Dark clouds threatened rain all day, but finally in the evening the monster thunderhead you see above – tens of thousands of feet high, I suppose – rolled overhead and dumped rain and hail on us for about fifteen minutes before receding. For a few brief minutes it looked as pictured, with lightning roiling in the towering heights; then the clouds smothered the setting sun and darkness fell. Maybe this happens everywhere there are soldiers in harsh and strange conditions, but the stark beauty of this place borders on the bizarre sometimes.
A pair of F-15s circled the camp for a few minutes today – their sound is distinctive, like their engines are tearing a giant hole in the fabric of the sky. As I watched them, it occurred to me that this is their war too, but so different; those pilots fly with virtual impunity and deliver godlike wrath (or salvation, depending on which end of the airstrike you’re on) from the heavens.
A little after lunch I walked out to utilize one of our fine porta-potties, and saw a forklift unloading generators from a flatbed truck. Nothing unusual – I proceeded about my business. An hour or so later, though, while glancing at the fuel gauge on our generator, I noticed a pair of giant yellow and black commercial generators, along with corresponding giant yellow fuel tank, parked right next to ours.
I walked back to the switch truck and asked SGT Giggles, “Who ordered the generators?” He replied with a puzzled look. We walked outside our enclave, in almost an exact replay of the Trojan Rabbit scene from Monty Python & the Holy Grail – with us playing the curious Frenchmen. We stalked around the two massive diesel generators – they were about 8 feet tall – examining them for any sign of their purpose or owner. None to be found, we shrugged and went back inside. I called around but no one seemed to know where they came from, so either the site will be a smoking crater when I get there tomorrow or we just got some hot new generators.