Adam Walker was an elite soldier in the Canadian Army. He was 27, handsome, with short-cropped brown hair, and green eyes.
His latest assignment took him to a quarantined laboratory in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a laboratory that had been abandoned for twenty years.
Adam was sitting in an ABTT, or Airborne Troop Transport, three minutes away from his drop point. He was strapped into his parachute, sitting on the steel bench, staring at the glowing red light beside the door.
Chills ran up his spine, but they were more than just the pre-mission jitters, much more. From what little information he had heard from the mission briefing, he knew that this may very well be his last mission.
He looked across to the other bench at his commander, trainer, and long time friend, Bryan McClain. Bryan was in his mid forties, with thinning grey hair, and a scraggly mustache.
"Okay kid, we're almost there." Bryan said quietly over the hum of the plane's engine. "Remember, when your falling, keep your arms at your sides," suddenly, the light turned green, and the door of the plane flew open automatically. Adams stomache lurched as the suction began to pull at him. He got up, legs shaking, and went to the door. Bryan followed.
"And whatever you do," he continued, yelling now, over the roar of the engine, "Don't lose your concentration! You need to know when to release your parachute!"
Adam knew what came next, and he was in no way ready. Bryan smiled beside him. "Good luck, kid!" He yelled, and pushed Adam out of the plane, to fall into the blue afternoon sky, and then to the ocean, ten thousand feet below.
From 20 feet above him, Adam heard Bryan yell, "Happy thoughts!"
The wind blasted against Adam's face as he plummeted toward the dark waves. He counted in his head, 1...2...3... The wind was deafening, stinging his face and ripping at his ears. He gained control of his fall, and was doing fairly well, keeping his hands at his sides. 17...18...19....20. Five thousand feet, time to release!
He had remembered when to pull his parachute, and to keep his hands at his sides. That was good, but at the last moment, when he was about to pull the release cord, when he noticed something unusual glimmering in the water. He wasn't sure what it was, but he wasn't going to let himself get distracted. He remembered Bryan's words. He pulled himself together, reached for the cord, and got a bug in the face.
The fly smacked him in the eye, and he jerked, missing the cord, and sending himself out of balance. He couldn't see, he couldn't hear, but he knew the water was getting closer. He tried another desperate time to grab the release cord, and missed.
He knew he must be less than five hundred feet from the ocean spray by now, and he was panicking. He had lost his concentration.
He reached back and felt the slippery loop of the release cord in his fingers. He grasped it and yanked, jerking himself up, but not fast enough. He felt a sudden pull on his shoulders and back, and then he hit the waves with a deafening crash.