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Delta One Seventy-Three


Raritan
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It was a dreary day in Atlanta and was about to get much worse. In a hotel a few miles from Hartsfield International Airport, a couple of men were preparing to leave to catch a flight out of Ardoria.

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They arrived at the terminal about an hour later, ready to check in for their flight out of the country. Here they split up and went to separate counters, lest they be seen together before they needed to.

The leader walked up to the counter first and checked in. After a minute or so...

"Here are your boarding passes, you're in seat 5C and your plane departs from Gate 92. Have a nice flight."

At the other counters, the other in the group checked in as well, getting seats 2D, 15D, and 22C. They all went through security and met in the bathroom.

"Are we all ready?" the leader asked of the group.

They all responded with nods.

"Then it is time."

"Indeed..."

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"You finished the walk around?" the Captain/Pilot asked.

"Yep, everything seems to be fine. Did you call for clearance yet?" his First Officer/Co-pilot responded.

"Not yet, I was waiting for you to finish."

The Captain then keyed his mic and began speaking.

"Atlanta Clearance, Delta 173 ready to copy IFR clearance as filed."

"Delta 173 is cleared..."

Just then, the chief flight attendant entered the $@pit.

"Hey, wanted to ask..."

The Captain held up his hand as he copied down his clearance.

"...via the BRAVS5 departure, WALET transition, then as filed. Maintain 10,000..."

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"Ladies and gentlemen, we are now ready to begin boarding for Delta Flight 173. Those who are traveling in first class and who are seated in rows 14-24 may now proceed to the jetway."

They men quickly boarded and settled into their seats as the rest of the airplane filled in around them, unaware of what was to happen less than 2 hours from now...

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200 miles to the northeast, another Delta Air Lines flight was beginning its takeoff roll out of Charlotte Douglas International, also an international flight.

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Harvey Carlin lounged in his chair at Redemptio International Air Traffic Control (RIATC). A cup of coffee in his hand, he sipped it slowly as he looked over his duty sheet for the day. Ah, flights from Ardoria. Should be simple enough. The flights were short jumps, not too many of them. He'd drawn an easy duty for the day. Grinning, he looked over the first two planes due in for the day. Delta Flight 173 out of Atlanta and Delta Flight 733 out of Charlotte.

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"Delta 173, winds 130 at 9 knots, Runway 9L, cleared for takeoff."

"Cleared for takeoff 9L, Delta 173."

The Captain then turned to his First Officer.

"Alright, lets go."

The Delta 757-200 quickly accelerated down the runway and lifted off halfway down.

"Delta 173, contact Departure."

"Over to Departure, Delta 173."

The climb was rather uneventful and they leveled off at 33,000 feet. That, however, would change very soon...

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The situation was very different on Delta 733, however. They'd just switched over to Atlanta Center when several men got up in the cabin and began what would be a successful hijacking of the aircraft. The 767-300 was only half full and everybody was forced to the rear of the plane. The pilots were unable to get a message out before they were killed by the hijackers. Nobody on the gorund had known what had just happened, or so it would seem...

*30 minutes later*

"Delta 733, descend and maintain 14,000, contact Redemptio Center 126.45."

"Uhh, 14,000, and, um, standby...say again please."

"Delta 733, Atlanta Center, descend and maintain 14,000, Redemptio Center's on 126.45."

"126.45...Delta...733."

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"Yo, Rudy!" the Atlanta Center controller said as he called for his supervisor.

"Yeah? What's up?"

"Can you get me the flightplan on Delta 733? I want to check something."

"Sure, give me a minute."

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Back on the plane, the hijackers, who'd barely had any flight training, had difficulty controlling the aircraft. It became rather obvious when the 767 entered a steep dive, descending at over 8,000 feet per minute. They also forgot to contact the next controller in their struggle to control the jet.

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The supervisor came back with a small pile of papers. At the same time, the controller noticed that the dot representing 733 began flashing. He pushed the pile of papers aside and called his counterpart in Xaristan:

"Hey, you see Delta 733?"

