Our Tulagi Area reporter took to the skies with the Archerfield Free Post to see what a day was like for the former smuggler.
“Everything is done with the ’17,” explained Smuggler X. “ZSK packed her with everything you could want, and she’s my office, control center, and delivery vehicle all in one.”
The day starts at 0500 with orders over the radio, and Smuggler X says that business is thriving.
“Everybody needs something in Tulagi. One morning everybody stopped fighting. The French wouldn’t fly until they got croissants, the Germans refused to man positions without sausages, the Japanese were out of rice, and the Americans said if they got one more can of Spam they’d attack us and forget about the Axis”
At 0600 the orders are all in and he spends his time at the navigator’s desk, plotting his route and calculating drops.
“Some of the combatants are happy to see us but shoot at us all the same,” he told us.
By 0645 he’s in the air, and I get a prime view of the Tulagi Sea and its blue waters from the nose gun. The flying is smooth in the morning we don’t see any fighters, but Smuggler X says it’s not always the case.
“A Claw P-40 dropped out of the sun and hit us last week. They shot up an entire load and we had to turn around. They hate it when we deliver doughnuts.”
A new paint from F.I. has been attracting more than its intended client, the Claw.
“It surprised us,” said a Claw spokesperson, “but there have been a number of purchased by non-Claw people. I guess it’s the cool black and red combo.”
The new paint can be seen here at a reasonable fee (link).
The East River Port Authority, which was recently accused in the court of public opinion for nebulous ties to the Claw, was exonerated by none other than the Claw itself.
Despite vehement statements from ERPA, the public continued to blame the organization for hoarding doughnuts and profiting by the price hikes. ERPA, which had previously been held in high regard by the community, believes the viral video of a man wearing an ERPA t-shirt throwing a half eaten crawler into the water was the act of a citizen and not one of their members.
The Claw stepped in yesterday with an official statement. “We can verify that the ERPA doughnuts are locally bought and not ours. If they were you see the glistening refined sugar and delicate cake underneath. Those doughnuts… well… police can’t be too picky, I guess.”
A visitor to ERPA’s headquarters in East River snapped this photo that started a scandal – with an entire box of doughnuts.
Doughnuts have been in short supply in East River following a surge of construction and a fire in a local Mowry bakery has elevated the sugary rings to new prices.
“Crawlers are going for 250 L’s,” said a man with a bulging trenchcoat near ERIA, “and you can’t afford an Old Fashioned.”
East River residents, who are usually ambivalent toward doughnuts suddenly want them more than ever, and the sight of so much casually laid out for ERPA employees sent citizens into a rage.
“It’s a Claw conspiracy!” One man yelled at Pippen Hot, and his wife agreed.
“Only the Claw has that many, so like, you know, if they do, it’s gotta be the Claw.”
In the picture a Claw P-40 (ZSK) goes on a bomb run in the greater Tulagi area. The number of Claw pilots has increased since the sale of Claw paints now includes ZSK’s B-17 (link to Marketplace paints).
A flyby in the Tualgi region shows a Claw pilot looking over a carrier fantail, perhaps waiting for the call of combat. The Claw has been seen in increasing numbers in Tulagi, as has the Coastal Patrol.
A Claw pilot crashed into Tulagi Port trying to get a closer look at Astral Tek’s latest sub, a lengthy S-18.
“It was beautiful from the air, and I just got too close,” he told us. The plane, a ZSK P-40, was carrying ordinance, which failed to go off.
“That bomb was full of caramel apples,” the pilot said, “I wouldn’t want to have to clean that up.”