“Is this going to work?”
Cliff looked at her NCOIC, grinning broadly in the darkness. “Well, it’s not what we had planned, but the missing Wolverines will just add to it. You ready, Carl?”
“I’ve been ready for eleven years, Lauren. Is it time?”
She looked at her watch, counting down to H-Hour. Five thousand miles to the west, the first of the surface to space missiles broached the Pacific Ocean, and Kiyomi Ichijou slammed backwards in her seat as her F-22 broke the speed of sound. A thousand miles to the East, David Warren prepared to fight a war a million miles away. Three thousand miles further, Scout Team One took out a patrol on a runway, and Nick Agostine started to run. On the other side of the world, Tommy Atkins fired his .50 caliber, the stock of the rifle slamming into his shoulder.
She could feel the tension of the men and women around her. Soldiers who knew that they might not, probably wouldn’t, live to see the end of this. But, she thought, at least we’ll see the beginning. “I just want to tell you all, you’re the best people I’ve ever know,” she said out loud, “Four, three, two…”
At ‘one’, there was a flash of light, followed by a muffled CRUMP as the power lines from the antimatter reactor to the town were blown. There were no words said, no motivational “hooah’s”, just professionals going to work.
The machine gun team hustled to the right, moving to a position to enfilade the front gate, while three men worked feverishly to set up the tripod mounted heavy plasma cannon, just around the corner on the main road leading out toward the power plant. Their job was to trip the ambush by firing point blank into the APC ,and assaulting forward to kill any Wolverine survivors. Then they would move to complete the cross fire on the killing ground.
When the gate opened, and the APC had turned left and moved out, an MK-19 automatic grenade launcher would be maneuvered to fire right back into the compound. Sergeant Sean Dodson cradled the eighty pound weapon in his arms, leaning back against the brick wall, heart racing with anticipation. Beside him, Rob Booth had the tripod slung over his shoulder, and two boxes of grenades at his feet as he knelt on the cracked pavement. “You ready, Sean?” asked the Staff Sergeant.
Dodson patted the heavy weapon, and whispered the grenadier’s motto, “Because fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck everyone around you!” His shotgun was leaning up against the wall, safety off and in easy reach. He had fought Wolverines before.
The gate opened; no slack on the Invy reaction time. The APC moved out, kicking up a cloud of dust, obscuring the dozen troops assembling in the court yard for a foot patrol. Swiveling on its fans, the tank sized vehicle turned and headed southward, disappearing around the building to the left.
Everything seemed to slow down for Dodson and Booth. Their fellow soldiers faded into the background as they executed the maneuver that they had practiced a hundred times. Although Booth was a higher rank, he knew Dodson had the weight to handle the big gun easily, and was content to feed him and call corrections.
He opened the tripod and pushed it out around the corner, even as Dodson swung the launcher down and seated it home, and flipped open the feed tray. A belt of grenades were slapped in, and the gunner sat down on the ground, weapon between his legs, racking the slide back. He took a second to check his aim; the distance had already been carefully measured out.
One breath later, he heard and felt the SIZZLE CRACK of the plasma cannon, and all the hair on his arms stood up, even two blocks away. Pulling the trigger, he watched as the firs tthree rounds lef the tube, and kicked it slightly right even as they detonated. THUMP THUMP THUMP was felt more than heard.
The antimatter containment unit on the APC let go in a thunderous roar that shattered every window around them, but neither Dodson or Booth deviated from their task, walking the grenades in a continuous stream into the charging Wolverines.
“I don’t think that was supposed to happen!” grunted the gunner, heaving the weapon around. A half dozen of the Invy troops spilled from the gate, and beside the grenade team Raj Havner let fly with his sniper rifle, working the bolt furiously. From the side, the machine gun team started cutting them down with enfilading fire, but the aliens moved too quickly for the gun to follow them.
Behind the three men, Major Cliff shouldered her own rifle and placed the red dot site on the closest creature, breathed out, and fired. Discarding the sabot, a three millimeter depleted uranium dart hammered into the chest armor of the Wolverine, knocking it backwards.
One stopped to turn and engage the machine gun team, while three more charged forward, firing their plasma rifles on automatic from the hip. One bolt hit Havner in the head, exploding with a CRACK and sending a cloud of superheated blood and brains over the grenadiers, who had shifted their fire into the windows of the Greens barracks.
Cliff fired again, missed, trying to hold steady in the face of the incoming fire, breathing violently as adrenaline coursed through her. It had been a decade since she had been able to properly train, and she cursed at herself to settle down. “Come on, you bastards!” she yelled, firing and missing as her target swerved from side to side, moving incredibly fast. Her next shot took the leg out of one, but the other two were almost on them.
She screamed as a plasma bolt hammered into her own armor, and it started to burn as she struggled to unlatch it and pull it off. The first Wolverine to reach them dropped his rifle in its sling and extended its ripping claw, stabbing downward into Booths’ back as he continued to feed the grenade launcher, and he screamed loudly as the claw drove into the concrete, then pulled back out. The wounded soldier grabbed the alien around its legs and rolled over on top of it, struggling furiously.
A shout from behind her as the second one crashed into the ODA leader, slashing furiously at her, even as she slipped her arms out of the superheated armor. She fell to the concrete, smashing her face as the ripping claw glanced off her helmet. The return stroke slashed across her leg, even as a shotgun boomed. She felt the creature knocked off her, and struggled to her feet, drew her pistol, and fire half the magazine into the one stabbing at Booth. It was knocked backwards, and fell to the ground twitching. The Staff Sergeant lay still, a half a dozen stab wounds draining his life out onto the ground. Dodson sat back down behind the grenade launcher, reached over the body of his friend, and fed in another belt, hammering the Green barracks.
Make sure you read the Dragon Nominated Invasion: Resistance!