HOSTAGE

The target building was approximately 200ks from the LZ and the area was hot. We headed through the dark, damp wood until we had a visual. Mike, second in command of my squad, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear, "Bravo 7's got eyes on two x-rays by an outpost to the south, shall they open fire?" "Negative," I went on the comms. "Bravo 7, do not engage, we don't know what we're up against yet," "Roger that, Alpha 5," I sent Rob and Dan down the hill which led away from the tree line and down towards a small town. The Arab buildings created a circle which in the centre featured a wagon. The wagon had Arab symbols indented into the side. Rob and Dan were both east Londoners in their early twenties. They were like brothers; the only difference was a scar on Dan's cheek from where a road side bomb had detonated three years back. He was luckiest person alive. They stacked up against a shack, at the back of one of the buildings. Mike and I waited in the tree line so we had a visual of the whole town. A group of x-rays left a tavern in the corner of the town and strolled over to the building which Dan and Rob were about to enter. I quickly got on the comms as Rob pulled out a frame charge. "Go silent; five x-rays inbound entering your position. Do you acknowledge?"

There came two clicks down the line and Rob put the charge away and pulled out his M1911. The silver metal glistened in the moonlight like a thousand stars raining down on old Arab town. The UAV was just visible in the pitch black night sky. "X-rays have entered the building do you acknowledge?" two clicks came down the line. "Bravo 7, take sniping positions on ridge, cover us from the east, over." "Roger that Alpha 5." We moved down the hill towards Rob and Dan. "Delta, can you give us the co-ordinates of the target, over" a thin red beam came down from the sky for a second or two showing us the tavern was where Charlie 4 was being kept. Mike and I also stacked up against the wall. Rob threw me next to the door, making me the first in. Dan thrusted a frag in front of my face, meaning he was going to clear the way for me before I entered. "Lock and load," Rob said as he slammed the frame charge on the shack wall. Voices and shouts came from the other side of the wall. The charge exploded sending a shock wave down my spine and through my body. Dan threw the frag in and it erupted the room. I strapped my night vision goggles on and entered. Dead bodies lay against the walls and guns were scattered on the floor. It was dead freaky. I quickly moved through the building checking for movement. It was dead. We went out into the courtyard where the truck was parked. "Mike, get the door," I whispered. He wondered over to the back of the truck and wrenched it open with the butt of his 203. It flew open revealing a box which its lid was open.

"Charlie 4's not here, moving to secondary target building, over" a crackling sound came down the line. "Alpha 5, there are large heat signatures in the area," we moved towards the tavern and stacked up by the main door. "Roger that Bravo 7, the rear of the building is black, front is green, Rob and Dan go black, we'll go green, move out," mike got the door and I rested my hand on his shoulder, with the other I held my 203. "Your call," I said and he kicked the door in. I sprayed a few rounds without even taking in my surroundings. I saw rows of tables and a bar counter in the far corner that stretched all along the side of one of the walls. Black was breached and we enclosed on the targets. As we worked our way towards the counter, I noticed by the far wall a figure. His face swollen and his body covered in cuts and bruises. It must be Charlie 4. We clambered over the counter and kept our heads down. "I have a visual on Charlie 4, eleven 'o'clock." More x-rays entered the tavern. We were heavily outnumbered. Mike screamed in my face, "Charlie 4, get Charlie 4 outta here," I lobbed a flashbang towards the door and scrambled over the counter and sprinted towards Charlie 4. He huddled in the corner staring at me. They weren't gonna be dazed for long so I grabbed him and threw him over my shoulder. "Come on, hold on there, Bravo 7 we need air support ASAP." We ran out on black and headed back to the building with the shack. "Are you sure that's a wise idea calling air support?" Rob asked as we entered the building. "At the moment, we no other options!" we headed up the hill towards the tree line, still with Charlie 4 over my shoulder. We had worked out our E&E leading to the EP earlier while in the tree line.

"Keep it tight, heads up, Bravo 7 we need that air support." A crackling sound came down the line. "Roger that, convoy's approaching your position for extraction. ETA 30 seconds." Missiles shot down from the sky like fireworks and the town was consumed in gulfs of flames. We ran through the tree line and into the clearing that we had been dropped off from earlier. Hummvies and wagons came out from the forest and screached to a halt in the clearing. I threw Charlie 4 into the back of a wagon and entered the driver's seat. The others got in and we got the hell out of there. "Bravo 7, this is Alpha 5, we are in the clear and moving to your position, over" "Roger that Alpha 5, see you soon."