• Published 17th Mar 2014
  • 707 Views, 20 Comments

Operation Harmony - CobaltDrake



An equestrian take on the War on Terror. A collection of stories from special mares, who are united to bring down one man known only as "Sombra"

  • ...
5
 20
 707

Anticipation

It's fucking hot. That single thought passes through my mind roughly once every few seconds. I'm not partial to swearing but seriously, it’s fucking hot. The dusty Afghanistan ground beneath my body isn't remotely comfortable, as the numerous rocks make lying prone extremely unpleasant. Couple that with the fact I'm wearing a heavy kevlar vest, the temperature nearing upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and my situation would seem less than ideal to any sane person.

However, I'm not a sane person; this is what I live for. The once cool metal of the trigger weld is now warm in my gloved hands from the midday sun. A light east-to-west crosswind pass over the muzzle of my weapon, I carefully lift up my left hand and adjust the knob on the top of the scope two miles to the left for compensation. The dust that’s kicked up, clouds around my sunglasses for a moment before being swept away. Unfazed, I bring my hand back down and look through the scope again, doing a quick scan of the area. Nothing out of the ordinary from what I can see; the compound I was sent to monitor is calm, save for a few people milling around here and there. The silence is only broken by the breathing of the person next to me.

I glance over at her and notice her scanning the area with a pair of binoculars, while next to her, a notepad is open to a page with range correction figures and conversions. Her purple hair is put up in a ponytail and I can't help but notice the ever-present magenta steak in it. She sighs and puts the binoculars down, before reaching back to grab a canteen off her vest for a quick sip of water. As she does so I notice her rank and name tape, as the black text stands out against the DCU pattern: 'Lt. Sparkle'. She offers the canteen to me, which I decline with a shake of my head as I resume my task of scanning the area.

“Harmony One, this is Songbird.” The sudden static voice from the radio between us makes the Lt. jump in surprise. I stifle a laugh and look through my scope again, constantly going over the different formulas and conversions for compensating wind speed, altitude, humidity, distance, and the like. I hear the lieutenant key the mic.

“Songbird, this is Harmony One, send it.”

“Roger Harmony One, predator has spotted the VIP headed into vicinity grid EC 543 851, over.”

After hearing the transmission I reach my hand up and grab the charging handle, I rack the M39 EMR and the satisfying sound of a round sliding into the firing chamber sends a tingle of anticipation up my spine. I wish I had a better rifle, but this was more than enough for the current situation.

“Roger Songbird, we're standing by for visual, break.” She pauses for a moment. “Please confirm that once we have positive identification on the target we can engage, over.” I glance over at Lt. Sparkle quirking an eyebrow in irritated confusion. Lieutenants, HA! They're always so scared about failing to follow procedure. Give them enough time though, and they learn that doing everything by the book isn't always the quickest way to do things.

“Roger, once P.I.D has been confirmed you have permission to engage, over.” My heartbeat quickens in excitement as the prospect of finally getting to do what I've been waiting these last several hours for begins to near. Eight hours of laying on the ground in the baking sun, feeling the sweat trickle down from my forehead before watching it slip onto my sunglasses. My chest is killing me, I reek of sweat, and there’s a layer of salt forming on my uniform where I've been sweating through it. My ears are full of sand, my black hair, despite being tied up into a ponytail, is filthy, and my feet are extremely itchy from sweating through my socks. All of it’s worth it though, worth suffering in silence next to the lieutenant just for this one moment of opportunity.

“And roger Songbird, Harmony out.” Lt. Sparkle sets the mic aside and turns to me, I look at her out of the corner of my eye. “If the grid they gave us is anything to go by we'll have eyes-on in a few minutes.” she says, as I simply nod my head in acknowledgement. Keeping both eyes open I look through the scope again, my grip on the weapon tightens upon spotting a cloud of dust moving towards the compound slowly from the west.

“Movement.” The single word leaves my mouth in one breath. I quickly begin to quell the excitement in my chest and focus my crosshairs on the slowly forming figure of a vehicle approaching the compound. Lucky for me, unlucky for them, the dust is blown away by the light crosswind as the vehicle comes to a stop.

“Target is stationary approximately 820 meters out, light east-to-west crosswind, medium humidity. Standby for P.I.D.” I hear Lt. Sparkle say from my left.

“Weapon's hot, standing by.” My finger moves upward and switches the weapon's safety from on to off, all while watching a man step out of the vehicle and begin yelling at one of the guards at the gate. I slow my breathing and lightly squeeze the weapon, waiting. That one word... is all I need.

