Charlotte had driven a five hour journey back to the city. It took her longer because of the snow which had fallen. Exhausted she reached the place she had arranged to stay at.
Claire who worked at the reception desks said she could stay for a short time until she had found somewhere to stay. With only her suitcase which had the two bungee cords still wrapped around them from Jackson and two bags she heaved them through Claire’s front door.
“Thank you so much Claire, I’m sorry it was last minute.”
“Yes I’m sorry too, I thought Scott was nice?”
Charlotte had only given Claire a quick version about how she left Scott and she was desperate for somewhere to stay.
“Only on the outside. He only wanted everything for show. You know he is in that much debt. I don’t know how he will be able to afford where he is staying.”
“Err, well I heard at new year he asked Tamzin to move in with him.” Claire dipped her head down.
Charlotte’s mouth hung open in surprise. “Well that was quick then. You know he was fucking her behind my back.” Charlotte shook her head.
It was Claire’s turn for her mouth to hang open. “Oh my god, how awful, I’m sorry I didn’t know.” she covered her mouth as she didn’t know what else to say.
“Yes, apparently Scott likes to get things he wants in unethical ways.”
Charlotte went on to tell Claire everything which had happened over the Christmas holiday including what had gone on between her and Jackson. How everything felt so incredible between them and how much she had fallen in love with him. It brought tears to her eyes thinking about Jackson and what he would be doing. He had phoned her quickly as he was leaving for his mission.
Jackson was sitting on a plane getting ready to jump. He was with his team-mates and they were going in for an extraction to retrieve a corporal who had been caught trying to sneak out of the Peruvian borders at the coastline after a secret mission he had been on with several others.
They had found out where he was being kept under close watch in a place along the Lacramarca river near Chimbote. Jackson had his hand resting over his uniform where the necklace and ring that Charlotte had given him. He closed his eyes and pictured her face. It was his partner who brought him back out of his thoughts.
“Jackson, are you ready?”
Six of them were going in. It was night time and they were going in undercover. With a nod of his head the doors opened and they all jumped. With the night vision goggles on they were heading to land together. The clearing was good enough next to the river for them all to drop in close.
Gathering up the parachutes and packing them back up, they left them hidden for collecting on the way back out, if they had a chance. Corporal Steve Walker signaled for them to keep to the sides of the river. Moving silently along it was all hand signs, Jackson was helping lead the team alongside Walker.
Raising his hand to halt everyone, Jackson stopped them. A quick flash of his wrist told them to move down and into the bushes at the side. The sound of footsteps at the other side had them holding their breath. With only the whites of eyes visible from the moonlight the six boys held tight. They knew they were close.
As the two men passed by, Jackson and Walker lifted themselves off the ground silently moving the knives they had out of the holsters. It was a quick stab through the neck whilst their hands covered their mouths so no noise was made. Pulling their bodies off to the side they checked them over for any radios or keys.
Walker signalled them to move out and further up, keeping themselves close to the river. As they came closer to the bunkers where the corporal was being held. Three guards were outside, there wasn’t the cover of bushes close to the bunker doors. The darkness was the only thing that kept them from being seen.
Taking a wide angle the guys moved around and came from the rear taking out the three guards in one quick calculated move. Not sure what they would be faced with when they opened the bunker door, Jackson drew his gun ready and took in a deep breath.
Slowly moving the lever of the door handle he cracked the door open enough to be able to glance inside. With a dimly lit passage and stairs leading down into a larger corridor Jackson made his way down with Walker and two other men whilst the other two stayed at the surface.
The corridor broke off into two directions. Jackson tapped his ear and leaned down one of the corridors to listen. Shaking his head Walker did the same in the other corridor. With the faint sound of voices Walker cupped his ear then pointed down the corridor.
The four men worked their way down to an open doorway. Their backs were flat against walls, Walker was in front and held his hand to hold the guys as he got his mirror out. Using it to see who was around the corner he saw only two guys and yet another doorway which was closed. Giving out the hand signs, everyone was ready.
Jackson and Walker were to head straight for the guys as the other two followed and to be ready in case more came through the door inside the room.
Holding three fingers up he counts them down and they go on one. Moving quickly and silently they take the two men by surprise. Jackson and Walker slit both their throats before they had a chance to set off any alarms. Still working in silent mode Walker places his ear against the next door to listen. Shaking his head as he can’t hear anything, he tried the door handle.
He opened the door as carefully as he could, it opened up into the room they were in. Bullets came whizzing past his head, All the guys flatten themselves against the walls and Walker flings the door open. Gun fire is shot towards them. Jackson was standing on one side of the door with Walker and the others on the other. Jackson moved the door so he could flatten himself on the floor.
As the gun fire went off he had his little mirror out to check the number of guys. By his reckoning there had to be at least three guys with the gun fire that was going on. Walker kept pointing his gun and firing down the corridor. Jackson spotted three guys and held up his fingers. Using the mirror he could work out where they all were. Walker and Jackson had worked together on many occasions so they both knew each other’s signals.
Taking out the three guys as quickly as they could they ran down the corridor, it was a maze, by the time they reached yet another door they knew time was on their hands now. Opening the door and not being met with gun fire meant two things for them. They had reached the correct room and the colonel was either dead or barely alive.