A Soldiers Hell

November 5, 2010
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“Please fasten your seatbelts, we are about to land.”
This was what Sergeant First Class Wade heard as he woke up on the plane finally heading home after his rehabilitation period in Fort McNair. SFC Wade was a U.S. Ranger in the 101st Airborne stationed over in Iraq the last 2 years.
“Please keep your seatbelts fastened until the seatbelt light is turned off. You may turn on your cell phones once we enter the gate,” said the voice over the intercom.
Once the seatbelt light turned off, SFC Wade rose out of his seat, towering over the rest of the passengers. He walked through the gate and shuffled over to the baggage line. He clenched the only bag he had. It was an old beat up rucksack that had a bullet hole in the right shoulder. The strap looked like it was about to rip right off, but still held on. When he turned on his phone he saw that his wife had left a video message with his 5 year old son about an hour before. They let him know that they were excited to see him and would be there when he got home.
He walked out of the airport and hailed a cab. He got in and called his wife to let her know that he would be home in about an hour, but no one answered. Her cell phone went straight to voice mail and the house just kept ringing. He just played it off and took a nap for the remainder of the ride.
“Come on Wade, you can take hi,” said a voice in the crowd.
“No way, Johnsons got him beat,” said another.
It was the 8 month mark and they were having their Close Quarters Combat training exercise. SFC Wade was up against his rival Ranger SSG Johnson. Wade and Johnson have even records in hand to hand combat. They are both undefeated and now they are up against each other to prove the best.
After about 8 minutes of fighting, both Sergeants were evenly matched, neither looked like they were going down. They only had 2 minutes left to declare a winner. If there was no winner they would both be punished by cleaning out the latrine. Cleaning the latrine was the worst job imaginable. They had to pour gasoline into the dump bucket and then burn the waste while standing over it for extended periods.
10 seconds left both are starting to look exhausted; the Sergeants both throw their final punches of the fight. They both bashed each other’s head with their blood soaked knuckles. They both went down.
“5….4….3….2….” said the Procter. At the last second, one of the Sergeants got to his feet.

“Hey buddy, you’re here,” said the cab driver.
SFC Wade woke up, startled, and jumped out of his seat. He then realized he was home and he was excited to see his family. He paid the driver and gave him a generous tip, and sent him on his way.
He grabbed a little canteen out of his rucksack; he had it engraved to his son, so his son can always remember his father when he is away. He walked up to the front door; the first thing he noticed was the door jam was splintered. He set his ruck down and crept into the house. He slowly walked into the kitchen, which is directly off the main entrance. He looked around the corner and saw a pool of blood. He continued into the dining room following the pool of blood. The first thing he saw was a shotgun lying on the floor; it was his hunting shotgun that should have been locked up in his gun cabinet in the attic. He then saw a body lying on its stomach on the floor. His immediate reaction was it was his loving wife, but it wasn’t; it was what looked like to be a mercenary and Wade checked the body for a pulse. There was none. He then turned the body to see a huge hole in his chest from a shotgun wound.
For the next 20 minutes or so he scoured the house looking for clues as to what happened. After he didn’t find any clues he called the authorities. They came and investigated the murder; he explained how he just flew in from Fort McNair, DC. He arrived at the house and he found a shotgun and one body in the dining room, and he found two more bodies upstairs. The detective called up the Police chief to find Wade a place to stay the night. He stayed at a safe house that the police chief had supplied for him.
That night Wade could not sleep. He thought about who could have done this and what happened to his family, did someone take his family? And if so why would they? He got up and walked back to his house and tried to find something of use to him. He went up to the bedroom and looked around. He noticed something out of place. His trunk with all his uniforms, patches, and medals. He walked over to the trunk and opened it. He didn’t think much of anything at first. But then as he was about to shut it he saw his unit patch. He thought this couldn’t be right; my patch is on my uniform in my rucksack. So he picked it up and went back to his safe house. Through out the rest of the night he pondered on whom the patch belonged to. After a few hours he could only think of one person.
“5….4….3….2….” said the Procter. At the last second one of the Sergeants got to his feet.
It was SFC Wade. He got to his feet. Blood was dripping from the top corner of his eye. It was warm and started to oxidize quickly. He walked over to Johnson and asked if he needed a hand up.
The next day at approximately 0600 hours Wade and the rest of the Unit went to visit Johnson who was still pissed about the fight the day before, while he cleaned the latrines. Wade wanting to piss Johnson off, told PFC Bennett to relieve himself in the latrine Johnson just cleaned out. Bennett, unable to disobey a direct order from a superior, did just that. Johnson went crazy and attacked Bennett and threw him into the waste bucket he was burning. The unit quickly grabbed him out of there with only minor burns. Then Johnson turned on Wade. He grabbed the 5 gallon container of gasoline and threw it at Wade. He was drenched. As he wiped his face, he saw Johnson charging foreword at him. Wade quickly reacted and shifted to the side enough that Johnson only hit the side of his rib cage rather than a full on hit to the sternum. Wade went to one knee for a split second then quickly got up to evade a second assault from Johnson. Johnson grabbed an iron pipe and attempted to hit Wade.