“Positive identification on target, fire when ready.”

There it is. I close my left eye, slow my breathing and line up the crosshairs where I need them. The waiting, the planning, the anticipation all leading up to this one moment. My heartbeat slows as the tip of my finger gently pulls back on the trigger.

The resounding bang tears through the air, the muzzle flashes, and then the weapon's recoil slams into my right shoulder as the 7.62mm round hurtles through the air at supersonic speed. I don't even notice the weapon's recoil loading another round into the chamber as I track the initial shot through my scope and watch as it buries itself right in the man’s left temple. The man had been positively identified as a key figure of leadership and had been directly under Sombra himself in the chain of command for the insurgent forces.

“Damn I've never seen someone's head explode like that before, nice shot Sgt. Melody.” Before I can reply however, the guards immediately begin forming a perimeter around their dead boss. The towers on the south side of the compound begin to open fire onto the hillside in our general direction with heavy machine guns. I close my eyes as several bullets kick up the sand in front of me. I immediately reopen them and line up my weapon. The force of the shot kicks up dust as one of the tower guards falls over dead.

“They know we're here, we need to move!” I shout as I adjust my rifle to a different spot and let another two shots ring through the air, watching as two more bodies fall limply to the ground. A low whistling sound is the only warning I get, I grab the lieutenant and pull her close to the ground as an explosion erupts several meters to my right. “They're using fucking mortars! Let's go!” I yell at her, she nods her head vehemently.

“Songbird, this is Harmony One, we are taking enemy indirect, requesting immediate evac, over!” Lt. Sparkle all but yells into the microphone. I look at her then duck and brace again as another mortar round lands to my left. They're getting closer, and those weren't small mortars either, probably 82mm. That fact did NOT sit well at all!

“Harmony One, this is Songbird, did you complete the primary objective, over?” My eyes widen at the question; we were about to get blown of the face off the earth and they wanted to know if we had completed the objective!? Why not help us out first, then getting the fucking information they wanted!?

“This is Harmony, roger, primary mission complete, requesting-” her transmission was cut off as several more mortar rounds exploded around us, I could see bits of shrapnel fly over my head and I briefly wondered how I hadn't died yet. I quickly take aim and attempt to locate the mortar crews. I see a flash and a trail of smoke from the center of the compound. Lt. Sparkle's voice erupts from my left again. “We need immediate evac now, or we are going to die!”

I growl in frustration at our leadership but there isn't a whole lot I can do about it right now. Tracing the trail of smoke I locate the mortar crew, and let loose another shot and watch as the man's chest explodes in a shower of blood. That should buy us some time. Songbird's voice comes over the mic.

“Evac is going to be a little late, you're just going to have to hold on for as long as you can, over.”

“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?” I yell in disbelief. I quickly aim down my scope again and notice someone going for the same mortar tube I’d seen earlier. The M39 recoils back into my shoulder as the man's right hand is blown off. I aim again and fire, one of the bipod legs holding the mortar tube buckles and the tube falls over. “We need help and we need it now, get Songbird back on the radio ma'am or we’re screwed!” Lt. Sparkle nodded.

“Songbird this is Harmony One, we need support, anything that can help, break.” She looked back at the compound and ducked, a slew of bullets whizzing over her head. “We are pinned down and cannot move, requesting any air support assets, over!” I waited but there was no return transmission. I fire off two more rounds and drop the magazine. Loading a new magazine I slam the bolt forward, take aim, and pull the trigger. The bullet flies as the weapon cycles another round, I can't help but grin as the radio in one of the insurgent’s hands explodes.

“Harmony One, this is Songbird you're in luck, we have two-by A-10 Warthogs inbound to your location from the south: their call sign is Lightning two-one and two-two. They will be providing close air support for your evac, over.” Before Lt. Sparkle could celebrate I turn to her.

“We need to move NOW!” She nods and both of us scramble to a crouch and move as fast as we can backwards, taking advantage of the lull in mortar fire.

“Harmony, this is Lightning two-one checking in, we've got approximately 1600 rounds of 30mm, 12 rockets and four GBU-12's, playtime is approximately 15 minutes, we've got eyes on the compound as well as a grid to your position confirm all personnel north of you are hostile, over.” I snag the mic out of Lt. Sparkle’s hand at the sound of the female pilot.

“Yes all personnel north of us are hostile, we need help now or we aren't going anywhere!” I yell into the mic, I hear a chuckle from the pilot.

