A/N (Author's notes): To get a slight grasp of my book, it's like this: Add little Twilight, a dash of Harry Potter, mix a lil' Tom Clancy in, and an ever-so-subtle hint of real-life drama. Add them all together, and you'll have a slight understanding of my book.
Yes, it is set in a modern timeline, but with the fact that magic, swordfights, magical creatures and whatnot exist. It won't be the main plot of this novel, but it'll be a supporting role. My novel is a balance of everything. =)
Classified Location, 1:34am, 3rd of March 2008
Things were screwed up. Things were really screwed up. The enemy was never supposed to know they were here. They were officially SNAFU. Situation Normal All Fouled Up. Funny thing was, there was a more…vulgar version of SNAFU, and all he could think about was how funny it sounded.
"Trigger! Get in gear!" he heard his Commanding Officer hiss at him. Trigger looked up to see his CO, and the rest of his entire squad looking at him. One of them, call-signed as Gaz, sighed while shaking his head, his expression shrouded behind his gas mask.
"That's what you get for putting an 18-year old kid on a British SAS strike team," Gaz said, the rest all sniggering. The CO just looked at Gaz with an expression so close to annoyance.
"He graduated from the Navy SEALs programme at 16, assisted the US Marines in 5 strike missions, and passed our British SAS Selection Regiment last year. Tell me one reason why he doesn't deserve to be here after eliminating almost 50 hostiles alone last year?" the CO, Captain Price asked.
None of the other soldiers spoke. They all just kept watch from their hiding point behind a pile of boxes. "Helicopter evac is en route. ETA, 15 minutes at the forest near the south border. We have to move now, Captain, or we'll miss our flight outta this hellhole," another soldier, call-signed as Heavy said.
Captain Price sighed sharply and looked at his squad. "Alright, you moppets, we move out now," he instructed, giving the hand-signal to move to a different formation.
The squad members crouched low when they sprinted towards a barb-wired fence, hiding in the nearest possible cover. In this case, it was a petroleum tanker.
"Ah, we're bloody sitting ducks in 'ere, Cap," one of the squad mates growled, holstering his only weapon left, his pistol. "I spot 2 guards on the entrance carrying standard AK-102s. Should we take 'em out?" Gaz asked, unlocking his silenced MP-5 sub-machinegun.
"No. There's an observation deck near the south entrance. Even when silenced, they can still see our guns' muzzle flashes," Trigger observed, holstering all his weapons.
All the other squad mates looked at Trigger with what appeared to be admiration. "Well then, tough guy, how do you suppose we slot 'em, then?" another squad mate, Fives, asked.
"Leave it to me," Trigger simply said, taking out his silenced M4 rifle. All the others knew what he was going to do. "Trigger, wait!" Captain Price hissed as Trigger dashed for the heavy bushes and trees nearest to the 2 guards.
"He's got guts, I'll give 'im that," Gaz said as the others besides Captain Price nodded. "How is he gonna slot 'em both when there's the observation deck and that bloody searchlight on 'em?" Heavy asked. Sounding skeptical annoyed and frustrated, all at the same time.
True to Heavy's comment, a searchlight was illuminating the 2 guards every now and then. "Now he's never gonna pull this one off," Fives said, shaking his head.
Then suddenly, the searchlight stopped working, pitching the whole area into almost complete darkness. "Night-vision, boys," Captain Price said, the rest all attaching the Night Vision Goggles to their masks.
In its artificial green illumination, the squad members could see the 2 guards looking cautious and conversing with each other in some foreign language, their rifles armed and ready.
Then one of them suddenly jerked his head up, as if punched straight in the face, and he fell to the floor like a rock. The other one almost didn't know what happened as it was still too dark to see much, and then like the first, he fell.
"Ooh, nice headshots there Trigger," Fives said, the rest all laughing their approval. "Clear," each of them heard Trigger say from the squad's comlinks. "Alright men, move!" Captain Price said, all of them rushing towards the fences only entrance, a sliding fence.
"Observation tower's got no visibility on us. We're all clear," Trigger said as he emerged from the bushes, the others opening the fence quietly.
"I thought you said shooting would alert them?" Fives asked as they made it out of the fence, running towards the nearby forest.
