The computer screen told the story. A weather system, shown as a menacing blob of glowing crimson on the screen, was bearing down on us and about to engulf the whole damn island. Isla Nublar was really in for it. Gale force winds, 40 foot swells, the whole nine yards.
Communications were already out.
The control room shook as horizontal rain punished the windows creating enough background noise to decidedly get on my nerves. I took a moment to glance out the window. The tropical trees were whipping in the wind like piñatas under a baseball bat.
It was up to me.
I realized a voice was coming out of the high-tech radio I held in my hand. “Sqwk! Say again, say again, we are pinned down. No way out. Request immediate EVAC. Do you copy? Over. Sqwk!”
Sending out the chopper in these conditions would almost certainly be suicide. Yet there stood the flight crew, having already volunteered, now impatiently awaiting my decision. Risk three lives to save eight? I could barely comprehend the mathematics that involved.
The weather display was blinking now. It has just been updated with the name of the storm which was now closer than ever. “Fiona” they were calling in. Wow, I thought. They named the storm. That’s extremely useful information.
“Clever girl,” I said without realizing I was saying out loud.
Time was growing short. It was do or die. This command decision had to be made so I could triage the next looming disaster only seconds away.
“Send ’em out,” I ordered. I keyed the mic. “Help is on the way. Out.”
Without further ado, I am pleased to introduce… um, wait. What’s his name? Whew. Luckily I have voluminous notes. Oh yeah, Fred.
Fred isn’t exactly the hollowest point in the 20-round magazine. Or something like that. So who is he and why is he a close, personal friend of the blog?
Fred was raised with basic values like decency, honesty and hard work. But he wasn’t particularly gifted in any special areas. He graduated from high school, because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but he didn’t stand out academically or athletically, so no scholarships came his way. His parents were simple working folk and unable to pay his way to college.
He doesn’t lie and his word is his bond. These days that makes him a veritable freak of nature.
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