Author's Note: This is fruit of my labour and xXxFrostbitexXx. It's the first successful day of the RP and this is the result, those interest are free to join us. Just meet up with us in the Battlefield forums. We'll see you there.

Task Force Wolfpack

Five Miles From COP Zerok

September 9th, 2014

0935 Hours

One heavily customized Humvee thundered down the mountain trail with guided precision. The CROWS weapon station's M2 Browning wiggling wildly in it's mount. Cool weather and cold temperatures didn't phase the men inside one bit as they maneuvered the up-armored three ton utility vehicle with ease. Gunnery Sergeant Jake Ratanapruek was on the passenger seat as Corporal Ryan Cutter was the vehicle's driver. Sergeant George Hernandez had his big meaty hands on the CROWS weapons station while Sergeant Brenden Jacobs shuddered in the backseat, not of fear, but that his life was going to be taken away by a crazy madman driving.

"Slow the fuck down Playboy! This isn't a fucking rally!" Rat screamed, the Humvee lurched up another small hill and launched into the air.

"No can do Boss!" Playboy replied jerking the steering wheel left, "we've been stuck on recon missions for the last few days. I'm going to get at least some fun in our mule!"

"You crazy bastard!" Softie yelped as the two ton vehicle came to a screeching halt.

In front of the Humvee stood a small combat outpost manned by both United States Marines and Army troopers. Men bustled to and from buildings, going on with their daily lives. The four slowly ease the giant vehicle through the gates to be greeted by on looking soldiers long battered in the fight against insurgents. Without resistance, the four got out and shouldered their packs, leaving their vehicle to be gawked at by the on-looking soldiers. They walked into the camp to meet up with the team they'll be taking on patrol.

Up at the Rec Room, looking down at the watch and seeing it's 0935, Corpoal Emily "Frost" Douglas hopes that soon the other team of Marines will arrive, she sits down against the wall as she watches the scene in front of her, she lets out a sigh as she watches two of her teammates sitting at a table playing cards, Private First Class Victor Wess and Lance Corporal Dillon Ferguson have always played cards ever since their deployment, and Victor has always said he'd win one day, which hasn't happened yet.

She gets up and walks towards the door, well walking down the hallway she sees a group of Marines heading her way.

Rat knew what he had to do and it was all too routine for these group of Marines. Report in, get the mission, get the job done. There was a catch for this operation. The ODA (Operation Detachment Alpha or the Marines being the first team to respond to any special threat) were rotated to fill in a cool down phase of their mission. Instead of a week or a month of operations, it would take over three to complete the mission they were sent here to do. With a sigh, Rat decided to report in to the Commanding Officer of the Base. Former Special Forces Colonel Grant Montgomery stood at a small table and was ready to brief the team leader.

Meanwhile, Playboy, looking for some action decided to go poke around in the rec room and the mess hall. The New Yorker had picked up a double helping of mess hall food from next to the rec room, his plate filled with meat, sluggish like rice and eggs. Opening the door to the small wooden building, he stumbled upon three Marines. Two were playing cards while the other was looking at the wooden wall with an ancient LCD TV broadcasting what seemed like some television series he'd never watch.

Softie had gone off to phone his family while Spooky sluggishly sauntered around the base to find a place to find some peace after the short trip up to COP Zerok. The driving had left small scars on his hardened exterior and had mentally raped his mind.

"Gunnery Sergeant Jake Ratanapreuk," the forty year oldish man asked and looked up at the Sergeant, "am I right?"

"Yes sir," Rat replied and snapped a crisp salute, "Gunnery Sergeant Jake Ratanapruek, 1st MSOB, MSOT 4836, reporting in for service."

"Well Sergeant, we have the Marines that will be joining us for the briefing but it seems they're in the rec room. Can you wait a few minutes as I call them?" the Colonel asked.

"No problem sir. We Recons were made to wait," the Sergeant replied.

