Captain Yamada’s X-61 aircraft dropped from formation and dove towards the sea, spiraling in hard G corkscrews. Yumiko followed him, matching the barrel rolls turn for turn, feeling the familiar clench and hollow drop in her stomach and chest as the plane whipped over and over from the right wing. The cobalt blue sea was seven meters below them as she followed Yamada’s twisting trail over the city’s docks and into the dockyards. Cranes and freight containers loomed before them, and then they were in the maze of high rise buildings and elevated expressways. Brightly painted railcars blurred past them as Captain Yamada performed a chandelle, a hard climb turning one hundred eighty degrees. Wings were meters away from concrete and glass building facades. Advanced Urban Flight Maneuvers lived up to its name, Yumiko thought. Any deviated flight here wouldn’t just cost you points, it could also get you killed.
As she followed him into the empty high rise buildings of the “financial” district Captain Yamada dropped his plane to just a few meters above the street lamps. Windows on either side of the street shattered in his wake, and Yumiko closed the distance to avoid losing him in the spray of glass. He dove for a pedestrian over bridge and inverted at the last second as he swooped below the bridge. Yumiko cursed and snapped her hands in position, mimicking the maneuver. The aircraft shuddered as it raced through the gap, the augmented screen display red with warnings. She didn’t have time to pray.