Sake To Me by Greg Williams

Tanawei island. The air raid siren blares to life as the pilots head for their planes.

"We got bombers headed for the island! Scramble!" shouts Charlie Iron Horse over the P.A.

Travis hurries into his plane as Zack Ford watches.

"I wish I had more time to go over your plane, sir. The regulators worrying me."

"Just tell me I can fly, Ford!"

"Yes sir."

"Good. Wish us luck. 515, everyone ready to go?"

He gets an affirmative over the radio from all pilots.

"No time to taxi, crank your engines and take off. We got some bombers to beat."

VMF 515 takes to the air and is soon engaging the enemy. Several bombers go down in flames as the squadron zips by them. In the cockpit of Capt Aaron Coleman, he's sighting up a shot when gun fire from another bomber rips through his plane, hitting him as well.

"Augh! I'm hit!"

"How bad is it, Aaron?" says Travis

"B-bad sir. I don't think...I can make it."

"Get out of there Aaron!" says Travis

"It--ugh--has been an honor s-serving with you M-major. Goodbye."

Aaron stears his smoking plane right towards a bomber and colides with it, causing it to blow up in a huge fireball.


The bombers turn around and head for home. Back on the ground the squadron lands. Travis gets out of his plane, the Bishop's Sermon. Charlie Iron Horse walks up.

"The bombers were either shot down or turned around Major. Were safe for now."

"We lost Coleman today."

"I heard sir."

"That's the fourth one in a month."

"Command is sending up replacements sir. In the meantime who is going to replace Capt Coleman?

Travis spots Tex DeFalco, now a fox, and heads for him.

"Hey Tex!"

Tex stops, comes to attention and salutes.

"At ease. I need you to replace Capt Coleman."


"Your next in line Mr. DeFalco. Feel up to it?"

Tex swells with pride.

"Yes sir."

"Good. I'll see you tonight in my tent. We have a mission to discuss."

"Yes sir."


Tex salutes, Travis salutes back and walks away.

Later, Charlie walks into Bishop's tent with a folder.

"Here's the new pilots their sending."

Travis opens the folder and goes over the new names.

"Lt. Matthew Singer, a pastor's son from Illinois

Lt. Henry Fisher, quit college at Yale to help in the war effort

Lt. Jack Griffin, helped run a small weather station in Kansas

Lt. Gary Forrest, a shrimp farmer from Louisiana

"Excellent. We need some fresh blood around here."

"Are you going to make the drinking of our sake mandatory sir?"

"Absolutly not! But I will encourage it. It's their choice Mr. Iron Horse."

"Yes sir."


As the new pilots step off the transport plane, Major Bishop walks up to them. Matt Singer takes a step back in fear and starts holding the cross he wears around his neck.

"Welcome to Tanawei Island. I'm Major Travis Bishop, squadron commander."

"Whoo-whee! This is some operation ya'll got here major." says Jack.

"Battalion told us about this place." says Henry "Do you want us to drink your sake as well sir?"

"Purely voluntary I assure you."

"Sign me up then Major." says Jack

"How dare you?!" says Matt. "Didn't you here that the transformation is permanent?! I do not approve of what happened here."

"Blame the Japanese Mr. Singer." says Travis "However, we've come to like our new bodies."

" me to my tent major."


Manila Philipines, Col Imore's office in the government district. Major Kido is with him.

"Operation: Kitsune has failed! I am not happy with the result's Major."

"Forgive me sir. I thought it would work."

Imore's phone rings.

"Please leave me major."

Kido bows and exit's the room. Imore answers the phone.

"Moshi-moshi? Hai General Hiroshi. Operation: Kitsune backfired on us sir. The bombing run yesterday failed....yes.....yes I believe a carrier strike will do a better job......well sir, the light carrier Tanyo is available for just such an operation......yes sir, I'll have the orders cut and the Tanyo can procede to Tanawei....yes sir, thank you sir."

Imore hangs up the phone with a small smile on his face.


Inside The Cave, the entire squadron is here, along with the new recruits who have drank the sake. Gary Forrest is now an otter, Jack Griffin is now a grey fox, and Henry Fisher is a cougar. Matt Singer has refused to drink the sake and is sitting in a corner by himself, a glass of water next to him. Billy Davis walks up to him.

"This seat taken?"

Matt stays silent but Billy sits down anyway.

"Why don't you drink some of the sake?"

"And become an evil creature like the rest of you? No thanks."

Billy is shocked.

"Evil creature?! Hey, it's the Japanese who are evil."

"And yet you revele in your new bodies. How can you? Don't you miss your old body?"

Billy shrugs.

"Sure, but the change is permanent, there's nothing we can do about it."

Matt sighs sadly.

"Oh, how I pity you sir."

"Say what?"

Zack Ford walks up and takes another seat with them.

"Couldn't help but overhear. Scuttlebutt says your old man was a preacher."

"That's right."

"Ya see?" say Zack turning to Billy "He's upset because his father's a preacher and he'd never approve of this. I know why of course. The gods the ancient Egyptians worshiped, the golden calf the Hebrews worshiped at Sinai, shall I go on?"

"I think I get the picture."

"If he only knew what's happened here." says Matt.

"Did he even see the news story on us?" says Zack

"He tends to stay away from movie theaters, that I could never understand myself. I've already written a letter to my father telling him about all of you. When he hears about this he'll make sure you don't fly again and the entire lot of you are carted off to a zoo where you belong!"

"Now see here!" says Zack "How dare you come in here and threaten us! We've proved our worth against the Japanese."

"If you'll excuse me." says Matt getting up "I'm going to my tent."

