Chapter 1-4 can be found HERE.
Chapters 5-8 can be found HERE.
Chapters 9-12 can be found HERE.
Chapters 13-16 can be found HERE.
Chapters 17-19 can be found HERE.
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright 2004 – 2013
The town was quiet, and no movement could be seen on any of the visible streets. I looked around. All of our snipers that I could see were still holding their weapons. I hoped that was the case for those outside my field of view.
The weakness of our plan was that we had set up on convenient spots for picking off people in the open. Now, to get to the town, we would have to cross an open area, cross the main road, and down a small embankment, and we would be the ones in the open. We would be easy targets for anyone with even moderate shooting skills. Ed had argued against this plan of attack for that very reason. I in turn had mentioned our Humvees.
When they rounded the bend in the road, they made an awesome sight. More so because no one had seen moving vehicles on this road for at least four or five years, and certainly not armored vehicles at that.
This was a calculated move. We theorized there was possibility a warning of the attack would go out to the Cardinal via short wave radio. We hoped the mention of armor would give the Cardinal pause, and delay his response. The negative of that would be that his response was likely to take into account more armor than we actually had, but right now we needed cover and support the get us across that open area.
One vehicle split off, and headed to our position. The other turned to face directly down Main Street, and waited. The first vehicle reached us, turned, and backed up. The back opened up, and I climbed onboard with five other people. As the door closed I could see through the shooting slots the rest of the group fall in behind the vehicle as it made its way back toward town.
Hopefully it provided enough protection as we made our way across the open areas. One shot rang out, and we stopped as the people behind us hit the ground. “Anyone see anything?” I yelled out. There was a knock on the rear door. I moved back and cracked it open. Ed was holding his limp arm. Some blood was dripping from his fingertips.
“. . . got hit in the shoulder. I think it came from the water tower. I stumbled as he fired, or I think I’d be a goner.” Ed sucked in his breath as he repositioned his arm.
Jack and CJ should be to our right, near the cemetery. It was a nice hill, providing good cover and with a commanding view of the north part of town. They had medical supplies, but were out of reach. I made my way to the front, got the first aid kit, and ripped it open. Two of the men dragged Ed into the Humvee, and I cut his sleeve oven. The bullet had exited, but the wound still looked pretty bad. I stopped the bleeding, and gave him some antibiotics.
“We go in, drop us off, and then race to the compound. I’ll Radio Dr. Carlin to send out one of the ambulances to meet you, and then head back here.”
Ed looked up at me. “What about the sniper?” he asked. “I don’t want to lose anyone on a reckless charge.”
I did not answer. I grabbed the mike of the radio, and gave a few instructions. I yelled out the back for everyone to concentrate on the water tower, and lay down constant fire. They should shoot in twos, from left to right, and then repeat. This should force the shooter to keep his head down. When they opened up, I opened the hatch, manned the 50-caliber, and opened up on the tower. I swept it from one side to the other and back. The other machine gun was also going, but I barely hear it over the sound of my shooting. Our Humvee lurched forward, and I held up on shooting until it went over the road. I resumed as we made our way down Main Street. I was going to run out of ammunition soon, but I only needed a few more seconds to reach the church.
Once the water tower was hidden from view by the other buildings, I stopped shooting and climbed down. When we pulled up to the side of the church, the back opened, and I jumped out along with the other five guys. Two were mine, and three were Ed’s people. One of them was Guy. We flattened against the wall, and I waved the driver off. He floored it, and sped off towards the county road. I hoped Ed was going to be OK.
I motioned to the others, and we split up. Three would enter the church, and the other three would enter through the basement of the house. We had no idea how many people were in there, but this was primarily a holding action. We wanted any opponents to worry more about staying concealed than organizing a coordinated counter-attack.
I used the butt of my gun to break the basement window, and swept the small room. No good, too small. It could easily become a trap. The next window was more promising, as I could see a set of stairs at the end of a long room. This was probably a meeting area, and the stacks of chairs and tables would provide decent cover once in there.
I broke the window and reached in while one of the men covered the stairs. I unlatched the window and swung it inward. I waited a few seconds and then dove in, rolled, and ended up next to one of the support pillars. I covered the stairs while the other two came in and fanned out to their own cover.
We sat in silence for a few moments. This was an old house. I hoped it had all sorts of creaks that would alert us of someone upstairs. Everything was quiet. The shooting outside had stopped, but I could hear some yelling, probably coming from the teams giving ultimatums to the survivors. I hoped the water tower sniper had been taken care of.
I listened for noises upstairs, and finally motioned to the other two to fall in behind me. I made my way to the stair, carefully looking up to the entrance. I could see a door that must have lead outside. It was partially open, and rays of sunshine were hitting the wall next to the stairs.
Just then we heard gunfire. It sounded like it came from within the building, either upstairs or from the church. I motioned to the other two, and realized both were Ed’s men. I did not even know their names, and each one probably had more training than I ever would have, but still they followed my lead. I did not know if I should feel good about that, or just be scared shitless about making a mistake that would get us all killed.
Two of us reached the top of the stairs. My back to one wall, I had my rifle pointed at the side of the opening opposite me. One of the other men was across from me with his weapon pointed at the opposite side, just a couple of feet from my head. The third man was coming up in the middle, ready to shoot at anything that showed through the opening.
Chances were that if anyone would have stuck his hand around the corner with a gun, he would have been able to get a few shots off before he got hit. But we were banking on the now sporadic gunfire to draw anyone who may have been there away. I halted and listened intently. The only noises I could hear were shots being fired every few seconds. People were probably exchanging fire from behind barricades. I was worried about our guys, so I foolishly risked a quick look around the corner. Luckily the short corridor was empty. The very quick look had revealed two doors and some stairs.
Both doors were open, and I had gotten a view of what appeared to be empty rooms. The stairs were a problem. We either turned our backs on one of the rooms, or at the stairs. Just then we heard a loud bang, sounding like a small grenade. I knew what it was. It was a flash grenade. Not really an explosion, but a very loud noise and a bright flash used to disorient your opponents.
I had not issued any. I turned to the other two and asked them, but they shook their heads. Ed’s group did not have any either. I jumped up and ran the short hall into one of the rooms. I took a guess based on the layout of the house and hoped it the correct choice. Our guys were probably in big trouble, and I had to get to them fast.
My two companions moved a second after me, but moved slower. Back to back, one covered the stairs, while the other covered the remaining room. I just glanced back, and then ran across the room to another open door. I did not stop, but went through running onto what turned out to be a long corridor. I guessed it linked the house to the church, and kept going.
I broke into the church by the side of the altar, taking in the situation with one glance. Two of our men were being held down. I recognized Guy and Vince. One other of our guys was laying motionless on the ground. That had to be Ted, our mechanic. Six men stood around Guy and Vince; four holding them, one stood to the side, and one in front of Guy and Vince, holding Guy’s sword.