First Assignment

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

Con is a new guy working for a private security company hired to provide security work in a warzone. It is his first assignment, and already he had to work hard just to stay alive.

"Hey, are you ready for your first day in the field?" asked Tom to the obviously apprehensive Con who was sitting in the back seat
Con didn't answer immediately. He was gazing out of the window of the Suburban looking at the new place at a faraway country where he started working in. After a moment, he looked Tom at the passenger side front seat who was looking back at him. He cleared his throat and said, "Yeah, I'm ready. I mean, this is a simple enough assignment, right?"
Tom didn't answer him, but just smiled before looking to the front again. James, the driver beside him, only concentrated on the road ahead while watching out for strange objects which might be roadside bombs or ambushes. It was a good thing he had Tom beside him with a shotgun, giving the meaning of "riding shotgun" it's original meaning, in case things get up close and personal.
Beside Con, the new guy, was an experienced private contractor who worked in warzones before. Everybody knew him as Crash, and he rarely divulge his real name. Crash was cool as a cucumber, as the saying goes, and this reassured Con who was somewhat paranoid that something might go wrong. The M6 carbine between his legs and the gear he was wearing was a reminder that this was serious business. He was hoping that the training he got in the duration of his employment in the company will truly prepare him for the unexpected.
"If you get shot, just shoot back. Don't hesitate. That will get you killed. Find cover and find a good shooting position. The enemy will not be scared of you unless you kill several of his friends," he remembered.
"Alright, we're here. Remember your assignments and let's hope we can go home in one piece," Tom said.
The Suburban stopped right in front of a town hall where people seemed to have gathered. As far they know, there was a new local government setup with a very ambitious yet reasonable politician which was supported by both the people and the Coalition forces. It was hoped that she can bring stability to the otherwise volatile region. However, many people in certain corners did not like this new government ror the politician. For years, there has been conflict between the peoples in this region after the death of the nation's dictator as everybody tried to fill in the power vacuum that was left. And certain sentiments escalated into hate and people started killing each other when once there was peace. The UN finally had enough and the United States spearheaded the operation to stop this senseless and pointless killings. Then, the world sent peacekeepers to ensure law and order as a new government was set up. Of course, some people didn't like this and had their own agendas.
Con knew too much about these troublemakers as he was the curious type. Besides security work, he was also a pencil pusher for the company before he went into the security division. The sole reason he was picked was because his ability to shoot; apparently, he impressed some of the executives by his ability to shoot guns in the company's killhouse. It was right then he was given a second job. It was an offer he cannot refuse.
James, Tom, Crash, and Con dismounted from their Suburban. They steered clear from the crowd and went straight to the other PSCs. The crowd's cheering was relentless, and it was as if a famous pop star was visiting their hometown instead of a new politician being sworn in. Con couldn't help it but look at the crowd as he walked past them.
"Hey, Greg, how things going?" Tom asked another contractor as they shook hands.
"Things are going good, and the new government is being sworn in right now. The mayor and her husband will be out here in a few minutes to address the people, so we should get into position," Greg said.
"It seems that you have things under control. Before I go with my team, I would like to introduce you to our new guy," Tom said, then looked at Con, "We call him Con, and he's pretty new to the business, but very capable,"
"Hey, Con," Greg said, "You're lucky to have Tom here to save your ass if it needs saving,"
Con can only smile, and then suddenly he was nervous again. He gripped his rifle tighter and he started to look around. There was a school a couple of blocks away and he can see schoolchildren was outside, playing. He looked again at the crowd of supporters, and how this would turn into a nightmare if shit hits the fan. The contracters might be the only ones well equipped enough to defend against an attack as the local police which made most of the security wasn't that well armed. Many of them only had surplus military service rifles and almost no heavy gear whatsoever. Then he remembered there was really nothing to worry about; the area was declared a yellow zone instead of red. This explained why there were no military presence, local or foreign.
Television cameras started rolling and cameras started flashing as the international press waited to cover the story. Con and his team only watched as reporters and journalists and their crews rushed pass them to greet the mayor. As they had full view of the podium set up in front of the town hall, they can see as the mayor and the other politicians emerged from the building. The crowd cheered.
"It's show time. Everybody on your toes," said someone in the radio. Con assumed him to be Greg.
