Volume One Complete

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Thank you for taking the time to read my fictional blog! I am currently working on getting the first fifty posts put together in a single PDF document with some added content. If you are interested in obtaining a copy please request one by emailing me at freemarketblog@gmail.com

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Monday, January 3rd, 2340GMT

It all started at 0900. The first few moments of the attack are still a little fuzzy. I was in the bathroom standing at the urinal when I heard a large explosion. The next thing that I remember is the ringing in my ears as I pulled myself off of the floor. I could see outside thanks to a giant hole that had been blown into the side of our building. As the ringing faded away I could hear the attack alarms sounding off. I called FTL McAllister over my radio and reported the new bathroom ‘door’. I was ordered to stay put until CQS Yarbanks could take over the new security risk.

The bushes outside of the bathroom started to rustle around. I saw a hand toss a flash bang from around the corner. It sailed through the air toward my chest. Without thinking I used the butt of my rifle to ‘bunt’ the thing back out of the hole. It landed on the ground outside and I slammed by back against the wall to avoid as much of the explosion as possible. When it detonated my ears began to ring again, but I could still see just fine. I jumped out of the opening and saw three guys holding their eyes and groaning in pain. The groaning stopped after spending nine rounds from my rifle.

Yarbanks flung open the bathroom door and came charging in. I called for him outside. We searched the three bodies and took what we thought was useful. One of them was carrying a semi-automatic shotgun. I slung it around my back and grabbed a handful of shells from one of his pockets. Suddenly I heard a thud right next to our position. It was a gas canister! Yarbanks called over the radio, “Gas! Gas! Gas!” The gas alarm began to ring throughout the building. We were both able to seal our masks before the gas began to sting. I looked at Yarbanks and asked him if he was good to guard the post. He looked at me with a smirk and replied, “I don’t see a post, so I’ll guard this hole instead.” He couldn’t tell since I was wearing my gas mask, but I smiled and shook my head as I ran into the building. He had a way of being funny even in the most tense of situations.

I ran up the stairwell and onto the roof. I kept a low profile as I ran toward the edge. Slowly I popped over the edge to get a good view of what we were up against. I counted the best that I could and reported my numbers to McAllister. Twenty-six assailants not including the three that I took out earlier. Our squad of seven was up against a platoon! SL Pyle came over the radio and reported that reinforcements from HQ were on the way.

Geoff came over the radio and reported that FTL Andres was hit and that he was assuming command of the fire team. They were pinned down behind some vehicles to the left of the parking lot. Two mounted machine guns were keeping them from moving and I could see a fire team moving around the left to wedge themselves between our building and Geoff’s team. I took aim at one of the mounted machine gunners and stopped him with a head shot. I heard one of the OPFOR yell, “Sniper!” My position came under a heavy barrage of gun fire. The lip of the roof was about three feet tall, so it provided enough cover for me to move to a new position. I moved to the far left corner and peeked over the ledge. They seemed to be looking for me everywhere but where I was at. Quickly I took out the other mounted machine gun position.

I took cover and tried to think of a way to help get Geoff’s team into the building. The machine gunners were now out of commission, but I’m sure they could be quickly replaced. The sounds of engines started to echo from down the street. I looked through my scope and could see two SUVs coming from HQ. I also saw that someone had pulled the body out of one of the machine gun nests and was attempting to mount the weapon. A couple of rounds put him down. Geoff’s team was still pinned down, but by small arms fire from surrounding OPFOR. I took out two guys that made up the center flank. This caused the attention of the right flank to turn to me which gave Geoff enough time to stand up and throw a flash bang at the left flank. While they were blinded he and his CQS took aim at the three making up the right flank. I watched as they were shoved down by a plethora of rounds. The three in the left flank blindly took cover near Yarbanks position. I heard him take them out.

The remaining two OPFOR squads were spread out in the parking lot. Everything grew eerily quite for a few seconds. Suddenly they all took off for their SUVs. I was able to hit one of them in the arm as he ran. They all mounted up and burned rubber out of our parking lot. I looked through my scope and watched as the HQ units took out one SUV and shot at the other as it sped away. The squad from HQ pulled into the parking lot and greeted us. SL Clements was in charge of the group. Clements and Pyle were talking when Pyle yelled to me, “How many kills did you get?” I responded with a count of eight.

