Everything is coming toward completion and I have decided to give my readers a litlet bit more of the story to read…I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 5 – Camping Nap
For those of you who have never experienced it, there is nothing like a nap when you are camping…nothing. The day heats up and the shade beckons. Nothing to do at the moment, lunch is resting safely in the thoracic cavity region and suddenly after a deep breath you realize your eyes started to close. It’s naptime and the greasy frying pan can wait to be washed. You simply spin the bread bag and tuck the end under, replace lids and slide things together in a nice messy pile. You look around, scanning the area for anything that looks soft, cool, and hospitable; you are not too picky – after all you are camping.
Vern and Josh unstrapped their sleeping bags and each found their little slice of heaven in the form of a darkened spot of shade and tossed them out, unrolling them expertly with the skill of an accomplished napper. Josh had changed to dry clothes was now even more comfortable as he plopped down on top of his bag. It wasn’t five minutes and even less in words and they were both breathing deeply, heavily enraptured in the camping nap.
The drone flew overhead, silent at the altitude of two thousand feet. It circled twice and then hovered, its rotors automatically adjusting to the breeze blowing at this height, it was nearly motionless, hung in automated space. It’s lenses worked, clicking and whirring.
Somewhere not too far away, but nowhere even remotely accessible, the operator stared at the screen moving, the mouse cursor over to the tool tray. Selecting the measurement tool he placed the crosshairs over the motionless figures and clicked, followed the length of the body and clicked again. The computer, with the drones absolute position fixed and confirmed, instantly gave up its calculation. 5’ 4”. Too small. He measured the other form in the same manner. 5’ 7”. Enough, but they didn’t fit the description together.
“What do you think?” The technician spoke over his shoulder at his superior whom he had called over upon spotting the two forms on a scan pass.
“Not them. The one is too short.” He leaned forward. “Zoom in and look around.”
The tool was dismissed and a magnifying glass was clicked. The drone immediately responded, the lens spun and extended to its full length, 100x zoom.
They were quiet as the technician scanned the entire area foot by foot. They saw the makeshift fire ring, two backpacks, clothes hanging on rack by the fire, meal remnants out, and a pair of boots sitting in the sun and two sleeping boys.
Instantly, they both grinned to themselves and thought how much they were envious of those two lads down there, blissfully unaware of anything, but their own silent dreams as they snoozed away.
The superior officer stood up and clapped the technician on the shoulder. “Not them, but great job.” He turned and walked away, secretly promising himself that as soon as he had a break, that was going to be him and his twelve year old boy. He missed the simple things like camping.
The technician took the controls again and steered the drone back onto its track for the search pattern and began to climb in elevation. He never saw the two figures that were two hundreds yards away tucked in the shrubbery, completely covered in military camouflage fatigues and grease paint. The drone never saw them or the binoculars held to their face as they watched it fly away. Nor did it see when they dropped them back into their shirts and continued their belly crawl toward the creek.