New Lives, Old Ways 9.99:
The Red Lynx
by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
It was near midnight local time when Chance brought them in for a landing at a concealed base not far over the horizon from their mainland target. It had been a grueling flight, not for the length, that hadn't been bad at four hours, but for the fact that it had been absolutely silent in the back seat the entire time. He knew Jake was watching for trouble, but every spare scrap of his partner's mind was working on how to work up some non-lethal munitions in the two or three hours they'd likely have before they were sent to hit the beach defenses ahead of the assault force.
"Jake, if you can't figure it out, it's not a crisis," Chance finally offered. "We're about to land, and I'll need your head on the assault if we've only got a few hours before showtime."
"I'll be there," he promised. "But it would be useful to grab a few officers if we can, and I think I have a couple functional ideas I can build in time."
Both were a bit surprised to see only one officer, a low-ranking Lieutenant, driving up to their landing spot as they VTOL settled down in the grass near the airstrip.
"I really hope he's not the superior officer for this operation," Chance murmured before touching down and sliding back the cockpit.
"If he is, he isn't now," Jake pointed out. "We both rank him."
"True," Chance nodded and followed his partner to the ground.
"Welcome to Cidasin," the Lieutenant greeted them. "Please get in. "The Major has been edgy for hours, since he learned you'd be helping."
"Well, let's not keep him waiting any longer then," Chance chuckled as he got in the back of the jeep with Jake. "Anything you can bring us up to speed on, on the way?" He asked. "New developments, new intel that wasn't in our packets?"
"Nothing I know about, but I'm not privy to that kind of thing," the driver said as they pulled away from the Black Sun and towards a collection of single-story buildings hidden under a huge network of camouflage nets.
Jake gave a glance back toward their jet in time to see a team bring a camouflage net over it.
"I'm impressed," Jake said absently. "You can't see anything from the air, even at a hundred feet. But why bother?"
"It's our orders," Lieutenant Darkeye said with a shrug. "We don't get told much."
"I know," Chance chuckled and winked at his partner. It felt weird to be the one with the answers, instead of asking them. "This one is hidden, so the fake one on Tabril Island is where they think we'll be coming from."
"So that's why it went so well," Jake murmured.
"Pretty much, and an air assault that was unprecedented at the time," the tabby added. "We'll have to go in under full stealth, but once we're in position they won't know what hit them. After the air assault created confusion here, it hit up near Tabril faster than should've been possible ... history credits a feinting maneuver, but it's looking like a cover at this point."
"I'm sure we'll going to be finding a lot of those," Jake chuckled dryly, fascinated by camouflage job on such a huge scale until they came to a stop.
"If you'll come with me, sirs, I'll taker you to the war room," Lieutenant Darkeye said as he turned the engine off and got out.
"Amazing what they did before radar was good, huh?" Chance chuckled.
"And before good cameras, IR and sonar," Jake chuckled as they followed the Lieutenant inside the building and through hallways and rooms that were buzzing in a way that was heavily reminiscent of the main control room at HQ in their time. "It can still be done, but it takes a much more advanced system. The cost in our time," he shook his head. "It's amazing, really. Darkeye, can you round up a few things for me while we're talking to the Major?" Jake asked.
"Of course, sir," the dark tom with burgundy stripes said. "Anything we have."
Jake nodded. "I need nets, twenty pound weights, empty containers to hold a net and four weights each, and gunpowder. We're going officer hunting," he added with a grin.
"Yes sir," he nodded, a slightly confused look on his face before he knocked on large double doors of heavy, dark wood before opening them after a brief pause. "The Ghosts are here, sir."
"Good," the relief in the strong male voice was obvious. "Come in, Clawson, Furlong," the ticked sandy tabby greeted the pair warmly. "You made excellent time."
"We did our best, Sir," Chance nodded, stepping in along with his partner. "We understand there's only a few hours before the assault," he continued after the door was shut. It was more than a little surreal, having this conversation with the architects of the Golden Coast Invasion.
