You're Under Arrest Fan Fiction ❯ The Siege ❯ Walk in the Park ( Chapter 8 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The Siege

Chapter 8: Walk in the Park

By JagdPanther

It was only four minutes since Comet Four-Two had gone down. Arleigh raced over to the Delta's weapon trailer. The other seven operators coming on the rescue mission were already there. "Max out ammo and grenades!" he shouted. "We've got air support on station and ready to escort us in to the crash site. We zip in, we pick them up, and we zip back out, if possible."

McMichael attached a new box of ammo for his light-machine gun before saying, "Sir, what if we get cut off at the crash site and can't make it back here?"

"Sergeant, you know damn well what we're going to do if that situation presents itself." And everyone did. "We're going to secure and defend the crash site and the pilots if it comes down to that. No one gets left behind, you know that. Those fly-boys bust their asses everyday for us. We're going in and getting them one way or another." Arleigh grabbed a few more 40mm grenades and stuffed them into pouches on his webbing. "If we run into any resistance, shoot straight. Don't loli-gag with one target. Shoot to kill. All right, let's roll, people!"

The Deltas loaded up into two HMMWVs. One operator in each truck manned the .50-Cal turret machine gun, one drove, and two provided covering fire out of the right and left windows. As they left the confines of the walled-in station, the operators could see several Marines, Tropics, and police cheering them on from the windows. Jones, manning the second HMMWVs turret saluted the station as they pulled away.

In the lead truck was Arleigh, his rifle pointed out the front passenger-side window. "Okay, the crash site is three klicks away. McMichael, just keep straight on this road for its entire length, then hang a right, go two blocks, a left, for three blocks, and another left for a block and we should be there. You get that?"

"Roger, sir. Length, right two, left three, left one. Got it." He scanned the road ahead of him for anything that might suggest an ambush.

"Good. Let's haul a little ass. Pedal to the metal, Sarge." Arleigh silently prayed to himself that they would make it in time. He looked up to see an Apache gunship fly overhead followed by another off to the left.

Inside the cab, the radio came alive. "Delta Five-One, this is Archer Lead. Initial pass indicates that you are clear to the crash site. Doesn't look like any enemy units between you and there. But you've got a lot of abandoned vehicles all over the place. Be careful. Nothing that you can't get past, but nothing that can't cause an accident, either. Over."

McMichael leaned over and tapped a transmit button. "Affirmative, Archer. Thanks for the info." The journey took only a few minutes due to the Sergeant's lead-foot. He smoothly darted the HMMWV around cars parked in the road. There were no civilians in sight. If there were any left, they either were hiding in buildings or had made breaks for the bridges out of the Ward and to the safety of friendly lines.

Arleigh jumped out of the HMMWV upon reaching the smoking AH-6. It sat upside down inside a circle formed by some trees. "Secure the perimeter!" Immediately the six Deltas not manning the machine guns formed a wheel around the craft. Arleigh saw the glint of sunlight on metal across the street up in a window. "Take cover!"

It had been a trap. If Archer Flight had made its initial pass a short while earlier, they would've seen the terrorists moving to occupy the buildings around the circle of trees. Rifles and machine guns opened up on the Deltas. The six exposed men dove for cover while the gunners swiveled the large-calibre guns to meet the 360-degree threat. Rifles, machine guns, and grenades all began their deadly duel to see who would live and who would die.




Back at the station, the defenders listened to the gunfire that had erupted. There was the heavy banging of the .50 Cals, the staccato clicks of the M4A1s, and the deep clashing of AKs. No one could tell who was winning the fight.

"Sounds like they ran into a shit storm," quipped Morris in Japanese. "Hope they get out all right. The sound doesn't seem to be moving so they have to be caught up somewhere. You'd be able to tell if it was a rolling fire-fight."

Natsumi wasn't bothering to look out the window and watch for enemies. All she could think about was Arleigh, trapped, fighting for his life and the lives of everyone around him and no one, not even she, could do anything about it. "So all we can do is wait and see what happens?"

"That's about it, miss." Morris lit up a cigarette and continued to watch the area outside for any signs of movement. "Just wait and pray. That's it." His eyes scanned back and forth, right and left, for anything. He worried about some shadows created by the many buildings. Enemies could be lurking there. His fear was quickly answered. A bullet whizzed by his left ear, so close that the heat created by the round singed his short sideburns. "Sniper!" Morris opened up on what he thought was the likely source of the shot, a shadow that seemed to be moving. Actually, the movement was the enemy sniper, shifting position. Another sniper next too him fired off another shot that followed his first shot into the floor above where Natsumi and Morris were.

