The morning was cold and damp. The early mists still persisted in the hills and valleys of the Ukrainian countryside. It was the middle of May and it was unusually warm. The locals called it a strawberry spring, that is to say, a false one. The winter snow and winds would return in a flurry of storms shortly, Nature giving a short tease of warm weather.
Karl Junker was perched in a small hedge, on top of a cleft of rock overlooking an old cracked stretch of highway. He was wearing surplus Rhodesian camo; the rest of his twelve man squad wearing a mishmash of Russian, German and Yugoslavian gear. He had 220 rounds of 7.62x 51mm in 20 round magazines stuffed away in his web gear. A bit much to hump around, but they have three of those wild assed dune buggy’s to take off in. Assuming everything went right.
The Combine patrol was only a few minutes away, but they still couldn’t hear the APC’s on account of the poor acoustics of the fog. There were four American made claymore mines along the roadside and Karl had the “clacker”, the detonating device. There were supposedly two Combine APC’s and eight soldiers on foot. Plus the four in the APC’s you had sixteen soldiers, not counting the drivers and gunners on the APC’s.
In Karl’s squad there were three RPG-8 launchers, for the vehicles. Normally the rocket would just bounce right off the Combine armour, but the Resistance eggheads had done something to them. Antimatter charges or something like that, Karl was no scientist. He was a damn fine soldier though, and was **** that the enemy that had routed the entire planet was so soft. In Karl’s mind, Earth could have easily taken these bushwhacking pukes in a straight fight. But they had just zapped in, behind the lines, those monstrous Citadels going up in the middle of city centres. Hundreds of gun ships, strafing airfields before the fighters could get airborne. It was over fast.
But now the humans were giving some back. They had organized, underground systems ferrying refugees out of the cities. All the ex-military types had been gearing up to run raids on the Combine patrols, and Karl’s group was going to be the first one. In Europe at least.
“Hell,” thought Karl, “we could be the last ones to get moving.”
The Resistance leaders had no real contact with the other continents or even that far within Europe. A Portuguese man was always broadcasting on a long distance AM band, but it was always weird code. Maybe he’d gone crazy, enough other people had.
The APC’s were in earshot now, about to round the corner. Karl placed his hand over the clacker.
It was just as recon said, eight walking, two APC’s. Four guys walking out front, four behind the rear APC.
“flipping traitors.”, Karl thought to himself, the same sentiment running through the heads of the rest of his squad.
The lead portion was just in line and Karl slapped the clacker. A split second later, all four mines went off, ripping the four lead soldiers to shreds. The explosion kicked up a storm of dust that obscured the convoy, but it didn’t matter. Karl’s two RPG’s fired the second the mines went off, both rockets finding their targets. A strange flash appeared on the hulls of the APC’s, or rather, a lack of a flash. The APC’s seemed to implode, like a crushed beer can. Then they exploded, sending shrapnel into the rear four soldiers. Karl brought his Belgian FN up to his soldier and sighted in one of the still standing soldiers, hitting him right in the chest. He didn't go down though, and got off quick burst with his pulse rifle before his squad’s PKM machine gun cut him down. A thrown grenade killed the rest of the Combine soldiers.
“Clean up!” Karl called, and his squad emerged from their hiding places overlooking the highway. A few badly injured Combine were crawling from the wrecks of the APC’s and were shot. All the gear that could be had was taken, pulse rifles slung. Karl had three dangling from his back. Before he ran back up the hill, he looked at the Combine he shot. His armour had stopped the heavy 7.62x 51mm bullet. Karl quickly stripped the Combine of his vest and draped it over his back. It was amazingly light. He then ran back up the hill towards the buggies. Col. Cubbage would be pleased.
It is what it is. Maybe more to come, but then again I always say that.