Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout


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Post December 16, 2013, 06:53:11 PM

Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

personal sacrifice of the highest order.

A great story no matter the vehicle.

RT

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Post December 16, 2013, 07:03:19 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

one more point, I hope you're not in a cleared position especially if this relates to anything that's being done right now.

Your concepts are not far from possibility especially with the technology being developed today for remote medical diagnosis. (open literature)

RT

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Post December 16, 2013, 08:37:25 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

Thanks, Rick. Regarding drone technology, I'm keeping n eye out for the upcoming battle between Amazon and Google delivery drones. Will they be armed?

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Post December 16, 2013, 09:07:23 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

You gentlemen *do* realise that Google = Skynet, surely?
KNEEL before Zod!

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Post December 17, 2013, 02:52:56 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

An interesting take on the dangers of a single track mind set, set in a military environment.

If the only you tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
If the only tool you know to handle is a hammer, still every problem looks like a nail.
If your only tool is a remotely controlled attack aircraft, you might end up with grand standing and
utterly unneccessary self sacrifice.

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Post December 17, 2013, 03:05:32 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

to offer a comment,

Sometimes individual sacrifice is necessary, look at the Spartans, look at those unknowns that did what had to be done throughout time for family, for their comrades in arms.

It's not grandstanding, sometimes, and the theme of the story was doing something that was for the greater good. It simply used a current political scenario/situation to make the point.

I have no trouble with the theme underlying the story.

RT
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Post December 17, 2013, 05:41:23 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

gino_ss wrote:Thanks, Rick. Regarding drone technology, I'm keeping n eye out for the upcoming battle between Amazon and Google delivery drones. Will they be armed?

gino

Not only will they not be armed, they won't even be legal any time soon. I saw an article about them on some TV show. Amazon is looking into the tech, but at this time, drones -- unmanned ones, at least -- run afoul of FAA regs, not to mention some very tricky technical problems. See here:

http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/02/technol ... index.html

I'd sooner put my money on a fleet of bicycle couriers.
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Post December 18, 2013, 10:53:40 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

This story is brilliantly conceived and a treatment for other media projects - movies, TV series, video games or audio story. What an imagination, Gino.

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Post December 19, 2013, 02:12:50 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

rick tornello wrote:Sometimes individual sacrifice is necessary, look at the Spartans, look at those unknowns that did what had to be done throughout time for family, for their comrades in arms.


Sometimes - maybe. But when you have superior technology, superior numbers, exact knowledge of where to expect the enemy of a good notion of when - then may not be that time.

Take a look at chapter 21

E.S. Strout in 'Collateral Damage' wrote:"The circling Reaper is seeing movement about a half mile to your southeast," McDaniel reported. "A single individual approaching on foot. Facial recognition database I.D. is a match despite prior cosmetic surgery. This, plus positive DNA profile confirms ...


So there is good peripherial control and a positive identification. Why not strike there and then and be done with it?

Or:
E.S. Strout in 'Collateral Damage' wrote:"She's sending the civilians to their dormitory. The soldiers are ordered to stand down and depart the premises,"


I take it, that's not the standard evening protocol. If you can pull this of without arousing suspicion, it ought be easy to hide armed personal near Major Bryan to shoot the infiltrator before the major has to resort to pushing the button.

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Post December 19, 2013, 03:00:53 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

people people people, it's a story about self sacrifice; not a tome on asymmetrical warfare presented at a war college.

Take it for what it is and enjoy it. It's a damned good story.

RT

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Post December 19, 2013, 04:33:46 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

I agree that Hashmi, an expert bomb maker, could have easily constructed an improved explosive device and taken care of Major Bryan. Recall that this was personal, Vendetta for Hashmi, duty and love of country for Bryan. A face to face confrontation was inevitable.

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Post December 19, 2013, 04:54:02 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

gino_ss wrote:I agree that Hashmi, an expert bomb maker, could have easily constructed an improved explosive device and taken care of Major Bryan. Recall that this was personal, Vendetta for Hashmi, duty and love of country for Bryan. A face to face confrontation was inevitable.

gino

This is the best thought out story I've read by you. I sure would like to see this story live on in other mediums.

