tagNon-EroticPrice of Security

Price of Security

byTRIAX©

2nd Battalion Combat Team, 2nd BCT

Major Kai (Ghost) Espiritu

Commanding

The young major inserted his 5.56 mm ammunition cartridge into the last of his 50 round magazines. The Boxer Command APC smoothly rolled through the marsh filled landscape of central Ar'Raq, six men plus the three crews occupied the wheeled combat vehicle. Unlike the other battalion commanders of the Rim-Cats, Major Kai Espiritu known as "Ghost" to others is an infantry and commando operations expert. His very own six man team is handpicked by him alone, composing of a communication expert, a sniper, a machine gunner, a SAW gunner, a medic, and himself they alone are a formidable foe to face. For some time he have served with the Panther Regiment of his home country along with the majority of the Rim-Cats, what has set him apart is his tactical and operational genius in regard of infantry and special operations.

"Major ETA to target, ten minutes," informed the crew commander of his Boxer Command APC.

"I copy over," he replied.

Kai loaded his 50 round magazine into the magazine feed of his FN-P90 5.56 mm submachine gun. Slapping the magazine into place he quickly cocked his weapon ready to fire at a moment's notice. The rest of his team members did the same with their own weapons. They knew that they will have to dance with death once again.

"Major enemy contacts 5 miles away sir," reported the Puma CFV Force Commander.

"Copy that," Kai Espiritu the Second BCT Commander replied, "All units, you know what to do and don't worry our old pal Caliber will be providing us the arty support."

At the same moment 155mm cannon shells hurled towards the insurgents position, explosions rocked the landscape as high explosive and anti-armor rounds detonated with pin point precision. The enemy became confused and dazed by the sudden bombardment as shells hit their mark every five seconds, the artillery personnel of the Rim-Cats are trained to effectively fire their howitzer, hit their targets, and reload to be ready for the next round every five seconds. Six howitzers boomed from the distance of 20 miles as seconds passed before the shells came raining down at the enemy of the Rim-Cats client.

"Leopard tank forces and Puma CFV forces engaging the enemy," reported a tank commander via communication system.

Both tanks and CFVs came roaring down on the insurgents position, their guns and main cannon blazing wreaking as much havoc as they can. Explosions littered the area as many vehicles and combat armored vehicles fall victim to the 2nd BCT's tanks and CFVs. Then the Boxer APCs came, with 50 caliber machinegun and 40mm automatic grenade launcher blazing. Panicked stricken, some of the insurgents were cut to pieces by the heavy caliber machineguns while others were torn apart by the grenade launchers deadly shells. The Boxer APCs stopped and from the rear exited the infantry troopers of the Rim-Cats, fanning left and right the ground pounders rushed the enemy position with their weapons blazing. Among them is Major Kai Espiritu the commander of the 2nd BCT of the Rim-Cats Mercenary Regiment.

"First and Second Platoon, take the left flank," Kai barked his commanding orders to his troopers, "Third and Fourth Platoon, form up on the right flank. Let the armors take them out before we charge in."

"Copy that Ghost," responded the platoon leaders.

On cue the Leopard 2A6EX Main Battle Tanks, Puma Cavalry Fighting Vehicles, 50 caliber machinegun and 40mm automatic grenade launcher armed Fenneks, 80mm mortar mount vehicle Fenneks, and Boxer Armored Personnel Carriers pushed through from the front, right, and left flanks. The enemy was caught in a massive push backwards where Caliber and his artillery have preset his howitzers and MARS missile systems to rain down the agents of death on them.

Kai watched as the armored vehicles pushed through and found the right time to attack with his infantry troopers.

"Attack, all ground troopers attack!"

He rushed forward aiming his FN-P90 submachine gun at the first insurgent he saw. Gently his finger squeezed the trigger letting out a short burst from his 5.56mm weapon. The man fell to the ground riddled with bullets as his team's machine-gunners opened up with their deadly weapons. More of the insurgents fell dead. Some couldn't even get up to raise their weapons at the oncoming Rim-Cats ground troopers. Kai ran passed them swinging his weapon in a sweep left and right, firing along the way he downed three more insurgents. Soon the area was cleared by of any insurgent activities.

"Major, we got some prisoners sir," informed a third platoon commander.

"Secure the prisoners," he replied, "X.O. call up the coalition and let them shepherd the prisoners to their camp. We got to keep moving forward."

"Alright major," the executive officer immediately started to call the coalition base within the area so that they can clear the prisoners off of the 2nd BCT's hands.

