30 Minutes after Drop off hour - Delta
The convoy of bodies had been walking through the large, lush green fields which extended from the yellow, sandy beaches. The grass was waist high at times and the soldiers had to tread carefully as the freezing rain, which continued to pour with no relent made the ground they walked on slippery and slushy.
“Hey, we’ve been walkin’ for hours…” said James as he skidded along the narrow path, “…where we goin’?”
Lieutenant Blake only paused briefly as he answered, “There’s a designated spot three kilicks ahead.”
“Right Lieutenant.” James merely stated.
Chris looked up only momentarily to feel the ‘thudding’
of rain drops as they smacked against his equipment and exposed skin. For a place called ‘The Sandbox’
by COG Intelligence, this place sure brought down a lot of precipitation.
Chris gripped his Lancer Assault rifle firmly as did everyone else. The sling of his Gnasher shotgun swayed and thudded against his small green rucksack that was tied down to his lower left hip area. A stray of red cased bullets trailed from his right thigh to his belt buckle, as they gleamed even in this weather.
Raising his left hand, Chris scratched the lower jaw line of his chin and pulled the primitive helmet off of his face. The helmets were like all helmets, only these were more like mask’s then the helmets the COG had used in it’s early days in the Pendulum Wars…. Hell
, no one remembered those times, only recounted stories told by long gone veterans…
Only they had fought to end the war, to bring peace to Sera once more, but that never happened. Generation after generation grew old, watching the news replay the mass chaos on the world. Everyday they showed the war, bullet ridden bodies of countless dead, civilians shredded in the cross fire.
No one knew when this war would truly end… it had been going on for so long, that peace was something no one knew what truly meant. Maybe one day -
“Quiet!” shouted Lieutenant Blake as he struck the ground with his left knee and raised the barrel of his Lancer into the small patch of trees that had somehow wound up in the middle of their trail.
The small chirping of birds could be heard within the thick brush, but in the line, it was only silence.
A minute or two passed before the Lieutenant ordered his men to get up and continue walking.
“Damn, I was hoping for some action.” soured James, grunting along in front of the line.
“Sergeant, action is but a two sided blade in the hand that is war”. replied Bounder - an Islander no doubt.
“Bounder, no one understands that magical -”
“Mystical.” interrupted Jaystone, correcting his friend and superior officer.
“Yeah, mystical sh*t you Islanders are always saying.” replied James with ease in his tone.
“Aye sir, but it’s true…” Bounder replied, “He who holds the hand of death, can truly know who to conquer.”
“Hey, is that a village?” pointed one of the Gears from further up, into the distant puff of smoke rising.
The line stopped just as the Lieutenant did. Blake grabbed his binoculars that hung from his neck and peered into them.
The Lieutenant saw a row of houses or small shack like buildings that were scattered around some sort of main road. He let go of the binoculars and let them swing back into place, thudding against the metal plating of his armour.
Putting a finger to his ear he beckoned for the Gear with all the communications equipment or better known as the radioman
to come to his position. The raidoman slogged past a few Gears and hunched over listning in on what the Lieutenant wanted.
“Gamins, I need you to coordinate the ordinance into that sector.” he said as the radioman shook his head in understanding. “Command, Outlaw-three, Bravo Sector spotted, making a move…” he replied.
The voice in his ear crackled to life, “Read you loud and clear Outlaw-Three, you will not be clear for evac until Beggar-Boats
arrive, how copy?”
“Solid Copy command, Outlaw-Three out.”
The Lieutenant ordered his men into two separate flanking forces. A-Team would include himself as the leader, while B-Team would be lead by Grimes. A-Team would approach from the main entrance and road, while B-Team swiftly manoeuvred around the outskirts and thick grass to make their way in through the back door.
As Jaystone followed A-Team into preparations to storm the little village, which was still unaware of the large masses of green balloons that had dropped down from the sky only moments earlier, he could not help but gleam in this occasion.
Whenever a battle was going in your favour, you didn’t whine about being fair - it was do or die. Then again, there was that saying that if you walked into a battle that was heavily one sided, you knew it was a trap.
