I hold my breath for a second, looking to the endless, calm waves below. The sound of the raging wind was almost entirely deafened by that vast blue expanse that rolled over all the way past the horizon, fusing itself with the sky on the distance. There wasn't land to go for if we missed the target. Or was it a perfect landing, or it was death.
Checking my gear one last time, I did what I did before several other times. The thing I was trained to do and the thing I lived to do. It wasn't only my military duty, nor the needs of my people that gave my legs the motivation they needed to disobey my instincts every single time I jumped. It wasn't my captain yelling orders nearby, or the loyalty to my comrades. All of those things mattered, of course, but not there. Not now. They were irrelevant.
The only thing that mattered was how much I loved to fly.
I pushed myself forward, jumping with all my strength out of the launching board. My arms folded to the sides of my body, holding on the metal rings near my hips with a iron grasp. I twisted my body midair, using my legs and my spine to direct myself to the enemy ship several feet down below. An easy target, I told myself. I knew it was a lie, but it was a lie that I needed right now.
When my downward speed was good enough, I pushed my arms forward, bringing the rings with me, breaking the fragile glass seals that held my glider in its closed form. I heard the leather unfurling and the several small bronze cogs turning fast as my arms moved into position. A satisfying click made itself audible when the wooden segments that made the attack side of my glider locked themselves in position. I felt the small bump in my movement as the steering tail unfurled itself behind me, giving me the control I would need in my descent.
I pushed my right leg forward, pulling a set of ropes that made my tail twist to the side. That movement was mirrored by my left arm, retracting the wing attached to it somewhat and enabling me to enter into a wide spiral, changing my downwards movement into a dash forward.
I was approaching my target fast. I could see the individual enemy soldiers running around on deck, shooting towards me and the rest of the small swarm of the Crown's Wings. It was in vain - we were too fast for their clumsy firearms and lousy aim.
I could already discern the white of their eyes. It was time.
I pulled my arms back. Hard. An audible pop of wood breaking later, and my glider was unfurling itself once more - the leather of the wings unfolded itself a couple times, changing its original wedge shape into a more open, wider and longer form, opening itself behind me as a long blue cloak with my team's sigil emblazoned over it. It them jumped upwards, pushed away from my body by the wind. Strong silk ropes made sure it remained attached to my boarding harness, giving me limited but enough mobility for the final landing.
My right hand went for my cutlass, while my left one held tight on the unlocking switch in the middle of my chest. I held my breath.
As I got closer, still going fast forward, I raised my leg somewhat, making sure to kick one of the enemy soldiers right into the temple before releasing my gliding suit. It kept moving away, right into the sea, its job done and its task finished with perfection. With my cutlass in my hand, I turned myself to find my comrades landing beside me, already ready for battle. A few of us were grinning in anticipation, with our hearts already pumping hard and our minds lusting for blood. The blue below would mean death for anyone that fell from the ship, sure. But We were the Crown's Wings.
We were death from the sky.
(Sorry for the broken english!)
Why you don't use gliders instead of parachutes?