Friday, 15 August 2014

For Brother. For Honour. For Country.

No Love Is More Powerful Than The Love For Country.

-Mahaakshay Chakraborty

The moment has come. In the next few seconds the mission will be over. After 3 weeks of scouting and tracking and following, the task at hand, will finally be dealt with. But on this hot day, in the middle of the desert, where scorpions prey on the insects and  where the heat rips away your skin, Lt. Michael Smith isn’t thinking about his trip home. He knows home can’t change the man that he has become now. Home and the neighbourhood and the kids playing in the park and parents carrying their picnic baskets cannot undo what has been done here. Here … This place … This is Hell on earth. Where men rip each other apart on the name of religion and the ownership of land and where good men come and die. This is War. And for Michael, War is home. 

"The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree."

Just a few days ago, it was Michael’s 30th birthday. No, there weren’t any birthday cakes or candles to blow or presents to open. For Michael, it was just another day at the job. He has been at this war against terror for more than 5 years now but sometimes, he swears, it only feels like yesterday when he passed out from Sniper School. Lt. Michael Smith of the 101st Marines Special Ops Assault Division always knew he wanted to be an army man. But he never knew that he would one day be known as the most precise sniper in the army. For the army he is a great asset. For his enemies, he is the wrath of god. As how it happens with all men who spill blood, their names go down in history. But Michael has been known by many names. One of his famous nick names was ‘Mic Lightening’. It is said that when Michael aka Mic fired a bullet, it would reach it’s target at the speed of lighting. Like somehow the bullet knew that it had been fired by Mic. But in the recent years, Mic has been known as something more vicious. People now call him, Mic The Sick. Maybe they thought calling him lightening was too boyish or was inspired from a cartoon character. Now people call him Mic The Sick for a reason. It is said that Mic has never missed a target in his life. And other soldiers with their own eyes have sworn to see how his enemies have died. People say that Mic shoots his targets so precisely that they first puke their guts out and then they die. But nick names and medals and grand speeches don’t impress this sniper. They never did. For him, it was only one code that meant of value. That was of the highest of statures. It was what was taught to him during training. During those raining nights when the drill sergeants made you starve and made warriors out of men. It was, ‘For Brother. For Honour. For Country.’

"The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth."

Today, Mic has ‘Death Train’ by his side. That is the name he has given to his weapon. The Gun which has until now taken more 800 lives. The gun which has made this boy from Kentucky a monster his enemies fear. But Mic wasn’t always like this. Mic was once a ‘normal’ man so as they say. A man who would drink beer and hear war stories during the camp fires in the night. But tragedies change all men. Some slightly. Some deeply. For Mic, it is a wound which still yet has to find it’s healing. They say men go quiet when they loose someone they truly love. Guess on that aspect, Mic wasn’t different from any of us.

"The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in his greatest darkness."

Joe he was known as. Mic’s best friend. More like a brother. Both of them grew up together. When mic was bullied by the seniors, it was joe who always came to his rescue. Mic and joe were like mirrors to each other. They loved Rock music, watching UFC and also the same kind of women. Sometimes, it was even hard to differentiate between the two ‘cause even if they didn’t look alike, people thought they were twins. They even went to Sniper School together. And as all great friendships go, Mic and Joe became a great team, even on the field. Mic was the Shooter and Joe was the Spotter. They were like the two hands of god wiping out evil from this earth, one villain at a time. And people said, they haven’t seen a better team like this before. But then, in one fateful afternoon, it happened. 

"A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen."

Mic and Joe aka known as Mic-Jagger were assigned to take out this leader who was considered to be a High Value Target aka HVT for the military. They were in place and were about to take the shot when they heard motor shells coming down from the sky. Someone must have forgotten to tell them that the mission had been changed the last minute and instead of a single-individual take down mission it was changed to destroy-everything-that-moves mission. Their position was compromised and even though the two of them fought back the resistance, the enemy was hell bound on avenging the death of their leader. In all the firings and the smoke and the bullets, joe was shot in the gut and was taken down. Even though he had a lot of life left in him, Mic knew he won’t survive if he wasn’t given medical attention in the next few minutes. But right before Mic was about to carry joe to the extraction point, joe told mic something that haunts him even till today. He told him, “Bro, Don’t Let These Sons Of Bitches Kill Me. I Don’t Wanna Die By The Hands Of The Enemy. I Want To Send Them All To Hell And If The Time Comes I Have To Die, I Want You To Kill Me. You Promise Me Mic, It Will Only Be You.” Before mic could reply a grenade exploded in front of them, separating the two far from each other. Joe fell in the barrage of rocks and mic feel 80 feet below in the river. When mic came to his senses he informed mission control that he has to go back for joe, al though mission controlled had confirmed that joe was no more. He was KIA. Killed In Action. Mic, being the stubborn oak he was refused to believe that and denied a pick up from the rendezvous point. What he did was went back and searched and searched for joe. He was afraid to face the truth that his best friend was no more. But the notion was true. Mic had lost his brother in war. But that day joe wasn’t the only one who died. It was even Mic who died. At least the part of him which was human.

