Operation Lighthouse: Nexus
“Wolf one zero seven the area is unoccupied and you are clear for weapons discharge,” Iris radioed from the cockpit of her Mirage 2000. Soaring about a thousand feet over the ocean South of the island she searched the sky for Aile’s F-15.
“Roger that, Siren,” Aile responded.
“Set up an approach from three thousand feet, North North West to South South East. Think you can do that?”
“Yes ma’am,” Aile replied. Gripping the stick firmly, Aile adjusted his heading and attitude. Unlike the previous ‘joy ride’, Aile was on a serious test flight this time. He was dressed in a heavy flight suit and wearing all the correct safety gear. His Eagle had been loaded with weaponry as well, and he was just getting ready to test the cannon. Aile was looking forward to some air to ground gunnery practice.
“Wolf one oh seven is at angels three heading one one zero, five degree decent… engaging.”
Aile waited for the sight to line up with his target - a group of brightly colored balloons that were tethered to small buoys. Satisfied with his alignment, Aile squeezed the trigger. The right wing root billowed smoke, and a deadly stream of red tracers were sent out like a fiery ribbon. The rounds impacted haphazardly around the targets. The balloons burst and green smoke was released, making the kill easy to verify.
“Good hits, nice shooting,” Iris said. Aile couldn’t tell from her voice whether or not she was impressed.
“Any problems?” Iris asked.
“Negative,” Aile replied, checking over his instrument panel. So far, everything was working fine. “All green here.”
“Good,” Iris replied. "Climb back to angles five and setup for a north-south approach on the second target.
It took a good while for Aile to run out of ammo. The C model Eagle could carry upwards of nine-hundred rounds. The Eagle wasn’t optimized for ground attack, but it could perform close air support in a pinch. Aile wasn’t planning on attacking ground targets anyway. His mission was to guard the transports on the way in, and during their hasty retreat out.
After landing Aile met up with Lucine, who had been performing maintenance on her own fighter to make sure it would be ready for the mission. While it was very advanced, the specialized stealth system had to be hand tuned for optimum performance.
“How’d it go?” Lucine asked. She was attired in the same coveralls that the mechanics wore, and as such appeared much different than normal. While Lucine was a tough and stubborn girl, she was still very much a girl. Attired as she was made her look much more tomboyish than she normally would allow.
“Not bad,” Aile said. He handed Lucine a steaming cup of coffee.
“Thanks,” Lucine said, taking the cup. It was quite cold out that morning. Aile took a sip of his own coffee.
“The M61 is sighted well, and the custom feeder your squadron uses is pretty nice. I don’t expect any jams.”
“Not to mention the ammo is hand loaded,” Lucine replied, “you won’t find finer ammo anywhere else.”
“I noticed it was very consistent,” Aile nodded, “and that gives me peace of mind.”
“So, we go tomorrow, huh?” Lucine asked while looking down at her coffee.
“Yeah,” Aile sighed, “it’s getting real.”
“I’ll say,” Lucine replied. “But the sooner we get on with it, the sooner it can be over.”
“Yeah, it’s best not to over think it.”
“Well, soon you’ll be reunited with your beloved Elise,” Lucine said, “I’ll bet that makes you happy.”
“It will,” Aile sighed, “but do I detect a hint of self pity? That’s not like you.”
“It is so,” Lucine scoffed, “I just don’t always show it.”
“Heh…” Aile paused, “so what will you do after this is over?”
“What do you mean?”
“Obviously you have a job here,” Aile said, “but, wouldn’t it be nice to finish school?”
“School?” Lucine raised an eyebrow, “what for?”
“The experience,” Aile shrugged, “for good memories.”
“Being lumped with a bunch of ignorant children in classes that are far beneath my capability… yeah, sounds fun.”
“Okay, admittedly that part isn’t so great,” Aile replied, “but at least you can make friends… friends your own age. And maybe even more than that…”
“Trying to get rid of me?” Lucine asked with a smirk.
“If I wanted that, then why would I be inviting you to study at my school. With me.”
“Well, there is that,” Lucine said a little sheepishly.
“But, you never know. I happen to know that you left a lot of broken hearts at the academy. You could probably have just about any guy in school.”
“That’s like saying you can choose whatever disease you want to die from.”
“Oh come on, it’s not that bad. Some of the guys are alright… I mean, look at Arnold.”
