Friday, December 08, 2006

If Dale Brown wrote romances, this is not what would happen.

Dale Brown[1], Technothriller author doesn't write romances. That this came up in an online conversation is entirely my fault. (The recurring theme of Dinosaurs and Sodomy on that page is an injoke which is explained fully here).

I'm not Dale Brown, I don't write Technothrillers, and I don't write Romances. So what follows is also entirely my fault...

It was a starlit night at HAWC, the High-technology Aerospace Weapons Centre[2] in Southern Nevada. As he walked into the hanger USAF Lt Col Patrick Maclanahan[3] looked up into the sky. That was wjere the trim, sandyhaired officer wanted to be; flying in a cutting edge jet rather than managing research projects on the ground.

Everyone else had left for the night, but Maclanahan was determined to sort out the bugs in the weapons system submenu. He climbed into the darkened B-2 Spirit stealth bomber and retrieved the troublesome electronic box, intending to tinker with the display. Just as he got the box hooked up to diagnostics, the phone rang.

"Hello? Oh hello General. No, I'm the only one here... the security system is off? Several checkpoints appear to be unmanned? No one released the dogs this evening..." He paused, abruptly distracted by a shapely woman's leg propped up on the crew ladder of the aircraft in front of him[4].

"Sorry General, can I get back to you?" Without waiting for an answer he hung up.

"Patrick! There you are," said Wendy Tork. "What are you doing here? Is there anything wrong?"

Maclanahan showed her the box. "I've been trying to get this to work all day. The weapons submenus consistently choose the wrong weapon parameters for the loadout."

[For my own reasons I've chosen not to write the page and a half explaining how the Multi Function Display is supposed to integrate the onboard radar and IR, as well as external satellite, radar and other information sources along with GPS and inertial guidance with the currently available weapons as well as the current threat and mission parameters to offer the optimum selection(s) of weapon choices.]

"....but it doesn't recognise which weapon is in each position in the CSRL, so it might launch a SLAM as though it were a SDB or vice versa, with an obvious reduction in effectiveness[5]."

"Patrick, that's not important now though, is it? I mean, what are the odds that terrorists or foreign agents are going to break into this highly secure and isolated airbase, forcing us to escape in an experimental bomber, then discover that we're the only ones in a position to make an attack against an immediate threat to world peace?[6]"

"Pretty slim, I guess," said Maclanahan, "but you did ask what's wrong."

"No Patrick," said Wendy, "I meant is there something wrong with you? You've seemed so distant. Is it... is there someone else?"

Patrick looked at her. How could he be so blind? Ignoring the brief flutter of guilt, he took her in his arms and kissed her.

"Wendy, I could never love another... woman..."

As his voice stuttered his eyes flicked up involuntarily to the where the dark nose of his specially modified B-52 stared down at him reproachfully... [7]

[1] Dale Brown in not Dan Brown.
[2] HAWC is also known as Dreamland and Area 51 in Dale Brown's novels.
[3] Maclanahan appears in many of Dale Brown's novels and has his own wikipedia page.
[4] I stole the shapely woman's leg line directly out of Hammerheads.
[5] All real acronyms: CSRL is Common Strategic Rotary Launcher; SLAM is Standoff Land Attack Missile; SDB is Small Diameter Bomb.
[6] This is a rather flippant description of the plot of Flight of the Old Dog.
[7] In my mind this is an inside out and warped version of a joke from Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's chest:
Elizabeth: I'm here to find the man I love!
Jack Sparrow: I'm deeply flattered, lad, but my first and only love is the sea.

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