Nigel was playing out every eventuality in his mind; all the possible outcomes considerations and possible responses.  He wanted to be prepared for every contingency and not leaving out a single ambiguous response on the part of his team.  Everyone had on the same page.  Knowing his men as he did, knowing their response times, their adherence to instruction, he knew he could count on them completely. 

Although he enjoyed having June here and she’d been valuable she was the fly in the ointment.  He wasn’t a hundred percent sure of her reactions.  It was essential she follow the protocol he would set down and follow it exactly and immediately.  He knew the heart could motivate anyone and unless schooled, it could take over, heart over head and when it came to family and loved ones, it was a distinct possibility.  One he couldn’t rule out.  It was time to go over as many possibilities as possible, save one.

Although the ink black surrounding would make reading her responses difficult, he hoped he’d be able to tell by the tone in her voice whether she was getting what he said and she’d follow his instruction implicitly. It was too late to second guess their situation now, they were too close to the inevitable.

Laying his flashlight between them, he began his explanation regarding what would happen, what might happen and the possible outcome. 

Roland and Jackson were seasoned hikers, they had that going for them and it worked in Nigel’s favour too. Again, they’d never been in a hostage situation and he could only hope that reason would sustain them all through the crises.

When he’d finished his clear and concise explanations he asked, “Where are you with all this, June?”

“First and foremost, scared.”  She paused then added, “I’m scared I might do the wrong thing, and someone will get hurt.”

“This situation is not on you, June, nor is it of your making. It’s on the men responsible.  Keep that in the foreground of your mind no matter what happens.  You are part of the team, June.  You know what we know.  I’m hoping that our men out there will respond appropriately.  Only time will tell, but knowledge is power, and in this case, the power to protect.”

“Your instructions were abundantly clear, and I understand them, I can envision them in my mind.  I get that split-second timing is going to be essential.  I’ll follow your lead, Nigel.  I don’t want to make a mistake that could harm them.”

“Don’t forget yourself in this scenario, June.  I’m trying to protect you too.”

“I know, Nigel.”

“Ok, lets get some sleep.  I have a feeling we have a long and interesting day ahead of us tomorrow.”

“How many caves are there? How do we narrow down which one if any they’re using?”

“When we arrive there, I’ll divide my men up in groups.  Everyone will be in constant radio contact and as soon as we determine which area they are in, we’ll all converge on it.”

“Ok.”  June found sleep difficult as Nigel suspected she might.  The weight of the situation was hitting her hard.  She might have been able to ignore it until now, but time was up.

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Sat May 11 , 2019
Nigel hadn’t pulled any punches outlining the situation facing them. He’d taken time to cover all the possibilities and her part in each instance.  He […]

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