Sleeping wasn’t something my mind was capable of doing last night. I kept on thinking of how many people died by General Freedmen, my father’s hands. Then, just like his father, I was the one that was slaughtering men without thinking anything of it like some animal. Most people couldn’t just take a life without feeling any remorse for them at all. I just don’t care that I killed those people because they were hurting people that I cared for. A prison may be the best place for me because remorse is something that I should feel; even if it’s just slightly. Or maybe I’m just in shock because the truth of me killing the very man that created me makes me question my whole existence.
As my ears start popping again, I know that we’re descending for my definite trial. Even though I was sitting in the cockpit with the pilots, I felt as though I was alone with all of those gadgets and blinking lights the entire ride. As they focused on hitting the certain switches and deviating their flight path to make sure that we landed safely, my thoughts were running around the fantasy of life with my loved ones. I feel the plane touch down on the strip, so I sigh as I await my trial that’ll surely put me away.
After we stop whizzing past all of the hangars at the airport, we turn into our main hangar and shut off the engines. The co-pilot stands up with a pistol in his hand and unbuckles my seat-belt. He says, “Let’s go Colonel” as he motions for me to go outside of the plane. We walk by the smell of death before we make it to the flight of stairs that lead us to the concrete floor below. Two soldiers are waiting at the end of the staircase holding their rifles and then follow me as I’m escorted into the tin looking half-cylinder. They place me in the right chair in front of a desk where a commanding officer was waiting there to get the story of what happened to these men. He says to the co-pilot that escorted me, “Could you take these hand-cuffs off of him please? We don’t need them for questioning.”
The co-pilot replies, “Yes sir” as he uncuffs me and stands behind me with the other two soldiers that are holding their rifles.
The commanding officer leans his elbows on the desk and asks with his fingers locked in front of his mouth, “What happened Colonel?”
I sigh as I look down and say, “Well sir, our men were betrayed by General Freedmen after we boarded the aircraft.”
“I was sleeping on the aircraft as we were heading back home, and then I woke up… when we hit some turbulence. I looked around for the other soldiers on the plane… but then I saw General Freedmen hitting the back of Angel Locke’s head.”
“What was Angel Tagger doing at this time?”
“Angel Tagger was already dead sir. Blood was coming from both of their heads before I was awake.”
The officer sighs as he says, “I see… continue.”
“Okay… well… after I saw General Freedmen punching the back of Angel Locke’s head, I picked myself up from my chair and tried to stop him. He talked about some device that was going to revolutionize war, but I was confused about what he was talking about. When he showed me the chip-looking device, that is still on the plane if you wish to see it sir, I recognized the device because I saw it before I was approved to come back home lying on the ground next to me.”
The officer’s eyes widen before he quickly composes himself. He says, “What do you know about this device?”
“Honestly sir… it sounded to me like the General had gone crazy. The idea of some little device like that controlling our troops in battle didn’t seem ethical or logical. So I’m afraid that battle may have gone to General Freedmen’s head too much. Sir.”
“I see…” the officer nods his head before he says, “Continue.”
“After General Freedmen was finished explaining what he believed this little chip could do, I yelled at him for what he did to my former troops, so he attacked me. After he attacked me, I hit him with my cane until he was brought down to the ground after I knocked the gun from his hand. I then picked up the gun when he was on the ground, and I lost my train of thought before I shot him out of anger instead of bringing him in for trial.”
The Commanding Officer thinks for a moment before he says, “Being the decorated soldier that you are, why didn’t you bring him in for trial?”
I shake my head as I say, “I let my anger about losing so many soldiers get to my head sir. I killed him in cold blood when I should have brought him in.”
He sits back as he says, “Well shit…”
“I take full responsibility for my actions sir… and I apologize for killing a fellow soldier of war sir.”
He shakes his head before he nods. He then looks back at me to say, “Well… we’re going to have to hold you in custody until we find all of necessary evidence to put you on trial for this crime. Your trial date is in fifteen days, to be held at three in the afternoon. Do you understand?”
“Yes sir… although I do have one request.” He solemnly nods his head, so I ask, “May I please call my wife and speak with her to let her know that I’m okay and safe back in the United States?”
“Yes you may Colonel.” He spins around his phone and takes it off of the line so that I can call my wife.
I punch in her number and then listen to the dial tone with my nose running because of anticipation. I hear Sabrina answer with a shaky voice and sniffle shortly after saying, “Hello?”
She hears as I smile while saying, “Sabrina…”
Breath falls out of her heavy heart as she says, “Oh Jimmy… I though that you were dead…”
“No… no I’m fine sweetie… I’m fine…”
“Oh thank God… I saw you getting stabbed and shot on T.V. and when I saw you fall down around all of that blood… I thought that I lost you…”
“Hey… I told you I’d come back to you right?”
“Well I don’t want to break my promise to you… How’s the baby?”
“The baby’s fine… the baby’s just fine… we were worried about you coming back, so I set up a sonogram to figure out what the sex would be to try and distract myself.” We both chuckle for a little bit before she asks, “When are you coming home?”
I sniffle a little bit before I clear my throat and say, “I don’t know sweetie… some stuff happened that they have to check me out before I get cleared to see you.”
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine… I’m fine… it’s just protocol you know?”
I hear her crying some more before she says, “I know… but you’re not fighting anymore are you?”
“No not at all. My fighting days are over sweetie.” The commanding officer nods his head as he motions for me to end the conversation. I nod as I say, “But Sabrina… I gotta go okay? I will call you whenever I can and I will let you know as soon as possible when I’m coming home. Okay?
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
I look at the phone before I hand it back to the commanding officer so that he can hang it up. He says, “It’s time to take you in Colonel.” I nod my head as he stands up and puts handcuffs on me again. He motions for the soldiers holding rifles to escort me out, so they put me in the back of a squad car and take me to base. Officers are waiting in front of the base camp for me as I’m transferred from vehicle to vehicle.
Even though I was in custody, it felt good to see trees and civilization rather than endless sand. I allow my eyes to drink in the short dose of freedom I’m given before they take me out of the car and escort me into the big brick fortress where my cell is calling for me. I walk into the massive double wooden doors and have my belongings stripped from me as I’m given my temporary clothes before trial. My fingerprints are taken right before they take a picture of my hurting eyes.
An officer takes my arm and leads me down the hallway of caged animals before I’m brought to my cell. I hear the clinking of the cell-door sliding shut as my eyes are alarmed by the stains on the bed. They don’t look like blood and I’m not one hundred percent sure if they’re from someone that drooled when they slept here before me. The other person in the cell who manages to have a smile on his face creased with age says, “Don’t worry, they’re drool stains. Everyone always has the same question when they come in here.”
I chuckle as I reply, “Good to know.”
He watches my face closely and says, “From the looks of you, you could go for some sleep.”
“That’s what I plan to do.”
“Well… don’t let me hold you from having the slightest freedom we can in here.”
He nods his head and lies back on his top bunk. I trudge my feet over to my bed and lie on the side without the stain. I sigh as my eyes close and my body gives in to how tired I really am.