"Sudnik!" That was all Simmons was able to scream before the warhead hit the engine of the JLTV.
Commander Joel Lincoln rubbed his temples yet again, trying to relieve some of the stress. It didn't work. It was bad enough that he was stuck in the cramped confines of his command vehicle. Now he had the problem of advancing enemy forces.
"Sir?" One of his subordinates called.
"What is it, Rob?" he replied.
"We just got word that Kappa Convoy was just ambushed and they've engaged with enemy infantry and light armor. Tarcal's pushing east as we speak. We're going to have to bring our forces across the river pretty soon, if you ask me."
"Hell no!" Joel snapped. "If they get the Mississippi, then they can start bringing their shit through the Panama Canal and take it straight to the front lines. We do not want that!"
"Sir, what do you want me to do about Kappa?"
"Task some Intruders to their AO. And I want Condors too, to keep the Wraiths at bay."
West Memphis, Arkansas
"Simmons! Command just tasked aircraft to our AO! It looks like we will be getting home alive!' Garrett Faraday shouted over the gunfire, as he ducked behind a destroyed car.
Alex Simmons fired his Lambert Carbine again at oncoming Western forces. "That's fucking amazing. How long until they get here?" He shouted.
"Command said five mu's!"
Suddenly, Omar Smitherman's deep voice boomed over the radio. "Get some cover ready, we've got a pair of BTRs inbound!"
Shit, Alex thought. The BTR-2M was a monster of an APC. Straight out of the PAC's surplus, the vehicle was armed with a 25.4mm cannon that fired a multitude of different types of ammunition, including airburst. Alex knew he was dead the moment it detected him.
Thankfully for Alex, the APCs only seemed to be using conventional fragmentation rounds. At least thick enough cover would keep him alive for a while.
"Command, what's the status of our air, over?" Faraday shouted into the radio.
The BTRs moved up, hammering away at the rubble that Alex used for cover.
"Just hold tight, Kappa. Fast air is thirty seconds out, over." The BTRs continued to advance.
"Understood, out." Faraday replied, somewhat relieved. He dropped the radio and began to fire his machine gun again when the BTR's turret swiveled in his direction, sending him back into cover.
"Kappa Two, this is Hawkeye, we're inbound at heading 2-5-3, angels four, ready for tasking, over."
"Thank you, Hawkeye! We have a pair of BTRs laying waste to our forces! We'll mark the target, over." Faraday clicked off the radio and shouted over to Alex. "Get the tracer!"
Alex unhooked from his belt a small, gas-operated weapon that fired a single, 9.75mm tracer beacon that would stick to whatever surface it hit. From there, guided munitions could home in on it and destroy whatever it was attached to. it was better than a laser, as operators could fire once, and, if a direct hit was scored, could remain in cover while waiting for the fireworks. It was made to fire a small projectile so as not to disturb sensors on enemy vehicles or activate Electric Reactive Armor.
He took aim at one of the BTRs and fired it. Perfect, he thought. A direct hit.
"Hawkeye, this is Kappa Two, target is marked, I say again, target is marked, over."
"Roger, we see your sparkle. Standby for JTAM. Over."
Alex popped up out of cover and began to fire at more Western infantry, only to be sent back into cover again by the BTR.
"Kappa Two, this is Hawkeye, JTAM away."
The JTAM fell to the ground, homing in on the BTR's tracer beacon. As the JTAM reached ten meters above the beacon and the BTRs, the first phase of the weapon's detonation began, an EMP burst that would permanently fry all electronics within a twenty-meter radius of the warhead and temporarily disable electronics up to 100 meter away. Kappa squad was 150 meters away from the BTR, so they were unharmed by the EMP. This served to defeat any Active-Defense Systems or Electric Reactive Armor that the target may have been carrying.
Just as it was designed, the JTAM fell the rest of the way to the BTR, smashing into the top of the BTR and blowing it into hundreds of pieces, no larger than a square foot.
"Hawkeye here, we heard the target had brought a friend. We're coming in hot. Standby for gun-run, over."
"Understood. We'll be waiting, over."
Soon, Alex heard the sound of TG-5 Intruder III Attack aircraft. Soon enough, a pair of the jets could be seen in the sky behind the enemy forces. They began the strafe run with a barrage of Armor-Piercing rockets, followed by a long burst of AP rounds from their twin rotary cannons. The combined effect of both munitions was enough to disable the second BTR.
"There we are!" Omar shouted.
The enemy infantry, suddenly without armored support, wer then much easier pickings for Kappa squad. Alex popped up out of cover and again, fired his Lambert Carbine at oncoming enemy forces.
Soon, after another ten minutes of fighting, Omar, Faraday, Alex, and most of Kappa squad reigned victorious. Kappa squad suffered two casualties: Micheal, the Anti-Tank specialist, was killed by the Sudnik V at the beginning of the ambush, and Jeremy, a rifleman, who was killed by a cannon round from the rear BTR.
For the first time that day, Joel smiled. Kappa squad had survived the ambush, creating a bulge in the USGF's lines in West Memphis and stopping the West American Army's advance.
