Somewhere in modern day Afghanistan, a lone Chinook helicopter belonging to the U.S. Army flew over the barren desert plain below it. Unlike the usual harsh weather patterns that occur in this particular area of Afghanistan, the Chinook was not in danger of being buffed by the strong winds that often cause sand storms, a very dangerous event that could cause a helicopter to jam and crash. It was good fortune that the weather was calm, as the passengers of the Chinook, a mixture of twenty Army Rangers and a few Navy SEALs, were definitely in no mood for further hardships at the moment after a solid week of heavy fighting against the Taliban and their Al Qaeda foes.
A slight bit of turbulence hit the Chinook causing one of the Rangers on board the helicopter, Lieutenant David J. Drake, a twenty-five year old Caucasian with black hair to let out a silent groan and slowly open his eyes to the rough metal innards of the Chinook's. As he awoke, his M4 rifle bumped against the armor platting of his vest causing a fellow Ranger to look at David from a seat across from him, but the man quickly looked back down at the floor somberly as if he could stare right through it. Drake had fallen asleep in his seat, which was understandable since the last few days he and his squad did not have the luxury to find a quiet moment to rest.
If only we had been faster, Drake thought bitterly to himself as he glanced down at the four blanket covered bodies that lay on stretchers in the middle portion of the Chinook's cargo bay between the two rows of seats on the left and right sides of the area.
David's unit, part of the Army's 1st Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, had been ordered to be inserted by Chinook into the Shahikot Valley area of Afghanistan in order to locate and extract a four man team of Navy SEALs, members of the highly trained Neptune unit. The SEALs had been left behind on Takur Ghar Mountain following a failed extract attempt, which resulted in two of team becoming stranded on the mountain swarming with hostile forces. Against orders, the remaining two Neptune members ordered their ride to reinsert themselves back into Takur Ghar, but contact was soon lost with them too.
The C.O. in charge of the ground operations in the Shahikot Valley decided to ignore the orders of his superior in Washington D.C. and sent in the Rangers in the hope of bringing the SEALs back home alive. Unfortunately, the Chinook that had been transporting David and the other Rangers to Takur Ghar Mountain was hit by an RPG and was forced to crash land there. The Taliban fighters, more specifically Chechen insurgents, were not about to let the Rangers fly unhampered over their mountain, as they had been using it for a field base and storehouse for munitions and weaponry.
After an hour of heavy fighting between the Rangers and the insurgents, David and a fellow squad mate, a Sergeant named Bill Patterson, were able to link up with two of Neptune team members. The four then fought their way through the insurgent forces and found one of their storage caves in which the other two SEALs had been held as captives.
Another Chinook arrived to pick up the Rangers and the SEALs, but sadly the costs of the operation were high as three of David's fellow Rangers were killed in action. Neptune also lost one of its members, one of the SEALs who had been captured. The SEAL had been part of the group who went against their orders to return to base and reinserted themselves back onto Takur Ghar. It was a miracle the man had lived as long as he did, since the SEAL suffered numerous wounds over the course of that long terrible day.
No victory without sacrifice, Drake thought bitterly to himself as he glanced around at the tired and remorseful looking faces of the soldiers around him. These men did not deserve to die. They had all been good people, far from perfect, but still good nonetheless.
War is truly a traumatizing event. It can bring out both the worst and best qualities of the human race. If there is anything being a soldier teaches you, the job reveals just what kind of person you are when pushed to the limit. David and his fellow soldiers had been pushed hard, but they did not break and performed admirably in the face of such overwhelming odds. However, even at your best, it is likely that there will be some losses along the way.
David's eyes lingered over one particular body. It should have been me…I was supposed to be where he got shot…his death is my fault, he thought while shutting his eyes again.
Suddenly, one of the crewmembers of the Chinook came into the cargo bay and shouted, "Look alive Rangers! We're…"
A slight harrumph interrupted the crewmember and he glanced for a moment to the three scruffy looking Neptune SEALs.
"Erh…Rangers and SEALs…We're home…get ready to disembark!" The man then headed towards the back of the bay and took a standing position by the large ramp there.
The once quiet Cargo bay was filled with the sounds of the soldiers shifting in their seats trying to work out the stiff kinks in their muscles. Some toyed a little with their M4s, trying to work the sand and dust out of them. One Ranger even slapped one of his fellows awake. This would've normally resulted in a comedic moment, but given the present somber circumstances, no one laughed or said anything.
