I apologize for disappearing like that, sometimes life hits you and then writer's block and…yeah, lots of other excuses. Anyway here's the next chapter, reviews are appreciated and welcome, especially criticism. Just try and make it helpful. Also I obviously don't own anything from FMP except the original characters in this fic.
The team regrouped at an independently owned motel in south Sydney. Like all independently owned motels it was L-shaped, flamboyantly colored, two stories tall and had a sign featuring the word, "Cable." They rented two adjacent rooms with double beds on the second floor, putting Ana and Veronika in one and the three men in the other.
With everyone in the girl's room, Walker brought everyone up to speed while they ate over gas station sandwiches and drinks. Ana was managing to stay awake and she was doing an admirable job of keeping herself together. She was scared, and even more so when Walker presented their theory about not only the possible intelligence leak, but the possibility of the Australian government having a hand in this.
When Walker was finished, the first thing everyone did was glance at Ana, which caused her to move closer to Yang's side. They quickly stopped once they noticed her discomfort, shifting their attentions to Walker again. Vikowitz spoke first.
"We'll need extraction sometime. If we're sure about a leak in Intel, let's go through Tactical instead. Yang, how long you figure it would take for Tactical to move?"
Yang rubbed his chin and chewed his lip for a moment before responding.
"The Filbalu would be the closest ship in the area, the Indian Ocean is their AO. The chance that the Australian government is involved is going to make things really difficult. Any extraction would have to be clandestine. The problem is clearance…" Yang's voice trailed off as he put his words together. "Shit…"
"What?" Walker asked.
"It depends on how badly Mithril wants Ana…do they want her bad enough to risk relations with the Australians? Otherwise, we may have to escape on our own." Yang finished with a sigh.
"Please don't tell me that…" Vikowitz groaned and rubbed his face with a hand.
Yang felt Ana squeeze his arm tight while the rest of the group took a moment of silence to digest what he had just said. Looking down at the redhead, Yang moved his arm around her shoulders and put his hand to the back of her head, tilting it against him.
Walker, as the leader, stepped up. "That's a worst case scenario. Let's plan for it while we wait for an update from Intel and Tactical. As it is, we should all grab some sleep while we can. We've had a long day…I'll take first watch."
6:30 AM, the following day.
Laying still as a ston he kept his head down as low as possible while peering under the lip of his Ghillie suit's hood at what seemed like a whole battalion of RUF rebels getting stoned and committing acts of barbarism not six yards away from his position. Yang matted his lips and walked his gaze across the playing field.
The village was spread out over a gently sloping hill with a dirt road cutting the village in half going east to west towards Kono and Freetown, respectively. On the northern side of the road was a two story tavern/motel that probably doubled as a whore house. A town hall a little up the road from the tavern was flanked by a small church and a village market of sorts. On the southern side of the road and sloping towards the tree line were the thatch and sheet metal huts of the villagers themselves.
Yang could hear screaming and gunshots from inside the huts. And laughter.
Tightening his grip on the MP-7A1, Yang ground his teeth and tried to reign in his emotions. The Sergeant Major had always told him to focus on the mission and not how it made him feel. It was incredibly hard to listen to this though, knowing that he could kill these bastards. But he couldn't do that and jeopardize the mission, not to mention he'd die in the process. Applying strict control to his breathing and mentally kicking his head back into the game, he made a quick situational assessment.
There were four "Technicals", flatbeds trucks and vans sporting RPD and 12.7mm Machineguns nailed onto scratch built pintle mounts or directly into the roofs of the vehicles. Two ex-Sierra Leone army trucks were also present, having been filled way over recommended loading capacity with rebels. The rest of the force had apparently humped it here on foot. Firepower was standard Soviet Bloc weaponry, albeit aged. AK-47's and RPG-7's, a few man carried RPD machineguns. And the machetes they were wielding with glee as they murdered the villagers.
Yang was horrified to see that the worst of the atrocities were being committed by the child soldiers of the RUF, the so called, "West Side Boys". Even among the countless child soldiers across the continent, the West Side Boys had a notorious reputation for unbridled cruelty. Yang could see several who'd erected a chopping block along the roadside and were busy lopping off the limbs of village women.
They were laughing and passing around a joint as they did.
Swallowing his own vomit Yang forced down the hatred and sadness that was mounting the more he was subjected to the evil of this god forsaken country. The Dark Continent was not just a poetic expression. Yang banked the coals of vengeance in his heart and bore his dark brown eyes into the tavern he'd seen RUF Lieutenant Jubei Loso enter. A former child soldier who'd hacked his way quite literally to the top, becoming one of current RUF leader Richard Untebe's top Lieutenants. Richard was his primary target and was waiting for his Lieutenant, Yang's secondary target, probably on the second floor.
As usual, Mithril hadn't passed on much information concerning the background on this Op, as was custom for a fighting soldier, but Yang was an educated and intelligent fellow and had managed to piece together a pretty good guess as to why he was here and about to do what he was here to do.
