And the German will be sickened by us, and the German will talk about us, and the German will fear us. And when the German closes their eyes at night and they're tortured by their subconscious for the evil they have done,
IT WILL BE WITH THOUGHTS OF US THEY ARE TORTURED WITH
We sat in a briefing room located in some nondescript building placed conveniently on scenic Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. Two weeks after the invasion of Pakistan and the CIA and Army Intelligence were still pouring over the intelligence we secured.
We had really come together since the operation in Islamabad. Going into the operation, we had come together as professionals, and experts, to form a highly skilled team that could work together to accomplish the mission, but since we had been through it, above and beyond what we were initially expecting, and had seen each other operate, we had started to come together as a unit, and as friends.
When we got back to our tent in the FOB at Islamabad, our CIA handlers immediately began interrogating our prisoners. It didn’t take long, but it did take a pretty sweet deal to get the location of an airfield at the absolute edge of Tajikistan, one that didn’t officially exist according to Tajikistan. None of that conspiracy nonsense, it was built in secret and never reported by direction of Praskoviya, or so it would appear.
Immediately we were in a Chinook and flying there, only to find we were about an hour too late. We alien abducted some of the airfield bosses and took them back to our CIA brain probers. It took two more precision strike operations to gather the intel to put all the pieces together, and then we were spending a week on our fourth point of contact waiting for the next operation to come down.
Finally, we were called into the CIA controlled briefing room to learn what Langley had discovered from our hard work. We sat talking amongst ourselves for about 20 minutes until an old friend walked through the door.
I turned as the door opened, and there stood Jeremiah Law, AKA G-Man. I laughed, “What are you, haunting me or something?”
He raised his eyebrows with a curious smile and chuckled, “The CIA is like an amorphous alien from a strange world. We adopt a form that will most easily facilitate our business. Since you already know me, I have been selected by the collective to represent our interests.” I must have had the most confused look on my face as he immediately burst out laughing, along with Odin, Munky, Mouse, and Sydwinder, and said, “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Like the other veteran CIA operatives in here, I’m on the Praskoviya task force, and have been for about three years.” CIA humor, I never quite got it.
“Alright boys, I have been officially authorized to tell you, that you have been doing one hell of a job out there. I mean shazaam. But we’re not done yet. We’ve located one final base of operations and have actionable intel that this is where we can find Praskoviya, or at the very least find out where he’s gone to ground.”
G-Man threw up an aerial photo with some markings made on it. It was a compound on the Coast of the Black Sea near Gudauta in Georgia. The compound was fairly large, almost like a military base, and was very remote.
G-Man circled a point further along the coast on the smart board, “This is your insertion point, you’ll HALO in and infiltrate from the North West. This is an eleventh hour operation, we don’t know a lot of specifics about the base other than what we’ve picked up from the sat photos.” G-Man began circling different buildings in the compound, “This looks to be a garage, from the sat surveillance we’ve determined that this is a cafeteria, this building over here looks like an armory and this one next to it looks like a training house, we see arms coming out of this one going into this one and going back, so be mindful if you see a lot of people going for this building, you may be compromised. These three buildings are barracks, this one looks like the staff quarters, cooks, janitorial, stuff like that, this one looks like the guard and training quarters, and then this smaller one looks like it’s for the more important people on the compound. This is where you’re going to want to look for Praskoviya.”
G-Man started drawing lines connecting things, “From the DZ you’ll move along the coast to the compound. Once you infiltrate the compound, you’ll need to secure a means of escape and secure the principle. If Praskoviya is not on site, you’ll need to secure any intel you can, and anyone you think might be able to shed some light on this conspiracy we’ve stumbled upon.” He pulled out a thick manila folder and dropped it in front of me, “The details are all here, you guys plan the op, I’ll be here to answer any questions.” I nodded.
Special Forces don’t operate like other units. Other units are assigned a mission and told how to do it, some planner sits with aerial photos and maps and plans an op and then sends the specifics to the unit that’s carrying it out. Spec Ops crews are given a mission, an objective, the parameters of the mission, and then told to make it happen. Because of the level of experience and skill present in Special Forces soldiers, any planner who tried to properly plan a mission for a SF unit would under utilize them, as has always happened in the past. It’s kind of like the joke that’s told to butter bars fresh out of west point: how do you hoist a flag up a ten foot pole with a five foot rope? Tell your platoon sergeant to do it, come back in an hour, and don’t ask questions.
