Six Billion Dollar Man
Thomas Calabrese– Master Chief Rolly Nash has been a Navy Seal for sixteen years. It was a career that could be described in various ways; arduous, dangerous, interesting, boring, repetitive, competitive, challenging, and exciting. Not to mention, extremely hard on the body and detrimental to health and survival. When he wasn’t on a mission, Rolly was usually training to keep his skills sharp or recuperating from the toll that being a special operative took on him. He had been shot six times, broken both legs and dislocated both shoulders, fractured his collarbone three times and cracked every rib in his body at one time or another, been stabbed once and had more concussions and torn muscles then he could count. His medical records read more like a manual on what not to do to the human body than a documented history of ailments. Rolly could have medically retired several times, but always found a way to pass the necessary tests to return to full duty. Those who served with Rolly knew that his mental toughness and determination was second to none. The question was how long could he go on, nobody wanted to bet against him, that’s for sure.
Charlie Team received their mission assignment and were told that it was wheels up at 0500 hours from North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego. Once aboard the C-130 Hercules transport, Lieutenant Commander Ben Esterhaus of Naval Intelligence briefed Rolly and his men as he pointed to aerial photos. “Terrorist organization Al Shabaab has committed 14 attacks against Western interests in the last three months and we have credible Intel that the American embassy in Nairobi is next on their list.”
“You’ve got Marine personnel on site, why do they need us?” Rolly asked.
“The Marines are going to guard the embassy personnel,” Lt. Commander Esterhaus replied.
“I get it,”Rolly smiled.
“Get what?” Chief Petty Officer Burke inquired.
“After what happened in Benghazi, the President is firmly committed to never giving up American soil to terrorists again and embassy property is American soil,” Lt. Commander Esterhaus explained.
“I get it now, we’re there to kill them,” Chif Petty Officer Burke surmised.
“Delta Force has located three of their camps and when they hit the embassy,we’ll bring the thunder and wrath of America down on them,”Lt Commander Esterhaus then added, “Get ready to deliver the message, loud and clear.”
“These are my kind of rules of engagement,” Rolly smiled.
The Navy Seals found places in the plane to settle in for the long flight from California to Africa. Rolly reached into his travel bag, pulled out a tube of potent muscle linament and rubbed it on his elbows, knees and shoulders . He slipped on his jacket to keep the warmth in as it permeated his joints and muscles.
Rolly put a dab on each temple and quickly felt the heat inside his skull. He slipped on noise cancelling headphones and a virtual reality headset then climbed into his hammock and slowly drifted away to his own private world. The music videos of Weightless, Electra, Watermark, Strawberry Swing, Please Don’t Go, Pure Shores and Someone Like You,began to play. Over the years Rolly had plenty of time to experiment with different pre-mission preparation and this particular one worked best for him. Ten years ago, he might have the spent the entire flight playing cards with other SEALs, but he was a different man now and he realized the value of alone time.
The plane touched down at Camp Lemonnier, Naval Expeditionary Base, next to Djibouti-Abouli International Airport. The camp was operated by U.S. Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia.The Navy SEALs were met by Captain Justin Lind of S.O.A.R.
( Special Operations Aviation Regiment) This unit provides aviation support for special operations forces that include attack, assault and reconnaissance.
“Good to see you Rolly,” Justin said.
“You too.” Rolly noticed Delta Force operatives lounging around the area, “Looks like we’re the last to arrive at the party.”
“We’re ready to go,” Captain Lind said.
Two hundred men boarded a C-5 Galaxy and flew the 1351 miles to the Kenya Air Force base in Nairobi. A CIA official approached them when they disembarked, “I know it’s a been a long flight for your guys and I wish that I could give more time to acclimate, but Al Shabbaab is on the move. Mount up!”
A dozen Stealth helicopters were waiting and the American warriors wasted no time getting aboard . The choppers took off and once they were airborne, Delta Force went northwest and the SEALs went south. Rolly could see the United States embassy in the distance and were only minutes away when one of the crewman made way his over to Rolly, “The pilot wants to see you.”
Rolly walked up to the cockpit, “Yeah.”
“They’ve started the attack,” The pilot pointed to a screen on the console, “We’ve got heat signatures all over the place. There’s a dozen on a nearby roof .”
It only took Rolly a few seconds to devise his plan, “Get me near that building.” Rolly left the cockpit and radioed his fellow SEALs in the other helicopters, “ Charlie Two and Charlie Three, move to the embassy. Charlie One, with me.”