Natsumi quickly regained her fighting spirit and fired along with Morris at the general area of the targets. About thirty rifles made quick work of the snipers, but more men barreled out of nearby buildings, firing up into the station. How they had advanced, no one knew. Possibly they had made their way through back alleyways and through buildings themselves to move up. The sniper in the open had been very stupid to not fire from real cover, such as from a window or a rooftop. Natsumi loaded a fresh clip and continued firing, felling a man wielding an RPK machine gun. The shooting stopped in a few moments. Another suicide charge had been decimated.

"Why do they keep doing that? They're not accomplishing anything." Natsumi looked over at the Delta Operator, trying to rekindle the cigarette he had inadvertently blown out when he almost had a heart attack from the sniper's bullet sailing by.

Morris succeeded in lighting the danger-to-his-health and took a drag. "These guys definitely aren't trained very well to be doing this stuff. If they were smart, they'd send the real Japanese troops after us. They'd we'd be in big trouble. And if they would actually use those tanks and APCs for their intended purpose rather than just meat wagons shuttling troops around."

"Like systematically destroying the building with their cannons?" It was obvious to Natsumi enough already.

"Pretty much."

She mused, "Maybe they want something here and that's why they aren't attempting to destroy it."

"That could be it. Wouldn't want to damage a product that you intend to obtain. But I couldn't see what they'd want with a police station. It obviously isn't guns, since they've got a whole hell of a lot of them already."

Natsumi thought for a few moments. "It can't be prisoners, we don't have any in holding right now. I don't get it." It was then that she remembered Arleigh. "Hey, the sound of the fight is moving."

Morris cocked his head to one side. "Yeah, you're right, it is."




Jones' first burst of fire exploded a window frame, catching a terrorist in the chest. "One down!" By now, his fellow gunner was also firing. The machine guns ripped the buildings apart. Simply saturating the area with fire was enough to buy the exposed men some time.

McMichael deployed the bi-pod for his S.A.W. began providing covering fire. Next to him, Arleigh launched two grenades at a where a majority of the fire was coming from. His split-second notice of the impending ambush saved his men's lives. Now, from behind cover, they could fight. Up above, Archer flight was hovering and using their 30mm chain-guns to destroy the surrounding buildings. This allowed the operators to act.

Arleigh stopped firing, reloaded his rifle, and turned around. He produced a smoke grenade from a pouch, pulled the pin, let the arming lever fly, cooked it for three seconds, and tossed it at the chopper. It clanged off of the fuselage and rolled to a stop right in front of the overturned cockpit. The grenade burst open, spilling white smoke all around the chopper. The Lieutenant jumped up from his crouched state and charged through the smoke, enemy gunfire kicking up chips of concrete sidewalk around his feet. Not stopping soon enough, he rammed right into the chopper. He felt inside the cockpit, found the neck of Mills, and checked for a pulse. He blew the smoke out of his face to get a better look. The co-pilot was unconscious, but not dead, and Wilson lightly groaned, his head lolling back and forth a bit. Blood dripped down, or rather, up his neck towards his face. On the other side of the chopper, Stevens arrived. "Unbuckle him and bring him out. Slowly, Stevens, slowly. He could have back injuries." Over the din, Arleigh then shouted, "Cover us! We're pulling them out!" Carefully, he slipped Mills from the restraining straps and cradled the body as it slipped out of the cockpit. Stevens had done the same. Arleigh grabbed a satchel charge off of his back and primed it for radio detonation. Tossing it inside the cockpit, he yelled "Move it! Move it!"

The two operators hefted the flyers and ran for their lives. Emerging from the smoke, they oriented themselves towards the HMMWVs and continued on. Around them, the other four operators jumped up, firing their weapons on full automatic, and raced for the transports. Jones was firing a pistol in one hand and attempting to load another box of .50-Cal ammo with his other hand. Obviously it wasn't working too well. He was startled when the rear hatch flew up behind him. Stevens was putting the pilot into the back of the truck. "Hey, Stevens! Cover me!"