All of the sudden it was like watching a baseball card trade. Yarbanks and myself were traded for a FTL and a LRS from the HQ ‘team’. We were told to mount up so he hopped into the first SUV. We asked some guy wearing a FTL rank what was going on and he said that it was some new unit that had been organized that morning. I saw Clements and Pyle shake hands. Clements climbed into our SUV and began to talk, “HQ formed a new squad called the Mobile Combat Unit, or MCU for short, that you two have been given the honor of serving in. We will patrol ALL business units all of the time, and come to the aid of anyone under attack.” He went over the team members and ranks.

Mobile Combat Unit
SL Clements
Alpha Team:
FTL Cooper
LRS (Me)
CQS Yarbanks
Bravo Team:
LRS Jorge
CQS Turner
SM Magley
TS Ripper
TS Jones

I tried to size up the people on my new team. Clements was a big ole’ country boy. For some reason he tried to hide it, but it always came out in his voice. He looked at the TS, “Alrighty sweetheart. Let’s go to HQ. We got some stuff to pickup.”

We pulled into HQ and told to form up. Then something unexpected happened; we MARCHED inside. It was very odd and very cool at the same time. We made our way to the supply area and formed up in a file. A supply specialist dropped some body armor at each of our feet. We were told to remove our old body armor and to put on the new piece. It felt lighter more flexible. After everyone was done Clements spoke, “This is Dragon Skin body armor. It is made up of ‘scales’ and will protect you against more direct hits than your old stuff did. It may feel weaker, but trust me it’s not. Also I regret to inform you that there will be no new weapons systems as previously though. Leadership has decided that the money is best spend somewhere else, and you will find out about that sometime later this month.”

The attack alarm began to sound. Clements spoke into his radio for a few seconds. We didn’t break formation while we waited. He turned to us and said that an attack is suspected to be coming any minute. An LRS on patrol scouted some competition in the area. We were told to support the defending HQ forces and report back after the attack was over. LRS Jorge and myself ran as fast as we could to the top of the parking garage. There was already one guy up there. He yelled to us, “Yo! Check out what’s in the crate over here; we got some presents!” We ran over to find a couple of Remington 700 rifles. The guy looked at us and realized that we weren’t who he thought we were apparently. He shook his head, “Don’t touch those rifles. Those are for MY team. Go pick a spot and scout.”

We took up positions facing in the direction of the incoming attack. In the distance I could see a SUV and an APC making their way to us. Jorge suddenly yelled out, “I see one sniper in the building to the south!” I looked at the building through my scope. It looked like apartments with windows facing our direction. The other guy was looking as well and asked which floor. “Ninth. Third window from the left,” Jorge replied. The target was out of the range of our M16s. We both stared at the other guy. He looked back at us, “What?” I could tell he didn’t get it so I replied, “Our weapons aren’t able to accurately hit a target at over three-hundred meters and that building is at least five-hundred.” He looked back down, checking the parking lot and driveway, “That means we are out of his range too. He’s just scouting us.”

I opened my mouth to set the guy straight, but I don’t think that he could hear me anymore once the back of his exploded under his helmet. Soon after we heard the crack from the gunshot that took his life. I used the chest high wall of the parking garage as cover while I ran over to grab the Remington. It felt good in my hands. I didn’t know if it had been setup to use the scope correctly, but it was our only chance to take out the sniper so that we could provide good support for the defending force. I changed position and used the wall as support for the rifle to keep it steady. The sniper was still in the same position. I put the crosshair on his chest and let out a slow breath. I saw a flash from his rifles muzzle and felt a panic wash over me. The concrete in front of my face seemed to explode. I would have caught a lot of bits to my eyes if I wasn’t wearing eye protection. I aimed once again and held my breath. The sniper’s muzzle flashed again. Quickly I squeezed the trigger of my rifle and dropped back below the wall. I could hear his round zip overhead. Looking back at the window I could see him slumped over his rifle hanging halfway outside of the window.

