Raising an eyebrow as he walked, Jim went up to Viking to see what the stop was about.
"Hey boss, what's goin'...?"
Jim's voice trailed away as he noticed the thin tripwire between a couple trees right ahead.
"Hey guys," he said looking back at the rest of the squad.
"We got a tripwire attached to a mine or grenade or something up there. Can someone disarm it without killing the squad please?"
"That's my call." Jason said as he went towards Viking and Jim. "Ok, you said there was a tripwire? Ahh there it is." Jason said as he noticed the tripwire right in front of his face. He followed the wire and found a bulge in the ground covered by the foliage, Jason determined that it was a mine and he could disarm it but it would take some time. "Hey Viking, we got a mine connected to that tripwire. I can disarm it but it will take some time because I don't know what type of mine it is. But we could also go around it if were careful but its your call sir." Jason said giving his input.
Viking spat out in disgust. He looked at the tripwire and then turned around to check their surroundings for more of the same. He didn't find anything suspicious, but of course that didn't mean that there wasn't anything. It would have been to easy any way.
"Probably just a security measure to make sure nobody approaches from this direction unnoticed. I'd wager they used some leftover Soviet bounding mines, those things make a loud boom and spray a lot of shrapnel. Any experience with those?", he asked Jason. "If not, I'd rather walk around it. Anyway, everyone watch their steps, I'm sure that's not the only surprise they left here for us."
"I took a piece of shrapnel from one of those in the thigh... not a fun time, I cut it out with my field knife."
James slid up beside Jason as he looked at the mine. "Mind if I join you? Explody things are a bit of a hobby of mine." He said, with a grin. Tracing the wire back to the mine, he spotted an OD green cylinder. "So what do ya figure, OZM 3 or 4? By the way, if you disarm it, keep all the bits. I have an idea for the little bastard."
Jason looked over to Viking "Sir, I have experience with every type of explosive hell I can disarm a fucking jack in the box! Now let me show you my explosive expertise on this mine." Jason said mostly just showing off. As he began his work he heard James slide up next to him. "Aww you want to help me? Oh you just want the mine, well lets get started and I'll see if I can keep it intact for you." Jason said as he started to brush along side the mine to uncover the treasure hidden in the foliage. "you had a good guess and it is a OZM 4, this shouldn't be too hard." Jason said to james, now aware that he now has a spectator to his little show. "Ok then, first you do this, and then this..." Jason explained as he tinkered with the mine.
After about 10 minutes of work, jason finally finished his work disarming the mine. "and to finish it off you cut the tripwire off of the mine, like so.." Jason said finishing his explanation on how to disarm a mine to James. Jason then dug out the mine and then picked it up and raised it triumphantly over his head and said "Don't worry everyone were still alive and I have bested the mine." he then gave the mine to James. "Ok bro, that mine is completely disarmed but when you want to arm it tell me and I'll do it. I don't know what you have in mind for that mine but I can tell you I like that idea anyway." Jason said after handing the mine to James. "Ok viking, were all set now, we can head out." Jason said.
"Thanks dude!" James replied as he slipped the mine into a carryall pouch. "I was thinking of leaving it as a going away present on our way out." Grinning like the proverbial cat that'd swallowed the canary, he moved off, checking for more booby traps but also thinking of various ways to place his new toy.
Viking covered their surroundings, his weapon ready to fire, while Jason was working on the mine. Nothing seemed to happen, but the trees and bushes around them made it a lot harder to be entirely sure. After that, he watched with raised eyebrows as the disarmed mine was handed to James, but he didn't say a single word about it other than:
"Good work Echo, let's move on."
They moved on, this time without further interruption, and reached the end of the forest in a matter of minutes. In front of them now was the mellow swale in which the village of Blanicze rested. It were only about 200 metres from their position to the first row of simple brown and grey buildings, but until there it was open ground, with only a few patches of wast-high grass and evergreen bushes. North of their position, the slope got a bit steeper, but there also seemed to be more opportunities for cover closer to the church.