“Arnold…” Lucine sighed. “I wonder how he’s doing.”
“I… hope he’s doing well,” Aile said, “he was pretty badly battered when I last saw him. The docs said he might not even be able to walk again.”
“No, he’s tougher than that,” Lucine said. “He’ll prove 'em wrong.”
“Yeah,” Aile nodded, “I think so too. And wouldn’t you like to be around to see that?”
“Eh… I’ll think about it,” Lucine relented, “but first things first.”
“Right… first we rescue Elise, and then we blow up the bad guys.”
The halls of that facility had become very familiar those last couple of weeks. Kaden walked the halls like he did every morning. As the facility at Juventud was a corporate operation, they didn’t have military personnel. While the people who ran the facility had the support of the Global Coalition, when it came down to basic security and other such needs, they employed private security contractors. At least, on the surface. In reality they hired skilled mercenaries from many different places. Private contractors were one thing, but some of the mercenaries working there had actual combat experience. Kaden was also a mercenary. His skills were many, and as such he held considerable influence. For the most part he reported directly to Dyson Kolman himself. However, Kaden was young, and didn’t command much respect. As such, his movements were scrutinized by other mercenaries working there. And most of them weren’t as nice as he was.
In reality, Kaden wasn’t a mercenary. He was an undercover operative working for K27. It had taken a lot of effort to get him into that facility, and even after he had gotten in he had to be careful. If it weren’t for K27’s advanced communications equipment it might not have been possible at all.
Kaden had received the message that an operation was underway to rescue Elise Laraway. Kaden’s mission was to sabotage the surface to air missile system as well as deliver the test subjects to the extraction point. To minimize the possibility of discovery, Kaden wouldn’t act until just before the operation commenced. He had already compiled an impressive stockpile of explosives.
In the meantime, he was preparing by gathering as much information as possible. Security guard rotations, potential avenues of escape, the location of weapons caches, et cetera. Kaden wanted to cover as many bases as possible.
As he was finishing up in the East wing, Kaden caught sight of a familiar face. The younger test subject, Yuki, was being escorted back to her room. Kaden stopped momentarily as they passed him. Yuki looked up at him, and her eyes lit up. Unfortunately, as Kaden was expressly forbidden to interact with the test subjects he couldn’t stop and talk to her. Yuki looked disappointed as she was rushed past him without even being able to say hello. Kaden watched her, and when she looked back to get a final glimpse of him, he smiled at her. In his mind he told her, “just hang on a little longer.”
Upon returning to the room, Yuki excitedly told Elise that she had seen Kaden. Elise, however, was unable to return the younger girl’s enthusiasm. The last couple of nights had been hard on Elise, and she was quickly succumbing to despair.
Still, she paid as much attention to Yuki as she could.
“It’s strange, though,” Yuki tilted her head, her disheveled raven hair falling to one side.
“Hmm, what is?” Elise asked, though she wasn’t terribly interested.
“Mr. Kaden… he looked like he was hiding something.”
“Hiding something, huh?” Elise echoed.
“Yeah… I got the feeling that he wanted to tell me something, but he couldn’t.”
“I see,” Elise replied.
“Hey, are you okay?” Yuki asked, noticing Elise’s dejected mood.
“Oh, uh, yeah,” Elise replied reflexively.
“You don’t sound okay,” Yuki said, frowning.
“I’m okay,” Elise sighed, “I mean, I’ll be okay.”
“Just hold on a little longer,” Yuki said. Her voice seemed different, like she was echoing someone else.
“Huh?” Elise asked.
“Oh, no, that’s just… something,” Yuki seemed a little flustered, “something I heard.”
“I see,” Elise blinked. “Well, I will try. I don’t know how you have been able to stay here so long…”
“No choice,” she said very matter of factly.
Elise looked sad, even more so than before. She hadn’t considered that Yuki’s situation was much more hopeless than her own.
“Well, maybe it will be just a little longer like you said,” Elise smiled a little. It was very much a forced smile, but Yuki didn’t seem to notice. Though she was extremely astute under normal circumstances, when Yuki’s natural abilities were hindered by the jammer in the ceiling, she became very easy to fool.
“Yeah!” Yuki said enthusiastically. A moment later Yuki went to get cleaned up from her examinations, and Elise was again left to her own thoughts. She rested against the wall and sighed heavily.
