It was November 12, 2077.
I still remember that sky. So blue, clear. There was a sheet of clouds shielding my view of the earth below. My last view of that earth. It was so green before. So clean and colorful, alive.
It was nearing noon. I remember looking at that sky, so casually. I took it for granted. I looked around myself, examining that sky, very briefly. Carelessly. I glanced at my radar, casually again. Three dots had suddenly appeared.
They were honing in on me. Fast.
A red light popped up on my cockpit dashboard.
The siren shrieked, filling the tight space. I strapped my ventilator on and took a hard right, diving down in a spiral, gunning the jets. What was going on??? Who would fire on me, and why??? A fourth dot appeared on radar.
They closing in, I pulled up hard, over my left shoulder a rocket dove into the clouds. I could see yellow emanating from its firey tail through the cloud under me. Sweat was beading on my forehead, my heart was pounding. Adrenaline was flooding my veins, I was shaking.
Twisting the joystick, I rocketed to the right in a tight barrel roll. One rocket was thrown off course towards the ground below. My rough manuveur was rewarded with a hale of beeping. I was pushing the limitations of my craft.
They were surrounding me, urgently closing the gap between them and my tail. I was flying in a curve, trying to pull away from their magnetic grasp. The force was thrusting me into my chair, imobilizing me, pushing my eyeballs back into their sockets. But the rockets followed all the same.
Suddenly, they pulled away, with no warning at all. They were headed directly away from me, towards the ground below. Silence ensued. It was as if nothing had happened at all.
That would soon end.
It was deafening. The concussion shook my entire being. My plane rattled as if shaken by God’s hand. Warnings shrieked, caution lights flicked on all across the controls, the cockpit window was cracking; the plane was ripping apart. But I didn’t care, the explosion had taken over my senses. The sound was like a million voices in the world screaming out at once in panic and fury, obliterating my eardrums. A blinding light struck my eyes.
It looked like a new sun had blossomed over California.
My craft sputtered, and began to drop. I ejected. I remember watching it, disappearing through the clouds with a trail of black smoke behind it, never to be found. And I floated down to an earth forever changed.
*I would like to thank Chris Arnold for inspiration for this, and the Fallout universe as a setting.