The Exchange Essay

880 words - 4 pages


Nighttime, an unfrequented long suspension bridge. Pizzling rain (light rain with very small, pin-like drops) and light mist. There may be sounds of cicadas, but no one really notices.

On one side of bridge (dense vegetation in background), lies an open top military jeep next to a military HMMWV. The driver of the jeep and left-front passenger, both males, are dressed in vaguely military attire and are armed with Glock 18C machine pistols. The rear passenger, female, seems to be wearing colorful flowing coils of silk. Her appearance is obscured by dark glasses, a silk scarf over her hair, and a faded pink Chinese parasol. The parasol's top is woven from Kevlar, the dark glasses have several more technical functions, and she is wearing steel-reinforced stiletto heels that are 10.5 cm long, but that doesn't really come up right now. She looks like she feels cold. Driver and passengers of HMMWV are unknowns.

Converse side of bridge, background is less dense, false dawn of nearby city in the sky. 7 figures on Japanese motorcycles, carrying MP5K submachine guns. Most of the motorcycles are standards that have been modified for large engine displacement, except for one, which was built for circuit racing to begin with, but that doesn't really come up right now. Of the 7 riders, 4 are apparently female, and 2 are possibly male. These 6 are wearing full leathers and helmets with tinted visors, so making certain assumptions about them is impossible. The remaining rider has no helmet, is bearded, bald, and wearing tinted goggles. He is also wearing a t-shirt, reinforced leather pants, and cowboy boots. He also looks cold.

A moment of silence for each party to regard each other from across the bridge, and they simultaneously decide that they are each sufficiently badass enough for the process to begin.

There is an unspoken signal. A possibly-male motorcyclist hands a comrade "his" weapon, quickly dismounts, extracts something wrapped in a Whole Foods paper bag from the bald man's saddlebags, and begins to briskly jog toward the opposite end of the bridge. The motorcyclist apparently has "his" opposite number in the HMMWV: a soldier who, in one smooth motion, jumps out a rear door, snatches a cheap duffel from the back of the jeep and begins to trot toward the motorcyclist's end.

Since they both started at the same time (at the aforementioned magic signal), and they are both moving at approximately the same speed, the general idea is they each arrive at the middle of the bridge at the same time. Then it's implied that the helmeted person should remove "her" helmet, revealing "her" identity to the soldier, while confirming the...

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