Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blackhawk Down

There were two survivors from the helicopter crash. One of them is still unconscious, and Evans isn't sure that he will ever wake up. The other has a broken arm and leg, but he's in decent shape otherwise.

He claims to be a Lieutenant from the National Guard armory in Richmond, though I have no idea if they even have helicopters there. We have to take him at his word, I guess, because he hasn't given us any reason to think he is lying.

I'm pretty good at reading mannerisms, being able to extrapolate motives and honesty by watching a person. Something about this man is off. It could simply be that he is hurt and frightened, unsure what his status is. It might be his military training, I don't know.

His name is Will Price, and he's a smooth talker. Sometimes he seems terrified, and others totally at ease. When he saw my wife come in to his room with some gauze to wrap his wounds, he became very relaxed and affable, which is the effect most men feel when they see her cleavage.

I really don't know what to make of him, and that bothers me. I am so used to having a definitive opinion on things, on people, that uncertainty really strikes a nerve. I want to believe the things he says, but again it just rings false in some ways.

Oh, yeah. Didn't go into that yet.

Ok, here's the skinny on Richmond. Lt. Price tells us that he and about a hundred other officers and enlisted are holed up in a hotel there. He says that they have tried to find other survivors with no success, and that they have large stocks of supplies taken from the surrounding stores as well as what they were able to take from the armory.

As for the armory, he claims that the first thing he and his men did was to secure and hide much of the weaponry and ammunition there.

The main streets of Richmond are clear, he says, but the outlying roads are choked with destruction, making it impossible for people to get in.

That might be true, but we went through there on the way back from getting Evans, and the roads then were clear. I find it hard to imagine that a hundred patrolling soldiers with heavy weaponry would fail to miss a group of people destroying houses and piling up cars. It's much more likely that Lt. Price and his crew blocked the place off, but he says they didn't.

Lie number one?

I know, why should it worry or surprise me that he might be lying? I would do the same if it somehow protected the compound. I wouldn't blame the guy if every word he said was fantasy. What makes me sweat is that a military chopper loaded with weapons was crash landed here by someone with enough skill to do it and leave survivors.

That such a valuable piece of equipment would be risked to scout for other survivors says something very important about this Lieutenant and his soldiers.

Either they are so strong and geared up that they can afford to risk men and helicopters, or they are so desperate that they would risk both.

I honestly don't know which one scares me more.

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