The Jackal Guards (Beta Reader) Chapter 4
Chapter 4: First to Fight Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
June 1st, 2025, 03:15 Hours
Belisarius sat inside the cargo bay of the A400M with his fellow robots, about 116 of them including himself. He looked out of the window to see the starry sky and misty cloud outside. The plane was approaching the airport of Brazzaville at low altitude for landing, each of the robots sat on their chairs on each side of the plane as it came in for landing. “Anubis, what’s our plan when we’re on the ground? Beside meeting the Gaulois and German forces that are supporting us.” Belisarius curiously questioned Anubis who sat next to him.
“We’ll be part of their offensive into the Congo to shake things up for Oriental Security. The situation on the ground is chaotic. I’m afraid.” Anubis replied before Belisarius heard a deafening artillery howl and detonation nearby. He cringed at first as the blast of the shell vibrated upwards, affecting the A400Ms that were coming down to Brazzaville’s airport. “I think I get the point, further briefing once we’re on the ground?” Belisarius asked before looking out of the plane’s porthole to the sight of a burning and smoking Brazzaville. “Exactly, once we got the situation under control, you’ll continue your hunt, and I’ll sort out the arrangements.” Anubis sighed as he looked out the porthole at the Chinese shelling of Brazzaville.
“Affirmative, sir, I’ll get it done. Any backups just in case the fight turns grossly against our favors?” Belisarius asked cautiously, to which Anubis looked over to the neighboring city of Brazzaville just on the other side of the Congo River. “We do, the Germans have already placed a brigade of their Panzergrenadiers on the ground with the French Foreign Legion 2nd REP.” The mere mention of the word Legion got Belisarius ears to perk up his eyes and seemed peaked with interests as to what this might mean. “Legion? I never thought the idea of Roman Legion would survive to this day.” Belisarius bluntly remarked.
As the plane landed on the runway, they felt the wheels skidding and slight turbulence vibrating through the fuselage before finally coming to a halt as the first A400M was on the ground before taxiing into the nearby parking lot. Its cargo ramp dropped down, and before the robots disembarked in droves, they already heard the howling howitzers shells and the tremors from the impacts. The robots quickly sprinted out with their equipment in hands, rucksacks, and magnetically attached backpacks shuffled along with their movements. Buildings around them were still standing, somewhere struck by shelling that left a permanent scar. Any structures taller than two-story were almost certain to lose at least half of their form.
They were using HK416A5s assault rifles with HK417A2s battle rifles for the most part. Some of them were carrying HK MG5 to provide suppressive fire on enemy targets behind hardened covers, while others were carrying the M27IAR as the fireteam’s Automatic Rifleman. In addition to those, some of the bots were carrying Carl Gustaf M3 Recoilless Rifles as the anti armor specialists of their respective units.
The robots ran a system diagnostic of their tactical and strategic internet system, at a fireteam level they had the PAN (Personal Area Network) wherein a handful of robots nearby can instantly exchange data at an instant. From a squad to platoon level, they had a specialist carrying a magnetically strapped backpack for modem and LAN equipment.
At the Company to Battalion level and above, the same specialist would carry a similar backpack but with a parabolic antenna link with satellite systems in geosynchronous orbit. Together these formed their ARGOS (Augmented Reality Ground Operations System), the pinnacle of digital military information systems. Most of the robot wolves made their ways to the riverbanks of Brazzaville with their mortars and machine gun teams. There, they set up a base of fires and defilade positions while mortar crews rain precision fire on Chinese defenders by the docks of Kinshasa.
Belisarius double-timed with Anubis towards a jeep and boarded it. Other robots were either busy disembarking from their planes or assisting human evacuations from the city. In the chaos of the moment, the French Foreign Legionnaire who drove the jeep for Anubis and Belisarius kept his eyes on the road. No time for pleasantries, let alone introduction even when he was the chauffeur for a being beyond his wildest imaginations.
"Back in 2023, Europa began their Second Rush to Africa. They aim to overthrow pro-China satellite states in the region and reform the long corrupt regimes of the continent to a more, shall we say, stable and open democracy. Spearheading this is France, one of the most significant colonial owners of the region in the last century." Said Anubis as they passed through the streets of Brazzaville.
Belisarius listened to Anubis while looking around him, seeing the sight of civilians battered by shells, surviving infants and toddlers crying incessantly at their dead parents, half-buried under the rubbles, their cries attracted relief aid workers coming to their rescue. "Our job is to help open the path into Congo, start by taking Kinshasa. That's where you come in." Anubis spoke in a steady tone as they arrived at the Ile M'Bamou, a massive island in the middle of the Congo River where the French Foreign Legion and German Panzergrenadiers were busy with building pontoon bridges to ford across the river to assault Kinshasa's N'djili International Airport.
