"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." ~ Ronald Reagan.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."~ Thomas Jefferson.

It was raining that day.

It had been raining for a solid week, now.

Ever since the Soviet forces had marched in to the Midwest, the weather had seemed to take a symbolic turn for the mournful citizens in the Red War Machine's path. Rain, overcast skies, and no predictions of it getting any better from even the most delusional of Communist weather programs. In Des Moines, the source of Soviet control through out Iowa and the northern portions of the Midwest, it seemed as if the Soviets had full control, and free reign of the streets. With armored cars driving up and down what had once been busy venues of civilian traffic, and soldiers with Ushankas and AKs in every alley: it wasn't too far from the truth. As resistance forces on the coast put up a seemingly vain attempt at resistance, those still waiting in the path of the invasion did the same, and to similar effect. Those who had joined the resistance were in hiding, taking shelter in basements, sewers, and at any of the few places where they could rest their heads without fear of death or capture by the waiting Soviet military police seemingly at every street corner, or outside every window. It was a grim forecast for America.

Yet hope still glimmered that morning.

It wasn't the only glimmer, either, as a sniper's scope surveyed the street.

William Sellek was virtually unmoving from where he had sat down four hours ago. His rifle, a Remington 700 retrieved from his father's home shortly before a Soviet raid in his old neighborhood, rested on a worn-out looking desk that had been in the room when he had arrived earlier. Beside his rifle on the desk were several spare 5-round magazines that he had set aside to save time from fishing in his vest should he need to reload quickly. Sitting with one leg crossed in front of him, and the other raised to support his firing arm, his rifle rested against the desk, and from his position he could see clearly out a window in a wall of an apartment complex which had been obviously scarred by Soviet and resistance bullets during the first few days of what had become a crushing occupation effort by the Soviet military. Wearing his National Guard-issued boots (not polished, despite habits drilled in to him by the Army training), BDU trousers, belt, undershirt, field jacket, and blouse: he had obviously put thought in to the application of his clothing. Combined that with his close-cut dark brown hair, the focused stare of his gray eyes, and the athletic and healthy build of his body: every facet of him looked like that of the soldier he so proudly was. Yet he wasn't there in that capacity, at least not officially. The US government had signed no orders for him to do what he was doing today; or at least not directly for him to do so. He was doing his part as a soldier, resisting the enemy at all costs, even though his unit had routed during the Soviet advance in to the Midwest, and he had no contact with his chain of command in the Iowa National Guard or federal government.

Sitting beside him at the desk was another man of interest. His brother, Michael Sellek, on a rather ratty-looking chair, and leaning forward with his elbows supporting him on the desk. Five years older than his brother, at twenty nine, Michael had been a man of the military long before the invasion had actually begun, and had saw fit to contribute to his country by way of the Navy. Passing training to become a Navy SEAL early on, he had already seen several covert operations against the Soviets before they had touched down on the mainland US. This, however, was not one of them. He had been home on leave, visiting his brother who he hadn't seen in close to three years, and catching up on lost time. He had been cut off from being able to get to his unit as the Soviets had rolled in to the Midwest along major highway routes, and had watched as his brother ran off to fight while he made sure to get their father and mother somewhere safe.

Three weeks later, he had been greeted by the sight of a weary, and raggedy-looking younger brother sneaking in to the backyard of their childhood home (which Michael had been keeping an eye on while their mother and father stayed with an old family friend, to avoid Soviet punishment for living in a richer part of town). From that point on, the two had gotten the rifle from their father's den, grabbed all the ammo they could, and the two had headed out in to the country-side. Now he was here, in camouflaged pants, unpolished boots, undershirt, blouse, and a field jacket. The only difference between the twos' apparel was the Army or Navy insignia and markings. Not to mention that with a well-trimmed goatee and mustache, icy light blue eyes, and his own hair looking rather shaggy (though his brother's was starting to break Army regulations): he looked more "special ops" as opposed to his brother's "grunt" appearance. With a pair of binoculars plucked from a convenience store just outside Des Moines: he watched the street carefully, and all those who walked in "his territory" as they went about their days. In front of him was a notepad, with a pencil, and various landmarks drawn down with distances from the apartment room in which the two had set up their sniper nest.

Like most resistance fighters in Iowa, they weren't part of some kind of bigger command structure, like those on the coast. Rather, cells were formed, with each one fighting it's own little war, and only able to communicate enough to avoid shooting each other. Soviet crack-down on telephone, mail, media, and even simple street usage had all made it hard for the resistance to do much. Lessons that they had little time to apply on the coast due to the need for a speedy invasion were better applied in the Midwest, where they had dry ground on which to rest their feet as opposed to the unstable scenario of a coastal landing. So if those on the coast thought they had it rough, then they obviously hadn't experienced the terrors and hardships inflicted upon the American populace further in-land. Michael and William were essentially in contact with none of these groups. Knowing of their existence was one thing, but getting in touch with them was another thing entirely. The cells were doing their best to hide from Soviet forces, which meant compromising actions taken in-field, and even something such as recruitment efforts. They were afraid to come out in the open because they knew the Soviet military would be able to smack them down if they tried to do anything against them.

