A Little Help from an Old Friend
August 8th 2134, A hydroelectric power plant ten kilometers northwest of Mozhaysk, Russia
“We’re fucked, we’re so fucked,” Dale whispered repeatedly.
“Get a grip Shadow,” Connor whispered back. “We’re not going to let them take us, we’ll die first.”
“Oh yeah that makes me feel a whole lot better,” Dale said sarcastically to Connor.
“Shut up and listen to me,” John ordered in a hushed voice. They all four got back to back, looking every which way, already marking targets and formulating their own plans and strategies. “I got six to the east, spread out across the catwalks. How many do you see?” John asked them all.
“I see six to the south, three on the roof of the building and three spread across the catwalks,” Connor replied.
“I got three on the cliff to the west and a two more on the catwalks,” Dale replied.
“I only see two to the north in between the smaller buildings,” Arden added.
“Okay, then we’re going to the north and in to the cover of the buildings,” John proclaimed still in a hushed voice.
“Are you insane!?” Connor asked in a loud whisper. “Twenty advanced soldier’s shooting at us equals death!”
“I agree with Smoke,” Dale remarked.
“What other choice do we have though you two?” Arden asked.
“Go inside the main building where there’s more cover, that’s what I say,” Connor suggested.
“No, too many hallways and rooms, we’d get flanked and cornered,” John said.
“Well if we go north we get cornered against the cliff and the outflow lake, as well as in the alleyways of the buildings,” Dale tried to explain.
“Well we gotta think of something quick, we’re running out of time!” Arden said.
The Elite Blade commander made it to the edge of the catwalks to the east and stood in between the six Elite Blade troops aiming at Vapor Team. “Last chance to keep your lives Vapor Team. Drop your weapons and come with me, or we will be forced to end you right here, right now,” the commander said. “You have til the count of three.”
“Shit, it’s now or never you guys, what the fuck are we doing!?” Arden asked anxiously.
“To the north?” John asked.
“One!” the commander shouted. Suddenly they heard the faint beat of chopper blades against the night air. The sound started getting louder and louder.
“What’s that?” Connor asked.
“Reinforcements?” Arden asked in a hopeful voice.
“How could it be? We haven’t contacted command at all since we got here,” Dale remarked.
“TWO!” the commander shouted. The sound of helicopter blades continued to get closer and louder. It sounded like it was coming from the south. Vapor Team stood speechless, waiting for an opportunity to move. Suddenly their helmet coms boomed really loudly with the sound of a sarcastically cheery voice. The voice spoke over an open channel, for Vapor Team noticed all of the Elite Blade soldiers jump slightly in surprise.
“Greetings communist bastards! You ready to take it in the ass!?” Corpus’s voice boomed. The choppers were finally at the power plant, and the sound of several nose cannons, chain guns, and rockets filled the air.
“HAHA! Good ol’ Corpus!” Connor shouted out with glee.
“To the north!” John shouted out.
“THREE!!!” the Elite Blade commander said quickly this time. All four soldiers of Vapor Team sprinted as fast as they could to the north. The Elite Blade soldiers opened fire on Vapor Team as they ran and all four of them felt the bullet fire peppering their armor. John and Connor aimed their rifles at the two soldiers in between the buildings to the north and gunned them both down as they ran. Vapor Team felt several stinging pains in their bodies from several bullets that breached their armor as they continued to sprint towards the cover of the buildings. The hostile fire on Vapor Team didn’t last long though. The air fire from Corpus and his wing mates hammered the ground around the Elite Blade soldiers. Four of the Elite Blade soldiers were blown or shredded to bits. The commander and the soldiers around him retreated back in to the cover of the forest behind them. They weren’t giving up though. They were only using the cover of the forest to move around the side of the power plant and flank Vapor Team.
The helicopters blasted away at the catwalks, collapsing a few of them so that the Elite Blade would have hard time chasing Vapor Team. Vapor Team made it safely to the alleyways between the buildings and caught their breath for a few seconds, trying to forget about the pain they felt. Connor’s stab wound had reopened and he was bleeding again. He laid his back against a wall and slid down to a sitting position as he tried to push is wound back together again. Dale grunted and wheezed heavily at the several bullet wounds he had. John bent over and put his hands on his knees. Arden put one hand against the wall of a building to catch his breath since he now had a couple of bullet wounds as well. The explosions still roared around them and concrete chunks were flying through the air.
“Vapor Team, let’s send these overrated pieces of trash straight to hell!” Corpus shouted through their helmet coms.
“We’re in no shape to fight right now sir,” Connor explained to Corpus.
“I didn’t ask for any complaining now did I Smoke!?” Corpus continued. “Now suck it up and show these super soldier phonies what a real super soldier is made of! Did we train you four to be cowering wussies? NO! Get up and blow these communist pretenders to hell! That’s an order!”
