Now it is my turn to taxi to the runway and fly! The RD-33 turbofans are whistling happily behind my head as the tower clears us to line up.
Of course, there is no one to see me off, as Alexei is off on his own mission. This is not lost on Vasily, who cannot resist poking me. He is certain something is going on between Alexei and I, however we are but friends — for now. One wonders if Vasily is jealous! I mention this, slyly, as we wait for the tower. Vasily snorts, derisively.
And now, the runway is ours! I push the throttle to full military power and am pressed back into my seat as the engines’ whine crescendos.
My MiG-29 9-13, 11-Red, has been grounded as long as I and Lt. Kulikov has him in peak condition! Both of us are anxious to spread our wings once again, and we leap into the sky, at last sundering the bonds that have held me to that desk for so long. It is good to not have the duty for a change!