The Kids Upstairs

It came to be on a particular weekend that we had ourselves a minor rescue and recovery operation of American military personnel on our hands. It seemed the kids upstairs, as we called them, missed their bedtime and needed someone to find them and tuck them back in.

Our safe house outside of Capajebo was three stories high. We occupied the bottom and second floors, and the top floor was used by some young JSOC communications soldiers — computer nerds — with no authority figure. They seem fairly self-sufficient up there as we never saw them other than on the rare occasion coming or going on the stairs.

I don’t think they even had a dedicated vehicle at their disposal. “They must have had blinding Internet speed up there” is the only reason I could think of that could keep them up there. Why WE couldn’t seem to get more than 1400 bps on our second floor was beyond me. I supposed that they simply couldn’t spare the bandwidth topside lest they lose some of their streaming video capability.

Can you believe this guy needed to be rescued from a brothel?

“They’re inhuman to stay cooped up in there all day, day after day like that.”

“They must be remarkably disciplined to be able to remain in there so long.”

Such were the remarks among us hunters of Bosnian war criminals on the lower floors about the crazy comms kids on the nosebleed floor. But as superhuman as they may have appeared, they became real human real fast the day they came up missing — the reason for which being most damning.

A Most Unusual Mission

I was asked if I could make a quick meeting if I wasn’t doing anything. My response was that if I wasn’t out on a war criminal hunt, then, no, I wasn’t doing anything. Dan T. was already seated in the chair occupied by the one other guy in our task force who also wasn’t doing anything.

“So, what do we have going on, Dan-O?” I asked as I sat.