August 17, 2005 8:04 am, somewhere north of the London border/Hertfordshire.
The sounds of the slicing blades of two SA 330 type helicopters reverberated throughout the countryside as they neared the major urban city center of London.
"TEN MINUTES!! Equipment check!" SSgt Hammond, the senior NCO of our squad and a veteran of 15 years yelled out over the roaring twin engines of the SA 330 Puma helicopters. This was the third equipment check since we took off. I quickly went through the motions, checking my G36 and my sidearm, which was a SIG P226, and the various pouches on my PLCE and ballistics vest that covered my solid black fatigues. Fireproof underwear... check. Everything was there.
"Intel shows a substantial amount of civilian activity on the ground surrounding the palace." He continued.
"Blue team, you're on the hellies, I want the immediate vicinity clear when we evac the objective, red team you're on me. We go in hot and fast, I don't want any mistakes, you're all professionals lets get in and get out, focus and we'll all be home in time for brunch." He added in.
I leaned my head out the side of the cabin and gazed through the open door down at the passing English countryside. It was a beautiful crisp August morning. It had just finished raining and the air was pure of it's usual smogginess.
My eyes slowly strayed upwards from the beauty and rested on the sight of our nation's capitol, London. I could see an indistinct amount of magnificent cloud like plumes of smoke rising from somewhere within the city limits. The sight made this mission seem absurd, they're all most likely dead by now anyways. I was overwhelmed and didn't notice the tears welling up in my eyes, not for fear, but from the astonishing display of mass destruction I had become witness to.
My name is Alex Wright and I'm with the 21st SAS Regiment, Air Troop, A-Squadron. I'm with an eight man team tasked with a search and rescue mission. Our main objective: Evacuation of the royal family and other dignitaries. I was still green, only having passed selection four months ago so this is my first mission, but I have been training for this longer than I can remember.
"Hey Alex, you ready to meet the Queen?"
"God save the queen eh?" I replied jokingly.
Sgt Eric Dalton, 22 years old and a month younger than I, is my closest friend and the brother I never had. He's about my height and has a similar build with blonde hair and blue eyes that contrasted with my black and green. We had known each other since we first could walk. I convinced him to join the Territorial Army with me after we graduated from high school and later we went through special forces selection together.
"I better get a commendation for this!" He added.
"FIVE MINUTES!" SSgt Hammond yelled while casting a "shut the fuck up and focus" glance in our direction. Eric just smiled, and I put my game face back on.
Click... I could hear faintly the sound of music coming from the cockpit.
I've got a feeling, a feeling deep inside, oh yeah...
Heh, goto love those RAF bastardsI thought. Oh yeah...
I looked downward as we flew over row upon row of buildings and skyscrapers that enclosed a flurry of activity on the street level. Riots.
I've got a feeling, a feeling I can't hide, oh no... Oh no... Oh no... yeah, yeah... I've got a feeling, yeah...
These riots were worse than I thought. What started as a few isolated incidents had turned into widespread panic, people fleeing the city en masse. But it was no use, there was just too much traffic, burning vehicles and police barricades crowded the major passageways out of the city making them impassable.
Oh please believe me, I'd hate to miss the train... Oh yeah... Oh yeah...
The people that had decided to make a run for it were intercepted by the rioters, and the ones fortunate enough to make it out of their grasp were cut down by military and police personnel indiscriminately firing and throwing CS gas grenades into the crowd.
And if you leave me, I won't be late again... Oh no... Oh no...
"THREE MINUTES!" Second in command SSgt Robinson yelled. "Stay sharp!"
Yeah, yeah, I've got a feeling, yeah... I've got a feeling, yeah...
On the roof of some of the higher office buildings I could clearly see people signaling us for rescue, others were being chased and attacked by rioters, and some were even jumping...
All these years I've been wandering around wondering how come nobody told me All that I was looking for was somebody who looked like you...
"TWO MINUTES!" Robinson yelled as a constant reminder. "No fuck-ups, we're at the point of no return now!"
I've got a feeling, that keeps my on my toes... Oh yeah... Oh yeah...
My adrenaline was pumping with anticipation now. I was becoming apprehensive, not about dying, not even about killing someone, but that I would somehow fuck this operation up. I had a bad feeling about this mission...
I've got a feeling that everybody knows, oh yeah, oh yeah, yeah, I've got a feeling, yeah yeah...
"ONE MINUTE!" Robinson said as he looked out the door. "Safeties off!" We were now nearing St James park and the pilot started a slow descent.
Everybody had a hard year, Everybody had a good time...
I had a clear view of the pandemonium that plagued the streets now. Hundreds of people lined the gates trying to get in while the guards desperately held them off. The crowd didn't seem right though...
Everybody had a----click...
"30 seconds!" The pilot yelled after switching off the radio.
Our two SA 330s hovered above the ground slowly continuing it's descent.
"Red team, on me lets move, go go!" Hammond yelled and his team exited the helicopter seconds before we touched down. Red team had Hammond in lead with Derikson, Harold, and Taylor. Good luck guys.
