Free Falling

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

25,000 feet in the air, First Lieutenant Jonathan "The Bullet" Gibbs wakes up as he is hurtling towards the earth.

He is disoriented, wounded and enraged and has only a short time in which to react, before he hits the ground at terminal velocity.

Unbeknownst to Gibbs and the country he is fighting so hard to protect, a man known only as "Odin" has amassed a group of followers to help him uproot the very foundation of the largest Superpower on the planet - The United States of America.




First Lieutenant Jonathan “The Bullet” Gibbs plummeted to the earth.

He wore a high-altitude jumpsuit – full-face breathing mask; streamlined black bodysuit. He wore an altimeter on his wrist, a knife on his hip, a pair of military free-fall boots, a parachute, an AAD (automatic activation device), a suppressed M249 SAW and one Desert Eagle.

 He didn’t, however, angle his body downward as he fell. He didn’t fly head-first into the onrushing wind, and despite the fact that he had done this countless times before, he didn’t realize that 25,000 feet in the air, he shot down at terminal velocity, backwards.

 He had always performed a perfect jump. He was known for his in-air stunts and expert movements during a HALO – high altitude, low opening.

He always shot through the sky like a bullet.

The Bullet.

But this time was unlike any other. This time, First Lieutenant Jonathan “The Bullet” Gibbs was unconscious…


Meanwhile, in a small abandoned house somewhere in the middle of Chusovoy, Russia, a lone figure sat silently in the dark. In the middle of what was once a small living room, the figure sat on an old wooden chair and waited.  

He was an old man of eighty-three and looked it. He had short, unkempt grey hair, a wrinkled face and tired grey eyes. His yellow teeth and muddy nails demonstrated his lack of hygienic attention.

To the denizens he appeared an old, bedraggled beggar, searching for food or cheap vodka. But to his followers he was known only as “Odin.”

The One.

The old man shifted uncomfortably in his chair, the stench of mould and rat faeces doing nothing to thwart his growing impatience.

What is taking so long? He is never late!

The old man made to get up…


He sat back quickly, snatched the radio off his belt and hastily lifted it to his ear.


“Da!?” he said, anticipation in his voice.

Eto delayetsa…”

A thin smile spread across the old man’s face.

The Captain had prevailed.

He clicked the radio off, returned it to his belt, and shuffled outside into the frosty, morning air.

It is done…




First Lieutenant Jonathan “The Bullet” Gibbs’ eyes shot wide open.

He saw only sky - a vast, limitless expanse of blue.

He could sense that he was falling as the wind raged heavily on his back, forcing his arms and legs upwards.

He glanced at his altimeter. It read 10,000 feet. He figured that he had a few thousand feet left before his AAD would automatically deploy his parachute and that if he wasn’t the correct side up, he could not only end up tangled in his unopened parachute, but he could strike the ground at a tremendous speed. And it doesn’t take an expert to figure out that a plummet from 25,000 feet, exclusive of a working parachute, is certain to kill anybody.

He rotated in the air, opened out his arms and legs to steady himself and immediately suffered a burning pain in his left shoulder.

He touched his glove to the source of the pain and raised it to his shielded eyes.


What the…?

He had been shot.

His eyes started to water from the pain as adrenaline coursed through his veins. He was confused, disoriented and enraged.

And it took only a second for him to recall what had happened…


The mission: seek and destroy a run-down warehouse in Nigeria that is illegally manufacturing and trading military hardware to American enemies.

It was to be a classic HALO drop, led by Captain Buck Howard, as always. Two teams would jump from 25,000 feet, fall fast and hard, and then stop dangerously close to the ground, right at their drop zone. The combination of high downward-speed, minimal metal and forward air-speed serves to defeat radar as well as simply avoid any detection from the ground, ensuring a stealthy insertion.