The Boxer APC's formed up to load Kai's infantry troopers again and move on to the next objective.

"First objective clear," Major Kai Espiritu reported to H.Q.

"Copy that Ghost."

"We're moving on to the second objective."

The 2nd BCT surged forward through the marsh lands between the two rivers of Ar'Raq. Unknown to them their foes have already anticipated their next move and have retreated to their stronghold which was deemed impossible to take by an armored force. Anti-tank mines, obstacles, and the marsh itself prevented most armored vehicles to cross through the area. Once arriving at the area, Kai studied the terrain, his forces, his capabilities, and finally the strongholds defenses itself with the aid of the unmanned aerial recon vehicle. To keep the insurgents in their holes and never to counter-attack, Caliber never stopped firing his artillery group designated to the 2nd BCT. The artillery shells kept the enemy pinned down unable to move or plan the next possible plan of attack.

"Troopers, put on your NVGs (night vision gear)," he finally made the decision to strike by night using infantry assault, "Fix bayonets and if you don't have your bayonets, then this is the time to use your kris serrated swords."

The men of the 2nd BCT followed their commander's command knowing that this assault will be a difficult one to make. Any infantry assault is always the hardest and the enemy has found the right terrain and area to hold them. Kai's only hope is that Arthurius can keep up his fire from the artillery forces and keep the enemy pinned down long enough for his infantry to cross the marsh area.

"Caliber, in five minutes my men and I will attack," he informed the Artillery commander, "I need you to keep them busy for me until I reach the stronghold."

"Good luck Ghost," replied Major Arthurius Buwan.

"Thanks buddy," he acknowledged the kind gesture, "Men, get ready."

The troopers of the 2nd BCT formed up while Major Kai Espiritu take the center, as the artillery shells fall within the insurgent's stronghold, he signaled his men to start the approach by foot. Under the cover of darkness at least he and his men have a shot of getting within firing range for them to at least have the chance of fighting back against the enemy if any counter-attack can be mounted against the Rim-Cats 2nd BCT.

From inside the insurgents huddled in their fortified position, the explosion within their fortification kept their eyes unaccustomed to the darkness around their position. The Rim-Cats exploited their weakness, with the darkness as their ally they finally reached the outer perimeter and soon the first Rim-Cat found his target. The Rim-Cat sniper fired his FN-SCAR rifle fitted with a sniper scope, his aim was true as the round found its mark on the head of an insurgent. Machinegun fire and rifle fire echoed throughout the enemy stronghold, Kai placed six bullets at the first insurgent he sees and another short burst followed, his foe tumbled to the ground as he search for more targets for his submachine gun.

"Caliber we're in the enemy compound, cease fire."

"Copy that Ghost," replied Arthurius as he signaled his artillery gunners to stop firing.

An insurgent came rushing towards the 2nd BCT commander wielding a scimitar, he turned and saw his foe as his hand drew his kris and immediately performed an upward slash and downward slash in a quick motion. Kai didn't allow his opponent a moment to react as his short kris sword finished the man's life. Another insurgent came showed himself to his right a few meters away, Kai quickly threw his sword at the man's chest, killing him instantly as he raised his weapon and riddled the third insurgent with a 10 round burst from his weapon. The man fell to the ground, blood oozing from the holes where the Rim-Cat major shot him, Major Kai Espiritu walked over the corpse and cleared the area as his men followed their young, witty, and brave commander.

"Area one cleared," Kai said over the comm.

"Sir, area two and three secured," reported two of his platoon leaders.

"Area four is still holding out sir," informed his fourth infantry platoon commander.

"All infantry units converge around area four," Kai shouted over the comm.

The infantry company rushed to aid their comrades in a bitter struggle to win the day, a trooper was hit in his face by a RPK machine gun, he fell to the ground dead and thus the first casualty of the campaign. Major Kai Espiritu saw what has happened and aimed his submachine gun at the perpetrator, he squeezed the trigger and didn't let up until all his ammo was gone. The insurgent responsible for the death of one of his troopers fell down tumbling, his body riddled with bullets. Kai slapped another magazine into the receiver of his weapon and started to out again sweeping left and right, behind him and on both of his flanks his men followed their respected leader.

"Forward," Kai commanded as his foot finally touched the fourth sector entering the last area to be cleared by his infantry troops.

