Disclamer: I do not own the Battlefield 3 series, these characters are my own except for Staff Sergeant Blackburn.
Warning: This story has a tie-in with the story of Battlefield 3 and will contain spoilers, if you have already played the game - enjoy.
At The Edge Of The World
December 24th, 2014
Staff Sergeant Joshua Flint, 1st MEUSOC Battalion
It's not the end of the world, but you can damn well see it from here. I felt metal digging into my wrists as I was being led through a dark and dimly lit corridor. The two men in suits carried military issued and pristine M16A4 rifles guarding me. I don't know if they were going to use it to protect me or against me, but it damn sure didn't matter now. The way the suits acted made me hate them even more. All these Alphabet Agencies and their paranoid ideas about Russia, Taliban and PLR wanting to go to war with the United States was all bullshit. Solomon was one of many agents in the CIA overseas "assets" to go rouge. There were a handful more and even they can't understand the scope of the problem. Nuclear, biological, chemical and even digital threats were prevalent in these times. We stopped in front of a standard white door in what looked to be like an unfinished building with its inner guts spilled out. The air smelt of dank moisture, paint and steel. The sight of unpainted wood and floor littered with electrical wire didn't make me feel any better. A flash blinded my eyes as the door was swung open. Slowly, the fading white light throbbing in my pupils slowly faded away to reveal a plastic desk and chair set on top of a floor room with the window of what I assumed to be New York city. The suits pushed me down into of the the chairs and uncuffed me from the metal locked around my wrists. A single computer was set on top of a table filled with files and to my right even more boring black and gray folders. The shutting of my door brought my attention to a woman in her mid-twenties, with traces of Hispanic and Asian heritage. She was my type, the only problem was that she was wearing a black job skirt, a black suit and had cold, heartless eyes. Not to mention I've met her before also.
"Welcome Staff Sergeant Flint." She greeted sitting down on the chair opposite from me, the sun obscuring her body and face slightly.
"Miss me already Agent Oliver?" I asked leaning forward, her face unfazed.
"My men want to meet you personally in heaven." I growled as she opened her file.
"You know why you're here Sergeant. I want to know why you shot your commanding officer. I want to know why Colonel Yevtushenko has two biological canisters of VX nerve agents under his position and most of all why you decided to work for the Russians." She spoke with an articulate and clear voice.
"Considering you got two of my men killed in battle, why should I tell you anything? Better yet, I'd rather give anything away to the GRU rather than to any Alphabet Agency pets in suits." I replied, leaning back and crossing my arms.
"Damn it Josh, this isn't making anything easier!" Agent Oliver yelled, slamming her fist on the table and getting up.
"Tell me about your interactions with Lieutenant Colby Hawkins." I heard a muted voice come from the room next door.
"Who's being interrogated in there?" I asked as Oliver squeezed the bridge of her nose.
"Just go back to where it all started Josh, tell me about Operation: Rock River. Tell me about Vladimir Borodin. " She whispered sighing.
"Fine." I stated grabbing the file and looked at the photograph.
"It was the burning spring in the forest of Limpopo, the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa." I spoked slowly, the memories returning to me.
March 14th, 2014
Staff Sergeant Joshua Flint, 1st MEUSOC Battalion
MC-130J Combat Shadow II, 35,000 Feet above Limpopo Reserve
The oxygen hissed in my head as I breathed through the oxygen mask. Straps around my body dug into my skin, my limbs about to go numb. In addition to all the crap strapped to my body, a parachute was added to the mix and made my leg sag every time I walked. But it's something I loved to do. Its something all the SOC (Special Operation Capable) Marines love to do. I silently calmed myself down just like before any jump hoping nothing would go wrong. The clanking and clinking of metal drew my attention to the two idiot teammates. Chris Feldspar had the upper hand as he sparred with his comrade, the shorter five foot eight inch Adelenko Baljoge, a Croatian born United States Marine. The two traded blows with each other in full HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) gear, punching and kicking. Our Navy EOD/Medic liaison from the Seals, Jorge Keller looked at his family photograph in the dim red light as the hum of the MC-130's engine drowned out all sound. The jump master stood bored by the ramp and watched his subordinates buzz around four barrel like containers holding our gear. All we took down with us was a knife, a standard issue M1911 pistol and our balls to dare jump into enemy territory and opening the chutes at such low altitudes.
"Five minutes." Came the call from the pilot.
"Five minutes!" I yelled into the radio flashing five fingers at the men.
"Roger that." Jorge replied in all of his no nonsense voice.
"Atleast we're jumping out of airplanes and not doing some trash keeping like the 1st Recon are doing in Tehran." Chris Feldspar or Elf as we called him stated, finishing his small sparring session and walked over to us.
"Sucks to be them, huh? I heard the PLR are plenty in this year's hunting season. Too bad they're on a 'they shit, you wipe duty'." Adelenko Baljoge or Bal as we like to call him since we couldn't pronounce his last name.
"Lock it down, I want all of you gear checked and ready to jump in two." I ordered, the three nodding as Jorge shoved his photograph into one of his pockets.
