Kate veered upwards into a steep loop, blasting almost vertically into the air. The straps of the pack felt like they were about to yank free and take her arms and legs with them, but she decided a few bruises were a small price to pay for flaunting gravity so dramatically.
The rocket-truppen angled up after her, but they could not climb as quickly nor turn as sharply. By the completion of their loop, she had come all the way around and then some, and now she had them at twelve o’clock dead ahead.
The Nazis veered in different directions. Smart move; Kate could only follow one of them now, leaving the other free to come after her. She would just have to deal with the first one quickly.
As she aimed, she reflexively squinted with her bad eye even though she couldn’t see through it anyway. When she had him lined up in her sights, she pulled the trigger and her Thompson jerked in her hands and spat forth white fire. Beyond that, her bullets disappeared into the darkness. She wished for tracers, but at least she didn’t have to worry too much about depth and distance as she kept her target dead ahead.
She spent the rest of her clip in focused bursts and was rewarded by a cloud of golden fire and black smoke engulfing the rocket-truppen. She had ignited his fuel tank. These rocket packs—her own included—were obviously prone to explosion. They were, after all, designed by Professor Scrumtumbler.
Kate ejected the empty ammunition drum and let it fall away below her. She was reaching for her next clip when machinegun fire blazed down on her from above. One bullet pierced her flight jacket and grazed her arm. It was not a serious injury, but it was startling and a bit painful, and it knocked the spare magazine drum out of her hand.
Her ammo lost to the clouds, she blasted to the left just as the rocket-truppen swooped in from the same direction so that he overshot her and sped past. However, before she could turn and give chase, the thunder of a heavy engine beat down on her. One of the Messerschmitts, prowling the night like a massive shark, had sighted her and was moving in for the kill. She darted to the right and then straight up just in time to avoid a collision. The fighter spun as it passed beneath her. In its wake, the turbulence of the plane’s propwash flung her around like a rag doll. Her rocket pack might make her nimble, but she was now a fly-weight in a heavyweight bout.
Kate nudged just enough boost from her rocket to check her fall. As soon as she did, she saw the second Messerschmitt barreling down at her. The first fighter was wheeling around for another pass, and the rocket-truppen was zipping back in from her flank.
The skies were getting awfully crowded.