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.


10. Some Orders Can't Be Followed

     We roll of the roof to avoid being seen. Somehow we have to get to those two and free them. The unit began to lose their cool after seeing Manefield and Henderson like that. I regained control over them and got them to cool down, luckily they weren't vocally freaking out so I didn't need to vocally tell them either. I hold out my hand to order my team to stay behind the building as I peek around. I see the group of enemies disbanding and the pair have bags put back over their heads being pushed off to another building, probably either an execution area or jail...maybe even both.

     I watch them get pushed away to see what building they are brought in to. I turn to the unit and order them to follow me close and stay low, so we all hit the ground and crawl staying behind the buildings using the tall, uncut grass for cover. Tall grass surrounds the entire village thankfully so we manage to get to the building unnoticed. I poke my head up to a window and look around inside the room. Thankfully it is empty so I open the window and carefully step inside. I turn back to the unit and motion for them to follow me in. They climb through the window after me and we take a quick formation. We move through the upstairs of the building to see if we can find them but sadly we don't, however Wilks finds a stairway leading to a basement. We meet back up in the central room and he leads us there. I point to Corporal Vasquez and then down the stairs, telling him to take point. I motion to Specialist Dolton for her to watch our back and we get to heading down the steps.

     As we move down the steps we start to hear sounds: it sounds likes someone is being beaten. We reach the base of the steps, arriving in a concrete cellar-like room with small cages. We split up in to three teams of two and search through the basement, clearing the area while following the source of the sounds. I head around behind the stairs with Private Stone and warp around, heading directly towards the sounds while the other two teams branch out to either side taking indirect routes to ensure the area is clear. As we walk I accidentally kick a loose rock and stop, closing my eyes with a low angered sigh. When I open them Stone has stopped as well, aiming down the hall to a couple shadows that seem to be looking out to where we are. I can faintly hear them talking in a foreign language so I draw my knife then motion for Stone to lower her gun. She does and draws her own blade as well while we move slowly forward to the end of the hall. Stopping at the corner I poke my head around seeing two men talking with blood on their bruised knuckles. I look past them and see two people chained to a wall behind bars, not moving with bags over their limp heads, one male one female. I go back around looking to Stone give her a execute motion with my thumb and neck. We dart around the corner as both men turn to us. Each of us tackle them, covering their mouths and stabbing them in the base of their throats.

     We each stay like that for a moment until they pair make no more sounds. I remove my knife and wipe the blood on the mans shirt then quickly go to the pair. I take the bags off of both their heads and to my horror I see Ashely and James beaten to a pulp, each with major wounds to their faces. Stone gets up and moved to Henderson, each of us trying to wake them up. Ashely nods a few times and looks up to me, beaten and barely coherent yet she smiles at me anyway. "S-Sam..." She speaks in a low voice but I cut her off, putting my finger to her lips. "Please, don't talk..." I start to shake and almost break in to tears seeing her like this, "We need to get you out of here, okay? Can you move?" She bobs her head and I turn over to the men, searching them both for a key. I get one and turn to unchain her from the wall when Stone speaks up to me. "Sir, sir Henderson isn't breathing. He isn't responding!" I almost jump on the Henderson, checking his heart which is very faint. Immediately I unchain Henderson and he drops like a rag doll but I catch him, lowering him gently to the ground. I start slightly slapping his face, begging him to speak to me but I get nothing...not even air.

     I continue hitting him, begging him to speak to me, but I only feel his heart beat getting slower and weaker. "Stay with me James, don't you die on me that's an order!" At that moment he faintly opens his eyes, looking up to me. He tries to smile but his face is so bruised he can't manage to. Reaching for his dog tags he pulls them off then opens my hand, placing them inside, and closes my hand tight with his dog tags inside. He attempts to speak, but sounds very weak, barely being audible. "I'm...sorry...sir. Th-they found us, found the cave. There was t-too many...we couldn't do anything. They k-killed Reyes on the s-spot then t-took us captive." I interrupt him, raising my voice but only slightly, "It's alright soldier, just stop talking. If you die then you are disobeying a direct order understand? It takes more than this to bring you down James, I know it does!" He laughs mildly but makes a slight sound of pain as he responds "Sorry, sir, but I'm afraid I can't follow every order...say good bye to my family for me, please...tell them...tell them---" He let's out his last breath as his body goes limp. I hold him up to me shaking slightly but lay him down and I close his eyes. I stand up and unchain Ashley as she too goes limp but through a combination of her effort and myself she stays up slightly. I grab an enemy pistol off the bodies and hand it to her. "We can't take his body with us...can't get Reyes or his tags either... I can't believe this is happening." Private Stone starts to shake and nearly cries but stops herself. I get Ashley between the two of us as she props her arms over our shoulders but she shakes us off. She falls for a moment but gets back up, standing weak but on her own. I force a slight smile at Ashely, unable to actually smile after Henderson dying in my arms. Just then the others arrive, having followed our voices. They see Henderson's dead body and look away with pain on their faces. I walk past them all and speak low "We need to get her out of here..."

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