Monday, November 26, 2012

Angels in the Jungle

                                                Angels in the Jungle

          Six days and not a thing to eat; if not for the occasional drops of water that Drake collected through the broken glass, he knew for sure he would be dead. The bars on the window and the steel door with the lock and chain had become his prison. Sleeping on the damp, cold packed dirt was taking a toll on his bones. He also knew that he was at least fifteen pounds lighter since arriving in the jungle. The Lord was supposed to keep missionaries safe, so why were his four friends along with him, suffering in this place. It had not stopped pouring for the past three days and to Drake it was like manna from heaven. He tried to encourage his companions by reciting from memory, verses from the bible. They discussed, and now understood how the apostles of Jesus had felt and suffered for their belief. Nights were long and the darkness was eerie with absolutely no light and no contact from their captors. It had been two days since anyone had come to look in on them and they counted that as a blessing. For the first four days they had each been taken one by one, beaten and treated like spies. Questions about things the group knew nothing about or even heard of. The group was weak and every man had severe injuries on different parts of their bodies. The worst was Ted, the doctor who had put everything on hold to help those in this remote part of the world. They all knew the risk before coming here to the Philippines. They had heard all the stories and still they chose to serve. Ted had been beaten across his thighs with a bamboo stick and Drake feared he was developing blood clots. Drake was nursing his own injuries that were quickly infecting his back, from lashes that ripped open his skin. The rest were in no better shape with similar injuries. As he nursed his injuries he prayed for the entire group including the one that was not captured.
          It had taken Joel five days of traveling in the cover of darkness before he emerged back in civilization. Another three more days before boarding a flight back to the states. Joel had served in the Rangers Special forces for twelve years before retiring with two purple hearts and a few metals of valor. He was highly respected and was still missed by the men he had served with; and on a phone call, anyone of them would give their lives to come to his aid. He was counting on that before he knocked on the door. Colonel Sanchez had been his best friend and commanding officer his last eight years of active duty and till this day had always stayed in touch. Sanchez opened the door, looked at the man in front of him and with a big smile he said, “Hey there Rigs, looks like you have trouble written all over your face.” Joel shook his commander’s hand, padded him on the shoulder and stepped inside. Driving anything that moved on wheels or tracks, plus the expertise Joel had with explosives, earned him the code name “Rigs” After Rigs had laid out his situation, Sanchez picked up his secure phone and dialed. The voice on the other end answered, “Hello Boss Man, what up?” Sanchez replied, “Seeker, round up the old team and meet at the location at 0600 sharp, wheels up at 0630, will brief in the clouds. BTW, we go black and Rigs is point on this one.” The voice was loud enough for Joel to hear his old friend. “Rigs, That old dog still barking and leaving his mark?” Boss Man stared at Rigs then replied, “That old dog can still bite and hard, wouldn’t want him jumping over my fence.” The two disconnected and Sanchez asked Joel to follow him to the basement. When they were in the cellar, Sanchez entered a code on a key pad and a steel door sprang open. Joel looked inside and then at his friend and said, “looks like you have enough here to start your own little war.” Sanchez smiled, padding Joel on the back hard then replied, “You brought it.”
          Three weeks had gone by, was the best estimation Drake could figure. He had lost count on day ten, drained and in pain his mind was starting to fail him and the group was starting to lose hope.
          Seeker set his tripod and 50 caliber sniper rifle on a small ridge about a half mile from the rebel’s camp. “I have eyes on our bogies and nothing moves unless I say so” Seeker whispered into his comp. Rigs took point with Boss Man, Sliver and Tank bringing up the rear; following in single file to the east side of the camp. Bull, Stalker and Eagle, named for flying gliders on his furloughs, took off at a jog heading west. Drake and his colleagues were huddled in the corner where Silver had told them all to be; dressed in black and his face painted as not to be seen, had told them to huddle at 0200. Sliver had drew the task of recon, with the ability to move around undetected and known for crawling through tight spaces; at Five seven and one hundred and sixty five pounds he was unusual for a special forces. Silver had proven himself with skills most men only wish to posses, martial arts combined with the agility of a mountain lion, he claims and scales walls without ropes or gadgets. He always tells his comrades, Parkour has nothing on me, I invented the sport. He had found his marks and had dropped off MREs, power bars and some meds while delivering the news that the Calvary was lurking and at 0200 all hell would break lose.          Drake and company prayed for the last two hours since eating their meals, which would give them energy to move when the time came to leave. Armed with his M-4A1 assault rifle, Rigs approached the bunkers where his friends were being held. He applied a small piece of C4 to locks and hinges, set the timers for one minute, tapped on the door twice as instructed and took cover a few yards away. The explosions were small, contained and the door barely moved till Rigs walked up and kicked it in. He stepped into the room with Tank on his six and whispering into the comp, yet loud enough for those in the room to hear and said, “That’s why they call me Rigs.” Drake recognized his friend’s voice the second he heard him speak. “I thought you were dead for sure old friend” Drake said while hugging him. “Sorry it took me this long to get back, but I had to go and enlist some old friends” Rigs replied padding him on the back. “Bogies closing in at three o’clock Rigs” Came Seeker’s voice over the comp. “We have to go” said Rigs looking at his friends. “Ted can’t walk” one of the men said, as he helps Ted to his feet. Larry could bench press three hundred and fifty pounds on a bad day, dead lift five hundred pounds on that same day; walk forty klicks with an eighty pound backpack and not break a sweat, earning him the code name Tank. He walked over and without any effort through Ted on his shoulder and brought up the rear. All Drake could hear is the sound of gun fire and bodies dropping like flies. When they were in the cover of forest he asked Rigs “who is doing all the shooting.” Rigs replied, “It’s just our angel name Seeker leaving his mark.” Seven loud explosions and a few more three round burst of automatic gun fire and the night went quiet. Drake saw six more men join the team in two sets of three’s, appearing from opposite directions. When all were accounted for, Rigs took point and speaking into his comp, “fifteen klicks to rendezvous at 0400 so let’s pick up boots and drop the dirt.”
          Drake woke up in his own bed two days later sore and not wanting to move. The phone rang, he reached over to the night stand, picked up and said, “Hello, Drake here.” There was a moment of silence then the voice said, “Hey buddy how you feeling?” Joel asked and Drake replied, “Like I been in a war, so who am I talking to, Joel or Rigs?” Drake asks with a little laughter in his voice. Nah this is Joel, I left Rigs with God and Angels, back in the Jungle.

Psalm 91

 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

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