Sting of the Scorpion part 12 "Breakout"
First a saying 'hello'
I just want to takea few moments to say thank you to all you folks who've been reading this series from the beginning. We're getting close to the finish of the series, but with a few more episodes to go before we get there, and they're sort of picking up the tempo as well.
Anyway, put your steel helmet on, pull up a sandbag and enjoy the story as we get back into it.
First a recap
Joey and Sandy are fleeing on foot across the country with a whole heap of pursuers with tracker dogs after them, things a re pretty grim, and Joey's decided to try and turn the tables.
Jacko, Mac and Chambers are heading for the border in a stolen Landcruiser when their worst nightmare shows up. It looks like the Helicopter didn't see them and they got away lightly, or did they?
Pushed to the limit
There were nine of them in the unit. Eight foreigners and one local translator, though the translator was from Tehran and only spoke Farsi and not the local Kurdish, still they were functional and had got the information to do what they needed from the villagers.
Two dog handlers with large dogs, German shepherd dogs specially trained for hunting people in rough terrain, the dogs were in the lead and making it obvious they had Joey and Sandy’s scent; they were hot on the trail and gaining fast.
“They went this way” it was the lead handler encouraging the others in the group to get a move on, he loved the chase and loved what he did. “Come on, shift your idle arses” he was screaming at the others as they came into the small gulley.
The secret of any ambush is total surprise. That might sound obvious but you’d be amazed at how many times we seem to forget this and set up a half prepared ambush then expect it to ‘work like clockwork’ yet it can’t! When you are going to ambush a force superior in number to yourself there’s an added proviso that you really need to make sure of. Hit them with a massive amount of firepower!
Sounds simple right? The massive firepower is simply the ‘equalizer’ as you cut the force down to a manageable size.
It actually sounds so much easier than it really is! The whole thing relies on timing, get the timing wrong and the first volley goes in before you’re ready and the enemy has the time to recover and are ready for you when the attack finally happens, some of the biggest screw-ups in history were because the timing was wrong!
Joey and Sandy were behind boulders about seventy yards to the right of the track, hidden and waiting for the signal, “You won’t be able to miss it” Joey’d said as he got into position.
The dogs were in the lead, each one was on a leash literally ‘dragging’ their handlers along almost at a full sprint, and they had the scent and were following it, that’d been the plan that Joey’d explained hurriedly why he wanted him and Sandy to go through the trap and move about two hundred yards down the track before moving off to the right and back to boulders, they were upwind of the group so there was little chance of their plan being ‘rumbled’ but you just can’t be too careful.
The dogs saw the wires, they were at human ankle height so they simply stepped over them and carried on, barking as they went, the humans don’t speak ‘dog’ and didn’t pick up on the warning, they didn’t see the wires, they also didn’t hear the small click as pins were pulled from their housing and grenade arms dropped onto the soft foliage on the ground.
The average hand grenade has a short time delay fuse of between three point six and five point five seconds, not quite the same fuse in every ‘grenade’ but enough to give the thrower enough time to ‘get out of the way’ by throwing it or simply ducking. Joey and Sandy didn’t need that, but they still had their ‘signal’ they were waiting for.
The gulley erupted in a violent and deadly explosion, six hand grenades going off all within a second of each other, of the nine men in the pursuit group three were killed instantly, dead before they hit the ground. Two more slumped to the floor clutching their stomachs and screaming, they sounded almost inhuman; it was obvious they weren’t going to last long. That left four more.
Joey and Sandy both broke cover at the same time “Shoot anyone that moves” Joey’s orders had been, they both had their weapons set on ‘triple shot’ that allowed three shots to be fired with a single pull of the trigger, “Aim for the torso” Joey’d said, “that way when the rifle pulls upwards, you’ll get two in the torso and one to the head”
“The two in the torso should kill them” Joey explained. “But the one to the head makes totally sure! And besides it’s SAS practice” he explained, “You do that and they’ll know they’re dealing with a deadly enemy!”
Both of them ran towards the rest screaming and firing as they went, the trackers were deafened and confused, in no shape to return fire.
Sandy aimed and fired in the general direction, one went down instantly, Joey’d put his man down and was moving on to the next who was starting to reach for his weapon, a quick burst from the commando took care of him, blowing him clean off his feet and sending him sprawling about six feet before crashing into the ground, a second burst left him unrecognizable with no face.
