Operation: Black Pearl
Copyright © 2015 by Eric Aune, Ken Barber, Roland and The Revolutions Universe Partnership
All rights Reserved
On the small sternwheel boat that was normally used for the Fantasmic show, Private Greg Webster leaned over the upper railing. "Hey Dan, how much longer do we have the duty?" On the lower deck, Private Dan Vasquez checked his watch. "A couple of hours yet." Greg nodded. "Thanks." He continued to walk along the upper deck, looking for nothing as far as he was concerned. There was nothing going on here. Below, Private Vasquez had just headed toward the back of the boat, when he felt a weight drop down on him and something sharp pierced the top of his neck and drove upward into the bottom of his skull, near where the spinal cord connected to the brain. His body began to drop and the weight jumped off of him and caught him before he could hit the deck and make too much noise. The small figure moved him to the back of the boat and slowly slipped his body over the side into the water in the gap between the stern wheel and the stern of the boat. Chase wiped his tanto on his leg and placed it back into its sheath. He had been able to do it quickly and quietly. He keyed the subvocal in his helmet and contacted Daileass.
They stayed alert, keeping an eye on the guards. Several minutes later Daileass patted Snoops on the arm. "Chase says there were two men on the boat. One was on the lower deck. Chase took care of the one on the lower deck. He says that he can see a guard at the back of the fake mountain. I think that's where the controls are. That would be a good place. It's inside and the show is controlled by computers. It would probably be simple enough to set up the Air Defense system in there." Snoops nodded. "Sounds logical. The intel said that it was here and they thought it was on the boat, but it's too small for that. Inside the mountain makes much more sense."
Snoops looked the area over. They had four targets. The two at the gangplank, the one on the boat and the one at the entrance to the mountain. The four guards had to be taken out quickly within seconds of each other, or an alarm might be raised before the team could get inside the mountain and do what they needed to do. Ghost and Giggles were carrying the sound suppressed MK11 Sniper rifles. Catcher and Ice carried M249 SAWs and the rest of the team carried sound suppressed MP7s. He knew that the kids were carrying MP5s, but those weren't sound suppressed, because the idea was if they had to shoot, then they had a problem.
Daileass tapped Snoops on the arm again. "Snoops, Chase says he can take the two at the gangplank, if you want him to, but he said he will do what you tell him, if you want him to take any of the others out instead of those two. My suggestion, let him take the two at the gangplank and let your snipers take out the other two. Those two on the gangplank won't even know what hit them. The problem for him is that the guy on the boat will probably see him, so he needs to be taken down fast."
Snoops looked at the two men at the gangplank. They did seem relaxed but this Chase was small. How was he going to take them both down without an alarm being sounded and a lot of noise? He knew Chase carried one of the non-suppressed MP5s, so if he fired that, there would be a fair amount of noise. "Trust Chase sir. He is very good at what he does. Think of him as a Ninja. Only he's faster, quieter and stronger. By the time the men hit the ground they're going to be dead." Snoops looked at the helmeted head of the young boy. Daileass nodded his head trying to let Snoops know that everything he said was true.
Snoops made his decision. "Okay, have him get into position." He went over to Ghost and Giggles. "Ghost, take the man at the entrance door. Giggles, take the one on the boat. Chase is going to take the two on the gangplank." Ghost looked over his shoulder with surprise. "He's going to do what?" Snoops nodded. "One of the other kids told me that he's a Ninja and he's already taken out one of the two guards on the boat. No alarm was raised and the kid said that those two won't even know what hit them. When you two see the guards on the gangplank go down, take out your targets." They both nodded and shifted their aim to cover their targets.
Snoops pointed at Catcher and Ice to take up positions to give covering fire in case everything went to shit. The rest were made ready to move around the edges of the lagoon and over the gangplank to the back of the mountain. He told the two kids to stay down. "Have Chase tell us when he's in position." Snoops could hear the humor in Daileass' voice when he quickly answered back. "He's already there. He's just waiting for the go order."
Snoops shook his head and then turned his attention to the man on the boat. "Wait Snoops, Chase says he hears some trucks going by on the main road just beyond that building." Snoops checked the time. "Shit, that may be Bucky and his team. We need to go. Tell him go." The guard on the top deck was on the stage side of the small pilothouse, so that his view of the gangplank was blocked.