That was why William and Michael were going officer hunting.

Careful surveillance and observation, walking the streets in plain clothes, and talking to people in the area had gotten William and Michael information they needed. Admittedly, they didn't have many sources due to a lack of manpower like that of a full resistance organization, but they were still able to convince some people to talk to them. They received a variety of information about, as one elderly woman described him, ". . . that one pinko with the fancy hat . . ." who was operating in the area. Through further conversations with other sources, including a sixty eight year old Marine veteran, a man of about the rank of Major had been strutting around the local area. He was an armored unit commander, or at least that's what the former Devil Dog supposed since there were so many Soviet tanks in the area, and he had actually managed to keep track of the officer's average time of arrival and departure from a rather small command post based out of what had once been a five-story apartment complex. So with that information in hand, the two brothers had found a hide-sight (the unoccupied apartment building which they were now in), and had observed the area in question for several days. Michael had kept diligent track of the time: monitoring the area for anything they could use to their advantage. Each brother kept track of even the most minute details of the environment.

By now, William even knew that one of the guards who was often stationed out front was a married man, with a habit of not always shaving in the morning.

However, they simply waited, and watched for the longest time. Never hitting even when their target presented himself to them.

Now was the day. It was the day the Major was going to die.

"I see the car coming." Michael whispered, "Two up."

Coming from the north, William and Michael were able to look straight through the front windshield of the car for the first twenty meters after it had made a left turn on to their street. After that point, the angle meant that the roof blocked the view, but until that time they could always see the young Russian woman driving the car, as well as the officer himself in the backseat, and on the opposite side of the car. So uniform, without ever changing in any way, the car approached the outpost at a speed of no more than fifteen to twenty miles an hour, glided to a stop, and rested there for a moment. Then the driver door opened as the young woman stepped out. She was a low-ranked enlisted woman: nobody special. William had suspected she was probably just the Major's favorite piece of tail, so he liked to keep her close. They watched as she walked around the front of the car and then held open the Major's door. He stepped out, slowly, and rose up with an air of drama about him as he looked around the surroundings. Apparently he felt like taking in the sights that morning, though there wasn't much to take in as far as Michael or William were concerned. Then again, their opinion could have been considered a bit biased.

"Wait for it, Will." Michael spoke up quickly.

However, William hadn't even flinched, "Relax. I don't want to risk hitting the blond."

They watched as the two approached the door, with the driver standing between the Major, and the brothers. As they were no more than ten steps from the door, the two stopped, and the double-doors opened to admit the passage of a Sergeant who was most definitely older than all of the people who were in front of the building now. Or at least he lookedolder. He came out, saluted the Major, and then turned to hold a door for the two as they entered. Then he once again entered the building, with the door closing behind him. Now both brothers waited patiently, only taking their eyes away from the rifle or binoculars long enough for the sake of avoiding eye fatigue. Both were silent and patient: well-trained soldiers who had a very clear self-decided mission. Of course, they weren't worried that the officer had gone inside. The driver had been in the way and William didn't want to risk the officer being able to get to his car before they could get a shot off. Besides, less shots fired meant the soldiers would have a harder time pin-pointing their exact location. So as the minutes clicked by, the two brothers waited. Fifteen minutes. They knew that it wouldn't only take the officer approximately fifteen minutes to get, as far as they could guess, a daily inspection done and over with. It wouldn't be that long. The reward they would hopefully get for this was well worth the wait it required.

Sure enough, at seventeen minutes a door was opened by somebody on the inside (presumably the Sergeant), and the Major and his driver exited. She was still at his right side, yet if she had done so to protect him from possible snipers (unlikely), then she had made a grave mistake, and had actually put the Major between herself and the snipers in question. So now they had a perfectly clear shot at him as he stood at the door for a moment to exchange pleasantries or something else with whoever was standing on the inside.

"150 meters." Michael was still whispering, "No wind." A pause, "Make sure he's out in the open when it happens."

Of course they wanted people to see him die.

Soviet bureaucracy would take hours to recover from the death of the unit command, a whole day if they were lucky, and they wanted his death to be seen by as many innocent civilians as possible. That way word wold get around, so if the resistance cells throughout the area had feelers out, then they would get word, and then by the time the Major's replacement had taken over his tanks would already be blowing up in the motor pool. So William shifted his scope to the side of the officer, lifting his aim to hit the officer in the side of the head or throat. He wanted the shot to be as lethal as possible, in order to prevent him from being able to recover. Then again, even if it wasn't a lethal kill: the effect on his unit would be much the same as it had been. Either way, the job was done, but neither William or Michael had ever had much of a soft spot for Communists. So the man was going to die; no questions asked.

