The pilot, whose name was Arch Kielly, blinked the cargo bay lights twice, then twice again, to signal he was descending to thirty thousand. Once there, he'd crack a hatch, depressurize, then lower the C-130's ramp. That was so we could jump at twenty-nine thousand five hundred -- the minimum height we'd need to carry us to within striking distance of our target.
I was so preoccupied with checking the cargo straps on the assault craft (it was tied down astride the double-tracked rollers) that I got caught pants-down inattentive when Arch turned the interior lights off. He did that for a perfectly good tactical reason: so no one...