Emily, coming back from the female barracks, was still trying to fix her hair back up into the sock bun hair regulations and wearing her MARPAT camouflage pants and a MARPAT jacket she watches as other marines walk by and some jogging to their destinations, she waves at one of her marine friends Jean as she comes in the view of the rec room.

She walks over to the small shed and opens the wooden door to see Victor and Dillon still playing their card game, which she can just tell by Victors face that he is still loosing the game, and her other teammate watching the TV. She smiles and looks up at the face of an unfamiliar marine, saluting, she addresses herself as

"Corpoal Emily Douglas, but my teammates all call me Frost(y)."

"Looks like we have to go to the Rec Room Sergeant," Colonel Montgomery, Monty as Jake nicknamed him, said with a small scowl.

"Would you accompany me?" The older man asked as Rat nodded.

"Glad to sir," Rat said, shrugging the heavy pack that extended above his head and below his waist.

Playboy turned around at the address to see a female Marine. He stood, looking and analyzing the Marine with cold, hard eyes before dropping his pack on the ground and the food he just got from the mess hall onto the table the other male Marines were playing on. The rice splattered at the two as Playboy gripped the female's hand very gently and brought them up to his lips and imparted a kiss before saying,

"Corporal Emily Douglas," he said, "I'm Corporal Ryan Cutter. It's a pleasure to meet you."

He said with a small but charming, New Yorker smile.

Rat walked with the Colonel from the center of the base, the most well protect to the recreational area of the COP. Rat looked formidable in his gear and it made him the center of attention from a lot of the troops around him. His appearance coupled with his completely sanitized uniform (no unit tags, no name tags, nothing but a plain uniform) and customized gear made him look like one of the SEALs. Although not as big as American, his stature and aura was enough to intimidate anyone around him. The Oakley Flak Jackets he was wearing gleamed an bright orange in the sun light, a new brand of super hero. Or so the troops in the base thought as the giant rifle hung from his right hand.

"Our mission here is to capture the hearts and minds of the people. Since you just came out fresh off the front lines, it's a good thing to wind down a bit with some grunt work. You game Sergeant?" Monty asked.

"Level Zero (a routine or non important) missions?" he said looking at the officer, "we're always game sir."

Just then, Rat glanced over to see Playboy holding the hands of a girl. Hell was about to break loose under his command.

Emily looks up at Ryan with a shocked expression in her blue-green eyes at the kiss that Corporal Cutter just gave, not knowing what to say she nods her head a little bit and says "Nice to meet you Corporal Cutter." in a small voice.

She blushes a little bit about it as Victor, Dillon, and the marine teammate that was watching the TV responded with a long ohhh, holding it out as they saw everything happen out of the corner of their eyes. Victor looks over to see the MSOT squad leader looking over at Corporal Cutter and Frost as Corporal Cutter is holding her hands.

The ohhhs die down quickly as they look over at an angry looking Marine starting at the Corporal holding Emily's hands.

"Excuse me sir," Rat said to the senior officer.

"No problem Sergeant. Do what you must," Monty said with a chuckle.

Rat dropped his pack and swung his rifle over the body armor before taking a step towards the unsuspecting Playboy who was too engrossed in a female specimen. If Rat didn't keep his FNG in line he would have ran off and had sex with every single woman in sight. Standing right behind the Cutter, he gave a small, reassuring smile to the female Corporal.

"Excuse me," he said in a low voice and gently pulled Emily's hand from Ryan's as the shocked FNG looked up to see his squad leader right behind him.

"Sarge! I-" Playboy started as Rat wrapped both of his hands around his vest's collar.

Rat lifted the New Yorker clear off the ground with over thirty kilograms of gear on his body and slammed him into the dirt behind him. A large puff of dust exploded from the ground as Rat's face was just inches from Playboy's and his face was twisted in an angry growl.

"You do that shit again in front of a commanding officer and/or a female and I will gut you! You understand kid?" Rat growled loud enough just for the Colonel and the men in the Rec Room along with the female Marine to hear.