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Post December 20, 2013, 07:20:20 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

gino_ss wrote:..., duty and love of country for Bryan. A face to face confrontation was inevitable.

Duty and Love of Country. Well.
In a former post I've tried to indicate that, based on the original plan from the story, the misson objective could have been achieved without getting the Air Force's best Reaper pilot killed and equipment destroyed. I do think Country would have been in favour of such a solution; and Duty therefore biasd against a face to face confrontation.
In fact, by settling for that suicidal plan and stopping to look for a better solution some people, including the major herself have failed in their duty towards their country.
In so far as such inaction was motivated by loyality to the major, thereby setting that loyality above duty, that failure might even be called betrayal.

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Post December 20, 2013, 09:25:27 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

your betrayal comment is interesting.

I can also see the situation as more of a traditional warrior vs warrior, face-to-face bringing the technology, in a sense, hand to hand.

RT
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Post December 20, 2013, 10:21:17 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

If a face-to-face was actually necessary (as it was for the story, but wouldn't have been in real life), the most sensible thing I can think of would have simply been to have Major Bryan greet Hashmi with her standard-issue sidearm in hand. Might have gone something like this:

***********************

Robert/Abdul eased forward, switching the blade from one hand to the other. “You will know fear, infidel whore, and a lingering painful death,” he snarled.

Major Marianne Bryan, clad in full-dress Class A Air Force uniform, made unflinching eye contact. “Congratulations, Abdul. You will be pleased to know that our Department of Defense has designated you a target of most extreme high value. And I've been target practicing."

The Beretta spoke, three shots in quick succession, and Hashmi gasped and collapsed, dropping the knife and grasping his groin.

The Major stepped forward and kicked the knife away. "Gee, Abdul, hasn't anyone ever told you not to bring a knife to a gunfight? Guess not. Say, now, I was aiming for center-body-mass . . . looks like my aim was a little low. Instead of giving you a quick death, it looks like I've just shot your junk off instead. Hmm . . . do you think Allah is still gonna want you in that condition?" She slowly brought the pistol's sights into alignment with Hashmi's forehead. "Why don't we find out?"

Hashmi's head bounced off the concrete as the final round shattered his skull.

**************

How's that?
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Post December 20, 2013, 10:40:37 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

I like it, Lester. If this story was on a DVD it could be listed as an alternative ending.

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Post December 20, 2013, 11:50:48 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

gino_ss wrote:I like it, Lester. If this story was on a DVD it could be listed as an alternative ending.

gino

Glad you approve.
Seriously, though -- a veteran friend of mine used to say, "I'm not supposed to die for my country. I'm supposed to make the other guy die for his!"
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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Post December 21, 2013, 12:19:29 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

I think that quote was originally attributed to General George S. Patton.

gino

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Post December 21, 2013, 12:33:04 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

Congratulations Gino, your story is a runaway hit with over three times more posts and views than any other story in Aphelion this month. Because of your dedication to your writing, it is a well deserved honor.

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Post January 01, 2014, 01:36:07 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

Definitely "hard" sci-fi. Tech-talk to the point of tedium and insufficient characterization for balance. You can probably guess this is a sci-fi genre I'm not fond of.

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Post January 01, 2014, 05:23:34 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

peter cushnie wrote:Definitely "hard" sci-fi. Tech-talk to the point of tedium and insufficient characterization for balance. You can probably guess this is a sci-fi genre I'm not fond of.

Tech talk may not be your cup of earl grey tea, but the plot and storylines are brilliant. For the length of the story, the characters are sufficiently developed.

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Post January 29, 2014, 11:59:38 AM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

Gino is the hands down winner of the literary work that collected the most attention for December and January. Way to go! I'm proud of you.

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Post January 30, 2014, 08:43:09 PM

Re: Collateral Damage by E.S. Strout

Thanks, Mark.

I use criticism as a learning experience. I know of one who didn't. The Irish poet and playwright Brendan Behan described critics of writers thus: They are like eunuchs in a harem. They know how to do it, they see it done every day but they are unable to do it themselves.

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