Charlie 12 victor, p.8
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       Charlie 12 Victor, p.8

           Boyd Neisler
 
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In the high desert, there is no dawn, one moment it is dark, the next it is light enough to see. Looking around the area, Scorpion and Snake could see in the distance, a plume of dust rising from the improved dirt road that ran along the rock formation. Acutely attuned ears picked up the whining roar of the motors before their eyes could detect the movement of the vehicles. Talking over the situation of Scorpion’s broken nose and blackened eyes, it was decided that Snake would be the shooter with Scorpion spotting. Raising the Model 70 Winchester 308 rifle to his shoulder, he sighted the plume of dust through the 10-power Redfield scope. The windshield of a white pickup popped into view that contained a driver, passenger, and two soldiers riding in the bed. Following fifty meters behind the pickup he could see a blue four-door sedan containing only the driver and one passenger. “OK Scorpion, this is where you earn your keep. Can you I. D. the target?”

  “The pickup driver is K.M, our original target, and the passenger looks like the radical Imam. The sedan behind has the interrogator.” Replied Scorpion, his eye glued to the 20-power range finder spotter scope.

  “Roger that, taking out the pickup first.” Was Snake’s muffled reply.

  “Roger, the pickup is 250 meters and closing, wind is right to left about 4 klicks, 225 meters, 200 meters, he said a few moments later.”

  The lead vehicle was two hundred meters out when he sighted on the passenger's head. It would be tricky making an accurate shot through the glass especially in a bouncing vehicle. Breathing in and exhaling half the air, he made minor adjustments to the elevation and windage of the rifle, sighted on a spot two inches above and between the target's eyes. Judging the speed of the vehicle, leading the target he gently squeezed the trigger. Another round was in the chamber and his aim shifting toward the guard behind the target just as the round penetrated the windshield. A neat round hole appeared in the glass then at same instant a dark blue hole appeared in the passenger's forehead snapping him back against the seat.

  The guard sitting in the back of the pickup heard the cracking of the windshield looked through the back glass in time to stare in disbelief at the head that had no back half to its skull. Blood, bone and brains splattered the rear window and insides of the cab. He looked down at his own chest to discover blood on his robe. Only then did he notice his own chest had erupted in a geyser of blood from an unheard second shot. He had a feeling of numbness in his chest as a final blackness enveloped him.

  Frantically spinning the steering wheel,Kadir attempted to vacate the premises. A third shot echoed across the desert stillness as the second guard jerked stiffly, flinging him over the tailgate and out of the speeding truck.

  The pickup was about three hundred meters and now parallel to the sedan, but traveling in the opposite direction, placing both vehicles in the same kill zone. Snake chambered an incendiary round and taking aim at the fuel tank of the flank exposed vehicle, he touched the trigger. Once the incendiary round struck the fuel tank, its heat caused the contained fuel to explode. When the explosion occurred, Kadir the bomb maker felt the vehicle shudder, then buck, after that he felt himself driven upward with great force. “No” he said out loud to the dead passenger. “I am the bomb maker, I make the explosions.” Looking at the ground ten meters below, he saw his legs still in the vehicle. His last thought before the exploding fireball enveloped him was of his wives and five kids.

  The driver of the blue sedan felt the extreme heat of the fireball before the saw what was happening to the pickup that suddenly reversed directions. He now, at the frantic urging of his Doctor passenger, attempted to get his car out of the kill zone. Twisting the steering wheel hard to the left, the car began to slide. Pressing the accelerator hard against the floor, the motor roared, breaking the tires loose on the hard soil. The car began to rise on two wheels as the turn increased. Without warning, the tires buckled on the rim, letting the air pressure escape causing the exposed tire rims to dig into the soil preventing the automobile from sliding. The result was the auto began to roll over repeatedly. Glass exploded from its framework, showering the inhabitants of the metal enclosure with its deadly sharp shards. The car leaped into the air, with the driver’s door springing open as it hit on the ground, torn from its mounting. The driver’s body was ripped from the shoulder restraint belt but still being secured by the lap belt, his torso thrown out the open door. The car continued to roll, crushing the flailing body as it hit and rolled over it on the ground. One last roll and the automobile settled on its top. The upper torso of the driver lay exposed from beneath the car.

