Jack of Clubs. [Boots on the Ground]

The Team of Bravo Squad
Lt Monk Squad Ldr attached from Platoon.
Alonzo – dead HWE (see The Dust AAR )
Bentz -sniper
Weston -Scout
Tony – Medic
Crazy 8’s -Demo (duh)
New Guy – HWE

Alpha Squad
Sargent Cooke +
Gi – Joe

I left the body cooler and Alonzo’s zip body bag after depositing a doll that he had whittled for his daughter into his possessions box. We had finished as best we could between the five of us.  There is no easy way to say goodbye.

Alonzo was the earthy woodsy type. The rest of us were bum city slickers. Well except for Bentz he had grown up in the back woods of East Texas. Bred from good German stock. His father regularly gave him 2 bullets and said “son go find dinner for your self”. More as a test than some consequence of poverty. He was by no means rich tho, just a good east Texas boy who could shoot about anything from anywhere in any conditions.

Maybe even this weather was not a challenge for him? It was raining hard. For the last 2 days the rain had come in sheets, flushing the filth from the streets, cleansing the blood from the walls of so many buildings in an around Camp Kilo.

Some hours later after we had all paid our respects to Alonzo, we were summoned back to duty. The briefing was short and sweet. The insurgents recent activity had been for a reason. They had occupied several buildings downtown and were using the rain to cover a build up of some strength for a possible retaliation for the ass whipping we had provided last week.

The Captain wanted me to take Alpha and Bravo out and do 2 things; 1. Identify their base of operations and strength and 2. Take out a sniper that had been shooting civilians and troops over the last 24 hours.

Drones had identified some possible heat signature clusters between 2nd & 3rd streets on Avenue A. Cap’t would hear none of my protesting. Despite 8’s and Weston being in recovery he wanted us out there due to a lack of experience on the other teams. “Speaking of which he said I found a new guy for Heavy Weapons Duty for you”. I bit my lip and choked back a retort. Alonzo still weighed on all of us.

I sent Alpha down 3rd street with Sgt Cooke and I took Bravo including the new guy down 2nd street. We left our Humvees with a handful of regulars and some Iraqi Militia a ½ mile from Avenue A.

We had been at it for less than 30 minutes when shots came at us from across the street. Simultaneously Cooke reported taking fire also. Tony and I took cover whilst we waited on Weston to id the Tango’s locations. Bentz nailed 3 in quick succession who were attempting to flank us.

Nervously we moved out, as the rain picked up in intensity it obscured our vision. “8’s keep your shit dry under your poncho big guy “ I reminded him, last thing we need is wet demolition gear. “ This fricken weather is bullshit. One minute its dry as a dead mans ass the next it pissing down harder than my Johnson. “

“Nice” I said.

New Guy looked between us. “ What you staring at New Guy?” said 8’s aggressively. “ Hey my name aint New guy its Patterson” . Patterson remarked.
“We ain’t good with names, so your new guy until we break your ass in.” said Bentz.
“Screw you …you hilly billy.” We bust out at that. “OMG hilly billy” I said.
“Ok Patterson take it easy, your part of the family now , STFU and watch the street. Come on Weston lets take a look in that building for a vantage point to Avenue A”.

We crossed over , then waived the others on.

They ran over towards us and squatted in cover. New Guy, ah Patterson rested his LMG on the hood of a car and called “Clear” the rest of Bravo ran by and was approaching our building when the car was consumed in a ball of flames, twisted metal and glass.

My ears rang, my nose was bleeding as I came to. I shoved Bentz off of me. Son of a bitch was heavy. I rolled from under him. Looking at his back I could see 2 shards of metal protruding from his back and his ass. He was out cold. As I got up Tony rushed over seeking my thumbs up, I couldn’t hear him speaking, I just pointed at Bentz ass. He got to work on it. I peered into the street, 8’s was down, New Guy was in pieces and this was just FUBAR’ed.

Signaling Weston we dragged 8’s in off the street. He too was out cold too. I could see no blood other than from his ears. Glancing in the street I saw a wheel lying near his RPG which had a broken strap. Shit if that hit him he could be seriously hurt.

