Title to be decided.
(please note, the following is completely fictional, all persons are the figment of a slightly deranged hermit and in no way represent or are affiliated with persons living or dead. This is a rough first draft and only a sample of what has been written. There are discrepancies that will be addressed if this actually goes to publication: feel free to point them out in comments.
I mentioned that I was wrestling with a muse; here she is for your consideration. )
This is Eric Gonzales with Breitbart News on an investigative journey into Americas Heartlands. Its Christmas here in Southeastern KY, and I am interviewing Joel Gray, a local here that was involved in the fighting that took place after Knoxville erupted in the rioting. So, Joel, maybe you can clarify for the listeners just what happened here in August when things went rough.
I sure can, them nig,, black folk in Knoxville got it in their heads that they could come up here and steal all our food. What with the dollar crashing and all the welfare types getting told by Donald to buck up and start making their own way, them coons,,, Am I allowed to say that? Anyway, They figured we had it better than them so we should share. Not a chance in hell we said, we put them seeds in the ground and believe you me, the ground around here ain’t all that forgiving about gettin’ dug up. We grow rocks easier than taters or corn.
So, you had to defend your lands from invasion so to speak?
Damned straight! We saw what them fools did on the way up the valley below the Gap, and it looked like a line drawn by a tornado. Everything was trashed, houses burning where the locals fought back and lost. Hell, we saw that, thanks to G and his crew, and we formed up right quick. Some of arn people only had daddy’s shotgun, but that would be enough for these n,, losers. We all formed up and headed to the tunnel in the Gap and cut ’em off before they could figure out another way ’round. That highwall on the border funneled right to the Gap.
You just mentioned someone, G I believe it was. Who is he?
‘Fraid I can’t answer that one. Already said too much. Anything about that crew you want to know, ya gotta talk to the Sheriff in town.
Thank you for your time Joel, I am sure to look up the Sheriff here shortly. This is Eric Gonzales for Breitbart news, Stay tuned for more to come on this interesting story.
G’s Story. Chapter one.
“It was messed up how things changed so drastically in my life. Two tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, not a scratch. Back in the States 48 hours, BAM, lost both my legs just above the knee in a stupid accident. Full medical discharge and on disability, and losing my mind from boredom. Thank God Tic-Tock lived upstairs or I would have lost my damned mind. He was a programmer for some unknown company and was equally bored out of his mind and, well, maybe he felt sorry for me or something, but he would get me going on how things were. Got me to questioning everything I had taken for granted while a jarhead. He would spend a few hours punching away on his computer upstairs (he worked from home, lucky putz) then hear me squeaking around in my chair, grab a couple of beers and come down to get me going again. Man, those conversations really got me fired up sometimes. Especially all the stuff about “Limited Government” and stuff, But the damned thing of it was, no matter how I argued, I could NOT, for the life of me, get it out of my head that maybe he was right. I think after a few months of that, my boredom, and a growing bank account; I think that was when I started bugging him about the games. That was what really got all of this going, that and a combination of his wanting to ‘retire’ and join the militias that were working the border. You have to remember, this was before they built the wall and managed to get our immigration under control. T had issues with that as a whole, but couldn’t argue against my “if you lock your door when you leave your house, you believe in borders” argument. That one stumped him. But he wanted to join the militias because he was bored. Try as I might, I couldn’t show him the downsides of being out in the suck, even if that one was more a security op than a combat role.”
(interviewer interrupts here) “You mentioned the games, what do games have to do with what you two have been doing recently?”
“Yeah, the games.” G pauses for a minute, a look of whimsey crosses his face. “I was bored, I think I mentioned that, but if not, I was bored, bored bored bored, screaming at the walls BORED. I had played every first person shooter game on the nets, and was out of my mind bored and frustrated because they made me miss my legs that much more. I may have been on full medical, but because the accident happened off base and off duty, The Marines, VA whoever, was not going to cover prosthesis’ for me. Yet another great “sucks to be me” point in my life. Anyway, T had some old games called Mechwarrior. Old 16 bit FPV games where you pilot a giant ‘robot’ armed to the teeth. He showed them to me and we got to getting into some of those drunken discussions of how to make the game more real. One thing led to another and some of my old hobbies came to light, and, well, here we are. I can pilot a plane, real time, and FEEL like I am in that plane, including the rolls and pitch, though never the G-forces. Fortunately, my mind makes up for that, and it allows me to pull maneuvers that no pilot could in real life, limited only by what the airframe can handle. T even managed to develop some telemetry that sends a small amount of feedback to me. That took some getting used to because he is one sick kinda fella and uses pins attached to servos to let me know I am pushing the plane too hard.”
