Hill 844 (Original Fiction by Xiphos)
I roll over the berm on the north
side of the fire base softly and quietly in case they have eyes on the
perimeter. A moment later my spotter came over as well. It was O dark
thirty and we had to make the five kilometer hump to Hill 844 and be in
place before the sun came up. That's three hours from now.
The Intel had
the target on the road around noon. The shot had to be made but
honestly the shooting position could have been better. The road was a
sliver from the military crest where we were going to be shooting from.
The range finder showed the distance to the road was 920 meters, or
over three thousand feet, at an oblique angle. I'm shooting at a target
in a moving vehicle that will be visible for all of three seconds.
Sweet, that's why they pay me the big money that is if they paid me.
We move down a natural depression in the ground to the tree line
where we stop to orient ourselves to the night. We wait twenty minutes
for our eyes to adjust and let our ears sort out the late night sounds.
I shoot an azimuth and we get moving.
Here's one of the issues with this OP. We have to move fast, but we
need to be quite because of patrols in and around the target area. When
you move fast you sacrifice stealth. When you have to sneak around
speed is out the window. It's a conundrum.
For this mission we don't go out fully loaded down. We have our
weapons, ammo, radio, entrenching tools, fighting knives, one canteen
each and some food that's it. It's a one day operation and we can move
faster without all the junk we haul usually. We travel light to travel fast, because this is the most important
mission ever taken in this long war and by god I'm completing it. It
will royally fuck things up if I take out the target. In order for that
to happen we need to get into place without getting smoked.
The route I laid out to get us to Hill 844 is relatively straight,
which sucks, because that's how you get bounced. I had no choice; it
was the quickest way to get there. We will go through the tree
line, up and over a ridge, across a patrolled fire road; then ford a
river and up the backside of Hill 844 and into the hide we worked on
for a week. We have to do all that in about three hours without getting caught. We
might have some fudge factor in there because weather says the sky will
be overcast, so it will lighten up a little later then normal, maybe.
I look around while we walk. Technically I'm walking point and Freddy
is on drag. It's kind of silly to think that way with a two man outfit
like ours but it is what it is. I
needlessly check Freddy to make sure he's doing his job, which is
stupid because Freddy is the best spotter I've ever had; I've buried an
even dozen. Freddy always gives 110% to every mission. The Corporals righteous name is Fernando. He's a tough little
Guamanian. His people got out just before the Island fell, he's grown
up wanting payback ever since. This mission will give him that in
spades plus interest.
We hit the first marker on the map, the end of the tree line. Now
we go up and over the ridge. I check my watch, slightly ahead of
schedule, that's good. We need all the time we can get. When the job is
done we could have all the time in the world. Now, time is at a premium.
If we follow the natural switchbacks on the hills terrain it will add
time to the trip we don't have, but it's easier. It will also get us
seen. Nope, can't go that way. We're going straight up the off side. I
tell Freddy to sling weapons and let's get ready to go.
This was going to be the hardest part of the mission, both mentally
and physically. One, we're going to be out in the open for a while
which I really do not like, at all. Two, I'm humping a pig for this
The primary long range interdiction platform I'm using, i.e. Sniper rifle,
is a rebarreled and worked over Pre64 Winchester model 70. The gunsmiths
pulled the original barrel and replaced it with a heavy contour,
stainless steel target barrel.
The reason for that is to cut down on the vibration the rounds produce
in traveling down the tube. Less vibration means maximum ballistic
stability for the round in flight.
they had the barrel off the action, they squared the barrel shoulder on
a lathe and trued the action. Then they recut the interior screw
threads of the action so the barrel and action will mate together
perfectly and tightly.
On the stock they free floated the barrel channel; pillars bedded the action and torque the screws to the recommended 35 pounds.
all that means is that the model 70 is one heavy sumbitch. It started
its life as a relatively light 30.06 pushing a round at about 2000 foot
pounds of energy and weighed maybe 6 pounds. This rebuilt beast weighed nearly 15 pounds with the scope and was
chambered in .300 H & H Magnum; it's a true long range shooter. The
bullet screams out of the barrel with over 3200 pounds of energy and
will strike the target 920 meters away with at least 2900 pounds of
force. It is going to weigh my ass down as we go vertical though. Plus I'm
also carrying a separate rifle in case the weather turns bad and we get
I was prepping for this mission I was able to routinely put 2 rounds at
four inches into a target 920 meters away in under three seconds. The
gunsmiths built the perfect rifle. I'm the perfect operator.