"God damn Elf, you get any taller I'm going to need stilts to check your gear." I joked pulling lightly on his toggles making sure they don't accidentally pop out during the dive down to Earth.
"Well boss, at five foot nine, I need to bend over just to check you." Elf replied with a chuckle, I tapped his helmet telling him to turn around as I pulled on his parachute pack and tapped his helmet one more time.
"All good." I yelled, turning around to let Elf check my own pack.
"Good to go boss." Elf replied tapping my helmet.
"Bal, Jorge?" I asked leaning over and looking at the two men who gave me a thumbs-up.
"Sync the altimeter to thirty five thousand feet and clock to 0940 in five...four...three...two...one..." I ordered looking at my digital watch.
"Mark." I stated looking up at the men tapping their watches all at once.
"Three minutes!" The jumpmaster yelled as I nodded, telling him to lower the ramp.
The back end of the MC-130 split in half, the ramp lowering itself while the upper half folded into the aircraft. I squinted from the bright white flash blinding my eyes as it readjusted to the sun. A torrent of wind sucked the warmth out of the cargo bay and replaced it with a howling cold. I tapped my oxygen mask and gave a thumbs-up to a men, signaling them to turn on the oxygen if they haven't. At two minutes, I got on my belly on the ramp. The aerial photograph shown to me of the brief matched what I was seeing on the ground. I had done a lot of walking before and I just wanted to make sure that this time we got on the drop zone. Wrapping my gloved hand around the ramp, I held up five fingers and jabbed my thumb to the left telling the pilots to correct his course five degrees to the right. Sometimes I didn't even need to adjust at all, it was nice to have such great pilots. It was all too noisy to speak or even yell. From now on out it was either radio transmissions or hand signals. The aircraft shifted above the green jungle canopy flooded with trees and a large river not so far away cut right through the middle. I got up from the ramp and walked back to the first tube, grabbing the handles made from the recess of the tube.
"One minute." The jumpmaster reported, the radio crackling inside my ears.
"Thirty seconds." The jumpmaster stated as I slid the visor of my helmet down.
"Green light, see you on the ground." I said with a small two finger salute to my men, seeing the red light mounted just above the jumpmaster flash green.
I dragged the tube down the length of the aircraft, the weight of the combined gear making my leg sag as I jumped off. The tube tumbled down towards the Earth, my heart racing and my stomach lurching as my body caught the air. The first few times I jumped off the aircraft I thought, please open, please open, please open. Even as an expert that packs and prepares his own parachute, some of the more experience guys still had failures in their primary and had to go into their back-up chute. I never even sprained a muscle – even after 534 jumps. The altimeter read just over five thousand feet. With the guys just behind me, I waited for the continuous beep signaling the chute release altitude. A high pitch and fast beep blared in my ear. I reached to my left shoulder and pulled the red toggle, hearing a loud bang. The explosive charge sent the parachute flying out of the pack and into the air. Straps around my body tightened as the chute filled up with air and extended out to its full fifteen feet span.
"One, chute opened and descending down to the LZ." I grunted seeing my body plummet past the tube.
"This is two, right behind you boss." Bal replied, my legs tensing for the landing.
"Fuck..." I muttered the ground smacking into my body.
"Three, chute failure going into my secondary." Elf reported, his voice still calm and collected.
"Four, I have three, successful secondary chute deployment." Jorge stated as I nodded, relieved.
"Roger that." I stated tugging on my straps and shrugged off the parachute pack.
"Damn that hurts." Bal grunted landing next to me, his parachute luckily blowing behind behind him as I pulled out the thick helmet.
"You always bitch in parachute jumps you know that?" I replied pulling out a boonie hat from pocket.
"Better than hearing about PLR all the time at least." Bal stated shrugging off his pack.
"What's this about the PLR?" Elf asked donning his patrol cap.
"Nothing, I just heard that the Marines were hitting Tehran and Baghdad to search for some BS weapons like in 1991." I explained getting up and walked towards the dropped case filled with out weapons.
The jungle was covered by large and high canopies filled with insect and wildlife. Water and muddy ground was abundant throughout the region, not to mention a wet, dank and stinky smell coming from the swamps around us. I wadded through the branches, my boots sinking into the cool mud. The jungle opened to a wide open swamp. Our cases were half submerged in the water filled with flies and other nasty insects. I pulled out my pistol and twisted a silencer onto it, not wanting it to get wet and jammed. With the pistol held close to my chest, I stepped into the water. The water swallowed my boots and my legs. Each step was tiring as I fought to lift my boots from the mud. It seemed to suck my feet in and soon I found myself in waist deep water. Reaching the canister after a few minutes walking through sludge, I placed the pistol on top of a floating piece of dead wood and lifted open the canister. Inside was the new AEK-913 variant rifle of the famous AK-47 and my back-up UMP-45 sub machine gun. The upper side of the case housed my body armor stitched with the same digital camouflage pattern on my uniform. I pulled on the vest and pulled the straps until the sides of the armor were tight against my body. Grabbing the rifle and pocketing the magazines into individual pouches, I was ready to take the fight to the enemy.
