The Art of War

Disclaimer: Battle: Los Angeles isn't mine—it won't ever be.

AN: So here is the first chapter from me. *dodges thrown objects* I'm so terribly sorry for this late update! It's not like me, but I had other personal things to attend to so that was my only priority. Anywho I hope you all enjoy my input along with the awesome New-Classic22 who allowed me to write this with her. you'll notice the jump back in time, and that's only because I like to start out with character development before I jump into battle—no pun intended—when I'm writing a story. So we've done it where we'll each have a set of OCs that will meet up fairly soon and then the story will flow quite nicely from there. Now this chapter is pre-attack, and the attack/action scenes won't come until the fourth chapter unless New-Classic22 decides to write it in chapter three. Anyway…

Here it goes…

Chapter 2: A Storm Is Coming

The D Crew

90 Minutes before the attack…

The Ink Spots "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" played on the overhead of the photography shop "Take A Shot". The owner, David Benjamin "Benny" Hernandez, quietly worked in the back room, developing photos for a friend. As he hung up each photo individually on the drying line in the dark room the Hispanic man's brown skin was tinged red in the lighting. The photography shop was David's way of getting away from military life. The photos he was developing weren't his own but a friend; Irn Papadakos.

Irn was a regular customer and friend of David. The eighteen year old was only five years David's junior as he was currently a student at UCLA studying as a photography major and being that Irn hadn't had his own developing room or money to rent one out, Benny offered to help the kid out by doing it for him for free—in return Irn helped run the shop on days when Benny was busy—which was a lot.

David took a look at the photos as they hung on the line. He stood back, crossing his arms across his chest as he admired the kid's work. Boys got real talent… he thought to himself as he looked over each and every shot. Yeah, real talent.

"No, no, no, no, no! Oh c'mon you cannot do this to me!" the twenty-nine year old woman said as she slapped her palms against the steering wheel. "I'm gonna kill Mikey…" she seethed in anger. Mickey was her older brother who she had allowed to borrow her car, and she had just received it back from him yesterday. Her gas tank was full, but the engine light was flickering on and off. This was something she couldn't fix.

She reached into her purse, rummaging through her compact mirror, hospital doctor's ID, and even an old Marine base ID she kept, until her fingers grasped what she was searching for—her cell phone. She dialed the numbers to AAA, and waited impatiently for someone to answer. Finally she heard a greeting on the receiving end and she expressed her issue. The operator told her she should expect them in about thirty to forty-five minutes. She wasn't up for waiting that long, but she had to grin and bear it.

She tossed the phone back into the purse and looked around her to see what she was around. The sign in the building in front of her read "Take A Shot"; clever for a photography store. She threw on a smile and pressed on; she wasn't going to let her brother's antics get to her today. Allison exited the Impala and headed towards the store. She walked in and noticed the old style of the shop—it even had oldies music playing overhead, that voice was Otis Redding if she remembered correctly.

"Excuse me, how can I help you?" Benny said upon noticing the dark haired women at the front desk, she had short black hair, and looked to be older than him, but not by much. Her attire showed a sort of professionalism—perhaps she was a doctor or a lawyer—for she wore a black cardigan, a green camisole, and black dress pants, she was much better dressed than his black shirt and blue jeans.

"Yeah," the woman spoke. "My car broke down just outside and I called a tow truck—I was just wondering if it would be alright if I waited in here? The guy said he'd be here in 'bout half an hour…is that okay?"

David furrowed his brows in humor. "Of course you can wait in here if that's the case—I'm David by the way." He held out a hand towards her with a smile on his face. "This is my shop."

"Oh great, thanks a lot. I'm Allison," she said accepting the friendly gesture. "It's a pretty cool place you got here." She took in the old style décor and nodded in approval. "Well I'm just gonna look around until the guy gets here—maybe I'll end up buying something," she laughed.

"Hey no problem, if you need anything I'll be over here," he pointed over by the register.

"Cool thanks," Allison said as she smiled and wandered off to the lenses section while David went about his business.

"Hey Benny," came a young masculine voice as someone else walked in the shop. The boy was average height and slim. He had a girl with him of similar age; curly red hair, and green eye, she looked familiar to him.

