On Noland's Slamming
OH OH ... I feel kinda strange ... something tingling inside ... OH ... NOT AGAIN ... NOoooooooooooo...
Racer Dan walks slowly out his door, and as he lights his cigarette the screen door slams shut. The stars are bright in the southern sky, a lone cloud drifts slowly under a near full moon...
I unlock the padlock, and slide the hasp away. Grabbing the door, I heave it, and it slides open. As I push the door to its full open position the moonlight glistens on the front of the front nose of my toy. The bright red color is somehow transformed into an unusual glowing purple haze, and as I reach down to clear a leaf from the front air duct, I notice my darkened reflection in the small round driving lights.
I climb up to the cockpit with ease, and slide into the comfort of the adjustable leather seats. As I flip each of the 14 panel switches to their on position, the front of the plane lights up a trail several hundred feet long and I can barely make out the runway ahead...
Once airborne, I turn on the scrambler. As I circle north, I pick up another jet on my radar. I dial in the radio to 666.95 a frequency reserved for the elite C5 Fighter Squadron. Hesitantly I reach for but don't turn on the lock on for the missiles under by right wing. My finger plays withe the button, ready just in case. The radio comes alive with news of another C5 Fighter that has just taken off from Winston Salem, and is climbing to 25,000 feet. I intercept, and as I pull along side him, I wave and smile. He returns a thumbs up. I offer him to join me, and he says OK. As we plot a course for a top secret location, we fly as one. It only takes a little over one and a half hours to reach our destination, and my buddy spots the target first. "There she is, just to my right at 0400... she is still lit up... must be working late tonight. A chuckle is heard, although faint in nature. As I peer down toward the ground, I could make out the two tail lights in the small one car garage. Stupid I thought, as ALL REAL CORVETTE have 4 tail lights! I turn on the weapon screen, and activate the warheads on two stinger missiles. My buddy does the same. As we turn out to make our loop for a straight in run, I once again notice the moon as it disappears now behind a cloud.
The missiles slide effortlessly out of the side scoops behind the front tires, and glows bright red as it heads for its' target. A second missile from my partner C5 flashes by me and chases mine. The laser guidance does its' job, and the display screen flashes "TARGET DESTROYED.... TARGET DESTROYED...."
We turn a hard left, and climb to 45,000 feet setting a course to home. We land in Winston Salem and as I fire down the twin LS1 turbo charged engines, and climb out of the C5, I get my first sight of the pilot in the other jet. He comes casually walking over to me, and extends his hand. We shake for the first time...and he says "You must be Racer Dan". As we pass under the tarmac light I can see part of his face... a scar under one eye. "My name is ZedRone", he continues, " I figured you might come up this way sooner or later. That Noland Adams letter really pissed me off too!"
We head for the bar, and sit at a back table. A girl walks over and brings us two cold beers, with ice still clinging to the sides of each bottle. ZedRone lifts his bottle to mine, and they meet with a traditional smack of glass. "Scratch one 53 Corvette" I said with a big smile. ZedRone responds "Long live the ZR-1. I guess he ain't a Corvette enthusiast no more, huh!" We both laugh loudly, but nobody really notices.
He slowly slides off his flight jacket, and as he does I notice his arms. One has several scars on it from the muscle of his upper arm down almost to his wrist. He notices me looking at it, then I look up and smile. I said to him "Musta been where you caught your hand in the hood of your Vette. I sure musta took a lot of nerve to pull off that much skin."
"Hell, that ain't nothing...you shoulda seen when I was in that damn junkyard in Brazil, back in 84...quot; ZedRone volunteered.
It was 3 am by the time I left. As we walked back out to the C5 Jets I noticed an emblem not on mine that was on ZedRone's. "I'll be damned, you put LT5's in yours!" I exclaimed. Naw, I just stuck on an emblem for good luck. I reach in my pocket and pull out two more decals. I gave ZedRone one, and we both stuck them on the side of our Jets. It was a plain decal, with a red circle and a slanted bar on it. And a number 53 in the middle.
And so it was, on a calm night in November of '96. Two men, their C5 Fighter jets glistening in the moonlit night, and as I took off from the airport, I circled one last time. I waved back to my buddy, as he was driving off in his ZR-1, and he waved back. I thought to myself with a smile on my face... Who was it that once said ZR-1 owners never waved...
(Introducing the Junkyard Warrior)
An early Saturday Morning drizzle interrupts the blissful sleep of the Junkyard Warrior he was having a great dream... His eyes open reluctantly to the glare of his normally loving wife... "Where the hell were you at 3am? Were you off playing with your friends... AGAIN?"
"But dear...," He mumbles in protest, "It was a classified mission, I COULDN'T tell you"
"Classified mission, my A**!! get up and start the laundry!"
Quoting Noland Adams, here...
"What do I really think of the ZR-1? If this series of Corvette books is really successful, I will pay off the bank cards, the mortgage, and I will buy a Corvette or two. And, if possible, I will get a ZR-1 to drive. I'd like to have a yellow one or, as second choice, a bright red one."
"Well, Dan," said the Junkyard Warrior, "I think with the insurance check from that 'ol 53, and that little barn...he'll be able to buy that ZR-1 or TWO...Red, or Yellow, hey, at least he's got good taste...in colors..."
As he prepares to battle the laundry pile, the Junkyard Warrior peers into the now quiet hanger adjacent to the garage, noting the missing weaponry from his sleek yellow ship, the new decal in place beneath the cockpit, pauses a moment, and sighs..."