Hard Boiled

rating: +9+x



"Eggs, wake up."

Operation Charon - Objective Failed
Day 14 - 11:25:59, April 6th, 1990
Somewhere in the Karakum Desert, Kazakhstan
Mobile Task Force Titan-1

Sergeant Benedict "Eggs" Alden woke up abruptly, sensing a sharp pain across his face. He opened his eyes and squinted as he focused on a stark white light hovering in front of his face. The light moved away and a tall, tan man appeared, holding the flashlight. He had dark, weathered skin and a long black moustache. He wore a worn military vest with several pockets and a thin layer of sand caked in the mesh. His eyes conveyed the cold, steadfast emotions and he looked down on Eggs, piercing through him.

In his other hand, he held a worn, black Makarov that gleamed in the bright fluorescent lights. Eggs looked around frantically, trying to comprehend his situation. To his left, Dallas sat tied to a wooden chair, bound by his ankles, knees, and hands tied behind the seat of the chair. A small trickle of blood dripped down his fatigues. Eggs looked past Dallas and saw a flimsy wooden table, with all of their gear resting on top; kevlar vests, their pair of Colt 733 Commando rifles, their black military-grade boots, helmets, and vests.

Through the metal bars on the opposite side of the small room, Eggs saw a hallway that stretched on beyond his vision.

Ahead of him, past the man with the gun, Eggs could see they were in a prison cell with a single metal door leading out of the room.

The man in front of him shouted something in a foreign language, Eggs guessed Arabic, but growing up in Birmingham, Arabic wasn't exactly an elective class he could take.

Eggs looked to Dallas as the man continued to shout at him, "Roach, what's this muppet saying? I don't speak Arabic."

"It's not Arabic, it's Kurdish," Dallas said as he turned to the man and started talking in Kurdish.

The man's tone noticeably calmed, but he was still angrily shoving the Makarov in Eggs' face.

"Tell this tosser to get this pistol out of my face," Eggs said, raising his voice.

The man turned to Eggs, raising his voice louder and slapping Eggs across the face with his gloved hand.

"Son of a bitch," Eggs said under his breath.

Dallas turned to the man and spoke. Eggs watched as they talked back and forth, Dallas talking in a cool, respectful voice while the man spoke in a loud, harsh tone.

The man pointed the Makarov at Eggs' face furiously and turned away, opening the cell door and stepping out, locking it and striding away.

"What the hell is going on, Roach?" Eggs grumbled.

"We're in a prison camp, held by the Al Muluk."

"Well how the fuck do we get outta here?" Eggs said, raising his voice.

"Calm down, Sergeant. Remember your training," Dallas scolded.

"How can you be calm? We could die in this shite-hole."

"Just like you could die on any other assignment. This is no different."

"Fuckin-A man," Eggs groaned.

Eggs looked around for any means of escape. He looked at their equipment on the table.

"Rifles are unloaded," Dallas said.


Eggs surveyed his surroundings, looking at the cold concrete floor. A mix of blood and dirty water pooled at the centre, and a pitiful excuse for a bed sat in the corner of the room. He stood up, the chair bound to his back. He shambled to the table of gear and looked at the collection of items, surveying his pile of gear. He scooted the chair against the table and reached for his jacket, grabbing the collar and pulling it close.

As he dragged the jacket across the floor, a small, silver object fell out.

"What's that?" Dallas asked.

"Before he keeled over and died, my Pa gave me this: A 100 'ence coin from sometime in the 1890s ah think," Eggs said as he dragged the tan jacket through the pool of water, "You see that?" Eggs said, excitedly.

"I see a wet jacket," Dallas responded.

"That's our ticket outta here, Roach," Eggs said a brief smile flashing across his face.

"Well first you've got to untie yourself," Dallas said.

"Didn't they teach you muppets anything in Delta?" Eggs said cheekily as he began rocking back and forth in his chair

Eggs forced the leg of the chair to flex, loosening the knots as he rocked the chair forwards and backwards. After several moments, he freed his right hand, and then his left. Dallas began to copy his motions and together they freed themselves from their bonds.

"Good job, kid," Dallas said patting Eggs on the shoulder.

"Good thing I was 'ere to save your sorry ass," Eggs chuckled.

Eggs stood up and stretched, stumbling over to the table. He fumbled and held himself up on the table.

"You broken?" Dallas said.

"Nah. Iron deficiency," Eggs said, rubbing his eyes with his hands.

He shook his head and focused on the table, grabbing his helmet and pistol sidearm, double-checking the magazine even though he knew it was empty. He slipped it into his holster and put his helmet on his head, clipping the straps together. Eggs scooped the jacket off of the floor, throwing it onto his shoulder.

Dallas grabbed his helmet, balaclava, and vest, pulling the balaclava over his thin, brown beard.

Eggs stared at Dallas' icy-blue eyes, and they stared right through him. Eggs shivered to himself and turned away, pulling the vest over his head.

"You look like shit, mate," Eggs said, quietly chuckling.

"Check yourself. You look like you've been in the shit," Dallas said, adjusting the straps on his light vest.

