His dream was fractured, jumping from one time and place to another.  In his dream, he was dressed in civilian dress, a charcoal gray, double breasted, three piece suit.  He and Christine, who was seated to his left, were in a Town Car. She was wearing a dark blue or black dress that was very short and very clingy. Donovan looked into her eyes; he could see through her eyes, the love she had for him, pouring out from deep within her. Donovan slowly reached over to take her small and delicate hand in his large callused hand. She held his hand on top of her lap placing her other hand on top of their clasped hands. Donovan noticed that there were no rings on her left hand.

The car came to a slow and gentle stop and his door suddenly opened. Donovan stepped out of the glossy black car.  He looked around, they were in a deserted parking lot of a Chinese restaurant, it looked familiar, but he could not place it. Donovan bent down and reached into the car to help Christine out. Her strong and shapely legs swung out of the car. Her legs were toned and tanned; she was wearing three inch black heels with very thin ankle straps that made her legs seem to go on forever.  When her head appeared from within the car he could see that her hair was swept back in a French braid.  Christine’s eyes flashed bright and dazzling in the fading sunlight. As soon as Christine stepped out of the car, the car disappeared. Donovan looked down at his watch; it was 7:25 pm. The couple made their way to the bright red painted entrance doors, which were decorated with golden lions, of the restaurant. Christine stopped just shy of the doors and turned to face Donovan as she reached up with both of her hands and encircled his neck. She gently pulled his head down to hers. Christine mouthed the words, “I love you.”

“I know.”

Donovan held the door for Christine and was watching as she made her way through the doorway.  But she did not walk, it seemed as though, she effortlessly glided across the floor. The restaurant was also deserted. At the rear of the building there were windows and glass doors that opened onto a small path that lead to a lighted pagoda. The lighted pagoda was situated on an island in the middle of a large lighted coyfish pond. The strains of soft music played in the background and the two started to waltz as they made their way from the restaurant’s rear doors to the pagoda. The sunset was spectacular; deep hues of crimson and peach with the sun as a fiery orange mass.  Behind them the stars were just starting to spring forth. When they finally arrived at the pagoda the dance was over and the stars were out in earnest. They parted and Donovan pulled a chair out for Christine so that she could sit at the only table in the pagoda.

The pagoda was alight with what seemed to be about a hundred candles. The candles gave the sweet scent of wisteria and hyacinths. In this part of Donovan’s dream they alternated eating and dancing, the food magically appearing.  And each time they danced they grew closer until there was hardly a breath of space between them.  It was at the end of the last song; that Donovan took Christine’s left hand in his, as he brought her hand to his lips to kiss, he noticed that there were now two rings on her hand, one a diamond ring and the other obviously a wedding band.

The scene with the pagoda dissolved and was replaced with a large front yard with a well kept lawn dotted with trees and flowering bushes. The houses he could not see, but it was he knew it was his.  He could hear various birds hidden in the branches of the trees and see butterflies landing on the azalea bushes. Christine was now dressed in a pair of hip hugging jeans and a denim button down shirt, knotted at her waist. Standing to her left were twin girls who appeared to be about five years old. The girls were dressed identically, in white eyelet dresses with white and red ribbons tied at the ends of their braided hair. The girls looked like younger versions of Christine. To Christine’s right were two boys, one looked to be about seven or eight years old, the other boy was a toddler of about two years of age. The boys were dressed in jeans and t-shirts. The older boy had motorcycles decorating his jersey while the younger one on had dinosaurs on his. The boys had the appearance of younger versions of Donovan.  Rolling on the grass at the feet of the family were a kitten and a puppy.  It was his family, one that he would never have with Christine.

The scene shifted once again to where Donovan stood looking at himself in a mirror that was to his right. He was dressed for combat. He was wearing his full combat kit. The sounds of battle seemed to be drawing near. He reached for Christine with both of hands, which were cover in camouflage fingerless gloves, mud, and somebody’s blood. Christine stood wordlessly shaking her head no.  Then she spoke, “Not till you are done with the war.” Then he heard the Gunny’s voice, it came from a clear blue sky. “Diesel, wake up, come on wake up.” Donovan was sure it was the Gunny’s voice he was hearing in his dream. Suddenly the clear blue sky of his dream, where replaced with dark near black storm clouds that had rolled in. Gigantic thunderheads the color of a vile and evil black and heavily laden with rain and the promise a huge storm dominated the sky of his dream.