The two men at the gangplank were talking quietly; their M4's were slung over their shoulders. They never heard or saw a thing. They felt something across their necks. The front of their chests felt like someone had dowsed them with a bucket of water. They suddenly felt like they had swallowed a lot of water. They tried to cough it up so they could breathe, but they couldn't and they felt weak and dizzy as they collapsed to the ground, dropping their carbines. The last thing they saw was a small black armored figure with two swords in his hands.
From the SEAL's position, they saw the small figure of Chase clamber out from under the gangplank behind the two men. He climbed up the side of the gangplank and launched himself in the air between the two men. They saw two flashes of steel as the small figure flipped around in the air and landed on its feet in front of the two men. They saw the soldiers reach up to their throats and collapse. The only sound was their carbines clattering to the ground. Giggles saw the man on the boat turn around and run around the pilothouse. Private Webster brought his gun up to aim at the figure standing over the fallen guards, when the 7.62 round from Giggles' rifle entered the right side of his head and slammed him into the front of the pilothouse, painting it with blood and bits of brain matter. The man at the entrance door had barely registered the sound of the clattering rifles when Ghost's bullet tore through the center of his chest, ripping a large hole through his heart. He fell to the ground and tried to get to his radio to let the guards inside the mountain know that they were under attack, but his strength was slipping away and he couldn't get a breath.
Snoops waved the rest of the team forward. They ran around the edge of the lagoon to the gangplank. Pretty Boy and Pepper quickly stripped the two bodies at the gangplank of their ammo belts and dragged them to the lagoon and dropped them in. They grabbed the M4s and ran up the gangplank and across the boat. Snoops started giving orders. "Ghost, Giggles, find a couple of high spots. Ice, find a place where you can watch that road. Catcher, set up to watch the amphitheater." He looked at Gabe. "Colonel can you have a couple of your men join my two SAW men in their positions?" Gabe nodded and pointed at George and Patrick. "Train Wreck, Pretty Boy, Pepper, take positions on the boat. Colonel, two of your men on the boat as well." Gabe pointed at Eric and Jim.
The men moved into their positions. On the back side of the mountain there were several ramps and ladders that led onto the stage. The snipers and the men setting up to watch the amphitheater used them to find good overwatch positions high on the stage backdrop. The others took positions on and around the steamboat. Daileass stood up from where he had bent down at the side of the man that Ghost had taken out. From his hand dangled a set of keys that he had unclipped from the man's belt. The tag on it said 'Stage Computer Room'. "Stack up. I'll go first, Squeaks, Face Plant, behind me, Colonel, you and your man behind them." Ordered Snoops. He pointed at the three kids. "You three on that side of the door. I'll have you pull the door open on my signal and we'll enter. You come in after us, but keep down." Daileass nodded and the three of them stacked up like the men, but on the opposite side of the door. Daileass put the key in the lock and his other hand was on the doorknob. He turned his helmeted head to Snoops. When Snoops nodded, Daileass turned the key and the doorknob and pulled the door open. Snoops rushed in.
Inside the room were several people. Five guards were stationed around the room with one at a desk near the door. One officer was sitting at a desk at the back of the room. Another officer was walking between two banks of computer equipment, where six technicians were sitting and monitoring the equipment in front of them.
Snoops fired at the guard at the desk, causing him to fly backwards over the chair. The others spread out quickly and took out three of the guards, Gabe took the fourth one out. One of the technicians stood up in surprise and was shot down, causing him to fall back over the chair he had been sitting in. The officer at the desk stood up with a pistol in his hands and Snoops shot him. The officer in the middle of the room pulled his pistol out and started to bring it up, but a weighted chain whipped through the air and wrapped around the man's wrist. The chain was yanked hard and the officer fell against one of the technicians, causing the gun to drop free as the man's head hit the table next to the technician. At the other end of the chain was Chase, with a wicked looking sickle shaped weapon in one hand, while he held the chain in his other hand.
The technicians at the tables could only look on in shock at the carnage around them.
