Here it is, the much anticipated next segment.
Chapter 4 (Part 2)
Alandra looked from Antonio to Hector and back to Antonio, her glare subsiding and being replaced with a smile and eyes glistening over. “<Yippee!>” she exclaimed, jumping in the air and stumbling as she came down, coughing. Luckily Hector and Antonio were able to help her in time, and they brought her back to her bed. Antonio stayed with her while she read to him from the book, and Hector went back to the kitchen.
The sun was low in the sky when Keith had returned to their camp, and found Light leaning against a tree, balancing a knife by its tip on his claw. As he approached, Light flipped the knife around catching it on the grip and got in a knife fighting stance facing him. But when he saw it was Keith he sheathed the knife. “You should radio in more,” Light said walking towards the ATV and taking a seat on one of the chairs beside it.
Keith took off the baseball cap and ran his fingers through his hair, pulling it back before replacing the cap. “Light … how much money did you give the cat?” He knew Light had a soft spot for strays, and was worried he’d given too much.
“1.8 million,” Light responded casually.
Keith sat in the other chair near an ice chest. His face was in his hands. Wait, we didn’t have that much money with us.
He looked at Keith with a puzzled look.
“Ohhhh,” Light said with a sarcastic smile, “you wanted that in US dollars; in that case $1000.”
“Light…” Keith was mad, but not beyond reason. “Were you at least able to get the tracking devices planted?”
was.” Light replied defensively. “…the kid was good, Keith. I felt … he deserved a bit extra.”
Keith took out his Smartphone and waved it in front of Light smiling, “Well I
have the coordinates of their next meeting. “You know what that
“Mission briefing?” Light responded smiling and wagging his tail. Ordinarily soldiers would find this part boring, despite it being the safest and most important part of a military operation, but Keith tended to put his own spin on things.
“*Phht.* No. It means celebration.”
Light looked disappointed.
“Ok, well I suppose we can do both.” Keith got out a bottle of Moose Drool and tossed an Orange Soda to Light. “So…Light?” Keith asked, opening the bottle of beer. “What’s the next step? You’ve been with me a while, so tell me what you’ve learned.”
Light looked at Keith with surprise. He was used to him calling the shots, and now it was his turn?
He cleared his throat while opening the can of soda. He took a big gulp of the drink. “Well I suppose … we should check out those coordinates you mentioned. Get a feel for the area, making sure we don’t box ourselves in … in case of a hasty retreat.” Soon he started feeling a little light headed. “What is it about this orange soda, huh?” He asked Keith, while staring at the can.
Keith just shook his head slowly, smiling. “Please continue Light, you’re doing fine.”
“Well, when is this going down? When’s it happening? That’s going to affect the whole mission isn’t it?
“It’s two days away.” Keith answered. “…Wednesday morning 2:30 am, so we have tonight and all day tomorrow.”
“That doesn’t give us a lot of time.” Light said, taking another gulp of the soda. He was deep in thought.
He walked over to the area of the camp where they had their equipment and began laying it out.
They had with them 200 feet of trip wire, six fragmentation grenades, four flash bangs, 4 smoke grenades, a CheyTac M-200 Intervention with full accessory compliment, Light’s laser range finder binoculars, a nine millimeter, several spare clips for each weapon, a laptop, four Sony walkman cassette tape recorders, several days worth of food and water, two ghillie suits (one, Light’s size), camouflage face paint, several camo spray-paint cans, and a can of silly string. Light finished off the soda and set the can down as well, along with the sheathed knife. He scratched the back of his head.
Keith had moved the chair over near where Light was laying out the items and was sitting in reverse with his arms resting on the back of the chair. He drank some more of his beer, while watching Light. “You know,” he started, “we’ll be getting something in later this evening.”
Light looked over his shoulder at Keith, “What is it?”
Keith raised his eyebrows a couple of times, smiling. “A Barrett.”
