The ominous klaxon wails as boots drum steel. Seatbelts are clacking among the hurried professional murmuring. My mental-checklist rolls tape automatically within: flashgear-check, gasmask-optimal, headset audio-go, mic-check good. My scope hums into action, glowing green and amber.
“Weps, One online,” squawk my butterflies, as I note the surface contact sent to me automatically by my boss. It’s beyond gun range, but it’s streaming right for us. A single anti-ship missile would hastily end its aggression, but we can’t launch a preemptive strike without just cause. And so, we wait.
“Weps, aye,” boss booms in acknowledgement, adding, “Surface-action port-side, bearing 279-relative…”
“…Renegade gunboat coming in hot… not responding to our hails… I guess the pirates wanna play…”
Rely on your training. You got this.
“…Batteries-tight. Do not fire unless fired upon, but stay frosty, ya got me? We got this.”
“One, aye,” I reply.
And now we wait.
the heavens shriek red
dawn or dusk, our plight unknown
now gird your courage
Written for dVerse Haibun Monday: Waiting, guest hosted by Imelda.
One of the US Navy’s unofficial slogans was “hurry-up and wait”. Not very poetic, I know, but the topic of waiting makes me think of those days.
7 thoughts on “Condition Zebra”
at the mercy of the elements and orders, the wait seem endless
I enjoyed the fast pace of preparation followed by the w—a—i—t—
Nice phrase: ” stay frosty”
The waiting is agonizing. I like how you put us there in that situation, hearing the boss commentary.
Love the color of your haiku with: the heavens shriek red. Thanks for joining in Barry.
I have never been in a “sharp” situation, but even then from i remember that the most important element of being a soldier is waiting… fantastic description
I am late to get around reading the haibuns Barry, but I really love what you’ve written! Engaging, riveting, intense – this was a great read! 🙂
Ah, this is tense and plays like a movie.