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Chapter 5: Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
Written by Michael Erickson
Copyrighted Columbia Pictures, 1983 - 2002

Based on characters and events by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jackoby

The helicopter that was dubbed "Blue Thunder" was the result of a highly controversial government-military law enforcement program that entered problems when it started urban testing phases in 1983. In summary, the project was to provide a high performance helicopter which featured an airborne array of high technology, making it a watchdog in the sky with sensitive surveillance equipment, sophisticated mobile computer access and oppressive weaponry.
Available records did not indicate what had happened to the first prototype aircraft, but the second prototype was brought into the public eye when it had been introduced into an urban test phase over the Los Angeles, California area. The United States Army-ran program coordinated with the LAPD Air Support (ASTRO) Division to conduct usability tests over the populated metro areas.
It was night when Blue Thunder was taken out for first tests by authorized LAPD crew. Officer Frank Murphy and his partner/observer Officer Richard Lymangood. During an audio and video system run, both Murphy and Lymangood stumbled across a meeting of corrupt government members and organized crime names when curiously following the original test pilot of the helicopter, one Colonel F.E. Cochrane, into a Federal Building. The conversation described references to recent specific crime and Blue Thunder itself, exposing a plan to get the special helicopter forced into action to help politicians control the public.
Murphy was part of the discussion during the meeting that was overheard by both him and Lymangood, hovering outside the building. Using the helicopter's airborne video/audio system, they recorded the entire conversation. The crew were spotted by chance from Cochrane, forcing a hasty retreat back to the police helipad and immediate recovery of the recorded tapes by both parties.
The events that followed included the death of Lymangood, Murphy stealing Blue Thunder from the LAPD hangars the following day. In an attempt to recover the hidden tape and expose the corruption, Murphy used personal resources, basically contacting Kate, and the media to assist. A dangerous airborne firefight and cat and mouse games between helicopters and F- 16 jetfighters erupted over Los Angeles. The result led to two police helicopters being shot down, a police car damaged, some parts of the city damaged, an F-16 being blown out of the sky, and an armed Hughes 500 helicopter being blasted to smithereens. Cochrane was in the 500, and was killed instantly.
Badly damaged and almost out of fuel, Murphy landed Blue Thunder onto the tracks of an oncoming freight train, destroying the five million dollar prototype. By then , the broadcast-quality video tape had reached television news and the law had been taken into action against the government officials and organized crime leaders. Murphy was promoted and received several commendations. His former boss, Jack Braddock had suffered a heart attack and passed away right after the event.
Murphy had been diagnosed later with delayed stress syndrome, quelling rumors of paranoid schizophrenia once and for all. It took time, but Murphy had managed to put an end to his flashbacks of Vietnam once and for all. He and Kate got married a year later, and moved to Kentucky just to get out of the public eye.
Now Murphy was having a bit of deja vu when he and Ralston met up with two other government officials. Two of which reminded Murphy of Fletcher and Icelan. After the formal introductions, all four men were riding in a police van, southwest, toward the Fort Knox area.
Ralston did not care much for Dixie Highway. Let alone the former areas of Shively, Pleaure Ridge Park, and Valley Station. Ever since the city-county merger, things had changed. But very little. Even though small towns and community areas merged into the city, it did little to improve conditions in other spots.
The two Federal personnel that accompanied both Murphy and Ralston were Agents Oliver Hamilton Richter and Alex Bowman. Richter was in his early fifties with balding hair and an unpleasant look on his face. Bowman looked like he was in his early sixties with thinning black hair and the personality of a nice family doctor. Something which Ralston found a bit unusual.
"You mind telling us what this detail is all about?" Murphy mentioned.
"In light of what happened on September 11th," began Bowman. "We've been busy preparing for every contingency possible, in terms of another terrorist attack. The entire world is having its eye set on the Kentucky Derby this year, which means that every terrorist, al-Queida, Islamic or otherwise, will have all of their attention focused here. I know that Louisville may not look like much to some politicians. However, we are not taking any chances. Your mayor and board of Alderman are very anxious to try this new program out."
"Another helicopter prototype?" Murphy asked.
"Yes, another one," Bowman stated. "We understand that you would have some objections over this, considering your involvement with Project THOR some twenty years ago. However, this new project has some safeguards to prevent a similar incidentf rom ever occuring."
"I take it that one of those safeguards includes psychological screening proceedures?" Ralston spoke, somewhat unconvinced.
Surprisingly, Bowman was honest in his answer. "That and there are more important issues now. Particularly, dealing with the potential threat of Muslim fanatics with ideas."
"This new helicopter is based on a new production helicopter," Richter broke in. "It's been lightened internally and reinforced externally, with a lot of modifications to carry a similar rack of equipment as the original THOR helicopter, as well as new features."
"Like what, if I may ask?" Murphy inquired.
"All in due time, Captain," Bowman reassured him. "Like with the THOR project, it is not to be discussed, unless it is with authorized personnel. It is top secret and highly classified. I will state this. It is a weapon not used for offensive responses. It is for defensive, as well as control and observation." Pulling out a thick file folder, he handed it to Murphy. "All the information is in here for you and the two pilots assigned. Mr. Ralston and his partner."
"Oh, joy," Ralston grunted. "Cloak and Dagger shit."
Bowman chuckled a little. "Not quite, Mr. Ralston. It's more like the protection of innocent civilians. You'll see what we mean when we arrive at the Fort Knox testing grounds."
Murphy read through the contents of the file. "I'm impressed that the government is taking things to account regarding this. However, some people are really going to object to this. Even if it is over a one to two week period."
"Is there a project name for this one?" Ralston asked.
"Officially, it is called Project ARIEL," Richter stated. "As to the helicopter prototype's identification, it is called Special Two."
"Blue Thunder Two, no less," Murphy stated, having already guessed at the outcome.
"More sophisticated and more powerful," Bowman spoke. "Built at a cost of eight million. Tested in various phases. Now all that needs to be done, is for it to be tested over the city. Thunder Over Louisville will be the testing ground."
"Somehow," Ralston said. "That does not sound promising."

Related pages:
1. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
2. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
3. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
4. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
5. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
6. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
7. Blue Thunder 2 - Millennium Thunder
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