"Let Vigilance Be Our Sword" — Third Echelon's motto.

Somewhere in Bosnia, December 2010......

John Marks looked up at the superb mansion of the town's "local" armsdealer Boris Sidorov. The "local" armsdealer had been selling weapons to a Warlord in the Congo, who had killed over 5,000 people last year. The U.S. was basically going to smack this guy over the head, in this case, John was the smacker.

"Remember John," said Stanley Easting, almost wispering over the headset, "no alarms, no run and gun, we need Boris alive." John smiled, still looking up at the Mansion, "Will you stop it, Stan, seriously," said John ", when have I ever Run and Gunned anything." There was silence for a moment, then Stan said "Colombia?"

"Shut up, Stan" said John. John and Stan were both good friends, but they somehow always got into arguments. "Ok, I'm off, keep me updated Stan" said John. "Can do," Stan replied. John started to slowly sneak up the large hill that lead to Mansion. John was carefully taking his time, so that he could have enough energy. He didn't want to be filled up with bullets after all.

John could start the hear the guards, he was very close now. His heartbeat was steady, and he knew what he was doing. When he finally reached the top, he meet up with a wall. He jumped up and grabbed the ledge, pulling himself up. It was pretty dark in the main courtyard, so it would be pretty easy getting in. He jumped down, and took cover behind a wall.

"Ok Stan, I'm in the courtyard, now what?" John asked. John could hear Stan touching the keys of his laptop, and then Stan said ", ok, there's two ways to get in. One, going uptop, throught the doors and windows, or going through a tiny window that leads into the basement."

John thought about it real hard while looking at the gaurds that patrolled the courtyard. He made his descision, "I'm going through the basement, I'll get more cover there, and maybe I can kick off the power." Stan replied, "Roger that."

John then slowly began to move among the plants that occupied the courtyard. The guards were totally unaware of his prescense, so it was easy to get by. Boris had payed alot of money for these guards, since he gotten a tip that 3E was coming for him. Of course, gaurds are useless if they can't find the person.

He started to walk silently through the courtyard, trying hard to avoid the guards. He could see that they were some heavily trained Mercs, but he he didn't know which PMC. It could've been Black Arrow, maybe even Upsilon. John didn't care which, since any Merc would shoot at him on site.

He jumped over a bush row to avoid being seen, and quickly ran to the opening of the basement. It was small, but it was big enough to fit through. He opened the window, and silently wedged himself into it. When he was inside, he closed the window, just before a Merc came walking by.

"I'm in, Stan," said John, walking toward the power supply. The basement was only lit by one light, but it was enough for John to see in. He opened the power supply, and saw for rows of power switches. "Screw this," said John, pulling out his knife. He crouched down, and started to cut the main wire that led through the entire mansion.

When he was done, the basement was now completely black. He quickly flicked his night vision on, and began to walk toward the stair. "I see you got the power off," said Stan ", now your going to need to go to the second floor, this is where Boris is hiding. From the thermal scan, it looks like he's pissing himself."

"Great to know, Stan," said John, silently opening the door. After closing the door, John crouched low on the marble floor on the ground, He could see the lights from the flashlight's of the mercs, and knew they were after him. He got up againist the wall, and started to shimmy across it. "God dammit," said a merc in a room ", just when I was watching soccer."

John stopped, and heard the merc twist the door knob. As soon as the Merc came walking out, John grabbed him, and held his knife toward his throat. "Hello precious," said John, walking into the room ", you mind telling me what company your from, and why Boris is paying you?"

"Aw shit, I didn't think this was going to happen...." said the merc, before John tightened his grip on the merc. "I didn't ask you about what your thinking, tell me what company your from, and why this guy is paying you to guard him."

The Merc gasped, and then started to speak. " Global Security Services. He payed for our services because he wanted some protection from someone else....." John tightened his grip ", who else?" John got his answer in less than a minute, as gunshots were heard outside. "I'll make it easy on you," said John, stangling the Merc until he passed out ", I won't kill you." He walked out of the door, and began to head for the main stairs.

"Can you fuckers move any slower!!!" yelled a Merc, nearly sprinting down the stairs. "I just don't want to get shot, that's all," said another. "Well, to bad, 'cause this is your occupational hazard," said the leader. They opened the two doors, and closed it behind them." John walked out of the darkness, and continued up the stairs through the sound of gunfire.

