NOTICE: The following story is based in a fictional world featuring fictional characters based upon real people.
Mission Date: April 19, 2035
Mission Type: Guerrilla Ops
Codename: Operation Wolf Hawk
Location: Western United States
Operating Squad: Squad X
Initial Briefing: New Intel arrived indicating that ADVENT forces are moving to strike at a crucial information syphoning site set up by the resistance in the Western United States. Squad X was deployed to secure the device and neutralize any enemy forces in the area.
Daniel “Boomer” Perez - Grenadier
Ozzie “Solo” Mejia - Ranger
Asif “Duke” Khan - Ranger
Joseph “Beta” Stasio – Specialist
The Skyranger boomed beneath them, the thick metal hull ringing with the sound of the wind rushing past it outside.
“The enemy have located one of the Data Tap locations established by the resistance,” Central advised via a large hologram screen near the front of the aircraft. “I don’t need to point out how vital these locations are for us. Secure the device and remove any enemy forces within the area.” His face vanished from the screen, replaced by a large satellite map of the area.
“Do we have eyes on the enemy forces?” Sgt. Khan asked, brushing a speck of dust from his glasses.
“Negative Squad X. We have no enemy sighting.” Central replied. “We suspect they have patrols surrounding the area, and at least three agents inside the Data Tap location. Their attack has already begun, you’ll need to move fast if you want to secure the device before they destroy it.”
The lights in the Skyranger suddenly shot to life, brightening the interior of the craft.
“Approaching deployment,” the pilot said over a small intercom.
“You heard him boys,” Khan said, unbuckling the restraints wrapped around his shoulders. He reached between the seats, pulling out a long sword enclosed in a leather scabbard. He strapped the sword to his back, letting the weight pull against his shoulders. With his sword attached, he quickly reached above his seat and withdrew a large bulky shotgun from a weapon rack mounted against the Skyranger’s metal hull. He checked the weapon, and then pumped a round into the chamber.
The other members of Squad X, Sgt. Mejia, Sgt. Perez, and Cpl. Stasio worked behind him, strapping on their own choice of weapons.
“Hey Boomer,” Mejia called out over the roar of the Skyranger’s engine. “You planning on using that thing?” he asked, pointing to the large grenade launcher strapped to Perez’s back.
“You plan on using that knife you got?” Perez joked back.
Mejia shrugged and swung the Arc Blade he’d picked up on his last trip to Command, “Maybe. You never know what you’ll find out here waiting in the dark.”
“Let’s bring it in,” Khan called out, making his way to the back of the Skyranger. The aircraft shuddered as it slowed, the large metal ramp that acted as a door slowly pressing downward, revealing the star-filled sky outside. Several ropes jettisoned from the top of the Skyranger. Khan took the first one in a firm grip, and swung out, letting the weight of his body and the power of gravity pull him down to the ground.
Their boots slammed into the pavement with silent thuds. They each spread outward, ducking behind the nearest cover as they brought the guns up, ready for any action that might come their way.
“Mejia you take Stasio and head around the eastern perimeter,” Khan said, motioning to his right. Mejia and Stasio took off, half-crouched and sprinting without a word.
“Let’s go boss,” Perez said, bringing his large cannon to his shoulder. “I’ve got you covered.”
Khan nodded, and jammed his shotgun barrel downwards as he took off in a crouch run towards a nearby car. His back hit the cool metal of the vehicle in seconds.
“Move up,” He radioed back to Perez, who quickly crouch ran up to the vehicle.
“Any movement yet?” Khan asked over the radio.
“Negative,” Mejia replied.
“Keep looking. They're here somewhere.”
Several minutes passed as Khan and Perez moved forward, cover by cover, closer and closer to the objective. As they neared it the sound of laser fire began to echo through the area, rebounding off the glass windows and walls of the surrounding buildings.
“I have audio,” Khan radioed in.
“Roger that. Moving to investigate,” Mejia replied.
