It was said some Millennium ago; that love and hate; are just two sides to the same coin. This was also said about life and death.
Jack was almost ready. It was his first assignment to terminate someone since he had left the service as a Staff Sergeant, E-6. The last time he had killed anybody was in Iraq, eight years ago when he was twenty-one. He was part of a group of six, special black ops marines, who were assigned to take out a several Iraqi civilian combatants. The Major wanted to make an example of the civilians who had killed four marines in a Hummer with a roadside bomb.
The group of marines had been told by an Iraqi informant that the civilians would be home on Friday night, one week after the bombing. With as little gear as possible, including knives, and handguns with illegal silencers, they crept into the house and snuffed out the lives of seven civilians, one of them being an eighteen-year-old girl.
Jack didn’t want to kill her, however she woke up in the middle of everything and he really had no choice. A three-year-old-girl also woke up. Her eyes were as big as fifty-cent pieces. The way she hid in the corner holding her little brother, Jack knew she would make no sound. The poor baby was scared half to death, and after all, who could blame her?
He recalled the first time he had killed someone. It was the father of his fourteen-year-old girlfriend, Ellie Andersen. Jack had found out that her father, who was a widower, had been fucking Ellie since she was seven.
She could stand it no longer and went to her auntie’s house to get away from her dad. When Jack found out what Andersen had been doing to his daughter, he planed her dad’s murder for three weeks. It came off without a hitch and nobody including Ellie ever suspected that Jack had killed him.
Jack and Ellie went together all through high school, however when he graduated, he joined the Marine Corps and requested duty in Iraq.
When the job was done, they left as quickly as they came. Jack and the other marines received the NAVY cross for their involvement in the action. He never talked about his metals or how he earned them. He was proud to be a Marine, however not one hundred per cent pleased at some of the things he was required to do.
It was due to this and other assignments that the Marines involved were sent to The Aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Regan, that was moored just off the southeast corner of the island of Cyprus, in the Mediterranean Sea. They spent five days there being interviewed by what looked to be non-military personnel.
The first three days were hell, as they were asked hundreds of questions. They wanted to know if the individuals had any homosexual feelings; did they believe in god? Did they smoke; drink alcohol or take drugs? Then there were the multiple-choice questions. Questions that Jack never thought he would ever be asked by anyone.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, did he prefer vaginal sex over oral sex, or the other way around?”
“On a scale of 1 to 10, did he believe a man who accepted oral sex from another man was homosexual?”
“As a young boy, was he ever in the position of masturbating another male?”
Jack answered all of the questions and left with a headache every day. Day four however, was different. It was an oral interview by three of the civilians and one Navy Commander. They strapped a belt across his chest, and then attached sensors to his fingers. Jack had seen a lie detector before, however never thought he would have to wear one. The interview began right after breakfast at seven in the morning, continued to mid-day mess, (or lunch) then after lunch until three o’clock. One of the questions was,
“Do you feel you could kill someone, if there was a good reason?” Jack answered a simple, “YES!”
That was Friday and after dinner, they all joined on the storage area of the flight deck to watch movies. The movie was Braveheart staring Mel Gibson. Jack enjoyed the movie then retired and hit the sack. The next morning he was told that all the others had departed the ship the day before. He was scheduled for one last interview. The person who was to do the interview was a CIA field officer. It came down to one question. Would you like to come to work for the CIA?
When Jack asked as to what his duties would be, he was told that he would go for training at Langley Virginia, and then he would receive assignments according to his talents and memory skills. Jack’s father had always told him that he should accept any job similar to that, of what he was being offered.
“If I were to turn down the assignment … what would happen?”
“You will be back in Baghdad for breakfast.”
“How much time do I have to think about it?”
“Ten seconds … nine … eight …”
“I’ll take it,” said Jack.
“Fine, be ready with all your gear by the aircraft elevator, on the flight deck at sunrise.”
The man got up and walked out of the room. Jack went to dinner and sat down next to a Chief Petty Officer. The chief began to ask him questions, about his interviews and what had been offered. Were they CIA, FBI or National Security? The Chief sounded like he knew what was going on and was privy to some of the information. Jack told him they had been looking for Marines for security on the Aircraft Carrier. The Chief said, “OH,” and continued eating. Just before Jack departed the table the Chief said,
“Well if you decide to accept their offer, the duty is better than Baghdad, and the food is great. We have quite a group of good looking women onboard also, and there are no regs, regarding dating them.”
