You can read the previous part here: Part 4
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April 18, 2031
Captain Gibson was flying. Well, he flew every day, but this time it was special. He was flying without a plane, just flapping his arms.
And then everything went wrong. He started dropping like a stone, back to Earth. Captain Gibson vaguely remembered saying, “Damn gravity!” before landing.
But like in any dream worth its salt, Captain Gibson never touched the ground. Inches away from a messy death, Gibson woke up with excellent timing.
Gibson knew exactly why this was happening to him. He had witnessed the deaths of two of his fellow Air Force pilots during a training exercise. He and two others were just circling over the camp when six fighter planes from the enemy came.
He had dived for safety, instructing the two others to do the same. They didn’t, and one of them even joked, “I’m a bona fide supraman,” after which the other had said, “You mean superman.” The response to this was, “No, idiot. Supraman.”
Captain Gibson envisioned his last words as words that would be remembered forever. He had planned them for hours, wondering if they should be a message to his family, a patriotic message, an encouraging message, or any sort of message at all. He had settled on “Carry on without me.”
He had never envisioned famous last words as “No, idiot. Supraman.” But they were famous, perhaps as famous as Julius Caesar’s “Et tu, Brute?” Gibson knew they were famous as they were all of the newspapers, but the newspapers had undermined the point of the sentence by misspelling “supraman” as “superman”.
Damn Caesar! Why was he so good at making up last words?
This was a desperate situation for the camp. Their location was compromised. They would probably be sent on a suicide mission, or relocate the camp. Both of them were terrible, the latter more than the former.
Relocating the camp was backbreaking, filthy, and horrible work. In fact, several people preferred suicide missions more than relocating. Gibson wasn’t one of those idiots.
“News!” his friend said. “We’ll be sent to Tereptor to blow up the legislative buildings.”
Gibson groaned. This was a practical suicide mission. The legislative buildings of Tereptor were some of the most heavily guarded buildings in the world.
Aloud, Gibson said, “When?”
His friend frowned. “Get in your plane. Now.”
Gibson hopped into his plane and got ready to fly. His squadron took off and headed toward Tereptor. “I can do this!” Gibson said.
Once they reached Tereptor, Gibson was asked what to do. “I dunno!” he said. “Why’re you asking me?”
The men pointed out that he was the first to arrive, and they were flying behind him. “Whatever, then just fly around and drop your bombs, for God’s sake!”
Gibson took evasive action as soon as the first bullets started whizzing at him. He swerved around and around, moving away from the spray of bullets. Somewhere along the way, he dropped all of his bombs. His friends had not dropped their bombs yet, he noticed. Gibson had hit close to the runway. Now if somebody could destroy it…
One of the other planes in the squadron dropped a bomb, and it blew up the runway, making it very difficult to take off. A few more bombs caused all of the enemy planes, which were stranded, to be blown up. Now they just had to blow up the legislative building.
Anti-aircraft fire peppered the air. Three aircraft went down one, two, and three. Gibson wasn’t hit, luckily. He dropped another bomb, but he didn’t have to look to know that he had hit his target. The satisfaction in the release told him that he was confident that he’d get the target. As if in slow motion, the bomb drifted down onto the legislative building…and then blew it to smithereens. There was nothing slow about that part.
Gibson smiled. Maybe they would live to fight another day. But they still had to escape. Anti-aircraft fire had suddenly halted. He realized that one of his squadron members had shot down the anti-aircraft guns, meaning that they were free to go! They flew back toward camp jubilantly, grinning as one would after completing an impossible mission alive.
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You can read the next part here: Part 6