Charlie Papa Has Fallen – (Continuation of "Howlers")
May 12, 2018 at 8:29 am #27775
For a place that wanted to deem itself… Unknown, to the enemy, the amount of sirens they had installed along the paths and outskirts of Central Park were nearly enough to deafen out the howls from the Hellhounds that now surrounded the park. Though that was the least of their worries. Nantz’s squad had shot looks in all directions, understanding one thing and one thing only. They were surrounded.
All formalities were out the window as the Sergeant who had been in charge of signing them into the HQ was literally running away, not towards the howls, of course, but more than likely to his bunk to retrieve his gear to defend himself. Weapons had come alive in a heartbeat, for Nantz understood there had been a constant patrol around Central Park as well as a consistent 360 degree protective watch, so once the howlers had appeared, the general order was to shoot on sight on positive identification of the enemy. Well, there was plenty to shoot at now! Screams could be heard far in the east-portion of Central Park where one could guess the line that was holding there had seemingly been overrun. Nantz looked to his squad, signaling to follow him as they started on a double-time pace, making their way through the barricades and into the heart of the HQ… Which was a mess.
Soldiers of the UCF (American Portion) were running amuck, the majority had never actually seen combat with the enemy up close, many were tasked to keep up communication lines, ensuring the General got his coffee, pushing papers and keeping track of those such as Nantz and his squad when they went out on mission… It wasn’t a funny sight, to say the least, but a troubling one. Charlie Papa was falling apart at the seams, and it wasn’t even the Demon’s doing… Yet… It was the sheer lack of discipline of the UCF taking whoever was capable of even lifting a weapon and throwing them into the proverbial lion’s den. Nantz was thankful that he had been given prior-service solders pre-merge to the UCF… Minus PVT White… But he was hoping the run-ins that they had sustained on their way back from mission was enough to properly ‘pop his cherry’ in combat-speak.
As it were… Chaos ensued, and more screams from the perimeters began to screech across the blaring sirens until someone with their right mind decided to shut it down… Or perhaps was ordered to go pick up a rifle rather than manning the emergency sirens since it was quite clear from the nearby shooting that shit had hit the fan. “Where we headed for, Staff Sergeant?” Rodriguez spoke up from their double-time pace, which in full “battle-rattle” was a bit more enduring and asking of his squad, but adrenaline would kick in soon enough to where it would provide that needed stamina to push through. “We need ammunition.” Spoken bluntly as he was weaving in and out of gaggle-fucks of soldiers who had no idea what they were doing.
Out of nowhere, a Specialist ran into Nantz and his squad as they were running, suited up with his rifle and stood in front of them as if he was intending to stop them. “Where you all runnin’?! The fight is THAT way!” He pointed in the closest direction. Staff Sergeant Nantz was moments away from knife-handing and directing clear orders to step aside, but Overkill had pushed his way past before his tactical-gloved fist took hold of the Specialists throat, squeezing it to the point that the squad could hear the choking that followed. “If you don’t move the fuck outta’ our way, I’ll throw you to the god-damn hellhounds myself, you fuckin’ got me?!” He shoved the Specialist back forcefully… Which seemingly worked as if reality had set in, and the Specialist took off running, in the exact opposite direction in which he had pointed towards the squad originally. “Pussy.” Overkill spit to the side, before looking back towards his Team Leader. “…My bad, Staff Sergeant.” “…You’re good, for now.” He jutted his thumb over his shoulder for Overkill to fall back in line, and to the make-shift armory that was merely a tent covering the small-variety of rounds the squad would go.
Luckily, nobody had impeded the rest of their short journey as they came into the tent, the armorer himself was still present, clearly locked and loaded with his M249 that was slung over his shoulder, moving around and shifting around large crates that had originally been full of 5.56MM rounds and magazines, now empty. As the squad entered, Nantz spoke. “Please tell me you have some more.” The armorer looked up, squinting at the rank, then to the face, recognizing immediately one of the squads that had been tasked out into the City. “Surprised any of you made it back… Yeah, I gotchu’.” The man shifted around, leaving behind any military decency of rank recognition, but that was just how it went… He had what they needed, and with everything going on around, it would be rare to find anyone so formal at this point in time. A large crate labeled with a spray-painted ‘D’ was on the cover. The large crate was dropped before the crew, before a nearby crowbar was taken up, shifted underneath the wooden cover, and propped open to break the nails loose, until the cover could be removed. “It’s all yours… Now if you excuse me…” And with that, the armorer left the tent, clearly relieved of his own personal duties, and looking to lay down some fire on the Demon’s who had no doubt broken through the lines and were breaching closer to the HQ.
