I am an ex soldier and I spent time in the Middle East among the Kurds. I loved writing this story as I could tell part of my story.
A word from the Author
We're getting closer to the end of this episode of the story, when I started I thought that there might be a good story here, it seems I underestimated the story as it's turned out to be a great one that the characters have told in their own way, and it seems that they might want to tell us more at some time, (At least that's what they've been saying to me recently, what do you think?)
I want to say a big thankyou to all you folks who've taken the time to read these hubs and give feedback, it's been as much of an adrenaline rush as being there 'in country' with the team and that's been awesome.
Anywway lets get on with the story
From the Previous
"Shit" he cursed quietly.
"Yep" Sandy agreed. "We're in it up to our necks and it's getting deeper! But that's nothing unusual!” She’d kind of accepted that.
“Can’t stay here all night though" Joey slowly rose and actually waved in their direction.
"Are you bloody serious?" Sandy spluttered, she was stunned. "Why not throw them a bloody kiss?"
"Good idea" Joey replied and proceeded to throw a kiss their way. "That'll throw them off their game"
They were meant to be keeping low profiles, but Joey was making it clear he knew they were there! He knew what was going on, for the next five minutes they would have no idea what to do.
They saw what his right hand was doing, but Joey was ambidextrous, they missed what his other hand was doing until they faced the Colt, two spits and they were down.
"Head West, and run hard" Joey shouted as he tugged on sniffers leash, the dog was reluctant to leave, he had a scent.
"What the hell?" Sandy was dumbfounded, "that was one hell of a shot" they weren't dead, but they were down, one holding his leg and what was left of his knee, the other holding his gut, he was in a bad way, they'd get no trouble from that quarter.
"What the hell was that?" Sandy demanded.
"The blowing the bloody kiss" she was confused and a little angry at the fact she was confused, but was making it come over that she was angry at Joey, not that he was too worried, he had other things to worry about.
"Well" Joey replied, "You did tell me to!" He knew she was confused, but the best answer was the most direct.
"And if I told you to go jump in a pile of shit? Would you do that?"
"No" he started to laugh, "but it was a bloody good distraction, that's what I needed" they were moving fast, but not so fast they were out of breath but already out of sight of the two men they just downed.
"Look" Joey began again. "Sniff told us they were waiting out there for us, and"
"How'd you make that out?" She interrupted.
"He picked up a scent, what else was it going to be?" he replied, "then you picked the two 'gophers' getting off the train" he carried on, "they were setting us up for an ambush!"
"So what are we doing now?" Sandy was confused.
"Getting the hell out of the 'kill zone' what else?" he replied.
Every ambush has the same basic structure, there’s the scouts who spot the target and make sure the ‘target’ gets to the right place, and the two on the train were the scouts. Their job is to call the main body when the targets are approaching to make sure that the main body, those who’ll actually carry out the ambush are in the right place.
The main body select a place where they can put down a devastating amount of fire without hitting their own side; the place is called the ‘kill zone’. That place should give no cover whatsoever to the target and ideally it should be over within two or three seconds, with everyone dead or wounded, that was Gregorovitch’s plan for Joey and Sandy. Lastly there’s the tail enders, their job was to take out anyone trying to get out by running down the track.
They had no idea what side the ambush was on, but Joey guessed it was probably on the southeast side as that would be the easiest for the ambushers, that meant by running west they were increasing the range the ambushers would have to fire to engage them, making it virtually impossible without breaking cover and that gives the advantage (albeit slight) back to the escapees, it was a gamble, but what the hell, they had no choice!
That was when they heard the shots behind them. Rifle fire, a couple of rounds spat up the earth a couple of feet away to the left, too far for accurate shooting, but just enough to give them something to worry about.
“Take cover in the rocks ahead” Joey yelled as he broke into a sprint, as he drew level with Sandy he grabbed her in the small of her back and increased his pace, she did the same.
The rocks were boulders about the size of a man, they both launched themselves at them from about five feet away, both literally vaulted the boulders and did forward rolls into the gaps behind them, “You okay?” Joey asked as he came back up, stopping just before the top of the rocks, the last thing needed was to put the head over the top and get it blown off.
“Yeah” Sandy replied, “Just a couple of scratches from the rocks” she was looking at the back of her hands, “What was that?”
“That was just our average AK from a ways away” Joey replied, “probably too far for accurate shooting, but far enough to kill with a lucky shot!”
“Any idea where they are?” she was trying to move to get a look, Joey grabbed her shoulder, pulling her round he looked into her eyes, she could see the concern but it was the shaking of the head that sent the message.
“They’re watching and probably moving even now to get a better firing position” he told her, “We came in that way” he pointed to the top of the rocks where she was going to poke her head over, “the last thing you do is go back that way, they’ll be just waiting for that, come on.” He half rose and started moving along the natural trench that the rocks had made, sniffer was with them, right at Joey’s heel and following obediently.