We were now set down in the center of the courtyard. Red team, which had already gone, was to retrieve the objectives while Blue team would defend our means of escape. I was on blue team with Eric, Coy, and Robinson.
"Get to your positions!" Robinson yelled over the roaring engines of the choppers, which seemed to scream in unison with the hundreds of rioters hanging on the gates.
We were approached by three men in bloodied guard uniforms. The leader, who was a man by the name of Fife, filled us in on the situation. Lawrence Fife was a balding man in his thirties who looked afraid, disoriented, and in a state of panic.
"Glad you could join us, we were getting worried we were on our own!" He yelled over the noise of the helicopters and yelling rioters.
"We've lost Ambassador's Court and 3 of my men along with it, we're being overrun on the east side and the gate is about to go, we've got to go NOW!." He added.
I put one arm on the his shoulder in an attempt to calm the man down and whispered into his ear: "Tell your men to fall back to the helicopters and prepare for immediate evac."
He gave me a quick nod and went to his task.
"Dalton, Wright, set up in the front. Keep everyone away from both choppers, Coy, you're with me, lets move!" Robinson yelled.
Sgt Robinson, second in command and squad leader of blue team, motioned us to create a defensive perimeter. He was a tall man with a very large build, not someone you would want to mess with.
POP! POP! I heard gunshots and looked through my rifle scope at a crowd of at least thirty people that had somehow breached the perimeter fences. They were about 200 meters across the courtyard and chasing seven armed guards in our direction, again I had that feeling that these people just didn't seem right...
"Eric, we have hostiles closing in fast at 12 o' clock."
"Copy that Alex."
"FIRE! FIRE!" I heard Fife call out as he pointed towards the mob. I glanced back at him and he looked like he was going to shit his pants and if I didn't have a mission to complete I would've done the same.
The crowd converged on two of the fleeing guards and took them down. I was awe-struck when they proceeded to literally rip them apart. I was right, there is something really wrong with this crowd...
"What the fuck! Fire some warning shots, get them off those guards!" Eric nodded and let loose a volley of bullets into the air.
"HALT!" I yelled out as I fired into the air in warning. "HALT!"
"The crowd is not dispersing, I repeat you are clear for lethal force. OPEN FIRE!" Robinson's yelled through our radios.
He didn't have to repeat himself, we opened up on the mob, but it did little to slow them down and only added to the masses of blood already covering them. When our lethal force proved ineffectual, Fife and the few of his men that were remaining ran for the second chopper and tried to get the pilot to take off.
"HOLD YOUR POSITION" Robinson yelled.
"crrsshhh blue-six this is red-six package is not secure, I repeat package is not secure"
Robinson: "Our position is compromised, repeat position is compromised, hurry the hell up!"
Hammond: "have that, out." Before Hammond released the 'outbound' button on his radio I could hear a shrill scream and gunshots.
Things aren't looking good. I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind and kept firing.
The mob was 60 meters away now and closing in quickly. I pulled out a CS gas grenade and Eric followed suit, we threw it into the crowd which was now 50 meters away. That oughta slow them down. 3 seconds later they were staggering through the smoke and towards us again.
These bastards won't stay down! We were losing control of the situation.
The crowd was bearing down on our position and they didn't look like they were here for tea and crumpets. I threw away my selective targeting and started firing indiscriminately into the crowd.
The murderous mass of rioters were thrashing about on the defenders, muffling their cries of pain with their bloody hands, smothering their faces, and ripping into their eye sockets with their fingers. It was a horrible sight. The men and woman that composed the crowd were all of them mutilated in some form or another, missing limbs, and dripping blood from the mouth. They still would not fucking die!
"GET TO THE BLOODY HELICOPTERS ALEX!" I heard Eric scream as he fought off a large bald man and shot a grotesque looking fat woman that was on top of a guardsman.
RUUUNNN GOOOOO, GET TO DA CHOPPA!! Arnie's voice echoed in my head...
"AHHHH!!!" I looked back and saw a short black fellow with a flap of bloody skin and flesh hanging from where his arm was supposed to be and a blonde woman with streams of blood running from a serious looking head wound, tackling Coy and ripping off pieces of his flesh with their teeth. These people couldn't possibly be human. They were animals and had this unholy bestial look on their faces.
Robinson was supposed to have his back but I couldn't see him anywhere so I shot woman in the back three times with no result, I fired again click! Shit. Need to reload.
"ERIC!" I shouted, he caught my glance and immediately neutralized the two people on Coy's now mutilated body with two well-placed head shots while I handled my own new-found fan club, a blood soaked teenager and an elderly man.
I rammed the butt of my rifle into the elderly man's forehead which knocked him back, then in one swift move took out my sidearm and quickly let loose a round in the teenager's left eye before he could chomp down on my arm. Then, acting on instinct, brought my weapon up and shot the elderly man in the face before he could get up.
Eric and I continued to drop people from the advancing crowd as we slowly retreated back to the relative safety that the helicopters provided.
KABOOM! A large explosion coming from the Palace caused everyone, including the mob, to stop for a second. Two members of red team were sprinting at full speed out the doors, it was Hammond and Derikson. They looked very badly injured, blood covering their faces and gear and their rifles were dangling by the straps from their neck violently as they ran. Robinson went up to help them while Eric and I covered him. Fife and his two remaining men were on the other helicopter firing into the crowd and demanding that the pilot take off.
