Wow, what an awesome ride. Piloting a Kamov Ka-52 sure was fun, but more importantly it gave me a great aerial view of my surroundings, to keep sight of potential threats from Al The Clone, with plenty of great early warning systems, radar and multi-form targeting options. After a brief joyride, I set a course for work; I had to clock in and begin the afternoon donut-making shift by 11:30 at the local Iowa City bakery.
I sat comfy, next to Horned Beast, my trusted co-pilot, who was allowed to put on the weapons operator helmet as long as it swore to never fire one bullet, rocket, or Vikhr-M anti-tank missile even at parked cars out of spite for past transgressions on us as a bike and cyclist team. It promised. We knew better than to enact collective punishment! Ha ha! Oh.
Approaching the Iowa River, east towards work, something with huge wings I spied in the distance was getting closer, closer, and there it was – a grand marvel of the American imagination – but now it was real! It was a great bald eagle, a real bald eagle – how exciting! It dove below my Kamov, made a wide arch and glided beside me, looked into the cockpit and into my eyes - moving its beak in a rhythmic series of short and also somewhat longer time notations. Not only was it a bald eagle, but it was also speaking to me! Sort of. I didn't know what it was trying to tell me, I was entirely too excited; flying a Kamov for the first time, being spoken to in an unknown language by a giant bald eagle for the first time - it was all too much! Wow!
Just when the eagle nodded its head as if ashamed and glided gently away, and while I was still feeling fuzzy in my tummy, reeling with this new and exciting experience, the engines went out – no stall, but a dead turn-off; I was going to be dead too if I didn't figure out what to do in the next few seconds; I didn't know where the lever, or whatever it is, was for the dual ejection seats – I learned to fly from an online helicopter simulator, for Heaven's sake!
Suddenly the radio crackled and a raspy voice began to laugh like an annoying child's doll probably found readily at Wal-Mart in the 1990s, in which you pull a chord in its back, and the doll laughs or speaks in a subtly frightening tone, “Ha, ha, ha, I can't drown you in the Chicago River, but the icy bottom of the Iowa will do just as well! Ha, ha, ha.”
“You the river doesn't have an icy bottom, you idiot!”
“But you will! Ha, ha, ha; you bought your helicopter from the wrong henchmen, Mr. Jonathon! Bwa-ha-ha.”
“You prokaryote-brained piece of prostate cancer! I'll get you – I just paid fifteen million dollars in government subsidized something-or-other to fly this thing!”
“Well buddy, just to let ya know, so ya don't have ta worry into the next life: there ain't no subsidies or Defense Department contracts, it's all a set up! Ha, ha, ha; we knew you's was getting the helicopter. Ha, ha, ha.”
“Why do you have to do that?”
“What? Set you up for certain death? Ha, ha, ha.”
“Aye, aye, aye – okay – this will not – ” the radio crackled and cut off my communication with Al The Clone, or his henchman, but silence resumed and I was handling the Kamov like a kid with his first bicycle – oh sh*t.
I yanked the cyclic stick grip (the controls, if you will) back and forth and all around in a last attempt at self-rescue, when suddenly another crackle came through the ear phones, “this is Lieutenant Steven Patrón of the US Air Force, I can help you land that bird, but first you need to pretend that you're engine is running, okay, you can still land safely, just like if the engines were running – so take it easy, buddy.”
“This isn't El Capone on the other end? It's you, I know it, you're trying to kill me!”
“Look buddy, that bald eagle was sending you a message in morse code, you don't know morse code, do you?”
“What? The eagle? No! And I never learned how to land this thing either!”
“Okay buddy, morse code won't help you land, but here's what we'll do – ”
“If you're not my sworn enemy, then you'll stop saying 'buddy' in every damn sentence!” The Kamov spun in circles and went into and out of many whacky angles as I went wild at the controls.
“Mr. Jenski!” Lt. Patrón commanded word by word, “take your hands off of the controls right now, or I will personally fly up there by shear will power and kick your dumb ass out of that cockpit!”
“How did you – okay! I did it! How did you know who – ”
“Remember the bald eagle Mr. Jenski – that great creature works for us. Remember when all of the bald eagles were being killed – well they weren't, they were on missions, they had to, as we all like to say, 'step out of the office,' sadly, many were killed or injured by hunters – that's was our main problem with employing such a well disguised reconnoissance staff – poachers – why do you think the MQ-9 Reaper was developed – to take out the poachers, of course!”
“What? That's ridiculous.”
“What, about the bald eagle or the Reaper hunting poachers?”
“Wha-at?! This is nonsense!”
“See, look there buddy, in the time we've been b.s.ing, your bird has stabilized to a steady decline, though it might get caught in the – oh, never mind, good, now just pull back on the control stick gently, n-n-nah, no, gently! Yea! There, like that!”
“Dude, I got it, alright, settle down. Aye, okay, so it's landed on the road.” A few minutes later the blades finally stilled, “thanks a lot Mr. Patrón, I thought I was done for!”
“Thank the bald eagle for spying the international illegal arms sale taking place at the car dealership.”
“Wait – but I wasn't – ”
“No, you should have bought the Apache Longbow from the real salesman, how could you have known that he was tied up in the storage closet, with his mouth gagged?”
