Kingdom of Nordennavic, Anea
Operation: Blue Shield
"Alert! Alert! Rebel forces are launching an offensive! All pilots to your craft! Repeat, all pilots to your craft!" A loudspeaker echoed through the base, a base that had once only been a simple civilian airport, but had been heavily fortified and reinforced by Emmerian Army engineers and was now the center of Emmerian operations in country.
Captain Decard Hammod had already served a few years as a fighter pilot and by no means was new to aerial combat. He had seen limited action against Estovakian patrols on the border of Emmeria after the Anean Continental War had ended. It was there he made a name for himself as a better than average pilot, one who came heavily recommended. He had a box of awards and medals from his academy days, something he used to be steadfastly proud of.
Awards, medals and everything else were immediately thrown out of the picture when he arrived at Canerd Airport. Compared to the other pilots stationed at the base, he was a complete amateur, a fact that severely diminished his self-confidence and trust in his own abilities. He thought he could stand it all, thought he was above everyone else. He wouldn't be scared, not him! Years of flight simulators and hard work at the Air Force Academy would pay off! He fought a few skirmishes against some pilots and came out on top, surely it'd be as easy as that, right? No amount of training though, mentally and physically, could prepare him for the real conditions of war.
Simply walking or standing outside could get you killed by snipers, mortar fire or improvised explosives planted by rebel infiltrators. There was no time for games, no time for Xbox or basketball. No one was allowed leave off the base and it was heavily stressed by Emmerian command that every civilian could be a potential rebel or spy and a strict curfew was enforced as a result. Ground-to-air missiles, horrid weather conditions, rocket launchers and roving rebel air patrols meant that each supply run could be the last for weeks, if not longer. Food was limited to military rations and by no means could the living conditions around the base be considered comfortable. On top of all that Emmerian military personnel were consistently reminded that at any given moment the rebels could overrun the base and wipe them all out.
No place like home.. Decard thought bitterly. Following the earlier announcement's orders, Decard was scrambling to his barracks to retrieve his kit and link up with his newest partner in crime, Second Lieutenant Alexandria Folmon. Decard hadn't even flown a single sortie before his previous wingman, Major Ryan Webster, was killed by incoming artillery. That had been day one for Decard, a day that had changed his entire perspective on the conflict. He had been told that the base had been secured and that he'd be flying in ideal conditions with little to no resistance. He'd shoot up a few tanks, drop a few bombs and maybe scare off a few MiGs, they told him, it'd all be a smooth ride from day one. Jokes were tossed around before his deployment concerning the locals's hospitality and how much they adored tourists.
"It'll be fun, they said, it'll be a breeze, they said, you might even get lucky, they said!" The Captain grumbled as threw open the barrack doors and frantically searched for his equipment. He shouted Folmon's name and glanced around while suiting up, wondering where she could be.