Jorge looked at me and smiled, “Beginner’s luck!” The enemy vehicles were pulling into the driveway. I could see some of our CQSs in positions around the parking lot waiting for the fight to begin. The SUV had a mounted gunner that began firing at my position while it pulled into the parking lot. I could hear everyone in the parking lot open fire. Jorge grabbed a Remington out of the box and made it ready to fire. The shots in our direction had stopped. We both peeked over the wall to get a view of what was going on down on the ground. The SUV was full of holes and everyone from our platoon had weapons pointing at the APC.

Suddenly the small holes in the side of the APC began to spit out rounds in all directions. Everyone on the ground took cover. Jorge and I kept our aim and waited. The back door must have opened because guys started hopping out two at a time. Eight guys in total had hopped out of the vehicle. Jorge took out five, I took out one, and the ground guys took out two. The APC sat quietly for a few seconds. The ground forces began to move in to clear it when it fired up the engine and took off. One of the guys managed to toss a gas canister through one of the holes as it passed, so the drive home was going to be a painful one for whoever was left alive in there.

We formed back up with the rest of the team. Thankfully we were all still alive. Clements mounted the first SUV with two FTLs while the rest of us got into the second SUV. We relaxed for a minute; enjoying the ride with the windows rolled down. We pulled into the magazine division and hopped out. Lunch was fifteen minutes sitting on the ground and eating a turkey sandwich. We did get all of the Gatorade that we could handle though so it wasn’t a completely sucky lunch. We spent the next hour learning some of the functions of the APC that FTL Yuri had captured during the attack on the magazine a short while back. Apparently it was assigned to our unit.

At about 1330 we got word that the newspaper was under attack by the same company responsible for the attacks that occurred earlier in the morning. As we ran toward our APC the attack alarms began to sound for the magazine. I climbed on top of the APC as everyone else grabbed a good position. The magazine had a single entrance/exit from loading dock in a large garage where everyone parked. We were spread out on in the loading dock and watched the entrance of the garage.

Two SUVs drove past the entrance and hit their brakes. Both of them came flying through the garage opening in reverse. The were picking up speed by the second. I took aim with my newly acquired Remington and aimed for a tire on one of the incoming vehicles. I led my target slightly and fired. The tire went immediately flat and caused the driver to lose control. It turned sharply to the left and clipped a column. I quit counting after three rollovers. The other SUV popped open its hatch and greeted us with two OPFOR firing toward our position. Both of them began concentrating their fire onto my position. I rolled off of the APC and landed on my feet. I was about to hit the floor when I felt a huge pressure on the right side of my chest. The pressure was so great that it actually knocked me to the ground. My ribs instantly began to throb with pain. It wasn’t all too long ego that I had broken a couple of them. I grabbed at the source of the pain and found my new armor had a tear from being punctured by a bullet! I reached under the vest and realized that the bullet didn’t go all the way through. The Dragon Skin had done its job.

By the time I stood back to my feet the fight was over. My shot had caused the wreck that took out six out of seven OPFOR. I tried to run up a tally of how many kills that I had so far as I hopped into the APC. Sixteen in one day. I just hoped that the newspaper was still under our control. That and I hoped all of the OPFOR had already been taken out. The number sixteen started to weigh heavily in my mind. All was quite when we arrived.

There were only three more hours on the battle clock. Three more hours and this work day would be over. I wished with everything that I had for the day to end without any other incidents. We rode out to the television station and checked in with the unit there. I caught up with FTL Ramirez while we were there. He said that things had been pretty calm around there since the last battle. We got a call about HQ being under attack again. Enemy force size was described as ‘heavy’.

Everyone piled into the APC and we took off toward HQ. There was some good distance between the offices so the ride was long. I rubbed the spot on my chest where I had been hit. Fear began to set in. Clements didn’t help when he began to issue orders. Jorge and I were told to leave behind the the rifles and to join in with the ground fight. I slung my M16 on my back and grabbed the shotgun that I had pulled from the first group of OPFOR that I had taken out that morning. It was a no pump semi-automatic full of slug shells.

Three minutes out we were told to put on our gas masks and secure all equipment. We were being dropped off literally in the middle of the fight. Our APC was going to create a wedge of cover for the defending ground forces. Thankfully our vehicle had side doors so we could jump out on the friendly side of the battle. I could hear the ultra loud popcorn sound of the battle as we approached.

