A Special Agent Emily Dahill Story-6
When Sgt. Dahill woke the next morning, the only light was cast by a nightlight partially illuminating the latrine. She held her watch close to her eyes. Zero five hundred hours. “Good”, she mumbled, rolling out of the loaned bed. “Rise and shine guys. Our ride should be here soon.” Moans of mild discontent greeted her.
“Oh, cut it out you guys. Ya love it and you know you do.”
“Yeah and we also like to see the sun when we open our eyes,” one of the other MP’s called back.
Emily was about to comment when, she heard “Not a lousy nightlight.” She couldn’t tell who the speaker was amid the creaking of the bed, but it didn’t matter. No sooner had it been said when she heard another, amid weak grumbles, also climb from his rack.
An hour later, cleaned up, well sort of, and with full bellies, as far as MRE’s could take them, they went to collect their prisoner.
When they entered the command bunker the Major was already there. From what she could tell he was just about finished filling out paperwork. Emily snagged a quick look at the desk top as she approached. “See you’ve already got the transfer papers ready.” She ignored the sour look sent by him as she snatched them up.
Emily gave the papers a quick perusal, then signed for the prisoner. Returning to her pack, by the door, she retrieved a set of plasticuffs. Then, as with yesterday she relieved herself of her rifle and pistol, turning them over to Cutter. “You stay here while Ackerman and I get Abd-Al-Aziz. And remember, you hear any noise that doesn’t sound normal, come in firing.” Both men looked at her shocked. “Yeah. This guy’s either coming back with us or buried here with us.”
They looked at each other then back. “Got it Sarge,” both said in unison.
The Major started to interfere when Emily halted him with a raised hand. “Those are my orders. Yours were just to turn him over. You did your job,” waving the paper they’d only just signed in his face. “Now it’s our turn.” She stepped around him and with Ackerman on her six, disappeared into the back.
Less than two minutes later with Emily in the lead Aziz was brought into the main office. Ackerman, his M4 at the ready, once again, brought up the rear. After collecting her weapons she signaled Cutter out the door. When ready he nodded and the others filed out just as the replacement Black Hawk came in to land.
All three soldiers smiled. Aziz scowled then mumbled under his breath, in almost perfect English “You’ll never get me back to Baghdad. You’ll all die first.”
Emily quickly looked at her partners, first to see if they’d heard the threat and second to see their reaction. They both shook their heads which she suspected meant they’d heard and didn’t care.
Emily turned her attention back to the copter. When the flight engineer signaled to load up Cutter raced ahead. With Emily leading Ackerman prodded Aziz forward. Once safely inside they secured him with the lap belt and took seats opposite. Once they were safely fastened they felt the copter lift off.
As the helicopter rose, from the sort of safety of good old mother earth, Emily could feel her stomach tighten. Her usual reaction, not to flying in general, fixed wing she could deal with. It was the eggbeaters she didn’t.
From the corner of her eye she peered out the open door, another reason she hated the damn things. Seems they always fly with the doors open, why. Seeing they were flying nap of the earth she let out a mental sigh. Least this is better than flying in the stratosphere.
Emily could tell they were approaching the outskirts when she felt the copter rise. Then, much to her relief, the flight engineer signaled they were about twenty mikes out. She passed the word to her partners, who grinned with relief. One thing they all were thankful for, their passenger hadn’t given them any trouble.
At their current altitude, she guessed 250 feet, Emily was able to see surprised looks on some of the people below. She suspected it was unusual for copters let alone planes to fly at this altitude. She even saw several children wave at her which brightened her day, so she returned the gesture.
The flight continued to be uneventful until the helicopter made several fast sideways jerks, followed by an explosion. Before they had time to think the copter started to autorotate out of control. Everyone grabbed for anything to be kept from being tossed out. From the way the copter was behaving there, they knew, could only be one answer. They’d been hit in the tail rotor. Best guess-an RPG.
The only person who didn’t seem worried was Aziz. He just sat quietly, a smug look on his face like he didn’t have anything to worry about; like he relished the thought of death. Even being bounced around in his seat he was able to catch Emily’s eye with an ‘I told you so’ look. She replied with bared teeth like she was growling at him, she was but he couldn’t hear.
Quickly, the flight engineer signaled everyone to prepare for a crash landing. Seconds later, the helicopter impacted with the ground. The force was so hard Emily watched as Cutter was thrown through the open door. He landed in a heap, head twisted into an unnatural position. She knew instantly he was dead. The only saving grace, he didn’t suffer.
Carefully, she gave her head a shake. If she didn’t know better, she swear she heard her brains sloshing around in her skull. Emily looked across to where Aziz was. Correction-had been. The impact had sent him sprawling onto the floor. To make it worse, somehow his plastic restraints had snapped, freeing his hands. From the stillness of his body she suspected he was unconscious. She tried a smile. Not gonna happen.
A moan switched her attention left. Ackerman lay splayed out across what was left of the flight engineer. Acting, more than reacting, she started to push herself up. A searing pain dropped her back down to the cabin floor. A gray haze started to cloud her vision but lifted in time to see Aziz rise to his knees. He glanced her way, a hate filled sneer on his lips.
In the distance Emily could barely make out the sound of AK-74’s firing interspersed with friendlier M4 gunfire. The good sound was headed toward her and what was left of the Black Hawk.
From the corner of her eye, Emily saw Aziz levered to his feet. He leaned heavily on a partially broken seat and rose to his full height. In half a step he was in front of her. With a glint of anger in his eyes he stared at her. With his took his foot he lashed out, striking Emily in the thigh. Anger changed to glee when he heard her scream.
The sharp staccato of an M249 SAW advancing nearby punctuated the air, cutting off her cry of pain. Would rescue come in time?
He leaned down, wrenched her sidearm from its holster and aimed it at her head. He pulled his foot back again. This time he sent it full force into her shoulder.
Time slowed to a crawl as Emily watched his foot made contact with her. The pain so great her throat closed, stifling any noise. Murky grayness, again, covered her eyes as the sound of the pistol’s hammer was drawn back.
Darkness replaced gray.
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