"Two days ago, if you had told me I would be voluntarily flying to Vietnam during the heat of the war today, I would've called you a fucking lunatic." Ted commented from the pilot's seat of the small plane.
I giggled from the co-pilot's seat. "So what am I now?"
"Fucking screwed." He laughed as he shook his head.
"Aw, come on." I looked at him. "I escaped from Vorkuta... I think I can manage." With a smile I looked out the window, letting my mind drift.
I exited the hangar, my bones aching and warm blood seeping through my bandaged arm. Harris immediately found the nearest phone to call his wife and Brooks was walking beside me.
"I need a vacation." He grumbled.
Hudson was the first person we saw.
"Mission accomplished." I said curtly. Hudson nodded.
"I heard. Don't get too comfy, I have another mission for you and your men."
My muscles clenched a bit. "Fuck, I just got here! Can't I at least take a piss or something!?"
"Watch it, Pierson! And the results of this particular mission could alter the future of our country."
"What's so important about it?" Brooks crossed his arms.
Hudson looked us in the eyes. "April 17, 1961."
"Operation 40." I stated, raising an eyebrow.
He nodded. "A group of our best men served us that day, attempting to assassinate Castro. They made it out safely, except for one member. Alex Mason. There is a rumor that he might be in Russian prison called Vorkuta."
"This is a rescue mission?" Brooks narrowed his eyes. "Hudson, I trust your judgment but can we afford to spend time and effort on a rumor?"
"Unfortunately, we have to." Hudson replied grimly. "Mason was one of our best men. Him and the rest of his close comrades have previously changed the tides of battles that weren't in our favor. They have made the difference in our efforts. There is tension building up between us and enemy countries, some that's already erupted and some waiting to burst. The point is, we need the best men we can get, especially Mason."
I sucked in my cheeks, mentally balancing out the pros and cons of Hudson's request.
Hudson looked at me. "I want to send you, Brooks, and Harris. You three make a damn good team. If Mason isn't there, go straight back to base. If he is, do whatever it takes to get him to base. If you guys can pull this off, I can see to it that all three of you will be promoted... Into the Studies and Observations Group that is planning to be formed soon."
I looked at him, my eyes wide. "That's quite a proposition." I finally said. "Do you think there is any particular reason Castro's alliances would send him there?"
"Until we have Mason on American grounds, no one will have any idea why."
I looked to Brooks. "Well?"
Brooks shrugged. "I suppose we don't have too much of a choice. Let me go find Harris…"
My body jerked my mind out of its daze and I gasped. Ted looked at me.
"What's wrong Darlin'?" He stared, concerned.
"I... Vorkuta! I went there to go rescue Alex… Jesus..." I stared at my knees. What happened in Vorkuta to make me lose my memory and my comrades…?
Ted gave a small smile. "Don't worry too much on it right now, we'll be landing soon."
Vietnamese chatter surrounded Ted and I as we walked through a small village. We both were in uniform, and I had a hat that covered my hair. Ted found a man to escort me to the base where Ted and I assumed Alex and Viktor were at.
Ted finally turned to face me. "Well, I guess this is it."
"You aren't going with me?"
"I can't." Ted looked down at me. "This isn't the Pentagon incident… this is something you have to do for yourself. I got you here, now go find Mason and Reznov…" He put his hand on my shoulder, giving me a sad smile.
I smiled back and turned, leaving our goodbye short and informal. I threw a quick wave over my shoulder and followed my escort out of the village.
"There it is…" Brooks grumbled, pointing to the dark shadow in the distance.
"What if Mason isn't there?" Harris stared.
Brooks sighed. "Then we turn around and get the fuck out."
"It won't be that simple." I stated, even though I knew my comrades were well aware of this.
"Don't worry too much on it, Kat." Harris murmured as he laid on the cold ground. "We'll deal with it later." Soon enough, snores were heard from him.
"I'll keep watch for the first hour." I said, looking at Brooks.
Brooks nodded and leaned against a boulder. I pulled out a cigarette and lit it, catching Brooks' attention.
"Hey, give me one."
"Hell no." I replied bluntly.
