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

Ruger MK II

Raven asked Berger to get some weapons together for the POWs -- nothing fancy, just something to give them a fighting chance...

Later, Berger returned with three "mayhem bags", ($1400 each) containing:

10- knives ($50)
2- .38 Special snubnose with 6 rnd cylinders ($150)
2- 9mm automatic with 10 rnd mags (Brand names such as Lorcin, Davis, etc...) ($200)
2 - .30-06 hunting rifles with 5 rnd internal mags. 20 additional rnds each (a box rubberbanded to stock) ($300)
2- M-1 Garand with 8 rnd en bloc clip. 32 additional rnds each, clips attached to sling. ($400)
12 gauge pump shotgun with 8 rnd internal capacity. 8 additional rnds in cloth holder on stock. ($150)
AK-47 with 30 rnd mag. Additional 30 rnd mag "jungle clipped" with tape to 1st mag. ($150)
6 fragmentation hand grenades

The mayhem bags were further broken down into lighter packs so that they could be effectively tossed over the wire to the POWs...

A few other notes...

The paymaster issued Raven credit vouchers and cash for every adult person (civilian or military) Berger could recall who resides with the 3/103rd. That's a small bundle of dough, kept in a locked footlocker! The credit is for $500, and the cash is for $100 for each person. You are supplied with 10 blank vouchers and $1000 to cover anyone Berger missed.

You, Anderson, Thomas and Wilkes are not eligable for either cash or credit. This is the unit's back pay. Any unused credit and cash (deaths, desertions, Berger's miscounts) should be paid to surviving dependants, or held on account for future needs.

Berger shows up without ponytail, his haircut being the type "you could comb with a washcloth"...

Berger explains he put the mayhem bags together out of odds and ends, bargains, etc. with a few choice pieces here and there. Each is intended to arm about 12-15 men, so all told, the bags might arm half of the number of prisoners that he estimated +/- The weapons are not the greatest quality, but all are clean, and appear serviecable. The total for all three is $4200 "All you need to do is sign here, MAJ..."

He has added an item or two to his kit, which now includes M16, sawed off DB shotgun, .45 auto, knife, and Kevlar Vest. He put together some odds and ends for Sean, as well as a medical kit, and some booze and cigars for afterwards. He's trying to make this seem positive, and he's OK as long as he's busy, but as soon as he sits down, he's got the shakes. He said he only smoked the occaisional cigar when you met him, but he made it through a pack of Pall Malls since lunch... He paid for it all out of pay advanced to him here at HQ, as well as trading in the Renault LeCar he stole, and will not be eligable for the $100 cash, but is entitled to the $500 credit. Provided we get through....

7 May 2003 / 1630 Hours
Maj Raven had just finished his briefing on their plan to rescue Sean Cunningham. He told the rest of the group to take a break, and then took Sgt Berger aside, to talk with him in private. "Sgt. Berger, the work you've done with these "mayhem bags" is outstanding. I especially like the way you've attatched the ammo to each individual weapon. This will make a big difference in our chances of success, and will help the prisoners even after we bust them out. I want to strap them on top of the Humvee, with quick release straps. When it all goes down, throw them over the top of the wire to the prisoners. If everything goes smoothly, do it before you light up the wall. If someone opens fire before we've secured our three objectives, take out the guard tower first, then toss the bags." " I need your help with something else. The rest of the team is pretty green. You and I are the only really experienced soldiers, so I'd like you to work with them closely, until it's time to leave. When we go into that compound, I want us to act like a well-oiled machine. Walk them through every step of the plan, over and over, until they can do it in their sleep. And we need to pump them up as well, just like a football coach before the big game. Get their adrenaline going, so that when they step out of the Hummer, they all act like a bunch of swaggering badasses." 8 May 2003 / 0230 Hours
They were nearing the Freeland compound. Time for one last motivational speech, Maj Raven thought.

