(Pacific Air War challenge ladder activity during 1996.)

To: ComPacPAW
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Challenge of the Vaporous one, Sir Vapors

date: Sunday Sept. 8, 1657 hours

Guess what, Vapors, this makes it official. You're challenged! Have you heard of the flaw they found in the 200MMX chipset? It's only good for four ladder conquests. :-)
You've just been goose-jinxed! <gg>

To: ComPacPAW
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Challenge of Vapors

date: Monday, Sept. 9, 0131 hours

Sir, Vapors is currently well under the weather and does not figure to see, shoot, pee, or poop straight for several more days.

Being as this is the case, I do not cherish the prospect of having his airplane explode anywhere in front of mine, so as to require that I fly through all the debris and sh--.

He has agreed to cancel my challenge of him, in order that I may pursue even loftier goals. I am subsequently issuing a challenge to Snapshot, forthcoming shortly!


To: ComPacPAW
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Challenge of Snapshot

date: Sept. 16, 1744 hours

Goshawk came out of his hootch just in time to catch a glimpse of Snapshot skipping gaily through the coconut trees on his way to the "Office" to down a few more of his favorite libations.

Snap had been spending much more time at the "Office" lately, ever since the catchy new name had been applied to the Officer's Club bar. He was still regretting his assigning Goshawk to come up with some catchy names for the tropical drinks that KoKo would be serving there after the place opened, however.

"Keep them short and simple, Gos.", he had told Goshawk. "It shouldn't be too hard of a task even for you!"

"Sure boss", replied Goshawk. He was confident that this task would be a piece of cake, because no-one could ever accuse him of being too wordy. NOOOO SIR!

As Snapshot entered the dark smokey lounge, he called out to the barmaid.

"KoKo, set me up with another of those "Island-Fruity-Pineapple-Tooty-Mango-Juicy-Iced-Rummy-151's", will ya please?"

The only response in the lounge came from a diminuitively statured figure, the top of his cap barely visible over the end of the bar. Snap immediately recognized the cap with its brightly colored spinning propeller on top. "Hi ya Vertigo, where's KoKo?", asked Snapshot.

"Hee hee hee, you're gonna have to figure out how to make that drink yourself, Ol' Snappy. She's been tied up with Vapors since he came down sick a few days back. She's a big one for a captured audience, ya know, and likes her men laying on their backs. Don't feel bad though", he continued, "I had to fix my own "Cherry-Jubilee-Lemon-Lime-Brandy-Twister-With-a-Pinch-of-Orange-Peel-Fizzer" when I got here."

"Remind me to put that little peregrine prick back on latrine duty, will ya?" asked Snapshot. He reached behind the bar and grabbed a bottle of warm beer. He sipped it as he began to mix the tropical delight of his desire.

Little had Snapshot known that KoKo was nowhere near the "Office" today, but was busily tending to Vapors, who was having a tough time getting up of late.

"Oooooh, poor Vippers", KoKo told Vapors soothingly in his nearby hut. "You can't be expected to get it up more than a time or two in your condition, can you?", she cooed seductively. "Besides, Vippers, you never
so low you can't throw up, right?" she spoke cherily, trying to cheer the man up.

"Good ol' KoKo, always with her encouragement", thought Vapors as he smiled at her wantingly. KoKo returned the invitation, giving the sickly pilot her most seductively sensual nostril flare and smile. She demurely pulled her blouse from her shoulders, exposing her long tanned arms and naked body. Brushing her long flowing hair from the left side of her face to behind her shoulder, she allowed Vapors to act upon his sudden trancelike stare at her nakedness. Vapors leaned forward, wanting to respond in a satisfying manner for KoKo, then threw up onto his bare stomach,,, again.

Goshawk knocked at Vapor's hootch and called out to the ill pilot. "Vapors, ya wanna play today? It's been over a week ya know."

"Naw, I can't Gos. I'm still too sick to fly a damn plane.Besides, I don't think I'd be able to get it up even if ya had KoKo holding my stick for me."

Goshawk backed away as he heard Vapors start to retch again. "Ya mind if I go play with Snapshot then?", he asked quickly.

