How do you train to fight against ninjas? You use your own homegrown ninjas of course. Greenshirts vs Ninjas. And.. the return of Private Williams!
* * * *
BeachHead sighed and stepped out of the truck. Walking around to the back of the transport, he banged the side hard. "ALRIGHT!! Drop the gate and get out! We're here, time to get yer sorry butts to work!" Twenty greenshirts bounded out of the vehicle. "Get those cases out and take them over to the door of that warehouse." He looked around the industrial park. It was mainly deserted, with a few large warehouses the Joe's used for training. There was no sign of the other troops they would be meeting.
"Get lined up! Miller!! Get over here.. it don't take five people to haul a couple boxes fifty feet!" He watched them rush to line up, standing in formation, five across, four deep. Just like he taught them. These were some of his best, and thus, suited for the extra training today. "Williams! Straighten up!" Everyone stiffened into an attentive stance.
"Alright then.. listen up. I ain't explaining all this more than once, and if you don't listen, you'll get some painful lessons. Today we're gonna learn about hunting ninjas. Cobra has done and got themselves more than just StormShadow, whether he's still around himself or not. So we'll be seeing more ninja type action, and the tops have said I need to train you lot as a special assistance force, in case we need you on the front lines. So.. here we are."
He swung an arm around to point at the building behind him, and they all dutifully looked at it. "This is your warehouse, and you haven't heard the regular check-in from the guard. You suspect intruder or intruders have incapacitated him, and that these so-called intruders may be ninjas. For this exercise, your weapons have been replaced with non-lethal training weapons, paintball guns, paint grenades and the like. Friendly fire counts, cause this is a real life schenario, so when you get hit.. then you GO DOWN! If I catch someone talking after they're dead, or pointing the way the ninja went that just beheaded them.. I'll make you wish you'd never been born. Got it?!?"
"Yes Sergeant Major!" The group as a whole looked fairly confused and he sighed.
"Any questions yet?" A few hands shot up and he shook his head. "Miller."
"Sergeant major!! Who are we fighting inside?"
He took a deep breath. "You will be facing possible ninjas. Snake Eyes has generously allowed his apprentices to come help out. They will be using non-lethal weapons, and dye. They should be here shortly." He heard a snapping noise and turned to see Snake Eyes standing behind him. "Sneaky bastard. Where have you been?" He got a shrug as his reply. "You set up?" The ninja master nodded placidly. "Alright then. Snake Eyes will NOT be particpating, and for the purposes of the training exercise will not be here. So if you see him inside, ignore him. Anyone who 'accidentally' shoots him with a paintball gets to have HIM deal out whatever suitable punishment he feels like. So we won't have ANY issues, will we?"
"No Sergeant Major!" He glared at them anyway.
Pacing across in front of them, he pointed at them. "Miller, Teryis, Folkson, and Mouth. You're team leaders, take your team aside, make your plans. You get ten minutes to plan, and you can group up, or spread out however YOU think will be effective. The objective is to do a thorough check of the premises, under the assumption that there are hostile forces inside, that may or may not have left traps behind and will attempt to wound or kill you. The hostiles have had about.." He looked at Snake Eyes who held up three fingers. ".. thirty minutes head start. You will attempt to kill or wound or drive out the hostiles. I'm not leading any teams the first times out, but I'll be inside to watch over the exercise, and advise you if you start doing anything too stupid. Ten minutes starts now."
He clicked his timer, and watched them quickly break into their four teams. Miller and Folkson paired up, and seemed to be making some joint plans, while the other two conferred only briefly with them then broke off to talk seperately with their own teams. He tilted his head over at Snake Eyes. "Your apprentices ready?" He got a nod. "It's gonna be a long day. I'll bet they're all killed within twenty minutes the first run." Snake Eyes smiled under the mask at him. "Too generous?"
*If they last longer than ten I'm dealing out punishment to my apprentices. Jinx has been looking forward to this for a week, and Kamakura is determined to show her up. I still think we should have brought in TunnelRat and Scarlett, just to add some ground-pounders.*
BeachHead snorted at him. "Right.. like your two ninjas won't wipe these guys up on their own in embarrassingly short order."
