* The light flickered in the hallway and apart from the sporadic flutter of illumination that strobed the hall, giving a strange, stuttering motion to everything, darkness reigned. The grunt on stag covering the main doorway had no idea I was there. The first moment when they realised their night wouldn’t be like any other was when the pre-curved nylon webbing of my First Tactical BDU 1.75” belt slipped around their neck and tightened over their windpipe.
A brief struggle, a few sharp lashes out with their feet, a tension in the muscles as I closed the loop tighter and once more silence reigned over the hall save for the soft shuffle of a body being dragged evac style with my BDU belt under his armpits, into a nearby janitorial cupboard.
A belt. It holds things up. Also kills people.
I took only a moment to search the body; a Sig 226, a few magazines, a single HE grenade and a flick knife. Nothing of any use compared to the tactical range provided by the BDU belt.
A brief moment to compose my thoughts and I made my way over to the door he had been guarding. A gentle try of the handle confirmed the door was locked. Wrapping the belt around the handle and fastening the buckle to create a hanging loop, I kicked down on the high density webbing, the Duraflex polymer buckle taking the impact as the force tore the handle off from its fitting, falling into my outstretched hand.
I tugged at my First Tactical Tactix Tactical trousers as they threatened to fall down around my knees.
With the belt hanging loose in my right hand, the flat of my left pressed against the door, I slowly pushed forward and entered the room in a crouch. Poorly lit again, I could see a large, rectangular window looking out onto the dark, stormy night as the operator sat with his back to me, his headset on, decoding transmissions from some far flung region.
Deaf as he was to my movements, I stood up and swiftly covered the space of the open floor between us, before a sharp movement in the operator told me I’d been seen. I realised too late that my reflection was cast on the window, and the operator leapt to his feet and spun around, fumbling in his side holster.
Leaping a few feet closer to him, I lashed out with a whipping action, the polymer buckle of the BDU cracking his jaw open and sending him unconscious to the ground. Grabbing the documents on his desk, I reached into the covert pocket on the inside of the BDU belt, and inserted the USB stick into the laptop sat on the table top. As I downloaded the contents of the drive, I put my heel through the VHF set for good measure.
Slipping the BDU belt back through the loops of the Tactix Tactical trousers, I struggled to get the belt tight enough. A lack of a roller bar meant that I had to continually adjust the length of the belt at the buckle in order to get the right tightness.
This got me killed
It was then that things went wrong. The door I’d came in through burst open, blinding light filled my gaze and I heard the first click and rattle of automatic fire as I careened backwards, out the window, still grasping the end of my belt as I tried one last time to tighten it, before plummeting to the ground and…..
It was then I woke up in a cold sweat, back home, wondering how the hell I was going to review a belt.
* Warning – May contain more fiction than Bravo 20