ADAGE by Travis Hill – Copyright 2013
“Comm check,” Sergeant Horowitz called over the radio, even though we were all bunched together in a side room of the temple.
“Aw, Sarge, you can smell us, we’re all here,” Pvt. Hoskins complained without keying his mic.
“Private, test your radio properly before I put your name on a report,” Horowitz replied with no malice. “Radio checks are essential in case we get separated. You know this.”
“Aw Sarge, you can smell us, we’re all here,” Private Hoskins said in his Georgia twang, this time with his mic keyed. The rest of us had a silent chuckle, and even Hardass Horowitz allowed the corners of his mouth to turn up a little. The squad chimed in one by one, then double-checked weapons, webbing, flak jackets, and Kevlar helmets.
Sergeant Horowitz sighed quietly and stepped out into the temple’s main room, the rest of the squad right behind him in single file formation. Some of us were scared to death, some were still bewildered at where we’d ended up, but all of us had a job to do, and we weren’t going to let fear of the unknown rob us of what the United States Army had instilled in us.