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This is a lesbian love story. But be warned. It takes place in Afghanistan and begins with a fairly long battle sequence. There are scenes of blood and death.
“Let’s move it guys.” Came the order and eight heavily camouflaged soldiers of the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) started to quickly load their equipment into the two newly delivered Foxhounds.
It was just getting dark at the Kabul base camp in Afghanistan. We never loaded in daylight, they didn’t like us being seen by too many prying eyes. Special Forces weren’t supposed to be there!
There was several hundred British Army personnel stationed at the base. Their job was training the Afghan security forces in the fight against the Taliban. But unofficially, a number of support operations were carried out under the guise of training.
Four snipers and four spotters. Made up of seven sergeants and one lieutenant had completed the loading in less than a minute. The Foxhounds moved away in a cloud of sand and shot by the raised barrier, their muffled exhausts barely heard as they disappeared into the dark.
The only comment heard was, “At least these bloody things shouldn’t break down this time of night.”
“Shut it Jones, don’t want to tempt fate.” The Lieutenant said even though he was himself worrying about the vehicles reliability.
The Foxhound at around £400,000 each was the very expensive replacement for the hated snatch Landrovers. It was heavily armoured with protection against IED’s, in fact, it was a superb fighting vehicle. It did, however, have one big problem. The engine cooked itself in the high temperatures of Afghanistan, anything above fifty degrees was fatal, the breakdown rate was staggering.
Sergeant Jones, or Jonesy, was my spotter, as such, he was in my superior. Even though we were both the same rank, the sniper has enough to do, so the spotter always takes command during a live opp.
Jonesy nudged my arm, “Reckon we’ll get there, Pat?” He asked in a low voice. I could hear the laugh in his voice. Jonesy liked to joke when we went live, it kept him calm.
“You heard the officer, Jonesy, shut it!” I grinned at him but I crossed my fingers anyway.
We’d been climbing into the mountains for just over an hour and a half. I felt the vehicle slow to a stop. We waited.
“All clear.” The top gunner reported having scoped the area with infrared. Slowly we eased around the corner, before one last climb and we were there.
In complete silence, we unloaded and within thirty seconds, the four teams were spread wide apart, each spotter combing his sector through night vision binoculars.
The Foxhounds whispered away, back down the hill. We were on our own now, for the next fifteen hours.
There was no talking from now on, all communication was done with hand signals. We knew our order of march, it had all been well covered at the mission briefing. Jones took up position behind the Lieutenant and his sniper, I followed.
We had an hours march ahead of us, which under normal circumstances is a stroll in the park but up here among the rocks and gullies, it was a different matter. In the dark, it would be all too easy to damage an ankle with a wrongly placed step. If that happened to any member of the squad, the mission was off. It would almost certainly have been a death sentence leaving anyone behind. We trod carefully.
The sun crested the mountain, shadows rapidly disappeared and temperatures started to climb after the almost freezing night. A solitary hawk cruised among the crags as it searched for any sign of prey. Nothing else disturbed the desolate landscape. Hidden from sight were seven men and one woman. Using their ghillie camouflage, they had merged themselves into the terrain some two hours before dawn.
The four teams were spread well apart, roughly two hundred feet above the excuse for a road in the bottom of the tight little valley below.
“Shit!” I thought, “Only two hours gone and already I need a piss.” That was the worst part of these kinds of gigs, having a piss. We all had urine bags connected. It was easier for the guys with a tube to a bag, no leaks, no mess. But for me, I had a funnel stuck to my pussy which led to the bag. Poxy things always leaked when you were lying down, I hated them. It was a balance between not drinking too much or dehydration when it got hot.
My thoughts were interrupted. “Ten o’clock high,” Jonesy whispered.
I scanned my rifle slowly round, searching among the rocks the other side of the valley. There he was, a solitary towel head squatting down on a rock, a Kalashnikov across his knees. He was peering through an old pair of binoculars, lazily checking for any presence. His binoculars passed right over our position without a pause.
I saw Jonesy reaching for the radio, then we froze. Pebbles tinkled close by, then rattled their way down the hill. Soon we could smell rough cigarette smoke. We could hear the person moving about, he seemed to be moving slightly away from our position. canlı bahis I guessed he was looking for a convenient hideyhole.
