(Breathing faster and harder the further he ran as if being chased by the devil he continued to pace through the darkness with every ounce of energy he had left! Through trees and the rough forest floor the young soldier was alone with only shouts and flashlights skimming the trees as he ran so fast he didnt even notice he had run straight through the trees and into an open area with no cover for miles around....the moonlight shone across the field a light that did not breach the towering trees behind him, shouts could still be heard in the near distance a language unknown to the soldier! he couldnt stand any longer he coiled over trying to catch his breath and fell to his knees, exhaustion got the better of him it was over he thought... this was it..... as he listened intently he heard the faint sound of blades cutting through the cold night air behind him... as he lay on the hard floor the man pulled a flare from his side pocket in his combat trousers.. pointed the flare to the sky and pulled the string! with a thump the empty cartridge in his hand a round red ball of light flew slowly into the moonlit sky exploding into at least 20 smaller red dots! At that moment the shouting stopped and the sound of a chopper in the distance got louder.... Chester took one last breath before passing out......)
Sniper awoke with a jump and for a moment panicked from the scene he saw around him and the noise that deafened him until he adapted to the light, 3 men sat in front of him who he knew very well one kneeling at the rear and another two in the compartment at the front of the Helicopter the door was opening to his side allowing a powerful blast of cold air to bring him to his senses, he tried for a moment to remember the dream he had just been having that seemed far to familier at this precise moment, the harder he tried to remember it seemed to fade from his memory and after several moments in a daze gave up trying to understand who the man was in mortal danger.
The men on board the chopper continued to make the checks that where all common between the group of 6 they knew what to do and how to do it and did not make a sound... the sun was rising and orange sunlight hit the side of the chopper each man knowing that the time grew nearer for insertion. The time was 6.05am the day before the objective, they flew over the borders of Afghanistan crossing over the city of Quetta to reach their destination, they would insert 2 clicks south of the first checkpoint along the way eliminating an enemy position a click west of the objective spoke the Leader of the Bravo team not for the first time a man who needed no introduction whose prestigious position was unquestionable, as such no questions where asked as each man was prepared for the task ahead neither of these men where amateurs in the art of war.
The command was given at approximately 6.32am that they where desending to the LZ final checks where made and equipment collected Sniper took a deep breath and pulled a letter from his top pocket he looked at the man sitting in front of him not a stranger but a man born and bread in Sniper's homeland a friend and ally of many years Scout knew what the letter was that was being handed to him and he accepted it without argument as he had done the 22 previous missions together before this day. Stacked up awaiting exit from the hour long flight Bravo team touched down and as the outer armoured door slid open dust filled the air but could not penetrate the tactical goggles each man bore within a second all 6 with Lead taking point leading them away from the landing zone and at half stance moved in the clearing ahead of the them, the chopper rose upwards before tilting forward and returning south over the border to the UN Military base stationed in the demilitarised zone 3 miles into Pakistan.
The soldiers continued north over the baron dry land several clicks south of the target village of Del Rawad, before they could proceed to the target location they must first proceed west to the first checkpoint and possible armoured guard station covering the entrance from the border into Afghanistan. An hour passed without compromise and all seemed to going to plan completing unaware that they had just walked into an umarked mine field before JB could stop himself a shocking crunch followed by ticking halted the element and JB stood still as if he had frozen solid on the spot.... Lead took control of the situation they where to close for comfort to the primary checkpoint and in broad daylight he needed to act quickly and quietly! Sniper moved northwards onto a mound 100 yards away covering the position to the west Rouge and Duke moved forward to cover the 12 oclock position towards the 1st checkpoint. Lead and Scout exchanged looks as they took position directly next to JB and examined the mine that sat ticking below his right leg the MD-2 Pakistani made explosive that carried at least 3 pounds of TNT but was poorly constructed and very fragile to deactivate. A simple trigger mechanism that activated the mine caused the explosive to become live.
Sniper returned from the hill northwards and the 6 man element moved carefully through the mine field using their Combat Knife to acertain if a mine was present JB now to his relief feeling a lot more hopeful about the mission still had cramp in his right leg from the 40 minute ordeal to release him from the death penalty that awaited him... the mine lay in the floor undetonated but still ticking as a carefully created triple bar of metal drilled into the floor held the duel pin configuration in place but this would not hold indefinetely. Bravo Team continued to the primary checkpoint but as they grew nearer and the time reached midday they couldnt help notice the silence in the distance, they reached the outpost moments later to find it completely deserted but clearly showing signs of recent activity.... tracks led northwards towards the village at a guess a heavily armoured unit and footprints of at least 3 men alongside the vehicle. They cautiously continued north a further 2 clicks to reach the 3rd checkpoint allowing the group to rest and prepare themselves only until the sun had set. A large hill shielded the element only by half a mile to the Objective but the hill face became very rocky and was easy cover as they set up camp for the night it became a countdown to the early hours of the morning when skill tactics precision and confidence would play a major part of the mission at hand and not one of six slept as they took it in turns to cover their position and prepare themselves for the battle.
