“1800 hours. Special Ops Agent Cooper Riley reporting. Recon mission into Tango Kilo, land heavily guarded by terrorist leader Boss Mama, to retrieve the target. Will update as events progress. Riley out.”
The special agent reattached the tape recorder to his belt and took a deep breath, preparing his mind for the mission ahead. Giving himself a quick shake, Agent Riley leaned to look around the large tree he was hidden behind. Before him he saw the long trek he had until his destination, and a series of dangerous obstacles between him and his prize.
Just as he made to step out from behind the tree trunk one of the Boss’ guards walked out of hiding not far in front of him. The shadowy character was tall and thin with a large gun held ready in gloved hands. Riley jumped back behind his tree, fearing he had been spotted. The guard glanced shortly at the stand of trees with suspicious eyebrows cocked, then continued patrolling the area’s perimeter. As soon as the guard was out of sight, Riley darted out from his hiding space, keeping low to the ground, and crawled forward through the mud on his stomach.
He journeyed more than half of the way without any further occurrence, but as he made to crawl around the hedges that would direct him toward his goal a guard dog prowled in his direction. Holding his breath, the special agent pressed himself down into the mud, hiding any exposed skin and trying desperately to blend in with the muddy ground. The dog approached him, sniffing the air eagerly as it searched for the intruder. Moving slowly so as not to attract attention, Riley lifted a small stone and tossed it in the opposite direction. The guard animal immediately turned around and raced after the rock, paying no more heed to the agent.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Agent Riley began creeping forward again. He crawled past a position where a large bald guard stood in his outpost, transmitting a report over his radio in a strange language. His heart beat rose as he realised how close he was to succeeding in his mission. Boss Mama’s headquarters, codenamed Tango Kilo, was directly ahead and Riley could see his target sitting on the windowsill of the hut. He took several deep breaths as he crept towards the open window, steadying his nerves. If he got too anxious he would never make it away with his life.
The agent crouched beneath the window, watching carefully for a moment when Boss Mama would be looking in the opposite direction. The Boss turned to look at something on the table before her and Riley leapt to his feet, opening the package and dipping his hand inside.
“Cooper, get your hand out of that cookie jar,” Mrs. Riley said without even turning to look at him. Cooper’s hand retreated hastily. “How many times do I have to tell you? No cookies before dinner. Now go and wash up. Dinner will be ready in just a few minutes.”
Cooper grumbled and turned away, retracing the way he had come. The frustration of defeat hung heavily over him as he passed his father chatting away on his cell phone. His father glanced up long enough to grin and roll his eyes before becoming embroiled in his conversation again. As he stepped into the hall the cat pounced on the ball of yarn, giving a cheery meow.
“Got busted again, special agent?” his older sister jibbed with a snide grin. He shot a short glance at her as she carried the hairdryer past him and toward the hall closet. “You’re never going to get away with that trick, runt.”
Cooper continued past her and to the bathroom sink. As he washed his hands beneath the rushing water a slow smile spread over his face. He hurried into his room and drew the small tape recorder from his belt.
“1815 hours. Special Ops Agent Cooper Riley reporting in. Operation Cookie Jar is a failure. Position was compromised. Recon mission to be repeated tomorrow. Must be wary of extra security in place after today’s discovery. Riley out.”