This story contains strong language and should only be read by mature audiences. If you get in trouble, it's not my fault!

The Story

In the year 2018, the Task Force 141 has been disbanded, yet insurgent groups continue to threaten the security of NATO and its allies. The Ultranationalist Party in the Russian Federation left the United States after their first attempt to invade and threaten to begin another invasion. Despite their losses, the Federation has been able to quickly replenish their ranks in the military and have surpassed the United States' military. They have also formed an offensive military alliance with North Korea who threatens South Korea and Japan for territory.

Desperate for an advantage, NATO authorizes Doctor Natalie Lancer to rebuild an elite task force. She proposes the LANCER Project. Although most info is classified, NATO and the US quickly approve. Now Dr. Lancer searches the armies of NATO to find candidates for her top secret project.


US Firebase Juliet

4 miles north of Kabul, Afghanistan

3:17 pm January 8, 2018

Captain Joel Jackson and his brother Private Jarod Jackson walked along the elongated barrcks passing other soldiers. They seemed confused by being called by the General to his quarters as both had done nothing wrong.

"Wonder what this is about." Jarod stated. "Who knows." Joel replied. He had often looked after his little brother since he joined the military. It was by luck that both got into the same squad. Both brothers were the top soldiers at Firebase Juliet and their reputation spread and other soldiers often moved aside to let them through. The General had also asked for thier weapons so they stopped at the armory to retrieve them. Joel grabbed his SCAR while Jarod found his M4 Grenadier and they proceded to the General's quarters.

The steel door hissed open and both brothers walked in. The door closed and two Shadow Company soldiers stepped beside the door and stared straight ahead. Major General Randolph sat in his command chair on a laptop with a flask in his hand. The odor of cheap whiskey assaulted their noses.

"Sit." Randolph said without looking up and motioned to a pair of chairs in the office. Joel and Jarod sat down. Randolph had replaced Shepherd and was now in command of Shadow Company which he used as a elite force. "I know this will sound bad, but you are to redo weapons training. There is a possibility that you might be leaving the Marines for good." Jarod felt a knot in his stomach and continued listening to Randolph.

"It sounds like a large project. You report in an hour to the training facility. Nevertheless, it was great having you as Marines and I am very proud to be your commander. Pack your bags, you leave at 0500 hours tomorrow. Dismissed." Jarod and Joel stood up to shake hands with the General and the Shadow Company soldiers nodded and escorted them out of the door. They walked back and packed their bags in silence. Both brothers then reported to the training facility.

"Jackson. What ya doing here?" Sergeant Higgins asked. He was a friend of the Jackson brothers and knew them since high school.

"We're here to do the training course for some top secret project." Joel replied

"Oh yeah. I heard about that. Reminds me of our first day of freshman year at high school." Both soldiers laughed and struck up a conversation until Jarod got them back on track.

"Nice work." Higgins complimented. "Let's move on to the Pit. Joel, you're first. Starting the timer...NOW!" Joel sprinted and completed the course faster than he had done before.

"Not bad." Higgins said when Joel skidded to a stop. 19.2, your best time yet. Both soldiers watched Jarod pull off an impressive 22.1. Jarod was also out of breath and grabbed a drink of water from his bag.

"Very impressove both of you." a silky smooth voice came from the spectator tower. All three soldiers turned to see a woman about 5 foot, 6 inches, step out. She must have been at least thirty years old, but her cold stare set uncertaincy in their minds. She sized up the Jackson brothers who were easily taller than her. She wore a pair of jean shorts, a white shirt and a pair of sunglasses. She approached them and shook both of their hands.

Higgins quirked up "Oh yes. I forgot to tell both of you. This is Doctor Natalie Lancer, the head of the LANCER project to create an elite task force. Joel and Jarod are the only two candidates at Firebase Juliet." He turned to Lancer and handed her a pair of papers on their results. "So did they pass all your requirements?"

