Operations of SCARAB: Theatre 1, Machine of War

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
The mercenaries of the SCARAB coorporation have few morals and rules.
Rule 1: Kill or be killed.
Rule 2: Take any mission.
Rule 3: Never surrender.
Rule 4: Win by any means nessecary.

Submitted: July 14, 2010

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Submitted: July 14, 2010

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Theatre 1: Machine of War
Location: Siberia
Time: 12:31 Pm
 
The spinning blades of the helicopter were a constant drumbeat in Alex’s ears. They pounded into his head and he closed his eyes to regain his focus. Every light of the Hind was off, giving no way to identify it in the night sky.
Just two meters below his dangling feet were the barely visible tops of thousands of spruce and pine trees. The snow covering their limbs gave some reflected light from the moon high in the sky above the clouds. The thrumming sounds of the helicopter were quickly shut out as he pulled in his feet and the man next to him slid the doors shut.
Alex looked forward to the front of the Hind where the two pilots sat in their twin glass bubbles, their hands over the controls and dials of the cockpit. The lights of their controls were the only things giving a slight glow to the inside of the Hind, allowing the charcoal smothered faces of the four men in the chopper to show.
The man to his left closest to the door turned to him and showed his white teeth in a smile. The others smiled with him. Alex began feeling the constant thrumming of the Hind’s propellers through the seat.  
“You remember your job, right?” the man, Lieutenant Scott, asked. “You know how often you forget the details on these missions.”
“Kill everyone speaking Russian, right Lieutenant?” the man across from them laughed and elbowed his partner.
“Close, but no,” the first speaker laughed as well. “Your job is to secure the cargo. My job is to eliminate hostiles. And yours is to take out Iosef.”
“I remember,” Alex muttered, tuning out the noise of the radio that sputtered up in the cockpit.
“Good. Jack, you ready to go?”
The man who had joked about killing Russians smiled broadly and lifted up an M249 light machine gun in his left hand, holding it by the ammunition box.
“What about you Marcus?”
The trooper sitting next to Jack gave a thumbs up and adjusted the scope on the Dragunov sniper rifle lying across his lap. Its long stock was hollowed out, leaving a lightweight wooden shoulder rest. The weapon was equipped with a heavy silencer. The Lieutenant nodded. Alex closed his eyes as the thumping of the chopper blades filled his head and screamed through the silence around him.
“Alex?”
Alex opened his eyes and forced a smile to his grime covered face. He gave Scott a thumbs up and the Lieutenant nodded again. Resting up against the other door of the Hind next to Alex was a SAR 21 rifle. It was modified with a short grip halfway up the barrel, and a silver plate of a shield covering the barrel to protect the user.
The two pilots in the cockpit began listening more intently to their headsets and one of them glanced back at the four soldiers.
“We haf picked up some radio travvic,” his accent was strong. “Tha railroad is close.”
“Thermal scans are picking up the train,” the other pilot, a woman, called out.
“Is it our train?” Scott stepped up to the bubbles where the pilots sat.
Alex picked up his SAR rifle and checked the small glowing green ammo counter attached to the top of the weapon. He had sixty rounds ready to fire, and three more cartridges hung on his belt. After checking the modified ammo counter of his Colt pistol sitting in its holster, he stood up and gripped the handles of the Hind’s door, sliding the metal open and allowing cold air to once again stream into the chopper.
Scott shivered momentarily at the wind and stood up, taking hold of one of the straps hanging from the ceiling. Marcus moved over and laid across their seats, setting the Dragunov on its bipod and activating a thermal sensor.
“Goggles on,” Scott muttered.
Alex, Scott, and Jack reached up above their black helmets and pulled down sets of thermal goggles. Once online, the barely visible tops of trees were suddenly cold blue spears that stabbed the sky, surrounded by dull white and black branches. Several small heat signatures showed birds and other animals in the forest below. Alex turned his head up slightly and saw that above the trees was a colossal mound of white and blue. He twisted a small knob on the goggles and realized he was seeing a mountain range in the distance.