"They could see us if we fired form the truck's position, but the bushes covered my muzzle flashes," Trigger explained, the rest laughing again.
"Nice job Trigger," Gaz said, patting Trigger's shoulder. "We should be there soon," Heavy said, the rest still sprinting. Trigger was curious when was the enemy going to notice that 2 guards were dead and a searchlight was shot off.
"This is Big Bird; we're at the extraction point. Bravo Team, what's your status?" Trigger heard from his comlinks. "Big Bird, this is Captain Price. We're en route. Can you spot us on radar?" Captain Price said.
"Affirmative, Captain Price. We have your comlinks signature locked on radar. We're right above you," the helicopter's pilot said. Bravo Team looked up to see a jet-black Black Hawk helicopter looming overhead, no louder than the howling wind around them.
"Bloody hell, that thing's silent," Fives remarked as several winch cables dropped down below them. "Hook yourselves on, boys. We're banging out ASAP," the pilot said.
All of Bravo Team hooked themselves on and were reeled into the gunship, bringing them in.
"All clear. Take us home, Big Bird," Captain Price said when everyone got on board. "Roger that. We are leaving." The pilot said, the chopper moving faster towards the mountains.
Fives leaned back on his seat, sighing. Heavy was already asleep. Gaz leaned out of his seat, removing his gas mask to take a bite out of a chocolate bar he kept in on of his pockets.
Trigger was still breathing heavily. He was tired, no doubt about that. "Nice job out there, son. You'll make a fine soldier yet," Captain Price said, patting Trigger's head.
"Thanks sir. But I think Gaz did a better job with planting those C4 charges on those tanks earlier," Trigger said, shrugging. "You mean Sergeant Dobbs? We're in secure space now, kiddo. We can drop the call-signs," Captain Price said.
"Truth be told sir, I kinda feel sorry for those suckers down there. They're gonna get blown to bits and not even know about it till it happens," Trigger said, chuckling with Captain Price.
"That's the point of us bangin' out," Captain Pirce said, opening his mask to take a swig from his canteen. "Ah…that's the stuff," he said, looking at the bottle meaningfully.
"Whiskey again, sir?" Trigger asked with a smirk on his face. "You bet. Want a sip?" he asked, handing Trigger the canteen. "No thanks, sir. I'm not really into alcohol yet," Trigger replied, shaking his head.
"Not really into it, eh? You need to grow up, boy," Gaz said, the rest laughing. Guess Fives wasn't really sleeping, then.
"Ah, give 'im a break, lads," Price said, patting Trigger on the back. "I'll buy you a Carlsberg when we get back, eh? You need to drink just once in awhile at least, Lieutenant Woon," Captain Price said, ruffling the boy's hair.
"I'll take that offer, Cap," Trigger said, smirking. "Although I think beer still kinda tastes like liquid detergent to me."
Chapter 1: Ruminations
The college cafeteria wasn't a typical place to fall asleep. And for some reason, Leon Woon decided to ignore that anomaly and doze off on his own accord, oblivious to his other 6 friends who were at the same table.
"Hey, get up, man. Lunch is almost ending soon," Peter Lee said, shaking him up. Leon sat up straight, looking groggy but quietly obeyed. He respected Peter too much to growl at him.
"Geez, did you stay up all night or something?" Ken Hoh asked from the seat in front of Leon. "Nope," he simply replied. Chris Hoh -Ken's bespectacled twin right down to the last freckle- chuckled. "Spent too much time with the ladies then, eh?" he asked, earning an annoyed frown from Leon.
"Hmph. I don't even remember the last time I spent time with any girl. I don't have a girlfriend or something, remember?" Leon asked bitterly.
"Poor guy. You'll get your chance," Ken said, patting Leon's head. He only breathed out audibly.
"Aren't you're still chasing after her?" Jason Chua asked from his seat next to Leon's. He just looked at Jason with a raised eyebrow.
"At least he has a girl to chase, Jay," the bespectacled Eric Leong said from next to Jason. "You on the other hand, wait for girls to come to you."
"True, true…"Peter said as he was halfway reading his textbook. The rest laughed slightly, Jason scowling at Eric. Then Peter plopped his head on the table. "Man, I hate this Finite classes..."