Lancer studued the papers, she stood still for several minutes and finally said "Both Joel and Jarod Jackson are Project LANCER subjects." She turned to Joel and Jarod. "I will brief you on the aircraft once we reach out of enemy communication infiltration facilities range. I will see you on the plane. Good night." Lancer turned and walked out of the building. Higgins, shocked said "I can't believe she is kidnapping these people for her task force. You better hope she doesn't brainwash you or something. Anyway, hope you do great on your missions. When all this hell is over, we're grabbing a beer."

Joel smiled "Anyway Jarod and I have to go. We still need to pack. First beer's on me!" He walked out of the facility with Jarod close behind. "Wow. Those Pave Lows are in a hurry. That can't be good" Jarod remarked. Both looked up to see a pair of Pave Lows rush past heading south. Joel's radio came online. "We need to protect the doctor! We lost contact with outpost Foxtrot!" Higgins yelled over the radio.

"Damn. That's just down the road." Jarod said. "We better get down there fast!" They headed toward the main base and grabbed their weapons.

Part 1: Starting the fight

Chapter 1

US Firebase Juliet

4 miles North of Kabul, Afghanistan

5:50 pm January 8, 2018

"All units on alert, defend positions!" Randolph shouted over the speakers.

"Doctor, you still there?" Jaord asked. "Yes. But I have to get back to the command center." she replied. Joel and Jarod then walked through doors out to a balcony overlooking the airfield. They came to a room where several soldiers stood and walked around gathering weapons, Higgins was watching a monitor and turned, grabbing his Vector off the table. "Looks like the Opfor decided to join our private party." He said smiling. "Follow me."

"Man they got some sacs for coming this far into our controlled territory." Jarod said.

Higgins laughed "I doubt it has anything to do with bravery. They don't know they were just sent on a suicide run."

Minutes later Dr. Lancer got on the radio. "All units we verify Opfor presence in the base. I repeat, Opfor are in the base!" All of a sudden a C-17 exploded on the tarmac spewing fiery bits everywhere. The scorching head blinded them for a minute then they saw swarms of Opfor insurgents storm the airfield.

"We need to protect the aircraft!" Jarod screamed. "Command, we got some F-16s in the air, we also have visual on MiG fishbeds incoming from the south over."

Randolph sounded relieved "Good Private, see about what you can do with those Anti-Aircraft defenses on the southern end of the base."

"Wilco." Joel replied. At that moment, Opfor walked through the hallway and killed several Marines. Jarod reacted first and killed two with his M4. "C'mon we need to get to the AA guns!"

The three continued battling Opfor to the south and came to a two door fork. Joel thought fast before ordering Higgins and Jarod to cover the other door. He sprinted to a desk and waited, out of breath before more insurgents destroyed the door at the far end. Joel checked his SCAR's ammo set his sights on the closest insurgent and fired three shots. The insurgent went down and thrashed wildly before dying. One member primed a grenade and lobbed it, Joel saw it roll past and grabbed it and threw it back just in time before it exploded killing all the Opfor in the hall. He ran to the AA guns which the Opfor were using to take out the F-16s. He ran to the first one and vaulted over it firing shots into the operator's head. His SCAR was out of ammo, so he drew his M1911 and cleared the remaining two AA guns killing the operators with all one shot, before Joel and Higgins arrived. Higgins had a gunshot wound in his left knee and it didn't seem to be bleeding.

"Don't worry. I can still fight." Higgins replied as if almost reading Joel's thoughts. "You can't get rid of me so easily remember." A deafening crash was head before a MiG 21 crashed into the window nearby and the cockpit exploded ejecting a flaming body. "General. The AA guns are now back under our control." Joel said through the radio. Gunners came from the hallway and manned the AA guns. Jarod and Higgins walked down the staircase to the outside, where three Opfor T-55s and at least a hundred foot soldiers were hammering the base's defenses. One tank set its sights on the two and Joel ran over to the MiG and kicked it. The plane shifted, groaned and fell down in front of Jarod and Higgins. The tank fired and hit the plane and destroyed it. Nobody had anti-armor weapons so Joel decided to call for air support. "Command requesting air support at sector Foxtrot Hotel."

