“Testing is inventing, without it, there is nothing.”
PAs painted camo had been bolted to the underside of the hull of the helicopter. Braced against the runners.
Inside, the equipment hung in netsacks. No one seemed that interested. Everyone was pretending they’d seen this before. No one had seen this before. He knew that. Why was it green to seem curious?
“In the brief it says you’re some kinda disc jockey,” the pilot’s voice yelled over the rotor whine. His fist grabbing the unzipped coveralls, just to steady me in front of him, in front of his helmet.
“I heard this was going to be something big. I didn’t know it was a dance party,” he laughed. “I don’t think you’re going to find many prom dates around here once it’s over. Well anyway, Merry Fucking Xmas.” He released the coveralls and turned to his flight check. “They celebrate Xmas down here don’t they?”
The helicopter was big like a stretch limo version of the Huey. There was room and a clear view past the machine gun mounted at the door.
“La Navidad,” came a voice over the headset. It was the Spook. “Down here they call it La Navidad and it goes on and on.”
“Where are you?”
“I am on a beach with a stiff marguerita on my right and a lovely señorita on my left.
“Let’s just say this. I can see you from herrrrrrrrrr,” his voice broke into echoed electric bits and shards. “Yyyyyyyyyyou’re boots are untied.”
There was nothing in the still quiet sky overhead.
“Are you all set? Our window is approaching.”
Bird headset and my headset. Should have tested that. Should have tested the levels through the headset with the rotors going.
“Make sure the test is ready, put the birdset back on til we’re nearly there—I’ll let you know—and then ready thyself. I’ll have the pilot give you the hi-sign to start.”
“You know it takes something out of me when it’s on, I—“
“I know, sport, I know. You’ll do fine.”
The pilot put up his hand. “Okay, raise your hand if you’re thinking this will be the deejay’s first firefight.”
They raised their hands. All except a stocky black man named Roan. Roan was the door gunner. He simply nodded with his chin and turned to the open door.