As they were coming close to the construction site of the pontoon bridge, mortar bombardments began to intensify with the loud bang and booms of mortar shells hitting the dirt, kicking up debris and soil into the air. Occasionally, a human flew into the air with their limbs decapitated. The worst cases were the complete obliteration of their bodies, leaving nothing to identify. One such shell exploded next to the PVP armored car, knocking them over instantly. The shock of the blast left Belisarius dazed along with Anubis. The driver was unconscious, with his arms resting on the wheel and window of the PVP.
Belisarius grunted as his thigh compartment switched open. He reached his hand in and grabbed the hilt of the Gladius saber. Acting quickly and decisively, Belisarius slashed off the seatbelts that were holding him back. He then cut the belts for Anubis and the driver, allowing the Jackal to escape. "Thanks, old friend. I'll take the driver to the treeline, you get to the pontoon bridge and help them." Anubis grabbed the knocked out driver by his wrist and pulled him out of his car seat. The Jackal jumped out of the vehicle, Belisarius followed suit and sprinted towards the pontoon bridge under the unremitting mortar barrage.
Shells howled through the sky, tearing down trees and digging up soils, forcing soldiers and civilians to run for cover, hiding underground, in foxholes, or just under a treeline. As Belisarius came to the Pontoon Bridge construction site, he saw the German Pioneers and French Army Engineers were busy with bridge layer vehicles to set down a proper bridge on the Congo River. The troops there were shelled incessantly by the Chinese on the other side of the rivers.
"Who's in command here?" Belisarius instinctively asked one of the German Panzergrenadiers there. The Efreitor hastily pointed Belisarius to an observation post sitting on an elevated position of the isle. "Es ist Kapitän Kleinenberg! Er ist im Beobachtungsposten versuchen, für Gegenbatterie zu rufen. Wer bist du?" The Efreitor asked confusedly looking, at the seven feet tall Belisarius.
The translation software in Belisarius quickly provided the wolf with a rough translation of the Bundeswehr saying. His voice then received a synthesized version to communicate with the soldier in German, albeit lacking a distinctive dialect or accent. "Your reinforcement." He uttered tersely before sprinting up the hill towards the Observation Post much to the shock of the combined Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaires. The robot werewolf opened the door and entered the OP before crouching down to avoid being sniped by a Chinese marksman or trained sniper. "Are you Captain Kleinenberg? I'm told you could use a hand." Said the wolf who caught the captain and his aides off-guard.
"Who the hell are you? And who permitted you to participate in this operation?" Captain Kleinenberg asked confusedly to Belisarius as he cringed under the shock and pressure of sustained mortar bombardment. "Introductions are for later. What do you need help with right now?" Belisarius insisted to the Captain, who then relented as he felt the barrage pressuring on his head. "I need some sharpshooters to take out those fucking mortar crews. They live, the bridge collapses. Get me?" The Captain ordered Belisarius, who nodded in acknowledgment, "I don't care how many, only where." He replied tersely, impressing the Captain with his can-do and no-nonsense attitude. "Alright, our scouts reported the mortars are firing from the marshes next to the airport."
Taking a moment to study the map, Belisarius saw that he could expect tree lines obstructing his views and dispersed mortar positions hiding in the shrubs. Perhaps some snipers to spot targets as well. "I need a weapon," Belisarius stated, prompting a Lieutenant to guide him out to the weapon rack. "Right this way." The Lieutenant gave Belisarius an MSG-90A2 sniper rifle with a bipod. "We're a bit short on ammo here. Radio jamming is making it difficult for us to get resupplied in time. Hopefully, our runner isn't dead before delivering his message." Said the Lieutenant as he handed Belisarius some spare magazines for his MSG-90 rifle. The robot wolf took the magazines and a plate carrier vest to carry the ammo.
"What's your name?" Belisarius asked the Lieutenant before following him out to the battlefield. "Anton, Leutnant Anton Gruber. Whatever you do out there, do it fast. We need the bridge consolidated before the tides pick up." Anton spoke urgently to Belisarius, prompting him to nod before sprinting out and took up a position near a French Foreign Legion's Pioneer foxhole. He laid down on his stomach and scanned the opposite bank with the MSG's scope.
He spotted the first mortar crew wearing camouflage from top to bottom with their weapon lobbing shells over the water. The robot wolf aimed down sight and began to calculate variables such as distance, gravity, rotation of the Earth, and so on. He fired once the calculation concluded, with the bullet landed on the mortar shell's wooden crate. The following detonation killed the entire mortar crew and their weapon.
Belisarius quickly switched on his thermal vision and aimed down the MSG's scope. He scanned the riverbank and opened fire on the enemy mortar crews and snipers. One by one, the Chinese dropped like flies before they began to fall back under a hail of automatic lead from NATO forces. "They are retreating. The bridge is safe now, time to move across and take the airport." The Lieutenant declared eagerly as the French Foreign Legion began to cross the pontoon bridge with German Leopard 2A7+ tanks to support them. Belisarius accompanied the Legionnaire as their shock trooper. He received a FAMAS FELIN rifle with fourteen magazines from one of the Legionnaire.