The Chinook soon landed at the U.S. Army base nicknamed "The Eagle" and David tiredly stood up from his seat. The others including the three Neptune team members rose up from their respective seats as well.
As the crewmember pressed the button to lower the loading ramp at the back, David took up a position at the side of a nearby body, as did three others. They then lifted the stretcher up and waited for the ramp to fully come down. Other Rangers did the same for the two other stretchers, but the one containing the slain SEAL was given the honor of being exclusively carried by his fellow Neptune team members.
Once, the ramp hit the sand covered pavement, David and the other three stretcher-bearers began to walk towards and then down the ramp. The blinding glare of light from the sun assaulted their eyes and the desert environment heat hit them once they exited the Chinook and stepped off the ramp onto the dirty concrete ground of the helipad.
It took a moment for their eyes to adjust and to blink the sweat away that was streaming down from the helmet-covered heads, before they saw the large number of Army personal, mainly medical ones, who were waiting near the helipad. Some of their welcoming party rushed forward and offered to take the burden of the bodies from the returning soldiers, but they all refused. The small contingent of Rangers and SEALs then continued in a slow march towards a nearby hanger that had been turned into a field hospital. Once they arrived there, David and the other stretcher-bearers laid their stretchers gently onto the ground in front of the hanger's doorway.
Having completed this task, the Rangers and the three SEALs then assembled into a tight presentation formation as they saw their C.O., Army General John Hackett, and other superior officers walking towards them through the organized mobs of medical personal.
Everyone, including the medical personal, stood at attention and saluted with their right hands the General and his staff. General Hackett stopped before them as did his staff and he looked over the Rangers and the SEALs before returning their salute with his right hand.
"At ease men!' General Hackett's rough sounding voice said after dropping his salute.
The Rangers, the SEALs, and the medical personal did so and General Hackett continued saying, "I am proud of what you have done today. Your performance out there in the face of such opposition was magnificent."
The General paused here and looked towards where the four bodies lay and a remorseful expression appeared on his face as he turned his gaze back to the soldiers assembled in front of him.
"However, we lost some good men today... We shall all regret their absence…but rest assured their sacrifice…will not have been in vein!" The General resolutely said before turning and offering a salute to the four blanket covered bodies of the Rangers and the SEAL.
All present turned and did the same. This lasted for about a minute before the General spoke again saying, "There will be no further missions for this unit for now… you will need the rest! The fight still continues on even as I speak… dismissed!"
There was another round of salutes to the General and his staff again from everyone present, but then the Rangers began to disperse into the camp heading towards the large tents designated for their regiment. The medical personal just shook their heads and then they began to head into the nearby hanger.
The General and his staff began to head off as well, but stopped by David and General Hackett said, "I expect you to write a good report for this one Lieutenant, but get some rest first, you need it!"
David quickly saluted again while saying, "Sir, yes sir!" The General returned the salute and then walked off with his staff in tow.
David let out a long breath and then watched his departing men and was about to leave too, when a firm hand came upon his right shoulder. The Ranger turned his head and saw that it was one of the Neptune SEALs who had stopped him from leaving. David also saw that SEALs' two companions were standing nearby looking at him as well.
The SEAL was a bear of a man; he made even six feet tall David look like a smaller person. The Special Forces soldier's appearance was also quite more rugged looking than his, especially considering he had a beard unlike the men in David's unit.
"I just wanted to say thanks for coming and saving our butts from that mess earlier on that mountain. If you boys hadn't shown up…we'd probably all be six feet under right now…" The SEAL said with a deep, but warm sounding voice.
David just nodded saying in a serious sounding tone, "It's no problem, we don't leave anyone behind in this army."
The SEAL nodded and then took David's right hand into his own and shook it hard. The strength in that hand nearly caught the Ranger by surprise. It almost felt like the SEALs' handshake could tear one's arm off.
"I can't tell you my name, but they call me "Mother." What is yours Ranger?" The SEAL said after releasing David's hand from his grip.
" My name is David sir, Lieutenant David J. Drake is usually how I go by now these days." David responded with a slight smile on his face.
Mother laughed for a second as did the other two SEALs before saying, "Drake huh? That is an interesting last name Lieutenant!"
"Yeah, you related to Sir Francis Drake or something?" One of the other SEALs asked.
David chuckled and shook his head before responding, "Nah, I don't think I am. The name comes from my mother's side of the family, but they had something longer and foreign sounding like Drakovich…I think."
Mother cocked an eyebrow at David and said, "Drakovich? Hah, good thing your mom went with Drake over that one."