“Come on, Aile,” Elise whispered, “when are you gonna get me out of this place?”
Unbeknownst to Elise, Aile was getting ready to do just that. Before long he was preparing his F-15 for the first leg of a trip that would take him half way across the world. Everything had been double and triple checked. The tanks were topped off, and the Eagle had been stripped down to ferry configuration. Instead of weapons, the 63 foot jet fighter carried external fuel tanks.
Lucine’s plane, Moondance, had much greater capabilities than Aile’s. It could make the trip much more easily due to the advanced systems and extremely optimized fuel economy. As Aile understood it, the same system that granted Lucine’s Eagle its stealth capabilities could also be used to influence the aerodynamic characteristics, cutting parasitic drag down to a minimum.
“Moondance, how’re you doin?” Aile asked over the radio. His F-15 was sitting on the runway. Lucine’s own Eagle was taxiing toward him.
“Looking good,” Lucine said. “How 'bout this weather, huh? Think it’s a bad omen?”
“I hope not,” Aile replied with a sigh. Normally he loved rain, but the cold downpour did seem foreboding.
“Not like we can abort now,” Lucine said as she turned onto the runway. Her F-15 rolled up alongside Aile and stopped just ahead of him.
“I wouldn’t want to,” Aile said. “Besides, I love rain.”
“I remember,” Lucine replied. “Thinking of blowing through those clouds into the pure sunlight?”
“That’s right,” Aile said. “Unlike back then, now we have that capability.”
“It’s funny,” Lucine said. Aile looked over and saw that she was looking at him from the cockpit of her F-15. “Back then all we wanted to do was be free, and now that we both are, it almost feels as if we’re trapped.”
“By fate?” Aile asked.
“And responsibility,” Lucine said, “it’s just, when we were younger, we dreamed of being able to go where we wanted, when we wanted. But, now that we can, it’s not quite what I imagined.”
“You’re right,” Aile said, “it’s better.”
“The glass is always half full with you, isn’t it?”
“It doesn’t matter, so long as I’m the one who’s filling it.”
“Interesting philosophy,” Lucine replied. “Shall we go?”
“Ready when you are, Lead,” Aile saluted haphazardly. Lucine smiled, shook her head, and keyed the mic on the second radio.
“Tower, Moondance, requesting take off clearance,” Lucine radioed.
“Roger that, Moondance, permission granted. Have a nice flight, huh?” Darrington, the controller, replied.
“Copy that, thanks,” Lucine replied. She turned to Aile, who nodded once at her.
“Alright, flight,” Lucine said to Aile, “run 'em up.”
“Runnin,” Aile casually replied as he advanced the throttles. Both F-15s howled as they accelerated forward over the rain soaked runway, creating impressive wakes of water vapor. Accelerating further, Lucine eased the stick back and her F-15 lifted into the air, Aile’s following in perfect formation.
“Airborne,” Lucine radioed. “Feet wet.”
“Right with ya,” Aile said.
“Turning left, you wanna drop back a little?”
“Yes ma’am,” Aile complied, easing the throttles back a notch.
Completing her turn, Lucine began a steady climb.
“Tower, we are airborne and on route to waypoint alpha.”
“Roger that, Moondance. You are all clear up there, no traffic civil or military.”
“Thanks again, tower,” Lucine replied, “see you in a couple days.”
“Best of luck, Moondance,” Darrington said.
“Thanks,” Lucine replied before signing off.
With that, Lucine turned her full attention back to flying.
“Too bad we can’t go full AB,” Aile said, “this jet is good, but it doesn’t have the same fuel economy as my Wraith.”
“Bet you wish you had your MiG-29 now, huh?”
“Nothing against this jet, but yeah,” Aile said, “Wraith is much more suitable for this kind of mission. I guess she’ll have to sit this one out.”
A few moments later they entered the dense cloud cover. The rain pelting the fighter stopped almost immediately. Aile watched carefully to make sure he didn’t get too close to Lucine’s jet. Although she wasn’t really visible in the clouds, he did have a solid transponder lock on his datalink.
“We’re about on top,” Lucine said. Aile took in a deep breath in anticipation. A moment later they broke through the top of the clouds all at once, and the blue sky opened up in front of them. Aile sighed.