Jonesy clicked a radio switch twice. A second later the Lieutenant’s voice could just barely be heard. “Alpha Two, you’ve got one to your left, about thirty feet away. We’ve got him covered, concentrate on your target area.” After a short pause, he came over again, “Alpha Three cover the one over the valley to the north. Alpha Four keep scanning.” Three clicks were heard as the three positions acknowledged.
Three and Four had something to watch, I had nothing until the expected vehicles arrived. I could relax and lower the butt of my L115A3 sniper rifle. It wasn’t a handheld rifle, at 6.8 kilos, it was much too heavy for that, so it rested on a short-legged tripod.
I loved my rifle, it was the best sniper rifle ever designed. A large calibre bolt action rifle, taking an 8.59mm bullet. It was fitted with day and night all-weather telescopic sights as well as a spotting scope. It had a six hundred meter one shot kill range but was effective up to one thousand one hundred meters for harassing fire. Every target I had ever had in my sights was dead. I had stopped counting how many that was, it seemed a bit morbid. I was doing my job, not collecting notches on my gun.
My thoughts wandered back to what Jonesy had been saying to me a few days back. “You seen that chick checking you out Pat?” A huge grin on his face. I glared at him. “Oh c’mon, she can’t keep her eyes off you, follows you around with her tongue hanging out.”
He was loving this. I didn’t do relationships of any kind and he knew it. Jonesy was different, my life depended on him and vice-versa, we were a team and had worked together for eighteen months now. We were buddies and knew each other’s needs inside-out. He usually treated me like any other guy so I thought it was a bit odd that he should bring up the subject of some squaddie drooling over my muscles.
And I did have muscles. I chucked weights every day. I ran a minimum of ten k every day. I was super fit but then, so was everyone in the SRR.
He fetched us two more beers and was still chuckling when he sat. “Shit pal, what’s got into you giving me this shit?” I asked him.
“All I’m saying is, had you noticed? No harm in you having a look-see. As a matter of fact, she’s over at the bar now.”
Well, I had no idea who he was talking about and there was at least fifty or sixty at the bar, maybe twenty of them female. But I thought if I humour the idiot, he’ll get off my back. I turned and had a quick scan along the bar. I knew right away who he meant. She wasn’t looking our way but she was the most gorgeous female I’d ever seen, outside of the movies or whatever. I also knew that Jonesy wouldn’t have thought of bothering me if it hadn’t been something special. She was that, no doubt at all.
I turned back to face him, “Well, hot or what?” He asked me.
“Okay, she’s hot, so what? I’m hot but I don’t encourage or chase people.”
“That’s because the guys are scared of you, they don’t want to take the risk of getting one of your fists in their face.” Boy, he was enjoying this. “And the girls, well, they’re either scared as well or in awe of the big bad sergeant.”
For some reason, the conversation had got under my skin. I hadn’t dated anyone since some guy when I was seventeen. Now at twenty-four, my career was my life. That and fitness. It wasn’t anything conscious, I simply never thought about it.
Jonesy had gone for a piss and a smoke. Alone, I took a glance at the bar. This time she was looking my way, for a second our eyes met, then she was looking away. I swear I could see her face turn red, even from way over here. Yes, I had to admit that she was something else but so what, I didn’t care.
Five minutes later, I realised I was sneaking a peek at her again. “Fuck this shit!” I said aloud, then picked up our beers and went to find Jonesy.
I didn’t sleep well that night. The bloody girl kept invading my thoughts and I got cross, even angry, with myself.
Two more hours had elapsed when Alpha One came over again, “Dust cloud to the South, Alpha Two look for your target, click when you are good to go. A double click from you and Alpha Three and Four will take out their respective lookouts.” Once more, three clicks were heard.
My target was the Taliban regional chief. Alpha One would take out the Al-Quaeda commander.
A small convoy of two NSTV’s (Non-standard tactical vehicle) and a battered ex US army jeep came barrelling along the track. Before sliding to a stop directly below. At least the intel had been good. What wasn’t good was the weapons mounted on the two trucks. One had a heavy machine gun, the other a recoilless rifle. I never understood why some idiot called it a rifle, it fires bloody shells, not bullets. We could be in for some heavy shit here.
The Lieutenant was on the ball though, “Alpha Three your second shot is the machine gunner, Alpha Four will take the RCL.”
Jonesy bahis siteleri and I scanned the passengers as they left the vehicles. We both saw our Taliban target, easily recognisable from the many photos we had studied. Now, all we needed was Al-Quaeda.