"Come on Kat, sharing is caring."
"Yeah, and I don't care about you."
"What's your problem?" Brooks growled. "You've been pissy ever since we left."
I glared at him. "You and Adrian! Lauren is going to find out somehow…"
Brooks shook his head. "No, she will never know. How did you find out?"
"Harris saw, and he told me."
"Did he tell anyone else?"
"No. And neither have I. We won't say anything, but it's wrong." I couldn't look at him after that. Too many dinners with him and his family, and Harris' family. His wife was so kind, and very pretty. They had kids too…
I sighed loudly. "It's none of my business, I'm sorry for saying anything."
I thought our conversation had ended, for a minute of silence passed.
"Adrian is…" Brooks started to say. But I stopped him when I turned and tossed him a cigarette. He caught it and gave me a confused look.
"Adrian is very beautiful." I stated for him. "I'm sure she is great in bed too. Sometimes… it's healthy for a bit of change. But…"
"I know." He said. "I understand."
"Just… Uh… don't let it go on too long. Adrian is a fuck-buddy. Not a life-long partner." After that I bit my tongue, my mind scolding me for speaking out against my own personal morals. "Get some sleep."
I felt insecure and vulnerable as I walked though the base, looking at every soldier, hoping to see a familiar face.
"Hey, Soldier!" I called a young man over. He looked no older than 19.
He walked over and looked at me, his eyebrows furrowing together a bit. "I don't think I've… seen you around here… Who are you?"
I frowned. "Watch it Soldier, I'm Sergeant Pierson. I'm looking for an Alex Mason. Anyone here by the name of that?"
The boy's eyes widened. "Mason? He was one of the soldiers who kicked ass in Hue! I heard he was in the S.O.G.! They got to base two days ago."
"Ok, where the Hell is he?" I asked impatiently.
I followed the young soldier to a tent. "He's in here Sir."
"Thank you." I took a deep breath and walked in.
Four men stood around a map of Vietnam, discussing plans. The one in the center looked up.
"What the fuck do you want?"
The other three men looked at me, and I recognized Alex and Viktor. My heart began to pound.
It was them.
I opened my mouth to say something, but no sounds arrived. Viktor's eyes seemed to flicker, and he looked at Alex.
"Mason… it's her."
And Alex's eyes widened when he realized who I was.
I grinned. "Alex fucking Mason. You don't know how good it is to see you." I turned my head and gave a genuine smile to Viktor, who returned it.
The man in the center glanced at Alex. "Who the Hell is this?"
Alex looked back at him. "This is Katherine Pierson. Katherine, this is Frank Woods, and James Bowman."
Bowman gave a nod, though his facial features still showed his confusion. Woods continued to frown.
"Why the fuck is a woman here!?" Who let her in?"
"Watch it, Woods. She was with me in Vorkuta."
Woods' ranting stopped, and he stared at me again, then back at Alex. "Oh… her… Do people know you're here?"
I shook my head. "Mason sent me a letter, saying Viktor Reznov needed to speak to me."
Bowman and Woods exchanged a nervous glance.
It didn't go unnoticed by me. "I… got here as soon as I could."
"How did you do it?" Alex asked. "I thought the Government was keeping an eye on you. After we got back to America, Hudson had told me your story. That's how I knew how to contact you."
"I appreciate it, Alex." I looked him in the eyes. "Anyways, what is it you guys need to talk to me about?"
Alex looked to the other comrades. "Bowman, Woods, would you mind leaving for a few minutes?" Woods muttered something under his breath as he walked out of the tent, with Bowman following him.
"Katherine, it's reassuring to see your face again." Viktor smiled.
"I thought you were dead." I said, shaking my head.
"Don't let them control you."
I blinked, a random picture of Viktor entering my mind.
"These men… they are the leeches of the world. They need to be rid of…"
My head began to hut a bit, but I ignored it. The random scenes playing in my brain didn't make sense.
"They are trying to control you, they wish for you to perform their evil doings."
"Knowing your history, and the talent you possess, I am asking you to help me."
"I am asking Mason to help me as well."
"All must die."