This story belongs to the series None Spared: Art of War, it is about a squad of US Marines that participates in a daring campaign to bring out Farukh Al-Namir during the events of World War IV.

Act 1

Chapter 1

March 30th, 2015

Mediterranean Coast, Egypt

The platform of the USS Boxer opened up, inside the ship were a dozen AAV-7A1 Amtracs, carrying inside members of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Inside one particular Amtrac was a squad that distinguished itself from the others for its courageous efforts during the war, the squad is known as "Apache", belonging to a Marine company commanded by Captain Robert Bowman know as Bravo company.

"Listen up, everyone" said Second Lt. Michael Collins, second in command of the company. "We're going to be leading the assault on this small town, we're going to eliminate any resistance we encounter here and choke their supply routes. We move in, shoot the bad guys and get out. Most of the city has now fallen under control of the MERC, so expect heavy resistance from the bad guys. Is that clear?", the platoon replied, "Yes, Sir!".

The Amtrac had reached its objective, the small coastal village 30 kilometres West of Cairo. "Move out! Move out!" ordered Lt. Collins. Sergeant Jeffrey McKinley, a young sergeant accompanied by his squad dug in a foxhole. "Squad, regroup!" he ordered. "We're going to be moving South, intel says we got heavy resistance just past this point, chances are they've already seen us, and are preparing for us to make our move, so we need your minds to be sharp and your body to be ready. We'll be leading an attack by the left flank, we'll be moving forward, we're gonna squeeze in these bastards and continue our move South until this town is secured."

The squad, divided into four fireteams, moved to the left flank. "All units, this is Apache One, we're in position." said Sgt. McKinley, "Corporal O'Sheas, we need you to set up your '249 behind these sandbags.". O'Sheas' fireteam was composed by Pvt. Douglas Halifax, PFC James West, Pvt. Kyle Nelson and Pvt. Miles Watson. Lieutenant Collins spoke through the radio, "Weapons free!". The Marine company, overlooking a MERC resistance pocket, swooped down and opened fire on the MERC. Only O'Sheas' fireteam and another fireteam stayed behind to provide covering fire.

Pvt. Watson gripped to the M249, squeezing the trigger and cutting down enemies as they tried to push away the Marines. "Hey, Nelson, stop watching the flowers grow and help me feed ammunition!" Watson said to Nelson in a sharp tone. "Y-Yes, right away!", Nelson replied. Nelson dived next to Watson as he fired his machine gun.

Sgt. McKinley was gripping his rifle as he fired on the incoming enemies. Just as he was going to shoot his next target, he was tackled to the ground by Lt. Collins. "GET DOWN!" Collins yelled. A PG-7V2 rocket whistled just above their heads, exploding harmlessly on a rock. "Enemy RPG! Concentrate fire on the RPG!" ordered Sgt. McKinley to Cpl. O'Sheas through the comm. "Fireteam! Focus fire on the RPG, located right next to the tower to the West!" ordered Travis. Halifax looked through the 4x scope of his rifle, locating his target. Halifax held his breath, then fired his rifle. "Target down!" he said. "Good work, Halifax. RPG is down!" O'Sheas said.

After taking out the first pocket of resistance in the city, the Marine company regrouped, receiving instructions from their CO, Captain Bowman.

"Good work, company. The first pocket of resistance has been taken out, now we move deeper into the city and secure the rest of the town. Make sure to double check your corners, fire only when fired upon, we have civvies in the town. Understood?" Captain Bowman said. "Yes, sir!" replied the company. "Good, now board your vehicles and get ready to kick some ass."

Chapter 2

March 30th, 2015

30 km West of Cairo

Apache squad was cruising through the town streets inside an LAV-25. "So... Rumour has it that the USMC 1st Recon Battalion is landing on Tunis tomorrow..." West said. "So we land in a completely different country when the main force--" Nelson replied, who was interrupted by Watson, "Quit being a fucking hippie, Nelson, just do your job!". "Quiet, Marines. We're here to cut their supply route to Tunis and stop the MERC from sending reinforcements during the main invasion." Sgt. McKinley said.

The LAV stopped. "Why are we stopping?" asked Nelson. "I dunno, probably IEDs..." replied Halifax. The doors opened on the LAV, Apache squad stepped out. "Hey, Sarge, why are we stopping here?" asked West. "We're meeting with another MEU company just beyond this street. Keep your eyes open and your weapons ready." replied Sgt. McKinley. Captain Bowman and Lieutenant Collins approached Sergeant McKinley. "Follow us, Sergeant." said Bowman. 

