from Hunter Leath
Thud, thud, thud, thud rang the slow beat of the helicopter as it sailed over the quiet Black Forest. Inside was a crew of three men, silently preparing themselves for what lay ahead. I did a quick weapons check and continued to make sure that my weapons were operating at their normal capacity. I held my MP5 and screwed the silencer into place, and checked my M1911 in its holster. It was a soothing routine that I did before every drop, it almost seemed to take me away from myself so that I could better perform the duties I was assigned to do without my conscience getting in the way.
"Five mikes out." said the pilot.
"Ready?" said Frank, as he looked up at both me and Griggs. Griggs shook his head, he never was one for words.
"As I'll ever be." I replied. I had done a hundred black op missions before, but there was something different about this one. I couldn't quite figure out why, but it seemed as if it were some sort of dream. I tried to push these thoughts away, and focus on what I was about to do.
"Alright then, let's go over the details. We will be dropping in outside of the castle and will make our way to the southern entrance. There we will work our way into the castle, find and rescue any hostages. Then we will find a Captain Romeo Moore, he is to be taken dead or alive, alive would be preferable. After this we will scrap together what we can find and bug out. Any questions?" said Frank.
"How many hostages can we expect and will they be in any condition to move?" asked Griggs.
"Our Intel tells us that they are only being held to deter us from bombing the entire structure so they should be mobile. We should be looking at around ten to twenty hostages." said Frank. "Tom, any questions?"
"No sir." I replied.
"Alright then. Prepare to drop everyone." We all stood up and did a double check on our parachutes. As we were checking, I could hear a loud explosion sound in the distance. Then a couple more following it. Griggs and Frank heard it as well.
"Heads up guys, we have some anti air shots being fired. We need to drop you guys now." said the pilot.
"Alright, you boys know the drill." said Frank. We all moved to the back of the plan. I punched a button on the side of the hull and the back ramp began to slowly open. The sky flashed as shells exploded. It looked light a thunder storm. "Go, go, go" yelled the pilot.
I started to run. Coming up on the edge, I lept into the open air. My gut churned every time I would make a jump. The air pushed past me as we began to fall rapidly. As always, my teeth began to feel the chill of the cold air. I couldn't see the castle, although I tried. It was just too dark out.
I pulled my shoot as I neared the ground and sailed down into a clearing. I hit the ground running and quickly slowed my pace. I went down on one knee and pulled up my MP5. I scanned the edge of the clearing, making a three sixty sweep. It was all clear. Gathering up my shoot, I began to call on the coms. I got both Griggs and Frank. They both started to make their way to me. I waited patiently.
After we had gathered, we started to make out way towards the castle. The shells had stopped by the time we reached the castle. Unfortunately, we no longer had the element of surprise. This was going to be loud.
"Alright, here's the plan. We are on the western side of the fort, we need to move around to the south and find the sewer entrance that was given in our intel. Let's move." said Frank.
We followed him around the southern edge until we found the entrance. It was hidden behind some brush and a small creek trailed out of it. We broke open the grate covering it and made our way into the sewer. It was a small tube, we had to crouch through it. I can't even describe the smell. We followed the tunnel until it opened up into a larger room with multiple tubes flowing into it. Luckily for us this place was no longer in much use, so it was void of a pool of sludge. We made our way across the room and towards the stair case that led up into the middle of the castle.
The stair case led us to what appeared to be a bath house. Makes sense that that would be so close to the sewer. I led us into the room. It was rather large with columns scattered around the room. At one side were two guards pacing, or making their rounds. I could hear them conversing but couldn't tell what they were saying. They spoke Italian. I stopped and held them in my sights.
Frank walked up and tapped me on the shoulder. "Weapons free." he told me. I took aim and fired. The first fell down and splashed into one of the pools. Griggs hit the second. After I fired, I moved up towards that side of the room. I walked over to the one Griggs hit, and grabbed his walkie talkie.
"Ok. if memory serves, the hostages should be up that way." said Frank as he pointed towards the far west wing of the room, that held a staircase. "Tom, you go up these stairs and plant the explosives. Find their fueling station that should be upstairs in the courtyard. Once you have planted the C4, make your way to the North tower. That should be where our target is located, we will meet you there. Try to keep a low profile will you?"
With that, they made their way to the other side of the room. I took the stairs in front of me. It led me to a hallway that was made with cobblestone floors. At this point, I concluded that I had reached ground level. I hung a left and made my way through the halls.
I crept into a side room. It was a radio room, with a station set up and one man working it. There was a window at the end of the room, through it was the court yard. Pulling out my knife, I crept up behind the man sitting down. With my left hand I covered his mouth and plunged my knife into his chest with the other. He squirmed in response as he tried to free himself. I waited for him to be still then pulled my knife out. I never said this work was pretty, just that nobody else was going to do it.
I pushed open the window as rain started to pour into the room. It must have started to rain as we were underground. I splashed down into the mud of the courtyard and ducked behind some trucks that were lined up. The courtyard was square in shape and had a gate at one end that opened up to the bridge that lead to the rest of the castle, or the entrance really. On each corner were guard towers with spot lights roaming the courtyard. I spotted the fuel tanks to my left and made my way towards them. Dodging the lights and guards, I crept up to the tanks. I lined each one with C4 and armed them. After I had finished, I made my way back to my window and crept back inside. "All set." I said on my com.
"Good. We are releasing the hostages as we speak through the sewer. We will make our way towards the North tower once we are done here." said Frank.
"Roger that. Making my way towards the North tower."
I followed the hallways, avoiding patrols as I did, and ending some as necessary. I made my way to the north side of the fort. To my knowledge, the stairway leading to the North tower was through the chapel, which lay right behind a set of two double doors, which I was now in front of. I slowly opened one of the doors and looked in. The room was filled with terminals and guards all over the place. I crept in and hid in a corner behind some weapons crates on the right side of the room.
