The dream always repeated itself over and over again.
The petite blonde girl sat in front of him. She was talking...he remembered what she was saying, "never giving up, no matter the odds." Although what she was saying was not as important as the fact that it was her back in the cabin again like the day they had first met.
God, she had been annoying back then.
But she had been right too. Right about a lot of things.
Six months ago, he had simply sat and stared at her wondering how all that annoying "save the world" personality could be wrapped into such a small person. She was not the kind of person he would have given a second glance at. And yet she had shown up, followed him, yelled at him when he needed it, and watched his back. He had discovered her in return. She was more than what she seemed. She had been through more. She was quite animated and all he could do was listen, never really sure how he should respond...
Until he had heard the click of a gun outside and then he had covered her from the spray of bullets that followed as J'avo attacked the cabin. He had done it without thinking and her own wide eyed surprise as she stared up at him showed just how much she was struggling to trust him.
Now every time he heard the click in his dreams and he pushed her over to protect her he would look down expecting to see her there under him but she would be gone. Looking up she was always being carried away, not by J'Avo this time. But by her own government soldiers.
"Jake!" She screamed every time, her hand outstretched towards him, just like she had in China when there really were J'Avo taking her away.
And he would always call her name in return. But he could never get to her.
Something was always holding him back and whenever he focused on it...
"Jake!" He heard his name shouted over and over again as the dream faded and his eyes popped open.
"Mr. Jake?"A 18-year boy named Muhammed was shaking him roughly. "Mr. Jake, wake up!"
Jake's eyes snapped awake as he took in where he was. Yemen. The heat poured in and he groaned as he sat up pushing the dream away. Coughing up dust he glanced around for water. What he wouldn't give for a good Edonian snow storm right about now. A pit formed in his stomach as he thought of home but he pushed it away. There was nothing in Edonia for him now. His unit was gone, his mother dead...and there was no Sherry back there to rescue him from himself.
"What is it?" He growled at the youth. Sweat dripped down his forehead and he wiped it out of his face. He fallen asleep on a low cot, gear still attached. He must have been tired last night after setting up some of their traps for him to not even remove his gun from his hip holster. The holster was another souvenir from China. He was not sure who it belonged to before he had stolen it but odds are it was some mindless J'avo from the facility where he had been taken from Edonia.
"Strelats!" the boy replied happily tossing a canteen at him. There were others with them, milling around excitedly picking up weapons.
Jake tipped the canteen up and took a long swig. The water was lukewarm but in this heat any was welcome.
"Strelats?" Jake repeated setting the canteen down. "How many?"
"Three!" Muhammed said before running back towards the door.
When had the boy become so happy to face monsters? Jake thought shaking his head. The last of the dream ebbed away.
Sorry Super Girl, he thought to himself as he raised himself off his cot. I know most people like to drown their sorrows in alcohol, but I like killing monsters instead.
Feeling his own adrenaline rush going, Jake dragged on his boots.
Three Strelats before breakfast?