The company crossed the streets, turning right on a tight alleyway. "We're attracting too much attention, cover your flanks, watch for silhouettes on the rooftops." said Lieutenant Collins. "Anyone wonders why this part of the world gets so fucked up all the time?" asked Watson, and Halifax replied "I just work here, Miles.". The Marine company reached their rendezvous with the other company. "Captain Walker, what's the mission?" asked Cpt. Bowman to the other Marine captain. "We're going to be performing an assault on the East side of the city, near the market. It's a fucked up area of town and intel says there's a lot of MERC presence in and around the market, that's where the last pockets of resistance of the town are found." said Cpt. Walker, as he scribbles some notes on the battlefield map. "Excellent plan, Cpt. Walker. Now let's get moving." replied Cpt. Bowman.

Both companies boarded their vehicles and cruised through the city streets, with no signs of resistance. "A combined force of 180 skilled soldiers against ten dozen semi-armed half-brained misfits, yeah that almost seems to even it out." Miles said. "I dunno about you man, but this place gives me the creeps..." said West. "It's a fucking ghost town" replied Halifax. The vehicles continued their route towards the East side of the city.

"Objective in sight, 200 metres" said Cpt. Walker; The objective was in sight, the local market heavily guarded by MERC. "Marines, dismount the vehicle." ordered Sgt. MicKinley. All Marines took their positions and got ready to engage. "Weapons free! Weapons free!" ordered Lt. Collins. All Marines opened fire on their objective as the LAVs fired upon heavily armoured positions. The two Marine companies fired relentlessly on the MERC, LAVs manœuvred around the street corners as Marines moved forward.

The Marines kept pushing forward as the LAVs fired on enemy resistance pockets. "Hey, Watson. You keep the bullets raining as we push the MERC away." said Sgt. McKinley to Watson. "On it!" Watson replied. McKinley led his squad forward, pushing MERC resistance away, cutting through the flanks and sneaking from behind enemy forces, there was at least three quarters of the Marine force flushing the MERC out. Halifax aimed down the sights of his M16 and opened fire on MERC forces, he saw an enemy dug in behind sandbags equipped with a Dragunov, he saw the glint of the scope, Halifax pulled the trigger and the enemy marksman was dead.

Fighting went on for at least another half hour, until the last enemy insurgent was killed. "Company, regroup!" said Lieutenant Collins. "We just chokee the longest supply route of the MERC in less than 24 hours. We got the rest of the 13th MEU three kilometres East, they just took out the other part of the supply route. Tonight, we return to the USS Boxer and prepare for our next mission. Tomorrow lands the main invasion force in Tunisia, good job, Marines."

Chapter 3

April 3rd, 2015

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Three MH-60S Seahawks were carrying members of the USMC 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the port of Jeddah, on board a Seahawk was Apache squad "This is the mission, we land on the port of Jeddah to intercept a cargo shipment carrying ordnance for the MERC, courtesy of Kim Jong-Un. Cargo is inside a Liberian registered vessel, the MV Stone Island, when we get there, we surround the ship and secure the cargo inside." said Sgt. McKinley.

The three helicopters landed on the Port of Jeddah, where the Stone Island was harboured. "Squad, check your corners and stay frosty" said McKinley. Apache squad creeped through the stacked containers in the harbour, standing close to the Stone Island. Halifax took out his binoculars. "Got something moving on the deck of the ship" he said. "We got company, two trucks coming from the left side." said Nelson. "Hold your fire until we get ahold of the cargo." said McKinley.

At that moment, containers were starting to get unloaded from the ship. "All teams, this is Apache 1, we see the cargo being unloaded, prepare to attack." said McKinley. "Affirmative, Apache 1, over and out.". "Squad, get ready, on three... One, Two... Three!". Marines opened fire on the MERC sentries guarding the cargo.

"We got enemies firing from the ship!" screamed Halifax. Mercenaries fired on the Marines from the ship. West looked down the Holographic sight of his rifle, picking up a target. He fired. "That's one target down!" he said, "Cover me, I'm reloading!".

Fighting went on for another 15 minutes. Marine forces had defeated the mercenaries. "Regroup!" said Lt. Collins. "We need two teams out here, and two teams inside the ship. Sergeant McKinley, you go inside with Team Two. Teams Three and Four stay out here with me.".

McKinley's squad climbed up the rope ladder on the ship. "We're here for the captain, everyone else is expendable." said McKinley. The squad carefully crept through the ship's deck. "We got company" said O'Sheas. "Two mercenaries". "Fire" said McKinley. O'Sheas aimed his rifle and shot the two targets. "Excellent". "Contact. Enemy mercenary unit, platoon sized, coming our way.". "Fire!". Marine forces fired on the mercenaries. "They're returning fire!" said West.

