The final chapter in this story.
Hitting the books on a Friday night. Again. I need a boy friend.
Well, I can't help it. I'm like Maggy and Dad. Workaholic. Least, that's what I heard Dad was. All I had of him was his dog-tags and a picture of him from his time in the Marines. Said picture was on my desk. I always found it easier to study and work with it facing me. I guess it's the parental love of making sure you worked. Most people think Dad's eyes are cold and heartless. I know better. I can see, far behind those walls of focus and cold calculation was a lot of hurt.
"Hope you're proud, Pops," I muttered, "21 and still a virgin."
I heard a knock on the door. My roommate coming back from a hot date. I just hoped she wasn't with a hot date. She always forgets her key, "It's open!"
I heard the door open and a stranger, female, young, around early twenties call, " Jennifer Jon Trevodur?"
Not my roommate. I turned around and saw a young women in Army ROTC Dress Blues standing at the doorway. The standard-issue name tag read Booth. The unit patch identified her from Washington State, "You're a long way from home, Boot," I said, using the Marine slang term for "recruit".
"Hi, umm, my name is Cadet Captain Christie Booth, Washington State University Army ROTC," she held her hand out to shake.
I politely did, "I can tell," I gestured to her unit patch and ranks on her collar, "What do you want?"
"Well, I am visiting my future fiancé, but not why I am here here," she said.
"Then why? I got to study," if I failed the MCAT, Harvard Med Degree goes out the window.
"I think there is some one you should meet," she gestured at the still open door. I saw some one step out of the shadows. He had managed to blend in perfectly with them, becoming invisible.
"Hi, Jenny," the man said, "You look so much like your mother."
No... he can't be...
The chopper suddenly banked right. So, antiaircraft fire had already begun, huh? According to Intel, it wasn't supposed to start for another 300 klicks.
9 times out of ten, Intel ain't worth the paper it's printed on.
The lessons came back, clear as day. The long hours under the hot sun. Slowly and painfully learning to fight with my hands, feet, guns, sticks, knives, forks, rusty spoons. Learning to become a ghost, able to sneak into a concentration camp and get out without them even knowing you're there. Emptying your mind of emotions and thoughts such as the value of human life. There was a time and place for such thoughts.
The battlefield wasn't it.
Shit will always hit the fan. Those who don't die in the mud are quick enough to get out of the way.
And I would have to be the quickest and smartest of them all. I would have to react the fastest and command others in the right course of action.
I was a Second Lieutenant of the United States Rangers. I was trained personally by the greatest light infantry man alive.
Sergeant Major Jon Trevodur had returned from the grave to teach me.
When you have a underling more experienced than you, let them do their job without interference. You will only get people killed.
You will be Butterbars after today. Shit-brained officers, but officers none-the-less. Screw up, and the nutcracker comes down.
The chopper again banked suddenly. My squad and I held tight onto the handles of the roof of the H-29 Stealthhawk Gunship. Good thing, because the bay doors were open. These honeys were being sent to the absolute limits of their range. Because of this, the bay doors were taken off the conserve fuel. Every drop of Hydro-Battery Fuel counted.
I looked out to the other copters of the unit. I saw one take a direct hit from a Korean antiaircraft missile. Fuel counted, but we were expendable.
Shit-heads at the Pentagon often don't know the difference between human life and a number on a chart. No one can be as cold and heartless yet so gutless as those bastards.
I pulled out a photo from my pocket. It showed me, my husband, and son at the hospital. As Parker remarked, I looked like shit. But I was so happy to have brought a life into the world. And to protect them, I would bring a world of hurt upon the commie bastards and any other prick that dared think to harm them.
I placed the photo back into my pocket and gripped the handle tighter.
"You okay, Eltee?" I heard over the inter-team radio.
"I'm good. How bout you, Sarge?"
"Wrote a letter to Lisa and Jenny before I left. Not as young as I used to be," he answered.
"Don't even joke about that, Sarge," the team's corpsman, Seaman Sam Dorian begged, "Without you, how am I supposed to get back to Bella?"
"Don't worry, kid, that Sistah got guys commin after out the ass," quipped Untersturmfüher, Sergeant,Hans Basche. NATO finally joined in the war effort and Hansi was a graduate of GS-9, or the German Mountain School. SOB could chase down a deer and rip it apart with his bare hands. He also learned hi English in New York, guarding the German Consulate. You couldn't even tell he was German from his accent.
"Thanks, Hansi," Dorian's voice dripped with sarcasm, "I feel so much better."
"Dorian, stop joking with the Europeans," Sarge ordered, "They listen to Muse, so their just crazy and have no taste in music."
"Ouch," Private Floyd Tottenham, British SAS looked wounded, "I swear it was only once in my foolish youth!"
"Oye, Sergento Mayor, ¿cuánto tiempo hasta que lleguemos al punto de caer?" asked Cabo, Corporal, Miguel Sanchez of the Mexican Army. His mother was an English national, he just reverted to Spanish for two reasons: to annoy me and to express his nervousness. I think it's the latter.
"Corporal Sanchez wants to know when we reach the drop point," Sarge answered, "Alrededorde una hora y media."
"So how long then, sir?" asked Caporal Chef , Senior Corporal, Pierre Charboneu of the Légion étrangère, or French Foreign Legion to those Anglophones
"About half an hour," he answered.
I wondered if Mom and Dad would be proud of me. Here I was, serving my country, leading a squad with five different nationalities. I had the best Sergeant Major in the entire Third Counter-Strike Force(even if he was a Marine). I was married to a great man, had a beautiful son, and a bright future ahead of me.
The drop point came all to quick. The chopper came low and leveled out, not touching the ground, but hovering a few feet above it.
There are two types of soldiers: those who stare at the Huey and watch it leave. And those who dive into the bush and get the job done.
I didn't look back at the Stealthhawk. I had a job to do.