The Final Fight, part II
September 5th 2134, Forty-six miles outside of Moscow, Russia
Dale awoke to find Major Nellon slightly leaned against him, sleeping. “Okay, no,” Dale muttered as he shifted away from her and left the barrack. Once he was outside he took off his helmet and breathed deeply through his nose, then exhaled slowly. The air would have been fresh and smelled of rich grass and flowers. However, the encampment of the FK army transformed that smell to gasoline and rubber and smoke. “Ah, war,” Dale spoke to himself, then chuckled slightly at his own comment. He turned back in to the tent and noticed Nellon still sleeping. Dale rolled his eyes, then grabbed her arm and shook her lightly.
“Wake up lump,” he said bluntly. Nellon awoke and shook her head a little. Then she noticed Dale standing over her. She smacked his arm away and stood to her feet.
“We have one hour to get ready,” Nellon remarked as she checked all of her weapons and equipment. Dale picked up his kit that he left on the ground where he slept. He had a heavy machine turret, two carbines, and two pistols, as well as a jetpack and backpack of PE4 bombs. Corpus had taken the same loadout as Dale, but cut in half. Corpus had a machine turret, carbine, and revolver, as well as a jetpack and backpack of PE4 bombs.
“Let’s get to the dropship yard,” Dale said. “Surely Smoke, Fog, and Corpus will be there soon.”
Corpus and Arden reached the dropship yard and found Nellon and Dale already there. A few minutes later and all of the Designated Marksmen joined them as well. It was 4:35 A.M.
“This is it everybody,” Corpus addressed them all. “Are we ready to win this war?”
“Yes sir!” They all echoed. Then they separated and gathered next to their respective dropships, awaiting the final speech to them all over the encampment’s loud speakers.
John gripped his sniper rifle nervously. Apart from a sniper, he also had a small submachine gun and pistol on his different hips. He stood on a temporary watchtower on the edge of the Freedom Knight encampment closest to Moscow. Clay was with him.
“You ready to move out?” Clay asked John.
“Ready General,” John replied. They both walked to the edge of the watchtower and stared at the army in front of them. The murmers and movement of the entire Freedom Knight Army ceased when they noticed Clay and John, and silence fell over the landscape. Soldiers and ground armor and landed flight craft and mobile artillery batteries stretched across the plains and hills.
“Welcome to our finest hour,” Clay spoke in to a microphone at the edge of the watchtower. His voice boomed over the landscape. “This is the day that we begin our journey to victory. We will march in to Moscow and show no mercy on the Red Legion Army. They will know we’re coming, and I won’t lie to you, the task ahead of us will not be easy. You need to be alert. You need to fight smart. The Red Legion will not push us back, and they have nowhere left to run. You all will be the heroes of our time, as the ones who crushed the communist regime, and thrust our world in to an era of peace and prosperity. The Red Legion is finished, here and now! Lock and load your weapons soldiers! Now we march, to battle, and VICTORY!”
The Freedom Knight Army roared; their spirits were lifted high. The foot soldiers and ground armor began moving toward Moscow. The ground shook with sheer amount of boots and vehicle treads moving over it. John nodded to Clay and climbed down the tower, leaving Clay to oversee the army as they moved past the tower toward Moscow. John ran to the front of the army to lead them in to Moscow. Clay noticed all of the dropships in the dropship yard take flight and fly high above the clouds.
“Good luck out there,” Clay muttered for the strike force taking the dropships.
The dropships lifted high in to the air and flew to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. Only one dropship carried Dale, Nellon, Arden, and Corpus. The rest carried Connor and the Designated Marksmen. The dropship not carrying the DM’s lifted higher out of the atmosphere.
“Good luck down there Marksmen,” Arden said over their helmet coms.
“You too guys,” Connor replied. “We’ll see you at the hospital soon.” The DM’s flew forward toward Moscow. Arden’s dropship slowed down when they saw the RL defense drones hovering in space ahead of them.
“This is where you come in,” Dale stated to Arden.