The team members looked around the room. The technicians could only raise their hands. The men spread out in the room. The technicians were searched, zip tied and sat against a wall out of the way. The officer that Chase had taken down was a little groggy from hitting his head on the table, but Doc checked him and he looked like he would be okay. He was placed with the technicians after Chase had removed the chain and wrapped his Kusarigama back around his waist and put the sickle weapon back in its sheath at his back. The guards and the officer at the desk were dead. They pulled them over to the side and out of the way after taking their pistols and ammo belts from them.
Snoops hit his transmit button. "Secure." He received several acknowledgement clicks from the men outside. He turned to Daileass and Sean. "It's all yours, guys." The prisoners watched two of the smaller figures move forward to positions in front of the equipment. There were several gasps of surprise from the prisoners when they removed their helmets to reveal preteen and teenage boys. The two put the helmets on the tables next to the equipment. The preteen sat down in front of one of the computers. The teenager took a waterproof pack from his back and pulled a sturdy looking laptop out of it and opened it up. "Wake up, Dusty." The screen of the laptop changed and the picture of a teenage cowboy appeared on the screen and spoke to him. "Hey Sean. What do you need?" Sean smiled. "Hey Dusty, we got a computer system to crack." The figure on the screen smiled. "Awesome, just point the way." Sean took his jacket off and pulled some other items out of the bag. He slipped two arm band like things on his lower arms and put some sort of strange looking device on his head. Sean glanced at Daileass. "Let's do this." They bumped fists and turned their attention to the computers in front of them. The smaller armored figure went to stand behind the two boys and turned to watch the prisoners with an MP5 in his hands. He unnerved the prisoners as he stood there silently with the opaque helmet facing them. A couple of the men on the team chuckled when they saw the scared faces of the prisoners and they relaxed a little.
"Okay Dusty, login and let's get to work." Sean began moving his hands and the laptop screen started changing. He seemed to be only giving voice commands and hand movements and the computer responded to him. They could hear this Dusty person answering him from time to time. A few minutes later the younger boy spoke up. "Okay, I've got the system."
Sean made some motions with his arms. "Found the IFF codes. Dusty, remove them from the Air Defense system and copy them to your system." A moment later the teen cowboy came on the screen. "I got 'em." Sean nodded. "Okay Dusty, download the new codes." A minute later, the cowboy came back on. "They're in." Sean looked over at Daileass who quickly typed some commands on the computer. He looked at Snoops. "It belongs to us now." Snoops shook his head. Maybe he should reassess his thoughts about these kids. It had only taken them a few short minutes and they had taken control of the Air Defense system. He keyed his com. "This is Oberon, the fairies are in the forest. The Umbrella is ours."
Bucky looked over his shoulder at the officer standing near the entrance of the command center before looking back at his team. "We go tactical as soon as we are inside. Full on assault, leave Beer Can and Giant at the door. No one enters behind us. We take out the captain as soon as we get inside. Let everyone know weapons free inside the building. All hell is going to break loose. The kids are to stay to the rear until we secure the building and they can get that fancy armor on."
Bucky went back to the officer waiting by the entrance. "Captain Grausse, let my men gather up the rest of this fancy equipment and these genius JROTC kids and we will get going. It's been a long drive and I am anxious to be done tonight."
The captain nodded as he watched Bucky's men unload the equipment silently, still seething from Bucky's comment.
The team gathered up the equipment and Captain Grausse just nodded and opened the door. Bucky entered first, there was a guard at a desk beside the door. Behind the desk was an open room that looked like a storage room.
"You will have to sign your people in here, sir."
Bucky nodded and picked up the pen as Grausse came up to stand beside him, looking over his shoulder. Bucky heard the soft pops of the silenced weapons and saw the private at the desk rock back and fall forward. Bucky turned to see Mouse holding the dead captain up.
Bucky pointed at the bodies and then the storage room. He then pointed at the boxes, the kids and the storage room.
'He wants us to get our armor on quickly.' Ethan's voice in his head still unnerved him.
Mouse started to drag the captain's body to the storage room and Beer Can grabbed the dead private. Giant quickly sat at the desk and shuffled the entrance logs so the drops of blood were hidden. Everyone crammed into the 10x10 storage room and the UNIT kids began to dig out their armor and gear.
