• Published 26th Jun 2019
  • 2,772 Views, 74 Comments

Always Vigilant - TheScotsman

A Solider Torn Away From Combat Duty Is Forced To Adapt To A World That Is Not His Own

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Chapter One - When One Door Closes - Unedited

Forward Operating Base Swan
Afganistan, Helmand Provience
August 5th 2049

“For fuck sake, Stevens, turn that shit off!”. A few murmurs and quiet snickering could be heard on the beds around the one I was currently lying on, however, the music persisted and in fact, I could have sworn it had just gotten louder.

” I'll never let you go, baby, ill love you till the end of my little led days!”

“Jesus, right fuck this,”. Moving into an upright position I took the towel off my face throwing in the general direction of laughter.

I was instantly greeted by the glaring sun of the Helmand Province beaming right down on me through the door of the tent. Ignoring the pain the best I could I pushed my body upwards and began to stumble across the large tent that I was currently residing in with the rest of my merry band.

Finally reaching the other side of the tent I unceremoniously swung my left arm downwards smashing it into the small 90’s style radio that was undoubtedly the source of the terror that was currently infiltrating the tent.

The music (if you could call it that) abruptly ended as the laughter continued to rise in volume. As the volume of the laughter raised so did my ever-growing frustration, not being able to take it anymore I snapped.

“Why is it that I have to listen to this shit from all of you?!” Silence quickly fell upon the tent like a blanket of snow. “Jesus Christ lads, honestly it's bad enough that we have to sit here and get shot at by fucking dickheads in the mountains but I’d rather be out there pissing in a foxhole than lying in here with you lot!” As I vented my anger and rage decreased substantially.

“Captain, If you're wanting some peace and quite why don't you take a break in your own tent?” A voice rose from behind me. Turning around to face the voice I saw the face of my corporal to match it.

“You know why Archer, the moment I leave this tent you’ll set the bloody place on fire. There’s not enough IQ here to register in the bloody double digits,”. As I spoke the men all seemed to silently react in different ways.

Some appeared to find amusement with their current predicament, whilst others were still trying to hold back laughter for the previous “radio incident”.

“Not to worry Captain, I’ll watch them for you,”. Another voice came from behind me. Doing a quick 180 on the spot I saw the figure of my Sergeant, Sergeant Fletcher.

“Fletcher, I didn't realise that your rotation was up so soon,”. I commented. I hadn’t thought so much time had passed since entering the tent to babysit the others.

“Yep, just finished the now sir,” he said with professionalism laced through his voice. That demeanour quickly changed as his gaze drifted over the group of men sitting in the tent opposite me and the corporal. “Right, Garland, Brown, McHugh and Kirby, piss of the lot of you take over from the lads outside,”

The four men quickly nodded responding with a quick “Sergeant,” before quickly grabbing their kit and leaving the tent.

"Alright then, I guess I could use a little rest from these fuckwits," I said motioning my hand over to the aforementioned fuckwits currently trying open an old Nintendo DS.

"Don't worry sir, there'll be no trouble here isn't that right lads," he said looking over to the men stationed in the tent.

"Yes Seargent," came the low-intensity reply all in low muffled tones.

Looking between the Seargent and the rest of the men I nodded slowly before turning around to leave the tent.

As I moved out into the operating base I made sure to take notes of the tents and walls surrounding me. As the Soldier in command, I was supposed to keep this place running in a somewhat orderly fashion, at least that's what the SOP's said anyway.

I quickly noticed that things had slipped.

"That dickhead," I murmured under my breath.

Without having to save a moment for a second thought I began marching towards the command tent, upon entering I spotted several new faces. No doubt the new arrivals from intelligence here to help us with this weeks world-changing op. Stowing my faked excitement for another trip to hell, I made my way over to one of the desks where an unlucky Private was about to taste my anger.

Placing my arm down forcefully on his shoulder the man jerked and turned to face me, clearly startled by my sudden intrusion.

"Y. Yes, Captain" the man structured.

"Where is the lieutenant?" I said in a surprisingly restrained voice.

"He's um... I think he just went out to check the stations," The private said his eyes sweeping the room for any sign of help that would never arrive.

"Did I say where do you think he went?" I asked again applying slightly more pressure onto his shoulder.

"No, No sir,"

"Well then please tell me if it wouldn't take up to much of your time where he is," I said.

"He went outside to check the stations," The private responded this time with a bit more assertiveness.

"Good man," I said releasing the pressure and patting the man on the soldier.

As I exited the tent Immediately caught sight of the smug fuck walking across the base. Bastard. I thought silently. I didn't have time to contemplate my thoughts as before I knew it he was walking towards me with a big stupid fucking grin on his face.

"Captain, good to see your up and about," He said not wiping the smile from his face whilst holding his head higher than usual.

