The Keystone Division after WW3
The Raven and the Phoenix - PT II

M3 Greasegun

7 MAY 2003 / 1500 hours
MAJ Raven and SGT Berger begin planning for mission to the Mine at Freeland. Their orders read to leave at 0030, hopefully arriving at Freeland by 0300. When there, Raven can assess the situation, and if feasible, attempt Sean's rescue.

GEN Applegate frees up 2 additional men from the Training Company, and assigns them to MAJ Raven. The class doesn't graduate for another 3 weeks, but these men were consistantly at the top of their class. They are PVT Thomas and PVT Wilkes.

7 May 2003 - 1030 HRS
Maj Raven went back to his office after leaving MG Applegate, sat down at his desk, and opened Col Stryfe's 201 file. The man had had a long career, and it took some time to go through everything. What he read confirmed his worst fears, Stryfe was a very capable officer, and a very dangerous man.

================================== COL Nathan B Stryfe, born 1953 (age 50)

1971-enlisted - 1st CAV, Vietnam, later promoted SGT, Bronze Star, Purple Heart.

1975- entered Special Forces 5th SFG (on loan to CIA), Cambodia, promoted SSG

1979- stayed on in Cambodia, promoted SFC, posted to OCS upon return to USA

1983-Special Forces 10th SFG, Grenada Invasion, promoted LT1, A- Team # 432 XO, Purple Heart

1987-transferred 101st Airborne (Air Assault), promoted CPT, assigned as Company CO

1991-101st Airborne, Operation Desert Storm, Company CO

1995-detached duty w/ 10th SFG, Bosnia, promoted MAJ

1999-101st Airborne, WWIII, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, promoted LT COL, returned to USA AUG 2001

2003- The Present: transferred to 28th DIV (M) after 101st struck from the books, promoted COL

1. All of his annual evaluations are there. He's been in the Army 32 years. He's never had an unsatisfactory review, with them being equally divided between satisfactory and commendable, with a 2-3 excellents thrown in (during his Vietnam and Cambodia tours, as well as WWIII)

2. All of his after action reports are there. It would take some time, but a good reader / psychologist could get into his head/operating style given some time.

3. Digging in the dirt: A) a Friendly Fire incident during the Grenada Invasion. Stryfe and Team opened fire on a position -- resulted in 3 Navy SEAL WIA. Friendlies were out of an assigned area, and failed to answer 3 attempts to contact by radio. Many units were having radio problems that day, as few of the services were operating on the same net. Charges were dropped and SEAL CO reprimanded.

B) Incident(s) in and around the Sarajevo Hilton. Styfe assigned as an advisor to Bosnian Peacekeeping Mission. Accused of running several Black Ops, ie. unauthorized, off the books missions. One such mission allegedly involved the assassinations of mayors in two adjoining towns. Incidents never could be substantiated, and charges were dropped.

C) Near end of WWIII in Middle East, Stryfe was XO of the 101st. Organized the evac from the area, bargained with Corsican criminal factions, and made escape w/ 1628 personnel aboard the Gulf Eagle. Stryfe was effectively in command, as the CO was severely wounded. Upon return to Washington DC, the 101st was struck from the records, as only about 10% of manpower had survived WWIII. Stryfe lodged a formal protest with 7th Corps, which 101st was subordinate to. The protest was kicked all the way up to the President himself, and Styfe received an official reprimand. He transferred into the 28th DIV (M) when the 101st was broken up, being posted to DIV HQ as a staffer. Later was assigned as CO of 3/103rd Armored by MG Wesley Hamilton, MG Applegate's predecessor.

NOTE: GEN Hamilton committed suicide after a failed coup attempt in DEC 2002. GEN Applegate succeeded him.

General notes: Styfe qualified expert in rifle, pistol, & SMG. Was a lt wpns NCO during his SF career. Accomplished 120+ patrols, and countless other OPS in his 30 months in Vietnam. Fascinated with / collects guns. Speaks German fluently (bilingual household), also speaks Spanish, French, Cambodian, Vietnamese at moderate ability. Generally admired and respected by his men. Strong personality, yet not necessarily intimidating.

CIB, Army Good Conduct, Lifesaving medal, Sunburst of Arabia, Bosnian Peacekeepers Medal, and about a dozen more, etc etc etc....

Black Belt in Nise Goyu Ryu, also coached 101st Screaming Eagles kickboxing team. Enjoys Classical Music. Completed the Boston marathon several times. Dislikes rock and roll and country music. Won a division-wide chess tournament w/ 1st CAV in VN. Plays the violin better than average. Has expensive tastes in food and wine. Avoids beer and strong liquor. Doesn't smoke. Rarely swears.