“Yes sir Corpus!” Connor replied.
“Time for some serious payback,” Dale grunted in a low voice.
“Let’s kick some ass,” Arden said in a vengeful voice.
Connor stood back to his feet, gripping his gut with his left hand to keep his wound under pressure while holding his pistol in his right hand. John readied his rifle. Dale pulled out the blade on his right shoulder and clutched it in his hand as he held the grip of his carbine as well. Arden gripped his carbine tighter as well. Dale and John looked forward in to the alleyways of the power plant’s buildings while Arden guarded the rear with Connor in the middle of them aiming his pistol behind them along with Arden.
Suddenly they heard the sound of several rockets firing, then the sound of crashing metal and the night sky was a bright orange for a couple of seconds. The Elite Blade was shooting rockets at the choppers. Vapor Team heard a large crash in to the outflow lake, and then the sound of snapping tree bark as well. Two of the choppers must have gotten taken out of the air, Vapor Team thought.
“Corpus, are you okay?” John asked over his helmet com.
“I am for now, but I gotta get this bird out of here. If I stay I’m getting shot down like the other two. You got your distraction, now finish the job. Meet at the helipad down the road when you’re done,” Corpus replied.
“Understood. How many hostile soldiers are left?” John asked as the sound of helicopter blades went away to the south.
“How many were there to begin with?” Corpus asked in reply.
“Twenty including the commander,” John replied.
“I’d say there is probably fifteen left then. Dig in and take them down Vapor, you can do it,” Corpus said.
“Copy that, see you soon,” John said as he turned to look at the Arden, Connor and Dale. “Alright, stick together, check your corners, cover every alley, and call out targets.”
“We know what to do Mist,” Dale remarked slightly smart like.
“Remember that you can’t trust your sonar radar with these guys either,” Connor reminded them.
It was already quiet again. After the loud explosions and gunfire and rockets launching through the air just a few seconds ago, there was not a single sound to be heard other than the very faint tapping of their footsteps on the concrete. The buildings around them formed a maze of alleyways. All four of them crept through the alleys slowly and cautiously without making a sound. They all four rounded a corner of the ally and continued down what looked like a main alley because it was wider and branched off in to several separate alleyways.
Arden had his carbine trained on the corner they just passed. Then an Elite Blade soldier poked his head around the corner. Arden instantly shot him three times in the head. All three bullets breached the soldier’s helmet and he fell to the ground dead.
“Fourteen lef…” Arden started to say but was interrupted by rifle fire from the same corner he was facing. Another Elite Blade soldier was blind firing around the corner of the alley. John and Dale separated in to two different alleyways on opposite sides of the main alley to avoid the bullet fire. Connor ducked in to a separate alley also. Arden dove out of the line of fire. As he was diving he pulled the pin on one of his grenades, rolled to his feet and tossed it around towards the alley where the elite blade soldier was. The grenade bounced off of the wall behind the corner of the alley and landed behind the Elite Blade soldier. Arden brought his carbine to eye level, ready to shoot the soldier if he ran around the corner to escape the grenade blast. Instead the soldier stopped blind firing and his gun disappeared around the corner of the alley. Suddenly the grenade that Arden had thrown was tossed around the corner back at him. Arden quickly anchored himself on one leg and spun around, bringing his foot off of the ground and kicking the grenade back around the corner, just in time for it to explode as soon as it flew out of sight.
The explosion blasted a good portion of the corner of the building away, and bricks were blown to all sides of the alley. Arden put up a hand in front of his face to shield himself from any incoming bricks. After he put his hand back down he steadied his carbine again and peeked around the destructed corner. Not two bodies lay at Arden’s feet, but instead there was four.
“Eleven left now,” Arden whispered over his helmet com with enthusiasm.
“Good,” John said. “Form back up on me and Shadow.”
The alley Connor was in was a dead end. Arden poked his head around the corner and motioned Connor to form up on him. Dale and John were just a little further ahead. The two alleys that Dale and John had entered formed a four-way intersection, with the alleys that they were in running north and south, and the main alley running east and west. The alleys running north and south were only about five feet in width. Arden and Connor slowly and cautiously made their way down the main alley until they reached the intersection.
“We’ll post up here for a second,” John whispered. Connor slid in to the John’s alley and Arden slid in to Dale’s alley. At the other end of John’s alley was an intersection shaped like a T. The other end of Dale’s alley opened up to an outstretch balcony of sorts that spanned about fifteen yards over the side of the outflow lake.
“Well we better not take too long taking these guys out. I’m losing a lot of blood here,” Connor remarked as he pulled his hand off of his wound for a second to notice his red stained armor. He grimaced as he continued to apply pressure on his stab wound. Connor put his back against the wall and slid to his knees, then poked his head around the corner of the alley to keep watch on one side of the main alley. Arden did the same facing down the other way of the main alley. John and Dale aimed their guns down the smaller alleys they were in.
