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Sting of the Scorpion part 13 "Hit back"
In the last episode the Jacko and the team thought they were away and free, only to be hit hard by the Hind helicopter, the vehicle destroyed and they're stuck in hostile territory with a broken vehicle and two wounded men, how the hell are they going to turn this round.
On the other side of things, Joey and Sandy have managed to pull off an ambush of their own and managed to shake their pursuers, actually they've got a new friend, let's find out what's happening in this episode.
It's all in the planning
From the Previous
“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.
Meanwhile 'Back at the ranch'
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 Jacko’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.
“Target destroyed sir” Konrad held one hand over the mike, he’d just taken the call from the pilot reporting the destruction of the Landcruiser, “Pilot thinks no one survived” he reported.
“Good” Gregorovitch replied, “But we’ll send the Iranians to confirm that” he looked back at the map “Now what’s happening with the dog unit?”
Konrad was on the radio ordering the Iranian units they’d been loaned into the area in a pattern search “Be advised the terrorists are armed and dangerous. Yes they are possibly wounded, but still to be considered dangerous”
“What’s the news from the dog unit?”
“Just checking now sir, they haven’t reported in for about fifteen minutes”
“Is that normal?”
“Yes sir” Konrad replied, “They’re due to check in every half hour, so we’ve got another fifteen minutes before they check in.”
“Any chance we can raise them before then?”
“Maybe, but it depends on the terrain and whether they’re listening in”
“Then try, and keep trying until you hear from them” Gregorovitch was looking at the map. “Things are going a little too well at the moment, let’s keep them that way”
Licking their wounds?
“Anyone hurt?” probably one of the dumbest questions you could ask after having to dive from a moving vehicle with rocks fast approaching and a heavily armed helicopter unleashing a salvo of rockets right ‘up your arse’ but Jacko had to ask the question.
“Apart from my pride, no” Smithy was the first to reply.
“I think I might have broke my arm” Chambers replied next, he sat up holding his left arm delicately, it was injured and would require a sling, but not too serious.
“Mac, what about you?” Mac hadn’t replied. Jacko sat up and began to look around.
“Sorry boss” Mac finally spoke up, “Must have taken a knock to the head, I was out for a moment there!”
“You mean your head hit the earth and there wasn’t an earthquake?” Smithy quipped, “Anything that hits your head usually comes off worst!”
“Anyone see where the chopper is?”
“Nah, sorry boss” Mac replied, “I was out cold, what about you Smithy?”
“He did one pass and then cleared off” It was Chambers who replied, “took off to the south, my guess is he got orders not to worry about us once the ‘cruiser’ was immobilised”
They looked at the smouldering wreck that had once been the Landcruiser.
"Suppose that means we're flaming well walking the rest of the way then?" It was Smithy who spoke.
"Check your weapons folks" Jacko ordered, "and make ready" he started inspecting his own weapons for damage, "as I think we're going to have company pretty soon, and we'll give them a welcome they're not going to forget in a hurry"
They could hear the engines labouring hard as they pushed the freight slowly up the gradient, they finally got to see their transport just as they reached the track, the train was still a ways behind them, but even with the effort of pushing twenty five thousand tons up the mountain the two massive diesels were travelling at about 10 miles an hour.
“Come on” Joey yelled as he started to run as fast as he could for the train. “This is our ride”
“Right with you” Sandy shouted as she sprinted for the train, they were both carrying their weapons slung around their torsos, neither of them even thought of leaving them behind despite the fact it was about thirty extra pounds in weight.
Two massive diesels pulling an assortment of chemical tanks and sealed containers. Three hundred tons of pulling power struggling with about a hundred or so tanks and containers each between twenty to forty tons. The whole lot were loaded onto flatbed railway carriages making it that little bit easier for them to attempt the climb.
Joey got level with one and managed to launch himself on to the deck, grabbing hold of one of the support struts of the tanks he hauled himself up and quickly turned. Sandy was running alongside, her arm outstretched, he reached out and grabbed hold, then she jumped at the same time that he ‘yanked’ her up onto the deck.
‘Sniff’ was already on the deck; he’d had no problem catching the train and was stood there licking both of them as they embraced each other.
“Shit, that was one hell of a run” Joey was the one to break the silence, he didn’t want to break the embrace but they needed to get things sorted out.