Giant held up one finger behind his back indicating one person was approaching. He then held up two fingers indicating someone coming from the inside. His next signal was one finger telling the group behind him it was an officer.
'It would be much easier and faster for me to tell you there is an officer approaching from inside the building.'
Bucky glared at Ethan for moment, then smiled. He pulled out his silenced pistol and stood with his back against the wall near the door, coiled and ready to spring.
Giant sat up straight. "Evening, sir."
"Private, have you seen Captain Grausse?"
"No sir he hasn't passed by here."
"That's odd he was suppose to come out and meet the troops from Georgia…." He was cut off as Bucky rounded the corner, grabbed him and pressed the silencer to his head.
The lieutenant was able to squeak out "Bucky?"
Bucky paused and looked at the officer. "Shit" He grabbed him and literally tossed him to Carmichael.Bucky spun. "Keep getting ready, everyone. Gibbons, what the fuck are you doing here? You were transferred to Germany."
The young officer was visibly shaking. "They transferred me back a couple months ago. I think it was because of my dad. I can't tell you how glad I am to see you. I tried really hard to get assigned to Colonel Rodriguez's squadron but it just wasn't happening."
"Ok, well this is good; give us a break down of what we are facing."
For the next minute, while the kids finished getting their armor on, Lieutenant Gibbons explained the entire layout of the the command center.
When he was done, Bucky nodded. "Ok this is gonna be easier than I thought. One big room with all the techs and security in it. Down the corridor to the right. One entrance, we stack up on each side. Godfather, you and your team on the right. I will take my team on the left. Gibbons, you enter first and when you feel my hand on your back you drop. Dakota, Jamie and Josh, you follow my team in. Ian, Logan, Ethan and Dylan, you follow Godfather's team. As soon as Gibbons goes down, Godfather and I will toss flash bangs, so be prepared to close your eyes. Earplugs in."
He looked around and watched everyone put their earplugs in. He held up a thumb and waited until everyone gave him the thumbs up.
They all hustled down the corridor and lined up on each side of the door. Lieutenant Gibbons was crouched beside Bucky, with his sidearm at the ready. Bucky took out his silenced pistol and handed it to him and nodded.
Gibbons nodded and holstered his issued 9mm. Both he and Bucky stood and Gibbons took a deep breath and opened the door.
"GIBBONS, WHERE THE FUCK HAVE…" the shout from inside the room was cut off as Bucky slammed the lieutenant to the ground and tossed in a flash bang grenade followed immediately by Godfather's. The flash bangs did their job of disorienting the enemy in the room.
Bucky went in at a crouch and targeted the stunned officer standing in the middle of the room. The three round burst from the M4 hit center mass and the target went down. Bucky almost smiled knowing it was Major Lauxmont. Bucky felt more than heard, Albatross firing over his right shoulder.
Albatross' hand on Bucky's back forcefully turned him left and into sight of a soldier fumbling to bring his rifle up, Bucky squeezed the trigger, knocking the target back down. He could see everyone scrambling in front of him, as he continued to fire at targets and move further into the room. He spotted movement to the right and saw a young soldier start to take aim at Godfather. He turned to fire, just as the soldier flew backwards and slammed into the wall. The sickening crunch was so loud it could be heard over the chaos that was engulfing the room. Bucky glanced back and saw Jamie staring at the man he had just killed, with his hand thrust out in front of him like he was pushing something away.
Bucky grabbed him, pulled him down and spun around to fire at a soldier near the back of the room but not before the soldier could get a round off.
A small group of soldiers had gathered in the far corner of the room and were beginning to return fire. They had turned a metal table over and we're using it as cover. They had effectively pinned his team down. "Josh?"
The young boy appeared beside him in a flash. "Sir?"
"Can you do something about that table they are using for cover."
He looked past the desk he was crouched behind. "I need to get closer."
"Ok, see that desk there. When I tell you to, make for it, ok?"
"SEALs TRANSITION RIGHT!"
The gun fire and impact of bullets on the table picked up in intensity. Bucky turned to tell Josh to tell him go and saw that he was already halfway there.
Josh slid to a stop behind the desk. Bucky looked around the corner of the desk. Now he had to create another diversion. He looked around and spotted Jamie.