Ghost unhooked one of his fragmentation grenade, reached for the pin, and pulled it out. Rushing forward under the cover of machinegun, SAW, and rifle fire, he finally got within throwing distance from a bunker tossing, his grenade and hugging the ground. An explosion thundered within the bunker and the RPK machinegun is finally silent, the 2nd BCT commander got up and moved forward finally reaching the final bunker where most of the insurgents have retreated into. He dove for cover followed by his men. Sparks flew as AK-47 rounds bounced off the Rim-Cat troopers Dragon Skin armor. The men of the Rim-Cats are armed and supplied with the best weaponry and the best protection money can buy, their skills paired with their equipment equaled to a great degree of killing potential.

"Grenadiers," Kai called out.

Half of the snipers gave up their sniping rifle for the revolving 40mm grenade launcher and H&K UMP 45 submachine gun. The grenadiers cautiously made their way towards Ghost and listened to what he has in mind.

"Load up your HEAP (High Explosive Armor Piercing) rounds and concentrate your fire at that bunker," he instructed his four grenadiers, "I need four volunteers to toss incendiary grenades on that bunker."

The grenadiers nodded their obedience and four volunteers crawled near Kai.

"Ok, two WP grenades in each of the bunker's opening," he instructed the volunteers, as he cautiously looked at the four openings where the machineguns were placed pinning down the Rim-Cat infantry troopers.

Ghost got up as soon as the grenadiers started to fire their grenade launchers at the bunker emplacement. Rushing towards the first bunker opening he made his way as fast as he can within throwing distance. Dropping to the ground he grabbed his incendiary grenade and pulled the pin, he tossed his grenade which entered the opening, a few seconds later and an explosion resonated inside the bunker as Kai took out the pin of the second WP grenade and tossed it as a follow up. The volunteers made their way towards their target and successfully tossed their own grenades, the 2nd BCT commander signaled the rest of his men to move and surround the bunker as screams of dying burned insurgents echoed from the bunker.

"GOD help them," he murmured at the insurgents he just burned alive with his incendiary grenades.

Kai moved towards the nearest door of a bunker and placed a high explosive grenade by the hinges. Ghost ran and ducked before the grenade exploded which opened the door for him and his troopers, he quickly got on his knees, put to bear his FN-P90 5.56mm submachine gun and started to fire inside the bunker. Quickly he was joined by other troopers and cautiously walked towards the opening. An RPG grenade lurched out of the door exploding in front of five Rim-Cat troopers. The explosion ripped the men apart killing the mercenary troops. Kai tossed two fragmentation grenades inside the bunker and ducked for cover. Another explosion rocked the bunker and its surrounding area, as he moved inside the bunker he let his NVG device took hold aid his eye sight as he walked over the mangled bodies of the enemy insurgents.

"Toss a grenade in every room," he said to the troopers following him, "don't take any chances. It is better to live than to die with them."

Left and right the troopers threw their grenades in all the rooms they found, bodies after bodies of disfigured insurgents were discovered by the second follow up team which entered the bunker five minutes after Kai and his troopers.

"All clear," Major Kai Espiritu finally reported the two words that the rest of the regiment is waiting for.

"Copy that Ghost," replied the headquarters communication officer, "You guys did well."

"Casualty report," Kai barked his needed info from his infantry officers.

"Sir, a total of twenty-four dead and fifty wounded. They are slight wounds only major."

"Alright, make sure that the bodies of our men are taken back to H.Q and their remains shipped home for burial," he finally commanded as he sighs at the cost of this stronghold.

He walked out of the bunker as his troops secured the area and any remaining insurgents who are in shocked and finally able to surrender. Kai Espiritu, dirty, tired, hungry, thirsty, and sleepy is happy to see the Boxer Command APC. Happiness engulfed him as he survived the fire of combat and the baptism of fire in Ar'Raq. As he entered the APC, the vehicle commander handed him a bottle of water and a bag of MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) at least for this mission, he survived while some of his troopers paid the price. For Kai Espiritu, no price is high enough for the lives of his talented troopers, but fate can be cruel. The men of the Rim-Cats are men of war. It is only by war that they can earn their living. Major Kai Espiritu, also known as Ghost is among those men of war. He does not know what life is outside the realm of fighting, killing, and dying, even if it is not his own fight he cannot complain but just be happy that he has a job that his skills and expertise are put into good use. The world may be cruel, but he knows it can be crueler to those who have no job, no money, no home, and above all no purpose in life.

Well Colonel Marc, at least my troopers and I earned our pay and this area is secured paid with the lives of my troopers.

Ghost thought out as he sat down the chair of the Boxer Command APC and started to eat, food taste so much better when one faces death, smiled at his face, and returned.

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