Psych eval: stable, professional man,Type A workaholic personality. lives for his job, problems with emotional coldness/ lack of attachment, especially to females. IQ = 130-135. Some feelings of inadequacy, especially with never having raised a family. Could actually be intimidated by women, or at least is wary of working or interacting with same....


07 May 2003 - 1400 HRS
Maj Raven met with Maj Bell at the supply depot. MG Applegate had done an admirable job in coming up with supplies for the 3/103rd, but there was one glaring omission, no heavy weapons. When Stryfe came to finish the job, and Raven didn't doubt for one second that he would come, he was sure to have some serious firepower at his disposal. Without something heavier than a machinegun in defense, it would be a very short battle indeed.

MG Applegate had been very apologetic, but also very firm, no heavy weapons could be spared. That left him with only one rather unsavory option, the black market. Raven had been in the Army too long to pretend it didn't exist, and he had dealt with profiteers before, but not for something like this. Booze for his troops was one thing, a 90mm recoiless rifle was something else all together. Maj Bell was more crooked than a dog's hind leg, but he had what he needed. But he couldn't shake the feeling that he what he was doing was wrong, and that someone would pay with their life.

But what about the lives of all those people at Halfway Dam? They were his responsibility now, and he wasn't going to let them down. When he had been a young private in Vietnam, a million years ago, his platoon sergeant said something that he had never forgotten. "Raven", he said, "when it comes to combat, there's only one rule. Do what you gotta do." It was a hard rule to follow sometimes, but it had saved his life, and the lives of his men, on more than one occasion.

So I'll deal with the Devil himself, he thought, if that's what it takes. He walked over to the waiting Maj Bell. "So Bell, do you have the item we discussed?"

Raven tried to dicker on the price. Maj Bell held firm. He had what Raven wanted and he knew it. Raven finally agreed. Maj Bell was looking a little jumpy, and Raven didn't want to push him. They shook hands on the deal, and Raven said, "I'll swing by later tonite to make the final exchange, just before I leave."

7 May 2003 / 1500 hours
Maj Raven sat down with Sgt Berger to plan how they were going to rescue Sean Cunningham. If it wasn't for the ponytail that the Sgt was still sporting, Raven probably wouldn't have recognized him as the same man he had talked to a few hours before. Which gave him an idea...

"Sgt Berger, the way I see it, from the information you've given me, we have four options. Option #1: A frontal assault on the compound at Freeland. I can't say I'm very fond of that idea, frontal assaults tend to get men killed very quickly. Option #2 would be to try and scale the quarry walls on the north or south side. Quite frankly, I don't think either of us is up to that task. Option #3 would be to try to sneak into the compound from the east side of the mountain. But with that wall of boulders and M60 position you mentioned, that might be a little dicey, unless there is an spot on the wall that they don't have covered, or there is a break in the boulders somewhere we could sneak through. Which leaves us with Option #4...

"....which brings us to Option #4. You've said that the renegades are using the 28th's Keystone insignia, with a demon's skull superimposed on top of it. I think we can scare up some paint, and someone who has some artistic talent. We go in the front gate, big as life, as fellow renegades. Once inside, I'll demand to see the camp CO, saying that Stryfe sent me, and he is very upset with him for letting you escape. That ought to put the fear of God into him!"

"Now they've seen you, but you've changed your clothes and gotten cleaned up. We can put you behind the .50 cal on top of the Hummer, with a helmet, some goggles, and a bandana to cover your nose and mouth. Anybody riding on top of a vehicle, especially with the roads being in the condition they are these days, would have a similar getup to keep the dust out of their face. I'll be making a lot of noise, telling them that Stryfe is coming, and is he pissed! They'll all hopefully be looking at me, and not you. We'll have to find you a new set of footgear, those biker boots are pretty distinctive. Which leaves just one question, how attatched are you to that ponytail?"

Also, Raven will ask the Medical staff if they have something available that would knock a man out in a couple of seconds, like Ether. He'd like to take the CO prisoner, and question him in detail when they get to the camp at Halfway Dam. But that would be a bonus, not the main objective.

He'd also like to try and free all the other prisoners, so he will be questioning Berger about other vehicles in the compound that they might be able to capture, and use to transport any prisoners that want to join them. You mentioned a Duece-and-a-half. are there any other vehicles? ....

"I'd like to hear your thoughts on the various options I've outlined, Sergeant. Is there anything I've missed, or any other information you have that could help us break out Mr. Cunningham?"

"I'll think about it sir..."

[GM] MG Applegate came up with 3 LAW-72s for the 3/103...

a silenced Ruger .22 was as good as it gets, and the silencer is non-removable and bulky. You have 1 10 rnd mag, and 200 rnds to play with.