Why was Mithril involved? Because the RUF is pure, living evil and deserved to die a slow and painful death for its crimes and the death of Untebe and Loso would cause major chaos in the RUF as his remaining Lieutenants went to war with each other to see who would become the new leader of the movement. By then, Mithril forces would be on station and hopefully do enough damage as to make a hole for the cowards at the UN to move peacekeepers into the area.
Back to the present, Yang studied the target building, the tavern. It was the most likely place for the meeting, since Yang doubted either was a church going man and the Town hall didn't fit Untebe's style. The tavern was more like a one story rectangle with another story added above the western wing and overlooking the roof of the tavern. If Yang had to guess, the second story tower was where the rooms were located, most likely four rooms. All windows on the building pointed south outwards the street, a porch and saloon-esque swinging doors led into the tavern from that direction.
The back of the building had another door that led to the bushes outside, frequented by the tavern patrons as an outdoor toilet. There was a staircase that climbed up the side of the building to a door on the tower side. Yang decided that would be his entry point.
The sun hadn't yet fallen below the horizon but his window of opportunity would close soon. There was no telling how long the targets would be in place and there was little chance that Yang would catch both of his targets in one place again. He'd have to go now.
Taking a deep breath, Yang flipped down the forward grip on his silenced weapon and scanned the area, looking for an opening. There were just so many rebels it was difficult to keep track. A smart operator would have just scrubbed the mission right here. But Yang had a burning coal of hate in his heart that demanded bloody satisfaction. And Yang could no longer ignore his heart.
No way you live. No way.
Rising out of the grass in his Ghillie suit like some kind of mythical jungle monster, Yang dashed in a low crouch across the fifteen yards of wide open space between his previous position and the base of the stairs. If he could just get to the stairs he'd have cover from the low wall that lined it, doubling as a railing. He reached the corner of the building and pressed himself up against it, his heart hammering in his chest. Any second now he expected to hear the alarm go up, his weapon raised and ready to take down whoever came to claim his head. But after checking his six and around the corner, he realized he'd actually made it.
Sighing quietly in relief, Yang threw back the hood of his Ghillie suit and readied his weapon. Climbing up slowly and keeping as low as he could to avoid being seen over the wall covering the stairs. Finally reaching the top, Yang turned his forearm over and let his weapon hang so he could tap the PDA strapped to his inner wrist with a gloved finger. Extending a smaller fiber optic wire from the PDA itself, he slipped it under the door and scanned the room beyond, the image being broadcast onto the screen.
He couldn't believe his luck today as he saw both targets enter the room, which had red walls and candles for lighting and a single, tattered mattress on a rusty frame in the center of the room. Another door led off into what he presumed was another bedroom, and both men while talking entered this second room and closed the door behind them.
Unfortunately, as Yang's luck flipped, two armed thugs entered in behind them, remaining in the room Yang was watching. Both men flanked the doorway leading to the second room, which allowed them to cover the other two entrances.
Damn…this is going to get messy.
Licking his lips nervously, Yang retracted the cable and hefted his weapon again. He'd have to be fast and accurate. The door in front of yang opened into the room and toward the door leading into the tavern, which meant that Yang wouldn't be able to see them for the time it took for the door to either swing all the way open or for Yang to clear the doorway.
Crouching, Yang checked the door and found it unlocked. Steadying his breathing, there was nothing he could do about the tension in his body and mind, but room clearing required more than just good shooting skills and tactics. He had to have complete control of his body and keep himself calm under the intense pressure of CQB. Scan breath, scan breath...Yang turned the handle and shouldered the door open, bursting into the room and moving from the knees down in a combat shuffle.
Things slowed down as adrenaline poured into his veins, Yang rounding the doorway while it was still swinging open. He saw the surprised expressions on both men's faces at the green and black painted demon in jungle drag that had just rushed into the room. In that split second of surprise, Yang drilled the man on the right with a three round burst that was tight enough to utterly destroy the man's heart. Shuffling forward towards the door they were guarding, Yang tracked his weapon left as the other man began to lift his AK. Putting his front sight on the bodyguard, Yang serviced him with another burst, never breaking stride. This one wasn't as tight as the other, all three rounds more or less stitching the man across the chest as Yang swept the weapon over.
He put another burst into the man's head to make sure he was down, never breaking stride as he reared up and kicked in the doorway leading to the adjacent room.
Untebe was 5'6 and thin with sunken cheeks, and had the looks of a heroin addict. He wore two belts of 7.62x39mm across his chest, probably mimicking Rambo. It looked ridiculous on his heroin ravaged body. He was wearing a purple vest and yellow cotton pants, also probably American media inspired. He also had a self inflicted scar on his chest that read: RUF. He was sitting on a chair against the northeastern corner of the room behind a small table while Loso leaned against the wall in front of Yang.
Loso was faster to react, going for his pistol immediately but Yang was faster, the MP-7 whispering 4.6mm into the arms dealer's body, folding him over on his side. Untebe managed to get off part of a cry before the MP-7 whispered again, turning the bastard's face to jelly.
Yang kept scanning and made sure the room was clear before pulling out an explosive charge from the waist pack on his hip and chucking it on the floor next to Loso who Yang shot again in the head to make sure he was dead. Leaving the room, Yang dropped another charge by the door leading out into the tavern while making for the door he'd entered through.