As soon as they were round a bend in the ‘trench’ Joey stopped and took out a reel of trip wire, he took a small rectangular rock and tied one end of the trip wire round it; next he placed the rock in one side of the trench wall, using some other rocks he secured it.
Next he got the duct tape and a grenade out, using the duct tape he taped the grenade securely to the other side of the trench, passing the wire through the eye of the grenade’s pin he pulled the wire taught enough that it was hard to see yet not too hard that it popped the pin, then tied it off. Next he took a couple of rocks and hid the whole thing from the side he thought they’d approach from.
“Joey” Sandy sounded urgent; “They’re getting closer, sounds like they’ve found the trench, Get a bloody move on!!” she was almost screaming.
The chase is still on
“All done” he said, ‘Now draw their attention” he said and started moving back, he turned back to her and said “Stay here, when I get back be ready to run like hell!” and with that he was gone, back the way they came.
She didn’t have to wait long, about fifteen seconds after he disappeared there was a burst of gunfire, she could tell it was the colt, then there was an almighty explosion and Joey reappeared about three seconds later running at full sprint. “Run, NOW!” was all he shouted, she didn’t need encouragement and set off at full sprint.
Joey caught up with her just as they heard the next explosion; neither of them fell so that was a good sign wasn’t it? They kept running for about a hundred yards, then he indicated for them to slow down, there was no fire from behind so that was a good sign!
“How many?” was all she could think to ask? “How many were there?”
“Don’t know for sure” Joey replied, “but I did see five of them, took one down with the gunfire, the others gave chase”
“How many you think there are?”
“Lot more than that!” was all he said, “but we got to keep moving, we’re about seven miles from the border.
Just then their worst nightmare became a reality as the heard the whine of huge gas turbine engines, that meant air cover had arrived and it wasn’t theirs!
They were at the edge of the rocky outcrop, before them was about a hundred yards of open ground and then a slight dip as the ground began the descent to the river seven miles away, there were trees at the start of the dip that would break their outline up, but cover from the Hind! Nah, he’d see them in seconds especially if they were using night vision.
They took the time to pull their night vision visors down and switch them on, the whole world turned a pale shade of green, but at least they could see where they were going, sniffer was out a ways and gave an indication that no one was around, at least he wasn’t picking up a scent, that meant they were out of the ‘kill zone’ and maybe stood a chance of getting out alive.
Watch some of their secrets revealed
The Hind banked steeply and came round for another pass. They both got as far into the rocks as it was humanly possible, “Think they’ve seen us?” Sandy asked as the helicopter seemed to pass overhead without using his guns.
“Seems a bit strange that he came round and didn’t open up with those canon” Joey replied, “Maybe we got away with it” just as they were about to rise they saw why, the hind had come into a hover and a bunch of men were jumping out the back of the aircraft. “Oh Shit, this gets bloody worse!” Joey whispered a short prayer, ‘Any chance you can let up” he looked towards the sky, he wasn’t big on praying, but there were times when even the atheist offers one to whatever might be there, this was one of those times!
"Any Chance you can let up Lord?
— Joey to God
Spetznaz closing in
Eight men, fully armed and ready for war jumped out and started running towards them, this was not going to end well, the other hind came round and headed straight for them, there was nowhere to hide! It knew exactly where they were and the 30mm canon opened up.
Shells were hitting the earth at six inch intervals, they started about sixty yards in front of them, and both reacted instantly diving for the nearest cover just as the wave of lead passed over their position.
Sandy went down hard, hitting her head on something, she was groggy and Joey was worried when he saw her, “You okay?” There was no time for a reply; the Hind had come in at 90 degrees to the main force that was about fifteen feet away now. He sat up and instinct took over as he pumped out two grenades from the launcher, the explosions took down three of the group, but these guys knew what they were doing and they were too far apart to take them all down.
Sandy was coherent enough to realize the danger and brought up the AK, she let off a burst at two more, one of the group had almost made the trench when Sniffer launched himself right at the man’s throat, the soldier stood no chance as the dog literally ripped his throat out, he just lay there gagging and slowly dying, there was nothing anyone could do, sniffer came straight back into the trench and managed to make it to safety to both their amazement, “And you wanted rid of him!” Joey shouted at Sandy.
“Not a bloody chance!” Sandy was vehement, that was the second time the dog had saved them.
“You ok?” Joey asked again, the attackers had retreated to re-group, more were arriving. “I saw you take a nasty bang to the head”
“Just hit the rocks a bit hard” Sandy replied, “I’ll be fine” they were both looking for a way out,
One just like 'Sniffer'
'One angry German Shepherd'
Darkness had fallen, but everyone was using night vision gear so that made very little difference, then Sandy saw the way forward. “Joey” she pointed to a slight depression in the ground about two hundred yards north of where they were, “if we can get to there we might be able to get round them, what do you think?”