“…Holy shit.” Flames had stepped forward, looking inside the crate. It was filled to the brim of magazines, C4, grenades… Everything needed to fully equip the squad and then some… Of course, there was also less of them now than there was originally. Nantz took a step back. “Alright, all of you hurry up, gather what you need, and more. Don’t know when we’re going to be able to stock back up like this.” The words, rather dark, rang true into the ears of his soldiers, who took to the orders immediately, and began rummaging through the crate, pulling out rounds, the two engineers taking what C4 and wire they could before stocking up on ammo… Explosives before Bullets… Or at least that was Overkill and Flames’s motto to life and serving. Once his squad was stocked up, Nantz took what he could, taking an over-encumbrance of ammunition, and a few hasty rations (MREs) that he could stuff into his pack. He’s survived on much less.
Just as they were leaving the crate behind, shots rang close to their squad, actually a few had nicked near their boots which caused the entire squad to dive back into the tent, ensuring they didn’t get hit on what appeared to be a cross-fire. “Had they breached this close already?!” Rodriguez and White were first on their knee, eyes down their sights as they attempted to find what was being shot at… Four hounds were close to the tent, though luckily through the cross-fire and a few returned shots of their own, had been struck down swiftly. “Not a good sign.” White muttered, as the five began to peek around the tent, there was another makeshift squad of nobody Nantz had recognized, figuring they were solely assigned to HQ for admin work, had tasted their first bit of combat, and gave a quick gesture of ‘You’re Welcome’ before they were scurrying off. “Well, which way, Staff Sergeant?” Nantz took a few more steps outside the tent, his icy blue eyes attempting to register and recognize what was happening around them. Fires had sparked around the majority of the park, lightning was striking in various points along the trails, which meant more hounds were beginning dropped off. “Doesn’t much matter at this point. We’re surrounded.” His tongue clicked against the bottom row of his teeth. Out of his peripheral, he saw a lone howler, and immediately turned his sights, using just three rounds to take the hound down, mainly due to the tight shot-grouping at the head of the demon… Normally trained to take shots at the body, but that had always been for… Human combatants… Training wasn’t exactly to standard and code with their newest enemy.
Though as the Staff Sergeant attempted to devise a plan in an otherwise FUBAR (fucked up beyond all recognition) situation, explosions were heard in the short distance off to the west, all eyes of his squad including his own looked as trees began to topple. “Flames?” Staff Sergeant inquired. “Demolition charges, they’re clearing an area.” “…Are they seriously thinking of sending in an EVAC here?” Rodriquez questioned allowed… It was a sad, yet very known fact that the UCF did not send evacuations into areas that were deemed high-risk… And this was certainly, unfortunately, now considered a high-risk zone… Or so Nantz could guess. “…Wait… Listen.” White spoke quietly, and as they focused, above the howling, the screams of those being disembodied by the demons, and the explosions… The sound of blades bursting through the air was off in the distance… A chopper. And soon, it was on the outskirts of the city coming in…. “…Just one… How the fuck do they expect survivors or wounded to fit into one chopper.” Rodriquez spoke once more. “They don’t.” Nantz answered. “The General is still here and alive.” “…Ya’ gotta’ be fuckin’ kidding me.” Overkill retorted.
‘Think, Nantz… Think!’ They were stalled, and he had no idea what to do. The lines were breached on all ends of Central Park, which mean the casualty numbers were certainly sky-rocketing since there had been less and less screams and much less shooting than when the original attack started. But, luckily, he was briefly saved by an old, husky voice that yelled. “You boys!” All their eyes turned, only to see the General… Major General (Two Stars) Brickston was crouching his way over, he had a few scrapes and bruises, though that might have been from traveling through the hedges and bushes to avoid being seen, since it would seem his escort team had been eliminated… Or decided to run. “I’ve got a bird comin’ in, and I lost my team… You boys are now that team. Let’s go.” None of them rendered salutes… Nor spoke up of the situation that was just thrust upon them. “…Well don’t just stand there, MOVE!” Now there was a booming, commanding voice if Nantz had ever heard one, so giving just a single firm nod, he designated the formation to who would be where, Nantz taking lead with Overkill and Flames covering his 3 a’clock (right) and his 10 a’clock (left), with the General tucked in the middle with Rodriguez and White pulling up the flank.
Nantz figured the general direction from the explosions of where the General needed to be… And although the man was merely armed with his side-arm with no armor or Kevlar for protection, he figured he’d be of some help if they needed it. As they treaded through Central Park, using the still-risen trees and bushes as cover… They’d run into minor engagements on the way to the clearing, just a few hounds… Which was disconcerting, figuring there would’ve been hundreds of them, but perhaps the UCF held on more than he suspected. But as they found the clearing, he halted everyone, before lowering them to a knee. He wasn’t about to be standing in the middle of a wide-open field waiting for the bird.
What was merely minutes felt like hours as the bird circled closer, the pilots more than likely looking for any threat near the landing zone that had been created… It was rough, trying to land on an unmarked landing point since using smoke or any form of signaling would simply gravitate the attack in that specific direction. They encountered no further contact until the bird was close. Once it began to hover, hounds began to pounce out from the bushes, nearly six of them, but the quick intercept of not only their gunfire, but the gun mounted on the side of the bird began to unleash its own particular hell, mowing everything down within radius and reach, leaving the rest up to the squad that was escorting the General.