"Yeah…" David said as a distant and tired looking look came upon his face.
Mother noticed the look and stepped back from the Ranger. "Well, I think I've bugged you enough. You look like you're about to topple over," said Mother.
Mother then walked over to his two fellow SEALs who nodded another thanks to David. Mother did turn for a moment and said, "We owe you one Ranger, if you ever find yourself in deep crap like we were in, give us call okay?"
David smiled and nodded his head once saying, "Sure, I just hope that day never comes!"
Mother laughed again, but then turned back and the three SEALs soon disappeared between the hanger and a nearby building for munitions storage.
David stared for a moment at where the SEALs had gone before he looked down at his own dirt-covered body. "I better go and clean up…I look like Hell…just a quick shower, grab a bite to eat, and then hit the sack!" David said talking to himself.
An hour later with the sun nearing the horizon about to set, David emerged from his units' barracks, though more correctly it was a large tent, cleaned up and wearing a dirt free uniform. He had taken off the heavy body armor, gear, M4, and helmet and was now just wearing his desert camouflaged uniform with a cap and his military issued boots. He did carry a 9mm M9 pistol in a holster on his right hip though.
Time to get some chow before I pass out, the Ranger thought before making his way to a larger tent set aside for a mess hall. David lifted the flap and entered the tent. Inside, he saw a least a dozen tables set up in a long line with benches for sitting. David noticed some soldiers eating at these tables. Except for one man, they were all Rangers from David's unit.
David was greeted by each soldier present, but his attention turned on several TVs placed on carts were nearby the tables and they had what appeared to be new programs playing on them. David glanced at these, but soon grew bored as the newscasters were talking about the weather in Florida or the score for some random sport game.
The absent minded Ranger was about to make his way over to a nearby counter to get some food when suddenly one of the other soldiers shouted, "Holy mother of God! Are you guys seeing this or am I losing my mind?"
Another familiar voice, Sergeant Patterson's responded, "Yeah, I'm seeing it too…Jesus…"
David turned back and came to the table where his men were sitting looking at the TVs with expressions of horror and asked Patterson, "What the heck is going on Patterson?"
"Look for yourself Lieutenant…"
David turned his gaze onto the TVs, which, now instead of showing reports about weather and sports, were now interrupted by breaking news reports of a tragedy in France. David's own eyes widen in shock when he read a caption saying how Paris was attacked by what appears to be a dragon.
"What in the hell is going on?" David asked to no one in particular. "A dragon? They don't exist…must be…Al Qaeda…or some terrorists!"
"Turn up the volume!" Someone shouted, causing one Ranger to run and turn up the volumes on each TV.
The tent was soon filled with newscasters voices describing how just shortly ago, the city of Paris found itself under attack by a gigantic Red Dragon that had appeared from out of nowhere and began to destroy and kill indiscriminately.
Patterson shook his head several times before asking, "Hey David, isn't your parents and your fiancée in Paris right now?"
A flood of memories swarmed David's mind as he finally recalled that he and his unit had been scheduled for leave. He was supposed to have taken a flight to Germany and then caught another one to meet up with his parents and his fiancée in Paris. It was going to be a major event. David had been planning on proposing to his first and only love of several, Sonia Dragomir, in the city know for not only its lights, but also for inspiring love.
Sonia…Mom…Dad…, the thoughts of what may have happened to them filled David with absolute dread.
The faces of the newscasters soon disappeared as the channels began playing video recordings of the Red Dragon attacking helpless people. Some were taken from news cameras, but many were from cell phone cameras.
One particular clip that began playing caught David's attention. It showed a man and two women exiting a car that the Red Dragon then crushed beneath a large four-fingered clawed hand.
It felt like a fist had shoved itself into David's stomach as he recognized instantly who these three people were, his parents and the love of his life. His father looked similar to David in appearance while his mother was lithe woman with blonde hair. Sonia on the other hand, was a very beautiful looking young woman with a lithe figure and golden brown colored hair that sparkled in the sun and moonlight.
The video continued and David watched helplessly as the Red beast roared at those he loved before taking a deep breath. He saw his father shove Sonia away from them towards a nearby street corner as he and David's mother were engulfed in flames that shot out from the Red Dragon's mouth.
"No! No! Please God no!" David screamed in mixture of both rage and horror.
After a few moments, the Red's flames stopped and where his parents had stood, there was nothing but ash. The Red appeared to actually laugh at this before turning its attention to the street corner where David's father had shoved Sonia. The dragon spotted her and began to close in on her with a hungry looking expression on his draconic features.