"If I lob this in the air can you force it to land right behind that table." He asked as he pulled out another flash bang,
Jamie smiled. "Nothing but net."
Bucky pulled the pin and tossed the grenade straight up and watched it take off towards the table.
The grenade went off and Bucky jumped up and sprinted to a closer firing position. The entire boat crew followed suit. As he ran, he watched the table begin to melt. He changed directions and kept going right to the enemy soldiers, firing as he went. By the time his boat crew reached the enemy position everyone was down.
"CLEAR?" He shouted at the top if his lungs.
"Clear!" The response came back.
Bucky stood and looked around. There had been about twelve men on duty, all were down. He looked back at his team and saw Ian kneeling down beside Big Bird.
Ian looked up "He is gone sir, there is nothing I can do."
Bucky nodded. "Godfather secure the room. Get our snipers up on that catwalk."
He keyed his mic. "Romeo this is Juliette, The Devil is in the house of the rising sun."
Norris was tugging on the sling, the damn thing was annoying and he wanted to get rid of it. The radio crackled but all Admiral Norris heard was, "The Umbrella is ours."
He stood. "All air assets to attack positions. Final check of targeting telemetry."
He listened for a second as Miller moved the fleet's aircraft closer to the strike area. Jackson moved the fleet of planes carrying the Marines and Infantry into attack positions. Lieutenant Roland rechecked the drone's targeting links. "Status reports by department." Norris bellowed out.
"Task Force air wings, in position and reports ready."
"Secondary assault groups reports ready."
"Task Force surface ships report at General Quarters and ready to engage."
Norris nodded. "Set timer to five minutes and twelve seconds." Norris picked up his Mic. "Stand by to fire initial salvo on my command. New Jersey stand by to fire secondary salvo. French and Royal Marines stand by to assault your targets."
Norris looked over at Miller. "Any word from Bucky and team?"
"Not yet sir."
"Cross your fingers." Norris took a deep breath. "Weapons? Fleet missile systems ready?"
"Fire initial salvo, start the timer and reload. Take Kennedy Space Center and Patrick Air Force Base now."
Norris watched out the window as the dark sky turned to dusk with the fires of twelve missiles being launched simultaneously. It was one of the biggest flights of cruise missiles Norris had ever seen at once.
"God help them. Start the timer and tell New Jersey to standby to fire."
"Aye sir; New Jersey reports ready at your command."
Admiral Norris watched the time ticking down. "Damn it Bucky where are you?"
"Thirty seconds to New Jersey salvo, sir."
Norris watched the clock. "FIRE!"
Once again the terror of Poseidon shouted out from the waves with a thunderous roar. The flash from the 16-inch guns let Norris know that he had just ordered the death of hundreds of people.
"Where the fuck is Bucky?"
"He better be in place in thirty seconds!"The radio crackled. "The Devil is in the house of the rising sun."
"About damn time. Miller, send in the squadrons."
Up in the cockpit sitting in the pilot seat with Apollo next to her as co-pilot, Christina was listening to the radio.
"The umbrella is ours." She looked over to Apollo and grinned. "That's our cue." She keyed the intercom to the main cabin. "Ladies and Gentleman. The word is given." She keyed the air command net that she had set up for her team. "Spin 'em up, and follow me. I hope you boys are ready to show me what you can do in those."
The rotors on Dragon increased their speed and Christina took to the air. She didn't wait around for the Cobras to get in the air before she headed for the staging area. She kept the speed down until the Cobras caught up, as her quick take off had caught them off guard. They hadn't really seen Dragon at his full capability yet, so Christina's quick takeoff left them behind. Once the Cobras caught up to her, she opened it up going to the edge of the maximum speed of the Cobras, which was another surprise to the pilots since they had always been faster than a CH-53 in the past.
She didn't just fly low, she was pretty much skimming a few feet above the swampland and trees that passed beneath them. Very few people could see them as they kept away from the towns and cities. There were a few scattered people that were near enough to see the five helicopters screaming along at treetop level. Their mouths dropped open as the helos flew by. No one thought anything about it with the large number of military forces that had been moving into the area over the last week or so.
