This chapter contains gratuitous langauge and lots of death and such. Sweet.
The Canadian Rockies
0100 Hours Local time
"Thi... India Zero...-ree I...hit! Gotta...nch Out! Shi... Jector bust... I'm...oing down! I'm......"
Staff Sergeant Jack Ardun tapped his headset and looked over at his pilot. The pilot nodded and swung the Helicopter around as Covey, the Forward Air Controller, broke through the static over the airways,
"Whiskey One-Six, come inbound to One-Six-Two, India Zero Three is down, didn't see the chute but the rescue transmitter is giving a good tone."
"Copy that Covey, coming inbound to compass heading 162, range three klicks," the chopper pilot replied, glancing over at Ardun again "Jack, you're going in the Sh*t, good luck you crazy mother f**ker!" Ardun smiled grimly and slid a magazine into his M72A2 Carbine, releasing the bolt and turning on the weapons Red Dot scope. "30 Seconds Jack! God be with you!" the pilot said as the neared the crash site.
Captain Monica Harris lay face down in a trench drug by the corpse of her Mongoose attack plane as it slid to a halt. She had summoned all of her strength, all of the adrenalin, just to scramble 15 meters away from the battered, burning warplane and lay in it's wake.
"I'm going to die," she thought "I'm going to die right here. Oh christ I'm too young to die. Oh god." She coughed up a mass of blood, filling her helmet with the smell of death. "I cant die here. Not now."
Harris somehow sat up, stripping her pilots helmet off and sliding her M71 pistol out of it's holster. She strained to pull the slide back, gritting her teeth in pain. "Come on you bastards!" She screamed, coughing up another glob of blood, "Come get me!"
She raised the pistol and looked around her, her eyesight going hazy as the loss of blood began to get to her. The Captain heard the sound of air whipping around her, she looked up and saw a stark grey Helicopter. "PJ's... oh my god I might live." she thought just as she slumped over, her body drained of strength. The sound attracted the ire of the Zeon, deadly black mushrooms of Flak and tracer fire lighting up the night sky above the crash site.
" Go! Go! Go!" The pilot screamed as flak and small arms fire blanketed the Helicopter. Ardun grabbed the rope and slid down as fast as he could. Sparks flew off the Chopper as it took hit after hit, then a Flak shell exploded right in front of the cockpit, it's white hot shrapnel tearing the fore of the chopper to shreds.
Ardun fell to the ground and landed on his back, sending a searing pain up his spine. He looked up at the chopper as it spun rapidly out of control and slammed into the ground near by. "Get up Jack!" he thought, "They are dead, find India Zero-Three!" He rolled over and crawled onto his feet, shouldering his Rifle. He flipped his Night Vision Goggles down and saw the figure of a Zeon infantryman rushing at him. Ardun fired a short burst, the gun's suppressor turning the sharp crack of the rifle into a dull cough. A puff of blood, a groan, the Zeke fell face forward.
Ardun looked around and flipped the NVG up away from his eyes and sprinted to the stricken Mongoose. He came to the machine and thudded into the side, pressing up against it. He looked up at the empty cockpit and turned to his left. A Zeke ran around the front of the fighter, Ardun fired, the Zeke screamed and fell on his knees.
Ardun turned towards the back of the plane, ducking under the shattered wing as he went. He saw the pilot laying on her back in a pool of her own blood, clutching a pistol. A pair of Zeon soldiers lay beyond her, running at them. Ardun fired a quick burst at each of them before they noticed him, one slid on his side, the other stumbled forward and collapsed on the pilots body.
"F~~~CK!" screamed Harris, searing pain overcoming the numbness she'd found. A Zeon soldier collapsed on her, the full weight of his bloodied corpse on her chest. She gasped for air and pushed the body off of her, raising the pistol and looking ahead of her for more enemies.
She heard a voice from behind her exclaim "PJ, coming up behind you!" "God damn!" She replied as she saw a shadow run in the darkness in front of her. She fired her pistol twice and was greeted with a groan and the sound of a soldier falling dead to the ground.
Ardun rushed to her side and slid next to her, "God damn woman, you can shoot! Can you move?" he said in her ear. "I dont know," she replied, "I think my ribs are broken. And..." Ardun cut her off with another burst of fire from his carbine.
"I've got you Cap'n," Ardun said as he wrapped his weak hand under her shoulder and hefted her up. "Lets get to cover!" He began to turn and run back towards the planes wing, but Harris stumbled and began to fall. Ardun grabbed her, letting his carbine fall on its sling. "I've got you!" He yelled again, and carried her back to the plane.