“Grab hold of something!” Corpus commanded. All of them braced themselves and grabbed hold of any handle bars they could find. The pilot also closed the door to the cockpit and sealed himself inside. The side door of the dropship unlatched and started to open. The pressure difference caused the door to swing open in less than half of a second. All of the dropship’s atmosphere rushed out of the cabin and dissipated in to the vacuum of space. Arden and Nellon glanced at each other briefly, and then nodded at each other. Corpus gave them a thumbs up. Arden and Nellon let go of the handle bars and gently left the dropship and began floating toward the RL drones.
“Thruster check,” Arden proclaimed. Nellon and Arden activated their thrusters and moved in every direction until they were comfortable with the physics of their movement.
“We’re going down to the surface now to take out the mortars,” Dale informed them. “See you soon.” The dropship’s side door gently closed and they descended straight down toward Moscow. Nellon and Arden turned to look at the RL drones just a few miles in front of them.
“Remember, we’re vulnerable out here in space,” Nellon reminded them both.
“Right,” Arden agreed. “We have to move fast and maneuverable. Those drones are only outfitted with a small antipersonnel machine turret and armor busting rockets, but it’s enough to rupture our suits and kill us in an instant.” He turned his head and looked at Nellon. “You ready?”
“Let’s do this,” Nellon replied. They both activated their thrusters and progressed toward the drones.
The DM’s were spread out among ten separate dropships. They were directly above Moscow and descending through the clouds. Connor spoke over all of their helmet coms.
“This is it gentlemen!” he began. “We’re the first to strike in this plan, so we have the element of surprise. The RLA is still expecting us, so the city is likely devoid of civilians. However, keep a sharp eye anyways.” The dropships began to separate and each dropship flew out of sight of each other between the clouds. “Our first targets are the anti-air guns while the SGL is moved in to the firing position.” Connor looked out a window and saw the clouds thinning. Five seconds later and Moscow appeared below them. The sun was shining on the horizon and glimmering off the skyscraper windows below. He noticed the rest of the dropships spread out across the city. Connor took note of any RL air support in the area. He took a glance at the sky around them and noticed a few scattered attack and stealth choppers.
“Take note of all hostile defenses! Fight smart, and we’ll be done with this war before we know it! EVERYONE DEPLOY NOW!” Connor commanded. Several spirited replies sounded over their helmets.
“Bring it on!”
The floor hatch opened on Connor’s dropship, and he and four other DM’s dropped out. The air rushed around him and for a moment he took in the situation around him. The dropships lifted up in to the clouds as all forty-five DM’s descended on to Moscow. Connor knew that their presence was probably noticed right now, but only being identified and no alarm would be raised yet. The city below got closer and closer.
“Identify AA guns and destroy them,” Connor ordered. The DM’s resounded in his helmet com with acknowledgement. Connor picked a building to land on that had an AA gun on top of it. He activated his jetpack and it roared behind him as he slowed down. He counted five soldiers on the roof of the building. The soldiers perked up when they heard the sound of a jetpack above them. Connor cut the thrust on his jetpack and he freefell the remaining forty feet to the roof. When the soldiers noticed Connor they scrambled to ready their guns and identify him.
Connor landed and instantly shot two of them dead. The other three aimed at Connor and opened fire. He rolled behind a vent and returned fire, taking out two more. The last soldier shuddered with fear. Connor heard him mutter, “Shit”. The soldier ran for the stairwell door on the roof.
“Nope,” Connor said as he shot the soldier in the back of the head. He turned to one of the AA guns on the roof and applied a PE4 bomb to one of the barrels. He then ran behind another vent and detonated the bomb. All of the barrels on the AA gun were either broken or knocked out of alignment.
“Score,” Connor muttered with a smirk. He heard several gunshots ring through the still air. He destroyed a second AA gun on the roof and looked across the city to see the DM’s breaking various AA guns one several different rooftops. Connor readied himself to jump to another roof with AA guns, but stopped for a second when he heard the loud ring of the citywide disaster alarm. The city was fully aware of their hostile presence.
“Here we go,” Connor said a little nervously as he jumped off of the building and flew to another rooftop.