"John, I do not like how much action over there. It looks like they have a BMP out there." said Stan. "Stop worring Stan, I've done lots of missions like this before, there is nothing going to go wro....." Just then, two men came through the window, shooting at John. He had to roll into another room, and hid next to the door; waiting for the mercs to come in.

"Quick," said the merc in a british accent ", I saw him go this way!" John to out his Five-seveN, and gripped it tightly. He only had one shot to do this, and if fucked up, he was as good as dead. The merc came walking into the room, wearing a black bullet-proof vest over a tan shirt. "Where are you, you little bugger."

When John moved, it was almost like clockwork. He grabbed the merc by the neck, and shot him in the knees.The merc screamed in pain, but John took no notice. He quickly turned toward the other merc, using his as a human shield. The merc was alarmed, and began to shot at John. His human shield worked, and he aimed carefully at the merc's head. He pulled the trigger, and the merc collapsed to the ground.

He threw the other down, and continued to Boris's room. "Ok, all you need to do is head left down the hall," said Stan ", and you'll come to a door on your right." John moved quickly, each step as light as a mouse. He stood next to the door, and heard Stan say "Be careful, look's like our friend has a guard in there."

John took out two "Door Openers", and placed them on the hinges of the door. He then got back next to the door, and pushed the detonator. The door exploded inward, and John went rushing in. The guard had little time to react before John filled him with lead. He fell backwards and made a thud on the floor.

John turned his head, and could see Boris shriviling on the ground in fear. "Please don't kill me.....Please don't kill me," cried Boris. John was amused at the sight of a grown man crying, and said "Get up, I'm not here to kill you." Boris took his hands away from his face. "Really...?" he asked. "Not unless we get our asses moving, yes," replied John. Boris quickly got up, and ran to John. "This is callsign Mike-eight-zero, I need extract, over?" said John over his radio.

He waited a couple seconds for a response, and he finally got one "Mike-eight-zero, this is Valkrie-one. I left the base a minute ago, expect me in about two minutes." John replied ",roger that." John started to relax for a moment, untill he realized something. "The BMP......I forgot about the fucking BMP!!!" he said to himself. He quickly contacted Stan.

"Stan, I've got a big problem," John said, nervously. "I've already heard you screaming," said Stan ", you do know that you still have your laser designator, and that there is a stairwell that leads to the roof?" John thought about what Stan said, grabbed Boris, and headed for the roof. While they were running, John asked ", why the hell are these mercs attacking you?"

Boris shrugged ", you know, the usual. I forgot to give one of my customers there shipment of assualt rifles; and he goes to buy a team of worldwide mercs." "That's not 'the usual'....." said John, quickly opening the roof door.

John quickly ran over to the edge of the mansion's roof, and took a position behind a stone column. The two opposing mercenaries groups were both hammering away at each other. The whole courtyard looked like a warzone. John quickly grabbed for his laser designator, and looked through them. He found the BMP, which was shooting at a group of GSS mercs, and glazed it.

"Roger, we see the target," said a pilot, immediatly. A hellfire missile came flying through the air, and destroyed the tank immediatly. John looked up and saw a Apache flying right over him, and he automaticly knew that the calvary had arrived.

Chapter 1Edit

2000 hours, January 1st, 2011

Above the Caspian Sea

Senior Airman George Gallo had been flying for ten hours straight now. After Senator Busman had landed in Germany, he was immediately assigned for security of the Senator's plane. Boring, he thought; frowning. The only thing he liked about this whole operation was flying his Lockheed Martin F-22. It was smooth, but it was a mean ass bitch. And he loved flying it.

"...and if you look over there, you'll also see an endless sea of water," said Airman Woodson. "Thanks for the tour, Woodson," said Gallo ", now keep your eyes on our objective." "Whatever you say, Gallo," said Woodson. Great, thought Gallo, now I look like an ass. Gallo checked his readings, everything was fine.

Until Woodson said ", hey, I think my electronics are on the fritz." Gallo turned his head, and saw Woodson pointing at his controls through his cockpit window. "That's impossible, check again," said Gallo. "I'm serious, it's...acting....strange......" "This is Flight 219, Captain Soma, Mr. Busman's pilot; I'm experiencing some technical difficulities. Are we experiencing sun flare activity?" said a voice over the intercom.

"I don't know, sir," said Gallo ", I'll have to check." Gallo flicked off his radio, but he looked down at his controls, they were black. "Shit......" said Gallo. The jet began to stall, and it started an downward descent into the Caspian. Alarms powered by the emergency power were going off, but Gallo was just trying to figure out how to save his skin.

