Nightstalker has a bad day

The whistling sound of incoming mortar rounds stirred Nightstalker from his sleep. He rolled out of his bunk slipped on his boots, pulled his armored tactical vest on and grabbed his rifle. In a flash he was out the hatch and pulling back the charging handle of his weapon loading the first round of the 30 round magazine.

The first mortar round landed with a small explosion as he cleared barracks row. They never learn do they, lobbing 82mm rounds at us is only going to annoy us. Barracks row was the name given to this section of the base where the men and women lived. Each barracks was protected first by being 12 feet underground. The roof of each barracks was over engineered to hold up the weight over a four foot thick concrete slab. Then a layer of compacted dirt and two layers of logs laid perpendicular to each other. The finale layer was sand bags over top of steel plate. Each barracks had two access points, each access point had three routes a person could go, left, right, and straight.

Another mortar round landed well behind him and he could hear more rounds still incoming. Nightstalker sprinted as best as he could with his untied boots. He was three quarters across the quad and heading for the inner perimeter. He jumped into the trench works and collided with the sand bags that lined both sides of the slit trench.

He moved 20 meters to his left and dropped down into the covered observation post. Looking to the small shelf, Nightstalker grabbed the binoculars and scanned outer defenses and beyond. No was apparent ground attack was happening as of yet, but he knew that was going to change in time. The question was when.

More mortar fire was raining down on the base. This time it was the larger 120 mm rounds. Just like clockwork thought Nightstalker. He took this time to tie his boots and blouse them. When he was done he scanned the outer defenses and beyond again before he picked up the field phone.

“This is Sergeant Olson, observation post India nine, no ground attach at this time,” said Nightstalker.

“CP copies No ground attach at this time.”

“Any instructions or orders at this time,” Nightstalker asked.

“Wait one, move to OP Oscar eighteen and report from there.”

Nightstalker moved out of the OP and back into the slit trenches and moved forward as explosions peppered the base. More marines were moving towards the defenses despite the risk of getting hit. The whistling got louder and Nightstalker threw himself down in the slit trench. Not half a second later the incoming mortar round exploded not ten feet from he was lying. With his ears ringing he was up and running.

Twice more mortar rounds exploded near the slit trench he was running through.  Damn they’re getting better he thought as he took the bend to the right. Twenty more strides he was in OP Oscar eighteen. The OP stood for Observation Post. Oscar was the used for the letter O. In this case the O was short of outer. The number designated which post.

Two other people were already there and both nearly jumped out of their skins when Nightstalker came running in. Cherries thought Nightstalker as he watched both marines doing their best to get battle ready.

“Stop what you are doing, one of you get over here and join me on the fire step as the other finishes getting ready,” Nightstalker said in his best drill field voice.

The bigger of the two grabbed his rifle and practically ran the short distance to the fire step. He brought his weapon up and almost took his chin off with the buttstock.

“Marine you need to calm down and get your shit wired tight or I’m going to calm you down,” said Nightstalker.

“Sir yes sir,” the young marine screamed back. The confines of the OP doing little to absorb the sound of the scream.

“First of all drop the boot camp crap. Second, I’m a sergeant not an officer so don’t sir me.”

“Aye aye sir, ah sergeant.”

“What’s your name marine?” asked Nightstalker as he picked up the field glasses and started looking at the different approaches to the base that his could observe. “Get on the phone and report in that at this time no ground attack is visible from this OP.”

“Private Severn, sergeant. He picked up the field phone, This is Private Severn reporting in from OP, he looked at the number on the field phone’s box, eighteen. No ground attack at this time sir.”

The voice on the other end of the field phone was busy asking a few questions to which Pvt. Severn was answering in a series of yes sirs or no sirs. After a few more seconds he handed the phone to Nightstalker.

“Are you Sgt. Olson?” asked the Pvt.

“Yes.”

“They want to talk to you,” Pvt. Severn said as he handed over the phone.

Nightstalker took the phone in one hand and continued to look at the approaches. “This is Sgt. Olson.”

He listened as he continued to scan the distant terrain. His eyes narrowed as he looked at one spot as a small cloud of dust was disturbed. “Sir my patrol returned five hours ago. Our patrol took us to the north and east, he said. After a few seconds he continued, Sir I may have contact to my south. No sir we did not see any activity on the patrol. We did not see anyone on our patrol. I repeat sir, I may have contact to my south, range 905 meters. West side wall of the abandoned building. No sir, there was only a few herds and fields.”

