Beginnings, Chapter 1 by Salim Farhat

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SUMMARY: First in a series about Ekove. He's going to be a major character in future stories, though I'll be creating more characters for different settings in the same story world.

Location: Stellen Air Base. Date & Time: 1:20 PM, Kalan 5th, 166 AIW (After [the] Imperialist Wars).

The weather was bright and crisp, with not a cloud in sight. It was a great day to fly, or so many people would have it. Colonel Bralem stood in the air traffic control tower, pacing back and forth slowly, deep in thought. He mind was preoccupied with the political situation of the world, especially with he believed was an impending war that could threaten his nation's interests and force them into conflict.

As he paced, a transmission was received that a fighter aircraft was approaching. Immediately, Bralem knew who it was and turned to the air traffic controller. "So he actually made it?" he said dryly. "I guess there really isn't anything that little pest can't do." The controller just acknowledged the senior officer as he went back to his work, soon receiving a transmission requesting clearance to land. "Tell him that I'll be waiting by the run way for him; make sure he doesn't shred my hat." With that, he immediately left the control tower and went to wait by the hangers for the young daredevil pilot to arrive. He was instructed to receive him personally, as well as make sure he got some messages from his own country.

The place was packed with reporters and journalists ready to question and photograph the incoming pilot for his latest feat... flying the longest open sea flight to date. As the modified F-11-1A fighter plane made touchdown, the small crowd cheered, with the anticipation and suspense reaching boiling point as the pilot rolled down of the windows on the airplane and rested his elbow on the sill, acting as if he was cruising through the street than taxiing an airplane. The cockpit was like a car, with a door as opposed to a swing-up or sliding canopy, adding more to its uniqueness.

As he moved down towards the hanger, he shut off the engine and flipped on the wheel breaks, letting the propellers stop spinning before he opened the cockpit door and got out. Some who had never seen him were surprised at the youthful Kahrie's skills. "Just a kitten," one reporter commented under his breath as everyone moved in to begin their questioning. He was only 15 years old, a month shy of 16, yet he held just about every world record in aviation and won more contests and tournaments than any other living pilot. Many people had doubted that Kahrie could make good pilots for some silly reasons, even as air forces all over the world were recruiting them for night fighters and bombers due to their feline night vision and quicker reflexes to small movements.

Ekove deftly leapt down from the aircraft wing and walked towards the first wave of reporters, swishing his tail casually and purring softly as he took off his flight helm, his eyes gleaming with delight as the cameras started to flash. "How does it feel like to break another world record," asked one reporter. "How do you feel after such a long flight," asked another. "What's your opinion on the new fighter model," yet another reporter.

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