The short skirmish continued. Watson fired his machine gun relentlessly as he aimed down the 3.4x scope, cutting through the enemies. Nelson threw a flashbang. When the flashbang went off, the remaining mercenaries were stunned, giving an opportunity to the Marines to finish them off. "Area cleared".

Nelson kneeled down to check on the bodies. "Who are these guys?". "Mercenaries, probably hired by the KPA to look after the cargo." replied Halifax. "Or more precisely, Shadow PMC. It's an international PMC, the current owner is unknown, but what we do know is who they work for, and will work for during the course of this war." West said.

"Team Two, you're going to clear the lower decks." McKinley said. "We're heading towards the bridge and will take the ship's captain, prepare to breach". O'Sheas slung his HK416 and unslung his shotgun, he loaded it with two breaching shells. "I like to keep this for close encounters" he said to Nelson. "Roger that" replied Nelson. O'Sheas shot the breaching rounds on a steel door and kicked it open. "Clear!". "We move upstairs, squad, on me!" McKinley said.

Apache squad moved upstairs facing light resistance, flushing out mercenaries as they headed upstairs. "I think this is it" said Halifax. "This is it, the bridge" replied O'Sheas. McKinley planted a breaching charge on the door. "Get ready to breach on my mark. 3, 2, 1. Mark!" McKinley blew the door open, and breached in to the bridge. The ship's captain attempted to stab McKinley, but was pushed away by O'Sheas.

"Well, if it isn't you, then who is it?" inquired O'Sheas, aiming his shotgun at the captain's head. Fearing for his life, the captain agreed to speak. "Captain DeBolt. I am the commander of this vessel--" the captain was interrupted by McKinley "Save it for the CIA, our job here is done. Lieutenant Collins, this is Sergeant McKinley, we have the ship secured and are taking the captain, over". "Roger, Sergeant. Meet us at the main harbour, out".

Chapter 4

April 5th, 2015

Efrîn, Syrian Kurdistan

"Did our man talk?" asked Sgt. McKinley to Cpt. Bowman. "They always talk, bastard was praying for his life. He said there was a weapons cache in Armenia and a broadcast station in Syria. 1st Recon Bn takes the weapons cache, we take the broadcast station." replied Bowman.

The 13th MEU convoy crossed the hills on the outskirts of Efrîn. Tanks, APCs and supply trucks all carried soldiers to battle the MERC to secure the broadcast station. Apache squad as on board a Cougar MRAP, "Listen up, Marines. The broadcast station is located a couple of miles North of the city. We're gonna cross the city and reach the station; however, we got MERC in the city, and they're expecting us, we're gonna shoot our way through".

Upon reaching the city, the 13th MEU was ambushed by MERC forces. "Enemies on the rooftops!" Nelson said. "Get the hell out!" McKinley ordered. The Marines got out of the MRAP and engaged the MERC insurgents. Halifax fired his underslung M203 at an enemy stationary machine gun on a window. "Keep an eye on snipers!".

McKinley's squad fought the MERC along an intersection as they moved forward. Machine gun fire lid the crossroads. "Enemy .50 cal!" screamed Nelson. "O'Sheas, take your fireteam around and flank the bastards!" McKinley ordered. "Yes, sir! Fireteam, on me!" O'Sheas said as he tapped Halifax on the back.

O'Sheas fireteam regrouped behind a house. "We're going to go around them, we're gonna cut through this house and flank the .50 cal" O'Sheas said; he slung his gun and took out his shotgun, he kicked open the door in the house and shot two enemies that were about to engage them. "This side is clear!". Halifax looked down the sights of his rifle as he made sure the house was clear. "The house is clear, keep moving!". As the fireteam was exiting the house, two insurgents attacked them from behind. "Look out!" screamed Watson as an insurgent was about to stab Halifax. Halifax knocked his arm and delivered a devastating blow to his head; the insurgent was knocked out cold. "We do things smoothly here, don't we?" he said.

As the exited the house, they saw an Akrep armoured car carry more soldiers to the battlefield. "Shit! Enemy armoured vehicle!" Watson said. Halifax quickly took out his AT4 and fired at the Akrep. "Good shot, Doug!" O'Sheas said to Halifax. "There it is!" Watson said, pointing at the .50 cal. Watson fired his machine gun at the enemy HMG crew, effectively neutralising it.