His curiosity grew as he held the bullpup assault rifle in his hand. The robot wolf managed to identify the cocking handle on the top side of the FAMAS and pulled the bolt down to check his ammo. His HUD ran a scan of the weapon and fed him information on its effective range, rate of fire, ammo capacity, fire modes. Once he had digested the technical performance and instructions, he cocked his head aside and began to head out with the humans. "Sledgehammer here, we have eyes on an enemy short-range SAM system. Engaging now." The Leopard 2A7+ Commander reported on the coms network. The crew loaded the 120mm Rheinmetal's L44 gun with a SABOT round as the main gun aimed at the HQ-12 missile truck.
With a booming thump sound, the gun muzzle breathed out a gust of flame, and the SABOT round flew towards the missile truck, and the vehicle exploded into a flaming wreck. However, the victory was short-lived, for the defending Chinese troops began to retaliate with machine-gun fire at the assaulting troops, and ATGMs flew towards the Leopard tank. "Leopard Zwei under attack! Request immediate assistant, over!" The commander called over the coms as the French Legionnaire took up firing positions and assaulted the ATGM nests.
"Lieutenant Gruber, where is the enemy jammer?" Belisarius asked while propped up against a tree. "About two 500 meters from where we are, the Chinese set up their jammers near the airport to mess with our coms." Hearing this while under a hail of enemy machine gun fires and the constant pressure of their automatic grenade launcher made Belisarius cagey.
The sooner they got rid of that jammer, the sooner they can call in Artillery from German howitzers. "Alright, Lt. Gruber, I'll destroy the jammer, and you call in artillery on the enemy position. Understood?" With only a single nod from Gruber, Belisarius sprinted away towards the edge of the airport. His robot wolf mobility and the digitigrade legs made his rapid advance incredibly fast, passing through the thick foliage and treelines. The Chinese were left bewildered by the lighting movement. He came barreling through the treelines and fell into a Chinese trench with his foot planted into one of their faces. His feet generated crunching sounds as they crushed a Chinese skull. Belisarius swiveled his body over to spray on the Chinese manning the HJ missile system.
As the Chinese defending that particular trench died a brutal and swift death, Belisarius grabbed their ATGM system and rotated around to aim at the Oriental Security operated Type-90 APC. The wolf fired the missile while keeping the weapon sight fixed firmly on the vehicle to guide the ATGM. The result was a violent penetration of the vehicle's hull and concluded with a fiery fireball with the crew screaming inside their steel coffin.
"Did you take out an enemy APC with their ATGM?" Gruber asked excitedly over their coms. However, the message came through garbled by the jammer. "Say again, Gruber. I can't hear you." Belisarius asked as he moved forward ahead of the others. The French Foreign Legionnaire followed up with their VABs and VBLs supporting the assault.
The Leopard 2A7 tank had another HJ-12 missile flown at it. This one came close only to be swatted down by the vehicle's APS system intercepting it. The French Foreign Legionnaire reacted quickly and opened fire furiously at the hiding position of the AT crew. M2 machine guns opened fire furiously to suppress the AT crew while the main gun fired an HE shell that blew away the vegetation of the riverbank.
As Belisarius led the assault further towards the airport, the vegetation gave way to a clear sightline of the airport's runway filled with J-11B jets with PLAAF markings. But what concerned Belisarius the most was the lack of cover from where he was towards the Jammer near the tarmac building.
As the Leopard 2 tank crept up to the edge of the forestry with the French Foreign Legionnaire following to support it, Lt. Gruber came up behind Belisarius, looking exhausted by the constant stress and running from before. "Hey, you have a way with charging ahead, don't you? Anyway, you got eyes on that enemy jammer?" Gruber asked while looking through his binoculars at the Chinese made Electronic Jammer. "I do. Resistance is light so far, but that doesn't seem right." Belisarius remarked as he laid down on his stomach, scanning the runway ahead of him. "Nein, they're moving reinforcements in to knock us back. We must take the tarmac. I can call in artillery support from there."
"Well, consider it done. I'll clear the way for you. Just rain fire at first sight of the enemy." Belisarius replied and stood up. The Legionnaire formed up behind him with additional troops moving in to back them up. These being German Panzergrenadiers with their Puma IFVs. The Chinese defending the airport ran behind their sandbags and barricades to set up firing positions. With machine guns and grenade launchers, they waited patiently for the NATO assault to inevitably come at them. Belisarius came over to the Leopard 2 and climbed aboard it to get the commander's attention. "Don't waste your shot on infantry. Aim for the jammer first. Leave the infantry to me." Belisarius instructed the commander, who acknowledged the coordination and relayed the instruction to his crew.