None of them made a sound except for their heavy breathing from the pain they all were feeling. A minute of silence passed. Then they heard the sound of metal skidding across the concrete. The sound was coming from the South, where the balcony was. Dale tensed up as the sound was getting alarmingly closer very quickly. Then Dale noticed what the sound was. It was a grenade that was swiftly sliding towards his feet.
“Grenade!” Dale yelled out as he kicked it back down the alley to where it came from. Unfortunately, Dale had kicked it too hard and the grenade fell in to the water just below the balcony. Only a second later, water was blasted in to the air, far on the other side of the alley. Dale and Arden both crouched down, aiming towards the other end of the alley. Then an Elite Blade soldier rolled across the opening on the far side to the other corner of the alley.
Dale and Arden opened fire as the soldier rolled, but none of their bullets hit. Three Elite Blade soldiers then poked out from behind both sides of the corners of the far sides of the alley and opened fire. Dale and Arden both rolled backwards and in to the main alley to avoid the line of fire. John turned around and shot his rifle down the alley through the intersection towards to the soldiers. He hit one through the visor and the soldier fell dead.
John aimed at another soldier’s head, but was shot in the leg twice and he dropped to one knee. He pulled his rifle back up and aimed at the soldier’s head again and fired off five rounds. Two of the rounds breached the soldier’s helmet and he fell dead as well. Connor, with one arm, aimed his pistol towards the third soldier and fired off a few rounds, but most of them missed and the few that hit didn’t breach the soldier’s armor.
“There’s one left over there!” John yelled out as he ducked down lower and aimed at the third soldier still shooting. Just as John got his sights on the soldier’s head, he pulled the trigger, but his gun jammed.
“Crap! My gun jammed!” John shouted, pulling out the magazine and opening the chamber to unjam it.
“Don’t worry, we got this,” Dale replied. Arden nodded at Dale and Dale nodded back. They both rounded the corner at the same time and opened fire with their carbines at the soldier. The soldier was peppered with numerous bullet wounds and fell to the ground dead.
“Eight more, right?” Arden asked.
“Yeah,” Dale replied. “Stay alert.”
Two minutes passed with not a sound to be heard. Connor sat still, holding firmly against his gut to keep from bleeding but the blood wouldn’t stop flowing completely.
“Cover me,” Connor moaned faintly as he took his hand off of his gut to grab the medical pack on his leg. He pulled out a roll of thick, liquid absorbent cloth. Connor wrapped it around his belly a few times loosely before cutting it with his knife and then tightening the cloth around his body. He groaned at the excruciating pain in his gut as he tightened it almost as tight as he could and then tied it so it wouldn’t fall off.
“We’re going to get to Mozhaysk, and we’re going to be alright,” John reassured Connor and Dale and Arden.
“Are we?” Dale wheezed, sounding a little doubtful.
“Of course we are idiot,” Arden replied. “Besides, what happened to the whole ‘Vapor Team is badass’ talk you had earlier?”
“That was before…” Dale started to say but was interrupted by bullet fire down the main alley from the west end. “Fuck!” Dale shouted. He dove in to the alley leading North with Arden following. Connor peeked around the corner while, looking west.
“Guys, that’s the last of them over there,” Connor stated. “That’s all eight of them.”
“Copy that,” John said as he took a position on the opposite corner, ready to fire. Dale and Arden did the same on their side of the intersection. Connor reloaded his pistol and mustered the strength to rise to a crouching position. He took up a position behind John, ready to fire as well. The hostile bullet fire continued to streak by them and pepper the walls around them.
“On three!” John shouted to signal when to peek and fire. “One! Two! Three!”
John and Dale were the first to poke around the corner, but were surprised to find that the Elite Blade soldiers were only five feet away. John and Dale leaned back around the corner and pushed back Connor and Arden before they leaned out and got shot.
“They’re right there!” Dale shouted. “Are they mad!?”
“Shadow, death from above,” John said calmly over the helmet com so the soldiers wouldn’t hear.
“Copy,” Dale replied quickly. John and Dale both stepped back against the wall of the alley. They holstered their long weapons and pulled the pins on one of their grenades, while taking their pistols in the other hand. Then they pushed themselves off of the wall and ran five feet up the opposite wall, jumping to the other wall again, and finally jumping off the original wall in to the main alley. After this maneuver, John and Dale were ten feet off of the ground and flying through the air across the width of the main alley.
