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Wingman

How does Al feel about being Dirk's designated 'wingman,' being the one who Dirk always tries to keep safe, being the one left waiting for our hero to return? I guess you'll find out, won't you?

Refers to both the movie Sahara, and a couple of the books, I forget which ones right now.

Dirk, I know you sometimes feel bad about dragging me all over the planet, searching for that next ship wreck, or that sunken treasure. You shouldn't. If it weren't for you and your crazy schemes, I wouldn't have known what to do with myself. I know that when we get shot at or actually shot, you feel bad, but you still shouldn't. If I wasn't getting shot at, I would be dead anyway. Of boredom. Haha. I know, I know, this isn't a laughing matter, but I don't really see it that way. To me, everything's a laughing matter. Stranded in the desert, chained to truck parts: pretty darn funny. Being stuck in an underground river and breaking both legs: not so funny, but still ok. Hey, I've been through worse. That worse just slips my mind right now. I wasn't the one who got stuck in said underground river and had to get washed all the way down it, all the way to the ocean. You're the serious one, the one who keeps me from just blowing everything off and doing something unbelievably stupid. You're the completing half of our duo. The serious, down-to-earth one, the one who gets all the girls. Still, I must say, you do know how to have a good time, if you're not trying to keep everyone else safe. You have no right to lecture me about putting myself at risk. You put yourself at risk about a million times more than I do, and will do almost anything to keep me from going with you, if you can avoid it. Remember that time you locked me in the bathroom to keep me from going with you on some crazy mission? Yeah, that was not fun, and you should know that if you had died down there, I never would have forgiven myself. You say that you would never forgive yourself if something happened to me. Well, buddy, the same goes for me. So you need to think before you go and do something that'll wind up with you lost somewhere, presumable dead, leaving me to fend for myself out in the cold, oh-so-serious world. Yeah, do you have any idea how it feels to be the one left, waiting for you to come back, hoping that you will, only with this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach saying that you won't, that you're dead, that I'll never see you again, that you went down on some crazy mission that I should have been there for, but wasn't? Being the one who is always asked to leave you behind and save someone else instead of you? It's not a nice feeling. I should know, I've been there more times than I can count. You've never been there, you're always the one left behind, the last one out of the metaphorical burning building. I'm the one who flies everyone out of there in a helicopter, leaving my best friend there, probably to die. Not this time, buddy, oh no. This time, I'm staying with you. You're not sending me away again. I'm not going, and there's nothing you can do to make me. We've been best friends, since what? Kindergarten? Yeah, we've been together that long and I've always been the one who flies away in the helicopter, leaving you to die. I'm your wingman, you've said so yourself many times. It's always been that way, and I will not leave you. Not this time, no way, not this time. What? Why are you laughing? This is not a laughing matter! Oh no, the world is going crazy. I'm being serious and you're laughing at me. It's a sign of the apocalypse. The world is ending. Dirk Pitt is laughing at me, when I'm trying to be serious. Why are you laughing? It's not funny! What? You're coming with me? You're not going to make me leave you behind, like I have all those other times? What do you mean, I miscounted and there's room for you in the helicopter? There's one, two, three, four, five, others and room for… seven… in the helicopter. Oh… uh…ok.