"All right men, WHAT ARE YOU?"
"Badasses, Sir!"
"I can't HEAR YOU!"
"Who are we?"
"And what do we do to somebody that gets in our way?"
"Kill 'em, Sir!"
Maj Raven looked at the men in his command, and smiled. "You're damn right we do. Keep that fire in your hearts, and in your eyes. Remember, those poor bastards are counting on us to get them out. And get them out we will, or we're not...WHO ARE WE?"


MAJ Raven's Roughnecks drove 15 minutes on RT 81 until they picked up RT 309, a less travelled road, not an Interstate like 81. Raven told Anderson to use best judgement on speed depending on road conditions. Berger confirmed that from there, the group was within about 20 miles of the target. Berger reminds Anderson, concerning the roadsigns for Freeland. 'Remember, they moved the town of Freeland, so no one is exactly sure..." Anderson came back with an expressionless "Check..."

The road went from 2 lane, up and down the hills, to a 1-mile stretch of 4-lane a few times. This is where other roads intersect. 28th HQ sends occasional patrols out this far.

Once again, it was up and over one last hill, and the road transitioned to 4 lanes. From there the group saw the mountain, and a few firelights were seen as little yellow dots at the summit.

Anderson jokingly intones in a TV evangelist voice "I can seeeee the light..." Raven, all business, remarked, "There's our target, men -- Move toward it, then!..." "Yes sir" was Anderson's reply.

Anderson wheeled the HUMVEE under I-80, and about 1 mile further, they reached the junction with RT 940. Anderson skirted the mountain, going cross-country around the south side. Soon they ended up back on RT 940, and reached the outer guard post....

"It's showtime..."

Anderson pulled up to the guard post, and stopped. The guard was covering the HUMVEE, but must've seen the Demonic Keystone, and instantly snapped to. Immediately a 2nd man could be seen, pointing a LAW at the side of the HUMMER. He must be inexperienced -- He was too close, if he let loose, his buddy would get shredded...

"Wilkes! Open the MAJ's door!..."

Wilkes regained his nerves. Guard #1 said "Christ!" abit too loudly under his breath, and he went straight, like someone reamed his butt with barbed wire. Wilkes got out, scowled at the guards and opened the door.

Raven got out, posed, hands on hips, and bellowed, "You have commo with your CO?"

"ba ba ba whut?!?" (stutters)

Wilkes is not really that scary, but he ACTs it! And the MAJ, well, he IS scary... a guard sees HIM scowling like Crazy Horse and about peed his pants...

"The CO?... he's probably asleep..." The guard can't quite make eye contact.

Finally Raven's group was cleared to enter.

"About time". Raven got back in the Hummer, and told Anderson to move out. The guard picked up a phone, and cranked the set, and spoke as Anderson tromped it... [Raven]
"Keep it up guys, you're doing great!..." [Wilkes]
"Did ya see that guy. I think he pissed his knickers" Anderson drove up the secondary road. "Where d'ya want me ta park sir?"

Raven gestured between the duece and the POW's. Anderson nodded, and pointed to a tarp-tent just north of the 2 1/2Tonner. It looked like engine parts, tools, fuel, etc... Raven knew it would be a nice present, but we have to stick to our objective for now.

"Thomas, Wilkes, follow me, head toward compound." As they entered, 2 guards can be seen walking perimeter of wire enclosure

Sean was awake... some HUMVEE pulled into the area about 30 seconds ago. That was unusual... you never get visitors at nite, at least in the 2-3 nites you've been here. It was parked between the 2 1/2 tonner and the wire enclosure, so it was like 25-30 meters from Sean. Scrolly had woken him up, and stared stupidly into Sean's eyes like a big puppy. Yeah, a big insane, brawling puppy. Then Sean remembered -- and scanned around for Badger or the other brute of a guy who gave him a problem in the mines. Niether were to be seen. Sean guessed, "So the big idiot took my bullet?" Scrolly just smiled and patted Sean on the back.

Back with the MAJ, the group passed a bonfire burning in the west 1/3 of the wire enclosure. The whole area of the POW cage smelled of raw sewage. Raven casually spotted two guards in the squat tower east of the wire cage, and maneuvered while making idel chit-chat, so the others, too, would face the tower and take notice. All together, it looked like 100 +/- POWs...