"You bastard…" David said as he began to lose control of himself due to the rage. He would've rushed and slammed a fist into the TV playing this clip, but was suddenly restrained by several of his fellow Rangers, including Sergeant Patterson.
Before David could see whatever fate was to befall his lover, the video ended and another began playing showing the Red Dragon being attacked by soldiers and tanks from the French military.
David's struggles in the grasp of his fellow Rangers soon began to give out as his rage had burned out the remaining reserves of energy left after days of combat in the harsh environments found in the Afghan desert and its mountains.
The exhausted Ranger began to lose consciousness as the combination of the lack of sleep and the excursions of the past few days caught up to him. His last thoughts before he passed out amongst his comrades were of his slain parents and the love of his life.
I will kill that dragon, this thought appeared as David lost his hold on reality and fell into the darkness of sleep.
David groaned and opened his eyes and saw blackness surrounded him. "What the…where…" He said as he saw how he was floating in this blackness, but was somehow on something that felt like solid ground.
The extremely confused Ranger slowly stood up, but as soon as he did, the sound gunfire, explosions and men screaming in anger or pain assaulted David's ears. David quickly covered his ears in a futile effort to block out the sounds of warfare, but it did not stop at the all the terrible noises.
He saw something move to his left and David instinctively reached for his side arm. However, there was no weapon in his side holster. Suddenly, the figure of a man appeared out of the nowhere like a ghost and slammed the butt of an Ak-47 into David's face. The blow was hard and knocked the Ranger down onto his back on the black ground.
Though his mind was rattled, David looked up at the man who had attacked him. The man was a Chechen insurgent and was dressed in fatigued clothing with body armor on top of that. The man stared down with hatred in his eyes at David and aimed the AK-47 at David' head.
"Le Ho…del mostagi!" The insurgent viciously said in his native language to the stunned David as he readied to fire his weapon.
As the insurgent was pressing down on the trigger, another gunshot rang out and a part of man's face near the nose exploded in a shower of blood. The man began to topple backwards, but as he fell, his body began to dissolve back into the darkness. David watched this happen with an amazed expression on his face.
Once the insurgent fully disappeared back into the darkness from which he had appeared a heavily accented voice calmly spoke, "So, this is how far war has changed, impressive."
David saw another figure appear from the darkness and his heart nearly stopped. It was a medieval era knight wearing a fully body armor and helmet with a helm and a visor covering his face. The knight also had a flowing cape that ran from his shoulders down to the back of his knees. The knight walked right up to David and stopped before him.
"That must have been a memory of great significance to you. I wonder if you have others…but another time for such things!" The knight said and then reached down with his right gauntlet covered hand, with little effort pulled David to his feet.
Using his left hand, the knight lifted his visor revealing a man of roughly 25 years with brown eyes and brown hair.
"I do not have much time, all I can tell is this, beware the Black Dragon David!" The knight said in a hurried sounding voice.
David looked confused and said, "A Black Dragon? It's a bloody Red Dragon who just took everything from me!"
The knight firmly shook his head and said, "Forget the Red, it is the Black you must destroy! You must not let that lizard's prophecy come to pass! You must not let her win! You are a Drakovich!"
With that said, the knight began to dissolve as the insurgent had earlier, but before he completely disappeared, the man said, "The Shadow of Fire must not come to pass…or humanity is lost!"
David just stared at the spot the knight had just been. His mind was having a very hard time at trying to make sense of everything that was going on in this strange place. However, his thoughts were soon interrupted when a deep and harsh feminine voice said, "That fool Ion. Thinks he can change what is fated! Hah!"
David eyes shoot open again as the massive figure of what appeared to be a Black Dragon materialized in front of him. The dragon was huge and, but most frightening was the appearance of its face. It looked like skull with two bull-like horns coming off the sides. A large frill began at back of the Black Dragon's head and ended at the base of its neck. Acid dripped from its mouth, a mouth filled with sharp teeth, and its two red glowing slit eyes centered right on David.
The Black Dragon began to rumble with what sounded like laughter to the small human before it and then said, "There is no escaping it you little morsel! The Shadow of Fire will come to pass…my descendant will claim you…"
David felt rooted to the spot, but managed to stutter out, "Claim…me?"
The dragon actually smiled at that and mockingly said, "You will see…now then…time for you to wake up!" Before David could react, the wings of the dragon spread wide and its head came down right at the Ranger with her mouth wide open. David barely had time to scream as the mouth closed right on him.