The Hind suddenly shifted and began flying toward the mountains, arriving in just a few seconds. As they approached what looked like a long ridge running around the sides of several mountains, Alex and the others saw a line of box shaped objects rolling along. He fine-tuned his goggles again and saw the details of a train thundering around the mountain pass.
Most of the cars of the train were cold blue and black, with slight red patterns where the wheels clanged against the rails. As he looked further back along the dozens of train cars, he was almost blinded by the intensity of red in the final car. Dozens of almost pure white heat signatures were stacked up in the last car. Alex could also see a figure near the crates. The man, obviously a soldier of some sort judging by the small blue and black ammo packets lining his chest, checked one of the boxes, and then leaned out and drew the doors of the car shut. Next to him, Scott smirked and let out a small chuckle.
“Well, this is our lucky day. We finally found the right train.”
“Lieutenant, we may have a small problem,” Marcus grunted. “Look up near the engine.” 
The other three troopers turned their gazes up toward the front of the train, and Scott gave let out a disappointed sigh. The first seven cars in line were all passenger cars, loaded with scores of civilians headed across the Siberian plains toward St. Petersburg and Moscow. A few of the civilians seemed to have cold blue cases under their seats.
“Damn…they planned this much,” Scott growled. “Doesn’t change a thing. Our objective is to secure the explosives.”
“We are bringing you in,” the female pilot called out. “Are you ready?”
Alex looked at the tops of the cars and saw several figures striding across the roofs. The guards were ready for an air strike.
“Marcus, take ‘em,” the Lieutenant muttered.
Six of the guards vanished from the top of the train. Marcus squeezed off two more silent shots and killed the final soldiers. “All done.”
“Alright, let’s rock and roll!” Jack shouted as the Hind moved to fly right over one of the boxcars.
He picked up an object from his seat as he stood and slid it onto his head. It was a metal helmet that resembled a skull, engraved with frightening teeth and symbols across its forehead. All Alex could see was Jack’s eyes, and after the soldier lifted up his thick collar, the eyes were the only things human about the man. Jack turned his back to the outside and gave them a smug salute before jumping down onto the train. The Hind moved away before Alex could see if the man made it or not.
“You ready?” Scott looked to Alex.
“As I’ll ever be,” Alex muttered and stepped toward the open doors.
The Hind began flying above another boxcar and Alex hesitated to jump. Freezing wind screamed past his ears. The blades of the chopper were like claps of thunder in his ears and reverberated through his mind. The metal of the SAR in his gloved hands grew colder and he realized how truly frightened he was.
“Hey, you forgot your hat,” Scott slapped his shoulder and handed him a helmet similar to the one Jack had donned.
Alex gripped the back of the helmet and didn’t dare to look at the face. He slid the metal over his head and settled it so he could see through the slim eye holes. His fear vanished as he turned up his six inch flak collar. Alex was no longer some weak minded soldier out on the wastelands of Russia. He was a machine of war. He hooked the SAR to his backpack and adjusted the ice axes hanging from his suit’s wrists.
After a quick salute to Scott he jumped from the Hind with no hesitation whatsoever. His feet crunched down into the snow covering the top of the boxcar. Almost instantly the sudden change of velocity from helicopter to train knocked him off his feet and onto his back, sliding toward the back of the car. He slammed the ice axes into the thick frozen snow and one of the axes caught a rim of metal, stopping his slide.
As he stood up once more, he realized how deathly silent the night had become. The thrumming of the Hind was gone, as were the comforting presences of his Lieutenant and Marcus. Wind howled past his metal skull-like helmet and the thick collar around his neck. He was completely alone on top of the train. Alex crouched down and edge toward the end of the boxcar, checking for any guards on the two platforms of his car and the one attached behind it. He saw nothing on his thermal.