Joey’d been busy reloading the grenade launcher, he took a look and indicated for Sandy to check her ammunition, she had a couple of rounds left in that magazine so she swapped magazines and started clipping loose rounds into the empty one while he thought about the situation, she didn’t have to wait long, “Yep, looks like the Russians are waiting for something, they’re not looking our way so let’s go.” Silently they slid out of the trench and made their way crawling on their bellies towards the depression, they were half way there when an alert Russian cottoned on to what they were doing, even Sniffer had been moving quietly as if he knew the danger they were on.
The Russian was actually waiting for them in the depression, what he wasn’t waiting for was sixty pounds of pissed off German Shepherd wanting to rip his throat out, before Joey could even realise what was happening Sniffer had seen the Russian move and launched himself at the prone figure, there was a blood curdling scream as the dog made contact and a wolf like growl as teeth and throat met, the man reached for a knife, but Joey got there first and pinned the arm to the ground as Sniffer did his work, Joey was merciful this time and taking the Browning out from its holster he finished the man off quickly, but sniffer just stood there growling over the dead body. Joey really wondered just what was going on in the dogs brain, that was twice he’d ripped the throats out of the Russians!
Alerted by the sounds all hell broke loose again, but this time they were in the depression and running hard again, each step closing in on safety.
There was a clump of trees ahead, they dived for cover behind the trees, rolled and came up firing as the Russians broke cover, another two went down, but there were so many and they were closing in, “Keep running” Joey screamed as he turned and left off another short burst, “they were both on their feet again and heading deeper into the trees.
The ‘clump’ turned into a small wood, with oak, pine and various other kinds mixed in, Joey slowed them down to almost a snail’s pace, the going was slow but the advantage was they weren’t making much noise, the enemy had little idea exactly where they were and they were able to move slowly through the wood.
‘Crack’ they froze, Sniffer’s coat was standing on end, his ‘hackles’ up, a low growl coming out, the noise they’d heard that had seemed to deafen them was just a twig breaking, but it had broken under a human foot, and it wasn’t one of theirs, that meant their pursuers were close, close enough to need to be a damn sight more careful than they were being, Sandy indicated it’d come from the left, to their south, and it wasn’t far away.
Both had full magazines, both could see the river about half a mile away, so near, yet so far. “Only one thing for it” Joey whispered into the mike, Sandy was amazed it was still working, “When I say run for the border and don’t stop for anything”
“What?” Sandy stopped and looked at Joey; she didn’t like what she was hearing.
Lawrence Hebb on July 17, 2016:
Sorry I missed your comment. There is a little in the actual book (not a lot though). That's one of the hard parts of writing for a series like this, you think you've put the gap in when you haven't
Sniffer was meant to be, but if I say any more I'll be giving things away.
Great to see you're enjoying it.
Robert Sacchi on July 17, 2016:
Sniffer was the star of this chapter :-)
Deb Hirt on June 05, 2016:
Billy's right, Lawrence. Get some breather space in there. You don't want your readers so pumped up that they're having heart palpitations.
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on June 04, 2016:
The.story went live on CreateSpace last night, it'll be on Amazon in a few days and I should finish getting it on Kindle today!
Glad you enjoyed it
William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 04, 2016:
It sounds like the jury has spoken. But what a great story. Glad to hear it will be published soon. Good work, Lawrence.
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on May 31, 2016:
Great! That would be awesome. Tell your son that I'm just finishing the formatting then the paperback will be out at the weekend (The Good Lord willing) with the Kindle a few days later.
As for the editing and what both Bill and Eric said I did quite a bit in the rewrite for CreateSpace but it's more towards the beginning (and not in the hubs, sorry :-( )
Glad you liked it though
Nell Rose from England on May 31, 2016:
Hi, another great installment, and yes I agree with the above, a bit more getting to know the characters in between the crash bang! lol! by the way? my son loved this and wants to go back and read the rest! lol!
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on May 29, 2016:
Thank you for that. I've been working on something like that the last few days with some of the 'behind the scenes' things as well as some dialogue explaining how they use emotions like fear in a positive way! I'm not sure if that bit was actually in the hubs but it's sure in the book as for me it's a pretty important part.
I'm pretty happy with the overall result but there's a 'looking forward to better next time' if you know what I mean!
Lawrence Hebb (author) from Hamilton, New Zealand on May 29, 2016:
Point taken. I have done a bit of editing for the book one, but probably more towards the beginning of the book.
It was interesting seeing what I thought would be a 'short' book growing into a reasonable length.
However I'll take what you say into account.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 29, 2016:
Actually, Eric's comment says quite a bit. There is a ton of action packed into a short time...when it comes time to prepare this for publication, my suggestion is to write in breather spaces between the action...that is where the characters can develop emotions or where backstories can be told....give your readers a chance to catch their breaths between action scenes....but other than that, great job!
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 29, 2016:
Cool dude! That is a lot of action packed into a short time. I would say something about your style but you do such a good job -- I don't notice.