"Ahhhhhh!" David sat up from his bunk with a loud shout, nearly hitting his head on the shelf above him. He finally stopped yelling for a moment after his sense came to him and he noticed that he was back in his bunk in the unit's sleeping quarters and not being eaten by a giant Black Dragon.
"Had a nightmare soldier? Flashbacks to your recent time in combat I assume?" An emotionless sounding male voice stated from David's left.
David took several deep breaths to regain fully his senses and turned his slowly to the left and saw an older looking man sitting comfortably on a metal chair holding a briefcase over his lap. The man was completely bald and wore a black suit with a red colored tie down his white under shirt and had a nice pair of business shoes. Frankly, the man looked like a character from the movie "Men In Black." He was even wearing a pair of black sunglasses that hide his eyes.
David and this suit-wearing stranger stared each other down for a while, though this man wore sunglasses, David chilling felt that this stranger was staring into his soul.
After several minutes the suited man smiled slightly at David and said, "You did not lower your gaze soldier, might be hope for you in our organization after all…"
"What the hell are you talking about? Organization? Who the hell are you and why are you in my quarters? Civilians are not allowed on this base!" David said while he threw his blanket off him and stoop up from his bunk. He absently noticed that someone had removed the cloths he had been wearing before and now had on his military issued sleeping clothing.
The older man did not even flinch at David's threatening tone and calmly reached into a breast pocket on his suit and proceeded to pull out what looked to be some sort of government issued wallet. The stranger flipped the wallet open reveal a badge and an identification card underneath it.
The badge was not one David had ever seen before, it had the symbol of a dragon on it with a medieval sword running through the middle of it in a vertical fashion. There was a small Latin looking engraving underneath the dragon that read, Virtute et Sanguine, which meant with virtue and blood. David shifted his gaze down to the identification card beneath it and read out loud, "Agent Lawrence Sampson, Draconic Investigation Committee, sub branch of the U.S. Department of Defense…"
The now extremely confused Ranger lieutenant looked up from the badge and looked straight into Agent Sampson's eyes saying, "What in God's name is the freakin Draconic Investigation Committee?"
Agent Sampson chuckled slightly and said, "The organization who is going to save our country from the beasts everyone once thought were merely myths Lieutenant David J. Drake."
"How do you know my name?" David asked while having a bad feeling again about this so-called government agent.
The suited agent made a gesture with his right hand that spoke of all in composing before saying, "We know everything about you Drake, your history, where you are from, who your family is, and how you've handled yourself here as a the leader of highly trained Army Rangers…I have to say I was impressed by this last operation you took part in! Most men would not have not made it back, or would've snapped from the pressure of it all."
Agent Sampson shifted forward in his chair and contemplatively said, "I am here to try and convince you join our little Committee. We need men like you who have proven themselves on the battlefield. Our beloved America faces a threat that could prove catastrophic, but not only is our nation's safety at stake. The entire world faces destruction at the hands…erh…make that the claws of Dragons!"
"Dragons? All I saw was one dragon in that newscast! Don't tell me there's more of them out there?" David said in grave manner.
The older man nodded with a deadly looking expression on his face and then said, "Yes, that Red Dragon in France represents only the beginning of what we believe will be a massive conspiracy headed by these beasts that will seek to establish their tyrannical dominance over mankind!"
"Throughout our history, Dragonkind has always felt they were superior to us "lesser beings," any dragon that appears now will show no mercy to any human encountered. Dragons are mindless bloodthirsty beasts! We must take measures to destroy them before they band together and seek to conquer us!" Agent Sampson said with obvious hatred in his voice.
"And what does this have to with me? I've never fought a dragon before. Until earlier, I still thought they were just stupid fairy tale stuff." David said.
Agent Sampson smiled again and opened the latches on the top of his brief case. He opened it up and pulled out a folder that was filled with papers and handed it to David, who quickly grabbed it from Sampson and looked down at the folder. The folder had that same symbol on it for the Draconic Investigation Committee on its cover.
The agent quickly slammed shut his brief case and relocked the latches while saying, "Everything you need to know about our organization is in that folder Lieutenant Drake. We could use someone like you on our team. Not only are you a competent soldier, you have seen for yourself how vicious these beasts are…they all should be all destroyed!"
He then stood up from his chair and straightened his tie with his free left hand. "A number you can reach me by is in that folder as well. Take your time in making this decision Drake. Once you make your choice…there is no going back." With that Agent Sampson brushed past David heading to a nearby tent flap.