"Y-Yes sir," Playboy stammered.

Rat stood up, picked up his weapon and gear before walking up to Emily.

"Sorry about that ma'am," Rat said, always respecting the other gender, "I have to keep a tight leash on this dog."

"Ha," Monty laughed seeing the FNG slowly getting up from the ground, "reminds me of my young days."

Emily manages a small smile and looks like she was almost about to laugh at Cutters shocked expression of what the squad leader did, "Thank you, sir." She says, and not knowing what to say next because of what happened before she addresses herself quickly to the squad leader "I'm Corporal Emily Douglas, sir."

The rest of her teammates try to hold in a little laughter of the Corporal that just got yelled at and flipped over on the ground, Victor chuckles a little bit as he watches the shocked Corporal get up off the ground. The rest of her teammates introduce themselves right after Emily as they still continue watching the angry Corporal, Dillon gathers up the cards into the dusty card box and stands up like the rest of the teammates.

"Private First Class Victor Wess, Combat Medic"

"Lance Corporal Dillon "Roach" Ferguson"

"Corporal Bernie "Burns" Beck"

"Sergeant Mike "Ones" Price" she introduced.

Rat gave a short nod to the small squad as his men form behind him. The massive Hernandez, the shy Jacobs and the inexperienced Cutter bringing up his rear as Colonel Montgomery pushed his way passed the exchanging of greetings to prepare a briefing. Rat and the team shakes everyone's hands, introducing themselves.

"I'm Gunnery Sergeant Jake Ratanapruek. 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Team 4836. Don't let the lastname fool you, I'm of Thai descent. Just call me Rat," Rat said with a warm and welcoming smile, "and drop the formalities. We're colleagues now. We MARSOC don't work strictly under Marine rules."

"That hulk of meat is Sergeant George Hernandez, he's our team's Fire or Automatic Rifleman. Don't let his hardass appearance scare you. He really is a gentle giant." Rat continued pointing to the hulking man behind him.

"Hiya!" Hernandez said, his voice a deep baritone, "you can call me Softie."

"The shy one's Softie's Assistant. Brenden Jacobs likes to keep to himself but he won't really speak to anyone but me."

"H-hi. I'm Jacobs b-but you can call me S-spooky." He said in a low, almost inaudible voice.

"I'm sure you've already met the laughing stock of the squad, Ryan Cutters."

Ryan glared at Emily's teammates for snickering. In his mind, he was thinking of how they were rubbing in his face after he lost the chance of bagging a freebie in form a female Marine.

"Laugh it up you Clowns," Playboy growled.

"You can guess his callsign. It's Playboy and obviously this," Rat gestured to the scene that unfurled moments before, "is why."

Emily and her teammates greet them all, as she adds "Just call me Frost, then." she smiles a little bit as she looks over at the teammates and Rat's team over at Playboy "I'm guessing he always gets into trouble with the female soldiers?" she questions, but guesses this wouldn't be the first time he tried to flirt and kissed a female Marine.

Victor looks over at the group and says "Alright, guess it's time to go to the briefing room..." he says after the introductions of all the Marines and learning some of their personalities.

"He's a pain in the ass," Rat said with a grin before taking seat around the Colonel.

Emily's men and Rat's both did the same and the people chatted quietly to each other before the Colonel started. Rat talked to Emily asking for the squad leader of hers and the latest gossip around the base. Cutter and Hernandez in the meanwhile, exchanged dick jokes and the occasional male testosterone fueled jokes with Emily's men without shame. This was one of the ways to relieve steam on a long tour of duty and Jacobs sat near the corner by himself, eying Emily and Jake as if they would just make out right on the spot from how friendly they were talking to each other. He knew the two wouldn't but he was vigilant and cautious around the newer additions to the squad.

"Everyone acquainted? Good." Colonel Montgomery said curtly.

