Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer
“Sarge, that’s illegal, isn’t it?”
“Yes Jim, completely against the rules of engagement.”
“So we can complain?”
“Hell yes, son. I’m sure the Captain will be right on the blower to the moderators as soon as the opposition finish killing us.”
Trooper Jamieson did not look convinced and Sarge smiled.
“Do you think your Sarge wouldn’t be expecting bad behaviour from the greens? Shame on you. Now pass me the medipack with the blue stripe on it.”
Jamieson did so, hefting the one and a half metre long box without a thought using his mags. Sarge smiled at his control, then slapped him across the back of his helm.
“What have they got out there? What are you doing?”
“Mag detecting godogs Sarge. Lifting your pack using my… oh.”
Sarge shook his head as he grabbed the pack from him. No further comment was needed as Jim got a roasting from the rest of the squad for leaving them open to a reaming from robo-dobermans packed with RDX. He concentrated on opening the pack quietly. No telling if a moderator was passing by. Just because the other side were playing dirty would not save him from a ten amp reprimand. As the dim lights picked out details there were low whistles from the squad, who huddled round to prevent observation from outsiders whilst simultaneously getting a better look.
“What the hell is that, Sarge?”
“It’s a shotgun, Napier. Real, honest-to-god personal artillery.”
“It’s beautiful, Sarge. Must have cost you a packet.”
“I couldn’t afford it, son. Been in my family for five generations. It cost a hundred and ten grand back then.”
“Holy smokes, Sarge! Is that a British shooting iron?”
“Sure is. Ladies, may I introduce you to a Holloway and Naughton Premier under-over 12 bore. Now I need two of you to go tell the armour to hull-down and cool their coils for an hour. Scoot!”
Jamieson and Napier took off like crazed caterpillars as Sarge selected the correct loads from the case. He lovingly cracked the breech and loaded paper wrapped tubes ahead of grey-jacketed cartridges before closing it with a smooth motion. Dumping every piece of detectable and energy pack reliant junk, he crawled off toward the enemy lines after giving terse instructions: “Timing is the thing here troops. I won’t be able to see the godogs from where I’ll be, so when you see them slip the leashes, you click two and one. Got me?”
He made his way round to the flank of the dugouts where the godogs were being prepped. It took him nearly too long to find the right angle, but he made it just as his headset clicked twice then once. Without hesitation, he aimed low across the leading edge of the dugouts and fired one barrel.
The godogs were primed and ready. Their senses detected the distant lure of magnetic fields and metals. They were just leaping up the slope of the dugout toward the enemy lines when a loud noise presaged a host of hot magnetic traces flying across their path and slamming into the field control centre. They howled with glee as their proximity-keyed mating urge drove them to accelerate at this new target.
Sarge smiled as the explosions tore the enemy command centre apart. He waited. Sure enough, a couple of greens came looking for him, their godogs leashed. Didn’t matter. Shoot one with a load of magnetic disks and the other one did the detonating. Time to sneak back and pack the family jewel away for another day.
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