"Copy that. Slasher four four and Slasher four five are inbound over." Randolph said without hesitation. Jarod saw insurgents getting closer and wondered what the Viper attack helicopters were doing to take them so long. A rocket soared through the air and a T-55 along with several insurgents went up in flames. "I got me one!" Slasher four five exclaimed as he fired more rockets obliterating more tanks and insugenents. They suddenly fell back and retreated under heavy fire from Slasher four four and four five.

Randolph advised immediate takeoff for the C-130 for Dr. Lancer which she agreed and directed both Jackson brothers onboard the C-130. Once they got out of range, she showed them a closed room and began informing them of her new project. "You are two new operatives of the LANCER project. You are to help and try to stop the growing tension between NATO and Russia. If diplomacy fails, then you will be fighting as well. To assist you on these missions. You are issued LANCER armor, follow me and I will show it to you." She walked out the door and the Jackson brothers followed. They entered a room where a glass box stood in the center, there was a large suit which had armor nearly two inches thick. It had sleek features and Joel saw grappling hooks and smoke canisters inside one of the wrists. The helmet had a breathing apparatus and a pair of frightening looking green shaded goggles.

"This armor allows a soldier to run faster, jump higher and hit harder than a normal soldier. It will protect you from most fire, however it is still vulnerable to sustained fire, explosives, high caliber shots and sniper rifles. Joel, would you like to try it on?" Joel nodded and stepped up to the armor, he hooked his feet in the large boots and began strapping on the armor. When he was completed, he felt like he was in a bulky costume, but he felt good when he stepped off the platform and Jarod could tell his brother was enjoying himself in his new armor. It even had a heads up display in the goggles.

"Jarod, you will get your armor once we arrive at our base. Oh, we seem to be landing now." Dr. Lancer and Jarod strapped themselves in their seats and the C-130 bumped on the runway and stopped. Joel exited the back ramp and looked around, they were somewhere in Japan as seen the skyline. Dr. Lancer walked out with Jarod who had an armor of his own. His M4 looked small in his hands. Dr. Lancer, pleased by their status asked them to join her in her briefing of their first upcoming mission.

Chapter 2

Miho Yonago Airport Japanese Self Defense Air Force Outpost

Near Yonago, Tottori Japan

8:10 pm January 9, 2018

Joel and Jarod had gotten to a rough start to the LANCER team. There were approximately a dozen other LANCERs that composed the entire project. Dr. Lancer assured there were additional candidates that would arrive. She would have their team leader and his operatives meet them after the mission. Dr. Lancer hurried to find the Jacksons and couldn't find them, she frantically looked and found them talking to some Japanese soldiers. They seemed amused by their armor and were discussing military tactics and they watched Jarod and Joel together lift a 200 pound bomb into an F4 Phantom. She hurried across the tarmac to them. "Alright. Mission briefing. This comes from US Command." She ushered them into a small room where she opened a laptop and entered a password. The laptop blinked and projected a hologram of the Korean Peninsula. Joel remembered, North Korea and South Korea have had a firece rivalry since the Korean War. Dr. Lancer pointed a little south to the city of Pyongyang. The laptop zoomed in on the hologram and several warehouses were displayed, one of them had nuclear missiles stockpiled inside. "Here we suspect this to be a facility for secret equipment in North Korea." Dr. Lancer began, but was briefly interuppted by Jarod. "Wait...My suspicion was that we were gonna go to Russia. Not play tourist and go to North Korea"

Dr. Lancer nodded and continued "Russia and North Korea have signed a military alliance and North Korea is being supplied by Russian Antonov 124s every 10 minutes. By tomorrow they could invade South Korea and even Japan and easily overrun both by suffering minimal casualties. Your primary objective is to locate this equipment and get anything from the base back to US Command, then you are to blow it to pieces. Are there any questions?" Joel spoke up after a minute of silence. "How exactly would we get there? They're not just gonna let us walk through the front door."