I ducked into the street and grabbed his RPG. Bullets started thwacking around me. Oh crap. Here they come.

I dove for the door. Tony had moved over to 8’s and was checking for major injuries. Weston took a position in the window I took up a covering slot across the room.

Cooke from Alpha checked in. It appeared he was under the heat too. His scout had died when a civilian running across the street tossed a ‘nade at the squad. Mithcell his scout had dove on it heedless to the consequences; otherwise Cooke said none of them would be alive.

Above the rain I could hear more Insurgents shouting in the street. I ordered Cooke to get his ass to building XX asap, we need to combine firepower.

A machine gun opened up from building IX spraying fire into our position. “Heads up “ I yelled. They were trying to keep us suppressed while they attacked. Tangos popped up at the windows on two sides and sprayed the interior. I nailed one and someone behind me took another out. It was Alpha Squad entering the building.

2 waves rushed our location. For crying out loud. I thought, we were in bad shape.

Surveying the crew, 8’s was dazed but back up woozily pointing at the window with his gun. Bentz was bitching and moaning about the shitty sutures job Tony had done, so he was gunna live, and Weston had glass fragments in his face from the fire coming thru the building.

The loud crack of a Russian sniper Rifle filled the air. ½ a brick collapsed on top of Tony. I guess we found our sniper.

“ get down , get down” I called. More fire came from behind Alpha squad, thru the doorway they had just entered, the bullets chattered ceaselessly from the HMG down the street. A lot of fire power, looks like we stirred up more than we can handle. This was just insane.

“This is Lt Monk, to Kilo, calling for support . We are locked down hard and surrounded by Tangos. Requesting a fire support mission.”

“Roger that Monk, fire support is offline due to inclement weather. Stand by “ Came the flat reply.

“Stand by” I screamed at the mic.

“Fuck this. 8’s gimme your RPG dam it, Bentz can you see the freaking sniper? “

“Well” He replied deadpan.” It’s a little difficult lying here with steel in my ass but I would say based on the angle of that last shot – you got a street level monkey who is a shitty shot. Check the doorways and windows near the corner of 2nd and A.” Thank God Bentz knew his shit.

“ Cooke, listen up, guys, I need covering fire. When I call for it, light the streets up. I’m gunna RPG the building across the street. Fuck the subtle approach.” I announced.

Dragging the RPG across the floor, I crawled closer to the window looking onto Avenue A. The bullets did not stop coming, crap, I had been in tight positions before but this is seriously BS in a major way. I curled up in a ball as ricochets, plaster, glass and fell on me. I prepped the weapon. I tried to look out the window and was immediately was showered with bullets, and fragments.

I looked back at 8’s. He just shrugged and laughed at me. I gave him the finger. “On my mark” I roared. “Go” .

Every able body pumped rounds into the street. Tony knelt above 8’s to fire out the window, Alpha laid fire, Weston did his best to shoot with the glass fragment’s vibrating in his face. I took a deep breath, popped up, and looked onto the street.

Rain teemed down, sure enough thru the rain I could see a doorway almost blocked by a wrecked car near the corner. The sniper had to be there, all the windows on the second floor were boarded up.

I raised my weapon, sighted the wall right behind the car. And prepared to pull the trigger. It was then I saw the shooter. His barrel slid into view, slowly, the red and white check of his head gear bright in even these conditions was just partly visible.

I’m too late I thought.

“Down” I called. I pulled the trigger just as a searing heat burned in my chest and a powerful energy threw me backwards. I landed in a heap on the ground. So this is what its like to be shot I thought. The round felt like a 100 pound sledge hammer against my chest and body armor.

Shit faded to black.

Post Mortem,
In an effort to end the scenario in an exciting manner for my 11/9 yr old we allowed the RPG to be fired inside. Monk took a hit, the Medic, Weston and Bentz were wounded. 8’s took another hit, and Alpha had 2 criticals. A brutal scenario. 11 Insurgents dead including the sniper.

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