Diesel awoke from his dream. His eyes were all pupil. Diesel’s heart was racing; it was as if there was a jackhammer lodged in his chest. It was pounding so hard it hurt. Diesel’s breath was rapid and shallow and coming through his clenched teeth. He bolted up from his lying position to a seated one in an eye blink. One hand going for the Gunny’s throat as the other produced his pistol. His mind still reeling from the dream he recognized his Gunny and stopped both hands.

Gunny took one look at his Captain and knew what had happened. It was that blasted dream again. He spoke so softly so that eyes could not overhear him. “Dreaming of  her again.” It was a statement not a question.

“Yes Gunny,” Was all that Diesel croaked out.

“The same one or a different one this time?” asked the Gunny.

“Different one this time,” was the reply from Diesel.

The Gunny knew that Diesel was a tough man, as hard as a diamond and in some cases even harder than a diamond, but three years of combat had to be taking an effect on him. He knew Diesel needed to take a break, he was on the razors edge. His instincts to kill were on a hair trigger. That was a bad thing, he would talk to the Big Rig when this one was over about the Diesel taking some time off for some r and r.

“We got the pictures and set up some more defenses,” stated Gunny.

“Good, Eyes go wake up Tex and bring him here,” said Diesel while trying to stifle a yawn.

“Will do,” said Eyes as he got up to wake up the radio man, he turned to leave and stopped short. “Is he going to try and kill me when I wake him up?” eyes asked.

“No he shouldn’t do that, but if he tries to pour bbq sauce on you, you will want to run away very far, and very fast,” replied Gunny, sounding as matter of factly as possible.

Eyes just raised one eye brow and had a confused look on his face.

“You’ll learn sooner or later about the platoons quarks,” said Gunny as Eyes left to get Tex. Within a few moments Tex came ambling over. His cammy bush hat was in the shape of a cowboy hat. He had the radio slung over his back. He placed it at Diesel’s feet so he could have access to the computer connections for the pda that the captain was fishing out of his gear.

Diesel took Eyes’ scope and connected it to his pda. He then downloaded the stored pictures. Next Diesel connected pda to the platoons computer and then connected the computer to the platoon radio as Tex got the ship on the radio.

“Here you go sir,” said Tex handing the radio’s hand set over.

“Sherwood forest this is Robin Hood, over,” spoke Diesel softly into the hand set. He realized that at this hour there would most likely be shift change in the communication center, and he was right.

“Robin Hood this is Sherwood Forest, go, over,” came the voice.

Diesel recognized the voice as that of Smitty. “I need to speak with the Big Rig if he is available, over.”

“Is there a problem, over?

“I just don’t have the warm fuzzies. I have a few questions concerning a few of the cards in my current hand and I need a call on them.”

Smitty had worked with this unit many times before and had worked out a code system with them. Cards referred to the men in the unit. A call on them meant he needed information on them. Warning bells were going off in his head. He turned to the young man next to him and said “I need for you to locate Col. Rogers. Check his stateroom first, then the ward room, if you find him and he is alone tell him that Diesel needs to talk to him, But if he is not alone tell him that my mother sent a care package and that I have his cigars.”

The young man repeated the order and was out the hatch in a blink of an eye.

“Robin Hood this is Sherwood Forest, over,” Smitty said into the boom mic.

“Go Sherwood Forest, over.”

“We are locating the Big Rig now, is there anything I can do, over?”

“Just make sure that only family can hear this, over.”

“Will do, over”

Not seven minutes had passed before the Col Rodgers, the Big Rig, walked though the hatch with the young man in tow.

Smitty told everyone to go have a smoke brake as he passed the Big Rig a headset and mic. When the hatch was closed he called out “Robin Hood this is Sherwood Forest, over”

Diesel replied “Go Sherwood Forest, over.”

“The Big Rig is on the line, over,” said Smitty.

Col. Rodgers cleared his throat and said “This is the Big Rig what is your sitrep, over?”

Diesel gave a quick report as to the actions and odd behavior exhibited by the two men and informed Big Rig that he was sending two photos with each man’s name attached on a separate side band.

Big Rig was listening and making notes on a piece of paper. Big Rig waited for Diesel to finish his report. “I’ll call a friend at the asylum to see what can be found out about these two. Warn your men but take no further action towards them, until you hear back from me, over.” The asylum was the code word for the pentagon.

“How long, over?” asked Diesel.

“5 hours tops, out.” was Big Rig’s reply.

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