The Mission 3 – Assault (A Ganic story set in the Final Days of America universe)

Moving quickly, we split into a different set up- a two-man overwatch (Tiger and a Russian) who were good shots and two five-man assault sections.

  Phantom has Filitov with him and I was with Ustinov. Each group was a mix of personnel for a reason- we had to rely on each other for this and the mix of talent/skills would mesh well enough. Spetznaz were Violence of Action sorts and while Seals could be, having experts in such would elevate our game.

Flipside, we were sneaky sons of bitches- which should inspire our Russian team mates to rise to the occasion.

The compound below us was not a huge one, per se.  One main cottage of about six to eight rooms, a trio of Tiny Homes-style buildings, two cabins, a couple of storage sheds and a four-car garage.  Like I said, a bit bigger than a cottage with sheds that we were led to believe- to include old imagery. Damn rush jobs….

To avoid possible crossfire, we would strike from North and West of the compound, with our overwatch looking over from the Northwest… and able to support either side.  Good planning- Tiger was an excellent shot and he’d need to be; there was A LOT of bad guys here.

Unfortunately, as we closed in on the mini compound, the weather began to turn.  And in a useful/not useful way.

Snow.  And it went from lightly falling to heavy hammering within ten minutes of starting.  The heavy snow would help hide us on approach and minimize attentiveness… but it also killed any overwatch fire from the sniping pair.  Phantom issued orders for Tiger and his counterpart to move up and hold our egress open.

  Something told me we weren’t going to be able to go out the way we came but I kept quiet.  There was too many similarities to that shit show way back for my liking… and I didn’t wanna jinx it.

Moving up, we merry murder hobos closed in on the various buildings- and the snow really was a huge help.  The Russians knew how to move in this- considering Marshal Snow was a constant companion in most of Mother Russia, I would expect no less of them.  Ustinov seemed to be enjoying himself and I wasn’t sure if this was good or bad.  Or just a thing.  Either way, didn’t matter in the long run.

Getting to the compound, the two officers had a quiet discussion over the comms and the order was given.  Neutralize every building- the less we had to deal with, the better because as soon as there was gunfire, the natives were going to be really restless.

  My team got to one of the cabins and I dared a look inside a window.  Noting the very barracks style bunking in here, I glanced to the Russian Captain.  “*Maybe dozen, all sleeping*,” I said quietly in Russian.

“*Good.  Then they will never see this coming,*” He replied as he pulled two grenades off his web gear.  The other Russian with us did the same while Ving covered our rear. “*Ganic, take Boris to that other cabin and be ready…*”

“ayeaye,” I replied and scooted to the other cabin, Boris right behind me.  The two of us each pulled a grenade as Boris peeked inside.  At a nod from him, I readied my deadly egg. “*Your count, Captain*” I said over the comms.


At his command, we all tossed grenades in through the windows of our respective cabins.  And four seconds later, we were rewarded with multiple detonations…  Just after, both teams kicked in doors and within six seconds, all occupants also had bullet wounds to contend with.

Our next target was the tiny-home style buildings; Phantom and his group were tasked with the Cottage where our boy was supposed to be.  One hoped at least; Intel already goat-fucked us so what was one more thing?

  As The compound woke up to the explosions and gunfire, we beat feet to the small huts.  Getting to the first one, Boris planted his boot on the door and it exploded inward. A step in, and a pair of bursts dealt with the people getting up.  Ving and the other Russian trooper did the same with the second hut- doing much the same as us.

Of course, the third one would be able to respond to the madness as a shirtless defender came stumbling out with his AK spitting bullets.  It did him no good, as Ustinov showed even Russian officers could shoot- dropping him with a burst to the chest.  The female behind dude was a surprise- and just as shirtless as dude just killed.  Ustinov paused to assess- she was pretty hot- and it almost got him killed as the chick lifted a pistol up to shoot.

  I took care of that problem, my M4 bucking twice with a volley of rounds.  All of them struck the woman and she went down fast, the pistol in her hand falling out as she fell backward. Ving and his Russian partner joined back up with us as Ustinov listened to something over his comms.

