The Road to Harrisburg Twenty one – A Final Days based tale (finale)

  JUST after Bravo got settled into the area and started relieving our guys, a quartet of choppers (two Blackhawks and a pair of Apache) came in low and quick to the field. After a wicked fast landing, a bunch of armed troops exited both of the ‘hawks.  All of them were in some sort of High Speed/Low Drag body armor and looked like something out of one of them Delta Force movies (having done a job or three with them, I assure you they don’t look like that…) or something.

  They were a little nervous when a number of us had them under our guns- to include one of the MGS Strykers (Trust but Verify, as the saying goes; in an insurrection, anyone can be the bad…), But they recovered swagger fast and strode for our building with a purpose.  Someone must have said something back East about who/what we had.  They damn sure weren’t here for the Colonel.

I was in the CP when one of these very clean folks entered the place with two shooters like he was God or Annointed By Himself.  I hate those fuckers…. And its why I didn’t get Senior when I was active duty.  (long fun story there, I assure you)

“Where is he?”  The lead member of the Clean Cammie Squad who had come in demanded of the poor Staff Sergeant manning the TOC like he was all that and a Kettle of Fish.  Not the way you do it unless you were either Agency without any field chops or a plain outright Dick.  I strongly suspect that dude was fucking both…  His shooters stayed near the door- smart but they were in a poor spot for what came next.

  That I happened to be in there was likely a good thing and completely accidental- I’d come looking for Coffee as there wasn’t a Command Post anywhere in the Army (or Navy Ground Side) that didn’t have a pot up within an hour of taking a site.  And we’d been here for almost nine, so I was fairly certain my hunt was going to be successful. I had left Gunny in charge in order to go looking…  To say I was successful would be correct- and I was enjoying a bit of the magic bean juice when Asshole got here….

  The NCO accosted, after attempting to get an identity from the guy, saw me and pointed without saying a word other than “Ask him.”  The two specialists standing watch had weapons at low ready and all of the CP personnel had their weapons near; no one knew exactly what was going on and these guys *did* come in on Army Birds.  But there had been enough bad movies out there that this bullshit fit into… and if you knew the movies I was thinking of, you had a good childhood.

Mister Clean Cammie strode up to me with a purpose.  “I want answers,” He began as he looked for my rank and continued when he found it. “Senior Chief Ganic.  I am here for the Package- where is he?”

  I sipped my recently acquired coffee, never taking my eyes off of this asshole.  “First things first… who are you?” I began.  “And where is your paperwork for Transfer?”  I knew he didn’t need them for most hand offs… but after all the bullshit we went through, I was through playing.

Clean Cammie puffed up.  “Major Mike Gregory, DIA and I don’t need paperwork to take him, Senior Chief.  This is a Warzone.”  I noted his rank pins were not subdued, as they should be. And as spiffy new as his cammies…  Which meant he likely was a desk Jockey who never been anywhere and threw this together to look like otherwise.  Seen it before, I have, and I was obviously seeing it again.  I wasn’t about to let anyone take Mobley from here without shit being right.  Too much at stake otherwise… and too much damn death. No no…  This was gonna be fun; and was probably going to bite me in the ass in the end.

  Oh well.

“Major, I wasn’t aware this was declared a war zone.  I thought it was a police action….” I replied calmly as I set my coffee down.  This guy shared a name with the asshole from Lancaster- I wonder if they were related…  “And I still don’t see anything official on your end as to who you are.  Y’all could be Lieutenant Johnny No-Nuts playin’ at being someone… I’m not about to get took by a mouth and pretend authority for no good reason.  You aren’t even wearing proper rank…”  Yeah, I was setting him up for being Stupid.  And given my bad shoulder was hurting some after no sleep for over twenty-four hours, I just didn’t care.  I hope he threw hands…

  The two specialists on internal security watch shifted slightly- and I was pleased.  They also got the vibe being given off and recognized this *might* get stupid. Here was hoping no guns were going off; far too many things in here that react badly to bullets…

“Senior Chief Ganic, I do not have to show you shit and you know it,” He replied with a Snarl. (I must have hit a nerve…)  “I know exactly who and what you are; your John Wayne antics of the last 96 hours are known to me and believe me, you do NOT want to push this matter.  You and your Captain don’t have the rank nor authority here to stop me from acquiring the prisoner for questioning.”

  So that was it. An Agency Behind Scenes power play…  I bet not even Leyland knew about this and this guy’s bluster screamed Agency of some kind- I had doubts he was DIA; they at least knew how to wear a uniform, even for spooks. This…  Any more blatant and he might as well as wear a poster board.  The General seemed like an alright guy; I bet he was gonna flip his lid on this.  Him and the Administrator, Wertz, when he found out about it.

