Sickle and Severance - Nowhere to Run
It was a tragic mistake, a very stupid idea; why did I come here?! The whole place just reeks of death and suffering that went on for far too long. Where is the local police force looking?! Just now, I was almost killed by a lunatic with a scythe. He chased me down until there was no more chase inside him. Now I sit, hiding under a pile of debris in a destroyed village house probably built in the 1970s (when the village was still populated) shaking in fear as screams of pain reverberate from the tall trees. When it's not screams, it's gunshots and animal-like growls. God save me.
My hiding place is dark and damp; I cannot see my hands in the blackness as I try to quieten my heavy breathing; in fear of alerting something that maybe lurking outside. Listening in...waiting...scheming....ready to strike from a place only it knows. I could not tell when it was day or night as I peered through the holes in the wall; must have been made by the rodent population here. Peeking through, I only saw a grayish-blue haze or a pitch black square.
I am in way over my head; stuck in the deepest, darkest part of the Soviet Union; saying that because around here; it still exists in the architecture of the buildings and total absence of anything current; like a screwed up time paradox where instead of accordion-playing jolly people drinking Vodka and talking about how their day at their factory job was; something that we Westerners saw in movies, there are paranoid crazies armed with shotguns, scythes, sledgehammers and antiquated firearms that only Dr. Mikhail Kalashnikov would understand how they still worked. Alongside them, judging from the animalistic growls is something more sinister and unnatural; is it some twisted abomination someone kept in their cellar and fed nothing but fish heads; giving it the lust for blood?
Suddenly, I heard a sharp breaking of twigs under heavy footsteps, like someone wearing work boots, was walking through a pile of crackers. I froze, my heart jumped into my throat; who or what could that be?! Does it know I am here?! IT DOES!!! OH GOD IN HEAVEN IT DOES!!!! Those words raced through my head as the footsteps were heard inside the house where I hid. Too scared to move, hearing the sounds in the dark while my brain had a field day with shaping out the possible image; I haven't been this scared in my life. This paralyzing fear was my death.
Now it caught me and I lie in my own blood deep in the middle of nowhere, on foreign soil and feeling how all my life force leaks out for the flies and rats to feast on. Arms ripped off and spine destroyed by ancient ordnance. I finish my last entry.....
Going In Blind
"That's the only thing we know from there." Captain Ingram finished, switching off the projector and ending the briefing. "This is the ideal test for them; away from home and facing the unknown; just what we want from them in the future." It was a briefing for a training mission to test the capabilities of the newly-formed Task Force 228; a unit formed to conduct anti-terrorist, anti-insurgent operations overseas where most of the missions were meant to be deniable ops which no one claims responsibility nor attempts to recover the agents if the mission is compromised. Only 2 operatives were chosen; who prior to that were all kept in the USDB - United States Disciplinary Barracks.
The first one was Kane Fisher, sentenced to death for causing a rampage using a hijacked M1 Abrams MBT (main battle tank) with numerous fatalities among which was the tank crew members he killed in hand-to-hand combat. The second candidate was Jake Ford, a spree killer who while off-duty, liberated an M249 LMG and killed up to 10 civilians and wounding 2 police officers.
The both of them were used for their prior expertise in combat operations after an appeal from higher officials who were in charge of Task Force 228's creation. The candidate selection favored the expendable and the "unwanted" personnel for their expendability since the missions were high risk and high failure. Upon success, the charged would receive a full pardon and reinstatement in the armed forces with their former ranks and clean records.
Fast forward to present day; both men were dropped into the cursed village from the briefing to conduct reconnaissance on a possible terrorist activity; sales of stolen military hardware and a recovery of American officials taken hostage by an unknown organization; who sent a ransom video forward. Both men were to be inserted by a HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) jump to avoid any kind of detection despite no military presence in the area.
Kane Fisher was the first to jump; lightly armed with a Colt M4 and a Beretta M9 sidearm along with a warning from top brass. "Fisher, I can hear your thoughts all the way from here; start lettin' them go wild and I'll find and CRUCIFY you!" While his partner got a Browning M240 LMG and the same sidearm with a warning; "Start playing Rambo and it's Gitmo for you...best case scenario!" Both men, as parachute jumps go, got lost in the dark, cold Russian sky.
Fisher came crashing into the dark soil as the wind howled into his ears as if to say "our soil is your grave!" As the man landed and rolled forward while his parachute got blown back and slowly sunk to the ground; he scanned his surroundings as more and more foreign sounds that don't belong polluted the air. The holographic red-dot sight mounted on his M4 nervously jumped from bush to bush as Fisher maintained a low-profile before changing his cover to an abandoned horse carriage with hay.
Noises and growls got joined by harsh, rattly sounding yells with unfamiliar words; "Russian." Fisher thought to himself. "Back here again though it looked better last time." Cocking his carry gun, he scanned the horizon for threats; turning to his SAT-COM radio as he did. "Runaway-1 to Big House, touched down but Runaway-2 is lost, advise, over." The radio sprang to life, "Runaway-1 hold your position, we are tracking Runaway-2's position, ETA 10 minutes; you are to locate and extract all objectives."
"Roger, commencing radio silence." Fisher signed off as he lowered his posture to fit under the cart.
Jake Ford wasn't so lucky since he landed in a more dangerous zone; surrounded by wandering hostiles. As soon as his parachute crashed, he came face-to-faces with the crazed pitchfork-wielding residents. However, Ford was more afraid of the consequences rather than the immediate threat so he refrained from using his carry weapon and instead, fell back to his Gerber Mark 2 Dagger and fought his way through aggressive, crazed psychotics; dodging pitchfork lunges and ending them with a slice on the throat, stab to the heart and a stabbing combo to the bigger enemies.