Looking at the strategic table, laid out just like it was in the museum, just made it all the stranger. He kept expecting to be watching all this grainy black and white.
"Yes, the ground forces go in just before pre-dawn," Major Kildar nodded and motioned for them to join the circle around the table and take in the planned assault. "By appearances, the decoy at Tabril is working. Their forces have amassed on the beaches across from it."
"Well, when we get the chance we'll make sure they don't feel neglected," Chance chuckled grimly, joining the circle with Jake. He felt more than a little strange standing among so many officers he admired, had studied at length, and who outranked him drastically yet treated him with deference.
"I understand you have a very advanced plane and have significant knowledge of our plans," Major Kildar said. "What can you do to assist the assault?"
"We can go on ahead, without exposing your assault until we attack, and whittle down the machine gun nests," Chance explained. "And we can block their radio communications, so they can't call back for reinforcements until after we've had a chance to go ahead and start mopping up Tabril for you. We also hope to capture some of their officers, if we get the chance - pick up some extra intel."
"How much of their defenses should you be able to take out before we get there?" Major Kildar asked. "The machinegun placements could all but wipe us out."
"Based on what I know about their placements, we should be able to wipe out about three quarters of them," Chance explained.
"How are you guys set for paratroopers?" Jake asked, his mind working over possible tactics.
"Idea doesn't exist yet, buddy," Chance told him as a wave of blank looks cross the officers around them.
"Ah ... soldiers who parachute behind enemy lines," Jake explained. "No parachutes yet?" he glanced at Chance, who nodded grimily. "Damn."
"They are useful?" Captain Sunclaw asked, his mind at work on the idea.
"Once you have reliable parachutes, yes," Jake nodded.
"After the battle, can you show me one, and how to use it?" the Captain asked despite the rolled eyes of those around him.
"Yes, sir," Jake nodded. "Training usually takes three to five weeks, but I can give you the basics."
"Okay, back to the actual mission," Major Kildar interrupted them, though there was no missing the shock that lingered on his face from Chance's assessment of the damage a single plane could do. "The city is friendly, so we are trying to limit damage to it and it's people. We need the port intact. We want the ships in it, but if they escape, can you sink them?"
"Yes sir," he nodded. "Are we the only air support?" Chance asked him, not sure how much of the record he could trust on that front, and not liking the empty airfield he'd seen when they'd landed.
"We have fifty aircraft, of the five hundred I asked for," the Major said grimily. "Of which only ten have much by way of experience. The bulk of the enemy aircraft are across from Tabril, keeping an eye on them, but I expect we will face an air force of three hundred by noon if the forces here can get word to them. The ground forces will take at least two days to get here in any number."
"We'll just have to keep them from getting word out then," Chance nodded. "The good news is that we can be well on our way to wiping them out before noon if we're not ... I'd just rather not have to go up against those sort of odds. Even with better armor, they could get a lucky shot in, and they might know we're available again if they have any survivors from Quatermass radioing in."
"Keep an eye out for any aircraft or vehicles making time north and give them priority," the Major said. "We'll have their radios blocked once the assault begins. That'll draw attention, but not as much as a call for help. Will you need fuel or any special supplies before you begin?"
"Fuel, yes," Jake nodded. "Darkeye is gathering a few things for officer capture. A hot meal and time to work on Black Sun is the best thing I can have right now."
"We'll have something brought out to you from the Mess," the Major nodded. "Good luck, and let us know when you'll be ready to head out - we'll want to be right behind you."
"Thank you, sir," Jake nodded and saluted before he turned to leave, Chance at his side.
"There they go," Jake said absently as he caught the first of the assault landing ships hit the beach, one that was significantly less dangerous than it had been an hour before.
"They've got the best chance we can give 'em," Chance sighed, peeling away. "Any signs of activity from the port, or should we head for Tabril?"
