Battlefield Stories...Damavand

A short story based within the intense battle for the infamous Damavand Peak of Iran

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4. Chapter Four

I patched up my wounds in a breathless frenzy with a medipack that had been dropped by the squad medic, and then turned to position myself with an over-view of both objectives.  Objective Charlie was on the ground floor of a two story wooden building to the left of the compound, just inside the thick concrete perimeter walls. Objective Delta was placed to the right of the entrance to the enemy base, surrounded by storage crates. Objective Delta was also overlooked by a large 2 story concrete building which gave the enemy an elevated firing position. As I looked over the scene below, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted an enemy recon soldier climbing the mountainside to our right flank. He carried a deadly M98b rifle on his back as he jumped from rock to rock, searching for a position from where he could pick off our team. I zeroed the reticule of the scope on the centre mass of the sniper, and pulled the trigger twice. I could see the first shot hit, and the second narrowly miss. He suddenly dived prone to try and conceal himself from my view. But he did not know my position. He was still in full sight. I carefully centred his head in my sight, took a deep breath to steady myself and fired one shot. It was a clean headshot and the threat from the enemy recon soldier was eliminated. A shout rang in my ear, and the team had set charges at objective Charlie. From the raging gunfire below, I could tell that there was a huge firefight going on at the objective. I hopped up, and ran down the hillside towards the objective. As I neared the compound wall, the section immediately in front of me disappeared in an explosion of flame, rubble and acrid smoke as an enemy RPG whooshed into the wall, destroying a large section and creating a breach in the perimeter. I grabbed a fragmentation grenade from my chest webbing, pulled the pin and hurled it towards enemy muzzle flashes that I could see winking through the smoke. I sprinted towards the gaping hole in the compound wall. I leaped through, emerging through the smoke to see blurry, shadowy figures advancing towards the objective, desperate to diffuse the charges. Bullets whistled and whipped around my head as I took rough aim with the M417. As I squeezed the trigger quickly, firing 5 or 6 shots, two shadowy figures twenty meters ahead crumpled to the ground. But heavy jolts shuddered through my body, and I had been hit. I dropped hard, my eyes closing just as the charges on objective Charlie erupted. My vision blurred and then faded to black, the sound disappearing from my ears. A heavy electrical thud crashed my eyes open, and shocked through my shattered body. Sounds, smells of cordite and the feeling of the cold, hard ground flooded through my brain. The squad medic had de-fibbed my shattered body back to life and patched me up. I was ready to continue the assault. Everything ached as I staggered and made it back up to my feet. I steadied myself, dropped the empty clip from the M417 and re-loaded. Crouching, I made my way towards the second objective of the helicopter base. Gunfire rippled the air all around me. I moved to cover behind a concrete wall, pausing to identify any potential enemy approaches to objective Delta. The wall stood over 10ft tall, and was directly opposite a large two story building. As I moved towards the end of the wall, the gunfire intensified from the building. Sitting in front and in full view of the objective, the building was in prime location for the enemy to lock down the area and halt our advance. The building had to be taken before we could set the charges. Pulling the pin from a grenade, I stepped back from the wall, and hurled the bomb over, aiming for one of the second floor windows. I waited two long seconds, and then sprinted across the open ground, heading straight for one of the lower windows. I fired three quick rounds at the window with my .44 and then ducked through the smashed glass, hitting the stairs in a full run, bounding up the steps two by two. My boots thundered to the top, my chest heaving heavily with the effort. I turned right into the main room to find two enemy soldiers hammering at my team with assault rifles. Firing from the hip with the 417 as I moved forwards, one enemy trooper dropped under my fire. I adjusted my aim to the left to take the second soldier down. As my squad moved to join me overlooking our objective, the explosive charges were set. The crescendo of gunfire intensified as the enemy fought to regain control of the helicopter base. The floor shook underneath my feet as grenade explosions rocked the ground floor. A group of four enemy troops stormed the objective, and I fired shot after shot into the mass of bodies. My squad mates joined me in pouring the gunfire into the enemy squad, and all four went down quickly. Before we could catch our breath or reload, LMG fire tore up the walls either side of the stairs- there were more enemy soldiers on the ground floor. Our squad medic equipped his M320 grenade launcher and fired down the passageway of the stairs, the shock and thump of the explosions killing the enemy soldier and shaking the foundations of the building. The charges detonated and we had taken the enemy helicopter base. We had to keep moving forward. And downwards to the base of the mountain for our next target.

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