Berger wonders if we're freeing all these prisoners, what'll we need for them? At least some weapons, right, sir? Anything else...

Berger has gotten shakier the closer the time gets to leaving...

7 May 2003 / 1600 Hours
Maj Raven had gathered his team together; Sgt. Berger, Spec Anderson, and Pvts Wilkes and Thomas. When they were seated, he began to speak.

"Gentlemen, I'm not going to lie to you, this is a dangerous assignment. Sgt Berger and I have been going over various options, and I think we have come up with a plan that has a good chance of success. What we are going to do is infiltrate the POW camp, disguised as fellow renegades"

"The motor pool has already repainted our Humvee with the renegades symbol. Those of us wearing the 28th unit patch will also draw the demon skull ontop of the keystone insignia to help complete the disguise. Sgt. Berger will be wearing a helmet. goggles, and a bandana to cover his face, since his face is known to the camp. Don't talk to him unless it's absolutely neccesary, I don't want the camp looking at him."

"Instead, I want them to be looking at me. We will bypass the main camp, and take the dirt road off of Rte 940, between the prisoners cage and the walled compound. Once inside, if we are stopped, let me do the talking. I will tell them that we have been sent by Col Stryfe, to find out how he let a prisoner escape and kill several guards."

"You all need to understand how an organization like the renegades function. It is based on one thing. Fear. Fear that if they screw up, somebody, in this case Col. Stryfe, will come along and blow their brains out. There are only two types of people in this kind of group, people you fear, and people that fear you. We want to impress upon the members that we are people to be feared. It's all about attitude, walk like you own the place, sneer at them, and when you speak, speak to them like you would speak to a convicted child molester."

"Human nature being what it is, their thinking wil be something like this, "They must be some serious badasses, and be well connected, for them to be acting like this, so I'll do whatever they say, and try to stay on their good side, so they will go away amd leave me alone." Remember, we really have to sell this, so use your imagination, pretend you are Nazi guard at Aushwitz. If you tell somebody to do something, and they don't move fast enough, kick them in the ass to get them moving, or buttstroke them. If anybody starts getting suspicious, and starts asking "who the hell do you think you are?", don't panic. They might not know who you are, but they sure as hell know Col. Stryfe and his reputation. Just smile at them, and say, "What's your name, soldier, when I report back to Col Stryfe, and he asks why we didn't complete our mission, I want to make sure I get the name right. I'm sure he'll want to talk to you, personally." I gaurantee they'll cave in on the spot."

"I'll be riding up front, Sgt Berger will be manning the .50 cal up top, Anderson will be driving, Wilkes will be in the back seat behind me, and Thomas will be behind Anderson. When we stop, and I have to get out of the Humvee, Wilkes, I want you to get out and open my door for me so fast, they'll think somebody just dropped a grenade in there! Again, this is part of the image we want them to see, THEY should be afraid of YOU, and YOU are afraid of ME. That should make me twice as scary, so when I talk to their CO, he'll do exactly what I say."

Maj Raven pulled out the hand drawn map Sgt Berger had made, and spread it out on the table. "Here is the dirt road coming off of Rte 940. We will follow it up to to the East side of the walled compound. When we are stopped, I will tell the individual that we have been sent by Col Stryfe, and that their CO had better get his butt out here, now! When he arrives, we tell him that Stryfe want us to look at his security setup, and find out exactly how it was possible that a prisoner managed to escape, and kill several guards in the process. This should give us the freedom to move around we need. They should be more than willing to accomodate us."

"Now this is where it gets a little tricky. From what Sgt Berger has told me about Sean Cunningham, it's a safe bet that he has made some sort of escape plans of his own. The only problem is, we don't know what they are. But we can make some educated guesses. He has only been there a few days, so he hasn't had time to dig a tunnel or anything like that. He is also wounded, which will slow him down as well. And he knows that Sgt Berger is coming back for him. Chances are we are looking at two probable scenarios; that he has managed to bribe a guard or find one sympathetic that will help when the time comes, or that the prisoners will stage a good old-fashioned prison riot, and draw the guards attention away from us."

"So we need to be prepared for anything. Keep your eyes and ears open. We need to be able to take advantage of any opportunity that Cunningham and the prisoners may give us. We also need to make contact with Mr. Cunningham somehow, and let him know that we will back his play, whatever it is. Sgt Berger will give you a physical description of the man, so keep your eyes out for him. If there is no other way we can contact him, I will tell the camp CO that I want to question the prisoner the escapee arrived with."

