The six alert F/A - 1 Cobras were thrown out of the flight deck one after the other while the rest of the Bronze Squadron scrambled into action. The roars from the propeller engines woke some of the city inhabitants that had partied all night as the planes flew over the city before grouping up and headed straight towards the source of the unknown contact.
Flight Sergeant Lightseer, wing commander of the Bronze Squadron lead the other five planes of his wing towards the north while forming up into pairs.
"Thunderchief, this is Bronze Leader, now maintaining angels 01."
"Bronze Leader, this is Thunderchief, you are under my control. Steer 040 maintain present angel. Over."
"Roger that, Thunderchief."
"Thunderchief to Bronze Leader, target position 030, range 90, attitude 1000,"
"Bronze Leader, Roger!"
UNS Singapore, Command Bridge
"XO!" The operator called out, "Airforce Command has no units out at that area, they are scrambling their alert fighters into the air now."
"Got it," Ford answered, "Tell Flight Ops to have the rest of fighters up on CAP* duty around the city." (*Combat Air Patrol)
"Has Bronze Flight made contact yet?" Ford asked the flight control operator.
"Bronze Leader, this Thunderchief, target dead ahead, 25. Do you have contact, over?"
"Bronze Leader. Negative contact. Request target attitude."
"Thunderchief, target no change."
Ford frowned as he looked at the radar signatures on the tactical plot. "ETA to city airspace?"
"10 minutes Sir!"
"Alert the wall defenses for a possible ground to air combat. Prepare to intercept!"
Skies over Northern Sector
Flight Sergeant Lightseer turned his head left and right in his cockpit, trying to spot the contact they are supposed to intercept, but he still couldn't see anything. He could only see a thick fog of smoke covering the horizon due to the forest fire.
"Bronze Six to all Alert Fighters, any visual over?"
"Negative!" Came back all the replies.
"Bronze Six to Thunderchief, negative contact. No bogey in sight!" He reported back to base.
"Target dead ahead 15, heading 190, attitude 1000, Speed 100, reduce speed!" The operator's slightly panicking voice came into his headset.
"No joy, negative contact! I say again no joy, request target position," Lightseer grounded his teeth in frustration as he tried to spot the target in the hazy skies.
"Caution! Almost same position, same attitude! Use caution! Bronze Squad Break! Break!" The operator was clearly panicking as she yelled out.
"Shit!" Lightseer cursed, "All fighters, break break break!"
He twisted his flight slick to the left, banking his fighter away from his current heading, and in the corner of his eye, he spotted a reddish shadow. "Did anyone see that?" He called out.
"Three, I see it!" A youthful excited voice yelled over the squadron comms network. "It's right under your bellies!"
Lightseer rolled his plane to the side and looked out of his glass canopy, seeing a rakish slim blood red dragon lazily flapping its wings just meters away from his plane. The dragon was almost two and a half length of his Cobra and with a wing span at least twice his plane's. Ridge spines and scale plated the body of the dragon, giving it sharp predator look.
The dragon suddenly looked up and roared, sending plumes of flames and smoke out of its nostrils and mouth. It rolled over and dived into the canopy, which appeared to wither and burst into flames as the dragon skimmed the tree tops.
"Holy mother of the heavens!" Lightseer pulled his joystick back, tilting his fighter away from the dragon. "Thunderchief! Contact identified! We got a wild red dragon!"
UNS Singapore, Command Bridge
"-derchief! Contact identified! We got a wild red dragon!"
The audio came in loud and clear over the speakers and Ford frowned. "What do we know about red dragons?" He asked the command staff around the bridge.
"Sir, according to the data entered by Magister Thorn, red dragons are similar to the Spitfire species, with the ability to spit fire," One of the tactical officers reported, "And wild or feral dragons are typically stronger compared to domesticated dragons."
"Bronze Leader, do we engage over?" Came the voice of the Bronze squadron commander over the speakers as he requested instructions.
"Chase it away," Ford said, after a pause. "Keep out of the city's airspace."
Lightseer cursed when he heard the order. "Alright, Bronze Group, listen up, I want Three, Four, Five and Six to fire at its path, force it away from the city. Two, you be on my wing."
"Yes, Boss!" The other pilots replied and formed up over the dragon, before diving one by one and firing their 20 mm cannons in the path of the dragon. The heavy bullets exploding and ripping up the canopy in the path of the flying dragon, causing it to roar out in surprise as it verve away from the path of the exploding rounds.
The dragon huffed angrily as it flapped away from the strange noisy things that spat small fireballs like magic at it. It glared at the buzzing flying creatures and roared out a ball of fire at them, which they nimbly dodged.
To its surprise the strange flying noisy monsters did not attack it, they just buzzed around and spat those strange breath attacks in its path, seemingly like warning them away from where it wanted to go. It paused in its flight, flapping its wings mightily to hover in place over the forest, the heat from its body, slowly charring the leaves of the treetops.
To its expectations, the strange noisy creatures did not attack it, constantly circling around it while the dragon pondered on its next actions. Should it continue to investigate the strange lights it saw last night and risk those strange creatures' attack or should it back off and observe. Since it woke up, it hasn't seen any other of its kind and it was not sure how long had it slept.