"Alright Docherty, planning to take the parade stick out your arse anytime soon?" I replied, unable to contain my frustration at this idiot.

Ever since Lt. Docherty was transferred to his command he had been a constant pain in the arse. The guy was posh born and bread with a manner of Eaton smugness about him. He would often regale the men of his many personal triumphs and successes that no one in the right mind gave a single shit about.

However, unfortunately for me and the rest of the base, we were stuck with him for the foreseeable future. Or until the mountain people took a pot shot at him.

Docherty didn't seem to appreciate the comment but even he wasn't brave enough to mention it to my face, no doubt some poor private would receive the tale later tonight of how I mentally assaulted him.

"Sir?" he replied, his features slowly turning as his bright smile disappeared.

"Give me your task sheet," I demanded.

With some slight hesitation, the Lieutenant reached into his vest and pulled out a scrawny piece of paper that was covered in cracks and was littered with sand and dust.

Grabbing the sheet from his hands before he had the chance to hand it to me I started to scan the paperwork, my face taking the form of a scowl as I read further.

"Right Docherty, follow me," I said as I began to march towards my own tent without giving him a chance to reply. I was pissed.

"Your fucking out of line!" I snapped throwing the piece of paper down onto the small camping table provided by her Majesties finest craftsmen.

"Captain, if I can explain to y," Docherty started to explain before I promptly shut him up.

"No! I don't give a shit what your reasons are, for fuck sakes your suppose to be my XO and yet you can't even complete a basic task rota!" I shouted, facing away from him I put my arms over my head and exhaled allowing my anger to dissipate. "

"You keep doing this to me Docherty and I can't rely on you to do anything right. You're putting me in an impossible decision if id to discipline you what kind of message would that send out?," I sighed turning back to face him.

"Not a very good one sir, I understand.

"Aye, I bet you fucking do," I stated. I was conflicted. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this idiot standing in front of me.

"I can improve sir, you just need to give me a better chance to show you my potential," Docherty pleaded setting both of his hands down on the table.

I looked at him with a hint of amusement. "Prove yourself?" I said with a half chuckle. "Where do you think you are a Yankee high school show? You've got fuck all you need to prove, you here to do a job, not to audition for the army's biggest wank,"

We stood in silence for a few more minutes before I finally reached a decision. "Right, here's your opportunity, swap with Archer for tonight's patrol and please don't fuck anyone in the arse if you'd be so kind,"

Docherty's face slowly changed from one of defeat to one of determination. "Yes sir, I won't let you down again,"

"Aye, I know you won't, now off you fuck," I said gesturing with my hand to the open exit of my personal tent.

Quickly saluting, Docherty about-faced and marched out of the tent leaving me to finally take a seat in my chair.

Docherty was an arse, there was no getting about that. However, I suppose I have seen worse at the academy and at my previous commands. He'll grow out of it in time I mused to myself.

Slowly I moved myself over to my poor quality tent bed and rested my head onto my brick pillowcase. For one of the worlds best fighting forces, you would think that they would have provided better base equipment and amenities but apparently not in this particular instance.

As I let my cap slide back over my face I let out a large exhale before taking a deep breath of fresh Afgan air. "God, I hate my job,"

Forward Operating Base Swan
Afganistan, Helmand Provience
August 5th 2029

As I exited my tent I began to make my way over to the vehicle bay in the search of something to brighten up my so far pretty shit day.

"Ah! Fuck!"

"You're not doing it right you fucking mong!"

"Aye and I suppose you would know"

"Well, I'm in charge so yeah it would appear so,"

"Oh, aye right pull rank and see how well it goes for ya pal,"

Clearing my throat I made a loud enough coughing noise to attract the attention of two engineers, both of whom were currently entangled with our main IFV our Warrier F510 Infantry Section Vehicle. It was an older model of mechanised units but she was sturdy enough and had never failed on us, well until now.

"Gentlemen, hows our fine lady looking tonight?" I asked laying my hand onto the Warriors side.

The lead engineer stood up to face me as he wiped the sweat that was visibly dripping from his brow. "I'll be honest with you sir, she's in a bad way,"

I wasn't surprised by the engineer's comments the Warrier was an old fighter that saw action in the gulf back in the '90s, I was surprised she was even assigned to the base given the importance of our location. They were in the process of being replaced by newer and sleeker models but it was a long wait to get your hands on one as most of them remained sitting in a depot back in the UK.

"What's the issue with her?" I asked as I began a quick visual inspection myself, although, in all honesty, I'm not quite sure what I was actually looking for.

"Ack, the filters fucked Captain, the intakes been swamped with so much sand and dust that it will take a good few hours to clear out," the other engineer replied stepping fully into view as he emerged from the top of the Warrior.