"Target neutralised!" O'Sheas said. "Area cleared!". The squad regrouped with the rest of the company. "Excellent performance out there, Marines. Now we continue moving forward to the broadcast station. This part of town is cleared." Captain Bowman said. Lieutenant Collins turned to address the Captain "Captain, intel confirms there are heavily fortified positions between us and the broadcast station, we cannot bypass them". "Dial up the Boxer to send one of their planes for our support" replied Captain Bowman. "Yes sir, right away. West, ring up the USS Boxer to send their aircraft here".

West took out the radio equipment and contacted the USS Boxer, "November-Bravo-Xray-Romeo, this is Bravo Actual, request immediate air support!" West said as Watson designated the targets with the SOFLAM. "Copy that, sending two F-35s for your support, out".

Two F-35C jets soared through the sky, firing JDAMs at the enemy positions. "That's one hell of a fireworks display!" Halifax said as the company cheered. "Marines, get on your vehicles, we're hitting the broadcast station". Halifax, West and O'Sheas mounted on a Light Strike Vehicle. "Doug, you're driving" O'Sheas said. "Ok, Marines, let's get moving" Cpt. Bowman said.

As the Marine unit advanced, a Mi-35 helicopter opened fire on the vehicles. "Enemy helicopter!", Halifax made a sharp U-turn and allowed West, who was sitting in the gunner seat, to open fire on the Mi-35. West fired the M2 Browning machine gun at the helicopter. "I can't get a clear shot!" West said. "Then aim for the fuselage!" O'Sheas said. Another LSV, driven by Sgt. McKinley, turned right behind the ruins of a building. McKinley stepped out with Nelson and Watson. "Watson, get one of the Stingers and shoot down the Mi-35. Nelson, you cover us!" McKinley ordered, wielding a FIM-92 Stinger. "On it, sir!". McKinley and Watson aimed the Stingers and acquired a lock-on on the helicopter. "Fire!". The Mi-35 was hit on the tail, as it spun out of control it crash-landed directly against the ground, exploding seconds later.

The Marines continued with their advance to the broadcast station. "Marines, we're almost at the broadcast station, keep your eyes peeled for any hostile movement" Captain Bowman said. "We got a fast moving vehicle coming our way!" Nelson screamed; a car rushed into the Marine vehicles and crashed, exploding afterwards. "Is everyone alright? Shit, tell me we didn't lose our LAVs" said Cpt. Bowman. "We're still good, God bless reactive armour". "Shit! Enemy V-BEDs, look out for any vehicles!" Lieutenant Collins said. "Here come more V-BEDs, 3 o'clock!" Halifax said, turning right directly against the V-BEDs. "West, shoot 'em up!" Halifax said. "Yes, Halifax!", West fired the .50 cal at the V-BEDs, neutralising them before they caused any damage to the Marine convoys. "Here come more, 9 o'clock!". An M1A1 Abrams tank turned the turret 90 degrees and fired at the incoming V-BEDs. "V-BEDs neutralized!".

After an onslaught of Car Bombs, the Marines could fend off the enemy attacks and reached the broadcast station. "Marines, this is it! Dismount your vehicles!" Bowman ordered.

Chapter 5

April 5th, 2015

Efrîn, Syrian Kurdistan

"Squad! Regroup!" McKinley ordered, "Captain Bowman's having the company attack the broadcast station right here from the entrance, keeping the enemy busy; then two squads will the station from the sides. Once we get inside there, we kill everyone inside, everyone's expendable. We will regroup with the rest of the company once we clear the building", "Yes sir!" replied the squad.

"Marines, prepare to attack on my order…" Captain Bowman said. "Open fire! Open fire!" Bowman shouted. US Marines fired at the guards standing outside the broadcast station. "Keep firing!". More MERC guards arrived as the Marines pushed forward. "Sergeant McKinley, you and your squad are flanking the station" Lieutenant Collins ordered. "Yes sir!".

"Squad, on me!" McKinley ordered, "We're flanking the broadcast station. Move it, double time!". Apache squad reached the entrance point to the side of the broadcast staion. "This is it. West, O'Sheas, you guys go in first, we'll follow you on your call" McKinley ordered. "Right away, sir!". O'Sheas and West ran to the back side of the broadcast station, spotting a fire escape on the building. "Boost me up" O'Sheas said to West. With the help of West, O'Sheas reached the fire escape and climbed up the ladder. O'Sheas sled down the ladder to allow West to climb the ladder.

"I see our entrance" O'Sheas said. He peeked through a window and saw a MERC insurgent guarding the window, O'Sheas pulled out his pistol and shot him before he could reach to his gun. "James, this way". Both men got inside the building through the window and called the rest of the squad. "Apache One Actual this is Apache Three, we're in the building, you can come in now". "On our way, West, McKinley out".

