Deckard touched down in Kabul where he was met by a minder, a bored-looking private security contractor who escorted him to a waiting area where he sat quietly until his name was called.  Boarding a CASA C-212, the aircraft took off down the runway like a shot, forcing Deckard to hold on to the fuselage to avoid being thrown out of his seat.  No one bothered to tell him what their destination was.  There were several pallets of supplies on board, probably destined for some remote combat outpost in the hinterlands somewhere.  Deckard was just a strap-hanger hitching a ride.

Drifting off to sleep, he woke with a start as the landing gear bounced off a dirt runway.  The CASA spun around at the end of the landing strip as the loadmaster lowered the ramp.  Hooking a thumb out into the dusty runway, he indicated to Deckard that it was time for him to unass himself from their bird so they could head to their final destination.

Stepping off the ramp, Deckard moved to the side to avoid the CASA as it powered back down the runway and soared off into the air.  He soon oriented himself, recognizing where he was by identifying the aircraft graveyard to the side of the runway.  There were old Russian planes and helicopters that sat collecting rust and dust under the Afghan sun.

He was at FOB Chapman in Southern Afghanistan.  He had passed through the base several times back when he used to do work for Ground Branch.

Left to his own devices, Deckard walked alongside the runway.  He spotted a few contractors milling about in the distance around some of the buildings, but there was no one waiting for him or even acknowledging his presence.  Heat coming up off the ground created a mirage, making the buildings ahead of him seem to ripple in the morning light.

It was a long walk, so Deckard undid a couple buttons on his North Face shirt to try to get some air.  By the time he walked up to the camp, a pickup truck had come through the gate and cruised up alongside him.  The driver wore a pair of sunglasses and sported a half assed beard and mustache.  His skin was dark, Filipino maybe.

“You Deckard?” the driver asked.