At the speed they were going it only took about ten minutes to make it to the final staging area. They saw the baseball complex coming up and Chris began to slow Dragon down. She contacted the Cobras. "Okay guys, stay low and find a spot to set down. We'll be right back. Got a package to deliver. Keep the motors running because we should be getting the signal to attack in about fifteen minutes." She received acknowledgments from the pilots and went into a hover.
She looked at Apollo. "Go get Eve." Apollo nodded and left the cockpit, returning moments later with Eve in his arms. He got her into the seat and once she had control of Dragon, "Drake, control the pedals until Apollo is in control."
Christina got up so that Apollo could take her place and sat in the jump seat. "Okay Apollo, take us to the place where we're going to drop off some SEALs."
Apollo smiled as he increased the collective control and they rose up. "Drake, engage stealth."
On the ground, the Cobra pilots were shocked when they saw Dragon disappear from view as it climbed high. Apollo took them high enough so that their rotor wash would not give them away as they flew to the north side of the resort.
At one of the guard towers along the south side of the property, one of the guards stopped as he looked to the south. He peered through the dark. He thought he had seen something. He took his binoculars off their hook and focused them in that direction. He scanned the area to the south slowly, but saw nothing. He shrugged and hung them back on their hook.
Apollo flew them to the parking lot that was between the Art of Animation Resort and the Pop Century Resort. Christina called over the intercom into the main cabin. "Superman, get your team ready to jump out. We're going to hover and you guys will need to jump. Rio keep your ass down, little brother." In the cabin Rio smiled as he and Boat Crew Chimera got up from their seats and headed to the rear. Jamil was standing there to operate the ramp. He and Rio bumped fists.
Dragon began to descend as Jamil opened the ramp. They watched the ground get close. Rio turned to Superman. "See you guys on the ground." They were about twenty feet up when he jumped to the ground and began to look for any threats while Dragon came down. When it was about six feet from the ground, the boat crew began jumping off the ramp. When the last man was on the ground, Jamil closed the ramp and let Apollo know they were clear.
Apollo took them up high and back to the staging area. He landed in Champion Stadium, where the Atlanta Braves had spring training. Hopefully the team would get a chance to use the stadium again soon. Once he was low enough, he had Drake disengage the stealth. Now they waited for the attack signal.
Back at the resort, the boat crew was in a circular formation watching all directions to make sure that they had not been seen. Superman looked at Rio. "Damn kid, are you okay? Don't do that kind of shit again. We stay together." The helmeted head nodded. "Yes sir. Sorry sir. I'll take point sir. That's my specialty." Superman looked at the kid and nodded. He pointed at one of the men, "I'll send Fox with you." The man Fox moved up. Rio looked at Fox. "Yes sir." Rio turned and moved away. Fox looked at Superman with a look that said 'You're making me babysit this kid?' Superman waved him forward. He moved out.
As Fox moved forward, he was looking for the kid and couldn't find him until he rose up from a bush near the edge of the parking lot, surprising him. "Don't worry about me Fox. I'll hold my end up. Let's go find us a couple of mortars." Fox could hear the smile in the kid's voice as he said that. Fox looked at the kid and nodded. "Let's do this." They turned and headed to the Art of Animation Resort.
Superman deployed his men into the trees near the parking lot, so that they were well concealed and had clear fields of fire. Now they only had to wait for their scouts to return and tell them where to go.
In Dragon's command center, Christina watched the clock on the computer console that Brett was sitting at. At 2359 she gave the command for the helicopters and the soldiers to prepare to attack on her command.
In the cities located on the coast of Florida several people were awakened by the roaring sound of jet and rocket engines overhead, some of the sounds seemed very close to the ground. In seconds the sounds passed to the west. There were a lot of surprised people wondering what was going on.
In their positions near and around the resort, those forces that were to attack the detention center were keyed up and ready to go.
The signal to attack was clear, as they looked to the north where huge fireballs rose into the air, followed by tremendous booms.
The men in the guard towers could only stand in shock as they looked to the north. As they stared at the explosions, the guards heard the loud crack of several powerful rifles and twelve of the fifteen guards went down. A couple of them, who were near the opening of their tower fell the twenty feet to the ground below because of the impact of the .50 caliber round hitting them.
Inside the resort, those on duty stood up and started looking around in surprise at each other wondering what in the hell was going on. Those who had been asleep were awakened by the multiple explosions to the north.