He hopped down to the farthest platform and gripped the rails so he wouldn’t fall to a grisly death among the wheels below. Small sounds came from inside the car, and he took the SAR from his pack and adjusted the sight. He counted down ten seconds.
Ten…nine…eight…
He could hear the sounds more clearly now. It sounded like four men arguing.
Seven…six…five…
One of the people inside shouted something and Alex heard the sound of a heel turning. The man was heading for the door, the same one Alex stood in front of.
Four…three…two…
The door opened and a tall Russian man stopped in the doorway. His eyes widened when he saw the heavily armored mercenary warrior standing before him. In the reflection of the milky whites Alex saw his grim faceplate with the ten black lines running down from the eye slits, and the strange cold expression of the eyes in those slits.
“One,” he growled and lifted the SAR.  
A single red hole was carved into the man’s forehead and traveled through his skull completely, exiting out the back in a puff of blood. The corpse fell even as Alex stepped through the doorway and analyzed his situation.  
Three figures stood inside the twelve meter long boxcar, they were surrounded by tall stacks of weapon crates and thick black temperature controlled boxes, obviously loaded with missiles and rockets. Only one of the figures, the man closest to Alex, realized what was happening and slowly lifted a small automatic pistol from his hip holster.
Two rounds from Alex’s SAR entered the man’s chest, and a third slid into his neck. Blood sprayed through the compartment as the other two soldiers tried to retaliate. They both fell as Alex gunned them down with small controlled bursts. After the killing was done, he stood still for a moment and listened. Someone might have heard the gunshots, and although the SAR was equipped with a silencer, it always paid to be paranoid.
He stepped over and around the three corpses still bleeding on the floor of the car. One of them twitched slightly and blood ran down the corners of his mouth. Alex stood over him and put one more round through his skull. The twitching stopped. Alex moved through the boxcar and stopped at the next door. He could see from the shadows on the floor that there was another guard just outside the door. He stood still for a moment more, considering a few options, and then decided that complete surprise was the best move.
Without hesitation he pulled the door open, put his long combat knife around the man’s neck, and slashed it quickly, whipping the man’s head around. He grabbed the body by the shirt collar and dragged him inside the car, closing the door as he went. The man was gargling on his own blood as he glared up at Alex, eyes full of hatred and fear. Alex calmly put his boot on the man’s nose, lifted the foot up, and slammed it down on the skull.
He ignored the crunching sound and stepped back outside into the cold. Wind rushed by him in a violent flurry as he hopped between platforms and stood before the next door. He quickly jerked it open and stepped inside.
Eight figures stood around a desk with a ninth man sitting behind it. They were looking at the documents he held in his hand, chattering in Russian among themselves. The documents seemed to be important. One of the figures calmly glanced at him and looked back at the papers, then did a double-take and shouted.
Four rounds entered his head and blasted brains across the room. His rifle spat out dozens of bullets, tearing into the eight remaining figures and spraying blood in all directions, scattering them like ants. The man behind the desk jumped to one side and returned fire with an AK-47. The machine gun sputtered and several rounds pinged from Alex’s helmet and thumped against his thick flak vest. He stepped back a few feet under the attack but put a single round into the man’s head, killing him instantly. Only two figures escaped his slaughter, running to the other side of the boxcar and slamming the door behind them. Alex brought up his SAR and fire ten rounds into the door, hearing a scream as the man holding it shut died.
He quickly dropped the empty magazine from his rifle and loaded in a new one, slamming it into place for reassurance. A small feeling of warmth started down in his left glove. He held the hand up to his face and saw that a bullet had torn through it. His hand was bleeding slightly from the grazing wound.
Gunfire sounded in the distance, and the sound of people running from boxcar to boxcar gave him the news that their secret operation was no longer secret. This was good news and bad news. The bad news: the guards he would meet now would be ready for him. The good news: he no longer had to be quiet.