"I'll give MSOT the plain and hard details since they are in charge of this mission," Colonel Montgomery explained, "there are high numbers of Taliban fighters living in this area and conventional military tactics will not get rid of these little annoying motherfuckers. A joint team made of Marine Special Forces and Marine grunts should do the job. It's small, it's light and the MSOT guys bring enough power and ingenuity to blow up a tank and make sure pieces of it cut up people a kilometer away."

"Your objective is win the hearts and minds of the people and in the meanwhile clear out any insurgents while you get the chance. Your main areas of focus are the villages of Saparah to our East, Sultani to our Southwest and Worzhanana to our South. You'll be supporting US Army supply trucks and rebuilding teams along with frequent patrols from a new temporary COP you will be establishing about ten kilometers South of here to cover all of the AO (Area of Operations). I'll leave the planning and the specifics to the MSOT guys."

"So Jake, Corporal Emily Douglas's team will be joining you. She's a 4641," Colonel Montgomery explained as Jake's eyebrow quirked slightly.

"4641? Combat Photographer? What's a Photographer doing with us?" Rat asked.

"She's rarely seen combat so it'll be good to have her along to take photos and experience raw warfare with you guys," Colonel Monty replied, "as of effective immediately, all of you are now Task Force Wolfpack. Hunt like a wolf, be swift like a wolf and stick together like a pack."

"Questions?" Colonel Montgomery asked and finished the briefing, awaiting questions before he dismissed everyone.

Emily looks around at her teammates and Rats teammates, she thinks of everything in her head and finds nothing to ask Colonel Montgomery. "No, sir. No questions." she says as she sees no one ask anything or look like they will ask anything, and she is pretty sure she can handle it.

"Good," Montgomery stated plainly, "get out of here. I have work to do."

"But sir," Rat said, getting up and shrugging on his pack, "this is the Rec Room."

Colonel Montgomery's eyes glazed over before they widened and he realized what was happen.

"Oh right! Damn!" With those words he rushed out the door and was sprinting towards the CP (Command Post).

"Wow, that geezer's getting dull." Playboy commented just to receive a smack on the helmet from Softie.

"Respect your elders Playboy," Softie growled as Emily's teammates snickered.

"So," Rat said walking out of the Rec Room with Emily, "do you know where we sleep? We Recon can navigate out of the most complex urban environments, dense rain forests and snowed in plains but for the love of god we never know our way around a base."

Emily thinks a little about it and says "The Male Barracks probably, there are about four male barracks and most of them are empty from some transfers and stuff, I can show you guys around base if you'd like. Victor could show you to the Male Barracks." she says, "It took me awhile to get used to living in such a place, I must have got lost about 100 times before I finally got used to living here..."

"About ten years," Rat said reaccounting his memories, "three years as infantry, two as scout sniper and recon then two years as an MSOT grunt before getting my position as squad leader earlier this year."

Rat walked with Emily towards the general area of the barracks as the men behind them fooled around. Hernandez didn't care and once again split off with Jacobs to find something better to do. The pair got inside the Humvee and decided to get it away from the crowd of gawking Marines and Army soldiers. Driving around, they finally found a garage filled with superior MRAP vehicles designed to take mines the MSOT Humvees couldn't. Who needed protection when you have firepower and speed? The Force Recon principle held dearly to this. Swift, Silent, Deadly.

Playboy decided to get closer to his teammates and were asking them to play ad-hoc American Football. How they did it in such a small base without their tops were beyond Rat but they didn't care. He wanted a place to sleep and a place to start planning.

"Victor is..." he said seeing the men run off with Playboy who had a football always in his pack, "playing with Playboy."

"I guess you'll have to show me around." Rat said with a defeated sigh.

Things weren't really going well for the poor squad leader.

Emily watches as Victor, Playboy and the other men run off to play Football, she sighs and notices that almost all men must love that sport.