Barrett anti-materiel sniper rifle!” Light exclaimed. “That Barrett?!”
“No no no,” Keith said shaking his head and wagging his finger. “Not just any Barrett; The M82A1A, with Raufoss Mk 211 Mod 0 .50 caliber rounds. That Barrett.”
“What are going to do with that thing?! Blow up a car!?” Light asked loudly, a little annoyed.
“Maybe,” Keith responded, smiling, “but not right now. Just add it to the list of items we have, and continue planning. I’ll be interested to see what use you can come up with for it.”
“Okay, okay.” Light was rubbing his temples and pacing in front of the equipment.
“Tick tock, we’re on the clock,” Keith reminded Light.
Light snapped his digit pads and turned to Keith. He was smiling. “I think I’ve got everything figured out.” He said.
Light explained his plans in detail to Keith while Keith listened and asked questions about things that he thought Light hadn’t planned for. Light was able to answer the questions relatively easily, though, once they were brought to his attention. Keith nodded in agreement once everything was planned. It had taken nearly 45 minutes for everything to be explained, and another 30 to plan for possible problems that would arise. The sun was now setting, and they would need to begin putting the plan in motion.
Light was approaching the drop area’s coordinates with his front and tail freshly painted, and his back was covered with a ghillie suit, resembling the heavy foliage of the Colombian forests. He stopped and sniffed the air while scanning areas in front of him for anything that seemed out of place. He was traveling slowly, but he knew it was better to be safe than sorry. He saw Keith travelling at a slightly slower pace about 100 yards to his right. There’s no way he could have seen him unless he knew he was there. Keith was a master of the art of camouflage, and Light was years behind him in learning it. Luckily, Keith was there to prepare his camo for him, most of the time.
Leaning against a tree, Keith placed himself out of sight of drop zone area. He looked at his Smartphone, hiding it inside the ghillie suit. Only an amateur would be caught looking at a map or phone that could be seen by someone. He began to worry. They were only 400 yards away from the coordinates and the buildings were clearly visible, yet they hadn’t come across a single trip wire or similar trap. It seemed almost too easy. He looked up and saw Light 40 yards ahead of him crawling forward and looking back at him. Keith and Light had opted to use hand signals in place of the radio for the recon mission; they wanted to reserve the batteries for the actual mission. He carried his fist to his shoulder, and moved his fist to the front, moving the fist upward vertically.
Light stopped. Keith raised his arm fully and then held up 4 fingers, indicating the range to the buildings. Light nodded, and faced forward, towards the buildings. He sniffed the air trying to pick up the scent of humans and listened for the sounds of a human. He definitely smelled human, but the scent didn’t seem fresh. He checked the ground to see if rain had fallen recently and washed away the scents. He heard several voices talking a couple miles past the buildings, but it wasn’t anything a human would be talking about, must be some ferals
. He made an okay signal with his thumb and forefinger, and waited for Keith’s signal. Keith put his finger in the air, pointing upward, and moved it in a small circle several times. Light made his way over to him, keeping low and moving slowly. “This is a terrible idea,” Light whispered, once he’d arrived at Keith’s side. “Along the way, I’ve been talking to the ferals, warning them not to be in the area tomorrow night … and they said they don’t come near here because they’re afraid of the men with guns. Oh, one more thing, you’re going to love this,” he said sarcastically, “… they told me there is a full moon tomorrow night.”
Keith nodded. At least they wouldn’t have to worry about ferals getting hurt in crossfire. As it was right now, the moon was almost completely full, and by the light, they could see almost as well as if it were day…and that meant, so could the enemy. “Hey, it’s your plan, right?” Light looked at Keith, a little annoyed. “Don’t worry about it, if you plan enough, any op can work no matter what the conditions. Besides, we don’t have a choice. This guy doesn’t show himself much and we’re running out of time on our mission. This is pretty much our last chance…but hey, no pressure, huh?” He patted Light on the shoulder.
