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Chapter Eight - Welcome Kids
Alex signed deeply, resting his head against the hard wall of the helicopter. He hadn't sleep since he had left the base, his body ached all over, the deep bruises would go eventually he hoped. He was still going to have a difficult time with the stitches, plus his shoulder still awwfelt dislocated not to even mention the bullet abrasion on his leg.
Everything that could have gone wrong had. Kuwait was a lovely place, just not one to try and run an extraction from. It took place at what used to be an old Scorpia compound, one that Alex knew the lay out of. Well thought he did. It had been take over by a neo-scorpia group who were trying to become the next thing. They failed. Dramatically. Unfortunately the op had a heavier cost than they anticipated.
"Jaguar, sir, we are 5 mins out." The pilot called through the headset.
"Roger that." Alex replied, attempting to keep the groan out of his voice. This had been the sixth mode of transport he had been on in the last few hours. Each one marginally better than the last.
He just wanted to sleep, curl up on his cot and relax. But unfortunately the kids would be arriving shortly, checking his watch he knew the timing was going to be tight.
The dull hum of the rotor blades filled the silence. The mountains and grey sky filled the windscreen with a cluster of elongated huts appearing in the distance huddled on the mountainside.
"I am needed back at base. You will need to repeal out." The pilot ordered as they approached the huts. He must have nodded off a second. He couldn't afford to mess up like that later.
Climbing out he got his equipment ready to exit. It wasn't parachuting but the result was the same. He looked a mess, and was still dressed in his tatty middle eastern combats. The Sargent wouldn't be happy, but he just have to change later. The green light blinked brightly in the cabin.
He pulled open the door, yanked the duffle into his back and jumped out them doors. The free fall lasted for 2 second before he landed with a thump. He clicked the button on the harness releasing the line, which he caught effortlessly, giving a small two fingered salute to the pilot.
He turned to see the situation, the kids were all stood there rather shocked. Wolf just looked irritated, so Alex did what he always did.
"Am I interrupting something?" He smirked, although there was still a cold edge to his voice. Something that wasn't there before he left.
"Your late." Wolf hissed. It coming out much harsher that intended.
"Sorry transport from a war zone doesn't always run perfectly." Alex returned in the same manner.
"The Sargent wants to debrief you. ASAP. First you might want to introduce yourself." Wolf grinned slyly.
He just glared at them as he muttered to himself before sauntering off. Wolf knew Fox was right but he didn't have time to deal with that now.
"That was Jaguar, he is the liaison offer in charge of you. Teachers you may disappear. The rest of you we are going on a tour." He ordered harshly, casting a worried side glance to Fox.
Alex looked a little better, he had swapped the sandy military uniform for the SAS green, his dog tags sat around his neck and the beret was positioned on his head. He at least look the part.
"Right you maggots! Shut-up and listen!" Wolf yelled they had only been there for an hour, and they were driving him insane! At least the teachers had disappeared on the rickety old bus. They would have just been another thorn in his side.
"Wolf." Alex greeted stoically, as he approached the scowling leader.
"Jag. It's good to see you back in one piece." He said honestly, the kids had decided that this was the chance for them to chat incessantly.
"Listen up! First you will take your stuff to your bunk." Alex ordered imminently taking charge. Ignoring Wolfs 'friendly' statement. Although the kids had other ideas and just continued talking, mostly likely about who they would bunk with.
He gave a loud whistle, causing them to cringe at the high-pitched sound. "You do not get to choose! The groups are as follows..."
"Tom Harris, Luke Jackson,Mike Parker, Will Cumberland, Callum Jones & Drew Harper. Red Group. Tent 1."
"Jonas Earle, Matt Lloyd, Fred Hart, Andrew Powell, Charlie Peters & Harry Jacobson. Blue Group. Tent 2."
"Charlotte Raims, Amber Greenwood, Tiana Golf, Jamie Dixon, Hannah Topping & Alicia Roberts. Green Group. Tent 3."
"Zoe Drift, Liz Maple, Sarah O'Donald, Gemma Staunton, Emma Blane & April Dijamal. Yellow Group. Tent 4"
He read of the paperwork, despite knowing the names of by heart, he had been the one who put them there after all. But he couldn't give anything away.
