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April 6th, 2004


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hippodog
01:52 am - Ayup, I haven't updated in a while
Setting:Gunmetal Chronicles:'Cuz i'm too uninspired to think of a setting name
Characters:Warne, Savin, the usual suspects
Author Note:I think i've been straying from the original first-person writing style. If the last four paragraphs read differently, it's because I was experiminting. Better, worse, about the same? I need a little second opinion.

1445 12 October 2014
N/A, Africa
Terra

"That's it?" Gunny asked calmly as I finished up about the trench. Telling him about the cooridinated indig assault, the shot I had nearly missed receiving, and the one I had dealt out. Telling the Gunny all about the problems we've been having ever since we landed on this godforsaken continent, and what I thought of this recent twist. Pretty much doing everything but pointing at the guy and wanting a pistol. "Roger that, Gunny." I thought it pretty convincing. I mean, it's not like the indigs were every capable of working together on a scale like that. There had to be someone pulling the strings, and look who just pops up out of the blue. I didn't think he could possibly deny that, but apperantly he could..."Circumstancial, and not very solid, considiring you interrogated him first, Warne." Wincing visibly at the reprimand. Knowing it wasn't the best thing to have done, but doing it anyways to sate my own curiousty.

"Sorry, Gunny." I had no excuses, and it was better just to suck it up, and drive on. "S'alright." Nodding and turning back to the Russian. "Guess you're coming with us when we leave, Mr. Savin." Savin hadn't told us much else. Not even rank. The lull from the shock of the improvised ambush was eerie. Musta scared the piss out of the indigs, say nothing of the chaos that it would sow in their ranks. "How many of your former friends are out there, anyways?" The Gunny asked. The Russian apperantly more then happy to pass that one on. "Discounting the ones that you destroyed, quite impressive, I might add..." His eyes went up for a moment in thought. "...i'd say about three and a half of your companies, mounted." Someone whistled lowly, and the Marines that heard it started talking quietly amongst themselves. Long shot my ass. That made it just about twenty-to-one odds, in the indig's favor.

I didn't want to be the one to say it, and I know the Marines weren't going to say it. Everyone thought it, though. The thought was pretty much along the lines of:'If we evac now, we can go home without a scratch.' Of course, that meant leaving behind the rest of our units to be picked off by indigs, and even though we thought it, we'd never do it. Marines didn't leave anyone behind, and I don't think I could live with myself, knowing I had stranded my own guys, even if staying meant being eventually overran and destroyed to the man. I looked at the Gunny and nodded. Turning to look at the Marine's fire team leaders and squad leaders. All nodded. "That settles that, then. We dig in, and wait for the remaining Army units." Gunny reached down, picked up Savin's rifle, and tossed it into his unbound hands. Nearly causing him to spill his coffee all over himself.

I had to look twice at what he just did. Titling my head at him slightly when he looked back in my direction. Shrugging my shoulders lightly in questioning. What the fuck was that? Savin was already checking out and brushing down his rifle. Loading another round into the chamber with a foreboding metallic clack. "We need all the weapons we can get, Mr. Warne. Besides..." Gunny pointed back to the Russian. "They want him dead, too. Enemy of my enemy is my friend." Savin held his rifle with more confidence then I could ever remember seeing anyone else but Sarge do. "Send someone to get his gear, and then prep the warehouses as best you can. Our flanks are terribly exposed there." I took one last look at the Russian, and resigned myself to the fact that it was futile to go against Gunny's orders. "Aye, Gunny." Waving for my guys to follow. It was one of those weeks...

1450 12 October 2014
N/A, Africa
Terra

The warehouse was a odd mixture of dry and moist. The pervasive salt air had infiltrated through the neglected filters and disabled fans since their maintainer's hasty depature. It was actually cooler in here, somehow, and that was a relief. It'd be easier to do what we had to do to keep these warehouses from being a liability. We didn't need a winding maze of crates, barrels and assorted cargo containers on our left and right. Not if we couldn't block it off, or even set it up to be dangerous to the indigs, if, and that was a big if, they chose to attack from the sides. This was warehouse one, and they were all labeled clockwise from the right-front warehouse, to the left front one on the other side of the two office building the Marines occupied.

