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[b][OOC: Continuation from events posted in news thread [url=http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=102773&view=findpost&p=2762089]here[/url] and [url=http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=102773&view=findpost&p=2767191]here[/url]. Canon-RP. OOC Commentary Approved][/b]


The motley collection of individuals gathered in the woods near the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Pineville, across the Red River from Alexandria, were far from a collection of soldiers, thought Kenneth Macksey. Macksey looked to the west, where the steeple of the Catholic Church on Lakeview Street was still alight from the fire which many members of this group had set. Scattered gunshots could be heard to the southwest, probably from the running gun battles or sieges taking places with law enforcement personnel in Alexandria's downtown. The Louisiana Christian Guard had managed to take control over Alexandria, and set up a siege of both the municipal police department, as well as the State Trooper barracks. The parish courthouse had also been set alight, and a number of people who had been arrested for their part in the violence at the CCDP Rally, had been released and handed back their weapons.

Macksey turned his attention back to a group of men and women who stood at the center of the group, "We were able to stop a National Guard patrol, which came in along National 165, destroyed one vehicle here at the corner of 165 and Linda Drive, near the shopping center," noted a gruff male fighter.

"Casualties?" asked one of the women in the group of 'leaders', she had an M16A1 assault rifle slung under her shoulder, with a bunch of ammunition clips stuck into the waistband of her jeans.

"One killed, not sure how the other side did," reported the gruff male leader. "From what I could tell, they were units from the Arkansas National Guard, some sort of 'Military Police' unit."

"And not the last you will have to deal with," said a newcomer, who came into the fold of men and women. A darkened figure walked into the circle, his identity temporarily masked by dusk's dark hues, his face unrevealed until he got close.

"Reverend Hubert," said one of the LCG 'leaders', his tone filled with some sort of awe. Macksey knew of The Reverend Dr. Marcus Hubert, a fiery preacher who was active politically, he would rail against the Catholic Church's monopoly of power over the government, as well as the monarchy being too powerful for its own good. For Macksey, while Hubert had some points, the pastor also gave him the creeps. Macksey was not a member of the Louisiana Christian Guard, but was a card-carrying member of the Cajun Liberal Movement, he was staunchly against the monarchy and felt that the nation had a better path of governance it could embrace. Macksey had volunteered when the LCG had called for the removal of the monarchy, but in his joining of this new civil uprising, he also felt like an outsider amongst these religious types, who he felt may be taking the religious element of this uprising [i]too[/i] far.

"Our new uprising has forced the governments' hand, the next time they come, it won't be a few weekend soldiers in some trucks," said Hubert, as he stood in the center of the circle now, his hands clasped behind his back.

"So you're saying we should have let the column roll through to those police stations and free those !@#$%^&* who killed our fellow brothers and sisters?" asked one leader, sceptically.

"Not at all, but don't expect the Federation military to turn tail so easily and run next time," responded Hubert, turning to him. "By the time they make their next push, there probably won't be anything to rescue anyways," said Hubert, with a grin that gave Macksey the creeps.

"The Federation will try to do anything to relieve pressure on those police precincts, and if they bring in troops or extra weapons via helicopters, there is little we can do," pointed out the gruff leader again.

"The Federation will have bigger problems on their hands before tomorrow morning, and by the end of the day tomorrow, the precincts still resisting will be dealt with," said Hubert, turning back to Gruff again. "But to initiate these bigger problems, I will need someone who knows the land around Moreland."

Macksey's friend, and 'leader', Selma du Beuthen raised her hand slowly, "I'm from Moreland," she said, her voice cautious.

"I have a special request to make of you," said Hubert, Macksey feeling a chill from that malicious grin that sent a slight shiver down his spine, as eyes turned towards the diminutive lady, and her small group sitting behind her.

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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Dusk was beginning to fall on the parade fields in the central staging area of Fort Beausoleil, on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, the Federation's capital. Fort Beausoleil acted as the main operations and planning facility for the entirety of the Cajun Armed Forces, and was the home of the 'Guards' Regiments. The colors were slowly being drawn down the flag pole in the center of the parade ground, as Crown-Princess Michelle Broussard-Doiron stood at the window of her office at the headquarters building for her regiment; the Royal Lifeguards.

Being a favorite niece of the reigning monarch, King Henri Broussard, Michelle had attended many prestigious private schools throughout her primary education. Her post-secondary education had gained her a double-major degree in History and Political Science at Tulane University, graduating with top honors from the prestigious university. Despite a possible bright future in civilian life, and thoughts of law school at Tulane, Michelle had decided to attend military schools abroad, earning a Masters in Political Science while at General Staffing College in the Union of the Southern Cross, studying there at the suggestion of her uncle. Upon return to the Federation when it was formed, Michelle was admitted into advanced officer training, also at the request of her uncle, and shortlisted for command, due to her educational merits.

Initial postings for Michelle had seen her as part of the vanguard during the Cuban Incident, during the successful execution of Operation Ortsac II, where the Cajun Federation had successfully stood off the Holy American Empire over the protection of Cuba. Jumping into Cuba as the commander of the 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment, 179th Airborne Brigade, she had handled herself well, and her connections with her uncle had given her command of the newest regiment to join the Cajun Armed Forces. Given a brevet promotion to Colonel, she was assigned to the Royal Lifeguards, a unit that was made up of transfers from other units. The Royal Lifeguards were designated as a light infantry unit. Despite this designation, all light infantry units still had mobile transport which they could usually rely on for movement while in forward combat zones.