Captain Pendleton, troop commander for Havoc Troop of the 2nd ACR bolted out of his bed at the sound of the multiple explosions. He ran to his command center. "What the hell was that?" The second lieutenant on duty looked at his commanding officer. "No idea sir." Pendleton looked at the new officer. "Well, find out. Wait, get everyone up and out to the Strykers. Contact the National Guard troops and get them moving as well. Once you have done that, find out what the fuck is going on!" The captain ran back to his room and began to dress. The lieutenant sent a man out of the room to make sure the troopers were up and moving, while he called over to the other buildings. Throughout the hotel, the men of Havoc Troop were getting up, grabbing their gear and weapons as they made their way downstairs.
By the time the captain came back out of his room shrugging into his harness with his M4 in his hands, many of the men had made their way downstairs. He pointed to the front doors of the hotel. "You men get out to your Strykers and get them started. I want you ready to go when we find out what's going on." The men nodded and headed to the front doors. As they neared them, they heard a roaring sound outside and then the glass of the entryway was blown inward along with the soldiers who were just about to exit. The others hit the floor on instinct as their ears were assaulted by several explosions and the building shook.
Captain Pendleton stood up and ran to the entrance way, threading his way through the dead and wounded. He stared at the sight in the parking lot beyond the doors. There were shredded and burning Strykers everywhere. All the ground was torn up around the front of the building and across the parking lot. He turned from the sight and saw more men had made it downstairs. His XO, Lieutenant Morrison, was in control and getting the men into their platoons with the help of the platoon leaders.
"Morrison, take two of the platoons and see if there are any Strykers that survived the attack. If you find any, get them loaded and ready to go. As soon as I know where to point you, I'll give you the word." Morrison nodded and led his men outside into the conflagration that used to be their parked Strykers.
The captain looked at the other two platoon leaders. "Lanstra, Werts, take your men and make your way to the National Guard building and hook up…" He stopped speaking as they all heard the sound of helicopters and gunfire outside. "Dammit. Move out Lieutenants!" He spied one of his sergeants. "Greer, get your crews to the mortars, I will send you target coordinates as soon as I have them." The sergeant saluted and got his men together and headed to the rear entrance to the building that led to where the mortars were located.
Captain Pendleton had one of the sergeants stay behind to direct the soldiers that were still coming downstairs to their platoons. The medics were already tending the wounded soldiers near the entrance. Pendleton ran outside to see if Morrison had found any undamaged Strykers. He was relieved to hear the sound of several of them starting up. Now that he was outside he recognized the result of a cluster bomb attack. He saw Morrison directing men to the surviving Strykers and ran over to join him.
"How many do we have left Lieutenant?" Morrison turned around to face Pendleton. "Seventeen sir." Pendleton nodded. "Let's go join this fight. Head south to the main building and see what we've got facing us." Morrison nodded and went to his own Stryker, while Pendleton looked for his. The captain found that it had also survived the attack and he climbed aboard. He would coordinate the counterattack from here.
Kreegar and the other snipers had their targets in their sights as they waited for the signal. Several of the guards were sitting down in the chairs in their towers. They didn't expect any of their prisoners to cause them any problems at this time of night.
Suddenly the sky to the north lit up with several huge explosions followed by a larger number of smaller ones. The guards in the towers turned to the north in awe at the powerful explosions. The snipers quickly centered their reticules on the upper body of their targets and pulled the trigger on their Barretts. The big .50 caliber rifle jumped into their shoulder and a split second later the guards went down. They quickly looked for more targets. Those at the southern edge of the property picked up their guns, crossed the road and ran onto the resort property. They began looking for places to give supporting fire to the rest of the attacking forces.
When the clock hit midnight, Christina gave the order to lift off and start on their attack runs. They were over the south edge of the resort when the explosions appeared in the north. Since they were up in the air, they could easily see where several of the battleship shells and Tomahawks hit their targets at the Magic Kingdom to the north. There was a large number of secondary explosions in the area where intelligence said the air assets for the military forces were located. Two of the Cobras headed to the National Guard building and the other two headed to the north side of the resort to engage the Strykers. Apollo brought Dragon down on the grassy area in front of the entrance of the Induction Center. As soon as he was down, the Blood's Honor troops left the helicopter, followed by Boat Crew Roc and Christina's UNIT team. Once all the troops were on the ground, the ramp closed and Apollo engaged the stealth package and lifted off to take over the Command and Control duties.