As the Major reached the midpoint between the door and the car, Michael spoke once again, "Send it."

Seemingly on command, William quickly sucked in his breath, held it, steadied his aim, double-checked his aim, and then squeezed the trigger. The entire process took approximately three seconds, enough time for the Major to get midway through his next step before the moment of impact. The round spiraled through the, falling just short of the intended area at first. It struck the top of his shoulder, beginning to tumble as it slammed in to his throat. It carried through the throat, the exit wound splattering the side of the young woman's face in gore, and the very tip of the round grazed her scalp as it soared off in the distance. She fell to the ground, screaming in pain, and clutching her head as she did so. The officer did not fall as quickly. Instead he dropped to his knees, a single hand reaching up to his throat as his last breath slowly escaped him. The nearby soldiers rushed to his side, but it was too late. By the time the closest medic had gotten out of the building to the Major's side, he had fallen forward dead, now resting on the bloodied lap of the same married Soviet soldier who, not breaking from habit, had forgotten to shave that morning, and was staring at the body with a mixed look of terror and shock on his face. Meanwhile, the driver would be easily saved. The wound was just enough to remove some hair and scalp, so she would live to tell the tale, and recollect about her near-death experience.

"Good shot." Michael said, lowering the binoculars as the street become a hive of activity.

The guards were scrambling, not used to this sudden change in environment after so long without any real opposition against them. Some of them started firing sporadically in to windows and on to roofs, and others took cover while trying to scan the streets for what they thought was the starting shot to a large attack. The officer's body was carried inside quickly, while a pair of other soldiers hauled the screaming driver off the sidewalk, and helped her inside. Meanwhile the guards, expectant of a further attack, were going to be disappointed. William put one gloved hand near the bolt, catching the shell casing, and then proceeding to gather up the magazines he had set on the table. As he did that, Michael headed for the door, and covered the hallway with his Kalashnikov while he waited for his brother. Both ducked almost reflexively as a few stray bullets smacked in to the building, both taking cover. Yet a few moments later: there was nothing more in their direction. Obviously just a soldier spraying in hopes of hitting the sniper, or at least hoping to keep him suppressed. No threat to the two brothers as they headed out in to the hall with Michael running as the point-man. While he did that, William let his Remington hang by it's sling, and instead opted for the Colt .45 he carried in a thigh holster. As they moved, they could hear distant and muffled shouts in Russian. What they couldn't tell was that civilians were gathering in a gradually larger and larger crowd around the perimeter.

Heading down the three flights of stairs to the ground floor, Michael led the way, and both of them kept their ears open for any sounds of Soviet soldiers entering the building. Yet as they moved, there was nothing. Both men were on edge, staying away from the exterior hallways until they reached the building's back door. Said door wasn't an obstacle for the two, damaged and rotted over the years, and the lock giving in easily as Michael gave it a firm strike with the butt of his rifle. The two brothers slipped out in to the back alley, moving quickly and silently to avoid detection, and with their eyes about them at all times as they moved to head for the house that they had been calling home for the last several days outside of the city proper. Neither of them wanted to be caught in the open by the Soviets after what they had just done.

Sarah Greene was caught up in the motions of the day.

Everything was moving, and fast.

A photo journalist for the Des Moines Register, the 27 year old woman had been living in an average apartment, making whatever money the paper was willing to pay her, and enjoying her rather simple life when the Soviets had first invaded. Of course she didn't stay in her job for long as stories from the coast arrived. What happened to some women was bad enough as it was; terrible, even. Not to mention that as a reporter, she would either be sent to a camp for "re-education", straight out killed in the streets, or forced to start spewing Soviet propaganda under the threat of a very painful and long "re-education". Not a fan of any of these options, she had quit her job before the Soviets had even gotten to the border of Iowa, snagged a shotgun from a nearly empty gun-store, and had set herself up with enough spam and beans in her apartment to last her for a solid month. However, she never really got the chance to use it. It turned out that her next door neighbor was a member of a forming resistance cell. She recruited Sarah and the next night, several other resistance members showed up, grabbed anything valuable from her apartment, and shuffled her off in to the night. They took her to their headquarters, in a shut down section of sewers under downtown Des Moines. So from there, she had joined in "the good fight" whenever she could, fighting the Soviets, and doing a good job of it until they had been forced back in to hiding by the advancing Soviets.

Infantry hadn't been the problem for them.

The sheer number of tanks and helicopters was the winning factor.

