Episode 2 - Still not leaving

I believe we were ready. But the bad weather gave us another week of training. It's been raining like hell in here. The mud on the trail was so bad yesterday that it took us twice as long to finish our laps. All flights are grounded till this storm passes by, although I heard a helicopter trying to leave this morning. Ben said it was ours. I wonder if the pilot got tired of waiting. We haven't met our 7th team member yet. I guess it's because he's not really a member. Roy overheard that "he" is actually a "she". As far as I know, the pilot isn't in the military. We have a charter pilot working for us and I could not believe when I learned about it. Now we have another week. A pilot will show up, sooner or later. It really doesn't matter. Sgt. Palmer gave us the day off today, but we are not allowed to leave the base. Which honestly is ok with me. Cigarettes are cheaper here anyway. We spent half of the day playing ping-pong at the Officer's Lounge. I'm getting to know the rest of the team a little better. Roy brought over his guitar and played all afternoon. Nice voice! He's been a little happier after Sgt. Palmer agreed in having his guitar loaded with the mission's gear. Roy's a character. Ben and I practiced some underwater maneuvers at the Base's Lake earlier this week, right before the storm. Nothing hard for me, but Ben was a little out of shape, which made me add another word to his nickname, at least for the past few days: Shorty "Breath". We got to try our new tanks which contain a special mixture of 12 gases, 3 more than the mixture developed by the Swiss mathematician Hannes Keller. At first I was reluctant, but the mixture improved our sensory skills and it helped us finish our tasks much faster. Professor Evgeny opened up a bit after his last class. Surprisingly he still is here at Base. Even came to the Lounge and played a couple of games with us. I laughed so hard when he asked Roy to play something a little mellower on the guitar. He said: "I am failing this game because of your musik! I am losing my concentrashen soldierr! ". He even tried to be funny when we were telling jokes at lunch: "Why did the ghost eat a lamp?" - he asked. "Because he vanted a light dinnerr" - he responded promptly. I like him. He's trying hard to fit in, unlike Dan with his little grin. We don't see him at all, unless we have a briefing. It's not gonna be long till we see each other everyday. Like I told Ben, I ain't missing him. Today I trashed Abey's letter. It was like holding a knife with your bare hands: you know it's cutting you, but you won't let go. I better go to sleep. In a week I'll be sleeping in a tent. I need to enjoy my bed as much as I can. Lights out!

by Corporal John Harris, September 15, 2005