01 Feb The Parchment
My Deep Strike Operations Company, part of the 1st Special Operations Regiment under command of the Joint Special Operations Command out of Fort Bragg, consisted of 90 operatives, including of three maneuver platoons of 22 soldiers each, one heavy weapons platoon of 22 soldiers and a command element consisting of our unit commander, and unit first sergeant. Unlike most combat maneuver units which were tasked with destroying foreign adversaries outside of the country, the four regiments under the Deep Strike Operations Command of the JSOC (pronounced jay-sock) or Joint Special Operations Command, were tasked with finding, fixing, and destroying domestic threats to the nation, and to our particular DSO Company was given the most important mission in the history of the nation.
Captain Jenkins, our unit commander, had briefed us on the mission which we had been assigned and we spent weeks practicing exactly how we would execute the operation. Lieutenant Mayton’s First Platoon would attack the rebel’s main defensive lines from the north with the support of the mortars and heavy machine guns from Lieutenant Lynch’s heavy weapons platoon. Once the rebels were engaged with First Platoon, Captain Jenkins and Lieutenant Wilson’s Second Platoon would breach the rebel lines where they were weakest in the east. Once the rebel lines were breached, I would lead my Third Platoon through the breach and into the rebel compound, killing every rebel we saw, and securing the objective.
The rebel base was roughly two miles square, consisting of a concrete compound located somewhere on the rolling pastures of Killeen, Texas, just outside of the giant Army base of Fort Hood. It was surrounded by triple strands of razor wire and concrete barriers. Behind this were walls Hesco barriers and emplaced fighting positions. Four concrete bunkers surrounded a group of multi-story buildings which were used as barracks to house the estimated three hundred to four hundred rebel fighters at the base along with an unknown number of rebel civilian terrorists. All total, we assumed that around one thousand rebel terrorists were occupying the base, over half being civilians. Our S2 intel guys speculated that the cowardly rebels were using their civilians as human shields in case of an assault just like this. Near the center of the compound was a two story concrete building with machine guns emplaced at each corner. It was in this one building where our S2 guys said that the rebel’s sacred parchment was located. Once we secured it and got out, the very reason for the rebel’s existance would vanish. Without the parchment’s almost hypnotic and demonic control over the rebel’s minds, this war would be over.
My platoon, along with Lieutenant Wilson’s Second Platoon was charged with securing that building and finding that damned parchment. Nothing else mattered and all rebels that we encountered were to be eliminated. The very importance of this mission meant that we would not have time to secure prisoners, even if we were inclined to do so. If we were swift enough and violent enough, we could be in the building, secure the rebel document, and get out before the rest of the rebels knew what hit them. And if we could kill the rebel Stinger anti-aircraft missile teams, we would call in our supporting Apache helicopters from nearby Fort Hood to completely obliterate the entire terrorist base.
The leader of this particular rebel faction was a former Army major general named Lincoln, a traitor to the party and the nation. Most of his armed fighters were also traitors, former soldiers who had served with various Army units from the First Infantry in Kansas, the First Cavalry in Texas, the 101st from Kentucky, 82nd Airborne from North Carolina, and the 29th Light Infantry from Virginia, among others. In fact, it was traitorous soldiers of the 29th Light Infantry Division which had stolen the parchment from our possession, killing many innocent people as the traitors brought the parchment from Virginia to Texas. We could also safely assume that this rebel faction was also bolstered by traitors from other branches of the service, such as the US Marines the Air Force and the Navy. They were traitors, all of them, and just like we did to the commanding general of the 29th Light Infantry Division, we relentlessly hunted down and executed every military traitor we found. We were the patriots who were fighting to save the nation and our values from their evil and hatred. The rest of General Lincoln’ fighters were made up of fanatical civilian militiamen who had also fallen under the sway of that vile and corrupt parchment.
General Lincoln commanded several groups of these civilian militiamen, who were in turn led and trained by a cadres of former military members turned treasonous insurgents. These militiamen were nothing more than domestic terrorists, attacking our supply convoys and bombing government and vital infrastructure such as roadways and bridges. Their anti-government, terrorist activities kept many of our units occupied with chasing down their various militia groups as they blended in with the local civilian population after their cowardly attacks against the government..
