Chapter 18: AirborneEdit
“Alright, here is what is going to happen.” Matrix said, he stood in front of two large boards, one with a map of Reefwater and its surroundings on it, the other with a plan of their vehicle. The entire Delta Squad and their friends, who had fetched Vulcan, all sat on dark wooden chairs placed about a meter and a half away from the boards. This setup was in front of the large vehicle that they were going to use. Another figure stood leaning against the wall to the right of Matrix and his boards; his face was shrouded in shadow.
“Vulcan will fly, obviously.” Matrix pointed to Vulcan with the meterstick he held. Vulcan waved sarcastically, his heavily casted leg propped up on another chair in front of him.
“Why obviously?” Thorn covered his mouth as soon as he said this, it had slipped out.
“...Obviously because he’s the only one who knows how, you didn’t think I’d send you to get him because he likes to fly it...did you?” The rest of the Squad and the pets in the room s******ed, Thorn went red in the cheeks, and Matrix slammed his ruler down on the board whilst shouting, “ATTENTION!”
“Vulcan will fly, Thorn and Metroid will be on the forward turrets, Zach, you’ll be in charge of dropping our payloads, try not to destroy anything that looks expensive... and Zeroed, you’ll be controlling the onboard grenade launcher.” Matrix said, pointing to each position on the plan, and taking a large breath afterwards.
Zeroed nudged Zach and when Zach looked to him, he raised his eyebrows quickly a couple of times. Zach just shoved him and beckoned him to be quiet.
“What about me?” Wanderer asked, raising his paw and lowering when Matrix looked directly at him.
“Who are you?” Matrix walked over to him, eyeing him up.
“We’ve met before, y’know, in the hospital, they call me... ummm... Wanderer.” He spoke quickly, raising himself slightly out of his chair.
“Didn’t I give you that?” Matrix was looking at Wanderers half-mask.
“Yeah, with a note.” Wanderer relaxed again, slouching back into his chair.
“Very well, help Vulcan, be his co-pilot. He’ll tell you what to do.” Matrix returned to his boards.
“Aye sir.” Wanderer said, provoking a strange look from Ranger, because he always liked saying that.
“The Delta Squad, will be occupying grenade launchers 3, 4 and 6. Zeroed you get the fifth grenade launcher because it is centered, works the best, and we won’t be on them for long. Delta will also operate the two MG’s that are in the hanging basket below, don’t worry guys, the basket is made of solid steel. Anyway, On my signal, All Delta’s will meet in the cargohold, where Zach will be dropping bombs, we jump on my signal. Any questions?”
After a few seconds of silence, Matrix continued.
“...We’re expecting there to be minimal DA resistance left, the town will be mostly or completely SAWAT. This does not mean we can destroy anything we want, our objective is to capture, not to obliterate. It’s going to be hard boys, good luck.” Matrix walked over to the pet who was leaning in the shadow.
“This is Mr. Firestar, he’s Delta’s personal outside engineer. Firestar, would you like to show these boys what you’ve brought for us today?” Matrix nodded to Firestar, and he nodded back. As he stepped out of the shadow, his features were revealed, silvery hair, slightly wrinkled face. He had quite a large nose and wore dark goggles over his eyes; his lips were thin and cracked, he was probably around his late fifties. He slowly walked in front of the boards as Matrix stepped back. In his hands were two very large metal suitcases. Ten seconds standing in front of the group, then he dropped the cases on the floor. They made dust spout into the air, and the sound of them hitting the ground echoed through the walls of the hangar.
“Greetings.” He spoke softly.
Firestar knelt down, unclipping and opening one case, then turning unclipping and opening the other. From the first case, he pulled up a camouflaged bodysuit, it was light grey, with a few blue patches. It was all one piece that covered the legs and the torso, it also had a hood.
“This is the Krafty Mark III camosuit, its camouflage is the most efficient of its kind and makes it much harder for you to be detected, from distances of over two-hundred meters, with the naked eye. It’s one of those things that can just give a little edge over your enemies in battle.”
He laid the suit on the ground in front of him, then turned to the case again. This time he drew out several pieces of dark grey clothing. The first was a vest, then some wrist and elbow protectors, shin and knee guards, upper-leg and groin guards.
“This is Krafty Mark III advanced combat armor: It fits over the camosuit perfectly, and is specially made to produce almost no restriction to normal movements or speed while wearing the armor. Its light, its flexible and most importantly; it can stop medium-arms fire from a range of twenty meters.”
Now he turned to the second case, searching in the case for a few moments, he pulled out a mask and a pair of gloves and boots.