“Don't worry we've got you covered, it's not often we get called in for something like this, you're lucky we were in the area for some CAS missions. Leave this to us.” I'm about to say something but the screaming of engines fly over my head, I see the two A-10's and notice that one has three dragonflies painted on the tail, the other one has a shooting star with a blue trail. I briefly wonder what that means, then realize how low they must be flying for me to actually see that. My thoughts are interrupted by the massive sound of the 30mm chain gun. Glancing at the compound I see the ground rippling from the impact of the explosive rounds as the insurgents unlucky enough to get caught in the trail, are turned into red mist.

“Holy shit.” I look over at Lt. Sparkle and see her jaw hanging open. “I've never seen these things in action before.” The A-10 pilots circled around in a wheel and performed a few more strafing runs. The buildings were reduced to rubble as the 30mm chain gun tore through the walls like a hot knife through butter. During the chaos Lt. Sparkle and I managed to get a fair amount of distance from the compound. I raise my weapon and use my scope to watch one of the planes fly over the compound, just as two GBU-12’s fell from the bottom of the plane. The resulting explosions from the 500lb bombs were massive, as even at almost 1500 meters away the shock waves still managed to hit us.

“Well Harmony this is Lightning, we're Winchester on 30mm, and bingo fuel at this time, it's been great playing with you guys; we don't get a chance to just let loose like this.” I smile and grab the mic.

“I'm sure the pleasure is yours but we owe you, thanks for the help.” In response the two A-10's flew over our heads before heading back to wherever they came from. The lieutenant grabs the mic back from me and keys it.

“Songbird, this is Harmony, Lightning is bingo fuel, and we’re beginning our egress to the evac point at this time, over.” Lt. Sparkle smiled over at me and I couldn't help but return her grin.

“Roger Harmony One, evac ETA 15 minutes, good work out there, over.” I look down at my watch, dust covers the face but I can see that we will be hard-pressed to get to the evac site in time.

“Roger, Harmony out.” She turns to me and wipes her forehead of sweat. “Better get going, we can't afford to miss the bird.” I nod and sling my weapon over my shoulder, double checking my map I set off for the evac point with Lt. Sparkle in tow.


-----18 hours later-----


I close the bathroom cabinet and look myself over in the mirror. My black hair falls around my face framing it perfectly, even though it's still somewhat wet from the shower I just took. My purple eyes gaze over the rest of my body, coming to rest at the tattoo of a pink clef note on my left shoulder. I run my fingers over it for a moment, thinking back to when I’d made the mistake of getting it.

My parents had wanted me to be a musician. They had introduced me to a number of instruments but only one had actually garnered my attention. The Cello: there was just something about it. It had been so easy to learn, in only a few months I had mastered it, my instructor had called me a prodigy, a natural. My attention to detail and careful use of my hands made me a master of the bow and string. I was often found with my fingers dancing along the cords, producing beautiful and haunting melodies for all to hear. My parents couldn't have been more proud of me, what with the attention I got, how they’d boast about me to their friends and use me to move up the ranks of society. Their perfect little daughter...

One night when I was out on the town with one of my best friends, Vinyl Scratch, I’d gotten very drunk and had apparently confessed to Vinyl my feelings about my parents and that I might as well make the musician thing permanent so my parents would be happy forever. I’d woken up the next morning with a splitting headache and a throbbing pain on my left shoulder. I’d rushed over to the mirror and saw a pink musical clef note imposed on a patch of angry red skin on my left shoulder. Vinyl had told me later that day what had transpired the previous night and I almost couldn't believe what she said. But it was too late for regrets, so I had to simply grit my teeth and move on.

I sigh softly and walk away from the mirror to my room so as to put on a clean uniform. Those memories were always painful to recall but I knew better than to ignore them, or worse, pretend that they’d never happened. Learning from your past, helps prepare you for the future.

It was perhaps my attention to detail and the practice of deliberate movements with my hands that made me fall in love with guns. The intricate pieces of the weapon, how everything moves in tandem with itself, all those moving pieces working seamlessly together for one simple purpose, made me become obsessed with learning all about them. If I was honest with myself, all the moving pieces of a gun work together to create something, just like a symphony, except I’m the conductor, the weapon the musicians, and the result being equally as amazing.

I take little joy in killing people, but the elation I feel is knowing that I have that power and the ability to do so. To change the outcome of a firefight or even a war, from so far away is a talent very few people have and one that I’m very proud of. Anyone can be a musician but a sniper is a completely different ball game. It had taken a few years, a few broken bones, and an emotional roller coaster or two to get to where I am now, and lets just say that my parents had been less than enthusiastic to hear that I would be joining the military. This is my life and I wanted to do what I wanted for a change.