She looks up at Rat "Guess I'll have to." she says as they continue walking towards the male barracks, "I've only been in for three years..." Emily says silently, and then asks another simple question so they can keep up a conversation instead of an awkward silence, "I'm gonna guess you've joined the Marines straight fresh out of High School? Most of my friends in school went to ROTC or the Army, I've kept in touch with a lot of them and none of them did Marines besides me, I'm kind of surprised about it..."

"It's a hard life you bet. Army's got it easy with all the new toys they get, being the smallest branch of the military doesn't help with budget..." Rat said feeling no awkwardness.

He felt awkwardness before, talk about sitting in a LAV with four female Isreali Special Forces operatives that could kick your ass if you opened you mouth to talk to them before the mission. It was a blessing that Playboy wasn't there or else the female commandos would have killed him. Or worse, he would have impregnated one of them. His eyes caught the sight of a couple jogging soldiers looking at the pair walking down the main street of the base. A combat photographer and a SpecOps operative, it was one hell of a combination.

"I joined right out of High School. I had a choice but my father and mother were already up to their necks trying to feed my siblings. I wanted to join to help them out, best decision I ever made in my life. If I had chosen the chair force, I would have been a fat pig sitting in a chair back at Bagram."

Emily stares at the soldiers jogging and looking at them, she then turns her head away from them and gets her mind back into the conversation, ignoring the soldiers that are jogging. She thinks a little bit about it and then they finally arrive at the doors to the male barracks.

"Okay, here you are. I'll give you a tour of the base later on after you unpack your stuff and get settled in, you'll must likely find me in the Rec Room." Emily says as she points to the third last door of the Male Barracks.

Rat opens the barracks door to find a small compartment enough for six people with air-conditioning and bunk beds. It was better than a lot of places the command had sent them. Rainforest floors, snow igloos, you name it, the Marines slept in it. He nodded with satisfaction.

"Thanks," he said patting Emily on the shoulder, "I'll find you once I've settled in and gotten an idea of what's going to happen with the operation."

Rat stepped inside and threw his pack onto the ground with a deafening thump. Inside were extra ammunition, gear and an assortment of food supplies used during the long days in the field. The only things that weren't the three categories were six Marine tees, boxers and socks along with two additional jackets and trousers in the form of Multicam camouflage used by the other Special Forces branches. He began unpacking and got ready to go meet up with Emily in the Rec Room to plan out the opeartion.

Playboy in the meantime was having a blast. Two on Three American Football apparently was the greatest thing. The only reason he needed another person was to hike the ball, other than that, the MSOT Marine easily dodged and weaved passed his underbuilt brothers. His legs pumped into the ground as he reached the endzone and smashed the ball into the rocky ground.

"Touchdown mother-" he couldn't finish his sentence as the ball bounced off a rock and impacted his chin, luckily nothing but a nasty red bruise was left behind.

Emily nods and smiles as she walks off towards the rec room, stopping by the mess hall to get a quick drink, when she finally arrives to the rec room she finds no one else in there, she sighs and goes over towards the couch and turns on the Television. She flips through the channels and finally stops on a movie she never saw before, but could only guess it was Transformers since the cars and robots seemed to familiar to her mind...

She leans her head on her hands and continues to watch the movie as another Marine enters to check his email on the computer and leaves, she sighs and thinks about the operation well waiting.

Victor watches as the football bounces into Playboys chin "Oh, man! You okay, dude? The football doesn't like to be harmed" he chuckles and tries to joke, but fails at it as watches as his teammate Dillon laugh a little bit at the scene of what just happened, but stops right away and calms down, his stomach hurting from all what happened today.

Playboy snapped his head back forward as if it was a martial arts move and locked eyes with Victor with furious tenacity. His grin sent shivers up the grunt's spin as he began to laugh manically. The scene was practically one of the more goofy ones out of an anime.

"Come over here you little bastard!" Playboy screamed and wrapped his arm around Victor's neck, he proceeded to give him a nuggie out of friendly rivialry.

Boys will be boys.

