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ODSS Chapter 4
Posted By: Firerwolf<triss2008@yahoo.com>
Date: 4 August 2011, 4:06 am

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Kathleen sat in the meeting room surrounded by her soldiers. Saran walked into the room with an odd air of what Kathleen could only call nervousness around him. His walk was stiffer, his eyes were unfocused not meeting the gaze of any of the soldiers, and his hands seemed unsure of where to be or what to do. The marines stood and saluted the Gunnery Sergeant. "As you were," he said, before moving to the head of the room. He looked the soldiers over before he started. Something definitely seemed off to Kathleen. Saran had never acted this way before. He'd always treated them as though they were expected to listen, hang on his every word, sometimes not even looking at the soldiers when he gave orders. "Today's the day that you've been working for. I know you're all familiar with Victoria and its history. Three hours ago a rebel group attacked a small town just south of one of its larger cities. They killed every man woman and child there. It's a good distance from the city, almost 100 klicks. Intelligence believes that the town is a covert base and served as a training ground for the rebels before they headed toward the city. The alert came from a patrol group that was in the town when the rebels attacked. They managed to inform us of the situation before we believe they were wiped out. These rebels have a supply of weapons though how much they have is unclear at this point which where likely purchased from pirates. We know for a fact that they have battle rifles and pistols. According to the report we also believe they have rocket launchers. They aren't well trained from what knowledge we have gained but they are reckless and having successfully taken down one town seems to have made them cocky and more dangerous. This is where you will enter into the picture. A pelican will take you down and you'll parachute in between the rebels and the city. These soldiers will be using live rounds and as will you. This is no exercise, this is the real thing so shoot to kill. Keep in mind these people are not fellow marines, they are not instructors, they are murderers and a threat to civilians," Saran explained. "Any questions?"

Kathleen raised her hand. "Sir, what equipment will we be receiving for this mission?" she asked. In her mind this was all just another exercise. The Sergeant controlled every aspect. Where the enemy would be, what weapons they were given. In her mind she knew that he couldn't control the actual enemies. This wasn't an exercise and her soldiers would be in real danger.

"Standard battle rifle, frag grenades, M6C pistols, and standard issue combat knives are all you'll be given. The upgraded armor that's being prepared for your squad isn't ready yet, so you'll have to make do with the standard armor," When he saw there were no further questions, he nodded before turning to Kathleen. "As of this time you are promoted to Sergeant."

Kathleen stood and saluted. "The rest of you are officially promoted to the rank of private. I wish you all luck," Saran said before saluting the ODSS. They all stood and returned the salute. Saran let his hand drop and left the room leaving the marines in silence.

Kathleen turned to her soldiers. "I want everyone ready to leave in thirty. We'll gather in the hanger. I want all weapons secured, ammunition checked, and armor inspected. I don't want anyone loosing anything in the drop," she ordered. "Now get to it."

Within twenty-eight minutes the ODSS had gathered in the hanger. Every soldier had a battle rifle, pistol, frag grenades, and a combat knife, all secured to their armor. Kathleen looked around at them with mixed feelings of pride and nervousness. She had prepared them as best she could but there was still the risk that they could all die on the mission. The only thing they had risked before was failure but now they were putting their lives on the line. Failure would be much worse than just a day without food. Still, they all seemed eager to get moving. There was an air of excitement about as they secured their weapons and equipment. As soon as they'd triple checked everything the marines boarded the pelican. The ride down was silent, as though they were all holding their breaths in anticipation. Kathleen activated her HUD and VISR system. The VISR system that was in the armor was crude, the latest prototype of the upgrade that was being made to their personal armor. Despite its flaws, it still worked well enough for it to be useful in battle. The system tagged enemies and friendlies with different colors when they were in view and gave a readout of how far away they were. From what they'd been told of the upgraded version outlined everything from people to objects, making the world easier to see in the dark. But for now the dumbed down version would have to do. Though there had turned out to be problems with the system. The first time they'd tested it out they found that out in the sunlight there was too much ambient light for the system to help at all. The VISR was really only meant for use in dark areas. If they wanted to be able to use the system they'd have to carry out the assault in enough shade that the light wouldn't blind them.

The pelican slowed and the back hatch opened revealing the wide open field below it. Kathleen motioned and the soldiers moved forward one by one. In a matter of seconds the sky was filled with descending troopers.

As soon as they hit the ground the ODSS released the parachutes quickly gathering them up before moving into the tree cover. They gathered by a large rock in the center of the forest and hid their parachutes there. They wouldn't be needed for the rest of the mission.

