Operation Steel Valley II..pt.2....CQB on route 11 by Rich
A Special Delivery:
The drone flew low over route 11. When it reached the "encampment", it dropped a bit lower, and hovered over the center of the circle. Several people watched it, and some of the men raised their weapons. No one fired, however; whatever it was, it didn't look demonic, and they'd gotten very good at judging that in the last few days.
On his monitor, Lieutenant Calvert could see that he had people's attention; so he pressed a button. A hatch in the drone's belly opened and an object dropped out. It fell toward the circle, a bright orange parachute streaming behind it. The parachute unfolded and floated gently to the ground. A small package dangled beneath it.
One of the men walked over, squatted down, and examined the package without touching it. Deciding it was safe, he picked it up and read the message printed on the wrapping.
He handed it to a young woman - a girl, really - and said. "Jenny, I think this is for you."
The message read : "For the girl with the big sword."
Getting On Line:
Calvert and Senior Subadar Sakai were pretty sure that between them they'd pinpointed most of the demon's positions, and cleared out the ones that threatened the modified plan. The Regiment, which now included a "dragoon wing" under Commander Rana, advanced to within a mile of route 11. The dragoon wing included the Commander's own Gurkhas and hovertanks, The Regiment's security and engineering platoons, some of Calvert's jump troopers, and the "reserve" mechs. On some worlds in the inner sphere, it would have ranked as a regiment in it's own right (the term could be a bit flexible in it's definition).
The dragoons peeled off to the left, moving southward. The few demon nests were dealt with quickly. When the dragoons reached a point roughly east of the "circle", they turned west and deployed in several parallel streets. They began advancing westward. At the same time, the main body, back on the main road, began advancing as well.
When Major Sanchez saw the video of the "girl with a sword", she'd known immediately what was going on. She spoke up.
"You all know that I'm with the HSC, right ?" she said. The other members of the "command group" nodded. She continued, "Well, The HSC is a comparitively new command. Just about everyone in it used to work somewhere else. General O'Neill and Major Hailey, until fairly recently, were part of Stargate Command. I don't know if you've been briefed on that.."
"We've got the gist, I think," answered the Colonel.
"Right," replied Major Sanchez. "Well, until I was transferred, I worked with the DRI - the "Demon Research Initiative". We didn't actually do a lot of research, though. Mostly we did search and destroy, and we worked pretty closely with the ISWC. Our methods of operation were completely different, of course. The DRI recruits, almost exclusively, from the military; and we used mililtary techniques."
"The ISWC is a civilian organization, and they've been in operation, in one form or another, for centuries; they have records going back for millenia
"We were briefed on them as well," said Lieutenant Miles. "They study "magic" and their primary field operators are mystic warriors called "Slayers", correct ?"
"Yes, " replied the Major, "...and that girl is one of them. I think I may have actually met
her, although I'm not certain. I think we know how all those people survived out there. They've got their own private Slayer; maybe even a Slayer team
Jenny took the package from the man and unwrapped it. Inside was a padded box, and inside that was a phone.
It began to ring. She looked startled, then glanced at the drone still hovering overhead. She nodded at it, and answered the phone.
A woman's voice said, "Good afternoon. I'm Major Racquel Sanchez of the HSC. I used to be with the DRI. Who am I speaking with ?"
Jenny replied, "Jenny Halleck, ma'am. I'm with the ISWC; I guess you know what that is."
"Yes, I do." replied Sanchez. She continued, "Are you in charge over there, Jenny ?"
"Not exactly," answered Jenny. "The people here were a little skeptical about Slayers, so they elected a leader of their own. His name is Joe. He usually takes our advice about demons, though. Do you want to talk to him ?"
Sanchez said, "Maybe I should. Could you put him on, please ?"
Jenny handed the phone to the man who'd examined the package. He and the Major introduced themselves, then Sanchez said, "There are some people with me who'll be arriving to help you out in about... maybe fifteen minutes ?". Joe heard some voices in the background, and Major Sanchez said "make that ten minutes. They'll be coming from the east. They're a bit ...let's say unusual, but they're not
demonic, and they're not a threat to your people. I'd appreciate it if you didn't shoot at them, OK ?"
A half mile from route 11, the main body of the Regiment halted. Two lances of Assault mechs formed a line to block the road, and the rest of the force deployed in the parking lots on the south side, facing north. Calvert's bluestreaks, and the mechs of the recon lance, kept moving west. They stopped when they were in clear view of the demons. The demons watched but didn't react.
It looked like this group was a bit more disciplined than the ones they'd met in the past. Sonya slowly walked her mech toward them, then turned and walked away. Some of the demons were howling now. One of the monocycles zipped to within a few yards of the monsters and came to a dead stop. He drove slowly up and down the line, then stopped again. The pilot removed his helmet and laughed. Then he too began slowly moving away.
