Covert Blue: America’s Stealth Operatives in the Third World War
Novel version In Progress
I was with my buddies Carl “Snake” Hiassen and Winston “Keg” Jorgen at our favorite dive, Betty’s Shiny Diner, when it all began. It was right there, in gorgeous 3D HD, on the TVs positioned around the bar. Russia had bombed Samoa. Before we even picked our jaws up of the floor, the news then came in: America had declared war on Russia.
After collecting our senses (and aforementioned jaws), we resolved to go to the nearest armed forces recruiting station. Snake was ROTC for the Army, me an experienced paintball player, and Keg an expert gamer. Those were our only qualifications going in.
Following Snake’s recommendation that we all stay together, we went for the Army. It turned out to be the most important choice of our entire lives at that time. After saying our goodbyes to friends and family, we shipped out for boot camp.
Boot camp didn’t turn out as hard as the media portrays it, but I’ll skip over it- it makes for boring reading. One or two episodes were notable, though. For instance, the time where Keg was trying to get a 3D TV hookup with a pizza pan and a couple spare HUD displays. I’ll play it out for you:
Keg: “Hey Shredd (me), got a spare graphics card laying around?”
Me: “You know me, I don’t even have enough money for a computer that can take a graphics card! Whatever for?”
“I can’t tell you. It’s a secret.”
“Aw, come on, Keg, you know I can keep one.”
“Alright, alright. I’m trying to get a 3D TV signal with these spare electronics.
“And the pizza pan is doing…?”
“Oh, that was holding my dinner. Now that you mention it, though, it would make a fine satellite dish…”
Then the drill sergeant walked up.
Drill Sgt.: “Jack Johnson! What the [redacted] are you doing up here?”
Me: “That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”
“You haven’t been sleepwalking, again, have you?”
“N…n…no, sir. I was trying to find out what Winston was doing.”
“And just what was Winston doing?”
“Ask Winston, sir.”
Winston ended up getting KP duty for the week. Poor fella. Then there was the time that the intelligence officer made us watch old Muppet shows to practice filtering out propaganda. Snake’s brain didn’t like the 2D-3D conversion rate, so he got a few wires crossed. The next morning was… interesting.
Drill Sgt: “Up and at ‘em! 50 mile march scheduled in fifteen minutes!”
Snake: “Mahna mahna, sir.”
“What did you just say?”
“I said ‘mahna mahna, sir.’”
“MAHNA MAHNA NA NA NA NA MAHNA MAHNA NA NA NA NA NA”
The Sarge and snake went on like this for a while. It only ended when the MPs had to stop Snake going off-camp for the mahna-mahna through the telephone line shown in the show. Snake took a while to stop laughing; so long that the MPs almost put him in the psych ward.
Finally, there was Basic Weapons Training. We were being trained in a bewildering variety of weapons. The individual sub-course titles were occasionally quite entertaining. For example:
“When the Pin is Pulled, Mr. Grenade is Not Your Friend”: Fragmenting Grenades 101
“I’m A-Firing Mah Lazors”: Artillery Railguns 101
That’s about al the funny ones. An odd episode did happen at the target range, though:
Gunney: “Hey Shredd, how come there’s only one hole in your target?”
Me: “Sir, that’s where all the bullets went through.”
Gunny: “Are you sure?”
The gunny’s eyes got really wide, until I told him I had only shot one bullet.
This is just half of Chapter 1- I'll be working on it on and off.