Tony had left for his guard shift when we heard a thump and rattle from the roof. Grant, Warren and I were left, talking to Bishop, who doesn't play well with the SECFOR and other Marine ETTs at his own ridiculously expensive but bleak base.
"That's Tony," said Grant, rolling his eyes. "He's throwing used grenades." Ah. He meant spent Mk 19 brass. Grant and Bishop left in a few minutes. More brass pinged and bounced off the roof.
"We should return fire," I mused idly. The light bulb went off about the time Warren's eyes widened, and he dove for the box he's stashed the wrist rocket in. We're mortarmen. We work as a team, and we move fast. As he reached for the box, I dashed for the door, and across to our MWR. By the time Warren came in, I had fished out a handful of jawbreakers from the enormous bag of candy my buddy Shane sent.
Warren and Tony conducted a long-range duel for the next twenty minutes, Tony's accurate arm and height advantage versus Warren's greater velocity and flatter trajectory. I think it was a draw, with many glorious rounds exchanged, and both combatants winners. I was due to relieve Tony, and wandered up a few minutes early. He was sitting in the dark behind the Mk 19.
"You know what I do up here, to pass the time? I count."
I looked at him with pity. "I'm sorry, man."
"In forty-five minutes, I average twenty-four hundred. You should try it."
I don't think so.
But my Backwoods cigar absorbed twenty-one minutes tonight, as I self-consciously combat smoked, covering the cherry with the palm of my hand. I feel so silly, but I'm powerless to NOT do it like that. Feel free to laugh- no sniper's getting me.