Then the school bell rang. "Damn…" Eric said, packing up his things. "I've got Advanced Graphics later, and I haven't completed my assignments yet…" he seethed, cursing under his breath. Leon sniggered.
"I completed it the day they gave the assignment itself," he said, Eric shooting him a dirty look.
"Leon...it's not good to show off," Peter said, getting up, ready to leave for Finite classes with Jason.
"Ah, I've got Software Dynamics for 2 periods, so I think I'll only see you guys later when college ends," Chris said, checking his timetable. Ken shrugged. Both he and Chris were majoring in IT, so they practically attended every class together.
"Alright, see you guys later then," Jason said, running off to his next class, disappearing into the sea of people leaving. Chris yawned as he walked down towards the exit. "Man, I had to wake up earlier today because I had to go to the stupid market before this. Argh…" he groaned.
"Maybe I should have offered to drive this morning instead…" Ken said, Leon laughing. Eric, who wasn't really paying attention, looked at his watch. "C'mon, Leon. We'll be late," he said.
Leon only huffed silently as he grabbed his bag, making his way to the exit as well as the others were. He was quite tired today too, honestly speaking. An unforeseen traffic jam on his way to campus really took a toll out of him.
When he reached his class, he was taken aback to see Eric already seated at his place, next to Leon's. "How the heck did you reach here before me?" Leon asked, putting his bag down next to his seat.
"I walked past you. Everyone did. You looked like you were halfway dreaming, man," Eric said, discreetly finishing his delayed work on his laptop. "How much have you completed so far?" Leon asked, turning his laptop on to get his work ready for submission. "I'm almost done. Don't bug me," Eric said grumpily.
"Good afternoon class~" a melodious voice suddenly came from the front. Eric stiffened up as he saw their bespectacled and blonde teacher enter the class. She would be like any other teacher, except for the fact that she had a pair of cat ears and a tail. A catgirl.
"Good afternoon Miss Saline'," the class chorused lazily. Eric lingered his gaze on her for a fraction of a second longer than the rest, then averting his attention to his work, hoping no one would notice it. But Leon noticed it.
"She's only 20, has a cheerful disposition, and she's extremely cute. Why don't you go for her?" Leon said quietly, Eric just leering at him. "Do I even need to explain myself?" he growled, hitting his keyboard hard, saving his completed work.
"Everyone, please submit your assignments to my computer. I hope everyone had spent enough time finishing it," Miss Saline' said, smiling radiantly at the class. Eric gulped, sending his assignment through an interface.
"Dude, if you finished it you don't need to panic," Leon said, sending his assignment nonchalantly. Eric only ruffled his hair backwards as he leaned back against his chair, looking bitterly out the window. Leon took it as a sign to leave him alone.
"Alright, it looks like everyone submitted their work on time…I'll grade them later," Miss Saline' said, then typing on her computer. "Now, if you'll all look at the projection board…"
Leon didn't need to pay any further attention for awhile, because he roughly understood the lesson already. Eric on the other hand, was paying close attention, looking at the projector and his own notes staunchly. Leon only chuckled to himself at Eric's concentration.
"Hey, you guys wanna have a quick round of bowling?" Jason asked as the group walked away from college, lessons all done for the day.
"Why not? They're half-off on weekdays with our student rates," Eric said, hanging his bag over his shoulder.
"Meh, I'm no good at it…" Leon ranted, the rest laughing. He was notoriously known as a bad bowler due to the fact he hardly plays. "Well why don't you watch how the pro handles it?" Chris asked, swinging his hand in a bowling fashion.
The rest only jeered lightly at him. "As if you're that good," Ken sniggered as the rest laughed, Chris hitting his twin lightly on the shoulder. "At least I'm better at it than you are," Chris replied, Peter and Eric ooh-ed. "I smell a challenge," Peter said.
"You're on, bro," Ken replied, the rest except Chris cheering for a showdown. "Well, this will be fun," Jason said, crossing his hands.
They all continued to talk and laugh all the way to the bowling alley nearby, but Leon stopped when he saw 2 individuals conversing near the parking lot.
His heart skipped a beat when he recognized the girl as Rosemund Wan, a friend of his. She was talking to a boy he couldn't identify. All Leon knew was that he studied here, as he saw him a few times. And he never liked his tall lanky composure, that's for certain.
