She lay there for who knows how long as the fires from the explosions slowly ate away at the compound, and the few enemy survives evacuated the area by helicopter, and the air strip was in no condition to be used. She faintly heard the sounds of the helicopter's blades breaking through the air as she drifted in and out of semi-consciousness.

Countless hours after she had heard the last helicopter, countless hours since she had given up even the tiniest of hopes that she would be rescued, she pulled herself to a seated position. She looked around in a daze, wondering what had suddenly prompted her to do so, when a big raindrop plopped itself on her head. She looked up as the rain began to pour harder. Sighing, her body stiff from the 'rest,' she managed to drag herself towards the remains of her rafts. She tried to find a raft chunk that was large enough for her to use as a shield against the rain. She managed to find one, and crawled under it. Then, she promptly conked out again, no longer caring how exposed and visible she would be, under a dark gray rubber on an almost blindingly white beach, turned a light tan by the constant rain.

She lost track of the time she spent there, as the black rain clouds made even the days very dark, but she felt herself growing weaker. She had no food, she had no supplies, and in all honesty, her body was probably so filled with tropical bacteria that she hadn't a chance. The fact that her wounds were not healing very fast sure didn't inspire much hope. She ached, inside and out, and stewed under the rubber raft that was her only protection from the rain, but which was boiling in the tropical heat. It was a lucky thing that it wasn't sunny, or she really would have boiled.

Some time later she heard the familiar sound of a helicopter blade, although whether it had been a few days or merely a few hours, she couldn't say. She noticed, however, that it was no longer rainy, and that the sun was blazing down on her. Everything around her was still wet, though, and so she knew it'd been raining recently. She squinted up in the bright sun, and saw familiar colors. Her eyes widened slightly in surprise as her not-yet-functioning brain turned on, and she realized just how familiar the colors were. She woke herself up, slowly and painfully edging her way out from under the raft-remains. Her normally tan skin was a dull red all over, and her skin was dry and flaking. The bleeding had stopped, but a mossy green crust had developed on all but the mildest of cuts, giving her the appearance of a horror film star gone moldy. She creaked herself onto her feet, and stumbled, waving her arm slowly at first, and more wildly as her ill-treated muscles unknotted.

"Colonel Walker," a man shouted over the loud blades. "We've been looking for you for a while now. Thought you were dead."

Jessie just stumbled over to the helicopter, and croaked, "Water."

The captain handed over a flask and Jessie took short, careful sips, even though every fiber in her body screamed for her to soak herself in it. But, she didn't want to make herself sick, and so she used every ounce of self control to keep the sips small. After she had about half the flask inside her belly, she said, "I was."

"What?" the captain said, more than slightly confused.

Jessie dragged herself into the helicopter, and buckled in. "I was. Dead, I mean. Never mind. Joke."

The captain just shrugged, and Jessie asked, "Got anything to eat?" The captain handed her a small packet of food, and she slowly ate at that, sighing happily as the food satisfied her starving stomach. "That sure hits the spot," she said with a grin.

"The Chiefs are sure gonna be surprised when they find out you made it. After Matterson called in to report the huge fires on this island, we waited a full 10 hours before we figured something went wrong. We didn't find any one else, and we were wondering….'

Jessie looked at him a moment, her anger flaring up suddenly. She'd just gotten out, and they already wanted a damn status report?! Hadn't she done what they wanted, even though everyone else had died? Of all the… She shook herself mentally, and let the anger fall. 'It's just his job.'

"Whole team except for Matterson dead," she said curtly, no emotion in her voice. "Ambush. They knew we were there, and they attacked. We managed to knock out the base, satellite, and all airplanes. They shipped out a few hours after the compound was trashed."


"And?" she repeated, not knowing what else he wanted to know.

"And where did they go?"

She looked at him with one eyebrow raised. She asked, "Newbie?"

"How did you…?"

"I haven't the damndest idea of where the hell they went. I was friggin' unconscious, Captain. Let me explain what exactly that means… NO FRIGGIN AWARENESS. Okay? Any more questions?"

"No Ma'am."

"Good. Then wake me when we land," she said, and promptly fell asleep, comfy for the first time in a long while.

Jessie rested up and recuperated for a few months, and by the end, all she had left to remind her of that mission were a few scars, most of which would fade over time. As soon as she was healthy again, she got shoved back, and shipped back to Checkpoint Bravo to meet with her team, with new men to replace the ones that'd been lost. She returned, the men met her with melancholy hearts, and informed the newbies as to the intricacies of real war, and prepared for when they'd be called out again.

A man came riding in a dark green Jeep one sunny afternoon, and rushed over to Jessie's tent, a message in his hand. Jessie received it, and sent the man to the mess tent, and opened her orders. She immediately called a meeting of all her Captains.

Meeting them in the command tent, she fumed angrily.

"Damn those bureaucratic assholes!" she cursed, as she looked out at the supply lists her Captains had just compiled. "They've gotta know that the enemy'd be expecting such an obvious move!"

Jessie fumed for another moment, before sagging slightly. She looked somberly at her Captains, and said, "Boys, this one's gonna be a rough one."

And she gestured to a map again, as clearly labeled as the last one, and explained a mission involving the same strategies, the same theories, the same fights, and the same deaths.