I scheduled forty five minutes to climb the 1500 feet up and over
the ridge. There's a reason for this, no satellites overhead during
that time, it's our window. I watch the second hand on my watch sweep
around, it hits the top of the hour the satellite is past, we move out.
We use our trenching tools as a climbing aid. We dig them into the
roots and grass to pull ourselves up. I'm sweating hard in the 50
degree weather and it doesn't seem like we're getting anywhere. Thunk,
thunk, thunk, I hate the sound the tools make. Sound carries at night
and I know those sneaky bastards can hear it.
They're probably ranging us right now with artillery or heavy mortars,
laughing the whole time at two dummies exposed on the ridge line. Jesus
come on, when do we top out? Thunk, thunk, thunk Are we there yet? No,
thunk, thunk, thunk, damn it all.
I steal a glance at my watch, we are 28 minutes into the 45 I
allotted and not even half way up the ridge. Fuck we're slow and this
Because God grants one boon to colossal fools and idjits,
he granted us one. You couldn't see it from the maps, or at the base of
the hill line, but there's is a flatter section in the middle of the
ridge. Thank Christ, we beat feet and make time. Gotta go, gotta go!
The last third of the hill was surprisingly easy going and forgiving.
By my watch we've loss three minutes. That's going to hurt.
and I carefully snake our way down the back of the ridge line because
we're near the fire road the whole way leaking time but it can't be
helped. We're at the trickiest part of the trek, getting across that
road without getting blown out of our boots.
We make a small stand of trees and long grass near the road
crawling on our bellies and hunker down. We check for any new security
since the last recon and for the darkest shadows along the roadway.
Every bit of cover helps. We hear an approaching engine and cool out. The first truck is sweeping both sides of the road with searchlights
looking for signs of passage by desperate men like Freddy and I. They
will not see any, we are the best. Freddy and I can walk across wet
grass and not leave prints. We're slicker then whale snot on the bottom
of the ocean.
The problem was the second truck. They were dropping off soldiers
ready for night work, dark utilities and camoed out faces. I guess with
the big boss
nearby they weren't taking any chances. Bad boys like Freddy and I
might try to make a play. They are correct in this assumption.
The good thing, they were dropping off two man teams far apart. We only
need to take the two goofs they drop near to us. Then we can keep
moving. We're a full ten minutes behind schedule.
watch the two enemy soldiers. I hope they don't split up and go to
either side of the road; we'll be screwed if that happens. We'll be
slightly less screwed if they go to the opposite sides of the road. So
far luck is holding and the two bastards stop about 30 feet from us on
our side of the road.
Thank you Jesus, they're lighting up smokes. Good bye night vision. We
own them now. I hope you boys made peace with your maker because we're
shipping you home in the next few minutes.
hand signals I tell Freddy my plan. What it amounts to is that we are
going to take them out with our blades. Using knives on two guys
without night vision is still a risky proposition. Any number of things
could go wrong and give us away. I think to myself that I need to shake off these thoughts that are
crowding my mind. We shuck our rifles quietly and start to slither
towards the soldiers. I visualize what I'm going to do. I bet Freddy is
doing the same.
We get into position. I point to the one I'm going to take so
Freddy knows. Freddy's target starts to drift towards us; Freddy asks
me a question with his eyes if he should take him. I shake my head no,
they other soldier has to do something. Move, turn around something and
just like that he does.
He turns towards the road, reaches inside his pants and gets out his dick to piss. Good night sweet prince.
erupt out of the grass, fast and quite like a snake, Freddy does the
same. I'm on my guy. I clamp a hand over his mouth and pull his head to
the left and forward. At the same time I kick the back of his knee to
collapse his body and I stick the knife behind his right ear at a
slight upward angle. I hear the tell tale grunt and feel the spasm,
he's dead. I lower the body to the ground and look towards Freddy.