It decided to observe after a while, it flared its wings and settled down on the canopy of the forest, turning the surrounding trees into firewood, sending sparks of embers and ashes into the air as it burned away a swath of forest and landed in the middle of the charred ground.
UNS Singapore, Command Bridge
"Captain on the Bridge!" The Marine at the armored hatch announced as Captain Blake stepped through, waving off the Marines' salute.
"At ease, people," Blake swiftly mounted the steps up to the tactical plot table. "What do we have?"
"At the moment it's like a face off," Ford replied at the side, pointed to a patch of forest on the tactical plot map. "The dragon has landed and is currently holding its position here."
"What is it doing?" Blake looked up at the UAV feed being displayed on one of the screens.
"Nothing, Sir. It's just sitting there watching Bronze Squadron," Ford said. "We suspect this Red Dragon to be the cause of the forest fire judging by the amount of heat it is giving away from its body."
"What actions are have we made?" Blake continued to ask as he got updates from the command crew.
"So far we did not actively engage it," Ford replied, "We just forced it off course, all actions are to prevent the Dragon from entering the City's Airspace."
"Good, keep it that way," Blake frown, "What other assets are in place?"
"We currently got 1 Air Group over the target," Ford picked up his tablet and checked the deployments. "1 Air Group over the City, and another Air Group, Gold Squadron, ETA 8 minutes, inbound from Airforce Command with Valkyries on standby to airdrop infantry if needed. Dragon One is also inbound in 20 minutes with Dragon Three riding wing."
"City's anti air defenses are all manned and ready, civil defense forces are clearing the streets and ensuring everyone is in a shelter," Ford continued, "2nd Battalion is being deployed for city defense while 1st Battalion is standing by."
"This world is fucked up," Blake sighed while shaking his head. "Can't we have any peace and quiet for a few months?"
"Yeah, I get that too," Ford grimaced. "Well, at least the dragon doesn't seem hostile, rather more curious. I think it might have gotten attracted by our fireworks last night."
"Great, so now we can't have celebrations without attracting a dragon or two," Blake sighed again. "Any other information on the dragon?"
"Visually it looks like a between a med or heavyweight," Ford said, "Body is slimmer than Blue Thunder but longer than the Razorbacks we have. It is a feral beast that's for sure."
"I want 24 7 surveillance on that dragon, if it so much as take a dump, I want to know about it," Blake ordered. "Clear?"
"Aye, Captain," Ford nodded.
The Colony, Outer Defense Walls, North Sector
Lieutenant Joesph rode the cage like steel cargo elevator up to the top of the North Sector Wall. The ride took a minute to reach the top with the clanking gears rattling away. As the elevator doors slid open at the sixth floor, a heavy gust of wind slammed into the open doors, staggering Joesph and his command staff.
He stepped out of the elevator and stood on the open roof of the walls that stretched as far as the eye can see. The width of the roof was roughly five meters wide, allowing plenty of space for the defenders to move on the walls while two rail tracks lined the city side of the parapet.
At regular intervals were dual .50 caliber machine nests protected by sandbags, or dual 20 mm autocannons serving as flak guns. Several Marines and Milita formed a line and started to transfer loads of ammunition crates out from the elevator and load them onto the rail carts next to the elevator. Once the carts were full, they were pushed along the tracks by a simple bicycle-like contraption to supply the defensive guns on the Wall.
Lt Joesph hopped onto one of the fully loaded ammunition carts and hitched a ride down the tracks. One of the logistic workers hitched the ladened carts to the velocipede and started to pedal, pushing the heavy carts along the track.
The heavy carts slowly picked up speed and soon zoomed passed the defensive guns that were pointed towards the sky. The train finally stopped before a 70 mm rocket battery manned by a couple of Marines, who saluted Joesph as he had gotten off the carts.
"All good?" Lt Joseph asked the two Marines manning the 4 x 7 cell rocket launchers.
"Yes, Sir!" The two Marines grinned, "Great view here!"
"Alright, stay frosty!" Lt Joseph grinned back, copying the hooman expression. The two Marines started to unload the crates of 70 mm rockets from the carts and storing them at the nearby protected ammunition bunker. He agreed that the view was stunning, the fields of cleared land laid out in the open in perfect squares and the blue forest in the distance while the horizon was dark with smoke from the raging forest fires.
Lt Joesph walked towards a staircase, where a guard unlocked the steel barred doors, granting entry to him after checking his credentials.
A couple of stories down, Lt Joesph pass by another checkpoint and after clearing security, he entered into the North Sector Command center. Another Lieutenant was in the room filled with support techs as they manned all the communications.
"Sir!" The young looking Lieutenant hopped up from his chair when he saw Lt Joesph entering. "It's an honor to serve with you!"
"Relax, Fairmont," Lt Joesph shook his head at the eager youngster, "We are all the same rank here."
"Yes sir!" Lt Fairmont gave a wide grin, "Well, I deployed all the reinforcements you brought to their respective posts." He pointed to the map of the Wall defenses, highlighting out each AA gun or artillery battery.
"No feral dragon is gonna fly into the City without getting shot at by at least ten dual .50 caliber heavy machines, four dual 20 mm autocannons and two 70 mm rockets batteries!"