She folded her arms over her trim figure, her fatigues rustling as she surveyed the last moments of the Federation flag being curtly folded up and presented to the Color Sergeant, who stiffly took it, and marched with a detail to the administration building. She sighed, her eyes shifting to the pink and purple line of clouds on the horizon, her brown hair, usually up in a businesslike bun, she had let loose, and a lock clouded over her right eye. She shifted the lock of her over her ear, as she turned to her desk to look at some of the paperwork she needed to sign before she turned in for the night.

The news of the bloodshed in Alexandria had caught her eye, but with rumor spreading out through the grapevine that National Guard units had been assigned to help restore public order, it was far from her own mind, despite Baton Rouge not being [i]that[/i] far from Alexandria. She sat back in her chair, looking at requisition orders for more ammunition for the regiments' training ranges, which would require her signature. She picked up a stray pen from her collection in an open drawer, and was about to apply her signature when her desk phone suddenly went off, jarring her attention from the requisition orders.

Michelle quickly picked up the phone, which was connected to the secretary's office outside, which was staffed by a female Sergeant, "Ma'am, I have General Foch on the line."

"Patch him through, Georgina," replied Michelle, sitting up stiffly all of a sudden. General Marcel Foch served as the Chief of Staff for the Cajun Ground Forces, a stiff and authoritative figure, who was looked upon almost like a deity amongst the armed forces.

"Colonel Doiron?" came Foch's heavy voice on the other end of the line. While Foch respected her uncle as the reigning monarch, he made it a point to remind the Crown Princess, who was next in line to the throne, of her place. The Cajun Armed Forces didn't recognize royal status, unless you were one person, the one sitting on the throne. Foch would never use her full last name, a constant reminder of her place in the Cajun Armed Forces, and the accusations of nepotism that had dogged her career.

"Yes sir," replied Michelle, almost standing up, as if the formidable general had just entered the room. She quickly settled back into her chair upon the realization that the Chief of Staff was only on the other end of the phone.

"Colonel, I am ordering your unit to go to REDCON 2, pending a combat deployment," said Foch, in his usual straight-down-to-business manner.

"Sir, I don't follow, pending a combat deployment?" asked Michelle, suddenly sitting up in her chair again stiffly.

"Clean out your earwax, Colonel," snapped Foch, sounding slightly annoyed, "Affirmative, I said 'combat deployment', a patrol from the Arkansas National Guard encountered heavy weapons along with small arms fire when they made a probing action into Alexandria. I want your unit to be ready to deploy at least a battalion-sized force within two hours from Fort Beausoleil."

"Understood sir, but with all due respect, aren't domestic situations like these best handled by the National Guard?" asked Michelle, as she began making notes and opening an application on her computer.

"The Cajun National Congress has asked the Cajun Armed Forces to impose martial law, they are afraid that the Louisiana National Guard, with its local connections, is ill-suited to deal with this crisis. On top of that, we have an armory at Moreland to secure, and the disturbance at Alexandria could spread to Camp Beauregard, we can't let that happen, Colonel," answered Foch, his voice heavy as he spoke. "I want you to be able to deploy at least one battalion within two hours, and the entirety of your regiment within twelve, understood, Colonel?"

"Crystal clear, sir," responded Michelle, as she typed up a message into the application quickly.

"Any further orders will be relayed when they become available, in the meantime, brief your battalion commanders and have them relay the message down."

"Yes sir."

As the last word left her mouth, the phone went dead, she looked at it for a second, then put it back down on the receiver and hit the 'Enter' button on her computer keyboard. The application on her screen flicked off, then on again, reading, "Message Transmitted." The application she was using was a standard one used by all military units to transmit orders when at the home post. Each soldier, when posted at home, was equipped with a pager, which they kept with them at all times, which would display the message she typed into the application.

All across the barracks and living quarters for the Royal Lifeguards Regiment, a message would appear on every soldiers' pager;


She took another deep sigh and closed her eyes for a moment, soon her regimental offices would be a flurry of activity as her senior officers came bearing questions, some of which she knew she wouldn't be able to answer. As she opened her eyes again, she already began to hear a scrambling outside, her first test of leadership had begun.

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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Moreland, Louisiana was little more than a small housing development and a few stores on the outskirts of Alexandria, the only thing notable about Moreland was its large armory for the Louisiana National Guard on the corner of National Route 167 and the Jenkins Road. Although Camp Beauregard existed in Pineville, across the Red River from Alexandria, the Louisiana Christian Guard had surmised that once repulsed, the Arkansas National Guard's Military Police forces had established themselves at that location. Skirmishes had developed between the two opposites since dusk had developed as the night began.

Although Camp Beauregard itself had a large armory, the National Guard armory in Moreland was not as extensively defended, having to rely on forces from Camp Beauregard to secure it, it had been cut off from that support since the start of the insurrection. Moreland, however, was outside of Alexandria and Pineville, where the LCG ruled the streets, and anyone who had walked or driven through the streets of Alexandria since the spate of violence began was well-reminded of that. Having been transported south in a line of six pick up trucks, Kenneth Macksey and his friend and leader, Selma du Beuthen had seen some of the grisly reminders how personal this civil strife could get. Hanging from a telephone pole at one intersection, a dead police officer, killed by gunfire, had been strung up and hung. The cardboard sign hung under his neck read "The puppet caught by his strings", it was a grisly sight that shook them to the core that someone from their side had done such a thing.

The drivers of their impromptu transport took Kenneth's group as far as Willow Glen, where Interstate 49 and National Route 167 parted, and they said their hasty good byes. An LCG blocking position was in place across the road, made up from two dump trucks parked on the road and set ablaze, their large hulks still smoldering. About thirty insurgents manned the blocking position with a myriad of weapons, ranging from assault rifles to sporting guns, to shotguns and a couple of rocket-propelled grenades. As Selma's group of about twenty five insurgents approached, the 'leader' of the blocking position came out of his position in a ditch next to the road and greeted them with grim pleasantries.

