First Marines, Second Division, Second Battalion, Delta Company, Third Platoon, Second Squad, Fireteam Sierra.

July Seventh, 2007, 1000 Hours, Forty Miles North of Baghdad, Iraq

Uniform Cisco-Two, en-route to Tikrit, Iraq

Prologue

Staff Sergeant Addison Escalera, known better as 'Sergeant Spook', sat in the passenger seat of the last Hummvee in the column, staring out into the seemingly never ending desert. The nickname Spook was given after the men in his squad realized he could be spooked out easily. The bulky Kevlar made it an uncomfortable ride, and having already been on the move for an hour and a half, caused more annoyance. The six truck convoy bound for the town of Tikrit had left at oh-eight-thirty hours to relieve another group of Marines who had been holed up in the sand bucket for the last three weeks.

The column came to a halt on the long road and Spook poked his head out the door to see what was going on. The radio between Spook and the driver, Lance Corporal Scott 'Bright' O'Malley, buzzed to life with the voice of Third Platoons commanding officer, Lieutenant Allen 'Mood' Shankland. "Alright, set up a perimeter Third. We've got five vehicles headed in our direction, Fireteam Sierra up front and get the trucks behind the Humvee's." Spook sighed and pulled his head back in the Hummvee while grabbing the radio.

"Roger that Lieutenant, Sierra on the move." He said and put the radio down as Bright backed the Hummer up and let the trucks carrying the most of Third Platoon back up behind them. After the trucks had maneuvered to the rear, Bright drove the Hummer to the front of the column and stopped on the left side of the road, next to Moods Hummer. Spook and Bright got out followed by the two Marines in the back of the Hummer, Privates Travis 'BugEye' Wood and Jonathon 'Hacky' Behrens. Private Scott 'Hawk' Rossilo stayed in the Hummvee manning the fifty caliber machine gun mounted atop the roof of the vehicle. Spook and the rest of Sierra moved up towards Moods position, where Mood had Fireteam Alpha set up near their Hummvee.

Spook ordered Hacky and BugEye to the left side of the road near his Hummvee and had Bright stay with him. The two fireteams made up an arrowhead formation as the cars approached them. One of Moods men stepped forward and put his hand up with his palm outward, and the cars came to a halt in front of him. He walked to the driver's side of the lead vehicle and peered inside, and then moved to the next vehicle in line, once more looking inside. As the Marine moved to the third car in line, a shot rang out and the Marine was down on the ground. The lead car began to hit the gas until Hawk opened up with the fifty, shattering the windshield and ripping up the interior. Sierra immediately had their rifles trained in the cars direction and opened up. Hacky fired short bursts from his SAW at the Iraqis and kept up the pressure as they tried to escape. Smoke from the first car began to fume and impaired Sierras visuals.



Spook and Bright moved up on the left side with Hacky and BugEye covering the rear. One of the insurgents attempted to get out of his car and fire his AK47 but was put down with a direct shot to the gut by Brights M16. The driver of the same vehicle attempted to do the same but was shot in the abdomen by Spooks M16. A rocket propelled grenade went off from the last vehicle and headed straight towards Sierra. They rolled out of the way and onto the desert sand as the RPG impacted the third vehicle and sent shrapnel flying. One piece lodged itself in Spooks leg, and he went down attempting to pry the burning metal from him.

The last thing Spook remembered seeing was the hands of one of the men from Sierra grabbing him and dragging him back towards the rear.