Wade got out of bed and called his old friend from high school, who knew his way around a computer. He asked if they could meet. They did.
The next day Wade met with his buddy Alex at his house. Alex was a small guy who looked kind of nerdy but made up in Computer skills with what he was missing in looks.
“I need your help with something,” Wade announced.
“What is it?” Alex asked with a high pitched voice.
“I need to find out where one of my former squad mates went to after he returned home.”
“Do you know where the information would be stored?”
“DC,” he explained.
“Where at in DC?” Alex asked.
“The Pentagon,” he responded.
“WHAT!?!?” Alex stuttered. “Are you out of your mind? Do you know how long it would take to hack the Pentagon? It would take weeks even with a super computer, plus I don’t have the man power to do it all….Is there any other way at all?”
“I wish there was but I don’t know of any other way. Is there anyone who can help you?” Wade asked.
“Hmm,” Alex started pacing around the room pushing his glasses up his nose to readjust them. “Well… there might be one person. But I wouldn’t recommend it. He’s kind of crazy. He is the one person I have met to get the closest to ever hacking the Pentagon.”
“Well then… let’s give it a try.”
“Ok, but remember I warned you.” So the two started to drive three hours to his friend’s house.
Then out of nowhere a gunshot was fired inches in front of Johnson’s feet, he stopped in his tracks. It was the Battalion CO Captain Ross.
“Men, is there a problem here?” asked Ross
“Sir no Sir,” said the entire group together.
“Johnson!!! What were you planning on doing with that iron pipe exactly? Asked Caption Ross
“Sir I...I...I can explain.”
“You don’t have too; you will report to my office at 0715 to be discharged, you will be stripped of your duty and rank.”
“Sir yes Sir. I understand.” At 0715 Johnson reported to Captain Ross office and was dishonorably discharged.
After the three hour drive the two finally arrived at Alex’s mystery friend. They walked into the warehouse and saw nothing.
“What the hell is this? Where’s your friend?” demanded Wade.
“Just wait, he likes to be a little dramatic about his entrances.” On that note suddenly the floor started to shake, and as soon as it started it stopped. Then a fine line of mist started to rise from a small crack in the floor. Soon the smoke filled the warehouse and no one could see anything. Wade looked over at Alex and saw that he had on a gas mask and wondered why. Then his vision went blurry and passed out on the ground.
Sometime later Wade woke up and found himself freezing. He leaped to his feet and looked around; he was in a small room with one door, he went through it. It was a closet with a jacket hanging up on the wall. He put the jacket on to get out of the cold and saw another door in the back of the closet. He went through it to find Alex and his mystery friend just sitting in front of a huge computer monitor just talking in code that he could not understand. He walked up to the 2 and punched the friend in the face knocking him out of his chair and to the floor.
“What the hell was that?’ screamed Wade.
“I can’t have some government lapdog snooping around my sanction. I had no choice.” Snickered the friend.
“Wade this is …” he is the only person I can think of to help you with what you need.” Explained Alex.
“Yes, if you want my help you must stop hitting me first and respect what I can do for you.” … announced.
“Fine, can you hack the pentagon and find someone I’m looking for.”
“Depends, how much does it means to you that I find this person?”
“He took my wife and child.”
“Let’s get started than, it might take a little while to get in but we will do it. No one should have to lose their family for something they didn’t know that they did.”
The process took about 3 hours, but finally the first hacking in history of the pentagon from a non-government source.
“Ok so we are finally in. What’s this guy’s name?” asked …
“SG Johnson, Serial Number 839-21-2534.”
“Alright, let’s see… found him. His record shows that he was dishonorably discharged 4 months ago, he was debriefed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Shortly after that he was found by Erik Prince the founder and CEO of Blackwater Security.”
“What’s Blackwater Security?” asked Alex
“I’ve heard of them, they are a Private Military Company, they specialize in Security over in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Explained Wade. “They are good at what they do; they are paid well and only hire the best of the worst, which explains why they went after Johnson.”
“Oh yeah I remember reading about some rumors that they have had dozens of lawsuits against them for carrying out hits on citizens in the Middle East and State side. But all charges have been dropped due to either missing persons or suspected payoffs.” mentioned Alex.
“Well let’s go pay them a visit. Thanks for your help …”
“Don’t thank me; just get your family back safe.”
Alex and Wade left the warehouse and headed to Blackwater Security to find Johnson. They headed just four hours north, the entire time Wade could not rest he was devoted to finding Johnson and find his beloved wife and son and go home.
When they arrived at Blackwater, Wade told Alex to go home and that he will finish this on his own. Alex listened and took his car and headed home. Wade casually walked up to the entrance and walked right on in to the building directory. He found were Prince’s office is located. He saw that it was on the third floor so just started to walked strait on up past the receptionist office.
