Take the Chance, Any Chance
** Malik is not Jayden's real brother nor is the man he calls father his real one. Malik's father is the man who runs the ISSP and is the the only father figure Jayden as ever known. **
Jayden stood in the back of the lead Humvee, nothing but desert surrounded them for miles except for the city a few minutes ahead of them. The sky, Jayden noticed, was the bluest blue he had ever seen without a single cloud in the sky.
Nobody knew why they were going to this city except for three people: Captain Crawford, Captain Mores, and himself. Most of the troops just thought that this was a patrol of sorts. There was no way to know if this was a mission or just a false hope – one reason why the troops didn’t need to know.
The Humvee drove on the unpaved road heading into the city while the choppers were taking off from the base. A message came over the radio that only Jayden was wearing. He told the driver to take the first left at the entrance to the city. Interception was the only way this was going to work. The down side was the delay from the satellite to the command office, with a longer delay for them to note the targets position, and yet another one to relay a possible route to Jayden. Everything just had to work and if it didn’t then the troops would continue to think this was another patrol. But Jayden's inside guys rarely gave him false information.
The sun was hot today, hotter than ever. Maybe it was just the pressure that he was feeling. Jayden would have one shot, literally, before all hell broke loose – if they even made the interception. The Humvee finally entered the city and he got his next orders. Jayden went flying to the floor as the driver hit the brakes. “What the Hell?” Jayden growled then looked out the windshield. “Everybody out!” He yelled.
He was the first out of the Humvee, slipping though the opening for the gunner. He hoped to the ground and smiled at his brother. “Maliki,” He said speaking in Arabic. “How are you today brother?” Jayden let his gun hang by its strap over his shoulder, easily within reaching distance. He watched as Malik tilted his head as the troops filed out of the vehicles, taking positions on each side of them. Jayden continued to smile.
“I am not all that well little brother,” Malik said evenly, “there is a nasty rumor spreading through town that has made its way to me.”
“What is this rumor about?” Jayden asked as sincerely as he could.
“I believe that you know or else you wouldn’t be here. I know that the US plans to take out one of our largest underground politicians.” For once Jayden was glade that none of these soldiers spoke the native tongue. Malik continued. “You are, technically, the number one sniper in the world… are you not?”
Jayden nodded. His statistics had been compared to those who competed in the year’s sniper trails. The results even shocked him because all of his father’s training had paid off, making him almost like a super soldier.
Malik nodded back. “So as long as you are here, you and your troops will be going nowhere without an escort.” His brother turned and walked away, signaling his own troops by circling his hand in the air.
If this was going to work they couldn’t have an escort. Jayden took off his military wear and gave out the orders. “You will be escorted by those soldiers,” He nodded in their direction. “We don’t want any problems because this is just another patrol. But there is something I need to check on… Whatever you do, you continue on as if I here in the Humvee, understood?”
Everyone nodded, knowing better than to question Jayden. “Load it back up!” He yelled so that the other trucks could hear him.
Jayden half way got back into the Humvee, his eyes scanning the Iraqi soldiers but all eyes were on him. He sighed radioing Crawford. "Get up here," that was all he needed to say and he watched Crawford get out of his Humvee and come up to him. Jayden was surprised every time at the height of this man - who he saw on a daily basis most of the time. He seemed to move with such grace for a guy that was 6'11. "You'll be riding up here and I'll take your position."
Crawford raised his eyebrow just like Jayden knew he would but slipped into the Humvee as Jayden jogged back five vehicles to his new position with two more behind him. The unit started to move and Jayden was forced to play the waiting game to see what the Iraq unit was going to do. He groaned when half the led the way and the other half stayed in their jeeps waiting for the last of the Humvee's to pass. 'I'll need a blind corner.' He thought to himself. 'Or you can forget about it and go back.'
Giving up was not in Jayden's nature. He mentally pulled up a map of the city, the only problem now was knowing which way they were going to go. He couldn't pick out a place to bail if he didn't know where they were heading. He sighed trying to keep an eye on the lead vehicle.
They drove for thirty minutes and he was starting to lose hope that this mission was worth the gas they were burning. He was just going to have to take the chance, any chance, that he could to get out on his own.
Another ten minutes passed but Jayden had a plan now. He noticed a lot of foot traffic ahead. If he could time it right, he could jump out and blend - as well as an American could - into the crowd. His mind started a mental countdown as he put his hand on the door. He ignored it until he got down to five seconds, 'the crowd is getting closer'... four, 'even closer'... three, 'okay, are we slowing?'... two, 'they aren't moving for us to pass'... one, 'that is your chance to go'... Now! Jayden only heard muffled reactions from inside the Humvee - none to happy from just the sound - as he slipped out closing the door behind him. They were going slow enough he didn't really have to jump.
His movement into the crowd was normal, forced, but normal. He had noticed over the years that quick movements got noticed a lot quicker than if they were slightly slower than they should have been. Jayden held his breath as he walked with the crowd, sticking closer to the building than where the vehicles were passing. It felt like forever before the last of the Iraqi jeeps passed by and continued down the road.
Continued in.... Execute