  “*Comrades…  to the Garage.  See what we have to use; Vasily says we may need it…*” Ustinov yelled to us.  “*One hopes big enough for all of us.*”

This was rapidly becoming like the goat-fuck the LAST time I did a snatch in the Balkans.  FUCK.

Hauling ass towards the Garage, I heard Tiger call over the comms that they would meet us there- and that they saw a truck coming up the road.  Fucking special, this was.  Snow, chaos and more folks to the party….  This was getting better by the minute.

  Ustinov staggered at this point, defender rounds catching him in a leg.  Ving, next to him, snatched an arm and laid down some SAW love back in the direction of the shooters.  Myself and the other two Russians reached the garage and returned fire in various directions, attempting to buy Ving and the Spetznaz Captain some time.

  Tiger reached the garage just after us and barreled in through the door followed by his Spetznaz partner.  Some frenzied seconds of gunfire from inside and over the network the short bastard said it was clear.  [Get in here- we have wheels!] he said

Ving assisted Ustinov inside as I and the Russians continued to provide cover.  At this point, I heard Doc over the comms asking if they could get a pickup at the Dacha.  This was not part of the plan…

“Doc, Archer- what the fuck over?” I called out as I picked off another of Belov’s troopers.

[Archer, Phantom is in a bad way, Surfer is dead as well as one of the Spetznaz. Our target was pretty prepared…]

“Fuck! Ok…  there soonest.”  Looking over at the two Russians, I told them more or less what’s up.  Boris indicated he had heard as he tapped his own coms- Filitov probably told him.  I then looked inside the garage and gave a low whistle.  Not every day one sees a damn relic…

Within the garage was of all things, a Lamborghini LM002- the only SUV truck they ever built… and in good shape.  Parked in here alongside it was an American Hummer H2 along with a Bentley Continental and what looked like a genuine Aston Martin Bond car.  Pretty eclectic mix of wheels, lemme tell ya.  And the two big ones were our rides.  Tiger held up two sets of keys.  “Before you ask…”

A dark laugh escaped my lips.  “Bro… at least its not like last time.  You pick- we gotta go!”

Tossing me the LM keys, he jumped into the H2.  “I’ll pick up the house crew- you guys cover us.”

Jumping in, I called out to Ustinov.  “Get your boys inside, Captain!”  As I fired up the expensive monster, he gave me a thumbs up as he called over his coms to the boys outside.  Within seconds, they were inside and taking up window spaces as well as in the bed.  As soon as they were in, both vehicles surged out of the garage.

One of the Russians took initiative and stitched both remaining cars in their tires.  Good thinking…

Within seconds, we went from the garage to the front of the dacha, the snow flying still.  Ving jumped out and breached the doorway while the rest of us shot anything remotely threatening…  which wasn’t much right now (the two cabins had to have been the bulk of them).  Not ten seconds after Ving went in, out he came with Surfer over a shoulder.  Filitov had his fellow Spetznaz over his while Doc and the last Spetznaz escorted a bound Belov.  Phamtom staggered out, bloody as hell and his right eye covered with taped in place bandages.  He didn’t look good… but head wounds never do.

  Tossing our prize in the back of the Hummer, everyone piled into the vehicles as best as possible and once in, we hauled ass for the compound gate for the road out.

And a good thing we did as two light carry-alls were just coming up the hill.  “Shoot the cabs!” Ustinov called out (he was shotgun in this bus) and the Russians just unloaded on the vehicles, joined by Ving’s SAW and available guns from the rest of us Americans.

  The two truck drivers never knew what hit them as we scooted past.  Some fast thinking troops on the trucks managed to return fire at us through the falling snow- and one managed a golden BB moment as a round popped a Russian melon like a grape.  Brains is not something you want sprayed everywhere… but everywhere it went.

Unfortunately, no time to stop and clean it- we were running and running hard.  Ustinov ripped a piece of his dead soldier’s shirt and used it to clear the windshield best he could.  “Best I do,” He said through clenched teeth as he leaned back in his seat.  “Still shit but better than covered, no?”

