Base: X-ray Papa Victor raising Echo Romeo Foxtrap, do you splinter?

Airborne: Patch—

Base: X-ray Papa Victor vectoring Echo Romeo. We have you cresting and You’re all the way.

Airborne: Number two and climbing. Haven’t got there yet, Big Papa.

Base: Stop thinking. Don’t concentrate. Your brain will start oozing out your ears like the sewage they take it for. Take it from us. We’re dissembling, over.

Airborne: Negative crest, sir.

Base: Inalienably. You’re drooling, sucker.

Airborne: Negative. Repeat, negative crest.

Base: Affirmative! Noodles with rice and chicken chow mein. Come off, come out wherever you’ve been!

Airborne: Uh—

Base: Like you’ve just slurped milk, or you’ve chased a squirrel into a vicious corner, or they say you’ve chased squirrel, which is all the same, then up come the sheriff with a shotgun bam. Don’t do these things, all right?

Airborne: I got no right.

Base: That’s right. Ease her down. Slowly now. Slower.

Airborne: Coming, Big Papa. Uh.

Base (over whooping and cheering): Really deece, really deece.

– Cmdr. Remington Murphy

[original samizdat]

mb2-4 Circle-o-Fear Original art