The rest of the squad met with Travis and James. "Ok, squad. Now we kill everyone inside and regroup" McKinley said. The squad creeped through the ravaged offices of the broadcast station. "Check your corners". "Hold up, targets on the other end of the hallway" Watson said. Watson pointed at an unsuspecting MERC fireteam engaging US Marines about 20 metres from their position. "Shoot 'em" McKinley ordered. The squad engaged the MERC fireteam, now being attacked from all corners. O'Sheas looked down the EOTech sight of his HK416 and fired, killing an insurgent. "Targets neutralized".

"Stay here, Marines. We'll provide covering fire for our troops coming in through that door by ground level, we stay here on the second floor" McKinley said. Watson pulled the tripod of his M249 and deployed it on a desk and fired it at the MERC on ground level. "Marines coming in from the ground level, check your fire!" O'Sheas said. Looking down the sights of his rifle, Sergeant McKinley picked a target and fired.

Fighting went on for another fifteen minutes. The USMC 13th MEU company had pushed the MERC out. "Company, regroup!" Captain Bowman ordered. "We got the station locked down and secured, sir!" McKinley said. "Good work, now we head to the lower levels and secure vital MERC documents, Sergeant McKinley, you and Sgt. Meyers head downstairs to secure the documents" Bowman said.

Both Sgt. McKinley's and Sgt. Meyers' squad, "Mohawk", headed downstairs to secure the documents. "Check your flanks". "No sign of MERC here, it's deserted". Both squads reached an office at the end of the basement. "Door's locked, O'Sheas, blow the hinges" McKinley ordered. O'Sheas shot the hinges of the door with his shotgun and kicked it open. "Clear!", "Room clear!". Then Halifax spotted some papers on a desk on the far end of the office, "Bingo! I found the documents". "Captain Bowman, it's Sgt. McKinley, we got the documents, we're heading outside" McKinley said to Bowman on the comm. "Affirmative, meet you at the entrance hall, out". "We got what we came here for, let's get the fuck out of here".

Act 2

Chapter 6

April 15th, 2015

Al Basrah, Iraq

Bravo company lined up on the deck of the USS Boxer, ready for the first mission in Iraq. "MERC's been eliminated in all areas West of the Euphrates river, now we're going for the rest. The USMC 1st Reconnaissance Battalion launched an offensive on the Euphrates river just yesterday. According to the intel we got yesterday, Basra is an important port for the MERC. We're going to spearhead an attack on the city, aided by Polish GROM and Canadian JTF2" Captain Bowman said to the company "This is our mission, we move in and secure Harbour One, then we continue our attack on the city, now get to your helicopters, double time!".

Apache squad sat on board an MH-53. "Haven't we trampled on Iraq enough times? It's been two wars and this will mark the third one--" Nelson said. "Take the cock out of your mouth and do your job, Nelson!" Watson replied. The MH-53 took off alongside other helicopters on the flight deck of the Boxer. "Prepare to land, Marines. We're landing on a fuel refinery about half a mile West of Harbour One!".

The MH-53 landed and the troops on board disembarked the helicopter in the amidst of enemy gunfire. "Find cover!" Bowman ordered. "We're taking heavy fire from the East, there's no way we're getting through them, sir!" Nelson said. "Get on your feet and fire on the enemies!" McKinley replied. Nelson cocked his rifle and aimed down the sights of his rifle and fired at the attacking enemies.

Watson was next to Nelson and he fired his machine gun as enemies approached their position. "We're gonna get overrun!" Kyle screamed. "Quiet, Nelson. Keep the fire coming!" Watson replied. "Cover me, I'm reloading!".

Halifax fired his rifle at the onslaught of enemies approaching them. "Shit! They're all over the place!" West said. "Keep it together, James. Shoot the bastards!" Halifax said to him.

30mm fire from above rained on the enemy attacking forces. "All units, this is Viper 1-1. AC-130 is available and online". An AC-130W of the United States Air Force was sent to provide support fire for the Marines. The Marines cheered as the gunship fired at the MERC. "Perfect timing!" Nelson cheered.

"Alright, Marines. We continue with the mission, secure the harbour!" Captain Bowman said. Bravo company advanced to the harbour, being guided by Viper 1-1. "Viper 1-1, this is Sweet Mother-Bravo Actual. We're about to enter our main objective, can you provide support fire, over?" Bowman said through the comm. "Yes, Captain. Spot enemy vehicles, fing AGM" replied the AC-130 gun commander. "Vehicles neutralized". The AC-130 made another pass, reducing much of the enemy resistance on Harbour One.

