This is a prequel to my week 2 story Rescuing Eli which takes place nine years before.
In the year 1975 there were once two mercenaries named John and Eli working out of an oil rig in the Caribbean Sea. And while these two were the best mercenaries in their group they were an even greater team. While on missions together John and Eli could work together to fulfill their objective without killing a single combatant. This is because John and Eli were masters in stealth, and they also believed in not killing their enemies unless they have no choice. After all, they understood that their enemies were often fighting not out of their own will.
One day, however, Eli was captured by the United States in a solo operation. On the mission John was tasked with extracting an operative who wanted to defect to their group, but it was a setup. When John heard the news he immediately sprang into action. Apparently, Eli was being held on a fortified U.S. military base in Cuba where he was being heavily interrogated about who he was working for hoping to get evidence that the mercenary company was working against U.S. interest. John knew Eli would not crack, but he worried that the U.S. might see that as well and dispose of Eli. Time was of the essence.
John arrived on the military base under the cover of the night by swimming a mile from the boat he took to Cuba. He knew this would not be an easy mission and that it may even be a setup, but that did not stop him. Eli was his friend. From the mission briefing, John knew that Eli would be in an interrogation room. John stealthily made his way to the interrogation room and found Eli, but as he did he noticed that it was a little too easy.
When John arrived at Eli's cell he saw his friend was on the brink of death, and in Eli's final words he told John that that night the U.S. was going to destroy the mercenary base.
"That's why the military base is so empty," John realized. "It's because they are all at the mercenary base destroying it!"
John then took his fallen comrade and returned to the mercenary base only to see that it had been destroyed.
Author's notes: This story is based on The Brave Little Bowman story in More Jataka Tales. In that story a weak yet expert bowman asks a strong man to help him in getting in the army. In that story, however, the bowman ends up being the one who does most of the work. In this story I decided to have the roles of the strongman and bowman be somewhat equal. I also decided to write a story where the "bowman" has to rescue the strongman, but I added a twist. This is also a prequel to my Week 2 Rescuing Einstein story.
Bibliography: More Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt, 1922 Link