"Come on, god dammit!!!!!" yelled Gallo, while hitting the controls. Nothing was working, absolutely nothing. Even though he was falling a foot per second, Gallo took the time to think. He ran through the imaginary storage room of his mind, trying desperatly to find a way to save himself. Think, think, think, think, think, yes, yes, "Yes!!!!" he yelled aloud.

He tried to move his hand down to the side of his chair, but the force of the fall was slowing his movement. C'mon, c'mon, thought Gallo, sweating has he forced his hand down. He finally got to the side of his chair, and pulled the lever. The cockpit's glass flew up into the air, and Gallo's chair rocketed out. Through his thought's, Gallo thought he was screaming.

2030 hours, January 1st, 2011

Kabul Airforce Base, Afganistan

Captain Kyle Reggy sat at his computer, watching the flight traffic over Kabul. He had just sent two A-10's on a bombing mission ten miles away, and told a C-130 to taxi on the runway for a bit, since Senator Busman was going to be arriving soon.

He had heard about the Senator's visit on the news, since he was going to deal with some Taliban leaders here in Kabul. He was very good leader, not to mention a speaker. The Republican party were ready to nominate him for the election in 2012. But Reggy really didn't care, since he didn't vote.

Now if Busman offers me a Ferrari and fifty gorgeous women, maybe I will change my mind, thought Reggy. He sat back in his chair, put his legs on the desk, and put his hands behind his head. He was going to relax until the senator arrived. But, an alarm spoiled his relaxation. "Captain," yelled PFC. Warden ", the senator's plane has gone down in the Caspian!"

Reggy almost fell back in his chair, but regained his balance quickly. "Get General Fairson on the line," he blurted out with out thinking. Warden saluted, and quickly ran to a phone. All around the communications center, people were shouting and screaming, trying to figure out what the hell happened.

Looks like there isn't going to be no Ferrari, thought Reggy, frowning.

Caspian Sea

2030 hours

Gallo had been treading water for some time, even though his flight equipment probably would sink him. Thank god for life preservers, thought Gallo. Suddenly, a bright light showed on Gallo. He put his hands over his eyes, trying to block the blinding light.

He heard orders on the boat, but could not tell what language it was. The light passed from his eyes, and he could see now a eleven foot boat, sporting five men with AK's. They were all wearing tan clothing, with black bullet proof vests on. The boat was too modern with it's slants and curves (plus the black paint finish), so he eliminated the thought of Middle Eastern terrorists.

One man grabbed Gallo by an arm, and another grabbed him by the other. But before he was pulled all the way, he felt a sharp pain in his neck. He slowly began to lose his vision, and he went to sleep.

Chapter 2Edit

0521 hours, January 2nd, 2011

Fairfax, Virginia.

The phone was ringing.

John Marks struggled out of bed, blindly patting objects to look for his phone. Last night's party at Stan's house was a blast, and he had brought home a lady last night. With that brown hair and nice body, Marks' hadn't really took her home for a tea party. She was still laying in his bed, back in the air, and one hand laying over the side.

With squinting eyes, Marks' moved his hands across his coffee table. He made one final grab, and finally got a hold of the phone. "Hello?" he said, rubbing his eyes. "Marks', it's Stan, we need you over here, now. Don't ask why, just get here." As soon as John answered the call, it was over. Not this shit again, thought John, already putting on his clothes.

Even though he was half asleep, John managed to grab his keys and crawl out to his car. He turned it on, backed out of the driveway, and began traveling to the 3E HQ in D.C.

"What's the problem," said John, eyeing the screen. Stan turned around toward John, with the large screen now behind him. "Well, it's saturday night, I've got a crate filled with wine coolers, and I don't have a date for the prom......"

"Shut it, Stan," said Albert, the 'team's' leader. Albert walked over to a computer monitor, and pressed a button on the keyboard. A map pulled up from the big screen on the wall, and the Caspian Sea was shown ", John, we've got a very bad situation. Senator Busman's plane has been shot down, and we're suspecting he's dead."

John's jaw had dropped. A major Presidential nominee, killed in an instant. John was going to vote for him in 2012, but that wasn't happening anytime soon. "You can clearly see that this boat trail here," said Albert, pointing with his finger at a small trail of bubbles, "that it's leading to a large fishing on the coast of Kahakastan. Don't ask me what it's called, I can barely pronounce the name."

John looked at Albert ", so what do you want me to do?"