The chopper hovered at forty feet above the ground and Rolly and eight men rappelled down, then cautiously made their way to the building where the terrorists were on the roof. Rolly pointed to the front door and they moved toward it. Petty Officer Jon Miller placed an explosive device near the door knob and remotely detonated it.
Two Navy SEALs threw in flashbang grenades to disorient the occupants, then entered in single file . They shot several terrorists then moved to the stairwell. Several terrorists began shooting down at the Americans. Rolly handsignaled his men to lay down supressive fire as he crawled up the steps. His fellow SEALs were excellent marksman and he could feel their bullets inches above him, but knew they would not hit him. The terrorists were forced to take cover and temporarily stopped shooting. When Rolly reached the top stair, he used a small mirror mounted on a flexible rod to peer around the corner and saw two crouching men with rifles. He quickly got in a position where he had a clear shot and eliminated both terrorists, then motioned for his men to follow.
Right about this time, Delta Force commenced their attack on the compound of Al Shabaab, while the other SEALs engaged the terrorists that were attacking the embassy. Once Rolly and his men were on the roof, there was a fierce and brief firefight and eliminated the threat. While searching the dead combatants for valuable Intel and taking photos of their faces, Rolly noticed that one of the terrorists had hidden in a ventilation shaft and was crawling out with his weapon. Two Navy SEALs had their backs turned to him and were about to be killed. Rolly could not get a clear shot, so with no other choice and no regard for his own safety he ran full speed and used an air conditioning unit to propel himself in the air. When he hit the terrorist, both men tumbled off the thirty-foot high roof and crashed to the concrete below. The terrorist was killed on impact and Rolly was critically injured.
Master Chief Rolly Nash was placed on life support and transported back to California. The diagnosis was grim; both legs and both arms were broken, massive internal injuries and he was being kept in a medically induced coma because of brain swelling. The prognosis was no chance of recovery.
At a secret location in the small town of Rainbow, California, a group of scientists, doctors and technicians were meeting in a large conference room. Doctor Oscar Acosta stood up to address his colleagues, “We have the perfect candidate for our program, Master Chief Rolly Nash’s injuries are so severe that we are his only hope. He has no close family ties and we can fabricate a story for his disappearance. His military records indicates that he has the mental fortitude to withstand the numerous surgeries and rehabilitation that will be required.”
Doctor Nathan Winter was next to speak, “One of our greatest fears is giving this much power to one man.”
“Once again I ask you to look closely at Nash’s record. This is a man who has always placed the welfare of others above his own. I don’t see any indication that he would abuse and misuse this abilities.”
“I just don’t know,” Doctor Nathan Winter sighed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we can save Master Chief Rolly Nash. We have the technology and the capabilities to rebuild, enhance and augment him. To let this valiant warrior die or live in a vegetative state would be a disgrace and betrayal of our oath to ‘do no harm’. We also owe it to science and the country to procceed ahead.”
The ambulance left Balboa Naval Hospital and went north on Interstate 15. It took state highway 76 east for five miles and turned on to the road to Rainbow. The large research facility was hidden along a private two lane road and heavily guarded. Once the ambulance was searched and proper documentation was provided at the gate, it was allowed to enter. It drove through an isolated area for three miles, then stopped at the first building. Several attendants exited the stucture and Rolly was wheeled inside on a guerney.
The orthopedic surgeons had their series of operations planned and two days after his arrival Rolly’s badly deteriorated knees, hips and ankles and crushed bones were replaced with alloys of cobalt, titanium and tungsten.This combination of metals could withstand 20,000 pounds of pressure and the bearing portion of the joints were made from an unbreakable space age plastic polymer. After the surgeries, Rolly was placed in a space age hyberbaric chamber where his blood was constantly being re-circulated to avoid blood clots. Two weeks later, his elbows shoulders and forearm bones (radial and ulna) were replaced with the same materials. Microsurgery was performed on both wrists.
The next series of operations were performed by a team of rheumatologists (A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the muscles, tendons, joints, bones.) They took spider silk from Darwin bark spiders which has the highest strength to weight ratio of anything biological and surgically implanted it into the legs, arms and back muscle fibers. People have two general types of skeletal muscle fibers; slow-twitch (type I) and fast-twitch (type II). Slow-twitch help enable long distance feats such as distance running, while fast-twitch are used in powerful bursts of movements like sprinting. Rolly was given an abundance of both.