Dr. Lancer answered without hesitation. "You and your brother follow me. This is where the fun is." she walked out of the building. Joel looked at his brother, both in their armor, shrugged and followed Dr. Lancer outside. Dr. Lancer covered her ears as an F4 Phantom took off at the nearby runway, she beckoned them to follow her into a hangar. She then typed in a panel and the hangar doors slid open to reveal a black B-2 Spirit sitting in the hangar. Three techs were working on a what seemed to be insertion pods, Dr. Lancer smiled and said "These are Altitude Insertion Pods or AIPs for short. Their purpose is to insert a soldier in battle or deep in enemy territory. These two are prototypes and are unable to suit a normal soldier. Your LANCER suits will protect you from the friction and the pods are undetectable to enemy radar. If that's not enough, the pods have a small friction trail, minimizing visuals who happen to see it. Commander?" She turned to the cockpit and knocked on the glass, it opened and the pilot stepped out. "Yes ma'am? I made all the flight checks as you asked." "Good" she replied "Dustoff is at 0200 tomorrow. Dismissed." The Jackson brothers left leaving her and the Commander in the hangar. Commander Geoffrey Kinkallen was a veteran pilot of a B-2, he had volunteered for the LANCER project, although he was not an offical operative of the LANCER commandos, he was approached by Dr. Lancer for his exceptional piloting skills and his unrivaled ability to deploy the payload and hit his target flawlessly. He had piloted a B-2 since he was 24. His B-2 the Spirit of Oregon was modified to carry up to four AIPs and/or bombs. In addition, if under enemy attack it had a defensve antiaircraft turret to fend off enemy aircraft. Kinkallen sighed and left the hangar to get some sleep before he flew the Jackson brothers out to their mission.

Joel and Jarod found their bunk and unlocked their armor. Neither spoke until Jarod broke the silence "Wait, if we are inside those pods don't you think it might be damn uncomfortable?"

"Doubt it." Joel shrugged "I bet they'd have some sort of hatch where we could access the cabin. Relax bro, even if it is unaccessible I don't think it is a long flight to North Korea anyway." They both fell asleep.

Miho Yonago Airport Japanese Self Defense Outpost

Near Yonago, Tottori Japan

12:00 am January 9, 2018

Jarod yawned and rolled over in his bed. His eyes fluttered open and he checked the clock. Midnight. "Oh shit!" he yelled out loud and shook his brother awake. They grabbed an energy bar and ate it before suiting up and walking across the tarmac. It was unusually quiet in the airfield, he noticed several civilian aircraft docked at the terminal performing some end of the day flights and the B-2 Spirit sat in the partially opened hangar, looking ominous as ever. "You know." Joel spoke quietly "We should mask our presence when on the mission so let's stop at the armory and get supressors." They stopped at the armory and found suppressors for their weapons before entering the hangar. Kinkallen stood under the wing securing a capsule to the bay. He turned "Good to see you guys, if you want. I got some breakfast over there for the three of us." He motioned over to where three plates were. They had a small helping of eggs and sausages. "I suggest we eat first so we don't give up our lunch before we leave." So they ate quickly and Kinkallen opened the hangar doors and performed flight checks while Joel and Jarod climbed into their pods. "Oh yeah" Kinkallen said while halfway up the ladder, "There's a hatch that connects the aircraft to the pods, so you may come up into the cabin when you feel like it." They climbed into the cabin and strapped in before taking off. Joel saw the airliners and watched the city lights of Yonago as the B-2 rolled down the runway. He had to admit that Japanese lights were the most dazzling, even from a distance. A pair of F4 Phantoms escorted the B-2 out of Japanese airspace. Joel looked at one of them, the pilot gave him a thumbs up and he returned the gesture. Jarod fell asleep again and Joel drifted and asked Kinkallen to wake them 10 minutes before the drop before falling asleep as well. Kinkallen agreed before ordering the F4s to break formation and return to Japanese airspace.

Kinkallen nudged Joel and he was instantly awake and got up to wake his brother. Jarod nodded and both brothers climbed into their pods. Kinkallen reported 5 minutes until the drop, Joel held his breath and slowly exhaled it. The drop came closer than he expected. "Three, two, one. DROP!" He felt a jolt and a continous motion downwards as he watched the B-2, nearly invisible against the starless midnight fade off into the distance.

