I’m a bit down in the dumps today after Jiggs
informed me that one of our Academy roommates has gone on ‘eternal patrol’. It was an accident. A simple yet fatal
auto accident. Hell, life sometimes just isn’t fair. He still had the rest of his career to look forward to and leaves
a wife of over 40 years behind. I’m stumped about what I can say to her.
Lee’s offered to help me with it. He’s certainly had enough practice doing condolence letters, one of those command
jobs I’m glad I don’t usually have. But this time, I need to do the writing.
Whether in the line of duty or an ‘act of
God’, it’s painful for the family, it’s painful for the commanders. And it never gets easier.
I remember when we had a small handful of these
letters to write, due to the ‘impostor’ Parker who we’d thought was on our side. Instead he was an impostor,
sent to us to debrief the defector Anton Koslow. When found out, he managed to kill some of our crew, then tried to kill Koslow
having eluded us through the ventilation shafts.
But it was Anna Ravec who was the real threat
and almost injected Koslow with a lethal drug when Lee, still crawling through the ventilation shafts saw her with the syringe
and shot it right out of her hand. Damn good aim Lee!
In any case, I found him later writing the
condolence letters to the families or our dead men. He took his time over them,
espousing each’s value and loss to Seaview. He sat in the Observation Nose
that night. All night. Just staring out the windows. I poured us each a scotch
and joined him. He asked me if Koslow was worth it. All I could say was I thought our mission was and like him, felt it was
a damn shame our men were if effect, ‘in the way’ of the man impersonating Parker.
We didn’t say much after that. And the next morning, Lee seemed better, but still a bit quiet. I think the whole