We distributed and passed around the materials and began to formulate a plan. First and foremost, stealth was at a premium, we had to be quiet, and we had to be quick. To that end, we would all deploy with suppressed side arms and primaries, where applicable. We would be splitting up to accomplish speed. Bravo would hit the motor pool to secure us transport, and disable the others, then move over to lock down the barracks and prepare to ambush, in case we tripped the alarm, while Alpha would rig the armory with C4, and then move to the other barracks to secure the principle. We moved out at 1930 hours.
0030 hours local we were flying in the back of a C130 over the Black Sea. It was rather loud in the back of the plane so we didn’t talk much, but we were prepped. We were all HALO qualified, but for most of us, jumping wasn’t our preferred method of insertion. My personal favorite has always been fast rope from a Blackhawk. Except for Moon Man. Being para-rescue he jumped constantly, and was just as at home plummeting through the air as he was watching a game with a beer.
Next to me, Priest bounced in his harness reading through his Bible. I swear, in the many years I’ve worked with him, I’ve never seen him read anything else. We were nearing the DZ and the guys were starting to rouse, checking gear, checking each other, checking gear, then checking gear again. When you’re jumping from 35,000 feet, you want to be pretty sure.
I looked up from the deck across the bay to Munky, who had this cat-that-ate-the-canary grin. I smiled and yelled to be heard, “What are you smiling about?”
His grin grew wider, “Right now, all across America, gamers are having a wet dream about this very moment.”
I, and everyone else that could hear him, balked, “Don’t tell me you’re one of those gamer geeks.”
He shouted, “BATTLEFIELD LIKE A BOSS!”
Everyone laughed, and Priest spoke up with a smile, “You know that right now on the East coast, it’s 1530, right?”
This garnered more laughs, “Whatever, in a few hours they’ll be having a wet dream about this.”
Bugsy was a few seats down from me and he spoke up, “Don’t you get enough of that in your day job?”
Munky hollered back, “Nah, it’s just for fun, although I do get a little pissed. I’m a boss in combat, but on Battlefield, I’m lucky if my KDR breaks even.”
I felt a tap on the shoulder, our flight attendant bent down so I could hear, “We’re nearing the DZ, jump in 10.”
I missed whatever Munky said next, but apparently it was ridiculous enough that even Odin was cracking up. I smiled, then stood up to get everyone’s attention, held my hand up next to my face, palm outward, then slowly turned my hand onto my face covering my mouth and nose. Masks on.
Then I secured my oxygen mask in place as one by one the others performed the action back and then secured their masks. Game time.
We rode in silence for several more minutes until our airman at the rear held up a five. Five minutes. We all stood and started shuffling to our positions. The airman started unlocking the back ramp and after about a minute it was open and you couldn’t hear anything anymore. I keyed the mic in my mask, “Mic check.” Everyone responded. The airman threw up a three zero, which I relayed over my mic, “30 seconds.” Go.
Now I was free falling. I tumbled end over end, just letting myself fall, until I was clear of the planes backwash, then I leveled out and checked on my squad. They were all in freefall. Since Moon Man did HALO jumps on his way to breakfast, he would be the highest, keeping an eye on everyone else for any problem. Gotta love the SME.
We fell for minutes. 35,000 ft is a long way down, and we didn’t want to open high to reduce the risk of being seen from the ground, so we had to fall a while. I checked my altimeter: 20,000 feet. 15,000 feet. 10,000 feet. 5,000 feet. 2,500 feet.
I pulled my cord, and all of my inertia went straight to my crotch. I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be having kids any time soon. I looked up at the rest of my squad, all opening successfully. And then I saw Munky go plummeting past me, fighting with his chute.
Like a rocket, Moon Man was in hot pursuit, dropping like a guided missile. He performed a controlled midair tackle into Munky’s back and tumbled with him for a moment fighting with his chute. I watched Moon Man wrap his legs around Munky and then go for his knife. He struggled and twisted, working the back of the pack, trying to free the chute. They were quickly running out of sky.
Then, Moon Man pushed Munky away, starting the chute manually, then fell free to let his chute deploy fully. Moon Man fell a few more precious seconds as he sheathed his knife, then flared his body as his chute deployed. Gotta love the SME.
A few minutes later we had all made it to the ground, and Munky was severely shaken. He couldn’t even stand yet. Moon Man and Bugsy were checking him out to make sure he was ok. After making sure the rest of my men were ready, I walked over and extended my hand to help Munky up.
He looked up at me, so I asked him, “Game enough for you?”