“This will never get old,” he said. Lucine’s F-15 climbed for a few more seconds, then rolled inverted, pitched toward the Earth, and then rolled around once she was level. Aile followed suit.
“Let’s settle in,” Lucine said, “we have a long way to go.”
“Roger that,” Aile said. The two F-15s soared through the sky on a Southern heading.
It was a longer flight than either of them was used to, but later that day Aile and Lucine found themselves crossing the shoreline of the Yucatan peninsula. Their destination was farther inland, but at their speed it would only be a few minutes.
“In all my years doing stuff like this, I’ve never actually done anything like this,” Aile radioed as he and Lucine crossed over the ‘runway.’ In fact, there was no runway. There was only a narrow, but straight road in the lonely countryside. While it was a public road, it was rare to see more than a couple cars a day pass through that region. It was safe to land, but they would have to quickly hide the fighters to avoid any unwanted attention.
“First time for me, too,” Lucine admitted. “But they say there’s a first time for everything.”
“Really? What about having a traffic accident, farm truck versus Strike Eagle?”
“Okay, maybe not everything.”
After a moment a transmission came over the radio. It seemed to be from their allies on the ground.
“How you doin up there, Hunters?” a male’s voice called. Lucine replied immediately.
“Just a couple tired birds looking for a place to roost,” Lucine replied. “Think you can help us out with that?”
“Don’t worry, we’ve been waiting for you,” the man said. “The road is clear and no traffic for miles. One of our guys is about to light a signal, so you can use that as a marker to make your approach.”
“Sounds good,” Lucine said. “You get all that, two?”
“Yeah, loud and clear,” Aile said.
As if on cue a light caught both of their eyes. Down the road someone had lit a green flare. In the dimming light it was quiet easy to see.
“I have visual on the marker,” Lucine radioed.
“Roger that, you’re clear to make your approach as you see fit. The road is straight, but it’s kind of narrow, so be careful.”
“Understood,” Lucine said. She released the push to talk switch and took a deep breath.
“You go first,” Aile said.
It wasn’t unlike any other landing. Lining up with the road was no different from lining up with a runway. However, the road wasn’t quite so smooth. After a bumpy ride, both Aile and Lucine came to a stop in the middle of the road. They both cut their engines and waited for the crew. The road has been cleared of potential hazards, such as those posed by foreign objects. However, only the road had been given that treatment, so they would have to actually tow the fighters with their engines off.
They quickly connected the Eagles to makeshift tow vehicles. In fact, they were actually rugged Toyota pickups.
“I was a little worried about FOD,” Aile admitted as he watched Lucine’s fighter being towed by the truck. They seemed to be heading into a wide driveway that led to what appeared to be some kind of large building, perhaps a factory or similar.
“You and me both,” Lucine replied. “But they seem to know what they’re doing.”
“Yeah…” Aile was a little hesitant.
The large building was in fact a packing plant that had gone out of business some years ago. It was very large and had thus been modified into a secret hangar. Aile was surprised to see a C-130 Hercules inside. Even with the medium sized transport it was easy to fit the duo of fighters inside as well. Aile popped the canopy and climbed out. Once he was on the ground he stretched all his tired muscles.
Lucine joined him a moment later, and then they were both joined by another person.
“Lance Canela,” the man stuck out his hand toward Aile. Aile took his hand and shook it.
“Aile Phoenix,” he replied with a nod.
“Lucine Arlette,” Lucine said, taking his hand next.
“You must be tired after coming such a long way. What do you say I show you to your living quarters and we can discuss the details of the mission after you both get some rest.”
“That sounds… good,” Lucine admitted.
On their way to the living quarters, which was a separate building from the hangar, Lance pointed out some things of interest.
“We modified this building to suit our needs,” Lance said. He motioned toward the large doors that were being closed. “The doors were a pain. Nothing bigger than a diesel truck was ever supposed to come inside this building. Can you imagine the work we had to do to make a C-130 fit? That bird has a wingspan of over one hundred thirty feet!”
“Impressive,” Aile remarked. “And this base was put together all for the raid on that facility?”
“Pretty much,” Lance shrugged. “We put this place together pretty quick. Only about a month of work.”
“What will happen to it after tomorrow?” Lucine asked.
“We’ll blow it up,” Lance shrugged again. “That was kind of the plan from the beginning.”
“Such a waste,” Aile said, looking around. “This place is really cool.”