It wasn't such a hard task, compared to what we had gone through to get here. The two difficulties I foresaw was, one:the fact that the indigs could return at any moment, and, two:The fact that Gunny had decided to stick the Russian with us. I don't know why, I have a opinion, but who gives a damn about what I think? I was stuck with him, and it riled me. Looking at him out of the corner of my eye before we started the survey. I was...dissapointed, I guess, that he was taking this all in stride. All regaled up in his gear, and looking like the fact that he was a prisoner of war, was just a everyday thing to him. I swear..."This shit looks heavy." Hakens commented, saving me from thinking about Savin for a moment. Turning my attention down to the warehouse floor, and all the boxes, crates and crap that had been abandoned when the owners took off.

"And no forklift." Willis added in, scanning the floor for the object in question. I looked up, but the overhead cranes looked to be electrical, and nothing in here seemed to work, anyways. I could basically write that one off, too. A pretty mess we had here. "Moving's out of the question, then." I said. Not daring to waste time looking around the warehouses for another forklift, and then having to wait to get it over here, and waste even more time moving boxes for a blockade. "I have explosives." Savin added after a short moment of contemplation. "How much?" The Russian turned to put his right side towards us. Patting on a large, square sidepack on his webgear. One more beside it, turning, and showing us the other two. "Not enough. About five pounds per pack." Which came out to, what? Twenty pounds? Shit...

"No spare mortars, this time." I thought aloud. Looking about the warehouse for anything we could use to augment Savin's explosives. Not liking working with this guy, but having to suck that up, too, and just do the job. There was a lot of shit you did in the military that required you to swallow your pride. This, was one of those things i'd never have predicted. "Hey...what's that say on that big crate off to the side?" Looking to where Gregor had indicated. Seeing two large crates, about the size of small trucks, stuffed off into a corner with indig stenciling on it, and sitting on pallets with plastic spread out beneath it. I was about to say something smartass about not knowing indig, when Savin translated for us. "Ship oil. Flammable. Keep dry. Handle with care. Keep away from flames or heat sources, obviously. See pamphlet for storage standards." By the time he was done, we were all staring at him oddly. "Know any cuss words?"

I sent Tucker and Willis to check out the other warehouses while we were setting this one up. Realizing right off the bat how tight this was going to be. Karma knows how much we had to work with, and how little explosives we had to set it all off. That wasn't even half the problem, either. Setting it all off without getting cindered was definetly a concern. "Alright, let's crack those crates open and see what we have." No crowbar readily available. Would just have to use our knives, bayonets and whatever had a edge to it, and wouldn't break. Weaving our way through the storage maze, checking labels as we went. Not wanting to pass on something useable.

"Give me a hand here, Hakens." Wedging my knife into the side of the crate as best I could. Hitting the bottom of the hilt a coupla times with the meat of my fist to drive it in further. Stepping back to let Hakens take a coupla swings at it with the butt-end of his heavy Bulldog. Driving my knife almost completely to the hilt by the third hit. I was afraid it was going to break under all the punishment, but I let him take another coupla cracks at it from the side, anyways. Gregor and Hall were doing the same on the other side, with just about as much success as we were having. Ducking as splinters suddenly flew from Hakens's swing. The side of the crate cracking open a inch or two in width, sending my knife clattering to the ground as it was dislodged. "Nice."

"Yo." Waving at the other two to come over here, since we had broken our side open first. Not seeing Savin, which was worrisome. "Gregor, find the Russian." Sending him off to find the guy while the rest of us got a hand in the crack we had forced, pulling on the count and three, and nearly tumbling over backwards head over heels as the side gave easier then we expected. I backpedaled for balance and caught Willis by the shoulders. Looking back at where the side panel was now hanging open like a half-opened door. Sure enough, just like Savin had said, the crate was full of square, red colored, ten-gallon containers. Just off the first look, there must have been about twenty of the things stacked on top of each other. The smell was overwhelming from being kept up like that, and had to be aired out for a moment before we could grab the containers without dazing from the fumes.

"Found Savin." Gregor announced over comms. Looking up for a tired moment. "Tell him to put whatever comms he has on freq eight-hundred, unencrypted." If he was going to be my responsibility, I needed to be able to bitch at him whenever he did something stupid...like walk off on me. "He's on." Gregor said after a moment and dropped out of the line. Queuing up the unsecure channel I had set aside for him. "Savin, what the hell do you think your'e doing?" Biting it off much harsher then I had expected. "Setting up the charges." He answered back without any hint of conflict in his voice. The bastard was prolly enjoying this. "Look, Savin, you're not in charge, alright?" "Understood." Again with the neutral tone. "Secondly, we don't yet know where to set up the explosives, so don't." "I know how." Wait...what? "How the fuck do you 'know'?" The Russian chuckled for a moment. "I've done this before...or at least, i've seen it done before."

