SNOW KINGDOM CHAPTER FIFTEEN PART ONE SCAVS AND THE DBS
SNOW KINGDOM SYNOPSIS: Two soldiers from the United Northern Alliance, Colonel Castille Tasca and Master Sergeant Rambika Maseru, have undertaken a clandestine mission deep into Snow Kingdom territory to test a new agent designed to kill coca plants the source of the Snow Kingdom’s cocaine, the very foundation of its power and wealth.
DBS — ACRONYM FOR: Drop and Bury Site
WORDS PART ONE: 899
FROM CHAPTER THIRTEEN PART EIGHT:
“You could be right, Sergeant. They may not wait to see what’s in the container. They’re looking for anything giving them an advantage over other clans. Our supplies and weapons would provide that edge.” Tasca was conflicted. He had experienced Scavenger curiosity on his first missions into Worlar territory. They had waited patiently for his team to remove their supplies from the canisters before attacking. Yet Maseru’s take also made sense; his teams had five to six men, not two.
“But won’t they think, if we have weapons in the canister, it might give us the advantage, sir? If I were them I’d attack as soon as we open it.”
“They could, but the Kingdom’s the Scavs only source for supplies. Any, especially weapons, would be worth its weight in snow. No, I think they’ll wait and see what we have.”
“I hope you’re right Colonel.” In spite of Tasca’s belief, Maseru felt the Scavs wouldn’t wait, they would attack to prevent this from happening.
WORDS PART ONE: 899
They continued moving along the left wall of the gorge until they heard a series of loud, irritating howls and yelps.
“Son-of-a-bitch, they’re finally showing themselves. It’s about goddamned time, sir.”
“I agree. Sounds like it came from up the gorge. Do you confirm, Sergeant?”
“Yes sir, I do. Looking at the scanner, the thopter shows no movement, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.”
“Trust me, they’re waiting for us. We’ll have to . . .”
Another loud series of grating yelps and howls came from behind them. “Goddamn, I hate that sound.”
“Best get used to it, Sergeant. It’s all we’ll hear until we kill them.” From past encounters with the Worlar, Tasca knew this was a Scav tactic to terrify their enemy, to force them to show their hand. They had to show restraint until they were at the DBS, that anything less might trigger an attack, pinning them against the gorge wall, creating a situation that could possibly end their mission.
“I don’t think I can, sir, which is another reason to kill every last one of them.”
Tasca grinned. “I didn’t think you’d need a second reason to kill them. Any movement on your scanner?”
“No, sir. The thopter shows none from behind, in front or on top of either side of the gorge. It appears they’re waiting for us to make the first move.”
“Based on what we’ve experienced so far, I’d say it’s an accurate assessment, but we’ll know soon enough when we make for the DBS. Engage the thopter’s infrared lens and search the area ahead and behind the outcropping out to nine-hundred meters. With the building heat, the Scavs’ outlines will have a cooler signature than the surrounding area.”
“Got it, sir. Making the adjustment, now. All right, where the hell are you hiding? Ah, there you are, you bastards. I make ten Scavs, distance one-hundred and ninety-five meters, right center of the gorge, beyond the outcropping and . . . nine more, middle of the gorge, about four-hundred and fifty-meters behind the outcropping. Counting the Scavs above us, I’d say we have between thirty-five to forty, Colonel.”
“Hell, of a mess we’re in, hey Sergeant?”
“Yes, sir. One hell of a mess.”
“We’ll continue to hug the wall. Once we break for the DBS, the Scavs above us will link up with those inside the gorge. When they’ve joined forces, they’ll slowly approach the outcropping, encircle our position and attack from all sides. The map shows were very close to the DBS. I’m keeping the thopter over the outcropping to monitor their movement. All right, move out, three-meter interval on me. If you think we’re threatened, shoot the sons-of- bitches.”
“With pleasure, sir.”
They moved forward, the Scavs incessant mix of yelps and howls fraying their senses. They would endure this until they were behind the outcropping.
Even at zero-seven hundred, the heat inside the gorge was already oppressive; sand and rock shimmering in the heat-distorted air, causing water to appear were none existed, the scorching sun relentlessly torturing whatever moved below. Even with the shade the gorge wall provided, both men felt the draining heat.
Having covered one-hundred meters without incident, the meglar pulse detector on Maseru’s scanner blinked furiously. “Colonel I’ve got lock on the DBS. Location, two meters, directly behind the outcropping.”
Tasca pointed his scanner in the direction and immediately locked onto the pulse. He turned a gave Maseru a ‘thumbs up.’ “Excellent work, Sergeant. How strong is the lock?”
“At one hundred per cent, sir, and holding. It’s where the map said it’d be. In another hundred meters we’ll be even with it.”
“Good. We’ll maintain our pace until we’re parallel with the site. Once we are, we’ll take a final count on the number of Scavs and their positions. All right, Sergeant, on me. Go.”
“Yes, sir. Lead the way.” Maseru fell in behind Tasca, his urge to kill Scavs increasing with each step. He wanted their blood on his hands, to feel their lifeforce leave their bodies. Nothing short of this would bring him satisfaction.
With a calculated slowness they covered the remaining meters until they stood opposite the DBS. Maseru looked at the floor of the gorge. Seeing nothing that would impede their sprint to the site, he faced Tasca.
“How many Scavs do you think are above us, Colonel?”
“Judging by the number of dead plants we’ve seen, I’d say ten, possibly eleven on each side. Once the thopter picks up their movement, we’ll have their exact number. Based on the distance they’ll have to cover, I estimate it’ll take them several minutes to join forces.”
If that holds true, it should give us enough time to empty the container and target both positions, sir.”
“It should, Sergeant. Based on my earlier encounters with the Worlar, because there’s only two men, they’ll think we’re not a threat and will attack head on. Once we’re engaged, they’ll move on us from behind. The more we can kill with the laser rifles before they attack might make them think twice.”
“Colonel, if we can bring down four HK’s and kill five stalkers, we sure as hell can pick off a few goddamned Scavs. If they’re within three-hundred meters or less from the site, they’ll be an easy kill.”
© 2017, Raymond Tobaygo. All rights reserved.
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