Finally at 1530 we arrived at the driveway. We drove right through enemy controlled area toward the center of the parking lot. We were able to take some of the OPFOR out by firing from the side port holes as we drove by. I wish I could recall everything that happened during that battle to write about here, but I can’t. I remember bits and pieces. I can recall a lot of loud noise. At one point a tank rolled in. I’m sure that I could remember how we took out the tank if I tried, but I honestly don’t want to. There is probably a reason I’ve blocked a lot of it out. I just can’t remember...

The numbers:

Battle 1 - Radio Station
1 KIA - Friendly

Battle 2 - HQ
1 KIA - Friendly

Battle 3 - Magazine

Battle 4 - Newspaper
1 WIA - Friendly

Battle 5 - HQ
7 KIA - Friendly
12 WIA - Friendly

Friday, December 31st, 2200GMT

More patrols today. Caught a couple of glimpses of the new APC from far away. I hope we can get one of those here at the radio station soon. The new budget kicks in after the holiday. At the very least we should be getting some new weapons next week. I really hope that they change their mind about the personnel and get some more trainees in here.

Now for some much needed time off with my beautiful wife and wonderful new child!

Oh yeah! I found out from Geoff that him and Amy have a date tonight. Interesting...

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30th, 2310GMT

Today was FTL Yuri FTW (ForTheWin)! He was on patrol at the magazine when it came under attack. A major competitor was in it for blood and brought a huge fight. Luckily for Yuri’s fire team they were able to make it to a flanking position behind the enemy forces. Yuri used a couple of gas canisters that he shot from his M203 to disable two of the attacking squads. He used this time to focus his efforts on the real threat; an APC (Armored Personnel Carrier)!

Quickly he killed the gunner and climbed on top of the vehicle. He dropped a flash bang into the hatch and slammed it shut. After a few seconds the rear entry of the vehicle flew open and dazed OPFOR began to stumble out. One by one they were picked off by Yuri’s fire team. Yuri then mounted the machine gun and aimed for the OPFOR that were attacking the magazine; they kept looking forward oblivious to the belt fed death that was coming for them from behind.

The defenders at the magazine all took cover and Yuri took out the remaining eight OPFOR. It feels kind of good to know that we can survive a platoon sized attack from a major competitor and come out without a single KIA/WIA. Not only that, but we also gained an APC! Well, the magazine gained one anyway.

Wednesday, December 29th, 2250GMT

The television station was attacked this afternoon. The assault team wasn’t very skilled from what I’ve heard. Apparently there were three squads in the attack and only two of ours on defense. The only wounded of our guys was FTL Ramirez. He caught a round in the thigh, but he’ll be fine. The wound is superficial and actually didn’t stop him from continuing to fight. I overheard SL Pyle talking to someone and he said that Ramirez will be getting an award for most KIA by a fire team leader in a single fire fight. He took out sixteen of the twenty-one; twelve of which were put down after he got wounded! At this rate I could see him making squad leader really soon.

Tuesday, December 28th, 2255GMT

On patrol today. Didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Consultant has been giving ‘classes’. Meh. New weapons coming soon. Also rumors of some new ‘armor’. I wonder what they mean by that!

Monday, December 27th, 2350GMT

Went back to work today. I was greeted by a company wide restructuring of forces during the morning formation. We were also told that instead of increasing security personnel, despite adding an asset with the television station, we were going to upgrade equipment instead. An outside consultant has been brought in to help us become more ‘tactful’ and ‘diverse’. Give me a break damnit! The new units have been organized like this:

HQ - 3 squads (no change)
Newspaper - 3 squads
Magazine - 3 squads
Radio Station - 1 squad (no change)
TV Station - 2 squads

Apparently the accounting team believes that the newly acquired television station is worth more than the radio station and shifted it some extra resources. I’ll bet that no one can guess where I’ve been assigned.

Give up?

The radio station! I know I’m not in charge, but why in the hell do I keep getting assigned to the places that have the least amount of resources? My current squad:

SL Pyle (again)
Alpha Team:
FTL Andres
LRS Gregory (Geoff)
CQS Romero
Bravo Team:
FTL McAllister
LRS (me)
CQS Yarbanks
SM Rogers (Amy)

Friday, December 24th, 1300GMT

I go back to work on Monday. I spoke with Amy about what has happened in my absence. She told me that no attacks have occurred and that the new batch of trainees certified today. This adds 28xCQS and 6xSM to our ranks.

