I couldn’t sleep, the constant pounding in my head wouldn’t leave me to my peace. I kept hearing the shouting, screaming, and especially the gun shots. Operation Gothic Serpent left me physically damaged and even mentally damaged. I will never forget the looks on the people’s faces during the combat. Mogadishu, hell on Earth for me. As the plane hit the ground hard, stopped recalling those horrible moments. I wasn’t a Ranger anymore, I didn’t have to worry about that. Eight years of service wore me down. Even ten years later I still thought of that event. But now it was time for me to get home to my wife and son. Rain splattered the ground as I climbed into the taxi. The man driving was a big man, someone who looked like you wouldn’t want to mess with. I wondered why he was doing this job and not something else. I arrived home at around one in the morning, I would greet my wife and son tomorrow before going into work. I scrambled up the front steps, soaked with water I stepped in the door. I took one step in the door and dropped my bags. A loud crash gave me notification they were on the ground, I proceeded upstairs. I flopped onto my bed as soon as I reached it. Slowly, I became drowsy and then fell to the unavoidable spell of sleep.

The Next Morning

I woke to a scream, but not one of unhappiness or pain, like know too well, but one of an overfilled excited air. As I slowly opened up my dreary eyes I saw my son jumping up and down on my bed. “Daddy!” came my son’s voice. I sat up and embraced him. “I missed you while I was gone Jacob” I smoothed out his hair, it felt good to be doing this. Being away from my family so much made me enjoy these moments, they made me feel like a good father.  “I missed you too” came his voice clear as a whistle. “How about you go help your mother make breakfast while I get ready?”. As soon as I said it he scrambled out of my lap and ran downstairs to help his mother. I always appreciated my son for that, always following orders. I got up and got ready for work. I decided to wear something casual even though, it was a big day at the office. I clambered down the stairs to the garage, my wife and son wished me luck as I left. I climbed into the driver seat of my SUV and was off. Today would be the day I would either make it or lose it all. The roads were soaked from the rain last night and I was careful not to slide too much on the road. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was making some big changes today and I would be part of them. The roads were oddly not busy, on a normal work day I would sit in a thirty or forty minute traffic jam. Maybe it was because of the occasion, or maybe people were just felt like staying in doors today. I almost took the turn that led to the main office, but today and for the rest of my days in the FBI I wouldn’t be taking that road, I was HRT now. FBI HRT the best of the best, competing with the Army’s Delta Force, or SFOD-D as some people say. I was part of the Hostage Rescue Team now and I would be training on the Kirtland Air Force Base from now on. After four years in the FBI, and eight in the Rangers, I had finally made it. .

I arrived at the base and gave the security my ID tag. As the candy cane gate opened I took a deep breath, then ventured slowly forward. I lost my train of thought as I pulled into the parking lot. I bought the car to an abrupt stop, and slowly got out. Rain splattered the ground around me, this calmed me down a whole lot, rain always had that effect on me. I stepped forward towards the door and gave it a sharp, clear knock. A man opened the door, he looked like he could take down anyone, someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. He gestured me inside. I was greeted by a large group of men, I was guessing the man who opened the door was the leader. He seemed to give off an aura of power, and the others seem to be paying more attention to him. “Welcome to the team” he said, he had a deep gruff voice. “Hello, my name is Robert Williams, I’m glad to be a part of this team” I’d been practicing this line for weeks now, this moment had to be perfect. I hoped this line would show that I am bold, not afraid, strong even. “Nice to meet you Williams, I’m Blake”. An interesting name for such a man, I thought he would be a Rike, or maybe a Ryan, something more tough. Blake reached his hand out to mine, I grasped it, he had a very firm grip. He looked into my eyes for a few seconds, as if he could get all he know from looking at me for a few seconds. “So, who are the others here?” I asked, I made sure it sounded polite, I’ve had one too many times when my Staff Sergeant would yell at me for sounding rude. “You’ll learn their names as you begin to train with us” came a gruff response. “Roger that sir.” At that point everyone stood up and headed towards the door. “Stick with me rookie, names Jonathan” said a short, stubby looking guy. He looked tough but I had a feeling he was soft on the inside. “Don’t worry Williams, you’ll be done with training in a few months and then we’ll all be heading up to the FBI Academy” said Blake. As we exited the door I took notice that the rain had stopped, the sun shining down at us. “Alright Williams, you know the basics, maybe more since you were a Ranger, but now you’re with HRT. We do things differently.” said Blake, he sounded somewhat pleased at this. “Alright boys let’s start off with some PT!” Physical training, or PT as most of us call is an absolute pain. I drains you of physical strength. I fell into formation and we all began running. I don’t remember exactly how much we ran, but I think it was around five miles or so. After that horrible run we did some defensive training and then some basic combat training. We would do this for two to three hours every day until we deployed.