Stevens slammed the hatch down and began firing. This allowed Jones to use both hands to replace the very heavy ammo boxes that supplied the large machine gun. He finished quickly and began firing again. "Thanks! Now get in!" he yelled, opening fire. Just then, a bullet ripped into his arm. The force of the strike ripped part of his uniform off, including the American flag patch on his sleeve. The patch caught the slight breeze and fell onto the roadway. Jones swore but kept on firing. Wounds would have to wait until the mission was over.

Up ahead, McMichael scrambled into the lead HMMWV and cranked up the engine. AK bullet holes peppered the windshield, so he used the butt of his rifle to strike it down and into the forward position so it wouldn't hamper his view. Arleigh had already closed the hatch and was jumping in when McMichael floored it. The Lieutenant almost fell back out but regained his hold on the vehicle and pulled himself in.

He flicked the radio on and yelled in, "All right, Archers, lead us back! We're moving out!" Then he grabbed his rifle. `Great, I maxed out ammo before I came and I used five clips going cyclic back there. That's half the ammo I brought. Christ.' Almost forgetting, he reached inside his pocket and produced a small black cylinder with a red button at one end. After depressing the button, the satchel charge in the AH-6 went off, ripping the small chopper apart. It was standard operating procedure to destroy unrecoverable downed aircraft.

Out of nowhere, four technicals appeared. They began firing immediately on the trucks. Jones swung the gun around, despite the increasing fury of pain in his arm, and eliminated one pursuing vehicle. It crashed, taking a second technical with it. The other two continued to chase the Americans back towards the station. Heavy machine gun rounds slammed into the rear of the HMMWV, causing it to buck around from the massive force. Jones hoped that no rounds made it to the wounded pilot at his feet inside the truck.

In front, the HMMWV's gunner couldn't fire back for risk of hitting the second truck. So Jones had to fight alone. Almost. The Archer's came screaming overhead, in the opposite direction of the fleeing trucks, and fired their 70mm rockets. Both remaining technicals exploded brightly. Another group of technicals inadvertently came out ahead of the HMMWVs, assuming that they had already passed. The lead truck quickly dispatched the confused terrorists.

Soon, the two-truck convoy neared the station. Rounding the corner to the station, the Deltas were met with a mass of civilians fleeing into the station. Arleigh looked out the front of the vehicle and saw that far down the road, another terrorist attack group was approaching. They were trying a new tactic. Instead of bothering to use civilians as cover while attacking, they would send the civilians ahead of them in an effort to inundate the defenders with people and then attacking while they were trying to control the sudden influx. It was working. McMichael weaved his was around civilians and slowed to make the final turn into the station. As he was doing do, Arleigh popped open the passenger door and jumped out, rolling to a stop several feet away. McMichael was too busy driving to even notice, but the driver of the second HMMWV noticed and stopped beside the officer.

"Get in, sir!"

"No, no! Get in the goddamn station!" He waved the truck off and ran towards the attacking force. Unlike the previous attacking groups, it began firing well away from the station. Up on the roof, the snipers were discouraged and took cover. The 35mm auto-cannons of the APCs slashed at the roofline, sending bits of concrete raining down on people in front of the station. Arleigh jumped behind a car and checked his ammo. `Four clips of ammo, three 40mm grenades, two smoke grenades, two fragmentation grenades. Yay.'

He lined up a shot with his M203A1 40mm grenade launcher and sent a round screaming towards the advancing soldiers. It dropped right in-between four soldiers, casting them aside like rag dolls. Another launched grenade eliminated three more soldiers. Rifle fire pinged off of the car he used for cover. Thankfully none of the APCs were taking shots at him. Yet. If they did, Arleigh was in huge trouble. Fire from the station joined him, but the enemy kept coming. This party was much tougher than the previous groups.

McMicheal dashed back out of the compound as soon as he had parked the HMMWV. He fell heavily next to his officer. "What the hell are you doing, Sir?"

"What the hell do you think I'm doing," retorted, loading another magazine of rifle ammo, his second to last one. "Providing cover! Giving them a second target to think about! Killing the enemy! Now fire, damnit!"

McMichael opened up with his S.A.W, cutting down several more soldiers. The return fire was becoming more intense as the enemies shifted their attention to the Deltas. Stevens braved the crossing and made it to his comrades, providing more rifle fire.

