The Keystone Division after WW3
More of the Ambush!

I remember CDR Everett carried a Glock and a scoped-up M249.  Haven't seen him since we bugged out of the Lewisburg Armory Camp...

8 MAY 2003 / 2142 hours
Ambush site
W of Intersection of McCall Dug and Brush Hollow Trail
Weather: dark and drizzling and dreary

After a quick scan of the area, it was probable that there were but two groups in the woods with Raven and Robbo. The "hunters" were armed -- the unmistakable full-tilt burst from the M16 made that quite clear, as did observing the men from a distance that body odor could be detected. And the stinging sensation from the hot brass that scorched Robbo's back only confirmed what both men saw. Little could be said for the "hunted" -- they broke past very fast. Again Robbo thanked the Gods that he was wearing NVGs and could see it all. Which put him to thinking...

~The "hunters" mustn't have NVGs, or they probably would've spotted us. Ah, maybe with the thick brush they missed us. They aren't running in the woods, again because they can't see brush and branches, and might take either in the eye if they move too quickly. The "hunted" haven't returned fire. And the "hunted" are running mighty fast to outpace their pursuers in just a few seconds. The "hunted" didn't look to be armed, that is, with rifles anyway. NVGs can't reveal everything, especially when those being observed are moving, and everything happens so fast. To be moving that fast, they'd almost... have to know exactly where they are going, or have NVGs, or both. Maybe...~

The "hunters" must have spotted something. They took a few more steps, aimed, then...

BLOOM! BLOOM! poppoppop... crack poppoppop.....

This time, it was a few rapidfire shots from a shotgun and handguns. A few rounds chewed bark and branches from trees around Raven and Robbo. The fire came from the east. A low moan came from the bushes 10 meters east of Robbo and Raven. Neither of the "hunters" could be seen, and they had been close enough to spit on only seconds before. Then...


"Listen, are you guys militia or military? Well, whoever you are... Let's all save some ammo and our lives, too. There's 3 APCs and a whole Sunday School class of badasses right over the hill, and I'd rather not be here when they send someone to check all this hubbub out... So whaddaya say..."

The voice came from the east, much further than 10 meters away.

Robbo bites back a curse at having to trust complete strangers at a time when even closest friends are watched carefully, and awaits his superiors actions. This wasn't his call to make, not when the new CO was laying in the undergrowth next to him.

For all Robbo knew the Hunted were Stryfe's men, and the Hunters were some other group in the area, one of any range of groups from hunters to marauders. Time to place his trust in the veteran officer, and hope the cards fell the right way.

8 MAY 2003 / 2142 hours
W of Intersection of McCall Dug and Brush Hollow Trail
Weather: dark and drizzling and dreary

Maj Raven tried to see where the voice was coming from, but he couldn't make anything out in the drizzling rain. Things had gone from bad to worse in a hurry, just how many groups were out here? What the hell were they going to do now? The rest of the ambush team had to be on their way back to Camp by now, and they had no idea what was going on out here. Hopefully, when they reported to Lt. Jackson, he would put the Camp on alert, but he couldn't count on that. He cursed himself for not bringing another radio.

He thought about something he had read several times over the course of his career, the US Military Code of Conduct. The first article said it all, "I am a US fighting man, I protect my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense." He made up his mind, and as quietly as possible slithered over to Cpl. Robinson, and whispered in his ear.

"Corporal, get back to the camp as fast as possible. Link up with the ambush team if you can and radio them about what we've seen and heard, especially about those APC's, and tell him to get the Camp ready for an attack. I'm going to try to slow them down, and buy you some time. And for God's sake, don't get caught. Now go, I'll cover you."

He swung his rifle around, aiming at where he thought the voice had come from. As soon as Robinson was clear, he would crawl over to where he had heard the moaning coming from. Maybe the wounded man could give him som intel on what the Hell was going on. If not, he would find those APC's on his own. He still had his NVG's and his M21. A sniper in a good hide could pin down a battalion, if he knew what he was doing. Raven just prayed that he could buy enough time for the Camp to get ready.

Robbo shook his head and looked at the Major, whispering to him.

"Sir, I've heard that once before, and the officer in question didn't make it back. And I'm not loosing two CO's in a row. We stay together, and we both get back. Besides, the Ambush team will be home by now."

Robbo also aimed in the direction of the voice, and gestured for the Major to lead the way, while Robbo covered him.