"You guys go on ahead. I'll put my bag in my car," Leon said, the rest shrugging and walking on. When he was out of eyeshot, Leon disappeared behind several cars to eavesdrop on the 2 individuals' conversation.
"C'mon, Rose. Let's go out this once, eh?" the boy asked. Rose only looked away, sliding her hair back with her hand.
"I'm still kinda busy with my assignments and all. How 'bout next time?" she replied, looking at him apologetically. The boy tried his best to smile, but Leon laughed silently from his distance. That boy was pathetic.
Leon decided to pummel him further into the ground, as well as give Rose a helping hand. Once he was really out of eyeshot, Leon stood up to casually walk towards Rose, slinging his bag. He breathed in deep, and then exhaled.
"Hey Rose!" Leon said, waving towards her. Rose took one glance at Leon and waved back radiantly. "Hi!" she said, her eyes twinkling. Leon wanted to smile ridiculously, but decided not to. That would be too bloody obvious.
"This guy over here bothering you or something?" Leon asked, acting casual as he pointed a quick thumb towards the boy. Before Rose could raise her eyebrows, Leon laughed softly. "Just kidding," he said, looking at the boy briefly with a smile on his face.
In direct contrast, the boy –who was half a head taller than Leon- gave him such a look that needed no verbal explanation. "Who the hell are you?" would've been what he said. Instead, the boy remained silent, pursing his lips.
"Hey, Peter told me that you guys had a ton of homework from your lecturer in you Finite class, right?" Leon asked, completely ignoring the boy as if he was some forgettable nuisance.
"Y-Yeah, the lecturer did." Rose replied, looking downwards in awkwardness. She didn't know how to prolong the conversation further, what with the silently outraged boy next to Leon.
"Well, you should be going on home, then," Leon said with an earnest nod. "Don't wanna get those assignments piling up, right?"
"You're right Leon. Thanks. I'll be going now, then. Bye!" she said, waving to both Leon and the boy as she turned around to leave. Leon caught her eye for a fraction of a second, his cool brown eyes interlocking with hers. She was looking meaningfully at him, a silent 'Thank you'.
Leon nodded as he waved, watching her disappearing into her car. When she drove off with another wave, Leon decided to leave, trying his best to avoid the confrontation that was almost inevitably coming.
"Hey, you," he heard the boy call out as Leon was almost out of earshot. He sighed, and then turned around. The boy was looking down at Leon with what he assumed was an attempt on intimidation.
"Who do you think you are, huh?" he barked. Leon raised an eyebrow. "Well, I think that I'm Justin Timberlake today, but I'm sure I was Adam Sandler yesterday, and for some reason, I think tomorrow I'll be Jason Mraz," Leon said, rubbing his chin and appearing deep in thought, turning around to walk off.
"Don't you bullshit here with me!" the boy yelled. Leon was thankful the parking lot was quite occupied by people on their way home. Some people were beginning to stare, and he loved an audience.
"Eww. Why would I want to do something like that with you? Or a bull, for that matter?" Leon asked, shrugging. He loved the confused expression that boy was showing clearly on his face.
"Hey Leon, what's up?" Leon heard someone from the small crowd ask. He turned to see Terry Chan, one of his friends waving toward him while edging forward.
"Hey Terry. This guy here is kinda screwy. Don't go near him. You might get Moron-scoliosis or something" Leon said, pointing another quick thumb at the boy. Some people laughed softly, Terry included.
"Don't fuck around!" the boy roared, the crowd backing off a little cautiously. Leon, on the other hand, did the impossible. He laughed.
"I love that phrase!" he said, still quite bent-over. "Huh?" Terry asked, some of the crowd looking curious as well. "Fuck around. How does one 'fuck around'?" Leon asked, still laughing. "Like this?"
He then did quite a mildly obscene gesture, earning a lot of raucous laughter from the crowd, Terry included. "Haha! Fucking around!" he said, mimicking the action. The crowd laughed harder, making the boy shake his fists with anger.
The boy then rushed to Leon, his right fist flailing. Leon ducked and moved away, the boy missing his punch. "Whoah! Wild dog on the loose! Wild dog on the loose!" Leon exclaimed happily, the crowd still laughing as he continuously dodged one blow after another.
