Short Stories

Operation Furious Sabre
An Excerpt From A Combat Diary

By Derek Hawkins

March 12th - D-Day -1:
Word came down from headquarters, the mission was a go for tomorrow. H-hour was set for 8 am. The weather was finally breaking our way, and Command wanted the complex cleared out. The opposition had held it unchecked in their villainous clutches for the past twelve weeks. Then came the order for Operation Furious Sabre. The operation was a bold plan to reclaim complexes all along the street. At each complex, a single man would be going in alone, Rambo-style.

March 13th - D-Day: 0 H-hour: 0 Operation Furious Sabre
Combat drop onto the main complex building. I swept the edges of the rooftop, and then worked my way down from the top to the ground floor, finding no enemy personal in the building. I moved to the vehicular storage shed and repeated the sweep, this time finding a few foes to vanquish in the far corners. My next phase of the operation called for sniping infiltrators trying to access the buildings via the complex’s garden.

I picked off infiltrators coming in the through the complex’s garden. This took a fair amount of time, as there were a lot of infiltrators intent on getting into the complex’s buildings. Next, I had planned an all out chemical warfare attack around the complex buildings, creating a ‘dead zone’ around all the structures. The necessary agents were stored in the vehicular storage shed in plain sight, had my opponents had the wit to see them. Their tough luck.

I launched the deadly chemical agents at my enemies. I completed a circuit around all the complex buildings. Now the dead zone was in place. I could retreat to the main building and bed down for the night.

March 14th - D-Day plus 1:
I tightened my grip on the weapon in my hands and left the cover of the building slowly. The enemy was out there, and it was my job to clean them out. Their camouflaged uniforms blended in imperfectly with the late season landscape, making them easy to spot. This was the second consecutive day of combat operations and with any luck it would be the last. One way or another, this complex was going to be cleared of the enemy. The corpses from yesterday’s attack could still be seen where they fell.

Now though, today’s mission was two fold, first clean out the enemy’s supporting positions, and then to wipe out their main force. The enemy support was arranged in a flanking maneuver, concentrated along the tree line, and in the ditch running parallel to the front of the complex. I headed that way first.

I approached the ditch stealthily. I was sure there were enemy pickets posted to warn of my advance. I was right. I crept up on the forward observer. Ready, aim, and let it fly! One quick arc and I took down the picket post, swiftly and silently. Onward to the ditch. Already I could see enemy soldiers spilling out of the ditch, looking like so many of the films of the trench warfare of the Great War. Soldiers on the step and then up out of the trench, crossing the no mans land between the trenches. Dying in the killing fields. I took aim and let fly again. Bodies flew through the air, and then I was in among them.

Left and right I swung, wide arcs scything through the enemy ranks. I stepped around and over and on the bleeding remains of my foes, my boots becoming stained with their body fluids. I was an invincible unstoppable machine. Nothing the enemy did to stop me worked. I dealt death to all of my foes who had been brave enough - or stupid enough - to challenge me outside of the protection of the ditch. Then I jumped down into the ditch and had at the enemy in close quarters combat.

Some of the enemy showed surprising resistance, requiring me to deliver a second or third round from my weapon. In every case, the target went down. I cleared the ditch out from end to end, my pants legs soaked up to my shins in the blood of the enemy. I mounted the step at the far end of the ditch and started for the tree line.

Again, the enemy had picket positions posted. I only concerned myself with those in and among the trees. I had something special planned for the others shortly. I rolled up the enemy’s flank through the trees. None who entered my cross hairs lived to tell about it. One position after another fell to me. The deeply rooted enemy positions forced me to go in hand to hand to remove them. None survived my onslaught.

I cleared out more pickets as I left the end of the tree line and blazed myself a path through the enemy formation to the complex’s vehicular storage shed. I hung my weapon up in the shed; I wouldn’t need it for the rest of this mission; and I climbed aboard my Land Attack Vehicle. Yesterday I spent some time in the shed prepping the L.A.V. for today’s mission. No one had so much as looked at the vehicle since it had been put into storage, before the enemy overtook the complex. I turned the key and she cranked right up, a throaty rumble signifying the coming of the Apocalypse to any and all enemy soldiers left on the complex grounds.

I took my foot off the brake and shot out of the storage shed, catching my enemy by surprise. No sooner had I cleared the shed’s doorway than I pulled the lever engaging the business end of the L.A.V.; the vehicle’s death machine. On successively smaller and smaller circuits around the complex grounds, I mowed down the enemy formations; the bleeding spinning bodies of my enemy left in my wake. The L.A.V. ride was really just mop up work. I’d done the hardest part of the mission already.

It was over in short order.

I never sanitize a battlefield after the mission is done, so the corpses of my dead enemies were left to rot where they lay, littering the complex grounds. In a day or two no one would even notice them. Besides, graves and registration detail was someone else’s mission, not mine.

I parked the L.A.V back in the storage shed. My weapon still hung where I’d left it, blood of the enemy covering it. Now it was time to do the post operation debriefing.

I stood on the front porch with a bottle of water in my hand. My tennis shoes were covered in grass stains. Spring time was coming soon. The gutters were clean and the lawn was looking in much better shape now.

I inhaled deeply. Mmm, I love the smell of chlorophyl in the morning.


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