"You're going into Injun Country, lady, you realize that?" he said, when Selma had given him a quick briefing on their mission.

"I realize that Commander," replied Selma, coolly, all of the insurgents who led troops, were addressed as 'Commander', there was no real rank structure. "We're going to need some transport to get those weapons back here," she added, "There are a few Federation transport vehicles there, but probably not enough."

"Getting vehicles here will not help you lady, there is a State Police checkpoint about halfway between here and Moreland. Trying to drive out will probably blow whatever cover you have," said the blocking contingent commander.

"How many troopers were there?" asked Selma, looking back at Kenneth, who was just standing behind her, listening to the exchange grimly.

"Four or five, automatic weapons, two cruisers, last time we knew. It could be reinforced by now."

Kenneth watched as Selma thought for a little bit, before nodding, "Thank you Commander, I'll be seeing you." She turned to her small group, and nodded towards the fields to the south, and said, "Alright, lets go."

Kenneth had been friends with Selma for a long time, she had initially served a short stint with the Louisiana National Guard, and was fighting for basically the same reasons as Kenneth. She was one of the few people with military training in their group, her political leanings which she made well clear vocally during her short tenure in the LANG, had earned her an early discharge. The military was supposed to be apolitical, but Selma had refused to follow such a doctrine, which had gotten her in hot water with her counterparts during her service time. The group spread out slowly, and they proceeded into the fields south of Interstate 49, marching overland parallel from the highway.

Kenneth took a minute to look around at the motley collection of compatriots they had accrued over the past two days, one thing they did have was at least some semblance of firepower. The firebrand Hubert had been able to secure them an M60 medium machinegun with a relatively large amount of ammunition, as well as a rocket-propelled grenade, with five rounds. Two of their counterparts were armed with scoped hunting rifles, while the rest carried a mixture of sporting guns and assault rifles. A few carried captured handguns, and a few had shotguns which they kept slung across their back. They had also managed to scrape together four tear gas grenades by raiding an abandoned police van, where they had also managed to rustle up some extra ammunition for their assault rifles.

As they reached a large swath of trees, Selma held her hand up, signalling the ragtag commando group to stop and crouch down. Kenneth, who she treated as de facto second-in-command, crawled forward to her, as she lifted her pair of field glasses she raided from the house of an Audubon enthusiast back in Alexandria. She pointed up at the raised road, where Kenneth could barely make out a light coming from a dome light inside of a vehicle.

"Must be the police checkpoint, but the blues are off," she whispered.

"Can you see anything?"

"I can see maybe four figures moving around up there, can't be sure unless I take a closer look," she responded, looking at Kenneth.

"Can't we just keep going towards the arsenal?" hissed one of their group members nearby.

"If we leave them, they may put a wrench in our plans if they are alerted to an attack on the armory," whispered back Selma.

"Then we take care of them now," said a more religiously-motivated member of their group, adjusting his grip on his assault rifle.

"Not yet," hissed Selma, glaring at the younger man, who grumbled under his breath.

"Ken, Dobbs, Young, you three with me, rest of you stay here and be ready to get the hell out of Dodge if this goes bad," ordered Selma, in a low voice, as she crouched down lower and began crawling slowly and quietly towards the police checkpoint.

Kenneth heaved a soft sigh, then began following the smaller woman, quietly trying to pick his way forward, his fight-or-flight mechanisms were grinding in the back of his mind... and he wondered how noble a cause this was once again, as he slowly made his way through the underbrush towards the police position.

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The convoy of vehicles had left Fort Beausoleil at 1945 Hours local time, and by a little past quarter after nine the first vanguards of First Battalion, Royal Lifeguards, entered the outskirts of the Alexandria suburb of Lecompte, about fifteen miles south of the center of the city. Michelle sat in the passenger seat of one of the vehicles in the van of the battalion task force, an M1114 Up-Armored Humvee, which was equipped with extra command and control equipment. Sitting on a platform in between her and the driver was a multifunction command and control laptop where she could look at force dispositions of friendly units in the area, possible enemy positions, critical areas of the battlefield, available support assets, and even listen to audio situation reports from various units in the area.

"Overlord, this is Sheriff 1A-2 Actual," crackled her radio headset, that she wore inside her helmet.

She keyed her mic button, "Go ahead 1A-2 Actual."

"Ma'am, I'm setting up my forward observation post in a copse of trees near a machine shop about a quarter of a klick north of your current twenty," responded the platoon leader, who was in the forward guard of the column.

"Copy that, receiving data on your current position now, I want you to set up a checkpoint on the road there," she responded, as she motioned for her driver to pull over to the side of the road in the middle of town. There were two state police cruisers sitting off to the side of the road, their blue lights blazing, a group of four troopers surrounded the vehicles.

"Understood Overlord, I have two 5-0s manning a checkpoint at the moment, will get situation update from them," replied the platoon leader.

"Ten-four, keep me posted 1A-2 Actual."

"Will do, 1A-2 Clear."

Michelle's vehicle rolled to a stop, along with another Humvee following hers, carrying some of her operations staff, as the column of large prime movers and Humvees slowly crawled to a halt along the road, soldiers beginning to hop out from the idling vehicles. Most of them seemed a little stiff, but they mingled in their respective squads and platoons, as Michelle adjusted her grip on her map as she walked towards the group of state troopers.

"Who is in charge here?" she barked, as she approached the four state troopers, who were commenting on the large amount of troops now disembarking from their vehicles.

"Lieutenant Gagne, ma'am, senior patrol officer for the Rapides Parish District," responded one of the troopers, looking nervously at the approaching female officer. He offered her a salute, which she returned before approaching them further.