"The lines are holding, I say we go cut off any reinforcements," Jake decided calmly after a quick check of his sensor readouts. "We need to keep those planes away from the beach."
"On it," Chance nodded, kicking in the afterburners and cutting up to mach speed. "Watch the fuel, okay? Hate to run out of gas in the middle of something."
"Will do," Jake promised. "I have the system set to warn us when we're within ten percent of what's required to make it back to Cidasin. Even without the afterburners, there's nothing in the sky these days that can come close to chasing us."
"Nothing anybody knows about at least," Chance corrected, sure there was trouble that was still classified on the Kantin side of things.
"Krud!" Chance snarled and slid hard to the right to avoid something that appeared right in front of them.
"I hate mages," Jake flattened his ears. "Get me a shot on that thing."
"Workin' on it! Shit, thought gunner-mages were a freakin' myth," Chance swore under his breath, pulling around, then swearing again. "The Lynx."
"You beat him once," Jake reminded him as he prepped one of their precious missiles to fire as soon as he had a lock. "He's easier this time."
"That was when he didn't have a mage, an intact jet, or a dark sky to fight in," Chance pointed out, turning sharply to dodge a fireball. "You have something that'll keep him from casting?"
"Yeah, a bullet," Jake said grimly as they swung around and shot upwards to give themselves a moment to breath and plan. "Missiles are useless with fireballs around."
"Then get ready to shoot as soon as I come out of this," Chance warned him, continuing their climb, flipping upside down as Chance took them into a loop faster and sharper than the Lynx's plane could manage, or most from his own time even.
"Rodger," Jake focused on making the shot that was for the gunner, rather than the plane itself. It set against all his training and damn near all his morals. It was only the very real way the other gunner was trying to kill them that pulled the trigger.
Bullets streaked through the air at his target, a killing shot for sure - but then they scattered as scintillating colors filled the air.
"This is why I hated the idea of a gunner-mage!" Chance snarled. "Hold on tight; I'm about to try and out-crazy him!"
"Oh crap," Jake yowled and gripped his controls until his knuckles where white as he tried hard to anticipate what his partner was up to.
Chance spun the Raven to duck a lightning bolt, taking advantage of the time it would take the mage to prep his next spell to get in front of the Lynx. The pilot started firing his guns, but the bullets glanced off the armored shell of the Raven as it streaked directly at him. At the last second, the Lynx twisted to get out of the way - and Chance turned slightly towards his escape, twisting the plane onto its edge.
The leading edge of the Black Sun's right wing ripped into the Red Lynx's left, shattering the wooden frame and shredding the cloth as their collision destroyed the wing and tore off the back end of the tail. Chance leveled out, turning towards their target.
"I really hope you're right about us not being able to change the past right now, buddy," he murmured, heart pounding hard.
"Just line me lined up with that mage," Jake got out, his heart in his throat, his fur completely fluffed in fear that he only just managed to shove away to do his job. "He's still dangerous on the ground."
"Jake, we need to take Tabril," Chance pointed out, even as he began to come around. "And we'll be out of range in a flash."
"For the ground troops," Jake pointed out his real concern for leaving the mage alive and opened up with the blasters in their wings, riddling the Red Lynx's craft with holes that focused on the back end until he saw the shredded craft vanish in a flash of light. "Damn. Right, to Tabril."
"At least they're out of here... maybe it was a spell triggered when you got him," Chance offered, settling in for a high speed cruise to their next target. "Run a diagnostic while I'm flying? Hate to find out I'd fucked something up with that crash."
"Already running it, buddy," Jake said as he forced himself to calm down. "The wing was designed to take a harder hit than that and be fine."
"And you should know," Chance chuckled, relieved when the air system began to filter out the worst of his partner's fear. It wasn't the first time, and he knew it wouldn't be the last, but it was damn distracting to smell his gunner like that. It didn't matter that he knew from experience that it didn't affect Jake's performance of the job. It was the fear trying to trigger his own.
