudenjah dreaded losing more planes. Morinu said that intelligence mentioned hangars. Surely the enemy wanted to thin out the Luftwaffe’s numbers before sending up their planes. That could spell disaster for the Flying Circus.

Sudenjah flipped off the safety leaf, covering the stick’s nose cannons’ firing button as he executed a flat spin turn on the end of his climb. His Stormbringer turned 180 degrees, then jetted toward the ground. With a deft controlled movement of the stick, the first of the missile launchers shifted into his nose cannon sights. He had vowed to himself not to use his Otarkwan guns, but the war was essentially at an end. He saw no point in dragging it out any longer.

Time to finish this, he told himself.

Click here for other chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96 other followers