He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional _shalwar kameez, _long shirts and baggy pants.He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar.
While the pilot controlled the drone’s flight maneuvers, Bryant acted as the Predator’s eyes, focusing its array of cameras and aiming its targeting laser.
Even their shape is sinister: the blunt and featureless nose cone, like some eyeless creature that has evolved in darkness.
For Bryant, talking about them has become a sort of confessional catharsis, a means of processing the things he saw and did during his six years in the Air Force as an experimental test subject in an utterly new form of warfare.
As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two.
Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.
He kept the targeting laser trained on the two lead men and stared so intently that each individual pil stood out, a glowing pointillist dot abstracted from the image it was meant to form.