I created the Nick Temple character when I was in the Army working as a Russian Linguist at Field Station Berlin during the early 1980s. During slow moments, and there were plenty of them, I'd bang out a paragraph from an imagined Nick Temple story on the computer system used for collection and transcription. I printed them off as I completed them and I saved them. I dug them out earlier today. They're fun to read. They take me back to those days in Berlin. I worked with a lot of wonderful people, and the time I spent in Berlin is as important to me as any stretch of time in my life. I also met the woman who would eventually agree to marry me. We were both Russian linguists and we both loved living and working in Berlin. Below is one of the paragraphs exactly as I wrote it nearly 30 years ago. It's more than a bit over the top, but it's fun to read, especially for me, for many reasons.
A NICK TEMPLE KIND OF CHRISTMAS
Nick froze in place. Not a muscle of his finely-tuned body twitched. There was some sort of noise coming from the top of the building. "A clumsy intruder," Nick thought to himself. There had to be more than one of them. Nick checked to make certain that the P-38 hidden under his smoking jacket was fully loaded. He climbed the first flight of stairs of his luxurious Chevy Chase home with the swiftness and ease that came of years of constant training. He walked undetected to the emergency exit that led out to the helipad that he had had installed at the President's request. When he reached the snow covered roof he saw what he was up against. There were eight of them. With a quick reload he could take them out before they knew what had hit them. He crouched low behind the central air conditioning intake duct and waited for his moment. He leaped out, firing with his right hand, diving to his left. The clip was empty and six of them were dead. He reloaded in less than 2 seconds and he came up firing. Two more rounds was all it took. Nick walked over to the scene of death. He recognized them from the file: Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Prance, Vixen. One was missing . . .