The drunk russian

Roo looked through his scope and watched as the battered old Chevy Suburban came to a sliding stop in the slushy mix of snow and ice. From his perch atop of the church Roo could not hear the SUV’s door shut, but he could read the lips of the man that got out of the SUV. The size of the man that exited the SUV was hard to determine as the man was wearing a full length fur coat. Fur boots and mitts were worn as well to complete the look. The man staggered across the street and to come to rest beside the personal car of the commander of the local UN detainee camp.

“Greywolf this is Roo, we have some activity here.”

“Roo, this is Tag, what have you got?” asked Tag.

“Not quite sure, but you might want to investigate what this man is doing to our target’s car,” replied Roo.

A few seconds later Tag appeared on the sidewalk walking towards the car in question. Tag watched as the man jimmied the door open and stepped around as if he was going to get in, but he stopped. Curiosity got the better of Tag so he continued to close the distance with the car and man.

“Roo what is he doing?” asked Tag.

“He looks like he is opening his coat,” answered Roo.

Tag quickened his pace and drew even with the man and the car. With a quick turn of his head Tag looked in to the car through the passenger window and almost burst out laughing. The man just waved hello to Tag and Tag returned the wave and continued on his way.

“Tag, what’s he doing?” asked Roo as he shifted about to get a better view, but the man’s coat was blocking his attempts.

“Greywolf, get in the car and follow this guy, now. We don’t have much time,” said Tag.

“I’m on my way,” said Greywolf.

“Tag what is the guy doing?” asked Roo again.

“He’s pissing all over the interior of the car, and anyone that mad at the UN we need to meet.”

 

Greywolf followed the SUV as it made its way through the small town making stops every so often. “Tag, if he stops again I am going to approach him, with so little traffic on the roads he would have to be an idiot not to have noticed me,” said Greywolf over the radio.

“Just leave a note on the windscreen telling him to meet us at the old steel mill at eleven tomorrow, and to come alone,” replied Tag.

As luck would have it Greywolf watch the man pull over into the parking lot of the local liquor store. Greywolf quickly pulled over to the side of the street and quickly jotted a note using his off hand. In a flash he was out of the truck and running to place the note before the man returned. Greywolf did not stay to see if the man’s reaction to the note, he needed to get back to the job he was sent here for.

 

Tag killed the lights as Greywolf worked the computer while Nightstalker started the mission briefing. “Alright, cut the chatter and listen up. Diesel as given us permission to reach out to see if the locals would be willing to join in on some winter games so to speak. With that in mind we are going to meet one person tomorrow at eleven at the old steel mill,” said Nightstalker.

Greywolf put the overhead satellite photo up on the white wall of the room.

“Roo and Bert, I want you two in this area,” Nightstalker indicated with a laser pointer. “Charlie and Jamie, you two will be over here. Whitmore and Dupree, I want you two to cover this side. Greywolf and Tag, will have this side. I will do the actual meet and greet. JT, split your men into five, ten man teams. I want them concealed in the basements in the surrounding buildings on the off chance we need to fight our way out,” said Nightstalker as he chewed on the end of an unlit cigar.

The next fifteen minutes were spent discussing logistics, and plans for certain events in case they happened. Where E&E points were located, fall back positions and such.

 

It was dark, cold and snowing, yet Roo and Bert were not bothered by these things in the least. They were in a good blind, well away from the blown out window and the missing part of the wall. The howling wind and the driving snow was covering their foot prints on the ground and adding to their cover. Bert was on the glasses looking for a heat source out in the night but not finding one.

“Do you really think this is necessary?” asked Bert as he finished his last scan of their assigned area.

“Do I think what is necessary?” asked Roo. Roo knew Bert hated it when he answered Bert’s question with another question.

“All this, getting here early and setting up like we’re going to go to war with these people. Come on, these people are hicks,” replied Bert.

“Bert, I’m going to tell you a little story that I hope will explain, why these men do what they do. Once upon a time Diesel and Nightstalker and a few of the originals were in southern California on a mission much like this one. Only they were working with another group on that mission. The leader of the other group wanted to bring a few prospective recruits along to see how we operate. From what I was told when Diesel and the other leader showed up at the meeting site there was an ambush waiting for them. Turned out that one of the recruits, was a UN sleeper. Diesel and his men had to fight through the ambush and close with the UN troops to point blank range. After the firefight they found the other recruits, they had all been hung. After that we only meet with small groups, or one on one in an area we control and we can get away from quickly and easily. We set the tone and name the tune, they dance to it or we go home,” said Roo as he took the glasses and did the next sweep.