Sledgehammer's loader put an APFSDS round into the chamber. The gunner trained his sight on the mobile jammer array, and the commander permitted them to fire. The shell flew out of the 120mm main gun and slammed into the PLA's jammer array. The Electronic Jammer violently erupted into flame and burned down. Panicked, the Oriental Security troops were scrambling to douse the fire before it spread to the J-11s.
The defenders on impulse fired desperately at the attackers behind the treelines, cutting down branches, twigs. Some bullets ricochet and hit the French Foreign Legionnaire, either killing or wounding them. Gruber, on instinct, ducked down and held his helmet with both hands, groaning and gritting his teeth under the machine gunfire.
At the very least, communication for NATO troops had become much less arduous. Belisarius quickly called Anubis on their cyber coms to get a situation report. "Sir, we've destroyed the enemy's Jammer. Assault at the airport is on-going. What support do you have for us?" Anubis, on the other end of the line, quickly responded to the report with great urgency in his tone.
"Belisarius! The Chinese are sending reinforcements towards the airport. I'm sending the 108th to assist you now, but they need time to get across the Congo River. ETA: 10 minutes." He knew that it was too easy for their initial assault. Why didn't the Chinese scramble their J-11s jet remained unknown, but he could infer one possible reason being to avoid escalation. Even then, it was a rather flimsy excuse, even on the Chinese part.
Being the ever punctual robot, Belisarius quickly took potshots at the Chinese machine gunners. Before the MG crew could resume fire, he fired some more accurate shots at their heads, knocking them down one by one while the Foreign Legionnaire crept up. They opened fire at the Chinese defenders of the Airport and made flanking maneuvers with support from German Puma IFVs laying down suppressive fire. Belisarius sprinted with one such squad, making a beeline towards the tarmac and gunning down the defenders effortlessly. Lt. Gruber quickly ran up the tarmac with his spotter team before eventually arriving at the top to set up an OP.
"Hammer, this is Muninn. We have eyes on a large concentration of enemy armored forces situated on the clearing to the south of the airport. Request immediate Anti-Armor barrage on my coordinates over." Gruber urgently called on the PzH2000s while peering through his binoculars to the sight of the incoming enemy armor. As they watched Chinese Type-96 tanks rolling towards them with various APCs support, Gruber felt like he was about to be run over by armored treads.
Belisarius, on the ground with other French Foreign Legionnaires, was digging into fighting positions. They parked their tanks and IFVs by the choke points into the airport's runway. "Verstanden Muninn, feuern Sie dichtes Artilleriefeuer auf Ihre Zielkoordinaten ab." Gruber then transmitted the coordinates to the crew using a stylus pen on a command tablet he had with a few taps and swipes.
Once the crew received their target coordinates, they fired off barrages of 155mm guided Anti Armor rounds at the incoming Type-96 tanks. The artillery roared a thunderous bellow, with their shells soaring through the sky, tearing through clouds like Thor's Mjolnir hammer. They soon came down on the Type-96 tanks and knocked out a large portion of the Chinese tank platoon, sending turrets flying into the air like Lego pieces. Vehicle components smashed to smithereens. The following APCs met the same fate, with the Leopard 2s scoring direct hits upon direct hits. Some of the Leopard 2s even scored a double kill with their shells penetrating through multiple APCs that happened to line up.
“Muninn, das ist Hammer. Können wir eine KBE?” The artillery crew asked the now much more invigorated Lt. Gruber as he watched the artillery shells raining death and destruction on the Chinese tank formations. "Hammer, das ist Muninn. Feindliche Panzer nahmen schwere Verluste, mehr Fahrzeuge zerstört." Additional infantry struggled to wade forward, only to curl up in a fetal position under the constant barrage. Others tossed up smoke grenades to cover themselves, then pushed forward under the cover, only for them to be cut down by machine gunfire. The dug in, Panzergrenadiers, and French Foreign Legion had the benefits of thermal optics to pierce through the thick smokescreen and dust clouds kicked up by the artillery shells.
Even Belisarius could do little other than to pick off enemy stragglers as they came close to his position. The French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers around him kept up their fire. Occasionally, they pass over a spare magazine to keep him in the fight. Constantly pressuring their enemies and breaking their will to fight.
Their method, while seems excessive and brutal, was efficient since the enemies broke and ran for their dear life. For a moment, Gruber felt exhilarating, a thrill, and high of victory rushing over him as he watched the Chinese breaking off and ran as far as possible. But as Gruber and his Forward Observer team celebrated their victory, a mortar shell came crashing down on the tarmac.
Belisarius had a knee jerk reaction as he recoiled under pressure and shock by the barrage. The Chinese mortar barrage came like a downpour of steel and explosives on NATO troops holding the Airport. Many of them have to duck down and wait for the mortar barrage to die down. The howitzers from the German side of the battlefield soon counter-battery the Chinese mortars, silencing them with a steel rain down on the slums south of the Airport.