Before Agent Sampson could fully leave through the flap, David shouted at him, "Wait, if that Red Dragon isn't the only dragon out there. Are…are there other types of dragons too?"
Sampson turned back to David with an annoyed look on his face and in a similar tone said, "Yes, there are ten known species of them. Why do you ask?"
Memories of the nightmare came back to David and he shuddered slightly at one in particular before saying, "Is one of those species a Black colored dragon that have faces that look like death itself with bull horns?"
The expression of annoyance on Agent Sampson's face changed to one of curiosity and he then asked, "Yes actually. One of the more dangerous breeds aside from the Reds of these beasts is known as Black Dragons. How did you know this much about them?"
A feeling of impending doom began to creep up onto David, but he managed to keep a calm face and say, "Just a lucky guess..."
Agent Sampson cocked his right eyebrow at David in a manner that spoke of how he did not believe that little hurdle of a response the Ranger had just given him.
However, the Agent just turned back to the exit saying, "Good guess, I must leave now. Make your decision and get back to me as soon as possible!"
With that the mysterious agent disappeared through the flap leaving David alone in his sleeping quarters. The Ranger looked for a while at the exit flap, but then walked back and sat down on his bunk starring down at the Draconic Investigation Committee's folder in his right hand.
"Sir, permission to enter your quarters?" The familiar voice of Sergeant Patterson spoke from outside the tent.
"Permission granted Sergeant. Come on in Bill!" David absentmindedly responded.
Sergeant Patterson quickly walked into David's tent and saluted him with his right hand. David looked up from the folder and returned the salute and looked over Patterson. Bill was wearing the same military clothing David had been wearing the previous night, but had the insignia of his lower rank on the right shoulder of his uniform, while David's had one for his rank of Lieutenant.
"Permission to speak freely sir?" Sergeant Patterson asked.
"Permission granted Bill!"
"Who in the hell was that man who just left here David?" Sergeant Patterson's hostile tone revealed his extreme dislike of Agent Sampson.
David just shook his head and responded saying, "I have no idea, claimed he was an Agent for some secret government organization that I've never heard of until now."
"The Draconic Investigation Committee right? He tried to recruit me for that too while waiting for you to wake up. You gave us all quite a scare passing out like that man!" Patterson said as he sat down in the same chair Agent Sampson had used earlier.
The embarrassing picture of passing out in the grasp of men from his unit made David's face turn slightly red and he angrily said, "Yeah, but how would you have reacted watching everyone you love and hold dear being killed by a freakin dragon just like that?"
Bill lifted his hands up slightly saying, "Calm down man! I understand how you feel! I saw it happen to remember?"
David and Bill were more than just Rangers in the same unit; they had been long time friend previously to joining the military and remained friends even now.
"Sorry Bill, just really stressed out right now. I don't think…I'll ever forget what I saw that Red beast do to my family…" David said in a defeated sounding voice.
Bill shook his head and slapped his friend on the back saying, "I know man, I know. There might just be a chance that Sonia is still alive though!"
"How can you say that when you saw the way the dragon looked at her? He probably devoured her as soon as the damn video cut out!" David responded coldly.
David watched as his friend shrugged and stood back up from the chair and said, "Who knows David, I think it would be better for you to hang onto some hope. Anyways, I just came by to check on you and tell this, whatever you decide to do now. I want you to know that I will join you as well."
Bill then saluted again David and started to head out of the tent, but as he did he quietly said, "But I have a feeling I already know what your decision will be…"
Once his friend left the tent, David's eyes returned to the folder in his hands. He slowly opened it up and began to look over the papers inside and his eyes grew slightly wider with each page he read.
He lost track of time as he looked through the folder, as outside the sun once again began to set, but once he got to the last page David knew that his mind had come to a final decision.
David jumped off his bunk and quickly cleaned and then dressed himself in his uniform and put on his shoes and cap before heading out of the tent. As he exited the tent a pair of fellow Rangers passed by him and offered salutes, but in his haste to leave, David failed to return a salute to them.
The resolved Ranger quickly made his way to another tent set up to house some of the bases satellite phones and computers set up for more leisure moments such as communicating with ones family back home.
As David neared one of the phones and reached out for it with his right hand, the same thought from when he passed out the other day entered his mind.
I will kill that dragon, he and his beastly kind will pay, they will all pay for this, he thought as he began to dial the number given to him by Agent Sampson.