"Thanks for the assist, Viper 1-1. We're entering Harbour One now, out". "Enemy times two" Lieutenant Collins said, pointing the direction in which the two enemies were located. "Take 'em out" Bowman ordered. Collins aimed his M4A1 and fired at the two enemies, but were attacked by sniper fire. "Sniper! Find cover, now!". "Where the hell did that come from?!" Nelson exclaimed. "It's by the gantry crane, a few meters in front of us!" replied Halifax "I'll take him out!", Halifax aimed his rifle, spotting the glint of the enemy sniper. "Got him". He pulled the trigger of his rifle, killing the sniper. "Target down!".

"Enemy BTRs, coming from the North!" O'Sheas shouted. "I see it!". "Viper 1-1 this is Sweet Mother-Bravo Actual, request fire support on two enemy BTRs approaching from the North, over!" Captain Bowman said through the comm. "Copy that, engaging BTRs". the AC-130 fired two JDAMs at the BTR, rendering them neutralised. "Bravo Actual, you got a large force converging on your position, over". "Can you engage?" asked Bowman. "Affirmative, engaging enemies". Despite being struck by AC-130 fire, the enemy units endured the attack, eventually reaching Harbour One. "Company, we got a big fight coming up, prepare yourselves!" Bowman said.

"Here they come!" Collins yelled. "Open fire!". The Marines fired at the incoming MERC. "Squad, on me!" McKinley ordered. "We're gonna stick together as a group, when I move, you move". Apache squad manœuvred through the many corridors on the harbour as they engaged enemy foot soldiers. They continued their advance against the MERC in an effort to secure the harbour. "Look out! Enemy machine guns on the roof of that warehouse!" West said. "We see 'em, James" replied Watson. McKinley fired three shots from his rifle, successfully killing the two machine gun operators. "We keep moving!" McKinley ordered. As Apache squad kept manœuvring, other squads faced the MERC in close quarter combat, while the AC-130 rained fire from above.

Fighting continued for seemingly endless hours, until the last of the MERC on the harbour had been defeated. "That was the last of them. Good job Marines, now we return to the USS Boxer and relief for our next mission." Captain Bowman said.

Chapter 7

April 16th, 2015

Al Basrah, Iraq

The 13th Marine Expeditionary had secured the port and the USS Boxer was harboured on the port.

Members of the 13th MEU were en route to the city of Basra by Autoroute 8. LAVs and MRAPs cruised the highway. "Marines, our mortars are going to shell the MERC strongholds, once the targets are destroyed, we move in and clear the rest of the city" Captain Bowman said to the Marines through the comm.

The Marine convoy stopped, 120mm mortars were deployed by the 13th MEU and were aimed at the city, Cpl. O'Sheas launched an RQ-11 UAV. The UAV overflew the city, sending direct camera feed of the MERC strongholds. "Targets in sight. Firing mortars". 120mm mortars fired, the shells struck the targets. "Good effect on target!". US troops boarded their vehicles and rushed to the city. Once inside the city of Basra, the Marines dismounted their vehicles and attacked the MERC defenses.

"First Platoon, on me!" ordered Collins. Sergeant McKinley and other NCOs regrouped with their squads. "Our orders are to clear the streets on this side. Sgt. McKinley, your squad will advance through the streets with Sgt. Meyers' squad, Sgt. Aziz, we'll take your squad around the street, and attack the bastards from their flank". "Yes sir!" McKinley replied. Sgt. McKinley leaned to Sgt. Meyers and said, "You cover our backs, we're going in first".

Crossing in the amidst of intense gunfire, McKinley's squad returned fire at the insurgents. They aimed their rifles and fired back, reaching a safe spot. "Keep firing!" McKinley ordered. Watson deployed his M249 SAW and fired as the MERC passed through the streets, Nelson looked down the sights of his rifle and shot down an enemy dug in a building. "We got a technical approaching from the left side, shoot it down!" West said. He fired his rifle at the incoming technical. "Shoot him down, hit 'im in the head!" O'Sheas said. "I can't get a clear ahot!" Nelson replied. "Then shoot through the car!".

Halifax prepped a grenade and threw it at the technical. "Grenade out!". The grenade, however, exploded harmelssly far from the technical. "Fuck my life!". "Sgt. Meyers, where the hell are you? We're getting hacked by an enemy technical!" McKinley asked through the comm. "We're already in enough trouble, we got two platoons on our tail!" replied Sgt. Meyers. "Sgt. Aziz, where are you? We're pinned down by enemy fire!" McKinley asked through the comm. "We're already in enough trouble, we're pinned down by enemy snipers!". "We're all on our own!" McKinley said. "Great, rest of the company's too far and First Platoon is pinned down in this area! We're made for!" Nelson said. "Quiet! Just keep firing, it's the only way to push them away!" Halifax said.