Three Months Later

I was beginning to feel more like part of the squad now, after three months of training with them it felt like I was back in the Rangers. Brothers in arms. Today was going to be a big day, we were doing a joint ops training session with some SAS units. As I pulled into the air base I saw the helicopter landing, a Wildcat by the looks of it. I thought to myself that these SAS or Special Air Service men were probably a bunch of show offs. I stepped out of my SUV and walked over to where the rest of the team was. As the foreigners walked up to us we gave them salute. They returned our salute but theirs seemed more crisp, perfect even. Maybe the British had a whole training unit on saluting for their troops. Whatever the case, it was time to get to training. “Welcome to the United States gentlemen” Blake’s voice brought me out of my intense thought. “Thank you Staff Sergeant” came the voice of one of the British. I assumed this one was the leader of the group. “We’ll begin training at 1200 hours, hope to see you there” said Blake. Its was 0900 right now that meant we had three hours. We all saluted once again and then disassembled.

“Sir what is the training op again?” I asked clearly. “Huh, well it’s going to be hostage rescue, take the boys and go get geared up, I’ll be there soon” replied Blake. I signaled for the rest of the team to follow me to the armory to get geared up. I approached the metallic, solid door, and entered the code. A click and a flash of a red light to a green light told me the door was unlocked. I pulled it open slowly and stepped inside. One thing I loved about being HRT was the amount of weapons we could choose from. I began looking for something that I could use, I saw a R700 and immediately picked up a radio and called Blake. “Yo, Blake can I grab the R700 for this op?” I shouted into the radio. A little static and then Blake’s voice came clear through the mic “You know what I said, if you do good on this when we transfer to the academy you can do sniper training.” The static and his voice ended there. I put the radio up to my face and said two words, “Copy that.” I decided just to grab a MP5 and a 1911. I looked around for a sight and suppressor. I couldn’t find a sight, but I found a suppressor next to where I picked the weapon up. I grabbed it up off the ground, I took a look at, it looked like it would fit the MP5. I slid it on, it fit perfectly. I grabbed a Hk416 and slung it on my back. I took a look at my watch, 10:30. I walked out the door of the armory and headed towards where to training would be. We’d be using an old compound of buildings that was abandoned years before. We used it a lot for training and such. “Williams, get over to the choppers, we’re doing an air insertion” came Blake’s voice from my pouch. I pulled out my radio gave him a quick response “Roger” and then changed course to the choppers. It was a fifteen minute walk from where I was so I began to run to shorten it. I arrived a few minutes later, most of the team was already there. I looked around and saw that one of the SAS had a L96, I guessed the British had the sniping handled.

It was now 11:45 and we were all loading into the choppers. Three little birds would be inserting us. One would drop the sniper team off, and the other two drop two assault teams on either sides of the compound. This was a pretty basic plan for us, we’d run through ops like this plenty of times. The choppers lifted off and all headed towards the compound. I was riding in the middle chopper with Martinez, an italian that moved to the United States when he was little, and Rogers, a true Texan born in Houston. We were riding in the middle helicopter and would be inserting on the north side. The chopper on our left broke off, that was the sniper teams chopper. “Prepare for landing, we’re gonna make this a fast one” said the pilot. We started dropping at what seemed the speed of light. In no time were on the ground and stacking up on the walls of the compound. I took lead and began moving up the walls slowly. “Rogers watch the six, make sure nothing pops up behind us” I gave the order as soon as we were on the ground. We came up around the corner off the wall. “Martinez, forward we’re going in.” I quickly turned the corner and there were two targets in front of me, I fired two shots. One of hit the center mass and the other hit the bulls eye of the target. We kept moving to the target building. There were three targets on the balcony of the target building. I grabbed my radio to contact the sniper team. “We got three targets on the balcony of the target building, need some sniper help” I whispered into the radio. “Copy that lining up target” came the voice of the SAS sniper. “I only have visual on one of them, can you drop the other two?” the voice scared me a bit, he sounded worried that he couldn’t line them all up. “Copy as soon as you fire we’ll take out the rest” I replied. The building hit the target right where the heart of a human would be, I quickly turned the corner of the building we were behind and dropped them. “Alpha is on the target building, Bravo can you call in evac?” I asked. “Copy that Alpha, Bravo will cover your back as you leave the building” came Blake’s rough voice. “Roger Alpha moving in.” I grabbed a flash bang from my vest and threw it in the balcony window. “Go, go, go Alpha breach, breach!” I shouted. We walked in the door and hit the two targets at the stairs. We then slowly began moving up the stairs, I threw another flash bang. The flash nearly got me but I looked away in time. We moved up and cleared the rest. We grabbed the dummy hostage and headed out of the building. “Alpha is moving to extract.” I was carrying the dummy over my shoulder. “Roger, chopper’s fifty meters out” replied Blake. We began sprinting to the evac which was two hundred and fifty meters from where we were. We began sprinting as fast as we could.

