Finally after travelling for a week we made it to Al Simhara. It was getting dark and everyone was tired from the trip but I was ready to get settled in so I could call Raina. It was all I could think about the entire way here, especially with the news that she was expecting. It was torture not knowing if she and the baby were ok.
Seeing her face again was like heaven. She was glowing and just so beautiful, I just wanted to kiss the computer screen! It was so hard when my time ran out, twenty minutes is not long enough to talk to someone you love and haven’t seen in a while. We said our I loves you’s and goodbyes at least a dozen times before I got off and headed to bed. Not knowing when I would get to talk to her again.
The next day we headed into town to talk to some of the local informants to find out what exactly was going on. Apparently some people had hacked the Governments computer stealing important information and were planning on using it against the people of Al Simhara. Our mission? Find the documents before they could cause any harm to the innocent people living here.
When we entered the cave near where the locals said they had seen them coming and going from I was not prepared for what I saw. This mission was supposed to be fairly easy and not high risk. Apparently some people had their information wrong, because all that was there was a big empty room…
A big empty room with skeleton! I could feel the tension in my men behind me, although I was new to being a team leader I knew the guys I was leading very well. This wasn’t what we expected. Now what? Now where do we go? I sent everyone to scan the room looking for a hidden passageway or something.
Finally one of my men found a switch which revealed a hidden staircase. Gathering everyone else I headed the search down into the basement. Hopefully we would have more luck down there.
Unfortunately it was another seemingly empty room. This time I came across a statue that wiggled, so upon pulling it out of the way I was able to see the wall behind it looked like an old sealed up door.
After pushing the secret door open we walked into yet another empty room. This continued on for the remainder of the day. Finally we took a break and ate some of our rations and decided to sleep and continue on in the morning.
Although it wasn’t ideal we continued to investigate and sleep inside this secret hide-a-way until our mission was over. We would of course take turns keeping watch while the others slept just in case the people came back for their documents.
After weeks of searching we had all just about given up hope that we were in the right place. Perhaps they had already come for the documents and were already planning an attack against the people of Al Simhara. We were close to running out of rations and although we had found some in small holes such as this it wasn’t enough and it was time to get out and back to our headquarters.
As we were headed out of the cave through another exit we came across we found yet one last room we hadn’t been in before. At first I thought it was completely empty since it was so dark and there were no lanterns lit. But as one of my men opening the door the light shown in on something I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
It was an old dusty chest, and while I expected it to be empty, or filled with other relics like the ones we had found in other rooms I was pleasantly surprised. There was a folder wrapped in an old leather casing which when I blew the dust off had a bunch of the Al Simharaen language written on it. This had to be it! I tucked in into my pouch so we could all head out and finally get a hot meal, shower and sleep in a real bed again!
While it still wasn’t home it was nice to be in an actual bed again. Jeff was my bunk mate since we were both team leaders. It was nice though since his wife and mine were good friends and both expecting right around the same time I felt almost like I was with family when he was around. We still had some time to go but at least I didn’t feel completely alone.
While talking online wasn’t the way I wanted to be with my wife it was a lot better than letters. At least this way I could see her and hear her and it almost felt like we were together. Although we had found the documents we still couldn’t go home right away. We were supposed to stay a few more months to ensure the same people who took the documents in the first place didn’t return to claim them again. So until the day came where she would be in my arms again I cherished those 20 minute calls. Hopefully the time would continue to fly by the way it had been so far.
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