My Instincts Seem To Be Failing
Remember how I said that the Battle Of Manhattan Bridge was the last of the war for us? Well, I was wrong. We were back on the battlefield, though thankfully this time not exactly on the front lines. We were helping Mike out on doing a hit on a defeated general. Anna was on the sniper, and I was the spotter. It was boring, but she had to do it because she had a higher chance of actually hitting the target.
We over looked a small town, where the general had decided was the best hideout. The townspeople darted about, obviously scared of the patrols who strode through the streets. We had already distinguished shifts, size of patrols, exactly where they walk, chain of command, and where they had set up a post. We observed the town for another hour before engaging with the silenced snipers. Anna hit every target with superb accuracy, even Mike commented on it, wishing that she was on his squad. I smiled and squeezed her shoulder,"Sorry, she already has her squad." She smiled and aimed at the next target.
Soon we had to wait for the next patrol, then the next. Once we had killed everyone Anna and I inserted into the town, ghosting through the shadows. We came up onto their post, checking inside to see if there were any guards left to patrol the city. There were none, so we stole off closer to the center, trying to find the hidden bunker we knew was here. We searched every house, trying to stay low-key, sometimes we had to shush a family, but they knew who we were here for.
They even helped us out, pointing in the general direction of his base. This was happening in quite a few small towns all around the border. It was a silent night op that could only be done in mildly rural areas. Anything larger than a few thousand population was too big, we wouldn't be able to go unnoticed, and that was the whole point. Once we had confirmed the kill of the CO then a main task force would move in, securing the town for a silent and quick closing in of the border. The next day any medium cities and large towns would also be taken.
We were taking note of Hitler's blitzkrieg, while our mission was totally different, we still respected the idea. A surprise border wide insertion of forces that would go unnoticed for a day or two, enough to get a main force in. War was a terrible and dangerous thing, but this way we could take out the opposing force without them knowing. There would be almost no civilian or military casualties on our side, but those who we deliberately did not take prisoner were killed. It was a sort of unsettling rule of engagement, but I understood the reason.
We finally found the entrance, taking out the two camouflaged door guards. We entered and silently took out the patrolling guards inside, soon we were knocking on the SO's door. "Come in." A voice answered, we swung the door open wide and shot the man twice in the skull, a quick and clean death. A sort of sorry for killing them like this, it was a lot worse to go out knowing you would die and being in a huge amount of pain.
It was sort of out of an instinct, but mostly out of compassion for the enemy. Most of the guys we killed were forced into service, if they had refused or ran away, they would've been hunted down, tortured, then killed brutally. They were on orders to be brutal to the people, and most even detested the work they were forced to do. Not everyone on the other side were evil asses. Though we took every pleasure in being a bit cruel to the sadists and rapists. They deserved that at the very least.
We left and signaled to Mark to called in the cavalry, ten minutes later the first Humvee rolled in. We waited until the last tank had parked, then we set about helping set out a feast for the towns peoples. Many of these people had been living on too little rations, we treated them then set up camp just outside. The teams tasked with disposal cleaned up the bodies and blood, so the next morning it was as if we never came, other than a few track marks, and a few bullet holes. We made our way to the closest city, one I had missed the name of, as I was sleeping during the briefing.
We met up with the other force of two companies, ready to take the small city on. We planned for a day, then we struck at dawn. The mortar rounds woke us up, all of them aimed at various patrols that had been seen, and small posts. We quickly and methodically moved closer to the center of the town, trying to cause the least amount of panic possible. We moved up a main road with a Humvee, a gunner on a .50 cal kept swiveling back and forth, we were on high alert. With this long into the firefight we were sure there would be resistance hunkering down in the buildings.
I looked down a side street when I felt Anna grab the back of my chest rig and pulled me down roughly on top of her. The Humvee blows up from a rocket hit, sending shrapnel into our company. Four dropped dead and the shrapnel critically wounded a few others. The combat squad opened up, just absolutely destroying the fucking wall. Immediately a squad breached the building, and I heard a few gunshots and yelling. A soldier was pulled out and we leveled the place, fuck that shit. I hugged Anna, squeezing her tightly, she was the only reason why I had lived, as shrapnel flew over my head.
We pulled the bodies out of the wreckage and called in a med evac, and another Humvee. We waited around until one came, clearing out the buildings around us as we did. Again, we pushed closer to the center, losing more good men along the way. Apparently we had received bad info on this town, and we were paying for it. I was going to beat the fucking shit out of someone when we got back. We soon lost the CO and First Sergeant, and I took command as the highest ranking officer.
I directed the teams through buildings, clearing them of the enemy. Every soldier we saw we killed, this was not a time for mercy, that was for someone else to decide. Finally we had made it to the commanding post, surrounding it. We entered, kicking down the doors and bursting in aggressively. We put rounds in the officers and moved up, finally kicking the door down and entered the CO's office. He sat back in his chair, drinking a bottle of whiskey, he stared at me as I stepped up to his desk.
In a fit of anger I wiped all the paper and picture frames off the desk. He stared at me still, waiting for me. I punched him in the face, breaking his nose, he shook his head, clearing the pain. I punched him in the jaw, dislocating it. He took that like a champ."Might as well punch me to death." He said, finally. I shook my head and pulled out my pistol shooting him in the temple. He slumped forward, dead.
We stood at attention as the first casket was loaded onto the transport planes. A voice called out,"Present arms!" We saluted, and stayed in that position for almost twenty minutes. We stood at attention again and were dismissed to the temporary barracks that had been set up. We changed out of our dress uniform and loaded our rifles, the M4A5 and went on patrol.
We packed into a Humvee and drove on a predetermined route through the town. We kept one eye on the windows and one eye on the road for IEDs'. Oh my fucking God I HATE IEDs. In the two days since the attack small pockets of stranded enemies would set IEDs and set up ambushes, just to fuck with us. It was like Afghanistan or Iraq back in the early 2000's.
Dylan and I had already been hit with them and got a few cuts and burns, and Camille had actually been sent to the hospital for third degree burns on her side and right leg. Many others hadn't been so lucky, and we were going through Humvees' at the highest rate since the War on Terror. We heard that she was going to be out for a week, but would be "back before we knew it". Fuck that. The patrol went without a hitch, for the first time that I could remember.
We rolled into the FOB and uploaded, I had to report to the COs about the patrol. I went and did that, then went to my cot and fell asleep. I was woken up by Anna, who held a bowl of soup in her hand. She handed it to me and gave me a spoon, I ate it and handed it back. She set the bowl down and gave me a cup of coffee, that shit got me up.
I sat up and she sat down, rubbing my back, I drained half the cup in a second. It burnt my throat but it felt good, having the caffeine rushing in. We talked for a bit then went to to get the actual meal, the one great thing about deployments was the meals had been revamped. We were aproached by a officer who told us to get ready for transport back home. We scrambled to get our gear and the other three, then made our way to the plane. Finally this shit was over.