“How long have you been with these guys?” asked Bert.

“Thirteen years now, since I was six years old and I’m still amazed by them almost on a daily occurrence. I also learned to there are three ways to do things, the wrong way, the right way, and the marine way. You should have learned that at boot, but I guess you were just not paying attention when they had that lecture. Now shut up and keep your eyes peeled for any activity,” said Roo.

 

“Tag to all units, I have movement to the north. One Chevy SUV, grey white in color, one visible occupant. Three hundred meters and slowly closing. Out.”

“Nightstalker to all units, standby, if all goes well we will fall back to my position and take route one out of here. Nightstalker out.”

“Roo to all units, I have contact moving towards us on two snow mobiles. Looks like kids out on a joy ride. Two males and two females and it looks like they brought the party with them. Contact now moving off to one of the smaller buildings. I count three bottles of vodka. Wait one three more contacts just appeared on the same path. Looks like more party goers, over.”

“Nightstalker to team five, move out and investigate, but don’t be seen or heard, over.”

“This is Dex, team five copies, observe but don’t be seen or heard, out.”

 

Nightstalker stood facing the burning drum. His enhanced hearing allowed him to hear the swish and crunch of the snow as the man slowly made his way to him. The wind was just right for Nightstalker to smell the alcohol on the man’s breath. The man has a taste for bourbon, thought Nightstalker.

“I am here, what do you want to talk about?” asked the man. His accent was thick and somewhat slurred. Nightstalker slowly turned to face the man. “Oh you’re black.”

“I am? Dear me, I hope that is not going to be a problem?” asked Nightstalker with a wide grin.

“And you’re American also,” continued the Russian man.

“That I am,” Nightstalker’s grin grew wider.

“And you are not with the UN,” said the Russian man. It was a statement, and not a question.

“Oh hell no we are not.”

“We?” asked the Russian man.

“That’s right we, my men watched you piss all over the UN commander’s car. How would you like to do more than just piss all over his seat and steering wheel? How would you like to give the UN a nasty shit sandwich to shovel down?” asked Nightstalker.

“Where do I sign up for such a job?” asked the Russian.

“Right here, right now,” said Nightstalker as he pulled off his glove to offer the man his hand. Interrogator nanites were already on the surface of Nightstalker’s skin, waiting for contact with the Russian’s skin to start their task.

The Russian looked at the hand, he waited for a few seconds before he took the offered hand. He them promptly passed out.

 

Nightstalker was busy securing the Russian to the sled as Dex of team five reported in. “Nightstalker, this is Dex, over.”

“Go for Nightstalker.”

“I don’t think we need to worry the kids on the snow mobiles, over,” said Dex.

“And why would that be, over?” asked Nightstalker.

“Better than any porn flick I’ve ever seen,” replied Dex with a chipper sounding voice.

“I hope you took photos,” said Nightstalker.

“I promise I’ll post them on the hog board as soon as we get back to Alaska,” replied Dex.

 

“What do we know about our pissing bandit here?” asked Greywolf as he flipped the steaks and added a pinch of spices to the cooked side.

Nightstalker was checking the bread in the oven when he looked about to see who else was in the kitchen before he answered. Roo and Tag were the only others in the kitchen so Nightstalker started to answer. His name is Anatoly Vasily Chirkoff, age 56, widower and father of one child, a little girl. The man has not got long for this world, he knows he has cancer and he wants to give the UN a kick in the nuts before he departs for greener pastures. He really hates the UN, and for just cause. The man’s family was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The wife was clubbed to death in front of the child. A few years later the girl wrote a about it for a school project. The school is one controlled by the UN and they did not take it well that a mere girl exposed their abuses. A week later the little girl was taken to one of the camps.”

“We know which camp?” asked Roo.

“We have got the word out for information on her? Here’s the kicker. When he was with the Russian Army he was attached to their strategic storage and depot management. Before that he was a pilot but was sidetracked when he was badly injured in a car accident. Now think about this, when the Russian’s figured out that the UN was coming for them after what the UN did to the US someone set about wiping out the every record they could concerning anything dealing with the Russian Army or the Navy. This guy knows where these storage depots are,” said Nightstalker. “Or at least where some of them are.” The smell of the fresh baked bread was starting to waft through the kitchen.