"I need a situation update on whatevers going on between here and Alexandria, lieutenant," ordered Michelle, tossing her map on the hood of one of the cruisers. Her executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Renieux, and her senior non-commissioned officer, Sergeant Major Henderson Boone had both stepped out of the vehicle behind hers, and joined in her encounter with the police officers.

"Sure thing, ma'am," nodded Gagne, sipping his mug of coffee, and moving to the hood of his radio car. Michelle and her two adjutants stood on either side of him, as he looked at the map, whose laminated surface reflected the flashing lights on the cruisers. "The State Police barracks and Alexandria Municipal Police Departments are both still under siege, here, in the center of Alexandria itself. I have two troopers on the road, here," he said, pointing at an open area on National Route 167, between two named points of interest on the map. "They are securing the road approach to the National Guard Armory at Moreland, here."

"Charlie, any information on the Moreland Armory?" asked Michelle, looking at the Executive Officer, or 'Ex-O' for short.

"I got in touch with the Louisiana National Guard during our ride up, they have an understrength platoon of Military Police guarding the facility, along with some soldiers of the 225th Engineer Brigade. Two Sheriff Deputies from the Rapides Parish Sheriff Department are also on-site and helping man the front gate, where they have a Hummer parked with a fifty-cal. The armory has a large amount of heavy and light small arms, the garrison is well armed, but lacking in manpower," responded Renieux, in his usual curt and businesslike fashion.

"How many effectives?" asked Michelle, folding her arms.

"Including the deputies? The LANG told me twenty-four personnel total," replied Renieux, making Michelle grimace, then turn to Gagne.

"Has their been any attempts to breach your checkpoint south of Alexandria?"

"Ma'am, I've had people fleeing the violence all day, my troopers are tired as it is, we're all hands on deck. They've seen refugees flooding out of Alexandria, they've reported confiscating some weapons, but they can't perform checks on everyone. Most people said the weapons are for protection against those religious nuts," said Gagne, looking rather forlorn at the situation.

"But no attempts have been made to attack the checkpoint?"

"No ma'am," reported Gagne, shaking his head to add emphasis.

"Very well, thank you lieutenant, stick around, I may need your local knowledge if something comes up," nodded Michelle, taking her map and walking back towards her Humvee.

"Got nowhere else to go ma'am, my home is in Alexandria, I ain't going anywhere," said Gagne, calling after her.

"Only a handful of cops and LANGs in between a possible attack on a large armory, I don't like it, Colonel," grumbled Boone, who had stayed quiet throughout the short briefing. Like most senior non-commissioned officers, they would address the commanding officers they reported to by rank, not by sir or ma'am. The senior non-comms were usually the most experienced soldiers of the armed forces, and their advice was well considered by those above them.

"I second that," piped up Renieux, as they stopped at the hood of Michelle's M1114, and put her map down again.

"The security of that armory is definitely of paramount importance, we need to reinforce it," said Michelle, echoing the orders Foch had issued to her earlier.

"What about Alexandria itself?" asked Renieux, heaving a sigh as his eyes flicked at the town, then down to their position.

"We need to assume that the insurgents have roadblocks somewhere along one-six-seven," noted Boone, pointing at the route they now stood upon.

"Even if we were to break through a roadblock, we are looking at possible house-to-house fighting, and with most of our artillery and air power neutralized by our ROE, we're playing by whatever rules they want to play by, in their home turf," replied Michelle, biting her lip as she looked at the map. "First things first, Charlie, I want you to take three platoons to the Moreland Arsenal in," she looked at her watch, "thirty minutes, reinforce the armory and assess the situation there."

"Yes ma'am."



"I want you to get on the horn with Beausoleil, and check on the status of the rest of the regiment," ordered Michelle, turning to the trusted Sergeant Major.

"Consider it done, ma'am."

"As for helicopter supp-."

"Already done ma'am, we got a couple of empty Blackhawks, Pave Lows, and AH-80s from the 1st Regiment of the 21st Brigade that'll be arriving as soon as they can," interrupted Boone, with a smile, looking at Michelle with a look that said [i]I already know you too well, Colonel[/i].

"What would I do without you, Boone?"

"Tear your hair out ma'am."

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Kenneth breathed slowly as he and his three compatriots crept closer to the police blockade, where the four officers appeared to be talking quietly near the back of one cruiser. They seemed to have little idea of the presence of hostile activity, and by the lines of light that crossed their faces from the dome lights in the cruisers, Kenneth couldn't blame them. They looked exhausted, and exhaustion turned into carelessness, it probably didn't help that manning a checkpoint probably wasn't the most interesting job in the world. One of them was distributing coffee to the others from a large thermos, they all had sidearms, and from what Kenneth could see, a few of them had M16s that lay on the backs of the police cruisers.

His ears suddenly perked up at the sound of an approaching vehicle, and he shifted his eyes up the road, where a pickup could be seen driving towards the checkpoint. Selma held her hand up, signalling for them to hold fire for a moment, Kenneth looked sideways at his de facto leader, who appeared to be thinking again. She flicked her eyes at him, then motioned for the group to open fire on her order in their crude sign language. He nodded his assent and as the truck came to a halt, its old engine grinding as it downshifted gears, the group flicked the safeties off on their assault rifles. As the truck pulled up, the two occupants inside began talking with the patrol sergeant leading the group of State Troopers. Another Trooper stood near the Sergeant, while another stood near the front of the truck.