Crackling.........static........Lead opened his eyes from a short moment he thought he was still asleep as he heard Rouge turn and look to see what the noise was being made from Lead's stomach region, he pulled the Tac Radio from his belt the detection light flickered and the element moved in to see what the communication could possibly be (Lead knew that Alpha team would never use open comms especially moments before they where to attack a Taliban Village after months of preparation) Lead checked his watch and noticed the time 2.12am on the morning of the insertion. The darkness had set in and EL lowered the volume on the reciever to make sure they weren't heard......."lake what do you see" a voice they recognised immediately on the Tac but faint very faint....more static followed by "3 tangos and a unit guv at legs eleven" clearly Lake's voice could be heard confirming a contact.. the element exchanged looks surely this must be the contact they should have taken out hours before.. "they must have moved it" whispered Duke to Lead as a panic stricken look covered his face. They did not recieve any further comms across the Tac and no commotion could be heard in the distance to the north "we stick to the plan! Alpha can take care of themselves do not lose your focus any of you" as Scout and Sniper returned from cover JB filled them in on the messages recieved across the radio but they seemed unworried and more interested in their own preperation Scout looked up at JB "we do not need to worry about Alpha trust me on the that one" he said with what looked like a faint smile in the moonlight.
The time was 4.00am dead on Bravo team under the cover of darkness used night vision technology to reach the outskirts of the village undetected, the element of surprise had worked no alarms had been raised and stealth was still the key to this attack the element crouched without any words said... Lead pointed at Sniper then to the left hand side of the village towards a large tower in the south east corner, he vanished without a word camoflaged into the surronding trees and without a sound the element was left with five. Lead continued eastwards with the element he stopped and turned Duke and Rouge gave nods and crawled below the fence towards the Officers mess, Lead continued round to the north side of the village passed the outskirts of two Hangars poorly built on the farmland of the village. Lead reached the checkpoint and crawled into position behind the far most hanger the 1st of the 2 and waited.... he checked his watch at that moment the 14 turned to 15. An explosion followed by two more in quick concession exploded into the silent air...
The battle had begun.
Lead looked to the rear of the Barracks at that moment a man came running through the hole far side from Alpha's entry point he vanished passed the out building and toilets and left his view.. he moved right and saw to his left JB open fire at the roof of the 2nd hanger with Scout covering him, the leader moved right of the hangar to look for the figure he had seen he hit the deck as a figure emerged behind the outbuildings he did not look like any ordinary soldier he wore the marks of an Officer, Lead raised his gun and took aim at the Tango through the scope of his M14 two loud cracks followed by a loud explosion to the left of him made his ears ring... he took aim through scope once more as a gun entered the sight aiming at the Tango's head... the Tango raised his arms and the Man holding the gun pulled the mask from his face....as lead left the view of his scope he looked in shock at Spidey on the floor in peril with a gun pointing at him...he made his move in a second and pulled the Combat knife from his ankle holster he hastily paced up behind the suspect in pure style... it was over in one swift moment from the wrist he pulled the gun away from Spidey's head and curled his arm round the suspects neck cutting back and forward several times to stop any scream issuing from his mouth... the tango dropped the gun and was lowered to the floor where he lay motionless.... Spidey still kneeling and still with his arms raised did not even look round "Your getting slow in your old age Wiz, did you not recognise me or did you forget your glasses again" Spidey Said, Wiz laughed and as spidey looked round he said "this isn't the first or im sure the last time i save your life,....I" the rest of the words did not leave his mouth as the Bravo Assualt proceded into the 1st Hangar unleashing round after round a cry of "MAN DOWN!" followed by "MEDIC!!!" echoed from the Officers mess to the east... Spidey rose and the two leaders raced round the corner weapons raised they rushed past the hole in the Barracks wall just as Medic came running out from the building closely followed by Big and Lake in assault position, Alpha Assault rushed forward and laid down cover fire towards tangos exiting the 2nd hanger to the north who repeated the fire back one narrowly missing Big as he hit the deck....the two leaders and a medic raced for the Officers mess where the cries had been heard...as they turned the corner they where not prepared for what they found............
If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. Anatole France [Jacques Anatole Thibault] (1844-1924)