Tuesday, May 23, 2006


The novel is coming along great. I just have a little time-frame problem that I’ve been ignoring. As soon as I solve it, I have 16 more chapters to post.
This excerpt is something I wrote between 3 and 6 this morning. I won’t say I fell in love with it. Let’s just say I’m satisfied with it.
Bob Douglas was Kincaid’s personal pilot. Douglas was employed by Air America, a CIA organization. When Kincaid decided to walk out of Vietnam with his entire outfit, Douglas joined him. They have just been flown out of Thailand.

They landed on a nearly vacant field in the California desert. Douglas was quickly isolated from the rest. They took him to a Quonset hut that didn’t have air conditioning. In a small room inside he met a little guy wearing glasses who wouldn’t give his name. He had on a t-shirt and shorts. He was sitting behind a scarred metal desk sweating. There was a chair in front of the desk and nothing else in the room. A couple of papers and a folder were on the desk.
“Sit,” the little guy said. He had a high pitched voice.
Douglas sat. It had to be over a hundred in there.
The little guy looked through the folder. As he looked he asked, “You know that war is over, don’t you?”
Douglas was surprised at the question. He didn’t answer.
The little guy looked up at him over his glasses and repeated, “Don’t you?”
“I know it’s over for me. I can’t say about the rest of it.”
“I see you’ve got some back pay coming. That should be helpful in case you need a lawyer.”
“A lawyer? Why should I need a lawyer?”
“You probably don’t. You did walk out of a government contract. You were semi-military. Some might interpret that as a form of desertion, but I don’t think so.”
Douglas could only stare at him.
“That is only one of the options here. That one is out of my hands. It is still being discussed.” He tapped the folder. “I see you have some skills, you’re a pilot.”
“Who are you?”
“I am nobody. When you leave here, you will have never met me.”
“Are you with the government?”
“I am with no government, no how. Now can we continue?”
“Continue what?”
“We are discussing your future.”
“No shit! When did we start doing that?”
“You have two options here. With option one, you will receive your back pay and some money to help you resettle here in the states. However the government might be looking for you to press the charges I mentioned. I would suggest you assume a new identity and find a new line of work. I don’t think the government has much of a case, but they can be persistent and lawyers are expensive.”
“They would never bring me to court.”
“I believe they are discussing a military court. Since much of this is sensitive to national security, not a lot of news of the proceedings would get out.”
“Holy shit!” Douglas finally realized what was happening, “this is a cover-up. We embarrassed the shit out of everybody.”
“Would you like to hear option two?”
“Sure, go ahead, what’s option two?”
“There is a major airline that is very interested in hiring… er… black or African-American or, …what do you call yourself these days?”
“You were talking about option two.”
“This major airline will train you so you qualify for the larger aircraft and put you on as a regular pilot. I believe you would be the first… ah… of your race… to become a chief pilot on this particular airline.”
“So let me get this straight. On option one I become a fugitive for the rest of my life. On option two I become a chief pilot for a major airline.”
“Okay, what’s the catch?”
He had to sign some papers. It wasn’t a sellout. The war was over, after all. He only had to agree not to talk about what had happened and not to have any contact with any of the people with whom he’d been involved. Who wouldn’t go for that deal?
Kincaid was the only one.


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