'Here's your energy bars. You confident your can work everything?'
It was hard not to love them for it sometimes. Being dropped like that. What kid doesn't hate everything and everyone about them so much sometimes that they feel they would do anything to be somewhere, anywhere else.
'I hate it here' and two days later and you wake up in a chopper and your not tied and gagged. The few people there smile and nod. Call you by an affectionate nickname.
Generally a pretty keen student in anything survival related I give a enthusiastic nod which causes a bit of over eye coverage as the 'you'll grow into it' head shield, quickly pushed back into place. 'Okay then.' 'I'll see back at X in Y days/weeks'.
I got very good and very conscious when I was older at only remembering relevant info relating to safe places to find food, sleep, speak to people. The actual instructions I held in a way I could repeat but didn't know until they were out of sight. Wherever it was the air always tasted very sweet for those first few seconds after the drops were completed. I'm on my own, my body feels well looked after and I have loads of really useful equipment, appropriate clothing for changes in weather and I'm also ridiculously well trained in a whole heap of stuff. There was a change in structures and procedures when I was older and someone busted me for not bothering to listen to orders never mind carry them out and I wasn't allowed to work conscious again. The days 'of it doesn't matter as long as your out there' were over.
As a kid though the sense of freedom was immense. Sometimes you got sent out like that with your best mate..
A longer spat, living in a place and being left way on my own more than I ever experienced back in Europe. Able to steal shit from the rich people I was living with and giving it to others, there was no way I was ever going to make it out alive without help from others. Got caught, some people got body parts chopped of and I cried and screamed a lot. The British dude who deals with all the 'difficult' me stuff turns up and a Saudi looking dude who turns up when all the trouble kicks off. I watch them walk off together talking genially. Plush greenery, tiled floors.
Out East, I mean proper East where it really is like going back a millennium. I've wondered if there was some sort of Bermuda Triangle, Muller and Scully type time rupture shit out there. Whenever I looked at maps or tried to imagine the globe there was a black mist over the whole area. Hearing someone describe it as 'littered' with concentrate camp sites meant there is now a spidery map of railway tracks across it but so much still seemed blank and never mentioned. Several attempts to study the Final Solution and what led up to it in the hope I could shade the map in a bit more all left me on the floor weeping and not writing any impartial well structured essays, not half way through the course yet.
In the palace I collapsed on my bed and woke up in uniform, equipped, in a humble, tidy, clean room. I am happy. Very happy. I'm out the door like Lara Croft except I'm fully covered in body armor and a lot shorter. The bravada drops pretty quickly when I'm outside somewhere rural and Northern Hemisphere. Pine trees, mud vehicle tracks, marshy looking grass. gravel. It's my 'something' environment. I can't remember the term but it eluded to the environment where I spent the majority of my formative years of training. It might have contained some sort allusion to breastfeeding or 'nursery'. Something that I found deeply offensive when the man with stained teeth explained it to me. We were out by the big half polythene tubes, like you see on farms.
Anyway, I know its not Scotland, which is something and head off. An interim later I'm getting drunk in the town square everyone is singing and dancing, hugging and rocking each other. A group of them give me a microphone, I'm very drunk. I climb up some steps and I keep singing but because I'm up higher I see the lines and the pile of heavy white body bags that are being counted and swung into trucks and break down. Then I'm back in the crowd loads of arms around me and its warm. There's a woman in a head scarf she's just shorter than me, she's older, she's local, she's saying something, she's pretty fervent I'm nodding and crying, being held up. They're all talking at once.