The world is in chaos, OPEC’s oil fields are burning, an EMP has destroyed most modern communication. The US has seen massive riots on the East and West Coasts and grumblings of succession are being heard down in Texas. POTUS has suspended the Posse Comitatus Act and the US military is controlling NYC and LA, the US Navy is blockading Houston, the world as we know it is moving quickly into chaos.
David “Cougar” Hunter - Mid 30’s- 5’10” 215lbs- Solid stocky and muscled- dark brown almost black fuax hawked hair, grey eyes, nicks and scars intermittently around eyes and mouth. Missing left earlobe.
David Hunter is a former Army officer; he now acts as the team lead for Varangian Guard International, a team of four former Special Operations soldiers who now work for anyone in need of their unique skills. Hunter resigned his commission following an as of yet classified operation involving a school in Libya and a general officer. He is from a military family, this has allowed him to inherit contacts in upper echelons of DOD. These contacts tend to be where most of his teams employment comes from. Often underestimated due to his stature , he is deceptively quick and an expert hand to hand combatant. But what makes him truly dangerous is his rather strict code of justice and pragmatism. He can be charming when the need arises but his callsign “Cougar” stuck for a reason.
“Cougar is the only shooter I know that will side with one warlord long enough to wipe out a second one then by his lonesome ghost the first guy.” -Mike “Hammer” Terrance
Mike “Hammer” Terrance- Mid 30’s- 6’3” 220lbs- Tall and lean- Tan almost olive colored skin bald head and brown eyes. Biracial but could easily pass for an Egyptian (has). Sleeve tattoo on left arm intricately hides wife and daughters names. Right bicep is separated into a “Popeye” muscle from static line accident.
Mike Terrance is David Hunter’s best and one of his oldest friends. Mike was a year ahead of Dave in high school and two year groups ahead of him as an Officer. He served in 3rd SFG(A) for 3 years before leaving the Army. He is an experienced parachutist and shooter, and his boxing and Brazilian Jujitsu skills are still legendary among 3rd Group.
“The Hammer was wearing those Oakley gloves, you know the ones with the knuckles, and he hit this joker in the motorcycle helmet as he drove by. Cracked the helmet like an egg, no seriously dropped that dude like ton a bricks and cracked his helmet a good 6 inches.” – T.R. “Normal” Stone
Ray “Handsome” Harris- early 30’s- 6’2” 185lbs- tall skinny- short sandy blond hair, blue eyes and a winning smile. Of German and Brazilian decent Ray has never struggled with the ladies, thus the callsign, his only distinguishing mark is the cliché Maori tribal tattoo on his left shoulder.
Ray Harris went to high school with the other three members of VGI and was one of Hunter’s first friends in high school. A former Army medi-vac pilot and Coast Guard rescue pilot, now living in Savannah, Georgia with his dog Bentley. He is the pilot, driver and scrounger for VGI .
“We are in Mozambique and Handsome is chatting up this German embassy worker, telling her about how he believes in love at first site and all this other shit. And I start laughing and she asks me in English what is so funny. I respond in German that Handsome only loves two things, Bentley and flying. She still went back to his room with him though.” –Dave “Cougar” Hunter
T.R. “Normal” Stone- 6’0” 195lbs- tall long distance runner build- Shaved head black giant eyebrows over ice blue eyes. Completely non-descript, athletic and not overly handsome.
T.R. Stone was and is a genius, a former 18D and PA he has been friends with the other members of VGI since sophomore year of high school. He chose to join the Army as a nurse instead of attending Brown on a football scholarship, and then joined 3rd SFG(A) after his first enlistment spent 5 years on an ODA and then went to PA school spent another year working with Hunter in North Africa before the two of them left the Army. Quiet and reserved and a bit of a goof ball, he has always stuck out on his Special Ops teams because he was so normal, AKA not a “cool guy.”
“Our first op in Libya and I run down to the aid station to see Normal for some medical tape, and he is standing there in Teva sandals socks and jean shorts and our high school’s gym shirt.” – Dave “Cougar” Hunter
“You have got to be kidding me,” Ray whined, “that thing is not even remotely safe.”