"Why AEK-913s?" Bal asked slapping a magazine into his rifle and racking the bolt.
"Leaves a smaller footprint on the area since the Zimbabwe use AK-47 rifles, they'll just think its some inexperienced trooper discharging his weapon or fights between Private Military Companies having a skirmish against each other." I explained pulling out a magazine from one of my pouches and slapping it into the rifle, gunfire cracking in the distance.
"Explains the gunfire in the distance." Jorge grunted, walking towards us with Elf.
"Third world armies aren't really soldiers, just thugs with weapons." Elf scoffed as I took off my boonie hat and pulled on a one eared radio headset.
"Reaper One-One to Command, over." I spoke into the radio headset, slipping the large radio transmitter into a back pouch.
"Com-say...gain." The transmission came as I pulled my boonie hat back on.
"Reaper One-One to Command, do you read over." I replied, walking forward and away from the marsh.
"Bad-ngal, Reap-One..." The fractured radio message came.
"Screw it, radio's bad over here. We need to get to some open area without tree canopies covering us like this." I stated, my feet finally stepping on hard solid ground.
"Hey squid, you have contact with any Navy Seals members about Tehran yet?" Bal asked the Seal Team Two liaison from the Navy branch.
"Not yet, they're under ops 24/7. But, I've heard some rumors and inklings about the theater." Jorge stated as we stopped on dry land to prepare the rest of our uniform.
"Reapers, apply war paint and silence all weapons." I ordered, taking out a small green make-up kit.
"It seems like Faruk Al-Bashir came to power after an earthquake along a major fault line happened. The man supports the PLR and staged the coup d'etat, then became president. The shit hit the fan then and sent you guys in to bring the country back to order." Jorge explained as I smeared the black, green and brown paint on my face.
When painting the human skin you had to make sure you do the opposite. What's dark make it light like the recess of your eyes, covering it with green paint. What's light make it dark like the nose, forehead and chin covered with black. Hands, face, arms and neck were covered with paint. When someone looks at you, your face shouldn't resemble a face. Disappear and remain invisible. I tapped Bal, my number two and told him to check my war paint. He nodded as I looked down at my clothing. Rolled up digital camouflage uniform and knee pads for high intensity firefights, finishing it off with khaki colored jump boots. Bal wore the same uniform but traded his boonie hat in for a lightweight helmet with a small tactical light bolted onto the side of his. He had black eyes and hair with a rounded face. A short scar from a training accident a year ago shown in the paint as I nodded telling him it was all good.
"Command to Reaper One-One do you copy?" The transmission finally came through weakly, not crystal clear but enough to be understood.
"Reaper One-One to command, radio is good but weak over." I replied powering up the reflex sight of the AEK-913 and twisting on the silencer of the weapon.
"Roger that Reaper One, what is your status over." Command asked, the sound of turboprop engines buzzing overhead.
"We are five klicks from the compound and are enroute over." I reported switching over to my UMP-45 and checking the weapon.
"Copy that Reaper One, the P-3 Orion is leaving the airspace. Radio...-mission...out." Command replied, the radio transmission breaking up once again as the maritime surveillance aircraft relaying the signal returned to base to refuel.
"Alright, we have no radio contact with HQ and no support. We have no room for failure and if we are unable to catch this guy, millions will be at risk understood." I said with a stern voice look at the men who understood the gravity of the situation.
"Got it boss." Elf replied as I nodded.
"Lets move out, we got five kilometers of ground to cover." I ordered, standing up and walking deeper into the jungle.
The sounds of the wild filled in for our silence, the swishing of water as we stepped into a shallow river and the droplets of liquid from the canopies above. Jungle thickened the further we walked in and sunlight was barely able to penetrate the leaves above us. Spots of light were all that remained in the world of shadows. Thousands of wars happen everyday in the world but the media was unable to cover it. Only those who worked in the shadows fought the invisible wars against each nation's secret agencies, another reason to despise the alphabet agency. Even though we fought the same war, everyone in the Special Forces committee, American or otherwise, fought for a better future. I still remembered those days in boot camp when each one of us were ripped out from society to be trained into killing machines. Then reality hit me, high school kids had to change their ways of thinking to be turned into a killer. Its not that weren't going to be very efficient at the art but they were going to be more harmful to others than themselves. At the very least, the lack of discipline will make the whole unit a lot less inefficient at killing. We had to transform ourselves in a very psychological way and the drill sergeants erased the societal restraints on the savage part of us, making us able to survive and thrive in the environment where most would die. People were too use to everyday committees and when placed in a war zone will die almost certainly. The sound of a branch breaking with a snap made me look towards dry land to the right of us. Being in the shadows meant we could see him, but he couldn't see us. The man had a blonde beard and sport sunglasses on his face. A baseball cap on his head along with an American made AR-15 rifle. He was definitely paramilitary.
"Hey mate, you have a lighter?" An Australian voice came from his direction, another man emerging from the shrub behind him.
"Yeah, here." The man holding the AR-15 spoke with a Texan drawl, reaching into his pocket a producing a small sliver Zippo lighter.