"No, go ahead", came the reply. "Check with Vertigo though, cause I think he tagged Snapshot first."

Goshawk strolled over to the "Office" and entered. He noticed Snapshot at the bar and listened as Snapshot seemed to be talking to himself. Goshawk did not notice the beanie cap at the far end of the bar.

"I'm gonna get him, I swear! I'm gonna smack him into tomorrow and make him think that everything is made up of single syllables. He'll be so damn sore that he'll change all these damn drinks to names like "Acer", Buzz",
"Fits", or "Sips". Wait'll I see that little jerk!"

"You want to see me, sir?", asked Goshawk of Snapshot.
"You dare to challenge my authority, you verbacious little tweety?", fumed the Top-Dog on the ladder. His anger at the drink names still on the top of his mind.

"Not your authority, sir", replied Goshawk. "Just your spot!", he smiled.

"Jeeezus H", moaned Vertigo as he slid from the barstool. He sprained his ankle as he hit the floor from the long fall. "Dammit, you might as well fly him, Snap. I'm in no condition to fly with you now." Vertigo stood up and limped from the bar.

Goshawk turned to the younger Snapshot and inquired, "Well, boss, what's it gonna be?"

To: Lt. Goshawk
From: Lt. Vapors
Subj.: your challenge to Snapshot

date: Sept. 20, 1813 hours

You're killing me, Gos! LOL
You're certainly up there with RoadRunner when it comes to verbal falderall. I loved the challenge! Good luck against Snapshot. I hope to be well enough soon to take the #1 spot from you should you defeat ol' Snap.
Well, I'll try at least


To: Maj. Snapshot
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: What's it gonna be, sir?

date: Sept. 21, Saturday, 2006 hours, D-day minus 4 hours (Default day)

"What's it gonna be sir?", asked Goshawk, staring directly into the glossy -eyed young pilot's face. "You gonna fly me for that "big comfy chair", or just stand there suckin' yer teeth?"

Goshawk made several efforts to get the "To-Dog" PAW guy to respond to his challenge. After numerous attempts at waving his hand directly in front of Snapshot's face, snapping his fingers next to Snapshot's ears,
and pretending to take a sip of the now-warmed elixer held firmly in Snapshot's grasp (but knowing better than to actually drink it), Goshawk was about to give up getting a response.

"Jeeez, Snapshot", he grumbled, "it's been a whole week, fer Chrissake!"

Goshawk investigated further into the condition of the young pilot. He could not figure out why the young pilot just stood there like a cheap wax figure of himself. He also could not figure out why the "Island Fruity
Pineapple Tooty Mango Juicy Iced Rummy 151" drink in Snapshot's glass had turned to a hardened substance resembling plastic.

"You ain't said a single word and I'm gettin' awfully tired of just standing around", he complained further.

Gos made his way to the bar and discovered that when Snapshot made his tropical island beverage, instead of using the powdered Mango-Mix from the bright green box, he must have spooned several heaping tablespoon-fulls of the cornstarch from the bright yellow box next to it.

"Hee hee hee", giggled Goshawk, "just like an officer type to not look where he's dippin'."

"Well, let's hope this stuff wears off by the end of the day. It'd be a shame to have you unseated because of a bad drink, ya know!<gg>", he spoke to the stiff young pilot in front of him.

Goshawk sat at the end of the bar where Vertigo was seated earlier, prior to his hasty, but painful, departure. Goshawk reached instinctively to the glass on the bar in front of him without realizing it was a different
tropical delight prepared by Vertigo in KoKo's absence. Upon taking a sip, he rapidly sprayed the liquid from his lips, vaporizing the bitter concoction into the dank air above the bar.

"KoKO, I hope you're about finished with that Vapors bloke's new hardware, 'cause the rest of us could sure use some of your services about now", he thought to himself.

He sat back and stared at Snapshot. "Well, let's wait and see if he comes around by the end of the day."

To: ComPacPAW
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Default by Snapshot

date: Sept. 22, Sunday, 1115 hours (D-day H-hour +11)

"Come on, Snap! Snap out of it!", encouraged Goshawk, trying in vain to rouse the stiffly formed body of the "Top-Dog". "You need to fly me by midnight!", he complained.

