“At least the heat has lessened” Said Vallone in his ragged dust choked Chicago accent. “aint so bad now”
“Yep. Now we just surrounded by Skinnies with no water or ammo or NV gear.” Groused the weapons specialist Hank Wilson.
“Here they come again” Said an indistinct voice thru the dust.
Bullets skittered along and through the sandy cement around them. Chunks of concrete and mortar grazed, and thunked against the bodies of the men taking cover in the town called Mogadishu. The fire from the Somalis had increased in volume. This typically presaged a rush on their positions, based on the last 2 hours of contact.
Lt Brown surveyed the scene; he and his men were just a few hundred metres from the other force holding the chopper site. It might as well have been 10 miles. The volume of fire and lack of NV gear meant it was impossible to move from their current location. Lets hope help arrived soon he thought. They all hunkered down in preparation for the next wave of skinnies.
Nothing was moving on the street even in the dark, without being cut down. As the mob of colorfully dressed men approached in the shadows they fired wildly at the squads and fire teams who hugged the rubble around them, waiting for them to close.
Distinguishing the shooting of each side was easy. Delta Force teams fired in single shot mode, picking off with seemingly effortless accuracy. The Rangers had bunked with them, trained at the base with them. A new respect had evolved for the operators in combat however. Their street craft, fluidity with every weapon and senses were otherworldly compared to the Rangers gun ho attitude and training.
Each man chose targets carefully and fired. The fight slackened again as bodies lined the street.
Near the chopper site Lt Smith’s men were hard pressed from all sides. He knew they were close to break point; he could feel it in their strained voices, erratic fire and nervous reactions. Most were wounded. Ammo was low and water was under strict rationing. As the Skinnies closed in a wave upon them, all were stunned to see them race across the open intersection braving bullets and grenades.
Smith saw the body before he heard the cries below him. Two skinnies had one of his rangers, dragging him by the arms. His men broke cover and raced to retrieve their comrade.
Right there, in the middle of the intersection the fight broke into a general melee, more men broke cover. Shoot virtually ceased and the fighting became truly close quarters.
Rifle butts smashed black faces, knives flashed at body armour. Pistols cracked with deadly force. The captive Ranger crawled towards cover. His team mates downed the last of the skinnies, heedless of the growing volume of fire around them. They broke for cover, half carrying half dragging their team-mate back to their position.
Behind Smith shooting intensified. The Chopper site was under attack again.
“Get the F’er, Git ‘im. ” roared the medic tending the pilot. His pistol magazine was empty, blue smoke wafted from the barrel. The three skinnies at his feet were dead, but a fourth was trying to crawl away.
Drake transferred the IV bag to his teeth for a moment as he slammed home a fresh mag. His last. “Take that dickhead” he mumbled through the bag. Quickly Drake holstered his pistol and lifted up the IV bag. He moved to shield the pilots trapped body with his own, as he rummaged thru the weapons on the dead men.
“Drake you ok? Called Braxton.
“Yeah…Yeah..bastards. I got ’em good. You got to watch that side of the building Brax…you got to.”
“an git me some of them Operator mothers in here, I need help.”
“Somebody call? I’m your Momma!” The lush but dusty beard of ‘Dave’ appeared around the side of the Chopper. ” I’m your daddy too.”
Drake the coon ass medic from the backwaters of Louisiana face broke into a smile, briefly in a flash it was replaced with a stunned painful look.
Shit exploded, dirt flew in all directions. Splinters of fuselage dug into faces and arms, rocks disintegrated, tearing flesh. The wet thwack of bullets and bullet fragments on flesh assaulted Drakes ears. “No!!!”
Smith heard the cacophony of sound and sent a fire team to help.
Scrambling to their brothers, delta and ranger worked together. Shooting in rapid succession, body after body dropped as they swarmed the chopper.
Back up the road Lt Brown decided to bug out and join Smiths group. He had to help them.