"Last mag!" shouted Arleigh, driving his last 30-round clip into the rifle. Stevens leaned over, tapped the Lieutenant on the head, and forked over a magazine. Then Arleigh finally noticed some civilians huddled near a doorway some ways up the road. "Cover me!" He vaulted over the hood of the car and made a mad dash for the frightened people. Just as he was making ready to dive into the doorway, a powerful force, like a baseball bat, threw his head back, slamming him into the ground. Arleigh rolled over onto his back, blinked, felt the excruciating pain in his head, and waited for death to take him.




Upstairs, Ken Nakajima fired a captured AK rifle at the advancing party. These enemies were so close that he could vaguely make-out facial expressions. Below he could see the HMMWVs pulling into the compound. A soldier had fallen out of the first truck and made his way behind a car for cover. Grenades flew from the man's rifle and knocked out several enemies. Ken didn't realize that the man was Arleigh and continued to fire his own rifle.

After loading another magazine, Ken noticed that two others now accompanied the soldier, also working to draw enemy fire away from the station. All of the sudden, the soldier jumped up and ran to a doorway where some civilians hid from the crossfire. The soldier was stuck hard by a bullet and flopped to the ground. He rolled over and flailed his arm a slight bit before. An Army machine gunner down below in the courtyard attending to a civilian who had just come in immediately ran out into the street and dragged the soldier into cover, enemy bullets kicking up dust and debris all around them. Ken admired how brave the Americans were, risking their lives for their brothers-in-arms. Going out for a downed helicopter crew, rushing into the line of fire to saved a wounded comrade, and braving superior enemy forces to protect the station, Ken's regard for the Americans was growing by the second.

Across the street, the Army gunner stripped off the soldier's small black hockey-helmet. The sight stopped Ken cold for a moment. It was Arleigh. `Oh no, is he dead?' That was answered a few seconds later when Arleigh reached up with both hands and held his head, rocking back and forth, trying to regain his senses. His helmet was split in two on the ground by his feet. The bullet had gouged a long enough and large enough hole in the helmet to sever it in two, but Arleigh seemed to be uninjured. `His neck must be sore,' thought Ken, watching the Delta Operator massage his neck. `At least it didn't snap his neck.'

Just as Ken had those thoughts, a Marine next to Ken took a bullet to the shoulder, throwing the Marine back into the wall behind him. The Marine writhed in pain and grabbed at his shoulder, blood spilling out between his fingers.

"Ah, damnit! Medic!" howled the Marine.

Ken shouldered his AK and slid over to the Marine, applying pressure to his shoulder. The bullet went in the front and out the back, so Ken pressed hard on both sides to stop the blood flow. "Hold on!" he yelled in passable English. `I have to get him to a medic, but, damn, I don't think they're any up here!' he thought. Looking around, Ken affirmed his thought. `Got to get him to an aide station.' Ken hefted the young Marine Private, First Class in his arms and moved at a careful jog down the hall, around the corner, and into an aide station where some medics and other soldiers already were attending to downed individuals. Some were Marines, some were Army, and some were even the police officers that worked at Bokuto just as Ken did.

He set the soldier down on a table that a Navy Corpsman pointed too. Immediately another Marine came over, bumped Ken aside, and began applying a field dressing to the wounded man's shoulder.

The tall bike-patrolman stepped back and looked around him. The medical personnel stayed calm and collected. None of them panicked as they dealt with the shocked and stunned wounded. They worked tirelessly to help the people who could not help themselves. Grim reality set it for Nakajima, as it had for Natsumi, when he saw a fellow bike-patrolman propped up against the wall, two bullet-holes in his stomach. "Ichiro!"

Patrolman Ichiro Wasataki sluggishly looked up at his friend, the blood-loss dulling his senses. "Nakajima?"

"Ichiro, what did the medics say? Are you going to be all right? What happened?" Ken helped the man sit up more.

He coughed up a little blood and wiped his mouth. "It was just bad luck, Ken. When that group came up from behind a few minutes ago, I wasn't paying attention and a sniper got me in the gut. Then I took another round when I tried to stand back up. The medic said I'll be fine, I just need to rest. They fear that I'll black out if I move to much." Ichiro's speech was slightly slurred and his eyes were glazed over. "That one, over there," he motioned to an Army medic, "he gave me some morphine for the pain, but that's what is causing me to be so sluggish, they said. It's dropping my heart rate low. I guess I'm done for the day." He managed a weak smile before coughing up a little more blood. Ichiro had come from the slums of Tokyo. His greatest dream in life was to be a police officer and help clean up the city he had grown up in and make it better for future generations. Now he sat there, life fleeing from his body. "Ken, I'm not stupid. I know I'm going to die. Tell Aya I love her."