He ran through tall, wet grass, his carry-gun hanging off him like a defect limb he wouldn't dare use until coming up to a dirt track; to be flashed by a bright tractor headlight. Face to face with a huge caterpillar-track monstrosity and serenaded by a rattly stream of Russian profanities and taunts. Ford, unlike Fisher, did not understand Russian nor had any experience with any CIS nations; so he did the next best thing and employ a universal gesture; give the middle finger. The tractor revved up as if growling and fuming mad; expelling a smell of burning flesh into the air. It was then and there, Ford cocked his machine gun and opened fire on the top of the mechanical beast; possible driver cabin. No impact sounds were heard.
Ford jumped to the side in a roll and shot at the engine as soon as he got a glimpse of it. While the tractor sound lowered and sounded like it died down; another attacker jumped out of the darkness right onto the buttstock. He fell back and nursed his broken rib as the operator loomed over him. "Better remember your English lessons or foreign films!" He taunted, unleashing a heel kick to his victim's gut.
To his shock, his attacker just laughed in his face and with a twisted grin, he jumped into the still working tractor engine; grinding himself up and fusing with the machinery.
"They are sick...VERY SICK!"
"Runaway-2 to Runaway-1; I am at some kind of crossroads with a screwed up tractor contraption powered by human flesh..it seems; barely got away from a horde of crazed farmers...they were mindless....one sacrificed himself to the tractor; they are sick...REAL SICK!" The radio hissed into Fisher's ear as he left cover and moved towards the dirt track in the distance. "Request, immediate assistance, I hear a group approaching and I only have so much ammo, over!"
The whole area slowly started to light up, going from pitch-black to moderately lit like a nearby a campfire. Fisher maintained a covert approach, taking cover behind the trees. He caught sight of a group of people marching along the dirt track; armed with pitchforks, axes, shovels, and double-barrel shotguns, mixed with some World War 2-era vintage Soviet firearms. (PPSh-41 and PPS submachine guns and Tokarev SVT-43 rifles)
The group was not following but appeared to be searching the area; members armed with firearms trained their sights on all movements; from grass shuffling in the wind to the local fauna moving about; all of them were on-edge and itched to let fly a few rounds. Like nervous conscripts in the trenches.
Fisher left his cover and sprinted through the tree line following the dirt track and outrunning the group. He later located the tractor from the transmission, but his partner was nowhere in sight; he cocked his rifle and said. "How much does Drago hit?" A reply was sounded off. "1850 pounds," Ford responded as he appeared from the shadows. "They just executed someone, he begged for his life in English, I say we go on the offensive."
"Roger that." Fisher agreed, "What's the first move?"
"We sneak in, extract the hostages and proceed to the Dust-off site," Ford answered.
"We don't have time for a better plan so we go with this one and pray we don't screw up," Fisher said while scanning the area. "They executed someone and tried to attack you, so it should be enough for us to use lethal takedowns."
Both men checked their gear and after scanning the forward area, they went towards the sound of the voices and machine grinds.
Both operators approached what looked like an old-fashioned village yard with tall grass, good cover. Fisher took out 2 psychoes simultaneously from behind; breaking necks and one-punch kills to the nasal bridge. Ford was maintaining overwatch with his machinegun, prone on the roof using shadows as cover; trying to calm his itchy trigger finger down; running it down the hook like it was a fine jewel.
Fisher came up to a small bathhouse with a slightly opened door; creaking back and forth in the night wind. He slowly opened it and looked inside; to be grabbed by a large hand, luckily Fisher was strong and fast enough to pull away and step back; knife in hand. What attacked him shuffled out, it looked like a pile of meat with hands and pieces of sharp metal sticking out from the sides.
The commotion attracted attention from the surrounding houses; many denizens ran towards the commotion with the sound of rattling pitchforks and shovels to cocking of old, creaky weapons from wars past. Moments later, Fisher was surrounded by hundreds of people; those who had close-range weapons were trying to poke him. To which he dodged and primed his M4; following up with a buttstock hit to his assailant and without thinking, unleashed a rapid-fire hail to his attackers; killing most of them and turning towards the abomination which was looked scarier that it really was since it was just standing with its hand (it was humanoid) outstretched.
Fisher trained his sights on it while sidestepping towards where his partner was hidden. Ford broke cover and landed next to his partner; holding his machine gun by one hand; Rambo style. "So much for stealth." He said, "What now?!" Fisher replied, "We split up to find the hostages and return to the tractor."
Suddenly, the abomination sprung to life and repeating "tractorrrrr" in a low growl while reaching for Fisher. Both men opened fire, bullets pushing it back and causing it to fall on its back. "Screw the hostages!" yelled Ford. "Time for war!" and checking his ammo, he jumped the fence and with a scream, he did a great Rambo impression; killing whoever was outside.
Fisher was at loss for words but he chose to stay on the mission, he ran into the bathhouse and got his answer quick; he came into a room that was piled in bodies; all were mutilated and looked like they were eaten through. The man exhaled in defeat and rushed out to stop his partner from causing more trouble.
There was a huge firefight outside, Jake Ford was on the dirt track, knees shot up and carry gun laying by his hand that was shot off with a shotgun shell. He was desperately trying to fight back with his sidearm; bleeding profusely. A lucky shot finished him off; straight to the head. The man collapsed lifelessly. Fisher took aim from his M4 and ran right into the thick of shots and approaching pitchfork wielders.
"No One Runs!"
"I pulled a pitchfork out of myself and sewn shut shoulder wound from a relic bullet; they kept coming but I sent them God's way; he will sort them out. I managed to escape; leaving a trail of blood for this thing to follow. Let it, I have a surprise for it, God help us....."
© 2017 Jake Clawson