Bullets snapped off the Mongoose' armored skin as he slid under the wing and laid Harris down against it's fuselage. He looked her over, "You've definitely got broken ribs, heavy internal bleeding... We gotta get you out of here!" Monica Harris groaned in response. Jack Ardun looked in her eyes, "You aren't going to die Captain," His voice softened, "You have a pretty face."
She blinked in some disbelief as Ardun turned away and shot another Zeke. Ardun dropped a magazine and slid another in, slamming the bolt release, all in one fluid motion. He shot another Zeon, then another. Then he swung around and fired at another. Harris stared at the man in front of her, he'd just said she was pretty, and then proceeded to kill four men right before her. "You are a strange man, PJ." she thought as she slid into unconsciousness once more.
Ardun turned around and looked at his charge, she lay unconscious, her pilots suit caked in blood. He shook his head in frustration and swung around again, hearing another Zeon approach him. He fired another burst, he heard a grunt, but the heavy footsteps kept coming. A shotgun's thunderclap came and Ardun felt a sharp pain in his chest, he fired a long burst and heard a scream and the thud of a body. He felt under his body armor, no blood. He spat out a cloud of blood and changed magazines.
The Para-Rescue Jumper backed up against the Airplane and shook Harris. "Stay with me Captain! Stay with me!" He ordered. Harris looked up and almost smiled, blood trickling from her mouth. He glanced at her and then back up, scanning for threats. Silence.
Ardun tapped a button on his radio and spoke, "Covey, this is Whiskey Zero-Six, do you read me?" Nothing. He pleaded with the radio, "Covey! This is Zero-Six, Do you read?!" More static, and then, "Whiskey Zero-Six, what is your situation?"
"Covey, India Zero-Three is hurt bad, massive internal. I am wounded as well. Request immediate evac!" Ardun said, more than a hint of anxiousness on his voice.
"Zero-Six, We cant get a bird in there, LZ is too hot," Covey Replied.
"Covey you do not understand, Need immediate extraction!" Ardun snarled.
Covey was 1st Lieutenant Jacob Burke. He orbited the battlefield in his very quiet, very small Dragonfly Liason plane. He glanced over his shoulder at the empty second seat behind him and grunted. "Whiskey Zero-Six, are you in the open? Copy?"
"We are up against the plane... Wait..." Ardun replied, only barely grasping the implication.
"Whiskey Zero-Six get ready to move. I'm coming in" Burke growled.
Ardun looked up, searching for Covey. He grabbed Harris by the drag strap sewn into the back of her pilots suit. "Covey, I love you, you sweet crazy bastard. I'm ready!"
Burke adjusted the Dragonfly's Slats and Flaps, he had to set it down and take off in a space of less than 100 meters, he'd need all the lift he could manage. He feathered his prop and slid the throttle down to ten percent. He swung his landing gear down and tightened up his seatbelt straps. "Jesus Christ. Am I really this nuts." Burke thought.
He aimed for the clearing. "Here goes nothing Whiskey Zero-Six. If we live you owe me a god damn drink." Burke slammed the Dragonfly into the void, his prop clipping the branch of a tree. The plane slammed into the ground, hopping twice before it came to a rest only twenty meters from where it landed.
"Perfect Three Point Landing!" Burke laughed, an almost maniacal tone about it. He blew the canopy's retaining studs and pushed it off all while taxiing his plane around to the other edge of the clearing and swung it around, applying full brake as he slid the Propellers pitch all the way out and pushed the throttle up to 50 percent.
Ardun ran for the waiting Dragonfly, dragging the fading Harris behind him. He grunted and swore, "God damn Jack, you're almost there!"
"Covey you sweet motherf**ker!" he yelled as he neared the plane, and then, gunfire. Small arms fire erupted around the plane and Ardun. He Collapsed as a round tore into his leg.
Burke drew his pistol and fired blindly into the woods, hoping against hope he'd at least nick one of the Zekes trying to kill him. bullets ripped into the composite skin of the Dragonfly, doing no real damage. "Zero-Six! Get up! Move god damn you!" Burke screamed, "Move or I'll god damn leave you!"
Ardun stumbled to his feet and picked Harris up once more, he screamed in pain and stumbled forward, "Ten more meters Jack, Ten more! Damn you move!" he thought to himself, he summoned a burst of strength and ran to the plane, hefting Harris up on his shoulders. "Covey, grab her!" Burke grabbed the limp form of Monica Harris and dragged her into the cockpit. Ardun grimaced as he took a shot to his back, he stumbled forward and slammed into the side of the plane.