Sandy’s second man almost had his rifle in the firing position, it was him or her, she didn’t hesitate, screaming at the top of her voice the volley tore into his torso pinning him to a tree before slumping down, she moved forward and let fly with three more rounds into the head.
“Sandy, Sandy” it was Joey’s voice she recognized. “Was he hit?” she began to panic, then she realized what he was saying “They’re all down now, we can stop” it took a moment for it to register, they’d just taken down odds of five to one against with a ruthlessness she didn’t know she had and it shocked her.
US Marines and SAS Ambush the Bad guys!
“Remember” Joey spoke quietly, almost comforting, “it was them or us, if they’d pulled the ambush off they would be just as ruthless and deadly, they wouldn’t have given us a chance either!” he reached out and gently lowered her gun barrel that was pointing in his general direction, “Now let’s check and make sure” he cocked his commando and walked round the group putting a shot through each one’s skull to make sure there were no nasty surprises.
The last part of the deal was when he came to the dogs, one was clearly dead, having taken a chest of shrapnel, but the other was seemingly unharmed, standing there trembling with fright and shock the animal urinated where he stood a Joey approached, he was terrified, and trying so hard to get away, but the dead hand of his handler was holding him firm, the dog was dragging the dead weight of the body in an effort to get away from the inevitable.
Joey just couldn’t do it, he’d grown up with animals and in many ways they’d been better friends to him than the humans in his life. “We’re taking the dog with us” he spoke out loud.
Sandy stopped in her tracks; she’d been gathering the weapons up and stripping them down to throw the firing pins away, denying the enemy the use of the weapons and had accepted that Joey would kill the dog, not that she liked the idea, but you have to be ruthless in this world, “What?” was all she could say.
Joey's soft spot
“We’re taking the dog” Joey replied, “we can’t leave him here, they’ll use him to track us again”.
“I know that” she said, “but why not just kill it?”
“It’s not an ‘IT’” he said “he’s a male! And don’t ask me to kill him, as I’m not going to do it”
Sandy was stunned, and relieved as she too was an animal person, but she still had to know why, “Mind me asking what the difference is? Between the men and the Dog?”
“They chose to be here” Joey’s voice was full of contempt, not for her but for the men they’d killed here, “This dog didn’t have a choice! So we’re taking him with us” that was it, neither of them wanted to argue with the irrational decision; it just felt right nor that’s what they’d do. “We’ll get to the border and then find him a villager to look after him as a working dog, but we’re not killing him and that’s bloody final”
Sandy had no intention of arguing with him, but something in the tone told her that this was more than a ‘tactical decision’ this was personal for Joey and it really spoke volumes to the woman, that this highly trained ‘soldier’ had a part of him that he just wouldn’t allow the horror of the present situation to ‘break into’ no matter how horrible things seemed to be and how illogical it made things seem, there were some things within Joey that were ‘off limits’ to even the Army, not something she expected.
He's back!! and he means business!
"Sink the bloody gas pedal BOSS!!"
The drive was not without its little problems, but they seemed to be making good time and it looked like the Iranians hadn’t yet totally sealed the area off, they made the next junction and were heading for a ravine when Smithy called out.
“Boss, sink the bloody boot on that gas pedal” he screamed. “The sodding Hind is making a pass and she’s looking like she’s coming for us!”
“Shit” was Jocko’s only reply, “Okay boys, when I say, jump for it” they all grabbed the handles of the doors.
The secret of jumping out of a vehicle at high speed is timing and how you land, how you land in that you’ll need to roll over and over to gradually slow your momentum and timing as if you hit a post in the process it doesn’t matter how much you roll you’re going to die as the impact will break just about every bone in the body!
“Now” Jacko screamed just as they passed the last open ground before the ravine, four doors flew open and four bodies went tumbling hands covering their heads and pulling them as far into their bodies as they could possibly get them in, right at that moment they heard a whoosh as two rockets passed them and impacted on the side of the ravine showering them with debris, the vehicle continued on down the track in a straight line for a while, then the cannon on the Hind opened up and they saw nothing but rock splinters and dirt, then the explosion told them what they didn’t want to know. They were walking from here!
“Stay where you are” Jacko spoke into the mike more for Chambers benefit than anyone else’s no one moved as the Hind did one more pass, playing dead might just work and the helicopter might just back off.
That's all for now
That's all for this episode folks, the team are in deep S#@T as you might say, but somehow they keep on going with that one goal in mind, to complete the mission and get home safely.
Once again thank you for visiting. please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think, are they going to make it?