The other two troopers stood to the back of the cruisers, still sipping their coffee and watching the other two officers converse with the trucks' driver and passenger. They both had their hands close to their sidearms, but still looked relaxed and leisurely. As the Police Sergeant started speaking about something to do with firearms confiscation, Selma put her hand up in a fist, then opened it, pointing forward, and the group all stood up with their rifles pointed. As soon as they stood up, there was a moments hesitation by Kenneth, as he saw one of the police officers near the rear of one of the cruisers spot them and begin to tear his gun from its holster. As the trooper produced the weapon, Kenneth's finger began depressing the trigger, in a mechanical fashion, his rate of fire setting was set to semi-automatic, so his gun burped rounds, the M16 spitting out five 5.56mmx45 rounds in quick secession, sending the police officer staggering backwards.

Next to Kenneth, a stout man by the name of Dobbs, a sworn member of the LCG, had his own assault rifle on full automatic, and probably loose off a burst of at least ten rounds into the state trooper next to the one Kenneth had dropped. The first round shattered the man's coffee mug, and hit him somewhere in the hand he had been holding it in, which spun him around. The next rounds catching him across the chest and one slamming into his neck. The man slammed against the back of the police cruiser and dropped to the ground, either dead or fatally wounded. Selma, and another Cajun Liberal Movement member, whose last name was Young, opened fire on the Trooper Sergeant and his counterpart, rounds striking the trooper Sergeant in the shoulder and sending him tumbling into the ditch on the other side of the road. Young's rounds slammed into the other State Trooper, sending him tumbling to the ground, one round having caught him in the head, the shot killing him instantly. The trooper Sergeant was the only police officer to get a few rounds off, but they went wide of Selma. Inside the truck, a woman was screaming and the older male driver quickly began trying to shift gears to get them out of there.

Dobbs suddenly turned his assault rifle at the truck and began firing into the truck in short bursts, the bullets peppering the windshield and cab of the pickup, Kenneth just watched in horror as the male driver was hit and slumped forward against the truck's dashboard. The female slumped sideways towards her companion, both were clearly dying or dead from the firepower unleashed upon them.

"What the hell was that?" yelled Selma, stalking over to Dobbs, who was quickly reloading his rifle.

"They would have gotten away, and who cares about them anyways? They're Kathies!" retorted Dobbs, 'Kathies' were slang for 'Catholics', he pointed his rifle barrel at the crucifix hanging from the half shot-away mirror.

"I gave you orders earlier today not to shoot unarmed people," said Selma, pointing her finger angrily at Dobbs.

"This ain't the army, sister, I can do what I want, when I want," growled Dobbs, who towered over Selma.

"I don't want any of that crap, you're in my unit, you're under my command, do you understand?" growled Selma, giving Dobbs a look of daggers. The rest of their unit was quickly sprinting over to the scene, "And if you shoot anymore civilians, I'll bury you myse-," she continued, before being interrupted by a groaning. Dobbs swung around with his assault rifle, as did the rest of the group, pointing down into the ditch where the Trooper Sergeant had fallen. Selma grabbed a flashlight from one of the troopers' belts and shone it down into the ditch, where the Sergeant was trying to reach for his radio receiver, which had gotten caught in a bush in the fall. Dobbs raised his assault rifle again, but Selma pushed it up. "Don't you dare."

She quickly descended into the ditch with Kenneth, with Dobbs following them, grumbling about something to do with 'bleeding hearts', as the police radio crackled out, "Castle Keep to Unit 5, shots heard from near your location, report."

Selma grabbed the radio receiver from the bush, the Trooper Sergeant groaning from his grievous wounds, handing the receiver to Kenneth, "Report in to them, its probably the armory."

Kenneth nodded, "Unit 5 to Castle Keep, took fire from approaching vehicle, we have an officer down, vehicle has been neutralized."

"Ten-four, Unit 5, pull in from your location, we have military units approaching our twenty that will take over a checkpoint north of our position, ten-three?" replied the man on the radio, asking for Kenneth's acknowledgement. Selma swiveled her head at that news, and looked at Kenneth, who gave her a grave look back, Dobbs seemed to get a little uneasy.

"Copy that, we need medical attention for our wounded trooper, if you can provide it at your twenty?" responded Kenneth, looking at Selma, who nodded in agreement, coaching him.

There was a pause on the radio, "We'll see what you can do, pull in your checkpoint."

"Ten four, Unit 5 out," responded Kenneth, dropping the radio receiver.

"Good job Mack," said Selma, patting Kenneth on the shoulder, she rarely called him 'Mack', one of his nicknames. She looked at the members of the group, crouched at the top of the ditch above, "Alright, we need to get moving, the cavalry is arriving, and if we don't take that armory now, we won't take it ever. Young, Ken, Couture, and Lowe, get those cop uniforms and get into them, rest of you, collect any extra ammunition and weapons you can find."

There were only so many times that a Trojan Horse could work in military history, Kenneth just hoped that this was one of them, as he looked down at the Trooper Sergeant, whose eyes stared coldly up into his...

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Michelle ducked down as the propeller wash from the landing helicopters in the fields outside Lecompte, Sergeant Major Boone stood next to her, squinting his eyes against the massive amounts of dust and debris kicked up by the landing of fifteen helicopters. The helicopters from the 21st Brigade had arrived shortly after the column had stopped in Lecompte, Renieux was briefing platoon leaders for the final run up to the Moreland Armory. As the helicopters settled onto the ground, Michelle took stock of what the 21st had lent her. Seven UH-60 "Blackhawk" Medium Utility Helicopters, four UH-53 "Pave Low" Heavy Assault Helicopters, and four AH-80 Blackfoot Heavy Assault Gunships had landed in the field, and their engines were powering down. Michelle had ordered a platoon from her battalion's Bravo Company to secure the Landing Zone.