The sounds of mortars still falling on the base was increasing in intensity, Nightstalker slammed the phone down, effectively ending the call with the officer.

Nightstalker spun around, “You, marine. How fast can you run?”

“I ran track in high school sergeant.” replied the shorter but much thinner marine.

“That did not answer my question marine,” said Nightstalker tersely.

“I was on the 400 meter relay sergeant.”

“Good, here is what I want you to do, I want you to sprint as fast as you can to armory and ask to speak to Staff Sergeant Westfield. Tell him that Sgt. Olson needs a shooter with a long gun. Bring the shooter back here. You got that?”

“Yes sergeant.”

“Then move it marine,” barked Nightstalker.

The young marine was out the hatch and sprinting towards the center of the base as mortar rounds dropped all around him.

Nightstalker spun around to answer the field phone. “This is OP Oscar eighteen. Sgt Olson speaking. No sir, we must have been cut off. Nightstalker brought the glasses to his eyes once more and trained them in on the west side wall of the building. He could see shapes moving but his glasses really were not powerful enough to bring the shapes in to sharp focus.

“Sir I really need to listen to me and have a look at the west side wall south of my position!” Nightstalker was practically yelling to be heard now over the mortar shells. Damn their dropping the 160’s on us now, I guess they’re getting serious.

“Sir, they have stopped dropping the small stuff, those are 160’s falling now. Let me take a squad outside the wire. While I get a squad together have someone have a look the west wall of the abandoned building to my south. He hung up the phone and turned to the Pvt. Severn. I want you to stay here and keep a watch on everything in front of this OP. If you see someone other than a marine call it in. If it shoots at you, don’t wait return fire. I will send someone here to stand watch with you,” with that said Nightstalker ran along the slit trenches that connected all the outer OP’s gathering a squad of trusted marines.

After 15 minutes Nightstalker returned to find the private still at his post along with the one he sent out and the marine sniper. The sniper was already set up observing something through his powerful scope.

“Sniper do you need a spotter?” Nightstalker asked as he and a small group of ten marines came in from the slit trenches.

“No, my spotter is on his way. He stopped to help a wounded marine. I do need someone to man the phone. I have movement in and around the building to our south.”

“Severn, man the phone,” said Nightstalker as another marine ran into the already crowded OP.

“Make a hole damn it,” said the new comer.

“You the spotter?” asked Nightstalker.

“I sure ain’t the tooth fairy,” he said as he got set up next to the sniper.

“I don’t know about that sergeant, he has the legs for it,” quipped the sniper, alerting his spotter as to whom he was talking to.

Nightstalker tossed his radio over to one of the marines that had followed him in, “Van set all radios to the same freq and do the same to the spotter’s. Spotter, I am taking this group out beyond the wire. We’ll move along exit south route one and then move along the dry creek bed when we can cross over to it and come in on the building from the east.”

“Understood ,” said the spotter.

Nightstalker accepted his radio back and put it back in its holder, and made the connections for his throat mic. He watched as the rest of the men did the same. Once each man had checked to make sure their radios were working each man then made sure that they had a round chambered and safeties off.

“Are we ready boys?” asked Nightstalkers.

A choirs of yeses replied.

“Good, I have point.

 

 

 

Nightstalker was in a crouching walk was he led the marines down the southern escape route. The mortar fire was increasing in volume again. He and his ad hoc group was in the dead ground and moving slowly but steadily forward. He looked back to make sure the men behind him were maintaining their spacing. Son of a bitch. What in the hell does that private think he’s doing? Nightstalker asked himself. The last man in the group was the private he sent running across the base to get the sniper. The kid has guts, I’ll give him that, thought Nightstalker to himself with a grin.

“Sergeant Olson, this is Cpl. Feldman, the sniper. You have a contact moving towards you at your one-o’clock. Range 75 meters. I do not have a shot, over,”

Nightstalker keyed his mic, “This is Olson. Then what do you have? Over.”

“I have a whip antenna moving along part of the dry creek bed, like it’s being dragged. FYI Captain Eubanks is pissed that you went outside the wire. Expect to be contacted by him shortly. Over.”

Nightstalker picked up his pace and the others kept up with him. When he got to the point where he wanted to cross over to the dry creek bed he turned used hand signals to the others for them to hold and stay low. Nightstalker eased his rifle up to his cheek and peered down his scope as he ever so slowly raised his head over the edge of the shallow dug out pathway.

