This is page 26. Unlike page 25, this one was in the script from the beginning and never had any text. I was originally going for a slightly lighter shade on the building, as in reality it was painted tan, but the brownish color works, especially since it’s supposed to be late afternoon and getting dark. As it gets to be nighttime, a country that consists mainly of dust and concrete tends to take on a muddy color anyway.
The doors on these buildings really were red, because whoever fabricated them back in 2003 apparently had a lot of red paint on hand. Although the Soldiers on FOB Marez lived in manufactured housing (CHUs), the offices were mainly in appropriated buildings from the facility’s days as an Iraqi Air Force base. They were much more comfortable, but of course the 101st Airborne kicked in all the doors when they captured the place, and so they were all replaced by some determined Private with a plasma cutter and some sheet metal that he found.
Sharp eyes will catch the bird’s nest on the fire extinguisher box. There really was one outside my office, about a foot from the door. A pigeon laid eggs in the nest while everyone was away on a mission, and then whenever I’d walk in she would glare at me, terrified, but would refuse to leave the nest for any reason. It seemed like a metaphor for something at the time. Later, I came by to find the nest and eggs smashed, and the pigeon gone. I threatened to shoot the perpetrator if I found out who it was. Only later did I see the Blackadder episode.
Sometimes, before a mission, you’ll have a stark moment of pensive clarity when you think to yourself, “Good god, this is incredibly dangerous. What am I doing? I could be killed.” The trick is to totally ignore that feeling and forget that you ever had it, because you’ve got a job to do. That’s supposed to be what’s happening here.