Usual story. I need to finish this, and the only way to finish it is to post here. I'll give you two updates a week.
1 It was an overly warm night time in the small town of Bakers, West Virginia. On the normal nights of the past, the low hum of dozens, if not hundreds of central air units could be heard just below the sounds of the casual white noise of nature.
But that was when everything was normal.
That was before one day the power grid failed, and didn’t come on minutes, or hours later which was the usual norm.
The first night without a word from the government went uneventful.
The first week without a word was unbelievable.
The first month without word; law and order were out of the window and local citizens in small towns USA fell victim to the alpha predators.
CieSS was one of these predators. He and his makeshift group of local thugs he personally nicknamed “The Misfits” had everything they had ever wanted out of life.
They were the town’s forgotten.
All the negative connotations that they not only the town of Baker identified them with, the group also took one of the names and made it their own.
And a pretty woman in their beds.
In one medium-sized single, a multiple-candlie lit master bedroom, CieSS had three pretty women in his bed, who were not there on their own volition, as their personal preference was not relevant, or necessary.
The first woman, a thirty-year-old blond, who once was a wife—now widow was traveling with her husband on the outskirts of town when they came across CieSS’s crew. They ripped the crying wife away, before viscously beating the husband to death as he tearfully begged for his life.
The second woman, also blond in her early forties, a brunette, whose youthful beauty could allow her to easily pass for thirty prior to her recent captivity, stared blankly at a ceiling fan she wish could spin out of control to the point where it would fall on her, just to end her miserable existence. CieSS had his eye on her all the way back from grade school. CieSS and his crew came to her house one night, kicked in the door and simply dragged her away.
The last woman, a young woman of Native American descent, was traveling with a group of traders. They promised CieSS’ crew a large supply of cannabis. When they could not fulfill their quota, they had to give up one of their women. Their ring leader had a choice, his blood sister, or the sister of one his henchmen. The man shot the henchmen on the spot and gave the sister away.
The women had been held for months, with the first one almost being a year. They did their best to keep their spirits high, with the hope that one day, they’d either escape, somebody would kill CieSS or the country would one day fix itself and they’d be freed.
Escape was near impossible, CieSS made sure of that. Sure they had free reign of the humble abode CieSS “acquired” shortly after the lights went out, but CieSS made it clear that the surrounding area was well-guarded, thus escape was impossible. According to him, any attempt at leaving would mean immediate death. in the worst possible way.
CieSS had a smile on his face, as he contemplated what sort of twisted deed he would subject to women to tonight. He was just about to go upstairs when a lowly knock came to the front door.
“Seriously?” CieSS asked as he motioned to one of his guys, Nas to answer.
“We got anyone coming by?” Nas asked.
“This late? No way!” CieSS said.”People know better than to try-”
The knocking came again, cutting CieSS off and making his right eyebrow raise.
“Take care of that Nas, will ya?” Nas says while starting to undo his belt buckle.
CieSS makes his way upstairs, while Nas casually makes his way to the door, accompanied by another one of CieSS’s crew, Josh.
They opened the door to the still night air, just to squint their eyes the previous homeoner’s car set ablaze. The two men navigate through the high knee-high grass, cursing at their discovery. Nas shakes his head disappointedly, “Somebody’s effin with us alright. Go tell the CieSS while I put this out, then bring some of the others out here to give me a hand before this spreads.”
“Gotcha,” Josh says as he turns back around to head for the house. Josh makes it two steps when he hears a thud behind him. He turns quickly around, stunned upon the realization that Nas had suddenly vanished.
“Josh? C’mon man… there’s no time to be messing around!”
Nas takes two steps forward, and upon his third step, he trips over something that brings him face-first over a solid object. He quickly gets to his knees, and with the light of the fire confirms that what he has just stumbled over, is the fallen and bloody body of Josh.
“JOSH! “ Nas screamed. “WTF???”
Nas knelt down to touch his comrade only to immediately recoil from the gushing would coming from the center of Josh’s chest. Nas lifted his hand, only to see the flames of the engulphed car reflect off his bloody hand. Nas heard the disturbing of the dry grass at his rear, he turned around, his eyes suddenly widening into white orbs, and then his world went as bright as the flame that engulfed the nearby car.
Upstairs in the house, CieSS paced his master bedroom like an impatient lion. “Sooooo… who’s going to get it first? Somebody better volunteer, you know what happens if I have to pick myself”
The Native American girl was about to invite him to the bed when everyone in the room jumped from the sound of a gut-wrenching scream from downstairs.
CieSS froze, hoping that what he had just heard was some sort of joke. He slowly crept to the closed bedroom door, placing his left ear against to hear something… anything to would make him feel better.
“Nas? Jsc121? Recently? Recently? MetsJets?”
CieSS reached for his hip pocket, cursing himself for leaving his gun downstairs. When he had the girls in his room, he purposely came in unarmed, just so that in the throes of ecstasy one of the girls doesn’t get lucky and get his gun.”
CieSS locked the door before staring intently at the girls, “I don’t know what’s going on, but keep quiet and don’t make a move. If someone has bad intentions for me… more than likely they have bad intentions for all of you as well. Basically… I’m your best bet for survival!”
CieSS looks out the window, shaking his head in desperation as his entire front yard is ablaze. He points to the Native American girl, “You! Yo--girl! Open the door and walk out!”
The girl shakes her only to have CieSS take a few menacing steps towards her when she has no chance but to comply. She opens the door into the dark hallway and-
CieSS sends another woman out.
Nothing happened to that woman either.
CieSS is just about to send out the last girl when he grabs the girl by the arm and is inches from tip-toeing through the door, when his second of three bedroom windows explodes inward, a man clad in dark fatigues has several throwing knives, already trained laced between his fingers.
CieSS tries to use the woman as a human shield, but his left arm goes numb, the first of the throwing knives landing in a nerve cluster right above his collar bone. He tries to grab the woman with his right arm, but she’s already vanished out the room, disappearing into the darkness of the hallway.
“Wait!” CieSS pleads, tossing up his only good hand. “I can get you stuff! Whoever sent you… I can DOUBLE whatever they are paying you!”
“What makes you think we can be bought!” A feminine voice says from out of the darkness. “We aren’t here for a prize that can be bargained for. The only prize is your head.”
“You can’t be bargained with! I get it. Just take me in to face trial!” CieSS says, before throwing himself down on his bed in surrender.
“You don’t get it!” a third voice says from the darkness of the hallway. “There’s no trial. This county hasn’t re-established its courts yet. That will probably be a few more months after we help set up order.”
“Then take me to jail than!” CieSS demands, coming off defiant in tone. “No jail either,” the woman coldly.
CieSS stand up, “Then what… hey, wait a minute. You can’t just. No… that’s not right. You can’t!”
“But you already have, yourself!” the soman states. “There’s no facility to house you, not enough supplies to feed you, even if you did… you don’t deserve it.
CieSS lowers his head in defeats, and then does the unexpected, at least what he considered thus. Exploding suddenly from the room, CieSS dives into the darkness of the hallway where he knew the twists and turns, even in the pure darkness. He rounded the stairway that lead directly to the front door. CieSS sighed sadly as he fled, seeing the flames still flickering outside, and the fact that no one was attending to the fire, told him he had no friends outside either. “If I can make it to the back of the house, I’ll have a chance,” he convinced himself.
Just before he crossed the threshold of the house, CieSS ran into a mountain of a man, who’s padded girth almost took up the entire doorway. CieSS’ 194 lbs bounced off the man like he had ran into brick wall. The man reached down and plucked CieSS off the ground as effortless as if he was a child. CieSS’ feet didn’t touch the ground again ‘till he was standing before the burning frame of the vehicles that littered his yard.
The four men and one women circled CieSS, each of them pulling out a silver handgun.
“CieSS,” the man mountain stated plainly. “According to the new drafted articles of ‘New America’ that grants us… The Regulators Expeditionary the right to remove those who are a growing threat to the future of the republic… we sentence you to death!”
“Wait!” CieSS screamed frantically, shaking his head. “You guys can’t be judge, jury, and executioner.”
A smile came to one of the men’s faces that stood above him. We may not be the former, but because of your very own actions, we are the latter. You were found guilty a long time ago.
All five individuals fired their weapon, two seconds later, CieSS’ lifeless body collapses to the charred and dusty ground.
Last Edit: Nov 18, 2020 14:41:50 GMT -8 by Axel Power
2 Two years ago, the United States as the world had come to know ceased to exist. The power grid failed in six out of the seven substations across the entire country, plunging 79% into darkness. Having so many falls at once made it clear that this act wasn’t an accident. It took over a year to repair the damage and get the stations back up and running again. The main cities saw their lights on two months later, but tertiary stations leading out the smaller towns were immediately overloaded once the grid came back on-line. When the power company first set engineers in to repair the station, they were immediately attacked by a local gang that had taken over the town. The entire group of engineers was lost,. The army came in and when they were done, the gang was dead, but so was a third of the town. The new government had no choice to try a different plan of attack. Fast-forward two years later, seven individuals sit in a large conference room, staring wide-eyed at a projection screen, it’s display scrolling through headshots of those who were classified as “Enemies of the Union.” When those images past, they were replaced by images darkened the hearts of some, while others regard them with mild indifference. The presenter’s name was Lige, a retired Lieutenant, now criminologist for The New United Union of America, spoke with the measured patience of the tenured professor, mixed with the authoritative confidence of a veteran historian. “Now these next slides are from a small town in Virginia… population thirty-seven hundred. The town falls under the thumb of some guy named CieSS. Supposedly he and his posse of thugs have taken over the town, kidnapped many of the town’s women, and pretty much been a sadistic warlord. Supposed, he-” Lige is cut off by the only woman in the room, Sergeant Jerry, “What does this all have to do with us?” Sgt Jerry was a former hand-to-hand combat and espionage specialist during her THREE tours in Afghanistan. She got the nickname “Jerry” because some of her assignments sent her in so deep… she was able to fool the enemy into thinking she was a man, till they got too close anyway. Once they got too close, they often didn’t live long enough to share their discoveries with others. She was the first to join a spec ops group called Delta Team, even though she and the others who initially joined with her didn’t know what they were joining. Once they found out, they were all aboard. The team’s objective back then was quite simple-- go into the worst parts of the world and take out the bad guy. They were very good at what they did, so much so that the twenty-seven missions they were sent on, they were successful in every one of them, never losing a man, nor woman. “As smart as you are… you can be really dull at times,” the man seated two seats over from her, Sgt. Jindred says. “The next mission won’t be foreign… it will be DOMESTIC!” The man seated next to him, Sergeant Craigster looked over at the man who sat at the head of the conference table… the man that was in charge of their squad, “Is this true, Fleet? Is that what we are now?” The man named Fleet, … Lieutenant Fleet, bit lightly down on his lower lip, before releasing a heavy sigh as he sat forward in his seat, “Time's have changed and we are soldiers, so we bend with the changing of times. We go where we are needed.” Two seats away another soldier raised his hand, his left eyebrow already arching halfway up his forehead, “So… we’re COPS now!” “Not exactly Morkim,” Lige says. “They can’t send an army into a town of one thousand people. It's like using a broadsword to kill an ant.” Fleet adds. “But you can use five people to take out a wanna-be despot...” Jerry somberly surmises. A laughter that bordered on sadistic, burst from the last soldier, Seargent Morkim, his arms crossed in protest, “This is great, this is $#Q^@! great. Do we come into these towns like The Regulators from Young Guns? Do we get a horse?” “We can’t do this without you guys,” Lt. Lige says. “General Modo already acknowledges that your mission is critical in getting this country back together. We can’t bring the power back to these little towns and restore order..as long as they exist. Plus… we have a moral obligation to remove these monsters who are wreaking havoc on these towns and harming the residents.” “So how do we go about this?” Sgt. Jerry asks, dangling a small bottle of water. “Small-town USA isn’t exactly being dropped off on the border of Chechnya. Fleet slowly stands up, looking slowly over his team, “You each have your gifts. Jerry, you are our espionage and fighting expert. Morkim… you’ve got battle tactics and medicines, while Jindred you are our jack of all trades. And Craigster…” Fleet shook his hand in bewilderment. “The things you can do with that sniper’s rifle should be and probably one day will be banned under the Geneva convention.” When no one else had anything to add, Lige takes back the room, “Great… you guys will start off in this little town in Virginia, then to this other town in Maryland. There’s this guy there who’s a real @w#hole!”
