Title: No Fly Zone
Summary: Alpha Team must rush to save one of their own, when he is shot down in hostile territory.
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. This is pretty much experimentation with the show... So, don't sue!
Note: First...and possibly only Unit fic. So...give it a read...leave a review...
Bullets zinged by whizzing and whistling at unseen speeds. The smoke was thick in the cockpit, the Black Hawk's panels shot to hell throwing sparks into the faces of the men trying desperately to get the bird under control. The tail rotor smoked incessantly, sending the copter into a tailspin as it pummeled toward the chaos of the militia ground war below.
It was winter in Afghanistan, and they were at least a hundred, maybe 150, miles from their initial rendezvous, in the middle of hostile territory. With a dead copilot and the pilot mortally wounded, Bob Brown worked to secure the aircraft, knowing a crash landing was inevitable. If he wasn't careful, the entire Afghani nation would be atop them.
They weren't even supposed to know he was in the country.
"We've been shot down," he called over the radio, frantically struggling to maneuver the chopper controls. "Damnit! I can't get control."
"Cool Breeze, say again," sergeant major, Jonas Blane, radioed back. "You're going down?"
"We are going down!" he repeated finally able to wrangle the controls from the injured pilot.
The world was spinning below him, growing closer every second.
"We've been shot down!"
The gunfire had finally slowed, the rapid fire of automatic weapons only coming sporadically from several miles away.
The tribes had moved away.
He looked up to the sky; the starless night threatened to unleash its drenching wet fury. If he didn't move soon, he'd be swimming his way out of the alley. The only thing delaying his action…he had no idea which way he was pointing. Without stars, he had no way of reading the unfamiliar terrain.
"Cool Breeze, what is your status?" Jonas radioed in from the control center.
"I had to get away from the crash site, natives were coming in," Brown responded from his spot behind a dessert shrub.
He could still see the crash site, the flames finally burning themselves out.
"How's your gear?"
"The RPGs we were carrying went off when the tanks exploded; most of the ammo is gone. It kept the militia away long enough for me to find some cover. I've got my rifle and my sidearm with enough rounds to get me through the night…" he trailed off. "The area is hot, Top. Shi'ite militiamen are all over the hills. They saw me go down; they'll be swarming this ridge by morning. I have no idea which way I'm pointing. I'm at least a hundred miles from the rendezvous. There's no chance of me hoofin' it out of here."
"Do the best you can. Stay put as long as you can. We're coming for you."
He'd tried his best to fight off the offense. He'd tried…
It hadn't worked.
It was quiet.
It had been for a few hours, which only met the next round wasn't long coming.
He'd grown to hate the quiet in the past few days.
The quiet sent him into dark places, cold places. Places he'd been in more often than he'd like to admit. Places that haunted him in his restless sleep.
The quiet, however, did give him time to prepare for the next round of whatever they decided to throw at him.
Mental, emotional, physical torture.
At this point the pain was all the same.
He'd learned to recognize the guards by their footsteps. Depending on the steps, he knew for what he should be prepared.
But, for now it was quiet.
He had to work, but if he focused long enough he could see the dim light from the hall as it sliced through the darkness of his cell from the narrow slit beneath the heavy metal door. It was how he spent his time.
Watching that light. Looking for the shadows passing.
Waiting for his savior.
It was how he prepared. Clearing his mind, visualizing. It eased the pain. If only for a short while.
He could hear steps now, in the distance. Faint steps coming from down the hall.
Alpha Team had a fix on his location. They knew where he was. It was just a matter of time before they got to him. He knew that.
But, that had been three days ago.
The steps were growing closer.
And doubt was starting to enter the mind of the young sergeant as the days continued to drag on.
Would Ryan really send the team into the no-fly zone? Would he really risk the team for one man? They'd already done it once, for the team leader. If they were coming, wouldn't they have already presented the assault?
The steps were heavy this time. More than one person.
They were joking with each other, laughing in soft voices. It was barely audible from inside his holding cell. But, it was a haunting sound nonetheless.
He could see their shadows, now, just outside the door.
It was time to play.
"There are two guards posted at each door. We need to be in and out in under five. Betty Blue, this is Snake Doctor, how's the weather?" Jonas radioed ahead to Charles Grey and Hector Williams.
"Recently cleared skies here, boss."
"Good to hear," he nodded to Mack. It was time to move. They quietly made their way down the ridge toward the compound. "Things are about to get pretty noisy around here," the sergeant major nodded as he and Mack joined up with the other two members of the unit. "You guys know what to do."
Bob Brown lay stripped and beaten on the cold, wet concrete floor unable to move. The only light in the room swung noisily from the ceiling. The single forty watt bulb, though dim, was blinding as the light hit his bruised and swollen eyes.
It was quiet again and darkness was surrounding him.
"The compound is located here," Col. Ryan pointed to the location on the map. "You need to get in and get out," he turned to Bob Brown. "Any questions?"
"We know for sure our guy's going to have the job done?" Brown asked from his seat on the corner of the table.
"If it's not done, our guy will be dead and the area will be impenetrable. Our guy's good," he reassured the young sergeant. "It'll be taken care of."
It was supposed to have been a simple mission. An in and out kind of thing. Infiltrate the compound, secure the weapons and get out.
And things had started out fine.
The weapons had been ready when he got there. He'd been able to get in, get the weapons and get out with time to spare.