Major Raven returned to the map. "There are 3 spots we need to neutralize, the guard tower overlooking the caged prisoners, and the two lookout posts on the eastern edge of the perimeter. When the CO comes out of the compound, I will tell him that we are going to have a look at his security setup, and to have his men give us complete cooperation. I will have the CO accompany me as I inspect the area. I will start near the wire enclosure, and order Wilkes and Thomas to walk the perimeter. When you two get to the first guardpost, start questioning the soldiers guarding it. Ask them if they were on duty during the escape, what they saw, things like that." Maj Raven pulled out a Silenced Ruger .22. "When their defences are down, you use this on them. Keep it hidden under your jacket until you are ready to use it. The best place to shoot them will be the back of the head, at the base of the skull, so try to get them to look away from you. Try the old "Hey, what the hell is THAT?" routine. It's got a 10-round magazine, so empty it in to them. If they're still moving, use your knives to finish them off. One the first guardpost is down, reload and move to the next guardpost, and do it again."

"You'll also have one syringe and one inhaled dose of knockout juice. The Med section assures me that it will put a man to sleep in a couple of seconds. Use them at your discretion, but remember, they might be able to make some noise before they go to sleep, so cover their mouths and hold on until they collapse. If they do make noise, assuming that someone hears and comes to look, and assuming that the guards are not a threat anymore, just tell the person who is coming to look, "Next time, when I tell him to MOVE, he'll MOVE! Then you both start laughing."

"If you have successfully taken out both guard positions, come back and find me and give me a nod. If you were unsuccessful, and the alarm has not been raised, a slight shake of the head. If you took out only one, a finger against the nose, and a slight gesture with the head to indicate which guardpost is still a threat."

"I will attempt to take out the man in the guard tower, using the knockout juice or my knife. If all has gone according to plan, that's when the fun begins. We will all be carrying both frag and smoke grenades. Start tossing the smoke grenades when I give you the signal. Sgt Berger, that will be your cue to start firing the .50 cal on the compound's eastern wall, to take out anybody that is a threat up there."

"Before the fun starts, I will walk the CO over to our Humvee, hand him a clipboard with some paper on it and a pen, and tell him to start writing out a report on what happened. When he is writing, I'll knock him out with the syringe, and dump him in the Hummer."

"After you have taken out the guard posts, Wilkes (or whichever of the two is a better driver) will make his to the Duece-and-a-half, and be ready to jump in and start it up. You should have the Ruger, in case there are any guards. When the smoke grenades pop, drop the tailgate and get the truck started. Be ready to move out in a moments notice, and follow Anderson in the Hummer."

"Anderson, you and Sgt Berger will stick with the Humvee. When the shooting starts, get that thing moving, and take out any targets of opportunity after the threat from the compound wall has been eliminated. Thomas and I will free the prisoners, and start passing out the weapons to them (ooc-assuming I was able to get some)."

"Now there is always the possibility that something will go wrong. If we are made before the 3 guardpost have been taken out, Thomas (ooc-or which ever of the two has a higher IF skill) you will be armed with the M79. Start dropping grenades in the two guardposts, and Sgt Berger, you will open up on the guard tower first, and then the compound wall. Everyone will toss as many smoke and frag grenades as possible, the more chaos the better."

"Some reminders -- I'll be carrying the M3 greasegun, but Anderson, keep my M21 handy next to my seat, just in case. We also have 3 M72 LAW's at our disposal. If we can't take out the guardposts any other way, we'll use those. But don't grab them as soon as we show up, that would look suspicious. Come back and tell me that we need to use them.

Also, we need to keep aware of that mineshaft. There could be more prisoners down there, as well as more guards. If they are keeping Mr Cunningham down there, I'll first try having the CO bring him out for questioning. If that doesn't work, when we open upon the camp, we'll go down after him in all the confusion.

And one last thing, when Sgt Berger was at the camp, he had been drugged, beaten, kept locked up, and was being shot at during his escape, so there may be many inaccuracies in this map. Don't take it as Gospel. From the time we first approach the camp all the way through the end, keep your eyes open. Look for any differences, and report them. I'll have the CO give me a rundown on the setup while we are standing next to the Humvee, so you can hear what he has to say. Watch me for your cues to act, and remember, attitude, attitude, attitude!"

"These are our piorities, in order:

1. Free Sean Cunningham.
2. Free and arm the rest of the prisoners..
3. Take the Duece and a half..
4. Kidnap the camp CO..
5. Kill anybody else there that is a threat.

And remember, there may be some friendlies there, besides the bagpiper Sgt Berger mentioned. I know that this is a complex plan, so we will go over it again and again until we are ready to leave. Are there any qustions for me?"



Copyright 1998-2000, by ERIC, The Phantom of the Rock Opera. All Rights Reserved