"How long?" I asked not looking forward to the prospect of giving up one of the most vital components of our base.

"However long you'd like sir, shell still runs fine though I can't guarantee the engine will hold for a prolonged amount of time mind, but, should you need it shell be here for you,".

"Good, that's what I like to hear, keep up the good work lads," I said relieved that we'd still have our main mode of transportation besides the Afghans MRAP.

"Will do sir,"

[Forward Operating Base Swan
Afganistan, Helmand Provience
August 6th 2029

"SEAL Teams will move onto the compound and perform a sweep for Jackhammer. Section three will provide cover for Sections one and two whilst Section four holds a 100-meter perimeter along with the Yanks in the north here,".

As I sat in the tent listing to the briefing from the Major I couldn't help but feel the anxiety building up inside myself. We were finally going to bag this fucker Jackhammer as he was referred to by the rest of the world was the key man within the Helmed Province.

Word was that the Yanks had got his location through an internal leak and apparently he was set up in a compound about 10 clicks west of the city. As per usual, the Yanks had secured the top role with us providing two sections for backup in securing the compound after the fact and with us holding a perimeter to make sure no more reinforcements could arrive.

As the briefing went on Docherty leaned in to whisper "so apparently they're sending in the SEALS for this special fuck," it wasn't a question so much as it was a statement.

"Yep, Blackhawks and all no doubt,". It honestly wasn't surprising. The SEALS had taken out Osama and this guy was just as bad, he'd been the ringleader of several terror cells and if sources were to be believed he had a blood count way past 2000.

"And we're the only people on earth that know this is going down,". Docherty said with an excited tone that reminded me of a young teen.

"Yes, now shut the fuck up before I boot you out of this tent," I snapped trying to divert my focus back to the briefing.

"I understand how sudden this is but we need local assets on this op. As far as every citizen and every Afgan soldier is concerned this is a routine op. Do I make myself clear?"

A number of sirs and yeses went up across the tent, showing that we had passed the point of no return. This was it.

"Alright, let's get this done quickly and let the Yanks take the glory,"

Outskirts Of Marker Gold
Afganistan, Helmand Provience
August 7th 2029

"This is Starshot. We have a go order from up top. Start the clock on Operation Jackhammer. That is a repeat, start the clock on Operation Jackhammer. Confirmation Code. Tango, Whiskey, India, Six.

"Alright lads, this is it. I want every one of you out there to stay calm and keep with your number two. If we come under fire we find cover and return fire, is that understood?"



As our Warrier dragged along the long worn out road silence fell over the IFV, every man had their own little ritual that they were now performing in preparation for the battle ahead. Some said a prayer whilst others checked their weapons and gear. I was performing the second, checking that all my gear was ready for combat.

I had the standard British loadout that apart from my insignia was no different from any other rifleman. In my hands, I held a standard-issue SA80 Rifle which had been the bane of my existence for the last decade and a half. Alongside that, I had another standard-issue Glock 17 as my sidearm just in case things went sideways.

I just hoped that it was enough to keep me and the rest of my men safe from harm's way.

"Captain! Were approaching the town ETA 10 Secs til disembarkation!" the driver yelled from the front of the Warrior.

"Alright! Right lads, here we go sort a diamond on exit, gunner face North!" I barked making sure everyone could hear my voice. Everyone in the vehicle tensed up as it came to an about stop and the back ramp dropped down to the ground.

"OUT, OUT, OUT!" I yelled in rapid succession as the men of the section began to fan out from the vehicle forming a protective diamond around it.

"Docherty, you have command hold the perimeter here and get some cover for everyone!" I yelled. I wasn't exactly comfortable leaving the Lt. in charge, but he was still a Lieutenant and I had to give him the benefit of the doubt that he would perform well under pressure.

"Copied Captain, the perimeter is secured!" Docherty yelled back.

"Okay, Overwatch team on me double time!" I yelled motioning for the overwatch to join me as we broke off from the section to provide cover.

Captain, Section three is reporting that they have established a watchpoint but do not have us in visual range," A voice came blaring out through my radio.

"Fuck," I cursed under my breath. "Well, why the fuck can't they see us," I shouted through the radio

"Wait one,". We needed to have some form of protection other than just us.

"They can't see us due to the houses on the right, should we pull ourselves back into the open area?"

"Pull the Warrior back and keep the section in cover with the buildings!" I couldn't risk exposing the section to an open area but its the best I could do for them now.


"Right lads we need the highest point on this hill to establish and overwatch from," I said to the two marksmen behind me.

"Sir, we can utilise one of the houses on that ridge for overwatch if we breach discretely," one of the marksmen (Miller) suggested.

"Okay, it's the best we have right now, remember no shots quite but forceful," I said as we approached one of the houses that were seemingly built into the ridge.