1615 12 October 2014
N/A, Africa
Terra

The second assault interrupted our finishing touches on warehouse three. The indigs announcing themselves with a series of explosions that shook us inside the aluminum and wood building. Ducking down low in reflex as the explosions died out somewhere to our rear. "Missed!" Tucker said as he stood back up cautiously from where he had sought cover behind a crate full of concrete mix bags. A familiar crash of a heavy rifle followed the explosions almost immediatly. "Spotters." Recognizing the familiar voice of the observer. Quickly realizing that the Marines had a sniper team with them, after remembering where I had heard that weapon before. A heavy, M-eighty-two, fifty cal sniper rifle. A good weapon against light armor, and completely devestating to human flesh and body armor. The sniper rifle crashing again, even as the echo from it's last shot was still fading. "Two down."

We weren't going to be able to finish warehouse four in time. We'd need another half-hour, and I would have bet good money that they were just softening us up with the mortars. "Cmon, cmon! Hurry up with that!" I told the Russian. Still setting up the detonators that would set off the whole warehouse when detonated. Having spilled enough oil on the floor and over containers, to consume everything flammable in a few seconds. Leaving a full ten-gallon can by the outside entrances for a little extra bang for our buck. Oil wasn't explosive flammable, but it did burn, and burned hot. Bets were, that as soon as we threw in the spark with a half-pound of explosives, that the warehouse would be turned into a inferno long enough to buy us some time. To do what? Well...that was another can of worms entirely.

"Warne, status?" Gunny's query was short and to the point. Looking about me for a moment to gauge our progress. Not liking what I had to report. "Warehouses one through three, rigged. I need another twenty mike on the last." And that was a stupidly optimistic outlook. "Nevermind four. My Marines will finish it. Meet me at your vehicles, ASAP." "Roger." Ducking slightly at the crash of the heavy sniper rifle. "One more." "Warehouse one, go!" Waving for my guys to follow me as I weaved my way through the maze of containers. Trying not to slip on the oil spilt all over the floor. Turning to look behind me for the Russian as I reached the inside door. Satisfying myself that he hadn't deserted on me before checking for the sound of incoming mortars, and waving my guys out into the opening between warehouses.

The second mortar salvo sent us scrambling against the walls of the warehouses, right out in the open, for whatever cover we could grab. The shells sailing way over our heads, appearing as silvery apparitions as they went by, splashing way off into the water and sending up white geysers that nicely counted out the number of tubes firing. "Gunny, I have four splashes in the water behind us." Waving for my guys to get going as I made the report up. Checking for the sounds of any more incoming before scrambling forward myself. The heavy rifle crashed again, sending one more indig spotter to the ground. "One." Another crash as I ducked down low around the bend. "Another." Shuffling forward in a crouch and up to our vehicles.

The Gunny was waiting for us when we arrived. Waving at us to follow him into warehouse one, mind the oil slick. Ducking into a nook between two crates at the sound of a single shot. The sound echoing off the tall ceiling and aluminum walls. The Gunny coming back to wave at us impatiently to follow. Not even giving a reason for the shot as he turned back further into the warehouse in a extremely hurried manner. Nodding that it was okay to my guys before following along. Wondering what the hell the Gunny had called us over for? Turning the corner, and immediatly not liking what I saw, if the large coil of chain laying on the ground was for what I thought it was for.

"Nuh-uh." I said, stopping short of Gunny. My guys fanning out around the heap of chain in a circle. Seeing that at least Hakens had a inkling to what it was for, and scrunching his nose up in disgust at the idea of it's use. "Uh-huh." Gunny responded, nodding his head for emphasis. Another Marine, a Private First Class, was busy with a welding tool that I didn't even know was still left in the warehouses. I had looked for anything explosive, and that certainly would have been on my list. The guy wasn't even paying attention to us as he welded on what looked like a cut-down ship's anchor to one end of the chain. Shooting Gunny a incredlous look. "You're kidding, surely?"