Last Edit: Nov 19, 2020 6:33:21 GMT -8 by Axel Power
3 Weeks later, on a cool Friday morning, a young woman walks along the southbound side of I-95 in Georgia, a look of dreaded concern on her face. Atop her head is well-worn Atlanta Braves baseball cap, presumably to keep the sun out of her eyes. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that she walks with an uneasy gait, favoring her sore left arch, the day’s long walk taking it’s toll on her youthful body. It had been over an hour since she had seen any vehicles, which wasn’t a surprise since the nation was still struggling to get the oil refineries back up and running. No oil--meant no gas. Just as she was thinking she wasn’t going to see another vehicle for the day, a small, cherry-red Chevy pickup truck approached her from the rear, slowing as it closed in on her position. The vehicle's sudden approach did not catch the woman off-guard, as she pulled over, allowing the vehicle room to share the shoulder with her. The driver rolled his window down, his smile bright and wide, his mannerisms soft and innocent. “Excuse me miss…" the driver stated over-politely. "You need a lift somewhere? Cause It’s kind-a nasty out here and you really can’t trust folks out here alone.” The young woman hesitantly approached the truck, all the while peering through the opening of the window on squinted eyes, “What makes you one of the safe ones?” The driven smile widens as he leans over, fishing through his glove compartment before retrieving a 4x6 photograph. The young woman relaxes, seeing a photograph of the driver, pleasantly surrounded by four young children. She jumps in the passenger side of the truck, pointing off into the distance, “I’m trying to get to the next exit five miles down… #345.” “You’re in luck young lady, that’s where I’m headed. Depending on where you are going, you might get dropped off at your door.” the man adds. An angelic smile came over the woman’s face as she extended her hand to greet the driver. The driver receives her hand warmly, “My name is MetsJets… I’m so glad I came across you out here, today is going to be a great day.” The two drove off, the woman ecstatic over the predicament she how found herself in. While it would have taken the young woman another forty-five minutes to walk the five miles to the exit, they were there in less than five minutes. Everything was going fine… fine till MetsJets passed the exit the young woman had pointed out. The young woman’s glowing smile instantly vanishes as the exit starts to quickly disappear in the passenger’s side mirror. The woman bit deeply into her upper lip, pointing back over her shoulder, a nervous smile comes across the young woman's’ face, “MetsJets… you missed my exit back there.” When MetsJets didn’t answer, the young woman repeated her concern, this time louder. With the rapidness of a cobra, MetsJets backhands the woman across the front of her face, sending her head crashing into the passenger-side window. When the woman remains silent, MetsJets slowly shakes his head. “THAT %#$^... should make you shut your mouth.” Ten minutes later, the truck arrives at the only destination that MetsJets had planned for that day. He calmly exits the truck and walks around the passenger side of the vehicle where the young woman remains un-moving. MetsJets opens the door and grabs the woman by the back of her neck and drags her out of the truck. “Let’s go sunshine! Welcome to the last home for the rest of your life.” The young woman startles back into consciousness, her face full of distress as she fully awakens into the driveway of an old plantation home, it’s unkept grass waist-high, the once pearly-white pillars, fading to a dull yellow from any lack of cleaning. She turns around to see two other men slowly exit the front door of the majestic wooden home. “Don't’ worry sweetheart,” MetsJets says. “You aren’t the only sheath among the swords. There are others inside… but we are so used to them, its good to have some fresh meat around. The others… it’s like throwing a hotdog down the hallway, get what I’m saying?” MetsJets gives the woman a jab in the shoulder with his elbow as he smiles sadistically. It’s at that point where MetsJets finally sees a different side of the young woman. The look of dread that was just present on the woman’s face quickly disappears, replaced by a face of stoicism. “Well, this confirms I am in the right place!” the young woman says, her voice suddenly coming across clear and upbeat. The trio of men look at each other and immediately burst into laughter. The one who was at the highest step locks eyes on Jerry, “Soo… you wanted to come here? Ha! I get the first crack at this one, fellas.” The woman puts her hands on her hips, nodding her head up and down slowly, smiling, “We knew about you guys… just weren’t one-hundred percent sure where you were at. Not till MetsJets brought me here.” The three men encircle the young woman, MetsJets getting so close up in her face that she can smell his lack of personal hygiene. “So what are you going to do #%^$#... all by yourself?” The tiniest of smiles comes over the young woman’s face, as she slowly pivots over half her weight against her left leg, “At what point did I way I was alone?” On cue an older truck, similar to MetsJets comes barreling down the long driveway, kicking up a cloud of dust in its path. The young woman takes a second to look over her shoulder and then returns her gaze to her captors. “What?” MetsJets says as he clenches and un-clenches his fists. "You expecting someone? That’s just Recently… returning from-” MetsJets cuts himself off as the truck that should be slowing down at it rapidly approaches them is not slowing down--at all. “MOVE you idiots!” MetsJets yells. The only problem with MetsJets command is no one knows where to move to. In a blur, his female captive chops her closet captor in the throat before diving off to the side. His other buddy dives to the right, just as the driver of the truck bails out, but not before steering the truck right into the back of MetsJets’ Chevy. The impact slams the truck right into the path of MetsJets comrade. The man never had a chance. The driver, who MetsJets now realizes is not Recently, did three rolls on the ground before coming up on one knee and opening up with a semi-automatic pistol. As his comrades who began exiting out of the house. One by one, his men were getting picked off effortlessly with pinpoint precision, like the shooter was playing a round of Call of Duty on novice. MetsJets froze in his tracks, failing to fully comprehend what was going on because of the events around him occurring so fast. He turned to look for the woman, sighing miserably that the woman who was less than six feet from her, had suddenly vanished. “Take out the @w#^#@^# shooter azzhole!” MetsJets screams inside his own head. ”He’s less than ten feet away from you!” MetsJets waited a full two seconds to pull out his Glock and train it on the man’s position. His potential target actually took a brief moment to glance over at him, and wink with a smile. “MUTHA-#@# did you just wink at me??? DIE YOU %#@%^$!” MetsJets roared at the man. Before he could give his finger the command to fire, blinding pain shot through his hand, sending reverberations throughout his not only his arm, but his entire body. MetsJets looked at his hand, the same hand that was once holding his Glock and it gone. Only a mangled stump, which spurted out blood in pulses, like someone poking openings in a garden hose and turning the water off and on. MetsJets crumbled to the ground and screamed, just as another vehicle stormed down the driveway. This vehicle, an SUV in all black did not look familiar with him at all. It too sped in his direction and just before MetsJets was sure the vehicle was going to run him down, came into a full stop, it’s front bumper was so close to his face that every inhalation brought in the vehicle’s “new car” infancy smell. Two men exited, similarly attired as the first man who was now slowly executing the comrades whom he didn’t kill with his first shot. The first of the truck’s occupants walked up to MetsJets, regarded him for a moment as he looked at him, then at the mangled blood-pile with a Glock attached to it a dozen feet away. The man glowered at MetsJets at long enough to spit on othe ground before him, “You dropped something!” The second man, approached, extending his hand down and playfully running his fingers through MetsJets’s hair. As much as he wanted to run away, MetsJets remained frozen on his knees, even as screams continue to echo through his compound. Shutting his eyes all around him, he tried in desperation to block out the cries of, “NO…. PLEASE!” and, “I’VE TOLD YOU EVERYTHING I KNOW!” reverberating all around him. All the pleas silenced eventually in mid-sentence by gunshots. MetsJets wanted to gather his strength and flee from the area. Better yet, somehow melt into the gound and die as the pain from his missing hand made his entire arm hurt. The latter would be a lot easier than the former, as MetsJets knew that whomever shot his hand off did not come from the truck that now sits before him. No human could make such an accurate shot from a rapidly moving vehicle. That meant only one thing-- “WHY DON’T YOU SHOW YOURSELF!” MetsJets spat through gritted teeth. “If you were a REAL man you’d-” A whiff of dust explodes half a dozen feet in front of him. Seconds later, a similar impact went off three feet. Two feet. A foot. MetsJets cringes as he knew where the next bullet was going to be placed. Inside the SUV, a radio squelched loudly, before a voice that was both cold and sinister came through over the airwaves, “Still want to &$#@ with me?” MetsJets didn’t know if the question was rhetorical or not, but when something whizzed passed just outside his left ear so closely, that it actually burned, MetsJets screamed out emphatically, “No” repeatedly. Minutes later the hostages that him and his group of thugs that had kidnapped and tortured over the last few months were released, the rest of the men and lone woman who had freed him, stood around him. “How does it feel?” the young woman asked him. “To be the one encircled and defenseless.” MetsJets laughed, “Doesn’t look like you were all that defenseless.” “She wasn’t!” the man said who was the driver. “We are a paramilitary group whose job it is to retake the small towns that fell under while the country’s government took some stumbles. People like you… instead of helping your brothers, choose to attack them and hurt his sister. By now you are wondering… WHY AM I STILL ALIVE?” MetsJets holds up his still-bleeding wrist, “You call this alive?” The guy who rode shotgun on spoke up, “Craigster could put a bullet through your neck carefully enough not to kill you… but your trachea would whistle while you talked. I’m Jindred by the way. My driver is Morkim, say ‘hi’ to the man Morkim.” “Hey chief...you’re about to die!” Morkim responded jeeringly. “The guy who killed your guy on the road and took his truck, that was our Jindred. And of course, there’s Jerry. Just think… if you would have driven on by her, we would have never known it was you and found your place. MetsJets sighed impatiently. “Just arrest me and be done with it! Maybe in jail I’ll get a hot meal.” The team that stood around him looked at one another in confusion. “Jail?” the guy who single-handedly killled half a dozen of his men upon his arrival said incredulously. “You see a jail in the back of the SUV?” “You killed most, if not ALL of my guys. WHY am I alive?” MetsJets asked. “When we are freeing captives we often ask them to share how merciless their captors are,” Jerry says. ”Turns out you were a pretty bad boy… especially