Soviet units came with tanks and helicopters, and the resistance groups didn't have the weapons needed to fight back. So they had been forced to retreat, allowing the Soviets in to the city, and hiding for the longest time while waiting for an opportunity that never seemed like it was going to arrive for them to start fighting back again. Even with bureaucracy plaguing their system, the Soviets had a very clearly defined, and stable chain of command. Not to mention that, unlike the four or five resistance cells in the area, the Soviets units were coordinated with one another, and working together. However, word had come down that morning of how things had suddenly changed for the resistance. Major Dimitri Lagounov had been the man in charge of the local cavalry and armored units, or at least the one responsible for making sure they were all coordinated, and had strategically placed his tanks to work together in crushing any possible attempts by local resistance forces to fight back - if they were able to coordinate with one another. With a system of radios and pre-planned response paths, the tanks had been able to cover any area in their zone with one word from the Major, but apparently he had made the mistake of being the only person who had overall command of the units. So apparently somebody that morning had gone out, found the Major, and decided to put a bullet straight in his dome. Those in charge were trying to get in touch with other cells, wanting to know who's man (or woman) had put the Major down, and thoroughly congratulate him.

Nobody could claim the shooter.

Meanwhile, the group Sarah was in had been moving. Already equipped with what little explosives they had, the teams were moving out, disabling Soviet tanks, and stealing whatever they could take down in to the sewers with them. Soviet infantry units were still able to coordinate, but without armor support they seemed to have only the advantage of numbers. Lulled in to a false sense of security, it seemed that the local unit commanders were caught off-guard by what amounted to a punch straight to the kidneys. The rebels, however, were ecstatic, reveling in the turn of events, and taking full advantage wherever they could manage to do so. Sarah herself had gone up for some of the raids, enjoying the sudden change after so long in hiding. In fact, she had just gotten back from one. She and the seven others who had participated were gathered around a large fire in one of the larger tunnels of the underground rebel compound, looking over whatever 'swag' they had received, sipping at recently looted Soviet alcohol, and enjoying their meals after a day of hard work. Of course, at every fire the biggest buzz was about the shooter. Everybody was asking who it was and where they were from. Everybody in their cell knew it wasn't one of theirs. Of course, the only confusing part was that, through the only very recently reopened lines of communication, the other cells had been reporting the same. Thing.

Nobody had sent any shooters out.

"Who do you think did it?" A nearby young woman asked over a half-eaten can of beans, "I mean, sure everybody knew he was out in the city, but it's not like wehad the time to get him: what with Ivan crawlin' down our throats."

A nearby young man, who was holding the aforementioned young woman's hand whenever the two seemed to have the chance, piped up, "I heard it was one of the SEAL teams that did it. That the government left teams like that all over the country for this sort of thing."

"Don't be silly, kid." An older voice suddenly came in to the conversation.

Sarah glanced over her shoulder at the source of the voice to find she was looking at Richard Boss. Richard was probably one of the most valuable members of their resistance cell in terms of experience in combat situations. A former Army Soldier and Green Beret, the thirty year old had gotten out about the time the Soviets started rolling in to South America so he could more directly keep his family back home safe. He was a bear of a man, at 6'2, with broad shoulders, a round face, lantern jaw, a thick beard, and shaggy dark red hair. Light blue eyes always seemed to look at a person, through them, and all around them at once in a rather disturbingly chilling effect. With his family hauled off to camps for "re-education" one day while he had been off getting their weekly rations, he had decided he had enough, and had joined the resistance as soon as he found out how to get in touch with them. So he had taken to helping out with field operations until they had gone in to hiding. Now with the sudden blow to the Soviet chain of command, he had been active out in the field once again as he helped hunt down the troublesome Soviet tanks in the area, and took part in operations to finally begin fighting back once again. So as he came up to the group, AK hanging off one arm by it's sling, dirt on his face and exposed forearms, and a single Russian MRE clutched in one of his gloved hands: he sat down with a heavy sigh next to Sarah, and waisted no time in tearing away at his meal before he spoke again.

"SEALs don't do that whole 'culture infiltration' gig." He said, "It was a Green Beret."

The younger man almost looked deflated at the idea that there were no Navy SEALs, "Well, still. Green Berets are pretty BA." He shrugged.

"Yeah." Richard chuckled, "Trust me, kid. I know."

Author's Notes:So, raise your hand if you felt crushed about the false rumors of a sequel that had been floating around years ago. From what I hear, they don't plan on making a second one, and that's just a crying shame to me. Anyways, I've always loved the game, and so I figured I would write a story about the resistance from some other perspectives. That way I could shine the light on more than just the coasties and their own victories.

Disclaimers: Freedom Fighters is property of IO Interactive and Electronic Arts. I make no claim to the universe in which the game is placed, the characters or story there-in, and have no intent to profit financially off the making of this story. Any and all rights to Freedom Fighters belong solely to the aforementioned developers.