Millimeter by millimeter Nightstalker swept his scope along expose creek bed. When his scope came to the southern end of the bend of the creek bed he stopped and stayed motionless. He slowed his breathing and pulled the weapon in tight against his shoulder. Time slowed as he watched the end of the bend. The sounds of the mortars exploding faded away.

A shape started to emerge from around the bend. It was an older man crawling along the creek bed pushing an older model radio in front of him as he went. Two other men were crawling behind him. One of the younger men was armed with a Dragunov SVD. The other had the standard AK -47.

Captain Eubanks choose that moment to get on the radio. “Sgt Olson. Do you read me? Over.”

Nightstalker placed the crosshairs of his scope on the center of the snipers upper chest, between the shoulders. With the tightening of his finger on the trigger his first round left the barrel of his battle rifle at 3,115 feet per second. He watched as the man’s chest was bathed in red and the man behind him was showered in gore, Nightstalker shifted targets and fired his second round.

The second round he fired slammed into the target just below the chin. The man’s head snapped back and was almost torn from the body. Nightstalker exhaled and again shifted targets. His crosshairs came to rest on the older man’s left shoulder. Nightstalker inhaled and exhaled half of his breathe. His third round expended punched into the older man’s shoulder. The man’s ball joint exploded out the back in a cloud of flesh, bone bits and blood.

“Move to the creek bed,” he told the other marines as he moved out.

“Sgt. Olson, this is Capt. Eubanks, You will answer me damn it. Over.”

“This is Sgt. Olson. What can I do for you sir? Over.”

“You can explain just what the hell you think you are doing. Over”

“Sir, This is not the normal mortar shelling. I have just engaged and killed two men and wounded a third. Wait one as we search them.”

Nightstalker and the others took up positions around the enemy combatants. The wounded man was quickly secured and restrained. The two men were quickly searched and the weapons secured. The men carried nothing which could ID them.

“Captain Eubanks. This is Sgt. Olson. The Two dead men have no ID but one was a sniper and the other was his spotted.  The third man was a radio operated.”

Nightstalker paused as one of the marines handed him a hand drawn map of the base. The map denoted placement of OP’s and routes in and out of the base. There were also arrows heading depicting possible attack directions.

“Sir, you are going to need to breakout the heavy weapons, the mortars are a diversion for an attack. Over,” said Nightstalker.

“I am doing no such thing. You are going to return back to base and present yourself for charges.

Nightstalker cut him off. “Sir I am looking at a hand drawn map with possible attack routes on it. Please put Captain Kolb on the radio.”

“He is not here and I am in control of this situation and,” the captain was cutoff. A few seconds later another voice came over the radio.

“Nightstalker, this is Kolb. What have you got for me?”

Nightstalker repeated the information.

“Good work, what are you intentions? Over.” asked Captain Kolb.

“I was going to spot where the mortars are coming from, but now I think I need to see if I can spot where the attacks will be coming from. Over.”

“No, you find where the mortars are coming from and take them out of play. I will start handing out the heavy weapons and getting this place ready to repulse an attack. We will have eyes in the sky in a little over ten minutes. Over,” said Captain Kolb.

“Sir we have one of their radios, it is an old prc-25 set to transmit on the 55.5 megahertz. Over,” Nightstalker said as he looked over the radio.

“We’re on it and good hunting, out.”

 

Nightstalker and his men moved through the dry creek bed and down the shallow valley to where the dry creek bed joined up with the running water of the small river. They worked their way across the river and came up on the building from the east.

Nightstalker was the first to spot the two men lying just behind a section of masonry blocks spotting for the mortars. The sound of mortars being fired came from behind the building. Using hand signals Nightstalker tasked two of his men to check out the rear of the building while he called in the location of the two spotters to the sniper.

A few seconds later the sniper’s first shot of the day punched a neat hole in one side of a masonry block and exploded out the other side with fatal results. Nightstalker’s radio came to life as the men he sent to check out the rear of the building reported in.

“Nightstalker this is Smitty, over.”

“Go Smitty, over,” replied Nightstalker.

“I have what looks like six mortar pits dug in a straight line behind the building. All I can see is the tops of the tubes. From the size of the rounds being used these are only 60 mm. the bigger boys are elsewhere. I have five men acting as guards and one man on a radio. Over.”