“Move!” shouted the Lieutenant in a hushed tone, blending into the grass as he dropped into the thick brush.
Jaystone jogged his way through the green wall of endless plans and wildlife, as he crunched on the slushy mud which was covered in who knows what
The rain had not let up, and the wildlife had grown considerably quieter this past hour. Jaystone and the others halted their approach on the village just at the main gate - which was lead in by a road going directly through the encampment.
“B-Team, are you in position?” asked the Lieutenant as he locked his eyes onto the village.
There was a small pause as the crackle of the comms link flicked on, “Rodger, B-Team ready to go.”
The Lieutenant raised himself off of the ground and out of the thick brush of green, “GO, GO, GO!” he shouted, whilst he lead the rush.
Jaystone pounced up from his position in the tall grass, flicking mud into the air as he kicked his way across the dampness of the ground.
Chris was right behind the Lieutenant now, he had his Lancer raised and was ready to fire - but… the sight that he was gazing at was not of an armed Indie, rather a young boy with his mother… who had not yet noticed the Gears.
She finally looked up, dropping her basket of colourful fruit of some kind, she shrieked and grabbed her child.
“Quiet, quiet!” he shouted to her, as he raised his finger and placed them at his lips.
Her shrieking continued until it got the attention of the crowds of people indoors and out. They too reacted horribly, some of the men pushed for their wives to take the children and run - while others attempted to somehow put up some sort of resistance
“Uh… A-Team, Grimes here….” he crackled in Jaystone’s ear, “… ain’t got no Indies, but sure as hell have a lot of rug-rats.”
“Span out and check for any hostile activities, Jaystone - round up the men…” said Blake, turning to point out orders to the other Gears.
“Yes sir.” replied Jaystone as he moved out to fulfil his orders.
Chris had managed to round up the males in the small village, with some help from the Doc who apparently understood these people enough to communicate with them in their language… whatever it was.
“Sh*t, I asked for males and you brought me anyone with a stick in his pants Stone.” snorted Lt. Blake, chuckling with wonder at the mass of people in front of him.
“LT - found some sort of weapons or something near one of these shacks…” alerted a Gear carrying a longspear.
“Doc, ask ‘em if they know who’s weapons those are…” the Lieutenant ordered.
The Doc moved up front, to face the crowd of glaring eyes that all showed no signs of fear, but rather anger. The faces of men and boys of all ages wrinkled with frowns at their current positions on the dirty, muddy ground in the cold rain, hands ordered to stay above their heads.
As the Doc spoke in their tongue, Jaystone watched as some men shouted in uproar. The Doc turned to face the Gears…
“They say they’re just farmers…” he stated, “and that they need the weapons in order to protect themselves and their livestock from wild animals.”
“Ask ‘em if they’ve seen any Indies around here….” responded Lt. Blake.
The Doc turned to face the crowd and was turned away once more, “They say no, none whatsoever.”
“Tell them I think they’re bullsh*ting, and that I need answers in order to help
As the Doc was about to turn around to face the people once more, a loud roaring broke through the relative talk among the village. It swooped high into the air and then wailed as it came crashing down into a fireball of flame and dirt that had smashed into the group of men sitting in the middle of the village.
Jaystone was sprayed with flying limbs and blood as it streaked across his wet body armour and sprinkled onto the soaking ground.
“Defensive positions around the village, now!” shouted Blake as he jumped up and ran for a building across the street.
Jaystone followed suit, but in the opposite direction as he heard another swooping sound come thumping into the dirt, breaking away the soil leaving a large crater. The street looked to be covered in the limbs of the wounded or dead, while anyone else who had managed to escape the bombardment ran for cover.
As Jaystone’s feet thudded onto the hard wooden floor, he felt another mortar hit the ground. It literally sent him up two inches as he felt his feet lift off the solid ground and land back down.
His ears came to life in a dubbed deafness as the close proximity of the mortar had left him somewhat dazed. His body acted on it’s own as it ran up the small stair-like ladder to the ‘second floor’
, if you could call it that. He positioned his Lancer on the edge of the window and began to fire at shapes that arrived through the smoke in the street below.