A/N: Here is my take on what happens between seasons 1 (Origins) and 2 (Project Dawn) of Strike Back, which I will try to update after every Batman chapter.

On a side note, when characters speak in a language other than English, I will be underlining the dialogue to show that it has been translated.

STRIKE BACK: RETRIBUTION

- CHAPTER ONE -

'The Afghanistan/Iran Border'

As the golden-brown desert was baked by the midday Sun that shown down mercilessly upon it, a lone Sheppard was leading his flock back home down a lonely and dusty road. This was a journey he made with his livestock everyday, never seeing another soul as he escorted his livelihood to the grasslands several miles away. And it appeared that today would be no different, since there yet again was no one else sharing this road with him ans his flock.

But suddenly an explosion erupted in the not so far off distance, making the Sheppard jump slightly as he instantly turned his attention to the billowing smoke that rose up into the cloudless blue sky. The Sheep surrounding him began to panic as they were started by the loud noise, which like a large pebble being dropped in a still pond, sent ripples throughout the area.

"Calm down!" he shouted at the animals, only for them to scatter and leave him standing there on the road.

"Damn it..." the Man then remarked with a disappointed tone, before the sound of vehicles and gunfire could be heard in the distance, getting louder as they got closer. So the Sheppard quickly got off the road and took cover behind a a large rock, just in time for a three desert-camouflaged Jeeps to speed past. All three completely ignoring him as soldiers in the last two fired on the car in front, making the Civilian's heart race as he held his hands to ears and fearfully waited for them to leave area.

After the speeding firefight was nothing more than a distant echo of machine-gun fire in th distance, the Sheppard got up from behind his cover and looked around him to see there was no sign of his flock, gaining an angred expression as he looked back in the direction the Jeeps had been heading.

"Fucking Foreigners!"

Meanwhile, John Porter was driving the lead-Jeep as the two closing from behind continued to fire on him, with bullets shooting past both sides of his head as he focused on keeping uis vehicle on the road. But then two bullets impacted on the dashboard, makig him greet his teeth as he picked up the hand-gun lying on the passenger seat beside him.

"Damn Americans!" he spat before firing several rounds back at his pursuers, which did nothing to disuade them as they continued to press their attack.

'Okay, let's see how you like this!' he thought before dropping the gun back in it's place and picking up a hand-grenade that was lying next to it, quicking pulling it's pin out and holding it for a second, only to then throw the explosive back onto the road behind him, where it exploded under the nearest of the pursuing Jeeps. The force of the blast destroyed the vehicle, killing all on board as it was ripped apart. This made the other Jeep slam it's brakes on, coming to a halt behind the fire and smoke that was rising out of what was left of the first, while it's occupants continued to fire on Porter as he began to make some distance between them.

'That won't hold them back for long...' he started to think while returning his focus to the road ahead of him, as a concerned expression appeared on his face.

'...how did things get so fucked up so fast?' John mused as he remembered the events that transpired up until this moment.

'It all started when Section-20, a top secret branch of MI6, sent him to extract a Computer Hacker called Gerald Baxter from the Helmand Province, Afghanistan. But of course, things never go according to plan or are ever that simple, because both he and Baxter ended up in the cross-hairs of both the Taliban and the Americans, since both parties wanted the latter dead.

And that was the fate that awaited the Brit as he took a bullet to the head from a lone Taliban fighter, leaving Porter on his own. But then things became even more complicated when the Operative found out that his friend/Superior Officer, Hugh Collinson, was the man responsible for the deaths of a number of John's squad-mates back on that fateful mission on the Eve of the Iraq Invasion, back in 2003.

Collinson even came to Afghanistan to kill Porter, posing as his would be rescuer. But after a brief fight, the former told the truth and aided in the latter's escape as more Taliban forces attacked, before dying while taking out a number of their enemies with a hand-grenade.

And now John found himself driving Collinson's Jeep down a deserted road toward Iran, trying to make some distance between himself and Sharq's Men, the ones responsible for Hugh and Gerry's deaths.

'Wait a second!' he thought before braking hard, bring the vehicle to a complete halt as the manoeuvre kicked up some dust from the ground, making the Soldier look back over his seat in the direction he had come from.

'What was it that Gerry had said?' John thought as he remembered back.

"Sharq just did a deal with the Americans, they are going to exchange you and me for arms and intelligence."

'He had a flash-drive on him too...I need that Intel...' the Man added, before then turning the Jeep around and heading back into Pakistan.

'...or I am dead.'

An hour later and Porter parked up near the area where he and Baxter were attacked, looking out at his surroundings to make sure he was alone.

'Looks quiet, but that doesn't mean that I am alone.' he thought, before his eyes fell upon the still body of Gerald Baxter that was still lying in the same spot that he died in,

This made John pause as the Man's death replayed again in his mind, before he shook his head and regained focus.

'Don't have time for that.' he added with a annoyed expression, before then getting out of the Jeep with his handgun and checking it was fully loaded.

'Right, let's do this.'

The Soldier then walked over to the corpse with his weapon ready, staying alert for any threat that might appear while he was out in the open like this.