  A .308 round caused the head of the driver to explode, ending any life that may have remained.

  “Scorpion, what is the status of the Doctor?” Snake calmly asked.

  “All I can see is an arm, and it’s not moving.”

  Scanning the wreckage through the 10X riflescope, he spotted the arm Scorpion was referring to. Taking careful aim, he put a round through the elbow, severing it from the upper arm. “I didn’t see any movement; the wreck must have killed him.

  Lying in the wrecked vehicle, the doctor interrogator opened his eyes. He could not feel his right arm. Looking over he could see the top of the vehicle had crushed down pinning his right upper arm between the top of the headrest on the front seat and the roof. As he was trying to think of a way to remove it from the crushing pressure, he saw the lower part of his arm suddenly disappear. “There is no pain in my arm. I do not understand. I just saw my arm removed from my body; can it be that I am dreaming? Will I be able to use a scalpel with my left hand? How will I ever be able to do my job? I can’t feel my left leg, I wonder why?” Trapped, as he was in the automobile, he was unable to see his badly crushed leg was in almost exactly the same manner his arm had been. If he survived this accident, he would probably lose the leg as well. He screamed, not in pain, but terror as he finally realized this surreal moment was not a bad dream but very real. Unable to cope with the reality of the present situation, he blissfully sank into unconsciousness.

  Twenty long slow minutes passed with no movement from either vehicle. Satisfied there were no survivors, they began a systematic police of their equipment, including gathering all shell casings. One last thorough check of the area, confirmed there would be no hint of theirs or any other unauthorized presence. To any one looking in this area, it would look like local talent had become fed up with the cruelty of the local fighters and killed them, therefore eliminating the problem. Picking up the ANPRC 119 radio, Scorpion turned it on, quickly turning the frequency to a new setting. "Mother Goose, this is Scorpion. Over."

  "Come in Scorpion, this is Mother Goose actual."

  "Mission accomplished boss. We have tango's pickup for transportation. Send a Blackhawk to these coordinates. We will be traveling in the pickup toward you, just to get some distance between us and the zone."

  "Roger Scorpion, The only Blackhawk available is down for about 60 mikes, it will lift off in as soon as the mechanics can get it back together, to your expected location."

  "Roger that boss, Out here."

 

  "OK Captain, it's time to head for the free world that is if you’re sure you want to leave here." He said smiling slightly for the first time. “Our Blackhawk is down but we have a pickup and four cans of gas to get us to the border before this Doctor is missed. Let's un-ass the AO."

  Climbing into the pickup, the battered soldier commented, "If you two are waiting on me then you’re wasting time. By the way, what did you do with the Colonel’s body?"

  “We buried him about fifty feet from the entrance to the cave. We got coordinates recorded so a team can come back and recover him for shipment back to the U.S. and a proper burial.”

  Looking at the GPS he confirmed what he already knew, turning the pickup to where the rising sun was in their eyes, they bounced over the rough gravel road. After a couple of minutes, he stopped the truck and speaking to Snake. “Let the Captain have the detonator.”

  Snake removed a small detonator from his pocket
, handed it to the captain. "You want the honor?"

  Taking the box, the captain pressed the button and watched as the rising fireball explosion obliterated what had once been his temporary prison.

  As the apparitions of death started the pickup forward, he said. "We should be in friendly hands in about five or six hours. You are going to make it?"

  "After all the trouble you went through to get me out of here, there is no way that I’d fall out now." He said as the pickup began working its way northeast and to freedom.

  Far above the drone was faithfully tracking the white pickup as it travelled along the seldom-used road. The operator was manipulating a joystick. “Sir! I have reacquired the target, what are your orders?”