“Krafty Mark III comfort kit, fingerless gloves, fit-all balaclava and I’ve had these boots made to fit your feet size. Basically they’re just providing another small advantage in the fact that they’re comfortable, and won’t be a nuisance during a firefight, the gloves are fingerless they’re skin tight and they’re thermal. The boots have specially designed grips on the sole; they’re particularly good on ice. The balaclava... is... just a balaclava.”
He knelt down once more, this time he drew out a helmet with attached goggles and a very modern looking knife. He also brought a shoulder-waist belt, with equipment on it, out.
“The helmet and knife are Krafty Mark III Helm, and Krafty Mark IV Straightblade. The helmet is incredibly strong, don’t ask me why, it just is. In our tests, it has been found to be capable of stopping sniper shots from a distance of five hundred meters, any firearm closer than thirty meters is its danger zone though. The goggles are toughened. They’ve got night-vision mode, along with several other situation modes, including snowstorm and hurricane. The helmet has a built in headset that allow the wearer to speak with anyone wearing one that’s set to the correct frequency. The knife is an alloy using aluminium and titanium, with a small amount of steel and chromium; making it very light and strong. The utility belt has all your standard stuff on it, grenades, extra ammo, but it also has a radio with a range of 2000 miles.”
As Firestar laid out the equipment together on the floor, Flash raised his hand.
“Guns?” He said, as soon as Firestar looked at him.
“Just getting to that, dear boy.” Firestar said, mockingly.
When he had done laying the equipment out, he reached into the bottom of the second case. He slowly brought out four different guns.
“These are my babies.” Firestar continued, almost stroking the guns.
“The Black Beauty,” Firestar held up the largest gun.
“A light launcher with an unparalleled fire rate, along with good accuracy and a fair reload time.” He set it down.
“This is the Sniper Rifle, we made it specifically for you Ranger. Everythings normal about it, except that it requires no adjusting for the shot, and it is incredibly accurate.”
“And this is the AK74u, probably the best assault rifle out there right now. Accurate, fast, deadly.
“The pistol you’ll all use as your backup is my personal favorite. It’s got an attached flashlight and laser-pointer, effective up to sixty meters. Good for dual wielding.” Firestar span the pistol around his forefinger then set it down.
“Thank you for shopping with Krafty express, please come again.” Firestar nodded, walked, then took a seat at the back of the briefing area.
“Zach, Firestar will be helping you dish out bombs, just because we’re short on pets.” Matrix said, returning to the front of the briefing and winking at Firestar. Matrix then nodded at Hawk.
“Alright Delta’s and friends, let’s lock ‘n’ load, and rock ‘n’ roll!” Hawk shouted this and as the echo ran through the hangar, the pets burst into movement, each selecting their preferred weapons and collecting their clothing. --- The shovel contacted the steel with a loud striking sound, which rang and hung in the air for a moment. “Sir! I think we’ve got it!” A long, greasy haired pet shouted over his shoulder, calling to the Major. The Major walked quickly, stumbling on some debris on his way.
“Chief, get over here. Get your squad clearing this area.” The Major said. “On it Sir! Squadron, over here, get this cleared.” Chief gestured to the floor where they had found the shaft, hopefully leading into the base.
A few minutes later, the last of the rubble was thrown away. Now in front of the few SAWAT lay a large square metal surface, about five meters wide. They tried to prise it open with shovels, but it was far too-well sealed.
“Chief?” The Major turned to him.
“Sir?” Chief turned to him. “Call in a tank.” Chuckled The Major. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The feeling of the Zeppelin taking off felt like being weightless for a few moments. And then everything settled down inside Eagle’s stomach again as he walked over beside Zach.
“Good luck, Zach.” Eagle slouched his back onto the wall beside him.
“And yourself,” Zach replied, looking out of the small slit in the steel frame of the Air-ship.
“I just hope... I hope things go-” Eagle was interrupted by a very loud buzzing sound. It came from the speakers aboard the vessel. Eagle’s eyes brightened in realization, a radio transmission!
Eagle and Zach both ran through the three Iron sectioned-rooms into the cockpit, where Vulcan sat on a comfortable looking leather seat, and all the other pets stood. The room was packed full, but everyone had just enough room to stand. The voice on the radio slowly came into focus: “Is anyone left up there?” It said.
“Eagle, get on the radio.” Matrix’s eyes searched the room for Eagle, until he found him and beckoned him over. The other soldiers made a path to the radio by shuffling in either direction.
“Hello?” Eagle’s voice shook as he pressed the button for speak on the microphone.
