Summer 2009. Attempting to eloquently illustrate the fine art of blowing some poor sap up.
We are not saints. We are not holy men. We are not here to read of the the life-giving Law. We pray to Old Testament Gods, those whose only intervention is wrath.
We pray for our providence with a numerology steeped in traditions as old as gunpowder and artilleryman's tears. Our gematria is not open to interpretation or revision. It was fixed by the prophets of the World Geodetic System in the year 1984, and it shall remain that way until the wisemen and their astrolabes find a sign among the stars that all is not right in the world.
The maps of this place are the maps of our souls and mortal coils. We search them under red light as we will search ourselves in the dark of the morning in ten years, wondering where the time went. We search them for salvation.
"Bandit two-one, Arrow one-seven, how copy," I will breathe to the sky. "Bandit two-one, Arrow one-seven in the blind..."
Pilot, if you can hear me, I need your parabolic blessing. I need the strength of your metal wings, and the grace of your kneeboard hymns. You are the high priest, your duty is to intercede. I give you my offering, and I ask you to curry favor with the God of precision munitions. My infrared sacrifice on this altar of aluminum and steel binds you to your duties. Perform your rites or admit your spells are broken. Abandon your robes and profane not the battle.
And if you should slumber, I will sweep aside your mysteries, and pray shamelessly to the guns. The guns need no priest. This is my hermitage. I have memorized the chapbooks of a long forgotten ministry. I see with my third eye the wrinkled pages of a field manual and the blank spaces on laminated worksheets.
For each of the prayers, a sacred intonation of "Four-two, sierra-whiskey-delta," and the final canticle:
"Fire for effect."
I pray to you, guns, let your bores be true, let your crew be alert, let your fire be hot. Deliver me from my mistakes and the anger of my enemies. May your footsteps be ruin and your word be Law. Speak damnation onto the Earth and leave horror scattered across the horizons.