Billy looked over at his new co-pilot just after they got on station. "Hovering at 650 feet."
"Roger that." Captain Ryan Blake said as he looked over the controls. "Stealth seems to be operating fine. We've got about one minute till impact." With that he reached up and made sure his harness was tight. "I still think we're a bit too close."
"Oh come on!" Billy said with a chuckle. "We'll be fine."
"Have you ever seen what 16-inch shells will do?" Blake asked as he looked across at Billy.
"No, but seriously... we're almost a half mile from where the closest shells will hit." He looked at the countdown clock, seeing it just pass the thirty second mark, he rotated the Chinook so it was pointed at the Contemporary Hotel, then flipped on the recorders. "Although it should be a nice boom. Jory asked me to record it for him. He said it'd be a pretty big 'bada boom'.
"It'll be that alright." Ryan said with a shake of his head. He activated the intercom and spoke. "Okay guys... Hang on to your balls... the world's about to blow up." He then looked at the counter, seeing it read ten seconds he glanced to the east. "There they are."
Ryan took his hands off the controls long enough to flex them, then gripped them tightly again. "Come on man... If you're gonna fly with me, you're gonna have to grow a bigger set of balls.... HOLY FUCK!" Billy cried out as he saw the first shell slam into the hotel blowing a huge hole in the center of it. The second shell followed it in, and completed the decimation of the once proud, large building.
Billy actually watched the shock wave roll off the building and hurtle towards them. Behind him he heard an even louder explosion as three shells impacted the speedway, and the huge parking lot that served as the helicopter landing pad, and the motor pool. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Polynesian Resort explode in a massive fireball. A fireball that easily reached above the altitude they were hovering.
Billy would have screamed in excitement, but the visible wave hit the Chinook and suddenly he was fighting to keep the Chinook in the air. All across the cockpit, different alarms were sounding, and warning lights were blinking. Before he had a chance to do more than fight with the stick, he got hit by a second wave that was just as powerful. For a moment, he actually thought that the Chinook was going to be driven into the ground. Then the shock waves from the back hit them, although not nearly as hard. That actually had the effect of helping them right the helicopter.
"FOUR HUNDRED FEET!" Ryan called out as Billy was feeding power to the massive rotors above them. "THREE FIFTY!"
"COME ON YOU BITCH!" Billy screamed as he fought the stick and pedals.
"THREE HUNDRED!" Ryan cried out straining with all his muscles to try and get the bird to steady out. Then it was silent.
"Did we die?" Ryan asked as he scanned the gauges.
Billy looked towards the front of the helicopter and saw the world burning in front. He then glanced to the left and saw the same thing. "Not unless you did a lot of shit you shouldn't have. Cause I know I was heading to heaven... and this don't look like it." Billy sighed then spoke again. "Taking us back to six-fifty."
Once they were back where they were just a few seconds ago, Billy scanned the instrument panel and saw everything operating within tolerance. It took him a moment before he could pull his fingers off the stick, but when he did, he reached across and slapped Ryan hard on the shoulder. "Why the FUCK didn't you tell me it was gonna do that?!"
Even though Billy's face was dead serious, Ryan couldn't help but bust out laughing. "I tried... but you said the Navy didn't have shit big enough to do anything like that."
Billy shook his head then slammed his hand on his thigh. "I'm gonna kill that little fucker!"
"What?" Ryan asked as he stopped laughing.
"Jory! I'm gonna cut off his little fucking balls!" Billy said fuming.
"Why?" Ryan asked now completely confused.
"Cause he fucking knew!" Billy explained. "He was at the briefing... he was the one that asked me to take the damned video, just so I would be watching. He fucking knew what was gonna happen!"
Ryan just sat there for a few moments, his mouth moving but nothing coming out. Finally he reached across and squeezed Billy's shoulder. "I'll help hold him down."
Billy smiled as he glanced over to Ryan sitting in the right hand seat. The smile dropped away from his face quickly. "Oh fuck..... Round 2."