"You now have 15 minutes to change into workout clothes. Dismissed." Alex snapped, turning to the units behind him.
"So they are now split into 4 groups each unit will take 2 groups whilst the other continues with training." He paused looking at the sheet, "K & E your with them today, L you get to have wilderness training." They took the dismissal and headed off giving a weak smile to the others.
Alex gave a brief overview of the plan for both groups. They seemed to think it was rudimentary, but said nothing. They knew better than to question orders.
"Jag do you need me to give you a medical?" Snake whispered as subtly as he could, he had noticed the way he was leaning slight more on his right leg and the way he was carrying his shoulder.
Alex just glared, his eyes seemed cold, distant and unnerving. "No. I'm fine. Thank you for the concern." He muttered icily, before turning back to his clipboard and started to sort out the walkie-talkies.
A quick glance at his watch told him the kids were late. They had dared to be late.
"E-Unit. Please go and make sure they understand the meaning of a time limit." The group scurried off at the command.
The second they went K-Unit seemed to come alive. "Jag are you okay?" Fox asked the concern clean in his tone and body language. Snake moved to try an asses his injuries, but he pulled away.
"I'm. Fine." He growled through gritted teeth.
"No your not." Fox resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Alex always acted like this once he got home. It took a day or two (plus a hospital trip) in the middle to the night for him to admit that something was wrong.
"What went wrong?" Eagles soft voice broke through the silence. The sincere note was rare, but showed the power in those three words.
That caused Alex to spin round aggressively. "Nothing." He replied handing over the walkie-talkie to Wolf.
"Everything." Wolf translated, as Alec turned back fixing the system hiding his eyes from them. Afraid and fearful that they would guess everything he was unwilling to tell.
The silence filled the void awkwardly, they all knew what it was likely to have everything so perfectly planned at in all going wrong from the word go.
"MOVE IT." The bellowing voice caused them all to turn to see Otter matching a group of kids who looked very irritated and annoyed. They all looked like they had been caught with there hands in the cookie jar.
He handed Otter the walkie-talkie nodding briefly in thanks. His scowl was directed at the irritated munchkins huddled into a cluster before him.
"I gather you have had it explained to you what we mean by a time limit." He paused for a second letting the words sink in. "In our business being late is the difference between life and death."
"But we 'ain't in your business." Harry called out. The silence that followed wasn't the kind you ever wanted to hear
"You address us all as sir." Alex paused for a second flicking through the sheets, pretending to be looking for a name. "Jacobson."
"It's Harry, sir." He replied meekly, releasing what he had said before might not have been the best idea.
"We use surnames here. We would give you a code name but you have to earn them. You might by think your in our business but for the next few weeks you are."
Tom was the only one who seemed understood the seriousness of the situation. After all he had been shot by a sniper who had aimed at Alex. Plus he was the only one who had the nerve to glare at Alex. Did he know?
"Anyway as I was saying before I was rudely interrupted. Every time we call you to rank you need to stand in Groups one behind each other. Feed together standing up straight ready for orders am I clear?"
They all nodded and grumbled. From the look on Alex's face, that wasn't the right response. "You always respond to a direct order. Usually sir, yes sir."
"Sir, yes, sir." They all changed at once, finally understanding that this wasn't a holiday camp.
"Green & Red you are with K-Unit, doing a fitness assessment. Yellow & Blue you are with E-Unit, doing first aid. Dismissed." Alex was glad, he was relieved to be handing them over.
The units split the children disappearing off to the respectful activities. Alex had a minute to himself, taking a deep breath telling himself he had done it, he hadn't been recognised. He would have to speak to Tom later. It was also a bonus that they hated him.
But that didn't matter they would be safe for now.
"Jag we need assistance for the assessment. They are refusing. Over." Eagles voice came through the walkie-talkie attached to his belt. Shouting could be heard in the distance.
It was going to be a long few weeks.
"On my Eagle. Over."
Heee heeee hope you liked this one!
Until next time...