On the ground, the first group of ten would stay low, advance onto the warehouse and wait for the second group to settle on the opposite flank. After which, both teams would storm the warehouse, ensure silent takedowns with their suppressed M249 SAW’s, locate and retrieve evidence of the illegal trading, send the warehouse up in a blaze - making it appear like a gas leak - and get the hell out of there before the authorities arrive.

Simple enough…

For Lieutenant Jonathan “The Bullet” Gibbs this mission was as straightforward as it got.

Having joined the United States Marine Corp. at a young age, Jonathan Gibbs progressed up the ranks faster than any Marine could have.

Generals presented him with medals at every opportunity to merit his bravery and extreme stunts - most of which were the reason his team’s missions were deemed so successful. He was The Golden Boy for all the Top Ranking Officials. The go-to-guy if you needed something done. He was IT!

No one really knows where he his nickname, The Bullet, originated. Some Marines believe it was because Gibbs shot through the ranks, some considered that he got it as a result of his unnatural speed in the field. One rumour, which is so clandestinely passed around the base, stipulates that he was given the name by Captain Buck Howard - the man who took Jonathan Gibbs under his wing, after he saved Buck’s life during a horrific mission.

It was another stealth drop. This time, a HAHO – high altitude, high opening. The storm stirring beneath them put them all on edge. The Marines issued forth from the back of the cargo plane, with Captain Buck Howard leaping last.

One man remained in the plane: Jonathan Gibbs. At the time, a Second Lieutenant. This was his first jump with the big boys, but he was only considered necessary for the final part of the mission – clean up - so he would jump then.

He watched as Captain Buck Howard gave a nod, placed his helmet over his head and dropped over the edge of the ramp. As Captain Buck Howard got smaller and smaller, the Second Lieutenant envied the man. He loved the sensation of weightlessness - the chance to plummet to the earth; the feeling of danger.

But in a second, envy turned to panic.

His comm.-unit blared to life in his ear.

It was Captain Buck Howard.




And then it cut to static…

The Marines on the ground heard it too. They had just landed and were now searching the heavens for their Captain. They located him, hurtling towards the ground, arms and legs flailing. All they could do was stare - watch and wait for their Chief and Commander’s inevitable demise.

Suddenly, a black figure shot out of the clouds into the five-force Pacific storm. The figure fell fast and hard.

Like a bullet.

The figure closed the gap between it and the Captain at alarming speed, as they ever approached the churning black sea.

The black figure slammed into the now unconscious Captain Buck Howard, and held on with all its might.

The men on the ground had no idea what was happening. They saw what looked like a mushroom-shaped canopy shoot out the back of the figures back-pack only a couple hundred feet off the ground, greatly slowing the descent of Captain Buck Howard. It was challenging to see in the storm, but all they could make out was the looming, canopied figure land in front of them. It steadily placed the comatose Captain on the ground, unclipped the parachute and pull off its helmet.

It was Second Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs.

From then on, Captain Buck Howard personally requested Jonathan Gibbs for every mission he led, after promoting him to First Lieutenant and, according to rumour, giving him the nickname “The Bullet.”

Any and all missions they did together were performed with expert skill and always went better than was anticipated. They were a force to be reckoned with.

 However, things didn’t go as planned, this time.


As the two teams prepared themselves for the jump, the rear loading ramp of the Combat Talon rumbled open. The first team double-checked their parachutes and stood in pairs, in jumping order, with First Lieutenant Jonathan “The Bullet” Gibbs to jump first.

The loading ramp continued to lower as light poured in, illuminating the faces of the Marines. The second men were right behind the first, awaiting their orders. They were ready. It was a beautiful morning for another successful mission, but before the loading ramp was opened completely, the next bit happened as if it were in slow motion.

The loading area was assailed with bullets. Sparks ignited all over the walls and floor of the plane. Man after man dropped, dead before they hit the floor of the aircraft.

 First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs ducked in surprise and dived behind one of the few boxes of supplies as the wave of lead continued to cut down the rest of his team.

