"The Last Ace" is the name of a short story written by Jim DeFelice, which serves as a prequel to the events of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Released exclusively in Amazon.com, the novel tells a story on main character William Bishop, describing his time as a test pilot for new technologies as well as the reminiscence of his first days in combat over Bosnia. The short story is no longer available on Amazon as of October 12, 2016.
In the prequel story, Lt. Col. William "Brass" Bishop has proven that he is one of the best pilots in the world by flying through three wars and collecting several kills. Now Brass has moved on to what he has always considered a higher calling: he's become a test pilot, putting hi-tech, next generation aircraft through their paces.
But life as a test pilot isn't all it's cracked up to be. There are long, boring stretches. During a routine test mission, Brass finds his mind drifting back to his first days in combat over Bosnia. Hounded unfairly by his commander, Brass learned to become a fighting machine, every nerve of his being at one with his plane -- until one day when he discovered that wasn't necessarily enough.
Now modern warfare is turning in another direction -- and pilots like Brass seem doomed to become babysitters to a flying supercomputer. Has he become obsolete? Or are there other reasons to fly?