So cool, I'm a writer for a fandom that has only 12 stories! This is meant to be super dramatic and intense. I hope it shows Enjoy!
In Iraq, you would be lucky to have a 90 degree day. You'd have to be a praying man who believed in miracles for rain. It just never happened. The dust, though. The dust is what makes people hate this dry, dead, hot place of a warzone. True, war was not comfortable, but inhaling the deadness of the land day in, day out. Unbearable.
The heat makes everyone feel a little crazy. Add in the stress of war, the absolute horror of war, and it would take an idiot to not see that PTSD was abound. Tie the two together, and add the longing that comes from knowing you are weeks away from being back home, possibly with family, safe from IEDs and mortars and everything else that this hell hole stands for, and you have a potentially deadly mix of a soldier.
That's all you are. A soldier. Disposable. Replaceable. A puppet. A tool.
Always replaceable. Never forget it.
There are mere weeks before his bomb squad rotation was set to be completed, and Sanborn and Eldridge were feeling the pressure mount.
Only a week prior, they had lost a member of their team, Matt Thompson, to an IED. This helped no one. Sure, Thompson was dead, but who cares? This is war, everyone is disposable. And yeah, Eldridge was slowly losing his marbles, fearing death at every turn of a dirt street, or due to an equipment failure, not even expecting to make through the rest of the day.
Possible, but it is not logical to dwell on the possibilities. The mere thought of not being able to trust his team to keep them all alive set him running for base with his tail inbetween his legs.
But Thompson did. He risked his life for his team's safety. And it killed him. It fucking killed him.
And with a one-time-use soldier comes another to replace him.
Sergeant First Class Will James.
Sanborn saw right through him. James is nothing but careless trailer-trash with no respect for intelligence or authority.
But he was good at what he did. Maybe too good.
Eight hundred and ninety three bombs defused. Counting the copious amount in the car designed to blow up the United Nations building. He is the type who never backs down, never to admit defeat.
Careless. Sanborn called it.
As he was carelessly risking the safety of his time, maybe not so much from bombs as the possible backlash of soldiers being caught on camera, to simply see if it could be done, every bomb defused.
No suit, no headset, no clear thoughts.
No foresight. Hell, no hindsight!
The entire building was cleared, no one was around, the squad should have simply left the car.
No. James is a Wildman. Risking his life, and his team for what? A gold star for every bomb?
Not worth it.
Sanborn is ten times the man he could ever be. Eldridge maybe twenty. Sure he was afraid, but fear is a human emotion. It did perplex Sanborn as to why he enlisted.
But at the end of the day, does it even matter?
Because at the end of the day, you're here, in this wasteland with nothing but the men you are with and a pile of bombs you must defuse.
Down at the testing range, Sanborn and Eldridge are minding to the explosives being detonated down range, while James is listening to his iPod.
As if from the blue, James exclaims he left his gloves down range, and takes the Humvee down there.
Sanborn and Eldridge stand and watch him. Sanborn still has the detonator in his hand, Eldridge eyes him carefully.
"Should we kill him?"
Sanborn looks with longing to the detonator in his palm. There are so many planted bombs and discarded flammable shrapnel that to detonate the bomb would make it seem like a tragic accident.
After the carelessness displayed today, it seems like a good idea. Get him out of the way. James will be replaced, of course.
An accident. All their fears about dying due to an idiot on their own team.
James' life held in the balance between Sanborn, much like today when James was not reachable.
An eye for an eye. Fair enough.
But would it be?
James has a family. As dysfunctional as it might be, they still would mourn him. His son would never know his father.
A son. Sanborn's one wish.
Could he really take that away from someone?
And James was talented, probably the best there was. Could that cocky confidence be replaced?
Everyone's replaceable, so it is likely not anytime soon, at least.
And before Sanborn could make that decision, James was already driving back up the range and out of the hot zone.
I don't know about you, but I really like this. Maybe a little poetic-ish? Hah I don't know. Review perhaps?