Viking crouched down next to a tree, an action that made his massive body only slightly less visible, and got out his binoculars. Slowly he scanned the part of the village they were able to see from their position. He was careful to check every position a second time, in case he had missed something, but the result didn't change. The enemy clearly didn't expect an approach from this direction yet, or maybe they trusted the mines in the forest to alarm them. He spotted only two men clad in paramilitary uniforms next to a window facing their way, both of them sitting at a table and drinking. Other than that, their also was a rebel carrying an old AK walking up and down the corner of the road that led into the forest they were in. From his current position, Viking had no clear sight on what was going on on the town square, but there clearly was some activity visible through the gaps between the buildings and the sound of diesel engines could be heard echoing through the valley.
"One on guard at the road that leads into the forest. Two at the window of the fourth building on the right, most likely off duty. Some activity on the town square and probably more hostiles in those buildings. Does anyone see anything else?", Viking summarised, "So, how are we going to do this?"
Laying down and setting up his weapon, Jim took note of Viking's words and took a hard look from his position to his right.
He saw largely the same things that he did, but also saw that just around the corner of one of the buildings a small group of men which appeared to be unloading some gear including weapons from a truck or car, which he couldn't fully see due to the walls blocking his view.
"Hey, look like theres a supply truck or something down there. It could be packed with munitions, so if we blow it up it might make a bigass explosion. If it comes to that..."
Jim realised that might have been better to not say that, knowing there were a couple seemingly pyromanics in the team.
He turned back slowly went back to fiddling with his gun.
"Supply truck? Where?" Jason said while looking around until he saw the truck. "oooohhhhh, that would make such a nice explosion! sadly that explosion is more on the lines of when we are retreating to kill presuers or block their path." Jason said despite the fact that he wanted nothing more than to blow the truck up and the entire town while he was at it.
Edit (premature post :P): "Sir, I've noticed that their aren't any guards watching this path. So I could sneak off somewhere and plant a remote explosive device and we can set it off and draw the guards to that location allowing us to sneak in while the guards are distracted. But that gives away the fact that there are intruders." Jason said giving his take on the situation.
You want me in that churches tower for cover if the shit realy hits the fan?
Scar asked as he slang his Rifle over his shoulder
While the curl of his mouth under his beard showed that Viking wasn't entirely happy with the suggestions he got, much less with the situation they were in, he still nodded a few moments later.
"A distraction would certainly help. You'll do that, as you said.", he said to Jason, "Make it flashy, but not too big. Hunter can go with you. Get away from there as fast as you can and return to the group after you planted the explosive, don't raise any attention before it blows up. Five minutes should be enough for the rest of us to get into position."
He looked at Jason one last time and then turned to the rest of the group.
"While they prepare the distraction, we'll move a bit north so we can use the greenery under the church as cover to get closer to the buildings. I'd really like to get a view at those trucks and their load, preferably before everything goes to hell. Scar, you'll take the church. Maybe there's someone in there, I don't know. If so, you'll have to take care of that without too much of a hassle."
Bringing his binoculars up to his eyes again, Viking checked the village and its surroundings again for movements or new contacts. There wasn't anything new he spotted. He packed it away again and spoke with determination in his voice:
"Echo, Hunter, go now! The rest of the team, with me."
Viking lead his part of the team along the tree line, always trying to use the remaining cover the forest provided to the best extent. When he looked at his watch, he saw that about three minutes had passed since he had split the team. They were at the point of the forest closest to the church now. From here on, they were able to use the high grass and the bushes as cover for the somewhat steep and stony descend towards the village.
"Sir!" Jason said in acknowledgement of his orders. "Come on Hunter, we got some shit to blow up" Jason said with a hint of excitement in his voice. Jason led his group the opposite way wanting to set up the explosives at the edge of the forest opposite of the church that way the enemy will be heading away from the squad making it easier to do a surprise attack.
Near the area where he wanted to plant the explosives Jason suddenly heard what sounded like footsteps in the forest and he stopped Hunter and gave him the quiet sign. 10 seconds later a lone guard was walking around the forest and he seemed to be drunk. "Hey Hunter, I don't like that guys face, so why don't you go take him out, quietly" Jason whispered to Hunter knowing his CQB skills would come in handy in tis situation.
James nodded, slinging his shotgun behind him. Drawing his knife he slipped up behind the drunken guard with all the grace and stealth of a shadow. Approaching at a crouch, once he was right behind the man he stood up to his full height, and whistled.