Snake Eyes leaned back a bit, thinking. *I think you'll get them in order soon enough. If they can't tag either of my apprentices by the end of the day, we'll have to find different ones to test. We NEED some back-up for the Joes that can go into fights without being slaughtered wholesale.*
Taking a deep breath BeachHead agreed. "Yeah. These are the best I got right now." He lowered his voice. "What weapons did you allow yours?"
Snake Eyes stepped forward and turned, putting his back to the greenshirts who were conferring and planning. His signed reply was hidden by his body. *I told them they could mimic Red Clan ninjas, and they tend to stick with traditional weapons. Thrown weapons, swords, staffs, traps.. I discouraged firearms and bows.. just to give your team a fighting chance. You already train against firearms anyway.*
The sergeant major nodded and checked his stopwatch. "TWO MINUTES!" He watched them. "Williams is gonna die two steps in, I just know it." The ninja shrugged. "I hope Jinx takes out the Mouth. I wanna watch."
Snake Eyes shifted his weight. *If you'd mentioned, I would have made it a special objective for her.*
BeachHead gave a short laugh, and turned as Miller trotted up. "Sergeant major? Are we supposed to try to capture any ninjas?" Snake Eyes put a hand over his visor and walked aside, his shoulders shaking as he laughed silently.
BeachHead lowered his head for a second and then looked at his greenshirt team captain. "Corporal.. ninjas are sharp and pokey, you probably should stick with trying to wound or kill them. I wouldn't reccomend grabbing one, if you happen to get close enough. But..." He smiled and lifted his voice. "ANYONE who captures a enemy ninja.. I'll give a week-long furlough."
Snake Eyes looked over and signed elaborately. *If one of your greenshirts captures a ninja intact, I'll get them a cake. A big cake.*
BeachHead grinned. "You saw it. You capture one, you'll get week's leave, and a cake. I better not see anyone sacrificing the whole team to try to capture a ninja, or I'll flay you alive. Real life schenario, remember that!" He turned to look at the entryway to the area. "Where is that sorry medic?" As if summoned by his very irritation, a Jeep swung in through the gateway. The red clad medic climbed out and pulled his bag behind him.
Lifeline nodded to them both. "So.. any injured yet?"
BeachHead snorted at him. "We aint' started yet."
"But Williams is here.. it's a legitimate question."
The sergeant sighed heavily. "Point taken. Alright maggots! Lock and load.. your weapons are in the cases. Your teams should each have a color... I don't care which is which.. just pick a color for your team and get your ammo. Those paint grenades have eight second fuses, and you cannot disarm them once you pull the pin. Inserting the pin will just make it explode in your hand, so let's not give Lifeline ANY buisiness today right? Let's make him be bored alllll danged day." He smirked at the medic who put his hands in his pockets.
Snake Eyes looked at him too. *Got any candy?*
Digging in a pocket, Lifeline offered up a handful of hard candies. "Uhh.. mostly butterscotch." The ninja plucked one up and tucked it into a pocket. He signed thanks and walked to the doorway to wait.
BeachHead gave his troops one last looking over. "Okay Snakes! You need to signal your crew?" At the negetive headshake, he lifted his voice. "Okay greenshirts! You just recieved word, your sentry is down. Command just sent you here to check it out, and you found his body with a ninja weapon lodged in his head. What is your first move?"
Mouth raised a hand and smirked. "Call command and request Snake Eyes as back up?" A short laugh went around.
BeachHead struggled not to smile, because that would be one of his first choices. "Sorry. Snakes is off in Khazikan hunting European twitter-flitters for his birding list. You're on your own. Any serious answers?"
Miller spoke up. "Call Command, advise we may have hostiles, possible ninjas, unknown number. We'll check in every ten minutes, and they should assume we've been taken out if we fail a checkpoint. Establish security procedure, and move in." He made a motion to his group and they scurried to the doorway, flanked by Folkson's group behind.