“Smitty, we are moving to you, out. Sniper did you copy that, over?” asked Nightstalker.

“I copied, over,” came the snipers reply.

“I copied also. You have 4 minutes till eyes are overhead over,” came the reply from Kolb.

“Sniper, this is Nightstalker, can you engage the targets near the west wall on my mark, over?”

“Nightstalker, I can engage on your command,” replied the sniper.

In minutes Nightstalker and the other marines had moved to Smitty’s location. Using hand signals again he assigned six of the marines a target. The six marines leveled their weapons at the six men at the rear of the abandoned building. Nightstalker took a few seconds to look around before he got back on the radio.

He watched as the radio operator switched from his radio to a cheap hand held radio and yell into it. A few seconds later the tubes were shifted and mortars were dropped into the tubes. The range was about 75 feet, the wind was slight and coming from the front.

“Sniper on my mark, mark,” Nightstalker said.

Seconds later the sniper reported back. “This is Feldman for Nightstalker.”

“Nightstalker here.”

“Two targets down. West wall is clear.”

Nightstalker looked down the scope of his rifle as he made some adjustments to take in the range. The crosshairs of the scope centered on the chest of the man with the radio. Again he took a breath and exhaled half of it, before he squeezed back on the trigger and sent his fourth round down the barrel of his weapon.

The other marines fired a split second after him. Nightstalker did not notice the hot brass shell casing that hit him in the head as he watched the results of his shot. Nightstalker took no joy when the dark red stain appeared behind the man he just shot.  He then swept the scope across the other downed men. None were moving that he could see.

“Did anyone bring grenades?” asked Nightstalker.

“I knew I forgot something,” replied one of the marines to Nightstalker’s left.

“I have two,” replied the skinny private.

“The guys we killed have some,” replied one of the other marines.

“Rabbit and Smitty you are on overwatch, the rest follow me in five second intervals, make for the rear wall. Once we get to the rear wall and set up we will cover you while you cross,” explained Nightstalker.

Nightstalker turned and ran for all his worth to cross the 75 feet to the rear wall. When he got to the wall he took a position where he could cover the next marine. As each marine made it over to the wall the rest would provided cover.

Nightstalker waited till the entire group had reformed at the rear wall before he reported in, “Captain Kolb this is Nightstalker, over.”

“Go Nightstalker over,” was the captain’s reply.

“We have taken out the men acting as guards and the other radio operator. This radio is also a prc-25 but set for 75 megahertz. The guards were armed with AK-47’s and US issued grenades. We are going to toss the grenades into the mortar pits, over.”

“Nightstalker, you have two minutes till eyes are overhead. Blow the tubes and get to cover, out.” said Captain Kolb.

Six of the marines grabbed a grenade and Nightstalker explained what he wanted them to do. Using his fingers he counted down from three. When Nightstalker reached one the pins were pulled and the grenades were tossed. With the grenades still in the air the marines scurried for cover around the east wall. A series of explosions throw up dirt and scattered body parts while raining red hot shrapnel all about.

“Is everyone alright?” asked Nightstalker.

A course of yes’s came back to him

“I want this building cleared, then we are going to hold it.”

The men moved out towards the front with Nightstalker in the rear this time. The man on point paused at the corner long enough to pull the pin on a grenade and toss it inside of the building. On the heels of the blast the men rushed inside. Two of the marines ran for the narrow staircase that led to the roof.

“Get down, hostiles on the roof,” came screaming over the radio. The marines dove for any cover they could find as someone on the roof started shooting through the roof. Then a second shooter joined the first in his attempt to kill the marines.

Just as abruptly as the shooting started it halted. “Roof is clear of hostiles,” said the sniper.

“And you have our thanks sniper,” said one of the marines over the radio.

“Captain Kolb, this is Nightstalker, over.”

“Report Nightstalker, over.”

“We took out the six tubes here and their crews. We are now in the ground floor of the building south of the base. Awaiting orders, over.”

“Nightstalker, hang tight. We have eyes in the sky now. I am looking at the feed now. Nightstalker, I’m sending you a mixed squad. Two regular and one heavy fire teams, it looks like you may have some visitors. Wait one, over,” said Captain Kolb.

Nightstalker turned to the rest of the marines, “How is everyone set for beans, bullets and band-aids?”

“Van get me a count of each. Terry and Wes get topside and mark our position as best as you can,” said Nightstalker as he wait of the captain to get back to him.