"Sh*t! Get in!" Burke screamed as he grasped for Ardun. Ardun grabbed the edge of the cockpit and pulled himself up and slid over the side. "Lets go Covey! Ardun yelled, sitting himself upright in the cockpit and pulling Harris onto his lap. "Hold on Captain!" He said, "We're gonna make it!"
Burke slammed the Dragonfly's throttle through the stop, engaging war emergency power. He flipped the switch for the planes mufflers, the valves flipped open and the quiet was turned into a deafening roar as the Flat Six revved to it's limit.
Covey let the brake go and the plane lunged forward, rapidly gaining speed, he yanked the stick back and the plane obliged, clearing the tree line with centimeters to spare. "Covey. You are one crazy bastard." Ardun said just before he passed out.
Armed Forces Hospital
Nijmegen, Federal Forces Northern Europe GHQ
1600 Hours Local time
Jack Ardun sat in the hospital lounge in a pair of BDU pants and a brown t-shirt, blankly staring at a rather non-descript painting of a Tin Cod fighter. His crutches lay against his chair, his doctors insisting he walk on them though he carried no limp from his last wound. He'd been hit worse before, but the culmination of all the wounds made his extended stay in the Nijmegen Armed Forces Hospital unavoidable. Ardun was thankful he was nearing discharge, he wanted nothing more than to get back out in the field. He clawed at his rough five-o-clock shadow and took a drink of water.
Ardun grumbled to himself and picked up a magazine, he glanced through it and finding nothing of interest, tossed it back on the table beside him. "Two more days..." he thought, "can I even stand two more days sitting here, surrounded by people far worse off, with nothing to do? If they don't want me in the field, give me a R&R for christs sake, I could use some drunken debauchery. Or at least some food suitable for human consumption!" Ardun sighed and leaned back, staring at the ceiling, which like all things in the hospital, was non-descript.
"Ardun?" A woman's voice called. Jack sat up and looked before him, Captain Monica Harris, the pilot he'd last saved, sat before him in a Wheelchair. Ardun saluted the Captain with a smile and leaned forward. "Captain, Harris was it?" Ardun said, "I'm glad you made it, you were in bad shape when I got there."
"Monica Harris," she replied, "I'm glad you made it. You and Covey saved my life."
Ardun chuckled, "I'm glad I made it too Captain, and about that, don't take it as too high a compliment, I've plucked pilots far less valiant, or beautiful, than you from the sh*t, merely on principal. For some reason I'm compelled to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft, get shot at the whole way, risk life and limb, just to save the lives of you Fighter Pilot pukes."
"You do like to play with fire, don't you Ardun?" Harris teased, "slipping in compliments while belittling your achievement, and calling me a 'fighter pilot puke', despite the fact I am a superior officer." She laughed. "Just call me Monica."
"Then it's Jack to you," Ardun smiled, "How are you healing, Monica?
"I'll live... My flying days are over, desks are much safer anyways I suppose," she said, a tone of disenchantment hanging on her words. "Thats just how the game goes I suppose, are you going back?"
"Not to my old squadron, my new papers haven't come down yet but it looks like I'm being sent across the bridge to the Nijmegen Academy, for what, I'm not sure," Ardun scratched his scruffy auburn hair, "Everyone's been talking about our new Mobile Suits, G-M's I think they are called. I doubt I'm headed in that direction though, they'd waste my talents in one of those monstrosities."
Harris giggled in a matter somewhat unbecoming of an officer and replied, "Since when has anything made sense?" She reached in her Wheelchair's pocket and produced a bottle of Whiskey. "Your call sign Jack. Figured you wouldn't mind it."
"Me? Mind some of this awful sh*t? Never." Ardun said as he took the bottle, he took a slug and chuckled, "Didn't have a spare glass handy." He offered the bottle back and Harris grabbed it.
"Bottoms up Jack," Monica smiled, she took a sip and cringed, "You better keep it, it's a little too much for my tastes." A flash of seriousness came over her face. "Did you drink before the war, Jack?"
"No... I used to hate the stuff."
According to the High Frontier website, the EFF adopted the Colt M72A1 rifle as it's standard infantry arm, I decided to make the Special Forces carbine version the M72A2. Likewise the standard pistol is the Colt M71A1. PJ is slang for a Air Force Special Operations Command Pararescue Jumper. and... Yes this is going somewhere. If you didn't like it, go ahead and discourage me, 'cause I really dont have this much time to write but, LOL.
Last edited by Fall_Ryan on Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.