"Thanks." The Australian replied taking the lighter and lighting his cigarette with a puff of smoke.
He handed the lighter back to the American and disappeared back into the shrub. I slowly looked towards my teammates, careful to not make a noise and pointed my index finger towards my left and right before waving my hand downwards at the surface of the water. The three gave a short and slow nod before sinking even deeper into the water. My nose just skimmed the water's surface as I crouched down to use the water to my advantage. The barrel of the Russian rifle floated just above the water, the waterproof sight littered with water droplets. Radio static constantly crackled in my ear as the voice activated radio microphone transmitted random bursts. The American seemed tired, his eyes heavy with dark bags under his eyes. This wasn't the best moment to be sleeping honestly.
"One report." I murmured in my throat, my voice inaudible in the jungle noise.
"Two, one tango." Bal reported as the American leaning forward slightly.
"Three, one tango, smoking a Marlboro by the looks of it." Elf stated, the American lost his step and was jolted awake.
"Four, one tango walking around a Cherokee Jeep. Looks like our ride into the base itself." Jorge reported, the American closing his eyes to take a short nap.
"Drop'em, silently." I ordered looking through the sight, the little red dot hovering just under his mouth.
My sniper training came back, my breathing slow and steady. I partially exhaled and held my breath. The red dot shifted ever so slightly as I aimed at the man five meters away. My finger squeezed the trigger. A small jolt into my shoulder and the heat of the gunpowder droplets being sprayed onto my face by the back blast of the silencer. The water splashed back at me as the bullet passed the speed of sound. Clank, snap, crack. The round hit him right in the center of the head as he fell down into the water, his legs immediately collapsing. He fell into the water with a splash, the bullet hole leaking out blood as his body floated on the small river. Three more cracks echoed in the air before quickly become silent once again. I stood up and walked towards the dead soldier and flipped him over. He was dead before he even knew it and now he was going to be asleep forever. I checked his armor pouches and pulled out a phone, a wallet and his Zippo lighter nothing more. In his wallet was a picture of his family, a credit card and a twenty dollar bill. I assumed he was divorced since the photograph looked aged and torn, his two kids the age of four to six smiling at the camera. Nobody will know he was gone until five or ten years later. I moved on and placed my foot on dry land, the water dripping off my uniform. There was a ruffling from the shrub. I raised my rifle and placed my finger on the trigger. A twitch would send hot lead into the shrub at a second's notice.
"Look at this." Elf stated walking out from the shrub.
"Marlboro Reds?" I asked as he flipped up the top of the box and pulled out a single stick.
"Want one?" Elf asked as I shook my head taking out the Zippo lighter and lit his cigarette.
"I don't smoke." I stated bluntly, the two of us walking into the shrub.
"Of course you don't, tell that to yourself two years ago." Elf said with a puff of smoke.
"I quit alright, the only thing I smoke is the gunpowder from the rifle." I replied seeing Bal and Jorge standing by a Cherokee on a small dirt road in the middle of a jungle
"Sweet ride." I whistled at the black 2014 Cherokee.
"3.7 Liter V6, ballistic glass, automatic transmission and all of the electronic options plus radio. I'd say someone is seriously considering staying in this shit hole of a country." Jorge stated looking at the Jeep before turning to me.
"Who's driving?" Jorge asked as I shook my head.
"I'm out, I did the driving in the last mission. An Iranian pick-up truck and the Insurgents PKM didn't go down with me so well." I stated plainly, Elf also shaking his head.
"I already drove the Humvee from FOB Keller into the province of Yazd, attracted a couple of AKs too." Elf replied as we all looked at Bal.
"What? Me, you serious?" The Croatian asked, the three of us nodding.
"You didn't drive since three months ago in Operation: Broken Shield. Your turn Bal." I stated seeing Jorge throw the key at him.
"Fine." Bal grunted walking over to the right side and opening the door.
"Get in." He stated, starting the engine.
"Won't we get ID'ed in this Jeep?" Elf asked getting in the backseat.
"No, tinted windows. No one's going to know we're here unless they open the door." Jorge replied from the back, the four of us closing the door and pulling out our close range weapons.
"Alright, let's do this." Bal stated putting the jeep into first gear.
The Jeep's tire squealed as it bit the tire trying to find traction. The V6 engine growled under the hood, Bal precariously trying hard to keep the Jeep on track on the slippery dirt road. We were jolted around the seat driving towards even deeper jungle. Triple canopies became thicker and the light no longer visible. The darkened jungle was close to pitch black as Bal turned on the headlights, the radio and GPS providing the only light source in the Jeep. If felt like a horror movie, dark, brooding and dank. Invisible branches whacked at the metal and glass. The sound of water dripping on the windshield and the sloshing of mud filled our ears. Cool, earthy air blew at us from the A/C vents and the taste of sand in my throat filled me with little dread. Little butterflies fluttered in my stomach as shadows darted from tree to tree. Just my eyes playing tricks. A lesson by the drill instructor. When night falls and shapes becomes shadow, you mind starts to distort the shapes into something from your darkest fears. The jeep crashed into a dip in the road, muddy water splattered onto the windshield.
