Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It Begins...

(Source)

He'd been watching the road since shortly after moonrise, nothing had moved out there the entire time. No doubt an entire army could have been hidden in the shadows of the hills, the places where the pallid light of the moon didn't reach. But he knew, somehow, that he would have heard an entire army.

But just a few men? Sure, it was possible, but his position was in a very small copse of trees in the middle of open farmland. Nothing could have approached his position without him either seeing or hearing it. He had watched a small herd of deer moving in the light of the moon, they had passed by him without noticing him, but he had seen them from the moment they had left the trees.

Now the sun was coming up and there were people out on the road. Locals? Perhaps a patrol from the nearby compound? But they were coming from an odd direction, he had no way of knowing, his superiors had left him here, in this copse, to watch and observe. He had no radio, no way of communicating with his superiors. They told him to watch, so watch he did. They would return for him when they were ready.

He had food and water for two days or so, not that he'd be in this place for that long, but "just in case" they had told him. Things could happen which might make his stay in this lonely post longer, but he didn't care. He was used to being alone, there were days he preferred that, rather than be around others.

He watched the people approaching, three of them, two in front, one lagging behind. Perhaps they weren't together, but then he saw one of the two in front gesture to the laggard, who waved back as if to say not to wait for him. But the two in front eventually stopped and turned to the one behind.

He pulled out his field glasses, taking the chance that they wouldn't notice any glint from the glasses while they played out their own drama on the road.

They were soldiers, enemy soldiers.

He watched as one of the two who had been in front begin to berate the slow one as he joined up. Perhaps these men were out on their own, maybe looking for loot. They had come past the farm up on the ridge top, though he hadn't heard anything, that didn't really mean much. He knew the people who lived in that farm, they had left weeks ago.

He noted the time as he put his field glasses away, then checked his weapon once more, not that he planned to need it, but as his Pa used to say, "Better safe than sorry."

He again wondered why the foreign soldiers had come, though he didn't hate them, he had no real reason to, he did dislike the fact that they were here, in his homeland. Why?


The sergeant watched as his assistant squad leader berated the private. The man seemed to think they had all day to return to the compound. The sergeant was getting anxious as the sun got higher in the sky, they needed to get back and soon. Their trip outside the compound was unauthorized and while the platoon leader taking the roll would notice their absence, he wouldn't actually report them until the mid-day meal. After all, the platoon leader expected his cut of whatever they managed to scrounge.

Which, to tell the truth, hadn't been much. A few jars of preserved fruit which would go far to supplement their boring government rations, but nothing valuable enough to justify their absence should a more senior officer notice. There would definitely be Hell to pay if the political officer got wind of their little expedition outside the wire.

"Enough Corporal, we need to return to the compound, the lieutenant can't cover us the entire day."

The corporal still looked angry but the private seemed suitably chastised so the three men continued on. According to the sergeant's map this road would get them home quicker than the way they'd gone out. Rather slim pickings for such a long hike, the sergeant was happy that this area had been pacified for a while. There shouldn't be any partisans in the area.


The watcher stirred, there was movement to his right, not far from where the road turned to the east. He looked towards the soldiers, none of them seemed to have noticed. He pulled out his field glasses again.

"It's my group..." he muttered under his breath, "...what the Hell are they doing?"

He saw the light machine gun being set up, it looked as though an ambush was being set, he wondered if the men knew that the enemy was nearby.


They knew.

The chief had been watching the road from his own perch up on the hill. Partly to see if there was anything worth killing on the road, but also to watch the new kid, see how well he obeyed orders. The kid was good, the chief had only spotted him once, and that was purely by accident. He sent his machine gun team down to the bend in the road knowing that they had time to get set up.

This was what he liked to call an "opportunity kill." Three of the enemy out on a looting expedition, no supports, no vehicle, the clowns didn't even have a radio! When they had stopped to let the hindmost man catch up, that's when he'd sent the team down to cover the road. It was about time that the enemy learned that the resistance in this area wasn't finished, just dormant.

Until now.


The private saw something near the side of the road, just around the corner from where it turned east. Something didn't look quite right, he thought to say something but decided, f**k it, if the noncoms didn't notice it, then it probably wasn't worth noticing. Besides which, the corporal was a pompous ass, why give him more grist for his mill? The man was constantly on his ass, just because they were from the same village. As for the sergeant, he...