I was about to reply when a scuffle broke out at the Door and a bunch of hollering happened.  No shots though which was something….  But what I and everyone in here did hear was the cocking of a pistol from off to the side of me.  Looking over that way, I saw Callisto standing there with Fisk from a side room- both with pistols out and pointed at the Good Major.  Fisk had his comset on his head, which explained the scuffle outside.  Brilliant, really.  She must have been having a private chat with Kingpin when this shit broke.  Luuuuuckyyyyy….

The two Specialists had their guns up and covering the shooters by the door, who were caught between reacting to whatever happened outside AND what just happened in here.

“Senior Chief Ganic might not have authority to stop you on an official level but he has authority to question yours,” Colonel Gianni-Rhumer said, her voice as cold as a Balkan Blizzard deep in winter.  “By the way, I absolutely have the rank to stop you on an official level and far more Friends than you right now, Major.  Seven of them happen to be right here…”   She shook her 45 a little in his direction as she continued, “So why don’t you raise your hands up like a smart young man and have a seat on that chair over there after you are all disarmed? If you are who you say you are, then you may leave. Not until then…”

Gregory, for his part, immediately understood the Marine Colonel with the large pistol was going to shoot him if he either opened his mouth or declined to cooperate.  As he raised his hands up, I reached over and took the beretta off his hip. I knew I’d have to search his ass in a minute… but this would do for now.  One of the CP personnel went and pulled rifles out of the Major’s escorts mitts and handed them off to another member of the CP.  The Shooters were a touch unhappy but that was their problem.

“Now then…. Sit.” She Who Must Be Obeyed commanded.  The air in here had gotten decidedly colder, if that was even possible.

Gregory sat.

Fisk came further into the main room as several troops also entered the building, pausing to collect the two Shooters who had their own hands up.   Roach was one of the new arrivals and looked at the Captain.  “Everyone is secure outside.  The Gun Boys have their choppers under sights and the two Apaches have been advised that there has been a problem.  I knew one of the pilots- he’s not one of whoever these guys are.” Jimmy commented. “They were tasked with escorting them only.”

Fisk nodded.  “Good to know.  Sergeant Shaughnessy, raise Brigade.  I need to know what the fuck is going on…”

**

I searched Gregory and found a pair of knives along with a Syringe Kit with some prefilled shit in it.  If it was what I thought it was, This DUMB bastard really wasn’t field qualified.  You don’t carry this on you unless it’s expected to be a rush job violent pickup.  Phantom hated carrying it- he was always afraid it would break on him or he’d get jabbed accidentally- and I never liked it either.  It was solid for hit and run snatch though.  That this guy thought it was a smart to carry it on him…  Yeah, no.

This entire thing smelled like an adhoc job.

Bravo’s Company Commander, Captain Shane Dougan, sent over a squad from his CP when the ruckus happened outside ours. Not that all the Delta guys weren’t enough but there wasn’t a lot free with everything going on- our prisoners were being processed for transfer on trucks which were coming at that time and some were sleeping- so the help was great to have.  Especially as the handful of additional *guests* needed watching.

  When he found out, He said we were kind not to shoot him- he would have out of spite.  Bravo’s boss, a former Beanie, had a hate for the Agency types from when he was an Enlisted Snake Eater.

Gregory, to his benefit and credit, stayed silent. His agency ass was now in a sling and he did know it.  But he remained a touch defiant, as most of those guys do. That there was an additional wrinkle to come would break that defiance…. But until it came into play, he remained confident. Even when Dougan’s boys hauled him away to sit in a closet in HIS command post (Dougan rather liked that idea we did with our HVT)…

Fisk got answers fairly fast. Boy did he and he sat myself and Roach down along with Callisto (who now had a rep; the scene in the CP already got out…) and explained it out.

“This was totally an unauthorized mission. Apparently, he convinced Division’s Air ops to free up the choppers for this jaunt… and Leyland is getting pressure to extract our prisoner, as is Wertz.  All of them, actually… but especially Mobely because he was the symbol of defiance here.  He needs to be paraded out soon. But Leyland wasn’t moving fast enough for some parties…. And the Spooks wanted him bad enough to end run. AS near as it can be determined, Leyland is not amused. Administrator Wertz… wants a scalp.

 Right now, we are still sitting on him until either the Colts are operational or Division can shake loose birds to fetch.  I was told I would get a call when they were coming. The two we got here…  might have compromised pilots.”

 I was about to suggest a plan when Callisto offered up an idea of her own.  “Captain, I am also a qualified Blackhawk pilot; I can fly one of the ships we have with our problem children and some security along. I need to get back at some point anyway.”

 Fisk looked at the Marine Officer. “You sure?  Your leg…”

 “Will be fine, Captain…  I’ve flown with worse, and my personal plane is far less forgiving on the controls; you need your problem removed before more nonsense shows up,” She replied. “I should think Mister Mobely and four guards should be sufficient.  I think I can deal with whatever red tape develops.  I have a knack for it.”