BeachHead looked over to Snake Eyes who waited patiently. "Alright.." The ninja leapt upwards, grasping the drainpipe and climbing to a upper window and disappearing within. "Go in.."
Lifeline looked at him as the door was opened and the first two peered in, poking the rifle muzzles inside carefully and checking all directions. "I guess I'll just wait out here?" Beach nodded, in a distracted manner.
"Yeah.. " He watched the group deploy to the inside in a calm and unhurried manner. Classic deployment, teams of two, each pair moving to flank the one before them. "Watch your crossfire... friendly fire counts as kills, no matter who it hits." He lifted his stopwatch and checked the time. He looked at Lifeline. "I'll bet you five bucks that half of them bleed before today is over."
Lifeline shook his head. "No bet." He smiled at the beefy soldier. "If I did bet, you'd just make them bleed yourself to win the bet."
BeachHead grinned evilly. "Now yer talkin. See ya on the outside.." He followed the first ten in, stepping to one side quickly. Mouth came in leading his team, and he watched them run in at a crouch, moving too quickly to a side lane.
The warehouse was huge, several acres, and contained mostly empty crates for effect. Shelving ran nearly to the ceiling high above, although the was a second story along one side, enclosed as offices originally. Some of the windows to the offices were broken out or missing, so he expected sniping fire to emerge from there at some point. The lighting was dim.. and he turned, peering at a stack of crates. He might have seen a flash of movement. The movement was repeated and he relaxed as he recognized Miller's point man.
"Good elevation.. check 360..." His voice carried, but he didn't yell. He was going to let them make whatever mistakes they wanted this first run. He heard a muffled curse from his right and walked over to poke his head around the stack of crates into the walkway. The Mouth's entire team was lying on the floor obediantly, with the team leader sitting cross-legged in the center. "You die sittin' up?" He received a glare and the Mouth flopped over to lie there staring angrily at the ceiling. BeachHead walked through the fallen greenshirts, noting the time on his stopwatch. Six minutes and already an entire team of five were down. The other three teams probably had no idea yet either. "Dang it.."
He climbed up a ladder to the first landing and stood there overlooking the floor space. Miller's double sized team was spread along the center, moving slowly but steadily across the warehouse floor. He counted heads and noted another two missing. The last team of four seemed to be gone, and wondered if they were already dead as well. A flurry of motion made him focus on Miller's group. The pop of the paintball guns going off sounded and he peered for the targets they were aiming at.
He saw Snake Eyes up on the upper level watching. He gave a short wave and held up his hands. He clumsily fingerspelled "T.e.r.y.i.s." The ninja gave him a thumb's down. "Geez..." He looked down as the last man in Miller's group toppled over from a thrown dagger it looked like. "ALRIGHT!! Dead greenshirts walkin'." The various members got up grumbling and started back to the front door. "That was more pathetic than I expected. I thought you'd last at LEAST ten whole minutes. How can we improve?"
The Mouth sounded put out. "We could wait at the door for the first ten minutes." He turned to glare at the young man. "Sorry sergeant major.. but we never even SAW one of them."
Miller coughed slightly. He had a bruise on his forehead and the purple dye smeared across it. "We saw one.. but when we saw him, he unloaded on us. Williams almost hit him I think."
BeachHead raised an eyebrow and shouted across the warehouse. "Snake Eyes! Anyone hit out there?" The ninja looked over from his viewing spot and shook his head. "Close?" He watched the head turn to look into the depths of the warehouse for a few seconds. Then he held up a hand to show a few inches. "That's pretty danged close. Congrats Williams. Teryis.. anyone in your group see anything before you died?"
The slender black woman stiffened. "I might have.. could have been a shadow, so I won't claim it as a sighting."