Rat pulled off his armored vest, jacket and shirt, throwing the clothing articles into a small area of the barracks. Half naked, he proceeded outside the barracks and sauntered around the areas a few times. Stumped, he decided to go to the Rec Room. His tanned skin glistened in the sunlight as scars criss crossed his bodies. The scars told all of the stories of his past operations. He opens to Rec Room door to find Emily and another random Marine entering to use the computer.

"Sorry to bother you again but uh, I'm trying to find the outdoor gym here. Even though it's outdoors, this place is like a maze," Rat stated.

Emily looks up and over at Rat at the entrance of the Rec Room door, "I guess I'll show you so you know later on when you wanna go again." She stands up and takes him outside of the base, they both walk passed Playboy giving a nuggie to Victor as Dillon laughs uncontrollably, "Alright guys, you are-are giving my stomach hurt" he tries to calm down and finally does as Victor escapes from Playboy.

"Alright, let's get back to the game, guys." Victor says after he rubs his head.

Emily rolls her eyes as she continues to show Rat to the gym, she then points to the gym and says "There it is, a lot of men go there after patrols and such so it may be crowded." she says walking off, deciding to watch her teammates and Rats teammates play Football, she sits over on the side to watch as they start another game, Dillon's face still red from laughing so much.

"I don't mind. Just watch me and my Moses magic," Rat said to Emily as he walked towards the gym.

The men stopped to look at the Asian, some snickering, some trash talking. Everything stopped when Rat picked up the largest weight there, fifty kilograms and proceeded to do bicep curls. His muscles bulged out to become twice the size and each and every string of muscle became taunt with tension, puffing up. He looked like a male model but with actual workable muscular system. If you can't hold an M240B machine gun in one hand and have a person on your back, you can't be Recon. Everyone had their foot in mouth.

Blood started dripping down Playboy's nose but he didn't mind. Such injuries are far from the heart. Playboy had Sergeant Price on his team and screamed for him to hike. Sergeant Price fumbled with the ball and the aerodynamic gracefully curved down from his hands and struck him full force in his man parts. Playboy crumpled into the ground as the Marines crowded around him. He croaked, "my balls..."

Emily watches as Rat lifts up the weight, she ignores the trash talk and whispers at Rat as he lifts it up and some of the men have shocked faces as he does so.

Dillon, being able to easily laugh at anything he hears or sees, bursts out laughing as Victor and Mike look down at Playboy "I'm sorry, man" said Mike as he helped Playboy up. Dillon calms down as and take a deep sigh of relief after his laughing fit he seems not able to control.

Dillon sits down on a bench nearby and rubs his stomach "Okay, I'm done laughing..." Mike looks at Playboy and says "Dude, it's just not your day, is it man?" Victor sighs and says "Maybe we should just play cards or watch a movie in the Rec Room guys..."

Lunch rolled around the corner as the heat spiked to unbearable temperatures. Rat and Playboy decided to go half naked for the rest of the day. It was too hot to wear even a single piece of cloth on your chest. The shade of the mess hall's open air diner helped a slight bit, but the heat was just too strong to keep at bay. With the mess hall at full capacity, it was a true human oven. Rat had triple helpings of meat, rice and brownies for explosive energy. The four men sat together and saved a seat for their new regular counterparts form the Marines. They didn't have to do any work to save seats as people were afraid of the MSOT Marines for their intimidating, carefree aura that could make anything happen. Parts of Emily's team were sitting at the table while the rest were either at the tray line or doing something else entirely.

"Did you hear what happened to 3/6's convoy?" Softie asked.

"No, what?" Rat replied gulping down another mixture of meat and rice.

"IED took out the lead vehicle and another secondary charge took out the one right behind it," Softie explained as Playboy exhaled.

"Damn..." he breathed.