As the guard turned around, James' left hand shot out to cover the man's mouth, while his right drove the knife up under the sternum and into the heart. A quick twist and the large blade destroyed the heart, killing the man before he knew what happened. Quietly lowering the body to the ground, James started to rifle through the man's pockets.
His search found a half pack of Russian cigarettes and a quarter full flask, both of which he quickly appropriated. Unable to find any worthwhile intel on the man, James hid the body and rejoined with Jason. "We're clear."
The road to their left, curving down the hill towards the village, was empty, as was the the little square in front of the church. The church itself was nothing more than a small rectangular building, the old stone walls whitewashed, with a single belltower right above the main portal. There was another small wooden door on the western side of the church, most likely leading to the sacristy as it was situated close to where the altar would be.
"Scar, take the church tower. Let us know when you're in position."
Viking sat crouched behind some bushes as he waited for the sniper to leave for the church. Then he signalled the rest of the group to follow him down the hillside. With a wave of his hand, he told them to spread out. They moved parallel to the street, where the rain had washed out a few boulders and rocky cliffs, between which grew some especially resistant trees and bushes. There was enough cover, even for a huge man like Viking, but it wasn't even really needed, as there seemed to be nobody watching that side of the village actively. They were far enough down now. With a short sprint, Viking would be able to reach the corner of the first house at the street..
From his new position, he also had a far better view along the street an on the town square. There were the trucks they had already spotted. There also was the explanation of why there were no hostiles on guard on this end, as there were about a dozen of soldiers carrying heavy-looking boxes out of those trucks, overseen and bossed around by one man without uniform who just stood around and smoked. Viking couldn't get a clear view on him, but he was reasonably sure that he wasn't one of their targets. Having seen enough for now, he pressed the call button on his radio:
"Echo, Hunter, we're in position. Are you ready?"
Bringing his shotgun back up, James moved into a cover position. "Yo Echo, it's time to do the voodoo that you do." Chuckling softly at his own joke he keyed his mic. "Hunter in position, one tango down, no other hostiles."
After witnessing the terrible sight of a poor drunken guard getting stabbed to death all Jason could do was laugh. "Wow man you got him good, poor bastard didn't even know what hit em." Jason said trying to keep himself from laughing for reasons he didn't even know.
"Aww you make it sound like I am some sort of evil witch with a horrible power." Jason joked replying to hunters comments about his skills. "Oh well I guess its time to do my magic now" Jason said in a little more serious tone. After searching the area for a good spot he found one and set his little toy up. After finishing his little surprise he got on the radio "This is echo, the bomb has been set and ready for detonation on your call sir." Jason said after fumbling a little with his radio.
"Good. Then stay out of sight and try to move your asses over here. As soon as this bomb blows up, your position will be too hot. Also, I'm sure we could use some more fire-power once we go in."
With a quick glance around, Viking tried to check the position of the rest of his team-mates. They'd have to move quickly once the distraction set in.
"Everyone else ready?"
Scar crept into the church where a guard was sleeping leaning against the ladder
He pulled his throwing knife out of his sleave and let it rip, burying it into the guards forehead, he dragged the body into a closet, after releaving it of his wallet and ascended to the tower
"Viking I'm in position and can see almost the whole town from here."
Viking's answer came with a short clicking noise in the radio:
"Okay Scar. Once we go in, cover us and watch that nobody get in on our backs."
From his new position Scar really could see almost the whole town. Down the main street there was nothing obstructing his line of sight, apart from a few corners and some angles the town square with the three trucks on it lay completely open to him and he could even see a good part the deserted streets behind that. But the most interesting thing in his field of view was something that wasn't that easy to see: Behind all the houses and nearly hidden behind a barn, on a field on the east side of the village, there stood a small, green helicopter. Actually, only the rotor blades and a part of the tail were really visible to Scar, but to watchful eyes that would be enough.
What Scar couldn't see though, not unless he had eyes in his back, was that a second soldier entered the church through the side door. Someone had probably oiled that door rather well the last few years, as it only creaked a little until it fell shut with a bang. The man had been on the graveyard behind the church and was now confused not to see his comrade where he had left him sleeping. But the look of confusion quickly faded away and turned into an expression of fear and surprise when he spotted red splatters on the wall next to the ladder leading up to the tower. The soldier unshouldered his automatic weapon and raised it ready as he moved closer towards the ladder to inspect what had happened.