In total, there was nearly twenty of them. They spread out in an unusually ordered manner for the Taliban, they looked like a well-trained bunch. Not good.
Another, smaller, cloud of dust, Al-Quaeda were here. I kept my sight on the Taliban chief, Jonesy watched for trouble.
I waited until the two bigwigs approached each other, all the time keeping myself lined up on the Taliban guys head. “One click go,” I spoke quietly to Jonesy. As soon as they reached to embrace I said: “Two clicks go.”
I saw both of their heads explode simultaneously. I barely had time to notice the spray of blood before I was searching for my next shot. The heavy machine gun bothered me more than the RCL. Alpha Four had clearly missed his second shot, I could see the gun swinging round already sweeping the hillside with fire. Luckily for us, he was firing blind, he didn’t have any visible target but that didn’t make us safe.
Bullets ricocheted off the rocks around us, as any number of Kalashnikovs, set to auto, joined in. The machine gunner was swinging his gun from side to side, moving all the time. Worse was that he was almost hidden behind an armour shield. I saw shots hitting his shielding but I waited, I held my shot, tracking his swings. As he swung back for another sweep, I anticipated the moment his face would show. Just for a split second, it crossed my sight as I squeezed, then he was flying through the air and out of the truck.
There was no longer a need for spotting, so four L85 rifles joined our fire. Both Taliban and Al-Quaeda fighters fell like nine pins, then the bloody machine gun opened fire again. Someone else had taken the ill-fated gunners place.
This guy either had more savvy or maybe just better luck, his bullets were hammering all around us. I heard Jonesy grunt and knew he had been hit, he never normally made a sound during an action.
The machine gun NSTV suddenly exploded in a ball of flame. The Lieutenant’s L85 was fitted with a grenade launcher, it must have been him that hit the truck. Seconds later the jeep also exploded, almost immediately followed by the RCL carrier. The Al-Quaeda truck was sat on two flat tyres and its windscreen was a spiders web.
“On my order prepare to fall back. One click good to go. Alpha Two?” I glanced at Jonesy, he nodded then clicked once. The others also all clicked once after they were called.
Following the order to fall back, we crawled backwards out of our holes. In only a couple of yards, we could climb to our feet and scramble away. We needed to make the gully a hundred and fifty yards away before the remaining enemy reached the high ground.
I could see Alpha Three were both struggling, carrying wounds. Alpha’s One and Four looked to be okay. Jonesy had one arm held tight to his body but otherwise seemed mobile. I had blood dripping from my face, I hadn’t been aware of being hit, nothing was stopping me moving, so I didn’t worry.
Jonesy answered my question, “I’m good, go help Three.”
I was twenty yards from the gully when the first Kalashnikov barked its distinctive noise. Bullets whined off rocks and kicked up dust, I felt one tug at my sleeve just before I was able to lower Pete of Three into the gully. I dropped behind a low rock, raised my rifle to rest the barrel on the rock. My first shot dropped the nearest follower, two L85’s also opened up close by me and I saw two more of the enemy fall. We held our fire and waited. Only one remaining head slowly lifted into view, it took its last look before my bullet went straight between its eyes.
Pete and his buddy, Steve were the most urgently in need of attention, the machine gunner had raked across their position. They both had multiple injuries but luckily the majority were caused by rock splinters. Pete had taken a direct hit to his helmet, although the round had glanced off and had not penetrated. He certainly had a concussion but hopefully, nothing more severe.
Steve had taken two rounds but again, incredibly no bones appeared to be broken, the wounds looked reasonably clean.
Jonesy had been lucky, it was probably a ricochet that caught his arm, he had a furrow that ran from wrist to elbow. It poured blood but again, like Steve, nothing serious was hit.
We heard the whump, whump of the helicopter, as it came into view, my first thought was, “Thank God, it’s British Army and not Afghan security forces, we should get back to base in one piece.”
Five of us were at the RAMC hospital unit. Pete had been taken away for a head scan. Steve was in the operating theatre. Jonesy had umpteen stitches down his arm. Taff had only minor cuts.
“Sergeant Mason.” A voice called. When I looked around an orderly pointed to a screen. I left my helmet on the seat and went bahis şirketleri through the curtain. A nurse had her back to me as she fiddled with some paperwork.
“Take a seat please, Sergeant.” Seconds later, hands from behind tipped my head sideways exposing the side of my blood covered face. Then it stung a bit as she cleaned. A magnifying lamp was pulled down alongside. Fingers pulled my skin. “You have a lump of rock in there, a little local anaesthetic and we’ll soon have that out.”