It was too much for one of the demons. He screamed and leaped. If he hadn't screamed it might have worked, but as soon as the pilot heard the noise he opened his throttle and sped off. The demon leaped after him; and the entire line of demons followed after that. The monocycles and mechs pulled back, and the demon line pursued, screaming, screeching and roaring.
Half a mile down the road, the Regiment waited. When the fleeing troopers were well within the L-shaped ambush, they veered to the right and went around the blocking force at the end.Everybody
opened up. The demons didn't stop, because they couldn't; the ones in front were being pushed by the ones behind. They didn't die by the dozens, or by the hundreds - they died by the acre.
Back at the encampment, people were crowding toward the east, eager to see what was coming. A lot of the demons were running, hopping, or shambling, off towards the north.
Joe pointed out that if the "good guys" were coming from the east, then maybe somebody should be watching to see what was happening in the west
, and he sent half of his sentries to watch that side.
Jenny wasn't a sentry, so she jumped up on the roof of an SUV and watched.
A line of something was advancing from behind a treeline. They were shaped like men but were the size of Bison, and were heavily armored. The armor was painted in some kind of military camouflage.
Just like "Special Reconnaissance", "Security" could describe a number of different jobs. Major Stirling's troopers were trained and equipped for a variety of missions, including crowd control. For this operation, they'd removed their modular weapon mounts in order to have both hands free. They carried large shields in one hand and shock truncheons in the other. They advanced towards the encampment shoulder to shoulder, in a tight formation.
The demons gave their usual scream, and made their usual charge. The huge armored figures in the front rank dropped to one knee and leveled their truncheons. The demons hit the line like a wave crashing on rock.
Medium battle armor isn't dainty, and it isn't quick. It is
tough, and it's massive, designed to stand up to weapons that would shred unarmored foes. THe demons were quicker, and some of them were bigger, and there were a lot more of them. For a few moments the two lines were locked.
Then Stirling's second wave attacked. The engineers wore "light" suits, which offered less protection but could be fitted with jump boosters. They leaped over
the demons and fell on them from behind, using the tools of their trade; hammers, axes, and vibroblades, mostly. Some of them had even brought demo charges - they slapped them on to the larger demon's backs, then just turned away and ducked. The monsters were caught between an enemy they couldn't move, and an enemy that they couldn't escape.
The third wave was Calvert's jump troopers. They could jump farther than the engineers, and they simply flew over the carnage, then jumped again and landed in the middle of the encampment. They immediately dispersed around the circle, armed with personal flamers, pulse lasers, and grenade launchers. Two of them carried some kind of portable cannon.
"Those are called Bearhunters," said a slim man. "My name is Lieutenant Calvert. You're Jenny, right ?"
Back at the Junction:
With the demons to their front thinned out, the Rangers advanced again. The main body stopped when it reached the column of cars, and turned to the left. The Mad Cats and Marauders jumped over the column, then they also turned left. They both advanced, in parallel, along the cars, headed south. The light wing covered the rear.
They didn't fire into the cars, because they didn't have to. They were on the inside, and the demons were on the outside. They drove down the column, forcing the monsters back in both directions. In the open country, the demons were easy targets. As before, the mechs took turns firing, to prevent overheating.
At the Encampment:
Under attack from both front and rear, the demons east of the circle broke. The power-armored troopers advanced to the circle, and behind them came dozens of GEVs, all loaded with Gurkhas. The troops disembarked and formed a defensive position. Some of them Joined the forces in the encampment. Others began moving to the north and south, looking for the people Calvert's drone had spotted.
Some large two legged machines followed the hovercraft; others could be seen approaching from the north.
a woman in uniform climbed down from one of the vehicles. She wore U.S. military camouflage, but a Gurkha breastplate and helmet, and a desert-camouflaged utility vest over that. A rifle-sized weapon, which was definitely not
a rifle, was slung by her side.
Major Sanchez was out of uniform in three different armies, simultaneously. She shook hands with Joe, then with Jenny, and began bringing them up to speed on the situation. The other young women - the rest of Jenny's team, most likely - were close enough to listen in.
They were a bedraggled group of young girls, bloodied, armed to the teeth with primitive edged weapons, tired in their eyes beyond what Sanchez had ever seen, but still defiant and proud.
A minute later, one of them yelled "NO WAY !! They've got STAR WARS people ?? At The MALL ??"
A/N: There's a lot more that could happen here, but I think this is a pretty good place to end this chapter
A/N: Also, I "paraphrased" (stole) the description of Jenny's team from HMaxMarius