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Chapter One Page One of Four

The MP found him in the barracks, swinging gently in the breeze
while hanging from a rafter. The only thing odd was the fact that
there wasnít any breeze, at least none that the MP could detect.
The MP, a man with an impeccable record named Sloan, turned toward
the door he just opened and thrust his hand into the air. There was
in fact a breeze outside, possibly brought on by the absence of the moon
and the sudden end to the rain. Sloan thought about the significance
of the end of the torrential downpour, and then realized why he was
thinking about it. There was a man hanging from the barrack rafters.
He ran outside to wake up his CO, who was very possibly drunk and
unconscious. Rain made men drink.

"Is it a suicide?" Markett asked without looking inside.
"No sir, the man is still alive," Sloan said unconcerned. "I heard
noise from the barracks, and I went in and found him hanging. I was
under the impression that he was dead, but then I felt his pulse.
Imagine my surprise when I found him alive."
"Then it wasnít a suicide?" Markett said, almost disappointed.
"Possibly an attempted, but not a full-fledged, suicide," Sloan stated officially.
Markett sighed and looked upward to the sky. "I wish it would
rain again," he said as he walked away. "The man is being taken
to the base hospital?" Markett loudly asked without turning around.
"No sir. The thing is heís not a soldier, heís a civilian,"
MP Sloan called to Markett as he continued walking towards his office.

"A civilian? What the hell is a civilian doing trying to hang
himself in our barracks? And how did he get on base in the
first place?" Markett asked while stopping and coming back towards Sloan.
"Well sir, the man was unconscious when I found him. He had no ID
and I donít know how he got here," Sloan said.
"Whereís he being taken then, if not to the military hospital?"
Markett asked, now looking inside the barracks for the first time.
"Heís being taken to the county hospital, about five miles
from here," said Sloan. He glanced down at his watch.
"The ambulance took him about 20 minutes ago, so he should be there by now."
"All right, Iíll go see him in the morning. Hopefully by then the
damn fool will be conscious," Markett said as he walked back to his office.
He stopped suddenly and looked up towards the darkened sky.
"I wish it would rain again."

Continued Next Page

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