"Damn it, Gruber? Gruber? Gruber!" Belisarius called out to the Lieutenant as he ran out to search for him under the rubbles. What the robot wolf found after digging through the debris was a gnarly and disfigured remains of the Lieutenant. His right arm and leg were no more, just fleshy remains with a pool of his blood. His head and torso remained intact. But no hope for the man to regain conscient. He had gone to God in Heaven now.
"Requiescat in Pace," Belisarius uttered before closing Gruber's eyes and continued his search around the place for the remains of the Forward Observer Team. Save for the twisted and scattered bits of flesh and blood. Their helmets and body armor saved a good deal of their corpses for identification. As the French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers pushed up with their reinforcements, they began to clear through the surrounding building blocks in quick and dirty firefights with pockets of Chinese defenders.
The Oriental Security mercenaries, however, were less than thrilled with the idea of facing a trained and well-equipped hostile force. Many of them surrendered without a fight, while some others fired sporadically before falling back. Belisarius participated in the action, chasing the enemies up to the bridge over the river dividing the city's downtown area from its western suburbs and slums.
As the day wore on, Belisarius returned to the airport with the 108th Regiment to rest. The latter was busy with rescuing civilians in Brazzaville and keeping the enemies occupied in the harbor areas of Kinshasa, feigning preparation for an amphibious landing. Belisarius went into a casualties collection tent, counting the dead and wounded they had sustained so far. He estimated their casualties in the area of 20 KIAs and an additional 25 WIAs. While far from unacceptable casualties figures, Belisarius could tell from the looks on the survivor's faces, each loss was a toll on the survivors. On the front and at home.
The 108th Regiment, in the meantime, proceeded to convert the Airport into their base of operation in the Congo. The A400Ms from subsequent flights began to land on the runway with various reinforcements, supplies, vehicles, and infrastructure support. As they worked and toiled around the clock, Anubis came to Belisarius, accompanied by the German General and a French Colonel, alongside them was a robot wolf with a rod of Aescelpius symbol painted on his pauldrons. Belisarius took notice and glanced over, noticing the German officer appeared to be a Brigadier General Hans Holzer. And the French Colonel to be Colonel DuBoise, French Foreign Legion 2e REP. "You must be Belisarius, the one who saved the crew of the Calypso?" Holzer asked as he extended a hand out to Belisarius.
"Yes, that I am. You must be the commanding officer of the expeditionary force." Belisarius inferred, to which Holzer burst into a chuckle at the robot's observation ability. "Ja, I am appointed by Berlin to lead the Bundeswehr contingent. He is Colonel DuBoise, leader of the French Foreign Legion 2nd Parachute Regiment." Holzer introduced DuBoise to Belisarius. The French colonel was wearing his green-covered helmet of the 2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. His insignia and rank were kept low-key by design to avoid being a sniper bullseye. "Monsieur, Paris is in your debt for your selfless service today." Colonel DuBoise stated to Belisarius as he shook the robot's hand. "It was nothing, just doing my job," Belisarius replied humbly.
"He's quite humble, it seems. Is this normal for the robots you made?" Holzer asked Anubis, to which the Jackal seems to make a rather reserved expression and attitude. "Not really. Some are more boisterous and boastful. Others like Belisarius are soft-spoken gentlemen. Their personalities varied from unit to unit, especially after deployments and accruing personal experiences." Anubis calmly explained to the bewildered NATO officers, who could not believe their ears.
"They develop personalities? Is it possible for A.Is to do so? I thought they were only far-flung future fantasies." Holzer exclaimed, confusedly to Anubis. He saw Anubis nonchalantly nodded to him, "Indeed, they can. How are they supposed to perform half as good as human soldiers if they can't gain experiences and develop personalities?" Anubis asked rhetorically, to which neither Holzer nor DuBoise had an answer.
"But how do you create these A.Is and program them?" Holzer asked curiously, to which Anubis glanced his eye over to the corpses of the dead German Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaire. "A human soul's fragments and an A.I symbiosis. A method that no current human-computer algorithm or programming technique can catch up." The jackal deity spoke coldly, his hand reaching out to the body bag of Lt. Gruber and unzipping it to inspect the corpse. "A human soul? Surely, you can't be serious?" Holzer nervously inquired. Anubis didn't seem at all jesting with the NATO officer when he turned to them. His robot jackal face and optics shot them a glare that said it all. "Never was. I can demonstrate if you are willing to see."