Eggs turned towards a cracked mirror that loosely hung on the cold, eroded wall. He stepped towards it, glancing at himself.

His once neatly combed blonde hair was now muddled and dirty. Grains of sand stuck to the strands of hair as he attempted to comb it out, noticing that his hair was slightly damp. He inched forward, checking the bruise that had formed next to his eye when he felt something hit his foot. He looked down, spotting his pair of Aviators resting in a small puddle of water.

He picked them up and shook them off, a few drops of water flying off as he turned to Dallas, "You ready to get the fuck outta here, Roach?"

"More than you know."

Eggs shifted away and kneeled next to his chair. He pulled on the leg and groaned, breaking it off of the chair. He crossed the room and knelt down on the floor, angling the leg against the metal bar as a lever and knotted the jacket around a pair of bars. He grunted as he tightened the knots and the metal bars bent. Dallas kneeled down and tightened the knots, pulling the bars further apart.

"Ladies first," Eggs said, motioning Dallas towards the opening in the bars with a smile.

"If you insist," Dallas said, poking his head through the bars and looking down the hallway, checking for guards.

He gingerly stepped through and motioned Eggs to follow him. The pair stepped into the hallway and Dallas slinked against the far wall, running along with his back against the cold, weathered stone. Eggs followed close behind, and the two came to a bend in the hallway. The bright sunlight shone through the grates in the roof and it slapped against Eggs' skin.

Dallas stopped, peaking around the corner. He crawled back and leaned closer to Eggs.

"Two Charlies blocking the exit. You see them?"

Eggs knelt and crawled to the corner, poking his head out, the rough gravel on the floor scratched his knee.

He saw two guards blocking a large metal door, one sitting in a metal fold-out chair and the other leaning against the wall next to him. They wore tan balaclavas and threadbare scarves, with light vests and AKM assault rifles. They spoke in what Eggs knew now was Kurdish, and they laughed together.

Eggs slunk back around the corner, "What do we do?"

"We could lure one away, and take him out."

"Yeah. What if you shout something in that Kurdish gibberish?"

Dallas stared at him for a moment, "Sure."

Dallas motioned Eggs back to the cell, "Stay here, I'll call one of them over and you take them out non-lethally."

"Yeah, yeah," Eggs said, stepping through the gap in the bars.

Eggs turned and saw Dallas step in behind him. He pushed his back against the wall and shouted in Kurdish.

Eggs heard shouting down the corridor and a set of footsteps approaching and Dallas patted Eggs on the shoulder as he motioned towards the gap in the bars.

One of the guards jumped through the gap in the bars, and Eggs grabbed the mesh of his vest, pulling him close. He forcefully grasped the AKM assault rifle and dropped it to the floor. Dallas kicked it back as Eggs punched the man in the face and bashed his head against a metal bar. The man's body slumped to the ground, unconscious.

"Good job, kid."

"Not too bad yourself, Roach."

"Come on, let's go deal with the other muppet," Eggs said, hopping through the gap and rushing down the corridor, pressing his back against the wall as he moved.

Eggs heard the man shout in Kurdish. His voice sounded afraid, and Eggs smiled.

Dallas stopped behind him and Eggs turned his head to him, "What's he sayin'?"

"He's saying if his mate doesn't respond in ten seconds he's going to call for his buddies," Dallas said calmy.

"Let's get this fucker now," Eggs said impatiently.

"Follow me," Dallas said, holding the AKM in his hands.

Dallas rushed out, sprinting towards the man. The insurgent jumped in alarm, reaching for his rifle as he shouted. Dallas paused and threw the butt of the AKM rifle at the man's face, pounding against his face and falling to the floor. Eggs ran past Dallas and reached the man, grabbing his rifle and hitting him in the face with the butt of the rifle.

The man fell to the floor, collapsing against the chair and falling over onto the rough gravel.

"Good," Dallas said, moving to the large metal door.

Eggs stepped next to Dallas, holding the AKM rifle in his hands.

"Congratulations, Sergeant. You came closer to beating my time than I expected," Dallas said, turning to Eggs.

Eggs looked at him for a moment, puzzled, "What?"

Dallas shook his head and opened the door, and Eggs was immediately blinded by bright, stark lights.

"Good job, Eggs," Hollender called out.

"Colonel?" Eggs said.

Dallas stepped past him and moved to Hollender, who was standing behind several fold-out tables with boxy monitors and blinking cables crisscrossing over each other.

As Eggs' vision adjusted, he saw the clean, white walls and several of his squadmates standing in front of him; Hollender, Stone, Ding, Iris, Adler, and a few of the other new recruits.

Hollender stepped around the table, "Simulation 3-B complete, and you almost beat Dallas' record," Hollender chuckled.

"You're giving him too much credit, but it was impressive," Dallas admitted.

"What the fuck," Eggs said.

Ding chortled, "It was a training exercise, Eggsy."

"Fuckin-A, mate," Eggs said, moving to a brown couch and dropping down into the seat, defeated.

"Get some good rest, Eggs. We've got a mission in a couple weeks," Hollender said, handing Eggs a bottle of water.

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