Sierra Tango Yankee X-Ray

“What happened?” Rendell said, rubbing at his head. The fog continued to float gently past, impenetrable as the silent water beneath them. There was no smell, even the acrid stink of the pond-scum that usually floated on the shoreward edge of the lake near the village was gone.

“We must have drifted way out,” he mused, trying to rise to his feet in the unsteady vessel. When it jerked and pitched alarmingly, he gave up and sat down again. “Do we have oars?”

The young soldier said nothing, merely shook his head and stared out at the night.

Rendell regarded him for a few moments, something akin to anger starting to kindle within him.

“This isn’t my fault you know,” he said, wondering if it was true, “I’m as clueless about what happened last night as you. But we gotta get back to base, now. Before dawn. Even if we make it you can bet your ass the commander will hit the roof.”

The silent man turned his head with awful, leaden slowness. His eyes held Rendell’s gaze for a moment, before something like pity flickered across his face. He looked away again.

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