The Circle War (Wingman)
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Emerging from the rubble of a decimated postwar America, ace fighter pilot Hawk Hunter hears rumors of a vast army equipped with Russian SAMs hidden in the Bad Lands and prepares for an ultimate showdown. Reprint.
heat—a lot of it—somewhere on the ground below. Another pilot might have just set the cameras rolling and passed over the area at a safe height, waiting until he got back to base to check the “heat” film and see what it revealed. Not Hunter. He instructed the flight computer to take the craft to the source of the heat. The U-2 was being buffeted by very high winds and the snow made visibility close to zero. Once he got to a reasonably low altitude, Hunter switched on his ground radar and waited
had lain low, hiding out atop a huge mesa near the edge of the Black Hills. The position gave him a commanding view of the surrounding territory. But there was absolutely nothing to see. That night, as he was preparing to take off, he saw an air convoy passing over. It was flying way up there, at 50,000 feet at least, and had more than three dozen airplanes. Its direction was southeasterly; no doubt a legitimate skytrain making its way from Free Montreal to the trading mecca of Los Angeles. The
reports PAAC did get from Honolulu, the city was now a sprawl of honky-tonks, drugs, hedonism and crime. Gambling, never considered a vice in the old days, had been raised to the level of science on the islands these days. Yet there was no police force or government. Hunter was glad he’d made the trip packing both an Uzi and his trusty M-16. He also carried a small backpack that was filled with some of his best tricks of the trade. He met his first Hawaiians about five miles into his trip. They
his escorts remained silent, which was fine with Hunter. He sat back and let the warm late spring sunshine soak through him. They reached the outskirts of Honolulu about an hour later. From the top of a hill, Hunter could see the island that used to be the Pearl Harbor naval station. He was too far away to see if there was any military activity at the base. His earlier radar sweep revealed nothing heavy, but he hadn’t yet discounted the possibility of some kind of presence at the base. He had
go before sunrise—and it was raining ferociously. Jones was in the situation room in less than a minute, dripping wet. “Captain Robinson reporting, sir,” the pilot said, jumping to attention when Jones walked in. “At ease, Robinson,” Jones said, waving off the military formality. “You’ve just got in from Oregon? Must have been a hell of a flight in this weather.” “A little bumpy, sir,” Robinson said. “Well, we’ll get you some grub and coffee,” Jones told him, signaling to one of the night