One Word - Stratosphere

The Dragon Lady was unlike any other plane he’d ever flown. It was slow and unwieldy, and an absolute pain to fly in all aspects. She stalled at the drop of a hat, and he had to ride her at the absolute top right corner of the envelope at all times. Her broad wings rebelled when he tried to land, and taking off was like launching the plane into soup.

He hated the goddamn clown suit he had to wear because she couldn’t be pressurized like a civilized aircraft. He hated theĀ lonelinessĀ of missions. No wingman, just the Dragon Lady and he in enemy territory. He hated all the security, and the stupid lies he had to tell his wife about why they had to move to the middle of the fucking desert.

But despite all the fighting, when the Dragon Lady took him up to 70,000 feet, and he watched the Earth curl away from him, as if gravity itself were about to relinquish its claim to him, it was worth it.

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