But after over a decade of Civil War, in which countless good, right thinking citizens had been murdered by these brainwashed rebels, it would all end today. The war would end today. Our unit was committed and determined that no sacrifice would be too great to defeating the rebels and finally ending the suffering of the nation. We would finally be free of the yoke which threatened our way of life and finally be masters of our own destiny. Today, at all costs, the nation would finally be united under one government, one belief, one people, one way of thinking, and one flag. Over the past few months the rebels had been steadily losing ground all across the country, and many of the rebel units had gathered here around Fort Hood to make one final stand, fanatically protecting the last vestiges of their vile and evil historical artifacts. Of the despicable relics of the treasonous rebel’s history, the most wicked and evil of their artifacts was a secret parchment which spoke evil thoughts and wicked desires into the hearts of the rebels. Once we had captured that accursed parchment, we hoped that the rebel spirit would break and the war would finally come to an end.
It was 1700 hours in late spring when our platoons were in position to finally hit the rebel base in Killeen, and we suddenly opened up on their defensive positions with 81mm mortars and heavy, automatic weapon fire. We had not used helicopter gunships in the opening assault, as the sound of the aircraft would have alerted the rebels of the coming assault and we did not want them leaving and taking the parchment with them. Besides, our S2 guys gave an intelligence briefing stating that the rebels may have Stinger surface to air missiles which they had stolen from the National Guard armory near Fort Hood and it would have given the rebels a much needed morale boost to have shot down one of our Apache attack helicopters. In addition, our intel guys informed us that the rebels had M2 .50 caliber machine guns, Mk19 automatic grenade launchers, and even a few armored Humvees and tracked vehicles, all looted from the Texas National Guard. We were in position hidden behind low rolling scrub and sand dunes roughly 200 meters from the western perimeter of the rebel base when Lieutenant Mayton’s First Platoon began their diversionary assault on the rebel northern perimeter. Immediately, our mortars fell on the known rebel fighting positions, collapsing bunkers and trenches and their checkpoints. From my position, I could see a rebel check point take a direct hit from a mortar round, the two enemy guards stationed there blown to bits and their Humvee completely destroyed.
Lieutenant Mayton and his men were making good progress, easily blowing holes in the rebel’s perimeter wire and breaching the base perimeter. The rebels were caught completely off guard as there was very little return fire compared to the devastating fire we were pouring into them from First Platoon and Lieutenant Lynch’s Heavy Weapons Platoon. To our satisfaction, we could see groups of rebel soldiers yelling and running towards the breach in their defenses as the heavy thump-thump-thump-thump of our M2 .50 cal. machine guns slammed into the charging rebels.
“That’s it,” yelled Captain Jenkins. “GO! GO! GO! GO!” He and Lieutenant Wilson’s Second Platoon raced towards the rebel base’s western perimeter which was guarded by two strands of razor wire and a chain linked fence topped with more barbed wire. Strangely, they received only sporadic return fire from the rebel defenders as Wilson’s men made it to the perimeter fence without sustaining any casualties and quickly blew a wide, gaping hole in it.
I led my Third Platoon closely behind Wilson’s platoon as we infiltrated through the gap which they had made. Return fire from the enemy was gaining steadily while Wilson’s platoon provided suppressive fire against the rebel fighting positions. My platoon breached the perimeter fence and entered the rebel compound. Breathing heavily as I ran towards the objective, I heard a warning yell off to my right, followed by the grunt of one of my men. I turned to see one of my soldiers crumple to the ground, a bearded rebel traitor wearing a US Marine Corps uniform standing a few meters away. He fired again, and dropped another one of my soldiers. I spun around, raised my M4 rifle and dropped the former US Marine with three shots.
Before I could react, the door to the one story building next to me flew open and a little girl, around five years old with tightly braided golden hair and wearing a light blue sun dress, ran towards the traitorous Marine whom I had just killed. She was screaming, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”
I allowed the child to make it to her father’s dead body before I yelled, “The little girls has a gun!” Immediately, soldiers around me echoed, “She has a gun!” as I put three rounds into her back. Her body stood up from the impact of my rounds, then she fell forwards over her father’s body. As part of our rules of engagement, the government would not allow us to shoot unarmed civilian traitors unless we identified that they had a gun. This allowed us to cleanse those traitorous enclaves such as this one quickly and efficiently.
A scream echoed behind me as a young woman stood terrified at the doorway, several other small children behind her. She was screaming “Katie! Katie! Oh my God! Katie!” Apparently, Katie was the name of the traitorous little terrorist girl.
“A school,” I thought. “An indoctrination center where these rebels brainwash the next generation of rebel terrorists into their wicked, hate filled ideology.”
