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Old 23 August 2015, 18:26
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B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
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Twisting in the Wind

for what it's worth. Current and past events have apparently made some impression on me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by B 2/75 while doping off at work
Twisting in the Wind - every trooper’s Nightmare

The stubble on my cheek was at that stage where it’s uncomfortable; still too short to be considered a beard, but too long to be simply a five-o’clock shadow. It was simply the result of several days of no time spent in front of a mirror, since I’d been running and gunning. Hell, I hadn’t even brushed my teeth in a couple of days now; my teeth were getting thick with that irritatingly thick coating that comes with time. While the stubble and my teeth were bothersome, the heat being increasingly applied to my right cheek was eclipsing any grooming issues. My weapon was getting hot, and it looked like it would be getting even hotter as the afternoon wore on. You see, I’d been holed up on the second floor of this stone farm house for the last few hours, and was busily engaging a cluster of some troops who were seemingly determined to present themselves to me as a series of full silhouette targets; the sun was angling down toward the horizon, but it was behind them - it wasn’t yet in my eyes, and I could still see them standing out in sharp detail. Even at the rather long range of 250 yards I was occasionally getting hits. Their Sergeants were at their rear, urging their troops forward, into the breech. I could hear them screaming at the men, moving this group up and forward, and that group down, leapfrogging the teams just as all the nation’s Schools of Maneuver taught. But DAMN, with all of them up on their feet like that they were perfect targets, and they were starting to drop under my fire with agreeable ease. The biggest problem was their numbers… I wasn’t so sure I could get them all before getting overrun, but by culling out a chunk of the NCOs my chances were better. Still, getting face-to-face with the enemy was to be avoided at all costs; close combat is really bad for your health, and is also something you’d probably only et to experience once.

As I watched, a group of about twenty were being rallied by a rail-thin NCO in sun-bleached fatigues and with a face that looked as if a dog had chewed on him as a child. This guy seemed to know his business, and was not going to make my day any easier. He moved the small platoon forward to my left, through a copse of small pines, in squads of seven or so. It looked like two of the teams would be down providing covering fire before the third team would bound forward. I could hear the grunts and effort of the young soldiers as they threw themselves down to the ground, their equipment clanking and rattling as the flopped behind pine trees that were only three or four inches in diameter, there being no other cover around. From my perspective their pine trees were great; they provided some half-way decent concealment, but their cover was for shit. That meant I could reach out to them and pick them off as they came into sight. I applied myself to the task, being sure to conserve ammo, feathering the trigger, literally milking it, so that I was firing bursts of only two or three shots each time. This group was going to try to circle around my stronghold, then attack from the side while their friends to their left would tie me down with a fresh fusillade of fire. I couldn’t shoot in two directions at once, so I had to buckle down and get the upper hand, and quickly.

Grinning with the realization that my own Sergeant’s many months of training had stuck, that I had actually learned something as a result of his endless drills and screaming, I took stock. My machine gun had a full double belt hanging off the feed tray, each belt being 100 rounds long. I also had three bandoleers of 100 rounds each slung over my shoulder. It was enough to stop these guys, but without a trained assistant gunner on my left side to help, I was going to be hard-pressed to maneuver, load, and fire in a manner good enough to let me see another sunrise.

Besides the trusty MG, that being a fairly new not yet worn out M240 Bravo, I had a rifle, a vest carrying a rifleman’s basic load of ammo in magazine pouches on the chest which I had picked up from a dead soldier earlier in the day, and a pistol that had only a single magazine inserted. Still, I was feeling a bit uneasy, deep down inside, as I was a bit light in terms of ammo, and was in a very exposed position. You see, I’d gotten used to being surrounded with the rest of my fire team…with them I could face nearly anything with confidence. Hell, we’d already fought together for nearly a year across some of the most God-forsaken of terrain, and under the some of the worst conditions imaginable. There wasn’t much that I could imagine our not being able to take control of, and in just a short few moments, too. We could complete the other’s sentences, even thoughts, before the other could complete them himself. I would just KNOW that Joe was going to zig right, while I zagged left. It just came naturally to us, somehow. Perhaps it was because we had trained for 18 months together as a platoon, with no newbies to gum up the works, and we hadn’t had any losses, either. It was really odd that nobody got hurt in training badly enough to get himself discharged – the other platoons nearly all had lost folks during the train-up. I propped the rifle into a corner that was covered, and scooped up the machine gun as I headed for the back door.

But now I was alone, my old battle buddies dead in the two tree-lined ditches along the road that led up the hill to this house. And the skinny NCO was starting to lead a final charge; the bastard had ordered his men to even fix bayonets. Damn, unless I could get busier, this would very well wind up being my Fort Apache, my Alamo. And that just wasn’t going to cut it. No Sir. There wasn’t going to be any backup this time. Nope, this time I was really out there, twisting in the wind.

