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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9. Priority Shift

     Together, we all march out to a tree line outside the base. I turn and look to the group, telling them our course of action, “Alright, this tree looks tall enough for us to get a view over the entire base and it’s perfectly formed for climbing. I will climb it and scope out the base with my binoculars then climb down and tell you the plan based on visible enemy numbers, force, and positions. I may take a bit, depends on what I see, until then lock down a seven meter spread around us.” The team salutes and up I go, to a branch about half way up the tree. There’s enemies everywhere, around every corner, and they appear to be in a shift change.

     I stay resting on the branch, watching over the entire base. Around three hours have passed, and thus far I have identified both the enemy barracks and target building according to our intel. I also have a general idea of enemy numbers and have memorized their positions, as well as their shift change which appears to be every hour. I climb back down the tree to my unit and share my findings with them, and formulate a plan. “There is an approximate 10 degree blind spot on their East wall, with only two guards on patrol there, one during a shift change. So here’s the plan to get in: Specialist Dolton will sneak up behind the guard during next shift change, when there will only be one, then after she kills him silently Sergeant Wilks will go up and help move the body, hiding it in the nearby brush. While they hide the body we rush in, heading behind the building behind the entrance then they follow close behind us. During this shift change the tower over looking the East entrance will be empty for about thirty seconds, so we have that much time for them to hide the body and for us to get in. Next shift change will be in fifty minutes, so for now everyone get into position.”

     As everyone nods we move down to the East wall, taking our positions and waiting for the change. We wait patiently as we watch the two guards move back and forth across the door, and after the fifty minutes pass one of them walks off leaving the other alone. Quickly and with no visible hesitation, Dolton dives from the brush wrapping one arm around the man’s throat and covering his mouth with the other, then with a quick movement of the arm and hands in the opposite directions she snaps his neck before he even realized what was happening. Wilks creeps up and grabs the bodies legs as he falls while Dolton supports it by grabbing under his arms. As they carry the body off to the side I motion my hand for the others to move in, which they do accordingly, then I rush in behind them with Dolton and Wilks right behind me. We all duck behind the building and sit, waiting for a moment, then when no siren goes off we know we are in the clear.

     Glancing over the window sill into the building we are behind I see it’s empty, so I quietly open the door and walk in motioning for the team to follow. Pointing to Stone then the door, she moves to it and carefully looks through the peep hole in it, when she suddenly turns around with a wave of her hand and rolls to the side. The rest of the team dives taking cover behind, in, and under various things in the room while she ducks next to the door, in the path of it’s opening swing just as the nob turns. When it opens three men walk in and past the door, which is now hiding the private, but as they turn to close the door I gently tap the inside of the closest I jumped into. The three men turn raising their guns, and one slowly moves towards me as I watch through the slight crack between the door and wall. While the creep over Stone quietly closes the door, having been watching their feet from underneath it, then draws her knife and grabs the man in the very back stabbing him in the base of his neck. The sudden low grunt their comrade makes turns the other two around as I barrel out of the closest onto the one just outside the door. Covering his mouth and twisting my hand aggressively to the side I snap his neck, then as the third and final man starts to raise his rifle in order to kill Stone Corporal Vasquez reaches from underneath the desk he was tucked under and grabs the man’s ankle with a sharp tug, making him abruptly fall hard onto the concrete floor face first. The man doesn’t move and I flip him over to see the force of his fall pushed his nose back into his skull, instantly killing him. I use the man’s shirt to wipe up his blood and we hide the bodies in the same closest I was just in.

     Everyone emerges from their hiding spots, then we all move to the far side of the building. There we sit outside the door for a moment, then I look to Specialist White who nods and moves to the bathroom next to us, then comes back out with a mirror. Using it’s reflection I place it under the door to look for any enemies outside, which there are none, so I pocket the small mirror. Yet again I quietly open the door and move across the thin, alley like path between the two houses. The others follow suit, and we move behind the building which I had earlier identified as the barracks. We continue circling around buildings until we are as close to the target one as we can be. I use the mirror to look around the corner where there stands an entire troop of enemy guards, just standing around. As I look we all hear a shout in the foreign language of the enemy and they look over to where it sounded, then they head off in its direction. No siren is going off, so we can’t have been detected, but why else would they act like that?

     I look to the top of the low building we are behind, then I look back to the team and point up. They nod and we all jump up grabbing the edge of the buildings roof and we climb up then crawl on our stomachs to be able to see what’s happening. From atop the building we see a mass collection in the center of the base, where the enemy is pumping their fists in the air and chanting. As we continue watching two people with bags over their heads are carried out and aggressively put to their knees in the middle of the mosh pit. We look on as the apparent leader of the group walks before the gathering and speaks loudly, then with a nod of his head a man removes both sacks from over the two prisoners heads. Stone gasps but I cover her mouth as I wince and look away from the horrid sight. Sitting there, bruised, beaten, cut up, and hardly coherent judging by how they look, was 2nd Lieutenant Ashley Manefield and Sergeant Major James Henderson.

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