"Ain't it great how one person can ruin everything for you?" says Billy

Zack just scoffs.


Major Bishop's tent. He and Tex DeFalco are discussing intelligence reports.

"...and intelligence says the light carrier Tanyo is headed this way."

"Their mission?"

"Bomb us no doubt. The navy's only carrier in the area, the Enterprise is undergoing repairs and can't be spared, so were on our own."

"Have Cub's 1 through 6 loaded with bombs. Cub's 7 through 12 with ammunition."

Tex smirks.

"We going carrier hunting?"

"You got it."

Pilot tents. Matt Singer is sharing a tent with a rabbit morph who's suiting up for the mission; Matt lays on his bunk.

"You suiting up or what preacher boy?"


Billy Davis pokes his head in.

"Ya'll ready in here?"

"Singer here refuses to suit up."


Billy comes into the tent and stands next to Matt's bunk.

"Listen, enough with the high and mighty act and get ready."

"I will not fly with this squadron."

"Oh yes you are." says another voice.

Travis walks in and looms over Matt.

"Mr. Ford told me all about you. Get suited up soldier, that's an order. Or maybe you'd prefer getting court martialed. I doubt your preacher daddy can stop me from charging you with deriliction of duty."

Matt looks up at Travis with shock.

"You wouldn't."

Travis bends down, his wolf muzzle inches from Matt's face.

"Don't try me son."

To prove his point Travis shows some teeth and growls softly. Matt gulps and nods. He gets up from the cot and starts to suit up.

"Good boy. Be on the flight line in 5 minutes."


As soon as the squadron is in the air...

"All right, Cub's 2 through 6, were going carrier hunting. 7 through 12 protect the island. Billy, your in charge here until we get back."

"Roger that Cub leader."


The Tanyo has moved into the wind and is launching planes. The 515 has arrived just in time.

"Tally-ho! Enemy carrier 9:00 low. Let's get 'em boys!"

The planes dive on the carrier. Travis' bomb misses but Tex' bomb hits dead on target.

"Bullseye! You got him Tex!"

"Cub 4 just got shot down Major."

"Blast! Cub's 5 and 6 dive on it!

"Goin in!"

"Got 'em! Look at her burn! Yeeehaw!"

"All right good work, let's head home."


"Zeke 12 o'clock high!"

"This is Cub 7 I'm on him!"

"Two bombers headed for the island."

The Japanese dive bombers go in and drop their bombs destroying several buildings then start strafing the field. Their quickly shot down by anit-aircraft batteries.

"This is Cub 9" says Matt "I've got a Zero on my tail!"

"Go evasive Singer!" says Billy.

"I can't shake this guy!"

"Hang on, I'm coming."

The Zero fires and hits Matt's plane.

"Aaaah! I'm hit! Billy, help me!"

"I got him Singer. Come on Tojo, make it easy for me now. There!"

Billy fires his guns and the Zero goes smoking into the ocean.

"Matt, talk to me! Where are you hit?"

"Ugh! I'm hit in the leg. Went right through me."

"Hang in there Singer. Take it nice and easy."

Matt maneuvers his plane towards the runway

"That's it, Singer, easy does it. Ground crew this is Cub 7, Cub 9's in serious trouble, get everything away from that runway that ain't bolted down."

"Copy that Cub 7." says Zack "Emergency crew's ready for you Matt."

Matt's smoking plane lands but then veers off the runway and crashes.


Hospital. Matt Singer lays in a hospital bed, his wounded leg up in a stirrup. Travis, Tex and Billy walk in.


"How you feelin Singer?" says Travis

"Like I've been stung by a very big insect. Did you sink the carrier?"

"Not really." says Tex "We sent it home, licking it's wounds. They won't be back."

"Oh good. Billy, I wish to apologize for earlier. You saved my life, thank you."

"Don't mention it."

"You may be interested to know that the Japanese bombed our supply of sake." says Travis

Travis holds up a single bottle

"This is all that's left. Interested?"

"Will I fly again?"

"Doc says yes. Give you a few weeks and you'll be good as new."

"Save it for me huh? I'll drink it when I get out of here."

"You sure?" says Billy

"I wouldn't be an honorary member of the Mega Morphs if I didn't."

"What about that letter to your daddy?" says Billy

Matt smiles.

"What letter? My tent got shot up pretty bad. All I got left is my bible."

They all smile knowingly.

"Right." says Travis "You got it. We'll save it for ya. See ya around."

"Good day major."

Outside the hospital Travis turns to Tex.

"How many did we lose up there?"

"Two. Brant and Jenkins."

"Have Charlie radio for replacements."

"Yes sir."

A month later, Matt Singer is nursing his stiff, shot leg when Major Bishop walks in, carrying the battle of sake.

"You sure you want to go through with this?"

"Yes sir. I was wrong to put down everyone here. Besides you said the Japanese Snafued bigtime when they left the stuff here."

"Well, here you go then."

Travis hands Matt the bottle.

"We'll be outside when your ready."

"Thank you sir."

Travis walks out and joins Tex, Billy and Zack. A sharp groan comes from the tent and panting.

"Major?" comes Matt's strained voice.

Travis walks up and moves the flap aside.

"Well, what do you think?"

Travis smiles.

"Welcome aboard, Mr. Singer."

Three month later. Matt Singer is climbing out of his modified Corsair, the Singer's Song. He hops off the wing and we see he's now a tiger morph. 9 kills mark his plane. Travis walks up.

"Congratulations Captain, on getting your tenth kill."

"Thank you major. How about a drink in The Cave."

"Sounds good to me."

The End