"I'm not kidding..." Gunny responded, tossing a ammo bandolier towards Savin. "And my name's not Shirley." I have to use a fuckton of willpower to keep from using the nine I liberated from the storage depot to blow my own brains out at that pun. Savin and the busy Marine were apperantly the only ones who didn't catch it, and didn't want to just immediatly die. Gunny's grin was just...insane. The fuck could he keep a sense of humor, when mortars were falling all around us? Murphy, what was going on around here? "Can you use it?" Gunny asked Savin. The Russian nodding in response as he took out his magazine, fitted the bandolier onto the right side of his rifle, and draped the ammo belt through a flip-top, break-apart ammo breach that I didn't even know was underneath the scope.

"S-R-eight-A, modified." Gunny explained. "Russia's 'prototype' adaptable sniper rifle. Changeable barrel for five-five-six and seven-six-deuce, with magazine and belt-fed breaches. Not to mention the silencer's built as part of the original rifle." Savin looked away at the heap of chain as Gunny explained. Trying to look like he wasn't interested, but I could tell he was. "I hear special forces and spooks are the only ones to get them, isn't that right, Savin?" Gunny tilted his head slightly, as if trying to get a read on Savin's reaction. "Hrm?" Savin responded and turned his head to look back at us as if he hadn't heard the conversation. "Righ-t-t-t..." Gunny said dryly before turning back to me. "Anyways, as soon as Franks is done with your 'rope', I want you to take our Russian friend, and silence those mortars, hoorah?" Fuckkk..."No prob, Gunny." I lied, looking out of the corner of my eye at the Russian, who was still looking as disinterested in what we were saying as before. Fuck. Me. At least the technical still had plenty of gas left...

"You know what you're doing with that?" I asked as I pulled myself up into the driver seat of the technical. "Yes." The Russian climbing into the passenger side, and Gregor taking up a security position on the back machine gun. Turning over the vehicle with a sick grind, even as the whistle and thunder of the mortars continued to fall. The rounds hitting at random, now. The indigs having no capability for damage assessment, that didn't automatically get a round about the size of a rail spike through them. A waste of indigs, and a waste of ammo. A waste that i'm not sure we could really afford. We'd need every round we could get when the actual, determined assault came down on us.

I was just hoping none of them fell short. "We're rolling." I reported in before applying the gas. Pulling the vehicle out from where it was parked beside the APC. Driving out past warehouse one, and out into the open that seperated the buildings from the cliff line. Straying as far from the incline as I could. Aiming for a point up north of the cliffs that would allow us to scale it with our jury-rigged 'rope', take up a sniping position, and let Savin do what he claimed he could do. I have my lingering doubts about a lot of things, but what do they matter? I had a job to do, whether I enjoyed doing it or not. It's all sheer guesstimation, anyways. Guesstimating that the mortars would be set up behind the indig's staging area, or whatever they were waiting in. Guessing that we could wipe out four mortars without getting caught and shot ourselves. I didn't even want to think about the odds.

The technical bounced and jarred around as we drove a few meters away from the steep sides, and under the shade that it provided. The sun already passed over it's midpoint, and sitting somewhere over the cliffline. Providing a temporary reprieve from it's heat, offset by the engine's exhaust and made uncomfortable by the fact that I hadn't had a bath in so long, I didn't even want to think about it. Ducking my head down to look out of the spider-webbed window and up. Trying to find a spot that looked decently scaleable, and wasn't too close to the incline, even though it was nearly half a click behind us by now. Estimating the shortest climb to be at least fifty feet, and no real breaks along the line that didn't take us wayyy out of the way. The closest place we could drive the technical up was about eight kilometers down, and even that was determined by a map who's validity was questionable, as seen from above.

Pulling the technical up to a stop upon the realization that it was all shit, and one shit spot was as good as any other. Not wanting to get so far away, that we'd have to run back hundreds of meters to get back to the technical, if we were spotted. Big if. I geared the vehicle in reverse, and backed it up a good hundred meters before deciding it was close enough telling Gregor to give it a go. Climbing out of the driver seat just as he took a toss with the chain rope. Dodging back a step as it fell back down from falling short of it's mark with a metallic thud. "Again." Picking up the welded-down grappling 'hook' and tossing it back up to Gregor. This time, he spun it around a coupla times like a cowboy winding up rope. Letting it go after about ten rotations. Finding myself holding my breath for a moment as it flew out of sight over the top with a muffled clank. Reaching up and pulling at the rope as hard as possible. It moved a few feet, but held firm after catching onto something. We had our way up.

