Marine Corps Stories: The Drone Plan
A lance corporal engages with a device that’s lighter than air.
The spinning blades of the drone whirred with intensity. The cerulean brilliance of the morning sky was only enhanced by the presence of some small, pure-whte cumulus clouds. Each of the blades reflected the sunlight as the device raised up from the ground. Anyone looking up at the Yuma Marine Corps Air Base in Arizona couldn’t help but see the drone.
“It’s just like in the field,” Lance Corporal Dentry Doers said to himself. He piloted the drone with equal parts precision and ease.
Then, Sergeant Adam “AX” Xavier spotted Doers and the drone.
“Hey, Devil! What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Get that goddamn thing out of the sky!”
Doers snapped to and landed the drone.
AX approached Doers.
“Hey, Marine! You know good and goddamn well you’re not supposed to have flying equipment on base. You need to pull your head out of your cargo pocket and screw your grape on straight.”
“Where the hell did you get that thing?” AX asked.
“I got it out on town,” Doers said, shaken by the sergeant’s commands.
“Damn, Devil. You should know better than to be flying those things on an air base. Smarten up some.” AX looked at Doers name on his camouflage uniform.
“Doers,” AX said.
“I’m going to have to report this. I’ll have to either report this or you’re going to have to permanently secure that device to your room. You’ve got to be what, twenty?”
“What shop are you with?”
“Figures. You admin guys never know what it’s like to be out on that flight deck like avionics. You should have known better than to be flying that thing around.”
“I know now, sergeant.”
“You damn sure better know.”
“I was just having fun while everybody else was drinking. It’s Saturday, and I just wanted to get away from the barracks. I tried to distance myself as far away from the flight line. I just figured it wouldn’t be a problem.”
“Well it is. You’ve got to use your brain housing unit. You can’t just start flying recreational drones all around the base like that. Even on a weekend. You understand?”
“What else do you want to do for fun if you're not old enough to be a boozer like your buddies?”
“I like to go into the desert.”
“That’s cool. I’ve been out there a few times. Maybe we can take this drone out and fly it out there. You better be glad it wasn’t the XO who saw that thing. Anyway, my wife and I can pick you up and we can go out there. How’s that sound?”
“It’s alright with me. But don’t tell my gunny about me flying around the base. He would lose his mind,” Doers said.
“Look, besides this whole drone around the base thing, you seem pretty squared away. I’ll tell you this...we can go next week. We’ll put in the paper work for us all to hit the sand.”
“You know that joke about Marines hitting the beach?”
“I don’t do corny Marine jokes,” AX said.
“Yes, and I can’t remember the punchline anyway.”
“I’ll make sure you and I are able to bring this situation to just between us. Most everyone’s asleep now anyway,” AX said.
“I appreciate it, sergeant. You can trust me, I won’t do anything like this again, I swear. I thank you for the invitation. And for not telling my gunny.”
“We still haven’t gotten to Monday….” AX said with a straightface.
Doers became shaken. Then AX flashed a grin.
“It’s alright, lance corporal. This stays between us and whoever you pray to. Anyone who saw the drone won’t be able to pinpoint the operator. You do pray right?”
“I’m an atheist.”
AX chuckled. “Me, too.”