Cardiologists implanted a total artificial heart (TAH) to provide additional blood flow to Rolly’s new set of mega powerful muscles while pulmonologists (physicians who specializes in the respiratory system) performed surgery to double his lung capacity. Ophthalmologists reshaped his corneas to improve his eyesight from 20/20 to 20/5 while otolaryngologists (ear nose and throat doctors) increased Rolly’s hearing from the 15,000 hertz (normal for most humans) to 65,000, the range of felines.
After the last surgery was completed, Doctor Sienna Martine a biomedical engineer and Zachary Boone and Kristin Noonan, her team of highly specialized physical therapists took over the rehabilitation of the rebuilt Navy SEAL. Rolly Nash was slowly brought out of his medically induced coma under the expert supervision of Doctor Fred Robertson, the staff anesthesiologist. Doctor Acosta gave Rolly a day to feel somewhat normal again before coming by his room, “Welcome back to the real world.”
“Are you up to hearing what we did to you?” Doctor Acosta asked.
“Yes sir,” Rolly responded.
Doctor Acosta sat down and explained in detail about every operation and when he finished, “Any questions?”
Rolly responded humbly, “It seemed that you put in a lot of effort putting me back together and I appreciate it, but I don’t think I’m worth it.”
“Let us be the judge of that. Are you ready to begin rehab?”
“Yes sir,” Rolly answered.
For the first week, Sienna and her team put Rolly through hours of stretching, breathing and relaxing exercises. “How do you feel?”
Rolly answered, “Better than I’ve felt in a long time.”
“Good, next week we start the hard part,” Sienna said.
Rolly was already an excellent swimmer so when he entered the 25 meter lap pool, he felt pretty comfortable. Sienna asked, “Why don’t you start off with 32 lengths. That’s 800 meters…that should give us a pretty good indication of where you are at this point. Pick a pace that you feel comfortable with.”
“Yes ma’am,” Rolly pushed off and Zachary Boone started his stopwatch. When he finished his last lap, Rolly popped his head out of the water, not even breathing hard, “How was that?”
Zachary handed Sienna the stopwatch and it showed 6 minutes and 31 seconds. The current world record for 800 meters is 7 minutes and 23 seconds. “See how far you can swim underwater without pushing it. Take it easy, got it?” Sienna suggested.
“Got it” Rolly dived underwater and swam four lengths before coming up for air, “I think I could have done two more, but you said to take it easy.”
“That’s enough swimming for now,” Sienna said in amazement.
Even though the water was up to Rolly’s chest, his legs were so strong that he was able to jump out of the pool. At the gym, he did a hundred pull-ups, bench-pressed seven hundred pounds, squatted 1400 pounds and ran the 40 yard dash in 3.5 seconds. His reflexes were then tested. The average reaction by most people to visual stimuli is 250 milliseconds.
Rolly’s reaction time was 160 milliseconds. Sienna held her hands out with palms facing up. She had a quarter in each one. Rolly stood back five feet, “Now!” Sienna called out and before she could close her hands around the coins, Rolly snatched both of them!
For the next three weeks, Rolly was subjected to a battery of tests that encompassed endurance, strength, speed and quickness. When Sienna brought her detailed report to Doctor Acosta, “My professional assessment is Master Chief Nash has far exceeded anything that we could have expected from him. You know what the most amazing part is?”
“What’s that?” Doctor Acosta asked.
“He’s improving every day.”
“Is he ready to go?” Doctor Acosta asked.
“Absolutely,” Sienna said.
“You know him and his capabilities better than anyone; do you have any problem being part of his support team?”
“No sir,” Sienna answered, “I’d be honored.”
“Good, I’ll let you know.”
After Sienna left his office, Doctor Acosta made a call on his secure phone line, “He’s ready.”
Sienna had developed a friendship with the valiant American warrior as well as a deep admiration for his prior sacrifices and his dedication to duty. Rolly was eating lunch in the cafeteria when the young woman scientist approached, “Mind if I join you?”
“Please do,” Rolly said.
“How are you feeling?”
“Good, and you?” Rolly answered.
“Fine, you are doing amazingly,” Sienna commented.
“Your team did a good job putting me back together. Next time I fall off a roof I’ll know where to come.”
“You came here as somebody that was already special, all we did was perform a few repairs, enhancements and augmentations,” Sienna said.
Rolly laughed, “We may have to agree to disagree on that point.”
The two individuals made eye contact and their gaze lingered for several seconds until they both looked away at the same time, when it became obvious that things were getting a little personal.
Sienna quickly got up, “Enjoy your lunch,” and walked off. She whispered to herself, “Don’t cross that line.”