"Oh, Gerry..." he then started to say in a soft tone after arriving at the body, which still had the photo of his family placed between his chest and right hand,.

"...I am sorry, mate." Porter added as he knelt down beside him, before quickly taking one more look around him cautiously. Once the Section-20 Agent was sure that he was still alone, he took one hand off the AK and searched through Baxter's jacket and shirt pockets for the device.

'There you are.' he smiled while pulling the small blue flash-drive out and glancing down at it in his hand, before returning his attention to his fallen friend.

"I'll make sure they pay for this, Gerry..." John began to say in a determined tone while putting the drive in his vest's upper-right pocket and taking his weapon in both hands once.

"...I promise you." he added while getting back to his feet, before turning around and heading back to the Jeep. Though the Soldier did not make it even three steps before the vehicle suddenly exploded, with the shock-wave knocking him off his feet and back on to the dirt.

'What the hell!' Porter thought as he grimaced, before the sound of bullets impacting the ground next to him made him suddenly roll to his left, away from the gunfire. The Brit then quickly sat up and fired his pistol back in the direction of the attack, noticing another jeep park just aways, behind his now burning vehicle.

'Got to use that as cover.' John thought as he got back to his feet and charged towards the destroyed car, firing back at his attackers, three Taliban armed with AK's. They continued their attack, but due to smoke obstructing their view, the bullets harmlessly hit ground around Porter as he got to the wreckage of Collinson's Jeep.

'God damn, that's hot.' the Soldier thought as he knelt down as near as he could comfortably get to the fire, feeling the heat on his skin as he reloaded his weapon, before straining his eyes to see through the fire and smoke, hoping to see what the Taliban would do.

'That's good...' he began to think, having noticed that the three Men left their vehicle and started to make their way towards his location, since they did not have a clear shot on him any more.

'...come and get me.'

The three Taliban then split up as they got close to the burning car, with one going either side of the wreck, while the third remained just aways. But just as the left one started to circle round to Porter's side, a gunshot was heard as blood suddenly burst out the back of his head and stained the desert floor as his body fell upon it.

"Ali!" one of the other two shouted in shock, before the British Soldier stepped out from that side of the fire and fired two more shots into the middle's guy's chest, sending him down on to the dirt.

"Bastard!" the last guy on the right of the fire shouted, before opening fire through the billowing smoke. This made Porter dive into a roll as the bullets flew over ahead, quickly ending up in a kneeling pose and finding himself with a perfect aim at the third guy.

"Tough luck." he muttered before firing on the last guy, riddling him with bullets and killing him, leaving John on his own once more as he looked to see the three Taliban lying dead on the desert floor around him.

The Brit then quickly looted the three bodies, taking a AK and their spare clips, before heading to their Jeep that was parked on the ridge overlooking the area.

"Thanks for the ride, guys." he said while climbing into the front seat and noticing a map, two more clips and two hand grenades lying on the passenger-seat beside him.

But before he could do any more, two more vehicles suddenly appeared on the horizon and sped toward his location.

'Shit!' John thought with an aggressive expression, quickly starting the engine and turning the Jeep around as he then tried to escape them.

Back in the present, the second Taliban jeep had restarted it's pursuit of the Brit and was quickly making for lost ground as it's driver put his foot down, making a large trail of dust get kicked up into the air behind as it's other three occupants kept a lookout with their AK's at the ready.

"Over there!" one of them then shouted while pointing ahead to a deserted Jeep parked in the center of the road, smoke rising from it's engine hood.

"Wallace may still be here, find him!" the driver ordered as he brought vehicle to a stop and the others climbed out. But before any of them could do any more, Porter rose up from the other side of his jeep and opened fire on his shocked pursuers, with the bullets from his weapon ripping through their bodies as he emptied an entire clip into the four Taliban.

A moment later and Porter was back on the road, with more ammunition and supplies as he noticed the daylight started to dim as the Sun began it's descent.

'Great, I've got to find somewhere to camp for the night.' he thought while taking the map in his right hand, while keeping his left on the wheel.

'There's got to be somewhere around here that will make a good hiding spot.' he thought while splitting his attention between the road ahead and the map, focusing around the area of the Afghan/Iran border.

######

London, MI6 Headquarters

Meanwhile, Layla entered the Section-20 Command Center and immediately looked at the main-screen, which currently showed a 'no signal' warning in it's center..

"Any luck, Danni?" she asked, gaining the British-Indian Woman's attention.

"No, not yet. We are still waiting for our Satellite to finish adjusting it's orbit, so we can have our eye in the sky over the area where we last had contact with 'John'..." she started to reply, with the blonde Woman noticing the slight feel of affection and worry in the other's voice as she spoke that name.

"...also I attempted to call him via Gerry Baxter's mobile number again, but there was no answer...just constant ringing."

"Don't worry, Danni. I am sure Collinson managed to reach him in time, plus it is not like John hasn't been in tough situations like this before." Layla said back with a comforting tone, earning a reluctant nod back from her colleague.