“I’ll take it…” I replied as I concentrated on moving quick on the snowy roads.  “What’s the alternative to flying?  Or will they fly?” I asked as I slid around a curve.  “Driving out in this is crazy…”

Ustinov looked at a note pad.  “If your Blackhawks don’t fly, Regiment may be able to send a pair of Mi 24,” He said.  “Ours are good in mess- Siberia good for training,”

I grimaced.  I did NOT want to fly in the Soviet Flying Tank… but if a Pavehawk wasn’t available, no other option.  “Well… let’s get to the LZ; there is two alternate sites but I don’t wanna try them.  Not in this.”

Da, Chief Ganic.  Good plan that,” The captain replied. “I no fan of driving additional thirty kilometres in blizzard conditions.”

“Amen, Sir…”


We got to the planned LZ despite the weather trying to kill us.  Phantom had managed to contact Bondsteel not long after we left the scene of the snatch and got assurances that two Pave Hawks would be in the air ‘n by us within the hour- they had held off launching because of the weather.  Not that I blamed them; this was some shitty conditions… but I had doubts the other side was going to be kind enough to even GIVE us an Hour.

Ustinov went ahead while we were moving and contacted his Regiment who said much the same. They would let the Americans pick us up and they would fly cover- they had the weapons for it.  This was news I was cool with- those choppers were damn beasts.  And apparently, both groups had an agreed freq to talk on which was damn helpful.  That they even talked was news to me… but I was just a dumb Special Warfare Operator Chief and not privy to those sorts of deals…

Let’s be honest, the Counter Terror world is a damn small one. I would not be surprised if the various commands exchanged Christmas cards and tidbits on certain events or targets.  At least at the high levels…. And occasionally at this level too.  Just didn’t expect the Air Boys to talk, for some reason.

We got to the LZ after about thirty minutes of driving- the snow really was that level of stupid right now… and pulled both vehicles up next to a hut at the edge of the clearing that was to be used for the pick up.  Once here, the badly wounded were placed inside the structure and the rest of us fanned out to keep watch.  No one expected Belov’s men to not pursue… or other actors- this was the Balkans after all, and everyone could be an opportunist.

  And after about ten minutes, I was NOT disappointed.

Right about the time the Pave Hawks were two minutes out, one of Ustinov’s men spotted a bad thing coming up the road towards us.  A goddamn Serbian Army BTR 50.  Two of them, actually… which was a problem.


Glancing over to Phantom, he confirmed the ETA on the radio. “Say again?” He said into the mic.  “I copy Nine Zero seconds…  We will be waiting.  Be advised the LZ may be hot.”  A pause.  “Understood…”  Setting the mic down, he looked at Ustinov and the rest of us.  “Bloodhound lead reports the Russians will be here about fifteen seconds after them or so they say.  They had farther to go.”

Ustinov nodded.  “Da. Serbian Army lets us land here once in while.  They had to be a bit away to maintain maskirovka. They will be here…”

 Ving grunted.  “I hope so, Captain…  I don’t have much left for this baby,” He patted his SAW. “And it won’t do much against Bimps.”

“No worry, Petty Officer; My Brother-in-Law is lead pilot this mission- he will be here…”  Ustinov said as he checked the load on his AK.  “My sister kick his ass if he isn’t.”

 Dark humor that… and all of us laughed.  Ustinov was ok in my book…

 Right now, we had other problems.

 Down the way, the BTRs stopped to disgorge their troops- all forty of them.  And they looked like Serbian Army regulars.  Remember when I said other Actors?  I was betting someone still alive at Belov’s place called them…. Which made this fucker even more valuable- if he had pull with the government…

  Looking through my ACOG down the way, I counted how many bobo’s spilled out of the tracks and cringed.  “Phantom, I hope those Hawks have guns…  awful lot of Indians out there.”

 Phantom shrugged as he limped out to the barrier next to me.  “They better…”  Lifting his rifle, he shifted so he could aim- and its when I got a better look at his injuries.  Christ on a crutch…

“Dave,” I said using his given name, “Get under cover and get ready to move… you are leaving a mess…”  Mess was an understatement.  Phantom was bleeding slightly from at least three places on his person and he had that head wound.

“Not about to let you and the others do all the work,” He grunted.