Berger got very pissy with some guards that were leaning on the HUMVEE. "Listen, ya mother, get yer hand's off the MAJ's vehicle -- Don't ya know he's Nathan Stryfe's right hand man???" Berger was loud, hoping if Sean was still alive that he would hear Berger's bombastic voice...

Raven's plan to pose as a snap inspection / fact finding mission seemed to be working, at least for the moment. Thomas and Wilkes would survey the perimeter, Raven would meet with the CO, and Berger and Anderson would stay with the vehicle. Finally there came the words everyone was waiting for.

"Move out, and report back to me whe your done"

Wilkes and Thomas chime in "Yes sir", and they sneer a la Billy Idol at anyone in their path... They head southeast, for GP #1....

By now MAJ Wynn, the Camp CO had come out, dressed in bathrobe, boots, and M92, looking for all the world like Jerry Lewis meets Hawkeye Pierce. Some guard offered MAJ Raven coffee, and he accepted, motioning Wynn forward.

"Lets go to the CP, Wynn, my coffee is getting cold..."

From Sean's vantage point, he saw two badasses pass the wire cage after a heated discussion between the Camp CO and this new MAJ. The other POWs in the cage were getting restless, too. Sean stayed to the side closest to Humvee, close to where he heard Berger's voice. Two wary guards walked the perimeter of the cage.

Thomas and Wilkes disappear into darkness near GP #1...

[ooc] a little commercial break is appropriate here..

The GM apologizes to players anxiously awaiting results while he rolls huge handsful of dice... rollin rollin rollin.... load em up move em out...

hope you are using the nice dice

It's not pretty...

note to self, burn E's dice next time in PA

they're titanium

A hundred yards away, swearing can be heard from GP #1...

"I told you Wynn, you're men were to COOPERATE!"

"Sorry, MAJ. Shall I ring them up on the phone?"

"Negative, MY men will deal with them. They'll learn!"

Another soldier approached Wynn and Raven from the East.."Sir, there's two guys walking the perimeter, what's up with them? They act like they Fn own the place..."

"Tonite, THEY DO!"

"Yes sir!", he mumbled, then turned on heel and stepped away saying plenty under his breath...

"Why are we still standing outside, Wynn?"

"Please join me inside... for the life of me I don't know why you're here. The Col said the incident would be forgotten?!?"

"Col Stryfe NEVER forgets ANYTHING!"

"Then what exactly is your mission here, MAJ Raven? You waltz in here at 3pm and expect me to know what the f*** is up, well you tell ME!"

"My mission here, is to review your security procedures, and see if changes need to be made, so this doesn't happen again. The COL doesn't like mistakes, or people who make them" Raven stroked his M3 again.

"IF Stryfe is thinking of double crossing me, or checking things out, why'd he send you, when he was here himself just 2 days ago... If this is some kind of test, let's get on with it. I have nothing to hide."

Raven took in the detail of the CP. It was a well lit bunker, partially underground. It took Raven back about 30 years, to his term in Vietnam... There were radios, electricity, wood stove, and plenty of weapons. A table with maps, and a few chairs and other home-crafted items completed the picture. Raven and Wynn were alone in the first room, which housed the radios and map table, but there was a door in the north wall...

"Why don't we start with you getting dressed,Wynn, while I check out your set up here." Wynn excused himself and headed thru the north door, which gave way to a dark tunnel. Again Raven got a Vietnam twinge....

Raven followed Wynn, at a distance...

Elsewhere, in the POW cage, some POWs were grabbing burning logs on the sly, ready for whatever was going to happen. No one had said anything, but it was as if they all knew...

Back in the bunker, Raven followed Wynn down a hall, to a T intersection, went Right, and entered a room. Wynn opened a locker, and dressed. Raven took in the bed, desk, crates, and gritted his teeth. For a moment Wynn was shorter by almost a foot, and had golden brown skin. Creepy. Thank God they were alone. Raven steeled himself for what was ahead.

When both returned to the radio room, there was a PVT there, waiting with Thomas and Wilkes...