“So how bad is his drinking problem?” asked Tag as he started pulling plates and silverware out.

“Bad, I would say he is mostly pickled about 80% of the time. Roo, I’m going to task you with watching over him and make sure that his drinking does not affect our mission. We clear?” asked Nightstalker as he pulled the bread out of the oven.

“Yes sir.”

“Did you just sir me?” asked Nightstalker.

“Yes sir, he did sir,” equipped Tag.

Before Nightstalker could make a remark to Tag, Dex came in telling Nightstalker that Diesel was on the radio for him.

 

A few hours later Nightstalker recalled his Interrogator nanites and let Anatoly sleep of his drunk. When Anatoly finally woke up, Nightstalker was the first person he saw. ”Good afternoon Anatoly, come let’s get some food in your belly before I introduce you to the rest of the crew. Some of them will be returning soon.”

 

“I would prefer to have a stiff drink,” said Anatoly, who did not seem put out that Nightstalker knew his name.

“No, I am going to need you sober and wide awake and to make sure you stay that way, you will now have a sitter, Roo,” Roo stepped out of the shadows to show himself and then stepped back into them. “Now that you have had a nice little nap, what can you tell us about the Local UN commander and the camp he runs,” said Nightstalker.

“You mean camps. The man is a swine and his wife a treacherous bitch. First they kill my wife and then take my child a few years later to one of their accursed camps. The commander is called ####. Since his tenure as the commander of the camps in the local area and the UN appointed governor of the surrounding area, drugs and crime have gotten worse. He did in one fell swoop what the national police could not do. He wiped out the crime families and took over. He placed his wife in-charge of the schools. Gone are the days of learning math and science, the history of the motherland. Instead they learn about the evils that the Russian people brought to the world. How we as a people need to repay the world tenfold,” said Anatoly as he followed Nightstalker into the eating area.

“It was no different when the UN invaded America, but not all of us agree with the way things are being handled. Some would even say we few are fighting back, we have people but not the means to arm them the way we would like. Yes I see the look on your face. I know who and what you are. We can help you and you can help us. Right now we have someone looking into the whereabouts of your daughter,” said Nightstalker as he waved Anatoly to a seat.

“How do I know this is not some form of a trap?” asked Anatoly as took a seat. His mouth started watering as the savory scent of the food washed over him.

“You don’t, but maybe you can listen to another’s tale and judge for yourself,” said Nightstalker as Roo stepped out and took a seat across from Anatoly.

Roo’s voice cracked as he started to speak, “Many years ago when I was six, my family…”

 

Anatoly was deeply impressed with the rest of the crew as Nightstalker put it. By the end of the week Anatoly had been introduced to the rest. A few days later Anatoly asked Roo to take him out in the country for a drive. After three hours and several detours Anatoly asked Roo to pull over and follow him into the woods. Anatoly fished inside his fur coat and pulled out a compass and led the way. Another hour passed before the pair was standing in front of a wide steel round door set deep in a cave. A smaller regular door was built into the larger door. Anatoly fished around inside his coat again and produced a set of keys. Roo expected Anatoly to fumble with the keys but he got the right key on the first try. “What you are about to see was for a long time, a state secret. I know the location of only a handful of these, but I know others that know the locations of more. If you can save my little girl I will give you the names and the locations I know,” said Anatoly as he unlocked the door and shoved the door open. The door creaked and groaned as the rusted hinges gave in protest.

Anatoly fumbled in the dark looking around for something but Roo did not need light to see. Roo walked over and guided Anatoly over to the small board with several switches. Anatoly flipped several and then pressed a large button near the top and the huge underground generators roared to live.

Row upon row of vehicles was parked neatly. Tanks, troop transports, staff cars, mobile and stationary artillery pieces as far as the eye could see. “There are three levels below us filled just as this one but with other items you might find useful. There are weapons and ammo, prepackaged food, medical supplies, clothing and various other things. The level above us is a gravity feed fuel depot. I hope you can put this to a good use. I had plans of using it myself but the younger generation is not as strong as my own. I am no fool. I have watched you as you have watched me. Each and every one of your unit is a professional soldier,” Anatoly said as he walked down one of the rows patting each vehicle he passed.

“I’m sure Diesel and the rest can put all this to a damn good use. Do you mind showing me the rest of this place?” asked Roo as he followed behind Anatoly. The look of child in a candy story was plastered across his face.

“I would be happy to.”