Once the wheels had officially touched down, Nantz recognized the equipment, a UH-60 Blackhawk… Versatile, quick, and essentially the best in getting in and out in a hurry, which is exactly what this extraction was. Once the bird touched, the pilot motioned for them to move up behind the windshield. Delta squad broke up, forming a broken-diamond type of formation, best to keep a VIP in the center while they acted as the wall to be broken through. Once they were clear, and the General was mounting up, he held his palm out towards the squad. “You’ve got my thanks, boys. Good luck!” ….Nantz motioned towards Overkill. “Pilot.” “You got it.” And immediately, that rifle was up and aimed at the pilot, who was just beginning to engage the rotor to hover off before the muzzle of an opposing rifle was aimed at him… The windshield wasn’t bulletproof, and Overkill’s trigger finger was directed right over the trigger… Just an ounce of pressure and that windshield would be shattered within minutes, along with anyone behind it. “Just what in the actual fuck do you think you’re doing, boy?!” The General hollered at Overkill, before looking to Nantz… The expression “Shit rolls down hill” would not apply here, as he stepped out, angrily shouting in his face. “YOU ORDER YOUR MAN TO PUT HIS RIFLE DOWN OR SO HELP ME GOD I WILL DO IT MYSELF.” “Sir, you can easily fit the rest of us on that bird. What the hell is going on?” “What do you think, son? Central Park is gone, this command is gone, there’s nothing left.” “…Nothing left, Sir?” “Look around you, Nantz! It’s a goddamn graveyard of our soldiers, and it’s collapsing by the second the more you and I jabber on. The UCF wants me out, not you… Or you… Or you.” He pointed at each individual person. “I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.” “…Sir, just let-” “DO NOT HAVE ME REPEAT MYSELF, STAFF SERGEANT.” That 9MM that was held in his left hand was cocked back, and pointed at Overkill. “NOW! PUT DOWN YOUR RIFLE!” Nantz was stunned…. Was the UCF truly that uncaring that they’d just let survivors fend for themselves… Or was there something bigger going on that they didn’t need the majority to know? “Our time in North America is done, Nantz. This is the end of the road. Now. PUT THE FUC-” A single round was fired, as Nantz had barely anytime to react as the General’s head whipped sideways, brains splattering across the tail-end of the chopper… The pistol dropping innocently to the ground and thudding about as the body of General Brickston simply collapsed, blood leaking heavily from the open wound to his head.
He didn’t know how long he had been dazed out from the sight… More than likely seconds before his icy blue eyes turned about… White’s muzzle was lifted, smoke still rising from the chamber from the single shot he had taken… It was shaking within the boy’s hand, as if he couldn’t believe himself of what had just happened. Rodriguez immediately moved towards White, disarming the young boy of his rifle, clearing the chamber and popping out the magazine which would join the rest of his own. “…Fuck.” Nantz exhaled, before motioning. “Alright, get on the fucking bird. God damnit.” Nantz only swore when he was extremely livid… And he. was. livid. His squad, which may had been the only squad to return, was now the cause for the casualty of a Two-Star General personally requested for EVAC by the UCF. As he motioned, one by one, his squad, including White… Hesitantly, moved aboard the chopper. As for Nantz, he was kneeling by the General’s body, slinging his rifle off to the side as he quickly patted down the body, finding his ID Tags, Wallet… A small, green notebook in his chest pocket, and an envelope tucked away in his pocket. All of these items were taken and stuffed into whatever pocket he had any available room left, before he was the last to board the chopper.
The pilot, albeit taken aback from everything that just happened outside his bird, was not about to punish nor fight against a squad he could only deem as rogue. Not to mention the enclosing of demons was not something he wanted to stick around. So as he had attempted to do previously, the rotors were engaged, lifting the UH-60 off the ground and beginning to tilt it away from the opening it had landed, looking to gain as much height as possible before making its way away from the city… Lightning still struck the ground below, but as Nantz looked outside the open-bay door… The birds-eye view of the city was disheartening… There were thousands of hounds roaming each street in the city… And some creatures he had never encountered personally, but being able to see it from far up, only meant they were large… Terrifying… And clearly not something he wanted to encounter. The City was lost… New York was lost… And according to the General… North America, was lost…. “Uhh… Staff Sergeant… I don’t mean to point out the elephant in the room…” “Not. Now.” His eyes focused sternly on Rodriguez, who was simply trying to devise either a plan or an excuse for White’s actions, whom his eyes shifted to next… But wasn’t met with, for White’s eyes were heavily focused downward, fingertips laced together as he visibly shook in the center of the chopper. There was a lot to think about… Primarily…
Where was this chopper going?
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