Chapter 3

Somewhere near Pyongyang, North Korea

12:10 am January 9, 2018

Joel felt the impact and was thrown around his pod. He kicked the door off its hinges and stumbled outside. It was pitch black and he pressed a button on his goggles, activating night vision. He crawled back inside his pod to grab his SCAR and M1911 which appeared to be destroyed in the impact. "Fuck." he muttered quietly as his boots were snared in rice plants. He ripped them off and searched for hostiles. On his HUD two red outlines of enemy terrorists walked caually toward a warehouse. One had an AK-47 while the other held a Type 56. The AK-47 guard stopped and pulled out a cigarette and began smoking. The other guard with the Type 56 shouted something in Korean and walked inside one of the warehouses. The guard drew a last puff from a cigarette and tossed it. Perfect. Joel lunged, barely a whisper rustle as he wrapped his arms around the guard's neck and wrenched it with a pop. He held the body and gently laid it down in the grass. He grabbed the AK-47 and searched the guard's pockets for anything. He retrieved a suppressor and applied it to his weapon. Jarod's radio came online "Joel, my pod got over turned. Can you get me out?" Joel switched to his internal speakers so he could speak freely without alerting anyone. "Yeah, place a beacon on my HUD and I'll get you."

Joel saw a small diamond with an approximate distance to Jarod's pod and hurried to the area. Jarod continued giving him sitreps and told Joel that Korean soldiers found his pod and were trying to get it open. Joel crept behind the guards and struck the first one with the AK-47. He opened fire on the other guards, one fumbled for his Uzi and Joel stitched up his body with the remaining rounds from his AK-47. He leapt beside the pod, grabbed onto the hinges and pulled with all his strength, the door finally gave way and Jarod climbed out dazed. "Where's your weapons?" Joel asked. Jarod went back in his pod and pulled out a twisted M4, but his M1911 still worked. "You don't wanna know what happened to my SCAR and 1911. I had to steal this guy's AK." Jarod nodded, he was in a cranky mood. Joel had known that his little brother disliked early morning activities. "C'mon, we better hurry before anybody else finds the bodies." They moved to the warehouse.

Jarod opened the side door on the closest warehouse. He saw multiple contacts on catwalks with flashlights attached to their weapons patrolling the top. "Okay." He whispered "Lets find a database and try not to attract attention." They entered the warehouse and saw multiple tanks and APCs stored here. Surprisingly, many of them were older M1 Abrams tanks and M2A2 Bradleys. "I don't get it." Jarod finally said "Don't you think they would use a tank they are more familiar with rather than steal ours?"

"Yeah. I think so. Maybe they're using Western Vehicles to fool us into thinking of them as friendly forces."

"Great. All the more to blow this place up." They agreed and pushed past a rack of ammunition, one shell clattered and fell to the floor. "Damn it." Jarod said. The guards immediately shined their flashlights on the shell which lay on the ground and began shouting in Korean. Some panicked on their radios while others began randomly firing in the warehouse. Joel and Jarod took cover behind an Abrams tank and Joel attempted to call for backup. Which Dr. Lancer could not send, due to aircraft groundings in Japan from bad weather. Joel began firing back at one guard which had thrown a grenade, the guard flinched and fell down from the catwalk. "Joel! There's fuel tanks in here too watch your fire!" Jarod warned firing his M1911. Joel stayed behind the tank as Jarod created a diversion, running and gunning. Joel pulled out a Semtex Grenade and threw it at the fuel cell, which exploded and destroyed large numbers of Abrams tanks as well as a handful of guards. Jarod meanwhile found a terminal and began dowloading intel on the supplies as Joel distracted the guards. One of the soldiers activated the lights exposing Joel and Jarod before the two LANCERs destroyed the lights. Now they were firing even more rapidly, not of elimination, but of fear.

Jarod switched to his external speakers and crept behind a lone gunman. A clatter was heard and he turned around frightened, to see Jarod. "Surprise." Jarod sneered before killing the soldier. Joel finished the last of the guards and left the warehouse, setting additional charges to the other storage facility. The LANCERs then signaled for extraction and blew the place to pieces. "Damn." Jarod remarked "Never knew an explosion could be so beautiful." Alarms went off and Korean shouts could be heard as well as gunfire. "Ask it out later, we need to get out alive!" Joel reminded his brother. His radio crackled "This is Finger six-three, we are in route over, recommend you neutralize all counter air units before we get there."