to this young man over here.” Jerry stepped out the side and allowed one of the captives to come forward, a child, barely a pre-teen. “This is Saska,” Jerry introduced. “According to him. You beat his father to death with a crowbar because they didn’t have any food when you and your crew came at them. Do you remember that?” “I've done a lot of things…” MetsJets relents. Jindred, calmly walking over in front of MetsJets, “... and this is when you finally have to answer for them. MetsJets, according to the new drafted articles of ‘New America’ that grants us… The Regulators Expeditionary the right to remove those who are a growing threat to the republic… I sentence you to death! Jindred and the others stepped away as the young man steps forward. MetsJets stands up, and with his good hand pointed out the child, “Is this a joke? What? You guys going to hold me down for him or something?” Jerry passed the young man a crowbar, the same crowbar that MetsJets used to kill the boy’s father. As the boy calmly approached the boy, Morkim slowly leaned into the boy’s ear, whispering, “Just like I told you.” “I’m going to make you eat that crowbar you little punk, you’ll be begging for your saviors to pry me off of you!” MetsJets yells. But if the boy was intimidated he showed no signs of it. He came at MetsJets’ right side, his injured side, for a high attack. MetsJets, trying to overcompensate for his inability to defend from that side, stumbled down to his right knee. The boy, in turn, kept encircling him, striking his first blow at MetsJets’ back. While the blows weren’t having the same effect as they would have if delivered by a full-grown adult, nevertheless, MetsJets instinctually responded by bringing up his one good hand to grab his attacker’s weapon. Only problem was MetsJets was starting to slow, either from blood loss or just lack of will. The boy became a blur as he delivered blow after blow, wherever MetsJets reached up to defend, blows landed somewhere else. He now had multiple contusions from the side of his face all the way down to his thighs. Before he knew it, MetsJets lay writhing and bloody at the feet of his attacker, begging for forgiveness and mercy. Tears ran freely down the boy’s face as he wielded the crowbar in a way that made it seem like it weighed a thousand pounds. He had done all he could, dropping the crowbar to the ground and being led away back to the town that he and the other freed captives thought they’d never see again. One by one the men and the one woman known as Jerry filed into the black SUV and drove away. MetsJets lay curled up in a ball, not knowing what to think of this newest revelation. They had sentenced him to die… but yet he was still alive. “If the kid couldn't kill me himself... am I somehow spared?” MetsJets considered before standing up. MetsJets slowly and pitifully made his way back to his home, a mall rancher at the end of town. Every step he took brought with it the increased chances of him actually living through this endeavor. He looked over his shoulder for as far as his eye could see, confirming at even a sniper would need an area where he could set up. There would have been no place for him to hide to take him out. A half-hour later, MetsJets finally gazed upon his old house in the distance, grinning wildly how despite its lack of creature comforts, it was home. His home. MetsJets stepped up on his porch, his grin not upgrading to a full out laughter, as he reached for his doorknob with only remaining hand, “I’m going to heat up some water and take me the hotte-” MetsJets would never finish his phrase. He’d never utter a single, coherent word ever again. Upon contact with the exterior doorknob, unbeknownst to him, his hand pushed in a wire that had been dangling just outside the knob itself, bringing it into contact with the metal knob roseplate, thus completing the circuit. One thousand milli-amps of electricity through his body. Try as he might, he could not will his hand off the doorknob, as the electricity locked his hand in place. MetsJets screamed out for the next forty-seven seconds before his body burst into flames, finally releasing his life from its unspeakable torment.
Last Edit: Nov 19, 2020 6:07:35 GMT -8 by Axel Power
4 Back at headquarters, the team sits around a large conference room table, graciously receiving the multitude of congratulations by their superiors for back to back successful missions.
“Two down… three thousand more to go!” Lige says, shaking Morkim by the shoulders as he makes his way to his own seat two chairs.
Three seats away from the head of the table, Morkim turns to one of several new arrivals—Master Sergeant Soul and Captain Ron Borges. “And then I told him… does it look like we’ve got a jail in the back of the SUV???”
The veteran Soul, the Master Sergeant, who had seen his own combat in the Middle East a decade ago, laughed like Morkim’s joke was the funniest thing he’d ever heard in his life, while Captain Ron, who served in the first Desert Storm, sighed impatiently as he rolled his eyes in annoyance. Next to him was Captain Smitty who did his best to hide the fact that he found Morkim’s words hysterical.
“Everyone!” Fleet barks to his team. “Take your seats! We have a new base commander.”
Fleet’s team goes silent, doing what they are told as two well-dressed men, their blue suits so perfectly fitting they look like they were tailor-made enter the room. The first man pulls up a chair next to the podium, while the second man addresses the microphone, giving it a slight tap to ensure it’s active. In his late fifties, the clean-shaven man looked over the crowd of almost a dozen soldiers, smiling briefly before exhaling deeply into the microphone, “Good evening. Most of you know who I am, but for those who don’t, allow me to introduce myself. I am Colonel Keggers, and next to me here is Major Blue. I and the nation’s joint chiefs want to congratulate your team Fleet, on your success thus far. And that very success… is why I am here today. What you have done so far, has lead you up to what has to be your next stop, which is Aberdeen, Maryland, a small town 55 miles east of Baltimore, MD.
“Let me guess?” Jindred says. “The Warriors took over Aberdeen two nights after the lights went out.”
Keggers glowered at Jindred, mirroring Fleet’s look.
“Actually… not far from it,” Keggers says before turning his attention towards Blue.
Standing straight up and straightening his suit, Major Blue hooks up his laptop to the projector’s HDMI connection in the middle of the conference table. “What you guys have dealt with thus far are thug-wannabees, school teachers who turned into fake Mad Max’s. These “Warriors” have been a warm-up. What I’m about to show you is the real deal.
The projector screen slashes a few times before three men, and one woman appears on the screen, each one attired in military gear. Immediately Jerry sits forward in her gear.
“THIS...” Kegger said poignantly, "Is your next assignment.
“I know one of those guy’s,” Jerry says, slapping her hand down on the table. “Third from the top with the bald head. That’s Staff Sergeant EagleRob. I ran into him in Kandahar.”
“Was… Staff Sergeant EagleRob,” Blue said. “That’s before he had a questionable shoot in that same province. Instead of letting a thorough investigation occur, he tried to intimidate some of his own men, ultimately breaking the jaw one of them before dislocating the arm of a his superiors, a Sergeant Major Bemaisgoat. He was subsequently dishonorably discharged before his boots touched back to American soil.”
Jerry sunk back down in her chair, her head shaking in disbelief. “Wow.. I heard something happened to him, didn’t know it got that deep.”
“F#$^ me sideways to Sunday!” Craigster said, smiling from ear to ear. “That’s Kimber! Wtf is Kimber doing up there? She’s one of the good guys, ahem gals! That gal can shoot the wings off a gnat from a thousand yards. There’s aren’t many people who can shoot from distance better than me. She’s definitely one of them!
Blue goes several slides over, showing Kimber looking through the scope of her rifle. “Kimber’s record is exemplary… on the record. But it was reported that she was having a problem with a new private who kept harassing her. Her superiors didn’t do anything about it, so it’s believed that Kimber or somebody close to Kimber took matters into their own hands. That private was found dead outside the base with a bullet wound to the back of his skull. Kimber left that unit and finished her service under a different squad, while the rumors of that soldier’s death continued to follow her. As one of our nation’s best snipers, it was regrettable that she didn’t take up another tour, no offense to you Craigster.”
“None taken!” Craigster responds quickly..
“It was quite odd that she walked away as soon as contractually could.” Keggers finished.
“At the head of the snake is XJ Anderson, a First Lieutenant, who’s so decorated, there’s barely any room left on his uniform for commendations,” Blue says.
“How does such an accomplished soldier get mixed in with this lot?” Fleet asks.
“Because in his eyes… he thinks he should be a full-bird Colonel like myself, or ever a General, if not for the color of his skin.
“Oh boy, that trope again,” mutters Captain Ron Borges, catching a side-eye from Jerry.”
“Don’t be so quick to dismiss this Captain,” Keggers said. “Like I said, the man is highly decorated, and was moving up the ranks quickly, so quickly it irked those felt like their own hand-picked stooges were starting to be overlooked. I can see some folks going out of their way to slow the XJ’s ascension.”
“So how about the last guy?” Jindred asked, pointing to the last remaining figure at the end of the list who has yet to be identified.
“The last guy is Josh. Private Josh Anderson.”
“Oh boy,” mutters several of the soldiers around the table.”
“That’s right,” Blue says. “Josh is XJ’s son, who’s only wish was to follow his father’s footsteps. The word is that Josh was a hothead since he was a kid, knowing that no matter what happened, he was going to end up in the service, which he did. Taking that attitude to the core didn’t work out the way he wished. He was a trigger-happy hotshot who thought he was untouchable because of his father. When he beat a fellow soldier nearly to death, he should have been kicked out right away. But his father intervened, getting him a second chance. Well, he used that second chance and blew it two months later when he opened up on a car he thought was carrying insurgents who had killed a friend the day before. It turned out these insurgents were just teachers. After he was sent packing, a disgruntled Josh somehow met EagleRob, and so forth and so on, and they made a team, settling in on Aberdeen once the lights went out.”
Keggers reached over Blue and handed out stapled paperwork to everyone in the room. “Reports are that XJ and his guys have been in charge for nine months. There’s a power plant on the outskirts of Aberdeen, which provides power to sixty-million people. We have to get control of that town back to stabilize the region. Fleet do what you do, just be mindful that these guys are just as good and have a gripe with the system, happy hunting!”
Last Edit: Nov 19, 2020 6:09:57 GMT -8 by Axel Power
Thank you sir. Loved the part where I stood up tall. I will be following this story with interest. Not because I am in it, but due to your writing style. And of course, I will be interested in whom Kimber knocks off--one way or another.
Thank you sir. Loved the part where I stood up tall. I will be following this story with interest. Not because I am in it, but due to your writing style. And of course, I will be interested in whom Kimber knocks off--one way or another.