To both Holzer and DuBoise, it sounded like a morbid invitation, the childlike curiosity with the desire to learn more of these robots. And yet, in the back of their minds, they could not help but feel something gnawing at them. A feeling that whatever they might learn would not look or sound so well to the public. "How long do you think it will take for this one?" Anubis asked the Physician robot. The white wolf with the blue rod of Aescelpius then bent over to inspect the corpse, putting his palm on Gruber's chest and head. "A day of work, no more, no less. I can salvage his brains and vital organs like the heart, lungs, digestive and reproductive organs." The doctor spoke bluntly. Holzer and DuBoise were shocked to hear of the process's specific details sounding like organ harvesting.
"Is this organ harvesting? Are you going to dissect his remains to take his organs out? How does that have anything to do with your robots?" DuBoise protested, being rather outraged by the grotesque idea Anubis had in mind. The Jackal deity didn't seem to care much for the Frenchman's fuming rage and simply crossed his arms before his chest. "Synthetic organ components. The Nanites I developed will assimilate them into robot components. Get it done." Anubis ordered the physician, who then zipped up the body bag and picked him up, carrying him away to a mobile lab module at the airport's east side. "I do not consent to this. The German public and government do not consent to this. How are you- am I supposed to explain to them?" Holzer furiously asked as he followed Anubis and the physician while Belisarius accompanied them to witness the process.
"Let me handle the public outrage and banana journalists." Anubis sternly remarked before seeing the corpse of Gruber being placed on an operating table by the physician. "You may want to step back." The physician suggested to Belisarius, who sighed out but conceded. They spectated from a shielded section of the lab module.
Inside the operating room, automated medical arms dissect his body, carefully scalped his head, and open his skull to extract his human brains. Each organ was placed inside a canopic jar-like container by the physician. Filled with preservative liquid, he continued his work vigorously as he began to open a large cylinder container, revealing a robot wolf frame on standby. Holzer and DuBoise saw it was a seven feet tall robot body, with chrome grey and silver armor plates top to bottom.
The physician then tapped the buttons on nearby keyboards to open the cylinder, letting cold liquid nitrogen hissing out. They saw the cranial unit open up several flaps. The human brain and organs, in turn, were injected by the physician with a strange liquid metal substance. The grey and silver metal goo once made contact with the preservative liquid, began to fill up the containers, and began the assimilation process.
The brain and organs began to turn synthetic with green circuit boards outlines. The physician then picked up the brains before inserted it into the cranial unit, and the flaps closed in, sealing the morphing brain tightly inside the cranial space. The mechanical arms surgically removed the robot armor plates and cut open the stomach region, allowing the physician to graft the organs into the body, with the Nanites inside moving them into position with the endoskeleton.
With that done, they saw a tendril latched into the back of the robot wolf's head, where his neck and head met. The tendril lodged itself deeply into the neural outlet port. Holzer and DuBoise saw a computer monitor displaying a text reading "Programming process: 0%". "Phase 1 is complete. This unit will be ready by tomorrow for review. Till then, there won't be much to report. I'll let you know what I managed to salvage from Lieutenant Gruber." The physician summarized to Anubis, who nodded to the robot.
"Thank you. Keep me posted." Holzer and DuBoise were less than thrilled. They were both disgusted by the surgery and the idea of robotizing their dead. It was effectively giving Gruber, a dead man, no rest from life. For now, they retired to have a meal until reports of the process stream in.
Horus was in the cafeteria attending lunch with the troops on board the Tartarus. The falcon crown prince sat at a table with Temujin and an odd red robot wolf. The red one looked almost identical to Temujin in build, if it weren’t for the red armor plates with the gold eagle emblem on his pauldron with a pair of crossed swords. His serial number and code appeared to be CLU-00591 GUNTER. They saw a news report from the Congo, showing Anubis and the robot wolves were in combat with the Chinese Oriental Security troops. “Will ya look at that. Anubis is having a field day with the press if he likes to be caught on cam as you.” Gunter stated in a gruff Texan voice and smirked while eating his meal.
“Yeah, only he never does like the attention. Always the dark knight, he is. Get in then get out, leaving no traces behind.” Horus remarked to Gunter as the crown prince ate his bird seeds from a small bowl and some hot meal on the navy tray. “I can’t fault him on that. But I think he could still use some publicities, might help bring in the cold hard cash to spend on the boys.” Said Gunter with a chortle as he ate the meal in his tray. Horus turned over to the red robot wolf and asked him.
“So what are you going to do once we’re on the ground? Ground pounder or Airwolf?” Gunter took notice of Horus’s question and tossed up a coin he had in a leather pouch. The coin spun in the air, flipping between Head and Tail before landing in Earl’s palm and it’s a Head. “Well, ground pounder it is. At least they gave me infantry training. In my lifetime, a pilot got basic firearm training and SERE. But man, when ya a robot with a robot brain, learning is as easy as shoving installing a software.”