As we came round the corner the chopper was already low. I got the hostage secured into the chopper and then hopped in. As soon as I was in we lifted off the ground towards base. We landed in what seemed like five minutes but was probably much more.

As the hit the ground, we all climbed out. It seemed like the training went well, I guessed it was up to Blake to decide. “Great job boys,” rang Blake’s voice. “That was one of the best training ops we’ve done yet, but tomorrow is the real deal.” As he said that it surprised me, we’d never done an operation before.  “Go get some sleep and meet back here tomorrow at 0500.” I was careful to listen to his words. “Roger that sir,” rang all our voices. I headed back to where I parked my SUV.

I opened the door and climbed in slowly, I took a deep breath and then started the car. I slowly reversed out of the parking lot and then began my drive home. As I arrived home I saw my son out on the front lawn, he was laughing and playing with his friend. I think his name with Jimmy or something like that. I came into the drive and got out of my car. “Hey buddy, how are you?” I asked calmly. “Hi dad, I’m doing good, we’re making chalk, want to come play with us?.” I couldn’t bare to hear him say that, I would have to give him rejection, no father wants to reject their son. “I’m sorry, but daddy has to get ready for work tomorrow he has to leave for awhile.” I replied. “Oh… Okay dad,” came his voice one last time as I opened the door. I took two steps inside and then quietly shut the door. As I walked into the kitchen I saw my wife, Ashley, standing next to the stove. The smell was amazing, my wife always knew what I liked to eat. I loved her for that. I came up behind her and put my arms around her. “Hey sweetie,” came her voice, soft as silk. “Smells good, what are you cooking?” I replied. “I’m making some burgers for us, I just didn’t have time today” she said. “It’s fine, I uh.. Need to tell you something” I said in a calm manner. “I’m deploying tomorrow, I don’t know what the mission is yet but I’m leaving at five tomorrow.” I let go of her and backed up a little. I assumed she would be mad but she looked more worried, than mad. “Do you know when you’ll be back?” she asked, her voice a little wavered. “I’ve got no idea, but I promise I will make it back” I replied slowly. “Okay.. Okay..” she seemed really worried now. I hated seeing her like this, I didn’t want her to make her feel like this. “Let’s just enjoy tonight okay?” I tried not to sound pushy or in control. “Yeah..” she seemed a little calmer. “I’ll go get Jacob, okay?” She took a second to answer. “Okay, I’ll get the burgers ready” she finally responded. I headed out of the kitchen and to the front door. I opened it slowly and took a peek outside. “Jacob dinner is ready, it’s time to come in” I said. “But daddy we’re playing, come on..” came my son’s whine. “It’s time to spend time with family right now before daddy leaves tomorrow,” I replied firmly. “Okay, well I’ll see you around Jimmy,” came my son’s voice one last time as he appeared by my side. I put my arm around my son’s shoulder and opened the door and walked him into the kitchen. The table was set, and ready for us to eat. I sat down and began eating the meal, we all had a good lunch and some quality time. Soon it was time for Jacob’s bed time, I walked over to him and gently picked him up. “Alright little buddy, time for bed and to say goodbye to daddy,” I said softly into his ear. “Daddy do you have to leave?” he said he seemed upset. I thought he was going to start crying but he took a breath and kept it in. “It’s okay, let it out” I said. He began crying softly into my shoulder. I carried him up to his bed and put him down. I tucked him in, and gave him a kiss on his forehead. “It’s okay, I’ll be back” I said calmly. I hoped this was true, I didn’t want to let him down anymore. I walked to the door and flipped the switch to the light, a soft click and the night light turned on. I stepped out into the hall and closed the door. I headed down the hall to my room and climbed into my bed. I slowly fell asleep to the warmth of my bed.

