Saturday, October 16, 2021

Sources of Corruption


"...preserving our Constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence..." From the inaugural address of President John Adams, Saturday March 4, 1797. (Source)

The flight attendant, who also doubled as security, walked down the narrow aisle of the executive jet. The man seated at the small table near the tail of the aircraft looked up from his computer as the man approached him, his eyebrow raised questioningly.

"Herr Schwartz, we are ninety minutes off the coast of Canada. There has been some turbulence reported and the pilot requests that you fasten your seatbelt."

The older man nodded and fastened his belt. At his age it didn't pay to gamble with one's health, being tossed around a small aircraft certainly counted as being unhealthy. He sighed and looked out the small window, it was still cloudy but he didn't really care, out over the Atlantic there wasn't much to see.

He noticed that he had an email from one of the men he was flying in from London to meet. Personally he didn't care for the man, something of a nerd he believed his grandchildren would say, but his money paid for a number of politicians which he, as a foreign-born man with dual citizenship, couldn't hope to buy. So he had his uses.

Some thirty kilometers aft of the small executive jet, two fighter aircraft broke through the overcast. They had been airborne for over an hour now and they would need to think about refueling before too long. Fortunately their tanker was orbiting not far away, once they accomplished their mission, they would tank, then head home.

"Goose Two, bogie at my eleven, estimate range thirty clicks."


With that simple radio call, the wingman slid out to combat spread formation. Though they didn't anticipate any trouble from the unarmed aircraft ahead of them, there was always the possibility of an escort coming to meet the jet as it flew towards land. Not all of the armed forces were in rebellion. A number of units were straddling the fence, waiting to see which way the wind blew.

But the two men flying the pair of upgraded CF-18 Hornets were all in. Major René Dubois, the leader of Goose Flight, had joined the rebellion shortly after the woman he was dating, and planned to marry, had been arrested at a protest in Toronto. He had not heard from her since that day. His wingman, Lieutenant Jasper Conningham had held conservative views his entire life and was no fan of the current progressive Canadian government.

As the two fighters closed in on the civilian jet, Dubois recognized the tail code, it was the aircraft they were looking for. "Goose Two, confirm hostile."


Dubois advanced his throttle until he was flying off the Gulfstream V's port quarter, his wingman waited well behind and a thousand feet higher, off to the Gulfstream's four o'clock position.

He advanced the throttle until he could see the cockpit of the other aircraft, when its pilot turned and looked at him, the surprise on his face was evident, even across the short distance between the two aircraft.

Schwartz looked up from his computer when his aircraft abruptly banked to the right. Through the window he caught a brief glimpse of another aircraft, it appeared to be a Canadian Hornet. Looking up he called to the security man. "Andor, what is the pilot doing? Surely that is our escort."

"I don't know Sir, I will ask."

As the security man made his way to the cockpit the aircraft steadied. Leaning into the cockpit he asked, "Herr Schwartz wants to know what you are doing, isn't that the escort we were told to expect?"

The pilot said, without turning around, "We weren't contacted by air traffic control, nor by this aircraft. It just popped up on our wing without warning!"

Andor leaned in and looked to the left, the aircraft was definitely military, but he didn't know what kind, he thought it looked American. Though he was completely unfamiliar with the world's air forces, he did remember that the American Navy's flight demonstration team flew a similar type of aircraft.

"I think they're American." he said.

The pilot hesitated, he had been about to contact Gander when the security man had said that, "No, I think they're Canadian."

As he said that, the sleek fighter pulled up and fell behind the Gulfstream. The men in the cockpit lost sight of it at that point.

The copilot asked, "Do you want me to raise Gander or not?"

Dubois had thought about using a missile to down the Gulfstream, thought for a moment about going for a guns kill, then changed his mind. A missile was safer.

"Goose Two, are you armed?"

"Two, affirmative."

"You're clear."

"Roger, fox two."

The American designed missile, built under license in Canada, left the launcher cleanly. Conningham had had a good tone and he had seen his lead fall back aft of his own aircraft, the missile was locked onto the executive jet.

The Sidewinder tracked cleanly and homed in on the heat from the engines of the Gulfstream. As the two engines produced nearly the same signature to its robot brain, the missile went for the center of the heat source.