His men made good time, they had suppressed most of the approaching forces and were just ½ a block away from the chopper and its trapped pilot. Wilson said ” Is he out of his freaking mind?” Vallone said “Lt, knows what he is doing, shut up and lets keep going.” Both men wearily formed up covering the rear of the exiting squads.
The Skinnies opened fire with a massive fusillade. Already bleeding from a dozen minor scrapes, Vallone took a shot to the thigh that spun him to the ground. Vallone watched as blood soaked his leg rapidly.
Wilson fireman lifted him to cover. As he pressed gauze to the wound and taped it, Vallone jabbed himself with painkillers. “F%^& it hurts” he said.
“We have to move, right now.”
Behind them the enemy approached. One shouldered an RPG heedless of the confined space and fired into the where both men were huddled.
Thwat thwat thwat, thwat….swip swip, ….thwat thwat thwat. The unmistakable sound of an AH-6’s rotors filled the air. Fast and low she came. The Little Bird raced over the tin roof buildings, buckling and shaking all in its wake, residents shook their fists as their ceilings moved.
Swoosh, Swoosh, brrrrrrup, brrrrurp, brrrurp. She hovered and sprayed fire across the street from the downed chopper. Carving man and building. Flames roared and lit the night. The pilot shook his head, and punched the comm. “This is Little Bird Alpha -01. We have masses of hostiles approaching. Permission to stay on station? Over”
“Alpha-01 that is a negative, bring the bird home. Help is on the way.” Said the stony air-conditioned voice.
“But god damn you stupid shit….there are 100’s. I’m staying on station. Over and out. ”
“Alpha-01 Return to base ASAP. Do you copy
“Alpha-01 do you copy?”
RPG trails swirled. In the distance a set of headlights bounced and jagged along the street. The Chopper pilot tried to get a bead on it, as he dodged grenades, and fired on the enemy below his rotors. The pickup truck was loaded with men and a high caliber MG.
The Technical’s MG was bolted to its rusty flat bed. It sped past the crash site and headed directly to the men in camo racing down the street. They were caught in the open. Lt Brown cried out first. “Medic…I’m hit.” Others fell around him. The heavy gun blew men apart. Savage howls rose from the abodes near by. A rush swarmed the Americans. Women, kids, men, hell bent on out pouring their rage they filled the street. Rage born of inferiority, want and vengeance for who knows what past misdeed.
Near the Chopper site Somalis driven to a frenzy by Khat and other drugs swarmed the American positions. Close quarters combat raged around the Americans. In the rubble around the downed chopper men died, men bled slowly.
From the sky the AH-6 pilot could see the horror unfold, lit from the flames of his missile strikes.
Black and white fell together.
Men fought back to back or alone, with knife, with rifle butt and with pistol. Gruesome, angry desperate fighting on one side as men wondered why? Crazed homicidal feverish killing on the other that sought no reason.
In the lee of the crashed chopper Brax, Dave, and the Medic huddled together. Dave held a pistol with the 3 fingers that remained on his right hand. Several bullet wounds seeped blood from his gut, legs and left shoulder. His pistol rested on his right knee. Calmly he shot each skinny as they entered. He counted down the rounds. “7, 6,” Blam blam…”4″. Thunk, thwack, as more rounds entered his armor and torso. “3” He said sucking air in through the pain.
Blood bubbled from his mouth into his matted beard. Nearby Braxton’s body did not move. Drake shook with anger. As a Medic he could save no one; he was helpless. He was equally useless with no ammo.
Dave the stoic Operator said “Drake…”
Drake looked over at him, more dead than alive he thought, as the life seeped out of him. Dave hawked and spat blood, each breath a laborious gurgling.
“Who is your daddy? A stone scrapped. Dave turned to the noise.
“Base this is Alpha-01, Oh My God…help them. You got to help them, they are all dying down there.” Said the Little Bird Pilot.
[US concedes loss due to VP locations and Crash site not being in control]