Khan watched to the east, his eyes glancing back and forth at the shadows as he tried to make out the other two members of his squad making their way through the area. He was still looking for them when Perez reached forward and tapped him on the shoulder.
“What?” he asked, turning to face Perez.
“Movement,” Perez replied, pointing over the large concrete barrier that they had camped up behind.
Khan followed the motions of his hand, and peered over the barrier. He couldn’t make out anything in the dark.
“Enemy sighted,” the radio chirped. “Two Troopers and a Viper. They’ve taken up patrol behind a large bus in the center of the perimeter. Do you have visual?”
Khan’s eyes searched the darkness, looking for any sign of alien movement. Several seconds passed as he watched, his eyes taking in every detail of every shadow.
“Negative,” he started to say, but a glare several feet in front of him stopped his words. He watched for a moment, his eyes taking in the length and detail of the shadows there. He could just barely make out the outline of the slender and snake-like Viper that Mejia had located. “Scratch that,” he radioed. “We have visual.”
“Copy that,” Mejia said. “Moving to attack.”
“Roger, we have overwatch.”
Mejia stepped forward, his knees tucked against his stomach. His body dangerously close to scraping the ground.
“Watch my back,” He whispered to his squadmate, Stasio. “We’ve got one chance at being sneaky. Let’s make sure we use that to our advantage.”
He pressed forward, holding his signature shotgun closed to his body, his finger inches away from the trigger. He watched, his eyes locked on the outline of the Troopers and the Viper several feet away, as he moved forward. Inch by inch he crept forward, taking every breath as silently as he could. His heartbeat thumped in his ears, echoing the adrenaline that was just beginning to course through his system.
As he approached he listened for footsteps, for any telltale signs that someone or something might have heard him coming. When none came, he quickly pressed against the front of the large bus that the enemy had taken up refuge behind. The metal was cool to his back, the cold seemingly bleeding through the Kevlar vest that protected his torso.
“Ready?” he asked into his radio, his voice barely that of a whisper.
“Ready.” The reply came.
His heart leapt in his chest, the adrenaline hitting full throttle as he pushed his legs downward, forcing him to his feet. A second passed. Two. Three. Then he rounded, his shotgun jamming into the crook of his shoulder as he cleared the side of the bus. The Troopers and Viper rebounded instantly, the surprise almost clear as a whistle on their faces. They didn’t have time to react though. His shotgun roared, the flash from its barrel blinding him for a moment as the rounds swept forward with great momentum and cut into one of the Troopers. It fell, sickly sounds echoing from behind its masked face.
Rounds of fire exploded across from him, slamming into the remaining Trooper. Mejia jumped backwards, slamming his back against the front of the bus again as cannon fire whizzed past him. He was just preparing for a second attack, his hand already pumping another shell into the chamber, when the Viper rounded the bus and jerked forward, its body gliding through the air with unprecedented gracefulness. It was the first time Mejia had been this close to one, and he hoped with every fiber of his being that it wouldn’t be the last as the creature slammed into him, its body coiling and wrapping around him.
His shotgun fell in the struggle. His breath flushing from his lungs as the creature pressed around him harder. He gasped for breath, his lungs burning, and his mouth agape, begging for air as his knees slammed into the pavement.
Stasio saw the creature moving. He saw it jerking forward, striking out at Mejia. He saw the panic on his comrade’s face as the Viper slammed into him, its tail striking and coiling around him with unbelievable speed. He saw him drop to his knees, the look of fear and panic clear on his face even through the darkness that surrounded them.
“It’s got him!” Stasio shouted into his radio, his eyes already turning to lock on the Trooper that remained. “The Viper has Mejia!”
Khan heard the cry over the radio. He heard the panic in Stasio’s voice.
“Take down that trooper now!” he yelled to Perez, and took off running in a crouch towards the next piece of cover. Behind him the sound of cannon fire echoed through the night as Perez pelted the enemy with rounds.
