I scrambled up the wall. I felt my fingers getting blisters but now wasn't the time to worry about that. I flipped over the other side, carefully avoided the barbed wire,f and fell the eight feet down doing a combat roll to take away the acceleration. The shadows enveloped me as I watched for the guard to come by. My legs bent into a crouch in the tall grass. The heartbeat in my ears slowed down once I stopped moving. I yanked my hood up to hide my pale face in the shadows as well. It would stick out in the dark.
The guard turned the corner of the building in front of me. I hated how drab everything was. The building was grey, the outer wall was grey, the watch towers were grey, the uniforms the guards wore were grey, and god forbid they paved over most of the green grass. I glanced up at the watch towers that I could be seen from. They weren't on high alert so only one guard was in each and they watched outside the fort but I had already gotten past that part. I was at the second hardest part: getting inside. The hardest part was getting out with an untrained moron without being seen.
The guard rounded the other corner. I stayed in a crouch and crept forward to the door. I knocked gently against the metal and put my ear to it. There was a muffled voice that I could tell originated from the right side. My focus turned to the keypad.
"I need access," I whispered into a mic built into the clothes I wore which were all dark grey and matched well with the bleak environment I was in.
"I'm on it. Hang tight." I heard a teammate's voice through the earpiece that snaked up the back of my neck.
"Forty seconds is all I can spare."
I waited and started counting. One, two, three, four, five, six,seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen... twenty, twenty-one twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four. I heard footsteps. The hell? The guard took fifty-two seconds before so I wasn't expecting him back so soon. I crouched down. There was no time to cross. I'd have to take him out silently and snag the Dr. before they checked in for the report which was every three minutes. I saw the guards boot on the ground at the corner but he hadn't turned it yet. The door beeped and I swung it open before covering the door guards mouth with a chloroform soaked rag. He struggled but I had a strong grip and he slumped down unconscious. They weren't checked in on frequently so as long as someone didn't stumble across his unconscious body then I'd be fine. I pushed him into a supplies closet and shut the door. It make someone wonder where the guard went but more than likely they'd suppose he went to the bathroom or something.
I slid forward. The people inside were much more unpredictable with the exception of the guards which I knew there was only one monitoring this entire area.
"That was close. I thought you knew how to count," I heard my teammate's voice through the mic.
"Shut up. I must have checked out worrying about whether or not you were going to pull off one of your magnificent screwups." I felt kinda bad about saying that but he had tried insulting me. I heard the boot steps of the guard and slid into a doorframe. The guard's shadow passed across the hall. I took a few fast steps to the hall on the other side and continued down it. It was just forty meters. That was where the room was. The pure white fluorescent lit halls were hurting my eyes after walking through the nightly shadows outside. I refocused my attention on the door ahead of me. I looked at the handle and saw that there was no electronic component to it. I pulled my dog tags out from under my shirt and worked it off my neck. The pin straight blonde hair cascaded back over my shoulders and I undid the clasp on the chain to slide one of the tags off. I fiddled with it in between the door and the door frame. The guard's footsteps were echoing closer. My heart pounded in my ears. Click. I celebrated a silent victory and whipped the door open. The scientist stood up abruptly and took a breath to say something. I shoved my hand over his mouth and shushed him.
"I'm here to help," I whispered. He nodded and I let my hand drop. I pulled the dog tags back over my head. "Follow me closely and stay quiet," I ordered him. It didn't always seem to compute in their heads that sound attracts attention and attention meant that we would get caught and us getting caught could mean a whole bunch of different things. They were supposed to be smart but I couldn't count how many times they gave away our position and I had to cover for both of us. "I got Dr. Sretchin," my tongue almost twisted on the foreign name when I whispered into the mic again.
"Good. You already set the C4 so we can bust you out of there."
I made a motion with my hand that told the scientist to follow. I was careful to check his features with the mental image I had engraved into my head from the photo. Greying hair, check. Limps on right leg, check. Blue eyes, check. Tanned skin, check. Wrinkly face, check. I decided he matched the description enough. I saw the guards shadow pass through the hallway again through the tiny slit in the door they gave food to the scientist through. I opened it silently. I felt the scientist's shadow hover over me following my command to "follow me closely."
I was relieved when I didn't hear his footsteps but could see his shadow overlapping mine on the floor. I glanced around the corner to where the guard had vanished. I saw his back and he still had fifty meters of his patrol route to go. I crossed. The scientist was still sticking to my tail. He followed me to the outer door. I listened carefully to the sounds just outside the door. The unmistakable crunch of grit underneath soles passed and I counted to five before very carefully opening the door. I grabbed the scientist's hand who had gotten distracted by the approaching footsteps of the indoor guard and yanked him outside with me. The darkness of the night comforted me again.
"I'm outside waiting for extraction," I murmured into the mic.
"Alright. I'll give you the signal, you blow up the outer wall and the SUV will have driven to where it was planted by then so you'll have to be ready to move."
I turned to Dr. Stretchin and explained to him that we would have to sprint. through a hole blasted in the outer wall. I felt around in the grass for the control to the C4 that I had laid out the day before on recon. My fingers slapped against the hard metal object and I grabbed it.
"Ready?" My teammate's voice was only heard by me unless someone had a wicked sharp sense of hearing.
"Affirmative," I replied.
"On three. One, two," I made a quick gesture to the Dr. to start going. "Three."
I smashed the button in with my finger and the night was filled with a boom and I saw the smoke. I dropped the control and ran. The scientist was already climbing through and I was right on his tail. Once I was through the screech of tires told me it was almost mission accomplished. The door swung open and my partner grabbed Dr. Stretchin before hauling me up easily. the door slammed a hair's breath away from my foot and I felt the SUV accelerate without hesitation. I fell from losing my balance and struggled back up to grab onto something. My hand found a seat and I climbed into it before pulling the strap around me.
There were of course, people chasing us but they were easy to lose by tossing the rows of modified police spike strips out the back door. All the more important to wear a seatbelt when driving with my team. We broke clear of enemy territory and pulled onto the street to start the drive to the chopper.