“Dude…. Don’t be a hero; leave that to the movies…” I shot back as I sighted downrange.  The Serbs were still a good hundred yards down the way- tough enough shot and even harder in snow.

“Jim… I can-“  He was interrupted by a cannon shot from the Serb BTR- it was the variant with the 30mm and it let us know it thought it saw us…  A second later, the Pave Hawks arrived, their blades whipping the snow into a virtual Snow Devil.  “That changes things…”  He moved back to get people moving while I continued to sight down the road.  Now where was those Hind’s?

Rifle fire began to poke in our direction and we returned it.  The Pave Hawk door gunner, as soon as the birds settled light on the ground, cut loose with its mini-gun.  The tearing-sound was a welcome noise as the command to move came over the net.  Sending a few more rounds downrange, I spun to scoot for the helicopters.

  The Mi-24 Hinds that Ustinov promised arrived at this moment, their chin guns ripping into advancing Serbs like a kid opening presents on Christmas Morning.  This was not to say shit was one sided completely.  The BTRs were slightly occluded from the sights of the attack choppers and were able to lob more rounds our way…  of which I had the unfortunate experience of learning.

  AS I was hauling ass through the snow to the evac birds, I became a moving target for the gunners on those APCs.  30mm HE fire was directed at me and thankfully, none hit me directly.  However, they still carried a concussion and still fragmented… and that is what got me.

Get through all this shit and get dropped by a bunch of near misses.

The concussive force caused me to trip in the snow, and sent me ass over teakettle.  In the process of my ungraceful flight, I caught shrapnel… and a lot of it too.  When I landed, I was in a world of pain.  Arms, legs, a shoulder; I was a fucking mess…

I tried to get up again- I was not staying here, no sir.  But I just couldn’t move.  Pain, shock, my strings were goddamn cut- I didn’t know.  I knew I needed to get up and get moving…. And I couldn’t.  How fucking embarrassing.

Just then, through the haze of pain, I saw one of the Hinds come down super low over me- if I had been standing, I’d have been able to jump up and smack its damn belly- and heard it cut loose on those BTRs.  If I told you that chopper was loud and its guns louder, it would be an damn understatement.  Oh my fucking god…  if I had hearing after this, it would be a damn miracle.  What was even more wild was the quartet of Russians who jumped out of its side and into the snow near me.

  More Spetznaz troopers had apparently gone for the ride here and they took it on themselves to help out.  The four of them came over to me and two helped me up.  With an arm over each of them, the Russian Operators hustled me to the Pave Hawks and helped get me on board one.

  As I was handed off to the Crew Chief, I caught the gaze of one of the new arrivals.  “*Comrade- find me later, I’m buyin’*” I yelled out.

  The Russian’s head snapped up in surprise at my words in his tongue, then he gave me a thumb’s up.  “*I will hold you to that, American!!*” He yelled back and then hauled ass through the snow to his Hind, which had come lower to pick up the four troopers who had jumped out.

The Serb troops were hunkered down- the firepower of the two Russian assault choppers making all of them think twice about showing themselves.  Especially after both BTR’s were now burning…

The Pave Hawks lifted off, the snow swirling around us as the engines strained to rapidly get us out of here.  The Mi24’s stayed a few extra seconds to hose the area good once more before they too departed and fell in behind us.

All of us were bound for Bondsteel- which would make for some interesting conversations when the Russian Birds showed up.

I looked around the interior of the Pave Hawk and groaned some.  Everyone on board this bird was hurt to one degree or another except Doc.  While he was covered in blood, it looked like it was from everyone else on board.  AS the Crew Chief worked to bandage my wounds as an assist to Doc, I took stock of who was on my ride.

Doc and I were the two Seals on board this flight.  Ustinov and Filitov were both on board- the two Spetznaz troopers sporting GSWs- Ustinov having a second leg wound in the retreat and Vasily several grazes (lucky fucker…) as well as a third Russian who was also sporting a GSW.  Surfer’s body was aboard too and covered up some.  Poor bastard.  Belov was aboard this bird too…  And awake.

And apparently able to get out of his restraints as I watched him reach into his boot to snag a knife.

“Shit! He’s Loose!!” I yelled out as our prisoner lunged for Ustinov….

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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