Pulling out my Glock I slowly cracked the door open peering to see if the house was occupied. As I opened the door the three of us entered the main room which lay deserted. Quickly I used hand signals to motion to the staircase on the left.

As we moved up the staircase the floorboards began to creak and groan beneath our combined weight causing an unsettling amount of noise. If anyone was in here our cover was sure to be blown by now.

"Move up!" I whispered forcefully as we increased our pace up the stairs and into the front upper room.

We were instantly greeted by a young Afgan man standing by the window clearly aware of our presence on the stairs. He was holding a piece of wood in order to defend himself.

"Fucking, Drop It!" I forcefully whispered at the man bringing my gun to aim directly at his chest.

Quickly realising he was outgunned (literally) the young man dropped the wood and dropped to the floor as he was restrained by Miller.

"Miller, get ducktape on him now," I ordered as I came kelt down towards the now shaking man.

"Do you speak English?" I asked trying to sound calm but assertive. The man frantically shook his head up and down trying to speak only to be stopped by the ducktape over his mouth.

"Don't speak, we're here to help you, but we can only help you if you help me okay,". Slowly the man began to calm down from the point of having a heart attack but he continued to shake. "Right Miller, Brown get this shit set up," I ordered as the two men began to turn the once bedroom into a looking post.

"Lieutenant, we have visual contact with you, status over?"

"Still all quiet sir there's not a soul out tonight," The fact of empty streets made me shiver, it was never a good sign.


All four of us spun to face the window in surprise as a massive boom emanated from the sky.

"What the fuck was that!" Miller half-shouted only to be shushed by Brown.

"No fucking clue," I replied bluntly "Starshot please advice over,"

"Just thunder Captain, storms are forming south-west of your position, damn things came out of nowehere

"Fan-Fucking Tastic," I muttered under my breath.

"Well that's got to be the loudest thunder I've ever heard," Brown remarked as I nodded my head slowly in agreement.

Regardless of what happened next, the still air had just been broken.

The sound of rotors began to increase at a fast pace, I could hear them coming. Quickly grabbing the binoculars sitting on the bed I shifted myself to the window to get a better look at the show.

Two black silhouettes could be seen directly above the compound. Their sleek shape and rounded noses gave their distinction away immediately.

Blackhawks. Designed for stealth and infiltration, the best insert money could buy.

I could make out the side doors open as the men from the first Black Hawk began to rappel into the compound below them.

"Here we go," I said casually


A massive crack of sound flooded my ears as the compound lit up in several shades of yellow and orange.

"Fuck, Choppers hit!" Brown said standing up to get a better look at the Black Hawk that was now spinning out of control down into the compound.


As the chopper continued to spin the second Black Hawk tried to pull away from the spinning fireball. The helicopter pitched up violently pulling the helicopter back, however, the pilot's actions came to no avail as the first choppers burning tail slammed into the middle of the second chopper creating an even bigger fireball in the sky.


"Lieutenant hold your position," I said over the chatter, trying to establish some form of communication over the constant garble.

"Sir, we can move into the compound now with the Warrior!" a crackly Docherty replied.

"Your going fucking nowhere, we maintain this perimeter no matter what happens!" I all but yelled through the radio.

"But Captain they need our..... Crack

A shot rang out, then another and another.

"DOWN, DOWN, STAY FUCKING DOWN!" I screamed as bullets began whizzing down the street.

"Ambush!" "Gunner Building To The North 50 Meters!"

"Return Fire!" I barked at Miller and Brown who were currently hiding under the shattered windows.

"Lieutenant, Sitrep Over?!"



"Its Archer Sir, Docherty's down,"

"Shit Shit Shit!" I yelled, "Alright, hold your position and return fire on the buildings down the street!"

"Solid Copy!"


"Sniper! Get Down"


Without warning everything around me went white and if I had just shone a bright torch directly into my eyes. The light burned my retinas as the intensity increased. The pain slowly surged through my body until the point that was unbearable. I felt as if I was being lifted and I was increasing speed.

The white light began to faze shift to an even brighter white until its purity was unmatched. Then as quickly as it started, it stopped and everything went black.

Author's Note:


For those that have been around my page for a while, you would know that I previously had another story that I was working on a couple of years ago.
I decided that instead of trying to revive that story I’d start afresh.
A couple of bits of information that you might want to know.
Yes, obviously Daniels is British so he’s going to be speaking with British tones as I normally would. Obviously being a Captain he can have his formal accent and attitude as well.
Yes, there will be a lot more swearing that you might be used to in my other fic. If that's a problem then sorry but that's the way it's being written.
Also, Id likes to apologise for any military blunders. Obviously, I'm not a soldier and I'm not aware of every little SOP. Any help on the matter would be appreciated.
Please feel free to leave any comments or criticism in the comments below, just don't be too mean ;).