“Uh – ”
“That's right Mr. Jenski, you could not have known that the real salesman refused to play along with the hoax of which, we found out after raiding the dealership with INTERPOL and discovering the captive salesman, a certain Mr. Lewis – he says that the Kamov Ka-52 did not have the proper forms for it to be legally sold in the U.S. – so he politely declined the two broad shouldered gentlemen, who also happened to be masked and holding rather large guns to his head. What a brave man to uphold the laws and values of the United States of America to such a degree – surely what true patriots are made of!”
“Yes, surely,” I mumbled, then said, “Isn't it illegal to talk about case information with me, an average citizen? And more importantly, does this mean that you're going to take away my Kamov?! I don't want an Apache! It doesn't have that cute round nose, like the Hueys!”
“We'll discuss this in a moment, when I arrive at your helicopter landing site, just one little moment. And for your information, the parties responsible for the setup are currently at large. Do you have any connection to the 'one henchmen' who was speaking with you over the radio?”
“It's a really stupid story Mr. Patrón – I'm not kidding, it's really dumb and blown out of proportion.”
“That sounds just about like what we in the armed forces have to deal with every day, Mr Jenski, however, you will be speaking with a certain Mr. Holda for those details, he is one of Iowa City's resident FBI agents; so sit tight for a second there, buddy,” said Lt. Patrón. A black sedan with tinted window's slowed to a stop in front of the helicopter, police had been directing traffic immediately after the lucky landing, and a crowd of gawkers stood on the sidewalk and rooftops of some campus buildings, taking pictures with their fancy phones – phones I did not have nor care to have (I wanted nano-injections and brain implants) – but I have a chopper, dammit, and I demand a refund, or a new one, with all the proper papers! But I didn't say that to anyone with such confidence and demand.
Still speaking through the headphones, Mr. Patrón opened his car door, the passenger car door also opened, and as the two men stepped out of the car, “I suggest you get an Apache, maybe the USAF will make a deal with you since you did land this Kamov nicely – but the paperwork will go through the FBI first – considering that you are currently in the cockpit of about 20,000 pounds of evidence, then through a few of my superiors at the Air Force, and then the FAA and probably be re-certified at helicopter licensing bureau.” The FBI agent walked over to the Kamov and was looking over different parts of the its exterior, while I was forgetting to open the cockpit, being dizzied by Lt. Patrón's details about what it would take to keep my Kamov, and I know, I know he wanted what he thought was best for me – and besides, the local car dealership had no more Kamov's.
“Okay, okay,” I said, took a deep breath, and pulled up the lever to open the cockpit. Crisp, cold air enveloped my senses, and the dense, yet vacant sound of a overcast January day cast a void upon my soul. The adventure in the Kamov Ka-52 was over.
A bald eagle, perched in a tree nearby, cawed – the brief, all encompassing silence was broken. I didn't know why at the time, but a crowd of gawkers awed when the eagle was noticed, and they began tripping over each other trying to capture a stylistic photo of the eagle in the same shot as the Kamov – but a fight broke out and no one was able to take the picture, because a Kamov can never be stylistic with a bald eagle! That is a joke. Get it? No? Remember the cold war? Did I mention that the Kamov is a Russian military helicopter? No? Did I mention that Russian patriots are really stuck up and naïve (just ask the ones who tried to invade Finland)? No? I am so sorry.
Lt. Patrón walked around to the trunk of the car, had taken out a step ladder, and then walked towards the Kamov.
I took the pilot's helmet off and began to unstrap the safety belts when a man in a brown wool trench coat stepped to the side of the Kamov's cockpit and said, “Mr. Jenski, you're going to have to come with me.”
I unstrapped Horned Beast, toppled the helmet hanging from one of its handle bars and flung the bike toward the FBI agent, “here, take this for me, will ya.”
The agent complied with a start and rolled the bicycle away as Mr. Patrón walked up to place the step ladder beside the cockpit. I stepped out and onto the step ladder, feeling like Oliver North on a good day during the Iran-Contra Scandal. I stood, one foot in and one foot out, and paused and pondered over the bustling mob throwing punches at each other with one of their hands, while trying to take pictures with the other.
The FBI agent looked to where I was looking and said, “heh! If they had badges instead of cameras, that could be the turf war between the FBI and the BATFE!”
“Huh? I thought that only happened with gangs?”
“Don't worry about that inside joke, Jenski, you don't need to know about that kind of thing, now get down here.” I looked at the eagle, a shiver ran through my body. I looked down at the Lieutenant and the wet, icy pavement that seemed so far away and my heart sank. I paused another few seconds and slowly stomped down the steps of the ladder.
The agent handed Horned Beast over to me and Lt. Patrón said, “Looks like it's in good condition, though we need to take out the remote ignition device and you will fill out the appropriate paperwork and strictly follow the guidelines, that is, if a trade of sorts is possible, as I am sure it will be, after all, 18 million dollars is no joke, especially when someone else is footing the bill – but you'll be answering questions for the FBI until that happens.”
“I thought is was 15 million.”
“You want an Apache, remember?”
“Yea, but can't I have a legal Kamov Ka-52 with all the proper papers, since it does have that cute little nose.”
“You want an Apache. They're better. And besides, if you get any sort of Kamov, it's an import, so you'll still be required to go through all the proper channels. It might take a few months.”
Agent Holda said, “I need you to come with me to answer some questions for the investigation.”
“Do I have to do it now? I'm hungry.”
In the NEXT ISSUE: The Russian Federation amasses its forces on the Russo-Finnish border for a major point-proving showdown!!!!
Causes Jonathan Winters Supports
Environmental and social justice causes. Educational causes through interpersonal relationships