Disclaimer: Please note I do not own any characters in this work of fan fiction. Any reference to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental.

Darkness. My friend, my solitude. It is where I feel most comfortable and where I do my best work. As a child I was afraid of the dark, the boogie man and all things that was in it. Now things are different. I overcame my fear, I'm much older, and you guessed it, the boogie man is now afraid of me.

Ft. Benning GA

Army Marksman Unit

1015

Specialist Cooper MacBride is out in the training field with a unit of cherry sniper wannabees when his pager goes off. He looks at the number. Must be important to page him out here. With a swift nod, another sergeant takes over. Cooper walks over to a clearing and pulls out his cell. A familiar southern voice was on the other end.

"Lowlight, Beach here. It's your Ma..."

1030

Lowlight arrives at Ranger's main administrative offices by Humvee. He walks in past various ranks doing assorted desk duties and such. The office he was looking for was not far. A young corporal stepped forward and attempted to disarm his sniper rifle, but Lowlight just glared at him.

"Corpr'l, you ain't gonna get that sniper rifle from em with out a serious fight. Better give it up." Came a familiar southern drawl. It belonged to Ranger PT Drill Instructor and GI Joe team member, Wayne Sneeden, code name Beach Head. "Might as well get in here, Coop so I can give you all the details."

Lowlight took a seat while Beach poured him some coffee in a mug that said "Luv a Ranger" with a big heart. Lowlight looked strangely at the mug and Beach said, "Ignore the markings, I got it as a Valentines gift from a friend." They both took sips of their coffee, and Beach Head explained the situation.

"A call came in this morning to the PIT switch board asking for you, from a woman claiming to be your sister. She said her name was Mary and your Ma was dying. Since you were in the field out here, Hawk felt the news would be better coming from me, than someone like Flint. Hawk has also approved the time off and we'll have travel services set you up with a plane ticket home..."

"I'm not going...", said Lowlight interupted.
Beach Head tilted his head. "Why the hell not."

"There is nothing for me back there." said Lowlight.

This struck Beach Head to thinking. Lowlight was never one for frivolous talk. When he said something, it was law. But still, the man's mother was dying and family was family, no matter if you like them or not. He remembered a few fights with his own mom around the holiday season. Sure she pissed him off at times, especially when she started talking to Cover Girl, but family was still family, damn it. Beach Head had to make an executive decision here, even if Lowlight felt the way he did. "Damn it Coop... You are going. Family is still family even though you don't get along with them.."
"You don't understa..."

Beach Head stopped him, "Yes I do understand, I hated my old man, but when I heard he died, I would have given anything in the world to be there with him during his last minutes. Now I don't want you to go through the same thing... So as of now you are on funeral leave, so check your hardware in at the armory, and get packed. You're going home.