Hour Zero

This is my first Movella, so I'm kind of excited to see how it goes. This is a story that follows Samuel Mason, who is a Lieutenant in the military, and his team on a Snatch and Grab mission. Before they can even land, their helicopter (which is more of a very large troop transport) gets shot down and they become trapped. Deep in enemy territory, the team struggles to finish the mission and escape alive.

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5. Alone in the Dark

     I ordered the small team to follow my lead, reinforced their confidence by promising I'd get them through all this and complete the mission. We had the tags of every soldier, or at least the tags we could salvage, many were destroyed completely. There were nine of us left: Private Kassandra Stone, Specialist Abigail Dolton, Specialist Jacob White, Corporal William Vasquez, Sergeant Tyreese Wilks, Staff Sergeant Adam Reyes, Sergeant Major James Henderson, then of course 2nd Lieutenant Ashley Manefield and myself. For hours we moved through the thick foliage of the jungles and marsh surrounding us. Due to our numbers, we would never survive a frontal assault, or even being discovered for that matter. Drastic times call for drastic measures however, so we are left with few choices. We stopped in a small cave to go over the plan.

    I step up to the group, and go over the plan one last time, "We are going to attempt a stealth raid on a nearby enemy outpost, consisting of only a few guards. No bullets, we need their uniforms intact and unscathed for the next step. After eliminating the enemies, we are going to steal their uniforms and one of their transport trucks. From there, it's just the obvious, we drive to the target building, take and destroy their records, then get out. Questions?" Private Stone stepped up and spoke nervously, being outranked by everyone else, "Um, well do we have a back up plan? I mean, that's a nice plan if it works, but things haven't exactly been going our way...." She caught me completely off guard, I didn't have a back up plan. Though she has a point, things have not been going our way at all, so if our luck keeps up we're bound to fail. "Well, I'm going to be honest. I don't have a back up plan, we are just going to have to hope for the best aren't we?" On that remark Stone was ready to speak up again, but Ashley stopped her and just shook her head side to side.

     "Okay, so, the plans set. We will move out first thing in the morning, it's going to be dark soon. We are unfamiliar with this area while the enemy will know this place inside and out, so it would be too risky to go now. We will work in shifts to keep watch, and how convenient that there's only nine hours of night in this area, so we each get a one hour watch." Everyone nods, and we make a quick set up to last us the night. For the following six hours, the shifts go smoothly, but when Staff Sergeant Reyes doesn't return at the scheduled time things go south...again. Everyone worries that he's dead, even though we haven't looked yet, and it seems like Ashley and myself are the only level headed ones here.

 "Where'd he go?"

 "The enemy's found us!"

 "What are we gonna do now?"

 "We have to go out and look for him!"

 "No, we have to hold here! If we go out looking more of us will die just like him!"

     Fed up with the arguing, Ashley steps up essentially taking command of the situation, "All of you SHUT! UP! We don't know if Reyes is dead, we haven't even looked yet. We are going to start a search now, so we can continue with the plan as normal in the morning. Sam will take one of us out with him while he searches, since it's his duty as CO to personally ensure his safety. In the meantime, the rest of us will hold out here and wait, and if they don't return by morning we are to assume they are all dead and we move on. Got it?" no ones answers her but me, "GOT IT?!" She practically rings everyone's ear drums, and we all agree. I point to Sergeant Wilks, and he gets the memo. The two of us head out looking for our lost brother in arms, starting with his post.

     When we investigate the area, we see blood and skid marks in the mud, as well as a few weak branches broken down from the trees which are all signs of some sort of struggle. We follow the trail for about 20 meters, but the the marks disappear. We look around the area, and find nothing but dog tags from a soldier that read "Adam Reyes", at least now we knew we were on the right track. We kept the tags, separate from the rest just in case, and began searching the entire area for other clues. There was a substantial amount of blood, but no other signs of him. We have three hours to track him down and return with whatever news we have on his status, or we get left alone as well. It's pitch dark still, making finding anything difficult, though what I worry about is Reyes. He's out there alone, bleeding profusely, maybe even to death depending on the injuries, though there's too much blood for one person. He may be dead or alive, we aren't sure yet, but that's what we're going to find out.

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