I’ve been trying to think of something to post that sounds even reasonably interesting, but apparently I’m boring 🙂 But this morning I had an idea that might put me back on track when it comes to sending something your way on occasion. So here it is… I’m just gonna post a quick excerpt of a story I’ve started, and then popped into the “get to it at some point” folder.
Today’s is gonna end up as a freebie at some point, after I sell Shoot to Thrill, kind of a synchronous break before I start Lunatic Fringe, and is the intro to Asa Dobbs. For those of you who have read Behind Blue Eyes, the name might be familiar, as Brian talks about him a bit… With no further ado, meet Senior Airman Asa Dobbs.
Senior Airman Asa Dobbs ignored the bead of sweat creeping past the outer edge of his left eye and squinted, concentrating on the camp below him, portrayed in the eerie green of his night vision goggles. There… He tracked the target slowly, cataloging mannerisms, the way the dead man walking moved.
The vision hit him as all the others had, with a slow fading of his “here” sight, as it morphed into the “other”. In his minds-eye the desert around him disappeared, replaced by the murky interior of a building, cluttered and dirty. In the center of the room sat a card table surrounded by four men, each sweating as they smoked contraband cigarettes. His target gestured angrily, pointing to a map centered atop the table, before driving the tip of his knife into the flimsy paper, leaving the hilt swaying with the force of his blow.
Asa forced his floating body forward, until he stood between two of the insurgents, his target directly across the table. The map was of the Coalition encampments, the blade tip skewering the very camp he was stationed at.
His vision misted once again, and he “saw” the carnage these men would wreak, the broken and battered bodies strewn across a supposedly safe zone, the smoldering ruins of the battalion aid center. The red cross adorning the tent now draped across the latrines in silent mockery.
This was what he’d been meant to see. He withdrew, retreating to the here-and-now. With a sharp blink of his eyes, the vision of the building dissolved, replaced by the reality of Iraq.
Asa slithered down the slope and headed in to camp, finding the one man he could trust. Technical Sergeant David Carmichael.
Carmichael crouched in a shallow ditch, his own NVGs trained on very same camp, a camp where they suspected a driver from a supply convoy was being held. As pararescue, they weren’t usually the first in, but in this case, they’d been the closest unit for recon until regular Army troops arrived.
Asa jumped into the ditch, not surprised when Carmichael didn’t even flinch. His sergeant was made of ice. A very large, very powerful block of ice.
“Speak,” Carmichael rasped in a voice scarred by too many cigarettes, too much tequila, his voice quiet but commanding.
“He’s not in there,” Asa whispered, “but they’re planning a hit on CampCharlie.”
Carmichael swiveled slowly and pushed the NVGs atop his head before giving Asa the fish-eye. “What did you see?”
Asa swallowed past a knot the size of Texas. “Tonight, maybe tomorrow night. If we hit them now, we can stop it.” Carmichael hadn’t believed in his visions, not at first, none of them had, but Asa had pulled their bacon out of the fire once to often. Now all of them relied on his gift. Hell, even Roney had finally bought in, but he’d been a hard-assed bastard to convince.
Iraq was a helluva long way from Kansas, and he intended to make it back to Wichita in one piece. And if he had his way, his comrades would be going back to their state of choice right beside him…not in a fucking body bag.