"All right, there's a road that's about three klicks east of here. We know that for now they are taking that road. They have some vehicles which I suspect would be the warthogs the soldiers had been using. We should still have a bit of time before they reach us, which will give us time to set everything up. Did you bring the mines?"

"Managed to snatch two mines without anyone seeing," Tym replied, patting the extra pack he was carrying.

"Good, we'll need them. We don't want them to be driving past us after all," Kathleen said, taking one calming breath. "Remember, leave none alive. These people are criminals and murders. They're trying to kill us, but we'll kill them first. Move out."

Half an hour later the soldiers were crouched on either side of the road. The rumbling of what sounded like warthogs slowly approached. "Four warthogs about two point five klicks away," Edward announced.

"Wait for the boom, then open fire. You know what to do after that," Kathleen said, checking her battle rifle one last time. They waited patiently as the rumble grew closer and closer to their position. The noise started to pass them and Kathleen tightened her grip on her rifle. There was a large explosion caused by the lead warthog hitting the mine they'd buried. The marines popped up and fired at the second warthog in line. In less than a second the rebels were dead, slumped in their seats. The ODSS then slipped back into their cover and into the forest. As was expected, the rebels eagerly jumped out of the vehicles. Whether it was the want for revenge for their fallen fellow rebels or the pure blood lust, the rebels ran into the forest after the soldiers.

Kathleen switched on her VISR. From her spot in the shade of the trees the light was low enough to allow her to see as though she were out in the sun. Luke and Max, who were on either side of her, showed up on her HUD marked with green as friendlies. They were hard to see, though, as the plants they had used for cover blocked her view of them. They were crouched in the undergrowth in wait for the unsuspecting prey. The red dots that represented the rebels grew closer and closer. Kathleen aimed at the rebel in the center where the red dot was growing brighter and brighter. She flashed a yellow status light signaling her team to wait for their targets to get closer. When the rebels were within range and the dot was flashing a bright red Kathleen flashed her green status light. The marines opened fire cutting down the rebels. Kathleen ceased fire, and raised her left hand, causing the others to cease and lower their weapons.

She clicked on the radio. "Report," she ordered, coming out of her cover to check over the dead.

"Rebels neutralized," Tobias replied. "They had more than just battle rifles though. One of these bastards has a shotgun. Damn crappy intelligence."

"Collect it and return to your previous position," Kathleen ordered.

They checked the dead rebels and restocked their ammunition. Kathleen checked their guns looking for any trace of where they'd gotten them. She frowned as she checked the magazines in their weapons. They had so few rounds left in their actual weapons. Even if they'd gotten off any shots it wouldn't have been enough to do any real damage to her or the others. They either had no way to tell how much ammunition they had left or they didn't care. It concerned her. These rebels weren't just reckless; they were stupid.

Kathleen made her way back to their original hiding spot along the side of the road. She pulled out her pistol, moving slowly so as to not be seen. One rebel was left sitting in the driver's seat of one of the warthogs. He seemed nervous, like he was fighting to try to decide to stay or leave. He'd most likely heard the gunfire and, with his comrades not having returned, was getting worried.

Kathleen took aim and fired off one shot. She was rewarded with the driver slumping in his seat, slowly covering the steering wheel with his blood. She signaled to Luke and he slowly moved forward to the side of the warthog. He moved to the driver's side and checked the pulse to be sure the man was dead, though the large hole in the back of his head was just as good of evidence. Luke turned and gave a thumbs up, signaling that it was safe. After checking over the warthogs for any explosives they removed the dead bodies and lay them at the side of the road. The ODSS split up climbing into the warthogs before turning the jeeps around and heading down the road back to the town the rebels had come from.

They came to a stop outside the town. "It doesn't look like there's anyone here," Peter commented. "Though those thirteen guys couldn't have done all this," he added, referring to the bodies that lay in the street. The victim's blood soaked into the sand out of the bullet holes that covered the corpses.

"We'll go on foot from here. If they are still in the town they'll be in the buildings," Kathleen said, jumping out of the warthog. "We'll split up into three groups. Tobias, Emily, Luke, Max. You move along the left side of the town. Tym, Edward, Matthew, Peter. You'll go along the right side of the town. Myself, James, Pat, and David, will take the center."

The soldiers nodded and the teams split up going into different directions. The town was a virtual ghost town with nothing but dead bodies covering the ground. Doors had been kicked in and families slaughtered while others had been shot in their backs while trying to escape. Kathleen wondered if this would become a common sight for them. Would they always arrive just in time to see that they couldn't save the civilians?

