It was, arguably, an unusual day for an ordinary weekday. The hustle and bustle of the city remained the same. The cars, the buses, the cyclists, the pedestrians; the traffic, the jam, the long wait.
What was noticably different, was the traffic jam without the honkings and noise. Instead of staying in the make-comfort of the air conditioning of the cars, drivers and passengers started winding down their windows. Heads popped from the cars, all looking uniformly towards a similar target. One by one, people got down from their vehicles, ignoring the jams or traffics. Slowly but steadily, no heads turned, more and more congregated at Liberty Square, a huge open area in the heart of Zanotopia's capital.
The fingers pointed accurately at the number 5 on the ancient clock high on the Liberty tower. Right below it was a huge television screen, which coincidentally became the prime focus of the congregation. It was the evening news, and conventionally the screen would be telecasting live from Zan Network, the republic's premier cable.
That could probably mark a historic rate of viewers. Twenty thousand gathering in front of Liberty's screen, with millions more staring at the same time all across the nation. But it wasn't something the network wished to report. The celebration was at deficit, and the ratings were now hollow. Juxtaposting with the weight the news carried, there was almost nothing that now mattered more.
It was a nation at stake. First was images of the enemy camp in the Kalanis region, 100km away from the republic. Quickly following it was a recorded video from the enemy. Evil laughter, threats of destroying the republic with nuclear, more threats of taking all citizens as hostages and turning them slaves.
Then came the real blow.
"The reyarps, 12 of them in total, failed to infiltrate enemy's camp in a neutralization attempt." the people gasped. Caught between disbelief and shock, there were hushes and whispers all around. How could the reyarps have failed? Weren't they invincible? What happened?
Fear gripped the nation, tighter than a man choking another by the neck. National security was now at stake. The republic's sovereignity was now on the line. The reyarps were the epitome of the nation's modern defense, the elite of the elites. Now that the strongest have failed, what is left to protect them?
Even before the people have overcame their fears and anguish, yet another shocking news came.
"One of the 12 captured is the son of the General, Sergeant Reinzer, the commander and leader of the elite reyarp squad."
Dumbfounded, those watching turned to one another, with no words slipping from their lips and no questions exchanged, there was only one thing on their mind:
What's going to happen to us now?
If there was anyone who knew the whole story, who could vividly recall the events that slowly unfolded in the cells of our captivity, it would be me. This is the true story of what happened, what the reyarps went through for the next 72 hours, the struggle we endured as one nation waited in fear as hope of survival and victory slowly faded.