Seventy Special Forces commandos assembled at the tarmac kitted up for war.

A C-17 waited for them in the distance, surrounded by the airfield’s blue lights. The turbine engines hummed as the pilots went through their pre-flight check list as quickly as possible.

“Gather around,” Major Thomas shouted. “We’ll do this right here.”

The C/1/10 CIF commander got the orders just an hour ago but the Commanders-In-Extremis Force was designed for no-notice deployments. The Green Berets belonged to a specialized direct action company within 10th Special Forces Group. While Special Forces soldiers specialized in training foreign troops and conducting unconventional warfare, the CIF’s sole purpose in life was counter-terrorism.

“You’ve probably figured out by now that our mission training the Croatian counter-terrorism unit is on hold until further notice. The latest reports out of Nairobi are that the U.S. embassy is under siege. At least half of the compound is now in enemy hands. Intel is shit but what else is new. No one knows if it is Al-Shabaab, Al-Hijra, or someone new to the game. After we hit the ground, the Kenyan government has already cleared the way for us to drive straight to the embassy grounds. We’ll clear the exterior of the embassy and secure the area. Flight time is seven hours and the boys from Bragg should be just a hour behind us.”

The multi-cam clad Special Forces soldiers understood the mission immediately. They had trained for it countless times, but had never gotten the call.

Until now.

Once they secured the perimeter of the embassy, Delta Force would breach the buildings and conduct the hostage rescue mission.

“Size, strength, and disposition of enemy forces?” one of the cell leaders asked.

“We’re expecting close to a hundred crows,” the Major said using their internal code word for enemy combatants. “Expect them to be armed with AK-47’s, RPGs, and PKMs. Remember that the bad guys in this AO have a history of using suicide vests. The IED threat is assessed as high. Diplomatic Security Services and the contractors pulling static security were quickly overwhelmed so that should tell you something. CNN is reporting small arms fire and several explosions.”

“CNN is reporting?” one of the Weapons Sergeants asked.

“You know the deal,” the CIF commander replied. “We’re going in blind to act as the eyes and ears for the main effort.”

“Roger that.”

The Major looked down at his watch.

“We’re wheels up in fifteen, you know what to do.”

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The CIF team members turned around and jogged over to the aircraft. Their plate carriers bounced slightly with each step. Getting closer, they pulled on their Peltor headsets and snapped OpsCore helmets over their heads. They had already received their basic load of ammunition and explosives. The gun trucks were already tied down inside the plane with ratchet straps.

As the CIF team took sat down in the red fabric seats lining the inner fuselage of the C-17, Major Thomas went over to the loadie. The flight crew member wore a khaki flight suit and helmet with a long black wire linking his headset into the aircraft’s comms system.

“We’re up!” the commander yelled over the whining engines.

The loadie nodded and clicked on his mic, saying a few words to the pilots. The flight crew then walked down the ramp and began flipping up the two flaps that reached down from the ramp to the tarmac.

Major Thomas took an empty seat next to the rear of the aircraft and buckled himself in. His Executive Officer was sitting next to him and immediately started asking more questions about the mission.

“Hey, what the fuck!” one of the loadies yelled, his voice drowned out by the engines.

A black clad man suddenly scrambled up the ramp of the aircraft and into the interior.

Major Thomas looked up at the interloper with a frown. He held something in his hand.


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