Rolly watched Sienna until she disappeared from view. It had been a while since he had been in a relationship so he was a little out of practice reading the signals. What the hell, she was probably just being nice. The Office of Counter Intelligence was not fully convinced that Rolly was everything that Doctor Acosta said he was, but they were willing to initially take a chance on him on a less critical mission, kind of like an audition for further assignments. An infamous child predator had skipped bail and was now living in a guarded compound in the Maldives, where there is no extradition treaty with the United States.
The former Navy SEAL jumped over the ten foot high electrified fence, avoided the close surveillance cameras with a series of acrobatic moves and made his way to the west side of the mansion. He climbed up the stone facing of the building using the incredible strength in his fingers much like a seasoned rock climber scaling a mountain face, to reach the second floor. He snapped the door handle off the balcony door and entered the bedroom. With his keen hearing, he was able to hear footsteps walking down the hallway carpet and hid behind the drapes. The escaped felon walked into the room, went directly into the bathroom and walked over to the sink. Rolly came up behind him and put his left hand over the man’s mouth and injected him with a knockout drug from a syringe that he was holding in his right. The man struggled for a couple seconds then passed out. Rolly put the limp body over his shoulder and walked over to the balcony. He jumped to the ground, sprinted over to the fence and leaped over it. A van was parked on the other side. Sienna opened the sliding door allowing Rolly and the unconscious man to get in and the driver pulled away. Three more successful missions over the next six months proved the that the former Navy SEAL and his enhanced skills were of immense value to America.
Sienna walked down the hallway to Rolly’s room and saw that he wasn’t there and had a good idea where to find him. When she got to the fitness center she looked through the window of the door and saw Rolly juggling forty-five pound dumbbells, doing handstand push-ups and punching the speed and heavy bag. His hands were a blur. As she approached, “Why is it that I’m not surprised to see you here?”
“Because I’m predictable and a creature of habit,” Rolly answered.
“This isn’t a prison; you’re allowed to leave the grounds.”
“I like it here; I’ve got a nice room, cable and good food. I’m kind of a gym rat anyway and now that you’ve fixed my body, I’m like a kid in a toy store and my body is my new toy,” Rolly said.
“I’m going out for lunch; would you care to join me? Sienna asked.
“Sure, let me take a quick shower and I’ll be right with you,” Rolly said.
Sienna drove to the Yellow Deli in downtown Vista, California and after ordering their food, she asked, “Tell me a little about you.”
“I’m pretty sure you read my service record book. That pretty much covers it. I joined the Navy right out of high school and now I’m here.”
“What about your personal life?” Sienna asked.
“I’ve been called a tool, an instrument of war, a weapon of destruction, but I’ve never been called a desirable boyfriend or good husband material,” Rolly said.
Sienna smiled, “You can now add the Six Billion Dollar Man to your list.”
“I’m one of those cases where the sum of the parts is greater than the value of the whole.”
“You just haven’t found the right woman yet,” Sienna added.
“That’s a good thing, I wouldn’t want anybody that I cared about to share the kind of life
that I live. I serve at the pleasure of my chain of command and defend our country around the world. I accept the risks and the price for that privilege. That’s my decision and my burden to carry alone.”
Sienna found herself becoming more attracted to this humble man with each passing moment. They were laughing and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company when both their phones rang simultaneously. Siena looked at the text, “They want us back.”
Rolly glanced at his watch, “We’ve been here two hours…that went by fast. Thanks for inviting me.”
“It was definitely my pleasure.”
When Rolly and Sienna got back to the compound, they were directed to the conference room where representatives from the Office of Counter Intelligence were waiting for them.
Jeff Ingram, senior analyst of the agency said, “A team of Americans was sent to Serbia to help track down an organization linked to the bombing of military installations in Europe. Two of our special operatives and four Serbian law enforcement personnel were kidnapped while coming back to the hotel. Ten others were killed in the ambush. We have received their demands and they want to exchange the hostages for fifteen men and ten women currently being held in prison. They have given us 72 hours to comply or the hostages will be executed.”
“We don’t negotiate with terrorists or criminals,” Rolly repeated the well-known policy.
“We know where they are being held and it is going be impossible to breech their fortified compound without being noticed. Our people also don’t think we’ll have time to insert a team and reach the hostages before they are executed. That’s why I’m here…you are our only option. This is strictly volunteer; you’ll be going in alone and there is a good chance that you’ll either be killed either going in or coming out.”
“Now that you told me the good news, give me the details,” Rolly said.
“Those two American operatives are members of your former Seal team,” Jeff Ingram said.
“Why didn’t you tell me that in the beginning?” Rolly asked.
“Would it have affected your decision?” Jeff asked.
