69th_Spiritus

Everyone Remembers Their First

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A reflection of my first ever flight in CloD, which took place on ATAG and luckily/unluckily happened to be my first engagement as well. I still had not discovered TeamSpeak or the chat window. I was pure green.

*****

The afternoon sun scorches the English countryside. Her cosmic radiation glistens off the newly polished canopy of my Spitfire. The ocean breeze feels refreshing as it hits the droplets of sweat building on my brow.

Magnetos set to on. Fuel cock lever to the on position. Throttle set to 10%. Radiator closed. She resists at first but begins to turn over. Smoke and flame fill the air as the raw power of physics and chemistry excite the air around me. I set my gyro and directional instruments, trying to remember everything. Looking around I see no one. An empty airfield and nothing from tower. The oil and water temperature rise as I add power, inching out onto the taxi-way at Eastchurch. I open the radiator to full and set my prop pitch, my gut tense with excitement as I roll towards the runway.

I hear the screeching brakes as I come to a stop and hold short, looking for traffic. A grin spreads across my face as I realize what this game really is. I hold short looking around, soaking in the detail, feeling the vibrations. This is everything I have longed to see and feel in a virtual world since a child. The blurring of what is real and what is virtual. I slide my canopy closed and pull out onto the runway, my body alive with electricity. She veers and bounces as I punch the throttle forward, countering her actions with my own. She begins to rotate, resisting the bonds of earth's gravity.

Chills run down my spine as the ball of hydrogen beats down. Shadows dance in my cockpit. The ocean sparkles with oranges and yellows. White glare bounces from the clouds before my eyes adjust. Are my eyes adjusting or is this an effect from the game? I leave the old world behind, my mind and body now accepting the shedding of earth's gravity. No longer am I sitting in a chair in Colorado with snow on the ground. I feel, I believe, I taste the English countryside, the hard seat, the air vibrations, the endless possibilities that lie beyond my new horizon.

*****

An hour in real life melts into minutes in my cockpit. Overwhelmed by the immense world around me, the small details usually reserved for the world I have left behind. I drop to the deck, my brain tricked by the realistic movements of my environment. The trees swaying with the costal breeze, the shadows responding to every directional change. I look up and notice an aircraft a few miles out. I immediately and uncontrollably tense up as I turn towards it. Actual adrenaline pours through my veins like a wildfire. I close the distance. Twin-engine. My neurons fire quicker. Bomber. Easy target. Looks like I've snuck up on him. Every inch of muscle is rigid as the plane's details fill my unblinking eyes. Every rudder input is bared by my rigid feet and toes, my stick movement hard and resistant to my unyielding grip. I physically can't relax. The definition of pucker factor. I feel the rush as my shoulders press up into my neck as I inch closer to my first engagement.

My situational awareness goes unchecked. My reality is only what is in my gunsight. My mind wants the perfect shot and my body refuses to allow it. Conflicting signals, misfiring electrons. My target bounces in and out of my crosshairs by my precise yet sloppy stick movements. I squeeze the trigger and jerk the stick as I overshoot. The reaction of my enemy is instantaneous to my burst tearing through his right wing. I rocket past him, clearing both my gunsight and mind. I finally feel and recognize my left hand as it sits on the maxed out throttle, forgotten since first visual contact. I ease up on the RPM's. Even my guts tense as I bank, looking for the contact. I spot him low. I bank hard and pull back on the stick, my body moving back as if I can feel every G.

I get another quick burst in and see gray smoke pour from his right engine. Pure concentration, pure adrenaline. Raw, real life emotion race through every atom of my body and mind. I start to uncontrollably grin at the conflict within. Real or fake? I am ripped back to reality as I hear shattering glass and metal being ripped apart.

I duck, looking behind me. My screen turns red as I panic and start yelling. A BF-109 flies by my cockpit before quickly climbing. My stick vibrates as my crate's engine sputters and spits black smoke. I turn towards the ocean, completely lost, looking for a way out. Actually scared. Sweat leaks out my pours as my hands uncontrollably shake. I hear bursting rounds and see tracers fly past my head before violently being called back by gravity. I look right and see fire and no wing as I spiral towards the ground.

I fumble through controls as the terrain quickly approaches my eyes. I can't seem to open my canopy. Conflicted again, my fight to stay alive is overriding my knowledge of mapped keys. I push back against the rudder pedals and start to yell before plowing into the English countryside. A fireball mushrooms up from my crater as I sit there stunned, surprised to be alive. Several minutes pass before I get up and walk to the fridge. The pressurized air escaping from my freshly cracked brew fills the air as I stare into the smoking wreckage. My hands shake as I take a sip. I grin.

The afternoon sun scorches the snow covered countryside. Her cosmic radiation glistens through the sliding glass doors. The winter breeze feels icy as it hits the droplets of sweat on my brow.

I have finally found it.

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Updated Sep-20-2014 at 19:53 by 69th_Spiritus

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Comments

  1. ATAG_Snapper's Avatar
    Wow! That was a powerful read! Thanks for blogging this, SM!
  2. Otyg's Avatar
    That was a really good read! I wish i could remember my first.
  3. JagdNeun's Avatar
    Many moons ago we had an undying thread in the Rowan BOB forum where we would chronicle our missions in similar form. I always enjoyed those stories......
  4. DUI's Avatar
    Great read - more, more!
  5. PanTast's Avatar
    Wonderful. Epic. Great.

    Thanks
  6. ATAG_Flare's Avatar
    Wow . . . A great epic. What happened to the bomber in the end?
  7. ATAG_Lolsav's Avatar
    Just found your blogged sortie. Great reading SM, congrats. And i also vouche for more!