"Non-Alliance personnel, first." Grabbing onto the chain rope, and handing it to Savin. Pointing up at the top of the cliff to Gregor, telling him to keep us covered as we went up. Never knew what was up there until you got there. The Russian already scaling the near-flat cliff face as effortlessly as if he were walking on flat ground. Not wanting to be outdone in front of Gregor, but not willing to test the strength of the chain by getting on at the same time. Seriously pondering taking off my armor to reduce my weight, although that'd not only leave me vulnerable to weapons fire, but it'd be a complete bitch to put back on in any expediancy. Like a lot of things we'd done around here, i'd just have to leave that one up to Murphy.

Mentally, I was already calculating how many Shit Points I had massed with Karma. Physically, the Russian had reached the top and dissapeared over it. "Here goes nothing..." I muttered as I grabbed hold of the chain, belatedly noticing how slick it felt in my hands, situating my rifle over my back by it's strap, and planting my right foot into the cliff wall. "Clear." Savin announced, and I made my way up. My arms, shoulders, legs, and everything else I had been wearing on for the past few days, burning in protest of all the weight I was trying to pull up. Running through every curse word I could remember in my mind, and a few that I had threw together, just because they sounded harsh in the same breath. I had to be asleep, because this shit just didn't happen in real-life. Too surreal, I swear. Losing my focus for a moment, my foot scraping against the rock face and nearly missing. Scrambling to regain my footing and my grip. The sharp pain in my shoulder as all my weight was momentarily hefted on it, confirmation that it was indeed real.

"Gimme a hand here." I grunted out at Savin as I pulled myself up near the top. Letting go with my strong hand just long enough to grab onto his outstretched one. Getting dragged up to the top on my front torso armor in a noisy heap that i'm sure anyone within fifty meters could have heard. I had actually strained to get up here. Seriously reassessing my physical condition, and lack of training in going up a rope, instead of just rappelling down. I wasn't a Ranger, for Murphy's sake. "Fuck..." I grunted out at the burning sensation passing through my body. Getting my arms and legs underneath me, and under my own control again. Assessing the situation around me before I dared move again. Lifting my head slightly, but not seeing anyone but Savin close enough to hear the ruckus I had made.

"You don't train on that?" Savin whispered. Not even looking at me as he said it. Already in a prone unsupported position, rifle aimed back parallal to the cliffside, and out some. Turning my head to look, and seeing nothing but indig vehicle after indig vehicle after indig. Resisting the urge to whistle in a "Oh, fuck." manner. "No. I roped once in basic. That's it." Memories of the rappeling tower in basic training coming to mind, and quickly dismissed. Like I said, that was going down, not up. I'm surprised I didn't fall. Not like I was going to tell him that. "How many?" I asked as I crawled on my stomach up to his left side. Mindful of the ejection port on the right side of his rifle. "Lots."

The thump of the mortar launches isn't muffled this close. A resounding boom that echoes through your chest and skull, sending little shocks up through your bones as they continued to pound away at our hold-out building. I could hear the faint crashing of the heavy rifle, but it was a world away now, for all the good it was doing us. Looking over the metallic sea of indig vehicles and personnel;trying to gauge their strength. It's a stupid thing to try. All they had to do was launch their entire force at us, and we'd be royally fucked. I wonder if any of the indigs that survived the first assault, if any did, had the sense to take measure of our strength. The way they were lingering around for the mortars kinda told otherwise. We still had the element of uncertainty on our side, and after that annihilation of their chasers, I wouldn't doubt that they had second thoughts about trying it again.

"I'm going to try and set off some mortar rounds. Sow some confusion." Savin was saying, turning my attention back to the task at hand. "Spot for me." What was that saying? Something about one little cut in the greater scheme of things? I had no memory for qoutes. Bringing my rifle around slowly and pointing it down towards where the mortars were firing. Flipping the manual switch on my scope for it's max setting:ten-ex. Entertaining a thought that I might have just as good a scope as the Russian, stupid, easily distracted me. Sighting down on the closest mortar crew and scanning around them for shots. Spying the set of long, wooden crates that were sitting not two feet behind the guy doing the loading. Stupid indigs weren't expecting trouble. "Near crew. Three feet to the right of the tube." A moment later, the indigs were sure to never make that mistake twice.

