110 in the Shade #FridayFictioneers

Photo Credit to Rich Voza

110 in The Shade

The pilot wiped the sweat and dust from his brow and coaxed the joystick, “Just one more pass baby.”

His man on the ground had been confident when he called in the strike.

There was no space in his head for hesitation but the memories of the prior one hundred fly bys had solidified: women and children and long white coats.

The order came from above but the decision would forever nest in his soul. Today the Nevada desert was one level closer to Dante’s Inferno and a faceless hospital disappeared in a cloud of sand 7000 miles away.


The drone pilots at Creech Air Force base in Indian Springs, Nevada fly over 60 unmanned drone missions every day collecting intelligence on enemy strong holds and troop movements. By 2015 the US drone pilots had flown approximately 3000 missions over Iraq and Syria, they had coordinated over 800 air strikes on militant targets. Right or wrong, robotic warfare is the new reality and in every form of warfare there will be immeasurable human costs to civilians and military personnel and yet we seem no closer to lasting peace.

To see more Friday Fictioneers take flight, parachute into Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.

Buckle up, sit back and enjoy the flight.


32 thoughts on “110 in the Shade #FridayFictioneers

  1. Good story, Tracey! I never heard of Creech Airbase before. You captured the essence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d have thought you wrote science fiction, yet it’s real. I’m terrified! Well-penned!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. warriors in the past were brave and sometimes chivalrous, the present day warriors need neither bravery nor chivalry



  4. I met a guy who worked at one of these remote control centres here in the UK. I could see he was very close to the edge. Great take on the prompt Tracey, I’m sure this must be a truly difficult job.


  5. michael1148humphris

    High speed remote strikes from an armchair it just seem wrong. You depicted the failings so well


  6. Dear Tracey,

    Thank you for adding to the mounting dread in the pit of my stomach. Well done.




  7. The hospital came as a shock… and then go home after work, A truly surreal feeling.


  8. Pretty chilling – more so because the pilot is so far removed from what he/she has done.


    • True but don’t you think pilots are always removed from their targets. I’ve never asked a wartime pilot how they felt about their job. Maybe it doesn’t matter how close you are to the actual killing, it must have an impact on you regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It took a few reads to get what was going on(particularly after reading the section on drone warfare). It seems that no matter how we advance technologically we always find newer ways of killing each other. MLK said that our scientific and technological power has surpassed our moral and spiritual power; and warned that the very technology we thought could save us also gives us the weapons that could kill all life on the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I loved the line, “the decision would forever nest in his soul.” That phrase said it all for me. Extremely well written, Tracey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I can only imagine what it feels like to be conflicted about your orders as a soldier, yet bound by your honor and duty to serve your country. Someone I love was a Marine sniper and even he can’t find the words to explain it to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well written and totally believable.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So much to think about from so few words.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I find drones uncomfortable for the reasons you list above. Good story!


  14. Chilling to think about and most of us never will have to but it will nest in his soul. Great line

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You brought the reality of long-distance warface very starkly to life here. The days of face-to-face combat are gone for some but the consequences of actions are still just as imemdiate.
    This brought to mind the film “Eye In The Sky” – well worth seeing if you haven’t already

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A gripping story. Warfare requires combatants to perform moral gymnastics, and maybe distance and anonymity make it a little easier – I’m not sure. There has to be a cost. Lots to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

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