"Rot in hell you piece of shit." He breathed as he ducked around the doorway and down the stairs again. Staying low, Yang dashed back across the open space, managing to make it into the bush unseen once again.
In the safety of the tree line, Yang pulled out the detonator linked to the charges and snapped the safety off. He hit the clacker twice, causing the entire second floor of the tavern to explode and collapse in on it self. The weak to begin with structure just crumbled under the shock of the charges, crushing anyone who happened to be inside.
As the alarm went up and random gunfire sprayed everything in sight, Yang was already fading back into the jungle and making for the extraction point in the next gorge.
Yang awoke drenched in his own sweat, heart hammering in his chest as he breathed hotly through his nose. It took him a moment to realize he was staring at the ceiling and that the cool, hard item in his hand was his cocked P7. Swallowing, he eased his grip and heard the weapon decock, glancing over at the clock on the bedside table. 5:30 am. Past the table and in the bed across from Yang, Vikowitz softly snored. With a sigh, Yang got up from his drenched mattress and made his way to the bathroom, closing the door quietly behind him before flicking on the lights.
The miserable image in the mirror in front of him brought forth another sigh. Resting his pistol on the ledge of the sink, he washed his face and took a second look.
8:30 AM, Motel.
The next morning they split up again. After sharing a breakfast of leftovers from last night's gas station meal, Walker and Vikowitz left to clean out Walker's dead drop, leaving Veronika and Yang with Ana at the motel.
All three were in the girl's room with the blinds closed, Ana in bed and watching the television, Veronika and Yang sitting at the room's coffee table. They were taking inventory with pen and stationary, everything the team had with them at the moment. The list was mostly composed of the things Yang and Walker had cleaned out from their Taurus.
"We have a lot of stuff here…too much stuff." Veronika smirked, picking up one of the elastic tie downs from the roadside assistance kit that had been hurriedly dumped into the duffle with the HK's.
"Never too much stuff." Yang replied and smiled at her across the table. That earned him a chuckle from the Russian, who put down the ties and sat back in her chair.
"You know a lot about improvisation?" She arched a slender brow questioningly in his direction. Yang shrugged, reading the chemicals on a can of tire sealant.
"Some." He said as he exchanged the can for jumper cables. As he held each item, he was letting his brain go to work on possible, unorthodox uses for it. There was certainly a lot to choose from, including the most vital of all tools: Duct Tape.
"We did, but something tells me you know much more." She murmured as she inspected the contents of the basic first aid kit from the road assistance bag.
"Maybe." Yang set the cables down and sat back with a sigh. He looked over at Ana and she caught his eye, flashing him a smile. He flashed a shy one back then looked down at the list of items he'd written. Veronika, who had watched the whole exchange, smirked.
"It isn't legal you know…" She said softly to hide her voice from Ana, and snickered when Yang blushed. "Don't worry, I won't tell. Although we all know, it's very obvious."
Yang nodded, having suspected that. "It won't be a problem." He replied, glancing up and making eye contact with the Russian. She held his gaze until she was convinced of his sincerity, then held it longer to remind him that she would keep an eye out regardless. The two then returned to their task.
When they finished, the two stretched themselves out in their chairs and groaned nearly simultaneously. This caused them to exchange chuckles and looks.
"Alright…" Yang rose to his feet and held out a hand, into which Veronika thrust her half of the inventory list.
"Have fun." She grinned. He scowled and went to lay on the second bed to read the completed list.
Naturally the moment he laid himself out on his back, Ana got up and sat next to him. Then she leaned against his abdomen and stole the lists from his hands, using him as a pillow while she peeked at the list. Under her, Yang frowned and looked a little uncomfortable.
"Wow, this is a lot of stuff." She mused, and in the background Veronika snickered. Yang stole a glance at his teammate to find her feigning ignorance about his situation.
"Is any of this really useful?" Ana mused, drawing Yang's attention.
"Not always by themselves, but yes." He snatched the list back, leaving the teenager pouting.
"Are you going to make a bomb from a cigarette or something?" She turned over on her stomach and laid her chest on top of his, her arms reaching up past his head to get the list. She knew what she was doing and she caught him blushing, which tickled her a bit. Although feeling that hard body of his was getting her a little hot under the collar as well.
Below her, Yang swallowed and cleared his throat, averting his eyes and trying not to think about the figure on top of him, specifically two firm weights on his chest. Figuring that the easiest way to get her off of him would be to give her the list, he returned it. Unfortunately he was wrong and she stayed there, balancing her elbows on his arms as she read the list.
"Ana…" he murmured, looking up at her.
"Hrm?...Yes Yang?" She looked down and smiled sweetly at the flustered soldier. About to open his mouth, the two of them stiffened as Veronika coughed from the coffee table. They shared a blush before Ana rolled away and to her feet, leaving the list on the bed.
"Er…I have to use the...bathroom." She mumbled, excusing herself. She disappeared into the bathroom, leaving Yang on his back and Veronika to mock him in Ana's absence.
"Not going to be a problem?" She said. Yang stayed on his back and sighed.
"Yeah…" He didn't sound too convinced himself.