"Well, Joel, looks like Tarcal's not going to cross the Mississippi." Rob said.
"Yes. I'm very impressed by their actions. I'd like to meet them someday."
"Well, you're the Commander of the US Ground Forces."
"Oh, right." Joel chuckled. "Well, let's let them have some rest first." he said. "Driver! Let's go back to base, get some R&R."
"Yes, sir!" The driver was ecstatic about the R&R.
The White House
The Next Day
"Mister President?" Ally asked through the ICD.
"Yes, Mrs. Jefferson?" he replied from the confines of the Oval Office.
"You have an incoming video call from the President of the European Union."
"Ah, yes. Patch me through. Also, get Commander Lincoln on as well. We'd like for him to join us."
"Patching you through now, Mister President."
Ally punched a few codes into her computer's keyboard, opening the video call to Benicio Trevisani, the President of the European Union. Meanwhile, a live video feed of the Italian leader, as well as another one of Joel Lincoln, appeared in front of the president on the opposing wall, which doubled as a screen.
"Ah, President Conley! Good morning!" Trevisani warmly greeted him in his Italian accent, a smile on his face.
"Good afternoon, President Trevisani." Jonathan Conley replied. "Commander Lincoln and I would like to talk business today."
"I take it you need help with your civil war?"
"Yes." Lincoln cut in. "Just yesterday, we were able to halt General Tarcal's advance at West Memphis. They were that close to gaining control of the Mississippi." Joel held his hand up, his thumb and finger an inch apart, to try and demonstrate to Trevisani what he meant.
"We know the Pan-Asian Coalition has been supplying Tarcal's army with a hell of a lot of equipment, if you'll excuse my language." Conley added.
"No, no, no, I'd use the same language too if I were in your position. Anyway, if you'll excuse me for one second, I'd like to get my own general online so we can talk war business." Trevisani said. He turned away from the monitor and called out to one of his aides. "Shoshannah! El General Emil Nikoli obtener en el cuerno!"
From somewhere in the room, the aide replied, "Si, Señor Presidente!"
Seconds later, a third box appeared on the President's screen. "Dzień dobry, Panie prezydencie." he said to Trevisani in Polish, his native language. "Good morning, President Conley. Commander Lincoln."
"Good afternoon, General Nikoli." both the president and commander said.
"So, what have I been called for, panie prezydencie?" he asked.
"The Americans are requesting military assistance in their civil war."
"Which ones?" Emil said, chuckling.
"The Easterners." Trevisani replied.
Emil sighed. "Well, if the Americans want assistance- please, do pay attention, Commander Lincoln, President Conley- they must first realize that we ourselves are not on good terms with Asia. We are almost at the brink of war. The ice is continually consuming the Russians, but the rest of Asia is overpopulated. So they want our land- land that belongs to the people of Matka Europa!"
Trevisani cut in. "We do want to help you overcome the Westerners- especially since the PAC is funding them. In fact, if you were to win with our support, then that would be yet another symbolic blow to the PAC. But we ourselves unfortunately match the PAC's current production rate. We cannot produce enough equipment to completely supply another country as large as yours, as well as ourselves. If we sell too much equipment to you, and we do not keep producing enough for ourselves, then if the PAC invades- which is, by the way, a very likely scenario- then we will be utterly crushed! then you won't ever get your support!"
Joel had it. "Dammit, Trevisani! Surely there's something you can do!"
"Quiet, Joel! I'll have you demoted if you make another outburst like that during this meeting, especially aimed at the President of Europe!" President Conley snapped.
"Yes, sir." Joel humbly said.
"Now, as I was saying," Nikoli continued, "We cannot permanently donate war machines to you. However, we will be willing to lend you a unit. The German 'Krieg', 2nd Panzer Regiment has been tasked with security at Minsk, Belarus. Their tour is supposed to end on November 30th, when my own 9th Armoured Corps will take over for the job. Once the Krieg's mission in minsk is done, I will have them sent over to the US, and you can expect them to be ready for combat and deployment onto the frontlines by December 4th. Apart from them, I will contact Commander Francois Guilmette and try to persuade him to lend you some units from the Valkyrie and Hell Brigades."
"That sounds quite nice." Joel said. "We appreciate your concern for and cooperation with us."
"You're quite welcome." Nikoli said. "Your reinforcements will hopefully arrive on the December the 2nd or 3rd, aboard the EBT Queen Elizabeth. General Emil Nikoli, out."
The box containing Emil winked out of existence.
"I am sorry, President Conley, but I must go. I have a meeting with the head of Austria."
"You're fine, President Trevisani," Conley said, "We've already discussed what I think is most important for today."
"I'm glad you understand. President Benicio Trevisani, out." Trevisani said, before his box disappeared as well.
Now, only Joel was left, and his box expanded until it filled the entire screen.
"Well, Mister President, I guess we will get our support after all." Joel said, somewhat relieved. Conley's face showed no trace of a smile.
"Don't count on it, Joel." Conley replied, before he logged off. Joel's video feed was replaced by a light blue screen, the black letters, 'CALL ENDED' filling the center of the screen.