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Last week, a flashback hit our wereduck hero Tom, offering a hint about what happened to his unit in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, he’s armed.
His friend Turner (who is also one of the few survivors from that unit), is talking him down.
I moved to get line of sight but he moved with me. “What are you—Grant is still—we have to—”
“Kyle got him out of there,” he said. He’s safe, Donald; we’re all safe.”
“Wolves,” I said, but the fog was starting to lift and the desert night slowly bloomed into green grass in the summer sun.
“Only two, both friendly.”
“You’re sure?” I asked, trying to remember why that last part didn’t ring true.
“Hey,” he said, lightly clasping my elbow, “I’m only human.”
That phrase was his all-clear, so I handed him the Glock, sank to my knees beside the overturned lawn chair, and practiced breathing for a couple minutes.
Thus endeth the panic attack. Let the familial guilt begin!
Donald is a nickname, in case that confused anyone—Turner has used it in previous chapters and is using it here to get Tom to believe him. The use of the all-clear phrases is also established earlier, when Tom speaks with Grant.
It’s really easy to double-check things like that in Scrivener, by the way. Just saying.