OOC: PI, you RP the controller and I RP the planes.

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The supervisor came back with a small pile of papers. At the same time, the controller noticed that the dot representing 733 began flashing. He pushed the pile of papers aside and called his counterpart in Xaristan:

"Hey, you see Delta 733?"

"Roger that Atlanta Control. They seem to be having difficulties." Harvey switched off the mic and turned to a counterpart in the control tower. "Get me the military on the line. We've got a plane in distress that we need them to escort." Turning back to his console, he tapped Delta 733 and began speaking.

"Delta 733 this is Redemptio Control, come in. Pull up Delta 733, you're descending too fast. Delta 733, I say again, pull up. Acknowledge."

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"Roger that Atlanta Control. They seem to be having difficulties." Harvey switched off the mic and turned to a counterpart in the control tower. "Get me the military on the line. We've got a plane in distress that we need them to escort." Turning back to his console, he tapped Delta 733 and began speaking.

"Delta 733 this is Redemptio Control, come in. Pull up Delta 733, you're descending too fast. Delta 733, I say again, pull up. Acknowledge."

Everything Redemptio had said to 733 was promptly ignored by the hijackers who continued their dive down to 3,000 ft before finally pulling up...

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On Delta 173, 50 miles behind 733, the hijacking had just occured and was executed much more smoothly than the other. The hijackers were also better trained in piloting and had much more control over the aircraft.

"Delta 173, descend and maintain 14,000, contact Redemptio Center on 126.45."

"Descending to 14,000 and ... switching to 126.45."

This time, the hijackers realized they could leave the aircraft on autopilot and let it fly itself down to their target, less than 30 miles form the airport.

"Redemptio Center, Delta, uhhm, 1...73, descending to 14,000."

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Everything Redemptio had said to 733 was promptly ignored by the hijackers who continued their dive down to 3,000 ft before finally pulling up...

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On Delta 173, 50 miles behind 733, the hijacking had just occured and was executed much more smoothly than the other. The hijackers were also better trained in piloting and had much more control over the aircraft.

"Delta 173, descend and maintain 14,000, contact Redemptio Center on 126.45."

"Descending to 14,000 and ... switching to 126.45."

This time, the hijackers realized they could leave the aircraft on autopilot and let it fly itself down to their target, less than 30 miles form the airport.

"Redemptio Center, Delta, uhhm, 1...73, descending to 14,000."

"This is Lieutenant Miguel Iglesias with the 3rd Homeland Defense Squadron, callsign Topgun 5. What seems to be the problem, Redemptio Control?"

"Iglesias, I'm sending you the data on Delta Flight 733, out of Charlotte. They are out of their flight path and non-responsive. Suspect technical difficulties or hijacking, over."

"Roger that, Redemptio Control, we'll check it out. Topgun Flight out." In the distance, Harvey could see the four AS-37 Mambas break off and head towards Delta 773.

"Delta 173, maintain current heading, speed, and altitude. We're having an issue up here, possible plane in distress. Be aware for possible delays or rerouting."

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"Roger." was the only response 173 made as it continued its descent to 14,000.

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On 733, the passengers were becoming restless but were kept in their seats by the armed terrorists. Meanwhile, in the $@pit, the hijackers managed to keep the plane level at 3,000 feet, still accelerating with the engines at redline...

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"Roger." was the only response 173 made as it continued its descent to 14,000.

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On 733, the passengers were becoming restless but were kept in their seats by the armed terrorists. Meanwhile, in the $@pit, the hijackers managed to keep the plane level at 3,000 feet, still accelerating with the engines at redline...

The four planes of Topgun Flight appeared off the wings of Flight 733. "Delta Flight 733, this is Lieutenant Miguel Iglesias of the Xaristan Home Defense Forces. You are required to climb to 14,000 feet and return to your assigned flight path. Respond immediately and comply."