Quietly he slipped the SA-58 selector switch around to Full auto, and scanned the area crefully.

8 MAY 2003 / 2142 hours
Ambush site
W of Intersection of McCall Dug and Brush Hollow Trail
Weather: dark and drizzling and dreary

Maj Raven started to tell the young Corporal to shut up and follow orders, but cut himself off before the words left his mouth. The kid was headstrong, but he was smart, tough, and loyal. He shook his head in resignation, "All right Corporal, we're in this together. Follow me. And remember, if you're going down, take as many of the bastards with you as you can." He started crawling to where he had last heard the wounded man.

Robbo smiles in the darkness, talking softly to himself.

"I knew you'd see it my way..."

He then shuffled over slightly, looking to get into a better spot to cover his new OC, and hoping that the rain will cover to sound of his moving.

8 MAY 2003 / 2143 hours
Ambush site
W of Intersection of McCall Dug and Brush Hollow Trail
Weather: dark and drizzling and dreary

"Listen, are you guys militia or military? Well, whoever you are... Let's all save some amo and our lives, too. There's 3 APCs and a whole Sunday School class of badasses right over the hill, and I'd rather not be here when they send someone to check all this hubbub out... So whaddaya say..."

Oddly, something inside Raven made him want to answer the voice. Anyone breaking discipline in this manner was either a fool or a civilian, or both. Yet, Raven would not want to be counted among fools. Whatever emotional considerations might go into him responding or not, they were dismissed. He was a career soldier, and it would be akin to suicide to utter even one word of response. But if he saw these idiots first, would he open fire?

They could be on the level, or they could be some of Stryfe's men playing mind games to either escape or maybe ambush Raven and Robbo. So is it better to kill civilians or let some marauding mutineers kill himself and Robbo. It would literally decapitate the command of the 3/103 at RB Winter Camp. The CO, and the armorer and chief radioman? Dammit, what were they doing out here anyway.

Raven answered himself. They were doing a mission. Trying to find out more about the other guy. Maybe taking the teeth out of his armor and artillery advantage. So he kept a cool head, and focused on the job.

Robbo had his 6, and that man with the SA-58 would hopefully cut down anything threatening in the vicinity. Raven could take out pinpoint targets, so actually the men's armament complimented each other. Raven quietly shifted around, and brought the M21 Sniper Rifle up. The optical scope was nearly worthless at night, and even moreso on a rainy night. For the moment there was nothing seen...

Robbo, a few meters behind and to the left of Raven, kept his eyes, and ears peeled, as well as any other senses that might make a difference. It was small comfort knowing that if he and Raven were having this difficulty spotting the fools who had spoken out after the firing, that at least the fools were also having the problems in spotting Robbo and Raven.

We go to rounds...

8 MAY 2003 / 2143:31 hours I=5
Something moved. Raven saw it. Dammit. Over to their left, about 50 meters out. Robbo picked it up too. Had Robbo and Raven been so careless as to let these bastards flank them?...

Suddenly, one of the forms was clear as day. It popped up against a gravel bank off to the left. The heat of the body was in sharp contrast to the cold earth and rocks of the bank. Raven froze, and held his fire, as did Robbo. Both men watched for a few seconds, but finally Raven saw the man look directly at him. The guy pointed at Raven, and simultaneously there was rustling in the brush now 30 meters in front of Raven and Robbo...

8 MAY 2003 / 2143:36 hours I=4
Raven determined the man was a threat, and fired on him. Hit to the head with a round of 7.62 NATO, the man tumbled back against the bank. Firing erupted from directly in front of Robbo and Raven. It sounded like a pistol.

8 MAY 2003 / 2143:41 hours I=3
Robbo lit up the brush directly ahead of both 3/103 men with the remainder of his magazine....

8 MAY 2003 / 2143:46 hours I=2
A still silence crept over the area near the crossroads. Raven scanned for any more movement. Robbo replaced the magazine with a fresh one.

I came up with a "fire discipline number" for the PCs, enemy and friendly PCs, that is a combination of several things, including Recon/Observation, INIT, time served, branch, situation/environment, and a few other goodies. Basically, it represents the body going "on autopilot", and opening fire, rather than waiting for a yes/no message from the brain. So in this case, it represents Robbo and Raven seeing "something" that they interpreted as hostile or "just not right" about the people they finally spotted. They'll have to check closer to see if they were right, or if the just popped some idiot civilians....