 Roach, who had been quiet, spat some dip juice into a bottle. “Colonel, you are just a bad ass bitch.  Thought you should know that,” the Former Seabee’s drawl just made his words sound like it was from a cowboy out of a western…. And it elicited the laugh from Callisto as expected.

 Fisk got up and called out to his First Sergeant. “Warrington…  get Mobely ready to go. We have a solution.”

“What about his bodyguard?” I heard Top say.

“He can go with the other prisoners…” Fisk said. “Gregory too… Pass that to Bravo, would you?”

Laughter was the answer….

Fisk looked back at me. “Go pick the security, Ganic.  Not you- I want you here to help shepherd if we are pulled back.  Or available if more crazy shit happens…  You attract it and you seem able to fix it when it happens. The rest of the Brigade is in the area or about to be… and we MIGHT be pulled back- especially after this nonsense.”

All I could say was, “Ayeaye…”

With that, our impromptu meeting broke up. Callisto left with me to return to Delta’s spaces to retrieve the rifle I convinced her to keep. When I commented on her knee being a hindrance, she replied, “Not to worry, Senior; I can fly a Blackhawk just fine… just pick a good group of security for him- thinkers as well as doers. I suspect there will be plenty of nonsense when we get back to the rear.”

“I have just the ones in mind,” I said.  “Won’t stop the Agency stupidity.  They are going to be mad.”

A slight smile.  “I’m not worried…  If you knew who my Skeet Shooting partners were, I think you’d be pitying Major Gregory.”

I paused.  “Do I want to know?”

 The Colonel stopped and looked back at me.  “Well, let’s just say Charles McAlister is currently losing to me five matches to three and his Intelligence Chief is a former drinking buddy when he had honest work… I will be fine and so will you.” She said with a smile.  “Don’t be rash and this will work out. I assure you.”

“Damn, Colonel…”

 She continued walking. “Senior, I wasn’t kidding when I said I had more friends than the Major. And deflecting some trouble off of you is the very least I can do for providing me entertainment.”

**

Within thirty minutes, Mobely was packaged up and brought to the Blackhawks.  The second Blackhawk was also going- Captain Dougan had a former pilot among his staff and he volunteered to fly the second ship.  The decision was made then to send Gregory on that ship along with the badly wounded.

  Gregory would be zip-tied as no one trusted him (talk about insult to injury) and a team of Bravo grunts would ride herd on him. Doc McGee would fly with Clarke (who was still living) and one of the others who was bad off.  A pair of Medevac birds were on their way to collect the other badly wounded now that it was full daylight and the area more secure.

  MA2 was sent along with PFC Grace and two others from her Squad as security for Mobely.  I told all four of them to make sure heads were on a swivel; too much dumbshit was swirling around this guy and last thing I wanted was them getting got because of it. Reed assured me she had this and not to worry; the MPs back in the Cantonment would have her back if something happened. The rest of her squad was parceled out to the rest of the platoon as filler or extras.

All the DCP prisoners were loaded onto 7-Tons and those left about an hour after the Blackhawks departed. They left with a bunch of MPs and two squads from First Platoon as security for the ride East.  Whatever wounded DCP troops that were found were gathered up and placed in a hangar for triage and eventual evacuation with Mortuary Affairs (who arrived with the troops mentioned below) gathering the dead for processing too. And there was quite a few dead- 90% of which were DCP troops.

 Fisk was right about our being pulled back eventually. Brigade rotated in two full Battalions for Carlisle Duty over the course of the day and Engineers were arriving to both assess structures and maybe turn the field into more than just a light duty strip for helicopters.

 The strip could handle a C-130 easy enough… and Carlisle Barracks actually had capability to function as an actual post though more on the Administrative side.  There was enough space to station troops but some work would likely need to be done for that.

With the pasting NSA Mechanicsburg took, Carlisle was likely the place to use… and the 56th may wind up here.  But right now, Delta wasn’t in the picture for that and I was fine with that.  This reclamation was going to take a lot of time to do and once we had a chance to refit some, we’d be back at it.

Hopefully with less shooting… and perhaps a reunion with the Dragoons who were still in operation north of Harrisburg.  If Big Army will let them come back, of course. Won’t know till we pull back and refit.

I was certain there was stupid to come when we did go back; despite the Colonel’s assurance I would be fine, I was not going to think nothing was going to come up. There was far too much interest in this guy and apparently in myself for there not to be something.

Ah well.  I’d cross that bridge when I came to it. Now where did I put my coffee?

Author: John T

Warrior-Sage and full time healer. Gamer and Arm Chair Analyst (who isn't these days?) who isn't afraid to read up on what I don't know.

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