They walked out of the hangar and into the cool evening air. It seemed the sun was already going down.
“Despite what it may look like this place is actually pretty nice,” Lance said, motioning toward the nearby building. It looked like it had maybe been an office or somesuch. “We have been here for two months already, so we try to make it as much like home as possible.”
And he wasn’t lying. Inside was totally different from outside. It was well kept, and very welcoming. They had a pool table, a bar with a huge TV, and several comfortable looking chairs. It certainly looked like an ultimate bachelor pad.
“Hoho, this place is pretty nice alright,” Aile said with a smile.
“Yeah, we call this ‘the briefing room’. Don’t tell anyone back at K27 what it actually is, okay?” Lance said.
“Haha, of course,” Aile gave him a thumbs up. “Since it looks like we’ll be guilty of using it as well.”
Lance showed them to their room. Aile and Lucine were quite surprised to find that it was only one room and not two.
“Sorry, this place is kind of tight on space, after all,” Lance had told them with a difficult smile.
Of course, being professionals, both Aile and Lucine accepted it. Of course, being teenagers, they were both a little distressed.
For the meanwhile, Aile was lying on his bed looking up at the ceiling. Lucine had insisted that she be allowed to take a shower first. Aile had tried teasing her about the fact that she had been forced to use a diaper during the long flight, but that hadn’t gone over well. Even then, Aile’s side hurt from when Lucine had promptly punched him.
After a few minutes Lucine appeared. She was wrapped in a towel.
“Sorry, I forgot my clothes,” Lucine said as she rummaged through her bag.
“No big,” Aile said offhandedly as he continued to stare at the ceiling. Lucine looked as though she didn’t know whether or not to be insulted.
“You’re looking at it so intently,” Lucine tilted her head.
“Oh, yeah,” Aile said. “It’s a habit I’ve picked up from staying in so many different places. The ceilings are all different, and looking at the details helps me focus.”
“That’s weird,” Lucine remarked.
“Maybe a little,” Aile finally looked up. “Is the shower free?”
“Yeah, knock yourself out,” Lucine said. “When are we meeting for that brief?”
“At seven,” Aile said.
After showering and getting dressed in casual clothes, Aile met up with Lucine in the briefing room. It was an extremely casual atmosphere. Lance, the apparent host, distributed drinks to everyone.
“So, let’s get this party started,” he said as he took his seat. They were sitting around a large table that seemed to double for both planning as well as eating.
“Let’s start with introductions,” Lance continued. “These two kids are our strike pilots. Kids?”
“Aile Phoenix,” Aile said.
“Lucine Arlette,” Lucine said, putting a hand to her chest.
“They come with high recommendations from ‘the man’ so don’t look down on them just cause they’re a little young, okay?” Lance assured his teammates.
“Right, well, I’m Annabelle Pilato,” a woman in her mid twenties spoke up, “I’m the crew chief on the C-130. I also act as co-pilot, since we’re a bit understaffed here.”
“Ben Guerro,” a middle aged man said. He wore a bandanna on his head and had a thick beard, “I’m a security specialist and explosives guy.”
“And I guess that leaves me,” a smaller looking man said. “I’m Fernando Kahr. I put missiles and bombs on airplanes. I’m also an electronics guy, so if you’re having electrical problems let me know.”
“It’s good to meet all of you,” Aile said.
“The second crew is coming in from another base,” Lance said. “They will be the ones running diversion in another C-130. Their callsign is Ruby One Six. Pilot’s name is Kurt Boyle. Good man.”
“So, they’re gonna make the run at Key West, huh?” Aile asked.
“That’s right,” Lance said with a smile, “I’m not sure if I envy them or not.”
It was a bit of a crazy plan. Aile had been over it a dozen times, but even then he couldn’t totally believe it. They went over it again, and as expected it still sounded partially insane.
There would be five different elements working in concert. First, the K27 squadron would run a high altitude mission aimed at taking out key satellites in orbit. That would temporarily blind the enemy, making it possible for Aile and Lucine to escort Lance’s C-130 in. Of course, that would only happen after K27’s man on the inside took out the long range missiles guarding the facility at Juventud. At the same time, the second C-130, Ruby One Six, would approach the Global Coalition base at Key West. They would use their stealth system, not unlike the one on Lucine’s fighter, to approach very close before shutting it off. Having enemy aircraft appear so close to the base would throw them into a panic, and they would scramble fighters and frames to counter the threat. That would effectively pull away the enemy’s closest source of re-enforcement. Aile and Lucine would take out any point defenses at Juventud, and Lance’s C-130 would land and pick up the man on the inside, who would be escorting Elise.