“Odd sentiment from a guy who used to fly into hot LZs full of Taliban to rescue Polish SF guys for fun.” Mike responded from around the corner.
“Would you both shut up, I am trying to mentally translate this guy’s Portuguese into Spanish and then into English.” Dave growled from the ticket window. “T.R. do you have another twenty dollars?”
“Nope spent the last of the money on the jeep to get here.”
Here was Lisbon, Portugal; the object of Ray’s disgust was an ancient DC-10 that looked like it belonged on the set of an “Indiana Jones” film, not on the runway of an international airport. The four of them had come to realize on the long drive from Bucharest, and the flight from Qatar, things were severely out of order in most of Europe and probably the world. They had fled Qatar on a HH-65 Dolphin that Ray had commandeered from a Coasty D.O.G. (Deployable Operations Group) that had been in the harbor. That had been “serendipitous” as Dave had put it because within 24 hours of their departure the oil fields in every OPEC country went up like one would expect after being hit by the simultaneous detonation of tactical nukes, by the terrorist organization of the hour, for OPEC’s acceptance of the west “invading” Saudi Arabia, apparently Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya were ok, but M1A1s parked outside of Mecca was too much.
“Senor lo que si te dio esto, shit that’s Spanish.” Dave said raising his Seiko dive watch.
“Ah hell no,” Mike said, having rounded the corner when he heard the explative. “You are not giving up your watch.”
“I am if it gets us on the plane.” Dave responded.
“Who said I was getting on that heap.” Ray snapped.
“If you are unconscious it won’t matter to you,” T.R. chuckled.
“Your old man gave you that watch when you got through ‘selection’,” Mike continued.
“I am fully aware of that, I was there when he did it,” Dave said still haggling with the ticket sales man. “And I am sure he will be very understanding when I explain it to him.” If he is still alive he thought but did not say.
Someone has been listening to Glenn Beck again. :) Good start. Lets get some more up so we can continue reading.
04-01-2011, 08:24 PM
A little nit-pick if I could, though. The line, 'If he is still alive he thought, but did not say' seems redundant.
Thanks for the comments, will post as often as I can. Maybe once a day or once every other day.
His old man was near 60 but still in good shape and liked to shoot, but even old operators get slow. He hadn’t heard from anyone in three weeks, which during any other job would not have been odd but with things the way they were who knew. He could tell T.R. and Mike were thinking the same thing he was, where is my wife and kids and are they all right. Dave knew that Lindsay would police up the other wives and all the kids and try and keep them safe, but he couldn’t reach her on his sat-phone and that concerned him.
“Here give him this Dave,” Ray was offering his Rolex. Before it could be discussed further the ticket salesman snatch the watch from Ray and pushed the four tickets into Dave’s hand and slammed the rolladen.
“Thanks Ray, you didn’t have to do that,” Dave said.
“No worries mi hermano,” Ray chuckled. “It was a fake I bought in Romania.”
They all laughed as they made their way to the jeep to gather the assorted assault backs and gear. When they had arrived in Lisbon they had thought they would need to abandon their weapons and gear. However, it became apparent by the small arsenal they had seen the customers ahead of them take to the flight line that would not be necessary.
The flight line was littered with abandoned cars and aircraft, the companies that could afford to fly their aircraft had taken them to larger Airports like Hereford, or so they had been told by one of Dave’s contacts in Germany and so they found themselves stuck seeking transport on an ancient looking DC-10 carrying other ner-do-wells. Carrying the sort of luggage you would expect “National Geographic” cameramen to carry, but instead of cameras they held weapons and communications equipment and a highly modified RAVEN UAV, they mounted the steps to the plane.
“If we crash I am gonna kill you,” Ray growled turning back to look at Dave.
“’If we crash,’ hahaha, do you even listen to yourself sometimes?” T.R. snickered.
“Shut up and get on the plane,” Dave snapped. The others fell quiet, not wanting to anger him when he got like this. As they took their seats all four of them scanned the fuselage looking for passengers that could be threats and identifying the exits. There were no more than ten passengers total counting them and none of these got the almost imperceptible scans by the four men, they filed this quickly and decided that this should be a relatively uneventful flight.
Several hours later and one long walk later.
