Lieutenant Colonel Terrance Basson Feb 18, 2013 11:24:06 GMT -9
Post by J.Hollick on Feb 18, 2013 11:24:06 GMT -9
08/04/17 23:36 – Lieutenant Colonel Terrance Basson
Soldiers began to gather in the hall. They chattered amongst themselves in confusion and anticipation; finding their seats one by one they began to look to the front with curious eyes. Wondering why I had called them here.
The room felt cold and the air damp. The walls were covered in various posters advertising resources for the soldiers within the camp, illuminated by overhead fluorescent lights which had just been turned on and were still warming up.
“This is not a military exercise, nor have you been taken by the enemy…” The gaunt man spoke as he paced around the dark room. “…This is the end, Colonel; for you at least, you still have a choice though.”
The soldiers were settled in their seat and the chatter of the room had died down to only whispers. Lower ranking officers tried to make eye contact with me from the sidelines, hoping they would get a glimpse in my eyes as to what was happening; answers for why they hadn’t been informed. In the cold silence they all watched me attentively as I stood without purpose in front of the podium at the end of the hall. I glanced at the clock at the other side of the room.
I felt the color drain from my face as I began to speak.
“As you all know…” I choked and trailed off. “Colonel Freison has been M.I.A for the past month; otherwise he would be here to give this speech…” I trailed off again, this time feeling the weakness in my legs. I leaned forward and braced my weight against the podium, supporting myself with one arm, the other rigid by my side.
“I want to show you something.” The gaunt man spoke calmly as a television was rolled into the room and came to a halt in front of me. “A friend of yours, I think.”
The television was turned on and it showed a man’s face. Bruised, bloodied, exhausted and gagged he was almost unrecognizable. Colonel Freison’s face turned into a face of horror as other screams were heard just off screen. He yelled through the gag in terror and tears began to stream down his face. The camera turned to reveal a woman, a girl and a boy being thrown into a room behind glass. Large men in the room with evil in their eyes approached the three as they huddled in the corner, the mother trying to protect the children. They ripped the children from her arms and slapped her hard across the face. The woman was hauled to her feet, her blouse ripped off roughly. I tried to turn my head away and close my eyes but an unknown presence from behind grabbed my face and forced it forward.
“Watch!” The gaunt man hissed at me. “Watch, or I will cut your eyelids from your face.”
Slowly, reluctantly I opened my eyes as fear filled my mind and hatred grasped at my heart. The atrocities that I witnessed next were not over fast, and are something I dare not to speak aloud or even think of again.
The television remained on for some time after it had all ended, only white noise on the screen and a buzz left in the room. After several moments of silence the television was finally turned off; and the silence was broken.
“A pity…” The gaunt man said without emotion. He took a moment to brush a blemish off of his suit and turned his attention back to me.
“Colonel Freison’s answer was no… Unfortunately, his family paid the price.”
I managed to pull myself back up as my hand shook violently and my stomach curled up into a knot. The soldiers in the room shot whispers back and forth as they watched me with unsure gazes.
“Colonel Freison’s disappearance became an investigation when his family went missing…” I trailed off. “… but you all know that.”
I looked around the room again; the faces had now gone from anxious to grim. They had all thought they knew what was to come now, what I was to say next. Philip Freison, my leader, my mentor, my friend. My current state was now deceivingly becoming clear to them. Bad news was coming, they were all bracing themselves but the bad news I was about to reveal was nowhere near what they were expecting.
I looked down at my wristwatch, a gift from my father after he died. I felt the melancholy sting as I saw the final minutes on something that was so precious to me.
11:54… or 23:54 I thought in my head.
My hands were bound behind my back, my mouth was gagged and a bag hung over my head as two solid men led me down a hall. A door was opened and I could hear the sounds of muffled whimpers as I came inside. A pit began to take place where my gut had been seconds ago.
The bag was ripped off of my head and I saw the gaunt man with a pursed smile upon his face. He stepped to the side and a muffled, gut striking sob was forced from my body as I saw my family tied to chairs in front of me.
They cried and screamed through their gags in fear and their eyes penetrated mine with terror and confusion. My wife, My daughters of thirteen and nine, My son of only seven.
My body convulsed in grief stricken pain and tears of panic ran down my face. I looked to the gaunt man for mercy, but he only walked at a leisurely pace about the room, as though no one else was here. I screamed and cried through the gag, but he walked about the room at his own, slow pace.
Finally, I hung my head in defeat, all hope was abandoned. The occasional sob filled my body and was let out in rivers of tears from my eyes; and then he spoke.
“So, colonel… Do we have a deal?”
I nodded solemnly, and in an instance; the bag was once again over my head and all I could see was blackness.
I took in a deep breath and gripped the piece of metal in my hand tight and a distinctive click was heard. I looked back up to the men with no words of my own left. They waited on edge, as though I had taken far too much of their time. In a sense of the amount of time they had left; I suppose I had. I looked at my father’s watch again.
“I was given a few short words to say, before…” My words carried death in them. I closed my eyes and I could hear the gaunt man’s voice in my head as I repeated him.
“Colonel Freison and his families’ suffering has ended… Yours has just begun.”
I could hear as the lights all died in the base and I opened my eyes to see the darkness. The men began to stand up and take action. I released my hand from the detonator. The room lit up but for one last moment, and then it was over.