It was the 13th of August. I have heard people say that 13 is an unlucky number. Perhaps that explains why things happened the way they did on this day.

It was a few minutes past midnight at precisely 002 hours. Our boat slid silently through the dark murky waters. Our platoon commander had instructed the captain to shut down the engine few minutes before we slid into the Red Scorpions’ territory. I was silent. Looking back now I remember we were all silent. All twelve of us. Specially picked from our various units, supposedly the best of the bests! The operation to which we had been assigned was a highly classified one. Not even us knew what we were up against, until we were comfortably seated in the boat. That was when everyone fell silent.

I wiped my face with my forearm. I was sweating in the cold! From the corner of my eye I saw Yusuf lean over to one side and let out air. Offensive air. Nobody paid any attention. We were too tensed to notice. I could hear my heart pounding against the PKM 54 Assault balanced on my chest.

Following the commander’s instruction, our boat’s engine was cut and we were moving at just glide speed. Our boat steadily began to slow to a halt. Commander Ben looked round to ensure we were all alert. He need not have bothered. The prospects of certain death was enough motivation…