In that moment, Ken's mind blocked out the screams of pain around him and the gunfire outside. It was just him and his fellow patrolman. "Ichiro, you're going to be fine. Just don't think about that. You'll be just fine. Just hang in there. Hey, look, we're still on for next week going to the baseball game. You're not getting out of it that easily. My team is going to the championship and you know it. Don't try to deny it." He grabbed Ichiro's hand and squeezed it. "You'll live. You're going to go home soon and Aya is going to be there waiting for you. I'm not going to be you're message boy. You'll tell her that yourself."

"No, I won't. Tell her for me, please. Oh, and Ken? Your team sucks. Fujita is going to the championship. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it." He managed a weak smile. The morphine had only dulled the pain, but now all the pain he ever felt disappeared, and he felt as fine as he ever had before in life. His eyes shifted to look straight ahead. The image of his long-dead parents appeared in front of him, warmly beckoning him forth. Blackness crept across his view, and Ichiro Wasataki felt no more.

Ken looked on is silence, still not aware of his surroundings. Ichiro's eyes were still open, but he knew that the man was dead. Carefully, he reached up and closed the man's eyelids. A hand softly grabbed his shoulder.

Specialist, Fourth Class Ryan Ida, a medic with the Army's 25th Infantry Division [Light], spoke in his parents' native tongue to the police officer kneeling by his departed friend. "I'm sorry. There was nothing I could do. It was only a matter of time. I gave him some morphine so he could at least die without pain. I'm sorry."

Officer Ken Nakajima slowly stood to face the American. "Thank you for what you did."

"Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'll be fine." He fought back a few tears and managed a response. "I guess I'll go back to the line."

Ida stopped him. "Are you sure you'll be fine? You don't look it. Better you collect yourself first rather than me collect your pieces if you zone out during a fight."

Ken wanted to strike the man for insinuating that he'd do something of the like, but logic won the battle and he accepted the fact that maybe a short break to settle his mind would do good. The medic sighed deeply and left the officer to go help another injured soldier.

`How many more friends will I lose before this is over?' thought Ken as took a seat at the far end of the conference room-turned-aide station. `I hope Miyuki is alright.'




The defenders managed to hold off both attacks, but at a cost. Five Marines were dead, with another sixteen wounded. Two Army personnel died in the attack, another seven were wounded. Eighteen civilians were dead as a result enemy fire. Their flight from their captors was started by a mass-execution. One police officer was dead and four were wounded. The pilot and co-pilot of the downed AH-6 were both alive. The medics had been able to restart Mills' breathing through CPR and even managed to bring him back into consciousness, but the 160th SOAR pilot remained in bad condition. He would have to be evacuated. Wilson, on the other hand, was fully awake and seemed to be recovering fine. They deduced that he did not have any internal damage, but he did have several large bruises from the jostling he received during the crash. His smaller frame reduced the amount of his body that could be hit by flying debris.

A glaring fault was also finally realized. The two angles of attack that the enemy had chosen this time were the best out of all used so far. Both directions were virtually unobservable from the roof. The height of the buildings along the road kept the snipers on top from seeing what moved along the road. Terrorists who had climbed buildings were the ones who had suppressed the snipers on the roof, and so had an APC just close enough to aim at the roof with its turret. Anything shorter than an APC and the buildings could not be seen. That road also wound around the city with large trees on either side. If the enemy so desired, they could move troops up virtually unseen from the air, the only source of warning for the defenders. The soldiers began to understand the Delta leader's actions as the fight began. By firing at the advancing force, he was the only defender able to bring accurate fire to bear on the force that had not already moved to close for comfort to the building. Only then could the defenders inside the compound see the force and fire their own weapons. This fact would that night play a huge role in the defense of the base. What the soldiers, police, and civilians had seen so far would not come close to what awaited them once the sun went down, as it was beginning to now.

For now, all the station's occupants could do was prepare for the next attack. Burning hulks of more APCs and tanks dotted the three main avenues of attack along with hundreds of bodies of terrorists. The sight was not pleasant for anyone, but they would have to do with it. No one was venturing outside the perimeter to clean things up. Besides, the hulks and bodies would be obstacles for any further attacks, a warning to the terrorists and soldiers that any attack would meet the same fate. All across the station people worked to prepare.