Horus nodded to Gunter and patted his back in a friendly manner. “Even then, we still play it safe. You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. Catch you later Earl.” Horus commented before getting up and returned the lunch tray to the cafeteria, before heading back to his cabin on the Tartarus. He was afforded the officer quarters with a fairly spacious room on a ship. The room had an old analog clock hung on the wall, with a board for Horus to pin a world map, and photos of relevant individuals like Kong, Faisal, LeMonde, and the Nordwyrm Virus into place.
Horus pinned Kong's photo on Ethiopia with red strings connecting him to the Nordwyrm Virus, LeMonde, and Faisal. The extra photos were in the HVIs category so he can quickly keep track of them. He sat down and marked the days left before arriving in Somalia when He suddenly received a call from Anubis on their communication nexus and quickly answered.
“Hey bro, what’s up? Looks like you got one helluva press media storm in Kinshasa, huh? Any plans for press coverage and publicity stunts?” Horus asked in a playfully friendly manner, adding in his taste of jests. “Besides the usual phrase of no comments, and some trophy displays, not much. Besides, I got something I need to go over with Belisarius. He did well today, at least."
“Yeah, about that, go easy on him Anubis, if anything it’s my fault that got us all into this. He’s trying to fix the problem before it gets worse. But are you sure that I have to be there? I’ll be out in the open with zero deniability.” Horus inquired with a sigh as he laid down on the bed. “Trust me, you’ll need it. If you want to be a king, learn the concept of consequences first. Otherwise, we’ll have a bastard son on the throne, and I’m sure that neither you nor anyone else sees that as a good sign.” Anubis sternly stated, prompting Horus to make a thick gulp and nodded to Anubis’s harsh words.
“I understand, I won’t let you down Anubis.” Horus, however, heard Anubis made a quick comeback to his promise. “No, Horus, don’t disappoint yourself. May the Hidden One guide your path to the throne.” Anubis replied with Horus nodding to the statement. “You too, Anubis. I love you, take care of yourself and Belisarius as well.” Horus then hung up the call to contemplate the information he had, by now he was roughly two days away from arriving in Somalia.
But before he took a slumber, he pulled out a drawer and grabbed his onyx black tablet computer, and switched on the screen. The screen had a photo of Horus and Anubis standing by their chariot, a prized family possession. The vehicle had an azure blue color with gold ornate Isis figure on the front. The wheels were wooden and reinforced by iron hubcaps, a rarity for what was once a bronze civilization.
Horus stroked at the screen gently, trying his best not to scratch or dent it. He sighed out melancholy, looking at a simpler time when they had time for fun and games. Back then, he would race wildly around the Hippodrome as the champion of Egypt against others like Greeks, Romans, Goths, Gaulois, and Thracian. The Crown Prince then entered the password of his device and went into a file folder to go over intel reports about Somalia.
The first report that came to his attention was timestamped September 5th, 2022, by the Information Warfare Command of the Jackal Guards. This one had an attached photo of a red banner with a yellow hammer and sickle symbol in the middle. The report's headline pronounced, "Somali People's Liberation Front, a Chinese footprint in East Africa, and possible strategic targets." Horus then began to read through the report, going over paragraphs and sections outlying what these factions were.
"Formed by unknown and never before seen leftist provocateur and activist, who goes by the name Mohamed Burhaan. The SPLF champions a cause of Somali unity against perceived 'Imperialist aggressors.' Their method of recruitment lately has been to align elements in the country's society under their Socialist umbrella. Mainly the DAESH linked Al-Shabaab militants, clan militias, and pirates to intimidate the populace from accepting aids from AMISOM III Coalition."
The report read, and Horus grew more and more intrigued by the information it had to offer. He began to go through the various details like the supposed alliance of religiously motivated militants like Al-Shabaab would align with the supposedly Socialist SPLF coalition. One adjective was highlighted in yellow by the IWC Inquisitors for him to notice. "Tenuous." A word that gave insight into the nature of the alliance in question, Horus himself could surmise that one had the gunmen, and the other had the heavy weapons for the prolonged insurgency.
"Al-Shabaab militants have entertained the thought of acquiring up-to-date weaponry, modern flak jackets, equipment as well as an arsenal of heavy weapons and vehicles. The SPLF, through their connections to Oriental Securities in Ethiopia, provides such weapons. Along with technical expertise to train and maintain those weapons as well as the growing crop of Type-59 tanks. While woefully outdated, it would make for terrifying encounters for the AMISOM III troops who did not expect such weapons in Somalia."