“Sir…Sir you cant go that way, Sir Stop.” said the receptionist, but Wade didn’t stop for anything. The receptionist reached for the intercom “I need security on the third floor ASAP.”
Wade got in the elevator and went to the third floor. He walked out of the elevator with surprisingly no resistance. He walked up to Prince’s office and looked around. He walked over to Prince’s desk he saw his chair but nobody in it. He walked around to the other side of the desk to look at Prince’s computer when he saw his body lying on the ground under the desk with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand. Wade grabbed the gun, confused about why he committed suicide and about this sight he decides to let it be and check his computer for what Johnson was up to. He finds out that his last job was a hit but no other details were in the report. But it did leave a forwarding address for his payments to be sent to. He sent the address to Alex telling him to meet him there, then he headed back to the elevator, thoughts start to race about why there was no security to stop him. Suddenly he heard the elevator chime and the door opened up. He quickly hid behind a pillar.
A dozen men armed with M4A1’s and M16’s started flooding out of the elevator and taking up shooting positions behind desks and other pillars. Then one last man with nothing but a suit and a flack jacket on walks out.
“WAAADE!!!” yells the man. “I know you’re over there, show yourself.” Seconds pass Wade did nothing.
“Fine if that’s how you want to be, so be it. MEN, you are ordered to shoot on site.”
On that order the men start to inch foreword on Wade’s position. Wade lunges out from behind the pillar across an opening to the nearest desk. The men shot but every shot missed.
“Johnson I know that’s you, why did you do it, why did take my family.” Wade screamed across the room.
“Very good Wade, now about why I took your family. You see, Prince here gave me a job that I couldn’t refuse.”
“What does your job have to do with my family?”
“Absolutely nothing, but it has everything to do with you. You see we know about all those top secret meeting you went to regarding our troop positions and we have need of that information. Our buyers will pay a hefty price to get it. Now I went to your house but you weren’t there, then two of my men went up to your room to find your wife and she shot them down with a shotgun. Then she came downstairs and shot a third man in the chest in the dining room, until I finally got a hold of her, I knew in order to complete my job I needed to find you so I left you a little present and went on my way figuring you would put two and two together and trace it back to me. And here we are you and me once again face to face; well sort of you just need to come out from behind that desk so I can collect what’s coming to me.”
Wade was silent. He lurked around the corner of the desk put one of the soldiers in the pistols sights and fired, the man went down. He then crawled over to the next desk; he lunged up and shot two more men killing them. The rest of the gun men fired on his position but Wade got to cover before he could get hit. “So that’s three down now there is nine left then I just have Johnson to take care of.” Wade whispered to himself. Wade stood up to take some more shots, his first shot hit one in the leg and he went to his knee then two more shots taking out another two men, but before Wade could get to cover he took two rounds, one in his shoulder and the other to his upper thigh. Now there were only seven men left, one injured. Johnson was gone. He crawls over to one of the bodies and grabs a grenade, he pulls the pin and throws it, and the explosion takes out half the office and eliminates the remaining men. Wade slowly got to his feet and hobbled over to the window. He sees Johnson walking out of the building holding a dead man switch. Wade stepped back and fired three shots at the glass shattering it, he then attempts to run. He jumps out of the window landing on Johnson. They both got to there feet. Wade’s adrenaline was pumping so fast he couldn’t even feel his wounds.
Johnson started to run into the road dodging traffic left and right Wade followed jumping over the hoods of cars and making it across the road into a parking lot. Johnson stopped and turned around to face Wade. Wade started to jab punch each one missing. Johnson then gives him a right hook making contact, Wade stumbles back but doesn’t go down the hen leans foreword and lunges at Johnson tackling him to the ground. Wade on top started to punch Johnson repeatedly until he was so badly beaten that he started to drown on his own blood. With Johnson’s last few breaths he released the dead man switch setting off all the C4 in Blackwater sending it sky-high. The concussion of the blast threw Wade over to the next lot behind a dumpster and he passed out.
A few hours later Wade awoke, he got to his feet and saw dozens of fire trucks and police cars trying to control the scene. Knowing he couldn’t get caught, he headed down the alley. He called Alex to report what went down.
“Alex, what do you have to report?” asked Wade.
“I went to the address you gave me, it was only a few blocks from your house.” replied Alex.
“Rea lly? Was there anything there?”
Yes, I’m sure you will be happy with what I have to tell you.”
“Well spit it out man, what is it?”
“I found your wife and son. They were locked up in a prison cell, your wife had a few bruises on her but your son is in perfect health.”
“Thank you, thank you so much.”
“No problem, what happened to Johnson?”
“He’s dead. He took all of Blackwater Security with him to.”
“Well what are you going to do now?”
“I’m going to head home and be with my family, what else would I do?”

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