Megan Conway had never meant to be involved with the betrayal of an entire nation. Nor had she wanted to, but she had long ago learned that things don't always work out the way one would wish. That much was obvious by now. Otherwise this war never would have started.

The girl had a good head on her shoulders. That was why General Hershel von Shepherd III had picked her as his secretary; at least, that's what he told Conway. The truth was that she possessed a sort of naivety that could be used to Shepherd's advantage. Her will to do good in the world was not yet tarnished by the reality that no one ever fought completely out of goodwill- there was always some sort of selfish motive behind one's actions. Conway would not question him; she would accept orders and do what he wished with enthusiasm.

Some had questioned why he picked someone so young; a 26-year-old girl didn't have nearly as much experience as some of the other candidates for the position. Shepherd had merely stated that he believed in "pointing the future of the United States military in the right direction early on." Wait too long, he said, and you ran the risk of them being corrupted.

Conway's forte was definitely not on the battlefield; she often joked that she belonged behind a desk rather than a rifle. So she was curious as to why Shepherd had brought her along to evaluate recruits for the Task Force 141, the general's handpicked team whose main objective was to take down Vladimir Makarov. But here she sat, beside Shepherd at Fireside Phoenix in Afghanistan, watching Ranger after Ranger run the Pit with hopes of making it into the "prima donna squad."

They had watched seventeen Rangers run the pit, but none had stuck out to Shepherd. Conway didn't understand the point; in the battlefield you wouldn't be shooting at cardboard targets, but real people. There were too many variables, she thought, for the Pit to be a valid test of one's skill. No offense to the men who ran the Pit, of course.

She had thought of mentioning this Shepherd, but it seemed out of place to do so. He was the general for a reason, and she was just here to do the paperwork.

As the last candidate, P.F.C. Joseph Allen, ran the course, Megan could see Shepherd leaning forward in his seat out of the corner of her eye. He watched the Ranger's every move, dictating notes almost robotically to Conway, who dutifully wrote them down in neat handwriting.

Allen eliminated the last target and sprinted towards the finish line, determination on his face. As he crossed it, Shepherd turned to Megan. "Keep that name handy," he muttered, lighting a cigarette. "I want to talk to-"

The general didn't have time to finish before a loud, recurring siren alarmed throughout the base.

"Stay close to me and don't do anything stupid!" Shepherd shouted at Conway as he grabbed her arm and forced her down the stairs to the sandy ground. A caravan of Humvees pulled up near them, and soldiers poured out, carrying groaning men covered in blood. The driver of the lead vehicle ran up to Sergeant Foley and shouted something Meg couldn't hear over the siren. Shepherd yelled to a nearby Corporal, who quickly ran to a Humvee and started the engine. Shepherd pulled Conway by the shoulder and forced her into the backseat of the jeep, while he climbed into the passenger seat. The corporal driving the Humvee took off the second Shepherd's door was closed, off to whatever the hell was going on.

A/N: So last night I was just struck with this idea. I know it's short, but this is just the prologue. I wanted to write something down before I forgot it... we all know how that goes, haha. I hope you enjoy the story! (I told myself I wouldn't beg for reviews, but PLEASE?)