Chapter Two: President Fisher

High Commander Scott Mitchell started at an electronic map of the world. Most of Europe was in Russian control and Paris was now no more than a pile of ruble in which nothing lived. Of the sixty-thousand men posted in Paris there was fifteen-thousand survivors. They had been ordered to retreat out of Paris before the kinetic strike had hit. At that moment they were fortifying what was left of the city in an attempt to prepare for the inevitable Russian counter attack. The Russians had taken a huge hit from the kinetic strike, with projected causalities at ninety-six percent, it would do no more than slow them down, for now. That wasn't the end to his troubles, not by a long shot. In the early hours of the morning an unfortunate aide had crept in and whispered to his not yet fully woken self that forces fighting in San Pedro had pulled back, not just loosing the city but stranding hundreds of soldiers fighting on the front line in the process. This cock-up also meant that there would have to be a rescue mission and counter attack launched before the EF could consolidate it's position. This would take man power that he couldn't spare and days of planing which the stranded men didn't have. He sank into a deep train of thought. There was not much he could do. His first and foremost concern would be getting those men out of San Pedro before it was too late. Paris would not hold with a ragged and beaten bunch of largely under stocked men. The cross-com was for the most part, down so communication in and out of either cities was extremely difficult at the very least. At that moment Mitchell was interrupted by yet another unwitting aide. "What?" Mitchell said irritably. "President Fisher is on the line for you." The aide seemed to shrink under Mitchell's glare.

"Patch him through." He said.

"Scott, we're in a hell of a shit storm here." Mitchell got on quite well with the president. He understood the military, unlike some of the presidents before him, this guy didn't think that he could bark some orders at the guys with guns and expect them to get it done.

"I know sir, the situation has snowballed big time." It wasn't much of an answer, but was the best that he could muster.

ÒI need a sit rep Scott a, real answer." The president was right. Mitchell took a deep breath.

"This is how it stands in Europe. Twelve hours ago General Smith, the man in charge of the defense of Paris armed and launched a weapon known as a kinetic strike. This weapon not only destroyed most of Paris it inflicted huge causalities on marauding Russian forces. Since they had not been expecting us to employ a weapon of that magnitude their forces were at a very high density when the device struck. Resulting death total of enemy forces stands at ninety six percent of the Russian forces."

"What of civilian loses?" The president seemed anxious.

"Currently we have no way of guessing how many civilians were in Paris at the time of the strike. The lack of activity of the civilian population would suggest that they were either evacuated or keeping low until the battle was resolved. An optimistic estimate would be a casualty rate of forty-five to fifty percent of all remaining civilians."

"This is unacceptable Scott! Don't try to blow rainbows up my ass with this 'optimistic estimate' shit what kind of causality rate are we really looking at?"

"To be honest sir I have no idea but if I were to hazard an estimate from personal experiences with kinetics, I'd say it's more like seventy to eighty percent." The president was speechless he didn't know whether to start shouting at Mitchell for something he didn't do or let him continue with his briefing. The president chose the second of the two options.

Taking a deep breath he said "Continue Scott."

"I'm diverting troops from Orlenans to help with it's defense. We're hoping that the Russians will rush into an unplanned counter attack in which case we will destroy their depleted forces."

"Depleted? How do you know the Russian forces are depleted?"

"Well sir apart from estimates, calculations and all that crap I am using a little something called common sense." Mitchell hoped that the president wouldn't take the sarcasm badly.

"Okay Mitchell I see your point there's no need to be sarcastic, enough about Paris what is this I have been hearing about San Pedro?"

"At around four o'clock this morning I was informed by one of my aides that the General commanding the fighting in San Pedro had given an order to retreat."

"Who issued that order Mitchell? I need to know." The president's voice was borderline between concern and fury.

"Sources working close to the General say it was him who gave the order to retreat once he had heard that EF forces had come within two kilometers of his position."

"Name?" The president said curtly.

"General Tailor, Martin Tailor." Mitchell had no problem telling the president Tailor's name, the man was a coward and a bastard who didn't deserve to a second chance. For that matter he never deserved a first one but before Mitchell had taken command someone 'upstairs' had decided to give little Martin a chance.

"I want him stripped of his rank and brought before a Military court and I want it done today Scott you understand me?!" The president had finally let his temper break through.

"I understand sir."

"Continue with your briefing Mitchell." Mitchell didn't know where the president got his temper from or where he put it once he got control again and if he was honest with himself, he didn't want to.

"As it stands we have nine hundred stranded men and seven armored units of varying class and capability stranded on the front line in San Pedro."

"I know what kind of situation you're in now Mitchell, I also realize it's not an easy one to be in but I want those men out of their do you understand me?!"

"Yes sir, I understand. The only viable option I see is to launch a counter attack to retake the city and save those men all at once."

"How long had the fighting been going on in San Pedro?" Inquired the president.

"Thr- three days sir." Mitchell now knew how far fetched the plan sounded.

"So your saying your going to retake a city that you could only just hold on to in the first place with less men than you had originally?" The president had Mitchell in a tough spot but that wouldn't stop him.

"Yes sir." Mitchell said defiantly.

"How do you suggest that?"

"Because 'sir' I will be commanding them." Said Mitchell from his mobile command center that was at that moment ploughing through the Spanish country side straight for San Pedro.