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Happy Delirium

I have fifteen minutes. And then I must work.

In the mean time, I have those very nice fifteen minutes to write madly like I'm on meth. Or boredom. Or...stalling so I don't have to work on my PR assignment due tomorrow at 4pm. Yes, that may be it, too.

I'm going to try to pick up writing, now. It's been awhile.

Prompt: He didn't survive interrogation.
Time: 15:00
Music: Last Man Standing -- Hybrid (p.s.: this is the best cinematic music ever created by man. Go find this song on YouTube and you'll feel your heartrate jack up. This is like music for a warzone, for realz.)

It's not that this didn't start well.

Most things do, really.

But what happens is that the clock ticked too fast, and her heart was too slow, and when it came down to point A and point B, she ran between the two and got lost.

There is no moon. There are no stars. The illume level is somewhere in the negatives and there's a heavy weight at her back that signifies anxiety and fear and Team Member 2 and there's the signal, the click and and and

Too slow.


They train for this and they know the routine and they know the scenario (hostage B in room 12; you have exactly one minute and six seconds to clear rooms 10, 11, 12) and finally when they get everything down, when Team Members 1, 2, 3, and 4 can clear and secure a room in less than ten seconds, they feel ready and they're told they're go. 

There is no moon. There are no stars. They have an LD time of 0120 and when she gives the signal, they know. In the prone position, each leg touching another leg touching another leg down the chain of four people, there is a silent boot tap and the pressure of someone's hand on a calf and then it is known.

LD time of 0120. They are go.

The thing with where they are (and later, when she has children and she tells them she worked for the government, Sammy will ask, "Mommy, where'd you go?" and she'll smile gently and tell him, "I was near Russia, baby) is that this is a place used to darkness. To fear and the uncertainties that slither in the night. When there is silence, there is truly an absolute silence; when there is a noise -- even the rustle of the bushes or the slight cough of a village older who's smoked opium his entire life -- it is explosive and violent.

This is a place that does not allow for mistakes. Its roads are dusty and raw and its nights are an abyss that stretches forever. When the Chinook dropped them into their position two nights before, the Warrant Officer looked back at her and grinned, a finger adjusting the receiver on his headset and eyes not unsympathetic.

"Going to be a long night," he called to her, voice distorted with static and the heavily muted whine of rotors.

She grinned from the back of the helicopter and gave a thumbs up.

"I can dream in the morning," she replied.

It's not that this didn't start well.

Most things do, really.

It's just that the village is not the village (as in: peaceful, sentient population of mostly elderly women and children) and the darkness isn't just the team and the wilderness. It is five other men (she prefers them animals, really) who have lived in the uneasy lands their entire lives and can run faster, more quietly and quickly than any extremely-well trained soldier could his entire life. It is the fact he did not survive interrogation and that was the objective the whole time, that he survive and that they not get ambushed and that the Chinook got to the pick up point on time (estimation: 0347) and that they not leave that trail of blood behind them, skidding on rocks and falling down the side of a ridge and losing weapons and looking over to the tip of a rising sun and whispering, quietly, "Oh fuck."

"I can dream in the morning," she had said.

Too late.