 

“Thank you showing this to us. I was wondering if you would mind if we moved in and set up shop later this week?” asked Nightstalker as he looked about the spacious depot.

“I would have no problem with that, there is rooms at the back of each level for three hundred men. There is also showers and restrooms too. Other generators will need to be turned on to heat water and run the vents for fresh air. I would be careful, very careful about moving your unit out here. The UN controls the skies. If they see tracks they will investigate,” said Anatoly. He was busy patting his coat down looking for his flask. The silver one with the cut crystal center piece his wife gave him a week before her untimely death.

“Thanks for the warning, is this the closest one to the town and the camps?” asked Greywolf as he shook the snow out of his hair and off his shoulders.

“Yes the next nearest one is over fifty kilometers away. I will need you to come there with me. There is a package I need to pickup. Ahh,” said Anatoly as he found the flask.

“What sort of package?” asked Tag.

“A big one,” replied Anatoly as a wicked smile crossed his face.

 

Anatoly woke up to the sound of a heavy gate clanging as it dropped into place. The half filled bottle of vodka rolled off his chest and bounced off the edge of the rack and fell onto his crumpled pile of clothes. Anatoly started to swear until he realized that the twist cap was in place. Anatoly quickly dressed and went to investigate the sound. He stopped in his tracks as he rounded the corner and found that several large trucks were disgorging troops. Each was heavily armed and armored. He spotted Roo in the middle of the chaos doing his best to direct it. Roo spotted him also and waved him over. “A few friends decided to stop by and help us with throw a party for the UN,” said Roo before turning to tell another soldier where to take his arm load of boxes.

“You unit is much bigger than I was lead to believe, much bigger.”

“Nightstalker is looking for you, he is on the third floor but he wants you to meet him in the rec room on the second floor,” said Roo as he continued directing the troops.

Anatoly head off for the rec room. When he got there he found Nightstalker, Greywolf and tag waiting for him. “You wanted to see me?” asked Anatoly.

“Please take a seat, these photos were taken just a few hours ago from another camp located about an hour from here,” said Nightstalker as he placed a file folder on the green felt of the pool table.

Anatoly’s hands were shaking as he opened the folder. The first photo was of a group of children taken from a distance. The next photo was of the same group but zoomed in on. The third photo was of just one child in the group. The child was grubby and covered in dirt. Hair was close shaved and the child looked to be malnourished but there was no mistaking that this was Anatoly’s little girl. Tears started to roll down the man’s face. No one said a word until Anatoly had composed himself.

“We found her and we are going to get her out, we are going to get her and all the rest out. I need you to work with us on finding several camps, hence all the new arrivals. Diesel wants us to hit five camps at once,” said Nightstalker.

“Who is Diesel?” asked Anatoly as he cocked his head.

“He is the leader of our little group,” replied Tag.

“You have a gift for understatements, my young friend,” said Anatoly. His comment earned him the laughs he need to hear.

 

It was snowing again, the flakes were fat and wet, and the trees of the forest were drooping as the heavy snow settled on the limbs and thin branches. Anatoly was watching as Nightstalker was directing the last of the off loading of the 300 new arrivals from the mouth of the cave. Anatoly made his way to the mouth of the cave and joined a few others that were just standing around watching the snow fall. One of the men was carrying a large radio pack, as Anatoly drew closer the man with the radio handed another man the handset. Anatoly could barely hear the man’s voice as the wind stole the sound away from him. It would not have mattered in the slightest as when he stopped at the man’s side his voice was muffled and speaking a language he had never heard.

The conversation went on for a few minutes before the man gave back the handset. “You must be Anatoly,” said the man. His head was smoothly shaved on the sides and the hair on the top of his head was no longer than an inch. The top of his hair was so flat it looked like a small landing field.

“I am and just who are you?” asked Anatoly.

“I’m Diesel and I have some news for you. Good news,” Diesel added quickly.

“What is this, good news?” asked Anatoly as he looked around to the others.

“One of my men managed to sneak into your daughter’s camp and his job is to now scout around and prep things for our little party we want to throw the UN. His orders are not to make contact with her until we assault the camp. His mission will be to get to her as fast as he can and safe guard her and her cellmate. Now if you will excuse me I need to check on how the other infiltrations are going.”

“Other infiltrations?”

