CHAPTER 25

 

Operation Whirling Dervish was a more of a success than the Americans and her allies knew. The Marines and the Army were holding the front line 20 miles inland from the shore. US troops were massing for a large push and hoping for a breakthrough, the Navy and Air force had a large stockpile of smart and dumb bombs ready for use. The Russians were ready to attach the Chinese on their frontlines.

The American commanders called for a temporary halt for ground combat for the American side of Operation Whirling Dervish. With the rapid advancement of their frontlines they were moving far faster than the supply line could support.

The Russian side of Operation Whirling Dervish was still moving on its timetable. The Americans would still supply air support to the Russian engagements. The Russian troops took 30 miles. The allied troops were now consolidating their manpower and equipment in order to stabilizing their supply lines.

When the general finally arrived back to his hidden base, his aide was standing at his office door. The man’s face was grim as he held dispatches for the general to review. General Wang angrily snatched the dispatches out of the waiting aide’s hands and slammed the door shut behind him.

Bellowing screams of rage came from beyond the closed office door. In his absence came orders for him to mobilize his unit and await further orders. The general took a seat in his chair, once he finished screaming. Slowly he spun the chair thinking on the events of the past several days, especially on the last few hours.

Slapping his hand down on the intercom, “Have Lieutenant Zhou bring Mr. $$$ to my office, now!” the general’s icy tone carried over the intercom.

That little man set me up for them. Now I will take my revenge, slowly, thought the general.

 

When the marines had heard and seen the cruise missiles streak over head, the men instinctively took cover. They were starting to get fatigued and it showed and fatigued men would make mistakes, and as they all knew mistakes could get you a bad case of the deads. The unseasonably warm night and its humidity added to the dash and cover for a little more than 8 miles, forced Diesel to change his mind about trying to get to the mouth of the valley and cross a river then the highway and railroad. No they would hole up for the rest of the night and scout out a path in the day. Then they could continue the trek to the objective under the cover of the next night.

“Gunny, I know the men are tired, but I want them ready to move out in a hurry. We’re going to moving a little further west away from the river. Have the fireteam on point look for a likely place for us to hole up for the night,” said Diesel. “Tex, I need to call the ship.”

Tex quickly had the handset ready for his captain.

“Sherwood Forest, this is Robin Hood, come in, over,” Diesel said after the system synced up.

“This is Sherwood Forest, go Robin Hood, over,” came the voice of some communication technician.

“Direct path to objective now blocked.  We will need to divert, over,” said Diesel.

“How was path blocked? Over,” asked the communication technician.

“I was hoping you could tell me. From the sounds of it the highway and the rail lines just got plowed under by an airstrike. If my readings are correct we are half a mile southeast from their junction point.” Replied Diesel

While Diesel was on the radio with the ship Gunny passed the word to the Squad leader who passed it down to the men. Within seconds the men were ready to move out. Loki along with Domino’s fire team was back on point. With weapons at the ready the men slowly moved through the woods. It was slow going as each man would scan, move and take cover. Within 20 minutes they found a suitable position for the platoon to rest up at.

 

The sun was just rising as Gunny nudged Diesel’s foot.

“I’m up,” said Diesel as he rubbed sleep from his eyes. “Can I get some room service?” he asked Gunny as he sat up.

“Sure, I will order you up some eggs sunny side up and some coffee. You want some bacon and toast?”

“Both please, and an news paper if you can. Oh and make sure you charge the government,” joked Diesel.

“Oh I will.”

“Give the rest another thirty minutes before we move out. Let’s get them feed and watered, I want weapons checked and noise discipline checked. Nothing rattles and nothing shines.”

Gunny walked up to Diesel thirty minutes later. “The men are ready, they are feed and watered, fresh war paint and fresh foliage for the ghillie suits,” Gunny said.

Diesel grabbed his rifle and with the helping hand from Gunny he stood up.

“Shall we get this little stroll through the woods started?” asked Diesel.

“Nightstalker is already on point. I figured you would want the men in column formation. In case of hostile contact I told them we would go with our standard deployment” offered up Gunny.

“Good, now let’s go to the river and see just how bad our detour is going to be.”

Diesel, Gunny and the squad leaders were discussing what they should do as for getting across the river.

“Contact front, no id, holding,” came Nightstalker’s voice from the radio ear bud in everyone’s ear. Hand signals went from the squad leader to the fire team leaders to the fire teams. They all stopped and very slowly moved to take a knee in cover. they moved slowly due to the fact that the human eye is attracted to movement. Sergeant Tanner, who now had the ignoble job of babysitting the imposters made sure that they understood that when the fire team stopped they were to freeze and do like the rest of the men. Sergeant Tanner was a very large man. He was somewhere around 320 pounds and none of it was fat. The man was a nonsmoker and a health food nut. He grownup on a ranch in Montana with 2 other brothers and a sister and says that he is the runt of the litter.

