A scene from To Fall for an Angel
The Hind lurched and accelerated away from the Lynx.
‘What on earth are you doing, Radnor?’ Ivanov yelled as the Hind gathered speed and began to climb.
‘Avoiding Edgar’s surprise,’ Radnor replied. ‘The bastard had us cold.’
‘What?’ Ivanov shouted.
‘Look behind us, to the west!’ Radnor snapped. ‘I can’t out run it. We have to dive.’
Ivanov twisted around, peered over the Hind’s port wing and his mouth dropped open. ‘May God be merciful.’
A flash of sheet lightning lit up the twilight sky. The Hind twisted and spun on its nose as a wall of thick rolling clouds inhaled the hapless gunship.
‘I can’t see anything!’ Radnor screamed as a fork lightning pierced the swamp-black clouds smothering their Hind.
‘Try to keep our nose up and cut the throttle,’ Ivanov called back. ‘We can’t fight this.’
‘Where is up? I can’t see passed my arms.’ Radnor yelped as hail stones railed against the Hind’s canopy. ‘The storm’s too strong. The Perspex can’t hold.’
‘It will hold,’ Ivanov growled as several spider web cracks spread across the armoured wind-shields. ‘I refuse to die in an airborne ice–’
‘No!’ Radnor gasped as brilliant warning lights lit up the Hind’s canopy. ‘We’re losing the turbines. The blades are pushing them around too fast.’
Ivanov crossed his arms and gripped his straps. ‘Detach the rotors! Kill the engines!’
‘It’s too late, they’re–Ah!’ The Hind bucked and a rotten crack cut-off Radnor’s cry.
‘Radnor!’ Ivanov shouted as several master alarms blared into life. ‘Answer me, damn–’
Ivanov covered his face as the sunset’s glare filled his canopy. His eyes glanced up at the belly of the storm surging overhead. Two thick trails of smoke streamed out of the engines passed the empty rotor hub. Ivanov then peered over the rim of his rain-streaked canopy and sighed as the vast grasslands spiralled up towards him. ‘So, this is how it ends.’
A scene from One Army, Many Tribes
‘They’re here,’ Yasmine’s voice called from the shadows. ‘Hind Two, turn on your landing lights so Karen and her friends can see you.’
Jason turned back to the stairwell as Karen appeared by Yasmine’s side.
‘Are you ready, Yasmine?’ Karen asked. ‘Elli has their child. I need you to help Julia to the helicopter. She is still tired.’
Yasmine slung her suppressed CAR-15 over her back. ‘We don’t have time for being tired. I’ll carry her.’
‘No you won’t,’ Julia snarled as she staggered onto the roof. ‘I can see the gunship. I’ll go by myself.’
Jason joined Yasmine’s group as they advanced towards the illuminated Hind, then he called into his radio, ‘Polanski, Karl, fall back to Hind Two. Everyone stay alert!’
The Hind’s cabin doors opened with a sharp mechanical whine and two commandos scurried inside. Polanski took the child from Elli’s arms and then Karl reached down and lifted the Spaniard into the cabin.
‘You’re next, Julia,’ Jason shouted as the Hind’s turbines coughed into life. ‘We don’t have any cushioned seats, but it’s only–’
A thick crimson liquid splattered across Karen’s face and Julia slumped against her.
‘Sniper!’ Jason pounded his fist against the pilot’s canopy as Julia’s form crumpled onto the concrete. ‘Take-off, now! Another Hind will pick us up.’
A deep booming roar filled the sky as the gunship lurched into the air.
‘Yasmine to all Hinds,’ Yasmine shouted into her radio over the fleeing gunship’s turbines. ‘Julia is down. Sweep all the tall buildings west of us. Bring the sniper to me. I’m going to skin him alive.’
‘Karen, are you hurt?’ Jason yelled as he gripped her shoulder. ‘Are you okay?’
Karen flinched and gazed back at him. ‘Julia?’
‘Lie down,’ Jason said. ‘Don’t give the sniper another target.’
Karen nodded and collapsed into Jason’s arms.
‘Oh-great,’ Jason breathed as he lowered Karen onto the landing pad. ‘She’s in shock.’
‘Julia is dead,’ Yasmine whispered next to him. ‘One bullet; in through her right temple and out behind her left ear. The sniper missed Karen by two centimetres.’