4 HOURS

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“Come on man,” Josh said, “Don’t give up on me now.”
The blood was running down Shawn’s side, leaving behind a trail. His eyes were almost closed as he kept a firm grip on Joshs’ shoulder.

Josh made one more turn in the hallway. A door at the end, a sign above it read EXIT, this is what he was looking for.





4 hours earlier

“Come on guys, get ready to roll out!” Sergeant Spencer yelled out walking quickly past some soldiers.

Shawn was the first one up with his gun by his side, ready to follow the Sergeant.

Josh Atkins and five other soldiers quickly stood up in a straight line by his side.

“This is what we know,” Sergeant Spencer began as he examined each soldier, “Intel has showed us that terrorist are planning an attack, they are holding up in a hotel, our job,” he paused for a minute to ensure himself that his team was up to the task, “Is to stop them.”

This team was Sergeant Spencers’ pride and joy, the absolute best, special forces alpha team.

Within the next five minutes they were in Hum-Vs on their way to the site.

Josh was at the wheel, as usual, driving at a fast speed but slow enough to be able to spot road side bombs.

Shawn had his back, manning the gun up top, scanning the roof tops and alley ways for possible threats.


When they arrived at the hotel, the soldiers all divided. Four went around back. Josh, Shawn, another soldier, Clint, went to the front door with Sergeant Spencer.

They scanned the perimeter, Josh looked up, “At least twenty stories.”
Shawn just nodded in agreement.
“We are in position” They came over the radio.
“Go in silent, on three!” Sergeant Spencer commanded. “One, two, three!”

Doors were locked, as expected so they busted in as quietly as possible. Josh and Shawn stuck together and went in first, “Clear” Josh called out as he checked the first room.

Shawn checked the closets behind a receptionists desk. “Clear” he called out.

The other soldiers met back up with them, “Bottom floor is empty sir.”

Josh looked around, brown paint peeling off the walls, dust in the air, on the counter tops, “Looks like this place has been abandoned awhile,” he observed taking off his sunglasses’ and clipping them on his jacket.

“Perfect place to hide,” Sergeant Spencer said, wiping the sweat from his face. “Shawn, Josh, yall take the fire escape outside, climb to the roof and make your way down the stairway, checking the hallways, we will go up from this stairwell and meet yall.”

Shawn and Josh made their way outside. The hundred and twenty degree temperature was torture as they pulled the ladder down from the fire escape.

Sweat was running down Shawns face, he climbed up first, “They always give us the hard jobs” he grunted as he pulled himself up.
“Nah, you’re just starting to get fat,” Josh replied following him up the ladder.

As they made their way to the top, civilians were watching them; Josh began to think that one of them would probably give the terrorist a tip about the soldiers on the fire escape. So, as they passed each window they did their best to look inside for any enemy, it usually done no good because most windows were stained from the dirt or cracked. Some even had medal bars, as if they were used to keep prisoners in.



They made their way to the top. By now Shawn was drenched in sweat. “I swear Sergeant doesn’t like us,” He managed to say as he was catching his breath. They began to make their way to the door on the other side of the roof.
That’s when it all happened.
Not sure what exactly happened, but gunshots went off.
They both dove off to the side to take cover, then realized the shots were not directed towards them. They were coming from a few floors beneath.
They made their way to the door, Shawn pointed forward signaling. Josh pulled the door open and Shawn led the way with his gun.

They went down the stairs, whispering commands to each other, looking around the corner then whispering “Clear.”
They did that for a couple floors, then Josh held up his hand to stop.

There were voices around the corner.
“What are they saying?” Shawn whispered, as he crouched down.
Josh just shrugged his shoulders.
He could see a pool of blood on the floor in front of him, he knew something wasn’t right, just felt it in his gut.

Josh stuck his head around the corner just enough to see two guys.

Josh led first, while they had their backs turned, he held his gun up to look down the sight, his adrenaline rushing through his body, he felt his gun kick as he squeezed the trigger and a tall guy that was covering his face with a bandana, fell straight to the ground.

The second guy wasn’t wearing a mask, a fairly dark skinned man, with a short beard, lined with grey hair. He was able to get off a shot but missed; Josh quickly aimed at him and dropped him as well.

Josh lowered his gun to his side, to a deep breath, “Well you could of at least got one of them.”
When Shawn didn’t reply he turned around, “Shawn!”
He was on the ground, bleeding, severely, holding the right side of his stomach.
All of Joshs’ training suddenly kicked in, before he knew what was going on he realized he was already by Shawns side.
“Don’t let me die here.”
“Come on, don’t talk like that, you won’t die at all.”
He took of Shawns jacket, then grabbed his own pistol out the holster on his leg.
“Ight bro, it’s just us and we are getting out of here.”
He lifted Shawn up, threw one arm around his shoulder to carry him.

All of a sudden someone appeared in the door way. His reflexes took over, and before the man even saw them, Josh already pulled the trigger and the man was on the ground.
Shawn moaned, “They know we’re here.”
“Yea, Sergeant and the others didn’t stand a chance.”
“They were probably ambushed,” Shawn said, quenching in pain.

They made their way up one more floor. Josh set him down, “Get on the radio and get a chopper on the top of the building ASAP, I will hold them off for you to make the call.”

Josh went to the stairwell; he heard voices, yelling at each other. Then saw a man come from around the corner, one shot with the pistol put him on the ground, and another shot ended it.

Before he could react a dozen bullets from an automatic weapon came flying towards him. He ducked just in time, and then reappeared to fire at them. He hit one and missed another. Then went back in the hallway with Shawn.

“By the time we get up there the chopper will be landing!” Shawn yelled.
Josh picked him up, one arm around his neck and helped him walk up the stairs. He could hear them behind him, they were about to catch up, he knew he didn’t have time to stop otherwise they would be dead.
“Come on man,” Josh said, “Don’t give up on me now.”
The blood was running down Shawn’s side, leaving behind a trail. His eyes were almost closed as he kept a firm grip on Joshs’ shoulder.

Josh made one more turn in the hallway. A door at the end, a sign above it read EXIT, this is what he was looking for.
He reached the door and flung it open, at first the sunlight blinded him, then he looked up and saw the chopper, thirty feet away, about to land.
He heard them open the door behind him, then felt a sudden sharp pain in his back, he didn’t even hear the gun go off. He just fell down, looking up in to space as if nothing was even there.
The chopper landed and a man got out, Sergeant Spencer. Josh couldn’t feel his body, what was going on? He looked back, the guy that shot him removed his bandana, private Miller?
Shawn was standing up straight.
“How’d the blood packet work?” Spencer asked.
Shawn nodded his head as to signal well.
Then he turned to Josh, he was squirming on the ground trying to reach his gun before Spencer kicked it away.
“You set me up!”
Spencer crouched down to look into his eyes, “We know everything about you son.”
He pulled out a picture, black and white, but clear as day. It was a picture of Josh shaking hands with a terrorist leader.
“You betrayed your country,” Spencer angrily spit out, “ Now, if you survive the trip back home, you’re going to prison for the rest of your life.”
Shawn looked down on Josh, “Was it really worth the money?”
Then turned his back and walked to the helicopter, walking like a true hero.





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