Emily comes out of the lunch line with her tray of food, she looks over the Mess hall and follows her friend Jean over to the other three female marines, she sits down in the middle and they all begin to chat and eat their food. Emily sighs and waves her hand like a fan on her face "It's crowded in here and to hot..." she complains a little bit as she some of the rice on her tray and drinks some water.

They finish up their lunch and Emily heads down to the rec room with Jean as the other three marine girls go to the barracks. They both sit down in front of the couch as Emily hands the remote over to Jean, it was just Emily could hardly find anything on TV, it wasn't her favorite thing to do but it was pretty much all she could think of and agree with Jean about.

The rest of the day was uneventful to the team as Rat returned to the barracks with Softie and Spooky, the three laid comfortably on their bunks as night took over the blue skies over COP Zerok. Softie and Spooky were fast asleep and left Rat alone to glare at the laminated map of the area planning the course of action through the entire valley. It would be a long, hard walk to their destination. The Taskforce's final destination was called compound 73 where a farmer and his family once lived, high up on many levels of tiered farming and it over looked MSR (Main Supply Road) Roco and ASR (Auxiliary Supply Road) Mojo. There were no trees except for grassland surrounding the area, giving the task force optimum line of sight. He took a red marker out of his pack and crossed over the house they were planning to egress to.

Playboy in the meanwhile was up to something naughty. With a magazine in his hand he looked around the restroom to see if anyone would still be in the room after 10PM. He jumped into the bathroom and locked the toilet stall before he opened up the magazine to have his pleasure time. Unusual grunts and noises echoced in the empty restroom. For three months he hadn't seen a single female except big, buff soldiers in that time frame, he needed a bit of fun once in a while.

Emily sat down on the bunk as she looked around the quiet and dark barracks, she pulls out the small black colored praying badge her grandmother made and opens it up, praying a little bit and looking at the stuff she had collected and sewn on the red like-velvet, she puts it back under her pillow and she finally lays down, she adjusts herself so that she is laying on her stomach with her hand still under the pillow holding the badge.

She closes her eyes and sighs, thinking for a little bit before falling asleep slowly.

Rat looks over to see Playboy open the door to the pitch black of the COP, the cool air quickly being sucked outside by the searing heat. In his right hand was a Porno mag and Rat's imagination understood what the young MSOT Marine was doing.

"Yo," Playboy greeted nonchalantly.

"Jacking off again aren't you," Rat grunted before returning to a small operations notebook he kept with him at all times.

"You could say that..." Playboy said scratching his hair as he jumped into the bunk bed opposite of Rat, "I'm pretty sure just kissing that hottie's hand isn't enough."

"Shut the fuck up, Kid. You're embarrassing our unit." Rat shot back and finished up his notes, slipping the book into his combat trousers.

"Whatever Senior," Playboy's nickname for Rat, "I'm going to bed. See you at oh-dark-thirty."

Oh-dark-thirty the military name for the darkness before the sun broke through the horizon. Rat took a few minutes to contemplate his thoughts. He brought up a small photograph of his family. The oldest brother, Rat, being surrounded by his parents and siblings in his brand new Marine Corps Battle Dress in a wide, green park at a small gathering. It was the last day with his family before he was to be deployed to Afghanistan. Right now, his two sisters would be in university and his brother working at his father's business. He kissed the photograph and placed it at the front pouch of his vest. The pouch contained Administrative things like pens, a compass, maps and most importantly, a photograph of his family.

Before Rat went to bed, he gripped at the dog tags hanging from his chest. Six tags, two of them belonging to him and the other four to the men that served under him. Carter, Jones, Mako, Markovski, the men that fell under his command, the ones that climbed the ranks quickly but lost their lives due to IEDs. IEDs. The most cowardly tactic employed by the Taliban to fight against his men. He plucked the chain from his neck and wrapped it around his right combat boot. He tucked it into his boot. It would safe there, if anything happened. It was a tradition of him to tuck the tags into his boots before a major operation.

He laid back on his bunk and turned of the lights, closed his eyes and let the darkness of the abyss consume him.