Again, I hope the story is best served by what I determined with dice. I don't mean to take control of your characters, but this "close" situation is abit different than a pitched battle. I was suprised at the close "spittin'" ranges that resulted from the dice, and I didn't re-roll a thing. Let's see where this all goes...


8 MAY 2003 / 2143:51 hours I=1

Raven looked back at Cpl Robinson, and said, "Cover me!". He pushed himself off of his belly and into a low crouch, charging forward as soon as he got to his feet. The time for caution was over, now it was all or nothing. He ran to the brush where Robinson had just fired, weapon at the ready, looking for where the pistol fire came from. He was going to find out who was shooting at them and what the hell was going on, once and for all.

A quick low sprint to the area Robbo had just lit up revealed the source of the pistol fire -- a young man, maybe abit younger than Robbo, face, groin, and legs mangled by the intense whirlwind of gunfire. MAJ Raven remembered himself, and crouched low as he further examined the body.

The young man was dressed in woodland fatigues, boots and dark baseball hat. He wore NVGs, which didn't seem to have taken a hit during the quick firefight. Gear was minimal - a few ammo pouches, grenades, and a pistol, still loosely clenched in a dead hand.

Robbo got Raven's attention with a comm rock propelled at the back of the MAJ. Raven turned, and Robbo made the sign for "company's coming", and "tracked APC" as he pointed roughly due west.

Damn, that LAW would be handy right about now...

Raven signaled back to Robinson to take cover and get ready to fire. He looked down again at the mangled body, thinking quickly. He ripped one of the ammo pouches from the dead soldiers web belt, and dumped it's contents on the ground. Maj Raven shoved the grenades inside the pouch, except one which he held in his hand. He now had the equivilent of a poor man's satchel charge, and if he could toss it under one of the tracks on that APC, with a little luck he might be able to stop it's advance on the Camp. He held up the grenades to Cpl Robinson, and pantomimed throwing them on the road. Raven knew it was one hell of a gamble, but it was either that or run for cover, leaving the camp wide open. He just prayed it would work

Robbo nods his agreement, and gets ready. Without real AT weapons, Robbo figured that the best would be to try and blind the APC view ports with a few well aimed shots. Very hard to do at a moving target at night, but worth a shot. If the periscopes could be cracked or starred, the crew might be forced to stick their heads out of the APC, ready to get their heads shot off. And if the Major could blow a track, that task would be a little easier.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:01 hours I=5

MAJ Raven completed the improvised satchel charge as the track rumbled slowly into view. Hopefully the 4 grenades supplied by the dead man would be enough, and hopefully Raven could make the throw without having to get too close -- either to the APC and it's owners, or to the blast when the thing goes off... Robbo gave a nod as the officer signalled he was ready. Robbo would cover the MAJ as the latter would toss the satchel charge.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:06 hours I=4
10m North of Brush Hollow Trail
near intersection with McCall Dug Road
(Center and Union County Line)

MAJ Raven and Robbo waited. 50 meters. Those few seconds seemed to augment into eons as the APC closed on their position from the west. Raven was tired, but the situation, (or more probably, the adrenaline his body was producing in response to the situation) kept him edgy and alert. Robbo raised his battle rifle, lined up on the driver's position, and waited. As the APC closed to 40 meters, both men could make out a head and upper torso visible from the driver's hatch, and perhaps 5-6 dismounted infantry walking behind the vehicle.

30 meters. Robbo had the guy driving this track for sure. Raven froze, blanketed by drizzle and the pitch black night. His fatigue was begin to grab at him like the undertow during hurricane season. He was convinced he would have to deliver the satchel charge at near danger-close range. Maybe he should've let Robbo do it. Giving the grunt work to the young bucks just wasn't in his character. And at 25 meters he really couldn't change the plan right now -- there were other things to attend to. Raven would wait and make the throw at 15 meters, and rely on the Earth's enveloping Goodness to protect him.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:36 hours I=4

20 meters, and then 5 meters. Robbo could about club the driver and save ammo. Had these goons not heard the shooting? Rifles every which way, walking all bunched up. In this rain they might be the only humans more miserable than he and MAJ Raven. They were trudging along like they were headed to the gallows. Then again, if they were in Stryfe's unit, that might be a real possibility. Raven checked the hasty satchel charge one final time, pulled the pin on the "fuse" grenade, aimed at the APC's track and gave the whole thing a heave...