He smiled. "Good girl. Don't ever count a 'maybe' as a 'yes'. No injuries?" Everyone shook their heads. "We're going to do this again, and this time I'm going to watch from up above, and advise you teams. Load up if you managed to fire your weapon, and I'll shout for entry to begin when I'm in place." He shook his head and moved up to the same observation point as Snake Eyes. The ninja was leaning casually on the railing as he walked over and pointed at the floor of the catwalk in warning. BeachHead looked and found several weak spots. "Thanks.. I'll try not to fall through. You ready?" He was answered with a shrug, and turned to bellow at the front door. "TIME!"
This time, the first team through moved fast, taking the right hand aisle and holding it, while the second team of five moved in to flank and cover them to advance as well. The other two teams deployed in an identical manner, to the left aisle. Good planning as far as it went. BeachHead watched them advance at a slight crouch, leading with weapons at the ready, searching along the aisle, checking every pathway and space big enough to hide a attacker.
Snake Eyes pointed at Miller's team. *Williams leading, put best man in front. Tell them to check all those crevices next time.*
BeachHead looked over as the group drew abreast of a spot that the crates were sitting only about a foot apart. No one bothered to peer into the shadowed crevice. Even before he could yell at them to do a better job of checking spots, he saw a dark shape dodge out. From the slender build, it had to be Jinx. She came slithering out behind one greenshirt with his back to her, marked his throat with a dye blade, dropped low to wipe it across the belly of the next man, and rolled into an impossibly small spot across the aisle before anyone could get fully turned to aim. At least a full two seconds after she'd disappeared, a flurry of paintballs hit the crates. Miller was shouting for the team to move back, with it breaking into 3 front men moving further into 'unsecured' space, and 5 troops stepping back, and all of them were focused on where Jinx had disappeared. That's why none of them saw her come out twenty feet back along the aisle to roll a paint grenade into the five man team.
Miller sounded like he'd begun to panic. "Don't group up!" His five trailing men were laying in the aisle, looking disgruntled and mostly pink. "Williams.. get some elevation.. we need to spot them to shoot them!" Snake Eyes straightened up and watched as Williams slung his rifle and climbed up onto the crates beside him, clambering up to try to reach the highest spot. "Flank him for covering fire.. " Miller turned his back to the crate pile, peering along the aisleway nervously.
BeachHead looked over as Snake Eyes leapt the railing and dropped to hands and feet to move through the rafter ironwork. Dodging around beams and under tackle and ropes, the ninja was over the battle area in seconds and dropped to the stack next to them, landing lightly on the balls of his feet. Scrambling downward, he made one final jump to the stack Williams had climbed up, just in time to snatch the hapless young man as he tumbled by him. One powerful arm swung him to the side, dumping him onto the floor safely, and saving him from serious injury from a nasty fall. He was rewarded by being hit by about five paintballs as Miller and his last man nailed him.
BeachHead grinned but made certain his voice sounded seriously annoyed. "DO NOT SHOOT SNAKE EYES!! What part of that wasn't PERFECTLY clear?!?"
Miller squeeked and held up his hands as the black clad ninja twisted to glare at him. "Sorry!! Sorry Sgt Snake Eyes!! I didn't see it was you!! I thought it was one of the n-n-ninjas attacking us!" Snake Eyes brushed ineffectively at the bright purple paint dotting his thigh and belly.
Williams spoke up from his spot on the floor. "Thank you Sergeant Snake Eyes. Do I have to be dead now?"
BeachHead groaned. "YES!! You're dead, lie down and shut it!" Williams laid himself down in a comfortable looking position and, knowing Williams, probably went to sleep. "Miller, you have TWO in your group, think about what you can do right now!" He checked and found that Mouth and Folkson were moving very slowly and carefully down the far left aisle, so he walked partway down the catwalk to keep an eye on their progress. He was astounded to see that all ten men were still alive. Teryris was taking the point, with her five strung out along behind her. Mouth was next and his five followed more bunched up. "MOUTH! Spread those men out... Teryris, good spacing.."