“Sergeant Airgood,” I yelled to my platoon sergeant. “Carl Gustov!” I said, pointing at the indoctrination center.
“I’m on it,” said Airgood, unslinging the Carl Gustov recoilless rifle from his broad shoulders and quickly firing an 84mm rocket into the doorway of the building which the rebels were using to brainwash children in the ways of wickedness and evil. Sergeant Allgood yelled, “She has a gun!” and soldiers around him echoed, “She has a gun!”
The young teacher was still standing there at the doorway and she took the brunt of the rocket which blew her to pieces. The rocket detonated inside the building, blowing out the walls and caving in the roof on the next generation of potential terrorists. As I ran past the building towards the target objective building, I tossed an incendiary grenade into the school for good measure, again yelling, “The survivors have guns!” It’s better to kill terrorists while they were still little children rather than have to fight them when they got older.
A round pinged off the concrete next to me as another of my men went down, wounded. I looked towards the target building 100 meters away from me, a rebel terrorist firing from one of the first floor windows. I took cover beside one of the bunkers and fired into the window as Sergeant Airgood came up behind me.
“Medic! Take care of Private Stern,” said Airgood. “Specialist Driver, get that 240 (pronounced two-forty) Bravo going! Set up behind that truck over there and cover the building!”
Specialist Driver was ten meters to my left across the concrete quad next to another bunker and took cover behind a parked rebel 2.5 ton truck before firing at suspected rebel positions in the target building. The medic had dragged Private Stern to cover behind us along with the help of three other soldiers from my platoon. “Airgood,” I said pointing to the heavy double doors of the target building.
“Get down!” yelled Airgood as he fired the Carl Gustov at the doors. The entrance to the building blew apart as glass and debris blew out of the surrounding first floor windows.
“Follow me,” I yelled and, without looking back, charged towards the building, tossing smoke grenades in front of me to cover our 100 meter sprint towards the objective building. Grabbing a high explosive grenade from my vest, I tossed it into the broken window where I saw the rebel terrorist firing at us. A half second after it exploded, I and my platoon rushed into the concrete building.
We were met with rubble and debris and rising clouds of dust and smoke as we entered. The bodies of three dead rebel terrorists lay broken in the hallway, two terrorist female civilian militiamen and a traitor wearing a US Army uniform. All were armed with assault rifles. I entered the first room to the right, where we had taken fire. A dead rebel terrorist fighter wearing an Army uniform lay blown apart, a destroyed M4 rifle laying next to his body.
“Look out!” yelled Airgood as he tackled me from behind just as a round passed inches from my head. I heard shots from behind me as I rolled over. Specialist Driver’s 240 Bravo machine gun was smoking as he stood over the dead body of a rebel female terrorist wearing a US Navy uniform, an M9 pistol still clutched in her dead hands.
“Thanks, sergeant,” I said as Airgood pulled me up. He glanced over at the dead Latina female wearing the US Navy uniform. “That little brownie bitch must have only been wounded when you fragged the room, sir.” Specialist Driver spit at the dead sailor.
“Secure this floor quickly,” I commanded. “That parchment must be here somewhere!”
“Radio!” I turned to Specialist Felarca, my radioman. He handed the field phone to me. “Six! This is Five!” I said, calling Captain Jenkins over the secured network channel.
“Five! This is Six! Go!” replied Captain Jenkins, identifying me as Five.
“Six,” I said. “We are in the objective building and in the process of securing the first floor. I have two KIA (killed in action) and one WIA (wounded in action). Six hostiles are KIA. We are conducting the search for the target. Over.”
“Roger, Five,” said Captain Jenkins. “We are about two hundred meters from the objective building. The rebels hit us from the north and south as we were closing in behind your platoon. We lost First Sergeant Sunshine in their ambush. The rebels recovered quickly after we breached their perimeter.”
“Six,” I said, suddenly concerned. “Do you need us to pull out and support you?”
“Negative, Five,” said Captain Jenkins. “Negative! Secure the building and find that goddamned parchment! We’ll take care of the rebels here and secure the perimeter around the building!”
“Roger, Six!” I said. “Five out!”
“Let me know once you’ve secured the target item, Five,” said Captain Jenkins. “Six, out!”
I heard gunfire coming from the rear of the building, towards were Lieutenant Mayton’s First Platoon was conducting their diversionary attack. Our mortars were impacting closer, as First Platoon moved deeper inside the rebel base. Running into the debris strewn hallway, we passed a relatively secure room to the left. “Medic,” I yelled as I ran past. “Take Private Stern in there and set up a makeshift aid station!”
