Written by: Stephen Brown; Mansfield Grey
It was getting humid and the heat from above was blazing down on us as we made our way to the military base. The heat made me think of playing catch with my dad on a sweltering August afternoon. Those were the times when I had no pressure; the times when I just needed to worry about the moment and what was on TV that night. No worries at all.
Now there is all this pressure, this uncertainty, all this insecurity, the trying to speculate life and death. I was having anxiety, at least that’s what I could remember. That’s what they told me all those years ago.
Then my thoughts hit me right between the eyes. I realized I had not felt like this for years. Before the Red Band 1 Project, I remember these similar thoughts and feelings of dread and misery coming up before each mission. Once I joined Red Band 1, it never happened again. It is like they stole my ego, and converted me into a machine. I could now remember all those missions and how we always succeeded. I remember feeling no emotion while executing my tasks. I was focused on the moment to moment happenings of my mind-controlled world. Then I thought, if I can remember those missions, I can remember where my thoughts and feelings where at those moments. I still have all the Red Band programming; I just have to access it. With this realization, I started to feel confident again. I felt better.
I took a few deep breaths, “Okay guys, let’s turn on the Red Band 1 program now. Let’s start thinking like we are still mind-controlled. We have a mission. That is to take out these six guards, get inside, and find out what the fuck is going on. You are the same soldier now as you were when you were controlled. So as we get closer remember those missions. Remember your focus. Let’s get our minds in the same place as our bodies. Everyone understand and on the same page?”
I looked at them one by one as they all nodded back. I could see a glaze come over their faces, a look of focus, as if they were changing programs like a computer. I immediately got an adrenaline rush and felt good. I knew we were all on the same page. I knew we were still Red Band One.
We came up to the spot where we could see the base with the guards stationed around. The guys had a chance to see their targets for the first time.
“Holy shit they’re big!” Pogo exclaimed.
“The more noise they make when they hit the ground,” Bronco laughed.
“Hey Manny, why don’t we team up to take these guys out, two guys per guard? We co-ordinate from the far side and make our way to the front in teams. Might be another way to attack it?” Sticks suggested.
“I was just thinking the same thing, Stick man. I think these guards got bigger since the last time I was here. Holy shit!” I replied with a laugh.
“I’m with Axe! You’ll be my partner, won’t ya buddy?” Pogo pleaded.
“That’s because whoever is with Axe, won’t have to do nothing. Axe just axes and it’s done.” Bronco shot back with a chuckle.
“Exactly,” Pogo smiled.
“Bronco, Sticks, you two work well together. Axe, Pogo, you’re a team, then Q and me.”
We moved closer to the base and huddled in the jungle about 50 yards away. Just as I started to point each team’s assignment out, one of the six guards appeared from out of the foliage 20 yards away. He was roughly escorting two men in grey jump suits towards the front of the base. The men were prodded by the end of the club which each guard carried. He was the guard patrolling the back end of the base farthest from the front door. That meant the back end would be vulnerable. That’s where we would start our attack.
Suddenly one of the grey jump suit guys takes off running. The guard points his club at the man and shoots some kind of light beam at him. It was bright like a high-powered flashlight. He crumpled on the ground – unconscious or dead, I couldn’t tell.
There was silence, as everyone simultaneously turned and looked at me. “Ah, okay guys…change of plans?” as I answered their stares.