The helicopters had to refuel before being airborne again, and an Air Force team was en route with both aviation gasoline tankers as well as rearmament crews to be able to allow the helicopters to operate out of Landing Zone in Lecompte, now known as LZ Pelican. The four AH-80 Blackfoot Heavy Assault Gunships was one sight that Michelle had seen very little of, as it was the Air Forces' newest aircraft. Unlike most other helicopters, the AH-80 had no tailrotor, instead stealthy stabilization cunards that helped give the gunship a high degree of maneuverability. The gunship could carry as many as six Hydra-70 rocket pods, or four racks of four Hellfire Missiles or FIM-92 Stinger Missiles and two Hydra-70s. On the nose of the attack helicopter was a thirty millimeter automatic cannon that could make quick work of most targets with tungsten-tipped armored-piercing rounds. The AH-80 was a force unto itself over the modern battlefield, and probably one of the most advanced helicopter gunships in the world.

As the rotors slowly swung to a stop, a group of twelve soldiers disembarked from one of the Pave Lows, and began making their way over to them. Unlike Michelle, the soldiers wore darker camouflage and wore a plethora of headgear, ranging from bush hats to Artisant Ballistic Protection helmets, a favorite of Joint Special Operations Command, or 'JSOC' for short. As they approached in the dark, Michelle narrowed her eyes at the leader of the group. Her eyes widened upon realization of who he was, his nametag could barely be seen in the dim light, but as soon as she saw it, she stalked forward to meet him.

"Marcel? What the hell are you doing here?" she asked, as gripped fists with him in their standard big sister/little brother greeting.

"Making sure my big sister doesn't get herself into trouble," Marcel Broussard-Doiron quipped, with a grin. His face was mottled with red stripes of facepaint, he was wearing a bush hat and she noted the patch on his shoulder, which had a picture of the outline of old Acadian Homeland of the Canadian Maritimes overlaid by a picture of the States of the Cajun Federation at that time. In the center of that picture were numbers '62', writing above and below in French read 'We will never forget'.

They began to walk away from the helicopters, whose pilots were making final shutdown checks, as she said, "The 21st said they were only sending helos, not some spooks from JSOC."

"What the 21st doesn't know, won't hurt them, and who said that helicopter is from the 21st, anyways?" grinned Marcel, pointing at the insignia for the 21st Special Operations Air Group, which was painted on the side of the Pave Low. "You know our deployments are classified, big sis, why would you expect a memo?"

"Fair enough," grumbled Michelle, as they stopped a fair distance away from the helicopters. Marcel's team took up a position nearby, but staying out of earshot of their commanding officer, Boone stayed next to Michelle, his arms folded.

"Since when does Command send the best of the best in to help secure some armories and join the ground pounders in the meatgrinder?" asked Boone, wondering the same thing as Michelle.

"They don't, we're on a different mission, Sergeant Major."

"Mind telling me what that mission is, now that you're on [i]my[/i] battlefield?" asked Michelle, folding her arms. Boone produced a cigar from one of his breast pockets and lit it up, puffing smoke as Marcel chuckled softly.

"There's enough playground around here for the two of us, Michelle," responded her younger brother, with a smile. "The orders are need-to-know, you're not on the need-to-know list, you and I both know that."

"If I have people from JSOC running around the battlefield, I'm going to want to know where the hell they are and what the hell they are doing Marcel," responded Michelle, as Boone's cigar left a cloud of smoke in the air.

"Understandable, sis, but I can't tell you what I'm doing," responded Marcel, his eyes telling her that even their relationship as brother and sister didn't allow for her to learn of his orders.

"Can you at least tell me the vicinity where you will be operating in?"

Marcel sighed, and looked at her, then at Boone, who got the message, and strolled back towards the helicopters, whose crews had dismounted and were approaching them. Marcel looked at her, then relented, whispering quietly, "We'll be operating in the inner city, southwest of the river."

"Are you in on a rescue mission to the police station and State Trooper Barracks?" asked Michelle, her voice low.

"No, this is big, Michelle, we got bigger fish to fry then rescuing some cops, no offense to them, of course," responded Marcel lowly, looking around cautiously. "I can't give you any more then that, but we'll be in contact with you as much as possible."

"Ma'am, I'm going to move out for Moreland!" called out Renieux, Michelle turned and acknowledged, giving the thumbs up.

"Good luck, Charlie."

"Thanks, hopefully we won't need it," he called out.

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Kenneth rode in the front of the police cruiser, along with Dobbs and Young, Young drove the cruiser, while Dobbs sat in the back next to the 'injured' Selma, who lay sideways across the seat. They all had sidearms at the ready, their assault rifles stacked on the floor in the backseat, Kenneth carried a shotgun that he had gotten from the inside of the police car, which rode in his lap. They rode in silence, the police cruiser riding with its blue lights on as it flew back towards Moreland, they all had arranged their clothes to try to avoid showing the bloodstained clothes they wore. Kenneth felt uneasy wearing the wet uniforms that soaked the blood from the dead troopers into his skin, it was all a rather unsettling moment.

Behind them, they could see in the darkness the other police cruiser, and the truck which Dobbs had basically blown to pieces keeping a fair distance back, as they moved south. The chatter on the radio was also unsettling, the arsenal could already be reinforced by the time they got there, but at least if they did, they could possibly get away before the military could bring its firepower to bear on them. As they entered Moreland, there appeared to be no increased military presence as they made the turn towards the arsenal. As they made the turn, the other police cruiser and the truck, full of their comrades, stopped short and their occupants began to dismount for the operation.

They slowed down as they saw the opening for the armory before them, the gate was manned by a duo of local sheriffs, who were backed up by what appeared to be some National Guard troopers. Next to the guard post, a Humvee mounting a fifty-caliber machinegun sat, its gunner swiveling the reliable and large weapon towards them. The cruiser slowed to a halt next to an approaching sheriff's deputy, who approached the cruiser with his flashlight up at a jog.

