Once more Faisal abandoned his hardware setup and zoned out. His unfettered consciousness circled at just over 5,000 feet, raining down destruction with the modern military equivalent of +2 acid arrows: Hellfire missiles. He needed to impress his clients in a big way and as luck would have it the Targets (military types preferred a capital ‘T’) were well and truly back on the grid.
Faisal cued up the drone’s FLIR feed on the monitor for his audience’s benefit.
His first pass was all trial and error in terms of firing procedure. He slewed what looked like a square designator box over the target, believing he locked it. The missile came off the rail all right. A pillar of fire shot skyward in the approximate location of the vehicle. Unfortunately the awesome destructive power of the missile also kicked up a tremendous cloud of smoke and dirt. To confirm the kill he had to circle back after the dust had cleared.
At the very least the narcos gathered round his monitors would be impressed. They liked watching things go boom. Instant gratification.
In the course of extending away from the target (Faisal played enough flight sims to know you needed separation prior to making a second pass) he perused the drone’s operating manual. It turned out an alloy bubble mounted underneath the drone’s nose contained a laser designator. According to the manual taking a visual-only shot meant degraded accuracy, more specifically an increased circular error probability. So despite the impressive pyrotechnic display he had more than likely missed.
When the drone reached the outskirts of the city, the point where the drab browns and grays of the slums gave way to lush green jungle, Faisal banked sharply to the left.
A column of black smoke drifted lazily skyward where the first missile had hit.
He cycled the weapons and cued up another Hellfire. This time he made sure to arm the laser.