Thank you sir. Loved the part where I stood up tall. I will be following this story with interest. Not because I am in it, but due to your writing style. And of course, I will be interested in whom Kimber knocks off--one way or another.
Don't go out of your way. Despite my apparent thirst for attention I fully realize I am an old goat who mainly belongs in the backround.
5 A half-mile outside the town of Aberdeen, MD, a dusty black Humvee is parked behind a strip mall that hadn’t open its doors in almost a year; it’s engine on dull idle while its three occupants keep constant surveillance on the world around them. From the Humvee’s rear, a small figure, clad in regular civilian attire, rapidly approaches on footfalls so light, they don’t make a sound on the trash-lined driveway. Another similarly dressed figure comes; this one carrying what looks to be a billiard carrying case from the vehicle’s front. As the two figures get closer and closer, the Humvee occupants, fully aware of their new visitors, disengage the vehicle’s locks. Seconds later, the rear doors open, Jerry and Craigster step silently into the vehicle.
Fleet matches eyes with Jerry’s in the mirror of his sunshade, “Report!”
“Okay… that was interesting,” Jerry says. Sitting between Craigster and Jerry, Morkim begins to twirls his right hand in the air. “You care to elaborate a little bit?”
Slowly shaking her head, Jerry sighs lightly before placing stretching her neck back over her seat. “I just spent the last hour walking through that town, and I’m telling you I didn’t see a thing out of order.” Fleet looks over his left shoulder towards Craigster, non-verbally asking the sniper specialist the same question.
“I set up a ridge a quarter-mile out. Through my scope, I probably got a good few of 1/10 of the streets. I saw absolutely NOTHING out of order. I saw kids playing in a playground, a same-sex lesbian couple making out in the park, and I even saw Jerry shrug her shoulders at me, which I found odd since she how would she happen to know when I was actually looking at her.” “A woman knows when she’s being watched!” Jerry says with a smirk. “Same with me. While I didn’t engage, I saw people walking around like they didn’t have a care in the world. If this is a town being subjugated by four toughs, they aren’t playing the part.
Fleet rubs the tiny whiskers coming in on his beard. “Thoughts?” Jindred, who’s manning the steering wheel of the Humvee, asks.
“I don’t like this! Every place we’ve been to has literally been a ghost town up to this point, so what gives? At the same time, I just refuse to believe we are being given bad intel on a mission so important.” A face pops up in between Fleet, only to be nudged back into the back seat. “So what’s next, boss?” Morkim asks.
“Gear up, people. Recon is over. I don’t want to spend another few days checking out this town from afar. It’s time we do this the ole-fashioned way. The next morning, four out of the five soldiers who make up Fleet’s squad casually walk down the center of Aberdeen’s town, like didn’t have a care in the world. They make several blocks before they come across their first person, an older woman pushing a cart of old clothing. As soon as the woman sees them, she turns around and heads back in the directions in which she came. “So much as openly welcoming your saviors,” Jerry says. “That troubles me,” Fleet says. Morkim cocks his head to the side in Fleet’s. “Why so?” “Perhaps they already have,” Fleet responds, as he squints his eyes into the distance at the two figures that approach their position from a block away. “It’s Luitenent XJ, and the guy next to him that looks like his clone of him has to be his son, Josh,” Jerry says. Fleet regards the two men who approach him wearingly. Although neither are visibly armed, physically, they are equal in size, except Josh, who appears to be even larger than he does.
“Well… well… well…” XJ says, stopping outside of a ten-foot distance to the town’s newest visitors. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen gear like this. What do I owe the pleasure to this encounter?” Fleet noticed that he had his finger already tapping on the assault rifle he currently held at the low-ready position without even realizing it. “I feel like saving some time and mowing down these two and deal with the other two later.” But Fleet knew better. Without knowing all the details, his immediate action could have unforeseen consequences.
“We’re just passing through,” Fleet lied convincingly, with a warm smile. “The government is back up and running, and we are just here to ensure the power plant is secure.”
Josh lowered his head slightly, arching his right eyebrow, “They need four soldiers for that?” his voice rumbled like talking through an old paper bag. “Why not send engineers and scientists?”
Fleet didn’t like this man, either man, but he couldn’t risk playing their hand too quickly, although a part of him considered that this hand was already dealt.
“They come next,” Jindred suddenly spoke up before Fleet had a chance to respond.”
“We are just here to make sure the coast is clear,” added Jerry. XJ turned his body to the side, allowing a path to the rest of the town, “As you can see… the coast is indeed clear. We’ll escort you to the plant so you can see for yourselves it is locked up safe and tight.”
Twenty minutes later, they arrive outside the gate to the power plant, whose gate arms are still in the closed position. Resting his hand firmly on the gate arms, XJ gives them a tight tug before turning his attention to his guests. “As you can see, when folks are scared, hungry, and desperate, no one seeks refuge at a power plant.
Fleet looks over the plant’s exterior, nodding his head that XJ’s words were correct and that the perimeter was indeed secure. “You know what happens now, correct?”
A smile emerged on XJ’s face. “I’m assuming you are going to send some techs in here to get the plant up and running. It sounds like something the citizens will look forward to. I’ll spread the good news!”
XJ led them back down the main street where they came, while Josh kept less than two full strides behind them. This action was something that Fleet didn’t like, but as long as the big man didn’t try anything foolish, it didn’t give him a reason to have to kill him.
A woman with two small children, who both appeared to be under six years old, suddenly emerged from an adjacent street. The moment the woman turned and noticed the gathering of men and soldiers, she immediately froze in her steps before frantically reaching down to get a hold of her children. The woman didn’t have to wait long, as the children immediately darted behind their mother’s legs.
Turning back towards Fleet's team, XJ smiles bashfully, “My apologies… we don’t get too many strangers here. After some bad guys came upon this town, they are wary of faces they don’t recognize.”
“How did you come across this town?” Fleet asked. “Pure happenstance,” XJ says plainly. “We were passing by after the power went down and discovered this town’s mayors and town commissioners had fled away. Some ruffians had beaten us here and were making a mess of things. Let’s just say these guys weren’t as tough as we were.”
"Lucky for the town folk," Jerry says, trying to hide her sarcasm and failing.
"Lucky indeed!" XJ adds. “When you say we...,” Jindred said.
“THREE-O’CLOCK!” a voice suddenly says on cue inside’s the earpieces of Fleet’s team. Without making any quick, obvious moments Fleet and company all focus their attention to the tall, bald black man leaning against the window of a candy storefront up ahead. Upon realizing it was EagleRob, Jerry immediately pulled her cap down tightly on her head, slowly positioning herself to the left side of the street.
“We….” XJ continued, “It is me, my son, and some friends who took care of the trash that was in this city.”
EagleRob never said a word before bouncing him back off the storefront’s wall and began walking alongside Jindred, who was positioned to his right. Fleet’s squad was now totally flanked by XJ’s men.
“SAY THE WORD!” the voice in their collective earpieces called out.
Fleet ignored this thinly-veiled posturing, these obvious tests of intimidation, all the while never even looked up at the man who he presumed was EagleRob at all. Without giving a very response, Fleet gave the tiniest shakes of his head.
“COPY THAT!” the voice simply replies.
The group of seven men total arrived at the outskirts of the town when XJ once again turned to face Fleet and his men. “Despite the cold welcome you got from some of the townsfolk, I, for one, am glad to see you guys. That means the country is pulling itself back together, and that can only be a good thing.” XJ then shook everyone’s hands and turned to walk away. XJ left Josh and EagleRob just standing there, staring at Fleet and his men for almost a full minute before they too turned and walked away. “Analysis?” Fleet asked anyone who wanted to give an opinion.
“I’ve never been so pleasantly threatened… without actually being threatened… in all the years of my life,” Morkim said.
Fleet turned to the veteran soldier, placing an arm on his shoulder. “That was nothing but theater. Sure, there was a point to it. It was clearly to provoke us, but we kept our composure.”
“I noticed that they never once admitted to their military background,” Jerry added.
Wagging his finger in the air, back in Jerry’s direction, Fleet nodding his head approvingly. “Picked on the same got-dammed thing! And trust me, that was not done by mistake.”
“Those kids…” Jindred added. “Were they really freaked out by us… or was it by them!”
As they turned to the corner where Craigster was breaking down his sniper rife, Fleet turns back towards his team and begins walking backward, “Either way, it’s complicated. There’s still no obvious signs of them doing anything bad. We can’t kill them because of their posturing.”
“You should have just given Craigster the word,” Jerry says. “We know it’s eventually going to come down to it anyway. Them… or us.”
As they get close to the Humvee, Craister leans off the bumper of the vehicle shook his head, “I’m kinda glad, Fleet called it off.”
A smile came across Fleet’s face as he got into the passenger side of the Humvee.
“What am I missing here?” Jerry says as she gets into the back with Craigster and Jindred.
Craigster turns towards Jerry, “Of their team… who was missing, and what is their specialty?”
“KIMBER! Arrrggghh!” Jerry says, immediately bringing both palms to her forehead.
“Yup!” Craigster says. “You don’t want to forget about the sniper! The same way I was out there looking over you guys. She was out there somewhere, probably scoping you guys out the entire time. She could have dropped two of you before anyone would have heard the first shot. By the way, anyone else notice none of us seen any adult males?”
“You’re right!” Jindred says.
“What do we do, Fleet? Go back and report to Keggers?”
Morkim starts up the Humvee and is about to engage the drive when he places a soft hand on the steering wheel, clenching his teeth. Staring blankly up at the windshield, Fleet eyes narrow on a small white card attached to the underside of the Humvee’s windshield wiper. Seconds later, Fleet holds an ole school library index card with two words scribbled on the back. “HELP US!”
Last Edit: Nov 18, 2020 7:46:56 GMT -8 by Axel Power
6 As the sun starts to cast shadows over the small town of Aberdeen, figures begin dipping in and out of those very same shadows until the emergency exit to the Lavender Hills Library. As soon as the doors open, Jerry’s nose scrunches up as the smell of body odor, human waste and something else that she hopes she’s wrong about.
Morkim steps into the rear walkway, and immediately freezes as if walking into an invisible wall, “Is that…”
“Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is,” Fleet confirms. “It’s a smell that is unforgettable, and only people in our profession can recognize it right away.“
“It’s death,” Jindred finishes, pulling his undershirt over his nose. “Somewhere up ahead is not one, but several dead bodies.”
Weapons held at high ready, Fleet’s team activates their night vision, allowing them to safely navigate through the library’s long, basement hallways. When they arrive at the stairway that leads to the main floor, they discover the source of the foul decay.
Morkim lowers his head, making a religious symbol with hands as the decaying bodies of a couple dozen people lay in piles at the bottom of the steps.
“THey’ve been shot!” Morkim says.
“This should never happen on American soil. Americans should never die by bullets that their very own taxpayers pay for.