"Alpha One Six report." The radio crackled, making my heart stop slightly.
"Fucking hell, that scared the shit out of me." Bal breathed.
"Alpha One Six, sector alpha six through ten secure." The radio continued to crackle.
"Bravo One One, report." The other voice ordered, the jeep stopping at a cross road.
"Bravo One One, report." The other voice ordered in a more stern voice.
"Shit that's us." Elf muttered as I picked up the little radio transmitter.
"Bravo One One, all sectors clear." I stated, trying to speak in my best Texan drawl and ended sounding like some idiotic redneck.
"You okay Eric?" The British man replied with suspicion in his voice.
"Yeah, its just that I didn't get much sleep and my voice is a bit screwy." I quickly answered as Bal took a left turn following the GPS.
"Don't stay up so late looking at your kid's Facebook and get some sleep." The British stated before moving on to the next patrol.
"Well that was close." Elf said with a sigh of relief.
"Didn't think your crappy voice acting was going to get us past the radio." Bal chuckled as I glared at him.
"Sorry boss." He murmured looking back towards the road.
"We should be getting close to the base itself." Jorge stated just as lights appeared in the darkness, the base itself marked by both invisible IR lights and the paramilitary signal lights.
Bal stopped the car, the lights flashed at us. Morse code. It flashed a series of code words that we didn't know. I looked to Bal and Jorge who nodded to me. Bal extinguished the lights while Jorge, Elf and I rolled down the window placing our rifle's on the door. I caught a glint of glass from the two guards. They were wearing Night Vision goggles probably the newer models but no matter, they were still very sensitive to light. Chaos ensued as Bal turned on the high-powered light making the guards shield their eyes from the headlamps. The little red dot hung just above the guard's goggles, my finger squeezing the trigger and my breathing paused. In one smooth motion, I fired my weapon. A jolt in my shoulder and the heat of the back blast sent a bright ray of light towards the guard. His head jerked back. The guard's head smacked against the stick of a large hut before slumping against the ground, his right arm holding his weapon bent at a strange angle. I opened the door to the Jeep and stepped out, walking towards the dead guard. He never had a chance as two bullet holes were drilled into his head and chest. I turned him over and pulled off his night vision goggles to see blue eyes and blonde hair cut short still with military regulations. His badge stitched into his black unarmored vest only used to carry ammunition with a red beret, red star behind a fist clenching an AK-47SU told me he was from the Spetznaz. What could possibly buy almost every single operative out from their respective units? Money.
"Hey Staff Sergeant." Jorge said as I looked towards him.
"Biometric scanners near this guy, with luck he's still alive. I shot him in the lung." Jorge reported, kicking the man's weapon away from him.
"Alright then, here's the deal." I started using short range and encrypted communication channels to talk with the team.
"We use silenced weapons for the first few minutes until the alarms are trigger, we know they're going to be trigger sooner or later. Then we switch to our CQB weapons and hunt this guy down. We need him alive, the suits want him in custody understood?" I asked the three as they nodded.
"Why don't we just kill him and get it over with?" Bal asked, turning off the headlights and walked to join the three of us.
"The man has sold nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to a lot of defected operatives across the world. We don't know who and we don't know why but we need him alive to confirm them." I replied checking my UMP-45 one more time and placed the rifle off safe.
"Roger that boss." Bal breathed taking out his M1014 Combat Shotgun and pumped a round into the breech.
"We hit on three." I ordered seeing Jorge place the man's hand on the scanner and shot him as the door opened.
"Two...One..." I whispered into the headset,hugging the butt stock of the rifle with my right cheek.
"Mark!" I yelled crouching down and slid into the garage filled with powerful white light.
"What the fuck!" A British contractor yelled in the middle of the room as I pumped two quick rounds into his chest.
He slumped onto the floor, blood pooling out from underneath him. I swept my rifle right to cover Elf as I saw another man about to hit the panic button. Two jolts into my shoulder sent the man down onto the floor groaning in pain. There was a glass security box with a man inside, his hands quickly and calming going towards the phone. A small storage corridor leading to another exit burst open with two men armed with shotguns. Elf and I walked towards them together, keeping distance between Elf to ensure that we both weren't taken out at the same time. Double taps brought one down as Elf took out the other, the contractor crumpling into the wall next to him. Blood was left on the wall as he fell down onto the floor, his hand clutching his rifle. The entire room was cleared in less than thirty seconds. I looked back to Jorge and Bal who stood in front of the security box with at least four men laying dead on the ground, blood littered on the stone floor. I walked towards them seeing a man with a smug face on the other side.
"You think you can shoot into this room with your petty Warsaw pact rifles?" The man spoke in a very articulate manner, just like a business man.
"You're the explosive expert." I looked to Jorge who produced what looked like play-doh and a black stick the size of our forearm.
"What are you doing?" The man asked as Jorge stuck a wire into the clay-doh like Semtex and C4 block, flicking a switch on the detonator held in his hand.