Snapshot continued to stare straight ahead at the bar stood where Vertigo and Goshawk had sat earlier.

Goshawk was flaburgasted at the condition of the #1 guy and realized that the challenge made to Snapshot was about to go unanswered. He sat on a nearby chair and watched as the dust in the dark bar settled upon the
shoulders of the young riggored pilot.

Suddenly, the door of the bar was flung open and KoKo trudged hurriedly into the dark misty confines of the "Office". She started past Snapshot, waiting for his customary catcall whistle that she just knew would soon
escape from his familiarly cute pursed lips. As she reached the bar, she turned with a start, realizing that he was not responding to her piqued femininity.

Taken up with this new challenge from the youngster, she started toying with his libido. She subconsciously reached to loosen the straps of her leopard-skin halter top. She layed herself across the bartop, purring
with her ever-most lust accents. Her eyelids closed ever so slowly, catlike with her fake eyelashes (borrowed from RoadRunner earlier) fanning down onto her cheek. She spread out her arms in invitation to Snapshot. She
then sensuously parted her lips and lolled her tongue across the pouting bottom lip. She flared her nostrils at Snapshot, knowing that this would drive the young pilot crazy with sexual desire, and put him into a feeding
frenzy of passion, as it had always done in the past. She flared them a second time, and slinked further across the bar. Snapshot continued to stare fixedly at Vertigo's chair.

KoKo began to step around the bar, fully challenged now by the restraint shown by Snapshot, and knowing full well that he would not be able to continue resisting for long. She enjoyed his toying, and was driven to
a state of explosive desire for him. As she came around to the front of the bar, she stepped catlike toward Snapshot, hoping to drive him to a feverish pitch of ecstatic desire. She would continue to toy with his
desire until he was no longer in control of himself. She would then play with him teasingly like a cat with a newly caught mouse.

"When I'm done with you, you will never choose to NOT whistle at me again!", she mischieviously thought to herself.

Goshawk, watching from the shadows, began to suffer from a physiological ailment, severe enough to cause his to lose his balance and fall upon the floor in front of his chair, where he writhed in agony. He hoped that KoKO's
attention could be diverted before he would be forced into actions unbecoming of the officer status he was about to receive from the default of Snapshot. He had to act.

"He's rigid!", Goshawk called out to KoKo.

KoKo hardly heard Goshawk, but responded to what she believed him to say. In a lusty manner, she purred, "He's never been frigid before and he surely cain't be frigid now!"

"Not FRIGID, dammit, RIGID!", corrected Goshawk.

A large smile stretched across the face of the island princess.. "Then I ain't lost my touch yet, hev I?" She slinked up to Snapshot, touching his arms and shoulders with her body.

"He hasn't moved an inch in a week, and he's as rigid as a board!", mentioned Goshawk further.

KoKo noticed that there appeared to be no give to the appendages of Snapshot's body, and she was taken up with glee at the prospect of having such an opportunity to fulfill the dreams of her lifetime. "A week, huh?", she
asked incredulously. "What happened to him, Gausehawg?", she inquired.

"He fixed himself one of those new drinks, but must have used the cornstarch instead of the Mango-Mix", he answered.

KoKo walked briskly back to the bar and grabbed the box of cornstarch and some bottles of liquor. Hanging onto these, she moved back to Snapshot's body and whisked him onto her shoulder. As she carried him to the door, obviously headed to his hootch, Snapshot's stiff feet and legs slammed against the door, again flinging it open as if hit with a battering ram.

Goshawk watched as KoKo carried the boardlike pilot out of the doorway, and noticed that as Snapshot's face began to pass by the doorway, a slight smile formed on his stiffened lips.

"Lucky sod!", thought Goshawk.

Goshawk realized that it would likely be a whole week again before he would have the pleasure of KoKO for himself. The pain of the loss of KoKo was only partially offset by the realization that he had won the top spot by

To: Lt. Goshawk
From: ComPacPAW
Subj.: Default victory of "Comfy Crate"

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 25

Well, I suppose it is, but there's a catch - of course - isn't there always? Traditionally, when there is a default at the #1 spot, it must be won in a match. Neat, huh?
So, everyone in range, jump on Mr. Goosehawg and the winner of that match will be the new #1.