“Weapon’s hot!,” Fleet says through gritted teeth. “I want these baztards dead TONIGHT! ALL of them!”
Fleet’s team arrives at the top of the stairs, pausing to cut through the tap that surrounds the entire surroundings of the door at the top of the stairs.
Jindred looks towards Mormkim with an inquisitive look, only for the fellow soldier to shrug his shoulders, “To keep the smell downstairs from reaching upstairs?”
“Makes sense,” Jerry says.”Although the fragrance up here isn’t exactly much of an upgrade.”
“I doubt our former brothers in arms allow a fresh porta-potty to be brought in every day,” Morkim adds.
Jindred scans around the open area of the large library with his night vision. “I’ve got movement. You think we are too late?”
“Not too later, a weathered and raspy voice calls from out of the darkness to their left. Instantly, three flashlights mounted assault rifles focus on a man whose healthy looking youthful face looks like it belongs to somebody in their late 20’s, but his emaciated body reflects someone who is fighting off the last stages of a debilitating disease.
“Please…” the man pleads. His watering eyes, whose reserves are too depleted to release their normal output. "We heard the sounds downstairs, we heard the tap moving. We knew somebody was coming in from the back and we knew it wasn’t XJ. Him in his men always comes through the front. We knew if there was ever going to be a rescue, it would come through the back. But we had to keep down, just in case.”
Fleet swivels his rifle around as others in the darkened library behind to reveal themselves.
“How many?” Morkim asks the man.
“Seventy originally. Now it’s down to only thirty of us.”
“There aren’t forty bodies at the bottom of those steps!” Fleet says.
“No.” Another voice calls out, coming from a man older than the first. “But then that Josh guy came and started taking people out. They’d take you back to your family, allow you to say your final goodbyes. Then they’d take you to the gym in our municipal building and you’d have to fight him for sport, for exercise to keep him and the others in shape.”
Jindred walks over to the older man to assist him to his feet. “I don’t get it. If someone was taken out and never returns, how do you know their fates?”
“A townswoman would often visit us in the middle of the night, and pass us notes under the door,” another voice called out from the back.
“This woman, did anyone ever see her?” Fleet asked, his finger sliding over to trigger of his assault rifle.
“More important,” Jerry says, before turning to nod to Fleet an apology. “Does anyone here actually know this her?”
“No,” the first man responded. “She never gave her name!”
Fleet did a 360-degree turn on his pivot foot, scanning the room, before taping his earpiece, “You have anything at all?
“NO MOVEMENT! BUT THE BACK ALLEYWAYS ARE TOO NARROW FOR ME TO MAKE OUT. BUT THE FRONT IS CLEAR!”
In the darkness of the very door that Fleet’s team had just entered, the sound of a soda can bounces off the floor.
“Flashbang,” Morkim calls out.”Jindred kill your night vision!”
By the time Jindred goes to diasable his night vision, the flashbang goes off, filling the room in a bright white light, before emitting a giant pop. Even though Jindred was only exposed to the light for two seconds, his the light still managed to cause significant damage to his exposed retinas. Kindred screamed out in pain, before Morkim knocked him to the ground as a hail of bullets barely miss his head by inches.
Fleet, his ears still ringing from the blast, drops to one knee and begins returning fire in the direction of the rear doorway. “Jerry! Get me an exit.”
“The door’s chained!” a voice calls out from one of the townsfolk.
Jerry levels her assault rifle towards the door, setting her AR to full auto, releasing a five second burst that shreds the door into wood splinters, allowing fresh air to fill into the stale room.
“GO!” Jerry screams to the town people, before tapping her earpiece. “You’ve got townsfolk exiting the front of the library, followed by us.”
The townsfolk explode out of the library, breaking off in every direction. Inside the library, as the last few people exit, with Jerry assists Fleet with cover fire, while Morkim pulls Jindred out of the library’s front.
“JERRY… WATCH YOUR SIX, SOMEBODY’S COMING AGAINST THE GRAIN TOWARDS TO YOUR POSITION. I CAN’T MAKE THE SHOT WITHOUT TEARING THROW YOUR ESCAPES.” Jerry turns around just in time, to get her assault rifle slapped out of her hand by EagleRob. Before the assault rifle hits the ground, Jerry has her Glock field knife out, missing her first two slashes, high, before going low and giving EagleRob a six inch gash on his right thigh. She taps her earpiece, “he’s by himself… END HIM!”
Craigster lines up EagleRob in his sights, zooming in till EagleRob’s ear takes up his entire view. “Die, you tratorious piece of-”
Craigster’s words are cut off, replaced with the sound of his screams as his M25 Sniper Rifle suddenly explodes in his clutches, sending shards of metal and plastic into his upper body and shattering fourteen out of the twenty-seven bones of his hand.
“Craigster!” Jerry yells again, tapping her earpiece. “Take the shot!”
“Your sniper is down, and out,” EagleRob says as he stands to his feet, pulling out his own combat knife that is two inches longer than Jerry’s.
“Bring it, big man!” Jerry says, giving her adversary a come hither motion with her hands.
“Let’s not!” Morkim says with his assault rifle already pointed towards EagleRob as he exits from the library's shattered entranceway, with Jindred in tow.
EagleRob knows Morkim has his dead to rights, but he knows Morkim will never get a chance to fire because of Josh flanking their position from the side.
Four shots ring out, taking Morkim and Josh to the ground.
“NO!” Fleet screams as he too exits the library. But before he can make a move, two bullets rip into his back. The first one is caught by his kevlar, whereas the second one catches in in the narrowest of gaps in his protection, entering his lower right underarm, and exiting his upper shoulder. Fleet’s right arm goes numb, causing his assault rifle to drop to the ground.
Seconds later XJ emerges into the doorway, flashlight in hand. He waves the light around to Fleet and his fallen comrades, and then to Jerry who stands motionless and indecisive on what to do next.
“Go for it!” EagleRob says to Jerry, when he sees her eyes, Fleet's assault rifle that’s less than five yards from her very feet. “Grab it and mow us down!”
“So you can shoot me up too,” Jerry says as raises her hands in surrender. “Yeah, right.”
“Wise move!” EAgleRob says.
“Wise as this?” Jerry says, as her right hand falls down quickly to her thigh, revealing a small handgun. She managed to get one shot off before Josh dropped her with two bullets to her upper chest.
“Son-of-a#@%!” EAgleRob screams, bringing his right hand up to his right hand, cringing in pain, as Jerry’s bullet gives him a nasty flesh wound to the left side of his head.
“Bet you lay off the razor to your head for a while,” Jerry says, as she coughs blood.”
EagleRob holds up his knife, quickly approaches Jerry. “How about I give a wider smile to go with that big mouth!”
“Enough!” XJ says as he slowly walks down the steps, kicking Fleet out the way as he gets to the bottom. Fleet explodes back to his feet, only to be seized in a grip of iron by Josh.
“Well…” XJ says as he walks down the steps, leveling his handgun at Jerry, before turning back to Fleet. “... just couldn’t leave well enough alone?”
“YOU guys are @#$&!” Fleet says. “What you did to this town is a disgrace! What you did to the uniform is a disgrace!”
“What uniform would that be?” XJ says as he opens up his hands, followed by the rest of his team.
A vehicle turns the corner of the library, with an all too familiar growl.
“AH,” XJ says. “Right on time!”
The Humvee stops right of the library, and a solidly built female emerges.
“You guys never met Kimber did you?” XJ says with a smirk. “I bet you I know at least one of you has met her.
“Where’s Craigster?” Fleet spits, fighting against Josh’s grip.
“He’s right here.” Kimber says, opening the door to reveal a bloody Craigster. “He looks worse than he is. He’s not going to die, but he won’t be looking through a scope again, unless it's on an Xbox. Too bad XJ didn’t let me kill him. I could've killed you all the first time.”
XJ walks right up to Fleet’s face, the stale smell of coffee on his breath almost nauseating. “You say I, and the rest of my men and lady disrespect the uniform? If it weren’t for your uniforms… you’d be all dead! Me and Josh pumped you all full of 9mm’s! We could have easily used 45 caliber “cop killers” that would have tore through your vest like styrofoam. So congrats. You get to go home and tell a story. You saw the plant. It's intact and you can have it. But we want $100 million dollars, which is chump change in the grand scheme of things.”
“You ain’t getting %@#%#$ but death!” Fleet says.
XJ leans around Fleet towards his son, and head nods in the direction of his Humvee. XJ drags Fleet over to the driver’s side door, as EagleRob makes for Morkim.
“Take this L, go home and lick your wounds. Tell your superiors that you and everything you have back there is not enough. You want this plant… Come up with the dough!
The rear hatch of the Humvee slams shut, as an exasperated Jindred moans in pain.
As Fleet reaches over to his gear shift to engage with his left hand, Kimber stickers her head in the door. “Y'all come back now, ya here!”
“Just make sure it’s with money,” Josh says. “Pay us what you owe us… for all the years you hoed us!
6 - Interlude
Through shut eyes that fought to be willed open, Fleet couldn’t remember how he got his team back to headquarters. He recalled passing out several times, just to have Jerry reach from the back seat and correct his steering. The veteran lieutenant occasionally looked at Craigster, his vibrant friend of many years, who now sat quietly and unmoving. Each time he did so, his vision would get blurry, and his face would moisten, visibly distraught at the sight that lay strapped into the seatbelt next to him was so bloody, bruised, and swollen, no longer looked human. “She did this to him, somehow carried him off of a roof, and even took the time to put him in a seatbelt and bring him back to us. What kind of people are we dealing with?” he thought to himself.
When he finally managed to wake up, he almost thought he saw a ghost when he came face to face with one of his close friends and combat medic, named Dr. Lo.
“Am I dead?” Fleet said with a forced smile.
“No… but you and your team danced on the doorstep. They are all severely injured but stable, so they’ll live. Jerry, Morkim, and Jindred have a collapsed lung. They won’t be running any 5K’s any time soon. Btw, how close was this shooter?”
Fleet winced as he shook his head, “I don’t know. Ten… fifteen feet.”
“Wow, Dr. Lo said, nodding his head slowly. “He managed to shoot them all in the same spot, each bullet, landing on top of the first, which pushed the initial bullet through the vest.”
Fleet suddenly got quiet, his face becoming emotional. “How about Cragister? He looked terrible.”
“While he lacks the internal injuries of the others, over half the bones in his shooting hand are broken. He lost his left eye, and we’re still plucking pieces of metal and plastic from his upper torso. He’ll need multiple cosmetic surgeries to look anywhere near his old self. And… as you can expect, he’ll never fire a weapon again.”
“[email protected]#%@#$!” Fleet says, pounding his left hand against the frame of his bed.
Dr. Lo begins to walk towards Fleet’s room’s front door, pausing before he reaches for its’ latch, “I can’t help but notice that you didn’t ask about yourself.”