“No, but now I have something to look forward to.”
After the briefing, Sienna approached Rolly, “He said that it was strictly volunteer, which means you don’t have to go.”
“Everybody says that, I used to tell my guys the same thing before every mission.”
“Really?” Sienna was amazed to hear that.
“Once you get to a certain level of special operations, it is always volunteer. Nobody wants some guy covering their ‘six’ who doesn’t want to be there,” Rolly said.
The hostages were being held on a small island in the Bay of Kotor in the country of Montenegro. Two boats with armed men slowly circled the island from opposite directions.
Rolly and Sienna scouted the area from the coastline with binoculars.
“What’s your plan?” Sienna asked.
“It’s about 400 meters to the island; I’ll swim the first two hundred with scuba tanks, drop them and swim the rest on my own.”
“Why’s that?” Siena asked.
“I don’t want them to see the air bubbles as I get closer,” Rolly replied.
“And your extraction plan?”
“By the time I reach the hostages, there’s a good chance that I’ve already killed most of the hostiles and getting out shouldn’t be as hard as getting in,” Rolly said calmly, “If I don’t reach them then…you can figure out the rest.”
At 0400 hours, Rolly prepared to enter the water. Siena gave him a kiss, “Be careful.”
Rolly had a nylon rope tied to his belt that was attached to a waterproof bag. Inside the bag were a Glock 19 and noise suppressor, a knife, cellphone, boots and weighted-knuckle gloves that had powdered lead sewn into a special pouch covering the knuckles. He put on his swim mask and inserted the breathing apparatus in his mouth and entered the water. Rolly gave the thumbs up signal and disappeared beneath the surface. He swam to what he thought was two hundred yards then came to the surface. Rolly treaded water until he saw the patrol boats pass by, dropped his scuba tank, then went beneath the surface. When he reached shore, Rolly saw a six foot electrified chain link fence located ten feet from the water’s edge. He took off his fins, wet suit and put on his boots then jumped over the fence. He took out the contents and called Siena on the cellphone, “I’m on the island, moving toward the building.” He slipped on the gloves and secured the straps around his wrists, put the handgun in his holster and the knife in the scabbard.
Rolly heard voices in the distance and sprung up to a tree branch. Six men came walking up and when they were directly below him, he jumped down. Rolly killed three with his knife and three with punches from his steel enforced fists in an attack that was so quick that not even one man had a chance to react. Rolly dragged the bodies into the brush and continued on his way. He was experienced enough to know that it was only a matter of a couple minutes before the other terrorists became suspicious about their comrades disappearance. Rolly knew that he had to reach to hostages as quickly as possible so he took off in a full sprint. When he saw one terrorist in standing front of him, he hit so hit so hard that he flew backward ten feet. He ran right through the front door, using his shoulder as a battering ram and wood frame shattered until his force. Once inside the building, Rolly used his quick reflexes to jump and dive out of the way of bullets being fired from several different reactions. Running through the building while firing his Glock 19 with his right hand and stabbing with his knife with his left. He reached the hostages in a few seconds just as they were about to be executed and killed. Rolly killed the last four men.
“Master Chief!” Petty Officer Jon Miller called out in a mixture of surprise and relief as he sat tied up in the corner. “Where the hell did you come from?”
“I was in the neighborhood, grab some of these weapons and let’s get the hell out of here!” Rolly ordered.
The hostages armed themselves and followed Rolly down to the water. When one of the boats passed by, Rolly grabbed a rifle, took careful aim and from a distance of three hundred yards, shot and killed everyone in the watercraft.
“Whoreeee,that is some shooting!” Petty Officer Miller commented in amazement.
“Swim out to the boat and bring it to shore,” Rolly said.
“Where are you going?”
“There’s one more boat to take care of,” Rolly jumped over a ten foot boulder and was gone in a flash, once again leaving Petty Officer Miller dumfounded.
Running along the shoreline, Rolly saw the other boat cruising offshore and dived off the high cliff, swam underwater to the boat, climbed aboard, killed the occupants and took control. He met up with the two Navy SEALs on the other side of the island and both boats headed to the mainland. When the plane touched down at North Island, Rolly turned to his former comrades, “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention what you saw.”
“I’ve already forgotten. I didn’t believe my eyes anyway.” Petty Officer Miller smiled.
“To the best of my recollection, I don’t recollect,” The other Navy SEAL quipped.
“See you around,” Rolly turned to Sienna, “Ready to get on the Road to Rainbow?”
Sienna flashed a big smile, “Anywhere with you, Six Billion Dollar Man!”