“I am never coming to Savannah again,” complained Mike.
“You say that every time we visit,” T.R. relies.
“And I mean it every time, the humidity here is worse than Houston.”
“Bentley, Bentley where are ya buddy?”
They all heard Ray calling from inside the house next door, form their position on his wraparound porch. They heard the scream of agony and the four quick rapports from their teammate’s Sig Sauer shortly thereafter. All dropped their sweet tea and bolted for the back door of the neighbors’ house. T.R. got there first but Dave was only a half step behind and didn’t even stutter step when he hit the door shoulder first and then rolled clear of the doorway to allow Mike and T.R. to clear the kitchen.
“Handsome you ok,” Dave yelled. No response. The three operators proceeded to clear the downstairs and proceeded to move to the second floor, when from out of one of the bedrooms Ray stumbled.
“You ok buddy,” Mike inquired of the very apparently shaken Ray. None of them could remember ever seeing him this way as he moved past them on the stairs. Dave continued to ascend the stairs as the others followed Ray down the stairs and outside.
“Talk to us Ray,” T.R. pleaded. His trauma training quickly taking over he began to give Ray the once over.
“Come on Handsome, we can’t help if you don’t talk to…” Mike was cut off by a crash from the second floor.
“Mother Fu…” Bang, Bang. They heard the ferocious bellow followed by the tell tale staccato of Cougar’s .45. T.R. continued to scan Ray for wounds as Mike started moving towards the door again.
“Son of Bitch shot Bentley.” Dave sneered as he came out of the back door carrying the limp body of a giant golden retriever. “He is lucky I didn’t set him on fire.”
“Lucky? He got shot six times.” Mike responded, as Dave laid the dog’s lifeless body on Ray’s porch..
“He was a great dog,” Ray mumbled. “Never hurt anybody, always happy to meet people and never barked after dark unless it was an intruder. I had that asshole watch Bentley ‘cause he always asked to play with him and Bentley liked his girlfriend.”
They walked back into Ray’s house not even bothering to call the police, as it had become apparent that the phone lines in Savannah were not functioning. Mike grabbed a bottle of Jack from the cabinet and T.R. grabbed four glasses.
“Too Bentley,” Dave said raising his glass. “Best dog and friend any Flyboy could ask for.”
“Here, here,” T.R. and Mike replied.
“Here, here,” Ray weakly echoed.
They drank two more rounds in honor of Bentley and then as Ray went out back to bury Bentley, the others moved through the house trading out there “cameraman” luggage for tactical bags and “Pelican” cases. They loaded the back of their friends Hybrid Tahoe and then headed to the back yard.
It was a shallow grave out of necessity of time but Ray had covered it with large paving stones that had one made up his grilling area. Ray had marked the spot with his shovel and Bentley’s collar.
“You ready to go?” Dave asked as his friend moved back into the house.
“I need ten minutes,” Ray rasped, throat raw from fighting back tears.
“Take fifteen,” Mike offered, he could feel Dave’s eyes burning into the back of his head.
Twelve minutes later Ray entered the kitchen still buttoning his black Arc’Teryx shirt, which now concealed the reloaded Sig Saur .40 he had used earlier to kill his neighbor. The others looked up from the kitchen table where they had been going over the route they would take to Houston, Texas. They had decided that they would head for the last place they knew their families were and develop a plan on the way.
“Let’s roll, it’ll be dark soon.” Ray offered, an edge to his voice that had not been there before. “I will take first shift, tanks full so we should make it well into Alabama before we need to stop.
Two Days Later-
“What were you thinking; she can’t be more than twenty-one?” Dave screamed as he slid over the hood of the Toyota Corrolla the others, including the “she” in question, were using for cover.
“She said she was just a waitress,” Ray said as if that made it better.
The “she” in question was actually a waitress, she was also the daughter of New Orleans biggest crime boss. And the team had met her at the Cajun restaurant that she worked at and that her father ran. Ray had immediately began hitting on her, and who could blame him he was single and she was gorgeous. She was half Puerto Rican and half Cajun, and all T & A and big brown eyes. Eyes which at this moment were full of terror and tears.
The reason for this terror was the massive amounts of reasonably well aimed rounds being hurled in the direction of the Corolla that she, her new “boyfriend,” and his heavily armed friends were hiding behind.
The Night Before-
“Mes amis you gonna wanna stay away from that one,” the bus boy had said as he refilled their sweet tea.
“Why is that?” Mike asked glancing over at the bar where “Handsome” Harris was currently flirting with their waitress.
“She a whole bayou full of trouble,” the bus boy continued. “Like a hurricane.”
“I hope your wrong,” T.R. replied, and with that the bus boy moved on with his rounds.
Six hours later the door to Dave’s hotel room came fling with a crash.
“Cougargetup,” Ray started, “Cougargetuprightnowweneedtogo.”
“Slow down, all I got from that was ‘Cougar,’” which is not a good sign, Dave thought, he only calls me Cougar on ops and when he is in trouble. Dave stood as Ray continued.
“Cougar…We…Have…To…Go,” Ray exaggerated. “Is…That…Slow…Enough…For…You.”
“Yeah perfect, ass,” Cougar replied. “Now tell me why we have to go at 6 am in the morning?”
“You remember the waitress, the one the bus boy called a hurricane?”
“Yes Ray that was only six hours ago, I may have slept since then but I still remember.”
“Well he was right, she was a hurricane, in more ways than one.”
“Would you get to the point, you were the one who kicked my door in.”
“Long story short, she came over after she closed up last night, we had a great ‘conversation,’ and then about 15 minutes ago this big ass monster kicked my door in. He had a knife and he clipped me on the shoulder before I hit him with a lamp and strangled him with the sheets.”
“Where is the girl,” Cougar asked? Now fully dressed and sliding his M1911A1 into it holster on his hip.
“Back in the room getting dressed, but that’s the thing she said she knew him, and then she said her dad was gonna be pissed. Why would she be worried about how her dad felt after she nearly died?”
“Ray did she tell you her full name?”
“Yeah, her name is Gabriella LeFluer.”
Dave stopped and stared at his friend for a second then went back to his duffle and pulled out his drop-leg holster and the battle belt it was attached to. He slid his .45 into the holster fastened the belt to his waist and looked at his friend.
“Go get dressed, grab the girl and meet me in Normal’s room.” This was not a suggestion and Ray “Handsome” Harris new by the look in Dave “Cougar” Hunter’s eyes and the fact that he had referred to T.R. as “Normal” that this was far worse than an angry boyfriend.
One Hour Later-
Things had unraveled quickly after they all gathered in Normal’s room. As Gabriella and Handsome had entered they found that both Hammer and Normal were completely kitted up, plate carriers, drop-leg holsters and primary weapons all ready slung. Normal was sliding the last of his Desert Tactical Covert SRS Rifle, he was the team’s sniper and there medic, it was an idea Cougar had stolen from T.R.’s first ODA team sergeant, keep your medical support out of the main fighting. Hammer was looking out the window of the third floor window SCAR-H at the low ready drum magazine already loaded. Gabriella was completely confused by the transformation of the men her new “boyfriend” called friends. Handsome moved past her and began digging in an already opened duffle. In the span of 5 minutes Handsome went from mild mannered mid-west boy to hardened shooter like his friends as he slipped the single point sling of his FN P90 over his head Cougar entered the now crowded room.
“You sit down and start talking,” Cougar growled as he grabbed Gabriella by the arm and forced her to sit on the bed. “Why would the biggest crime boss in all of Louisiana try and kill Handsome?”
“Why do you keep calling each other those names?”
“Gabby sweetheart answer the question.” Ray chimed in. This earned him looks of derision and snickers from Hammer and Normal, but Cougar was all business.
“Look, I know who your father is and I know that given the food and oil shortages in the rest of the country and the fact that New Orleans is the only port of any size getting business now that the Navy has blockaded Houston he is probably the most powerful man in the Mississippi valley. So why would he want to kill an idiot like Ray,” Cougar said this as he shot a look at Handsome that would have peeled paint off a barn.
“He wasn’t trying to kill Ray,” she did not look at Cougar but at Handsome as she said this. “He was trying to kill me.”
“Why would you dad do that?” This time it was Normal asking.
