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Top Dog

mkatlantis_13 asked about Lewis in the Order of the Air during the Second World War, which of course is coming. So just for her, this scene from the beginning of Night World, in February of 1942. In which Lewis meets his OTP, his One True Plane!



The February wind was brisk off the Potomac River as they jostled around the quickly constructed Quonset huts on the edge of base. Bolling Field, Maryland, had been a quiet little base mostly used for ceremonial duties, but that was all changed now. Shiny new steel temporary buildings were going up everywhere. The jeep bounced over a joint in the pavement and Lewis held on. He shared the front seat with Chief Master Sergeant Holland, while Mitch was in the back with Colonel -- no, General Sampson.

"I thought you'd like to see this just as soon as you got here," Sampson said as they made a swift right turn between buildings and out onto the tarmac along the river.

There were two neat lines of planes, six and six, and Lewis caught his breath even as the jeep slowed. He was barely aware of Mitch replying to Sampson, of the jeep pulling up and stopping. He scrambled out and walked over, not taking his eyes off them.

Clean, smooth lines, streamlined and swift, her transparent cockpit bubble rising like a dolphin's forehead above a long snout, she was already facing into the wind. The white pentagram of the Army Air Corps was bright on her tail in a roundel of blue. Lewis reached up and ran his hand along her nose, metal clear and cool. She practically quivered, like a hound eager for the chase, waiting in the dawn woods for the scent of her quarry.

"These are Supermarine Spitfires," Mitch said.

"Yep." Sampson said with satisfaction. "The best fighter planes in the world. They're the only reason the krauts haven't won already. But the RAF has been under pressure for nearly two years now, and what they need most of all is replacement pilots. You've got three weeks to familiarize yourselves. On March 1, the boys show up -- a pack of those kids who signed up right after Pearl Harbor with no more idea how to fly a plane than watching old crop dusters. They'll be through basic, and then they're yours."

His pack. His men. Lewis walked around the wing, one hand trailing, coming up the other side. Speed. She was built for speed and nothing else, just the chase and the kill.

Under the edge of the cockpit canopy there were white letters stenciled two inches high, "Maj. L. Segura "Top Dog".

Lewis turned around. "Who picked the call signs?" he asked.

"I did," Mitch said, his hand in his pocket fishing out a pack of cigarettes.

"What's yours?"

"Papa," Mitch said.

"You'd better get to work, Papa," Sampson said. "May 31 you sail for England."

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
aishabintjamil
Sep. 15th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
Can't wait to get my hands on this.
jo_graham
Sep. 15th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
That one is going to be so much fun! That's from early in Night World, which will be number nine. In which Jerry has a meeting in the West Wing and an impossible assignment. DC in the spring of 42!
tricksterquinn
Sep. 16th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
Eeei! Oh, I love it.
jo_graham
Sep. 16th, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
I'm glad! :)
angelsallfire
Sep. 16th, 2013 12:10 pm (UTC)
...and so begins an epic romance...
jo_graham
Sep. 16th, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
Lewis does kind of fall in love with the Spitfire. At least until he meets the Mustang!
mkatlantis_13
Sep. 16th, 2013 07:58 pm (UTC)
That is such a great scene. And forgive the gushing, but the idea of Lewis being "Top Dog" with all the hounds of Diana in there, just brilliant. I am, of course, chewing on the arm of my chair. (Though she doesn't approve, my wife understands my behavior.)

Thanks so much for the preview! Bring on book three!!!
jo_graham
Sep. 17th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
Lewis is absolutely Top Dog! That's why Mitch picked it as his call sign, Diana's Chosen, the one who leads Her pack. I expect he gets someone to do the white hound down the side of the fusilage....
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )