FO: Forward Observer/Operator
Fugazi: Military slang for ****ed up.
''All teams, contact at twelve and eleven o'clock. Hundred plus hostiles.’’
Fax didn’t need his earpiece to see that they were heavily outnumbered. He shoved his visor up and saw the mess with his own eyes. He shove his visor back and looked at the FO, which was also aboard the gunship.
‘’You better make sure those birds are ready to strike.’’ He said to the FO, who nodded.
‘’No problem. Just waiting for the sign.’’
The four others had their weapons tight in their hands and were eager to fight. They were all covered in white armor, with a black cross emblazoned on the chest and shoulder pieces. The ‘Crusaders’ were ready to rumble.
Fax took his rifle from the floor and linked to his HUD. His ammunition, tactical information about enemies, crosshair and weapon heat were all displayed in it. He pushed the magazine into the rifle, and the ammunition bar on his HUD lit up.
He looked to the far side of the landing zone and saw a couple of Gnomes operating 3 sonic cannons. Fax hated Gnomes, they were small midgets, around 1,30 meters tall, who had a knack for using knifes on the unprotected places of your armor and jumping unto your neck while trying to bite in it. The reason why Fax hated the Gnomes was that they were extremely cowardly, but also very loyal. It wouldn’t be the first time if they fled and came to return a minute later, making it very hard to progress.
Luckily, they weren’t very strong or well armed. Often they were armed with whatever they could find - weapons looted from fallen enemies, sharp pieces of scrap, pipes, sharpened poles and even more ridiculous items - but this time they held some good weaponry in their tiny hands, something that uneases Fax.
Those weapons could pose a serious problem, as the Dominion - The government Fax and the Crusaders fought for - usually relied on a technological and firepower advantage, something that they didn’t have at the moment.
Nevertheless, this operation needed to succeed, or the whole war could drastically change. The Dominion needed to destroy this factory if they wanted to uphold it’s current status in the war, mainly victorious over the unorganized enemy. The plan was pretty simple - take out the enemy presence in the LZ and keep it until the other team had planted the nuke. The execution of it proved to be more difficult.
‘’Crusader-Three, get ready to hammer them with the grenade launcher! Focus on the machine gunners!’’ Fax yelled. ‘’FO, you call in that airstrike and soften them up. Crusader-Four and Two, we’ll take out the cannons while One provides covering fire, understood?’’
Five heads nodded at him and took positions as the team prepared for the sign.
The gunship circled above the Landing zone, multiple enemies firing at it. The Sonic cannons just took out a second gunship just a few meters away from Fax’ gunship.
‘’On my go.’’ The Fax said, while bullets and plasma jets flew around his head. ‘’Go!’’
The grenade launcher started spitting grenades onto the the Gnomes below. Several were killed by the explosions, while other were badly hit by the shards. Fax jumped out along with Four and Two, and immediately they started shooting down Gnomes.
‘’FO, call in the airstrike!’’ Fax yelled. The FO nodded and spoke the coordinates in the microphone. Fax pulled the trigger again, killing another Gnome. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his neck and he acted quickly. He dropped his rifle and threw the Gnome from his back. He beat the tiny creature and then finished it off with his pistol. Another Gnome tried to jump onto Fax, but he was taken out by One’s bullet.
In the meantime the dive-bombers had responded to the call and thundered down with great speed. They quickly dropped their payload and flew away, but not before destroying the cannons with their gatling guns. The Gnome operators foolishly dived away from the explosion, right into the ravine.
Crusader-Four was the fastest of the Crusaders and she showed it to the enemy. She gunned down Gnomes while advancing gracefully over cover with her heavy armor. The Gnomes tried to pursuit her without success. They ran out of breath and quickly surrendered when Crusader-Two pointed his machine gun at them.
Four emptied her magazine onto a unlucky Gnome and quickly replaced it with a full one. She looked over her cover and saw the Gnomes fleeing from the battlefield.
‘’They’re routing, watch out for traps.’’ She said.
‘’Roger that. We’ll try to catch up with you.’’ Two replied.
‘’Amen to that.’’ Three added.
Suddenly the whole place was filled with thick grey smoke. Fax quickly switched to thermal vision and so did the rest of his team.
‘’They’re popping smoke, watch out.’’ Fax said.
‘’I’ve established overwatch. No enemy in sight.’’ One replied. ‘’Wait, hostiles advancing through the smoke! Looks like Fugazi’s.’’
‘’Ah, I was wondering when the fun would begin.’’ Two said.
Fax had reached Four’s position. Fax had to admit that even in her armour she looked very good. Problem was that he never had a chance to spend time together aside from in combat. The time he had outside battles were used for rest and training.
‘’Looks like they’re assaulting en masse.’’ Four said. ‘’Gnomes, Fugazi’s and armor. Oh, they also brought Scrappers with them.’’
‘’Not those again. They look like junk and they smell like them too. Frigging cannibals.’’
‘’FO, are you getting this? Hostiles are advancing with a large force. Are they nearly done with that nuke?’’
‘’The nuke is nearly ready. ETA two minutes. Just hold out until then.’’ The FO replied.
‘’Roger that.’’ Fax said.
‘’One, snipe any bastard you see in your scope. Three, bring the grenade launcher here and let them have it. Four and Two, with me.’’
‘’Acknowledged.’’ All four said.
Fax took out a grenade and Four did the same. They threw them in the direction of the enemy and relocated to another position. The explosion was muffled by the howls of pain from the Gnomes which were in turn muffled by the terrifying scream from a badly injured Fugazi. It was more of a yell of rage and anger than one of pain, making a sound that went straight through Fax’s audio filter.
‘’The nuke is ready. I repeat, the nuke is ready. Retreat in the gunships, over.’’
‘’Acknowledged.’’ Fax said. ‘’Team, back to the gunship!’’
Crusader-One took out several Gnomes with his sniper, as they ran over the battlefield without caring for cover, howling with rage at Fax and Crusader-Four, while Crusader-Three took the armor out with the Grenade launcher. The enemy advance was halted for the time being. The smoking remnants of the vehicles and the many bodies covered the battlefield and left a nasty smell around the place.
‘’Enemy air support!’’ One yelled through the radio.
‘’I see them.’’ Fax said. ‘’Get back to the gunship.’’
All of them started running and they hurried back to the gunship when the enemy pilots saw them. Long jets of plasma erupted from the aircraft’s weapons, burning and destroying the area around Crusader team. The aircraft swooped over their heads and dropped their deadly bombs just a few meters from the team.
‘’Watch out!’’ Fax yelled, but it was too late. Four had been hit by shrapnel and had a broken leg. Fax walked down to her and grabbed her hand, pulling her up. She let out a short yell of pain, while Fax carried her in his hand.
‘’Go! Go! Go!’’ He yelled, running as hard as he could, while making sure that Four didn’t fall.
The enemy aircraft had made the turn and opened fire with their plasma cannons. A bolt burned the ground just two centimeters from Fax’s feet. He continued running but stopped when the second aircraft had hit him with a plasma bolt. The plasma had burned through his armor, horribly injuring his foot. He started to limp, still trying to carry Four with him. Crusader-Two ran to him and took Four from his arms. Three shot the grenade launcher and managed to hit one of the aircraft, disabling one of the plasma cannons. The aircraft flew in a tight side by side formation, and opened fire, when the plasma melted the disabled cannon and the whole aircraft exploded, taking the other one with it.
Meanwhile Two had brought Four inside and Fax had managed to reach the gunship as well. Four laid down covering fire with the grenade launcher and One sniped everything that moved. The gunship departed the ground and when it was some clicks away the all-clear was given to detonate the nuke.
‘’Detonate whenever ready.’’ The FO said to Fax.
‘’The honor is yours.’’ Fax said to Four, who grinned widely, while clutching her leg. She took the detonator and removed the safety, after which she pressed the button.
A large explosion erupted, causing the Crusaders to look down, so they didn’t get blind. After it was safe to look up again a huge mushroom cloud towered in the sky, still building up far above the clouds.
‘’Nice work team.’’ Fax said. ‘’When we get home I’ll buy drinks.’’
He turned to the FO.
‘’Make sure they have a medical team ready. My foot is melting.’’ He looked at Four, who was unstrapping the armor from her foot. ‘’And get a team ready for Four too.’’ He added.
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