“Nightstalker, over,” came across the radio.

“Go for Nightstalker, over,”

“Nightstalker, this is Kolb, India has just kicked off a massive offensive push. They must have timed this with the insurgents all across Afghanistan and Pakistan. It would appear that many of our outposts and base are under attack. Tell me what you need and I will send it down to you. Over.”

Nightstalker took the list from Van, “Sir we need Ammo, food, water and a corpsman, over.”

“Nightstalker, the feed from the UAV shows that there are two columns of vehicles moving towards us and a third column of personnel carriers’ circling around to the south. I think it is more than likely that they are going to want to use that building you are in as a CP. I want you and your marines to head west and find some dead ground to hide in. If they drop of the troops near you I want you to wait until they make their attack on the base before you engage them from the flank. You are to let then have the building, the UVA will take care of anyone that sets up in it later. Over.”

“How soon until the squads move out sir? Over.” asked Nightstalker.

“Three minutes over.”

“Understood, we move to the west and attack from the flank once they start their attack on the base, over.”

“Is there anything else you need? Over.” asked Captain Kolb.

“A few airstrikes would be nice,” said Nightstalker to get a laugh.

“I have Brady working on an artillery fire mission, but they are swamped right now and comms are jammed. If we get a fire mission the first task will be to target the vehicles on the road first. If I can get them to fire on the troops I want you to pull far to the west and hunker down. Good luck Nightstalker, Kolb out.”

 

 

Nightstalker was on the radio speaking with the fire teams now making their way to his position. They were moving to him at their best speed put they were loaded down with more than three times the load out than they would normally carry.  Four members of the fire teams were running as fast as they carrying stretchers.

As soon as they made it to Nightstalker’s position he wasted no time getting the men in a skirmish line and getting the ammo handed out. The corpsman was making sure everyone had water and at least one personal first-aid kit. Van was making sure that the men were spaced about 5 meters apart and had plenty of water.

Captain Kolb had sent two surprises along with the fire teams. He sent two man portable mini-guns with tri pods and batteries. These Nightstalker sent to each end of the skirmish line. Each weapon came with 3,000 rounds and the batteries were long life lithium.

Once everyone was in position Nightstalker outlined his plan for the ambush.

“Listen up marines. No one is to fire until I give the command. Chances are that they will come from around that hill with the scrub brush and head straight in towards the base. That is the fastest route to the base and would keep them in the line of fire for the shortest amount of time. Now they will most likely stay massed together, but there will be a few stragglers. The idea is for them to pass in front of us. We have the better part of a rifle company at the base, so we know that enemy will be forced to pause as they work out where they are taking fire from. That is when we will engage them. Riflemen, I want single shots aimed fire. A-gunners, I want short controlled bursts. If we have to move out for any reason I want the mini-guns to fire off every round they have before disabling their weapon and moving out. Any questions, over.”

There were none.

Nightstalker was at the center of the skirmish line. He was peering around a half buried boulder the size of a small car. Time seemed to slow down as he waited he could hear the battle being fought at the base. The deep bark of the 50 cals and the explosions as missiles slammed into targets. Clouds of dust and black smoke were coming from and around the base.

Sgt. Van was on anchoring the far right of the skirmish line and Sgt. Dorsey on the left. Nightstalker made sure that the private was next to him and was talking to him as a way to keep the young man calm.

“So where are you from Private Barns?” Nightstalker asked.

“Born and raised in New York City, sergeant,” was his reply.

“Now that is a great city, all the different foods and people.”

“You’ve been there?” asked Barns.

“Been there a few times. Was there for Fleet week about five years ago. Dated a woman named Helen when I was on recruiter duty there. She lived near Great Neck.”

“I’m from Brooklyn myself. Let me tell you, going from New York to this place, it’s like I’m on a different planet. I mean at least when I was at Parris Island or Camp Pendleton I could see big cities. And I could go out, have a few drinks and go to the clubs,” said Barns.

“I understand about the drinks, and as for the clubs there are not that many here,” replied Nightstalker.

“Sergeant, don’t get me started on the lack of females here.”

“I happen to know that there are many females here.”

“Oh really, How can you tell. Faces all covered and then you have to get past the smells and. When I was at Pendleton I dated three girls with the same name at the same time, Maria,” said the private.

“That sounds like a good idea. Dating girls with the same name. you couldn’t screw up the name,” said Nightstalker.

“I thought so too.”

“Thought?” asked Nightstalker.

“I found two small flaws in my plans.” said Barns.

“And just what were the flaws you found?”

“The first one was that if someone put Maria called in the phone log, I had to come up with a reason to call each one,” replied Barns.

“And the second flaw?” asked Nightstalker.

“I made a date with all three on the same night.”

The corpsman took the words right out of Nightstalker’s mouth, “You poor dumb bastard,” he said as he slowly shook his head.

“Nightstalker this is van, we have movement to the south. Over”

“Can you get numbers yet? Over” asked Nightstalker.

“Negative, right now they seem to be getting themselves sorted out. I can also see seven buses but the dust cloud could be concealing more. Over.”

“Nightstalker, this is Kolb. Convoy one has pulled back to the village to the north after failing to rush the main gates and has dismounted. Convoy two was just hit by artillery the remnants of that convoy are turning around and heading towards that small village to the west. Over.”

“Sir we now have movement to our southeast, numbers unknown. Any chance of getting a second fire mission? over.” asked Nightstalker.

“That’s a negative, Camps Daly and Puller just declared broken arrow. Everything is moving to intervene at those camps. I will have the UAV swing around and have a look then get back to you, out.”

Nightstalker was rocked by the news he had just gotten. He knew that both camps were home for over a five hundred marines each. Nightstalker pressed his throat mic, “This is Nightstalker, listen up you sons of bitches. Out there are men who wish to do you and your fellow marines harm. I mean to ruin their day by killing as many of those bastards as I can. Remember one shot one kill.  Be ready to fix bayonets and make sure if you have grenades they are ready also. We are going to awful bloody today. Out.”

“Nightstalker, this is van.”

“Go van.”

“It looks like they are in groups of 50 to 60 men. Each bus load is a group.”

“Weapons?” asked Nightstalker.

“I am seeing everything, from AK’s to M-16’s. I have one group I swear are loaded down with vests and satchel charges. Oh shit, I have what looks like a small group of men wearing what looks like flame throwers. Over.”

“Cpl. Feldman this is Nightstalker over.”

“Go Nightstalker.”

“You see a man with a vest and carrying a bag or a flame thrower take him out. You may get lucky and take out a few others with him, over.”

“Understood out,” Feldman replied.

“Nightstalker, this is Kolb. Over.”

“Yes sir.”

“Looks like you are getting the brunt of the forces at your location. It looks like a third of the forces in the village to the north are trying to linkup with the southern forces. The forces to the west are moving to higher ground to pin us down. I am retasking the mortars to engage them. The UVA pin pointed their mortars and we got them. Over,” said Kolb.

“What about the rest of the forces at the northern village? Over,” asked Nightstalker.

“They stormed the buildings, some of the villagers were dragged kicking and screaming to the square. The bastards killed everyone in the village men, woman, and children. Right now they are laying down a lot of suppressive fire. Looks like they seem to be working themselves up to rush the wire, out.”

The private next to Nightstalker turned to face him, “These bastards want some, let’s give’em some Sergeant Nightstalker.”

“It’s just Nightstalker, marine. Have no doubt about it, we will give them more than they could ever want. It won’t be long, look they’re starting to moving out.”

 

Nightstalker and his men watched as the enemy forces moved out. At first they moved out in a crouching walk until they cleared the small mounds of dirt and rock. Once past those most went to their bellies or a close representation of that.

Nightstalker and his men were slightly above the attacking force but were at a angle from them at about 400 meters to the nearest group. Each man was behind his scope, scanning for the men with satchel charges or the flame throwers.

The private was the first to spot the first man with a flame thrower. “Nightstalker, I got one.”

“Well call it in private,” replied Nightstalker.

“I don’t know how,” he replied.

“Show me where he is.”

The private keep his rifle scope centered on the man with the flame thrower the tanks were just visible over the tops of the grass. Then he moved his head out of the way so Nightstalker could get his own eyes on the target. Once Nightstalker had his eyes on him he took the rifle from the private.

“Private, you are going to repeat what I say.” it was an order not a statement.

“Aye aye Nightstalker.”

“Cpl Feldman, flame thrower in the open. Call it 200 to 220 meters from the west side of the building. Under 100 meter in front of the building from your location,” said Nightstalker.