"What do we have here?"
Scar said as he he found a helicopter hidden in the city outskirts
"Viking this is Scar, I got a chopper hidden outside the town" *Bang* "Stand bye sir, I've got company."
He pulled out his trusty M1911 and a suppressor that he screwed onto the barrel. He then looked down the ladder hole and saw a guard who appeared to be clearing the church.
"Do my ears decieve me, did I just hear that there was a chopper trying to hide from us?" Jason said with a hint of excitement in his voice that he may get the chance to blow something up. "Scar, is it on the ground? and where is it located?" Jason asked trying to see if Hunter and him will be able to risk a run at it.
"Oh well it doesn't matter, what matters now is starting this assault." Jason said after contemplating an attack on the chopper but knowing deep down that he woulnd't be lucky enough to have the chopper near the forest. "Ok sir, setting off the fireworks in 3....2....1.....Boom Baby!" Jason said as he set off the explosives.
With an ear-shattering "Boom!" and a brightly red fireball, Jason's device exploded, scorching the ground around it and everything that was unlucky enough to be nearby. Even hundreds of metres away, on the other end of the village, Viking still thought to feel the shock wave. That didn't stop him from continuing watching the enemy, though.
The bomb didn't fail to have the desired effect. The soldiers on the town square immediately lunged for cover and tried to make out the source of the explosion or were looking for an unknown assailant. More than one of them simply dropped the heavy boxes they were unloading from the trucks. They seemed to be well trained and most of them immediately had their weapons ready, yet there was still some initial confusion. The most important thing, though, was that they all directed their attention at the explosion, which meant that were all looking south, away from the GSO team. Only a few seconds after the explosions a new soldier stormed out of one of the buildings, shouted some incomprehensible orders and took a group of five men down the road and around the corner to see what had caused the explosion. For now, that left only about ten men on the square.
One of these ten men was the one who had overseen the unloading of the trucks before. Instead of the camo uniform of the rebel forces, he wore black cargo pants and a tactical vest over a a black t-shirt, just as black as his bald head. His reaction was completely different than the reactions of the soldiers. Calmly he threw his cigarette butt to the ground and ground it under his heel. He took his handgun out of the holster and secured the area around him before he took cover behind one of the trucks. While the rebels around him tried to build up a defensive line against the attacker they assumed would come from the south, the black man took out a mobile phone and began to speak into it.
Whoever this man was and whatever he was doing here, Viking decided that he had seen enough. The enemy was sufficiently distracted to start the assault. With Echo and Hunter rejoining the group they were at full strength. Their sniper support was otherwise busy at the moment, but they only had a short window of opportunity and they'd have to use it now
"Let's go people. Take the square and the trucks, watch for hostiles on the windows, make every shot count. Go, go!"
Viking jumped out of his cover and sprinted to the corner of the first building on the street. He rounded it, aiming down the barrel of his G36. The soldiers on the square hadn't noticed them yet. Once again he moved surprisingly silent for a man of his stature, clinging to the wall on his right, and soon he had nearly cut the distance to the town square in half. Behind an about waist-high wall that marked the border of someone's front lawn, he went down on his knee and raised his weapon to the shoulder, aiming at the hostile soldier closest to his position.
"Open fire now.", he whispered into his radio.
Gently he pulled the trigger ...
Up in the church the explosion had a different effect. The single man winced, then just stood there in confusion, a few steps away from the ladder, as if he was expecting a second one. There was none and the soldier didn't seem to know what to do now. The blood splatter was still there, but he seemed to have forgotten about it. He didn't give any attention to the shadows on the upper end of the ladder. After a few seconds, the man began to move again. He walked straight past the ladder and to the main entrance, opening the door.
Outside, he saw a pillar of smoke rising from the south-west of the village. The hectic actions on the town square also were visible to him. But what caught his attention almost immediately was a group of people with rifles moving out of the bushes next to the street and towards the square, ready to attack his comrades there. From now on, the man was completely oblivious to what was going on in his back. He ran a few more steps and then raised his weapon to open fire on those assailants, fully knowing that his chances of hitting anything from this distance were pretty slim
Seeing the man run past the ladder and out of the church Scar holstered the M1911 and trained his rifle on him outside. Getting ready to ask for permision to open fire, Viking came over the radio giving him permission.