  The major who had attempted to explain to his boss why he had hesitated and let one American get killed and the other taken captive, his butt was still sore from the chewing he had taken, saw a glimmer of hope for redemption. He also had a vague feeling that whatever decision he made, his career had ended. “Take it out.” was his immediate reply.

  The operator pressed a button, a second later the monitor showed a streak of fire followed by a trail of smoke, heading for the speeding truck on the ground.

  In the Major's empty office, his telephone continued to ring. "Boss, I can't raise the Major at the drone shop. I hope they saw our guys getting into the tango's truck."

  "Just in case they didn't, radio Scorpion and Snake on the secure frequency and let them know the drone may think they are tango's."

  Riding in the truck, Snake looked up in time to see the drone and just started to mention it to Scorpion when he saw the smoke plume. “Get out of the truck!” He yelled, jerking open his door and in the same motion, grabbed the captain, pulling him out with him. They hit the ground, rolling from the pickup that was still speeding about twenty miles an hour. On the other side of the truck, Scorpion was rolling as well.

  Another hundred feet of travel brought the truck and missile together in an explosive impact. Upon detonation with the Hellfire missile, the small pickup became engulfed into a giant fireball, igniting the fuel cans that were helping hold the boxes of money in the bed of the truck. The resulting explosion and inferno ripped open boxes, obliterating the contents and showering the area with the remnants of One Hundred Dollar bills as if it was parade confetti. The concussion of the blast stunned and briefly knocked the wind out of the recently departed occupants who were lying off the side of the road with their collective heads down.

  For a few minutes, the wreck burned steadily. With his ears still ringing, Scorpion walked over to where Snake and the captain were sitting. He started to sit down, reaching out he retrieved a bit of paper out of the air and looked at it closely. Sitting down hard on the ground, he leaned back and started to laugh almost maniacally. With tears streaming down his bruised, dirty face, he handed the piece of paper to his comrade, who in turn looked at the bit of paper and began laughing just as riotously as his partner. Together they lay in the sand rolling and laughing.

  “It hurts so bad to laugh.” Captain Poole said laughing with the infected humor of his rescuers. “But what is so funny.”

  Rising up from the sand, Snake handed the captain the bit of paper. Looking at it, all he could see was a part of a burnt picture of Benjamin Franklin on a green background. Then he noticed the area around them was covered with bits of this greenish paper.

  Picking himself up off the ground, Snake walked over to an object lying on the ground, bending down, he retrieved the object and returned to where Scorpion and Poole were sitting. “You think all this is funny, remember how you loved the .308 rifle? Take a look at this.”

  Snake handed him a rifle, the barrel bent, the scope missing, and the charred stock half-gone.

  Scorpion wailed. “Dammit, I loved this rifle.” Looking up at the drone circling in the sky, he shook his fist at the object. “And someone is going to pay.”

  Snake continued. “You know what is even funnier? The pack that contained your rifle also had the GPS with all the coordinates stored in it.”

  Suddenly very solemn Scorpion sat up. “Easy come, easy go, the bird colonel will have to guard our little project until we can re-equip and re-assess our situation.” Patting his pockets confirmed the packets of money were still there. “We still have our donations, so all is not totally lost, right?”

  “Just to ease your mind, I shot an azimuth to a couple of spots to give to HQ for the recovery of the Colonel’s body just in case something might go wrong.” Snake said showing Scorpion the map with the azimuth radials from two prominent landscape features, crossing at the gravesite.

  Unable to contain his curiosity any longer now they were out of harms way. Captain Poole asked. “You know, there is a bunch I don’t understand about this rescue, not that I’m not appreciative, I definitely am, but I have never seen a team like you two are.”

  “We can’t tell you much, but we are a very special team. We do a very special job.”

  “I noticed you terminate with extreme prejudice.” Poole commented.

  “Not really, we just don’t like to have to deal with the same problem more than once.”