At that moment, I could hear the radios going off in the room. Mine as well, just through my earpiece. "Man down. We have a downed patrol here. High Alert. I repeat, High Alert. Find the bastards!"
"Tom, go loud." said Frank. I pulled out my detonator. Here we go, I thought to myself. Click. This being followed by a distant sound of thunder as the walls shook from the explosion. Everyone in the chapel began to move around like a hive of bees. Most ran towards the set of double doors and made their way towards the courtyard, while a couple stayed and manned the computers and guarded the door to the North Tower.
There were only a few people left in the room. Two of them were guards who stood at the door that was at the front right corner of the chapel. The rest seemed to be civilians working the computers. I stood up and aimed at the two guards. Before they even saw me, I riddled them. After they fell, I turned my attention to those manning the computers. Two of them cowered as I aimed my MP5 their way. At that moment, I felt a sting in my thigh. I dropped on my knee and looked to my left. One of the civilians had pulled out a pistol. He fired again, this time missing as I rolled behind a table.
I pulled out my M1911 and shot the man's foot from under to table. He let out a scream and fell to the floor. He looked at me and held my gaze. Bang. With pain surging through my leg, I used the table to help pull me up. The other two men had run out of the room at this point. "Frank, where are you? I've been hit." I said.
"Tom, come in." I could hear the sound of gunfire in the background. "They have us pinned. We're not going to make it. Tom finish this. Go on without us. We'll be....." The audio cut off at that point.
"Frank! Frank damn it come in!"
"...So your two partners had died. It was just you left to finish the job. What did you do?"
I played with my empty glass of whiskey, as if that would make it come back. "They all died. I had to finish it. I had to kill him."
Frank looked hard and long at me. He was looking for something, I could tell. I just couldn't tell what it was he was looking for. "How did it happen Tom? How did you kill Mr. Moore?"
"I was all alone now. It was left to me to kill Captain Romeo Moore."
"Tom, walk me through what happened that night. I need to hear you say it."
"I walked up the stair case of the North tower. My thigh screamed with every step."
"No! Tell me what happened! What really happened Tom!" Frank was practically yelling at this point. I paid little attention to it.
My MP5 was swung across my back and my M1911 was in my hands. I cursed under my breath for how high this staircase went. I could hear the screams over the radio as the guards of the fort frantically tried to look for me and the hostages. After a long trek up the winding staircase, I arrived at a wooden door. The door was a heavy door. I hesitated as I moved to open it. It was almost as if I knew what I would find on the other side of the room. With great determination, I opened the door.
I entered a room with lines of books on the side. It was a small room the led to a rather large window at the end. The rain had stopped and now the moon shone through the window and onto a lone shadowy figure. He stood with his back towards me. I moved into the middle of the room, my M1911 held on him. He slowly turned towards me. "Heyya Tommy." In front of me stood my good friend, Romeo Moore. "Long time."
"He was your best friend, right?" asked Frank.
"Yeah. We had been friends since we were kids."
"He was there that night wasn't he?"
"Yeah." I replied.
Frank almost let out a sigh of relief to hear me say that. "So what happened then?"
"I got home late. I was at Tony's Bar. Jazz always calmed me down. Me and Selene had gotten heavy earlier that night, so I stormed off."
"What did you find when you got home?"
I held my resolve, as my sights were fixed on Romeo's head. I could hear Frank walking up behind me. "Where are we Tom?" he asked.
"I don't know."
"I'm sorry Tom." Romeo said. He pulled out his hand, a thirty two revolver in it. "I always loved her. But she chose you." He aimed to his side. Crouched down next to him was Selene. She sobbed and looked to me. My heart tore in two as I saw her tears run down her face.
"He kills her, doesn't he?" asked Frank. "You found her, didn't you? You have to choose Tom."
"It doesn't have to be that way. I can save her. I have to save her." I said.
"Tom, we've been here before. Don't you remember? That night, you came home and found her, dead." said Frank.
"I killed Romeo. I have to kill him to save her."
"Tom, she's already dead. You know this. By the time you came home, Selene had been killed. Tom you have to face what happened. You have to choose to remember."
My head began to tear as I tried to fight, with whom I knew not. "I found her, she died."
"Yes. Tom you have to choose. You can choose to shoot Romeo, and save her. In the end that isn't real. Tom you have to let her go. You have to choose reality. Romeo murdered Selene, and you killed him. That's real. All these stories are no more real than this room we are standing in."
Selene looked up to me one more time. "Save me." she said. I knew what I had to do.
"Frank, you have been by my side through all of this. I know what awaits me out there. I can't... not without her. I have to choose her." I said.
"Tom, you have to accept reality. The world awaits you. You need to face what has happened and accept the reality of what happened." said Frank.
"Frank... I choose her." I pulled up my pistol and fired at Romeo. In an instant he went limp and fell to the ground. I walked over to Selene as she jumped into my embrace. The smell of crushed pines filled my nose. She sobbed with her head buried in my chest. My joy was complete as she looked into my eyes. Her tears rolled down her cheeks. I'm home, I thought.
I took a sip out of my glass of whiskey. Frank sat across from me. He opened his little notebook and clicked his pen. "How are you this morning Tom?" asked Frank.
"I'm good. Well rested I suppose." I said.
"That's good to hear. What do you remember about our previous session?"
This question hit me oddly. I tried to think back, but there was something fighting me. "Not much." I finally said. Frank looked down, a disappointing look shuttered across his face. "Well, we can start wherever you would like." I thought about this.
"You know I've tried to forget. Have I ever told you that before?"