The crowd was cheering for Leon as he ran from one corner to the other, easily avoiding the enraged boy. "Toro! Toro!" Leon said, mimicking a bullfighter. "Stay still, you prick!" the boy roared again, Leon shaking his head. "I'm no prick, so therefore I won't stop," he said, more laughter coming from the crowd.
"Then stay still!!" the boy yelled. "Okay," Leon said, suddenly remaining motionless. The boy was rushing at him, the crowd yelling at Leon to move away.
The boy smiled evilly as his fist flailed before him, landing almost inches from Leon's face, if it wasn't for the fact that Leon sidestepped, outstretching his left leg, tripping the boy. He almost regained his balance before Leon kicked his squarely in the butt, making him fall to the ground.
The crowd cheered as Leon then squatted on the boy's back, pinning him down. Terry got lower to the ground, slamming his hand on it like a wrestling referee would. "1! 2! 3!" Terry counted with the crowd, and then they cheered once more.
Leon then leaped off the boy, landing firmly in front of the crowd. Both Leon and Terry bowed several times as the crowd applauded and wolf-whistled at both of them.
"Look out!" some of them suddenly shouted.
Both Leon and Terry turned around to see the boy already up, clutching his chest painfully. Clearly Leon's entire weight earlier took a major toll on him.
"I'm telling Rose about this," he coughed.
Terry raised an eyebrow. "Oh, so that's what this all was about…" he said, nodding approvingly at Leon, who sniggered. "I doubt you will, kid," Leon simply said, eventhough the boy looked older than Leon by at least a year.
"Because 1: You started all of this. I didn't lay a finger on him at first, am I right?" Leon asked the crowd, who voiced their agreement. Terry then took over. "2nd: You couldn't tell Rose, because I don't think she'll ever talk to you again. Wanna know why? Because you're UGLY!"
The crowd laughed raucously at Leon and Terry's breakdown of the boy, who stormed away without another word.
The crowd then thinned out, some of them congratulating them both. "Seriously, this was the biggest crowd since you fought that other idiot back in high school," Terry said, high-fiving Leon. "True…hey, wanna join me and the rest for bowling?" Leon invited, Terry shaking his head.
"Nah. I got some work to do with Everlyn," Terry said, walking away. "Work? Are you sure?" Leon said with a cheeky smile. Terry only gave him a toothy grin as he disappeared behind a few cars, waving goodbye.
Leon waved and walked on to the bowling alley, content with today's adrenaline rush. When he entered the alley and found where the group were, Jason waved at Leon. "What took you so long?" he asked as the rest asked the same thing.
"Nah, got held up by a stray dog," Leon shrugged, putting on the bowling shoes he got from the counter. "So what, did you shoo it away or something?" Peter asked as he bowled, striking out all the pins.
"More or less. Physical force was involved, though," Leon said, dusting his hands off after fitting in his shoes. They were quite loose on him.
"As long as you didn't kill it or anything. Last thing we need is a dead dog in the parking lot," Ken said, lining up to take his shot. Chris was lined up on the next lane, ready to challenge his brother.
"Oh don't worry, I didn't kill it. But I'll guarantee we won't come across it for quite some time," Leon said as he stretched out on his seat, Chris sticking his tongue out at Ken after he scored a spare against Ken.
"Poor guy. What provoked him, I wonder…" Eric muttered as Chris scowled. Ken scored a strike.
"Leon! You're up," Chris said, Ken laughing at him. "Who's the pro now, brother?" he asked as Chris showed him a rude finger gesture.
Leon sighed as he picked the lightest ball he could find. It weighed 10 pounds. "Remember Leon, you don't need to twist the ball," Eric advised. Leon nodded as he walked forward, bowling the blue sparkling ball across the lane.
For once, it was heading straight for the middle. "No way…" Jason muttered as the ball crashed into the defenseless pins. Not one remained standing.
"No way!" Eric exclaimed with a laugh as Leon scored his first strike this month. The rest laughed as well, Leon smiling sillily.
Today was turning out just fine.
A/N: There, my first chapter is complete. Now, I need you guys to leave a comment on my blog's Cbox or leave a review here because I need feedback on how you guys want this novel to progress on. I'll be adding new characters in Chapter 2!
Among them are:
-Jason (Yap Jia Sen)
If you want in, just say so, yeah? Cheers!