"This is just carnage, pointless carnage," David muttered, looking over the bodies. It was hard to find reasoning behind the death of all these innocent people.

Kathleen ignored the comment pushing the thoughts of the dead around her from her mind as she turned on her radio. "Report."

"We haven't found anything but dead," Tobias replied, sounding disappointed. "Found the dead soldiers though. They must have been caught off guard. Probably having lunch or something when those bastards busted in," he said, with an odd tone in his voice that Kathleen could only guess was agitation. Anger would be understandable in this situation. Those soldiers were comrades, brothers in arms, and they'd been killed.

"We found the rebels," Tym reported. "They seem to have made themselves a nice little base of operations."

"Stay where you are. We'll regroup at your location," Kathleen made a few hand gestures and her team moved off.

The soldiers gathered outside a bar with boarded up windows. "How many rebels?" Kathleen asked.

"From what we can see there are about seven of them," Tym answered. "Three rebels standing guard while the other four just sit around at the tables."

Kathleen nodded and looked to the bar trying to figure out their next move. "Is the front door the only way in?"

"No, there's a door in the back. We could probably pick the lock in seconds," Tym answered.

"Good, take your team around back. Pick the lock and wait there. When you hear gunshots come to the front and kill the guards. Try not to shoot any of us though."

He nodded and his team moved off Kathleen then motioned to Tobias and he moved over to her. "Your team's with us. Aim at the ones at the tables. Don't worry about the guards."

The eight solders moved along the sides of the building staying low against the wall. They stopped on either side of the door and waited. Tym signaled that his team was in place in the back of the bar. After a few hand signals James moved forward and kicked the door open nearly breaking it off its hinges. Kathleen and Luke moved into the door way and opened fire, aiming at the rebels sitting at the tables. Unprepared and unarmed the battle rifle rounds ripped through the surprised rebels with ease.

The guards raised their guns, firing at the ODSS. The back door to the kitchen swung open, and Tym and Matthew came out of it, opening fire on the guards' unprotected backs. The gun fire stopped and a calm quiet filled the bar.

"Clear," Luke said, lowering his gun and letting out a long breath.

The others entered the building, searching it from top to bottom. They found nothing but the bodies of the rebels and the owner of the bar.

"There's nothing here," Emily reported, as she returned from checking the upstairs rooms.

Kathleen moved out of the bar making contact with the ship above them. "Star Fall, this is Seirra-113."

The radio was silent for a moment before a voice replied. "This is Star Fall, go ahead Seirra-113."

"All rebels have been neutralized. Town's been cleared," Kathleen reported. Once more she got that odd feeling that she couldn't quite place.

There was a pause before the voice returned. "Seirra-113, there is a pelican on its way."

"Understood." Kathleen turned off her radio, moving back into the bar. "Dust off in fifteen." she informed them. "I want one more sweep."

The soldiers moved off, checking over every building one last time. "All clear," Tym reported. Kathleen simply nodded staring at the road that led out of the town. "What are you thinking?"

Kathleen remained quiet and Tym feared he'd over stepped his bounds as her subordinate. It was fine to be casual in an exercise, but this was a real combat field; it was serious work. "Thirteen soldiers," Kathleen finally spoke. "What did they think they were going to do with thirteen solders against a big city with cops?"

"They aren't trained soldiers. Considering they probably had no trouble here they may have been overconfident and underestimated that the city would be much bigger. Bet they felt pretty big after killing solders," Tym suggested.

"But why did some of them stay behind? If they were finished here then why have some stay?" Kathleen asked, turning her attention to the other marine. "And on top of all of that why us?"

"I don't think I follow," Tym said, glancing back at the bar for a second. "What do you mean, why us?"

"I mean, why did they send us to do this? These rebels aren't skilled enough to require us to have to handle it. Why not send us after someone important like Watts?" she reasoned. Her team was the best and they were being wasted on rebels that any footsoldier could have handled. The ODSS should have been handling bigger tasks.

"Watts is the rebel leader. You can't expect them to give us something that important for our first mission out," Tym pointed out. "It's just a test, like those ones the Gunney always gave us."

"I don't know. Something feels wrong. Like we're not being told everything," Kathleen said, shaking her head. She turned her attention skyward as the familiar sound of pelican engines filled the air. The ship landed just outside the town in what had probably once been someone's back yard. The ODSS boarded the pelican and returned to the waiting Star Fall above.