The first burst hit the corporal directly in the chest. Though his body armor appeared to stop most of the rounds, he grunted and fell backward, stunned at the very least as far as the sergeant could tell.

"Private, return fire, I'll get the corporal!" the sergeant bellowed as he bent down and grabbed the corporal by the straps of his load-bearing equipment. As he began to drag the man to safety, multiple rounds from the machine gun ricocheted from the road and up into his legs. He collapsed in great pain.


The watcher had the feeling that things were starting to go wrong as the machine gun had stopped firing. He looked in that direction, he could see that the men on the gun were trying to clear a jam. So he made a quick decision.

His rifle came up to his shoulder in one smooth motion. He acquired his target almost immediately. The laggard had unslung his weapon and was starting to maneuver to the eastern side of the road. If he got into the standing corn, the gun team would be in danger.

He let out his breath slowly, then squeezed the trigger.


The sergeant was in a lot of pain, he knew that he'd have to check his legs soon, depending on where he was hit, a tourniquet might be necessary. Just as he thought that, he saw the private's head jerk to one side. He'd been hit, but not by the machine gun, this sounded more like a hunting rifle, a big one. As the private dropped to the ground, the sergeant noticed that there was a fine pink mist in the air where the private's head had been.

The sergeant waited a few moments more, as there were no more incoming rounds he sat up. He checked the corporal, thinking that perhaps the hits on his vest had just stunned him. But the man had no pulse, that's when he noticed that one round had gone in near the corporal's left armpit. The corporal was dead, as was the private.

He assumed that the terrorists had left the area once they'd seen their enemies all go down. After all, the sound of gunfire would be heard back at the compound, the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) should be rolling soon.

As he reached for his first aid kit, the sergeant heard a footstep in the loose gravel on the shoulder of the road. The sergeant looked up to see an older man pointing an ancient military pistol at his head. The sergeant opened his mouth to speak just as the weapon fired.


The chief watched as the soldier's head snapped back, spraying blood and brain matter all over the pavement behind him.

"You should have stayed at home, asshole."

Shaking his head, he sent a man to collect the watcher, they needed to get out of the area as soon as possible. Though the mines they had set on the road to the enemy compound should slow the QRF down, they'd still be on scene very quickly.

As the watcher joined them on the road the chief heard an explosion in the distance.

"Let's go people, sounds like the QRF hit our mines."

The men stripped the bodies of weapons and ammunition, then made for the forest. They had vanished into the woods long before the QRF arrived.

The war was far from over.




50 comments:

  1. Yes. FAR from over.
    Well done Sarge! Set the stage economically, with just enough to bring us into the scene. Looks like the watcher-lad is earning his spurs.
    Boat Guy

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  2. Wait....wut.....The War? Another serialized effort? Huzzah Sarge, huzzah!

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  3. Nice start to whatever you're starting, Sarge...

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    1. I myself am up in the air over what I'm starting here, we'll have to see where the Muse takes me.

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  4. Oh, I enjoyed this Sarge. Especially because I have almost no context. I like trying to figure things out...

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  5. Had me with the first two words. And like TB, the intrigue makes it tantalizing.

    Never be where they expect you. If they expect you to be there, give them something to confirm it, but be where they don't expect. A small board under a bush can give the illusion of a dug in hide, it will draw their attention. Taking refuge under the only bush or tree in a field is to invite disaster. Better a spider hole with a woven grass cover, and a 'fan' to move slowly out in front of you. If you can find a fold or ditch to crawdad into to, use that to mask movement from position to position.

    I cut my teeth out in the llano estacado. Great tank country, flat, easy to see anything that stands up or out. Lots of thought after Red Dawn about how to take the fight to the enemy if they decided to come visit...

    Oh, and some burlap wrapped around the binos even out past the lenses a bit will shade the glint. Unless the sun is at the back of your target.

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    1. You've given this some thought!

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    2. I like the way you are thinking, amigo... Met a couple of nerdy whiz kids back in the early 2000's who were trying to develop some new gadgets to help snipers, and they got to be damn good at stalking...so much so they were able to pass a USMC stalking evolution at Camp Pendleton while they wore blaze orange vests! They were really, really good at using every little fold in the landscape, among other things ...

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    3. Whats the half way point Tom? We may need to meet and visit in future...

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    4. Probably offline, dead drop or via encrypted email. BTW check yours...