BeachHead saw Snake Eyes climbing the wall in quick fluid leaps to gain the upper catwalk again. Then he moved along the rafters slowly, peering down into the warehouse proper. The purple blotches made it easier to see the commando. He checked and saw Miller and his last man crouched, moving across the warehouse cautiously, edging from cover to cover and checking any spot that could hide a cockroach. From the look of it, he was trying to find the other group to hook up, which pleased the Sergeant Major. They couldn't be effective with only two people, and the best bet was to re-enforce the second group.
By the time his eyes slid back across to the larger group, he saw Jinx on top of a stack of crates, waiting for the group to pass. He pressed his lips together and watched. When half the group was past her, she dropped silently into the middle. The first man she landed on went down hard, and she slashed a dull sword coated with sticky dye to take out the next. Dropping low, she twisted and stabbed to hit another square in the chest. Leaping up sideways, she planted her feet against the crates to propel her across the way, as the rear guard opened fire at her, and liberally sprayed paintballs into three of the forward men. By this time, there was a lot of shouting and movement, and BeachHead watched the remaining four back up and plant themselves in almost identical crouches, to be able to aim upwards and miss the others in their patrol. Jinx hadn't stopped at the side of the aisle, but dove back along the aisle, rolling in a tumble to rise up directly under the rifle of Mouth, killing him effectively, and snatching a grenade from the front of his jacket and tossing it at the front pair. In another split second she leapt upwards, spidering up the crates and disappearing, while the last man standing accidently shot Mouth with a full clip.
Miller and his man dodged out into the aisle, rifles ready, to find the dead patrol and one last man trying to reload his rifle. He pointed up at the crates Jinx had disappeared over, and Miller pointed forward, covering as the other two moved past him. They all looked rattled but he was proud of how collected they were, still keeping in discipline and moving together. Snake Eyes dropped onto the catwalk beside him lightly. "Nice work.. where's Kamakura? I've only seen Jinx."
Snake Eyes snorted. *He's outside chatting with Lifeline. Jinx is being a lone ninja this time."
BeachHead nodded towards the group of dead troops. "You didn't say you let them have grenades."
The ninja shook his head. *Jinx took both grenades off your men. That's within the limitations I set. They didn't come in with grenades, but they can steal them off your men and use them.*
Nodding, the sergeant leaned to look as the group passed beneath his vantage point before he moved further down. "Yeah.. that's allowed. I saw her pull the one from Mouth, missed her snatching the first one. Any advice for when the last three go down?"
Snakes tilted his head. *Tell them to look up. Assign men to shoot, stay low and shoot high, same for anyone going up onto elevated platforms.* He looked at BeachHead. *Why aren't any of them up here?* The sergeant rolled his eyes.
"Probably because they're terrified you'll take them out. Thanks, I'll advise them. I think next trip, I'll take point on one group. And... there she comes.." He sighed as Jinx went slashing through the last three, although Miller finally managed to hit her in the calf with one stray paintball, just as she jumped up and over to 'stab' him in the back. Then she bent to peer at her calf, cursing. Although all the greenshirts were down, she limped back into cover. "Is Jinx okay?"
Snake Eyes smiled under his mask. *She has to be wounded. She'll have a cloth tied around her leg now, slowing her down. Maybe next time you'll manage a kill."
Beach went rattling down the steps, shouting as he did. "ALRIGHT! Dead greenshirts out! Better time at eighteen whole minutes! At this rate I'll end up with one live man after an hour in a warehouse with ONE DANGED NINJA!" The greenshirts filed out, one limping and one nursing a swollen cheek. "Folkson, Haberton, see Lifeline. Everyone else fall out and get some water and discuss how to stay alive a little longer. Miller! Nice job, you tagged one ninja in the leg before you died."
BeachHead sighed heavily, watching his dye and paint spattered greenshirts mill around. "Gawd... this is not going that well."
* * * *
Well well... the ninjas seem to be doing awfully well.. what would YOU do to help train the greenshirts? There's a second chapter working already. Hopefully Williams won't fall off anymore crates, since I'm not sure SnakeEyes wants to bother rescuing him a second time.