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"This is 733, we are having, uh, um, trouble...controlling the, uh, aircraft."

At this point, the passengers were plotting to try to take back the plane while the terrorists guarding them weren't looking or were distracted by the fighter escorts outside...

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"This is 733, we are having, uh, um, trouble...controlling the, uh, aircraft."

At this point, the passengers were plotting to try to take back the plane while the terrorists guarding them weren't looking or were distracted by the fighter escorts outside...

"Delta Flight 733, either reveal your issue or comply with my orders. This is your final warning." Iglesias switched his mic to squadron frequency. "Topgun 6, stay with me. We're going to drop behind it for a firing solution. 7 and 8, stay on his wings. Don't give him anywhere to go but straight up." He switched the frequency again, this time to Xaristan military command.

"Xaristan Military Command, this is Lieutenant Miguel Iglesias of the Home Defense Squadron Topgun. We have a problem with Delta Flight 733. They are out of their flight plan and not complying with orders to return. Requesting... requesting permission to implement Order 13 if situation continues, over."

"Negative, Iglesias. Order 13 can only be ordered by a high ranking military member, not requested."

"Then I respectfully suggest you get one, sir. We may need him."

Meanwhile, in the city in the distance, important governmental buildings, including where Congress meets and the Director's house, were evacuated. Many high rises also began evacuations. Director Egon was not in Redemptio that day, but was instead taken to a secure and classified location as soon as news of the wayward plane reached him.

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As before, the orders were ignored by the hijackers on 733 and the 767-200 continued forward towards Redemptio's main military base.

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In the rear of the plane, several passengers had made phone calls to their families trying to get the word out, some more successful than others. Finally, someone gathered enough courage to go after the terrorists. Grabbing a food cart from the rear galley, the ran forward down the left aisle, knocking one of the guards over. However, the man guarding the other side was unhurt and opened fire with his submachine gun, puncturing the fuselage of the airraft in multiple areas and blowing out several windows...

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On 173, the situation was very different. Being a narrow-body aircraft, there was only one aisle and the terrorists were much more effective at keeping the passengers in check. Scarcely anyone dared to talk and noone moved...

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As before, the orders were ignored by the hijackers on 733 and the 767-200 continued forward towards Redemptio's main military base.

----------

In the rear of the plane, several passengers had made phone calls to their families trying to get the word out, some more successful than others. Finally, someone gathered enough courage to go after the terrorists. Grabbing a food cart from the rear galley, the ran forward down the left aisle, knocking one of the guards over. However, the man guarding the other side was unhurt and opened fire with his submachine gun, puncturing the fuselage of the airraft in multiple areas and blowing out several windows...

"Backus! Get me a list of possible targets in the current flightpath of Delta 733," Harvey yelled, watching the dots play out before his RADAR screen intently, not even paying attention to his other flights. A half minute later, the response came back.

"Only major target on their current flight path is Redemptio Military Base."

"Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster..." Harvey picked up the phone and dialed straight away to Xaristan Military Command.

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"Say again, Command? Redemptio Military Base? Why the hell would they be heading --"

"Shots fired! Repeat, shots fired!" Topgun 8 pulled up and away from 733, rolling into a dive and coming back alongside the aircraft. "Lead, we have four windows shot out, along with other holes in the fuselage."

"Command, we are looking at a definite hijacking here with a primary target in danger. Once again, requesting implementation of Order 13."

"Negative, Topgun 5. There are Ardorian nationals on that flight."

"And I'm sure there are Xaristani nationals as well, Command. If we don't get clearance now, we may as well let the thing crash because it's heavily populated from here to the base." A long pause followed Iglesias' statement.

"Order 13 granted, Topgun 5. Make it count."