The Chief made rounds of the building, encouraging the officers who had seen their fellow police fall wounded. News of Ichiro's death had spread like wildfire. Everyone saw that no one was safe from what was happening.

Yoriko helped some fellow officers make coffee and prepare food for the civilians. They were all starving, frightened, and cold. Three flights of two of choppers, this time four of the bigger UH-60s and two smaller MH-6s, were inbound to extract the wounded and more civilians, dropping off food, water, ammunition, and another platoon of Army soldiers in the process. About 58 in all could be evacuated between all six helicopters.

Aoi and Miyuki were in the TOC with Captain Surai going over with the man what he had told the two young officers about the intentions of the terrorists. Surai immediately had the man talk with the intelligence personnel over the radio. This would shed more light on the situation facing the defenders of Bokuto Station.

Ken contemplated the loss of his friend as he cleaned the AK in preparation for the next attack. He'd have to go downstairs and get some more ammunition. He was down to a few magazines. If there wasn't any left, he would have to find another weapon to take up.

Natsumi found Arleigh in the halls, an ice pack taped to his neck, strained and sore. When she asked him if there was something wrong, he avoided the question and asked her is she was all right. She was still worried as he walked around, talking to Marine and Army officers who held the defenses of the building tight with their men. It was obvious that he didn't want to think of his own problems at that moment. As he had learned all throughout his short but action-packed military career, he just shrugged off the pain and continued to function normally.




Arleigh finished discussing the new intelligence with the civilian, Surai, and an intelligence agent on the radio. Now it was time to get chewed out.

Surai replaced the radio's handset and turned to face the Delta. "Rivera, that was goddamn stupid. What the hell were you thinking? You could've got yourself and your men killed."

"I thought you authorized me to go get the pilots? What, change your mind in the meantime? Come on, Cap'n. It was a walk in the park!" He laughed. Nearby, Miyuki and Kinoshita rolled their eyes.

"You know what I mean, damnit. Jumping out of that truck and firing at that group alone." The Captain was quite angry.

"Hey, I knew there was no other way. I knew when I was on the roof that you couldn't see down the road so I took it upon myself to stall them a little bit so the enemies in the forefront could be dealt with by our guys in the building. What if I hadn't done it? Maybe we would've been overwhelmed when the rest of the force moved up. Maybe, not likely, but maybe."

Surai listened, but disagreed. "Look, we've got authorization to use the mortar tubes for defense. We used them, they worked. If one of those tanks had taken interest in you, you'd be dead right now. Thank God for those Apaches and their Hellfire missiles or I'd be thinking of how to report your death up the chain of command. And even so, you almost did get killed! You're lucky you weren't a half step slower or that bullet would've taken your head off. You're lucky it just split your helmet. On that note, there're some extra K-pots down in one of the trucks. Go get one. You'll need a helmet." K-pots were military slang for the Kevlar-covered plastic helmets that were standard issue to all military personnel. The Deltas didn't use them in favor of the smaller, lighter hockey-style helmets. "Did you get the new platoon settled in yet?"

"Yeah." The next platoon from the 5th Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division had just arrived a few minutes earlier. "All of our current wounded were flown out along with those who died. Didn't leave much room for more civilians."

"I know. We lost a lot in that last raid."

"Too much for my comfort. If a concerted terrorist attack could do that, imagine what those Japanese troops could do. Anyway, it's starting to get dark out. I figure we have another hour, hour and a half of good light before the sun makes it below the height of most of the surrounding buildings. Now, we can't see down the two avenues of attack that they just used, and they know it. The tanks, APCs, and troops that didn't get killed pulled back and probably reported that they faced little resistance along that path. With night coming it'll be exponentially harder to identify targets, even from the air. I'm requesting permission to send out LPs."

Miyuki couldn't help but listen in from where she sat at a computer terminal with Kinoshita going over photos, back at her original task. "What is an `LP'?"

Arleigh and Surai gave her pained glances, knowing they were being overheard. "Listening Posts," responded Rivera. "It's a small group of troops deployed away from the main force to detect and possibly attack any enemy forces maneuvering towards the main force."

"Depends on where you want to put them, Lieutenant." Surai quipped.

Arleigh went over to the map of the surrounding area and pointed out several spots. "Okay, LP One, six guys, one of my Deltas, the rest can be Marines or Army, I don't care. I want it here, 800 meters up the road." He circled the end of the road that the first attacks had come from with a grease pencil.

