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M01 Iron Dragon


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Location: South Ossetian Autonomous Region

Time: April 16, 2008 05:45 Bravo Time

Task Force Echo 2 Zulu 5 buffeted through the hot air surrounding the approach to the Georgian High Lands. The 6 man elite squad of Special Force Ghosts sat in silence, weapons between their legs pointing down as the Blackhawk hugged the landscape around it. Out of the corner of his eye Jack Stone saw the crew chief waving his hands and mouthing 5 minutes, the men tapped each other and jiggled there combat webbing to be that bit less irritating in the small canvas seats of the Blackhawk.

The MH-60 Blackhawk swept in from the East so's not to over pass the mission area as the Ghost prepared to go. The huge rotors sliced through the air holding the Blackhawk just feet from the ground as the 6 man team dropped down the remaining few feet into the long mountain grass and fell to one knee weapons ready as eyes and ears searched for that threat they knew was near. Jack Stone searched around him with his keen eyes, he'd been a Special Forces sniper for years but this Campaign was the biggest he'd been in, he gripped his SPR 6.8mm tightly in his hands taking comfort in its length and power. He visually checked his weapon quickly to check the silencer and magazine hadn’t moved in the drop. The team waited silently all facing outwards for 10 minutes as they let their eyes and ears adjust to the surrounding. The heat would have been noticeable if they had been further down the mountainside but up this high the air was cool. The birds and insects made a constant hum of noise as Jack tried to pick out the noise of anything man made, the clink of a canteen, the cocking of an Assault Rifle. They'd be his first warning of a firefight to come.

Finally Will Jacobs signalled the squad to move, Jack Stone been the point man moved in a crouch towards the tree line 20meters away. It seemed the Georgian Rebels hadn’t heard their arrival. Jacobs was carrying an M16 Assault Rifle with under slung M203 to give the squad some serious firepower, but attached on the end of his rifle was a Knights Armoury QD Suppressor, a top his Carry Handle was a ACOG 4x Scope to help him pick out his targets in such open country. Next to him was Chi Ling another Sniper, supporting a much longer range M21 with QD silencer also. Off to the right of them well spread apart was Henry Ramirez, he was supporting a M4 Special Operations Command M4 part of the fire support team he had a Reflex site fitted to his M4 and as Stone watched his eyes peered out of his well camo painted face to the enemy that was out there just un-seen. Covering a different arc was Lewis Wolf, a heavy gunner for this mission which was quite a cross of objectives, he was holding in his muscled arms a M249 Para, its Bipod was folded up and he had attached to his Squad Automatic Weapon a 100 Round Box magazine, for after all he was still a Paratrooper at heart and needed to travel light. Brent Hickman was sheltered under a bush, the team radio man he had a slightly larger load but was also carrying an M4 with M203, his M4 was un silenced as the team knew there would be some CQB fighting towards the end, so loud gun shots in a close space can help dis-orientate the victims. A-fixed to the right thigh of all the team members was a Side Arm, some had M9's with Surefire Torches attached encase there CQB area was dark whilst some had Silenced Mk23 SOCOM with Surefires also. On the Load bearing harness where Frag Grenades Smoke Grenades, some White Phosphorous Grenades extra magazines for their Personal Weapon and side arm plus a belt of M249 Ammunition for the Riflemen. Each man of the CQB assault team also carried AN/PVS-7 Night Vision Devices for stealth use in the caves. These men also had affixed to there RIS on there personal weapon AN/PEQ-2 Laser Designators and IR Illuminators. The team was armed to the teeth From Combat Knifes to Medical Kits.

The squads mission was to move towards a base camp in the mountain region they were in about 4 miles from their drop off point and quite a few 100 meters higher, they were to silently neutralize the Tent Camp Troops then move towards the cave's seen from Recon plane over flights and Capture Passivlle a Georgian Rebel self ranked Commander. The team knew that there was a camouflaged Out Post located on their route into the pass to lead them up to the tent camp. It was Stone's Job to get in position and using his Suppressed Medium Range Special Purpose Rifle engage the targets silently.

The squad had been moving silently for 45 minutes when Stone out 40 meters ahead pressed twice on his radio pressel resulting in two rasps of Static to the other team members who moved to positions of cover. Stone had signalled that he had the OP in sight and was moving into a better position. Stone broke a few more branches of the bushes around him and wove it into his Guille suit, pulling the hood tightly around his head. He knew he was invisible as the noisy crickets in the grass around him, he looked over his shoulder and couldn’t pick out a single member of the team yet he knew they where there. He took great pride in knowing that even in the daylight, the teams least favourite operating time that they where invisible to the enemy. The dawn had broken only hours before, it was chosen for a morning raid because the Georgian Rebels where at higher alert at night because they knew that the SF preferred the night to fight. Stone lay down in some long grass in the shadow of a large bush behind him knowing that he was invisible to all but a thermal equipped enemy, of which he was sure the Georgians where not.