"We got a wounded trooper in the back!" called out Young, trying to make his voice sound urgent as the deputy shone his flashlight on them.

"Where is your second cruiser?" replied the deputy, questioningly, as he flashed his light briefly over Selma, and apparently was satisfied they were telling the truth.

"Took a round to the radiator, had to leave it behind!" answered Kenneth, nodding back up the road.

The deputy nodded, "I heard you guys took some fire, we got a medic standing by in the armory, bring it on in." Young nodded, and slowly started pulling forward towards the checkpoint, where the national guard soldiers stepped aside. They were fairly well armed, some of the troopers were armed with assault rifles, a couple carried machineguns, and one even had an M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon or "LAW" slung across his chest.

"Remember, pick your targets, we have five seconds following when we stop and turn off our blues," whispered Selma, as a National Guard trooper nodded at Kenneth. Kenneth smiled uneasily and responded with a nod of his own.

"Humvee gunner has moved his gun back down the road," reported Young, talking lowly as he stared in his rearview mirror.

"I hope Dyson is good with that Remington," mumbled Dobbs, as he looked back at the Humvee.

"How many people you count, Mack?" asked Selma, as they neared the armory, an imposing-looking building.

"Twelve guards by the gate, including the sheriffs," nodded Kenneth, as he shifted his shotgun uneasily in his lap.

Young pulled up to the armory building, an imposing concrete structure with an attached bunker that served as the living quarters and offices for the on-base staff. He gently flipped off the blue lights on the top of the cruiser, and Kenneth looked at his watch. He heard the locks on the doors click, as Young also opened them, and Dobbs readied to grab his assault rifle lying on the back floor of the cruiser. As he watched the seconds slowly tick down, he said a silent prayer for himself.

When Young hissed out, "NOW!" Kenneth grabbed the door handle, and began stepping out of the vehicle, the gunshot he heard behind him seemed to cause the entire scene cascade in slow motion...

Edited by TheShammySocialist
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"How long will it take to finish the refueling?" asked Marcel, of a National Guard unit that had just shown up with a large tanker truck.

"Not sure sir," replied the stout Sergeant, folding his arms as his troops attached refueling lines to the helicopters.

"You in a rush to get in the hot zone?" asked Michelle, rhetorically, as she grinned at her younger brother. Marcel was known for being a sort of maverick, and had undertaken several missions before that were scuttlebutt around the Armed Forces, and had grown a reputation for rash, direct action.

"Beats sitting here on my butt all night," grumbled Marcel, giving the National Guard sergeant a glowering look. The National Guard sergeant shook his head and stalked off to get away from Marcel and his group of special forces operators, most of whom were eating some sort of energy bar or beef jerky.

"Ma'am," said Boone, approaching the two siblings as they stood near a UH-60 medium helicopter. "I got some news," he reported, as he saluted her in an informal, very relaxed manner.

"Whats the word, Sergeant?" asked Michelle, turning to the older soldier.

"The Moreland Armory reported in about ten minutes or so again, a police checkpoint north of Moreland was attacked by a truck full of insurgents, they report defeating the truck, but there is at least one casualty," reported Boone, his face grave.

"A truck full of insurgents?" asked Marcel, raising an eyebrow.

"Must have been making a run at the armory and then ran into the police checkpoint," shrugged Boone, turning to Marcel.

"Maybe they're making feelers to try to make a big push at the armory," said Michelle, sitting down on a woodpile next to him. "They know that Camp Beauregard is a waveoff, we got a full regiment of Military Police there, plus whatever base staff are available. Boone, can you go get that senior patrol officer for me?" she asked, looking up at Boone.

"Will do ma'am," responded Boone, nodding and turning to jog back to the main street of Lecompte.

"What are you thinking?" asked Marcel, looking at his sister attentively.

"My orders are to protect that armory, we can't let the insurgents take it, or else this insurgency is going to be even harder to put down," answered Michelle, folding her arms and looking at her younger brother.

"Even if they [i]had[/i] gotten past that checkpoint, they got enough troopers there to deal with any nominal threat," shrugged Marcel, looking at Michelle. He turned to look at Gagne as he approached with Boone, the trooper looked even more exhausted then he had about an hour before.

"You asked for me, ma'am?" asked Gagne, taking off his wide-brimmed hat.

"Yes, lieutenant, I was wondering if there were any pushes made by the insurgency to take the Moreland Armory?" asked Michelle, standing up from her seat on the woodpile.

"There was a couple skirmishes early this morning, but they took to their heels and scattered back towards Alexandria," said Gagne, with a shrug. Michelle looked to Marcel, who nodded.

"How long did these 'couple skirmishes' last, lieutenant?" asked Marcel, taking a bite from a piece of beef jerky he had been slowly eating since he arrived.

"Less then a couple minutes, probably even less then a minute," shrugged Gagne, "Just a few shots and they were done."

Marcel looked at Michelle, and mouthed, "Probing action?"

"Boone, I want you to gather another platoon, and have it ready to mount up in these birds when they are gassed up," ordered Michelle, turning to the venerable soldier.

"Yes ma'am," he nodded, and turned to jog off. But his jog slowed when there were a sudden series of shots, and then an explosion to the north. Michelle and Marcel both turned to look to the north, where another explosion quickly followed the first. Sustained gunfire could be heard from the north, as Michelle turned to look at Boone again.

"I want my radio op over here, now, Boone!" she cried, and he took off at a full tilt run.

"Sergeant, its now or never," yelled Marcel, turning to the National Guard refueling sergeant, who nodded and implored his men to work as fast as they could.