"Stop!" He yelled, Jorge placing the molded clay onto the screen and quickly stepped to the side.
"No!" The man let out a blood curling scream.
I quickly ducked behind the corridor, an electrical whiz was heard for a split second before an ear splitting explosion shook the room like an earthquake. I closed my eyes feeling and smelling dust just completely engulf the air. I opened my eyes to see dust everywhere. It was like an opaque white haze, my hand held out to feel my surroundings. Coughing and my ears still ringing from the blast I looked at the man on the floor still bleeding blood next to the still intact biometric scanner. I grabbed his hand and placed it on the scanner before shooting him twice in the chest. It made sure he wouldn't come back and bite us in the ass later on in the mission. There were two silhouettes in the distance, light slowly sweeping from bottom to top.
"Staff Sergeant!" A voice yelled from the mist coughing, the sound of footsteps approaching me.
"Sound off!" I ordered, the ringing in my ears subsiding.
"Bal, okay!" One scream reported from the haze.
"Jorge, good to go!" Another replied my call.
"Elf, all good!" A voice from behind me yelled as I nodded.
A round snapped next to my head. My instincts driving me into the wall right next to the downed man. Red tracers crisscrossing the mist and impacted into the garage door with a bang.
"Fuck!" Someone yelled as the haze started to clear.
"Get those bastards now!" A gruff voice barked orders, men quickly sprinting into the room.
"Elf, take the left door side! Jorge, Bal through the garage door!" I ordered pulling out my sub machine gun.
"Got it boss!" Bal replied, the sound of a shotgun thumping behind me.
Elf backed up against the wall right next to the door waiting for me. I slammed into cover, nodding to him and exited the door first. A blur of color flashed before my eyes. On the other side of the door was an armed soldier, his Russian built Saiga shotgun pointed at the floor. I rushed at him. My forearms smashing into his face. A quick kick at his stomach threw him onto the ground as I felt heat pricking at my neck. The sound of a gun burst exploded beside me. I fired three bullets into the man's general direction and look up towards the threat. It was a massive garage filled with four wheel drive jeeps and trucks. Now it was littered with panicking troops answering the alarm call. Elf rushed in front of me running up the steps into the hidden compound firing his M4 Carbine at the enemy. Bal and Jorge appeared in front of us, firing their weapons at the enemy. I winced hearing a snap and the blazing sting of pain at the back of my neck. My back slammed into a white jeep as I locked eyes with the men firing at me. With a flick of the fire selector, I popped from just above the hood and fired slow, methodical single shots at the enemy. One squeeze of the trigger. A tap on the shoulder. The man in front of me behind a car crumpled onto the ground clutching his abdomen screaming in pain. I switched targets and fired two more bullets into his friend trying to help him. A red mist exploded form his head and the wall behind him was splattered with red graffiti. The noise of a bullet punching through the hood of my car made me duck behind cover, scrambling towards Elf who was giving me suppressive fire from the trunk.
"Staff Sergeant, we got two sniper's on the top of the parking garage!" Jorge yelled as I nodded taking out my rifle.
"Give suppressive fire on my mark!" I screamed back, ripping out the empty magazine and slapping in a new fresh one.
"Roger that, Staff Sergeant!" Jorge replied reloading his SCAR-L back-up rifle.
I glanced up from behind the car, trying to look through the window. A glint from the shattered tinted windows of the parking garage roof caught my attention. I ducked down just in time to miss a bullet from the sniper as it shattered the car window.
"Suppressive fire!" I ordered taking a step back from the car and shouldering the rifle.
"Suppressive fire!" Jorge repeated as I fired off a quick double tap into the sniper above me.
The sniper slumped right by his weapon, the bullet entering through his forehead.
"We're clear move up!" Elf reported, reloading his weapon.
Firefights were never a dull moment. I moved up and reloaded my weapons while keeping an eye on the double doors at the end of the parking garage. The glass doors slid open, my right arm instantly going to my left shoulder strap. I drew my combat knife and jumped at the unsuspecting attacker. My left shoulder slamming him into the ground. He fought fiercely hitting me with his fists. The left side of my face went numb as I bought the blade back and jabbed it deep into his abdomen. He grunted with pain. I drew my blade back, just to plunge in back into his stomach. Over and over again I stabbed him until his green eyes stared lifelessly at the ceiling above him. I stopped, panting with a mix of excitement, pleasure and fear. I was excited from the adrenaline rushing through my body, felt pleasure from the savage side of me as I maimed a killed just to feel alive and felt fear that the enemy would kill me. Such was the world of combat.
"You alright boss?" Bal asked as I stood up wiping the blade on the camouflage uniform.
"Yeah, yeah..." I whispered feeling the urge to puke after seeing the man's entrails and blood spilled all over the granite floor.
"We should get moving, Borodin's just up ahead." Jorge suggested as I nodded.