To: Lt. Goshawk
From: Lt. Reno
Subj.: Challenge

Date: Sept. 26, Thursday

Well, well, well, this is an interesting development. So, Goose,,, wanna dance?

To: Lt. Reno
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: Challenge

Date: Sept. 26, Thursday

"Ream-O", when I received my commission I promised myself that the "Thin Blue Line"would always have to be stronger than steel. When I got my first badge, I swore an oath to uphold those things that are most important.
When I first strapped that pistol on my hip, I swore to always seek justice. When I made my Oath of Office, I vowed to guarantee that everyone was treated with fairness and courtesy. Throughout my distinguished career,
I endeavored to treat all people with respect and dignity.
But, then came "KoKo"!

No holds barred, baby! Time to get down and get dirty, kick ass and take names, wipe the slate clean, show who's the baddest ass around, separate the men from the boys, separate the pilots from the "nuggets" and just plain
kill something!! Yeah, I'll dance with you, but my left hand's up first!!

To: ComPacPAW
From: Lt. Goshawk
Subj.: My official acceptance of Reno's challenge, and how I heard of it.

Date: Sept. 26, Thursday

Goshawk banked his Spitfire slowly in a southerly direction. The shoreline of Coconut Island loomed before him. He was skimming low above the water now, trying to keep from being spotted by the CAP, who would be flying
diligently above the island.

"They should be around 20,000 feet", he thought, "too high to make me out, I hope."

He was not too concerned of being spotted though. It would have been an inconvenience for his future plans against the peelots from the scourge of the Pacific, the USS Jim Beam. He wanted to keep this plane in a low profile. He was gladdened to have taken this plane up against that pilot "Duke" from the "JB". It was a fast bird with lots of firepower. It also blended in well with almost any background thanks to its camouflage. It would make a useful addition to his growing collection. He wanted to land this plane quickly and get it tarped before anyone saw it. "This baby'll put it to 'em when the time comes", he decided earlier that day. "When the time is right to set the record straight, she'll be able to carry the "gift" just fine!"

Goshawk reached the shoreline at 20 feet above the waves, the propeller vaporizing drops of water as they sprayed up from the waves breaking in the wind and upon the shore. He pulled up slightly to clear the treetops.
He reduced the boost to 21 pounds, and brought the engine revs back to 2300. The engine had a smooth spot there and ran its quietest.

Trees, sand, pallets, huts, and the "Office" streaked beneath him as he sped toward the airstrip. He unlatched the hood and slid it back on its rails. Warm wind immediately filled the cockpit, blending odors of salt spray, engine exhaust, and petrol. It always amazed and pleased Goshawk how the manifold fumes circled over the cowling to enter the left side of the cockpit. He had gotten used to the smell of it and found reassurance in its dry warmth. (Hell, at his age, anything dry was a blessing!) The harmony of the exhaust seemed a pleasant note, and not at all the sound he would have expected from such a deadly bird of prey.

The Spitfire's powerful Griffon engine purred effortlessly at the controls. As he passed over the outer fringes of the airstrip, Goshawk noticed several of the island's war-weary pilots lounging in their hammocks, apparently asleep. Their pink faces were upturned, but Goshawk knew that they would be unable to soberly focus on the robin-egg blue belly of the sleak fighter.

"FM Jump must be making another iced-beer run", he thought as he noticed several empty glasses laying around on the ground by the seeping pilots. "These guys all look like they're three-sheets-to-the-wind. They ain't drinking, so they must'a run outta cold beer", he deduced.

Goshawk then recalled the day that "iced-beer" was introduced to the men on the strip. His memory took him back to the infamous day when KoKo was kidnapped from the tropical island paradise by the scoundrelly peelots of the USS Jim Beam, and the heroic actions that were taken to rescue the fair island princess, returning her to the safety of the island's complex.

