Need a Light?
As we walked uphill in the tunnel, not knowing what was to come, I could hear the guys reminiscing about past adventures and good times. They were giving each other verbal burns and sarcastic shots – just a bonding thing guys do. I felt good, as the frequency of the tunnel’s hum became unconscious.
I drifted off into a flashback of times gone by and found myself re-living the first time I met Colonel Clark. It was the spring of 1997, and I had just gotten back from a drunken all-nighter with a bunch of my army buddies from the 164th. We had just completed a confidence restoration mission in Croatia, and we had partied hard as usual.
It was 0600 hrs, I had just crashed on the couch of my apartment and I heard a bell; a ringing in my ears that would not go away.
It was the doorbell. I got up to see who it was. They had better have a good reason for waking me up on my day off, I ranted in my head.
I got to the door and saw this tough looking Colonel all decked out in his formals with a look like he had the world by the tail and didn’t take no shit.
I opened the door and he said, “Sargent Mansfield Grey?”
“Yes, sir,” I replied.
“I am Colonel William S. Clark. Congratulations son. You have been chosen for “Project Red Band”. The app you applied for? Your training starts at 0600 hrs tomorrow morning. There will be a car here to pick you up. Be ready, son. You’re gonna make a lot of money and help a lot of people.”
“Hey Manny, we got something here, come take a look.” Pogo yelled.
I immediately snapped out of the memory and made my way up to the front of the Band. As I got closer I could see the tunnel had turned into a cavern. It was about the size of a tennis court with a ceiling approximately 20 feet high. On the sides of the walls were holes with human remains bundled in cloth and placed inside. Who did this?
“Must be an ancient burial ground for the Indians or something?” Bronco surmised.
“We’re at least 5 miles underground Broncs, and these tunnels are too perfect. This is a room, not a cavern. This isn’t Indians. What are these skeletons? Are they even human? Holy shit man, look at the size of this skull!” Sticks shouted, as he picked up a skull from the hole in the wall.
“Manny, I got light up ahead about 500 yards,” Axe reported from just up ahead in the cavern. “Looks like we’re getting outta here today boys, woo hoo!”
I’m gettin’ me some chicken! That’s all, and some bacon….Right on man, let’s get outta here,” Bronco added.
“Q, what’s really going on? What is that light up ahead?” I asked.
Q had a puzzled look on his face, “I can tell you one thing Manny, that light….it’s not the surface.”