Rage Author:philip Friedman Alone in the cloudless, late afternoon sky, the jet fighter leveled off and begun its run over the bleak, barren ground three thousand feet below. — In the plane's cramped cockpit Captain Roger Leifler pressed a small black button, opening the spray-release valve of the tank slung under the fighter's belly. He glanced briefly over the rows of di... more »als that told him he was following the right flight pattern, and then he returned to his thoughts, which were the same as they always were on these flights: mostly a rehash of the reasons why he should get the hell out of the air force or at least get a transfer to someplace where he could get some better duty.
When Liefler's wrist chronometer had ticked off thirty seconds, he reached out and hit the red button that closed the spray valve. Then he hauled back on the stick and pulled up and around to begin the long sweep that would put him in position for the next pass. This empty, deep-blue sky and the lifeless terrain of the target zone flashed by the clear bubble of the cockpit as he came around.
It was not until he was leveling off again, ready to start his second pass, that he happened to look at the level indicator for the silver tank and notice that its needle was resting steadily on zero, which it wasn't supposed to do for another three runs.
Which meant he had somehow mistakenly released three hundred pounds of experimental nerve gas into the air above Wyoming countryside.« less