This is the story of Earth's attempt to repel an alien invasion during the first Troglin war. The setting is in the not-too-distant future, and it is told through the eyes of the men at the tactical end of the war, up close and personal. Our heroes, Brad and Troy, are two fighter pilots that are pulled into an onslaught of adventures ranging from barroom brawls and car chases to romance and wild dogfights miles above the earth. Along the way there are heartaches, heartbreaks, laughs, defeats, and victories. In short they get shot at, shot up, and shot down.
The Troglins are merciless slave-trading invaders. They are harsh humanoids and are shown through the eyes of one of their flotilla leaders, Agrat Acmea. Escorting swarms of 'suppressor' and 'annihilator' saturation craft, he surprisingly finds himself in difficulties as the feisty earthlings prove to be tougher than expected. In typical Troglin fashion, someone has to take the blame for the greater than expected losses and Agrat finds himself in political hot water.
No sweat is a unique book that brings the rare combination of action packed futuristic adventure, blended with romance, passion, and a surprising ending.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By Bill Lindquist
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Bill Lindquist
All rights reserved.
9 October - zero hour plus 2 years 62 days 1315 hours
Major Dave Henderson eased back on the throttles of his Lockeed F-23 Lightning II and activated his FLIR- Forward Looking Infrared Detector. The return was weak, but something was there all right. He eased back further on the throttles in an attempt to firm up the signal.
At his currently low altitude of fifteen thousand feet, air friction generated by higher speeds tended to weaken this new FLIR's abilities. An interesting quirk, unadvertised by the manufacturer and denied by the Air Force. But very real nonetheless, smiled Henderson as his lower speed cleared up the signal.
A heat signature consistent with an 'enemy' aircraft ap- peared on his heads up display.
Standard doctrine at this point called for a brief 'pain- ting' of the bogey with his powerful onboard radar. The radar signature would positively identify the aircraft as friend or foe and get a firm lock on speed, course and altitude. Then, if the target was inside eighty miles he would reactivate the radar, 'lock up' and fire one of his radar guided missiles.
Dave however, firmly disagreed with 'standard doctrine' and therefore hesitated to activate his radar. Doing so would undoubtedly alert the enemy to his presence. His gut feeling from the weak infrared signal told Dave the aircraft was at least seventy miles away, and despite all the hype about these new LOSRAAMs -Long or Short Range AntiAir Missiles-he knew his odds for a kill were not good.
As he hesitated, the earlier briefing words of his commanding officer came back to him.
"You will," said Colonel Wonton just over an hour ago after the pre-mission brief, "engage the enemy using established doctrine. I don't give a damn how many 'kills' you've got. Your hotdog days are over. The purpose of these games is to establish the superiority of our BVR tactics. This cannot be done if hotdogs like you keep refusing to engage while beyond visual range."
His voice had then softened as they walked down the hall. "Look, I know it's more interesting to mix it up with these guys in close, and I know your personal feelings regarding 'Beyond Visual Range' tactics. But the Lightning just isn't made for what you're trying to do. We need to prove that the Lightning is a stand-alone interceptor. Fully capable of identifying, vectoring onto, engaging and destroying enemy aircraft without outside support from other fighters, ground, air or space based radars."
Dave sighed. He knew the song and dance well. He also knew it was an idiotic policy forced onto them by paper pushing twits that wanted to cut defense costs above all else.
'LOSRAAM'. Dave shook his head at the silly acronym. The success rate of the radar guided missiles even in these simulated conditions was horrendous and the pilots had quickly shortened the term to LOSR. And they certainly were losers. The Air National Guard boys flying twenty, thirty and in some cases even forty year old aircraft that had been stripped of all electronic gear except a small radar receiver were beating them.
Beating them like a drum.
Part of his mind rationalized this as a good thing. It was solid proof of what most of the pilots already knew. Designing aircraft and weapons to a solely BVR role was a mistake. History had proven it over and over again.
But Dave had seen this sort of thing before. The paper pushers would manipulate the results. They'd blame the pilots, the weather, poor maintenance, poor attitudes, any variable that could be thought of. And the end result of all these war games would be a huge document pronouncing the 'clear superiority of the BVR tactics.'
Dave sighed again and toggled his radar on. Then off.
A clear image of an F-16 popped up onto his Heads up display, along with a green light. An 'enemy' aircraft was in range.
Shaking his head in disgust, Dave reactivated the radar, armed his simulated missile system and immediately heard a low pitched tone telling him he had lock up.
He pickled off a pair of 'missiles'.
Almost immediately the F-16 changed course toward him and the oncoming missiles.
During these games, all aircraft were tied into an airborne computer system that simulated the LOSRAAM's path. Both Dave's active radar and the passive sensor on the 'enemy' aircraft were fed signals simulating the airborne missiles. Following standard doctrine, Dave now turned away from the attacking enemy to keep his distance while his missiles marched onward and (hopefully) scored a 'kill'.