The three squads on first platoon were surrounded by MERC. After long hours of heavy fighting, First Platoon was aboe to continue their advance into the city. "First Platoon, on me!" Lieutenant Collins ordered. "Fuck, man! I just wanna rest" Nelson dropped himself on the ground. "Get up, Private. We're not done our objective yet. Once we hit 'em we can head back to rest" Collins said.

"Sir, where's the rest of the company?" Sgt. Aziz asked. Sgt. Jerry Aziz was a young sergeant of Middle Eastern descent, with his face scarred from past battles. "The rest of the company is a little further ahead. We're meeting up with them, they're probably waiting for us" Lieutenant Collins replied. The city seemed almost intact, the platoon saw no military presence other than them, but it could be felt. "We're gonna cut through this building, get on it" Collins said. O'Sheas kicked open the door, the dim flashing lightbulbs gave some sort of awry or uncanny feeling. Watson observed his surroundings, very high ceilings and wide open corridors. "What is this, a school?" Watson commented. "Oh yeah, I forgot, there ain't no schools in where you come from" West said. "I wouldn't talk if I were you" Halifax said. "Hah, you didn't even finish high school!" O'Sheas chuckled.

Suddenly the ground shook. "What the hell was that?" Nelson nervously said. "Just a quick tremor, nothing to worry about" McKinley replied. "No sir, it's something big, and it's something dangerous!" West said. "Get your heads down!" O'Sheas cried. "Fucking MERC! They're shelling the city!". "Get the hell outta here!" McKinley ordered. The platoon's only objective right now was to get out of the building. "Run!". The building was falling as the artillery shelled the place. "Get out, get out!". Walls fell and Marines were cut short from getting crushed by the walls. Eventually the company exited the building. The company exited the building safely.

"Is everyone alright?" Collins asked. "No one's dead, luckily" replied Sgt. Meyers. "We're getting too much attention. We cross the streets, pronto!" Collins ordered. The platoon of 26 men crossed the street. "All clear". Suddenly a voice was heard on the comm. "Bravo Actual to Bravo One, we are currently on East Market, regroup on East Market, over" Bowman said. "Copy that, Bravo Actual, we're Oscar Mike" replied Collins. "They're on East Market, that's 200 metres from here". "Gotcha" said McKinley.

And so First Platoon reunited with Bravo Company. "Lieutenant Collins, thought we lost you" Bowman said. "Yeah well, we found our way around, sir" Collins replied. "That's great to hear, Lieutenant. Marines! We got this part of town secured, now we move inward to secure a bank on the city centre, move out!".

Chapter 8

April 17th, 2015

Al Basrah, Iraq

One day of fighting had passed, and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit had encircled the objective. "First Platoon, you'll enter the bank from the back and advance to the lower floors, our objective is on the bank vault. Second and Third Platoons move in from the left and right" Bowman ordered.

The pitch-black night skies were illuminated by anti-aircraft fire and fire, US Navy F/A-18 Hornets performed bombing runs of MERC strongholds. "First Platoon! On me!" Lieutenant Collins ordered. The platoon followed the Lieutenant through a semi-collapsed bridge overlooking the bank, when they were suddenly cut down by machine gun fire. "Ambush! Enemy 7.62 machine guns firing at us from the bank!". "Fire at those machine guns!". The ground shook as mortar fire rained on the bridge. "The bridge won't hold for long! We need to get off!" McKinley said, addressing Cpl. O'Sheas. "Nor will we, sir!" O'Sheas replied. "Shut up, Corporal. We're going to bypass them, follow me!" McKinley replied.

"Squad, On me!" McKinley said as he raised his arm in the amidst of mortar and machine gun fire. The squad followed McKinley out the bridge by taking the emergency stairs into a dark alley beneath the bridge and beside the bank. "They know we're here now, what they don't know is where we're hitting 'em. We're going to bypass them by making our own entrance into the bank" McKinley said. "One of the Navy's squadrons is on our AO, we can request fire support on the bank and make our way in". "Yeah, if they can get here on time…" Watson said. "Get it together, soldier. West, ring up the Navy and tell 'em we need fire support on Objective Tango-One-Five". "Yes sir, right away, sir!" West replied.

After requesting fire support, two F/A-18s fired JDAMs at the bank, causing it to collapse and create an easy way in to the bank. "Thanks for the assist, Jaguar One, Sweet Mother-Bravo-One-Apache out". The squad entered the building, which was absolutely devastated. "No signs of insurgents here" Halifax said. "Blast fucking sent those bastards to the moon" Watson said. "Bank vault's downstairs, the rest of the company is probably here already" McKinley said "O'Sheas, take your fireteam down the elevator shaft, we'll continue sweeping for any remaining MERC". "Yes sir" replied O'Sheas.