“Yes sir, I want eyes and ears in all five camps before I hit them. I want to ID and high value prisoners the UN may have hidden out here. I also want to know what they are doing from minute to minute. If I know their schedule, as well as they do then I can hit them at their weakest point, at the best time, when they won’t be in a position to effect what I do,” said Diesel.

“Then I will let get to it. when these is over you must have a drink with me,” said Anatoly as he fished inside his coat for his flask.

“Give me about an hour and I will join you for a drink. Deal?” asked Diesel.

“Deal,” replied Anatoly as he held out his hand. He grimaced in pain as Diesel nearly crushed his hand.

 

“Adam, can the nanites save him?” asked Diesel as he took the hand set back from Tex.

“I will need to check with Nightstalker before I can give you an answer,” replied Adam.

“Dirty Dick this is Diesel, over.”

 

An hour later Diesel was walking back inside when Adam got back to him with the information Diesel needed.

“Diesel, according to Static, we can help him, but you will need to act fast if you want us to be of any use to him.”

“Have Nightstalker prep a few syringes for me as I talk to Anatoly. Contact Roo and have him catch up with Anatoly and bring him to the sickbay on the second floor. If it is not too much to ask could you get me a extended forecast for the next seven days?” asked Diesel.

“Roo has Anatoly and they are headed to the sickbay now, Nightstalker is getting the syringes now, and you can pull up the weather forecast on your own computer when you are done with Anatoly,” replied Adam.

Diesel took the stairs, his feet a blur as he descended quickly. His hand snapping up to return salutes as he passed fellow marines running about their duties. Diesel took the most direct route to the sickbay. Off to his right was large tarp covered mound. Several marines were busy removing the tarp. Diesel paused to see what would be revealed once the tarp was removed. A cloud of dust kicked up as the tarp was quickly removed. The mound was a Mil Mi-24, or as the US Military referred to as the Hind. There were a few other tarp covered mounds. Diesel watched as two more mounds were uncovered revealing two more Hinds. Diesel continued on his way as he heard the sergeant in-charge of the detail start issuing orders to begin the inspecting the aircrafts.

Roo jumped to his feet to moment Diesel walked through the hatch. “Sit back down Roo. Anatoly, give me your knife and let me tell you a story.”

 

Two hours later Anatoly watched as Diesel plunged a knife through the palm of his hand. Diesel slowly withdrew the blade and told Anatoly to watch closely. Anatoly’s mouth opened as the wound slowly closed. Anatoly was stunned speechless for several minutes before he could finally talk.

“I am here to offer you this gift so to speak. This gift comes with a few catches. The first, is you will work for my organization. The second is you will be given a few people to help you with your tasks and to watch over you. You want to hurt the UN and we can help you, but we do not just go about randomly killing anyone from the UN, we are pros. I expect my people to maintain certain standards. Now if you will agree to work with me, and not do anything to jeopardize our mission, I can give you the gift too.”

“And if I do not then what, you kill me?” asked Anatoly.

“No, you cancer will do that, I would say in just a few months at most. Is that what you want, for us to rescue your daughter and then have her watch you as you slowly shrivel up and die?” asked Diesel.

“No. Your terms are just what I would asked for if I was in your shoes, so you are the boss and I am the dutiful worker. When do I get this gift, so to speak?” asked Anatooly with a smile.

“Choose a bed and lay back,” said Diesel as he opened the small wooden box Nightstalker delivered earlier.

 

“I hate to say it but all this snow is going to be a real bitch to cross when it comes time to make the assault,” said Nightstalker.

“We had a hard freeze last night so there is a thick crust of ice on the surface, but the crust is only about two inches thick at most. Now where near thick enough to hold our weight,” added Greywolf.

“How deep is the snow now?” asked Diesel.

“Three to three and a half feet, so we can’t really tunnel in the snow. We all know the UN outlawed the use of landmines, but we all know they are the biggest users of them so tunneling under the crust is a no go,” said Tag as he tossed a file of photos onto the table.

“We have another storm coming in this evening,” said Dex before he took a drink of coffee.

“We make our approach under the cover of the storm, once the camps are in our control we use the vehicles there to make good our escape. We meet up on the main highway to cover our tracks and head for the abandoned steel mill. From there we locate the sleepers, the moles and deactivate the trackers. Then we need to get them back here and start moving them out,” said Diesel as he reach for his pack and weapons.

“You heard the man, get a move on. Dex you had better not the last one on the transports,” said Nightstalker.

