First real story (when I say real, I mean more than a few hours) in a while. First story submitted aswell. Hope you enjoy!


Brief Down

I sat down. Two new squaddies were joining me. Sergeant Mike Williams and Colonel John Bradford, both with a reasonably solid military history. Mike being the oldest, at the age of thirty six, and John being twenty five. Surprisingly, John seemed to be the more confident of the two. I chuckled, it reminded me of my younger self. Confidence mixed with a desire to fulfill any order given to me. The board room quickly filled up. My squad mates in their civvies kept Alex in touch with the real world. The Ghosts were his life. Once I was a simple member of the SO19 Special Firearms Unit for the Metropolitan Police in 2006, I had quickly perused my unhealthy ambition of becoming the top dog. My commanders realized my potential, and had no trouble promoting me several times, enough recognition for the Ghost Recon team.

'Good morning, gentlemen,' the voice bought him back to reality. It was that of the senior Major Charles Constantine. Aged fifty but still going strong, 'Welcome back to the squad! As you've hopefully been informed, there will be two more fine men joining the 15th Regiment in Alexander Beechwood's control,' he threw a glance at me, managing a quick smile, before turning his attention to introducing the new squaddies, 'Mike Williams and John Bradford are those new guys. Don't worry, they have a good military history. I'm sure you'll give them a warm welcome.' A minor chuckle echoed between a few of the other officers. Ruperts,

'Pff, fucking new guys,' muttered Brian, loud enough for a few heads to turn and a few smiles to infect the room. Brian was the pessimist member of our squad. His motto was 'expect to be disappointed, and not be surprised when you are. And, if it does go well, your happiness will be exaggerated.' He had a point, I suppose, but we remained optimistic around him. Charles stared at Brian, obviously hearing what he said. Brian dropped his head and Charles coughed,

'Apart from you, Davies.' He took another stab with his eyes at Brian, trying to force him to raise his head once more. It didn't work, but it shut Brian up. 'I'll hand over to Lieutenant Haven.' Charles gave a last once over of the room and walked off the podium, to allow the tall, yet skinny, Lieutenant Haven to take his place,

'Thank you, Charles. As you know, the Ghosts have been asked by the Ukrainian, Latvian, Georgian and the Azerbaijani governments to do a peace keeping tour on the borders. Apparently Russian troopers are drifting very very close to it, and they are concerned about another Soviet invasion.' Before he could get the words out, a soldier from another batch of Ghosts spoke up,

'Why the hell can't their armies deal with it? Surely they have guns and well...guns kill people,' Haven's face didn't change,

'Russia's army is bigger than all of theirs combined and doubled. Plus they have better equipment. And more of it. The threat is too big to risk an entire countries army on defending something that will keep coming and coming without breaking a sweat,

'So you'd rather waste a bunch of elites, soldiers that don't pop up like the normals do, rather than let the country actually defend their own turf on their own?' the counter argument got a few grunts of agreement. Bad news for Haven,

'I'm sure, as much as I hate to use this comparison, I feel it is necessary to try and make you see our side of affairs. I know for a fact, everyone in this room...even Brian, would rather lose one or two men, than more than a hundred or so. Wouldn't you?' this silenced him. He shrunk back into his side and mumbled something to himself and those around him, 'Dismissed. Oh, and can the commanders of the four squadrons selected for the mission stay behind, please.' There was no second thought about leaving. Everyone left, apart from me, Martin, Oliver and Nathan. The 'commanders',

'Why we here then?' Nathan asked, trying his best not to sound ignorant,

'So I can tell you where you and your squad are heading,' he smiled.

'...Right.' Nathan returned an obviously faked smile,

'Okay...Oliver, your squad will be heading to Latvia. You'll be based in Gulbene, and the Latvian army will be stationed around Rezekne. You may call for reinforcements if you must. But, take in the fact the Russians could land an attack on them, too,' Oliver nodded, shook his hand and left the room,' Martin, you'll be dropped in Azerbaijan, one of the hotspots. Your squad is one of the best, and we need you on the front. Similar to the situation with Oliver, you will be guarding Guba, while the Azerbaijan army will be in Shaki. It's the same deal regarding reinforcements with you, aswell as everyone else. But, expect to have less of a chance summoning them. They'll be a tad paranoid being one of the hotspots,' A sense of stupid, childish jealousy ran through me like lightning. One of the best squads. Can't of seen mine in action much,

'Nathan, you're in charge of Georgia. The most vulnerable target out there. You'll have to adapt. No reinforcements for you, except maybe a batch of our new recruits, still in selection and training respectively. The Georgians will be in Gagra, Gudaut'a, Sokhumi, Tquarch'eli...every other town or city except Ts'khinvali. Sorry about the no reinforcements, but Georgia is still nervous after the 'liberation' a few years ago. Good luck,' Nathan left without a word. Angry about the whole no reinforcements thing, or something else? I knew what I was left with. Ukraine,

'Alex, your in Ukraine...don't tell anyone, but you'll be assisted by the Ukrainian elite, ' I gave a toothy smile, 'I see you're happy, but don't think they'll treat you like saints. You're soldiers to them, nothing more, nothing less. You'll be operating from Sumy. Don't worry about calling for the reinforcements personally, Yuri, the Ukrainian commander, will do that for you. Before you go, Alex...look, the Ukrainians are having troubles of their own. Rebels south of where your at. Be careful, yeah? You're our most experience squad, we can't go dropping like pins. Stay safe and watch your backs.' I saw a trickle of sweat run down his forehead. I gave him a hearty handshake. What he said struck a nerve in me. We had to worry about the Russians slitting our throats, while the Ukrainian Rebels could shoot us in the back of the head. Pleasant thought, isn't it. I walked outside, taking a deep breathe, trying to take in the situation. Ukraine wasn't even a hotspot, yet we had two enemies after us.

'Chernobyl. Around 83,000 people affected by it. An accident. Compare it to this. Over one million Russian troops will come knocking on our door. Think. An accident affect 83,000 people. What could real hate, real malice...real killing power do?' I looked round sharpish to see a upset looking Brian, leaning against the wall. The question drifted in the air, killing off any noise in it's path.

What could the Russians do?

I apologize if this offends anyone, whether you're Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian, Georgian or Azerbaijani, or anyone else who feels relatively strongly about this. Reviews welcome, but this is simply the introduction/first chapter.

Constructive Criticism welcome, along with praise.

Thanks, xzmy.