“What happening Nightstalker,” asked Diesel.

“Lance Corporals Ritter and Dunn are checking it out now sir,” Replied Nightstalker

A few moments later Nightstalker’s voice came over the radio saying that the contact was a loose farm animal and that there was a small village about 200 meters to their front and that there were some soldiers in the village.

The two imposters were now creeping up to where the captain was sitting.

“Why are we stopping? We should just swing around the village and continue towards the base,” said the taller one.

“We are stopping because there is a small village up ahead and as you heard there are a few soldiers in the village. Now I want to know just who they are and what they are doing there,” said Diesel.

Diesel’s ear bud came to life again, “Diesel you might want to get up here to check this out.” came Nightstalker voice.

“On my way,” he said motioning for Tex to follow.

50 meters to the front he found first squad all prone and looking towards the village in the treeline. Diesel dropped to his knees and pulled off his pack. He snapped his scope on to his rifle and joined the men of the first squad on the ground. Peering through the scope as he got into a good firing position he made sure to keep the barrel from extending past the brush. “Where?” was all he asked.

Lcpl Dunn leaned over towards Diesel and spoke in a low whisper saying “For what passes as the village square, Sir.”

The sounds of people making their way through the woods and undergrowth came from behind the men of the first squad. None of the men turned to investigate the sounds, they knew that second squad had their back. With the snapping of twigs the imposters throw themselves down next to Diesel.

“What’s happening down there captain?” again it was the Tweedle Dumb.

Diesel ignored the imposters as he watched the happenings in the center of the small village.

“Diesel, Notice the uniforms. By my count I have four tanker and six infantry. Two of the men down there are officers. Now those boys in the all black uniforms wearing the red berets,” Lcpl Dunn said.

“I see ‘em.” said Diesel.

“What about them?” inquired one of the two imposters. Diesel had no idea which had said it nor did he care.

“Those are, wait for it, turn to the side you son of a bitch,” Diesel said to the man in his scope. “That is the Dragon’s Teeth, my boys. The best of the best China has to offer.”

“Didn’t they help stage the assault on our embassy?” asked Lcpl Ritter.

“That’s right, and if I remember right, it was their co that executed the ambassador in front of the mob that stormed the embassy,” replied Diesel

“Some of those guys look busted up. They must have survived the airstrike. Looks like they are taking over,” said Dunn.

“No I think they are gathering supplies before they move out. The Dragon’s Teeth aren’t much for sitting out of a fight. Brutal and violent they are, but not cowards,” returned Diesel.

As the men watched the events going on around the village square they witnessed the villagers loading up a dilapidated boat with food stuffs from the villager’s gardens and livestock. While the boat was being loaded two of the soldiers started beating an old man with their batons and slapping him about the face when he started to protest the taking of the village’s food and boat.

“I have two more men coming out of the houses,” said Ritter. The houses were more like one room cinder block dwellings.

“That doesn’t look good,” said Nightstalker at Diesel’s elbow. The two men were walking out as they adjusted their clothes. Diesel and the rest could see angry red scratches on their faces and arms. Diesel was thinking that this was not a good sign for the people here. But it might be a good thing for him and his men.

“It would appear that the soldiers have helped themselves to the village’s food and women, and their boat,” Was the reply from the Diesel. “Dunn did you get a head count.

“Yes sir, Thirty-five civilians and twelve regulars as it stands now.”

“Tex, I want you to call this in for later use. The brass can send in some army sf to cultivate this after our mission. They must have stayed overnight.”

“Yes sir.” Tex was already on the horn.

“Nightstalker,” Diesel said as he backed away from the treeline. He pulled out his map and compass. “There looks like there is a small dirt road heading south from the village after it swings around that bend that we could see.  Pull us back about 100 meters.  Then you can swing us 200 meters to the left and then continue on to the river. You two” he said while pointing to the imposters. “with me now!”

The Captain moved away slowly from first squad with the two men in tow. After they had moved about 20 meters away the Diesel said “Don’t you dare think of telling me or my men what to do. Now what has got you two so hot to get to the objective?” he asked.

“You’re not cleared for that sir, its need to know,” said Twiddle Dee.

“Bullshit, my men and I are going to that base to observe and if possible we may do a snatch and grab. We need to know the why’s and what for’s, now talk.”

“Sir, all we have is that the General may have access and the codes to arm and launch missiles, and that he is not what you would call sane.” said Twiddle Dumb.

“Great, just great. And just when were you two going to tell us this little tidbit of military intelligence?” asked Diesel while thinking You two are so full of it.

Just then Gunny came up. “Are we stopping for a few?”

“No, we gonna pull back some, and then move out.” replied Diesel. “I want to put some distance between us and that village, before we belly up for the day. We will cross over the river in the late afternoon.

“Once we belly up I will send out a few men to find a place for us to ford,” said Gunny. He continued talking as he turned away. “I will also send two men to scout out the highway and rail lines to see what happened.”

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