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Chief Master Sgt. Sonny Davies finished off his coffee and ate the rest of his breakfast (2 eggs, over easy on white toast) in the kitchen of a small duplex he’d rented on Paradise Drive in Fleming Heights, a subdivision attached to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

He had a hangover.

He was drinking till late last night, at the NCO Club with a couple of buddies. Eventually, they left and he kept drinking, got home around midnight, and was up again at just past four AM. Today was his fortieth birthday.

He had been on Guam for two years, and before, he’d done four years at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. He was sick of the Pacific. His wife left him in Hawaii for a pilot. She loved flight suits. She took the dog – a Golden Retriever named Sasha.

He missed the dog. Sasha was a good animal. He missed her more than his wife.

Sonny was a career military man, but wasn’t much interested in being an officer. He liked being Chief. His pay grade was E9. He commanded a group of men and one hard-ass woman. He was with the 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron out of Ellsworth. He was good at his job, and so were his men (and one hard-assed woman). The forecast was rain.

September 26.

Typhoon season on Guam was on it’s way. He expected it sometime soon. He dreaded it. Typhoon Pongsona knocked them on their asses a few years back. Apparently, 200 mph winds blew apart Hangers 2 and 3. Or so he was told. It was before his time. Turning forty during torrential rainfall. It seemed apt. He had been depressed for months. The sides of his dark hair had turned gray.

Women thought he looked like George Clooney.

He played it up.

Forty. Fuck.

Lordy, Lordy, look who’s forty. He read that on a sign on a lawn once.

He looked at the temperature outside his kitchen window as he cleaned the dishes.

Already it was 81˚F. It smelled like rain. The sun wasn’t even up.

The Air Force had taught him never to leave dirty dishes in the sink.

He packed his things for the day: his lunch, and Dragon, a Clive Cussler paperback he was a quarter of the way into. He was forty. He didn’t feel much different. He locked the door and went to his red Ford F-100.

He took Ponape Blvd down to Santa Rosa, on to Marianas, and left on Perimeter Road. Traffic was bad. Everybody was heading to the base. All the buildings had red roofs that reminded him more of Hawaii, not Guam. Another reason he was sick of Guam.

After finding a parking spot (never and easy thing for an NCO) Sonny walked into a hanger with a lone B52 they’d nicknamed Martha Stewart. They were repairing her, before sending her back to the States to be put in a museum. She was built before he was born.

Forty fucking years.

He forgot to book the day off.