Disclaimer: The following characters belong to Janet Evanovich. This is for artistic exercise only. I am not profiting financially from this Graphic Violence and Adult Themes. Eventual Babe HEA.
A Walk Through Hell
Chapter 1: Traitor
Thirty six days.
Thirty six days of captivity.
I sit on the dirt floor, legs crossed beneath me, staring at flesh that has peeled away from the soles of my feet. I flex my toes, and watch the exposed bones move in their sockets. I have never felt anything so painful, yet I am fascinated. I continue the motion, welcoming the pain. At least the sensation tells me that I am awake and alive. My nightmares and reality have become one and the same.
I take stock of my surroundings. The dirt floor where I sit is polluted with the excretements of the men around me. My men, what's left of them anyway, are posed in various stages of agony; both mental and physical. I have tuned out their screams and moans of pain. The silence in my mind is my only solace.
Thirty six days since our capture. Though it feels like a lifetime ago. My mind is pulled unconsciously back to that day…
My team had arrived under the cover of night on the shores of Namp'o, North Korea. Our mission was to gather Intel on a compound twelve miles in from the coast, along the Taedong River. The U.S. government had suspicions of nuclear weapons testing and manufacturing occurring at the site.
Before our boat had even completely beached the shore, shots rang out. Our mission had been compromised. I knew in that moment that there was a mole in the agency; a traitor among us.
Three quarters of my men were killed in the initial resistance… lucky bastards. The remainder of us were shed of our coats and combat boats; made to walk for miles barefoot along the frozen terrain. The chill bit at our exposed skin. The rocks and vegetation tore into the flesh of our feet. We walked for days. At night we huddled together, the frost clinging to our skin and clothes. Four days with no food, water or shelter. Four days of walking through hell.
The door to our crude cell swings open, grating across the floor. I jump as the noise breaks into my reverie. Two guards come into the cell. I know they have come for me.
I am hauled up to my feet by my arms. I swallow my scream as the weight of my body settles on my feet. I am half dragged to an empty cell down the hall; my body too weak to walk unassisted. My captors had overheard my name being spoken two days ago. Corporal Sanchez was dying, crying out raggedly from the hallucinations of his mind. He was screaming for help… screaming my name.
"I hope, for your sake, that you are feeling more cooperative today Ranger. My men here are growing tired of your silence and looking for… an outlet for their frustration."
I look into the face of my captor, as I have done to all of the ones before him. I commit his face to my memory. For HIS SAKE, he had better make sure that I never leave this place alive; because if I do I will hunt him, I will find him and I will kill him; and the punishment he will receive will be horrific beyond even his twisted comprehension.
A slow evil smile spreads across my face as I imagine the possibilities. Fear flashes briefly in his eyes as he studies my face. It is quickly replaced by rage as he raises his rifle.
I silence my mind, ignoring their words. My body racked with the beating I am receiving. The butt of his gun slams into my ribs and face; the warmth of my own blood trickling down my neck.
My mind escapes within itself.
I drift slowly into unconsciousness and into her arms.
She smiles and cups my face in her hands; kissing me as she whispers, "I love you Ranger."
The most sacred word I know escapes my lips…