Riders of the Wind

A warmer climate has seen an explosion of destructive typhoons, more powerful than any in history. The biggest of them ceaselessly circles the globe, flattening everything in its path, and now it’s headed for New Tokyo.

As the continent-sized storm bears down on the city, Major Tanaka must lead his squadron on another mission many of them won’t survive. The alternative is to watch his city literally be blown away.

The fabled riders are the only pilots skilled enough to fly their massively heavy aircraft into the storm with any hope of finding clear skies again, the last line of defense and the last weapon in the fight to sap the storm’s power or divert its course.

Riders of the Wind is a novelette of ~11,000 words (31 pages)

Background

The basic idea for Riders had been floating around in my head for a number of years, I just couldn’t figure out how to expand it to fill a novel or screenplay so it stayed undeveloped. It stemmed from the increase in the frequency and size of hurricanes that were grabbing headlines along with the suggestion that rising temperatures could be the cause (hurricanes require warm seas to form).

I wondered if there was a way to control the storms, to dissipate their power and I remembered a student film from my university days concerning a man in a superhero-like costume (if I remember correctly) talking to camera about how he and a friend used to jump off a carpark as kids and spiral down through some solar winds (or something) in order to control them and stop the world (or universe) falling apart (it was fiction, but shot like a documentary). At least, that was what I remembered about it.

It gave me the vision of brave pilots flying out over a storm. That vague idea had nothing about domed cities or global destruction and I figured it would be set somewhere on the east coast of the US, somewhere known for hurricanes.

As I developed the story I decided to move it to Tokyo, Japan being a country known for its typhoons and I think that was partly inspired by anime films. Everything else sort of built from there.