Do What You Gotta Do
by Racer Dan
It had been raining like hell for three days, and Racer Dan knew he finally couldn't put off the trip any longer. It was a mission he had made a commitment on, and one that would likely land someone in trouble if it went astray, so he elected to quietly do this solo, even ignoring protocol of contacting the General for permission to fly a sortie.
He taxied his twin turbo Supercharged LS1 engine equipped Fighter Jet to the runway, leaving the lights off for security reasons. Although cloud cover was at 1350 feet, he did not want to risk anyone seeing him take off, and calling the FAA tonight. God, the General would have been pissed if that happened. The General always gets vocal over breaking rules, but sometimes a Pilot has to do what a Pilot has to do.
Instead of turning on the lights for take off, he elected to first hit the ASS control (Active Stealth Sequencer), which warms up a series of computers that confuse the radar in the area. This causes a temporary delay on take off at Atlanta's busy airport, but they have never been able to locate the source, as it lasts only until the two LS1 engines propel the Fighter Jet to Mach 4,at which time the radar becomes useless anyway.
The ASS control lit up the cockpit with a green glow. You could see its reflection on Race Dan's face shield as he punched in his security codes, and adjusted the controls. The fog from the nearby woods at the Tara Field drifted silently across the runway, but with the HEI system on (Heads Up Electronic Imaging) there was no need for Racer Dan to concern himself with this spooky stuff, either.
The Fighter Jet had recently been sent to the north end of Atlanta for some modifications, one of which was the new NIS controls. Nitrous Injection System came from the workbench of the MTI shop, but little did anyone know that, since this classified mission never happened in the first place ... at least not to them. :)
Within minutes, Racer Dan was airborne, leaving behind the Speedway's lighted tri-oval, and the top secret C5 Fighter Squadron Hanger. He cruised up to 55,000 and circled the city, looking at the lights below. It always got him in the mood for Christmas, and behind the wheel of one of these Fighters was the best therapy for an otherwise insane man he thought to himself...
In two hours he managed to find the small rural highway that led to a not so familiar house on the west coast. One Racer Dan had been to before. He landed without incident, and parked his Fighter off the road in case anyone was to come along. As he walked in the desert night, he smiled at the thought of what was going to be a fun mission, if only he got away with it. Some would never forgive him. Others would surely find it humorous, he hoped.
He walked up the driveway, noticing a large Chevrolet Bowtie in the center of it. As he walked around the house, the garage out back was silent. Of course at 3 AM why wouldn't it be. He pulled out his lock pick kit, from the old days when he was a kid. He remembered the first time a friend of his taught him how to pick a lock. It was at work, and he went into his bosses office, and right in front of him picked the lock on his private file cabinet, turned around and smiled, then said: "Nothing is safe from spies..." then walked away.
His boss was a little pissed from the incident, and he could never tell if Racer Dan knew what was in the file cabinet or not. But he always got his share of raises from that point on.
Racer Dan opened the door after raking the tumblers, and then walked to the most logical place for what he was seeking. On one side of the garage was a row of aluminum engines, each of them in pieces. As he approached them, he could make out the familiar twin cam LT5 engines, used in the ZR1. Under a tarp in the first bay was what was left of a ZR1. The front end was slightly damaged, but otherwise in good shape, sans the engine. A C5R was nowhere to be seen. Probably a good thing, as the other Squadron members would really get mad if anything happened to a certain racer's car ... and Racer Dan had been anywhere near it to be blamed!
A poster of a funny car with a supercharged engine was hanging on the wall. He smiled and thought to himself how the word blown can have different meanings to different people. A large Snap On tool box was sitting in the corner. The top of it was open, but Racer Dan could still see the Pirate Racing bird on it. It was the familiar purple color. Only in California he mumbled under his breathe. No Georgia man would ever run purple... Then he checked each drawer.
On the 6th drawer down, he found two pieces of cardboard cut about 15 inches big. On the front was an NCM decal, just what he needed. He quietly unzipped his flight jacket and slid the decals inside, then zipped it back up.
In less than two minutes, he had secured the garage, and scurried off to the Fighter.
Within two hours, he was back home, at the hanger. He taped up the package, and carefully wrote the address of the shop that tweaked those LS1 engines...
MTI Performance - Marietta, Ga. Attention Reese Cox. Inside he slipped this note: "I know you don't need any additional luck, but here are some real BIG NCM Logos for your C5R, hope you can find room for them! We appreciate you being such a great supporter of the NCM, you might as well wear their colors, right? He purposely didn't sign it.
Racer Dan dropped it off in the official mail out box, and headed back up the hill for home. Nobody would ever know, but he was going to get a smile out of the expression that those guys in California will have when they see this on the C5R sporting the C5 Fighter Squadron logo front and back!
A Pilot sometimes has to break the rules, and the General will never know ... unless of course YOU tell him!