It didn’t take Khan long to reach the back of the bus, his shotgun already slung over his shoulder. He reached up, his fingers wrapping around the handle of his Arc Blade, the buzz of the weapon’s energy filling his arm with a tingling and numbing sensation. This was his first mission with the new technology, but if it worked even half as well as the large machete that he had carried before, it would do the job.
“Trooper down,” Perez said into the radio, the adrenaline coursing through his body apparent in his voice. “I repeat, Trooper is down.”
“Copy that,” Khan replied, the Arc Blade full unsheathed and raised in front of him.
“Enemy flanking,” a ragged voice said over the radio. Khan recognize it as Mejia.
I’m coming for you. Just hold on a moment longer. He thought, his feet carrying him to the middle of the bus. His back slammed against the metal with a thud. He was exposed, he knew, but he had to get that thing off of Mejia. He’d lost too many men over the years. Seen too much death to lose another man now.
The sound of assault rifle fire echoed through the night from somewhere in front of Khan. Bullets pelted the windows of a building outside his view, shattering glass slamming into the pavement.
“Enemy down,” Stasio said after a moment of silence.
“Copy,” Khan whispered, pressing forward more.
“Area clear. For now,” Perez radioed in.
That was his cue. His signal. Without another moment’s hesitation Khan leapt forward, his Arc Blade raised over his head. The Viper coiled, turning to face him, but it was too late. The Arc Blade came down in a smooth motion, with just enough power to cut into the creature. Blood and gore exploded from it, raining against the front of the bus and the pavement. The Viper cried out in pain, and then slumped, blood oozing from the wound in its head. Beneath it Mejia gasped for breath, and kicked at the creature.
“You’re fine,” Khan said, helping to push the creature off of Mejia. “You’re fine.”
Mejia held a thumb up, indicating he was all good. “Just… gotta… catch my breath,” He said after a moment.
“Move up,” Khan called into the radio. “We need to clear this place now.” He stepped away from Mejia, sliding his Arc Blade back into its sheath on his back.
“Flanking positions,” he ordered and took off back to the west to cover.
It didn’t take the squad long to finish mapping out the zone. After several minutes they moved in, taking out the remaining enemies attacking the Data Tap location. The Skyranger returned for them, hovering outside the location.
“How you feeling?” Khan asked as he stepped up to the rope that had extended from the aircraft above.
Mejia looked over to him, taking his own rope in a tight grip. “Nothing a few days of R&R can’t fix.” He replied with a smile.
“Then let’s go home,” Khan said, tapping a button on his radio. The rope in his hand tightened, growing taught, and then he shot upwards into the bay of the Skyranger.
Josh Hawkins posted a new article, ShackCOM Mission Log: Operation Wolf Hawk
This is really cool!
Curious to see what the Chatty thinks about my authoring skills. I mean... this is kind of what I'm in school for. So what do you think guys? Should I ask for a refund from the university?
Please note, inevitable fan favorite character Steve "Hitman" Watts was injured in the line of duty before this mission took place. His character's introduction is probably being saved for some awesome dramatic moment.
"Hey guys!" Steve Watts yelled from the distance. "I'm just out of-" his words cut short as he stepped on a rake, staggered sideways, and walked off a cliff hitting every rock on the way down.
Can we substitute the rake for a baby doll? I think it would be more fitting since the world is pretty much falling to pieces around us.
You're the author!
I dig it.
I think I'm gonna host a coop party for this game where each person will exclusively control their own character on a mission. One person can be the commander and make base decisions. And we'll all drink booze.
Sounds like a Win/Win.
Half of the Shack is playing this game right now, Bump.
Show me video plz
Man that was awesome Josh!
I really like it, you have skillz in writing don't stop man keep at it. Money worth spending in your education for sure, plus it seems your good at it too.
Very cool you should do another story/write up(or part two). It makes me want to get XCOM 2 and play it now, I dig the detail in the words I could see it all unfolding.
You're doing good, sir. ShackCOM is proud.
This is good stuff. Would be kind of cool to have some coordinating screenshots interspersed within the story.