five~ Sea air

Posted: J September, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I sat in the seat and looked about the cabin. She was old, dusty and smelled of fuel and various lubricants. Looking out of the slightly cracked and stained windshield, I adjusted my harness and looked to make certain my DMR was secured into the center rifle cradle.

AC circuit breakers – In.

Reaching over the stack, I found myself thinking about the first time in one of these old birds. At once it seemed forever long ago, and just a month or so back…weird.

BAT switch – ON; Check voltage.

It wasn’t like I was really going anyplace. In fact, I pretty much bagged the pre-flight.  A short flight to my new digs.

Lights – On; check, then off.

Fuel – Check…kinda, the cracked glass of the gauge made it rather hard to see.

BAT switch – OFF.

Flight Controls – Check.  The pedals squeaked and the stick was a bit stiff.

Overhead switches and circuit breakers – Set.

GPU – Connected for GPU start.

‘Lucky that was actually in the hangar’ I thought to myself as I struggled to look through the side to see the small ground power unit running next to me.

 Smoke gauge – Check.

FIRE warning indicator light – Test….like it really matters…

Press to test caution/warning lights.

System instruments – Check. Yep…many jacked up.

Center pedestal switches – Set.

 Altimeters – Set? Who knows what the Bp is here anymore, it’s not like the ATC is actually operational.

Hmmm…no Fireguard  to post…again, doesn’t really matter

Rotor blades – Checked for clear and untied before I boarded

Ignition key lock switch – On.  And throttle – Set for start.

INVTR switch – MAIN ON.

 Engine and transmission oil pressure – Check.

I disconnected my harness and went outside the bird…

       GPU – Disconnect.

       Jumping back into the seat, I quickly clipped my harness together and adjusted my position in the pilots seat.

Avionics – On.

STARTER GEN switch – STBY GEN.

Throttle up to 6600 RPM

Avionics and flight instruments – Check and Set. …

       ‘Oh the hell with it…’ I said to no one and spooled up the turbine on the UH1. The engine was a loud, familiar sound in my ears, and the rotor spun faster.  Prop wash stirred the dirt and debris from around the Huey and I almost forgot to stab my tactical glasses back onto my face to help protect my eyes from the ever increasing cloud of crap surrounding the helicopter.

Lifting off the skids, the UH1 pulled itself off the ground and became airborn. The engine screamed and the rotors beat the air. Throttle up, I pulled easily on the collective and nudged the newly found heli into a forward climb. The ground fell away from us, and I smiled.

“Lets go girl…Lets do what you were born to do”

A steady climb, and a slight turn. Chernos late summer colors fell past us, a steady stream of trees, rocks and grass as we found our cruise altitude.

“How longs it been since you went to the beach old girl?” I asked my new friend.

Nudging the stick forward, we picked up speed and swung easily from side to side, slipping into the small valley between two of Chernos many hills…working our way toward the coast in an easy descent.

looking at the gauges, my smile faded. Avionics instrumentation was crucial, but unfortunately these had been damaged. Gunfire was not discriminating. It didn’t care what it shattered, glass, bones or lives.

I saw the beach in front of us, and a small set of buildings. A couple of houses and sheds, one small hay barn and utility buildings scattered around the main coastal road. Easing the huey into a shallow left banking dive, we floated over the trees, wires and rooftops. My stomach reminding me that it had been a while since performing even these slight maneuvers, I leveled out and flew ESE towards Elektro.

Gunshots? Or was it the sound of the Hueys rotor chopping the air? Throttle up and pitch forward, gaining speed I left the sounds behind us. I wouldn’t be the first (or the last) heli downed by small arms fire.

Screw em…more throttle, and collective. I pulled the Huey up and over to a right bank, taking us out to sea.

So much for our joy ride.

Pointing the nose of the aircraft towards my new base of operations, we flew over the water with the sun at our back.

Skalisty Island was just ahead and the open field at the center was our target. Here there was a small farm, several out buildings, a radio tower and a fishing village complete with a covered dock and small light house.  There were zombies there, and even after I cleaned them out, they reappeared. I was amazed to see them swimming out to the island once,  and had to remind myself occasionally that no place was safe now.

Setting the bird down, I followed my once often used procedure of engine idle and shut down. Glancing to my right, I saw the small fleet of vehicles I had rounded up from various points on the island. Urals, Hmmvees, UAZs and support trucks (fuel, maintenance and portable GPUs). The Huey was quieting down and I unlatched my harness.  I loosed the DMR from its cradle and hopped out of the heli. I would have to remember to tie down the blades tonight, as a sea breeze was starting as the sun sat over western Cherno.

I turned toward my new friend. Patting her on the nose, I said a quiet thanks. It was just something I had always done.  After all, she had gotten me here.

“Soon enough you will have some friends here. I have see other helis and I intend on bringing them here as soon as I can” Funny thing about survival situations. One can find oneself talking out loud when one least expects it.

But talking to a Helicopter? Was I losing it? I felt in my pocket for the bullet. It was the first thing I always did. I would strip a round and put it someplace safe…just incase I have enough and decide to take myself out of the game.

“Nope…not tonight”

Shouldering the DMR, I walked toward one of the white UN vehicles I had food stored in. Selecting a steak I had cut earlier in the day, I added it to the bag I now carried in my left hand. Always keep your weapon hand free…and I was right handed.

Walking uphill, I approached the barrel of burning wood I had started before my journey. It was mainly glowing coals now and perfect for cooking the beef.  Setting the steak onto the hot makeshift wire grill (a gift from a small store shelf in Soli) the beef began to sizzle and cook. I sat on the tree stump next to the small homemade grill and opened my bag.

“Here’s to you girl” I said as I opened the warm Russian beer I had found. “Tomorrow we start again…but tonight we eat and drink”

The stars were coming out, speckling the ever darkening sky with small points of light. The breeze was gentle and I could hear one of the goats grazing close by. Zombies were typically noisy and stayed by the village unless provoked.

Turning the steak, I finished the beer, and reached for one more.

Why the hell not …

Footsteps…and a grunt.  I heard the goat bleet and trot hastily away.  Sighing, I sat the beer down, looked at my almost ready steak and rose to my feet.

The zombie, wearing all black, snarled at me and moved quickly toward my position. Drawing my silenced M9, I put one into his torso, and two into his face. He dropped to the ground, twitched a few moments and was still.

Setting back on my tree stump, I laid the Baretta in my lap and pulled the steak off the grill onto a waiting plate I had found in a small home near the water.

“Cheers” I raised my beer to the half moon peeking out between slowly moving clouds. She only looked at me with that same face she always had. Silent as the stars.

The only sound now was my goat, and the sea breeze rifling through the trees behind me punctuated by the embers crackling in the short barrel.

Another day.

Another night.

Another time.

Shadow~

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