The private relayed the message. A few seconds later the spotter was on the radio informing them that they were searching for the target. Then out of the nowhere a large fireball blossomed in the midst of the enemy, flaming rain began falling amongst the enemy. Several men caught fire and started running spreading the fire. Other men also got up to escape from the fire.

In the small period of chaos that ensued from that one shot more targets were spotted in a matter of just a few seconds. The sniper’s big bore rifle reached out to each one. The first explosion of flaming rain was followed by three more. The dry knee high grass quickly spread the fires. The enemy had no choice but to run through the fires, the smoke, and the burned bodies of their fallen.

The marines could hear the screams of the men who were still writhing in agony as they burned. A few were mercifully shot by their fellows as a way to end their suffering. Feldman was on the radio also calling out distances from the outer perimeter. The distance was falling as were the enemy to the punishing fire coming from the base.

The time was drawing near when Nightstalker was to give the order to open fire. He took a sip of water and swished it around his mouth. The fires had burned much of the grass in front of the skirmish line. He spit the water out to rid his mouth of the taste of the smoke. He pressed his throat mic.

“This is Nightstalker, Devil Dogs remember, one shot one kill. Open fire.”

 

 

The enemy force attacking the base was suddenly being attacked from its left flank. The attack started on the rear most troops and quickly moved forward. the Mini-guns wrecked the most havoc as they simply mowed down the enemy, the rate of fire from them literally cut the enemy troops in half bodily.

Each marine with a rifle calmly fired aimed shot after aimed shot. Those enemy troopers closest to the skirmish line never had a chance. Some of the attackers dropped to the ground looking for cover but the fires had removed any chance of them hiding in the grass.

Sgt Smith, two men down from Nightstalker set aside his rifle and picked up his M32 grenade launcher. In just a few seconds he had fired all six rounds then he dropped back behind the boulder he was using as cover to reload. Further up the line another marine popped up and did the same. When he dropped back down Sgt. Smith jumped back up to rain down death and destruction on the enemy now rushing towards the skirmish line.

Fire from the base started pouring in from the front as the attackers moved to attack the skirmish line and exposed themselves.

The mini-gun on the north end of the skirmish line went to continuous fire. The loader was busy connecting another box of ammo when he was hit in the shoulder. The next man in the line shifted over to take over the wounded marine’s task.  Doc Quad was running up the line to treat the wound man in a heartbeat of hearing that he was needed.

“Enemy reinforcements coming around the small hills to the southeast.”

Nightstalker swiveled his head and sure enough about 100 more men were charging towards his skirmish line.

“Southern section of the line shift fire to engage new threat. Northern section will concentrate to our front. Hold the line,” said Nightstalker.

More calls for the corpsman as marines took hits. Other calls came over the radio informing the rest that one of their own was gone.

Marines are taught to obey orders without hesitation. The southern Mini-gun now went to continuous fire. Sgt smith jumped back up and again used his M32. He was at the extreme edge of his range but he was dropping the rounds right into the middle of the pack of men rushing to get to the skirmish line.

The reinforcements faltered in the face of the massive amount of fire from the mini-gun and then the six exploding grenades that slammed into them. The mini-gun went silent as the loader was changing out the now empty ammo bin. For a few seconds the stunned reinforcements did nothing. Then they started shooting as they rushed in to get to grips with the marines.

“Nightstalker, this is Clark I have only about a thousand rounds left for the south mini-gun.”

“Better make then count,” replied Nightstalker.

The original attacking force was closing to the front of the skirmish line. They were now at the base of the small rise he and his men were on.

“Toss grenades and peel right,” yelled Nightstalker into his radio.

“This is Kolb, belay the peel right, take cover, fast mover inbound.”

Those with grenades tossed them, while those without continued to fire. Then almost as one they dropped to the ground as the sound of a jet ripped the air. The marines looked up just in time as a pair of F-18’s dropped a payload of bombs from about 500 feet above the battlefield. Before the bombs hit the ground they split apart spewing bomblets.

The bomblets exploded about 3 meters above the ground, filling the air with thousands of pieces of shrapnel. The marines were doing their best to make themselves as small as they could. Thankfully the pilots knew their business well and none of the bomblets fell within 50 feet of the skirmish line.

The marines snapped back up and resumed firing. Nightstalker had just enough time to see a large man standing over were the private was starting to come to his feet as he was changing mags. The private throw his weapon into the man’s face and rushed him. The man grabbed at the rifle as the private used the man’s crotch as a football and kicked it as if he was kicking a field goal.