In his efficient manner Freddy was already moving his dead body
into the tree line. When Freddy kills with a blade he prefers to stick
the knife in the base of the skull and twist. I see he hasn't changed
his style. I drag my body in the bush and dump him. It's a feast night
for the scavengers in the woods. I pick up my rifles. We cross the road
one at a time and move out. We have to make the river, fast.
The other reason we came this way, outside of the fact it's the
quickest, was that there's a natural ford across the river. Everywhere
else on the rivers path it's wide, fast moving and fairly deep. Freddy
found the way across during one of the recons. That's why
reconnaissance is the back bone of any operation. You have to know the
ground you're fighting on.
During the recon, I had been getting worried that this route wasn't going to work, no way to get across the big water.
here the river narrows across a bunch of fairly big rocks. Because of a
rise in elevation the water slows down considerably. As long as bad
guys haven't found it and fixed this flaw since the last time through,
we're good to go. They haven't, we're golden.
I signal Freddy to go over and do a quick recon on the other side,
looking for anything that can cause us grief. I cover him as crosses.
Three minutes later he signals me to come over, it's clear. I traverse the river carefully, I don't need to slip and break an ankle. I'm across and we
guzzle some water from our canteens and get moving. The sky is starting
to turn grey off to the east. We are a kilometer from Hill 844. One
last stand of timber to ghost through and we're on the back slope of
We get to the hide with a few minutes of night to spare and settle
into wait. We brought some food with us and eat. I tell Freddy that I'm
going to grab some shut eye and he nods and goes to his security
position. Frontally we're good on security. The ground drops off
towards a canyon, nobody's coming that way. Freddy found a spot that
gave him an almost panoramic view around out position.
The spider hole we made is solid. We dug the hole between two
boulders. It was the best place to shoot from because it covered the
most amount of roadway. It gave me great cover and concealment to fire
from. Now we just got to wait on the suicide squad to do their job.
That part of the operation gave me fits because it's out of my control.
The operation order called for a mixed unit of local partisans and
soldiers to act as a sapper unit and force the big boss mans car onto
this secondary road and kill as many of the General staff and party
bigwigs as they can. They have small arms, rockets and explosive to carry out their mission,
they aren't coming back. They're going to charge the convoy. That
is if they haven't been found. The sappers have no radios for security
purposes so we don't know if they're in place and capable of doing
their job. The sappers have been infiltrating into position in two and
three man units for the past few days. If they are caught, our orders
are to track the target as best we can and take him out.
A puff of air a handful of dirt and a pebble wake me up. Freddy is
on the job. I look at my watch and it's an hour to possible contact and
a maybe end to this war. It's 7 December 2001 and it's the sixtieth
anniversary of the start of World War Two. Last year the Nazi had finally managed to break the naval ring on the ocean and land troops on the shores of America. The combined Free Forces of the World have held them to the coast until recently. The Germans are driving to the interior of the country. We have to push back hard and right now. That's why this mission is so important.
Die Fuhrer got cocky. Even though he's Hitler's grandson, and newly
crowned as the king of the Third Reich, he still thinks he's won this
war all by his lonesome. Really, it was his daddy that finally landed
Nazi soldiers on American ground. Now the shitball is
touring the front lines and putting himself in my cross hairs, what a
Dumb ass. Off in the distance I hear explosions and gun fire. Its show
time, Adolf Hitler the Third will be here soon.
I see dust kicked up in the distance, I shoulder my rifle. Thoughts
flash through my mind quickly before I get control of them. Has the
scope zero shifted? Is the Intel wrong? Did I think of everything? Is
there a better firing position then this one? I take a deep breath and
cleanse my mind because this is it there is no other time and place for
this. I will myself to reach the calm, clear, Zen state for proper shooting.
I think without thinking and let my muscle memory work undirected by
recognize Hitler's rat like face through the scope. As soon as his car
rounds the next bend I will put two .300 H & H Magnum rounds into
his body and send his sick soul to the hot place.
The car careens into the shooting zone and the trigger breaks, one
round on its way. I run the bolt, seat a new round in the chamber,
reacquire the target, get my lead and send the next round home. The
glass on the side window of the car has broken. I see a geyser of blood
spray the back window, direct hit. Round two is insurance. I yell at
Freddy to radio the firebase. They will send out a world wide flash and
the coordinated counterattack will begin. We did it.