 

The storm was indeed a bad one. The flakes were fat, the kind the made perfect packing snow for snowballs. Visibility was down to just feet. Diesel was on point with Nightstalker beside him. Diesel paused and Adam sent a message to the others as Diesel was on the radio with his man on the inside.

In moments he was on the move again. Diesel shifted his direction to the side of the road as he and the rest drew closer to the front gate. Diesel and the rest waited just a few seconds before the gates started to open. The door to the guard shack opened and a man dressed all in white stepped out. Diesel looked him over and noticed small specks of red dotted parts of the man’s white attire.

“Four down, we are clear till we get to the block houses and the main complex sir,” reported Sgt. Pools.

“Why are you here and not with the girl?” asked Diesel tersely.

“She belted one of the guards today and she is in isolation. There are three ways in to the isolation cells,” explained Pools.

“Anyone else being held there?” asked Nightstalker.

“Three others, two males and another female. There is no guard on duty there at this time. They seem a bit lax in that department. We need to get moving sir, there is a convoy due here at zero seven to resupply the mess and other consumables,” replied Pools.

“Pools take Hodges and Franks to cover the isolation cells. Sly take your team and go for alpha block. Dex, take your team and head out for bravo block. Shockley, that leaves you with Charlie block. Nightstalker you and your team are with me,” said Diesel to the team leaders that had gathered about him.

Diesel set a quick a pace as he could through the thick snow. The good thing was that with the heavy snow the guards could not see him and most likely they were staying inside were it was warmer. Adam confirmed that Nightstalker was detailing small two man teams to deal with the guard towers.

Diesel came to the main complex’s main door. The men with him quickly set up a double stack. Diesel waited until Nightstalker rejoined his team, before he gave the signal for Pvt. Ryan to yank open the door. Once Nightstalker was in place and everyone was set Diesel nodded to Ryan, who yanked open the door. The door opened on to a long hallway with doors on both sides. Diesel stepped into the hallway and quickly moved forward until he reached the first door.

As Diesel entered the first room he caught Nightstalker doing the same to the room opposite the one he entered. Diesel weapon and head turned as one as he cleared the room. Diesel’s enhanced ears heard the double poof of Nightstalker’s silenced pistol. There was then a thud as a body hit the deck. Diesel ingored this and continued to circle the room he was in. Diesel check the room including under the desk. The room was clear.

As Diesel rejoined the stack he was in he heard more soft poofs coming from the various rooms of the hallway. When Diesel’s stack and Nightstalker’s stack made it to the end of the hallway Diesel left one man to guard the lower floor as he and Nightstalker’s teams moved up to the next floor to repeat the process. Diesel was just about to move to the third floor when the other teams started to report in that they had taken their objectives.

“Sir, the guard towers are also clear and Casey reports that all the guard dogs are accounted for,” said Nightstalker as he approached Diesel.

“Send the guard tower teams to secure the motor pool while we take the barracks. We will do the barracks in one shot and move out for the motor pool. Have the block teams let the kids only have blankets, as many blankets as they can carry, and nothing else.” Diesel mashed the radio’s throat mic and waited a second, “Tex, this is Diesel, status report on the other camps, over?” he asked.

“Diesel, camp two just called in, five marines KIA, but the camp is in our control. They missed a guard as they swept the generator room. The guard blew the generators and the stored fuel. Camp three has not reported in. Camp four, two marines KIA, no information at this time, but they have started to evac. Camp five, the assault just started two minutes ago. Eyes has a request, he wants all the computers you can snag. I have passed this message to the other commanders, over,” reported Tex.

Nightstalker was making his way back to Diesel, the look on his face was grim, “Diesel, we have two problems. The first, Matt Delmar is dead. The second, all the shoes for the kids are missing. I have people looking for them,” Nightstalker kept his voice low so the rest of the men did not know.

Diesel shook his head, Matt Delmar just joined the active units. “How did Matt go?”

“Stray round,” replied Nightstalker.  Diesel was about to reply when automatic fire came from down stairs. Diesel’s pistol came up and he put five rounds into the window then he took a running start and jumped through the window. Nightstalker was right behind him.

The thick snow cushioned their landing. Diesel kept his footing but Nightstalker slipped and fell back. More automatic fire erupted. Diesel holstered his pistol and switched to his rifle. The weapon came up and his cheek landed on the sweet spot from muscle memory alone. The red dot of his rifle’s scope came to rest on the back of a shaved head of man standing at the corner.  Four men in the combat gear were arrayed about the rear door of the main complex. There was no Nanite tag over the man’s head so Diesel flipped the safety off and send a single round down range. The round slammed into the head with explosive results. The man dropped and Diesel ran to take up the man’s position.

