The missiles sailed by Rabbit. The Black Hole Infrared Suppression System had saved his life, but not in the way Rabbit had envisioned. It was a system designed to cool the helicopter engines and confuse heat seeking missiles, virtually cloaking the Apache.
Rabbit had no idea what had just happened but was glad he wasn’t in a million pieces. The boy launched more air to air rockets. The internal guidance system locked in and easily destroyed the enemy payload, as the missiles exploded in a star burst in front of him like fireworks on the fourth of July.
Rabbit maneuvered the Cycler control to the left, pulling the helicopter down as he continued toward his target. The LHC was almost in range now. He could make out the smaller details of the complex dug into the rock, in the distance as those below now scurried for cover.
The F-18’s circled in for another attack making a wide arc then coming in behind the helicopter once again. Rabbit could feel the sickness begin to swell in him again and he almost passed out from its sudden surge. He felt he couldn't keep the attack at bay much longer. He began pressing more buttons hoping that somehow he would be able to evade his pursuers for a few moments longer. He thumbed a red button on the Cycler, the same one Colonel Grant had used when he’d chased them over water.
The F-18’s sputtered and then broke off attack as their controls suddenly went dead from the EMP pulse emitted from the Apache. The jets broke on either side of him without firing another shot and began to fall out of the sky. The pilots ejected as their planes spiralled to the ground, obliterated into fireballs on the forest floor.
"Holy shit! What the hell just happened?" Rabbit watched as two parachutes popped like the spores of a dandelion and the pilots descended serenely to the trees below.
Rabbit pivoted with the precision of a seasoned pilot now and returned to his course.
He was now free and clear to end his mission. He brought the Apache in lower above the trees as the radio chatter continued to threaten him from a barrage of static voices, however, the commanding swagger evident before, was gone. The voices were almost pleading now, for him to break off the insanity of his attack.
Could he really fire on these people? He didn't know them, but surely , some of them were innocent; only there by appointment to do jobs they had trained to do. I'm not a murderer! I can't do this.
Then Rabbit thought about Jeffery, his Mother, his father, everyone in his town who had been killed by these people and how Sheppard, Malcolm Buck and Amber had suffered. He thought of what he'd over heard from Sheppard. How those responsible were plotting to control, to destroy, to create a weapon so devestating no one could comprehend the full extent of the destruction and loss of life it would cause. Rabbit let out a primal scream. He fired everything he had at the complex.
Explosions erupted across the ground and into the ediface of the rock face, blowing out windows. A chain reaction of fire sprang up as if the ground had opened up into the furnace of Hell. Buildings and equipment below disappeared into a cloud of black smoke. The chatter reached a frenzied peak on the radio and was abruptly silenced, swept over by static. The rock face that harboured the main dome of the complex spewed out a fireball of rock, metal and stone so violent that Rabbit lost control of the Apache in the force of the blast.
Warning lights and sounds seemed to come at him from every angle of the cockpit as the Apache spun. Rabbit faught the controls, but was losing the battle. The clouds swirled by him at a dizzing rate and Rabbit threw up all over the cockpit. The helicopter began to descend in a spiral, twisting and dropping toward the green below. Through the wisps of smoke Rabbit could see a ring of fire exploding along the ground into an oval far off into the surrounding terrain as if someone had lit a gas trail with an errant cigarette. The last thing he remembered before the impact was, the LHC is destroyed.