The Next Morning

I had the car almost fully packed, but the cold was starting to become unbearable. I quickly through the last few things of mine into the car and climbed in. I started up the car and heat began filling the car, almost like the sun was shining directly upon it. I reversed out of the garage and began my drive to the base. Today was the day we’d do a real operation, no more training. I took this into consideration as I drove carefully down the road. As I came up on the base I pulled out my ID to go through the same search I had to go through everyday, but the guards just immediately let me through. I guessed they knew we were deploying today. I pulled my SUV into my parking spot and headed to the briefing room. I opened the door slowly so I didn’t interrupt anyone if they were speaking, but what I found was a bunch of silent men sitting on couches. I looked at them and then went over and took a seat. About five minutes later Blake walked through the door. “Alright boys, today we’re saving a politician,” he said roughly. “A Korean ship took down the politician’s plane and captured him.” I looked at the  others to see what they seemed to be thinking. They seemed a little confused, but worried at the same time. The Koreans had never done something like this in the past. “They have him on a ship heading back to North Korea right now, our job is to stop that ship and rescue you him,” Blake’s voice brought me back into reality. “We’ll be inserting on little birds and then move through and clear the ship, once we clear the ship a SEAL team is going to move in and destroy the ship,” this seemed like his final sentence. “Sir yes sir!” we all said. “Gear up, you got thirty minutes, go, go, go!” he shouted. We all got up and headed to the armory to gear up. Thirty minutes later we were loaded up into the Black Hawks and were heading out to the U.S. Naval Carrier that was pursuing Korean ship.

A few hours later we landed on the deck of the carrier. “Welcome aboard Staff Sergeant,” came the voice of one of the captains. “Follow me this way please, the birds are right over here.” We all climbed out of the the chopper and followed him to the little birds. “These pilots are from the one sixtieth SOAR, they’re the best of the best. I hope they serve you well,” said the captain as he walked away. “Alright boys load up the supplies from the Black Hawk and get ready to go,” said Blake. We all ran back to the chopper and began loading the supplies into the little bird. “Sir we’re ready to go on your mark,” I said as I walked up to Blake. “Copy that Williams, hop in we’re leaving now” he replied. We’d have two birds land on either side of the carrier and we’d breach and clear until we found the politician. The birds lifted off and sped off to the Korean ship. It felt good to be on the side of the little bird again, these were my favorite helicopters by far. “This is your pilot speaking, we’ll be at our destination in about fifteen minutes.” I took a deep breath, this was it. Time to save the day. We began lowering the to the Korean ship, I’d be inserting on the northern side of the ship with Blake and Martinez. As the little bird set down we set up a one hundred-eighty perimeter around the chopper. The birds cleared out and we began moving to the door to get to the lower decks of the ship. “Alright Williams take point, open the hatch,” came Blake’s voice from behind me. I opened the door slowly, and saw two guards below. I held up two fingers and pointed down. Martinez reached down to his vest and dropped a flash bang down the hatch, as the flash went off Blake and I jumped down and took out the guards. After that we began moving to the lower levels of the ship, according to our information the politician was on the bottom deck. We snuck around most of the guards, but sometimes had to drop some of them on our way. We arrived at the door to where apparently the hostage was located. “Alright Martinez put the charge on the door, Williams when the charge goes off take point into the room,” said Blake. Martinez and I both nodded. As the charge when off I ran through the door and dropped the two of the guards, as Blake went through the last of the guards began firing. I felt something hit my shoulder and then my leg, then everything blacked out.

I woke up to a bright light shining in my face, I was in the medical bay of the U.S. carrier. “Williams you feeling alright, you took some nasty shoots to the leg,” I opened my eyes slowly and saw Blake above me. “Did.. did we complete the mission?” I asked slowly. “Yeah, yeah we got him, but you’re gonna be out of action for a bit” he replied to my question. “Yeah.. It definitely feels that way,” I said. I  tried to sit up, but the pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t. I put my head back down on the soft, warm pillow. “Just get some rest now Williams.” At that I shut my eyes and slowly the spell of sleep brought me down.