As several shadows appeared outside the door, Alex reached into his belt equipment and fished out a small greenish oval. He pulled the pin, waited three seconds, and gently tossed it toward the door just as it opened. The five men ready to charge in and kill him were instantly blown apart by the grenade. Blood and gore rained through the boxcar. Alex ran into it and leapt across the open space between the shattered floor and the platform of the next car.
Using his momentum he rammed through and smashed down the door, firing as he ran. Four guards groaned and collapsed from his attack. He jumped onto a crate and fired down into the head of the soldier hiding behind it. Two figures ran at him and fired AK-47’s at his sides and front. He stood in the blazing fire like a maniac and gunned them down with the SAR, almost laughing as he saw their bodies collapse. They couldn’t touch him. He was the ultimate machine of war.
He went through two more boxcars, slaughtering everyone he saw. Guards fell around him and blood spread across the metal and wooden floors. He moved toward the next car and kicked the door down with ease.
Suddenly he was lying on the floor in the other car, a foot planted on his chest. He looked up and saw a frighteningly familiar set of flak armor, and instead of a helmet the figure wore a baseball cap. It was another mercenary.
“Scarab?” the soldier growled a question.
“Shield?” Alex asked.
Both mercenaries nodded to each other, a sign of respect between two organizations. Alex then grabbed his foot and heaved the man aside, jumping up and ducking behind a crate. The other mercenary leaped over the crate, landed and spun around to fire twenty rounds from a modified M-16. Alex was already up and running, firing the SAR behind him. Bullets ricocheted around the boxcar wildly as both mercenaries battled.
At one point Alex finally gained the upper hand and kicked the man up against a stack of crates. He stood behind the merc and fired three rounds into his back. The man grunted in pain but laughed loudly. Alex glanced up and saw that five of the heavy crates were toppling over. They were obviously heavy enough to crush him easily. He dove aside and heard the crash behind him. The other mercenary was dead, buried beneath the weight of dozens of weapons and missile tubes.
Alex breathed a long sigh of relief. He could feel the adrenaline racing through his veins. His break was quickly interrupted as three more guards stormed into the car. They lifted their AK-103’s and opened fire, filling the boxcar with bullets. Alex ducked behind a stack of crates and waited for a lull when the guards reloaded. It came sooner than expected, so he dashed back into the open space and dropped them where they stood with several well placed shots. He spun around and ran across to the next car.
This boxcar was more heavily armored than the others. Plates of metal had been welded to the door and the sides of the car. The fact that a mercenary had been guarding this section of the train gave Alex all the info he needed. Iosef was inside this car.
Alex reached into his pack and withdrew a small rectangular block of C-4 and stuck it against the door. He wired it and stepped back to the other boxcar, ducked behind a crate and pressed the detonator. The C-4 blasted the door off its hinges and Alex waited four seconds as a flurry of gunfire tore through the stacks of crates around him. He tossed a grenade into the fray and heard the explosion and the screams.
He stood and rushed into the boxcar. The armored car was filled with heavy metal crates and stacks of what looked like filing cabinets. Six guards lay in pools of blood, coughing and spitting up their life liquid. One man was missing his arm; it lay ten feet away, missing three fingers. Alex looked down at the dying body of one guard and fired a single shot into the man’s head to silence his coughing.
Suddenly he felt multiple sledgehammers of pain slam into his back. He collapsed to his knees and dragged himself behind a thick metal cylinder to escape the pain. He heard the accented laughter of a man and reloaded his weapon as Iosef approached.
“You have killed quite a few of my men!” the man shouted.
Alex could tell it was Iosef by the voice, but he visually confirmed it in the reflections of the many polished cabinets. The Russian terrorist leader held a large PK machine gun in both hands. The weapon could rip through Alex’s armor vest with ease. He glanced around to see how he could kill the man without getting killed himself.
“You American dogs should leave our country while you still can!” Iosef continued taunting him. “You Americans with your idiotic senators and Congress, bah! Socialism is the only way to survive in this world!”