Looking through his powerful scope atop his SPR he sighted out the poorly camo’ed OP and the three men standing in it smoking, one stood by a radio drinking a cola. At least it wasn’t a beer, they did have some sense then. The ground sank down away from Stone for the next 200m then rose again sharply about 400m away, then rising again sharply another 100m on, the OP placed a top a small cliff looking out over relatively open ground. Jack reached forwards and pulled the legs down of his Harris Bipod and rested the SPR down. Stone then activated the laser ranger finder affixed to the small RIS rail on top of his scope, he aimed the cross hairs at the back wall of the OP deciding it was a good average distance. The range finder read 634 meters. Stone pressed down his Radio Pressel and spoke quietly, "Point to Echo Lead" static "Lead go ahead Point" came the quiet clear response over the in encrypted radio. Stone moved his finger back over the pressel which he’d attached to the butt stock of his rifle where he rested his left hand now the bipod was supporting the front, allowing him not to have to move to report targets in letting him keep his aim. "Sir the OP is set up about 700 meters from your current position at a slight elevation from you, suggest you move into the dense cover till your 500 meters away from the OP, Over" static, rasp "Echo 2 moving into position to lay down cover fire, Out"

Jack waited half an hour watching all the time the targets moving around the OP, till eventually the radio Rasped; "Echo Lead to Point in position targets in site, we are spread out in 2 teams covering both routes down past either side of the OP" static "Point to lead, request permission to engage targets over" Static "Lead to Point engage at will, out"

With that Stone tightened the grip on his rifle, his sight was zeroed to the 630 meters shot and he'd adjusted the windage turret to compensate for the 5 mile an hour wind he'd judged. The hours he'd spent at the range at Fort Benning was paying off. Stone had a 20 round magazine fixed which contained more than enough shots for him to take out the 3 guards, but the Intel had said there were other units nearby so this needed to be quite.

Stone regulated his breathing in out, his finger tightened on the trigger so only bone was in contact, the shot should be silent easily from this range, the rifle if un-suppressed would not be heard from this range of over 600m normally so with the suppressor on it should be silent, the 6.8mm round was not sub sonic but by the time it had travelled out that far its speed would have dropped below the sound barrier meaning no sonic boom and a silent sound as it went by. The flash could only been seen from directly ahead and Stone was sure those ahead would be dead soon. The thin air seemed to give the sounds a more crystal feel so stone was glad he had a suppressor to keep him on the safe side. His thumb moved forwards to remove the safety, the safety slide forward easily with the well greased cleaning mechanism moving steadily. As it clicked into position Stone held his breath, he’d take out the man by the radio first and hopefully he'd destroy the radio also, he aimed his cross hairs just above the mans right ear as he drank his cola, he aimed a little higher just that bit more compensation for bullet drop. His finger tightened on the trigger and he squeezed, the weapon jerked back into his shoulder a muted thump as the round exited the barrel and silencer and clicking as the weapon ejected the brass and accepted a new round into the chamber. As the gun settled again Jack could see the bullets vortex left behind as it made its way across the distance, finally it impacted a little high and blew the top of the skull away not hitting the radio with anything but blood and tissue matter.

Stones mind was already on the other two men, facing away from the first victim they where turning as stone aimed at the bridge of the second Georgian rebels nose and fired again, once again the clack and thump as the weapon cycled the brass out, Stone's bullet impacted perfectly into the head, not a bad shot from such distance so quick a part of his brain marking his performance, the third man un-able to miss the cloud of red vapour escape the back of his partners head turned to run from the OP, stone aimed ahead of him and fired, the bullet was travelling to slow, it wasn’t going to hit him, in Stones magnified view he saw the anguish of the mans face as the bullet impacted behind the left arm winging him to the back wall of the OP, he hadn’t screamed, Jack fired the next round instantly, aimed for the chest as his target tried to regain balance, before the bullet moved the target was crouching diving for cover, to late, he'd just lowered his neck into the 6.8mm round path it impacted and the birds flew from the trees as he let out a scream so loud it echoed around the mountain as he slumped to the floor.

Stone pressed down his radio button, "targets neutralized" static, "Echo 4 sights Tango patrol heading in fast from west down towards OP" Stone recognized Chi Lings voice, "Lead to team, engage targets, they cannot be allowed to radio in" silence once again passed over the valley. The team was well drilled they wouldn’t open fire till they knew they had all the targets in sight. Stone caught some movement out of his eye and saw a man with an AK-47 running through the trees, tracking back was another 3 men moving fast also, the silhouette of long rifles able to be seen. "Echo 4 engaging" the leading man looked as if hit by a train from behind as he fell forwards and over twisting, Lings bullet was aimed at the chest for a moving target at such distance, the 7.62mm round from His M21 making the distance easily and its hitting power meant that the target may be alive now but would die shortly. The other 3 men where splitting apart, "Point Engaging" called Stone as he loosed off another round to the rear man, hitting him low down in the back as he turned and crouched to go prone he fell.

