I was dressed in a soldier's uniform and was with some other soldiers in an arid, desert-like area. I hadn't been in the military long and was presently in training. We were fighting a mock battle with some other troops and were using fake bullets and shells. We hadn't yet seen the enemy when suddenly they opened fire on us from a position in some shrubs approximately 100 meters away. They seemed to be firing some kind of cannon. The shells weren't reaching us and exploded about 20 meters short of us. The shells certainly appeared to be real as the ground flew from around them.
We slowly and cautiously advanced toward the enemy. One of my comrades had a bazooka and fired it. I crouched down and then ran up to some other comrades who were ahead of me. Some comrades jumped into a creek in a rather deep ravine and I followed them. We began advancing along the creek toward the enemy position.
Finally, we reached what appeared to be a very large culvert and walked inside. It wasn't actually a culvert however, but a long cement tunnel which appeared to have been built expressly for the war games. Holes had been made at certain places in the top of the tunnel which weren't large enough for a person to fit through but through which one could view the enemy position. I began examining one of the holes. When I looked back around I saw that my fellow soldiers had retreated back to the end of the tunnel where we had come in.
I raced back to where they had gone and discovered they had exited through a hole in the ceiling and placed a cover over the hole. There was space enough so I could see them above me and they could see me, but, to my astonishment, they didn't remove the cover for me to exit and apparently they were simply going to leave me there. I pleaded with them to let me out but they turned a deaf ear. There was some dirt around the hole which I thought I could probably dig out; but I doubted it would give me enough space to squeeze through.
I was very confused and began wandering back through the tunnel. It appeared possible that there might be no way to get out of there and I could die there. Finally, I found a window. Outside was what appeared to be some kind of courtyard where the earth had been removed next to the tunnel. A man appeared and walked toward the tunnel. I thought he had a key in his hand.
He did have a key and he opened a door on the side of the tunnel. He was probably in his mid 40s, dressed in civilian clothes and carrying either a brief case or some files. He had black hair beginning to bald, was shorter than I and was probably fifteen kilograms overweight. I thought he might be some kind of doctor. Perhaps I was saved; he could help me. If he didn't help me I could probably overpower him and escape.
I stepped from the shadows toward him and he seemed surprised to see me there. I explained what had happened and he seemed genuinely concerned. He asked me why I was there and exactly what I had been doing. I still didn't understand why I had been deserted and I felt disoriented.
I didn't respond to his questions; instead I began developing a theory in my mind as to what had happened. I belonged to a rather special class of soldiers. I might at times be entrusted with classified information and indeed thought that even on this mission I knew things which I should not reveal. It seemed possible that I had been selected and purposely locked in the tunnel to be tested to see if I would break under pressure. The added tension of my own comrades having turned against me was part of the test. The man in front of me was probably part of the plot to see if he could extract information from me.
But I didn't tell him any details of my mission and he didn't press the point. Instead he led me out of the tunnel and to his car. We boarded and he drove off. I sensed that he had deduced that I had already figured out what was going on. Indeed he openly spoke about it and said I was now being tested.
But he explained that the test was quite different from what I thought. We were no longer simply playing a game—we were involved in a real life situation. He pulled out two hand guns and handed me one. The gun he kept for himself was a large caliber while the one he handed me looked like it was only a twenty-two caliber. Only one of the guns, he told me, had a real bullet in it.
I felt unsure; but it appeared I could make several decisions. I could use my gun against him, commit suicide, work with him or simply surrender.
He said I could trade him guns if I wanted and laid his gun on the dash. I picked it up and wondered which gun contained the real bullet. I simply couldn't tell. But then it occurred to me that it didn't matter because I now had both guns—and I told him as much. But he seemed completely unconcerned—obviously the test involved much more.
I didn't know exactly what I was facing. But the man seemed concerned about me and he began describing some trials I would undergo. I felt the test was going to be long and that I had only started. We had come to a populated area and he told me he would let me off somewhere if I wanted. I saw some gas stations and told him to pull up to one. He started to pull over but I told him to go on to the next station. I thought the first one might be somehow connected with him.
But I began to realize that any of the stations might be rigged somehow. He pulled into the front of another gas station and stopped. I saw a phone booth and thought perhaps I could call someone; but I didn't know whom. I did indeed seem completely alone. Perhaps I could take a bus somewhere. But where? I really had nowhere to go. Besides, I was still intrigued by what was happening. Perhaps I should not try to escape and should indeed undergo the test awaiting me.
The man seemed to want to advise me about what was going to happen to me. A sentimental song came on the radio. The man seemed to pick it up as a cue and he began talking about women. I thought even the song on the radio could have been arranged; the radio station might have agreed to play songs in a certain sequence to affect me.
The man said I would be more apt to succumb to a woman when I would come home tired from a day's work. He basically said that in order for me to be trusted there must be no women in my life. Although I wasn't happy with that idea, something inside me told me he was correct.
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