I smile to myself as I put my hair up into a loose ponytail, letting the black tresses fall down my back. I quickly examine my desert camouflage uniform, making sure there were no loose pieces of thread or stains. I smooth out my name tape, promptly roll the sleeves up and make a beeline for the door. Upon opening it I find Lt. Twilight Sparkle standing there, hand raised as if she’d been about to knock. The heat from outside hits me like a freight train, and the light from the bright sun makes me squint my eyes.

“Sergeant Octavia Melody? I'm here because my commander has taken an interest in you.” She has an apprehensive expression on her face almost like she was afraid I'd tell her I didn't care. I bite my lip and cross my arms over my chest. What could this possibly be about?

“What does your commander want with me, and who is he anyway?” My curiosity gets the better of me, making my tone of voice seem snotty or arrogant, and by doing so giving the impression of me being irritated. However, she just smiles back at me ignoring my lack of courtesy.

“We found him, we know where Sombra is.” A grin slips across my face at the news, I feel my heart rate accelerate at the prospect of going out again, only this time the payoff will be oh so much greater, this mission could potentially end this pointless war. My fingers twitch in anticipation.

“Where is he?”

Author's Note:

Im sure some of the Brevity terms as well as some Acronyms threw some of you off, and if so then I would like to apologize. Fisrt off though this is the first chapter and I hope it was as exciting for you guys to read as it was for me to write. Leave any questions, comments, concerns, reviews, flames, or praise in the comments section. Also I don't want to sound like an ass but if you do like this story don't be afraid to press that little thumbs up button. The pic above is what inspired the story.

V.I.P - Very Important Person
P.I.D - Positive Identification
CAS - Close Air Support
Grid - The MGRS (Magnetic Grid Reference System) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MGRS
A-10 Warthog - CAS platform Attack Jet - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-10_Warthog
GBU-12 - 500lb Laser guided, American bomb
Winchester - Pilot Brevity code, for out of ammo
Bingo - Pilot Brevity code, for low on fuel

Comments ( 20 )

Interesting start to it all.

Looking forward to where this goes.

Might I suggest going light on the military codes and guns and such? It'll make things a touch easier for the readers.

~Skeeter The Lurker

4096380

Yeah I will. I forget that not everyone knows this stuff, it comes second nature to me. My bad.:ajsleepy:

4096380 I'm starting to get the impression you like everything, Skeeter... :rainbowderp:

4096624

I read everything, but to truly impress me takes a bit of effort.

Most times the standards are modest.

4096413

Understandable, man.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Not bad, could still use some work though.

4098397 I'd kinda prefer something a bit more... descriptive... :twilightblush:

Duuuuuude that was fucking awesome!!!

4098397 So could your commentating eloquence, compadre.

Note how your statement gives a response to the story that's fairly negative, swinging around "Meh" on the interest-o-meter, and yet you offer no citations for the author and editor to make use of to go about correcting the mistakes you apparently found.

4098421
Ya done good, son. Will we be expecting more soon?

4099823
simply sharing my opinion my friend, next time I shall comment with the eloquence of the queen herself

4102561 Aye, a right good concurrence, my brother! Keep well at your verbiage, and soon you shall be speaking like a king of bards.

4096380

Might I suggest going light on the military codes and guns and such?

light on the.... guns

NEVAAR!!!!

As for the fic, I need to read it. I'm excited, because it's Drake, a military man, writing a war story. However, I just realized that I've been awake for 29 hours now, and I have shit to do.

I can't believe I forgot to give you any feedback on this! Well, this post is going to be brief, because I'm strapped for time.
I am extremely excited to see a military man, or at least a guy who actually knows about weapons and fighting, writing a war story. Those are very hard to come by, and I always look forward to a treat and possibly an educational experience.

For starters, the immersion for this fic is high. It takes a little knowledge of militarese and small arms to get it, but it really benefits from these things, because the story would not be unintelligible to somebody who didn't them them. Do not drop the gun talk or the militarese, The accurate chatter and terminology suck the reader in immediately and lend an air of authenticity most stories about the military lack. I think I'll take notes, just in case if I ever write anything that is about a NATO force or an American-inspired force.

