I was truly breathless the first time I saw her. She was the most radiant, delicate thing I had ever seen. Even standing there alone, on the side of the street, with nothing but my headlights shining on her, she looked lovely. She wore her fair hair in an intricate braid high on the back of her head; her white dress gleamed in the light. Though her face was visibly upset, I was still caught off guard by how beautiful she truly was. I could have sworn that she looked up at me as I drove by and that we locked eyes for just a moment. But it's hard to say in that sort of light. Alas, I drove off with just a passing memory of a delightful looking wanderer on Archer Road.
I'll admit that I drove that way a few more times just with the hope that I'd see her again. I even went out of my way to take that path, when I could have gotten where I needed to go much quicker with different routes. I wanted to believe that I wasn't just imagining the look she gave me as I drove by that night. I wanted to believe that I'd see her again and that she would remember me. I went during the day the first few times, but had no luck. I soon forgot about it; forgot about her.
Six Hours Previous. The Azbuin Valley. It’s been nearly six days worth of hiking up, down, and through some of the most treacherous mountain sides in the world and finally he reaches his objective. Not only battling the elements, but dodging the Taliban. And putting up with the cold. But that’s what he signed up for, he thought to himself. It was exactly this kind of thing that made it all worth it. The culmination of years of hard work and dedication to be considered one of the very best. Even if it meant having to sit dead still for hours on end in the same position waiting. Which is what he has been doing now. But it was nearly go time and he was prepared. Soon, the mission would be complete, at least his part of it. And he could get the hell out of there and back to the rest of his buddies.
“Diamondback 3-2, this is Diamondback 1-1 do you copy, over?” the ever familiar crackle of the radio broke the calming silence, as it tended to do, much to the dismay of Chief Conrad. She found herself lost in thoughts once more as she scanned the jagged rocks of the Afghan mountainside looking for potential enemy targets through the viewfinder of her Apache’s weapon system. “Wake up down there, 3-2.” Her partner’s voice came next, as it often did when she drifted. “Diamondback 1-1, this is 3-2, go ahead with your traffic, over.” she replied. “3-2, you are cleared to engage those recoilless rifles, over.” That was all she needed to hear; she could retreat back into her own little world again, back to that place she needed to be at in order to do what she was about to do.