He was once the most dangerous program that the United States Government developed. Tested and hardened by the cruelties of war, what happens when after years of playing america's hero in the military and training following those years of service? He is America's silent Grim reaper keeping the wolves at bay.With no real name to call his own, the only thing he knows is his code name, 'Cold Blood'. Suddenly things go south when a young woman deep within the sectors responsible for 'Cold Blood'.
“Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man with his mouth.” -Mark Twain
A smooth breath eased out of chapped lips, two sharp crystal blue eyes scanned the desert before them, ears sensitive to the most minute of sounds; from the crunch of rocks into the sun parched earth to the screeching groan of their MATV's wheels as they slowly crawled to a stop. As dust and dirt was whipped around by the winds, chatter across the radios could be heard in between static, the sound of copenhagen being spit into the ground, and the sharp hiss of fire being snapped to life on lighters.
The man with the brilliant blue eyes paused, shifting the weight of his armor and gear between his shoulders. His Modular Tactical Vest filled with E-Sapi plates weighing about thirty pounds, under neath he wore a 'Frog Suit' the arms and the neck, regular and thicker Desert MARPAT (Marine Pattern) cammies but the body a thin shirt to prevent overheating in the stifling Afgani heat. The man also wore a Kevlar, the helmet on his head; finally a fully loaded M16-A4 service rifle with enough clips for a good engagement.
His eyes felt sunken and his body groaned and complained that this trip was creating knots and cramping in his tired muscles. Though he may have looked relaxed or even fatigued, he was very much alert. Shaking his head back and forth, he looked to the lead Vehicle, Victor 1 that followed behind the first MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected). The gunner was a young kid with a brilliant smile, optimism, and childish excitement to tell you that he was just sitting the gun while they had their 'Quick Halt', a man so new to the field would be a liability on a long run convoy like this.
Quick Halts were five to ten minute stretches that allowed the men to stretch their legs, get in a quick smoke if they could breath in the carcinogen quickly enough for their platoon sergeant not to see as it was a highly frowned upon in his unit. Dipping was good so long as your dip spit didnt splash onto your vehicle, weapon or gear. It gave the men something to do besides stare off into endless desert with nothing better to do than provide security and listen to Com chatter.
Of the marines from his vehicle, Hayes, looked back over his shoulder to make sure he was covered, his weapon slung over his back as he took a piss. "You should lighten up you know?" Hayes said teasingly to the Blue eyed man. It wasn't uncommon to hear the brotherly banter, more so when there was a threat of IED's. The blue eyed man snorted lightly and licked his lips to moisten them before speaking.
"I'd watch it Hayes, you hang as loose here as you do on your surf board back in 29 palms, Sergeants gonna have your ass strung up before the whole company." The jest was kind but there was some serious morbid truth to what the man had said. If you didn't have your head on a swivel, a glint on a hill could turn into a hail of gunfire that could damage equipment, injure and kill his fellow marines, and overall just screw the pooch.
"Easy there Ice man," Hayes laughed, finishing and zipping up his fly. "How does Lori feel about her big, scary devil dog?" He lightly punched the man on his shoulder and gestured towards their vehicle, one in the middle of the convoy, Victor 3. All the rest of the Marines, headed back to their respective vehicles and climbed inside, shutting the armored door with a loud slam.
"Lori's deeply in love with her big scary devil dog, thank you." The man grinned and made a proud face. Hayes rolled his eyes and pulled out a package from a MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) bag they had sitting at the front of the vehicle. "Grilled chicken breast?" Hayes asked, the man perked up as his stomach growled at the thought of food. He snatched the meal, even though the meat wasnt heated, those packages were supposed to last 20 years without going bad so eating it cold was the least of his concerns in comparison to the preservatives.
"Thanks Hayes," he said through a mouth full of food. Their driver held a hand out back towards the food. "How bout sharing, I'm the one who has to drive your sorry asses to this new base." There was a pouting tone in the drivers graveled, salty voice.
"Aww McCormick, your pour starving animal, how about I feed you with a spoon and pretend its an airplane too." The man chuckled and handed over the food so the driver could eat as the convoy jerked forward and headed off not dragging but definitely not breaking any land speed records. As the drove along the unpaved road, the blue eyed man leaned his head back against the seat, his hand still on his weapon. He started to hum a tune that started low and then rose in volume till he began singing, his eyes lightly glazed over. The marines in the vehicle sat and listened smiling and either tapping their foot or mouthing along to the song. Next to the blue eyed marine, sat Thomas, who sang along...harmony to melody.
"My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of razzmatazz
And it has all that jazz
And each time I leave, Chicago is
Tuggin' my sleeve, Chicago is
The Wrigley Building, Chicago is
The Union Stockyard, Chicago is
One town that won't let you down
It's my kind of to-
Silence; horrible, dead, stagnant silence... It followed the darkness, after the song but before the screaming and the crying. That's when he regained consciousness, blue eyes snapping open to see light filtering through dust into the vehicle. From the outside it looked like an egg cracked open on the edge of a frying pan. The armor had done most of its job but not all...
The convoy instantly came to a halt, all the vehicles focusing fire either left or right, the front and real vehicles protecting the 180 at their nose and tail. CAS (close air support) was called in as an MRAP guided the Casualty evacuation vehicle nearest the stricken vehicle. It was still standing on all four tires, a crater deep enough for a full grown man to stand in, rested underneath. A crater from an IED. As fellow marines cleared the area around the vehicle very little noise was heard. Low raspy, wet breaths escaped from Thomas as he hunched over, blood gushing from his face.
Hayes had a chunk of shrapnel in his shoulder, his neck showing a smaller peice protruding as he bled severely. He moaned with pain and began to silently cry... his little baby girl...she was back home waiting for him and he began to wonder, would he ever see her again? As for McCormick the driver, he lay over the steering wheel, a cut in his right forearm but other than that he was untouched. The man with the blue eyes though...he could hear ringing, the soft pat pat pat of blood, he couldn't feel his right right side and whatever else apart of his just burned with pain.
"HANG.......ON," A voice that sounded like it had been spoken in slow motion echoed from somewhere, somewhere outside. But his blue eyes just closed to the world....the darkness consuming him and all sounds... just faded away.
6 hours earlier, At base.
With the phone pressed to his ear, he could hear her voice... Lori's voice...
"Hey Darling! This is Lori, I just wanted to call and say hi!" he could hear her giggling, the excitement in her voice as she continued. "I know your always busy being the man of the house, saving the world and all but I really wanted you to know that I love you and no matter what happens I'll always be here for you, love." She paused as what sounded like some small object hit hardwood floor, she mumbled something before she seemed to pick it up.
"What I really wanted to talk about is...its...well. I took a test... and applied for my new job at the college...as a professor." She paused again... but no sounds echoed from the other side of the line. "I got the job!" she squealed and laughed."Oh, I got the job! I wanted you to know, to be proud of me...." Her voice fell somber and dim, trying to sound cheery but all of a sudden it was just tired. "I love you so much, please be safe out there... come home safe so I can hold you again, my hero needs his kiss anyways. Miss you terribly, love you.
(Song lyrics used were by Frank Sinatra- My kinda town)