Scavenged Loss

I had landed; I quickly picked myself up from the patch of dirt I had fallen on as I thought about where to go from here.

We hadn’t expected it. Our mission was to paradrop a few more hundreds of miles to the west and take back a small town under enemy control, but a single shot from an Anti-Air launcher made that mission become the least of our worries.

A distorted, unrecognizable voice came through on my short-range radio asking if anyone else was alive. One by one, each squad mate began to relay back to confirm they were safe and had landed too, me included. The blast had only blown a small section of the plane apart and so we were luckily able to make it out of there alive. We were scattered all across this foreign land of uncertainty somewhere around the west of Russia. Lacking a GPS, any navigational technology, or even a map, I began moving to to a small settlement I could see to the north, hoping to find a road sign or something distinguishable to find out where I was. A small white sign stood in the distance as I ran towards it. “Горка” read the sign at the edge of the town; I had not the slightest of clues what it meant, but it was a start.

Sgt. Rylo, our squad leader, came through on the radio, informing us that we’d landed in a place called ‘Chernarus’. There was a town near the center, ‘Staroye’, and we had to rendezvous before deciding where to go from there. I began thinking on how to navigate there, but nothing seemed possible. My only hope was that someone else knew what “Горка” meant.

I radioed my squad asking if any of them knew the Cyrillic alphabet. To my astonishment, Pvt. Rava did and was able to translate it to “Gorka.” I knew where I was now, and I could begin making my way to meet up with the rest of them by finding my relative bearing to that of Staroye. After being informed by my squad leader with which direction I needed to travel, I began moving to the town looking out for any enemy patrols in the process.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by Sgt. Rylo whom had initially landed close to the town. While we waited to regroup with the rest of the squad, we came up with a short plan to assault an enemy-held town north-west of our position, seen by a squad mate upon passing the town. From this place - that appeared to have a radio tower - we could hopefully find some way to call in for extraction from this deserted wilderness.

With the arrival of the rest of the squad, we began making our way to the town of Stary Sobor in two beaten-down vehicles we were fortunate enough to have scavenged from inside Staroye. Upon hitting the town, we were instantly met by a barrage of bullets fired from a stationary machine-gun. The two vehicles diverted from one another as we drove towards a safe place to disembark and continue on foot. We burst into a small barn with a few soldiers in green as they quickly turned their heads to our lack of stealth, before being shot down instantaneously as the people who had been accompanying me in my vehicle moved behind myself, checking each corner of the room for any soldiers hoping to sneak up on us.

The other half of our squad began taking casualties, having disembarked closer to the bulk of the enemy resistance. The radio tower stood towering over the site less than a hundred meters away from where we were. With the other part of our squad being engaged, we exited the barn, beginning to make our move towards the side of a building shielding the radio tower from the enemy eye. A rain of bullets stormed in our direction as we crossed the open plain, but all we could do was run. I saw my own squad mates fall to the ground around me, clutching their limbs while the roar of a machine gun seized half of our fire-team. Those I’d known since the start, Pvt. Callum, Pvt. Willess, lost their lives within the blink of an eye. Those of us fortunate enough to survive along with myself made it behind cover while we continued our move. Leadership was dead, as was the rest of the squad not hugging the side of the building with me. Feeling the shivering terror of the approaching hostile soldiers to our position, we had to make a last-ditch effort to reach that radio tower. If not to contact a friendly, then to at least do some damage.

Peaking around the side, the tower appeared clear. One by one, we moved out of cover to reach a tall stone wall guarding a small compound in which the tower was within. Half of us stayed outside while the rest moved in to find several soldiers awaiting our arrival: their lousy efforts to halt our entrance made them easy targets as their several bullets buzzed past me. Without any further visible danger inside the guarded compound, I looked around the radio tower to search for any conceivable way it could be used to our benefit, but regardless of its promising exterior, nothing inside seemed to be of much use. All we could do now was to fight off the remaining contacts, prevent future usage of the tower, and get out of there.

We ran out of there in a flash, throwing several frag grenades at the tower as I lurched for the exit. The enemy began firing at us once again as we quickly abandoned the plan to fight back, instead opting to run towards a nearby forest around the corner of the walls surrounding the tower’s compound. We ran for what seemed like hours to get as far away as possible from the death-stained site, but soon we reached an open field that stretched out for miles as far and wide as our senses could perceive. This mission had been a catastrophe; we had lost so many friends, we had wasted so many resources, albeit we scavenged all we could out of it. As we wandered out of the dense forest, presumably no longer being chased by the malignant hostiles behind us, a weak signal began picking up on our radios as a distant small figure appeared in the sky, cutting through the fierce winds.

“Does anyone copy down there?”

Written by PFC Laird.
Edited by PFC Svenson.
Formatted by PFC Laird.


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