Stone saw another round impact into a man prone on the floor as he rolled over sideways, just wounded, stone fired a round below the neck, the last man was hit in the head as he stupidly rose up standing still, he fell back against a tree the trunk coloured red. "Clear" Static "Clear" came the response from Ling and Stone. "CONTACT 12 O'CLOCK RUNNERS MOVING TOWARDS US" shouted M249 gunner Lewis Wolf "Engage" came the cool response from Jacobs, Stone was frantically trying to acquire the targets, through the bush he saw a clearing and the 5 men sprinting towards the tree line, he mumbled to himself, “where the heck did they come from?” Further back in the tree line a large bright muzzle flash appeared, and the distinctive rattle of the M249 rolled out across the mountain side towards Stone, the tracers zipped across the clearing raking back and forth over the small patrol cutting them down like toy soldiers. The quicker lower growl of a M4 joined in for the last few seconds as the last man went down. Stone looked on, yes his weapon could deal out death over 600 meters, but the SAW could wipe out a 5 man patrol in as many seconds. Stone Rolled to his side, and ejected his magazine replacing it in his belt kit and slapping in a new magazine. It wasn’t empty but he knew he might need the full 20 rounds for the next engagement.

The squad waited for an hour for signs that there little battle had been heard, but no one appeared, they moved on over open ground into a dense forest looking up to the passage to the higher ground and the tent camp. The squad formed back up With Stone coming in from point. Jacobs was crouched next to a tree, M16 slung over his chest Binoculars at his eyes, "I think I can see movement up there on the right side of the overpass, it would be an ideal machine gun nest. I just can’t make anything out. Ling crouched nearby raised her M21 looking up at the spot and spoke "If I moved out right I could get the sun behind the rock and it would outline anyone up there" "Good Plan Ling head on over into the forest till you can see, take Brent with you encase you run into a patrol.” Brent shouldered his M4 and moved out.

30 minutes later Brent and Ling were lying in some thick under growth, Brent with his small but powerful binoculars to his eyes and M4 and 203 in front of him. Ling gripped the M21 steadily as he looked at the target, indeed there was a single man on a large machine gun, looked like a 50cal. "Echo 5 to Lead Over" Static, "Lead go ahead" "There is a single tango on a machine gun up on that cliff edge we can see, neither of us can see any other tangos Advise over" static pause "Can you take a shot from there?" Static "Yes Sir." Pause "Engage out."

He pulled the butt stock in tighter held his breath exhaled then lined the cross hairs up for the 800 meter shot of large elevation, his calculation was that the MG nest was a good 100feet higher up than his barrel. His ears listened to the air around him, still of wind now at his location the crickets and birds chirping and clicking. Aiming high over the targets head he squeezed off a round, a loud crack issued out from the barrel end silencer removed to maximize range, if anyone was close they would have heard the earlier engagement they weren’t far away. The sight picture was obscured as the bullets explosion leapt out and the vortex of the bullets roiled air passed ahead he counted 3 seconds before the shadowy figures head snapped forwards as the chest was impacted by the 7.62mm hollow point pushing the body out of sight. The birds squawked as if insulted as the loud crack invaded their environment as they stretched their wings to take flight. He was sure his target was dead or would be dead very soon. "Target Neutralized." Static….

"Roger that" Jacobs replied over the radio as Ling kept his watch on the cliff top. Ling had spent lots of time in country behind the enemy lines with the Ghosts and knew that it would be foolish not to wait and check for investigating tangos. When in Columbia with the Ghosts Ling had done quite the opposite, getting into position on a hill top or roof top sighting a Cartel Baron, taking the shot then getting away as quick as possible. But this was different, the team needed to move up that route to get to the base camp troops and the bottleneck would be an ideal ambush point.

Jacobs did one last sweep with his Binoculars and then waved with his hand the signal to move out, Stone flanked out to the right behind his leader, eyes searching, weapon up and ready as they moved through the long mountain grass. Off to the left Ramirez was moving also his M4 sweeping back and forth. Ling and Brent where still way off to the right of the team and Lewis Wolf had his M249 sat up on its Bipod ready to give covering fire as the main assault group moved forwards. The grass swayed from side to side heavy with the morning dew as the crickets continued steadily chirping away, the wind was picking up as the squad moved into more open ground followed by the gentle creek of the mountain trees behind them.

Eventually the 3 men moved into some thick foliage on the side of the pass and radioed for the sniper team and Lewis to come over as they covered the cliff top. Wolf dropped down to one knee beside Ramirez his chest heaving after running with the heavy weapon across the open ground. "Lets move up the hill as a unit, move and cover you know the drill." Jacobs quietly ordered his team spread around him.