David looked towards the door to see it belonged to Irn who was telling something to the friend he walked in with. "Oh hey Irn, perfect timing ya know," he said nodding towards Irn as he walked up to him. "C'mon your photos should be dry by now." David said as they continued towards the back room.

Irn's friend, Robin, looked over some of the photography belonging to David as she waited for them to return. For some reason she felt as if she had definitely seen him before. She would be sure to ask when they got back. At first Robin thought maybe David was a guy Irn liked, but she could tell he wasn't his type at all. No Irn usually went for the artsy types, and although David was a photographer she could tell he was very masculine, straight, and not artsy at all—just liked to take photos.

David and Irn were flipping through the photos as they made their way back towards the front. "Hey who's your friend?" David asked as Irn looked over how each photo came out. "Oh that's Robin, she's an artist too—mostly paintings. She's actually saving up to buy herself a gallery to showcase 'em—you should talk to her 'bout that," Irn said as they finally reached the front desk where Robin had made her presence known.

"Hi, I'm David so Irn tells me you're into art—you know I get the notion I've seen you before somewhere…" David started. Robin nodded in agreement. "Yeah—I think we have met before, but briefly, you look so familiar—wait, a couple months back I went to an art showcasing—I think you may have been there," Robin stated, everything coming back to her finally.

"Yeah, I did go to one a while back—you had a few pieces dealing with landscapes and such yeah? Not to mention your hair is hard to forget," David joked to her. "Oh yeah, that was me—small world huh?" Robin replied as she laughed and smiled at the memory.

30 Minutes before the attack…

Allison was still waiting on the tow truck to arrive. She continued to walk around, browsing, until she came across a sticker in the window that read "Semper Fidelis" So he is or was a Marine, eh? Allison thought to herself. Her family was also Marines, so it only made sense for her to join when she was eighteen too. She was twenty-nine now, but her older brother was still enlisted whereas she was not.

She walked over to the front desk where David was standing. "So…'first of foot'…" she started at him. "'And right of line' he finished the marine slogan with a smirk on his face as he looked up from what he was doing to see Allison smirking at him as well. "Are you…?" He asked carefully. She laughed, "No, I was a doctor when I was enlisted, so when I got out I became a doctor at a hospital—decided to keep it in the family," she giggled. "How 'bout yourself?"

"Oh I'm just on leave at the moment, but I'll be back in real soon I'm sure," he said to her. "So how long wer—" the ringing of the phone cut him off, the phone in his office was going off. "Could you excuse me a minute?" Allison nodded as David headed to his office.

"Take A Shot—how can I help ya?" he answered on the phone. "Hey, hey Benny Boy!" Johnny, David thought to himself. He knew that voice anywhere. "Hey Fig," David said suppressing a laugh. "Oh ya know same 'ol, same 'ol. But Josh and I are on our way to pick up our weapons—ya tuned 'em up right?"

"Yep, they're nice and tuned—say how far are you guys?" David asked. In the basement of his photography shop, David also had a provision room where he kept some things like food, weapons, and things like that. And occasionally he would tune up his weapons for his Marine buddies and even a few of the local cops around here.

"We're 'bout ten minutes from the shop, that cool?" Johnny said on the phone. "Yeah, just come in through the back alright—don't need you guys scarin' off me customers with ya jarhead gear on," he laughed. "Alright man, see ya soon then." And with that they hung up the phone. David made his way back out towards the front to see Irn rummaging through a bag he brought with him.

"Hey man you diggin' for buried treasure in there?" David joked to his friend. Irn rolled his eyes and nodded. "In a sense—yes," he said finally grasping something and pulling it out. "Check it out, what do ya think?" Irn pulled out an old style Rolleiflex 2.8F TLR. "That is very nice Irn, where'd you pick this up?" David said as Irn passed him the camera as he took out his cleaning kit and brushed it off for him a bit.

"My dad sent it to me—said he found it in this thrift store and knew I had to have it," he said as he watched David examine it. "so you think it's any good? Will it work fine?"