The roughly nine kilogram explosive charge in the missile went off precisely when it was supposed to, blowing the tail off of the executive jet in a blinding flash.

The two occupants of the executive jet's main cabin were both killed instantly when the missile detonated. The aircrew survived the initial hit but both men were now desperately struggling to regain control of the aircraft. Neither man had time to make any radio calls.

They fought the jet all the way to impact in the Atlantic, some four hundred miles to the northeast of Newfoundland.

The woman monitoring incoming traffic from the Atlantic noticed that one of her contacts was losing altitude rapidly. Zooming in on that part of the screen, she saw the aircraft callsign.

"Quantum 512, Gander Approach Control, state your intentions."

"Quantum 512?"

As she called the aircraft she watched it fall off her screen, the aircraft's transponder could no longer be detected by her system. She notified her supervisor. After explaining the situation, he checked his book. Ah, Quantum 512 was an executive jet, owned by one of the most powerful, and wealthy, men on the planet. Those people were a law unto themselves, they didn't follow rules, they made the rules.

"Pass the report up the chain Betty, they probably wanted to fly lower to see the icebergs off the coast. Lot of 'em this time of year."


"It's a billionaire's jet, they do what they want, when they want. Just report it, nothing to get excited about."

As the two Hornets touched down then taxied to their hangar, Dubois undid his oxygen mask. He was drenched in sweat. He wondered how Conningham felt about his first "kill," rather like shooting fish in a barrel, he thought. But a kill was a kill.

As Conningham watched his crew chief give him the cut signal, he braked and chopped his throttles. As the engines spooled down, Conningham popped his canopy. Not waiting for the crew chief to put the ladder up, he popped the jet's internal ladder, hurriedly undid his straps and oxygen hose, then scrambled to the ground as fast as he could.

His crew chief waited while the young lieutenant vomited up the contents of his stomach. He was puzzled until he noticed that one of the jet's Sidewinder missiles was gone.

Though Master Corporal Paddy Wilcox couldn't be positive, he was certain that the man who flew his aircraft had killed someone that day, perhaps more than one someone.

"The bloody world has gone insane," he muttered to himself as he helped Lieutenant Conningham to his feet.

"Yes Sir, bit of a bug going 'round. I've felt off all day, let's get you inside where it's warm."

Dubois watched from his aircraft as he waited for his crew chief to climb up the side, he felt bad for Conningham. But what they had done was necessary. It was time that those with the money to make everyone's life miserable paid for their sins.


  1. Poor TITANIC. First the iceberg, then the steel eating bacteria, then the souvenir hunters, and now, someone drops a Gulfstream on her.

    1. On the upside, she's no further behind schedule than she was before the biz jet arrived. There's ALWAYS a bright side if'n you're willing to look for it.

  2. I got your next several targets all lined up fellas. Might as well make a clean sweep of it.

  3. THAT was the best kill he would ever do. NOBODY dares touch those funding the evil.

    1. Concur, more of those with $ need to be touched......severely.

    2. Mark - The righteous can't be bought, which indicates to me that they are few in number.

    3. Nobody might make a good collective signature for those asserting their liberty, you know, should it ever come to that. "This just in to the channel 10 news, NOBODY eradicated the hive of propagandists in studio at channel 7, late last night. There are no leads nor suspects"....

    4. It worked for Odysseus... (the Nobody thingy.)

      Just as the righteous are few in number, so are those high up directly in the service of the Morning Star. But surgical strikes against the most unrighteous will hurt The Fallen One more than surgical strikes against the righteous will hurt God.

  4. "Fox 2" What a neat, encouraging story this am. Thanks, the sun looks a bit brighter now!!

    1. PS: That biz jet is a Bombardier Global Express-BD-700. The registration is an Australian prefix, but I also found a P4-AAA listed for an Aruba Air Airbus. Bit of spaghetti bowl this am, too. I am really curious about that now....

  5. Everything moves along until those cheeky peasants refuse to cooperate.

    1. One thing dirt-people have a full understanding of is all the myriad ways one becomes dirt, finally. And the myriad ways to effect dirtness upon other people.