15 minutes later the team was placed atop the pass glad they had not run into any more troops. They'd already expended more rounds than they thought they would have. In a wide chevron the team looked forward towards a rocky outcropping coming from the ground, silhouetted against the white clouds hanging low over the mountain side the unmistakable plume of grey smoke coming from a camp fire could be seen. Rasp…Static blurted through Stone's ear piece "Ok team you know your positions move out" The team broke into 3 units Stone was alone and he had the least distance to travel, the satellite photos had shown a clear look into the camp from a mere 320 meters where he was going to hide and get a good sniper look out into the camp. Wolf with his M249 and Ramirez where going to be off to his right covering another front arc, and the main assault element with Jacobs with his M203, Hickman with his M4 and 203 and Ling with the M21 would move in behind the base camp allowing the team to cross fire into the camp effectively allowing the troops no cover. A silent approach was most important because the team was greatly out numbered according to Intel reports, and they didn’t have the invisibility of night as an advantage. Stone began his crawl towards his watch position as the main assault element flanked around the rear. 25 Minutes later Stone reported "In Position." and began adjusting his sights as he looked into the camp. There where about 10 men at a rough guess standing around the barrel burning in the centre of the camp, slowly waking up rubbing sleep from their eyes. Sitting around resting from the night watch was about another 7 men milling around eating drinking and smoking. Stone began a more accurate count, he was sure there would be men in the tents.

Wolf pulled the M249 up onto its bipod looking down the Aimpoint into the camp, Ramirez was looking through his reflex site. They were very close to the camp to allow the SAW a good arc of fire through the camp, they were looking in at about a 50 degree further right at an angle to Stone. "I could hose them all now" Wolf commented cockily. "Yeah sure you could and what about the ones we cant see they'd be lobbing 'nades in this direction like they where going out of fashion, you know what these crappy army units are like" Wolf having been a SAW gunner with the Rangers before been moved into Delta Force then selected for the Ghosts was cocky but it was just a outside perception, having been in Somalia he knew the importance of the team work of attacking these sort of troops. He'd seen quite a lot of Service with Delta Force but hadn’t manned a SAW the whole time he was with them. Back with the Ghost's he liked been back with his SAW. Jacobs rested his M16 barrel on the rock in front oh him, providing good cover and concealment with the bush behind him and the long grass and mossy covering he had a nice vantage point. He was looking in from directly behind the camp, the team now arrayed around the camp like a 3-pointed start of a Mercedes Benz. Further away on his right Jacobs strained his eyes to make out Chin Ling but couldn’t pick him out, there was very dense bracken growing around a small marshy area he'd moved into with a clear line of sight into the camp. Brent was crouching in next to a bush with nice concealment but not much cover from return fire from the camp. Jacobs couldn’t see anywhere else for him better though. "Echo 1 in position, all call signs standby." Jacobs gave the formal order to get ready, 6 thumbs all moved to push selector switches from SAFE to Semi, or Auto. "HE rounds will signal fire at Will." Jacobs reminded the team as his left hand moved down to grip his magazine and put his finger through the M203 trigger guard. Looking under his ACOG RIS rail down onto the leaf sight Jacobs sighted the M203 round to land dead centre among the crowd around the barrel fire hoping to cause more damage from the barrel fragmenting. Clunk!.... Clunk! as Jacobs then Brent fired their 203 rounds.

Jack heard the clunk just as he saw the rounds arc into the centre of the clearing, one round exploded short of the main group the other just long missing the top of the barrel and blowing up in some crates behind it. The casualties weren’t as great as the team had hoped for part of Stones brain mused as Stone's shoulder rocked back from his first shot. His target was caught in the back of the head slumping forwards. The targets where running for cover. Stone could see tracer fire coming in from his left racking back and forth the camp troops but there were a lot of objects for cover. Stone saw a group of 3 men hiding behind crates stacked. The fire coming in from behind from the main assault element wouldn’t reach them as a tent was blocking the teams arc.

7.62 rounds cracked over the heads of Wolf and Ramirez as Lewis commented to Henry, "The ###### has really hit the fan now" the huge muzzle blast of the M249 was easily picked out by the victims in the kill zone and they where returning withering fire towards the 2 man team been the only targets they could see. Those AKs where ugly things Ramirez thought but on rock and roll setting they could really make you wanna dig a hole and crawl into it. Snatching a Frag grenade of his chest Henry tossed it as best he could from the prone position into the tent camp. Thump! the grenade went off but the firing towards the two men increased. Wolf fired back hard with his SAW the burst long but controlled.

Stone fired again at the group, 3 shots in quick succession felling 2 of the 3 one round into the lower back and another in through the mans raised arm and must have deflected down low into his heart, but the 6.8mm round punched out the other side and wounded the 3rd man firing an RPK support weapon at the SAW element off to his left.

It was a busy day for the assault element, troops were running out of the tents firing widely most getting felled by Brent’s excellent long burst into the three tent entrances "Reload" screamed Brent as the other two picked up the slack firing faster Brent slapped another 30 round mag in to the Colt M4 as he slide the breech of this M203 forward letting the large brass casing of the 203 round fall to his feet, picking another out from his webbing and slapping it in. As he completed this Jacobs also Shouted "Reloading" Brent sighted down his M4 looking into the ACOG picking up a group of troops running out of the tent directly in front of there element with another group of 4 men hiding around the crates outside firing off to his right at Ramirez and Wolf. Brent had been lucky so far, his firing had been masked by the M249 and his un-suppressed M4 had been able to act un-reposed on the targets. On reflex he aimed up and fired another 203, it arced up over the tents and crashed down in amongst the tent entrance, the barrel must have been petrol for it exploded tremendously throwing body parts up and around. Tracers started whipping in towards Brent as his position was discovered.

