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 The Gulf--

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PostSubject: The Gulf--   Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:21 pm

Alright, so here's another one shot short story; I had finished it a while ago and I've been editing and revising the story. For those of you that don't know this story is about Jill Valentine and her Bomb Squad, Delta Force when she was in the army, back in 1991, she just turned 18, and she's often reminiscing about her father who inspired her in more ways than one—he's also named after the main character in the movie: "The Artist," George Valentine. I wanted to put more piano work into the story but couldn't fit it in, the first draft was more about her piano than it was about her EOD squad.

At any rate, its called the Gulf because of several different reason, The Gulf War is an obvious one, but I feel that the Gulf is an overarching theme in the story. I also avoided using Jill's name unless someone was talking to her, I did this because I wanted you to step into her mind without using a first person perspective. It made her feel a little impersonal in my opinion. Admittedly this story isn't as light hearted or sweet as Christmas Sweater, and it's a lot longer too, I appologize.

Anyway, I also started on Rebecca's story, so if anyone else would like to see write a story about someone else or on a couple of characters leave a comment below on who you would like to read about next.




The Gulf

George peered down his shoulder, he was in the middle of working on a new design; his four year old daughter was looking up to him. She had her hands behind her back, neatly folded as she rocked back and forth. Her long brown hair batting across her back. 

"What can I do for you, Jillian?"

The four year old began to blush, unsure of what she was to say, but figured she was already bothering him enough. She somehow plucked up the courage to speak, though. 

"I wanted to watch you work."

George smiled, he turned his chair and picked up his toddler and rested her on his knee. She held her hands over the desk to look at a plethora of sketches, they were all locks and keys. 

"What is all this, daddy?"
"Well hun, daddy is a locksmith, and I'm trying to design a lock that can't be picked."
"What do you mean?"

The smile on George's face never left, he wasn't sure it could ever go away when his daughter was in his sight.

"When people buy locks, they want to protect something valuable, thieves all have ways of getting past locks by either picking them, or blowing them apart. I'm trying to make a lock that's full proof."

The large pair of eyes scanned the sketches, hands still on the table, she pretended to understand. She just wanted to hear him talk. 




Drenched in her own sweat, she sat up quickly, she was surprised how much she was perspiring. It had to have been the dreams mixed with the heat, it was straining both mentally and physically. Her olive drab tank top looked like someone had dunked her with a bucket of water her sleep. Someone was at the door of her tent, blocking the light, only allowing spots to flood in. 

"Moore? Is that you?"

Her eyes squinted at the figure as he stepped in. It was who she suspected, Captain Arnold Moore.

"Get up, Valentine. We think there's a new lead on some more scud missile locations. Shouldn't be more than two clicks away. Could be a trap. Actually, Alpha is expecting it to be."

"Which is the reason why we're going?"

"Exactly. Get your fray jacket on. Gear up."

Rolling out of her sleeping bag, she moaned; the men outside her tent loved it when she did that, and she knew it. Ignoring her captain's orders to put on a bulletproof vest she felt that it was a pointless piece to her set. Working so close to something that could obliterate you with the wrong snip of the wire, she grew apathetic when it came to wearing such useless protection for such a job. 

She walked out, toolbox in hand, canteen dangling from her belt, and they walked. Marching, the things they carried weighed them down, yet it defined them. who they were; what they did. Yet they felt that they carried more than just material items, they were emotions. Apart from rifles, magazines, grenades, canteens, knives, and photographs. Apart from bullets and bandages, they carried their memories. 

And they were heavy. 




Martha was chopping carrots for dinner when her husband walked up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her neck. She giggled and brushed him off. 

"Your mustache tickles!"

"It's not leaving." George replied, it was impossible to kiss her without a smile.

"Why is Jillian playing that dreadful music?" Martha asked, turning to George. 

"She adores the song. Incidentally, it's my favorite as well, why are don't you it?"

"It sounds so depressing, I began to cry when I realized I wasn't chopping onions."

George scoffed at that, women were so dramatic. "I'll talk with her." he said turning heel and walking over to the living room which housed their grand piano. She was playing the notes softly, but loud enough for anyone in the house to hear. 

George observed her daughter practice, she wasn't missing a single note. She had such persision in her hand movements; it was something George had always come to admire about her; especially since she was helping him make a lock that's full proof. He relished in the fact that she was able to pick every single design he came up with so far, she was good, but he was getting better because of her. He took a seat next to her, reading the pages of notes mounted on the piano. 

"Moonlight Sonata."

She didn't stop playing, her focus was on the keys, yet she acknoledged her father's presence. 

"You know, Jill. You have a real gift. You're only twelve years old and you're playing my favorite piece... But your mother doesn't like as much as we do. You want to give it a break?"

"Why doesn't she like it daddy?"

"It's because of the tune, darling. The tune is too dark for her taste."

"I love it though. I want to make it perfect. I want to play if for you on stage."

"You will, Hun. You will."




"Fuck them up!"

She ducked behind the doorway to the warehouse, gunfire and the screams of men filled the air. No matter how many soldiers were around her, she always felt alone in the battlefield. Hugging her rifle close to her chest she saw two of her squad mates hit the floor. 

"Romero! Lay down some covering fire! Wright fire your damn weapon! Waste some ammo gaddammit!! Valentine, you're with me!"

Barely hear the orders, barely understand whats going on, her animalistic instinct tells her to stay, her captain beckons her to fall in. 

And she does. 




"If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie." 

She nodded her head, sixteen now, her father holding her hand. 

"Jill, are you absolutely certain you want to do this?"