  Returning his gaze to the drone in the sky, his peripheral vision caught a helicopter appearing as if from out of nowhere, quickly identifying it as a Blackhawk. “Time to gather up, we got an inbound chopper coming in.” Scorpion said getting to his feet gathering the few remaining salvageable items. Helping the Captain to his feet, the two men quickly secured what items would be going with them and stood there shielding their eyes from the prop-wash that was aiding the gusty desert wind in scattering the remains of the contents from the cardboard boxes across the desolate landscape.

  In the darkened room, the drone operator was watching the scene as it played out before him. “Major, we just tried to kill the rescuers and the pilot! Apparently, they saw the strike coming and were able to get out of the vehicle before we hit it. They seem to be OK. One of them seems extremely disturbed at us. I think heads will really roll over this SNAFU.”

  With that revelation, the Major heavily sat down in a chair, holding his head between his hands muttering. “I’m really to old for this and damn sure don’t get paid enough for the crap and responsibility involved in this job.”

  Glossary

  “As-Salamu Alakum” Muslim greeting

  “La” - means No

  “Na’am” - means Yes

  240 or M240 - 7.62 x 51mm belt fed machine gun

  Charlie one two Victor - C12V - Modified Beechcraft C12 Huron twin engine turbo prop aircraft based on the King Air 250 Series.

  Chupacabra - A strange creature that sucks organs out of goats and other farm animals down in Mexico.

  CSAR - Combat search and rescue

  Cuckoo - A military slang term for a sniper. Originally a sniper was disguised in a sprawling tree. This word has been particularly applied to the Finnish Winter War snipers and the World War II German snipers, who took pot shots from hidden vantage points.

  FUBAR – Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition

  Hellfire Missile - AGM-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile (ASM) developed primarily for anti-armor use. It has multi-mission, multi-target precision-strike capability, and can be launched from multiple air, sea, and ground platforms. The Hellfire missile is the primary 100 lb-class air-to-ground precision weapon for the armed forces of the United States and many other nations.

  Humvee - High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle - Replaced the M151 Jeep

  IED - improvised explosive device, also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action. It may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery round, attached to a detonating mechanism.

  Inshallah – Allah’s will or God willing

  Klicks - Army slang for Kilometers

  Ma Deuce or M2 - Browning M2 Heavy 50 caliber machine gun

  Mikes - slang for minutes
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  Mk 19 - Mark 19 40mm belt fed Automatic Grenade launcher

  MRE – Meals Ready to Eat – Premade, high calorie meals, can be eaten hot or cold

  Multi-cams - Clothing replacing military’s BDU’s and ACU’s

  PCI – Pre Combat Inspections

  RPG - Rocket-propelled grenade is shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapon system which fires rockets equipped with an explosive warhead

  SNAFU- Situation Normal: All Fouled Up

  Snivel gear – Cold or Wet weather protective clothing

  Super Cobra - AH-W1 Super Cobra, armed with 7.62mm minigun.

  Tailgate Medicine – adhoc medical treatment usually done from the back of a vehicle

  Tango - Target or enemy

  Un-ass the AO - Leave the Area of Operation

  Acknowledgement

  I would like to express special thanks to my son, SFC Brad Neisler for his input and suggestions for this work of fiction.

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  Other works by this author

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  About the author

  I am a retired design engineer who worked for an Ophthalmic manufacturing company. I am also retired from the US Army Reserve as a Master Sergeant (MSG). My wife and I have two children. Both young men are currently in the military. (US Army). One, a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) currently on deployment in Afghanistan, the other; a Sergeant First Class (SFC) stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado after returning from his third deployment in Iraq. We also have five grandchildren.

  My wife retired from federal service and is currently at home with me. We enjoy traveling. We currently have three rescue pug dogs to keep us company.

  I hope you enjoy this story as I plan to submit several more in the near future.

  To paraphrase, “If you enjoyed the story, tell your friends, if not, tell me.” I can be reached via e-mail at Kuguar@sbcglobal.net.

 
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