Alex moved behind his stack of containers, seeing a small space between them and the wall. He slid behind another set of crates just as Iosef rushed to the vacated position. The man laughed slightly and began creeping around the boxcar, looking for Alex.
“Of course, you mercenaries do not care about politics. You only care about getting paid!”
“Well duh,” Alex said as he stood up behind Iosef and leveled his SAR at the man’s back. “What else is there in the world besides money?”
Iosef turned and was stunned for a moment at the mercenary’s move.
“Money is the only thing keeping the world going,” another voice, Jack’s, spoke from the other side of the car.
The fearsome helmeted soldier stepped into the boxcar and began walking toward Iosef. In his hands was his still smoking M249. He slammed another clip into place and leveled it at the terrorist’s head.
“But we don’t really care about the money, do we, Alex?” Jack glanced at his partner, receiving a nod. “We just love to kill.”
Alex pumped his entire magazine into the terrorist’s chest, and Jack fired into the man’s back. Iosef’s body twisted violently and collapsed to its knees, and then to its stomach. Blood oozed out across the floor. Jack looked at Alex and let out a laugh.
“Well, that’s your part of the mission complete,” he said.
“Did you arm the missiles?”
“Yeah. They’ll go boom as soon as the train hits the city. I just called Scott. We’re meeting him up near the engine and then getting out of here.”
“Got it.”
Both mercenaries turned and thundered through the boxcars Alex had cleared out, headed toward the front of the train. Soon they passed into the untouched sections of the train, where stacks of weapons and explosives were completely undamaged by the firefights in the other cars. They stepped up to the first of the passenger cars and calmly moved inside.
Alex stepped over the corpses of several men and woman, not pausing to glance at the body of a child still lying on its mother’s lap. Blood ran across the floors in small rivers. Splats of red covered the walls and ceiling. Jack stopped near an aged man who seemed to be breathing, but it was just mist moving in through the bullet holes in the window. They moved through most of the blood soaked passenger cars without stopping.
At the seventh and final car in their line, they saw a familiar figure standing in the open door. Jack sneaked up behind the man and slammed a hand on his shoulder. Lieutenant Scott spun around and fired ten rounds from his M-16 over their heads as Alex and Jack ducked instinctively. Scott smirked and kicked Jack in the leg.
“Idiot, gonna get yourself killed that way,” he said. “Job’s done. Time to get out of here.”
Alex stepped around the Lieutenant and looked around the inside of the passenger car. The civilians inside were all dead and dying. Blood covered the floors and walls, just like in the other six. Scott ejected his emptied magazine and popped in another, blowing the smoke from the tip of the barrel as he did so.
“The Hind is on its way…” Scott was saying, but Alex wasn’t listening.
The mercenary stepped over the corpse of a woman and moved toward a small family of three sitting up against the far wall. The father was filled with six bullets from Scott’s M-16, and the young daughter’s wound was hidden as she had fallen onto her stomach. Alex almost turned away to leave, but he saw the mother of the family twitch slightly and her eyes opened. She had been knocked out by a bullet grazing her skull. She blinked once, turned to see her husband and daughter dead, and opened her mouth to scream.
Alex pressed the SAR against her forehead and fired three rounds. A few seconds later he heard the thumping blades of the Hind fill his head again. Scott and Jack left the car and climbed up to the roof, but Alex took a moment to gaze around at the carnage. He then left, climbed to the roof, boarded the chopper, and took off his helmet.
It would take an hour or two for him to feel the guilt of what they had done aboard the train. In six hours it would enter St. Petersburg and there would be a ten minute lull as the people at the station discovered the slaughter inside. Then two city blocks would be destroyed by the armed explosives. The chain reaction through the train would devastate that area of the city. The ensuing investigation would definitely start a war with whatever country Russia decided to blame for the attack.

That war would profit Scarab greatly. Alex rested his head against the wall of the chopper and let himself smile. It felt good to be a mercenary.


© Copyright 2018 Isaac Martin. All rights reserved.

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