[furryclan] game diaries
When a game as revolutionary as Operation Flashpoint comes along, the stories told about it are guaranteed to live forever. [furryclan] reflects on tales of war.
[lakmethemud]: 2002-01-26: The American Bullet
The things you remember the most are really quite simple. The sound of rain in the forest, the eerie mist before dawn and the bugs in the summer. You could never forget the bugs. Insects of unimaginable variety, carriers of disease, seeds of the devil. I was told very early on to respect them, and though I laughed at the time, I have not wavered from that advice since then. The understanding was sacred they told me. Kill them and they will kill you.
The soft falling rain on the canopy above filled my ears. Pitter patter pitter patter. Its rhythm, monotonous and subtle, droned unceasingly through the thick air. Pitter patter pitter patter. Occasionally a drop would fall helplessly in near slow motion to the damp brush floor beneath me. It was so quiet I could feel it pass by my cheek and land with a splot on a crumpled leaf.
I had been lying here for more than ten hours. Silent, motionless, invisible. My body was weak, filled with hunger and starving for sleep. And although the rain had started less than an hour ago, every inch of me was cold and wet. The thick layers of my uniform had become heavy as stones, pushing me into the sodden earth. I could feel every worm, every centipede, every insect slithering its way underneath me. The paint on my face had streaked and stung my eyes and left a starch pasty film on my lips. Each raindrop falling just out of reach, fuelling my thirst.
My legs had fallen asleep hours ago - which was good - but my arms, especially my left, ached with a terrible pain. It was outstretched turned slightly outward and was supporting the stock of my M21. My right arm turned in, closer, balanced my weight and with the hand on the trigger housing. Neither hand had moved to swat off countless attacks from the bugs. The seconds felt like minutes and the minutes felt like hours. This was how I lay, for what seemed like an eternity, waiting.
I had always known that I would be in this situation; the balance of a war resting on my very shoulders. My country, my land, my home all unknowingly praying that I succeed. But who can refuse that call from their country? The hero-quality inhabits us all, and the smallest things often bring it out. While this was certainly far from a small matter, I knew right away that my hero-quality had awoken in me from the beginning. My years of hard training and long field-exercises had brought me to where I was right now. With thoughts of my family back home running vividly through my head, I leaned into the targeting scope of my rifle and watched the jeep approach from the South.
The Russian outpost was situated on the Southeast coast of Kolgujev, with roads running North and South from it. It had immediate access to the Atlantic and therefore was a very valuable resource to the Russians. Its only discernable flaw was the forest, which flanked its Northeast face. The very forest that I was buried within, with only a few centimetres of my M21 pointing out. The boys in recon had done their job to the T, and I had them to thank for my prime position.
The approaching jeep contained four people. The driver, I assumed, was a relatively high-ranking soldier given his current responsibility. He was concentrating hard on the road, and I could see by his furrowed brow that he was trying hard not to listen to what was being said in the jeep. And while he was obviously very nervous about his delivery, he was still keeping the vehicle moving quite quickly - little quicker than I would have expected. I will call the driver "No.1". Next to No.1 was another sorry faced soldier, with a blank stare pointing towards the passenger side window. He was considerably better armed than the driver as I could see the bulk of a thick Kevlar vest under his jacket and he had his helmet securely fastened. His AK74 rested tucked between the door and his seat. I will call the meat-shield ' "No.2". "No.3" and "No.4" were in the back seat. Both were talking softly to each other, with quickened breaths and subtle movements of their faces to allude to their discussion. No.3, on my left, wore an Officers uniform and had a thin manila envelope held tight under his left arm. His hair was turning white under his large blue Officer's fur hat and he had probably not shaven that morning. No.4 had semi-translucent glasses covering his eyes and a grey scarf wrapped once around his neck with its tails pushed into his suit jacket. He too wore a similar fur hat but I could see no hairline; I imagined he was bald in the back. I kept my reticle on them as they came to the outpost.
The jeep pulled up the South gate and a soldier went to meet it. No.1 rolled down his window and the sentry peered in, glancing very quickly, and nodded. When the gate lifted, the jeep drove in and veered East along a path lining the outer walls of the compound. As it passed behind several tents it slowed for a moment and then continued until finally it came to stop behind a small unmarked building with only one visible half-window and a metal door beside it. I could only see the front half of the jeep, but I could tell that the passengers were unloading. The driver came first around the North side of the building, moving in an uncomfortably quickened pace. No.2 followed promptly, albeit quite a bit slower. When No.1 and No.2 had reached the front of the building they stopped and readied their weapons. No.2 pulled his AK74 up to shoulder level and pointed it at 45 degrees to the ground in front of him. No.1 withdrew a handgun from his jacket pocket; I couldn't get a make on it, and held it firmly to his side.
No.3 then came around the side. He walked very methodically, each step punctuating the last stride. He was unarmed and still with the manila envelope tucked under his left arm. His scarf draped over his shoulders moved lightly as he rounded the corner and passed No.2. The driver tapped the middle of the door and it swung open. As No.3 entered the building he paused ever so slightly and gave a brief nod to No.2. No.4 came round the side of the building with the same disciplined pace as his predecessor. I tensed the muscles in both my arms, held them and then relaxed. I lined the reticle three inches above the upper lip, took a deep breath and held it. As No.4 had just passed through the doorway I slowly exhaled, squeezed my left hand and pulled my finger against the trigger.
I quickly drew my rifle into the bushes, detached the scope, and peered down on the unmarked building. The door was shut and I saw shadows running around through the half-window. The meat-shield had dropped to one knee and was quickly scanning my direction with AK74 raised. I suppose this is another one of those things you remember quite easily. Like the pitter patter pitter patter of the rain in the forest, or the buzzing of the insects inside your ear, so this was one of those things. The driver's sidearm had dropped to the ground and his arms were limp. His back arched slightly and his legs stood straight, most likely with knees locked. He was leaning against the building just to the right of the metal door. His face, or what was left of it, was flaccid, and blood spurted from his ears. Behind his crumpled head, spattered on the west face of the unmarked building, lay the blood crimson resolution to all the unanswered prayers and unknowing praise of an uninformed naïve American nation. I had completed my mission. I had saved the US f'ing A.