He quickly looked around the crate, only to be met by more gunfire, but managed to see the dead bodies of his fallen comrades and the other ten men shooting wildly at them.

With every man in his team, but him, dead, he had no other choice but to jump.

He un-holstered one of his trusty Desert Eagles, swung around the crate with his back facing the loading ramp and fired with all his might.

The other ten men dived out of the line of fire, two men being cut down in the process, as the First Lieutenant’s guns blazed. He jumped blindly out of the rear loading ramp, backwards.

Before he jumped though, he stole a glance at the back of the plane and caught a glimpse of a man’s face being lit up by flashes of gunfire. He looked into the cold eyes of the man. The eyes of evil. The eyes of a traitor. The eyes of Captain Buck Howard.

In a split second, Captain Buck Howard raised his M9A1 pistol, aimed down the sight and pulled the trigger. The bullet shot out of the gun, flew down the length of the plane and hit First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs in the left shoulder.

First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs dropped his gun as the bullet exited the back of his shoulder, followed by a spray of blood. At the same time, he dropped over the edge of the loading ramp and got one last look at the bloodshed that had just occurred. Twelve men killed in a matter of seconds.

How could this have happened? It doesn’t make any sense!

But before he could think any further, First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs lost consciousness and saw only one thing. Darkness…




The First Lieutenant withdrew from his disturbing memory and prepared for a swift landing.

The ground beneath him hurriedly got closer and closer every second. The AAD beeped and the parachute shot out of the bag and trailed behind him in a bundle of string and nylon/cotton.

The parachute never caught and for a second First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs thought the Captain had sabotaged the chutes - for the ones that ‘got away’.

C’mon, catch! Catch, God dammit!

The parachute opened up into a wide 370-square-foot structure of speed-consuming canopy.

First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs was jerked backwards and cried out from the severe pain in his shoulder. Nearly losing consciousness again, he shook himself awake, and prepared for a fast landing.

The ground raced past beneath him as he lifted up his legs and landed gracefully.

He unclipped his chute before the wide mushroom-shaped canopy touched the ground, ripped his helmet off and took in his surrounded down the scope of his M249 SAW.

He was in Northern Nigeria, the landscape was arid and lifeless. He could see the warehouse about a half-click away from his position.

His shoulder throbbed with pain. Confident that he was in no danger, he tended to his wound.

He bandaged up his shoulder and was very grateful that the bullet wound was through-and-through. That way he didn’t have to burrow the bullet out, which could have caused another blackout - time he could not allow to waste right now. He needed something to work in his favour at least.

As if on cue, he heard the roar of a plane up ahead. He looked up, blocked out the overwhelming sun with his right hand, and saw the plane shoot across the sky.

Loud and obvious – they wanted to be seen.

A dozen tiny figures issued out of the aircraft in rapid sequence, dispersing into the sky behind the soaring plane.

First Lieutenant Jonathan Gibbs stared as the dozen Marines landed skillfully near the warehouse, unaware of his presence. He observed as they entered the dilapidated building as if they owned the place.

This whole thing was a set up!

He needed to contact base. The First Lieutenant checked his communication-unit.


He was alone.


The First Lieutenant had no backup, not nearly enough weapons and a wounded shoulder. To an ordinary Marine, the situation would seem hopeless.

But Jonathan Gibbs was no ordinary Marine.

He loaded his guns, dropped all of his heavy gear and started jogging towards the warehouse, managing to remain out of sight.

First Lieutenant Jonathan “The Bullet” Gibbs knew what he had to do…

Submitted: June 17, 2013

© Copyright 2021 JCD5. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Rose Burg

I love it! I really like all the military terms and it seems like a great story. But it seems like you've copied it twice. It is still really good!

Fri, June 21st, 2013 5:43am


I didnt even realise! HAHA thanks!

Fri, June 21st, 2013 8:42am

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