(interviewer question)” So, you had income from the medical and disability, I guess that paid for all of this? I have seen the plane you fly, that could not have been cheap.”
“Hell No, Damocles wasn’t cheap at all. That whole air frame is a blend of fiberglass and Carbon fiber rods that make up the shell. Some of the lower surfaces are spun aluminum. And those danged blowtorches that provide thrust were worth five of the airframes together. I won’t even get into the servos, computers, radios, weapons systems or the FPV system. That all took a lot of time to come together and even more money and the only people that did the work were T and I. I got real good at moving around fiberglass while in a chair.”
“Where did you guys learn all of this stuff? ”
“The internet dummy. If you know how to use a search string, are willing to wade through the 90% bullshit, you can figure out how to make anything. We did have to sub some of the stuff out, but when it came to making the custom servos, computer control system that interprets my inputs and provide feedback, heck, even just building the radio system so I can operate out of line of site, all information from the internet. We really did not ‘Re-invent the wheel’ as T likes to joke; we just took a bunch of stuff and reorganized it into something that Boeing charges the Government billions of dollars for.”
“So why did you choose the AT-10 for your model plane?”
“You didn’t’ hear me wrong. I said “Brrrrt”. That’s the sound the Warthog makes when it does a close strafe with that monster 30mm auto-cannon. Any ground troops that have been in the thick of it know and love that sound. I guess you could say that I had a soft spot for that little monster, and to be honest, with the flying that we do, it was the perfect setup, though we didn’t exactly get a full auto-cannon in the thing, and definitely not a 30 mike-mike. I can’t tell you too much in detail, as there are a couple of Government agencies that are wanting to talk to me and T directly, and about those weapons systems I mentioned. All I can tell you is that we make them ourselves, and doing so scares the bejeezus out of me cause I get to see what they do on the ground.”
“So how do you fly Damocles? Obviously you are not able to see what the plane is doing directly, and you mentioned First Person View; isn’t that rather restrictive on what you can see?”
“Not at all. My cameras; There are three and a fourth IR that I have to switch to manually, are gimballed for 200 degrees horizontal and 120 degrees vertical. I have a pop-up window with a rear view that only engages if I request it and all of that is relayed back to my helmet which is actually a Virtual Reality rig. I look, the cameras track, I see three dimensionally in my helmet. The first two cameras are my 3D rig, the third is a back up and is not 3D, nor is the IR. That rig was the easiest setup out of the whole thing. Now as for how I fly Damocles, I have a flight chair, also gimballed. but to my inputs, not the plane, and any pilot could fly that plane. The controls are identical to any other plane out there, the only differences being, no Indicators, those are all projected in the hood and there is a keyboard on the left next to the throttle. Well, there is one part of that chair that is fed by the plane. T built these torsion sensors and embedded them in the air frame at key points. When I really hit that Emmelman, or barrel roll hard, those daggum things poke me in the thighs, letting me know if I am pushing too hard. Its probably a good thing, but danged if they don’t make me jump.”
“So you guys basically took the Military Drone scenario, tossed in some Virtual reality, and made the milita a small air support vehicle?”
“Yup, Pretty cool ain’t it?”
“How do you manage the line of site issues?”
“Now, that is really more T’s lineup than mine, But I can tell you we do something quite similar to what the military uses for their drones, just on a much smaller scale and much closer to the ground.”
“The military uses satellite transmissions, right?”
“Yeah, and thats what gave us our idea. We can’t exactly bounce our signal off a satellite, but we can fly a repeater at 4000′ and get about 30miles range no matter what kind of terrain we are in. T say we can go further, but I know I start picking up static in the VR gear, so we have to be losing some signal somewhere. With the control system, we use DSMX transmitters, amplified of course, and those tend to be pretty robust, so He may be right. That video is the key point to me ’cause if I can’t see, I can’t fly.”
More to come, but you are going to have to be patient with me.
Note 2: everything mentioned so far is completely feasible and readily available with very little searching. The weapons systems alluded to can be manufactured in a home workshop with readily available materials and some (extensive)knowledge of chemistry and machining/tooling processes.
Fiction the story may be, the reality is just waiting to be put together.