All in all it was a complicated but solid plan. If everything went right, Aile would be reunited with Elise before noon the next day.
“So, that covers it,” Lance said, wrapping up the meeting. “You kids get some rest. We’ll take care of arming your birds. We can meet for pre-flight at zero five hundred, cool?”
“Yeah,” Aile said. He would have really preferred to oversee the arming of his fighter himself, but he was indeed tired. He knew that he could trust these people - they were instrumental to the plan, so he had to trust them. It was more due to habit than anything.
“Alright, until the morning, then. Sleep well, kids,” Lance said. Everyone got up and dispersed to their own activities. Aile and Lucine looked at each other.
“Well, guess we’d better get some rest,” Aile shrugged.
The next morning came soon thereafter. Lucine and Aile got ready and met with the crew in the hanger. After going over the plan one more time they moved onto checking the aircraft for any problems. Aile was pleased to see that his Eagle had been expertly equipped with a host of weaponry.
“Everything okay on your bird?” Lucine asked Aile.
“Looks good,” he said. “Guess I’ll be leaving the ground targets mostly to you, though.”
Indeed, Aile’s F-15 was equipped mostly with air-to-air weapons. The F-15C Eagle was bred as a pure air superiority fighter. It’s job was to go toe-to-toe with other fighters and come out on top. Lucine’s F-15E was the enhanced strike variant. While it still retained all the advantages of the regular Eagle, the Strike Eagle also excelled in the air-to-ground role.
“Well, better get suited up,” Aile said. Lucine nodded and they parted company.
For the mission, Aile had been given a special flight suit commonly called a ‘frame suit.’ Contrary to a traditional flight suit, the frame suit was armored and completely self-contained. It was a much more advanced suit that was designed to deal with the rigors of aerial frame combat. Frame pilots found themselves in more diverse situations than fighter pilots, and as such their equipment was designed with that in mind.
Aile also readied his sidearm. Pilots typically carried weapons in the form of revolvers or automatic pistols. In the case of having to abandon their aircraft behind enemy lines, pilots needed weapons with which to defend themselves until rescue could arrive and pluck them out. Aile of course had a sidearm too, only his was different. Instead of a paltry handgun, Aile instead opted to bring along an H&K MP7 submachinegun.
Once attired in the dark gray suit, Aile walked back into the hangar. Lucine met up with him shortly thereafter. For a moment they just looked into each others eyes, and both of them were thinking the same thing.
“This is it.”
The cold morning brought a moderate fog to the Tizimin region. In the cold early air, two weapons of war were towed carefully onto the all but abandoned road. Set up in a staggered line the two trucks were disconnected from the F-15s and drove back to the hangar.
“Shouldn’t the one-thirty launch first?” Lucine asked.
“Usually, yeah, but Hercs are made to take off from just about anywhere, so they don’t have to worry about FOD.”
Foreign Object Damage. Jet engines were notoriously weak against small pieces of debris such as small rocks.
“Good point… that thing’s gonna blow stuff all over the road with those turboprops.”
“Exactly,” Aile replied.
“So, let’s get it started,” Lucine said. With that, both Aile and Lucine started their engines, and the morning silence was pierced by the fierce howl of four turbofan engines.
“You go first, I don’t wanna get caught in your wash,” Aile said.
If a fighter jet ingested the hot, turbulent engine exhaust gasses from another aircraft it was possible its engines might stall. That was called ‘jetwash.’ As such, they opted to launch one at a time because their ‘runway’ was so narrow.
Lucine advanced the throttles and thundered down the road, all but the hot cones of exhaust disappearing into the fog. Aile briefly thought that it was risky to take off on a public road when visibility was so low, but the ground crew had already planned for that and were using sensors to ensure the road was clear.
“Airborne,” Lucine called once she had taken off. It was Aile’s turn.
“Roger that. Wolf one oh seven is on the roll,” Aile radioed as he advanced the throttles. As his Eagle picked up speed and the powerful engine thrust and wingtip vortices pushed the fog aside Aile had one thought in his head.
“I’m coming, Elise.”