I can’t remember a time without him being there, it’s as if we were even born together. We would spend entire days together exploring Brooklyn and hanging out at Prospect Park in the winter, and The Navy Yard Pier and Brighton beach in the summer. When Charles and I were both 15, we moved to Britain and ended up joining the British army. I became a Bombardier, while he became an engineer for the B- 24 Liberator.
The warning sounds started blaring as we watched our right wing get shot off the side of our plane. We all knew that we would end up crashing, but still some of the crew continued to man the guns trying to hit the plane that would cause our demise. Turning to my best friend Charles, I started to talk to him thinking it would be the last time I would talk to anyone.
“Charlie!” I called over the sound of the wind rushing by “Tell me again what you plan to do when dis war ends.”
Turning to look at me he laughed “Preston, you already know what I’m doing, we’re both moving back to Broo-”. His comment got cut off as the side of the plane he was on blew up.
Still sitting in stunned silence I couldn’t comprehend what had just happened, my best friend had just been killed in front of me. That was the last I remembered before everything went black, waking up again I was falling and had a gash on my cheek and on my stomach. I continued to go in and out of consciousness during the fall.
Finally landing, I quickly looked around to see if I would be able to salvage anything from the crash. Realizing that there was nothing worth saving I started to walk in the direction that I assumed was North. It had been three weeks since the crash had occurred, when I first saw signs of live in this vast desert. Walking over a hill I noticed some tents sprinkled below me. Finding an unknown energy I bolted down the hill, without a care in the world if those tents were allies or enemies. Seeing the British flag flying over the biggest tent I started to run even faster.
While walking down the hill I started to remove my grey jumpsuit to reveal a light-gray collared shirt, red suspenders, a red bandanna around my neck and dark grey pants with tan boots. Leaning down I rumbled through my jumpsuit pockets looking for my cap. Finding it I pulled it over my messy flop of light brown hair so that the tips just slightly curled out from the front of the cap, quickly polishing my glasses I walked towards the largest tent.
Pushing the big white fabric aside I ducked inside, noticing that I had walked in on a sort of meeting, I started to walk out of the room before I noticed one of the men in the tent at the moment.
“Patrick?” I asked before rushing over and hugging the older boy. “Patrick!” I screamed in his ear, jumping up and down.
“Preston, calm down.” he said putting a firm hand on my shoulder, “what are you doing here anyway?” he asked looking quite puzzled.
“I was bloody shot outta the sky!” I responded annoyed, “and Charlie is dead as well now,” I said in a very heavy Brooklyn accent, my accent was very strong when I got mad. “Now if ya don’t mind, I am goin’ to get myself some food.” I said turning to walk out of the tent. I hadn’t eaten any food in two days and I couldn’t even remember how long it had been since I
had any sleep.
“Oh sorry, Davey” Patrick said putting a hand on my shoulder stopping me from leaving, turning to look at the other guy in the room who was raising his eyebrow at Patrick. “This is my younger brother Preston.”
“It’s fine Pat, it’s nice to see you catch up with family.” Davey said extending his arm out to me.
Taking his hand I grasped it tightly giving him a small nod before asking “so what exactly is this place?”
“Welcome to the British Special Air Service or SAS for short,” Davey said, spreading his arms as if he was showing off his prized possession.
“Your telling me that the acronym for the Special Air Service is sass.” I said to Davey, causing Pat to burst out laughing behind me.
“So, Preston where are you from?” Davey asked me.
“Brooklyn,” I said “ ya learn to control it or it controls ya.”
Six months later
“Congrats,” my brother said patting me on the back as my friends surrounded me shouting their own congratulations at me.
I had just been given my own division of the SAS to command, I was rather excited about this new position, but it meant that I had a lot of work cut out for me. I had to decide who I wanted in my elite group that would go with me during hostage rescues, VIP protections, CT sniping and CQB (close quarter battles). There were so many different people to choose from and the pressure was starting to get to me.
“Remind me why I’m here again,” I said turning to my brother.
“Because you loved me so much and because you are one of the best Bombardiers we have had in a long time.” he responded pulling up a chair to look over my papers.
After Pat and I stared at the papers for what seemed like an hour I finally decided who would be a part of the elite group in my division. John Morris would be the demolition man, Evan Karr is the Linguist, Romeo Anderson is the medic, Chris Williams is the signaler, Leslie Jacobs would drive us and Henry ‘Snipes’ Zas would be our sniper.
It had been two months since I had become a commander of the 27th division and me and my elites were going on our most dangerous mission yet, this could end the war for all of us. As Les started getting closer I turned to my men with a look of worry and nerves plastered on my face.
“Is this safe? Cause it doesn’t seem safe. In fact it seems like a horrible idea,” I said starting to ramble.
“Calm down Pres.” Snipes said jokingly leaning forward in his seat so that he was looking at me.
“We are here,” Les said his deep voice putting a solemn chill over the group.
“Well boys it’s now or never.” I said getting out of the truck and loading my bag with different bombs.
“Hahaha take that!” I laughed excitedly as my smoke bomb successfully went off, providing cover for Snipes and John.
“Neva Fear, boys.” I said as we started heading back to base.
You could feel the energy and excitement in the air as Les drove us back. When we got back to the base we were immediately berated with questions about how are mission was so successful.
“We got lucky?” I joked with everyone. That night no one said a word as we listened to the crackle of the radio, waiting for a reception to find out what the outcome of the war was. It was around 12 before we finally found, when we heard that we had won everyone exploded into screams of joy. Looking around frantically I spotted my brother before rushing over to give him a hug, “We can home!” I shouted happily in his ear, “We can go back to Brooklyn.” I said breathing my first sigh of relief since taking off on the B- 24 a year earlier.