Con looked down and made sure his Eotech was working properly. He had installed new batteries in it in the morning so he was confident it would stay on at least for the rest of the day. Con's team spaced themselves 20 feet from each other, covering different sectors. The local police officers were nearby, also on the look out. What scared him, though, was that the police officers were very casual, and appeared to be young and inexperienced. He was inexperienced himself, but he had a very experienced team with him to rely on.
It didn't take long until the crowd was silent and the mayor started speaking. This was anything can go wrong: a shot from sniper, a rocket attack, an ambush, among other things. It did help that the mayor wasn't speaking English as that would be distracting. Con kept his eyes peeled for something. He tried not to be paranoid, but this was when his training kicked in. There is a reason why security contracters are well paid.
"Okay, the mayor's ending her speech, and the chief of police is now with her to walk her to Objective One. All teams, keep on a look out," Greg said again through the radios.
"You heard the man, let's secure a cordon," Tom said to the team.
The speech was indeed short, and it was something about how the new government will make a difference. The mayor also declared that she would be happy to serve the people and she will be touring around town and visiting people as a PR thing. That means she would be around town with her husband greeting people with the international press covering this. She decided that she would be visiting the school, known as Objective One to the security teams, first, which didn't require a vehicle. However, that means she would out in the open and in sight at all times.
More reasons for him to worry.
Con followed as the mayor was being escorted by her security detail to a sedan. The press was right next to his face as they tried to take as much footage and as many photographs as possible while being restricted by the security detail. The crowd followed suit, also trying to stay close to the mayor.
It didn't take long until they reached the school. As a gesture of good intentions, the heavily armed officers and the contractors had to stay outside and only the ordinary police and the mayor's personal security were allowed on school grounds and buildings. The press was allowed to follow, but the crowd of supporters are to stay outside. Con and the other contractors formed a line as they guarded the entrance to the school.
"Hey, what do you think of the job now?" asked Crash.
While keeping his eye out, Con answered, "Well, it's pretty easy so far. Almost nothing's going on. Frankly, it's a bit boring having to stand around with a rifle that you may or may not use."
"Trust me, if something's coming down, it would already happen," Crash said, chuckling.
"Yeah, let's keep it that way," Con said, almost whispering.
The gathering crowd on the street was beginning to disperse as many of them had other things to do. Besides, they would see her again when she visits their part of town. Con can only smile at a toddler who couldn't look away from him as the toddler and his mother was leaving. Meanwhile, vehicles are lined up in front of the school as the mayor was planning to go somewhere else for now. Then, he wondered about her tour around town; who was running the office at this time?
"All right, the mayor's coming out in a few minutes, so cover her exit," Tom said to Crash and Con, "I'll meet you guys at the car with James,"
"Got it, see ya," Crash said to Tom.
Con waited and watched as the mayor and her husband exited the school. Her car was already waiting for her. Con and Crash walked, following the moving cordon that surrounded the mayor. As he thought things would be okay, he kept his calm and continued to do his job.
Suddenly, he started to become suspicious of a van that stopped not too far from him. It appeared to be ordinary, but his intuition told him otherwise. He expected that someone would come out of the van, but nobody did. He then took a peek at the mayor as she spoke with the press about her intentions. He then quickly looked at Crash.
"Hey, you see that gray van?" Con said to Crash, pointing out his suspicion.
"I see it. Why?" Crash said.
"Nothing, really," Con said, "But nobody came out of that van since it stopped,"
"Yeah, I notice that, too,"
"I got a feeling something's going down. We have to tell someone," Con said.
Both men exchanged gaze. Con appeared to be distressed while Crash was straight faced as always. After a few moments, Crash reached for his radio and started to look concerned, as well.
"Guys, I'm detecting some potentially suspicious activity in my sector," Crash transmitted, "Anybody else have something?"
"Nothing really in my end," a contractor replied.
"Nope, nothing here," another contractor responded, "Wait, I think I saw something on the roof of a building on my 12...oh gosh! He has an RPG!"
Before anybody can respond, a rocket was fired towards the convoy. Anybody in the way of the rocket tried to take cover. Con got to witness as the rocket landed short of an SUV, almost destroying it. Anybody near the blast radius was surely killed, and the debris from the explosive force was horrifying, to say the least.