“No need for any anaesthetic Doc, just dig it out. Besides, I’m so tired I doubt I can feel anything anyway.”
With an “If you’re sure,” she went to work.
It did hurt but she was surprisingly gentle, not like some in the Medical Corps. I heard a clunk as she dropped the stone in a dish. Then it stung again as she applied antiseptic. “Someone will be in to stitch that for you shortly.”
“Can’t you just do it? You’ve got a good touch.” I asked. I still hadn’t seen her.
“Sorry, not allowed. Now let’s have your jacket off, I need to look at that arm.”
“Arm? Which arm? Nothing wrong with my arms.”
“Oh, then why do you have two holes in this sleeve and blood stains? Now please take your jacket off.”
I shrugged my arms out and then realised my shoulder did hurt, well more like a burning sensation really.
The short sleeve of my top was stuck to my skin with dried blood. She picked up a pair of scissors and cut up the sleeve, for a moment she paused, I thought she was checking the wound but then she continued to cut, right to my neck and then down the back. She went behind and pulled the now useless top down my other arm. I was now naked to the waist.
The fingers of one hand rested on my shoulder, the other raised my left arm, “Rest your hand on your hip for me please.” Then I felt the cold as she rinsed and soaked where the remaining material stuck. I could feel her fingers clutching my shoulder as she eased the material away from my arm. For some reason, the feel of her fingers took my mind off the stab of pain as it came away. “You’re lucky, it’s only a graze, nothing serious.” She said. For the first time, I had realised how lovely her voice was. I was listening to the sound of the voice, not her words.
Suddenly, I was aware that my nipples had hardened. A surprised glance down, told me they were standing out, fully erect. “Shit” What the fuck.” I thought.
She had applied a dressing and plaster but had now stopped moving. One hand back on my shoulder, the other resting on my arm. I turned to look at her, she was staring at my chest.
It was the girl from the canteen. With a start, she looked up at me, her face went bright red before she quickly turned away, clearing the rubbish. “Someone will be here in a moment for your stitches.” She squeaked out and then was gone.
She had left my mind all in a whirl. For the first time in God knows how many years, I felt aroused, she’d turned me on. “A fucking woman,” I said half aloud.
I slept for something like ten hours. It wasn’t always a good sleep. I dreamed of the fingers caressing my shoulder. I dreamed of the voice. I dreamed of her face with those beautiful eyes looking at me.
“Come on sleepy, shift your ass, let’s go get something to eat.” Jonesy was stood there with his usual grin on his face when I opened my eyes.
“Fuck off, Jonesy, can’t a guy sleep around here? What time is it anyway?”
“Lunchtime if you get a move on and I’m starving.”
I struggled myself fully awake, I felt stiff and ached. “Let me take a quick shower and I’ll be with you,” I told him.
In the shower, my dreams came back to me. It had me wondering. I couldn’t get over the fact that this girl had obviously got under my skin. I wasn’t gay, I’d never in my life, given a girl another look but then I didn’t look at the guys anymore either. I couldn’t make any sense of it.
Steak, egg, mushrooms and chips later, Oh, and a couple of beers and I was feeling back in the real world. Jonesy had gone off to have his wound checked. I couldn’t throw any weights today, so I decided on a walkabout.
I saw her sitting in the shade on some equipment boxes. I went to turn a different way then saw she was crying. Not out loud but I could see the tears on her cheeks. Her eyes were closed.
“What’s up, Doc?” (Really?) I asked when I was stood in front of her.
She almost jumped out of her skin before she looked up. She looked back down at her feet and just shook her head. “It’s n..n..nothing.” She stuttered. Then more tears flowed.
I sat down next to her, she glanced at my leg as our thighs touched. Her knuckles white, as her two hands gripped tightly together in her lap.
“Come on Doc, bad news or something?”
She sat quietly for a while, the tears easing as she seemed to calm herself. Then in a quiet voice, “I’m sorry, I made a fool of myself and I embarrassed you. I didn’t mean to do that. I feel awful.”
For an age, I studied her. The delicate lines of her face. The sensuous lips. The swell of her hidden breasts. I felt my heart lurch. I reached out a hand, my fingers gently brushed a tear, “You didn’t embarrass me Doc. You did do something which I don’t understand but I wasn’t embarrassed.”
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