He remembered laying on the beach that day, oblivious to the helter-skelter of activity at the strip when the peelot in the pink bunny suit carted KoKo off in his airplane. He remained unaware of anything amiss until he spotted the frothing in the surf by an unknown creature, who tore from the breaking waves and pounced upon him. He smiled at the vividness of the attack by KoKo, who had her way with him, mercilessly, leaving him splayed and spent upon the beach. Only after exhausting her fury upon him from being carted off to the ship,
would she allow him to return to his state of slumber. Upon watching her return to the huts by the strip, did the thought occur to him that some method of retaliation should be imposed upon the reprobates on board the carrier.
Fortunately, KoKo was able to recall the exact location of the ship. A strike was planned and executed to perfection. The ship was left dry as a bone, with all remnants of ethanol substance removed to the base on shore.

"I got an idea", FM Jump had claimed a couple days later. "You know that beer we got from the Jim Beam during our raid?", he asked. "Help me carry it to the field." He grabbed a couple cases and started walking toward the hangars.

The suspicious pilots hesitated, then decided to follow FM's lead. Each of the pilots grabbed as many cases as they could carry, still watching the two being hauled by FM, just in case he tried to make a break with it all to himself. Vertigo refrained from carrying any.

"What's the matter with you, Vert?", asked Vapors. Why aren't you helping out here?"

"I'm the Compliance Officer", he responded. "I gotta make sure you guys do this by the book!" He then started walking among the men, waving his arms and pointing at boxes as if to prosecute his case.

The men all shuffled up to FM's waiting Corsair, where FM Jump directed them to stack the cases by the wings. FM opened the ammo tray panel, and began tossing strings of .50 caliber ammunition onto the ground beneath the wing. Soon, others were on the other wing emptying the ammo chambers there as well. The spaces were
promptly filled with bottles of warm beer. The more realization came to the thirsty pilots, the more they worked with a frenzy to load as many of the bottles as they could into the various openings and panels of the fighter. FM
climbed into the cockpit and started the big Wasp radial. The remaining pilots waited patiently on the strip as they watched FM take off in the big fighter, and climb for the heavens.

Within an hour, they heard the whisper of the Wasp approaching. The Corsair flared for its landing. As the fighter coasted to a stop, the men surrounded it and noticed and noticed foamy trails running back across the wings from the machinegun indents. Tears started running down the cheeks of the motley group as their hopes of cold beers were dashed. "The altitude musta bursted 'em", someone shouted. All hands clammored onto the wings, tearing at the ammo panels. Reno was the first to open one, and shouted with glee, "HEY, we only lost a couple
bottles here!" Cheers of delight erupted from the men, and ice cold bottles of brew were hurriedly passed around.

"The ol' nugget was right", thought Goshawk. "Only a couple were lost, and the rest were damn near frozen from the altitude."

The approaching strip brought Goshawk back to the task at hand. He prepared for his landing. Lower boost, check, drop throttle, check, lower gear, check, line up, check gear lock, flaps down, a touch of right rudder, flare up, now gently lower her to the tarmac. The tyres of the British bird, designed for grass strips, made almost no sound as they touched the metal grating. Gos cut throttle as the Griffon started its customary popping from the rough idle setting. The fighter rolled effortlessly to the rear of Goshawk's hangar, where it was quickly covered
with a tarp by Goshawk and his crew chief.

"If anyone asks, tell them it's another captured Tony!", Goshawk directed to the inquisitive crew chief. "Get a bomb rack designed for her and keep it quiet! I need her soon, real soon!"

Goshawk walked away, wanting to be able to meet with FM as soon as the fresh run of "Iced Brews" arrived.

As he reached the sleeping pilots at the end of the strip, he realized that the men were not taking adequate precautions against another raid by the peelots of the Jim Beam. "You guys better wake up and be ready to fly if we get jumped, dammit!", he cautioned.

Reno, laying on a hammock, opened his left eye and stared at the older officer. "So, Goose,,,,, wanna dance?", he asked.

"Sober up first, Reno, then we do it. Practice well, my friend, since the winner of this matchup gets the sultry wench to do his bidding. Provided, of course, Snapshot has lost his rigidity and resumed his usual limpid state. Otherwise, we may have trouble prying her away from him!"