The hallway ended at a T-junction which ran right and left. On the right was a hallway which passed two other rooms and ended at a flight of stairs. Four on my men were already clearing this side. To the left was a similar hallway which ended at a set of heavy exit doors next to another set of stairs leading upstairs. The exit doors were opened and three of my men were firing out the open doorway. Behind them, the bodies of two enemy soldiers lay, along with the wounded body of one of my men. I ran to my fallen soldier. “Talk to me, Sergeant Schumer!” I said.
“I’ll live, sir,” said Sergeant Schumer, clutching his chest where the enemy round hit his body armor. “We caught them when they were trying to run out the back. They aren’t staying to put up a fight. The terrorists took off out that door.”
“Medic!” I yelled back down the hallway. I patted Sergeant Schumer on the shoulder. “The medic is coming to take you to the aid station. I’ll come check on you when I can.”
“Just get that damn parchment, sir,” said Sergeant Schumer, wincing. The body armor prevented the round from puncturing his chest, but it was most certain that Sergeant Schumer had a few broken ribs at the least. I nodded and ran down the hallway to where my men were firing out the door. In a side room next to the doorway by to the stairs, four more of my men were shooting out of broken windows at the retreating terrorists. I ran into the room and caught a glimpse out of the window. The body of one enemy soldier wearing a US Army uniform lay dead a few meters from the exit and another enemy, this one a female wearing a US Air Force uniform, also lay unmoving. In a concrete drainage ditch about 100 meters distant, a mixed force of rebel terrorists wearing US Army and US Marine uniforms, along with a handful of civilian militiamen, were firing back towards the building we had just occupied. They were providing cover fire for a pair of rebel terrorists who were trying to carry a third injured rebel terrorist over open ground to the safety of the drainage ditch. Specialist Driver, who had crouched down behind the concrete wall to reload his 240 Bravo machine gun, stood up and fired out the window. Inexorably, his 7.62mm rounds walked towards the retreating rebel terrorists, stitching the backs of the two female US Army traitors, who were probably medics, and the traitorous male US Marine which they were carrying. The three traitors fell forward to the ground as we increased our fire at the rebel terrorists in the drainage ditch. As I joined in on the shooting, I happened to peer over at the bodies of the three rebel terrorists which Driver had just shot in the back. The Marine traitor was still alive. He painfully rolled over, clutching a bloody M16A4 rifle in his hands, and fired a single shot back towards us. Driver’s head snapped back with a loud crack and he slumped to the floor. Enraged at the traitor Marine’s cowardice, I emptied the remainder of my magazine into the terrorist Marine, ending his threat to the nation once and for all.
Outside of the room, I heard a loud crack as one of my soldiers shooting out of the exit the door fell backwards, half of his head missing.
“They’re in defilade!” I yelled. “We need to get to the second story to fire down on them!”
“We’ll keep their heads down, sir,” yelled Sergeant Airgood, grabbing Driver’s blood soaked machine gun.
“Right,” I answered, grabbing the Carl Gustov from Airgood. “Give me a few minutes to get upstairs! Felarca!” I yelled to my radioman. “Come with me!”
I ran out of the room, grabbing my two remaining soldiers who were shooting out of the exit door and ordering them to follow me. Stepping over the body of my dead soldier the four of us raced up the stairs. There were windows at regular intervals which lined the stairs and the rebels, catching on to my plan, began shooting at the windows as we dashed up to the second floor. As the windows shattered behind me, I heard one of my soldiers grunt, then tumble down the stairs. I didn’t turn around. Instead I kept running along with my remaining two soldiers up to the second landing. We leapt through the open double doors and dived behind the sturdy concrete wall under the windows lining the hallway. Four soldiers came up from the stairwell at the other end of the hallway about twenty meters away. Relieved, I saw that they were my men which had cleared the right side of the building downstairs.
I motioned them to get down, then, using hand gestures, signaled my riflemen to return fire down at the rebel terrorists in three…two…one…
All seven of us got up as one and began firing down at the traitor’s positions. I saw three of them fall backwards into their ditch from our fire, but most of them were still under such good enough cover that, even at our elevated positions, we still could not gain fire superiority over them. Suddenly, from the rebel terrorist’s right flank came the thun-thun-thun-thun-thun of an M240 machine gun. It stitched the right side of our hallway and the upper torso of one of my soldiers at the other end of the hallway exploded.
