In the early 1980s, an armed rebellion breaks out in the fictional Middle Eastern kingdom of Asran. Fighter pilots from all over the world are being hired as mercenaries, or even shanghaied on occasion, by both sides of the conflict to fly and fight for them. One of the locations where Asran’s government sends its mercenaries is Area 88, a secret military airbase surrounded by desert and close to the frontline, where they must live and can never leave it. Since every pilot has his or her own unique fighter jet, the airbase often looks like it’s hosting an exhibition of various real-life fighter planes from all over the world. There are only three ways for a government-hired mercenary pilot to quit this war – complete a three year contract as a mercenary, pay a fine of one and a half million US dollars, which is an improbable but not impossible feat, since every confirmed kill can bring up to 75 grand in rewards to the pilot responsible, or try to escape, although desertion is punished.