The troops were now well confused with seemingly no where to hide from these un-seen attackers, no matter what they hid behind they were still being shot from in front and behind. Wolf could see their fear, the fire coming towards him had lessened as the group behind the crates had been felled silent by one of the two snipers Wolf thought and a large group of Tangos had gone to meet there maker when a 203 round had blown there mini fortress of crates into high heaven. Ramirez was still engaging the targets out in the open but Wolf shifted his aim to the canvas tents nearby and started punching rounds through the thin walls hopefully eliminating any would be surprise attacks when they cleared the tents. Stone fired off his 26th shot into the camp hitting a man hiding behind a filing cabinet in one of the tents. "Clear Echo 5" he reported in, "Clear Echo 3 and 4" reported in Wolf for himself and Ramirez. "Moving in" replied Jacobs. Stone saw two shapes detach themselves from the forest behind the tents and move in. There were a total of 6 tents and the 2 men armed with M4 and M16 moved quickly covering each other through the tents. Stone still couldn’t see Ling in his hide. "All Clear" replied Jacobs, Stone saw him bend down to examine a body, he placed his M16 down as Brent moved off towards the tent he'd blown up with his lucky 203 round into the fuel barrel. Stone saw movement, a door creaked and a small shack about 2 feet wide started to swing open and fast, Jacobs started to rise and turn towards the sound a solider emerged from the shack, AK47 at his hip and screamed as his finger began to depress the trigger, Stone fired as Jacobs was already raising his Mk23 SOCOM and was firing at the target not 15 meters away. The mans head and chest exploded outwards and backwards with blood vapour as his body dropped limp like a puppet with the strings cut. Jacobs ran forwards to the body Mk23 extended in a two handed grip. "How the heck did he miss me from there, that’s one of my 9 lives gone, I’m down to about 2 now" Jacobs remarked with humour in his voice, in their line of business you couldn’t get upset over things like that. He was just thankful he survived. 10 minutes later the whole team was milling round the Camp looking at the men they had killed, the totally count came to 26 men including the man who'd some how managed to survive longer simply because he was in the loo when the attack started. He had though come to the most gruesome ending, Jacobs had fired four 9mm rounds which had punched into his chest and lower stomach, Stone had fired a single round through his forehead and out the back, and Ling seeing the contact first and firing quickest had fired two 7.62mm rounds one through the back of his head exiting out of his chin and another on reflex quickly badly aimed into his central back. It all resulted in a very gruesome sight. "Fired off all but 7 rounds in that engagement boss," Wolf Commented to Jacobs, "Should be ok the next objective is hopefully not going to require your SAW if it goes right but you got more than enough ammo to get us outta here if things get hot."

The team formed up again into 2 teams, Ling finally coming out of his cover he'd been watching the area around the camp for any other troops coming in. But by the looks of it even though the battle had been loud there weren’t any more Georgians around to here it. "Stone take the point, keep us in Shadow and cover and tab us up to those caves as quick as possible, we don’t want anybody to find any of our the downed troops and get the rebel leader out of here." Stone shouldered his weapon once again, fresh magazine in and moved up towards the incline to the caves.

It changed quickly as mountain weather always seemed to Stone thought, the clouds had quickly turned grey and blocked out the sun, the rain starting as just a pitter patter into the thick grass around him then with a crack of lighting and rumble of thunder the skies opened and Stone was now hunched under a bush his guille suit soaked but his skin dry. He pulled his hood tighter in around him as he huddled up against the bush taking a 10 minute rest Jacobs had called, they'd hiked up hill about 3 miles now and chests were heaving from the steep incline. Brent and Wolf where on watch. Ling moved a hand over his face removing the pouring rain water from his face, his camo paint smeared but still effective. The wind was up and the chill factor had increased with the height, what had started as a warmish morning had turned cold. Jacobs and Ramirez where huddled up against a cliff there chest and head visible only out of the long grass, Stone thought about how many times he’d waited, in bad weather for a target to appear, when he was younger working for the CIA with Delta Force hiding out in puddles for days waiting to assassinate just a single person the CIA deemed needed not to live anymore. The life of a solider was tough.

"Move out" Jacobs ordered as he lifted himself of his bum into a crouch, Stone began moving forwards again passing Wolf and Brent laying prone in some thick under growth.

