Just when you thought too much Fanfest was barely enough, this arrives in the royal mail from Nowhere. (The post is notoriously unreliable from Nowhere).
“Oh no you don’t, you ugly bitch” muttered Harry as he pulled the cyclic to full power and pushed the collective over to port. The jet of flaming sulphurous lizard belch washed over the starboard side of the Apache gunship, bubbling paint off the composite body, but as far as Harry could tell causing no real damage. The rev counter peaked momentarily into the red as Harry Windsor rocketed down the canyon between towering office blocks. He could feel it in the meat of his arse and without conscious thought rolled the cyclic back to seventy percent. Only one hundred and fifty feet off the bitumen he thundered past the windows of brokers of all types, pursued by the most unlikely of bogeys, an honest to god, fire- breathing dragon. Out in open country Dragons as soon as they were located, usually roasting a mob of cattle like a highly-mobile Hibachi, were promptly dispatched by A10’s top-shelf brand of ‘splodey goodness, but in The City collateral damage was deemed too high for rockets and such profligate pyrotechnics, so it was back to duelling one on one with cannon fire against Dragon fire. Just like in the original Battle of Britain the RAF and Army air units engaged invaders over London and that’s where Harry and his co-pilot gunner Fat Tony came in. Fat Tony mused it was all well and good to destroy some poor- arsed farmer’s livelihood, but as soon as the striped-shirts precious assets were on the line, things were different, but being nobody’s fool, Fat Tony kept his opinions to himself.
Since his return from the ‘Stan Harry had been spending far too much time on ceremonial duties. It seemed a little blubber-eel had taken up residence just above his belt-line and his hands had lost the stains and callouses of a man who worked for a living. The lads in his unit took endless pleasure in pointing these and his many other failings out to him when he joined them for manoeuvres and exercises, the cheeky buggers. Being born into “The Firm” came with blessings and curses, most recently the blessings came and came again in the supple form of Princess Mi-Niko of the imperial family of Japan, part time snow-boarding champion, part time princess and full time good sort. But a gentleman wouldn’t skite about that to a rough-headed bunch of lads like those in his unit. Much.
But distractions as pleasant as Mi-Niko aside he really should concentrate on the job at hand, which bizarre as it was, was gaining on him and putting his arse at serious risk of imminent barbecue. He kicked hard on the port pedal, rolled the cyclic up to eighty and executed a ragged, but effective turn down another canyon of corporate phallic substitutes. The damned dragon was only a half a block behind them now, her great leathery wings remarkable in their ability to scoop great volumes of the thick London air. Nimble, seriously pissed off and deadly she pursued the Apache with the single minded focus of a raptor eyeing a fat pigeon. This strange clattering foe had killed her friend, as far as dragons could be said to have friends, which was roughly less than zero, but either way it was a grave affront which could not be allowed to stand.
“This aint getting us nowhere” muttered Harry as his elocution tutor rolled in her grave. “Time to mix it up.” He pointed the nose at the sky and poured on the power. In barely a blink he was above the aircon units and satellite dishes which crowned the surrounding office towers. He rolled the Apache over and dove for the Thames at full power she screamed up to almost 200 knots, briefly leaving the great lizard behind. Flashing past The Tower wherein Harry’s relatives close and distant for the best part of 600 years had dispensed a particular brand of choppy justice, He eyed an opportunity. How often would you get a chance like this? So for no good tactical reason Harry barrel-rolled the Apache under the London Bridge pursued by a Dragon intent on toasting him like a focaccia. “Now, back to business.” Harry mused. The Dragon seemed intent on closing with the Apache for “a bit of grapple” as Harry’s unarmed-combat instructor was fond of calling the deadly business of taking an enemy to the ground & ensuring you were the only one who stood up. “What say we do some damage?” Harry asked. Fat Tony clicked his mic once in assent and as Harry executed another pedal turn to starboard, which would earn zero points for gracebut a full ten as it bought his primary weapon to bear, Fat Tony opened up with the screaming horror tucked under the Apache. Flowing with inertia like a martial artist Harry Crab-Walked the Apache to port as the M230 Chain gun spat 625 30mm High Explosive Dual Purpose rounds per minute at the Dragon. (Presumably the dual purposes were “Fuck” and “You.”) The mighty lizard affronted by such impudence jinked to starboard, folded her port-side wing and attempted to roll under the fire. Fat Tony’s targeting helmet followed as smooth as you could like and he was rewarded with bloody chunks of leather being torn off the still partially extended wing. The Dragon, not at all liking this turn of events, turned tail and flew back into the financial district. Harry followed as Fat Tony tore chunks of Dragon meat from the flank of the retreating beast with burst after burst of chain-gun fire. The great lizard screamed in shock, pain and outrage hundreds of decibels of fingernails on chalkboard with a little stretched-cat mixed in for good measure. This was inconceivable; she hadn’t fled from a fight, well ever as far as she could remember. But self-preservation sang loud and she searched desperately for a bolt hole.
Losing her grace with the integrity of her wing membrane she bounced off the glass front of an investment-banking house and in a spectacular shower of glass fragments, larcenous forecasts, ergonomic furniture and a tiny percentage of really good cocaine, she dove for the yawning maw of a tube station entrance. “That ain’t good” said Fat Tony as the great beast lit up the entrance to the Tube station with a gout of roiling flame and stink and charged down into the underground sanctuary. “No, but I guess it’d be Someone Else’s Problem.” replied Harry as the great spiked tail demolished a smouldering news stand before disappearing below.
“Hotel Romeo Hotel 41. Hotel Romeo Hotel 41. Target 1 splashed, Target 2 has gone to ground. St Pancras Tube Station” Prince Harry radioed to his forward air controller. “Door closing, Mind the gap.”