Good Evening Mister Minister Page 5

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The drive was short, and I took the time to park the vehicle. Outside of my hangar were a couple vigilant guards, their Kalishnikovs at the ready. Supposedly some were former Spetsnaz. I would think if you were to leave that profession, you would think of something better to do. Dimitri waved good-bye, heading to his hangar.

After the guard checked my ID, I was let in. The smell of jet fuel, oil and other assorted smells assaulted me once I entered it. The lights were on, and casting a light on my plane. The wings were down, the pylons empty. I saw somebody crawling on the right forward side, and I walked over. It was Sergeant Gennedy Pomovin with one of his soldiers loading the GSh-301 cannon. They were almost finished, and Gennedy smiled despite the hard labor of loading 30mm rounds. Finished, he closed and secured the access cover to the weapons system, and smiled. With a mumble, he sent off the assistant, who took care in coming down the ladder. I motioned to Gennedy. He nodded, and himself took his time in coming down.

“Gennedy, so glad to see you.” I said, he nodded and motioned to the small office. I followed behind. Gennedy is from St. Petersburg, and he is my aircraft crew chief. I trust in him to maintain and load my aircraft. I trust no one else. We sat down, and he opened a small bottle of vodka, poured a couple shots. I took one, downing it, the harsh liquid stripping the skin off my throat. He did the same.

“So Comrade Lietenant, what can I do for you today?”

Straight to the point, I admire people who are like that.

“I have to be in the air in two and a half hours. I require two anti-radiation missiles, four guided weapons, laser seeking preferably, as well as self defence missiles.”

Gennedy thought for a second.

“I can get you two Kh-31ps, four Kh-29Ls, as well as two R-27REs, and four R-73s, how much distance?”

“Georgian/Russian border.”

He thought for a minute. “Ninety percent fuel, oh wait! come sir!”

He jumped up quickly, then motioned to six large boxes. You then wonder why I do not talk to the operations officers. They do not fly, they plan.

“The General has brought these for us.”

He walked over happily. “He managed to trade four R-77s to the Americans for these.”

He opened a crate, and if I was hallucinating, I could not believe they were AIM-120s. I looked at him, and he winked back.

“Two of these, two R-73s, and two R-27REs”

Gennedy smiled. He knew I would take them.

“Yes sir, plane will be ready in two hours. If not, I will give my bottle of vodka for it.”

He’s been late a couple of times, but that was due to other circumstances. And I never got his bottle yet. Perhaps tonight?

“I would like to help, I have to plan the route, then I will have nothing to do. Besides it is my plane.”

Gennedy snorted at that, and I laughed. For all intents and purposes in his world, it was his plane. Shaking my head, I went to plan.

"I wanted to have a chance at a SAM, and the Kub would be a nice kill."After an hour doing some calculations, I sighed, and stepped outside to the cool evening air. The sun was beginning to set, and it did look beautiful outside. This mission was no problem. There were Turkish aircraft in the south to worry about, but that is not a concern when you are going to fly a terrain following flight to the target area. I chuckled. This would be too easy. I would have enough fuel for the return trip to Sochi-Adler, but Guadata I chose as my ending location. I wanted to have a chance at a SAM, and the Kub would be a nice kill. Which brought another chuckle to his lips. They were scared of the Kub. It was lethal yes, but they didn’t know how to deal with such a simple item. When you have Kh-31ps, nothing is difficult. I noticed Dimitri by his hangar, his flight suit removed and his undershirt stained with sweat. He helps out too I saw. I waved, and fished out my pack of cigarettes, lighting and inhaling the smoke. We never speak to each other when we are preparing. We will speak to each other enough during and after the mission, so we keep to ourselves. We need our ‘personal space’ as everybody else. I myself finished my cigarette, then headed back inside, helping to load my aircraft.

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