Both brothers found a suitable LZ close to their drop zone and popped their smoke. They defended and even used gas canisters to keep Koreans at bay. Eventually a Black Hawk arrived and Jarod got on. Joel ran out of rounds for his weapons and was still far from the LZ. A Korean machine gun crew opened fire and bullets scarred Joel's armor, yet he still managed to toss C4 onto the emplacement and blow it up. Joel then lept on the Black Hawk which quickly ascended and flew out of view of the terrified yet angry Korean soldiers. Jarod took off his helmet and his hair and face dripped with sweat, "Man, Lancer should've put some sort of air conditioning in these suits!" Joel nodded and watched the sunrise before taking off his helmet and wiping the sweat from his face. He fell asleep.

Miho Yonago Airport Japanese Self Defense Outpost

Near Yonago Tottori, Japan

8:00 am January 9, 2018

Joel woke up in a cot, his armor had been removed and was sitting in a stasis capsule. He got out of bed and joined Jarod next to Dr. Lancer. Lancer looked worried as she told them that the sighting of them earlier had angered North Korea. The ambassador of North Korea began negotiating with Dr. Lancer. She continued to deny anything about it and defended Joel and Jarod, insisting they were a peacekeeping patrol. The ambassador was angered to the point where his bodyguards would simply gun her and anyone else down without second thoughts. They aimed their AK-47s, Joel and Jarod stepped in front of Dr. Lancer. He simply left with his bodyguards intently on declaring war with Japan.

Chapter 4

Unspecified Location

Somewhere in the United States

5:55 pm January 9, 2018

Rain sat in the Humvee as it bounced along the rocky gravel, looking at his helmet. The driver seemed to be in a hurry, the call may had been urgent, or he was simply fearful of the LANCER. Either way, he breezed through a checkpoint still bumping. Rotors were heard in the distance as a Pave Low flew above the valley and settled somewhere. After what seemed like a long trip he saw a small building with two Pave Lows parked on helipads. The driver motioned for Rain to get off. He dismounted and walked toward the Pave Low, he caught a glimpse of another LANCER, he had greenish armor and was placing rounds into a magazine. His armor's collar read Alpha I and had the emblem of a Master Sergeant. It appeared that Silver Team had members with higher ranks than the other LANCER units Rain had trained with. Alpha I looked up at Rain watching his every move, who quickly moved on. Alpha I went back to placing his magazine into his M14 EBR. He remembered Alpha's profile, saying he was quite talkative. If he was going to get along with any others of his team, then Alpha would probably be his earliest friend.

Rain walked in the doorway and saw another LANCER sitting on an ammunition box. This LANCER had a larger suit and was sharpening his oversized Kukri knife. 40mm HE grenades lined his chest and instead of the green goggles on the other LANCERS, this one had bright red. Rain assumed he was the team's Grenadier and spotted the name: Wildcard. Wildcard noticed Rain and looked up, he saw the bars of a Lieutenant. Rain felt as if the bright red goggles were staring right into him. Rain remembered his profile. Wildcard was a more reserved soldier, letting his actions speak for him. He was also nominated as having the highest fear factor when against terrorists, Rain believed that. Wildcard was the last one he would want to run into on a dark night.

He entered and abruptly stopped by a LANCER bearing the emblem of a medic. His LANCER callsign appeared to be Butch. Butch looked like a fugitive, Rain didn't like him on first sight. He nodded to two other LANCERs standing over a table. One had heavier gear and was known as Dare. The second LANCER had his callsign as Vector who bore the emblem of Colonel.

"Colonel." Butch said, making Rain flinch.

Vector slowly turned around eyeing the newest member of his team. "So." Dare murmured. "Our new number Six."

The Colonel still said nothing as he got up and began to circle Rain. Dare also got up and stood behind him. Vector and Dare looked a lot more intimidating standing up. Rain knew what they were doing, searching for a weakness.

"Butch."Vector said, standing next to the door. "Have you read his Career Record?"

"I have." He turned back to Rain. "What makes you think you are worthy to join Silver Team?"

