Gray War - Part 2: Chosen

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Gray War - Part 2: Chosen

Postby Marcel » 20 Jun 2014, 16:07

‘I turned around and pulled the throttle up to my chest before firing the killer burst’ stated Lieutenant Frank Parker as he took another puff from his cigar.

Across the table sat a young man sipping from his almost empty beer. Although he wasn’t more than 21 years of age he had a face wrinkled with the thought of death. All too many times he had seen a plane go down in flames and it was taking a toll. He broke the silence with a laugh that would annoy anyone.

‘You would have never got there if I wasn’t diving in on top of it meaning it wasn’t paying any attention to you’ he said softly.

‘Now, now Mack don’t give the youngsters any false ideas’ replied Frank sounding a trifle annoyed.

‘If it’s alright with you guys it’s time for me and Steve to head home now’ interrupted Shane Gray. ‘We have the morning show tomorrow and it’s getting quite late’ he added. ‘Sorry I couldn’t come to visit sooner but with my patrols and settling into life at the front I’ve been a slight bit busy’ he said apologetically.

‘At least you made it here’ replied Second Lieutenant Conrad Mackenroy, affectionately known as Mack by his friends.

‘See you another time’ yelled Frank to Shane and Steve as they went outside.

Shane woke with a start the next morning when his batman walked in and said those dreaded words, weather clear. He immediately got dressed and was pulling his boots on when a knock at the door announced he had a visitor. Cursing the interruption he yelled ‘come in’ angrily and the door opened to reveal Steve standing there shivering.

‘Cold enough for you?’ greeted Shane warmly as all anger disappeared like magic.

‘Not only is it cold enough but it’s also damp enough for me’ Steve replied as he beckoned to the world outside.

It had been raining overnight and mud was everywhere. Steve thought to himself I hope it doesn’t begin to rain again but he knew he was likely to be wrong as the sky was cloudy.

The patrol itself was a complete bore. Steve and Shane, flying in formation with 3 other planes didn’t even see any other aircraft, British or German, in the sky.

Back on the ground the rain started again. It got heavier and heavier and soon all flying planned that day was cancelled.

That afternoon he was sitting in the mess reading a book he had brought with him from home when the C.O. called him into his office.

‘Hello Second Lieutenant’ he greeted.

‘Hello sir who’s this?’ he replied questioningly.

‘This here is Colonel Jackson of Intelligence, he asked to see you’.

‘What about sir?'

‘I’ll leave him to tell you himself’.

‘Hi Gray as you know my name is Colonel Jackson from intelligence and I have a job for you’.

‘What type of job sir?'

‘I need you to land behind enemy lines to drop of an agent then return to pick him up 24 hours later’.

‘Do you mean carry a spy sir?'

‘We don’t like to use that term Gray but yes he is a spy’.

‘You realise that if I get caught with him I’ll face a firing squad don’t you’?

‘I know perfectly well what will happen to you’.

‘Why do you want me to do it sir, there are men here and all across the front who are heaps more experienced than me’.

‘You have proven yourself to be trustworthy in the couple of weeks you’ve been out here, apart from a few early incidents, and anyone highly experienced would be a massive loss. Also wing like the look of you and are thinking of transferring you to 271 squadron, who fly Pups, and you’d be a good source for special services. Provided you can pull this off like I think you can.’

‘Ok I’ll do it sir on one condition’.

‘What is that condition?'

‘To be given one of those brand new Bristol fighters I heard about. In a F.E I’d be unarmed’.

‘Okay consider that a deal’.

‘Thank you sir’.

‘I’ll be off now; I’ll send you a letter outlining the plan as soon as things are entirely sorted’.

Shane breathed a sigh of relief. He knew he was taking a massive risk when demanding a Bristol but it had paid off.

Two days passed before the squadron adjutant Patrick Smithson called Shane over with a piece of paper in his hand. It simply said:

Dear Gray,

Agent will be dropped off at your aerodrome at 2000 hours. Take off 10 minutes later. No delays. Field is located 13 kilometres east of Brussels. Take off to return to that field at 2000 hours 2 nights later and land to pick up the agent.

Good luck,

Col. M Jackson Intelligence.

‘Thanks Patty’ is all that Shane said.

‘That’s okay sir’ he replied.

The rest of the day passed quickly and before too long 2000 hours had arrived. After 5 minutes the agent was still not in sight. Shane got up and walked outside to have a quick walk to relieve his nervousness when he heard the sound of a motor from the direction of the road. Turning around he saw a dark brown tender turning into the aerodrome. After what seemed like an eternity the tender pulled up alongside him.

‘Let’s go’ shouted a short man in a black suit with a black bowler hat on his head.

‘Okay’ agreed Shane.

As they both got into the Bristol Shane was shuddering. So this is true nervousness he thought to himself.

‘Contact’ shouted the mechanic as the Bristol started speeding up along the mud ridden airfield.

The flight to the field surprisingly went off without a hitch. Not a single aircraft, ally or enemy, was sighted. The only thing that reminded the occupants in the plane there was a war going on was the usual archie encountered whilst crossing the German lines.

As Shane came in for a landing he breathed a sigh of relief. He had done one quarter of the job and everything went fine.

Bidding farewell to his passenger, Shane shuddered at the thought of this being the last time he gets to land a plane because he knew the journey home would be harder. Any nearby aerodromes would be notified of his presence and planes would be sent up to try and get him.

Luckily his flight home was just as uneventful as his flight to the field and after a couple of hours he touched down, safely, on his home aerodrome.

Unable to control his relief at getting back alright he leapt out of the plane and kissed the ground in happiness. Luckily this was not seen by anyone otherwise he may have copped a bit of flak about it in the mess.
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