“Because as the government collapsed here in Nawlins daddy took control and began running his competition out of town or killing them, he did in seven days what the NOPD couldn’t do in decades.” At this point she was starting to shake, it was not out of fear but what Cougar recognized as rage. “He has always been controlling but he became a terror, doing as he pleased and no one would stand up to him, except my mom.”
She paused and seemed to fight back tears.
“Go on Gabriella, we don’t have much time.” Cougar said, placing a strangely reassuring hand on her shoulder.
“My mom she cornered him three days ago at their house and demanded that he return the city to the governments control, and he…he.” She was crying now, the struggle to control the flow had been lost.
“He killed her,” Cougar finished,it wasn’t a question but rather a statement.
“Why would he try and kill Gabby though?” Handsome asked, genuinely concerned.
“I tried to kill him,” Gabriella answered.
The conversation ended abruptly as a car in the parking lot outside exploded.
“We need to go, NOW!” exclaimed Hammer.
“What the fu…” Handsome started to say.
“I set a charge and gave Hammer the detonator so if LeFluer sent shooter rolling heavy we could soften them up,” Cougar said cutting Handsome off. “Hammer take point, Handsome you stay on Gabby and I will run trail. Normal you go out the kitchen see if you can get to an over watch position across the street. We will push to the Tahoe and will pick you up three blocks west of here, secondary will be 6 blocks north of that. MOVE!”
Like a well oiled machine the members of Varangian Guard International moved down the hall to the stair wells. As they reached the front lobby people were still recovering from the explosion which had broken the glass in around the front doors. People were stunned and a few had cuts and glass stuck in their skin but as they passed Cougar saw no dead civilians. It was an acceptable amount of casualties in his estimation if they could draw the shooters into the parking lot those inside should be no worse than he saw them now.
As they exited the building Cougar saw the white Toyota Corolla that would be there first stop on the way to the Tahoe.
“White Corolla, move,” he called as he dropped to a knee and began firing controlled burst at the advancing assortment of gang bangers and legit paramilitary shooters.
“18 to 20 shooters,” Hammer yelled over the gunfire.
“5 of these jokers are trained shooters,” yelled Handsome as he fired his P90 left handed to keep his body between Gabby and the shooters.
“Keep moving,” ordered Cougar, as he dispatched two gang bangers. He seamlessly transitioned to his 1911 as his CQBR ran dry, dispatching one of the paramilitary shooters.
“In position,” Hammer called over his whisper mic. He stood and opened up with his SCAR-H, “suppressing!”
“Moving,” Cougar called as he saw Handsome and Gabby reach the Corolla.
He sprinted the hundred meters to the Corolla
“What were you thinking; she can’t be more than twenty-one?” Dave screamed as he slid over the hood of the Corolla.
“She said she was just a waitress,” Ray said.
Cougar glared at Handsome.
“In position,” Normal came in clear and calm over the teams ear pieces.
“We can get to the Tahoe in one long bound if me and normal suppress,” Cougar said to Hammer and Handsome. He touched the wireless transmit button on the rail of his rifle, “Engage.” He stood and started firing as Hammer followed by Gabby and then Handsome sprinted towards the Tahoe. Handsome could here the pop pop of Cougar’s suppressed rifle and assumed that Normal was hammering the shooters from his position across the street.
As they reached the Tahoe all three went to the driver’s side and Handsome pushed Gabby into the back seat and hopped into the driver’s seat and started the SUV as Hammer used the hood of the SUV to support his rifle and called Cougar to let him know he had him covered. As Cougar neared the Tahoe Handsome started to pull away and Hammer slid in the still open driver’s side back door and Handsome hit the button that raised the back gate and Cougar dove in. Rolling over he continued to fire as the gate came back down.
“Normal, move to rally point now,” Cougar ordered over the radio.
“Already moving,” Normal answered.
“What, you stopped covering me before I made it to the truck?”
“S. U. V. , and yes I figured at the speed you were moving and the amount of rounds Hammer was wasting you would be fine.”
“Screw you Normal,” Hammer laughed.
06-02-2011, 05:30 PM
This story rocks, the comraderie feels real, and the tactics are sound.
Also the TnA is a nice touch. . .LOL