Horus grew more and more intrigued by the report as he went through the highlighted words and paragraphs. "A debt-trap diplomacy move. Too bad Al-Shabaab is a useful idiot, so are the SPLF." Anubis commented while reading the report. He stroked his worriedly, however, knowing that Al-Shabaab's fanatical militants would not go down without a fight even if it meant suicide vests against one robot wolf. "Better keep an eye on Temujin and Earl, no telling what those savages would do to them." Horus murmured cautiously before putting the tablet back into the drawer and dozed off.
submitted by PointMan97
[A3: Main] Op Rubberhammer: Day 3 | Run through more jungle | SAT MAY23 1900 UTC
Operation Rubberhammer: Day 3
By Bubbus [A3: Main] Op Rubberhammer: Day 3 | Run through more jungle | SAT MAY23 1900 UTC
Get the mods through the mod downloader, [Swifty]
Make sure your mods are updated in time, and feel free to contact the mods through Discord or Reddit for help! Recommended Reading: http://ttp3.dslyecxi.com/
Mission brief: AO Map: https://i.imgur.com/D07xDya.png
The year is 1969, and the war against Communism is in full swing. Renewed skirmishes along the Vietnamese frontline are battering U.S. forces to breaking point, and without any change in the situation they will be forced to give up valuable OPs and FOBs.
Two days ago, MACV-SOG was inserted into NVA territory to strike vital rear-line positions. They succeeded in destroying vehicle support infrastructure in the north of the A.O. at the cost of their lives.
Yesterday, the task fell to us. NVA was aware of our intent and had a night to prepare their defenses. We encountered a lighter vehicle presence due to MACV-SOG's efforts in the north, but it was not easy.
Now today, it's up to us to finish the job. NVA's communist backers have funneled new armour and troops into the area, but yesterday's work has their frontline thin on munitions and effective leadership. Get in there, strike hard and leave before they can organize reinforcements.
Spy planes have discovered areas of high enemy activity. Intel is limited, but expect infantry, armour and static defenses.
- Enter enemy territory by helicopter, attack objective points one by one.
- Beware of enemy air defenses (present around small exclamation marks on map) - probe or scout these objectives before performing an air insertion.
- That's it.
- Mortar support is available. Helicopters are capable of performing transport, resupply, observation and limited CAS via door-gun.
- Nobody should enter the black circle around an objective until you're ready to assault it. Reason given during map brief.
- Objectives should not be bombarded until the black circle has been entered.
- Objectives marked with a question mark require you to search for the target within the circle.
- Objectives marked with an exclamation are defended by anti-air batteries. Try to neutralise the AA or insert at a safe distance.
Terrain: Prei (day, foggy, rain).
Respawn: Wave based (at FOB).
Radios: 148 for FTLs/CO, Backpack radio for FSC, no short-range.
Use this in your slotting comment:
IGN: (Your name) SLOT: Alpha 1 AAR Hi, I'm New! (If new) SLOT DESCRIPTIONS
This list is not guaranteed to be up to date! Do a quick look through the comments to make sure your slot hasn't already been claimed.
- CO - Commander - Has command over the entire mission, responsible for creating a plan and directing units in game.
- FSC - Forward Support Controller - Responsible for directing support from air and artillery.
- MED - Medic - Provides medical assistance to wounded comrades.
- FTL - Fireteam Leader - Leads a fireteam - reports to SL or CO
- AR - Automatic Rifleman - Provides suppression fire for the squad with his support weapon.
- AAR - Weapons Assistant - Carries extra ammo for the AR and AT, and guides them onto targets.
- LAT - Light Anti Tank - Carries a disposable AT weapon (RPG-26, AT4, M72, etc.)
- RIF - Rifleman - Basic infantry. Get on the front-line G.I.
- CREW - Crewman - Operates a vehicle or support asset.
- Crew chief - Performs all non-piloting duties aboard an aircraft.
Caster can be replaced by Simplex mortar support if not filled.
|Callsign/ Role ||IGN ||Equipment |
|Command || || |
|CO || ||M16/M203 |
|FSC ||Volc ||M16A1 |
|MED || ||M3A1 |
| || || |
|Alpha || || |
|FTL ||Pauson ||M16/M203 |
|MED ||Cloby ||M3A1 |
|AR ||Lukas ||M60 |
|AAR ||Crawfish ||M16A1 |
| || || |
|Bravo || || |
|FTL || ||M16/M203 |
|MED || ||M3A1 |
|AR || ||M60 |
|AAR ||Buckethead ||M16A1 |
| || || |
|Scalpel || || |
|FTL (Tanks DLC) || ||M16 + Spare AT rounds |
|HAT (Tanks DLC) || ||M16 + Carl Gustav |
|HAT (Tanks DLC) || ||M16 + Carl Gustav |
|Demoman || ||M16A1 |
| || || |
|Caster || ||Mortars |
|CREW ||volture ||M3A1 |
|CREW || ||M3A1 |
| || || |
|Falcon || ||Huey w/ door-guns. |
|Pilot ||Zefyr ||M3A1 |
|Crew chief ||pablackhawk ||M3A1 |
| || || |
|Hawk || ||Huey w/ door-guns. |
|Pilot ||sniper190 ||M3A1 |
|Crew chief ||Lavender Lunate ||M3A1 |
| || || |
Caster can be replaced by Simplex mortar support if not filled.
submitted by TheBubbus