We all took cover again under the windows. “They brought up a 240!” I yelled as the terrorists raked the entire length of the second floor windows back and forth. We were showered by shards of glass and debris of concrete and aluminum. I covered my face from the shower of glass as the machine gun rounds, zipping only three feet above me, hit a wooden door behind me and blew it inwards. I looked back to see that it was some sort of maintenance room with a metal ladder leading up to a trap door to the roof.
“Cover me!” I yelled as I grabbed up the Carl Gustov recoilless rifle and low crawled into the maintenance room. I did not have to look back to know that my men were already up on their feet and firing down at the traitors as I heard the return pop-pop-pop-pop of our M4s returning fire. I made it into the maintenance room and rolled over, seeing a padlock securing the trapdoor. Immediately, I fired at the lock with my rifle, ignoring it as if fell behind me as I got up, abandoned my rifle and scrambled up the ladder clutching the Carl Gustov.
Once on the roof I carefully peered over the side. From this vantage point, I could see down directly into the terrorist’s ditch. There were seven of them, two traitor US Marines, three civilian terrorist militia fighters, and two traitor Army soldiers manning the M240 machine gun. They were trapped and could not leave the ditch without us shooting them. In contrast, we could not secure this building with them still outside. The two traitor Marines and the three militiamen were preparing to assault back into the building, under covering fire of their M240 machine gun. They hadn’t noticed me. I carefully rolled the muzzle of the recoilless rifle over the edge of the roof, aimed the launcher at the enemy machine gunners, and fired.
The two traitor US Army soldiers disappeared in a black cloud of high explosive and dirt. The impact knocked over the three terrorist militiamen just as the two traitor Marines started their charge towards the open door. I pulled an M68 frag grenade and threw it directly into the ditch where it exploded amongst the militiamen trying to recover. One of the fanatical terrorist militiamen tried vainly to jump on the grenade, her long brown hair whipping about her head and right shoulder like a bloody pinwheel as she was blown apart. The two traitorous Marines died defiantly only a few feet from the door in a hail of my men’s rifle fire. But before dying, the bastards managed to wound three of my men.
I had no time to celebrate our victory. We had secured the terrorist rebel’s prized building when a bright flash of light erupted from the direction of where Lieutenant Mayton and his First Platoon were conducting their diversionary attack. White hot gas and smoke blossomed 300 meters to my left. I instinctively ducked at the sound of the blast, then seeing a huge plume of smoke rising behind the air conditioning units, I ran across the roof towards the north side of the building. As I reached the edge, I was hit by a wave of intense heat, as if I had opened the door of a huge oven in hell. It burned my eyes and eyebrows and smelled of oil and fuel. The acrid smoke choked me and my eyes began to water. Looking down over the edge of the roof, my view was partially obstructed by one story concrete buildings and bunkers, but I could see that a very large explosion, perhaps some sort of incendiary explosion, had detonated where Lieutenant Mayton’s first platoon had occupied the terrorist rebel fighting trenches. Three hundred meters away, the trench line for a full one hundred meters was awash in billowing clouds of flames and white smoke. From my vantage point, I could hear the screams of Lieutenant Mayton’s burning and dying soldiers.
Then, to the northeast about two kilometers away towards low foothills lined with trees, I could hear the faint thoom-thoom-thoom of high explosive rounds impacting followed by smoke blooming above the treeline. That was where Lieutenant Lynch’s heavy weapons platoon was positioned, providing fire support with the mortars. Almost immediately after I saw the explosions at his position, the mortar support for our assault stopped firing.
I turned and yelled, “Radio!” and cursed when I saw that my radioman Felarca, who was supposed to follow me closer than my shadow, wasn’t there. I ran back across the roof towards were the trap door was leading back down into the building. As I approached the open trap door, I saw my platoon sergeant, Sergeant Airgood, emerge followed by one other soldier. Allgood handed me my M4 rifle.
“Thanks, Airgood,” I said as I looked at the other soldier, Private First Class Omar, who was now carrying Felarca’s bloody radio. “What happened to Felarca?”
“Took a round to the side when you all were running up the stairs, sir,” answered Sergeant Airgood. “Doc has him in his aid station.”
“How do we look, Airgood?” I said. The hot breeze from the searing wind did nothing to cool my sweat soaked brow on the rooftop as I looked over my shoulder again, the white smoke still billowing in the distance. Thankfully, I could no longer hear the sounds of men screaming and burning.