      Even in medieval times, peasants knew so many ways to screw with The Man. Problem was avoiding becoming dirt when you screwed with The Man. It's the reason peasant rebellions faired so poorly, everyone not a peasant would band together and overreact as nobody wanted their peasants getting any bad ideas.

  6. "Goose"?... Little nod to Top gun there, this mornin, Sarge? :)

    1. Well, they are Canadians, and they have a certain thing for those large white-grey-black agricultural pests called Canadian Geese, so...

    2. I spent many an autumn morning in the midwest attempting to eradicate endless overflights with dads ol' model 97. :) I failed... Dogs all had a real good time, though.

  7. Minor quibble, Sarge. Rolling out of an intercept 16 NM (30 kilometers) in trail is a VERY cold intercept. You mentioned that they were concerned about gas, they're going to use a lot of it closing to Aim 9 range. In a tail chase, the Aim-9's range isn't much more than a mile, max of 2. So, if they're low on gas, they're not going to be supersonic, which means that the Biz Jet is probably doing about 450 and they probably can't go more than 550 without excessive fuel burn, so 100K closure or 10 miles/6 min. ~8 minutes to weapons range. A very long time when you're trying to be sneaky.
    Were I the flight lead, (Please Lord, just one more time), I'd have planned a low to high intercept from about 20K' below the target, start the pull at about 10NM and roll out behind him at about a mile. Pickle two missiles (JIC) and split S away. ATC Radar would have a hard time seeing me. The target would also with the nose of his aircraft blocking. Even if he did, he'd most likely think I was just other ATC traffic headed the other direction.
    The only other suggestion I'd make, is purely from a satisfaction note, Aim-9's that I flew with pulled lead, going after the cockpit area of the target. Planes can fly with an engine out, but not with the pilot out. And, that would have left the miserable bastard in the rear alive with the rest of his life to contemplate his fate.

    Just sayin'
    Love the story so far, keep up the good work.

    1. Ooooo.... dying screaming all the way down to impact, and hopefully the plane will feather enough the impact will be soft enough they survive while the plane is sinking...

      On the other hand, straight-up kill works. Either way, the not-Hungarian Nazi pos is dead. And has now mysteriously disappeared.

      Did not realize the actual engagement range of the Sidewinder was so short. A mile or so actual. It really is a 'In Your Face' weapon.

      Would you, juvat, have chosen a Sparrow or an AMRAAM instead of a Sidewinder for the standoff capability?

    2. Ok, so I have to ask...because I know NOTHING about flying or fighting in the air...but if the missile hits and takes off the tail of the airplane--planes can survive an engine out, I know that much, it pops up somewhat frequently in the news--but I would think blowing the tail off would be a fabulous way to splash an aircraft. Is it like the instructions of aim for the center mass (chest) instead of the head with shooting? That there is more mass in the front of the plane, and its a bigger target than the tail?? And obviously, no plane flies very well, except for down, when there is no pilot, so that does make sense to take them out of the picture as soon as possible...just curious...

    3. I think the "pilots" chose the weapon wisely. While the Aim-9 is a comparatively short range missile. it is definitely a "fire and forget" Other than seeing it's exhaust trail which is difficult, there's no warning if you don't see the launch. Who's to say a properly owned and funded bizjet wouldn't have some kind of radar warning on board. And with a Sparrow, you have to remain locked on for the duration of its flight, which, literally, can be forever for you. I never flew with the AMRAAM, although I funded quite a few of them (another story), so don't know much about it's parameters or launch requirements.
      I'm assuming that the "pilot's" briefing required some kind of visual ID to confirm target, hence the intercept from behind. and below from my "briefing". Virtually everybody searches the horizon, and maybe a little up and down. Coming vertically from directly below to roll out behind, well your wingman better be looking because you ain't ever going to see him. Max Immelman proved that well over a hundred years ago.

