I love when I’m staring at a blank screen, and then all the sudden words start to flow.
The Invy compound lay across a cleared field of fire, a hundred meters from the first houses of the town, with the Greens militia barracks forming a T behind it. The team gathered in the darkness around a corner for a quick review of the plan.
The ODA had spent eight years living in the town, planning, waiting for this day, trying to counter the propaganda being taught at the Invy school. It had been hard, though, because the majority of the town dwellers had all the fight beaten out of them by defeat and starvation, and had traded freedom for security. Blake couldn’t even really blame them, but it didn’t make what they were about to do any easier.
“OK,” said Major Cliff, “let’s go over the plan one more time.”
Each member of the team had a specific job to do, from a machine gun team to several men who were to go from house to house, spreading the word. There were five thousand people in the town; over the years they had carefully felt out who would or wouldn’t support them. It numbered around a hundred, mostly veterans.
“Alpha,” she said, “you have the GM team and the Recoiless. It’s your job to hold the Invy troops in their barracks. Bravo, Charlie, you’re support. We’re going to need a serious base of fire to pin them down while we rally support.” Master Sergeant Cordell would be in charge of that team, making up half of the ODA. The wiry black man nodded; this was his specialty.
“Delta, Echo, house to house of our supporters. Assembly at the warehouse for weapons distribution. Form them into squads and send them back here.” The two team leaders, Staff Sergeants Sanchez and Chu, looked at each other. This had been their part of the plan to create, and the two women were instrumental in identifying the right people. Cliff never asked them how they got their information.
“Let’s do this, Cholo,” said Chu.
Sanchez slapped her gloved hand and answered, “In your face, China doll!” The two gathered their men and hustled off into the darkness, avoiding the streetlights.
“Foxtrot, you’ve got killing to do. Get to it.”
Blake started to speak, but the Major cut him off. “Couldn’t be helped, Erik. Get to work. I want all those bastard Green traitors dead. To work, people.” She looked at her watch, and continued, “We’ve now got eight minutes, based on the average reaction time of the Invy at this time of night. They’ll come out looking for their two missing. I want the ambush set up right as their gate opens.”
The most savage of conflicts is always a civil war, with no quarter given. Erik Blake knew what he and his two companions were about to do, and didn’t like it; but he understood the necessity. He just hoped there was no collateral damage.
Fortunately for them, the humans who had decided to actively work with the Invy, not just go along to get along, all lived in a cluster of houses close by the Invy compound. It took the three men less than a minute to jog to their first target, the captain of the Green Militia.
“You know,” whispered Sergeant Sotelo, “I really wish we didn’t get this job.”
Blake answered, “Just focus on the mission, Tomas.”
“Yeah, but his kids are going to be scarred for life,” said his partner, SSG Carbalo.
“No shit, but it’s better than slavery, which is where it’s all going to end. Now focus,” Blake told his subordinates, “we’ve got five minutes for the first three targets. After that, we just go to work on the list, get as many as we can, and then join the real fight.”
They had made their way to the fence around the back door off the house, and Carbalo, who was tallest, peeked over. Thank God the Invy hated dogs; the former gangbanger could only imagine what this would have been like in his old neighborhood of Tacoma. Half a dozen starving pit bulls waiting to tear your ass.
“Clear!” he whispered, and then boosted Sotelo over the fence. Blake was next, then Carbalo handed over his rifle and vaulted it. They gathered at the back door, each thinking of the layout of the house. They had all, for one reason or another, found a reason to visit the Green Commander. It was the same exact layout as the house next door, the Mayors.
Blake reached over and slowly turned the doorknob. Like all houses in Invy towns, it was required to remain unlocked, to allow searches by any Invy, at any time. He slowly pushed the door open, and the three men filed inside, weapons scanning the kitchen, night vision eliminating the darkness. Each had slung their rifle for a suppressed 10mm handgun, and their infrared aiming lasers tracked across the walls.
“OK, let’s go!” said Blake, and they charged through the house and up the stairs. Without gunshots, people next door would just as soon mind their own business this late at night. Carbalo stayed behind to watch the front door, Blake and Sotelo leading with their pistols. Sotelo went right at the top of the stairs, to block any threat from the hallway. Blake turned left, and kicked in the bedroom door with his boot.
Captain Denning was lying half on and half off the bed, eyes open to eternity, pistol lying by his outstretched hand, his throat still pulsing out drips of blood. His wife, Catherine, stood over him, blood on her nightgown. Blake froze, unable to process what he was seeing.
“We heard you come in the back door. It’s tonight, isn’t it?” she said.
Blake answered flatly, “Yes,” and lowered his pistol.
“Good. Kill them all.”
The NCO kicked the pistol away from her reach, and said simply, “Stay here, protect your kids. It may get pretty bad.”
She nodded and sat down on her bed, looking at the body of her husband. Then she spit on the corpse.
Blake turned and called to Solelo, and the two went down the stairs at a run, joined by Carbalo. The three went out the back door again, and headed next door.
“What happened?” asked Carbalo as they repeated the fence climbing into the Mayor’s yard.
“Wife smoked him,” answered Blake, as he approached the back door.
Solelo whispered, “Rough night in the hood, esse!”
The three men entered the Mayors house, and again, stormed up the stairs, or started to. At the top, in the darkness, a form moved, showing the Mayor, a fat man in a world of starvation, just exiting the bathroom. The two Special Forces soldiers fired at the same time, their pistols making several muted coughs each, the man fell backwards against the wall, blood streaks showing red on the white paint. His corpulent body started sliding down the stairs at them, but they had already turned, racing for their next target.