Rain remained silent.

Wildcard grunted, but remained where he was, continuing to sharpen his hooked Kukri knife. "So. Randolph sends us someone to replace our previous Six only to find out he's completely useless!"

"Vector. His reputation as an assassain is quite...impressive. I'm not the one to be judged, but I want to see his capabilities as a soldier." Butch replied.

"Alright." Vector said, "I'm not gonna bullshit you Sergeant, but you're stepping into a pair of boots. A pair that the rest of the squad would much rather leave empty." He took a stride towards Rain and thrust his face up to Rain's. Rain did his best not to recoil, but Vector's glare was full of poison and he spoke through tightly clenched teeth. "One way or another, you'll be out of this team, count on it!" He then broke gazes. "I assume you all know who our newest member is. We have a mission to do." Vector motioned for all the team members to board the Pave Low.

"Just so you know. FNG. We're a team. You go on your own and you'll be out even faster."

Alpha laughed at Rain. "Welcome to the last day of the rest of your life!"

Chapter 5

Unknown location

Alaska, United States

11:11 am January 18, 2018

Captain Trent Legg steered his F-16 Falcon over the vast Bering Sea. On a normal patrol. His squadron flew in a tight formation behind him. "Sir." His second in command called "We have contacts, three Bears approaching 10 miles to the West."

Trent had intercepted Bears and Blackjacks, but typically they came one at a time. He had never heard of three Bears entering US airspace at one time. A reflection off the Tupolev aircraft gave it away as the three, flying in a triangular pattern accelerated toward the US. "Squad. intercept immediately!" The F-16's broke off and began flying next to the three Bears. Legg tried to hail the bombers, but got no reply. "Scan for any new capabilities the Russians could have added." Legg was searching for his camera when he heard an explosion. An F-16 went up in flames and plunged toward the ground. Gunshots were heard as the one of the Tupolevs antiaircraft guns tore apart another Falcon. Legg fired his machine guns a bullet clipped his engine, spinning his Falcon out of control. "Mayday! This is Captain Legg going down 10 miles west of Nome! Mayday!" before the Falcon crashed into the Bering Sea, Legg was instantly killed.

"We had a few F-16s escorting us. They were no match." Yurisev Sidorov reported to his commander. The invasion of Seattle, Portland and San Francisco were in full swing and US resistance was quickly crumbling. "Lieutenant. You need to board the prototype now." his Commanding officer Voronov replied, sitting in the command seat. Sidorov exited the cockpit and walked to the bomb bay. A Mi-42 prototype helicopter sat. It was the largest attack helicopter ever built and previous test against the Chechen rebels, proved it was much more capable than it was expected. Sidorov entered the single seat and started the engine. The Tupolev dropped the helicopter and Sidorov piloted it towards Portland. He led an Mi-28 attack on the US helicopters. The Us had put up a desperate fight, but ultimately failed. "Too easy." Sidorov sneered. "Sidorov, there's a American convoy that's moving out of the city. You need to intercept, destory or capture whatever they are trying to move. It looks important due to multiple Humvees escorting the trucks." Sidorov acknoledged and moved his Mi-42.

Highway 15

Southeast of Portland, Oregon

1:29 pm January 18, 2008

PFC Connor "Falcon" Alexander spent the last magazine of the minigun and ducked as bullets flew around him. "Damn it! That was the last mag!" His best friend, Sgt. Jim Smith gritted his teeth. "This cargo better be important if I'm risking my life to protect it." The Rangers had been ordered to fight to the death to keep the package secure. Smith heard on the radio, this new massive Russian helicopter they were codenaming the Hydra. "Shit." Falcon said, after the US decided to fight the Hydra. "That thing took out four Cobra's at once? I never knew Russian junk could even fly."