An hour and a half later, still drowning in the heavy rain Stone looked down from his Sniper Point trying to survey the ground rolling away below him. They'd arrived in position 15 minutes ago, Ling and Stone had taken up Sniper Spots and Wolf had took up a position to cover the assault groups retreat in between the two Snipers creating a line 300 meters wide. Ling was near the cliff edge looking down to the next step of the mountain and towards the approach route of any troops coming from further down the mountain Intel had warned about. Wolfs position was covering both the path up the mountain side, barely able to make out through the sheets of rain and also the cave entrance. Stone settled in his eye firm to the scope, scanning back and forth as Brent, Jacobs and Ramirez Moved towards the cave entrance. Safety’s where all ready off and Stone had a tingling feeling that this wouldn’t be as easy as Intel had made out back when they'd flown off the Carrier. They had encountered much more enemy resistance than they thought they would. Stone was confident in the squad’s ability, they’d taken out 20+ men at the tent camp with just 6 men without taking any casualties.

Brent rushed forward again, the rain sound even more intense smashing up off the rocks the team was moving next to. 20 meters from the cave entrance, there approach didn’t need to be too silent the rain was deafening it was so heavy. They stopped at the entrance to the cave, flat against the wall. Jacobs peeked around the corner, "Its dark really dark in there, lots of tunnels," he whispered "better fix your NVGs on" each man opened up a large pouch on the rear of there belt kit removing the large AN/PVS-7 Night Optical Devices affixing them to there Mitch Helmets and activating there AN/PEQ-2 Laser designators. Jacobs flicked his NVGs down and darted around the corner into the cave his Silenced M16 at the ready. Moving through the tunnels it was dark but the sound of the rain echoed up and down the tunnels quite loudly an acoustical effect of the curved tunnels increasing the volume. Jacobs NVGs flared as he turned a corner, a larger cave with lights, then a shadow obscured the entrance and a figure began walking down the tunnel, he was about 30 meters away, he couldn’t possibly have seen them in such dark with the light behind him, Jacobs cool head looked for cover, the couldn’t risk shooting in these caves yet, the sound would echo around so loudly even from a Suppressed weapon including the Mk23, there was a large depression into the right hand side of the cave, he moved silently into it as the target approached 20 meters. The squad held there breath, Jacobs M16 tracking the target, Ramirez M4 suppressor also moving with the shadow, and Brent’s Mk23 aimed up at the shadow with his M4 slung over his back. The only sound was the hum of the NVGs. The Shadow kept moving and lit up a cigarette, this must have made him blind in the darkness destroying and night vision he could have with a light in front of his eyes. His lighter flaring up on there NVGs.

He must walk this route so often he didn’t need to see mused Jacobs. He got right in front of the squad, so close they could have reached out and touched him, he stopped, his hand removing the cigarette from his mouth, his head cocked to the side. F###### Jacobs silently exulted, he'd sensed something, maybe heard there breathing or the hum of the NVGs. The man turned around looking towards the larger cave. Jacobs took the cover of the sound to un sheath his Combat Knife from his leg, the noise not quite covered the figure started to turn, his hands moving to grasp the rifle slung across his shoulder, Jacobs Lunged forwards M16 dropping on the double looped sling, one powerful arm wrapping around the shadows face covering the mouth pulling the head back, the other gripping the black coated knife, the leading edge of the blade glinted off the ambient light as it came arching across the shadow figures through as the left hand pulled the head back, a gasp of air escaping as the wind pipe was cut and the target slumped back into Jacobs grip twitching and then falling still. Jacobs dragged him into the alcove in the tunnel wall and re-sheathed his knife. He signalled for the other two to move out. Moving forwards, Jacobs flipped up his NVGs as they neared the cave entrance peering around the corner Jacobs could see 6 soldiers spread about the large cave, sitting on crates and smoking and drinking beers. Through a hole in the wall Jacobs could see another cave smaller but with more light, he could make out a black board with map affixed to it. He knew this would be where the target was. But they needed to move through this first cave before they could get to him.

Jacobs made a mental note of the positions of the soldiers, 2 where in the far corner to the right, another 3 on the right of the entrance by a small desk and crates, and a single one standing on the left of the entrance near the opening to the second cave. Jacobs turned around and used hand signals to designate a target to each group, Rameriz with his Silenced M4 would take out the group of 2 on the right, Jacobs would engage the 3 furthest away in the corner on the right, and Brent would use his Mk23 to hit the guard to the next cave standing on the left.

