Grease and Guile - Chapter 8: Deployment

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    “I’m going to miss you…” Nora paused in my arms. “So much!”

    “So much.”
    I confirmed. 

    It was my time to serve. My time to follow in the footsteps of my father and grandfather and saying goodbye to my fiancé was hard. I wasn’t always the best at showing it, but she was easily the best thing that ever happened to me. My orders were to head to Fort Jackson in Columbia South Carolina for boot camp. Enlisting for me was more like continuing a lineage than a passion. Sure, I wanted to do my part, but the expectation of military service in my family was ingrained. 

    Little did I know my penchant for tinkering and inventing would land me an express ticket to forward recon and two tours with minimal breaks in between to return home. War didn’t scare me, but it didn’t exactly soften my already somewhat robotic persona. Trying to tell Nora what it was like out there…well eventually I stopped trying and decided to save us both from reliving the imagery. 

    During quiet times out on the battlefront, I’d fondly recall when she would lovingly tease me about my “logical, rational” way.

    “Everything has its place and makes sense in the light of statistical models and algorithms,” I’d explain as she drifted off into boredom. 

    Rolling her eyes, she asked, “Well can you explain ‘us’ with logic?”

    Of course! You see, it’s really quite simple,” I’d start, teasing her back. “It was virtually impossible for you to resist my dashing good looks and quick wit…” she would never let me finish the joke. Tackling me to a nearby sofa we laughed hysterically, knowing some things in life truly are left to chance.

    This proved true on more than one occasion. Sometime toward the end of my first year in the service, I was called out to assess a situation far from the relative safety of my mobile workshop in mobile HQ. One of the drivers of an armored personnel carrier had tried to scale a steep slope and managed to incapacitate the half-track. The Commander called me in to see if I had any ideas on how to fix the situation. Daylight was fading and the unit was exposed. As I improvised a pulley system using a nearby tree, chains and the counter weight of a boulder up on the hill we heard the unmistakable sound of gunfire in the distance.

    Our border security had been engaged by hostiles. With no time to waste I ushered four infantrymen into position above the boulder. But before I could clear to give the order to push the boulder and free the transport, an errant mortar hit the hillside above us causing a rubble avalanche. Earth and rocks including our ballast-ready boulder came rushing down the hill toward me. All at once the pulley system engaged, the transport heaved free and I was completely exposed. The only thing I could do was dive behind a nearby overhanging ledge and hope. 

    The waterfall of would-be injury passed over the protective ledge and I was unscathed. We all made it out that day. And outside of the transport pulley system, very little of it had to do with logic or statistical predictions. There are some things in life too unpredictable to calculate.

    Chief among them are love and the timing of our death.

       

Comments

3 Comments   |   Teineeva and 1 other like this.
  • Teineeva
    Teineeva   ·  February 9
    Gotta admit, still love this. Some great work Motty.
    • Mottyskills
      Mottyskills
      Teineeva
      Teineeva
      Teineeva
      Gotta admit, still love this. Some great work Motty.
        ·  February 9
      thanks! time to carve out some more writing time :D
      • Teineeva
        Teineeva
        Mottyskills
        Mottyskills
        Mottyskills
        thanks! time to carve out some more writing time :D
          ·  February 9
        You're not alone in that pursuit, trust me :D (Arc 2 of SoB is coming along slowly... too slowly).