Categories > TV > Over There

Interview From The Front

by Wolfman769 1 review

A CNN reporter tries to interview members of the squad as they return from the mosque battle in Episode #1, Season 1.

Category: Over There - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2005-10-20 - Updated: 2005-10-20 - 1018 words - Complete

Fandom: Over There (Sgt. Scream)

Author's Notes: None at this time. If I think of any, I'll let you know. "Over There" is written and produced by the always-innovative Steven Bochco Productions, for the FX cable TV channel. I'm not making any money from this derivative work, just borrowing the squad for a bit o' fun.

"Interview From the Front"

"Good morning from the desert, somewhere west of Baghdad. Thank you for tuning into CNN. My name is Edwin Bush, an embedded reporter with the Third Mechanized Infantry Division.

"I'm with an infantry battalion on occupation and security duty, at Camp Gordon, which is still under construction as an entire brigade of the United States Army prepares to settle into this very temporary base camp.

"Obviously, for security reasons, I cannot reveal the specific location of Camp Gordon, or the strength of troops currently assigned to this post. As the week goes on, I will be interviewing the brave, young American men and women who are out here fighting in Iraq.

"They are the tip of the spear. Some of them are barely old enough to vote. But they have taken up arms against the threat of Iraqi insurgents that are poised to tear the provisional Baghdad government apart."

Edwin Bush was a junior field reporter, who had traveled several times through the Middle East as a production assistant for one of CNN's mobile video crews. Caught in Baghdad during the 1991 war, Edwin was in front of the camera for this one.

Dressed in plain khaki civilian clothes and a dark blue ballistic flak vest, Edwin blended in only slightly with the soldiers of Task Force Rawhide, in their three-color desert battle dress. He and his video crew had to be careful not to stand out too much - the insurgents were reported to have snipers in the area.

Edwin's sound man noticed a squad of grunts trudging back into camp, the first members of a patrol dispatched to raid an insurgent-held mosque a few miles away. Off in the distance, where Camp Gordon's motor pool was set up, the soldiers' trucks and HMMWV squad carriers were being marshaled for the mechanics to have a look at the bullet holes and make routine repairs.

"I see them, Jack," Edwin said, walking over to the squad and stopping its leader, Sergeant Chris Silas.

Sergeant Chris "Scream" Silas was a hard-jawed man of twenty-two. Lean and with an unassuming demeanor about him, he could have been any of the grunts in the Central Command theater of operations. Caked sand and dust covered his face, and Silas tried to dust himself off every few moments as he dragged himself and his gear towards a tent the engineers had set up for his squad.

Edwin stood in front of Scream when the camera and sound men began recording. "Pardon me, Sergeant," he began. "I'm with CNN. May I ask you a few questions about your mission?"

"Shove your interview up your ass," Scream mumbled, trying to brush past the reporter.

Edwin was somewhat naive, being a less-experienced member of the Iraq reporting team. He wasn't used to being brushed off. "Come on, Sergeant. Just a few questions, okay?"

Scream stopped and turned to face the reporter. His voice raised significantly from his previous response. "I don't have time for your home front bullshit, reporter. Go talk to someone else." Without further discussion, Scream un-slung his rifle, as if to brandish it and threaten Edwin if he pursued the issue.

Edwin raised his hands defensively and took a step back. "Okay, Sergeant. Have it your way." He turned to another of the approaching soldiers, a bespectacled private with a name tape that read "Dunphy" stitched onto his flak jacket.

"How about you, Private Dunphy? I'm Ed Bush from CNN. May I ask you a few questions?"

Frank "Dim" Dunphy was about the same age as Scream, and a college graduate. His face looked like the kind any white, middle-class American would associate with the "guy next door". His attitude toward Edwin was certainly better.

"Have at it, mister CNN," Dunphy replied, shuffling to one side of the lane between the rows of tents. "What'cha wanna know?"

"That other guy your squad leader? Sergeant Silas?"

"Who, Scream?" Dunphy said. "Yeah, he's ours. He just got the bad news that he's not rotating home for another ninety days. The guy pulled a year stretch here, and they gave him 90 more days and a squad of rookies."

"That sucks," Edwin replied. "So, you're a rookie. What do you think of Iraq so far?"

"I feel sorry for the civilians. They're the ones who have to live with the destruction and the fighting. Poverty may have been bad with Saddam in power, but many people think our guys haven't helped the situation at all. Everybody is begging for little scraps of food, candy bars and the stuff we won't even eat in the MRE packs. It's bad out there."

"Have you had a taste of fighting the insurgents? What's that like?"

"Yeah, we just hit a mosque where a whole bunch were holed up," Dunphy said. "Felt like we were pinned down, couldn't move without getting our asses shot off, and it was a very helpless feeling. They came out shooting - mortars, AKs, hell, even the kitchen sink if it wasn't bolted down. They almost got us too."

"What happened next?"

"Ed, we had to fight it out. We had to kill them."

Scream shouted at Dunphy from the door flap of the squad tent. "Dunphy! Get your ass in here! We've got debrief! Stop fartin' around with that newsie! We have work to do, dammit!"

"You have to go," Edwin said.

"Yup, looks like it," Dunphy replied. "But you'll probably see me again. Most of the squad is just starting our year-long hitch."

Edwin shook Dunphy's hand and the men parted ways. "Good luck, soldier. Stay alive out there."

As Edwin gathered his sound and camera men to look for more interviews, he said to his team, "This isn't as easy as the veterans make it look."
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