Without wasting any time, everybody scrambled to protect the mayor. As the public screamed in terror, all the security scrambled to protect the mayor. Con's training quickly kicked in, and he quickly went for the nearest cover. Then, not a second too, soon, a group of gunmen emerged and running towards them, guns blazing.
"Contact!" Con shouted.
Everybody returned fire. Con shot a few rounds towards armed assailants while moving towards cover. Bullet whizzed past him, and the supersonic cracks were distressing. He remembered his training and kept firing to keep the armed people at bay. He was also very much exposed. If he were to be shot, he had been shot.
After expending half the rounds in the magazine, he finally sprinted to the nearest cover. Though he didn't expect the cover to be the Suburban he and his team went to work with. Everybody gathered in front of the engine, and this was because the Suburban was pointing the opposite direction of the attacking gunmen. It was getting crowded there.
Having four men together in front of the truck fending off armed attackers with automatic weapons and body wasn't exactly a comfortable spot to be in. In fact, all of them were getting deaf as their muzzles were near each other's heads. In hindsight, it was either cover or getting shot to Swiss cheese. Only suicidals would choose the latter.
"Damn it, I like this SUV," said James as he was reloading his P90.
"Don't worry, we can get it fixed," Tom said, "Or replaced,"
"I can help with the paperwork," Con said.
"Guys, this is no time to talk about the car!" Crash shouted, "We got a few more contacts down the street,"
Indeed, more were coming. Weapons were shooting all around them. The sound of bullet impacts wasn't exactly pleasant to the mind and soul. Con didn't hesitate, and as soon as one of them was in his sights, he pulled off a double tap.
"The double tap will be your best friend in close quarters battle. It's more effective than a single shot yet more efficient than going full auto," he remembered again.
The mayor was moved back into the school, and everybody was ordered to form a cordon. The attack was letting up, but in no way it was over. Really, it was only getting started. The contractors and police officers are creating a defensive line with whatever barricades they can find as the enemy ran back.
"They're regrouping, stay on your toes, people!" Greg said again through the radio.
Con was breathing heavily now. He nervously kept his weapon pointed at a general direction. He was doing best not to get tunnel vision as an enemy would come around the corner. He peeked at the other contractors, and they were as scared as he was. The local police was even more scared. With many of them wounded, they couldn't go on without support.
"God damn it! There weren't supposed to be anything out here!" Tom exclaimed angrily, "Do we have the military on the horn?"
"I'm getting through to them now," said a contractor with a long range transmitter.
It was calm at the moment. People usually say that this is the calm before the storm. The anticipation of an upcoming battle was exciting for the wrong reasons. It was a good idea to top off because anything could happen in any time.
"I got contact! Two o'clock, one of them carrying an RPG," Crash said.
"What the hell are you waiting for?! Open fire!" Tom exclaimed.
Triggers were pulled once again and keep the attackers at bay. However, the enemy seemed to have changed tactics as more of them were coming in large waves. Even the firepower was multiplied. As Con shot at anything that moved, he began to worry that his first day on the job would be his last. Thankfully, he already had a letter in case of his demise, and a $250,000 cash settlement for his family if he didn't make it.
"Can you get anyone?" Tom demanded.
"We got two US Army Apaches 25 minutes away and they're willing to give us a hand," the radio contractor said.
"Too long, and it's risky for air support right now! Anybody close on the ground?"
"We got Germans about 15 clicks and they are mobilizing,"
"Again, too long! We can't wait! Isn't there anybody closer?"
"Just tell them get someone. Anyone!" Tom said again. He continued to return fire to the waves of enemy forces coming towards them. He knew that if nobody shows up, he won't live to see another day.
Casualties were racking up for both sides. The wounded were given medical attention by medics at hand, but most needed a hospital. In only 10 minutes, they had to fall back into the school and take defensive positions. The children and VIPs were taken to the basement downstairs. The only people who were outside had weapons.
Con was fairly content to fire out of the front office's window and taking potshots towards anybody in his sights. He was surprised about one thing, though. He expected the attackers to charge in and take the school, but they didn't. Finally, it was a sign of relief as he wasn't inside the line of the fire all the time.
"They want her alive," James said.
"Why do you think that?" Crash said.
"Well, if they want her dead, they'll be charging in with guns blazing," James said again.
"It makes sense, really," Con said, "If they want her dead, they would have shot her into pieces. Speaking of which, I wondered what happened to the people back at the town hall,"
"There's nothing we can do for them now," James said.
