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Shock and awe

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Jan 26th, 2019
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  1. A loud bang awoke her from her slumber. A gunshot? A grenade? Artillery? No matter, if anything happened so close by. Snapping awake, she held her helmet in place at the fear of incoming fire, only to realize:
  3. She didn't even have a helmet. It was her living room, pitch black over no lights being on. All she had in hand, talon, claw, whatever thunderbirds had, now was her own fluffy hair. The comfort of a sofa certainly beat a foxhole in a jungle, though her nap has still been interrupted too violently. Waking up in full, she stood up and made her way to the window, to see what occurred outside.
  5. There she saw an ignis and a hinezumi, kids at best, lighting a few firecrackers with their own flames. Bang went another, illuminating the night for a split second with a weak light.
  7. It looked like they had just begun, much to the thunderbird's annoyance. It'd certainly be a long while before they stopped, letting her return to her nap. Nap, sleep, hibernation, the distinction no longer mattered to her. With a weary sigh, she resigned herself to wakefulness for however long it'd take them.
  9. A thought slowly crept into her mind, however. Fireworks. She had a few, preparing herself for the next 4th of July. Not just that, but a little project she had been working on for such day. Now that she thought about it clearly, this certainly presented a unique opportunity. A prototype run, as if.
  11. Yes, this will do nicely.
  13. ---
  15. She landed on the roof of her own house, perched on the edge. She had taken the opportunity to don a few old things, such as an unbuttoned olive shirt with its sleeves rolled up, a worn out helmet with a hole by the side, and a backpack of dubious contents. The kids still played about with no signs of stopping, granting her the smug self-satisfaction that her plan still had great chances of success.
  17. With her backpack now on the roof, the opened it and took out a few objects. First, a modified controller of which duct tape seemed its primary component. Then, a remote controlled drone, or better described, a replica of a helicopter from an era she had been eerily fond of, 'Huey' as she had grown to call it back in the day; still, a helicopter packed to its absolute capacity, jury-rigged to hold launchers and their curious ammunition. Leaving it aside, she took out the final two objects: A cigar, and a lighter.
  19. "Yo!"
  21. With it in her mouth but not yet lighting it up, the thunderbird caught the greeting of the hinezumi, waving with a smile on her face.
  23. "Why are you on the roof?" She continued.
  25. "...It's been a long while since I've seen fireworks!" Replied the thunderbird. "Thought I'd get a good view of it here, if you don't mind!"
  27. "No problem!" Answered the ignis, before the two returned to their own games.
  29. Didn't seem like they saw the helicopter of her controls. Good, thought the thunderbird. She lit up her cigar and then got to work, turning the helicopter on and watching its blades spin. Spin, spin, spin, for too long in place for a normal helicopter, but such was the inevitable result of the additional weight. In due time, it slowly took off.
  31. As for its path, might as well play it safe. Sure the kids would put two and two together in due time and realize the helicopter was hers, but where's the fun in not keeping it a surprise? She flew the helicopter far to the back of her house, keeping it hidden from the two and departing aside through the other houses. Once a good enough distance had been achieved, or at least until it was just far enough to be able to see it, she flew it to the street. The plan was simple: Fly it in from the street, as if it came from there in the first place.
  33. All done. Signalling the execution of her plan, she pressed a button on her controls, one with the icon of a play button carved into it.
  35. At that moment, a muffled, low quality sound began playing. Music, from the helicopter afar. Not just any music, but a specifically arranged playlist of songs reminiscent of that old war. Then, she flew it onward.
  37. The ignis and the hinezumi seemed to notice, turning their eyes to the sound. They seemed to have spotted the helicopter as well, or at least its faint outline, as they stood there watching intently.
  39. Once close enough, the thunderbird pressed another button. There and then a light shot out of the helicopter, a flare illuminating the two girls. Sure it couldn't ever hope to match the old flares she knew, but for something that had to fit in such a small thing, it achieved its purpose well enough: The thunderbird had a clear view of the targets.
  41. Another button pressed, and another light shot out. This time, not a flare, but an ignited firework, as much as the two girls didn't realize. It landed close by, harmless, but after a few seconds, it detonated with enough force and noise to send them almost falling back in fright. No fancy lights, no flashy colors, just pure force and noise, sending them running and shouting away. The sight alone almost made the thunderbird break out laughing, using all her discipline in containing her grin which distorted her face.
  43. As the two girls ran, as the music played out loud, she flew the helicopter onward, firing its ammunition at will. Fireworks of delayed fuse shot one at a time, loud as the first one, and another set as well: Small ones, detonating on impact with a few flashed, but fired quick like a machine gun.
  45. The two girls sought cover in their house, but the thunderbird knew better. She shot the path they'd take, the entrance to their house, making them turn around in terror and flee elsewhere. Down the street, into the bushes, it did not matter where they ran; their attempts to seek shelter in the darkness ended in failure each time, more miniature flares shot out to illuminate them.
  47. Eventually, the smell of powder began to reach the thunderbird, inhaling it like a drug with its dear memories.
  49. In due time, the two girls escaped sight.
  51. The mission had been accomplished. The weapon performed adequately. With the music still playing on and on, the thunderbird flew it back; once nearby, she had it fly in place, to then grab it herself before shutting it off. The stench had stuck to it by the launchers. Lord knew she wanted to utter that one line, a line she'd probably regret later on as cringy.
  53. But who cared? Nobody was watching her.
  55. "I love the smell of napalm in the m...night." She sighed in delight.
  57. Once those kids came back, it'd be a tough situation. Shooting at them with fireworks certainly wouldn't look good on her should they decide to tell her parents, or even involve the cops on this. Ah, life was short anyway. Not like she wasn't living on borrowed time since that war. For now, it was time to return to that nap.
  59. ---
  61. Knock, knock. The birds chirping signalled an early morning, or at least for her. For anyone else, it was closer to midday. Still, waking up for good, she heard someone knock on the door.
  63. "Comin', comin'." She lazily scoffed, getting up from her sofa which had grown to be more of a bed than her own bed. Hardly anyone visited, so it became clear what would happen. Those two kids. Most likely, not alone. Well, she had fun last night, so she could deal with the consequences.
  65. She opened the door and, as she had imagined, she saw the ignis and the hinezumi behind it. However, surprising her to no end, they were only by themselves. No parents, no cops, no nothing, only a strange look of wonder and awe in their faces.
  67. "W-we saw that helicopter last night!" Exclaimed the hinezumi.
  69. "Yeah! It was so cool!" Said the ignis.
  71. Stupefaction befell the thunderbird. Little would she have imagined that quite literally shooting explosive at them would cause this reaction.
  73. "Can we see it again?" Asked the hinezumi. "Please! Please!"
  75. Although she still couldn't formulate a response, an idea popped into her head. It was only a prototype run, after all. The real run would come sooner or later, and there was no reason to not get help with it to make it even greater than it'd otherwise be. Yes, she could use their help, if she could get them to cooperate.
  77. "...Alright, but on one condition."
  79. "Anything!" The two exclaimed in unison.
  81. "I was preparing that thing for the 4th of July. It was just a... test, kinda. You two could help me out with it."
  83. "...It's gonna be even better?!" Asked the ignis.
  85. "Yeah, sure. Why not. Deal?"
  87. "Deal!" Said the two.
  89. "Alright." Answered the thunderbird, opening the door wide. "Come on in."
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