The reply came back as, what sounded like; a room full of pets all shouting “Hello!” At the same time.
“Hello? We are the survivors of the Reefwater attack, we need assistance! We’re trapped in Base 17, underground! Identify yourselves? Who are you?” A pet on the other end desperately shouted.
“We’re Delta Squad, the 23rd Squadron of ex-Phoenix division.” Eagle’s words fell calmly out of his mouth.
“Ex-Phoenix? Are you for real?” The pet on the other end spoke slower, and calmer.
In Base 17
Time seemed to freeze before the 23rd Squadron speaker said his next word.
The room in which DA High-command, Wulf, John and his squad sat burst into the sound of confused chatter and gasps. After a few seconds, the small pet sat at the head of the table stood.
“Enough!” He shouted. His voice reverberated through the room, echoing off of the old dull green walls. He banged his fists on the iron table in the middle of all of them as well, and walked over to the radio receiver, which John held. John quickly offered it to him, and he took it briskly.
“Matrix, are you there?” The Commander’s voice was that of an experienced, war-bitten veteran.
Indistinct sounds were made, as the microphone was presumably passed over.
“Yes, Commander?” A new voice spoke over the radio. The Commander instantly recognized it as Matrix.
“How far away are you?” The Commander said, resting his hand against the wall-mounted-radio box.
“Only about eight clicks East, ETA two minutes.” Matrix said.
Wulf specifically noticed the Commander’s brow dropped, the corners of his mouth twitch slightly and his shoulders slouch. Within a few seconds he regained his posture. And carried on:
“How many soldiers do you have?”
“Enough.” Was the short and somewhat cold reply.
“How many is enough?”
“Between ten and twenty.”
This time the Commander’s mouth quivered into a small smirk, he quickly wiped it away with seriousness.
“What is your transport?” The Commander turned around and rested his back on the radio-box, giving his arm a deserved break.
“Airship, Zeppelin, basically a big badass steel balloon, and it’s 1 minute and 37 seconds away from starting to save you all.” Matrix said, and then a loud sound came in through the radio, which was probably the squad cheering.
“Matrix Out.” Was the last thing received, before the familiar beeping sound of the transmission ending, and a whole lot of white-noise.
The Commander, a few moments after the end of transmission simply stated:
“Excuse me,” as he walked straight out of the door, down the intersecting corridor, and into the elevator that lead to the civilian level of Base 17.
When the elevator began to rise, The Commander flipped out a small portable radio from his pocket. He threw it in the air and caught it again, in a sign of confidence. He turned it on, and didn’t need to tune which frequency he wanted, because he’d done that before the meeting.
“Major?” He spoke closely into the radio.
“What is it, Colonel?” A ruffled voice spoke back after a few seconds of waiting.
“How far into the base are you?”
“We’re at the front door, it’s weak enough to be blown off with a few barrels of TNT now.”
“Good, but we have a problem. There is an enemy squadron moving in from the east, they’ll be here in less than a minute, they’re in some kind of Airship.”
“Just one squadron? I have over one thousand pets just sitting lazily in guardtowers and overrun bunkers, some are even eating lunch in their tanks. It will be no problem, I’ll set my pets on the East-bound AA guns at once.” The Major’s voice got louder and clearer as he spoke, as if his confidence grew as he realised that the odds were very much against his enemy.
“Roger.” Replied The Commander. “Sir? Listen closely.” The Major’s voice had returned to its original ruffled state.
The Commander then heard, what sounded like a lot of metal crashing together. He immediately knew it was the explosion of the elevator shaft-door: Which meant SAWAT had breached, and in a few seconds, DA soldiers would start being killed.
“Remember, I am going to be wearing the Blue Headband, don’t shoot me.” The Commander said as he tied a navy-blue headband around his sweaty forehead. He had betrayed his country, his homeland. All because he was scared, he knew the War was a lost cause. He knew it’d be over soon, and the DA Island would be annihilated by the new SAWAT ‘V2’ weapon, and other horrors from their new chemical weapon scheme such as the gas that turned people on each other. He’d ordered one of these gas-attacks on a nearby military-hospital. Because the SAWAT Commander made him do it, just to test his allegiance: As if he hadn’t already, when he ordered the destruction of Lotterick with a V2 Vengeance missile. And once Reefwater was captured, that left the whole coast undefended. The island would be in range once they built missile silos there.
The Commander was broken out of his thought bed by the sound of the elevator doors hissing open, and the sound of The Major’s reply on the radio;
End of Chapter 18: Airborne