First and foremost, I'd like to give a huge thanks to Xerophyte for being kind enough to Beta this story for me!

This is in no way based on a true story, and for the most part is not accurate representation of ANYTHING happening overseas. For entertainment purposes only!


There were seven remaining members of Echo Unit. The others, all eight of them, were no longer there for various reasons, but none of the departures were the glorious kind you'd expect; the kind where people who you had barely known came out to cheer as you stepped out of the plane. One had been relocated for disorderly conduct. Another had been reassigned and no one had heard from him since . Three were in the hospital, with wounds ranging from mild burns to a bullet through the abdomen. Two brothers had managed to get leave for a week because of an 'extreme family crisis', but they were probably never coming back. There were more, but that wasn't important right now. What was important was the small form slumped against the wall of the half-destroyed building.

It wasn't so obvious who it was, though it was quite obvious they were out for the count. But none the less, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gray lead what remained of the unit on with caution. He stood by, rifle in hand, and motioned for two others to come forward.

"Why don't you keep yur mouth shut, Master Gunny," Russo Archer said, pushing past him and leaning over the limp figure of a young woman. "She's not gonna be doing much any time soon, that's fer sure." Michael Gray sighed and let his rifle fall limply to his side.

"If you just keep doing whatever you want, Archer, you're gonna get us all killed."

"There's a difference 'tween being cautious and being stupid, and you're walking the line," the dark haired man retorted, already moving aside the chadri that hid a fair portion of the girl's face. "Jesus, you couldn't tell if you were talking to a 12 year old or an old hag with these things coverin' all their faces," he mused aloud as he placed two fingers on the dark skin of her neck, searching for a pulse. "She's alive," Archer stated flatly.

"You think?" came the sarcastic reply of one of his teammates. Though they always bickered like this; they all held a great respect for each other. It was merely their way of relieving stress and passing hours of monotony.

"Let's see-" said the man who'd spoken earlier, as he kneeled down next to Archer. "Breathing's fine..." Heart rate's good..." He went through his checklist as he continued his inspection. "Ah! It looks like just a mild case of dehydration. Some good ol' H2O and she'll be fine. It looks like she blacked out and knocked herself out on the way down."

"Well, that's just got to be the best bloody news since we've got to this godforsaken place," someone chirped in. In all honesty, it could have been.

"Well, can we leave her here to rot like she deserves or leave a canteen and finally get the hell out of here?" It was Archer speaking. The second-in-command stepped in, voicing his opinion to Gray.

"I say we take her back to HQ." Daniel, the one speaking, rolled his eyes at Archer's grin. "Because," he continued, "she could have information on their new location, their numbers-- anything would help us at this point." The others looked unsure and distrustful, but Gray seemed to warm up to the idea.

"True, it might be worth a shot."