You’ve made it to the final tasking. Well done, Warrior!
The wind is blowing hard at the airfield. You wait by a hangar. When you arrived, two men geared you up with a parachute, and spent hours teaching you about throwing yourself out of a plane, but they remained silent on the matter of what your next tasking would be. No matter how you tried to goad the information from them, they did not share.
“Aren’t you going to tell me anything?” you ask as they leave.
One turns around, his expression severe. “You’ve proven yourself in intelligence, reconnaissance, physical ability, but there’s one very important thing left.”
“What’s that?” The look on his face isn’t helping to ease your fear.
“He’s talking about controlling your emotions. Mental fortitude, something all SEALs need to command.”
You turn to see a kind but concerned smile on Captain Redding’s face.
“Sir, what kind of control?”
He tilts his head toward a large C-130 sitting on the tarmac ready to take off.
Captain Redding lays a gentle hand on your shoulder. “You have to understand this is very dangerous. You’re on your own, just like Kayla. You will have to face your fear and still complete the mission.
“Who’s on the plane?” You ask.
“Go now,” Captain Redding orders.
You walk across the tarmac wondering why the hell you decided to do this. You enter the port hatch. There’s no one here. Your head snaps around as you hear the hatch closing. You reach for a cord and plug it in to connect you with the communication system onboard, just like your trainers showed you. You’re wondering why you have to do this alone as you feel the aircraft roll down the runway and leave the earth.
Swallowing deeply you feel the rush of blood in your veins and the tightening grasp of fear. The hair begins to prick on the back of your neck for some reason. A man appears from a behind a bulkhead at the front of the plane, and strides toward you. You should be relieved but every instinct tells you something is not right. The rear door begins to descend. The ground is way the hell down there.
The man sits across from you, and connects his communication line. Something is definitely not right. He’s not geared up like you.
“Sir?” You clear your throat and control the hard thumping of your heart.
A low, gruff voice says, “I’m going to help you.”
“But you don’t have a chute.”
His stare is empty. There’s no soul in his eyes as if he’s dead inside. “Don’t need one.”
“What’s your name?” The back hatch is open, and the wind is rushing in pulling at everything. The plane has leveled off.
He blinks slowly. “Everyone knows me.”
You swallow. “I don’t,” you say.
“They see me, but they don’t really know me. I hide in plain sight. I eat with them. Laugh with them. Work with them. Soon enough everyone will be thanking me.”
“For helping those women. Women like you, and like Kayla.”
Your breathing hitches. No way, you think to yourself. No way. “Who are you?”
“You have two choices,” he says drawing a KA-Bar from his inner jacket.
You jump to your feet. You don’t have two choices! You only have one. He’s trapped on the plane. If you can get to the ground alive, you can advise the team, and they’ll be waiting when the plane lands.
With as much bravery as you can muster you inch toward the open hatch. “Your killing spree is over.” You don’t hesitate and break into a run.
You hit the end of the ramp, and your heart stops but your feet don’t. The line snaps and deploys your chute. You look up, the lines aren’t twisted. It’s all good. You aim toward the lare red circle on the ground, and can see small figures nearby.
The landing is hard, but soon you’re surrounded by the team. They’re all wearing smiles.
“Quick,” you say the second the helmet is removed from your head. “The Shark’s on that plane.”
The Ghost grabs your shoulder. “What? Report.”
You quickly tell them what happened. As the plane lands, Alpha Squad descends on it while you and Kayla wait. You don’t wait long before the team returns, all of them wearing harsh expressions.
The Ghost reaches for Kayla and draws her to his chest. “He’s gone, isn’t he?” she says.
Ghost nods. “Don’t worry, Snow White. I’ll catch him. I promise.”
“No you won’t. He keeps slipping through our fingers.”
“Don’t give up on me,” he whispers to her, and encompasses her in his massive arms. Ghost, and the rest of the team turn their attention on you. “Thank you. You did well. This mission is getting too dangerous, and the Shark knows who you are now. Return to Natasza’s event. Your friends are waiting for your return. Good luck!
As you walk away your feelings are mixed.
“Hey,” Mace calls out to you, and gives you a wink when you turn to gaze at him. “See ya around gorgeous.”