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As Kenneth had stepped out of the door of the police cruiser, all hell broke loose behind them. The first shot taken was by a man named Dyson, who had brought to the group his precision skills with a Remington 700. The shot caught the National Guardsman manning the fifty caliber machinegun atop the Humvee in the neck, the gunner was dead before he crumpled down inside the Humvee. An rocket-propelled grenade shot which was to hit the Humvee missed wide right, instead glancing off the guardhouse and exploding, obliterating the wooden structure and taking with it another National Guardsman and a Sheriff's Deputy.

Dobbs had jumped out of the police cruiser with his assault rifle blazing at the stunned National Guard squad manning the gate, dropping one, before a National Guard officer kicked open the door to the living quarters attached to the armory. The officer opened fire on them, Dobbs was in the process of spinning to meet this new threat when he was hit, and he fell with a yelp. Young crouched behind the bullet proof doors, along with Kenneth and Selma as three other guardsmen opened up from the living quarters, peppering the police cruiser with rounds. One manned an M60 general-purpose machinegun, and its 7.62mm rounds began systematically destroying the cruiser, shattering windows and the engine block as the soldier fired quick bursts into the cruiser.

The National Guardsman with the M72 LAW fired a round downrange at the muzzle flashes as the rest of Kenneth's comrades tried to fight their way towards the armory, the LAW round exploded against a hedge and there was a high-pitched scream. Another loud crack signaled another one of Dyson's shots, which dropped the man carrying the bazooka like weapon. Another RPG round zipped through the night and found its mark, the Humvee's engine block exploded and the vehicle was flipped over on its' top. The Sheriff Deputy at the gate appeared to be panicking, and he made a run towards the living quarters, only to have Young gun him down with a long burst from his assault rifle. The men and women at the gate were caught between a hammer and an anvil, but so was Kenneth's small group, if the guardsmen at the gate turned their attention to them and counter-attacked, they'd be the ones trapped between two sides.

As Kenneth crouched behind the door, another burst of fire came from the direction of the living quarters that slammed into Young's door, the M60 gunner's rounds found the mark and Young dropped with a scream.

"He got me in my feet! Damn it, my fe-!" he croaked, before a final shriek. The gunner had cleverly peppered underneath the door, to get a clear shot at Young's feet. Once the fighter had dropped to the ground, his torso was then fair game.

Selma aimed her rifle at the rear passenger tire, and fired, and the cruiser slumped back on the tire. Kenneth, who was positioned behind the front passenger door, took his assault rifle and fired blindly at the front passenger tire, this afforded their feet some more protection. Kenneth squeaked as the glass shattered above him, Selma yelling above the din, "We can't stay here Mack!" She blindly fired her assault rifle at the living quarters from around the side of her door, getting a large amount of gunfire in return.

The situation at the gate didn't seem to be going well for the National Guard, two more men had dropped when the Humvee had exploded, the five men now left alive were crouched behind concrete barriers and were firing sparingly at Kenneth's comrades, which appeared to be advancing towards the gate.

"Mack, keep me covered!" yelled Selma, as she lay on her stomach and crawled back towards the rear of the police car.

"Covering!" cried out Kenneth, rolling out from cover on his stomach and aiming at the living quarters, firing his assault rifle on semi-automatic at the shattered windows. He rolled back into cover after firing about seven shots, as the M60 opened up again, chipping the pavement in a line where his body had lain a second before.

Selma had crawled back to the rear of the almost-obliterated police cruiser, and began firing at the shattered National Guard squad at the gate, Kenneth looked through the front seat of the cruiser and the open driver's door. There was a scream from one of them, as one of Selma's rounds found its mark, and a Guardsman crumpled to the ground. The squad began firing back at the cruiser, the bullets sending shivers through the cruiser as they slammed into it, one bullet ripping through the seats and whizzing past Kenneth's head. Selma continued her deluge of fire at the squad, and two more cries filled the night, she had found the range. One of their comrades outside the compound fired another rocket-propelled grenade, which zipped over the cruiser but exploded harmlessly against the external concrete wall of the living quarters, but it did silence the guns inside for a moment.

Selma crawled back to behind the rear passenger door, and cried out, "Mack, get the tear gas, we need to take that building!"

"What about the others?!" he retorted, as he tried to crawl over to the driver's side of the car, and reach to wear two tear gas grenades were lolling about on the floor.

"If we don't take that building, they're not going to be able to reach us!" she responded, slamming another clip into her assault rifle.

Kenneth grunted as he grabbed the two tear gas grenades and the shotgun he had left on the seat, rounds tore through the windshield finally and ripped at the interior seating. The M60 was dismantling the car bit by bit around them, and they didn't have much time left. Kenneth also grabbed the pistol that Young had dropped on the seat, and stuck it in his belt, they were going to need all the firepower they could get. They had both gotten gas masks from the trunk of one of the police cruisers, which had some crowd control gear in it. Kenneth put the bulky facemask on his head, and waited for Selma's orders.

"Throw one grenade, and wait four seconds, then put that gas mask on, and go," she ordered, calmly. "I'll give you cover."

Kenneth replied, "Got it." He pulled the pin on the tear gas grenade as Selma fired at the windows of the living quarters again, he quickly stood up and threw the tear gas grenade. It seemed like slow motion as the grenade flew through the air, and hit the top of the window frame. Kenneth was about to cry out in frustration and dismay, when the gas grenade took a lucky bounce on the bottom windowsill and rolled inside the building. He flipped his gas mask on, and slowly counted...

One... he could hear the yells of one man inside as he called out "GRENADE!"...

Two... more rounds made the cruiser shiver as the machinegunner worked desperately to keep them under cover...

Three... Selma's rounds whizzed past him, as she kept steady bursts of fire going at the windows...

Four... he saw the barrel of Selma's gun disappear as she went to reload, and he heard a pop as the grenade began expelling its contents into the living quarters, and he jumped out from behind the door, and sprinted towards the building.

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