The following covert operation may or may not describe actual events. Places, names, timelines and other details may have been modified, omitted or added in part or as a whole if inspired by events and actions that may or may not have actually occurred and people that may or may not have existed. Verifiably unverifiable but with the core narrative intact. -NOTICE #637BAU

       [ OBJECTIVE ]         Stay low until extraction.

       0001         Situated somewhere in Eastern Europe is a once grand, stone hotel fit for royalty. War after war, year after year, it’s diminished much since its heyday but now has a haunting beauty to it, like an early ruin.

       0002         After checking in with reception, I go over to the elevator but find it’s out of order. Judging by the spider webs and dust, it hasn’t run in a decade. I take the castle-like spiral staircase to the fifth floor.

       0003         Now at the third floor I see why the elevator was derelict, because it’s been shot up completely, most likely .50 caliber fire from street level through the window.

       0004         Oh nice, the stone wall to my room was also decimated by a .50 cal… Yet the room is surprisingly posh, I put my duffle bag down and look around.

       0005         I’m here to get some R&R until my ride gets here. The OP was a success and I usually like to celebrate with a fat blunt… I crack a Philly cigar and start rolling the Kush.

       0006         Mmmmm… I’m feeling good. Where my snacks at?

       0007         I devour the food while watching some local soap opera on TV, then I hear a gunshot followed by the screaming of what sounds like a thousand people. It’s just the TV from another room, probably… I continue munching.

       0008         I hear it again, gunfire then screams. I mute my TV and wait, it happens again. But it’s unmistakable, live small arms were fired and those were real screams… I go to the window.

       0009         As if a small parade was going on, there is at least 30 people lined up on the sidewalk. Opposite is a seemingly high ranking police officer and 2 soldiers in full gear, each with an AK-47.

       0010         My gut tells me it can’t possibly be for me. The OP was 1 country and 2 borders from here and the staging site has been dismantled for days.



       0012         A deputy moves the police car and parks it horizontally on the street to block traffic, which reveals 2 bodies laying on the ground. Strangely, it’s just a couple of local old grandpas. There’s movement, they’re not dead, just hurt, but no blood or visible wounds – I don’t understand.

       0013         One of the soldiers gets a Kevlar vest from the ground and puts it on another old man. The old man gets on his knees and has an “okay I’m ready” look on him. The crowd starts to whimper and you can instantly spot his family as they start to cry.

       0014         The cop seems to ask the crowd a question… And again, now pointing his sidearm at the old man’s chest… He asks again…

       0015         No answer… He fires his pistol. The crowd of 30 screams with the power of a thousand. The old man drops.

       0016         What seems to be the old man’s adult granddaughter runs to him and cradles him, she then yells at the cop and points her finger at the hotel, almost as if directly at me as I watched from my room window. The crowd, the cop and the soldiers all turn their heads towards me… I know they couldn’t possibly have seen me but I still jump away from view.

       0017         So it appears the cop was looking for someone and the crowd gave them up, it can’t be me, but it could be… The 2 soldiers rush into the hotel.

       0018         Only one way in and one way out of this hotel. So if it is for me, I can’t escape, but I can evade… I reach for my duffle but quickly realize I have no equipment, I didn’t bother to procure my hidden go-bag just downstairs outside in the nearby park.

       0019         I need to get to the second floor to get within earshot of the reception desk, to see if I can hear the soldiers talking to the receptionist – specifically to hear her mutter the number “503”. If I do hear that number, I am the target.

       0020         Too late, I make it to the 3rd floor and I can already hear the soldiers’ gear clanking through the hallway of the second floor, which is where the guest rooms begin… I assume that they’ll clear each room systematically, floor by floor until they find their target. However, if they skip the second floor, that’s a good indication that they are after me because they’re going straight for room 503.

       0021         I run back to my room and quickly tidy the place up. I throw all my snacks and wrappers into the bin and remove the garbage bag as well as my duffle and toss it on top of the tall cabinet to keep it out of sight. I make the bed as perfectly as I can then a quick cleanup of the bathroom. All to make it appear it’s a vacant room.



       0023         They’re here, the clanking of their heavy gear can be heard on my floor, sounds like they’re starting from room 500… I hear knocking, no answer. I hear the distinct sound of a key going in the lock echoing through the stone hallway. That means they have a master key.

       0024         I count 6 seconds. That’s how long they’re taking to clear each empty room… Now room 502, I’m next.

       0025         Nowhere to go I stand directly behind the room door and against the wall. The clanking sound nears, the key is inserted, the door opens as it completely hides me against the wall and I hold the doorknob to keep it in position, the soldiers are in.

       0026         One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi, five Mississippi…

       0027         Six Missi… One of the soldiers reaches for the doorknob as I let it go and he closes it.

       0028         They’re gone. I need a beer.

In the following days I checked their local news via satellite and found nothing on these events, aka coverup. But with my curiosity piqued I found through my sources that the “top cop” was looking for a supposed fugitive who’s been holed up in this hotel.

A substantively indeterminate actually specified typical OP as a former covert operative. For days in my life of vagabonding, view A Day posts.

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  1. Hmmmm… Eastern Europe, I think I know what city your talking about,.. still basically a war zone.

    • Yeah I think I know the hotel, although lots of buildings are war torn there. Was stationed near there for 6 months.

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