"Just mortars and indigs exploding, Gregor. Stay cool." I actually had a mind to warn Gregor about the fireball that had just leapt up into the air, and the devestating explosions that had been it's source. Squinting as I moved my scope to the right, and picked up the next group of indigs. "They stopped. The loader's still got one in his left hand." I couldn't help the grin that crossed my face as I watched the dumbfounded indigs try to figure out what happened. Keeping my scope on the teenaged-looking loader as he looked all around in confusion. Catching his skin being burnt and flailed off his face a millisecond before the mortar in his hand consumed him and his crew. "Nice." Lifting my eyes from the scope for a moment to admire the artwork of the dual fireballs. Dante would have loved this shit.

"Third crew, about twenty meters to the right, and five or six back from the last one." Focusing on the third pit, even as the smoke from the last two explosions started to settle and confuse things. "I don't see ammo." Focusing on the crew members for a moment and trying to make up for the lack of one big score. "Where's the next one? We'll come back." Opening up my other eye to get a broad look, fixing on where I had mentally marked the furthest crew, and swinging my sight back in that general area. Moving my scope about to try and find a gap through all the smoke. "I can't see shit." Opening my other eye for a moment to look to see if I had just wrongly guessed their location. "Me neither. Killing third crew. Get the crew boss, i'll take the loader." Nodding and bringing my scope back onto the third mortar crew. Putting my cross-hairs first on the back of the loader, and then right slightly at the crew boss. "Three." Savin's rifle made it's now-familiar metallic clack, and I saw the loader fall out of my peripheral. Squeezing the trigger on my own rifle, and catching the boss square in the gut as he turned to look for the fallen loader.

The elation that suddenly runs through my body gives me a nice surprise, I confess. I mean, I had killed before, right? There shouldn't be anything special about doing it again, but...damn. I can feel the muscles in my face strain in a grin as I looked again to confirm that the boss was down. Blame it on the god or voyeur complex, but let's not deny it, that felt fucking euphoric! "I like this job." I comment to Savin, knowing i'm not keeping up a very good spot, but, ehh..."It's only a high the first few times. After a while, it gets redundant." Giving me one of those sagely, been-there, done-that, got the T-shirt tones. "Besides, that was a horrible shot. He's prolly not even dead." "Yeah, but he's down." I retort before the hesitation of uncertainity takes over. "By your book." Nodding slightly back towards the carnage. "We need to kill that last crew, and destroy the mortar tubes."

The indig formation, if it could be called that, has quickly dissolved into a frenzy that reminds me a lot of a stirred-up ant hill. Confusion is properly sowed, here. Trying to figure out what had caused the explosions, who was dead, dying, or wounded, and whether they were under attack, and where it came from if it was. I can hear the faint shrill of whistles, telling me that the officers used some pretty crude and outdated methods for controlling their charges. Discipline by execution, likely, the damned barbarians. I can recognize a opportunity just as well as the next guy, though. "Cover me." Hurriedly bringing my legs up underneath me and lifting myself to my feet before Savin could say anything.

The black smoke, fire, and occasional mortar cook-off provides some concealment and distraction. I can prolly get within grenade launch range before they notice, I hope. Hopping over a deep depression in the ground, kicking up strands of my sand with my feet as I dash as fast as I can towards the mortar pits. One-fifty meters, that's all I need. Ducking in reflex as a round whizzes past my head, outgoing. Immediatly taking two slowing steps, stopping, and setting myself into a aiming crouch before I realize that it was Savin picking off a indig who looked my way. I have little time, and will have to take my chances with the grenade round from here. I'm not a crack shot like Sarge was, but close only counts with grenades and mortar splash.

I set my front launch sight for two-hundred meters, aim, and let loose with a dull thump. The recoil from the exiting round kicks my shoulders back and up, and I have to bring my weapon back down to compensate, close down the front sights, and retake my aim just as the third pit goes up in a massive set of explosions. My ears ring, even at this range, and I put my head down and twist my head sideways to dampen the loud explosion's effect on my hearing. Not wanting to lose one of my most vital and cherished senses, not while I was still here. "Warne, infantry, two o-clock!" Savin warns, his weapon clicking again over comms before cut-out. I swing my weapon to the right, spot the trio of indigs with shovels(?) and aim again. Best guess is that they were trying to shovel sand to extinguish the fires. A noble act, but in the way of business. Savin's single shot catches one in the jugular, setting off a high-pressure arterial that squirts all over the guy to his right, and is quite visible from here. Ripping the stunned indig on the right down with a three-round burst is easy, and Savin's pick-off makes three. Sorry, fellas. Not your day.

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