Light took out a can of silly string and while still looking at Keith shot a bit out 15 feet towards the buildings. Keith watched a point of the string suspend in air about 10 feet in front of them. “I saw a few of these 40 yards ahead of your progression,” Light said smiling. “I was able to keep ahead of you while watching for and avoiding trip wires. What’s wrong, Keith? Getting a little slow in your old age?”
Keith faked a dejected look. “That was uncalled for.”
Light rolled his eyes, “Anyway, all the lines I’ve come across were connected to frag grenade pins. Apparently these guys don’t care what happens to any ferals that might come through here. I get the feeling this is another reason they avoid this area. They’ve probably seen their friends or family members get killed by them,” he said in a growl. An angry bitterness was showing on his face, as if he was starting to become the feral he once was.
Keith started scratching Light behind the ear, and he immediately calmed down.
“Sorry,” Light said, snapping out of it.
“Remember Light…” Keith said, becoming serious. “…in our line of work we can’t let our emotions get the best of us. It’ll get you or your partner killed … which would be a bad thing for me.”
Suddenly an owl landed quietly above them. It didn’t seem to have noticed them due to the camouflage. “Hey owl?” Light whispered.
The owl rotated it’s head slowly in several directions, looking for the source of the noise. “Whoooo?”
“Oh, c’mon that’s such an old joke,” Light said, still whispering.
Keith kept perfectly still and didn’t say anything, worried that hearing too many voices might make the owl seem nervous.
Light waved to the owl with a slow, steady motion and the owl looked down.
“Jeez, what are you?” indicating the strange looking creature below him.
“I’m a wolf, but that’s not important right now.” Light responded. “Have you ever been to the buildings over there?” he asked, pointing towards the buildings in the distance.
The owl scoffed. “Do they teach manners where you come from? One does not simply ask
another, questions without first introducing themselves.”
“But you just –“
*ahem* “I am Bartholomew Preston III,” The owl said with a deep bow. He looked at the wolf quizzically. “And you are?”
“I am Light … just Light.” Light said, a little embarrassed at the simplicity of his name. “So, can you tell me, have you been to the buildings?”
“I have good sir Light, and I must say I do not dare go there when humans are about.”
Keith laughed quietly to himself. This bird seemed a bit cuckoo, for believing it to be a different time period, with the way he spoke.
“I notice it’s a bit quiet tonight in the woods around here. Are there humans there tonight?”
“Hmph. If there were, do you think I would be here?”
Light shook his head. “I mean, is it always this quiet in the area? I can’t hear much of the ambient speech of ferals, which forests usually contain.” He said, trying to impress the owl.
“You have a thorough vocabulary,” the owl said in a dignified voice. “Ever since the humans with guns came around, they won’t get within two furlongs of that place.”
“Thank you, Bartholomew.” Light said with a bow.
“You are welcome, I suppose.” The owl took off without a sound, no doubt, in search of supper.
“You certainly have a way with ferals.” Keith said.
“Yeah, now if only I could deal with humans,” Light said, smiling. He got out his range finders and began noting distances to landmarks located around the buildings.
“Well, it looks like we will
be able to pull this off without harming any innocents.” Keith said reassuringly. “What could possibly go wrong?”
Hector and his family, including the newest member, had finished dinner and the two cats had gone back to reading the book together, while the homeowner had found the coordinates on a map of the area he had. He circled the area and put the map in his pocket. He had a plan to sneak into the area and steal whatever he would have an opportunity to, either drugs or the money the clients were going to use to purchase them. He wouldn’t let Alandra go without a fight. He was planning to check the area the next day, as it was getting late and he didn’t want to worry his cats, especially Alandra, by going out so late at night. He walked into the living room. “<OK you two, it’s time for bed.>” he said, smiling.
“<Aww, dad. Can’t we stay up a little longer?>” Alandra pleaded, just before Antonio yawned.