    4. Suz,
      "Center of Mass", well, kinda sorta. The AIM-9 is a heat seeking missile, so does track engine heat as a source, but can get a heat signature from other sources. (I've gotten a lock on an SR-71's skin, no way the missile would have hit, but it was a good steady lock.) So, even though it locks on to the engine heat, it's programmed to pull lead. Much like shooting a bird, if you point at the bird, you're going to miss behind. That was frequently the case in early models of the Aim-9. Later models (the L and M I'm familiar with, the X, I've got no clue on it's capabilities. I think it's an ASHWYWD (pronounced Ashwood) which stands for Ah...Sh!t, I wish you were dead) actually had a little bit more lead in their tracking algorithm, so it would actually hit forward on the aircraft rather than just on the exhaust section of the engines. Again, in Vietnam, a lot of Aim-9's hit and exploded on MiGs, but didn't damage them enough to shoot them down. Hence...
      The Shootdown Sarge describes is entirely realistic. I just don't like it when bad guys get off easy.

    5. Somehow I don't think that the looooong drop into the cold Atlantic off the coast of Canada could be described as "getting off easy"...ok, so they were not instantly vaporized, but that means they had a loooooong time to think about falling. The mind can be the worst torture device out there, and while 10 seconds, or 30 seconds, or even 3 minutes doesn't sound like a long time...I'm guessing that when the plane is falling out from under can feel like a very long time...or a much too short one...just guessing.

    6. (Don McCollor)...Let's see - engines gone, probably generators and hydraulic systems out as well, tail surfaces gone or damaged. No steering or altitude control with engines. Even with a RAT deployed for emergency power, probably not much can be done with the wing control surfaces. Would make an interesting simulator problem...

    7. Suz, That long ride down to the Atlantic was what I was wishing for. However, Sarge said "The two occupants of the executive jet's main cabin were both killed instantly when the missile detonated." The pilots up front had the long ride, and as Don said, probably were trying every trick in the book to regain control, all the way to impact.

    8. Don,
      Yeah, I had a few sim check rides like that. Fortunately, the sim had ejection seats which stopped the sim and froze all the gauges so the examiner could see if you "lived" or "died". It was usually better to make that decision early as the examiner had a near infinite number of things he could screw with your mind with.

  8. I'm reading "The Sackett Companion" by Louis L'Amour (I'm rereading all the Sackett stories). In the first part of the book he talks about a lot of different things, one of them was how he writes a story. His explanation reminded me of what you said about your writing. He said something along the lines of "I put my characters into period/event and see what happens"...
    Good story today...

  9. Good on the Canucks. Now just fire a couple into Justin Castroson (who is looking to become premier for life, just like his dear old biological father (if you believe the photo analysis theory people..))

    A simple altitude fuse combined with a timer would be a good way, too. Ground personnel are just faceless (especially in these masky days) proles, aren't they (well, at least to those elite bastids...)

    Be funny if there was a rash of disappearing planes and trains and boats and automobiles all of a sudden. And it doesn't have to be globally coordinated. Just individual unconnected cells sensing something in the air.

    Still want to see bodies hanging from the Capital Building. But I'll wait till you get there.

    Give your Muse a drink. She deserves it.

    1. I'll gladly give the Muse a refill.

      My preference would be to use the lamp posts along Independence and Constitution Avenues.
      Boat Guy

    2. I'd rather they build temporary structures (tripods from 12' 2"x6") that could be re-used, leaving the decorative lamps alone. They could see that they'd left no marks. Wait, is that tripod tall enough for a proper drop? Depends on things, not in the mood to research. There's all that water out there, too.

    3. Only problem with the reusable tripod is that you can't leave them dangling.

    4. Bracken's story had them left dangling from the overpasses on I-95 and the Beltway.

      My preference is for their heads to be put on pikes around the Beltway. Pour encourager les autres!

    5. (Don McCollor)...Impalement properly done lasts longer and is more musical...

  10. Until about the third section separator I thought this was a current events news story about Schwartz György's trip returning to the States from one of the Bravo Sierra economic conferences.
    Nicely done; sure made my day.

  11. We can only pray for this day to come, Sarge...

    Well done, again.

  12. Chris, I feel like I'm reading "Rhythms" again. Only on a national level. I think I'll go over to the Wayback Machine and read it again. RIP Lex, you are missed.

    1. Sounds interesting. If you can find it can you post a link or how to locate it?


  13. "Rhythms" Ah yes "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end.." SIGH..


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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