A/N: Probably the best resources I used for this story were books.
Basher Five-Two, by Scott O'Grady. Great book on the pilot shot down in Bosnia. Bosnia: A Short History, by Noel Malcolm. This book is good, but it is hard to follow. Malcolm uses too many prepositional phrases in a sentence, and makes it hard to understand. The absolute best book on the Navy is The Bluejackets' Manual. My version is about 13 years old, but is still is reliable. Anyway my heart goes out to those who serve overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As Chris stepped out of the shed, the early morning sun reflected his gaunt features. It was hard to believe that just three months before he was flying F-18's for the U.S. Navy.
He sat down at the base of a tree with his back against it. He pulled a wad of newspaper out of his pocket. He franticly looked around to see if any guards or other prisoners were watching; none were. He opened the wad like it was a warning from the IRS, his hands shaking nervously. He knew he would probably be tortured if the Serbs found out he was sneaking food into the camp. He pulled back the paper revealing half a withered tangelo. It wasn't much, but he had worked hard to get it. He stuffed the piece of fruit in his mouth, destroying the evidence. After he did so, he felt bad about it. Rarely did the men get a treat like a piece of fruit. He knew the vitamin C in the citrus fruit wouldn't last long in his body; it wouldn't cure his scurvy.
He stared up at the red, white, and blue striped Serbian flag flying high above the barbed wire fences of the prisoner of war camp. He recited the U.S. fighting man's code number IV in his mind, feeling he'd just gone against it in some way, "If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith in my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action that might be harmful to my comrades." He knew if he was suspected he would be questioned, and there was no doubt the Serbs wouldn't make him empty his stomach so they could examine its contents. The Serbs had become bolder in asking for information. Normally they would joke around with the soldier being interrogating; try to be his friend.
He closed his eyes and pulled the tattered blanket the Serbs issued him tighter around his emaciated body. It would have been a nice gesture if the Serbs hadn't contaminated them with chemicals first. Chris's mind flashed back to three months before.
"Kraut," Chris muttered as her stared at the man before him.
"This is Lieutenant Fredrick Bergen. He's had training with the German Air Force. His resume was particularly interesting. Said he served during the Gulf war, and is familiar with the landscape of Bosnia. I figured you could be his navigator for another recon. over Hac," Reigrat smiled slightly, hoping Chris wouldn't voice his opinion. Chris just stared at his boots, annoyed. "Burnett you could show him the ropes, get him used to the way we do things, be great buddies?"
Chris knew Reigart's intentions were good, but he was trying to replace Stackhouse with some damn German. Chris wasn't about to let this happen. He pulled a wicked smile and said with every intention of ditching Bergen the second Reigart was out of sight…
"Sure thing, I'm sure he'll catch on fast though."
Reigart smiled left the room.
"Listen, I have no intention of becoming your friend or anything. I fly the mission because it's my job, not because I like you," snapped Chris. Bergen looked up at him. His dark green eyes showed amusement then sympathy. He opened his mouth to say something, but didn't.
"Damn it, don't you have anything to say? All you do is stand there and gape at me." Bergen cocked his head and smiled at Chris. Chris growled slightly and stormed out of the room.