by hornethead

Chapter 1: A Painful Start

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Chapter 1: Painful Start

beep beep...... beep beep... BEEP BEEP

He jolted awake, slamming his head into the rack above him.

'Dammit, how do I keep doing that?' He thought to himself.

It was about a week and a half since he had arrived on the ship. He hadn't been briefed much before being loaded up into the aircraft that had brought him and the rest of his team to the lonely expanse of ocean they were now currently floating on. He didn't know much, but it sounded like this was going to be a tough one. His team had been loaded out with anything they asked for or could have even remotely needed.

He swung his legs out of his rack and stood up, standing at about five foot, ten inches. looking around, he grabbed his uniform and boots, patterned to blend in with a sparsely vegetated or completely barren and sandy environment, and started dressing out for the event he had been anticipating ever since he left the country. Snatching up his toiletries, he made for the head to bush his teeth and shave for what might be the last time in the next month. Good thing the Navy provided good dental care.

As he entered the head, glancing around, he noticed one other person occupying it. "Mornin', fucker." He said casually.

"What up, Ghengis," the other man replied while shaving, "you actually decide to get up this morning?"

"You still on me about that?"

"Do I still have a scar the size of a seven-six-two round on my ass cheek?"

"You try stayin' awake after four days without sleep. Besides, it was your turn for watch anyways, Rocka."

"Yeah, but you're supposed to watch my back, partner."

"I still shot the fucker, didn't I? And I dragged your sorry ass into cover."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, keep talking."

This was an almost daily routine for the two. James "Ghengis" Kaughn and Darius "Rocka" Jackson had been best friends ever since meeting each other in BUD/S, the beginning of the long road to becoming a SEAL, the elite unconventional fighting force of North America. They had been lucky enough to be assigned to the same team, constantly watching each other's backs, inseparable. They had saved each other's lives a few times already.

Jackson had a heavy build with dark hair and brown eyes. Being from Brooklyn, he had forward and blunt attitude. He was the fireteam's Automatic Rifleman, usually carrying a modified M240B LMG, spitting hot 7.62mm lead at anyone stupid enough to put themselves in his field of fire. He often put down suppressing fire on their opponents, keeping their heads down and allowing the rest of the team to set up a good angle on them. His preferred side arm was a simple M9, 9mm Baretta pistol.

O'Kaughn, often just called Kaughn, was almost the polar opposite. He had a medium build sporting dirty blonde short cropped hair and grey-blue eyes with a unique ring of yellow star bursting around his pupils. He preferred to pick his targets, utilizing an M4 modified with a 4x scope. He was the team's designated marksman and sometimes carried an M110 semi-automatic rifle, although it wouldn't be needed on this mission. Oddly enough, he favored a simple 1911 Springfield, .45 caliber pistol. Making up for it's low ammo capacity with dead-on precision and accuracy.

Both were fatally proficient in hand-to-hand.

They finished up and stared heading for the briefing. it was time to rock and roll. On their way through the passageways of the ship, Kaughn struck up some small talk, "How's your wife doing?"

"She's hangin' in there," Jackson replied, "Only about three more months to go before our beautiful baby girl arrives."

"You get to talk to her last night, man?"

"Yeah, but only for a little bit. The damn satellite cut out again. You get in touch with your folks?"

"Nah, not something I really wanna deal with before shit like this."

Kaughn's parents weren't the best people. his mother was distant and didn't seem to really give a damn about what he did and his father was an alcoholic who would pass out and scare a young James into calling paramedics all too often. They were still fighting over the divorce that occurred over thirteen years ago, dragging their son into the middle of it, not that he really cared anymore.

"It's cool man, it's cool. You still got us."

"Yeah, and what great family you've all been, especially my last birthday."

"Hey man, how were we supposed to know you didn't like strippers and surprises all that much? especially for your twenty-first?"

"It wasn't so much as me disliking them, but Stacy not liking a random stripper jumping out of my closet."

"Oh yeah," Jackson chuckled, "but she wasn't really right for ya, huh? So, I kind of did you a favor."

"I'll give you that, she did turn out to be a keniving, manipulative bitch, huh?"

They both burst out in laughter as they neared the briefing room. Jackson opened the door and they both stepped inside and took their seats facing the team leader, Lieutenant "Hells" Bellis, who was sitting by the wall on which the map of their AOR, or Area Of Responsibility, was projected. Two minutes later, the second half of their team, "Dickey" Nix and "Fungis" Feng arrived. They greeted Kaughn and Jackson and sat down next to them.

"Hey Ghengis, you ready to let loose?" asked Feng

"Except this time, maybe you let us get a little work in, huh?" said Nix.

"Maybe when you learn to shoot like me and Kaughn, you could keep up." Jackson replied.

"Kaughn can shoot, you just hose down everything in front of you until you hit something," Feng shot back.

"At least he hits something," Kaughn retaliated. Then they all shared a laugh.

"Everyone settle down," came a voice from up front.

Everyone snapped their attention back to the front of the room and focused on their team leader.

"Alright girl scouts, looks like we got an easy one this time, quick snatch and grab. We just need to get in and get out," Lieutenant Bellis explained. "We received intelligence that a local tribal leader, Yusuf Hamshad, who had been cooperating with our forces in the northern Kandahar region here was taken hostage with his family last week. We know the general area they are in, but the insurgents have taken them into a small network of caves situated in this mountain here," he said as he pointed to the map. "We're being sent in not only as a show of good faith, but also because this guy has vital information on the movements of both the Taliban and Al Qaida's drug trafficking. Not to mention there are children involved."

'Shit,' thought Kaughn, 'children complicate everything.'

"Our main objective is to extract Mr. Hamshad and his family. Elimination of HVTs and collection of Intel is secondary since Mr. Hamshad will be supplying most of that once we have him secured at the FOB. Though if you get an opportunity, take the shot. Our designated call sign for this Op will be 'Red Lion'. Any questions?"

Feng spoke up, "when do we leave?"

A smile graced the Lieutenant's lips, "you got thirty minutes."

Next Chapter: The Fun Begins Estimated time remaining: 14 Hours, 31 Minutes
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