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Authors: Jason Sheehan

A Private Little War

BOOK: A Private Little War
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Also by Jason Sheehan

Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Text copyright © 2013 Jason Sheehan
All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Published by 47North
P.O. Box 400818
Las Vegas, NV 89140

ISBN-10: 1611098947
ISBN-13: 9781611098945

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2013936767

Cover Illustrated by Cat Staggs

For my father, Mike Sheehan, who taught me to love stories and spaceships and the future, and my son, Maddox, for whom I hope to do the same someday.

CONTENTS

ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER

PART 1 THESE ARE THE GOOD TIMES

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

PART 2 A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

PART 3 THE LAST DAY

24

25

26

27

28

29

EPILOGUE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER:

Priority to Chief of Ops, Chief of Comms
,

All Sqdrn Commanders, Carpenter 7 Ep, TAG 14-447

Report Key: 100B4RC5-AA001-C7EP0365

Tracking Number: 14-447aaa

Attack Code: None

Originator Group: FBLE

Updated By Group: FALSE

SigAct: Disperse

NAME

POSIT

Acevedo, Simon P.

Flt. Mechanic

Anquiano, Edison M.

Chief Medical Off.

Ballinger, Patrice M.

Ordinance Spec.

Berthold, Louis H.

Airman

Bishop, Lori R.

Comms

Carter, Kevin H.

Captain, 2 Sqdrn

Czerwinska, Alicja

Flt. Nurse

Derosiers, Bryce L.

Engineer, Elec.

Diaz, Daniel C.

Airman

Forsyth, Noemi R.

Engineer, Comms

Galambos, Soma

Crew, Ground

Gottlieb, Roger R.

Crew Lead, Ground

Habib, Emanuel A.

Flt. Mechanic

Halstrom, William J.

Senior Airman

Hardman, Emile H.

Airman

Harper, Shun L.

Comms

Hawker, Jackson M.

Flt. Lt., 2 Sqdrn

Hill, Thomas J.

Airman

Jordaan, Deviser S.

Engineer, Flt.

Khoury, Stephen A.

Machinist

Komatsu, Miu L.

Lead Engineer

Lambert, Rudolph W.

Crew, Ground

Lucas, Eden H.

Corp. Comms Off.

Marsh, Chloe D.

Engineer, Flt.

McCudden, James L.

Comms

McElroy, William R.

Flt. Mechanic

McRae, Juan R.

Lead Machinist

Meleuire, Stavros F.

Crew, Ground

Moller, Eric A.

Lead Engineer

O’Day, Ernst R.

Airman

Pan, Sheng W.

Crew, Ground

Petty, Maxwell B.

Armorer

Prinzi, Theodore R.

Flt. Commander

Rice, David M.

Airman

Riviera, Raoul M.

Crew, Ground

Roberts, John C.

Quartermaster

Rockwell, Castor S.

Crew, Ground

Ross, Morris V.

Airman

Serdikov, Victoria G.

Lead Mechanic

Solvay, Mikke B.

Comms

Stork, George R.

Airman

Tanner, Yoshi P.

Comms

Teague, Fennimore A.

Captain, 3 Sqdrn

Vaughn, Porter M.

Flt. Lt., 1 Sqdrn

Voss, Charles A.

Flt. Lt., 3 Sqdrn

Williams, John S.

Flt. Nurse

Willis, Diane R.

Lead Comms

Wolfe, Albert X.

Airman

NOTE:
Engineer team (Derosiers, Forsyth, Jordaan, Khoury, Komatsu, Marsh, McRae, Moller) will
ExFil
at 90/365 Zulu, via Cavalier (orders incl.). Material support is Request-As-Needed via Cavalier until 90/365. Contract termination at 365/365 Zulu unless otherwise ordered.
Mission ExFil
at 365/365 via available transport (orders TK).

PART 1

THESE ARE THE GOOD TIMES

“When I was a young man, I carried my pack

And I lived the free life of a rover.

From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback,

I waltzed my matilda all over.

Then in 1915, my country said, ‘Son,

It’s time to stop rambling ’cuz there’s work to be done.’

So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun

And they sent me away to the war.”

“And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” Eric Bogle, 1972

IT WAS A BAD TIME.
Everything was cold and sometimes everything was wet. When the wet and cold came together, everything would freeze and tent canvas would become like boards and breath would fog the air, laddering upward from mouths like curses given corporeal form. The ammunition, if not carefully kept, would green and foul and jam up the guns so that the men started stealing hammers from the machine shop, passing them around hand to hand until, one day, there were no more hammers in the machine shop and Ted had to order everyone to give them back.

“All of them,” he said. “Now.”

And so the men came up with the hammers—from their flight bags, from their pockets, or tucked beneath the seats of their machines. Every other man or so had stolen a hammer, and every other man or so gave his hammer back.

Kevin Carter did not give his hammer back. He stood with the other men as half slunk away to fetch back the hammers that they’d used to bang the shit out of their guns’ breeches when the shitty, greened ammo fouled their smooth operation. He stared after those who had to walk the flight line looking for their machines and watched those who rummaged through their kits for the tools, and when Ted looked him in
the eyes, Kevin folded his arms across his chest and met Ted’s gaze with guiltless, frozen calm.

Of course he’d stolen a hammer. He’d been one of the first. But he’d be damned if he was going to give it back just because Ted had
asked
. Besides, it was in his machine in the longhouse and, at the moment, it’d seemed like a long way to walk.

Danny Diaz was dead. Mikke Solvay had drank himself useless and been sent home. Rog Gottlieb had gotten sick and was extracted in a coma that was next door to death. John Williams had been crippled with both legs shattered below the knee. None of the trip alarms worked. They were electronic—tiny little screamers, no bigger than a baby’s fist—and the cold and the wet fucked with their internal whatevers so that they failed as fast as they were deployed to the perimeters of the field. Also, they were all supposed to be connected together by lengths of hair-fine wire, but the indigs—the friendly indigs—knew about the wire and so stole every yard of it the minute it was laid. No one could figure what they did with it, but that didn’t stop them from stealing it. No one could figure what they did with dead batteries either, or buttons clipped off uniforms or shell casings, but they stole those, too.

BOOK: A Private Little War
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