"Why is it us all the time?" Nelson said "We always get picked up for the shit-jobs while the rest of the company gets to do nothing". "Yeah, just about had it with this shit" Watson added. "Marines, I'm not hearing that aggression I want. Now we get down the shaft and into the bank vault. You two are up" O'Sheas said.

Watson and Nelson approached the elevator shaft and looked down. "Looks like thirty feet deep" Watson said. "We'll rappel down and get there on time." O'Sheas said. Nelson and Watson secured their ropes to the elevator shaft and secured themselves to the rope. Miles and Kyle descended to the bottom of the elevator shaft, stopping right above the next elevator door. "I hear voices down there, prep a flashbang" Miles said to Nelson, pulling out a flashbang.

The two Marines threw a flashbang and breached the elevator doors, opening fire at the stunned MERC sentries. Miles and Kyle were quickly followed by the rest of the fireteam. "More enemies! Fucking enemy unit's the size of a platoon!" O'Sheas said. Watson fired his light machine gun when he suddenly heard his gun click, he glanced at the ammunition bag on the side of his gun. "I'm out of ammo!" he said. "Here, take this!" West sled a captured G3 battle rifle.

Fighting lasted for twelve minutes, the enemy platoon had been defeated. "Basement secured, let's get this vault open" O'Sheas ordered. West and Halifax opened the bank vault door. "Damn, this bitch is heavy" West said. Upon opening the vault, they saw a nuclear vault, with a radioactive symbol on it. "Oh, no! Open it up!" O'Sheas said. James, Douglas and Travis opened the vault. "It's empty…" West said. "Someone tell me what the fuck is going on!" O'Sheas exclaimed. "Bravo Actual, this is Apache fireteam One. We have secured what appears to be a WMD break, over!".

"Did you say WMD, Corporal?" asked Captain Bowman through the comm. "Affirmative, sir. We'll meet you back at the LZ. Out".

Intel was secured and the area was secured for further investigation.

Chapter 9

May 8th, 2015

Tabriz, Iran

"We've done everything that was asked if us in Basra. The WMD vault we secured in Iraq was sent to Al-Namir, without a doubt. But his trafficker is still unknown, and we're sent to capture him, in his base in Tabriz, Iran; damn city's in curfew right now. We don't even know the guy who sent the bomb, hell, we don't even know if a bomb was actually in that vault or if he exists, and now they're sending us to get the guy. Talk about faulty intelligence."
―Travis O'Sheas' journal entry.

Corporal O'Sheas and Private West overlooked the buildings from their sniper nest. Both men were dug in behind a sandbag fortification. O'Sheas carried a SAM-R rifle equipped with a 7x Scope, while West was carrying his M16A4 rifle outfitted with a magnifying scope and an angled foregrip. Suddenly, a voice was heard through their comm. "Corporal, this is McKinley. We're looking at the objective building, do you see us?". "Affirmative, Sergeant, I see you on Entrance Point B" O'Sheas replied. "Good, we're entering the building, get ready to provide sniper support". West observed McKinley's squad breach the door on the target building.

"Enemy times two, second floor" West said to O'Sheas. O'Sheas aimed down his rifle and held his breath. "Enemies down", he said after shooting his rifle two times. McKinley and his squad kept advancing upstairs in the target building. "Stop! Enemy section, just past those doors, they're preparing to breach" West said. "Got you" McKinley said. "West, you take the ones to the left, I take the ones to the right, got it?" O'Sheas said. "Copy". Both men aimed their rifles and fired. "Enemies neutralised".

As McKinley's squad went on, they finally reached the top floor and secured the entire building. "All teams, this is McKinley. Target building secured". "Time to relocate, pack up everything and leave" O'Sheas said to West. The two marksmen rappelled down the building and regrouped with the rest of Bravo Company. "Outstanding job, Marines. We blocked our HVI's only escape route, now we move on to capture him. UAV recon indicates he's currently hiding in a strip mall half a mile away to the North. O'Sheas, West, you guys will relocate to the apartment building adjacent to the strip mall. If he tries to escape, do anything possible to stop him" Bowman said.

West and O'Sheas again split from the company and set their sniper nest in the building adjacent to the strip mall. "Crowfoot in position, ready to engage enemy targets" O'Sheas said through the comm. "Roger that, Crowfoot, we're ready to enter the objective building, out" replied McKinley.

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