A Special Agent Emily Dahill Story
In the first episode, two weeks ago, we watched as Sgt. Emily Dahill taught two new MP’s a valuable lesson-expect the unexpected. As they flew to pick up a high profile al-Qaida prisoner, their helicopter was hit with small arms fire. Partially crippled, they were able to land safely at FOB Bernstein.
Since this is a commercial free blog, let’s get straight to this week’s episode of ‘Terror at 250 Feet’.
Once safely in the compound, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. An instant later a mortar landed on the helicopter sending it into thousands of sharp deadly pieces.
In the distance, the staccato sound of gunfire increased in intensity then slowly stilled.
In short order the survivors were surrounded by friendly faces. The sea of bodies separated as the base commander came forward to welcome and congratulate them.
Wanting to get on with her assigned mission, she pointedly faced him down. “Sir, two things. One-where’s the prisoner and two-when can we get another bird to get us the hell out of here. Not that we don’t mind the scenery but, I’ve got a plane to catch.”
Not use to being talked to in that manner, especially from an NCO, then again he’d never had the pleasure, or was it misery, of meeting Sergeant Emily Dahill before. The Major was slightly taken back at her bluntness.
The Major cast a glance at the now helicopterless pilot. A shrug was all he got. “My guess, tomorrow but as for the prisoner, follow me.” Not giving her a chance to complain or grouse her opinion, about when they could get back to base, he did an about-face and headed for the FOB’s headquarters. He didn’t even waste the energy to see if she was following.
With a look, Emily gathered her team. “Now do ya see why I insisted on the extra water and MRE’s?”
“Thanks for the lesson Sarge,” Cutter said. He tilted his head in time to see Ackerman agree with a smile.
Once inside the command bunker, the Major led them into a backroom. A corner section had been cordoned off with bars into a makeshift jail cell. In the corner sat Abd-Al-Aziz. Not on the Army issue cot but the floor, legs drawn up to his chest. Forearms rested comfortably on his knees. His head tipped back with eyes closed.
“Hey Aziz, you’ve got company,” the Major announced.
Abd-Al-Aziz didn’t lift his head as he let a sneer curl the corners of his lips down. “Allah be praise. More soldiers have come to die. Good.”
Emily started toward the bars, then stopped. She took a deep breath in. Not from fear. Not from nervousness. But to resettle and refocus her mind. She’d realized, in time, she’d almost made a deadly mistake. Turning back she relinquished her M4 and sidearm to Cutter and Ackerman respectively. “Sorry. Remember-you only get to make one deadly mistake. And I almost made mine.”
She didn’t get too close. With a critical eye, she studied the man before her. Her instincts told her something was wrong. What? She wasn’t sure, but things didn’t add up.
For the longest time she stood staring at the prisoner.
Finally, she got what she wanted. She watched as Aziz slowly unfolded himself and with catlike grace rose to his feet.
As he crossed the few feet from the wall to the bars Emily stood firm. His height forced her to tilt her head up to look into his eyes.
Eyes black as night. Emotionless. Cold. Unfeeling.
As he stood, arrogant, with arms casually across his chest, the door behind her opened. Light filtered in highlighting Aziz’s eyes.
A glint where no glint should have been.
Then it hit her. She realized what was wrong with this picture. Aziz didn’t have black but dark brown hair. And he was wearing dark contacts. Why didn’t anyone pick up on this?
Emily tried to contain her anger as she spun around. Barely. After retrieving her weapons from her partners she stormed out of the room. Furor continued to grow as she stepped out of the building into the weak light from the setting sun. Someone had screwed up big time, and that person was going to pay. She let her eyes take in the FOB. Where could she go to blow off steam. Then, she saw what she needed.
Cutter and Ackerman had followed her out, stunned at her action, reaction to something. What? they didn’t know? But were smart enough to keep their mouths zipped. Cutter stepped forward but was halted by a hand on his arm. He glared back to Ackerman and retreated when he saw his friend shake his head.
“Let it be,” Ackerman whispered. “Something’s up and I don’t have a clue, but she saw something in there that wasn’t what it should have been.”
“The guy?” Cutter whispered back.
Before they knew what happened Emily turned back to them. “Never trust what others tell you. Trust only your eyes.” Over their shoulders she saw the Major, a disgusted look on his face. In the next few minutes, her total military career rested on what she said. What she did. Taking in a deep breath she did what had to be done.
“That man in there,” she raised her rifle, pointing back to the bunker, “he may be our prisoner but he doesn’t have black hair and eyes. He’s got brown hair and I don’t know what color eyes. He dyed his hair and is wearing contacts. Someone really screwed the pooch when they sent his description up the chain.”
From the look on the Major’s face, as she told the men, she knew exactly who was to blame. Her response to him-a look that caused the toughest soldier to quake in his boots when she arrested them.
At that moment, almost by an act of God, the pilot jogged up. “Sarge, we’ve got a ride out of here at first light.”
She turned to him and smiled. “Finally, some good news.” Then back to Cutter and Ackerman, “Come on. Let’s get some chow. I’ll even buy.”
They both laughed knowing the food, such as it was, was free. “Then let’s get some sack time.” Ackerman said, not realizing, at first, what he’d said until he saw red color Emily’s cheeks. He was about to clarify his statement when her raised hand shut him off.
Preview of Episode 3
Returning to The Green Zone tragedy strikes the helicopter transporting Sgt. Dahill, her team and the prisoner.
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