He pulled the trigger of his .50 and watched as the mans chest exploded with a red cloud on the other side. He smiled and began searching for the the town square when he heard the team begin to fire.
Slotting into a doorway across from Viking, James sighted up on an enemy, facing the wrong way, down the road. Double checking that he'd selected the correct magazine, he racked one of the fin stabilized sabot slugs and took aim.
Firing at the same time as Viking, he hoped his shot would be true, as the range was a little much for a shotgun. Unfortunately, Murphy had other ideas. The shot had been aimed to hit in the upper back of the target, which should've killed him instantly. Instead the round dropped too much, striking him in the small of his back, just right of his spine. The man screamed as the large steel slug tried to disembowel him, causing him to tense and release a long burst from his AK-74 as he died.
"SHIT!!" James swore as his shot went bad. Racking in a new shell he began to advance slowly down the street.
Advancing slowley up the street Jason took cover behind a wall and noticed a guy peeking out from behind a crate up the road. Jason fired five rounds near the crate and pretended like his gun jammed. "FUCK!!" Jason yelled in a loud voice trying to make the guard believe that his gun was either out of ammo or jammed. The bait worked as the guard peeked his head out from the cover, once Jason saw the target he fired three rounds at him hitting the guard once in the head and killing him. "WOOH, EAT THAT MOTHERFUCKER!" Jason yelled in delight as he advanced a little down the road obviously enjoying himself emmensly.
Two rounds left the barrel of Viking's rifle. The short burst would have been loud enough to alarm the man they had been meant for, but Viking had aimed well and the bullets travelled too fast to give the enemy soldier any chance to react. With minimal delay and only a few centimetres apart from each other, the bullets entered the back of his head, but the first one already would have been enough to end his life.
Now, with three hostiles down, the short moment of surprise was over. For a a few more seconds, the rebels seemed to be confused by the fact that they were being attacked from tow sides, but they quickly realised that there was in fact just one group of assailants and changed their tactic according to that. Without loosing any time, they moved to the next best cover, ducking behind the small fountain or hiding in doorways and behind the corners of the buildings. Viking wasn't able to make out a real chain of command among his enemies, but soon enough some of the soldiers began to shout what sounded like orders and he was reasonably sure that they had already alarmed the rest of their forces.
"We won't have much time until their reinforcements arrive.", he shouted over to James and whoever else was in a good position, "Try to flank them on the left and we'll hold them down from the right side."
His voice was nearly drowned out by the noise of bullets hitting asphalt and stone, as the enemy soldier at the crossroads had sprayed a whole clip in their general direction. The salvo wasn't aimed well, if at all, but the bullets flying all over the place were still dangerous enough for anyone out in the open. Viking slipped deeper into his cover and when he raised his head again, the enemy had already retreated behind the corner again. Instead, one of the men behind the fountain had taken aim at his position and fired a shot that hit the wall of the house behind him. Small shivers of stone rained down on him, but the shot was mostly harmless, but not as far off as the mercenary would have preferred. He aimed quickly and shot back, but only hit the fountain.
Everywhere on the square there were movements as the remaining six rebels fired their weapons out of their cover or took aim at the group by quickly popping out of it, firing short bursts and then disappearing again. It was clear that they were trying to hold them of until their reinforcements arrived and so they didn't risk much, using suppressing fire in an attempt to keep the attacking group pinned down.
"We will make them as dead as we can" Jason shouted back to Viking. "Lets go James, it's hunting season" Jason said while laughing a little at his joke. Jason grabbed one of his grenades and waved it at viking to signal that he was going to throw it at the enemy. "Ok hunter once I throw this grenade were going to make a mad dash while the enemy try to avoid getting blown up, lets try to run behind the buildings to avoid getting shot at while were in the open." Jason said. Before waiting for a reply he pulled the pin and threw it at the enemy and then made a dash to get behind the houses before the enemy knew what was going on.