The unsuspecting Elite Blade soldiers tried to correct their aim on John and Dale. John and Dale threw their grenades in between the eight soldiers and then opened fire with their pistols. Two Elite Blade soldiers dropped from their pistol fire as the other six fired at Dale and John. They both landed safely behind the walls of the opposite alleys before they could get hit by any bullets. One second later and the two grenades blew up. Dust and concrete was blasted by Connor and Arden, who were still posted up at the corners of the two alleys at the intersection.
“Our turn! NOW!” Arden yelled out. Connor and Arden both mustered their remaining strength and rounded the corner of their alleys. They noticed four dead soldiers, two still picking themselves up off of their feet, and two more aiming their way standing behind the ones on the ground. Arden and Connor lunged to the two on their feet before they could fire any shots that breached their armor.
Arden flowed around his target. He jabbed the soldier in the gut and the soldier bent over from the blow, then he knocked the soldier’s gun away with his other hand. Arden spun around the soldier and got behind him, dodging a swing from his target. He grabbed the soldier by his shoulders and rammed his knee in to his back as hard as he could, snapping the soldier’s spine, then preparing to use him as a human shield.
Connor jumped and spun around in the air, bringing his foot around and kicking the soldier’s gun away. Before Connor touched the ground, he put a bullet through the soldier’s knee with his pistol. The solider dropped his gun and pulled out his knife and got ready to jab at Connor. Connor landed and grasped the soldier’s arm that was holding the knife and twisted it, then with his other hand broke the wrist of the soldier. Connor brought his leg up and in to the soldier’s chest with brute force, knocking him back.
As the soldier was flying back from the blow, Connor shot a pistol round through his visor. Connor pivoted around on his foot still on the ground and grabbed the soldier’s knife that was still falling in the air as he turned around to face the soldiers now on their feet.
Arden pulled the pistol off of his hip and fired at the one of the soldiers in front of him as he held the dead soldier he killed as a human shield. Five pistol rounds entered the helpless Elite Blade soldier, as well as two rifle rounds to the back of his head from John who had rounded the corner of the alley.
Connor threw the enemy soldier’s knife at the soldier in front of him. The knife dug in to the soldier’s shoulder that was holding his weapon, throwing off his aim. Then the Elite Blade soldier took numerous rounds to the back from Dale’s carbine. The soldier was pushed forward towards Connor from the fire Dale put on him. Arden started to chuckle slightly, and then gave out to a hearty laugh.
“Haha! We won!” Arden exclaimed enthusiastically. Dale smile behind his visor and relaxed. John lowered his rifle and nodded his head approvingly. Connor dropped to his knees after realizing just how painful it was to attack like he did with a stab wound in his gut. John, Arden and Dale all helped Connor back to his feet. As they were doing this they heard the sound of one last gun being aimed at them.
The sound came from the south end of the main alley. It was one last Elite Blade soldier. Vapor Team readied their weapons and was about to blast the soldier to bits, but before they could a pistol shot was fired from an alley adjacent to the Elite Blade soldier right through the side of the soldier’s head. The soldier fell to the ground dead and Colonel Corpus rounded the corner of the alley on the south side, holding a smoking revolver.
“Corpus!” Vapor Team said excitedly in unison.
“Nicely done you guys, you ready to get the hell out of here?” Corpus asked.
“You have no idea,” Connor said clenching his gut. A large group of FK soldiers stormed the alley following Corpus.
“Well damn, where were you all when we needed you?” Dale asked Corpus.
“On our way,” Corpus replied. “It took a while for any of us to get to you, especially since I had to call the reinforcements off of scattered firebases.”
“I see,” Connor acknowledged.
“Hey Corpus,” John said. “I hope you have something to speed us to Mozhaysk, cause I don’t think that Connor will make it with hoofing it alone.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got an STV parked outside the gates of the plant,” Corpus replied.
“Good,” Connor remarked.
“We’ll fill you in on everything as we drive,” Arden said to Corpus.
“And I do believe I need to fill you in on some things too,” Corpus said to them. Vapor Team and Corpus all headed to the gate of the power plant as the FK soldiers filled up the complex. They climbed in to the STV, Corpus driving, John in the passenger seat, and Dale, Arden, and Connor in the cab. Wasting no time, Corpus put the STV in gear and sped away down the road to Mozhaysk.
John filled Corpus on everything that happened at the power plant. The initial attack, fixing the plant, the second attack, the interrogation, and then the Elite Blade attack. By the time John finished his debriefing, they had made it to Mozhaysk. Corpus saw Vapor Team in to a local military hospital. Connor, Arden, and Dale were all taken in and started getting cared for. John hung back for a minute.
“So,” John began to say to Corpus before he left for medical care too. “This Elite Blade came from Krietchner Hospital. Colonel Corpus, sir, I have a mission request. Permission to have me and the rest of Vapor Team investigate the hospital sir,” John requested.
“I was about to tell you, once you all got patched up, to go do just that,” Corpus replied.