“I need sleep.” Antonio replied.
They didn’t need to understand English to know what he meant. Alandra stayed in her bed while Antonio wearily walked across the room to a chair. He jumped up, plopped down, and fell asleep nearly instantly; he’d had a long and busy day with his adventure.
Hector tucked the two cats in, and went to bed himself. He was thankful these cats had a normal sleep cycle…well normal for humans anyway. For several moments, he lay on top of his bed with his eyes closed, trying to fall asleep. He was remembering the day he had, and thinking about the hardships that were to come. “<Juan Do, huh?>” he said quietly to himself, before drifting into sleep.
Babylon Gardens 2010; 5 minutes from Lucky Charm Grove
Martin and Keith had noticed some sound coming from the back seat, where Light was sleeping. They looked back to see him kicking his legs out as if he was running, in dream, like dogs often do. “I wonder what dogs dream about.” Martin pondered aloud.
“Oh, probably the same things they do when they’re awake,” Keith replied. “You know, chasing sticks and balls, chasing prey … playing D&D… that kind of stuff.” As he said it, he wondered if the last one made sense. He figured it was possible, so why not?
Martin chuckled. “I know what you mean…you’re probably right.”
Light was sprinting through the forest. It was the day before the cartel/client meeting, the sun was just rising and both Keith and Light had little time to prepare. He’d disarmed the first few traps, carefully removing each grenade from the tripwires with his knife. After three of them, he’d noticed a pattern and was able to predict where the next one would be within a few yards. It was almost instinctual behavior, he was barely conscious he was doing it. 'Amateurs
,' he thought. When he’d almost finished clearing the traps, he heard Keith over the radio. “Light, I’m finishing up here.” Light put his claw to the earpiece to respond, “affirmative.”
Keith looked over to where light was, and saw him running towards him. From several locations, he’d ranged several landmarks inside the building area and those surrounding it. They had needed to clear the traps around the buildings, in case they would need to shoot from a different position. They didn’t want to have to worry about traps that night, because it would slow them down if they had to search for them during the mission. He’d figured the ferals in the area would be thankful as well. While waiting for Light, he took notes in his log book, including what he’d had for breakfast that day, the temperature, relative humidity, what time the sun rose, wind direction, etc. The log book was the snipers ‘bible’, and without it, a snipers ability to learn would be non-existent. He knew sniping was a perishable skill, and without practice and discipline, could cause the sniper’s ability to decline, which could cause the sniper themselves, to perish at the hands of the enemy. Soon Light was standing beside Keith near the makeshift hide they’d made. It had only taken them 5 hours earlier that morning to create it, and they hadn’t had any sleep since the day before. “How many grenades did you find?” Keith asked.
“I don’t know if these guys are smart or we're just smarter,” Light responded. “I found about 20 grenade traps, but they were spread out in a strategic manner. I don’t even know how I was able to find them all so easily.”
“Are you sure you found them all?” Keith asked, a serious look on his face.
“I neutralized the traps that posed a risk to the mission, sir” Light responded, an equally serious look on his face. “I left the ones near the buildings to make them think no one has tampered with them, as per procedure."
Keith breathed a sigh of relief and leaned against the side of their hide, exhausted. “I think we should get some rest; we’ve earned it. Is there anything else you can think of that needs to be done before the op?”
Light thought back to his plan they discussed yesterday afternoon, but his mind was almost as fuzzy as his tail, from lack of sleep. “We still have time to get some rest before any final preparations that need to be made.”
We should go back to camp and rest before moving the gear to the hide. Keith got up and mounted the ATV while Light got on the back and strapped in. Keith drove the two of them back to camp over the uneven terrain, while Light held on.
Interview with Keith (Omake): viewtopic.php?p=104138#p104138
---------- Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to Chapter 4.
Chapter 4 Conclusion: viewtopic.php?p=105073#p105073
Hope you enjoyed it.