Three Weeks Later

The pain of my injuries were becoming lesser, but they weren’t fast enough. I needed to get back in action, I hated being useless. I sat up slowly and reached out for the glass of orange juice my son had brought me earlier. I gripped the glass but as I pulled it back to me I dropped it and the smash of glass rang through the house. “Robert are you okay?” came my wife’s voice. “Yeah, yeah, I’m okay I just dropped the glass,” I replied. A few moments later my wife came through the door with a rag. She looked at the mess, and sighed. “I’m sorry I’ve been such a pain for you honey,” I said as she began wiping up the mess I had made. “It’s fine, it’s fine” she said. “Besides today you’re going into to office remember?” she asked. She reached for my hand and pulled me out of bed. I tried to walk but I nearly fell flat on my face, I reached out for and she put my arm around her shoulder. She began helping me down the stairs and to the car. I released myself and climbed into the car on my own. My wife closed the door for me since I couldn’t use my right arm very well. She clambered in a few moments later and started the car. I layed my head against the window as we began the drive to the office, I hadn’t been there in months. It would be weird sitting behind a computer instead of working with the team. We pulled into the parking lot, and we quickly found  a parking space. My wife got out and then helped me into the building and up to my office. “Alright good luck today sweetie” she said as she gave me a kiss on my forehead. “Yeah, thank you for all the help” I replied as she walked out the door. I flipped open my laptop and opened up some files that I had to read over. All of the sudden my phone went off, I looked at my phone and saw that I had gotten a text from Blake. I read it over and then called Blake. “You said to call you, sir?” I put my phone on the table and turned on the  speaker.

“Yes, how you feeling Williams?” came Blake’s voice. “I’m feeling good sir, a lot better. So what do you need?” I finished the first file and opened the second one. “I’m sending you a file, I need you to open it and guide us through the building,” I was a little confused when I heard this. “Um, sir what do you mean?” I opened up the file Blake had sent me. “You’ll be operating this drone and going off the map to guide us through this house, we got a HVT in here that we have to take into custody,” he said. “Roger that sir.” I had done a little drone training when I was a Ranger, but I wasn’t too great at it. I took control of the drone and began moving it through the house. “Alright if you go through the second floor balcony there will be two guards on either side of the door,” I got the drone through the balcony door and into the hallway. “Sir, I’ve got visual on the targets door, two guards at it,” I turned the drone around to see if there was anyone else. “Copy that Williams we’ve secured the balcony room, about to move on the targets door.” I sat back in my chair and watched the camera as a flash bang went the door, then two clicks and the guards were dead. The team breached the targets door and two minutes later they came out with what looked like a Korean man. “Alright Williams, that’s all we needed go ahead and keep reading through those files for us.” At that I closed down the drone ran my fingers through my hair.

As lunch time approached I called the front office to see if someone could bring me up some lunch. About ten minutes later there was a knock on my door and then a man walked in with some food for me. “Thank you” I said to the man. He looked at me and nodded and then he left. That was a little strange I thought, but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as my food was delivered. I looked down and decided for office food it didn’t look bad. There was some soup, a cookie, and to drink some apple juice. Better than the old food they used to serve here I thought to myself. As I ate I began typing a report on the man we had just taken into to custody this morning, his name was Kyung Tang. He was Kim Jong-un’s second hand. I couldn’t believe we had taken him down so easily. I couldn’t continued to fill out my report. Age thirty five.. Gender male… Height “5,7… I never understood why they had such basic information on these reports, they should include all the important stuff. Such as random acts of murder or kidnapping, both of which Tang had done. About forty five minutes later I was almost done with Tang’s report. I picked up the old office phone that was on my desk and punched in some numbers. “Hey Debra, I’m done with Tang’s report could you have someone come pick it up?” I asked. “Okay Robert, someone is on their way up right now,” she replied. “Thank you,” and with that I hung up the phone. A minutes later there was a sharp knock on my door, I slowly rolled my chair over to the door and opened it. “Hello Robert, how you feeling?” asked the man as I opened the door. “Hello Nolan, I’m feeling a lot better right now, if you could just take this file for me,” I said. I handed the file to him and then waved him goodbye as he walked out the door. I went back over to my computer and checked how many more files I had to look over.