Surai nodded. "Okay, approved. But I want a HMMWV up there with them, so that's another two guys at least. If the shit hits the fan, I want them with a quick escape plan back inside the perimeter."

Arleigh winced a bit. "Well, off to the side, across the road maybe. I don't want it anywhere that an enemy can see it and know that troops are around. God forbid he figures it out and tells his buddies before the LP can take him out."

"I can see that. Okay, off to the side. Maybe just down the road, say, here, about 50 meters. Next one?"

"LP Two? Here. About, maybe, 700 meters out. There are some covered portals there where a HMMWV can hide." Arleigh circled a spot down the road that ran behind the station, where the second prong of the most-recent attack had come from. "Six or seven men. Two of my Deltas, again, the rest Marines or Army. I don't care. I was intending for them to have escape plans, anyway, because we can't provide direct fire support to them unless they were only 300 meters up the road like we can down the road where LP One will be. I'd prefer if the mortar tubes were oriented for quick support to them and LP Three since they will be the most vulnerable if attacked."

"Approved. LP Three, then?"

"Here. One kilometer up the road. One entire klick. No HMMWV, though. No place for it. If they need to egress back to the base, they'll have to hoof it. It'll be the most vulnerable of all of them and the place that the enemy will most likely attack from tonight. That's why LP Three will be completely volunteer and why I will be manning it myself. Seven guys. Another of my Deltas, Marines and Army, and myself."

"Approved for deployment, but forget about you going. You've done your share today of almost getting killed. You're second in command here. I need you back here helping run this SNAFU."

"Captain, trust me on this. There is a thin alleyway that runs the length of these buildings. We can slip out the back door and make it down the row and back to base pretty quickly if we need to. But that one is the most vital of all the Posts and I want to run it." He lied. There wasn't any alleyway. He was just trying to get the Captain to agree. Surai knew full well there was absolutely no way to escape of trouble sprang up.

Surai rolled his eyes and sighed. "I know I'm not going to convince you. Shit, go ahead."

Rivera smirked and turned for the door. Miyuki caught his arm. "There isn't any alleyway, what are you talking about?"

The Captain pretended not to hear and moved off to do his work, leaving Arleigh to defend his actions. "I know. So does he. But he knows that I'm going out there whether he likes it or not."

"So, what is going to happen, then?"

"Well, I'm going to take six volunteers out there and wait for the enemy. Then I'm going to ambush them and hope they focus on me rather than come here and hurt the rest of you. We'll be basically cut off from the station. Limited food, water, and ammo. Small chance of success, you know, the usual stuff." He laughed.

"Arleigh, think of Natsumi. If anything happens to you, you know she'll be devastated." She had found time to see her friend. Natsumi has informed her that she thought very well that Arleigh felt the same as she did for him. "I know how she feels about you and how you feel about her. Just think for a moment."

Arleigh bit his lip before he responded. "Miyuki, I have a duty to fulfill. My emotions can't get in the way of my responsibility. You know that. Nothing if going to happen to me, though. I have a responsibility, but I also have a drive to survive. I've got things to come back to. I won't go down easily." He patted her on the head and began to walk away.

"L-T!" yelled Ryker. "Volunteering to go with you, sir."

Rivera sighed and motioned him to follow. "Come on, let's go. You know, Ryker, I thought you were the only sane guy in this here Delta outfit. Maybe I was wrong. Apparently you have a death wish like the rest of us Operators." He thumbed his com unit on. "Morris and Jones, pair up. Restock on ammo, grenades, water, and food, and grab your night gear. Report to me in the TOC in five minutes. I'll give you your new orders. You're going out on LP duty. You're LP One. McMichael and Carlson, pair up. Same orders. You're now LP Two. Anderson, you're now in-charge of the remaining Deltas. Smith, stay on the roof with the sniper. Stevens, grab your com gear and report to the TOC. You're the new Delta RTO. Ryker is coming with me to LP Three. Move it, people." He turned off the com set. "Ryker, meet me downstairs at the Delta weapons trailer in 10 minutes. Grab two volunteers from this floor. Marines or Army, I don't care. I'll get three volunteers from the other floors."

"Roger that, sir." The RTO finished packing up his equipment and moved out.

Miyuki watched the Lieutenant as he waited to brief his Deltas. "Remember Natsumi, Arleigh. That's all I can say." She returned to her work.