The Nemea Quest

Chapter 2 - The first mission (flashback)

Life had been good to Leon. He had a beautiful wife, a comfortable home, and a successful career. But then, one day, it all came crashing down. His wife was killed in a car accident, and his company went bankrupt.
Leon was left with nothing but debts and regrets. He tried to hide from his problems by drinking and gambling, but it only made things worse. Finally, he hit rock bottom and decided to turn his life around.
He went back to school and got his degree in psychology. It was during his studies that Leon learned about a secret government program that was recruiting people with special abilities. He was reluctant at first, but he ultimately decided to give it a try.
The program was called "The Initiative." It was a top-secret operation that was designed to stop a terrorist group called The Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was believed to be responsible for a series of bombings in the Middle East.
Leon was given a special serum that enhanced his physical and mental abilities. He was also given the training for all mortal activities to carry out missions on land, water and air without emotions.
He will always remember his first action. He was sent on a secret mission to Mauritania to find a kidnapped microbiologist.
It was pitch black. He could see nothing in front of him. He could only feel the sand beneath his feet, and the occasional gust of hot wind. He had no idea where he was going, or why he was even here. All he knew was that he had to find the entrance to the temple where the scientist was kept as hostage.
His employer had told him that the temple was well hidden, and that he would need to use all his skills to find it. He and his comrades had been tracking clues for weeks, and had finally arrived at this point. Now, they had to find the entrance to the temple before sunrise, or all of them would be lost in the desert forever.
Leon had been given a map of the area, but it was too dark to read. He had been told that the entrance to the temple was marked by a small carving of a snake.
Their local contact had found out that a shephard had seen this carving on a rock near the oasis where they had camped the night before. Leon quickened his pace, and soon saw the carving in front of him.
The team followed the carving into a narrow passageway. The walls were close on either side, and they had to move slowly so as not to make any noise. Leon felt a draft of cool air coming from ahead, and knew he was getting close.
Finally, Leon saw a faint light ahead of him. He quickened his pace and soon came to a large chamber. In the center of the chamber the hostage hung on a rusty chain. He looked at Leon pleadingly and shouted: “RUN!!!”.
The next thing he remembered, he was lying on the floor of a helicopter with an IV in his arm, and everyone around him was gagged, covered in blood, staring out into the endless desert with glassy eyes.
“What happened? Where is the hostage?” Leon asked. “It was a trap. He is dead, and we have lost 3 good people” replied his commander.
Leon was left with severe burns on his body and a scar on his soul. That mission changed his life forever, though he didn't know it at the time.
“Sir!” the bartender pulled Leon back to reality, “I think you should listen to the lady.”