Raven wasted no time. (To Wikes and Thomas) "Report!"

They both smiled evil grins. Thomas had a shiner on one eye, and blood on his uniform. "Sir, we discovered north guardpost asleep. Applied physical reinforcement as to seriousness of situation. Subject resisted...."

Wynn stared on in shock, as if waiting to hear the men were shot on sight.

"Subject was shown the error of his ways... Request permission to continue survey..."

"Request granted"

Thomas, who looks like a choirboy, is really putting the edge on this -- lot's of "sir yes sir", and plenty of snap to his movements and salutes. In a moment when Wynn was not looking at Raven, Wilkes gave a wink and a nod, followed by a slight sigh...

The stage is set, the curtain rises, and the light focuses on your little group MAJ. Good luck. It could get rough from here...

"Now that you are properly dressed, I wanted to check out the POW's and who's guarding them, let's see if they are asleep too..."

[Wynn] "Christ..." He strapped on a M92, and headed out with you...

"He's not here, Wynn, I AM!"

Wynn shut up and just had to take. The man escourting Thomas and Wilkes sat at the radio, and tried to look busy... When Raven and the group went outside, all of the troops were abit more uneasy, and stepped lively, avoiding confrontation, and even eye contact.

Raven headed for the Hummer, motioning Wynn to follow. "There's something I need to grab first, follow me. Wynn did so, and soon the two were at the vehicle. Berger looked toward the cage when Raven approached, and Raven read the contempt on his face, even thru his bandanna cover. Raven had no illusions -- Berger would definitely love to cap this guy. Another person joined Wynn. He wore MSG stripes. He saluted. His nametape read Powell, and the wobbley man smelled of liquor.

Raven opened the door, reached in, pulled out a clipboard, and handed it to Wynn. Raven gave his best annoyed officer look to Powell, and snapped, "WHAT?"

Berger straightened even more. Raven remembered. The name clicked. Berger, REALLY would like to cap this guy Powell. It was Powell that gave him the rifle butt to the ribs....

"SGT Powell, sir. Can I be of assistance? I didn't know we were up for another inspection this week." He continued rambling like an idiot, rather than leaving it at that.

Wynn took the clipboard, looked over the papers, and looked confused at the forms? Sensing the drunk man nearby, and the problems it was bound to cause, Wynn whacked Powell several times in rapid succession with clipboard, then booted him in the ass...

[Raven] (to Wynn)
"I Want you to have a seat and start giving me a report in every detail, about WHAT HAPPENED"

Raven scanned around like the bird of prey circling for the kill... Only Thomas and Wilkes, Berger and Anderson were nearby. Powell had taken off on some meaningless duty Wynn had assigned him.

Thomas said the codeword "Guiness" meaning he spotted Sean... "I could really go for a Guiness, sir, when we're done...."

[Raven] "That makes two of us, Thomas" While Wynn continued writing, Raven pulled out the syringe, and nailed him in the thigh. Wynn was at first oblivious, then scared shitless. Done. Over and out. nite nite.... he slumps forward.

"Anderson, make him look like he's writing, and close the door. Are both guardposts secure?"

"Yes. #1 went down easy. #2 damn near got us both dead...

[Raven] (to group)
"There's a bunker that's not on the map, and tunnel that looks like it leads all the way to the compound. We can't crack it, solid rock.

"BTW MAJ, we spotted 6 men near the minehead, 3 with M16s, the rest with hunting rifles... also GP# 1 had 2 LAW 72s there -- we stacked em out of the way for later..."

Raven goes over last minute details. "OK, Wilkes still goes for the truck, Thomas takes out the two roving guards, I take out the guard tower.... , wait for my move, get into position. As soon as I fire, toss the mayhem bags.

"Still want me to light up the compound wall, and then targets of opp?"

"Berger, you take out the minehead first, then compound wall."

Raven walked casually towards guard tower...

The M60 and gunner were there, and a man with a scoped rifle. Raven walked straight up to it. The guards attempted to look vigilent. Raven spoke to them. "I'm coming up!"

Little did they know...



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