The big man was given no time to fall as the private grabbed him with one hand on the shoulder and with his other he pulled out his bayonet. The private rammed the point of the bayonet up through the man’s lower jaw with such force the point of the blade was exposed as it pierced the top of the man’s head.

The private then used the man’s shuddering body as a shield as the private moved to retrieve his rifle. Still using the dead man as a shield he made his way back to his position. The private tossed the dead man down and used him as bullet stop while he changed mags before continuing to pour fire into the now retreating enemy. More explosions could be heard coming from the west and north as more jets came screaming in from overhead at swallow angles with guns blazing and dropping bombs.

The attack on the base was finished when the jets make their strikes. The now retreating forces that Nightstalker’s men had engaged were now running for the buses. The buses were the only way they had to escape the wrath of the marines. One of the jets made a slow banking turn, the pilot lined up on the buses before letting the 20 mm Vulcan cannon shred the buses and those foolish enough to seek shelter there.

Nightstalker realized he had just minutes to act if he wanted to catch the survivors in the open. “Peel right 200 meters, out,” he called out over the radio. The northern mini-gun had already stopped firing, the small det charge going off told him that the gunner and the loader were on the move.

The gunner was supporting the loader as they came running by. A few seconds later another marine came running past as the skirmish line was repositioning. The next man to pass Nightstalker was the corpsman as he was helping a screaming marine who was holding his ruined face. Blood was seeping out through the man’s fingers.

“Private help the corpsman,” yelled Nightstalker.

The private fired at the man he had in his sights and took off after the corpsman.

All too soon one of the passing marines slapped Nightstalker on the shoulder signaling he was the next man to move out. Nightstalker’s thumb switched the rifle from single fire mood to full automatic fire. Once more he squeezed the trigger, the weapon slammed back multiple times as Nightstalker emptied the current mag before he too moved out, slapping the next man inline on the shoulder.

“Nightstalker this is Feldman, you have support coming south from the base. Captain Kolb wants to know what your intentions are, over.”

“This is Nightstalker. It is my intention to kill every single one of these assholes. Out.”

The enemy was moving towards the river bed but they chose the wrong place to make their approach. They chose the most direct route over the rock strewn field that offered no cover for almost 100 meters before they could reach the waters of the swift running river.

“Continue to the river bank at the bend, swing the skirmish line to the right so we can sweep the river,” said Nightstalker.

“You want us bunched up?” Nightstalker recognized Van’s voice.

“Affirmative,” replied Nightstalker.

It was at least another 250 meters to the river bank Nightstalker was talking about. Those still on the move just continued their run to the river bank. The first man there was Sgt. Burton, he had worked with Nightstalker on many patrols and understood what was to be done.

At the river bank he crouched walked backwards directing the placement of the next marine for the repositioned skirmish line. As each marine went prone in the repositioned skirmish line, they brought up their rifles and started firing on the enemy troops caught in the open without cover. Nightstalker made it to the river bank just as mortars started falling in and around the retreating enemy. Several of the enemy threw down their weapons and raised their hands in surrender but the mortar shells already in the air neither knew nor cared. For that matter neither did the marines.

Nightstalker let the marines continue raking the enemy with aimed firer and mortars to fall for a few minutes before calling for a cease fire. The enemy was broken and demoralized with no place to go.

“Skirmish line, count off. Corpsman report to me,” nightstalker wait was the men cared out his orders before he continued. “Evens cover the river, odds cover our six and support friendlies coming down from the base. Anyone with a red smoke pop it to make our position.

The corpsman’s hands, arms and chest were covered in blood. He knew what Nightstalker was going to ask, “Six dead and eight wounded.”

“Thanks Doc, do what you can while I get some transport here. Nightstalker pressed his throat mic, Van this is Nightstalker, over.”

“Go Nightstalker.”

“Round up the prisoners but don’t any chances, out.”

“Nightstalker this is Kolb, Over.”

“Yes sir, over.”

“How bad is it marine, over?” asked Captain Kolb.

“We lost six and I need transport for them and eight wounded. We are now rounding up prisoners, sir. Over.”

“I want you to hand over your prisoners ,rearm and take all able bodied marines and take the village to the north. I’m sending transport now, out.”

“Van,” called out Nightstalker.

“I heard , I heard,” Van replied as he watched over the gathering prisoners.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s