“It doesn’t matter about me. All I care about is my team!”
“I’ll take that response as your unofficial inquiry. You lost a lot of blood en route. A few more minutes, you would have died. You have nerve damage in your right arm. The good thing is, you will get full use of the arm again. The bad thing is, it won’t be anytime soon. You are looking at about 60% usage at this point. So avoid any arm-wrestling competitions.”
“Save the humor, Lo!”
“Humor is what you need, Luitenent. You and your team have been through a lot and have lived to talk about it. Get some rest.”
Dr. Lo’s words dig deep, comforting Fleet just enough to allow his mind to finally begin the healing process that his body had already started.
Last Edit: Nov 24, 2020 22:35:13 GMT -8 by Axel Power
Post by Axel Power on Nov 24, 2020 22:39:20 GMT -8
7. In the main conference room, Colonel. Keggers, Captain Ron, Master Sergeant Soul, Major Blue and Corporal Nubulator each openly welcome Master Sergeant BemaisGoat to the room, as one by one they take their seat around the large meeting table, staring at the large map on the projector screen.
Just when they were about to get started, the door to the room explodes inward. “WTF is going on here? Why aren’t me and my team invited to this meeting???”
Captain Ron looked up and Fleet and shook his head. “Cause you and your team got their azzes kicked by people who weren’t worthy to wear the uniform!”
“CAPTAIN RON!!” Kegger shouted out. “”That was not called for!”
“I’m just saying what everybody was thiking. You and your squad got bested by the ^$#$&#[email protected]# rainbow coalition, now you want to cop an attitude? [email protected]#$ outta here with that bullsh#@!”
Fleet marched around to Ron’s chair, his fists tightening. “Get up!”
Ron looked up at Fleet and scoffs, “And what are you going to do? You only have one arm!”
“That’s one arm more than I need to whip your punk ass. So I’ll say it again. GET UP!”
Captain Ron surges to his feet, only to have Soul and the others separate the too men.
“You guys sicken me!” Fleet says as he makes his way to the door. “We were given bad intel from the start. Let my team get another shot!”
A comforting hand is placed on Fleet’s shoulder. Fleet wheels around and relaxes when he sees its Lige. “LT… my team needs another shot!”
“Your team is done,” Luitenant Lige says, as he accompanies Fleet from the room.
When the door closes Keggers gestures for everyone to sit back down. “Listen up people, in three days, I have a face to face with the Chairman of the joint chiefs, General Modo. If I don’t give him good news on this, he’ll have us pulled.
A hand comes to Captain Ron’s chin, before he pushes his self away from the table.
“What’s on your mind Ron?” Nubulator asks him.
Captain pauses for a moment looking down at the table before meeting Nubilator’s eyes. “I don’t know Corp, its that bazstard Fleet. He says its all on him, and we don’t do anything. How about we show him and the brass that these dogs still have teeth!”
Keggers leans into the table, “I don’t think that’s a good idea Ron. Many of us haven’t seen combat in over a decade.”
“Well maybe its time we did again,” Ron says, as he looks around the table at the nodding faces.
“We could take Fleet’s intel, see where they went bad, and improve upon it,” Major Blue says, his eyes brightening. “Collectively, we have over 100 years of experience. I’d take that any day vs. 3 guys and a gal.”
Keggers leans back into his seat, shaking his head, and intertwining his fingers. “I don’t know about this! They are expecting a reprisal. We’d be walking into a trap, just like Fleet’s squad did. I say we go in heavy-”
“WE ARE THE HEAVY!” Master Sergeant Soul. We can be wheels up tonight! The longer we wait, the more they get dug in.”
“Who’s all really into this? I want you to think very carefully. You all got families!” Keggers says.
“My two boys are all grown!” Bemaisgoat says. “They followed in my footsteps to the core. They’d be proud if I suited up one last time for the good of the nation. Besides… I owe that EagleRob”
“So are mine,” Nubilator says with a closed fist to an open palm. “I’m in.”
“Obviously I’m in,” Ron says.
Soul Raises his hand.
As does Blue.
“Alright then. Get your affairs in order, call whomever you need to call and suck in your guts so your stomach doesn’t bulge out of your vests. This is what you want fellas… you’ve got it! Major Blue, this is your team! Go make us proud!”
A raucous applause surges through the room as Captain Ron begins beating on the table with his fists, while Soul and Nubilator begin hyping one another up with shoves to the upper chest. The only one who doesn’t share in their exalted exuberance is the most senior soldier of the new command, Major Blue. He’d been a Major now for almost a decade, wondering if the promotion to Luitenant Colonel would ever come before got to be 55. While he want his revenge for Fleet, his primary motivation was getting what he thought was well deserved. If everything went right, he’d have that silver leaf all polished up by the time they returned.
Post by Axel Power on Nov 29, 2020 16:57:10 GMT -8
In the rehab section of the base’s gym, sweat poured down Fleet’s head like a faucet as the large man performed his third set of concentration curls on his recovering right arm. It’s not till his numerous grunts cease, did he hear the base’s emergency klaxon blaring from the hallway. While others around him in the regular part of the gym began to make for the gym’s exit immediately, Fleet paid the emergency no mind, as his attention focused only on him and his team’s rehab.
“Somebody shut that thing off?” Jerry says, her voice muffled by the lung pressure capacitor that clung tightly around her head like a neophyte face-hugger from the Alien movie franchise. The espionage expert walked on the treadmill at a faster than a steady casual pace.
Two treadmills over, similar headgear was attached to Morkim, as he too struggled to breathe the same way did before the damage dung to his left lung.
When Jindred walked into the gym, going against the exiting soldiers’ grain, Fleet and the others took a break from their workout to talk with him.
“How’s he doing?” Jerry asked.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” a voice responded from the hallway before a heavily bandage Craigster walked through the doors of the gym.
“SON OF A %#@[email protected]#!” Fleet exploded, increasing his gait to embrace Craigster. “You heal quicker than Wolverine!”
Craigster holds up his right arm, grimacing after its angle passes ninety degrees. “Not quite, and unless they had me under longer than I thought, no metal claws are popping out this hand. Believe it or not, they managed to save my thumb and forefinger. But with the nerve damage, they are more for show than anything else.
“The eye?” Kimber asked solemnly.
“Already have a glass one pop’d in. And before you ask why the bandages, they’re medicated to keep the swelling down.
Morkim walks over and gives Craigster a firm shake to his one good hand. “Regardless of how you look, it’s good to see you, brother, up and walking around.”
“It’s good to be on this side of the ground. That being said, every time I close my eyes, I see my baby blowing up in my face. Truth be told, I rather that #%@t^$# just have killed me.”
“Don’t say that!” Fleet immediately shot, taking a step towards Craigster.
“I’m a sniper specialist… who can’t snipe. That’s like a tiger with no claws. I’m useless!” Craigster fired back, not giving any ground to Fleet.
“Your weapon doesn’t make you a soldier, soldier!” Fleet snapped back. “You were a weapon the minute you gave your oath. Your weapon just accentuated what was already there.”
Craigster held up his bandaged arm, this time, pushing it past the previous point till his eyes begin to well up, “Well, guess what, LT? I’m not feeling like a weapon anymore, and unless there is a bionics lab in the basement, I doubt I ever will!”
Fleet steps even closer to sniper specialist, “Craigster! I don’t think-”
Fleet’s words are cut off as a Corporal SMD enters the gym, “Lt, Major Blue’s team has returned.”
Jindred face frowned to a concern, lowering his head, “This soon?”
Jerry stayed behind with Craigster while Fleet, Jindred, and Morkim made their way to the conference room when SMD raised his hand, “No, you’re going to want to go to the medic ward.”
FLeet’s heart sank to feet, mentally preparing himself for what could he was about to encounter.
He should have prepared himself better.
Entering the medic ward, where just a few days ago his entire team received care, a mild sense of relief came over Fleet when he only saw Blue laying up in a bed being attended to. The feeling of contentedness quickly vanished when Fleet realized no other Blue’s team members were present in the room or the headquarters.
“Repo-” Fleet stopped himself barking out an order that he was in no position to demand.”
He began backing out of the room to allow the doctor’s room when Blue’s voice called out to him, “Fleet!”
Fleet was by Blue’s side in seconds, seizing hold of the man who was more than just his superior, but also his friend. “Major, what happened?” Where’s your team?”
Blue wiped away the blood from his face as he told Fleet the harrowing and horrific story that fell upon his team the moment they entered Aberdeen. Blue told him how his team came into the middle of the night, parking just outside the town and how they used a drone to determine that the town people were put into a super Walmart. The problem was they had no idea where XJ’s team was. He ordered them to split up because of seeing how Fleet’s own team stuck together and failed.
“I need to work on my patient,” Dr. Lo interrupted, his stethoscope already in hand, as he positioned himself between him and Blue.
“He’s stable,” Fleet said with a stern look, repositioning himself back between Dr. Lo and Blue. “It’s imperative to discover what happened last night. Now back off!”
Dr. Lo’s face stiffened. “Listen! In the hallway, you can bark orders, and your subordinates scatter. In HERE… I’m the COLONEL, MAJOR and GENERAL all rolled into one. In HERE, I give the orders, and people scatter!”
“It’s okay,” Blue gasped through trembled lips. “Fleet’s right, Lo. I need to share this!”
Blue continued, saying everything was fine until his drone feed suddenly went out, presumably plucked out the sky by Kimber. According to Blue, Nubilator was the first to fall, taking a round to his thigh, which took him to the ground, screaming into his mic for assistance. Soul responded, knowing the high probability he was heading into a trap. As Soul began dragging Nubilator into a side alley, Kimber took them both out with one bullet to his temple that exited out of Soul’s ear.
Dr. Lo came around next to the two men. “Thirty more seconds and I’m calling in MPs.”
Blue continued, telling how Bemaisgoat got his wish and got to square-off with EagleRob. After running out of bullets at the same time as EagleRob, the two went hand to hand. Despite EagleRob being younger, bigger, and better shape, Bemaisgoat held his own as EagleRob obvious advantages made him cocky and sloppy. Just as Bemaisgoat started to turn the tide, Kimber entered the room, only for Bemaisgoat to pivot his attention and disable her with two quick punches to the solar plexus. That little bit of a distraction was all EagleRob needed to wrap his arms around his former superior’s neck and choke the life from his body. Ron and XJ got into a prolonged firefight at a hardware store. Blue said he tried to get to where has at, hoping that if they could take out XJ, they could put an end to everything. But by the time Blue got there, Ron was down on the floor, gasping for air, trying his best to tear away at his vest.
Grabbing Fleet by the collar of his Chargers workout shirt, Blue pulled his friend in closer. “Josh LAUGHED as he shot him. That son of a @!#$% laughed like a sick jackal, emptying two clips into him. I heard everything from down the hall, spilling into the room just in time to see Ron exhale his last breath. Josh tried to shoot me but was empty. I fired off my weapon, but Josh managed to get out of the room. I wanted to chase him, but it was more important to report what I found.”