"Actually, I think that this has officially become the worst possible situation..." another female voice spoke from behind the pair, making them and the other workers in the room stop and look back to the door. Standing there in the doorway was a group of four people, two women and two Men dressed in Army fatigues. There was a petite Caucasian Woman with brown pixie styled hair, a tall black bearded Man, a dark-skinned Woman with shoulder length raven-hair and a tall Caucasian Man with short hair and chiselled features.

...because we have just heard via a source in the American administration that Collinson is KIA and Porter is on the run and heading to Iran..." the Caucasian Woman continued as she then entered the room, quickly followed by the others as Danni's expression changed to one of shock and fear.

"What?" she asked in disbelief, but the new arrival ignored her and carried on.

"...in fact, they have just tasked a Delta-Force Unit with a mission to kill him."

This brought confused look to Layla's face, who then shook her head slightly in reaction, before looking back at the Woman with questioning expression.

"What?...I apologise for any disrespect, but who are you?" she then asked, bringing the older Woman's stoic stare to her in return as she handed the blonde Woman a file.

"My name is Col. Elanor Grant and as of 20 minutes ago..." she began to say, before looking around the room to the others.

"...I am now in command of Section-20."

This brought a surprised look from Layla as she quickly read the file, before returning her attention to the Colonel.

"Oh, I see."

"Also, this is Maj. Oliver Sinclair..." the latter then said, gesturing to the black man standing to her right.

"..., Sgt. Julia Richmond and Sgt. Michael Stonebridge..." Grant continued, returning her attention back to Layla and Danny.

"...and you are Lt. Layla Thompson and Sgt. Danni Prendiville. And now all the introductions are out of the way, I suggest we get to work."

"And that would be...?" Danni then began to ask, bringing the Colonel's focus to her.

"That should have been made clear when I entered the room, Sergeant, because we are going to extract Porter from hostile territory and bring him home..." she started to answer, before then addressing the entire room.

"...but first we must relocate to our 'Crib' on the British Army Base in the Helmend Province of Afghanistan. Get started." Grant then finished, gaining nods from the other people in the room, before they then began to rush around the control room.

Meanwhile, the older Woman return her attention to the group standing around her.

"Once we have set up the Crib, Sgt. Stonebridge will head out to the last known co-ordinates of Porter and begin his search from there." Grant added, before turning to the younger Man.

"I know you will be able to handle this, Sergeant. That is part of the reason why I handpicked you from the SBS in the first place." she said, gaining a nod back in return.

"Of course, Maam. I will find Porter." he replied confidently, as the Colonel looked back to the others.

"We, meanwhile, will support Stonebridge with whatever Intel we can find."

This brought a worried expression to Layla's face, which did not go unnoticed by their new commanding officer.

"What is it, Lieutenant?"

"It's just, what about the Americans? Last time we tried to help John, they just came in and took over, with Collinson putting up little to no effort to resist." the blonde replied, gaining a knowing smirk from the Colonel.

"I think Frank Arlington will find that Section-20 won't be bending over for him and the USA any more."

This brought a look of relief to both Layla and Danni's faces as they nodded back, before Grant's face became stoic once more.

"Alright, People, let's get to work." she then ordered.

Back on the Iranian side of the border between it and Afghanistan, dark clouds gathered overhead as night took over the desert.

#####

Porter sat in a cave with a small fire illuminating his surroundings, while the Jeep was parked in the cold dark outside. The Soldier leaned back against the rocky wall and sighed as he felt the heat of the fire against his skin, with this being the first real calm moment the man had experienced since beginning this mission, this mission that had already ended with failure as Gerry Baxter was now nothing more than corpse, lying out there in desert.

He thought about the photo that his late-friend had shown him, that of his family.

'Those kids are going to have to grow up without their Father, not knowing what happened to him out here.' John thought with a solemn look as he stared at the fire, before a more focused expression appeared on his face.

'No, Gerry's family will know what happened to him, I swear it.' he thought defiantly, before a hissing sound caught his attention from just beyond the fire, making the Soldier look in it's direction to see a Caspian Cobra slither into the cave towards him.

'Come on, stay back there.' he thought while sitting up slowly with a now alert expression on his face, picking up the AK that was lying at his side.

The Animal though, continued to move towards him, attracted by the heat and light of the fire.

"I have no quarrel with you. But if you come closer, then I will have to put you down and I would rather not waste the bullets." Porter then said softly as he slowly took aim with his weapon at the creature, which moved closer still.

But then the Cobra then suddenly stopped and looked directly at the Soldier, before rising up and inflating it's sides as it hissed loudly at him, making John shake his head slowly in return.

"Sorry, mate, but you picked the wrong fight today." he replied before pulling the trigger, just as thunder crackled outside, covering the sound of his AK.

A moment later, the snake lay dead just a few feet away from Porter, who closed his eyes and tried to sleep as thunder crackled once more outside. This was followed by a flash of lightning that illuminated the whole desert for a moment, before everything was once more enveloped by the dark of night.

STRIKE BACK: RETRIBUTION

('Short Change Hero' playing)

A/N: Well I hope you enjoyed this first Chapter and I want to thank you for reading it, since it is greatly appreciated. :)

Next Chapter: While Stonebridge begins his search for Porter in Afghanistan, the latter comes up against Arlington's Delta-Force Unit in Iran.