I like the protagonist of your story. Your direct style immediately makes him the star of the show thanks to his sharp commentary and amiable gruffness. He loves his job, but he also does the ample amount of bitching anyone does about their work. He admits that he isn't quite sane because he lives for this sort of thing. That is refreshing and more honest than the scores of protagonists in action stories who have pretentions of being just normal guys, even as they turn killing enemies into a game and joke incessantly, as if they're playing a particularly engrossing video game. Your protagonist actually behaves and thinks like someone with combat experience who doesn't go to the other extreme of generic action story protagonists by being a massive ball of untreated PTSD. His interractions with Lt. Sparkle are enjoyable, As a guy who's been down south in the summer, and is often outdoors in VA while wearing camo and the like, I can indeed concur that the most frequently recurring thought is "It's fucking hot". You did a very good job of explaining why he takes pride in his work and why he is in the military. I identified with the part where he discussed how he fell in love with guns. You were efficient in characterizing your protagonist through a combination of action and monologue which fit in perfectly with the rest of the story and never relied on disruptive exposition tumors.

This chapter was short, and I don't really understand the thing about Sombra or the enemy. However, since you explained it early on as being about Afghanistan, that was enough for me to let that slip, although I would expect a fair bit more in the ensuing chapters. War stories like yours work best when it is explained why there is fighting and it made clear why it matters so much. This one chapter felt like an effective prologue. It leaves me wanting more. Where is chapter 2?

You are being realistic by painting the enemy as being outclassed by your heroes. That was something problematic I noted when I read Eclipse: House of Frostmane's Few by Spectre Crystaleye (This is the best war story I have ever read -- go check it out!), because some parts of that story looked uncomfortably like being the Empire and rampaging all over the rebels on Hoth. However, the fact that you gave the enemy some good assets, put them on a similar technological level (they have guns instead of spears), and made them at least partially capable of defending themselves served to make the enemies look dangerous, thereby reinforcing the martial prowess of your protagonist.

I am very pleased that you wrote this. Your output so far has been entirely clopfics,so it is very refreshing to see something so different come from you. One of the ways a writer grows is by branching out into different genres and types of stories. The interesting thing is that clop and war fics are not quite so different to write. The point is to not make the sex or the violence the focus of the story, but rather to make them plot and character points. In my personal experience in writing both, writing about war is a lot like writing about sex. The difference is in what the parties do when they encounter each other.

I like this story and I really want to see more. Please! I'm adding this to relevant groups I am in to draw in readers.

I was interested, until I saw that it was based on the War on Terror, now I am afraid of even going near it.

Very good. You have peeked my interest.

4497193

LOOK AT IT! A war fic written by an actual fighter is a rare treat.

4502858 But I am agianst the War on Terror.

4503012

Read it anyway. It is a good story.

CD, forgive me for this.

I write war fics which are NOT about the War on Terror...

4496906

Ok, I don't know how I never saw this comment of yours and I feel like a complete ass. Lol first of all the main protagonist is Octavia, not a man. Thought I had cleared that up but maybe I should double check.

I like the protagonist of your story. Your direct style immediately makes him the star of the show thanks to his sharp commentary and amiable gruffness. He loves his job, but he also does the ample amount of bitching anyone does about their work. He admits that he isn't quite sane because he lives for this sort of thing. That is refreshing and more honest than the scores of protagonists in action stories who have pretentions of being just normal guys, even as they turn killing enemies into a game and joke incessantly, as if they're playing a particularly engrossing video game. Your protagonist actually behaves and thinks like someone with combat experience who doesn't go to the other extreme of generic action story protagonists by being a massive ball of untreated PTSD. His interractions with Lt. Sparkle are enjoyable, As a guy who's been down south in the summer, and is often outdoors in VA while wearing camo and the like, I can indeed concur that the most frequently recurring thought is "It's fucking hot". You did a very good job of explaining why he takes pride in his work and why he is in the military. I identified with the part where he discussed how he fell in love with guns. You were efficient in characterizing your protagonist through a combination of action and monologue which fit in perfectly with the rest of the story and never relied on disruptive exposition tumors.

I used my direct experience from my deployment to Afghanistan to write this chapter. I really can't stand that country. Anyway, all military terminology is real, and I've always loved the concept of a sniper. So when I saw the Photo at the end of the chapter I knew I had to write something for it. In my opinion I'm not very good at this kind of thing and need a ton of work, but as with everything I will try to improve.

Anyways, I do have the next chapter actually done but due to any real lack of attention to this I put it on Hiatus for my other projects. The next chapter, whenever I can get to posting it, will be from my exact Job in the military as well as an actual experience I had and was placed under while deployed.

Thanks for actually reading this, you were one of... 110 sooooo thanks. :scootangel:

This is amazing. Im actually writing a story slightly based on Band of Brothers, after a hiatus that lasted at least five months

Login or register to comment