Her hands were cold, eyes hurting, she could feel them pulsing, wanting to breach and push out of her skull. Nodding, George grimaced a smirk. 

"You have many other talents. You've learned locksmithing, piano, you're number one in your swim team. Why the army?"

Couldn't look in his eyes. Couldn't. 

"You really want to be like your old man, Jill? You want to make the same mistakes I've made? Is that it? JROTC not good enough for you? You want to get on the front lines is that it?"

Her grip on his hand tightened. He pushed up a pillow to get on eye level with her. 

"Alright. Give me the recommendation. I'll sign it."




Quiet. She couldn't hear out of either ear, her tense stance contra posed, she could breathe again. 

"Plastic compound-4. Valentine? Your specialty."

Her captain's voice was muffled, but she understood, she stepped over a dead body, blood pooling from his chest and what was left of his face, and got to work. 

"Scud missiles are duds, meant to lure us in, then boom. Take us out at once."

Their talking wasn't helping. It's not like this was her first bomb she disposed of, but she didn't like it. Her captain walked up to her and planted his ass to the floor next to where she was working. 

"Hey Valentine, how many bombs is this?"

"Nine-... Nineteen."

Captain Moore looked up, shocked in a way, but not entirely. 

"Nineteen? Shit, what the hell are you doing out here?"

Finger on the wire. She could feel the sweat roll down her cheek. 

"Want to make my father proud."

"I'm sure your daddy would rather have you back home with him than you risking your life out in the Gulf. You just turned eighteen Jill, you have your whole life ahead of you, you shouldn't be in an EOD squad. Go back home to your dad, I'll fill out your resignation."

"Can't."

"Why not?"




Tears in her eyes, she took the recommendation from her father, the heart rate monitor calmly chirped, the IV drip chamber made no sound, but she couldn't help looking at the bag of saline like an hourglass. She didn't know what to do, shaking, she hugged her father for the last time. 




"Just can't."

She pulled the last wire, and with that, the key, tossed it to her captains feet and walked out of the warehouse, where sleeping corpses lie. 

She didn't like the way the men looked at her, and yet she did, some strange sensation of their attention grew on her. Captain of Alpha team was grouping the men together, another location they received from the higher ups. She was certain they were going to drag along Delta Squad since they were already there with them. Some building to the north, the details failed to translate properly to her. The next thing she knew she was walking with them, the things they carried weighing them down, weighing her down. The emotional state of her mind: forever fractured. So many things weighing her down, but after a while, she learned to ignore it. 

Captain Moore kicked the door to a building in; intel said that one of Salah Aboud Mahmoud's right hand men could be in the building, and that could possibly lead to Salah, even Sadam. She held her assault rifle close, pressing against her hip, leaving an impression of the side of her gun. 

As the men filed in, her captain stayed back to match walking speed with her. 

"Jill... I'm not your therapist-"

"Then stop trying to be."

"But I really don't think this is healthy for you."

"Captain, this isn't your decision, it's mine."

"Do you have some death wish? Is that it?"

The leader of Alpha turned to Captain Moore and his underling. 

"Will you two shut it?! We've got more important things to worry about! C'mon, get up those stairs!"

They were almost to the top, the stairs creaked, they made noises like it was some haunted house. She didn't know that they were made of wood out in Iraq, she had always pictured everything to be made of metal and clay. Twisting her foot on one of the steps, it caved and she hit something. She was familiar with it, yet, unfamiliar with it. She stopped, dead in her tracks, stuck on the steps, she didn't want to pull her foot out of the hole she had made; men behind, her she was clotting the stairs. 

"Valentine! What's the hold up?" Her captain asked.

"Back! Get back! Bomb.. Betsy..!"

Her words were jumbled, she didn't know what to say. 

"Oh my god.. Everyone! Get back! Back away! Jill stand right where you are, don't move a muscle!"

Captain Moore walked up to her, and began to tear the steps apart to reveal the bomb.

"Captain! Get away! Move it! Not worth it!"

"Everyone is worth it, Valentine!" He placed his hands around the Bouncing Betsy, "Lift your foot."

"What are you crazy?!"

"That's an order, lift!"

Slightly, softly, she removed her foot from the bomb, his hands tightly wrapped around the spring loaded explosive. 

"Shit! It's got a timer!"

"What?!"

"Thirty seconds and it explodes… I let go, and it explodes."

The room of soldiers began to panic, though no words escaped them. Everyone had begun to except their fate, they knew they couldn't run down fast enough to avoid the explosion. 

"There's nothing you can do."

Her captain shook his head, "No, Jill. There's always something you can do."

"Captain! Arnold, no! Don't!"




"He jumped out that window, holding that bomb so tightly, hugging it against his chest, holding it like his child. He died saving our platoon... Well no.. I mean yes, he saved the platoon, but he died saving me."

Jill sighed, the colonel eyed her, disappointed in hearing the story of the loss of their Delta Squad Captain. She was shaking. Ever since that day, she didn't think she could stop. Tears were forming as she reminisced, telling the story. She hated herself for that, she was crying in front of her colonel. 

"Alright, you're dismissed." He said looking down and shooing her away. 

Jill silently closed the door behind her. She untied her drab green tie and walked out of the facility, leaving what fractured mind she had produced from the gulf. 

She wondered where life would take her next, as she walked down the road, with the things she carried. 


Last edited by Mercy on Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Gulf--   Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:47 pm

*Claps*

Fantastic work! I really loved the way you wrote Jill in this one. It really gave off some strong emotion while I was reading it.
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