The pressure on my forearm was oppressive. He was dragging me along corridors. I had lost my sense of direction since the second corner and the third armoured door. His breathing was boisterous. With each breath I could feel frustration and stress. The three men who escorted us were unusually quiet. You could only hear the heels slamming against the floor and the muffled voices behind the doors as we passed.
We stopped in front of a steel door. I knew this door was more important than the others by the way he wrapped his hand around my arm.
Like a pianist, he composed the code for the metal door which opened onto a room that looked like a prison cell. I was pushed inside, and the door closed.
16 hours earlier.
The Commander entered a huge room full of men and women sweating under pressure. He felt compressed in his uniform, but his breathing was paradoxically regular. He stamped his feet, and everyone jumped up. He walked to the first desk and laid his palms flat. Behind him, everyone went back to work. The huge screen that stood in front of the commander's office painted the progress of the mission.
"I want an image within a 150km radius around Herat!", ordered the Commander to his team.
"We have four satellites in the area," said a voice.
The captain sat in his chair, placed his microphone over his ears, and pressed the red button.
“Call to Squadrons 344, 256 and 785. A400M loading 4, 5, 6, 7. Equipment of the troops”, he said harshly.
The Commander straightened up in his chair. His throat dried up. His hands were getting sweaty.
"The troops are ready Commander”, said Martin.
The commander put his index finger back on the button.
"Troop gathering!", he ordered.
"Take-off A400M 7," Martin communicated to the troops from his station.
"Take-off A400M 6"
"Take-off A400M 5"
"Take-off A400M 4"
Images of the area scrolled across the screen; the Commander gripped his chair as soon as the first planes entered the area.
Thirty minutes later…
The soldiers went out followed by a young woman. She was struggling to stand on her legs as if all her strength had been drained out of her body.
PART 1 | TO BE CONTINUED…