“Nightstalker says he is coming up behind you,” said Adam.

Diesel took a quick look around the corner and whipped his head back as more automatic fire split the night air.

“Diesel, what are we facing?” asked Nightstalker as he slammed into the wall behind Diesel.

“Three maybe four, they have good cover from the doorway, but we can roll up on them with no problem,” said Diesel as he weighed his options.

Two more men came to a rest behind Nightstalker. Tag and Greywolf just grinned. “Welcome to the party, boys,” said Nightstalker.

In just a few seconds Diesel outlined what he wanted the men to do. On his command the four Marines walked around the corner and started firing. In two seconds the fire fight was over and three more UN personnel were now laying face down in the snow. Greywolf called out clear before he went to the rear door.

The rest of the men started to rush out. “The top floor?” Greywolf asked one of the passing men.

“Cleared. Where to now?” asked the man.

“The barracks, and we must be quick. Skirmish line, five meters apart. If it is coming towards us it is not one of us,” said Diesel.

The men lined up and moved out. The 23 men covered 115 meters with Diesel in the center. It took almost ten minutes just to get the men lined up. Diesel was not worried about being seen as the snow storm was still going strong as his men moved across the open snow covered field. Diesel’s left eye went to thermal mode as his right went to night vision. A shimmer of heat was close and moving closer towards the skirmish line. The standing orders called for noise discipline when in combat so he knew that none of his men would shout out and give the target any warning. Diesel tasked Adam to inform the rest of what he was seeing.

Using the nanites network Diesel instructed the men of the skirmish line to kneel down and let the target close with them. More heat sources appeared. Five in total were now within 15 meters. Diesel waited until they closed the distance to just a few meters before giving the command to fire over the nanite’s network. Not everyone fired, but those that did, did not miss. Diesel watched as the heat sources jerked and jinked as cast off blood splatter glower in the thermal view his left eye was giving him.

On Diesel’s command the skirmish line again started forward.

“Diesel, this is Tex, over.”

“Go for Diesel.”

“Camp five just reported in, seven marines KIA. Massive dead and wounded among the prisoners. Evac under way now. No explanation as to what happened. Camp two still has not reported in. Over,” said Tex.

“Understood, Diesel out.”

The barracks were a two story affair with one or two people per room. Diesel’s took the time to have one of his men kill the power before he gave to command to start going into the rooms. Twenty minutes later 33 more guards lay dead and four more kids were rescued.

 

Anatoly sat beside his daughter and listened as the mission debrief continued. His daughter was clinging tightly to his side. She even helped him as he joined in to remove the bodies of the fallen Marines off the last truck. In all 47 marines died to rescue over 400 Russians.

“Andrew, what was the course of action you took once command fell on your shoulders?” asked Diesel.

“I continued to press the assault, sir. We were already committed. Both fences were down, over half of the towers were cleared or destroyed. Sgt. Martin already had her team inside and was taking down guards from inside the camp,” replied the tall blonde man seated in front of the long table where Diesel and a few others sat.

“Sgt. Wright, how was it your team came to be discovered and almost blow the operation?” asked Nightstalker.

“Unknown sir, we watched as the patrol passed by and enter the main complex. I gave a ten count and ordered my men to move up and secure the building. As we closed with the building one of the guards that was on patrol suddenly came back outside. He hit the panic button on his belt before he even raised his weapon. Next thing I know every light came one and the klaxon bells were ringing,” replied the man.

“Why did you not engage them when you first saw them?” asked Tag.

“They would have had good cover from within the trench they were using to patrol the camp with, while we were still in the open,” replied the man.

The debriefing went on for hours. In the end all the events that lead to the death of a marine were deemed unavoidable. The entire time Anatoly’s daughter never left his side.

 

Anatoly awoke to the smell of bacon. Sitting on the empty rack next to him was Diesel. Anatoly quickly looked to the rack on the other side of him and there was his little Sasha. She started to stir as she too smelled the bacon. Once she was awake Diesel handed her the plate and watched as she devoured the contents quickly.

“Anatoly, would you please join me for a little walk, there are a few things I would like to discuss with you about a special mission I would like to give to you, if you think you are up to it, that is,” said Diesel.

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