Then the firestorm began.
The Afghani militia had surrounded him by dawn. He'd managed to keep under cover, to fight them off for a while, but...
There had been too many.
"Dirt Diver, Snake Doctor, give me a status report," Jonas radioed.
"We're good to go, Snake Doc. Positions one and two are clear, we're ready to pop."
"Let's roll," he gave the command motioning Hector to take the lead around the corner of the building. "On my command. One…two…three…"
The silence of the dessert night was suddenly broken in a blast of light and explosion of gunpowder. Within seconds gunfire broke out, the Afghani militia suddenly alerted to the presence of the small American force breaking through.
"I'm going for the package," Mack radioed to his superior, entering the military compound without a second thought, Charles Grey close on his six.
Jonas watched as his men entered into the cloud of smoke. "Remember, five minutes."
"We won't need it," Mack answered.
He must have blacked out. It was the rattle of the walls that woke him, the sound of the explosion ringing in his ears.
He could hear the panicked yells, the harsh sounds of commands being shouted in Arabic quickly followed by the rapid fire of military rifles.
There were new footsteps this time. Two sets coming down the hall.
The shouting of men intensified. The sounds of the gunfight grew closer.
They were just outside his door. He could see their shadows now, their footsteps rang clear.
There was no mistaking the sound of his savior.
"This is Snake Doctor, where's our bird?" Jonas radioed The Operation Center.
"Two minutes out," the mission operator reported.
"Copy that," Jonas nodded to Hector Williams. "Hammer Head, what do you see?"
"Our guys have a clear exit. They're getting the package now," the Sergeant reported from his post.
"Dirt Diver, status," the commanding officer radioed once more.
"We've got the package we're on our way out."
"Copy that," Jonas looked to the sky. "Our escort home is here," he reported, the Black Hawk in his sights.
The sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon. Alpha Team was secure, the Black Hawk now flying over friendly territory headed home.
"How's he doing?" Mack called out over the sound of the bird's engines.
Assuming his team was sleeping, Jonas perked up as Mack joined him in the back of the air vehicle. He'd never seen a man look quite as bad as Bob Brown had looked when he's found him in the holding cell.
"Sleeping," Jonas responded as he rested his head on the armored wall behind him.
"He looks bad, boss."
"Get some sleep," Mack turned to the man. "I'll stay up for a while."
It was the sun he'd noticed first.
It was the quiet that woke him.
It was the familiarity of his wife's hand in his that brought him back to reality.
"Hey," Kim Brown breathed in relief as she squeezed her husband's hand as he worked to adjust his position in the hospital bed. Tears filler her eyes as she rose and took a seat on the edge of her husband's bed.
"Hey yourself," he offered a weak grin as he turned his head and got his wife in sight.
"Doctor's say you're going to be okay," she nodded choking back her emotions. "The guys have been in and out all week," she ran a hand across her husband's forehead. "Jonas has barely left your side."
"How's Serena?" he asked, not really wanting to talk about the unit.
"She's fine," Kim nodded. "She's at Tiffy's right now. You know…" she hesitated. "When Ryan showed up at our door yesterday morning, I was so scared. I had flashbacks to last year…"
"Kim," he interrupted her thoughts. He knew what she was going to say. "I'm fine. I'm going to be okay," he managed to push himself up a little.
"I know," she nodded, hoping she sounded more confident than she felt. "I know."
"We'll be fine."
Three months had passed, it was early summer and Fort Griffith was bustling for a Saturday morning.
"Kim! Have you seen my gray shirt?" Bob called from the laundry room as he hustled to get out the door.
"Did you try the closet?" she shouted from the kitchen.
"It's not there."
"Try the laundry room."
"Never mind, I got it. Listen," he continued as he breezed through the kitchen, "I'll finish the clubhouse when I get home, I promise."
"Serena's birthday is Monday," she reminded turning to kiss her husband and walk him out the door.
"I know. It'll be done," he nodded.
"You sure you're ready for this? You sure you're ready to go back out?" she asked from the end of the driveway.
"Yeah," he nodded climbing into his car. "I'll see you in a few days," he kissed his wife once more. "I love you," he backed out of the drive.
Kim stood in the driveway watching her husband disappear down the street.
"They come and they go, huh?" she asked as Molly Blane joined her in the early morning sunlight.
"They come and they go," she nodded. "Come on, I'll show you that cake recipe," she lead the young wife across the street.
"You're working security at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay. The Secretary of Defense will be there negotiating with the political leaders on certain military tactics used in recent military offences," Col. Ryan briefed Alpha Team on their latest assignment. "You're job will be to pick the Secretary up and escort him to and from the Embassy. Any questions?"
With none stated, the team rose from their seats and headed out.
"Brown," the colonel stopped the man at the door.
"Listen. The secretary will be carrying an audio file with him on a flash drive. We believe him to have sensitive information about our recent attacks overseas. We also believe he intends to share this information with others. I need you to get this file and bring it back."
"Consider it done," Brown nodded.
"It's good to have you back."
"It's good to be back."
"See you when you get home."
"Yes, sir," the sergeant nodded moving to join up with the rest of his team.
"Good to go?" Jonas asked from his seat in the twin-engine commuter plane.
"Good to go," Bob nodded climbing in with his gear as the plane positioned for takeoff.
Jonas Blane nodded to the pilot as they took off. They were good to go.