The satchel charge went short by 3 meters. The thing exploded in a deafening roar, splattering mud and wire fragments every which way. Raven certainly was within the blast of that one, hopefully not by too much. Simultaneously, Robbo drilled the driver with an 8 or 10 round burst.

If it was bad luck for the satchel charge to miss the APC, it was also bad luck for the soldiers accompanying the track. They were utterly shredded by the blast. Mud, fragments, and other things best unlisted were scattered into the trees and brush right above Raven. One banked off of his helmet, sounding like a .22 hitting an empty beercan. At least one other felt like a wasp at his lower back, but the Kevlar must have saved his hide once again. For the moment, he seemed unhurt.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:41 hours I=3

Robbo kept peppering the APC with fire from his battle rifle. He saw a head pop up in the back compartment, and he was obliged to drill it good. Robbo had maybe half a mag left, and planned on taking out vision ports, antenna mounts, or heads, which ever presented themselves first.

Raven switched off to his M21, and kept the pressure up on the APC. The rifle rounds probably wouldn't penetrate the skin of that vehicle, but as long as they were pinned down, the occupants couldn't do much to Raven or Robbo. Even while firing, he was studying the vehicle. Robbo would be about empty at this rate. Raven would fire single shots to take up the slack when Robbo had to change mags.

As far as the APC, it was an M113 variant, a mortar carrier, an M106 if Raven's eyes were focusing correctly through the damn drizzle. A nice prize, if it was do-able. Raven was 100% sure Robbo got the driver, and there was no sign of a CO -- no person in cupola, no .50 cal or M60 mount even.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:46 hours I=2

Robbo changed mags while Raven kept up suppressive fire against the M106. There was no return fire. The APC was stopped dead in it's tracks from the time Robbo had shot the driver.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:51 hours I=1
Raven wanted that damned track and wanted it bad. It had harassed the Camp for several nights, and would continue doing so until it was put out of action -- or captured. Raven laid his M21 down, and drew his .45. Raven pulled one grenade from his harness for insurance, and charged the M106! Robbo covered the CO.

8 MAY 2003 / 2144:06 hours I=5
Raven reached the side of the M106 unscathed, slipped twice clampering up the track to get topside, banging his shin on the damned boxy body. He peered over the edge, and...

....was greeted by a holdout, the sole survivor of the crew, who capped away at Raven with a revolver at point blank range! Raven took two hammerstroke slugs to the chest, again, thankful that his Kevlar vest held. He had no time to register how it felt. He just shot the man four times, all hits to chest, abdomen, and head.

Quickly scanning the hull, there were 2 other dead strewn about on the floor, probably those that foolishly popped their heads up.

Raven yelled "Clear!" to Robbo, and scanned the trail west for the other APCs they had observed earlier... Nothing could be seen, but then again, the forest was pretty thick at this point...

next turn is 8 MAY 2003 / 2144:11 hours I=4

OK you're proud owners of an M106. It takes time to search, and Ed pointed out correctly that this vehicle was maybe only 1/3 of the problem. So I'll say there is a 120mm mortar tube and mount, baseplate hung outside on left side of vehicle (probably bullet riddled), three dead men, one revolver.

Raven took minor frags from the satchel. He is not in pain from that. The vest also stopped two slugs from the revolver. They feel like punches or bruises. Raven blew one M21 mag, Robbo blew two SA-58 mags.


Raven quickly considered his options. There were more enemy troops out there, and there was no way that they could have not heard the satchel charge going off. They could stay and make a stand. But they had pushed their luck about as far as they could. And the Camp needed to know about the situation out here. He made his decision.

"Robinson, get up here!", he shouted. The APC's engine was still running, the drivers body slumped over the console. He grabbed the body under the arms, and hauled him out, dumping him unceremoniously in the rear compartment. He crawled into the drivers seat, taking in the controls. Hard to believe he had never driven one of these things in all his years of service. The curse of being light infantry, he thought. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It can't be all that different from driving a truck.

Robinson appeared in the back of the APC. Raven turned in his seat. "Get on the radio, and try to raise the Camp. We're heading back, they need to know what's going on out here, and we've done about all we can. And tell them not to shoot us up." He chuckled to himself at that, it was the second time today he had given that order, at this rate, the 3/103rd motor pool was going to be filled with vehicles bearing Stryfe's symbol. He put the metal beast in gear, and started it back toward it's new home.




Copyright 1998-2001, by ERIC, who is now 3 Degrees Above Zero. All Rights Reserved