Chapter 1


Sergeant Jason Marlow rose from his knees and grabbed his gear. He pulled the action back on his M16 and switched off the safety. Jason raised his rifle with his right hand and signaled his men to follow with his left. They moved along a small wall until they reached a partially destroyed portion where he and his men vaulted over one by one into an alley behind some small buildings. The small town was a maze of low buildings and huts with a market place in the center. Intel said that is where the High Value Target would be and where the handoff would go down. Jason silently led his men through multiple alleys before he finally signaled for them to stop in a dark alleyway with a clear view of the market.

"Expo-Actual, this is Expo-2, we are in position. Over." Jason whispered into his headset.

"Copy Expo-2, hold position, orders are to observe and report. Do you have eyes on the target?"

"Negative Actual, the whole village seems to be deserted, no sign of the taliban or the HVT."

"Hold tight Expo-2, we are in the process of getting you eyes in the sky, radio silence until then. Actual out."

"Roger that Expo-2 out." Jason said before shutting off his radio and relaying the radio silence order to the rest of his men. He ordered two men to cover the market and two more to cover their rear. He had the rest of his men gather around him and a small map of the town. They had mapped out their exfiltration routes and the routes their target could take in and out of the market. A soldier up front whistled for the sergeant to come over and handed him a pair of binoculars. Jason could clearly see the market's center and the two men in it. One was an Afghan man and the other was an American/

"He's a little old to be in the middle of a war zone." He said to himself as he swithced his radio back on.

"Expo-Actual, we have a possible I.D. on an American in the Area of Operation and in contact with the HVT." As he released the button on the mic he heard nothing but static. "Actual, come in, how copy on the last transmission." Nothing but static. "Damn, they must be jamming our comms. Whoever they are." He muttered under his breath.

"I think I may know who is behind the jamming signal." said one of the soldiers, who was pointing at a man on a rooftop outside the mysterious Americans field of vision. The rooftop fighter took aim at the American but did not open fire.

"Alright its time to move. Take out anything that moves but keep the HVTs alive."

"HVTs? I thought we only had one target." replied a soldier.

"Well Nickles, as of now that American in the market is now a HVT, now take up positions around the market." Jason said abruptly to the soldier. The soldiers rose and silentley began to take up positions around the market place. Sergeant Marlow raised his hand and began to count down when a shot rang out and tore through the American man's chest with a second shot following not long after, killing the Afghan man. The sniper then took aim at Jason and his men. "Get cover, NOW!" yelled Jason as he dove through the window of a hut as bullets riddled his former positions. He peered out the window and saw the sniper take out one of his soldiers and run. The soldier fell face down as the bullet struck him in the back. Jason kicked open the door and fired three burst in the direction of the sniper as he ran toward his fallen comrade. When he made it to the soldier he could see the wound in his back, he was dead before he hit the ground. He ran over the the base of the building the sniper was in and searched the whole building but didn't find the shooter, he only found what appeared to be six bullet casings from and M16. He wondered how a taliban fighter could get his hands on an American assualt rifle, but didnt linger on as he heard three more rounds in the distance. Jason raced through the streets toward the sound of the gunfire, hoping to find the shooter, but he only found three more of his dead soldiers. As he opened the door of a small hut and began to enter he felt the butt of a rifle smack into his helmet, knocking him to the ground.

"Crap, sorry sergeant I thought you were the shooter." said Nickles as he helped Jason back onto his feet

"No worries," he said as he brushed of the dirt on his shoulders "We just need to get to the center of the market and check out the bodies, but that sniper could be-"

"No need to worry about the sniper, I took him out, but only after he took O'bryan, Jenkins, Mcallaster." said Nickles with dissappointment in his voice.

"All right then, stick close and keep your eyes open anyway." Jason said, putting his hand on Nickle's shoulder as he walked out the door back on to the street. They moved from cover to cover back up the streets into the market. When they reached the two bodies, Jason checked the pockets of the American while Nickles searched the Afghan man. Jason opened a scrap of paper he had found in a pocket:

30°04'10.60''N 64°42'41.31''E

Market Place

1930 hours

White collared shirt

Jason pocketed the scrap of paper and raised his rifle toward two men who were running at them. They were two of his soldiers, but before he could lower his weapon, two bullets flew past him and killed the two soldiers instantly. Jason spun around in shock to see Nickles, barrel still smoking, aiming at him.

Sorry Sir, but I have my own orders. I can't let you live." Nickles said in a cold voice as he raised his rifle. Jason drew his handgun and fired three shots at Nickles. Two of the landed in his chest while the third hit him between the eyes.

"You always had a slow reaction time Nickles." Said in a solemn tone as he holstered his gun. He walked over and picked up Nickles gun and discharged the round inside but nothing came out. He made a look of confusion as he removed the magazine from the gun. "Empty?" he muttered as a Blackhawk helicopter flanked by two little bird heicoptes flew over head and landed ahead of him in a clearing. Soldiers came running off the helicopters and surrounded Marlow and raised their weapons, ready to fire.

"Sergeant Jason Marlow, you are under arrest for treason. Drop your weapon and get on your knees." yelled one of the soldiers. Jason complied and was handcuffed by the soldier. He was quickly loaded into the helicopter and within seconds they were already in the air, probably headed toward the closest military base.

" I didn't kill my men you know, Nickles and that shooter killed my men." Jason said to the soldier sitting across from him. The man said nothing, he only looked at him with disdain as another soldier placed a computer between them and hit a button the played a video of the whole event from the view of a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The video showed the two shots that killed the men being fired by Jason himself, and the three men he found dying with him running in shortley after, and to top it all of it showed what looked like him killing the other two soldiers as they ran over and then Jason turning around and killing Nickles before he could defened himself. Jason muttered a curse under his breath and sank into his seat. They had been flying for a little over an hour when the alarms began to blare in the helicopter as a rocket flew past them. Two more rockets were launched somewhere from the ground and slammed into the two small attack choppers escorting the Blackhawk. The burning chassis fell to the earth fourth rocket hit Jason's Helicopter the tail, causeing it to spin out of control. When the helicopter impacted in to the ground Jason was launched out and landed a few yards away. He watched helplessly as the survivors of the crash were torn apart as soldiers in a uniform he had never seen before tore them apart. Jason stood to run for cover when he was knocked out cold from behind