I sheathed the blade still red with blood and grabbed my weapon from the floor. I took one last look at the dead man, kneeling down to close his eyes with my bloodied hands. A hand patted my shoulder. Standing up, I looked at the three men under my command and nodded to them. We walked forward and down a the straight corridor. I heard something, a slight buzzing in my ears. Bright white light shined from the glass window surrounding me. The jungle was cleared just a few meters from the glass house, humming shook the house slightly as no one was found in the room. It was a huge two story house connected to a guards quarters on one side and a mess hall on the other. Furniture and a large television set sat down stairs in the living room with a short set of stairs leading up into what looked like the lounge. A beautiful view of a river along with eight sofas set in a semi-circle. The buzzing got louder as me and my men ascended the stairs. Another set of stairs leading up. This time it lead to a large King sized bed with a small fire place, lit and burning documents. Two men looked over to us as Jorge and Elf dropped them.
"Jorge, Elf see what's in those documents. Bal, you're with me!" I ordered as the three nodded.
One final set of stairs, I gripped the sub machine gun and stepped onto the rooftop. The sun hung high over the amazon like jungle and four men with their backs turned towards us stood talking to a man inside Kamov Ka-60 transport helicopter. I raised my rifle and let loose all of my ammunition into the four men just as Bal did. The man turned towards us wincing as the bullets peppered the aircraft's skin making it spark. His men were dead and he knew he was soon to be. Bullets cracked past my ear from behind me as I turned around to see the men that were out on patrol, coming back to answer the alert.
"Go after him boss, I'll take care of them!" Bal yelled, picking up a sniper rifle from the dead marksman I killed.
"Cover me!" I screamed before turning around to run after the helicopter.
My hands pulled my weapons off of my body in an attempt to lighten the weight my legs need to be carrying, except for the M1911 pistol I always kept close at hand. Pain and discomfort erupted from my legs. Oxygen being burned up from the sprint. The helicopter was lifting off, shit! I grunted and forced my legs to run further and faster. The wheels of the helicopter lifted off from the ground, the gust from the blades obscuring my view. I ran up the steps and locked my eyes on the black frame of the helicopter. I jumped from the edge of the building and dived after the accelerating helicopter. My heart pounded in my ears and my breathing slow. It felt like it lasted forever. I closed my eyes bracing for the worst. My back exploded in pain and fire filled my nerves. My eyes snapped open. I was in the helicopter and the bastard didn't even notice. My hand drew the pistol and fired into the instrument panel of the ascending helicopter. Borodin looked back seeing me destroy his aircraft.
"Americanski!" The arms dealer yelled in rage, walking towards me.
I felt his fist smash into my face, numbing it. My head slammed into the passenger door. I blacked out just for a moment just enough for him to slug my stomach. Already on my back, he stepped over me and pulled me up to his eyes. At six foot and two inches tall, he was big. Borodin screamed and threw me into the back of the aircraft. The helicopter started to spin. He lost his balance flying into the cockpit. I drew my knife and wiped the blood from my bruised cheek. The both of us swayed towards each other, the sky a blur of white and blue along with the green of the jungle. He lunged at me. I ducked narrowly missing the giant man and threw a fist into his stomach. He doubled over. Just as I grabbed him, a jolt threw the both of us into the cockpit. I smelled water, my vision black. I panted shaking my head to clear the mist of darkness. Brown water seeped into the aircraft from the open passenger bay and Borodin was out cold. The helicopter tilted up like the Titanic carrying us with it into the deep. I looked up at the sky and smashed my fist and knife into the thick cockpit glass.
"Fuck!" I yelled fighting for my life.
"Come on." I grunted, smashing my fist into the glass.
I gagged, coughing as water rose up to my neck. My knuckles stung, the cracking of glass bringing me hope. Brown filled my eyes. Water rising up above my head and consuming the helicopter. One last try. I brought my fist back and smashed through the glass feeling the sharp edges cutting my skin open. My hands groped the vest to find molded clay. I placed the clay on the glass and stuck the accompanying wire into the dough. My lungs burned and my head felt light. I found a switch, and blindly stuck it inside one of the holes. I squeezed the detonator. Something blew me out and then sucked me back in. My left arm gripping to the Russian burst into fire as I desperately swam for air. My body burned and my mouth opened to breathe in air just to find water. I felt cool air brush against the tips of my finger. I could feel it, the breeze. One more stroke. Freezing wind blasted against my face as I sucked in a lungful of air coughing. Then, I was pulled back down. Fucking bastard, that Russian. I felt his boot smash into my face, the man surfacing for air. I swam after him. Grabbing his leg and sticking the knife deep into his bone. I heard a muffled scream. I broke the water surface and saw the Russian's face twisted in pain. I smashed my head against his, knocking the man back and pulled out the knife.
"Swim towards the surface!" I ordered, coughing and still panting for air.
"Why should I you capitalist dog?" Borodin yelled as I stabbed him again in his leg.
"Agh! You fucking pig!" He yelled, getting the hint and slowly swam towards the compound.
"Sergeant!" Jorge screamed from the shore, with the rest of the team.
"What is it?" I asked grabbing Bal's hand and lifting myself from the water.
"Bal spotted a Russian An-124 dropping Russian Special Forces into the area." Jorge reported, offering me a canteen as Elf shoved the wounded Russian over towards his house.
