Chapter 20:Hour of the Wolf
A day later, it happened. They came.
At 2:03 AM, the furthest proximity alarms went off. Every squad grabbed their weapons, dashed for their respective position. Every light in the house
was darkened, and everyone was in position in seconds.
Deus was down in the trenches with his squad, listening to the radio. It was silent, as per Lysergic’s orders. Sauce ran the bolt of his rifle,
muttering to himself. Gothique sat next to him, panting heavily. DE checked him pistol clip repeatedly, trying to think about how Lysergic’s plan
would work. They had one shot, for one bird, and it was only an ambush once. DE hoped it would work, hoped none of his had to die, wished no one had
to die. He looked over to Sauce, who was fiddling with the straps on his vest. Deus smiled and thumped his best friend on the shoulder. Sauce had
tried to give it to Gothique, but she had refused. He knew arguing was pointless, so he strapped it on himself.
Ranger and KeenKid lay next to the large banks of high-power floodlights, the best snipers from each squad around them. They swept the edges of the
forest with commandeered night vision binoculars, waiting for the inevitable. Around them, people fiddled with bolts and scope settings. Everyone
waited for a target, most of them trying to think about how this was no different from a game or turkey shoot. Only Ranger and a few other veterans
thought -KNEW- different, even then after only one or two skirmishes.
The entire fighting arm of ATS was ready, coiled, tense. Everyone was decked out as best they could be, with as many flak jackets distributed to
officers first. Almost everyone now packed a sidearm and some sort fo melee weapon, ranging from batons to knives to Mace. The snipers had extra
rifles beside them, preloaded and donated by members who could or would not fight. Inside the bunker, redoubts had been formed on each level. ATSers
who would not fight in the main battle prepared to defend their new homes.
At 2:11 AM, the first of the security cameras were taken out. Lysergic, John Bull and a bleary-eyed TheDemonHunter watched a number of the cameras
burst into static as they were taken out. No reports from the field chattered to them, nor did anything else. Only the silence of blue and gray
screens and the buzz of perimeter alarms going off offered any sort of audio to the scene. It was surreal. The operators were wide eyed, disbelieving
as they watched a mix of corporate soldiers and American soldiers shoot out cam after cam.
Keenkid and Ranger watched the first squad hesitantly leave the cover of the brush. Other forms lay there, unmoving. In the green and black world
through the binoculars, they moved with precision, arms at the ready. They could see no foe, no resistance. It looked uninhabited. They advanced
halfway across the open area. The cars were all gone (driven two miles down the road and hidden), and to them it seemed as if the complex was
abandoned. At the halfway mark, the soldiers radioed their superiors, and the other squads began to emerge from the foliage, weapons ready as they
advanced in a line. Ranger counted a good sixty men in five twelve-man teams, plus the advance team of five. The forward squad moved ever closer to
the trenches weapons sweeping back and forth. Keenkid could make out the night vision goggles they wore...their Achilles heel.
“Dude, if we don’t make it out of this, you were my best friend, and I wish you the best.”
“Same to you.”
“# omae, let’s give ‘em hell and count this # up later.”
Gothique smiled to herself, witnessing the whispered exchange between the two. Best friends to the end. No one thought it would turn out the way it
did instead. Everyone’s grips tightened on their weapons as the thump of feet was heard.
Ranger watched the enemy approach until they were fifteen feet from the trenches, then radioed it in.
Every other member in the house already had a target picked and zeroed in as best they could in the dark. In the basement they heard the news, and
everyone sucked in a breath. The screen slowly filtered down to the same three views from camcorders jury-rigged into the system in the house. The
soldiers in the trenches heard the announcement over their sergeant’s radios. They got to suck in one more breath themselves, squeeze their eyes shut,
and barely even got to utter a prayer before Keenkid hit the lights. Havoc erupted the instant the bright lamps light up every inch of ground between
the trenches and the woods.
The soldiers and mercenaries barely had time to cry out themselves as their night vision gear seared their eyes. Ranger and his snipers quickly
selected targets -now brightly lit and unmoving- and quickly brought them down before moving to the next target. Some got back up, but not many. In
the meantime, DE and the four squads in the trenches stood, weapons ready. Deus himself fired the first shot. One of the grunts was trying to tear his
goggles off , ten feet away. In DE’s bleary eyes, he looked no older than he did. Then he was on his back in a pool of blood as Deus pulled the
trigger. His shotgun boomed, sounding the death knell for that one unfortunate.
A torrent of fire pummelled the soldiers as ATSers sprouted from the trenches, their enemies reeling under the weight of fire and the bright lights.