“Times up!” Dr. Lo says, unfolding his arms, looking at the MPs in the corner who had just arrived in the corner of the room. “Escort the lieutenant from the room!”
The two MPs quickly flanked Fleet on both sides, the one to his left, stop short of grabbing Fleet by the arm, “Come with us, sir!”
Fleet kept his concentration on Blue, never looking up from his old friend. Suddenly, the large man inhaled deeply, released his response in one gristled word through lips that bared moved, “SEARGENTS!”
Morkim and Jindred both appeared right behind the MPs.
“Cripple, the first man who touches me!”
“Yes, sir!” the two sergeants respond in unison.
“FLEET!” an astounded Dr. Lo shouts.
“Where done anyway,” Blue says. “I made it back to the Humvee before that Kimber started putting rounds in me. By the time I drove away, she had got me in the forearm, my left thigh, and upper right shoulder. But it wasn’t all for naught; I discovered something crucial.”
Blue whispered a few words to Fleet, and when he was done, the veteran soldier immediately turned and left the room, flanked by his Sergeants. As soon as they reach the hallway, Fleet turns to his squad, “Spread the word. I want us geared up and ready to go in an hour.”
Morkim looked up at FLeet, “Even Craigster?”
“Especially Craigster!” The Major just gave me an excellent idea!”
An hour later, Fleet’s squad is packing up their Humvee when two men storm into the garage.
Upon recognition, Jerry shakes her head, releasing a heavy sigh, “Awe s#[email protected]#!”
Keggers, accompanied by the Chairman of the Joint Cheifs, Modo march their way right over to Fleet. Keggers look over the Humvee before focusing his attention on Fleet, and with an incredulous look, demands, “WTH do you think you are doing!”
“One more chance!” Fleet says, jabbing at the door of Humvee. “Just give us ONE more shot at this!”
“One more shot? Your team is still injured!” Keggers says. “I mean Craigster still’s got bandages for #@$#@ sake!”
“But I have intel!”
“Doesn’t matter what you have,” Modo says. “This whole operation is shut down. In two days, I have to meet with the President and update him on what’s going on here. I’ve seen NOTHING from this base’s last two operations that are going to have him conclude this command can get can safely secure the southeast region with minimum casualties!”
“We still have a full day!” Fleet protests.
Modo takes a step closer to Fleet, and in a low, calm voice, “Your team has already failed, Lieutenant!
It’s time to shut it down before the body count rises even higher than it already has. Already your Colonel has to explain to families why their loved ones whose combat years were well behind them, will probably have to have funerals in closed caskets.”
With that, Modo turns and leaves the room, leaving Keggers standing there with his hands on his hips. Keggers turn to follow but stops, turning over his left shoulder. “You embarrassed me today here, Lieutenant. You didn’t even consult me about this mission. Ten minutes later, you would have been gone on an unsanctioned mission. Anything wrong would have fallen flat on my shoulders. I won’t forget what you did today, and I’ll make sure your official record doesn’t forget it either.”
By the time Keggers departs the garage, it was like somebody pulling a small pin from a large balloon, as their hopes for righting the wrongs that were done was immediately deflated. One by one, each of his men and lone women says their last goodbyes, leaving Fleet alone sitting on the Humvee’s rear bumper.
Minutes later, Lige enters the room and begins removing Fleet’s squad things from the Humvee.
“They couldn’t get anyone else to do this?” Fleet says to his friend.
Lige put the last bit of gear on the large cabinet and made his way to the door, finally turning at the last moment, “Keggers started flipping out, and started sending people home. Who else was going to grab your gear? Nobody else likes you.”
“Seems appropriate,” Fleet says, letting his voice travel off.
Lige gets to the door, turning at the last moment, “Btw, the Chairman would like to talk to you outside.”
An eerie feel comes across Fleet’s stomach as his face contorts under the possible realization that his military career may have just come to an end. “Next time you see me, I may be a Sergeant, perhaps even a Private, or even just a citizen.”
Fleet walks outside, thinking to see Modo standing outside a black government vehicle with two men in dark suits. Instead, Fleet’s mouth falls to the floor when he sees Modo decked out in dark shades standing outside a running eight-passenger APC, with a .50 cal mounted on its roof.
“If you’re going to haul me away, can it be with something a little less conspicuous,” Fleet says.
Modo looks at his watch, giving it a few taps before turning its face toward Fleet, before looking back up at him. “Times running out, Lieutenant!”
“You sending me in?” Fleet asked, pointing towards the exit of the base.
“He’s sending us all in!” a voice behind him calls out to him.
Fleet turns around and sees his team smiling ear to ear on their approach to the APV, with Lige pushing the cart that he just removed from the Humvee.
Fleet turns back towards Modo, his lips moving, with no words exiting. “I don’t get it.”
“YOu said it yourself, we still have time, so let’s see what we can do. Plus, it looks like you’ve got at least one friend left. That Lige can be very persuasive.”
Fleet rubs the growing shadow coming under his chin as a million questions run through his head. But as Lige closed the door behind himself on the APV, Fleet put aside his concerns and jumped in.
The APV pulled off, nearing the main gate when a black sedan came speeding up next to it, laying on its horn, until the large, armored personnel carrier finally stopped.
It was Keggers who exploded from the sedan, marching right up to the passenger’s side door and coming face to face with an indifferent Fleet.
“I can’t believe you! I grounded your team, and then you turn around and commandeer an APV!!! You are going to be court-”
The door to the driver’s side door slams shut, cutting off Keggers rant once he realizes its Modo who’s coming around the front.
Leveling his anger, Keggers looks Modo in the eye. “This is MY operation. You can’t do this.”
Modo dips his shades down just low enough so he can look at Keggers in his eyes. “What’s my title, Colonel?”
“You’re chairman of the joint-”
“What’s my TITLE, Colonel???”
“You’re also a General in the New United States of America,” Keggers says with a low sigh.
“Exactly, which means this base is mine the minute the soldiers at the gate salute me!”
“Fine!” Keggers says as he walks around and yanks up the door to the second row. “I can’t stop you from going, but nobody said I couldn’t go with you.”
“You sure about this?” Fleet asks Keggers in his sun visor mirror.
“Those were MY men that died, Lieutenant. I gave them the okay. You’re not the only one who wants revenge. Now… let’s go, Fleet... General Modo, we’ve got a town to liberate!”
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2020 16:58:32 GMT -8 by Axel Power
On the second-floor apartment that sits overtop of Alice’s Wonderland Books, XJ pushes aside the curtain that overlooks Main Street, narrowing his eyes towards the horizon’s dwindling sunlight.
“You know they’re going to hit us tonight, right?” EagleRob says in between jamming spoonfuls of cold noodle soup into his mouth. The former staff-sergeant puts down his bowl on the floor before grunting loudly as he uses his assault rifle as a crutch to stand himself up.
Suddenly, but not unexpectedly, an F-22 Raptor buzzes over top of the town so low, the windows of the book store rattle.
“How many does that make now?” EagleRob asks with mild annoyance.
XJ looks out the window again before leaning back against the wall, “I’d say about a dozen. As you just mentioned, an attack is imminent. This is just to prevent us from resting.”
A smirk comes to EagleRob’s face, as he looks down at a snoozing Josh, “Tell that to your son.”
“That boy once slept through a twister… two of them as a matter of fact,” XJ said before refocussing his attention to Kimber, who had her feet up on the decorative coffee table that was the center-piece of the living room. “Time to get set up.”
Kimber slowly pushes herself off form the chair, slinging her sniper rifle over her back and begins making for the front door before she pauses, “What’s our endgame here boss? They aren’t going to stop. And the minute they find a way to get a significant number of this townies out, they are going to come at us with a full battalion. I mean its pretty clear, they aren’t going to pay us.”
“We are leaving first thing in the morning regardless. And they WILL pay us because of the extra measures we put in place. Now go get yourself set up, and try not to take out any Raptors while you are at it!”
Kimber makes her way to the door, saying just loudly for everyone one to hear, “I make NO promises.”
When Kimber was out of sight, EagleRob glanced over at XJ with an inquisitive look. “She can’t really, take down a jet can she?”
“With her reputation? I think so. Remember, she doesn’t need to hit the pilot. All she needs is it hit something vital in the plane. Unlike your car, a jet pretty much needs everything to work effectively, or else it comes down. She hits a hydraulic line, or intake manifold, it’s a wrap!”
EagleRob raises a sheepish left eyebrow, before nodding his head in astonishment. He then settles down in the very chair that Kimber had just relinquished, just as the sun finally settled over the horizon.
Besides the constant low fly-bys, the next hour passes uneventful for the town of Aberdeen. XJ was seconds from succumbing to deep sleep when a shout comes in over the radio.
“HEADS UP! I HAVE THREE CHOPPERS COMING IN!”
Immediately, all three men, including the slumbering EagleRob and Josh snap to attention, rifles in hand.
XJ looks over to both men, “MOVE!”
The command was given, but not necessary, as both former soldiers were already making their way to the front door.
“I guess they have forgotten how bad azz we are!” Josh says.
XJ meets his son at the door, grabbing the large man by his huge trapezuis muscles. “Well... make sure you remind them!”
Seconds later, XJ looks out from the window as EagleRob and Josh explode from the bookstore’s entrance, taking off in opposite direction. XJ bends down and picks up the radio, “Give me a status update?”
“THE CHOPPERS SPLIT OFF AND HAVE GONE OFF ALMOST COMPLETELY SILENT. THIS IS SOME NEXT-LEVEL CAPTURE BIN LADEN TYPE-ISH. I’M STRUGGLING EVEN WITH-”
Kimber’s sudden break causes XJ to shake the radio in, pounding it over and over again in his hand, “Kimber?”
“ONE OF THE CHOPPER’S IS HOVERING OVER THE WALMART!”
“Son of a #@$^@#!” XJ screams. “How the %@#^@# did they figure this out?”
“I SEE FIGURES BEING LOWERING DOWN TO THE ROOF. PERMISSION TO PLUCK THE CHOPPER?”
“Negative! It will crash and set the building on fire. Take out soldiers being dropped.”
A smile comes on Kimber’s face as she puts a single bullet through the center of each dark figure lowered into the rooftop. The moment each person lands, they immediately collapse to the roof’s surface, unmoving.
A squelch comes through over the radio.
“I BELIEVE THE TERM IS CALLED… DUCKS IN A BARREL!”
“And the other choppers?” XJ shoots back into the radio.
“THEY CONTINUE TO CIRCLE ABOUT. I SWITCHED TO THERMAL TO SEE IF HOW MANY’S ON BOARD, BUT THE SUCKER IS FLYING COLD. NOT EVEN THE ENGINE IS GIVING OFF A HEAT SIGNATURE!”