Our son’s birth is making it very hard to go back. I can’t help but imagine what his life will be like if I get killed. I’ll just swallow the fear and keep my head down until I get high enough in rank to stay safe or lateral to information security.

Friday, December 10th, 2200GMT

The newspaper division was attacked again today. It was the same company, but this time they sent a smaller force. I’m not sure why they would do that because obviously if the first assault didn’t work with its numbers then one would think that a second assault with smaller numbers would fail as well. Maybe they just wanted those PSSs dead for some reason...

The ropes are finished and have been tested. Nothing happened on patrol today. The weekend has started so I better be ready for possible assaults on Monday. A lot of companies will practice an assault all weekend like a SWAT team planning/practicing a mission.

Good night!

Thursday, December 9th, 2225GMT

Geoff was wounded in the attack on the newspaper yesterday. He is fine, but will be in recovery for a short time.

Nothing happened today thankfully. We started to build a fast rope system on the roof. Amy told me that Marie will be in recovery for a few weeks. She wanted to come back to work today, but HQ wouldn’t let her. That is one tough lady!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2200GMT

Nothing happened at the television station today. Our team is on patrol duty this week. Thankfully the patrol area is relatively small and we will probably see an attack coming from half a mile away. There are no tall buildings nearby for OPFOR to hide in/on.

The newspaper division is another story (no pun intended). They were attacked this morning. There is no word yet on if the business unit is still in our possession or if anyone was KIA. I’ve tried to call Geoff several times with no answer. I’m a little worried about him and Amy is about to panic. I can tell that she really likes him by the concerned look in her eyes. I hope he is okay.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2255GMT

The television station was about twenty minutes away from HQ. I wanted to rescue Marie, but I was nervous about who would have to protect the station after we took it over. It will be a bad gig if just one squad is assigned to it. Thankfully there are no nearby competitors. The other two stations were on opposite sides of the city.

We were surprised to find an attack already in progress when we came into sight of the station. Watching the assaulting team get taken out was a bit of a moral killer. I rolled down my windows and scoped the grounds with my rifle. I could see one guy on the roof with an M249B SAW. Another was in front of the front door and armed with an AK-47. FTL Ramirez gave me permission to fire. I centered my scope on chest of the rooftop guard. I exhaled slowly and squeezed the trigger a little. Then I held my breath momentarily as I squeezed the trigger the rest of the way. I could see a pink mist explode from behind the guard as he grabbed his sternum and fell to the ground. Without hesitation I did the same to the guard by the front door.

Ramirez looked back at me and said, “Jesus Christ man! I’m glad you’re on our team!”

We parked next to the other company’s disabled SUV and charged toward the building. The building was fairly small to our standards. It only had two floors and was maybe about 100’ x 100’. Our squad broke into our two normal teams. My team was assigned to enter in through the rooftop access while the other went in through the front door. I tossed a flash grenade onto the roof just in case anyone else was up there, but there wasn’t.

We stacked up by the rooftop door and gave the other team our status. On the SL’s mark both teams entered the building and began clearing all rooms to eliminate OPFOR. The stairs we were on led down into the studio area. There was no opposition in the room. I could hear the other team having a shootout underneath us. We entered a hallway that had several doors on either side. We cleared them one by one. Most were offices and housed production staff and that we proceeded to scare the hell out of. The last room next to the stairwell was labeled ‘Sound Engineering’.

I opened the door and stood aside to let CQS Yarbanks take point. He led the way with Ramirez behind him and me covering the rear. I never turned around to see what was going on, but I heard a single gunshot and heard Marie saying something in Russian. Ramirez gave a SITREP to the other team over the radio and requested theirs. The other team had successfully eliminated all OPFOR and captured the CIO, CEO, and CSO. Despite being beaten and tortured for two weeks Marie had the energy to give each one a small flogging but didn’t kill them. She said that she wanted them to face a worse fate by going to prison for what they had done.

HQ decided that our squad would protect the television station for the time being. This scares me since we are literally twenty minutes away (with no traffic).