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  6. I'm far more here in the recent present than back in 18th Century; I could never get back there. These were the stories I'd heard from my uncles and their friends after dinner sitting in the living room when they'd had a few.

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  7. My guess as to place and time: Upstate New York, October 2025. Amiright?

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    1. Could be, for that matter it could be anywhere in America.

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  8. The political officer, AKA the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity officer...
    This story is off to an excellent start and I'm curious to see where the Muse takes you.
    - Barry

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    1. I'm hoping the journey will be entertaining and perhaps enlightening.

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    2. Rad "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross for ideas :-).

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  9. THe first few "pages" of a new book are always exciting. I'm in. And thanks. So many things to ponder already.

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  10. Sadly I read this as upcoming current events rather than fiction. I hope my sons and daughter are up to it (I'll go down in an Alamo scenario, too old and fat to run). I weep for the country I grew up in, and served, where has it gone? Til Valhal !

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    1. I'm approaching this project as a "What if?" scenario. Hopefully it won't be a prediction of the future.

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    2. Kinda like the "CALEXIT" works that Old_NFO collected.

      I fear it may be prophetic, though, Sarge...

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    3. I hope the American people have more sense than the media gives them credit for.

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    4. Most of them don't. It'll come down to the 3% again.

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  11. Very intriguing. The only thing that would have really been more interesting is if the three were wearing baby-blue helmets. Good job in not giving away nationalities of the three soldiers or what force they belong to.

    And, yes, I too worry that we are approaching a Red Dawn (the first one) movie, including families being separated and the elders being sent to reeducation camps and the whole nine yards. Every day, things get more unhinged. As witnessed by the FedBoi Convention last Saturday. Classic pump fake by upstanding Americans, act like they're going and then not go. Of course, the idiot 'masters' who control everything tipped their hands big-time after their treatment of the Jan 6th protestors. (I mean, okay, arrest the people you let in to the Capital, but arrest people who just went to DC and didn't go into the Capital? That's just a tad... too... well, black leather trenchcoats would be worn by people normally doing that level of evil.)

    And who would, who is not an American hunter, expect a small clump of vegetation to be an observation post? Good on the kid for taking initiative. Bad on the MG team to not have a rifleman or two covering them. But such is the way of guerilla tactics, you can't always have large groups of people humping around, especially if the enemy are using any sort of satellite tracking or motion detection. Small teams only. Observe, harass, deny, escape, evade. The way to go. Blend in with what exists as a civilian population.

    And... expect reprisals. Expect civilians to be rounded up and tortured or, if it's been going on long enough, shot or hung, in the time honored tradition of 10/50/100 per soldier killed.

    Good and intriguing story. Could be anywhere in Europe or America from post WWI to today. Dagnabit, now I want to know.

    A

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    1. Don't buy Europe, least not post WWII western Europe, populated by Eloi. QRF is recent terminology as are the spoken words (in American English). Here. In the not too distant future. As in weeks or months perhaps.
      Boat Guy

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    2. Beans, the problem is, that until there are consequences applied to those who arrested and imprisoned Jan. 6th tourists, the black-coated tyrants are still winning.

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  12. As to writing and publishing, between OldNFO and Larry Correia, you've got some serious resources out there. OldNFO is a given, and Larry Correia has a 'Writers' Dojo' series on his MonsterHuntersNation webpage that is a round-table of him and some other writers giving the basics of finding a publisher, getting published and common mistakes that screw over the new writer. Checkemout!

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    1. Didn't know that about Larry's website, good data.

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  13. An interesting beginning, Sarge! I'll ride along with you, apparently with plenty of company.
    -Tennessee Budd

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    1. I felt the need to tell a story. I'm not sure where this will lead, but we'll take the ride together.

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  14. Something new, Sarge? Haven't read the comments yet, but it's very good. Once again, you've given me that "I'm There" feeling...

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  15. There's an undercurrent in this nation, of late... You may be as much visionary as you are storyteller, Sarge. Let's hope it doesn't come to that but, if it must, let's pray we have half the courage of our convictions that the men (and women) who came before us and frankly, gave us the best gift we could hope to be born into. P.S. I like the targets of opportunity, decentralized feel of this new beginning. Not all enemies carry weapons... Doesn't mean those opportunities should be overlooked. Thanks for all the work and I hope ya got more in ya. God knows, We the People could use a little inspiration, nowadays.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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