Two Hours Later

It was almost five o’clock, so I decided to all my wife so she could come pick me up. The phone gave two consistent rings before she answered. “Hey sweetie, I’m all done with work for today,” I said. “Alright I’ll be there in a little bit, Jacob is at his friends house having a sleepover by the way.” “Okay I hope he has fun, I’ll see you in a little,” I hung up the phone and began gathering my stuff. Using most of my strength, I got up out of my chair. I grabbed my suitcase and then gave the light switch a flip, and hobbled out of my door. I proceeded to the elevator which would take me down to where my loving wife would be waiting for me. I pressed the one button on the elevator and I began my journey downward. All of the sudden the elevator gave a jerk and I nearly fell to the ground. I heard alarms start blaring, I didn’t understand what was going on. The elevator opened and I stumbled out. “What the hell is going on!” I yelled as I regained my balance. “We’re under attack,” came a voice from one of the employees. “Who is attacking us?” I yelled back at him. “I don’t know, I think they said it was North Korea.” Damn it I thought, this was because of the raids we’d been doing on them. I saw my wife’s car outside and moved as fast as I could to the door. I stumbled and fell, but the sliding door opened and I screamed at her. “Get in here now!” She ran inside and helped me up. “What’s going on?” she asked I took in my surroundings. “We’re being bombed by North Korea as of right now, what the hell do they think they’re doing?” I grabbed Ashley’s hand and brought her around behind one of the desks. “Just stay calm it’ll be alright,” I said trying to sooth her. “What about Jacob?” she sobbed. “He’ll be fine he’s a big boy, once this is all over we’ll go get him.” She seemed more reassured at this, but she was still shaking. The building kept rumbling, almost as if an earthquake were going on below us. I pulled out my cell phone and immediately called Blake. “Blake what’s going on, we’re being bombed to hell out here,” I said angrily into the phone. “I have no idea, but just stay inside let it pass,” came his shaky voice. “After I get my family all together I’m coming down to the base and we’re going to deal with this.” As I said that I thrusted my phone back into my pocket kept comforting Ashley.

October 21, 2014

It’s been five days since the bombing happened and the U.S. has been a battle ground since. I sped down the highway on my way to the base. We never saw it coming, how those Koreans did it I’ll never know. I pulled through the security checkpoint and quickly turned into a parking space. I got out, slammed my car door shut, and proceeded to where the team was meeting up. My leg was still bothering me, but I’d adjusted to how it felt. I gave the door a quick knock and Martinez opened the door and let me in. I took a seat on one of the couches across from Blake, everyone was silent. “So, when are we going after him?” I asked. “Williams not right now, I don’t know what we’re going to do, it’s a mess right now,” Blake replied sharply. “What do you mean we don’t know what we’re gonna do we’re gonna go take this menace down, we took down his second hand let’s take him down,” I said loud and clear. Everyone looked up at me when I said this. “Look I’ll talk to command and see what they can get scrambled but as of now we can’t do anything, just be wary of any other attacks that could come in the following days,” came Blake’s dull voice once more. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, Blake was probably the one who hated anyway who opposed the U.S. the most. I opened the door and then slammed it behind me. I walked over to my SUV and got in and sat there for a little. North Korea is attacking the U.S. and one of the most elite units we have available isn’t doing anything. I slammed my hand down and the steering wheel and the horn blared. I turned on the radio and switched on the news station. There was still reports of the damage from the bombing coming in. I couldn't just sit here, I got out of my car and slammed the door. I went back into the briefing room and I was going to tell them what we were gonna do. "Look here Blake.." I started. "Calm down Williams, we just got orders, appears the Russians decided to join along with Korea," he said calmly. "What?" I was greatly surprised by this. "Yes, we're heading out to Russia tomorrow morning, we're going to try bring down Russia, by taking out the head." I nodded and sat myself down on one of the couches we had in the room, and I tried to fall asleep.

0600, October 22, 2014

"Williams the plane is here, get the last of your gear we're heading out," came Blake's voice. "Roger sir, give me two mikes." I checked my gear and then grabbed myself an R700 before heading out the door. I took a light jog to where the C17 was landed. I climbed aboard and took my seat. "We're good to go," was all I heard as the ramp began to close.