Caitlyn had taken cover early to try to block out the sound of the explosion slightly. When the firing started, she set up behind the wall and took careful aim at the soldier sheltering behind the tree, next to the fountain. A few moments before she pulled the trigger, the soldier spotted her and aimed his rifle. Firing two shots before he could return fire, Caitlyn ducked behind the fence, managing to see one shot hit the edge of the fountain, and the other splash into the pool within before she got down just in time to hear two shots in return hit the wall just behind her and one to hit the corner of the building due to the tight angle. Internally, she breathed a sigh of relief. "Most especially must I tread with care..." she muttered under her breath.
The grenade landed close to the fountain. The fraction of a second before it exploded was enough time for the enemy to see it and realise the need to get away from it as quickly as possible, but not enough to really think about what they were doing. The grenade went off with a hollow bang, shrapnel perforated the tarpaulin covers of the trucks and pierced themselves into the bark of the trees. But the enemy soldiers had reacted quickly enough not to be hit directly by the explosion.
The one behind the tree lunged out of his cover and away from the imminent danger, but found himself lying on the street, out in the open, after the smoke had cleared. The soldier directly behind the fountain simply went deeper behind his cover, pressing himself flat on the ground, and quickly resumed firing afterwards. Only one cry of pain was heard, as a shrapnel hit the leg of the man cowering behind the far side of the second truck. But while the wound was quite serious, it didn't stop him from continuing to fight for his life and the life of his comrades just yet. Even though most of the soldiers on the square weren't immediately affected or endangered by the explosion, they still kept their heads down, giving the GSO team a few precious moments to act without being under fire.
The only one completely unfazed by the grenade was the man in the black uniform, who still behaved as if this whole fight was none of his business. Quickly, but without haste, he retreated from the trucks and moved towards the small street that left the town square on the eastern side. At the same, unbeknownst to anyone in the team aside from Scar if he was still keeping an eye on the helicopter, the chopper started his engines and its rotor began to spin.
After the explosion Jason ran out from behind the houses and as he was crossing the street he noticed a guy in cover look over at him and then he pointed at him and yelled something. Before he could think of a way to counter two soldiers popped out of cover and they aimed their rifles at him.
"SHIT!! James go back behind the house!" Jason yelled but he was too far across the street in order to get back so he decided his best chance was to cross the street. As he was trying for the other side of the street they started firing at him and then he lost feeling in his Left leg but he was able to get to the other side and get in between two buildings. Jason immediately fell down once he got into cover and when he checked his leg he discovered that he had been shot in the calf.
After noticing that he had been shot Jason put pressure on his wound in order to slow the bleeding. He looked over and noticed that James got back behind cover unscathed. "Hunter, I've been shot. I won't be able to cross the road like this." Jason said to James knowing that his situation is bad.
Jason then got on his radio and decided to let Viking know what happened. "Viking, this is Echo. I was shot crossing the street and I am unable to move and James is still on the other side of the road. I won't be able to move that fast in this condition so I could use some assistance." Jason said over the radio.
Viking was less than impressed by Jason taking creative liberty in executing his order. Still, he could see what the explosives expert was going for. So he tried to provide covering fire in the wake of the explosion, but quickly had to take his head down again as he got under fire himself. It wasn't a bad plan, it just was incredibly more risky. Which was why he angrily gritted his teeth when he heard the radio call.
"Echo, Hunter, here Viking. What is your position? We are pretty much pinned down here, so you'll have to wait some time for your support. Hold on, I'll see what we can do."
With a quick look Viking tried to assess the tactical situation. If they managed to allow James and Jason some movement, they could get the remaining troops in a crossfire. But most of the soldiers that would be a danger to his two men were nearly out of reach for his group and too well entrenched to take out from his position. But there was someone who could.
"Scar, here Viking. Can you take the men at the crossing under fire? Echo, once your path is clear, proceed to flank the enemy."
"Sir, this is Echo. We are located at the south east part of the village. Once we have a clear line we will proceed according to plan." Jason said over the radio trying not to be a burden. But first thing that Jason thought he needed to do was get James to his side of the street. Jason then crawled to the edge of the house and looked over to James.
"Hey Hunter, we need to get you over to this side or I won't be able to move that well. Tell me when and I'll try to cover you as you cross the street! And you better not get shot Dammit!" Jason yelled over to james trying to make the best of the situation. He reloaded his rifle and grimaced at the pain his left leg was giving off. He then gave James the all ready sign to start his cross.