"I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot."

It has been 2 years since that dreadful day. No one at camps talks about it, al though everyone knows the story. They also know what mic did after that. Mic chose to stay behind enemy lines and locate the surviving enemies of the assault. He followed them in the dirt, in the heat, in the cold and he had killed them all. When the Evac chopper finally came to pick him up, he was covered in dirt, had no food or water for days and was covered with blood. But what he had carried along with him were the heads of the men who were responsible for the death of his brother. Since the time mic lost joe, mic never made any new friends. He even hardly spoke to anyone. It was only a Yes Sir, Roger That dialogue for him now. He never stayed in camp for long. He was always out there, sniping. Taking down the enemy, one by one, piece by piece. It had gotten so out of hand, that the general himself had to give the order to mic to Stand Down and get some R & R aka Rest And Recovery. War changes men. But some say, War defined LT. Michael Smith and that is why for this task, for which he waits today, he was chosen by god himself, ‘cause no other man could bare the weight, the way Mic could. 

"I'm a patriot in the truest sense of the word."

And now, finally, the moment comes at hand. His enemy has been very monotonous in his routine. The enemy does the same thing everyday. That is how Mic learnt the moves of his enemy. But today is an important day. For today is the day when the enemy would be exchanging black market supplied weapons to a terrorist cell funded by an off-shore untraceable account. But the government has tracked down the weapons dealer and has classified him as the Ace Of Spades meaning a Threat of the highest order. One which should be ‘Taken Out’ aka be killed at any cost. So mic prepared Death train as he always did. He fixed his scope and placed the .50 Cal Armour Piercing bullet in the chamber. He knew he needed only one shot. One precise shot from nearly 2000 metres away would get the job done. The soldier in him wanted to take out the entire compound. He wanted to see a bullet in all of them but orders from high up were to only eliminate the Ace Of Spades. And so, as the sun light was just about perfect at an angle of 45’ degrees making his position invisible to the enemy and the wind slightly breezing towards the north, mic did what he does best. He took a deep breath, set his eye on the target and squeezed the trigger. A Mili second later the bullet left the chamber and in lightening speed forwarded towards the enemy and through his scope he saw what came next. The bullet entered the temple of the enemy and a moment later the enemy’s brain’s were all over the pavement. The soldiers around the fallen man were shocked and terrified and confused and they didn’t know what to do. The siren went off and the men were looking and running and hiding in every direction. But no other bullet came. All that was left was the dead body of the man who was only a moment ago a High-Kill-Priority for the Army.

"For me, the definition of a patriot is someone who is willing to constantly question the government; that's what separates us from other countries."

It has been 5 days now. Michael has been ordered to go home. The orders are from the President himself. The other soldiers give him the salute the moment he was entering the plane. Mic in return saluted them as they were his brothers in arms. Soldiers of a free country who come here to this dreadful place to free mortals from tyranny. People said Michael would be given the Medal Of Honour for his Service and Duty. But Mic just sits in the chair and the plane takes off. As the plane leaves the land and enters the sky something happens to Mic. For the first time in a long time Mic begins to cry. And when the tears start rolling they don’t stop. It was like the sight of leaving that hell behind somehow made him realise that it was all over. Michael kept his word. Lt. Michael Smith loved his country like no other and uphold the oath he gave himself.  He uphold the oath even when he squeezed the trigger. He uphold the oath even when he saw the brain splatter all over the pavement. He uphold the oath even when he knew that the man he was killing, was his best friend. His best friend Joe. 

"The Patriot Act is essential to our continued success in the war on terror here at home."

Mic came to know only a few months ago that Joe was very much alive. Al though his one eye and few of his fingers were gone, Joe was very much breathing. But Joe wasn’t the Joe who grew up with Mic. This Joe was the enemy, for Joe turned his back to his country. Joe became a terrorist and joined forces with the men who he was meant to destroy. Joe became the Arms Dealer the Army was tracking. And when they finally did, they knew only Mic could do what had to be done. It was more like a farewell to a friend who was only alive in Mic’s memory. So as the plane reached the skies and calmness and serenity of the heaven above earth finally came, Mic knew he uphold his Oath. He kept his promise to Joe, that he would be the only one who would kill him. And he kept his Oath, that no man, no friend, no love is more than the Love Of Country.

For Brother. For Honour. For Country.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."