On the outskirts of the town, a large APV sits wedged inbetween the narrow alley-way of two large buildings. Fleet, without even looking over his shoulder, simple states through lips that barely part, “Implement Phase Two.”
The rear of the APC opens up and a half-dozen small drones pour our out like dragonflies escaping capture, as the blinking light, quad-bladed devices, no larger than a child’s frisby scream off towards the center of town.
Fleet taps in his earpiece. “In position?”
“ALL SET! JUST WAITING FOR THE FUN TO BEGIN!”
A sinister grin comes upon Fleet’s face. “Oh, it’s already begun. REGULATORS… let’s mount up!”
With those words Fleet, Morkim, Jerry, and Jindred take off from the APC and make their way to their designated target.
“You ready?” Modo asks Keggers who like Lige, has positioned himself right behind the general.
Keggers looks up a block into the distance, where the bodies of Captain Ron and the others from the previous mission are strung up on the side of every light pole. “For what these baztards did! Got-danmed right I’m ready! Let’s show them what happens when you kill and maim U.S. soldiers!”
The APC tears off out of the alleyway, and if the rare instance there was anyone hunkered down in the basement of their home within a block of the vehicle, they would have distinctly heard a battle cry.
When Kimber ears heard the roar of the APC, she immediately lined up the large vehicle in her sights. Her finger hovered over the trigger as she weighed her option of whether or not one of her hollow points could puncture the reinforced windshield. Kimber knew if she failed, she’d give up her position and risk somebody inside the APV manning the mounted .50 cal. She’s seconds from firing on the APC when she hears a light buzz from her right ear. She spins around and can make out the flashing LED of the drone slowly passing her area about 25 yards away.
“You’d think they’d learn the first time,” she says to herself as she begins lining up the slow-moving shot.
Right before she fires, she hears another buzz, this time whirling to her left. Kimber went through this motion several more times before she got on the radio to XJ. “I’ve got multiple drones en route!”
“Then take them out!” XJ shoots back over the radio.
Annoyed, Kimber shakes her head before pressing the talk button on the radio. “Their flying pattern is erratic. I have to wait till they go into hover mode.”
“JUST DO IT!”
Kimber shrugs her shoulders in indifference as she tries her best to line up one of the dancing drones.
Ten blocks away, EagleRob has just used the internal stairwell of Walmart to arrive at the rooftop. His assault rifle at the ready, he sweeps the rooftop, using the rifle’s attached flashlight to look over the strewn bodies that lay before him. Josh grins, putting several rounds into the still body. Immediately his smile disappears as he kneels to investigate the body. Right away, Josh knew something is wrong. He pulls his radio to his face, “We’ve been duped! I repeat… we’ve been duped. The bodies on the rooftop are just geared-up dummies!”
“Speaking of dummies…” a voice comes out from behind him.
EagleRob whips around his assault rifle to shred the source of words when his weapon is kicked out of his hands by a man with night vision goggles. He immediately drops a flare with his left-hand while pulling out a knife with the other.
“Not again!” Jindred says as he quickly drops down his night vision goggles and raising his weapon.
EagleRob is upon him in seconds, as charges Jindred like a linebacker taking out a running back behind the scrimmage line. Jindred’s assault rifle disappears into the further darkness off the roof, landing outside EagleRob’s flare’s influence. Kindred rolls several times before doing a half-summersault back to down one knee, his own blade materializing in his hand.
“Goooooood Goooooood!” EagleRob spat. “You’ve got some fight in you. That being said, I’m going to gut you before my flare burns itself out!”
The two men went at each other anew, this time like caged tigers, as their blades clanged off one another, giving off minute sparks. EagleRob overreached a downward jab, and Jindred buried the blade just above his left collar bone. Eye to eye, EagleRob cocked his head to the side in indifference, “All you did was make me mad!” He then snapped kicked Jindred away from him before yanking out the knife and flicking it away over the side of the roof.
“Is that all you got?” EagleRob taunted. “Face it, young buck! You too small!”
“Bemaisgoat was too small too, yet he was kicking your azz before Kimber saved you.”
Jindred’s words enraged EagleRob, as the disgraced former sergeant surged at Jindred with multiple knife swings and thrusts. Jindred managed to evade the strikes but noticed that EagleRob was purposely driving him away from the light, hoping that eventually, his blade would be too far away to reflect the flare’s light so that Jindred won’t see it coming at him. Jindred glanced back over his shoulder, knowing if EagleRob’s blade didn’t kill him, a fall off the roof would undoubtedly do him in.
“You’re too slow old man!” Jindred said with a laugh.
“Mutha-#@q%#$ I’m probably less than ten years older than you. It’s funny; you bring up Bemaisgoat. You see him up on the light poles near the entrance to the town. He’s going to have a company by the morn!”
“Show me what you got, Staff Sergeant!” Kindred said with a ‘come here’ gesture with his hands.
EagleRob, lacking Jindred’s proximity, as well as his own to the edge of the roof, swings in wildly with a left jab while undercutting with his right, hoping to relieve Jindred of his entrails. Jindred pivots to the right before side-stepping his foe with almost a bull-to-matador evasive maneuver. By the time EagleRob realizes his mistake, the front of his boots are hugging the edge of the rooftop.
“Bemaisgoat will be taken down in the morning,” Kindred says behind EagleRob. “But you are going down tonight.”
Suddenly EagleRob receives a solid kick to the center of the middle of his back, sending him screaming off the side of his rooftop, till the sound of his cries is silenced by his impact with by waste dumpsters.
Jindred taps his earpiece, “EagleRob is down… literally! Three to go!”
“Excellent!” Fleet says, quickly approaching Jindred’s position. “Go to Phase III, ladies!”
The drones that were moving on rapid, random formations suddenly slow to a steady hover. Seconds later, they immediately begin exploding, as if small firecrackers begin detonating inside of them. When the third drone falls, Craigster, who was set up on the rooftop of the same Library his team had received their earlier defeat. He grits down on his teeth as he looks through his new rifle scope with his one good eye. “Got you, you son of a #@[email protected]#%!!!”
Craigster’s first bullet skirts past Kimber, tearing up small chunks of roof tiles of the Greater Baptist Church of God. By the time Kimber notices, another shot misses her ear so closely, it feels like she had an insect inside of it.
“You’ve got to be %^@#Q^Y#@$ kidding me!” Kimber says as she backs her eye away from the scope of her rifle. A second later, her sniper rifle detonates in her face.
“Niiiiiiiiice, Craigster!” Fleet says into his earpiece. “I told you that you were still a weapon.”
“This is Lige. We’re evacuating the prisoners from the Walmart.”
“Eyes open, people,” Fleet responds. “XJ and Josh are still out there!”
Morkim hears Fleet’s words, but by the time he scans the street in front of him, a deafening blast goes off behind him, and his back explodes into a myriad of pain as his body is shot forward almost a dozen feet. Although his kevlar vest has absorbed the impact, Morkim finds it difficult to breathe. When he hears the sound of laughter, he knows exactly who his foe is.
Slapping his hand on his thigh, Josh holds a smoking shotgun in his hand. “I swear they make those vests better and better. There was a time this could cut a person in two!”
The large man puts the shotgun down, along with a large flashlight so he can illuminate Morkim’s body. As Josh stalks his position, Morkim struggles with all his might to gain his breath and his bearings. Josh grabs him off the ground like he’s a child, propping his body up against a newer modeled Chevy, whose tires had long since lost their inflation.
Josh brought his face close to Morkim, “You’re back for round two? I’m going to torture you sooooo slow… you are going to beg for death.”
The seemingly complacent Morkim explodes into action driving his head into Josh’s nose, shattering into an open faucet of blood. Josh’s releases him to try to staunch the blood, leaving him free to Morkim’s fury, as the sergeant kicks at Josh’s left knee, buckling it, which takes the large man down to one side. Morkin then gets behind him, placing a death grip around Josh’s neck. Josh begins to twist and turn, but he lacks the stability to shake Morkim off with his damaged knee.
“How’s it feel?” Morkim whispers in Josh’s ear so close, it could be slated as something intimate. “How it feels to have low life slowly slip away.”
“Oh, I love it!” Josh says, pushing past his graying vision, which now includes tiny starburst and the pain in his knee that almost brings him to tears. Josh rises with Morkim on his back and drives them both into the front of the hardware store. As a combined four hundred and seventy pounds impacts the wall, Morkim’s body absorbs the impact, once again losing his wind.
As Josh separates himself from Morkim, the latter of the two slumps down to the wall. Josh picks him up, tosses him into the Chevy, shattering the passenger window. Josh limps his way over to Morkim, pulling out his ten-inch combat knife. “No more taking my time. You hurt me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been seriously injured. You’re hurt too. The only difference between you and me; your pain is about to end forever.
“You know…” a grizzled voice says behind Josh calls out. “If you are going to release a shotty in the dark, quiet town… it may get some attention. And since none of having to worry about a bullet coming from the sky, we have free reign to fight.”
Josh’s staggers to stand himself up on his one good leg. “C’mon, Fleet!”
Fleet charges at Josh like a locomotive, impacting the younger ex-soldier and driving him back into the Chevy, collapsing the rear quarter-panel. He then takes Josh’s head and begins slamming it over and over again on the trunk. Tapping into some sort of inner strength, Josh elbows Fleet in his left ear, followed by two haymakers. The punches are devastatingly powerful, connecting to the right and left side of Fleet’s jaw. But they were nowhere near as powerful as they should have been without Josh’s proper footing.
“You hit like a girl!” Fleet responds, spitting out a mouthful of saliva that has a tinge of pink to it.
Breathing heavily, while still favoring his one knee, Josh eyes up to his shotgun that is still lying next to his flashlight.
“Don’t!” Fleet warns loudly. “You’ll be dead before you touch the barrel, son!”
Josh made his move just as a shot rang out, which collapsed the man fan face-first into the sidewalk. Josh immediately cried out, gripping the back of his right hamstring as blood immediately began to pool around the wound from the bullet that Morkim put into him.
As Morkim and Fleet stood over top of him, the writhing JOsh looked up at them, “Just kill me and get it over with!”
Morkim brought his right forefinger to his lips, “Sssssshhhhhhh. Settle down now. The grown-ups are in charge.” Morkim then knelt and secured Josh’s hands with twist ties before wrapping a pressure band around his leg where the bullet struck.
“Josh’s down, time to take out the head,” Fleet said.
“I GOT A HEAT SIGNAL IN THE SECOND FLOOR OF A BOOKSTORE THREE BLOCKS FROM YOUR POSITION.”
Fleet starts nodding his head approvingly. “Gentlemen. Time to wrap this up!”
Last Edit: Dec 7, 2020 11:18:14 GMT -8 by Axel Power