"Roger that, Command." Iglesias looked at the plane for a moment and then switched to flight frequency. "Alright, Topgun Flight, form up on me. Topgun 6 and 7 each take an engine. 8, you have the tail. I'll go high and target the $@pit. I want all missiles fired to that they hit at the same time. Hopefully by taking out the hardest points we can minimize damage on the ground. Execute." Iglesias climbed his plane more than 15,000 feet above the airliner while the other three formed up behind it. Rolling his AS-37 Mamba over, he targeted the $@pit.

"Prepare all missiles to fire on my mark." His hand was shaking. The innocent people on board that plane didn't deserve to die, but he had a duty to his country and to his people who weren't on that plane. May His Noodliness have mercy on my soul, he thought. "Mark." Four air-to-air missiles shot out at the airliner, closing within a split second.

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"Order 13 granted, Topgun 5. Make it count."

"Roger that, Command." Iglesias looked at the plane for a moment and then switched to flight frequency. "Alright, Topgun Flight, form up on me. Topgun 6 and 7 each take an engine. 8, you have the tail. I'll go high and target the $@pit. I want all missiles fired to that they hit at the same time. Hopefully by taking out the hardest points we can minimize damage on the ground. Execute." Iglesias climbed his plane more than 15,000 feet above the airliner while the other three formed up behind it. Rolling his AS-37 Mamba over, he targeted the $@pit.

"Prepare all missiles to fire on my mark." His hand was shaking. The innocent people on board that plane didn't deserve to die, but he had a duty to his country and to his people who weren't on that plane. May His Noodliness have mercy on my soul, he thought. "Mark." Four air-to-air missiles shot out at the airliner, closing within a split second.

OOC: I'm assuming those are heat-seeking missiles for the damages.

IC:

The two missiles fired on the engines bored in on the easy targets the engine exaust produced and completely shredded the jet turbines form the inside and blasted away the casing, taking some of the wing control surfaces with it. The missile fired on the tail flew towards the APU exaust port and also shredded the thin aluminum skin of the aircraft and severed the hydraulic lines which moved the rear control surfaces, disabling pitch and yaw control. The last missile tracked the hot nose cone of the 767 and exploded just ahead of the aircraft, almost completely destroying the $@pit. With the $@pit area greatly deformed and the rear control surfaces destroyed along with the rest of the empennange, the airflow changes caused the aircraft to start a roll to the right and assumed a nose-down attitude, diving towards the ground.

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The rest of the fuselage, however, was mostly intact and fighting in the cabin continued between the passnegers and lone remaining terrorist until the aircraft finally crashed into the Lake Apopka a few miles west of Redemptio.

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In the Delta Air Lines Flight Dispatch Center in Atlanta, the abrupt end of ACARS reports as well as strange message immediately after the stoppage attracted the attention of several dispatchers, one of whom alerted his supervisor who, in turn, got a message to the Ardorian government through the Transport Ministry.

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The hijackers on Delta 173 were in much better shape. Even the winds were in their favor. With winds out of the south, Redemptio International Airport would be landing on the 18s, bringing their approach path directly over the city and their target...

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OOC: The plane is down. Damages mattered not to me. lol

IC:

"Delta 733 is down. Repeat, 733 is down in Lake Apopka." Ilgesias slowly circled his AS-37 Mamba over the lake. "No sign of survivors."

"Hold tight, Topgun Flight... emergency crews are on their way."

"Roger that, Command. We'll stay on station."

"Be advised, the rest of Topgun Squadron is being scrambled as we speak."

"Roger that. It'll be good to see them."

----------------------------------------------------

"Son of a !@#$%*..." Harvey sighed as he leaned back in his chair. He'd never lost a plane before. He could see the explosion a few miles out. There was nothing that he could have done. Flipping on the television, he saw the worst thing he could.

"Xaristan fighters shoot down civilian craft?" was the headline plastered across the bottom of the screen, with shaky home video already showing.

"!@#$." Harvey grabbed his phone and dialed quickly. "Get me the Secretary of Transportation... and quick."

Other air traffic controllers were handling their planes, but Delta 173 was ignored since it was doing exactly what it was supposed to and runway 18S was clear.

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