Dave watched on his 'heads up display' as the symbols signifying the F-16 and the missile closed on one another. This knucklehead is awfully damn close, thought Dave with a bit of apprehension. He reluctantly inched his throttles forward and eased back on the stick. If the enemy defeated the missiles Dave would have to reengage. Speed and altitude were insurance policies against such a happenstance.
The symbols merged and a beeping tone told him he'd scored. At least one missile had acquired the target and 'destroyed' it.
Dave however, was not smiling. The F-16 symbol facing him continued to close.
There were two enemy aircraft and Dave's radar had failed to 'paint' them as separate.
Dave toggled off his radar and jammers, and pushed the throttles to the stops. He clicked on his FLIR again as he continued climbing in a gentle turn back toward the still closing enemy.
He must be in full afterburner, thought Dave, trying to close before I can extend and reacquire him when BVR.
With his radar and jammers off, the passive system installed onto the F-16 would lose contact with the big F-23 and the Air National Guard boy knew that. He had to engage Dave visually before Dave could get away.
When he lost contact, the 'enemy' would undoubtedly continue his pursuit hoping to acquire him visually by estimating Dave's course.
Dave horsed the stick into his gut and pushed his own throttles into afterburner. He was now rocketing skyward almost straight up and was thus roughly maintaining his same relative position above the earth. A move he hoped would surprise the F-16.
As he past through 65,000 feet Dave pulled the stick gently into his gut, pulled his throttles back and allowed the fighter to bleed off energy. He was now upside-down pointing his FLIR back in the direction he hoped the F-16 would come from.
He immediately got a return and a moment later, while looking down through the top of the cockpit, Dave acquired him visually passing by about 20,000 feet below him.
He continued through the back half of his loop, pushed the throttles against the stops and came out directly behind the F-16.
Approaching an enemy from his 'six o'clock' was the prime killing zone and Dave smiled as he closed on the unsuspecting enemy. But before Dave had time to 'fire', the F-16 began to jink and maneuver. That quickly the National Guard pilot realized his mistake.
This guy is damn good.
He armed another LOSRAAM and silently pleaded with the system to lock up. Following the enemy through a tight turn, he cursed as the LOSRAAM continued to bong in its unlocked mode.
I' d kill for a heat seeking sidewinder right now, thought Dave as he armed his cannon. The sidewinder was the most successful air to air missile in the history of aviation, but the pencil pushers had foolishly decided that with the 'beyond visual range' superiority of modern aircraft the sidewinder's days were over. Besides, the LOSRAAM could handle the short range role better.
Dave's Lightning therefore had no heat seeking capability and in close encounters he had to rely on his LOSRAAM or onboard cannon.
Bong, bong, bong.
The LOSRAAM refused to lock up, and Dave's speed was getting dangerously low. At lower speeds the F-16 could turn loops around the big Lightning, and Dave knew it was time to bug out.
As the F-16 banked into yet another turn to starboard, Dave banked slightly to port, pulled the stick toward his gut and punched his throttles past the stops into afterburner.
He was gambling that he could extend away from the F-16 before he completed his turn and could lock up his heat seekers.
Looking over his shoulder at the tiny dot that was now the F-16, Dave toggled his radar back on. He wanted to know exactly when the enemy launched. If he launched at all.
Turning back to his head's up display Dave saw the tell tale symbol for a launched heat seeker.
A high pitched squeal pierced through his ears as a warning of a closing missile. How the hell did this guy get a lockup from that far away?
It didn't matter.
Now on the defensive, Dave brought his Lightning out of afterburner (the heat signature of a Lightning in afterburner was immense), and pulled his stick further into his gut. He was now flying directly at the sun. It was an old, but time tested trick that still worked decades after the pilots over Vietnam had first used it. Some of the time anyway.
As the missile closed, Dave pickled off a series of flares to further confuse the closing missile.
Dave was confident that he could defeat this bird, but his heads up display showed that the missile was still closing.
As the symbol began to merge with the center of his heads up display, Dave played his last card. There was still a chance to outmaneuver the missile if Dave timed it right. But trying to guess when a simulated missile moving at mach three was inside one thousand yards was very difficult, if not impossible. Dave waited ... waited ... then horsed the stick violently to his left and kicked hard rudder wondering as he did if he'd estimated correctly.
A moment later he knew he hadn't.
The computer generated words, 'kill', 'kill', 'kill', came over his headset.
He'd just be shot down.
"Weeeeelllll that was very good Major," said Colonel Wonton his voice icy with sarcasm, "that was the best BVR flying you've done to date." He then paused and came out from behind his desk. He approached Dave (who was standing at rigid attention) and leaned up into his face. It was a strange sight, as the tiny Colonel still had to get onto his toes even though Dave only stood a stocky five foot nine.
"It was perfect," he now continued with his face two inches away from Dave's, "right up to the time you reengaged that sixteen. What the hell were you thinking of?"