Dale and Corpus grabbed on to the dropship’s handle bars again as the bottom hatch opened and sucked in Earth’s atmosphere once again. Once the dropship was properly pressurized, they both dropped out of the dropship. They were dropping near the western edge of the city. As they descended they noticed the other dropships in their strike force flying up in to the clouds. Dale nodded to Corpus and they both activated their jetpacks. They slowed down and landed on a roof that had no soldiers on it.
“You think we were seen?” Dale asked Corpus.
“I don’t think so; I think they are focusing more on the DM’s.” They ducked low to the roof and out of sight, then shifted to the western edge of the roof. Only two miles of moderately dense city stretched out in front of them to the city subsections in the outskirts. They noticed about every other four buildings that were large enough had an artillery battery positioned on top of it. They waited for a few seconds, and then the citywide hazard alarm sounded.
“That’s the DMs’ work,” Dale said. They both noticed all of the soldiers on the surrounding rooftops perk up and turn to look at the center of the city.
“They’re getting a call to reinforce the city center,” Corpus pointed out. Shortly afterward, half of the soldiers around them left their posts to defend the city center. They waited another two minutes for the diverted RL forces get further away from them. “Now, let’s clear them out.”
“Copy that,” Dale said with a large grin. They stood up straight and marked targets on the rooftops around them. They estimated about fifty soldiers total around them. Dale positioned his machine turret on the railing of the roof and aimed it at the rooftop directly west of them. Corpus steadied the aim of his carbine on a different adjacent rooftop. “Fire.”
Dale’s machine turret revved up and rained bullets on the building ahead of them. It only took three seconds to clear the rooftop. Corpus fired upon the soldiers on a separate rooftop with short controlled bursts. Corpus counted, one down, two down, three down. The soldiers around them were caught by surprise and still hadn’t identified where they were getting shot from. Corpus cleared his rooftop. They both focused on different rooftops, and cleared those too.
“Too easy!” Dale chuckled as his machine turret continued to blast away loudly in front of him. The RL soldiers finally oriented themselves and returned fire. Corpus and Dale lowered their heads but continued to suppress the rooftops. After all of the adjacent rooftops were cleared, Dale picked up his turret and they used their jetpacks to fly to each rooftop near them that had artillery batteries on them. They placed PE4 bombs on each of artillery batteries and destroyed them.
“Moving on,” Corpus said.
“Yup, let’s wrap up clearing the rest of these rooftops, then welcome the impending invasion army,” Dale said cheerily. Suddenly bullets whizzed by them. “They’re grouping up, this isn’t going to be easy,” Dale remarked as he ducked behind the rooftop’s railing.
“But that’s what makes it fun,” Corpus said with a grin. They both waited for a decrease in hostile suppressive fire, then arose from their cover and returned fire.
John was marching the Freedom Knights Army toward Moscow. Clay was marching somewhere in the center of the force. They were only seven miles out from the edge of the city, and various skyscrapers and other buildings were in view. John spoke to the whole army over his helmet com.
“Let’s pick up the pace everybody, lightly jog it out,” John said. The foot patter of the army grew twice as loud as they began to lightly jog. Tanks, APCs, and Transport Vehicles of all kinds sped up to match. Air support had lifted in to the air a few minutes ago and all kinds of choppers buzzed low to the ground near the back of the FKA. It wouldn’t be long before the army was inside the city.
Arden used his thruster pack restlessly. He dodged the machine gun fire left, then right, then focused his rocket launcher on the drone and fired. He dodged up once more and the drone silently broke apart from the force of the rocket’s explosion. He looked across a short section of space and noticed Nellon finishing off a different drone. Another drone however was targeting her and she didn’t know it.
“Nellon look out! You’re six o’clock,” Arden shouted. He launched a rocket at the drone but it missed. “Shit!”
“Fog! Help!” Nellon pleaded helplessly as she spent her time speeding out of the drone’s machine gun fire instead of reloading her rocket launcher. Arden quickly pulled out a grenade and focused on the drone. Only have one shot at this, he thought. He pulled the pin and threw it at the drone. Two seconds later it exploded perfectly right next to the drone and destroyed it.