“Yeah” Sandy replied softly, she looked directly into his eyes, then reached up and gave him a kiss, just a small one, but on the lips. “Thank you” was all she said.
For a few seconds, it was as if the world disappeared and there was just to two of them, but then reality came crashing back as they took stock of the situation.
The rear flatbeds had forty foot containers at the front with the name of MAERSK line stencilled on it and a chemical tank with liquid oxygen at the back.
The tank had enough clearance that they could crawl through between the two.
Sandy went first; sniffer was right besides her having decided she was probably friendlier than Joey. Joey came through last.
The container had four padlocks, heavy duty ones that would deter all except the most determined of thieves. Sandy paused for a moment then taking the backpack off she hunted for a small purse. As soon as she had what she wanted she set to work.
Less than two minutes later the last padlock popped open, Joey worked the levers and opened the container.
It was like opening the door to Aladdin’s cave! About two feet inside the container were pallets, two wide and two high pallets of tinned food, wrapped in cellophane it was just what they needed.
Joey took his knife out of its sheath and began hacking into the cellophane on the left hand pallet.
“Can’t read the label” he said pointing to the Farsi writing, “but it looks like Beef” there was a picture of a cow on the front. In English there was ‘Product of Pakistan’ written, “wonder if that’s really true?” he asked no one in particular. “Not that it matters that much”
The meat had a little key on the side and a lip. He placed the key in the lip and began to turn peeling back part of the tin.
“Here you are Sniff” Joey shook the tin so the meat dropped out onto the floor, sniff didn’t wait for Joey to stop, he literally ‘inhaled’ the food in about two seconds, the tail came from between the legs and showed the slightest hint of a wag, Joey did the same with another tin that Sniff took about a second more to eat, ‘When were you last fed?’ Joey thought to himself.
“I’d say at least a week ago by the way he ate that!” it was as if Sandy had read his thoughts, she took one of the tins and opened it herself, she ate half the tin then gave the rest to sniff, the tail wagged that little more. Meanwhile Joey looked round the rest of the container and found tins of Apricots and lentils, he threw one tin of the Apricots to Sandy who promptly opened it.
“Better than a meal at the Savoy” he said as he tucked into the food.
Their 'transport' out
"We've probably got about half an hour before they show up" Jacko spoke slowly; they could see he was formulating a plan.
"Enough time to bug out boss?" Mac asked.
"Or arrange a welcoming party" Jacko replied, "I don't fancy walking out of here, and our chances wouldn't be that great, how about we get ourselves some transport?"
"You mean 'borrow' a vehicle like we did the cruiser, sounds good to me" Smithy was up for it.
Most places talk about their staff being a 'great asset' and then the bosses make decisions like their staff don't matter, not Special Forces! especially not the SAS. Their decisions are always done by a vote, that way men and women with years of experience have input 'all the way' and everyone 'owns it' and when your back’s literally against the wall with nowhere to go that’s exactly what you need.
“We’ll try not to kill any this time, as the last thing we need is to make an even worse enemy of the Iranians” Jacko spoke for the group, the plan was ‘high risk and they all knew it. “I reckon it’s going to take about half an hour for anyone to show, time enough for you to get a good position Smithy”
As the best shot in the unit it was going to be his job to make sure that the unit that walks into the ambush stayed there and stayed isolated, he walked down the gulley about a hundred and fifty yards then found a place with good cover that gave him a good view of both the approach and the ‘kill zone’ then set down to wait.
The rest of the plan was simple, Chambers and Mac were both injured, though neither was all that serious, they’d taken a few moments to put Chamber’s arm in a sling and the dressing on Macs wound was holding with no blood seeping through, you could see he was in pain, but not enough to hinder what he had to do, and that was play dead.
Mac climbed into the burned out wreck of the vehicle, he sat in what was left of the drivers seat, the lack of charring on his body would probably give the ambush away to the wary, but they were counting on the Iranians being unwary and not expecting anything, Chambers sprawled out in front of the cruiser as if thrown clear in the blast. Mac had his Glock out and Chambers had a Makarov they’d picked off one of the dead back at the fortress, Jacko took up a position near the burned out vehicle, no sooner had they got into position than they heard what they were waiting for.
“Boss” it was Smithy, “Our friends have arrived with the transport”
“Good, now to persuade them to let us have it” Jacko replied. “Smithy, we move on your signal”