"No excuse sir."
"Don't give me that bullshit Major," said Wonton as he walked away from Dave.
He then paused by his window and looked thoughtfully outside.
A moment later he realized Henderson was still at rigid attention. "Damnit. Stand at ease," he finally said with a wave of his hand.
"Henderson," he said still gazing out the window, "you are undoubtedly one of the best pilots I've ever flown with, and up until about four months ago I'd have said you'll be a general by the time your forty-five. In the past you've been the tightest 'by-the-book' man in the squadron. Now you've suddenly got this damn bug up your ass about our tactics and it looks like you'll be lucky to be a light bird at forty-five."
He now turned and faced Dave who had taken a position a lot closer to parade rest than at ease. His hands were at the small of his back and he did not return the Colonel's stare, choosing instead to keep his eyes fixed on the wall behind his desk.
"I have never seen anyone flush a promising career so quickly."
Dave winced at the words. It was the first time his superior had made reference, however obliquely, to his fitness report. It didn't bode well.
Wonton then continued. "They want to see you over at operations. I don't know what about. But I've been told to think about who I'd like as a replacement, so I'd be ready for the worst if I were you." The Colonel then shook his head, "someone has probably taken notice of that damn report you wrote on BVR tactics."
Wonton saw the stricken look on his exec's face and lightened his tone. "Major," he said as he retook his seat, "you are a fine officer, and I can hardly hold it against you for having concerns over our tactics. Particularly when I agree with much of what you've said. However -"
"Sir?" Dave interrupted, unable to hide his surprise.
"Yes Major," answered the Colonel, "I find myself among the converted. But that is neither here nor there. I have my orders too."
"Yes sir," said Dave clearly surprised by this news from the hard-nosed Colonel.
"Now as I was saying," the Colonel went on, "you of all people should know that advancing in the service is an exercise in politics as much as it is in doing a good, conscientious job."
"Yes sir," answered Dave.
"That report probably stepped on some pretty high ranking toes," Colonel Wonton said, "and you'd better be ready for some new orders. Probably a nice cushy job as 'post waste disposal officer' in the Antarctic or somewhere else equally interesting."
Despite the harsh reality of the Colonel's words Dave heard himself chuckle.
The Colonel laughed quietly with him then continued. "I respect your guts Major, and I'll do what I can. Your fitness report will paint you as some sort of modern day cross between Eddie Rickenbacker and Norman Shwarzkopf, but I'm not sure how much good it will do you."
"Thank you sir," answered Dave, deeply touched. He'd undoubtedly been a serious thorn in the Colonel's side over the last several months, and a good fitness report was more than a gesture of kindness. It was a show of support. Writing a good fitness report on an obviously blacklisted soldier could end a career quite quickly. The Colonel was showing a good bit of guts as well.
Wonton then stood.
"Good luck Major," he said extending his hand.
Dave shook his hand, then crisply saluted and exited the office.
Once into operations a stout chested Sergeant-Major handed over his orders with an easy, patronizing grace that bordered on silent insubordination.
So, thought Henderson, the word is already out. Major Dave Henderson is being run outa town. Dave shook his head as he tore open the envelope. The armed service was a haven of gossip that boggled the mind. The Sergeant-Major probably had a connection in the Pentagon and knew of Dave's transfer before the orders had even come over the computers.
As he read the orders however Dave's mind began to race. The first line stated that he was being put on TDY (temporary duty) to the Pentagon. Not exactly what he was expecting, but not really a surprise either. Some bigshot general probably wanted to personally hand Dave his walking papers.
However, this line of thought was quickly dashed, as he read on. He was to report directly to General Horace D. Paterson.
Dave wondered at that. Paterson was an old friend of his father's (they'd flown together many years ago) and was his godfather. Dave found it hard to believe that Paterson would be that vindictive.
Dave realized with a start that the Sergeant-Major was still standing there.
"Not what you expected sir?" asked the man in a mocking tone.
Dave ignored the remark.
"Sergeant-Major, "he said in a commanding tone," I need transport to Andrews. When is the next MAC flight?" "Tomorrow morning sir," said the Sergeant Major, "but you probably gotta put your personal ducks in a row before you leave?"
It was at times like this that Dave was glad he was single and living in the B.O.Q. His 'personal ducks' could be put in a row in a matter of hours.
Dave decided to let the nosy Sergeant Major stew a little.
"I need to be on that flight."
The Sergeant-Major typed for several moments and then whistled.
"No can do sir," he said, "that flight's booked up. Lowest rank is a full bird colonel with a double A priority."
"I've got a triple A."
Th e Sergeant-Major's eyebrows went up at that. People on the shit list never got a 'Triple A'. The experienced noncom realized at that moment that perhaps things were not as they seemed and his attitude changed appreciably. He didn't get to be a Sergeant-Major by being stupid.
Excerpted from No Sweat by Bill Lindquist. Copyright © 2016 Bill Lindquist. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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