“How many personnel are on board?”
“Just over six thousand,” said the Chief.
Jack wondered how the chief knew he had been on duty in Baghdad, as he had never told anyone. Maybe it was just a good guess. He left the mess area at eight o’clock, and went back to the stateroom he had shared with Sgt. David White, one of his Marine buddies who had come with him. Jack was having a difficult time falling asleep. He had left a wake up call for four forty five in the morning. It was now nine, ten and he was tired, but couldn’t sleep.
Almost imperceptibly a light knock sounded on the gray steel, watertight door. When he asked who it was, there was no answer. Someone probably wanted to give him some further instructions, so he opened it. A very good-looking, sexy young girl in a NAVEL uniform stepped into his room without his permission.
“Hi … I’m Ensign Darla Jamison and my girlfriend told me you had been in Baghdad for almost a year, without female companionship.
I thought maybe you would like to talk … or … play a few games, or something.”
Now Jack was wondering how the Ensign’s girlfriend had known he had been in Baghdad for almost a year, without female companionship. The Ensign was also wearing an engagement ring. Was she a slut or what he wondered?
“I’m sorry Miss. Jamison … but …”
“Ensign Jamison,” she retorted.
“Yes … I’m sorry Ensign, but I have to get up early … so thank you and goodnight.”
“But,” she said in a little girl voice, “I wanted to stay with you, at least for a while.” Then she whispered, “I’m a little horny.”
“Well thank you Ensign, but there at least three thousand male sailors on this ship, and many of them would be happy to handle you problem. As I said, goodnight … Ensign.”
She flashed her eyes, pulled her skirt up to her panty line and said,
“You don’t know what you will be missing Jack. One more chance?”
Jack faked a yawn, causing her to yawn also, and again said,
As she started to say something else, he closed the door with a loud bang, and locked it. Jack heard her as she walked away from the door down the passageway, swearing. He got into the bunk and started to go to sleep, thinking maybe everything she said was true and maybe he should have fucked her. He hadn’t been with a girl for quite a while. Too late now he thought and fell asleep.
At four forty five, the electric alarm clock began to buzz and the inner ship phone rang in his quarters.
“This is your wake up call Staff Sergeant.”
Before Jack could say thank you, the disembodied voice hung up. Jack got out of the bunk and took a saltwater shower. He felt good and got dressed, then went to the mess for a cup of coffee and a sweet roll. He was on the flight deck as the black Mediterranean sky began to turn a light blue. The deck opened suddenly and an Attack Fighter Super Hornet appeared.
The rising sun reflected off its sleek aluminum body and canopy. A pilot who looked to be around twenty, climbed the latter to the cockpit as the canopy opened. He and a deckhand in a brown shirt, the plane boss, checked on the aircraft making sure it was ready for flight. He signed off on the aircraft, for the aviator inside. The young man then climbed down the latter and removed it from the side of the aircraft. A small tow machine that looked like a “John Deer” was hooked, by a yellow shirt under the front of the massive jet and towed it to the catapult. It only took less than a minute, until “thumbs up” and the aircraft was launched off the front of the deck.
Jack stood back as the personnel in different colored shirts, were busy launching and trapping, the F/A-18E single seater Super Hornet.
As this was very dangerous work, nobody was smiling. The pilots who were all young stared straight ahead and gave the launch commander a thumbs up when he or she was ready for the catapult launch cable to toss the aircraft into the blackness of the night.
As the sun began breaking in the east, a hand grabbed Jack by the shoulder. It was the civilian individual who told him to meet him there.
“That one is ours over there,”
He said while pointing to a twin engine, Learjet 60, passenger jet with no markings except for the number 76 on the tail. Jack didn’t know it could be launched off of an aircraft carrier. As they boarded, he saw that there were passenger seats for eight people. They all took seats and buckled their safety harnesses.
As Jack looked around, he saw Ensign Jamison and the Chief Petty Officer with whom he had evening mess. Apparently they were all CIA as the Chief was wearing a class “B” green Marine uniform, with Major officer insignia on the shoulders. The Ensign was in plane clothing. Suddenly the aircraft went from zero to a hundred and forty mph, dropped toward the ocean, and then gained altitude. A forty-degree left bank was activated and the airplane began its northbound trip toward Europe.