"Russian SpecOps? You sure?" I asked grabbing the canteen and chugged the water down my dry throat.
"I'm pretty sure, that blue strip with the Russian flag on it is no mistake." Jorge stated as I walked towards Borodin.
"How far were they from drop zone?" I asked pulling off the boonie and stopping just in front of Borodin.
"I'd say three or four kilometers, HALO drops. They're possible less than five hundred meters away from us." Jorge estimated as I nodded.
"So Americanski, what do you want to know?" Borodin asked with a smile that infuriated me, he thinks he's got all the chips.
"Who the fuck did you sell the VX agents to?" I yelled grabbing the man by his collar and pushed him up against the wall.
"Look at you. I'm so scared." Borodin coughed, smiling at me.
"Boss we don't need him. I've got the documents they failed to burn. Over fifty buyers of VX, nuclear and biological components." Elf stated as I looked at the Russian and slugged him in the stomach.
"Cuff him and give me your back-up." I ordered Jorge who gave me his SCAR-L.
"Not so fast, American." A Slavic voice said from behind me.
The four of us turned around with our weapons up, ready to fire. The men of three aimed their weapons at us. They were clothed in thick parachuting Russian camouflage gear and their faces wary with battle scars just like ours. The one who stood ahead of the others walked slowly towards me before quickly turning and firing a shot. I looked to the right seeing Borodin crashing into one of the glass windows, shattering it with a bullet hole in his chest.
"Fuck..." Bal cursed as we stood at a stalemate.
"American, put your weapons down. We are not here to hurt you." The Russian Special Force soldier stated as I looked to the men who were determined to kill our counterparts.
"Boss just double tap this guy we're four to three." Bal stated, the Russian still pointing his weapons at us.
"We know who Borodin sold the weapons to and why, the Russian Intelligence knows just as much as you do." The Russian soldier explained as I slowly lowered my weapon, ready to snap it back up and shoot them if lied.
"Sergeant?" Jorge asked seeing my slowly lower my weapon.
"Lower them." I ordered, Bal not settling with the idea of a truce between the two SpecOps branches.
"Boss, just doubl-" Bal started as I cut him of.
"Bal just lower the fucking weapon!" I yelled, my team lower their rifles but not without growling at the enemy.
"Опустите оружие." The Special Ops leader ordered as his men lowered their rifles.
"Alright what do you have to say." I stated, the leader walking towards me.
"You seriously going through with this?" Bal yelled disapprovingly.
"Shut the fuck up Bal, if the Russians have information. We can use it and work with them to save billions of lives, now simmer the fuck down!" I growled back at the Croatian, pushing him back from the Russians.
"Do you know who Colonel Yevtushenko is?" The Russian asked as I shook my head.
"No idea." I replied.
"He used to be in charge of the Russian GRU units." He explained, quirking my interest.
"Your intelligence agency and now he's rouge?" I asked connecting the dots together.
"Yes. But, now here's the complicated part. He is planning to attack the United States out of revenge. Ever since Bosnia his daughter was killed in an American bombing raid, he's vowed revenge for it ever since."
"So how is he going to carry out this 'attack'?" I asked.
"Your intelligence agency has agents out in the field, no?" I nodded.
"About twenty percent has defected to the Russian's side, most were originally recruited from Russia. Solomon, Caesar, Alexander, Hannibal to name a few. They all possess nuclear and biological weapons from dealers all over the globe or are in the process of acquiring one. The Canadian Joint Task Force 2, British Special Reconnaissance Service and our own Vympel and Alpha group are chasing down the defects. If you help us, the world will be better off tomorrow rather than in a war between two superpowers caused by one madman." The Russian soldier finished as I nodded.
"And who will I be hunting?" I asked, the soldier taking out a piece of waterproof and laminated paper.
"Vicktor Kuibyshev, Hannibal. He used to be a former Spetsnaz soldier before defecting to the United States after his family and sister was killed by Russian Internal agents. He is going to be in London to meet with the weapons dealer. Meet him there and retrieve the package at all costs." The Russian soldier concluded brushing past us and towards the house.
"And who are you exactly?" I asked turning around.
"Vadim Sidorov, Vympel group, Russian Spetsnaz." He replied before firing a bullet into Borodin's body and disappearing into the house.
"Shit so we really are working with the Russians." Elf stated as I nodded looking at the photograph.
"Fuck these pigs." Bal growled spitting on the ground.
"What is up with you and these Russians?" Jorge asked, pulling out his radio to call us a ride out of here.
"They ransacked my country in World War Two, created my greatest enemies and left just like that. They screwed us up that's what it is." Bal explained, Jorge calling in an extraction helicopter.
The man in the photograph had blue eyes and a stubble beard. His jaw was set and a scar extended from the corner of his mouth to his eyebrow. He had this sort of sneer that was unforgettable in the photograph and short blonde crew cut hair. It was taken in 2001 so it was a while since they last seen the guy. Whoever this guy was, he was going to be killing millions with a single bomb just to do some madman's bidding. We also knew our next target: London.