As good as that NCO was, I saw where his main effort was going to be, headed up the wooded slope toward the rear of the house, while the single squad, a big fire team, really, was off to the side, laying a near continual base of fire on me. OK… that’s something I can work with, so I squirmed over to the two windows on the side, and banged off a few rounds from the rifle, and then left it propped up there. Scooting back through the bedroom door into what passed for a dining room in the rear, I again opened up with the 240B, just in time, too. The eager bastards had started their charge , not even trying to bound as fire teams anymore, but in a mad rush, their bayonets punctuating their screaming rush upward.

I went cyclic. That’s what they call it when you just hold down the trigger and start spraying. The machine gun will fire at it’s maximum rate of fire for as long as the trigger is depressed, and there is ammo coming into the feed tray. So I went cyclic, spraying from side to side, probably a bit wildly; seeing so many soldiers rushing me at short range caused an involuntary paroxysm of reaction. All I could think was that they were going to get me, they’re going to get me, they’re going to get me.

BOOM… I didn’t really even hear the bang, but rather felt the concussion – by now my ears were all but shot from the din. After that shockwave all I could hear was a high ringing. My individual shots were muffled away. My nose was bleeding onto the feedtray as I fired. I was aware of other concussions to my side, but I was busy dealing with the last five or six who were starting to bunch at the back door and under my window. My eyes were full of grit from the ricochets hitting close inboard. Things were getting tight. Without taking the time to really look I chucked a grenade out the window to the side where my rifle was propped up. I hadn’t been over there in a minute or so, and it was a good guess that those bastards out there weren’t laying still.

Rolling left I scooped up the MG and pulled another bandoleer around from my back and clipped the first round onto the stub of the belt that was hanging off the left side of the gun. Ready to rock again, I jumped up and ran on my knees over to the kitchen door, just as they were starting to come inside.

I went cyclic again, this time in a focused cone of fire that was going to be pretty damn rough on anybody outside that doorway. I saw the lead few mouthing screams, but I heard nothing at all.

Suddenly, a crushing, impossibly heavy blow to the chest. I gasped, but couldn’t get any air. I rolled over, and saw… crap. They’d come in the front door, which I had thought was safe from attack. Too much time spent focused on the immediate job at hand, and not enough on the whole situation. I couldn’t move much, but was able to see, no, I could feel, wetness on my side. Guess they got me over the edge of my armor.

As I was fading out, that damn ugly-ass NCO came in, took one look at me, and said, “Fuck You. Enjoy your eternity in Hell” He then turned to an RTO who was peeking around the door’s corner, into the room where we were. “Com’ere, damn it. He ain’t hurtin’ nobody else.” He took the handset, and made a call.

“Sir, I don’t know why he did it. No idea. We were coming up that draw towards these here farmhouses, and all of a sudden he just turned and whacked his whole team. They’re right over there, on the road. Just opened up right on ‘em. No chance in hell for any of them. Point blank. Then he scooted up into that house before anybody could move a dot. We were just shocked, I guess. Lucky he didn’t get anybody else, well, that is until we got told to go in and get him. How many? Looks like the four in his team, then another eleven getting’ in there to him. No Sir, that’s eleven dead – got five more wounded, two of ‘em bad, too. Bastard could shoot. I’m wishing now that I never taught him so good.”
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Old 24 August 2015, 11:10
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81 reads and zero comments?

I know that it's a little odd, but damn...
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Old 24 August 2015, 14:03
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Xdeth Xdeth is offline
Been There Done That
 
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I'm on my phone and I'm not sure what I'm reading exactly.
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Old 24 August 2015, 14:52
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SOTB SOTB is offline
Minus one, but more symmetrical....
 
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Location: Clorox'ing the gene pool....
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Also wondering what I am reading -- traitor? Psycho? Error? Who am I supposed to be rooting for?
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Old 24 August 2015, 15:02
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BTDT
 
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Location: Iowa City, Iowa...
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So, is he in the middle of a nightmare, or did he freak out and wack his team of battle buddies? Is the NCO his NCO?

I liked the writing, and was caught up in it.
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Old 25 August 2015, 03:05
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EchoFiveMike EchoFiveMike is offline
Make a desert and call it peace.
 
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Told from the POV of a (durka-durka?) turncoat? Or the other side is the turncoat? S/F.....Ken M
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Old 25 August 2015, 05:33
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Ole crusty bastard Ole crusty bastard is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
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Easy to follow, a true nightmare, mine used to be running out of ammo.
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Old 25 August 2015, 07:51
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B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
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The subtitle, every troopers nightmare, came from the fear of being crowded into a corner, running low on ammo, and not having backup inbound. OIF-1 I spent LOTS of time out the gate with just a terp and usually one of the soldiers from the PSYOP TPT... generally speaking we had no commo at all. Stupid probably yes, to be sure, but thats what we had.

The thought of a story mostly from the perspective of a whacked out traitorous fucking was intriguing to me, and giving it a surprise twist at the end made it more difficult... get the readers rooting for the wrong character, then make HIM the bad guy. Yes the dog-chewed NCO was likely the traitors PSG.
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