"Well, yeah, I do know the specs better than the guy who sold them," Jake chuckled as he settled down. "That was a hell of a move there, buddy."
"Thanks," Chance nodded. "You okay back there?"
"Yeah," Jake assured him. "I don't think I'll ever get used to moves like that. Even knowing we can take the hit, it's still an intentional impact."
"Y'wanna hear something that'll really make you feel better about it?" Chance asked, half a chuckle in his voice. "I wasn't sure we could take the hit, with that bullet-proof shield in place."
"Chance!" Jake scolded him. "Don't tell me things like that! I was going to suggest it pretty soon," he added more quietly. "We could do that against normal planes of the time all day and barely chip the paint."
"Maybe," Chance nodded. "But I'd rather shoot out the engines. They can glide to a safe landing instead of spiraling into the dirt, and we don't have to worry about finding out the hard way that the physics doesn't work in our favor for some reason."
"Agreed on the first, but physics don't change," Jake pointed out. "If they did, you'd know first because flying would be different. But if we run out of ammo, it will work."
"I meant in case we tripped over somebody with a plane that was a bit sturdier for some reason - it'd suck to come across some druidic pilot," Chance grumbled. "An Ironwood biplane would not be good to crash into."
Jake winced at the thought. "Point. That's the one thing I can't do; work magic into a plane," he said with something between annoyance and wistful in his voice.
"You do just fine without it," Chance assured him, as much for his own sanity as for his partner's as their radar picked up ground and air targets coming within range. "Like lambs to the slaughter."
"We're going to have to land the hard way," Jake said grimly, the exhaustion easily audible in his voice in the afternoon sun. "We're already on fumes."
"Any good news?" Chance groaned, throttling down already to try and hit the strip as slow as he could, as early as he could. He was sure it wasn't nearly long enough ... and that would be if they did have a proper capture system, which he knew they hadn't even imagined yet.
"It's flatland," Jake told him. "We should be able to stop before we run out of island."
"We have got to talk to them about longer runways," Chance muttered, lowering the landing gear. "Think we can pull it off if we stall out?"
"Ug, probably," Jake didn't sound happy. "It wouldn't hurt to use the last of the fuel for a STOL," he suggested, bracing for the rough touchdown and bumpy skid to a stop he was expecting if things went well.
"That's what I'm thinking," Chance nodded, angling the engines down and nosing up, using the engines to try and slow the jet even further, so they wouldn't end up going off the other side of the island.
Even though his attention was focused on getting them down, he couldn't help but catch a furious amount of typing front the back seat.
"VTOL," Jake suddenly told him.
Chance obeyed without question, even though he was sure they didn't have the fuel for it, and leveled them out in full VTOL mode. He heard something about loosing power, but it didn't process enough before the engines died.
He braced himself, sure they were about to crash the second worst way possible - but, while he felt a bone-jarring jolt when they hit, it was only from a few feet. His teeth felt like they were rattling, but they were fine.
"Krud," he shuddered. "You okay, Jake?"
"Yes," he said with a long breath of relief as they both sat in their seats without any desire to move for a while. "Believe it or not, that as hard a hit than our usual HQ landing."
"Yeah, but I'm in control for our HQ landings," Chance shuddered.
Both toms all but jumped out of their skins at a knock on the canopy, but relaxed a moment later when they saw one of the ground crew that had refueled them during the battle hanging on as he leaned forward from the wing's edge.
"Sirs, the Major says that things are under control," the dark brown tom said hurriedly when Chance slid the canopy forward. "You should get some rest. She'll be fueled when you're up."
"Thanks," Chance nodded, getting up and climbing out and waiting for Jake to land next to him. "We have quarters somewhere?"
"Yes sir," the Kat nodded and climbed down. "Lieutenant Darkeye will take you while I do what I can to prep your lady."
"Thanks," Jake said with decidedly uncustomary acceptance of someone else touching the Black Sun.