“Thanks Fog,” Nellon said relieved.
“No problem,” Arden replied. “I think we’re done here, we just have to take out the satellites around here now.” They both reloaded their rocket launchers and destroyed the three satellites orbiting over Moscow.
“That should do it,” Nellon remarked. “And just in time too.”
The SGL was moving rapidly toward them. As it grew closer, thrusters on its side slowed it down until it stopped stationary in orbit.
“Fog? This is the ground support control center,” a voice crackled over Arden’s helmet com. “The SGL is locking in on its target, keep it under guard until it’s finished its firing cycle.” Nellon and Arden stayed close to the SGL while it locked on to Krietchner hospital. After one minute, a reddish glow formed at the firing hole on the bottom of the SGL. It got brighter and brighter until Nellon and Arden couldn’t look at it anymore without hurting their eyes. Finally, the SGL fired and a large beam that was hot-white in the center and reddish on the outside, shot down toward Moscow. It continued for five seconds, and then stopped.
“Fog, it’s ground support control center again. The SGL is cooling off. Keep it guarded while we receive feedback from the ground force so we know how many times it needs to fire.”
Connor was pinned down behind an AC vent. Ten soldiers were between him and another AA gun. He noticed James pinned down as well, two rooftops away.
“James, I’m at your eight o’clock. Crossfire across our roofs,” Connor requested.
“Copy that Smokey,” James replied as he turned and aimed at the soldiers behind Connor. Connor aimed at the soldiers pinning down James, and they both killed the soldiers pinning each other down.
“Nice work,” Connor said. He blew up the AA gun on his roof with a PE4 bomb. “Attention air support,” he addressed over his helmet com. “All of the AA guns are destroyed in the city center. Shadow, Corpus, take out any AA guns you can at your city edge so we can get some air support going.”
“Copy that,” Dale replied. “By the way, Smoke, the diverted city defense forces should be upon you within a minute or two.”
“Make that right now!” Connor corrected him as he ran toward the hospital and away from hundreds of RL troops on the rooftops around him. Connor jumped off of the edge of the rooftop and used his jetpack to snake between the buildings and stay out of sight from any troops on the rooftops. A few soldiers below him fired up at him, but it was less of a risk to fly between the buildings than run across the tops of them.
Connor flew erratically to dodge the gunfire below him, until he finally was on the edge of the city block with the hospital. He flew up on top of the nearest building and found two RL soldiers searching frantically for hostiles to shoot. Connor landed and took them both out in two seconds flat. He looked around him and noticed the rest of the DMs spread out across the rooftops surrounding the hospital square.
Connor looked up and noticed the clouds quickly tint to a reddish color. Suddenly the SGL laser shot down in between all of the DMs and struck the center of the hospital roof. Connor shielded his eyes from the brightness of the SGL. The windows of the top four floors of the hospital glowed red. Five seconds passed by, and then the SGL ceased firing.
"Smoke? This is the ground control support center," Connor heard on his helmet com. "The SGL will fire again in approximately forty-five seconds. How was the effect on the target?"
"Good effect on target," Connor replied. "But it needs to fire a few more times. It only drilled down about four stories. We need to get to the subterranean level."
"Copy Smoke, standby."
"DMs, dig in and defend the hospital perimeter. Single out fifteen of us to keep an eye on the hospital and defend us from interior hostile defenses, while the rest of us fend off the city defense forces." The DMs acknowledged his order and posted up on the rooftops surrounding the hospital square. "DM team to air support, we could use a napalm strike to secure the hospital square's perimeter."
"Air support to Smoke, we cannot move in until we have an area of approach with less AA fire. Shadow is going to have to destroy a few more AA guns before we can perform a napalm strike."
"Shadow, you got that?" Connor asked.
"Working on it. We've disabled the artillery batteries, AA guns are next," Dale replied.
"Glad to hear it Shadow," John added in. "Cause the ground force is almost there."