Lined up against each wall, Brent on the left the other 2 on the right, Jacobs held his left hand up, counting down the fingers, 5-4-3-2-1 and he rushed through the door ignoring the two on his right and depressing his trigger as he sighted the 3 turning to look at the sudden movement there surprise faces quickly turning to pain as 5.56 round after 5.56 round impact into there bodies as Jacobs moved forwards, mean while Brent had stepped in the side stopped held his Mk23 in 2 hands and sighted the Guard who was tracking Jacobs, the guards AK74u was rising up as Brent fired on instinct alone honed from hours on the range the gun jumping back as the slide moved back and forth 3 times. The guard slumped down the wall, Ramirez swung around the corner his rifle dropping down from point towards the roof of the cave the targets beginning to stand hands reaching for weapons laid against the crates as Ramirez Finger depressed once on the trigger spitting 3 rounds from the barrel end sump sump sump as the 3rnd burst setting ejected the rounds from the weapon, the 5.56mm rounds impacted in the first targets chest throwing him back over the crate smashing a oil lamp which quickly set fire casting long shadows around the cave, the second man almost up weapon in hand caught 2 rounds in the face from the next burst and the 3rd round struck on his right shoulder twisting him around to land face down on the desk. Ramirez looked around, Both Brent and Jacobs where moving for the entrance already to the next cave, Ramirez ran to join as Brent holstered his Mk23 Silenced SOCOM pistol and brought his M4 up into his shoulder, they burst through the entrance there training taking over, having all been members of Delta Force before the Ghost they knew there room clearing, hug the walls and move around the room. Jacobs and stopped and fired hitting a man running in through an entrance on the other side of the cave, the cave almost shook when Brent fired a long burst with his M4 across the room into a desk and crates where 4 men where standing, the full auto burst catching all of them spinning and crashing them to the ground, the muzzle flash of the un suppressed weapon streaking out from his weapon like an angry dragons breath. Another lower rumble as an Ak47 started firing across the room, there was the Main Target, picking up a pistol the 3 guards around him twisting to face the threat and the 4th already firing his weapon into the floor as he was desperate to kill these attacks. A hail of bullets flicked across the room from the 3 Ghosts with deadly accuracy as Jacobs, Brent and Ramirez all moved towards there targets fast firing keeping there upper bodies still to maintain accuracy, the 4 guards where all down with in a matter of mili seconds as Passivlle raised the Eastern Block design pistol and aimed it at Jacobs, Brent’s weapon spat another round out of the barrel striking Passivlle on his left arm rotating him slightly but not stopping his right hand rising, they couldn’t kill the target, they where a mere 8 meters from him, as Ramirez weapon dropped to aim a round to the leg but before he could shoot Jacobs body obscured the shot, with a horrible clunky sound the pistol belched a round at Jacobs hitting him in the chest, but Jacobs kept moving another round fired out of the enemy pistol hitting Jacobs high up his body making his top half lean back, Jacobs recovered quickly to the amazement of both Passivlle and Ramirez, his M16 raising up pointing the roof, the butt stock extending out toward Passivlle, with a savage motion Jacobs brought the butt stock down across Passivlle right shoulder knocking him to the ground and the pistol skidded away across the floor. Jacobs grabbed him by the neck and bodily picked him up slamming him into the cave wall, "get some flex cuffs on this ######" Jacobs angry voice rang out. Brent delved into his belt kit removing a pair of flexi cuffs and quickly rapping Passivlle wrists behind his back and tightening the plastic cuffs. Ramirez looked at Jacobs, "you ok boss?" "Yeah, those 9mm rounds impacted into my body armour the first shot did, it hurt like hell but only like an incredibly hard punch, the second round hit my helmet, near snapped my head off my neck" Jacobs said as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Lucky Git...erm..Sir" "Lets move out back the way we came, keep him in between us" Jacobs ignored Ramirez comment, the special forces weren’t as strict in things like that as the normal army. "Target secured coming out over" Jacobs transmitted. "Be advised hostiles in-coming someone must have a radio in there sir" Static "Acknowledged Out"

"Lets move before the cavalry gets here" Jacobs ordered as they set off at a run, Ramirez taking the rear and Brent dragging Passivlle with him. They made it out of the caves with out meeting any other Rebels and mad a dash back up to get behind the other team members. As they ran rounds began hitting around the rock face, they'd be spotted. "COVER US" Jacobs barked over the radio. Immediately the M249 muzzle flash erupted from the ridge line ahead a line of tracers lancing out through the rain across the slope down to where the reinforcements where coming from. Although they couldn’t hear, Jacobs knew the two Snipers would be picking of target after target with there silenced rifles, there skill as Marksmen was an amazing weapon to have. Jacobs kept moving as the hail of bullets driving up the slope after them increased. Making it to the ridge line he dived over and into cover with Brent, Ramerize and Passivlle crashing down around him. "Lets get rounds down there guys we cant pull out till they are gone" Jacobs lifted his head up over the ridge and began to fire with his M16 as next to him Brent and Ramirez did the same whilst Passivlle cowered next to Brent.

