The world of commercial aviation can be a glamorous place, a wonderful profession captained by uniformed furs who wear the stripes of experience on the sleeves of their jackets and on the epaulettes of their uniform shirts, furs who exhibit the muted swagger of those who command the horizon. Theirs is the responsibility of transporting untold thousands of furs from all walks of life, from the mundane to the exotic, across the globe aboard the latest sleek, sexy, multi-billion dollar aircraft that whisk these furs between continents while they indulge themselves in the finest epicurean repast and conversation with their fellow passengers. Flight crews are proud to serve with these captains aboard aircraft which utilize the very latest in technological advancements to usher hundreds of souls at a time on worldly adventure in complete safety and comfort. Junior officers long to emulate these grizzled yet polished captains in every manner and experience. The senior pilots approach deity in the eyes of their crews and passengers as they recount tales of foreign lands and their roles in history while adding hours to logbooks that already contain thousands, casually and effectively making the planet just a little bit smaller every day.
If there is a bright spot in the center of this aviation industry, Joe Latrans is too far removed from it to see it. Joe flies on the backside of commercial aviation, far from the glamour and glory of the polished Boeing and Airbus transports. Joe is one of The Breed: Canis Aer Cargus - he's an Air Freight Dog. No fancy uniforms for he and his crew, no state-of-the-art aircraft in which to ply his trade. No glamorous or exotic passengers to greet at the end of a flight. No junior officers wanting to be just like him, envying his absent trappings of exalted position.
Joe flies an aging military transport for Intermountain Charter, a commercial air cargo operation based in Ohio. A Lockheed C-130 known as The Bitch, sometimes spoken lovingly, occasionally with exasperation, and once in a great while with hatred, is Joe's "office." The airworthiness of The Bitch and Joe's life are intertwined and sometimes inseparable as together they ply the byways of aviation, hauling anything, anywhere, at any time, as long as it's legal and as long as Joe's employer sees the cash first.
It may not be glamorous, but it is an adventure! Come, join the crew …
The following is a little something that didn't quite make the story. It's fun, but improbable (not to mention just slightly illegal) given the aircraft type. The professionalism of the crew involved would be called into serious question also, and that was what really decided me against making this part of the story. It brings a smile to my muzzle, however, and that's a good thing. Perhaps you will enjoy it, too.
This is not canon to the rest of The B Team.
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