Many tried to go flat on their stomachs, but that simply made them better targets for the snipers. Panicking, an officer whipped his men into a
lurching charge. Many got up only to me knocked down again and again as their body armor held under the impact of the fire. Eventually, the charge
built momentum as the mercenaries and soldiers went cyclic, forcing the ATS militia to duck into their trenches. A few stray shots hit the
floodlights, but not enough of them to really make a difference. A few members were wounded or killed in the rush, but most stayed down. Deus emptied
the remaining shots from his shotgun and levelled his pistol. Beside him, Saucerat had both his pistols fisted and fired away. Between the two of
them, six soldiers fell before they reached the trenches. DE shoved his back into his holster, while Sauce dropped one and whipped out his knife. As
it always had been for eons before, the battle was to be decided in the chaos of melee.
In the bunker, the radios were absolute bedlam. People yelled, ran, screamed and generally did what they had to. Half the men and women under Ranger’s
command outright upped and dashed down the stairs to help their squadmates before he could stop them. So, he settled for yelling into his radio to
help from Lysergic. The rest tried to get a clean shot, and killed when they had a chance. In the main bunker, Lysergic tried to help as best he
could. However, that consisted of yelling at people. Finally getting fed up, he grabbed a pistol and a shotgun before heading up past a gaping TDH to
join the fight. He also grabbed the secret weapon that he had taken himself from the captured Hummer.
In the trenches, it was man on man. The ATSers fought with the rabid courage of cornered wolverines. However, superior training and weapons was slowly
eating away at their numbers. The soldiers leaped into the trenches, trying to skewer or shoot the bunker-dwellers. They were ready, firing back, then
attacking with anything at hand- rifle butts, brass knuckles, batons, or just plain fists. Saucerat at his side, Deus leaped up to meet the attackers.
His katana whipped out of the scabbard, eviscerating a fortysomething sergeant on the draw. Screaming at the top of his lungs, he charged their ranks,
cutting down all who stood before him. Deus knew their backs were to the wall, as they were desperately outnumbered. He stabbed another man, as
Saucerat continued to fire, dropping his revolver once it ran out of bullets. He grabbed the next enemy’s rifle barrel, scalding his hands and pulling
it past him . His SIG’s barrel kissed the man’s forehead just before blowing it apart. Gothique soon followed the pair as they fought their way down
the lines, avatars of destruction.
Lysergic saw them. An army officer pointed a pistol at Deus as he beheaded a soldier on top of Worldwatcher as they struggled. Before the man could
fire, his face exploded from the impact of a load of buckshot. Deus barely noticed as he tore down the lines. Soldiers and bunker dwellers grappled
and fought, firing and killing. Deus’s Devils expanded outwards, sweeping all before them. They fought with a rage, a desire that bordered on madness.
Many were wounded, but had seen enough action to ignore the more minor stuff. Soon, many of the enemy threw down their arms, or tried to flee. Those
who ran were killed to a man by the snipers. However, as they stood panting and cheering, exultant in their victory, the sounds began to reach their
ears. The moans of the wounded, the screams of the dying, and the patter of blood on the ground. More importantly, something else was hear.
The whoosh of helicopter blades.
A pair of choppers were spotted in the distance, approaching rapidly. Soon, they hovered above the battlefield, quietly looking down on the ATSers.
Deus looked up, almost uncomprehending of why they just sat there, and how victory had been snatched form him. Suddenly, ropes were kicked out of the
choppers - Black Hawks upon closer observation- and the gunners opened up. Saucerat fell behind Deus, screaming. Blood spewed from his head. Enraged,
DE reloaded his pistol, firing wildly at the door gunners to no avail. Lysergic yelled to him as he broke into a run. Feeling close enough, he kneeled
and took out the single LAW the Devils had captured. It was a single-use disposable rocket launcher. Lysergic began to pray under his breath as he
“LAW! On the ground!” he screamed to DE as he fired, reducing one of the choppers to flaming debris.
Deus looked to him. One moment, he looked triumphant, empty launcher in his hand. The next, he was shredded. He watched as Lysergic came apart as
dozens of high-calibre rounds impacted with him body. Screaming, he ran. Shooters fired at him from inside the helicopter, kicking up spouts of dirt
as he ran. Deus ran not to save himself, but because he spotted salvation in a can- an LAW on the ground. Watching the brave young man run, his squad
mates began to stand, provide covering fire. He grabbed the tube, wrestling with the body of its owner as he dragged it down into the bloody mud.
Ripping it free, he shouldered it. Thinking of Saucerat, he fired. The second chopper exploded, sending several of its occupants plummeting to their
There was no cheering. There was no victory. There was silence, save the moans of the wounded.
DE wept for his friend. He swore and wept and cursed, his sword still coated in fresh blood.
There would be vengeance for this. He promised.
Wow...I stayed up late doign this. Hope ya'll appreciate it. Know how to do that? Reply. Comment. Hell, even u2u me as so many of you have. I THRIVE
on commentary and encouragement. Aside from that, enjoy. And read TDH's story.