"So what can we do?" Crash said.
"We just have to dig in. I got a feeling they're up to something,"
However, they didn't expect them to mount a daring attack so quickly. Heavy gunmen was lining up outside and was in column formation. Many of them had automatic carbines and even shotguns. They were ready for close quarters combat.
"Oh yeah, get ready, guys," James said.
The police officers and the contractors positioned themselves in the offices, classrooms, and the hallways. They prepared themselves for a massive attack on the school. Their objective was simple: stop the enemy from reaching the basement access at all costs.
"Hey, new guy, ready for this?" Crash said.
"If I say no, will I get a raise?" Con said.
"Probably not,"
"Didn't expect one,"
Not a moment too soon, the assailants busted open the door and rushed in. As soon as they were in the line of fire, the contracters and the officers pulled their triggers. The echoing from the loud gunfire was deafening. The first salvo was effective, but then more came into the building.
"Move back, move back!" a contractor shouted.
The group team dispersed to another defensive position. Con's team moved into the cafeteria. They took position behind the counter with their weapons pointed to the door. They can hear gunfire nearby, and it was only a matter of time when the enemy walks in.
The door opened, and the team double tapped. Tom seemed to be doing it in vain as he was armed with a shotgun firing buckshots. It was unfortunate that he used up all his slugs in the battle outside and wished he had some left as the enemy was wearing body armor. James had no problems as he fired high velocity rounds from his P90, and Con and Crash had assault rifles. Sitting behind the counter like plinking rounds at a shooting range. The enemy tried twice to flank them but ended up in failure.
"Guys, it's working. The enemy is retreating, I say again, the enemy is retreating. We are retaking Objective One. Push them back," Greg's voice was heard again over the radio.
"Take them now!" James ordered.
Con took the initiative and vaulted over the counter. Quickly, he engaged two gunmen taking cover behind a table. The others followed suit, finishing off what Con had started. They began to move in formation as a unit, covering 360 degrees around them. James was in front, followed by Con and James. Crash had the job of covering their behind. They navigated the hallways and moved room to room to eliminate any resistance. They encountered another team who they almost shot at. In excellent practice of teamwork and camaraderie, the contractors and police officers managed to push them out of the school.
"Objective One is clear. All teams, move into defensive positions,"
Once again, they were outside. It wasn't their job to go after the enemy, so they stayed put right in front of the building. The enemy was still determined to fight despite having lost their first wave. They might be regrouping again and formulate more effective tactics. This wasn't good news for the contractors as they were running out of ammunition, with the possibility of breaking international laws for doing too much to defend themselves. In fact, they were surrounded and under siege. Hopes for victory abruptly diminished.
Con was tired, and so does everybody around him. He was also scared. This was supposed to be an easy assignment, and nobody was supposed to be a hero. He was down to his last spare magazine for his rifle. He better make those shots count.
Suddenly, they noticed the enemy was shooting at another direction. And then they were shot themselves. The officers and the contractors saw this an opportunity to engage. Now the bad guys are stuck in a crossfire with bullets coming from two different directions. They started to retreat.
Con and others moved forward as they pushed the enemy back. He didn't care anymore about finishing his ammunition and switched to his pistol because they were almost done. He looked to his right and saw soldiers in uniform chasing after the enemy.
"Here comes the cavalry," Con said.
The contractors lowered their weapons and stood down. They let the military handle this now. Also, they didn't expect Malaysians to come to their aid as their job was mostly peacekeeping and never engage in anything. They brought with them some APCs and four-wheel-drives. They came at a good time indeed.
"Are you guys okay?" said a Malaysian Army officer as he approached them in an accent.
Con and his team can only nod and sighed in relief.
"We have the Germans right with us to secure the town," the officer said again, "Is everything all right?"
"Fuck yeah!" Tom said, and then hugged the officer, "You have no idea how good of a time you came! Thank you!"
"Um, your welcome," the officer stumbled.
Con can only stand and breathed. He took deep breaths knowing that he was going to live after all.
"Hey, you're all right, man?" James said.
"Yeah," Con replied, "I think it was a bad idea to take this job after all. I was almost killed today,"
James can only smile.

Submitted: March 29, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Azmi Azahari. All rights reserved.

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