It was all Chance needed to realize just how much the last twenty-hour hours had worn on his partner, and would wear on him when the adrenaline wore off.
"The mess is on the way to the officer quarters," Darkeye told them, and motioned them to get in the jeep he drove everywhere. "You must be starving and exhausted. You've been up there forever."
"Hungry, yes. Tired, yes," Jake agreed as he took a back seat with a grateful sound of not having to be keyed up anymore. "The guys taking the beach haven't been up much less though."
"How are things on the ground?" Chance asked, stifling a yawn.
"From what little I've heard, it seems like we've taken the entire beachhead, the port, and most of the city," he said with real respect in his tone. "You made a huge difference."
"Thanks, but they're the ones putting their necks on the line," Chance pointed out. "We've got something of an unfair advantage, at the moment."
"Sounds like what you told me, the night you introduced Megan," Jake chuckled absently. "Something about not feeling bad about not being on the front line, cause I did a lot of good too."
"I never said I felt bad about it, just not to consider me the hero," Chance chuckled, all too aware of it when Jake let his eyes slip closed and he leaned to rest against his partner's shoulder.
"I can bring a meal from the mess if you want to get some rest now," Darkeye offered.
"If you wouldn't mind," Chance nodded gratefully. "The adrenaline's starting to wear off, and we're both pretty worn out."
"Yeah," Jake murmured, straitening a bit and shaking his head to clear it. "Definitely wearing off."
"No one can blame you for being tired," Darkeye assured them before letting the pair sit in silence for the remainder of the short drive to one of the single-story barracks that had many separate rooms. "I hope you don't mind sharing a room," he said apologetically. "We're pretty crowded."
"That's a lot better than Quatermass," Jake chuckled and got out to follow the dark tom inside. "The whole wing shared a hanger-barracks."
"It's much better than that," Darkeye assured them with obvious surprise at the description. "You have a bathroom to yourselves and everything."
"Oh, that'll be nice," Jake purred deeply.
"Just remember, military showers," Chance chuckled, following them in. "Mind knocking when you come back with lunch? One of us might need to wake up to let you in," he admitted.
"Of course, sir," Darkeye nodded and unlocked the door before he offered them each a key. "I can get extra blankets or pillows if you want them too," he said before leaving to get their meals.
"You want to shower first?" Jake offered. "You know I won't get out for a while."
"Works for me," Chance nodded. "Give you a chance to see just how much privacy we're likely to have too, for when you're working," he chuckled, stripping off his modern flight suit and t-shirt with a groan.
Jake nodded, watching his partner strip with tired appreciation for his fit body before they each turned their attention to other things. It didn't take long for Jake to spot the two half-packed seabags that contained their local belongings, and he quickly pulled out a change of clothes for each of them.
"Cloths are on the toilet," Jake called to his partner as the tabby wetted his fur down. "Clean ones."
"Thanks!" Chance called out. "Probably not gonna bother with more than the basics, as long as I can get away with it. How long you think it'll be before we're back in the air?"
"However long it takes me to wake up and fix Black Sun," Jake told him. "It's how I'd use us at least. There's almost nothing on this world we can't pound to oblivion."
"Try and sleep in for once, okay?" Chance asked him seriously. "You can catnap while we're on a flight, I can't, not reliably at least."
"I won't have the Black Sun ready to fly until you are," he promised before turning to answer the door. "Food's here!" he yelled back.
New Lives, Old Ways 9.99: The Red Lynx
Het Level is None Slash Level is Femslash Level is None Herm Level is None
24 KB, Story is Complete, Series is in Progress
Written March 26, 2009 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann
Setting: SWAT Kats
Primary Races: Kat
Contents: Furry. Slash (M/M). Alternate Universe, Magic, Relationship (Established), Time Travel, Violence
Blurb: The Commander during MegaWar II makes good use of this gift from the future and sends the guys on the first of many missions.
Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.
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