"HAMMOND we have to leave NOW. Where's the objec---!" Robinson didn't even have a chance. They both jumped him and were tearing at his face, blood now everywhere as he cried in agony.
I exchanged glances with Eric and we retreated back to the helicopters and motioned the pilot to take off. Apparently he saw the same thing and was already starting his ascent when we got on. The other helicopter was already in the air, but had eight rioters inside the cabin and cockpit fighting with Fife and his men. We were no better off fighting off our own hitchhikers.
"This is blue-six come in over. This is blue-six, is anybody there!?" Eric screamed on his radio.
"Eric forget it!" Pop! Pop! "We're the only ones left, help me with these!" Pop! I shot another one. Are these people on drugs or something!
People were hanging off the sides of the helicopter frantically trying to get on board but were met with resistance from myself and the few aircrew members that were left.
"AHH GET IT OFF!" The co-pilot screamed, I quickly turned around and put one round through it's head, but as the attacker fell to the ground he took the co-pilot with him.
"Get those fuckers off the side, our weight is unbalanced!" The pilot yelled, straining on the controls to gain altitude, but there were a lot of warning lights flashing and alarms buzzing.
Pop! Pop! Eric took care of the last of the stragglers on the side and I turned my attention to the other helicopter.
Gunfire erupted within the cabin and the cockpit, I looked through my scope to provide some help, but the occupants were covered in blood so heavily that I couldn't tell friend from foe. Blood was smeared all over the cockpit and the back cabin and people were falling off the sides, I was still unsure who was who, but that didn't matter anymore. Something had happened to the pilot and the helicopter started spiraling out of control in our direction.
"PULL UP!" I yelled at the pilot.
"I KNOW I KNOW!" He replied. The blades barely scratched our underside as it went plummeting back to the ground and back to the murderous crowd.
EERRRVVHHHH! The deafening sound of metal screeching against the concrete filled my head. BOOM! The engines of the other chopper exploded as the forward nose section smashed into the earth and tumbled into a ball of fire and scrap metal. I couldn't help but stare in awe at the crash site as the rioters that were set ablaze by the blast were still recklessly trying to get into the cockpit and to the people that were still inside, burning alive.
"Alex help me" ... Eric yelled again "ALEX"
"W-what Eric I'm here." I could barely get out.
"What happened?" I asked as I looked down at a moaning, injured man. It was Coy, Eric had grabbed him and hauled him aboard as we were taking off. He had bite marks and abrasions covering his neck and chest, he had lost a lot of blood.
"Alex get the med kit behind you, hurry he's bleeding out!" He ordered.
"He's losing consciousness, Eric we have to get him to a medic asap."
"I know I know, tell the Pilot to get Hereford on the ra--"
"ARRGGHHH!" Coy jumped up, lunged for Eric's face, and pinned him against the back wall of the cabin, desperately trying to meet teeth with flesh.
THUNK! I hit him with the butt of my rifle numerous times but it did little good. Finally Eric got the upper hand and knocked him down with one swift move of his leg. Coy had now set his sights on a new target, the pilot. Before I could react he charged and took a huge bite into the pilot's right shoulder and then went up towards his neck.
"Shoot it! Shoot it!" he yelled as he tried to keep the helicopter level, but to no avail. Blood now flew freely from his open wounds and as he lost consciousness, fell onto the controls and warning lights started flashing again. Click...
Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Oh yeah... Everybody had a good year...
POP! I put a round in Coy's head. Eric rushed towards the cockpit and tossed the bleeding pilot aside. I had only known Corporal Robert L. Coy for two days, he seemed like a really nice person. He was 24 and had a pregnant wife back in Newbury. Oh god what have I done...
Everybody let their hair down, Everybody pulled their socks up...
"I don't suppose you know how to pilot a helly, do ya Alex?"
"Just get us back to Hereford!" I said while checking the pilot for a pulse. He had lost so much blood so quickly.
Everybody put their foot down... Oh yeah...
"Get them on the radio while you're at it, they'll want to know what happened. And turn that shit off!"
AAGGHHH!! The pilot regained consciousness and blindsided me. I was Pinned against the back seat
of the cockpit and fighting for my life.
Everybody had a good year, Everybody had a good ti---click.
"Eric get this fucker off of me!" I yelled as I tried to keep his open mouth from nearing my exposed throat. I could hear the chomping of his teeth every time he got close enough to bite, but surged him back.
"Hold on Alex!" Eric yelled as he put all of his weight on the stick.
I felt a moment of weightlessness as the helicopter dipped into a nose dive and both the pilot and I smashed into the roof of the cabin. I immediately threw a knee to his abdomen then threw him out the side door. I had just murdered another innocent man. Was he married? Did he have any children?
"We're goin down, I don't know how to fly a bloody helly!" He cried out. Warning lights were flashing and alarms were going off.
Without a word I strapped myself into the copilot's seat and watched as the ground came closer and closer. I had another bad feeling...