Paco Chierici is an accomplished military aviator, commercial pilot, and writer that has previously served as the Editor here at Fighter Sweep. Now, his action packed debut novel, “Lions of the Sky” is about to go on sale.
In the world of fighter pilots, the most alpha of the alpha, competition is everything and the stakes are impossibly high. A Top Gun for the new millennium, LIONS OF THE SKY propels us into a realm in which friendship, loyalty, and skill are tested, battles won and lost in an instant, and lives irrevocably changed in the time it takes to plug in your afterburners.
Thanks to Paco, you can now get a sneak peak at what you’ll find inside “Lions of the Sky” right here on Fighter Sweep. Read the excerpt below and make sure to head over to Amazon to order your own copy of the book!
Slammer was processing the new geometry for his intercept when everything
went to crap. He saw a missile streak from the closest Flanker, trailing a plume
Tiny’s voice screamed over the radio, “Fox-3! Smoke in the air. Tiny’s still
spiked, breaking left.” Tiny fired a retaliatory shot and was turning for all he was
worth in a desperate, last ditch attempt to evade the incoming Chinese missile.
Slammer jerked his trigger then pressed the mic switch, “Fox-3!” The AMRAAM
left his plane with a surprisingly loud scream. A moment later the sky
was latticed with smoke trails as Quick and Lips followed suit. He watched
their missiles travel downrange with disbelief. The Rhinos were now too close
to merging to take evasive maneuvers. Any turn away at this range would just
put the Flankers on their tails.
Committed to a head-on pass, he pulled his throttles to idle to reduce the
infrared signature from his engines and held his breath, watching for any more
missiles coming his way.
Five missiles—four American and one Chinese—closed in on their prey
with a combined closure rate of Mach 6, or 4,000 knots. Roughly one mile per
second. It would be the longest six seconds of Slammer’s life.
Quick pulled the trigger instinctively. After Tiny pitched away she jerked the
stick to bug out, but Tumor’s voice stopped her. “Don’t turn! Straight ahead
now, Quick. Fight’s on.”
She aimed for a close pass with the Flanker her radar was locked onto. Tiny’s
jet had turned almost ninety degrees but the smoke trail from the Chinese missile
was matching it all the way. As she watched, the smoke intersected the plane.
There was a small black puff as the warhead exploded, sending a million hot
metal fragments into an angry cloud. A nanosecond later one pierced a fuel cell
on Tiny’s jet and it erupted in a ball of flame. Large chunks of debris tumbled
from the fireball.
Fuck! she mouthed into her mask. Panic bubbled just beneath, but her
out-of-body self yanked her eyes forward to follow her missile to the merge.
Fight’s on, bitch.
Slammer managed a last radio call before all hell broke loose. “Banger, we lost
Tiny. Merge plot. Lions’ shots in the air. Engaged.”
He turned his attention to the Heads-Up-Display. The missile Tiny had
shot avenged him by vaporizing the same Flanker that destroyed Tiny. A double
knockout in the sky.
Slammer chased after his own missile’s smoke trail directly to his bandit. It
reached the Flanker two seconds before he would have merged, and a second
Chinese fighter disappeared in a huge explosion.
He jinked hard left to miss the debris field lest he suck bits into his engine
turbines. The last two Chinese fighters were obscured by the black curtain of
smoke, but the AMRAAM missile trails Quick and Lips had shot gave him an
excellent idea where they would be.
Quick’s breathing was fast and shallow. She followed Slammer’s maneuver,
dodging around the debris, sure she would see two more black clouds on the
other side. Instead she came through to see Slammer merging with the closest
Flanker while Lips was pointed at the other. The last two missiles fused too
early, confounded by the wreckage.
“Lions of the Sky” goes on sale April 12! Order your copy today!