Pat watched as a car approached in the distance.

It was late afternoon.  The city of Homs was burning.  Again.

The mercenaries had managed to fight their way out of the city and find a defendable position to bunker down in until they were extracted.  Pat had also sent out a few scouting parties to try to find a place where they could safely dispose of chemical weapons.  Relatively safe at least, where they wouldn’t kill anyone.  There would be environmental damage, but that was the least of Syria’s worries right now.

At the moment, they had sent out a reception party to take control of the second chemical weapon.  Pat and a half dozen Kazakh mercenaries were in fixed security positions watching their perimeter while Nikita was in overwatch, using the scope on his sniper rifle to watch for enemy movements.  Pat watched as the approaching vehicle swerved a few times and drove a little erratically.

Pat stood up and flashed a red-lens flashlight.  It was their agreed upon far recognition signal.  The driver flashed his headlights three times in response.  The car slowed down before coming to a stop in a cloud of dust.  The driver’s side door creaked open.  Deckard looked like he was struggling just to get out of the vehicle.  Finally, he stood while bracing himself against the side of the car.

“You okay?” Pat asked.

Deckard looked at him like he was a total asshole.

“I’ve been better.”  His voice was low and dry.