"Shoot—a beaut like this? Of course she'll work just perfectly," he said really admiring the camera. "Here," he said handing it back to him. "You take real good care of this alright?"

"Oh I will," Irn said placing the camera back in its case, and then back in his bag. "Robin I think I can take some really nice photos of your artwork with this," he said as she stood beside him. "Yeah? Well we'll have to see, maybe with some decent photos of them I can send it to that that school I wanna go to for my semester abroad," she replied with a raise of her brow.

David smiled at the two friends. He glanced at the clock and decided he ought to head downstairs to meet up with Fig and Josh. "Hey Irn you mind holding down the fort for a minute? I've gotta head down to the basement for a bit," he asked him. "Sure, no problem," he replied. "Thanks," he said as he once again made a trip towards the back and to the basement.

15 Minutes before the attack…

"Hey Robin," Irn called out to his friend who sat next to him behind the desk. "David's music is nice, but I'm not feeling it at the moment—would you mind grabbing my ipod from the car?" he asked her pleadingly. "Oh I know what ya mean, I will gladly do that," she said grabbing the keys from his hand and heading towards the front and out the door. She walked over to the dark green '71 Plymouth Road Runner, opened the door and unhooked Irn's ipod from the new stereo and exited the car.

She headed back towards the shop, slowing down her pace as she watched the officer putting a ticket on the silver Nissan Pathfinder. The truck was parked directly in front of the store and no doubt in a fire zone. She figured it belonged to someone inside and rushed back in to let them know they were getting a ticket.

"Hey of anyone owns a silver truck…you're getting a ticket," she said loud enough for the couple of customers in the shop could hear her. "Oh crap that's me!" Allison exclaimed as she grabbed her purse and rushed outside.

"Hey, hey wait a minute this is not my fault!" she said as she began defending her situation. "Miss you're in a fire zone, didn't you see that fire hydrant right there?" the officer asked her. "Look Officer…Kashiwara, I can completely explain what happened here. My car just stalled and stopped on me—I honestly have no idea why, but I already have a tow truck on its way—" She looked ahead and low and behold just a few blocks away was a AAA tow truck. "See! It's right there, so no need to write me a ticket right?"

Officer Kashiwara looked at her with amusement and placed his ticket pad back in his pocket. "Well if you're towing yourself outta here I guess not then," he said. "But it's still in a tight spot, here, put it in neutral and we'll push it closer to the parking lot so the guy can get it hooked on alright, he suggested. "Yeah, thanks a lot," she said breathing a sigh of relief. The last thing she needed was a ticket on her car—she already had three others all because of her brother. She went to put the car in neutral and the officer began pushing the car with her help.

"This looks really good Benny, thanks," Johnny said as he looked over his prized M4 Carbine. It looked brand new and even the sticker that read "Marine's HooRah" on it was nice looking. "Yeah, it looks real good—thanks man," he said bumping his fist and giving him a man-hug. "And Josh here's your M16A4—all nicely tuned up for ya as well," David said handing the assault rifle to him.

"Nice work man," Josh said to him. "So when ya comin' back to us? Ya know the guys miss ya over there," he said with a hint of sarcasm in his tone of voice. "Like I keep saying guys soon alright," David laughed as the three joked down in the basement.

All of a sudden each was thrown off of their balance and fell to the ground as the floor shook beneath them. "What the hell was that?" Josh said steadying himself. "That was not an earthqu—" the floor once again shook and they stumbled a second time. "Let's go check this out," David said hurrying upstairs to see what was going on. When they were up there, it seemed everyone was standing outside already. The three walked to join them only to see the drone like machines hovering in the sky a couple of blocks away. Buildings were already on fire, and people were running like chickens with their heads cut off—it was like a warzone.

"Well Benny boy…I guess you're coming back to us a bit sooner than ya thought."

AN: There ya have it, chapter two written by moi. Lemme know your thoughts in a review or pm. Also any "hate" mail that was sent to New-Classic22 because of late updates is just ridiculous…Patience is a virtue—We have a lives outside of fanfic, and higher priorities (family issues, college life, etc.) as I'm sure you all do as well. So please don't send her things like that—it's unnecessary.

By: DanaIsis