The SAW pummelled back into his shoulder as he fought to hold it steady his line of tracers walking back and forth across the troops running for cover. His aimpoint allowed him to pick them out much easier at this distance and his rounds where taking casualties. Rounds where flicking up angry tails of dirt in front of him as the rebels fired back but the return fire was lessening as the 2 snipers picked off the firing rebels. Wolf started to shorten his burst conserving his ammo the main danger over. He saw a group of 3 men appear from behind a large rock with one shouldering an RPG-7, he instantly shifted his aim his finger depressing the trigger, the view of his targets obscured as white smoke clouded over from the rocket motor been fired, when the smoke cleared his tracer rounds had done there job, the 3 men laid splayed on there backs, blood ozing from holes but the danger was still there a rocket streaking towards him, Wolf threw his head down covering it with his arms rolling onto his side curling up as the ground in front of him erupted up as the shaped RPG charge threw mounds of earth into the sky, the shrapnel parts flew narrowly over Wolfs head. His ears ringing wolf looked up. The firing had all stopped, all the targets down. "..a....w.....f.g......can......can you hear us Wolf are you ok? Over.......Wolf are you hit?" the sound filtered in through his ear piece through the ringing, "Im ok" replied Wolf "a little deaf but It wont kill me" "Lets bug out on the double team" Jacobs ordered. "You can bet they will be hunting us now!" The team turned tail and began retreating very fast. Brent and Jacobs crouched on the ground as the two snipers ran past them to continue the leap frog, Passivlle been dragged along by Wolf. Brent had his back turned to Jacobs as he used his Radio, "Echo 2 Zulu 5 to Knife come in over" static "Echo 2 Zulu 5 this is Knife transmit over" "We need exfil now, target bagged enemy force alerted" Jacobs informed the Mh-60 Blackhawk circling out away from the battle. "Acknowledged Echo 2, pick up point at objective 1 ASAP out" Jacobs replaced the radio and transmitted to the team, "Were been picked up at the tent camp lets haul ass"

40 minutes later they where within sight of the Burnt out tent camp, they where all sweating and had heaving chests as the rain lashed down on them, Jacobs picked up the Radio once more from Brent’s back and Called in "Echo 2 Zulu 5 ready for extract Over" pause "Inbound Echo 2 pop read smoke in open. Out"

The team ran the last 1000 meters to the tent camp, and Jacobs ordered them to set up a perimeter encase of attack. They had barely settled into positions when the whump whump whump of the Blackhawk could be heard and the Black beast emerged over the treetops. Jacobs tore a Red Smoke grenade from his webbing pulled the pin and tossed it behind the tent camp where there was enough room for the Blackhawk. It circled once and started to descend. "Trouble sir, large force moving in" Reported Wolf. "Engage at will and fall back to LZ team Jacobs ordered"

Wolf pushed his M249 up off the ground and depressed the trigger for a long burst into the on coming line sending the troops scattering into cover. Next to him Brent opened up with a long burst. He then un clipped a white phosphorus grenade a threw it as far as he could, it exploded with a pyro technical explosion and white smoke covered there line of sight to the enemy. Brent stood and ran back, towards the black hawk stopping and crouching under the blades, and laying down covering fire as Stone ran back, Jacobs appeared from behind the tents hauling Passivlle with him. Reaching the Blackhawk he threw the bewildered captive up to the crew chief who placed him on the floor. Jacobs turned and fired a 203 towards the now faltering White Phos greande. Wolf stood and ran backwards Closer to the Blackhawk. He turned and let out a long burst with his M249 as Ling ran back with Ramirez from there defensive positions. Both made it to the chopper then Ramirez opened up again and Ling fired back towards the targets. Wolf turned and as he turned his back a bullet hit him from behind twisting him back round and throwing him to the ground, a puff of blood vapour exploded out of his shoulder. Jacobs threw his M16 into the Blackhawk and raced towards the fallen team member 20 meters away, the enemy troops now only a 100 meters away. The roar of the Blackhawk mini gun racked out across the rain and thunder and rotor blades. Jacobs reached Wolf and picked him up with strained effort, he weighed as much as Jacobs, Ling reached Jacobs side and slung his M21 over his shoulder and picked up the M249 and began laying down fire as Jacobs ran back, Ling didn’t wait long before he followed, Jacobs threw Wolf onto the floor of the Blackhawk as Ramirez jumped into the side door followed by Stone. Jacobs hauled himself in and Stone helped Brent in as Ling climbed aboard. The Blackhawk clawed at the air trying to flee the stinging wasp bullets jumping up and piercing the thing flesh.

The airflow increased around the doors as the crew chief slammed the door shut and Jacobs began giving attention to wolfs wound, it wasn’t bad, the bullet had pass right through missing the bone. Jacobs gave Wolf a morphine shot and bandaged the wound and slumped back against the airframe with a sigh of relief as the mission was complete. An hour later they where speed across the sea towards the carrier and home, Wolf asleep on the floor. Jacobs rested knowing his next mission wouldn’t not be long in coming, looking out at the angry ocean below white horses cresting the waves and rain beating on the Plexiglas of the helicopter Jacobs closed his eyes the vibrations of the aircraft lulled him to drift asleep.

By Chems

Edited by Chems
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Read it, Like it.

I find it interesting how different styles of story can feel. I tried to maintain a first person view and focus on the strett and focus of running a squad while not always being able to see them, as well as do some chericter building.

On the other hand your story, equally interesting in my opinion has little chericter building but talks about the birds sounding irritated by the ghosts interupting their home....

So you play mission 3 and I will take mission 4 then right? We can have the whole thing done in a matter of weeks :)

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Chems, im an aspiring writer, and i was wonderin, im sucked dry for ideas, would it be allright if i used this for a book. I would list u as a co author, id take the original, spruce it up, run it by u, and we would have our perfect book

Does this strike anyone else as odd?

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