A rumble was heard as a massive helicopter hovered overhead. It was the biggest attack helicopter Falcon and Sarge had ever seen. It had a bulky frame and four wings that bristled with rockets. A nose mounted 20mm cannon was aiming straight at Falcon. "Get down!" Sarge yelled, pulling Falcon into the hatch. The cannon fired and a Humvee behind them flew above them to crash in an inferno. The Hydra turned to the armored truck and began firing rounds into it. Most shots splintered on impact and the Hydra fired a rocket that nearly flipped the truck. Sarge grabbed his SCAR and fired SLAP rounds. They pierced the Hydra's rotor, but it stayed upright, it wasn't even smoking. "You gotta be kidding me!" Sarge growled and began firing his Mk. 23 to distract the Hydra. Usually the other Russian Helicopters like the Hinds and Hokums would be easily taken out by a few rounds to the rotor or the engine. The Hydra had bullets in its engine and was running just as good as it was before Sarge shot it. It turned and retreated behind a building. Spetsnaz soldiers began coming from behind the building. Sarge began dropping them, but every one he killed, it seemed as if four more came to replace it. "Damn it! They keep coming!"

The Hydra reappeared again, this time facing away from the trucks. A few rounds bounced off its heavy armor. A Pave Low had attacked the Hydra! It fired rockets towards the Pave Low, it responded with a set of flares which decoyed the missiles. A figure with heavy armor jumped out of the Pave Low on top of an Ultranationalist soldier and sunk its knife into his neck. Two more armored figures jumped out. One began distracting the Hydra forcing it back while hitting it with its M249. The other two continued killing Spetsnaz soldiers, who were too terrified to fight. The Hydra went behind the same building as the remaining Spetsnaz soldiers retreated into the troop bay. The Hydra then retreated, moving out of sight.

Sarge held his breath, he knew that the Spetsnaz never gave up on their objectives. The armored figures walked over to his Humvee and surveyed the convoy. Only the three trucks and six of the seven Humvees survived. The armored figure approached him. "Sgt. Smith?" Sarge nodded. "Good. I'm Vector, this is Dare and Wildcard. We are LANCERs."

Sarge knew who they were. He had heard of LANCERs recently and wanted to see them up close. Vector looked past Sarge to Falcon. "We are here to pick up the package." Vector continued.

Falcon got out of the Humvee. "So wait, this shitbox is yours? I risked my life to be a delivery boy to some freaks?"

Wildcard stepped forward, but Dare put a hand on his shoulder and shook his head. "That package." Vector replied "Are new suits of freak armor to be worn by more freaks. Their value to the US military is about one hundred times higher than you. Any unit that is transporting LANCER suits are required to fight to the death to protect it. And that includes you...Falcon. Now, I suggest we get the equipment out of here before more Russians arrive with something worse than their new flying soup can we call a Hydra."

Chapter 6

Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Masjid al-Haram

10:30 pm January 18, 2018

Jake Smitty observed the enormous crowd circling the Kaaba. He had never seen so many people in his lifetime at one event. He turned away from the scene and walked back to Khaled Al-Asad II. Smitty was ordered to gain Al-Asad II's trust so that Al-Asad II's clan and the United States could possibly negotiate. Smitty was a good friend and an advisor to Al-Asad II, it would hurt his friend to say that he was undercover. "Let's go." Al-Asad II said and left the mosque with his bodyguards and Lieutenant Aram-Bin Asad. He was known as Farhad Al-Kimad in the Arabic nation.

Kimad traveled through the streets, bustling with activity as people chatted and traveled to the market. It was a fairly decent place for tourism, however it was deep in war between Al-Asad II's Opfor and multiple resistance fighters. The enemy groups had barely cooperated with each other. At one point, Kimad was watching four resistance groups fighting the Opfor in different sections. Usually, they were no match for the better trained and eqiuipped Opfor. They got into a truck and drove to their headquarters. Many Russian equipment was stored outside and Opfor members were placing covers over BMPs, Mi-24s and T-72s. At the checkpoint, Al-Asad II asked the guard why they were covering as he ordered all helicopters and vehicles operational at anytime. The guard replied that there was a sandstorm rolling in that would likely be there for the entire night. Smitty went to his room and turned on his computer. He set up his jammer and forwarded a message to the US command. Lt. Aram-Bin Asad was heading to Ukraine in a week to obtain a pair of nuclear weapons that Al-Asad II planned to use to threaten the multiple resistance groups to submit. He sighed, closed the laptop and went to sleep on his bed.

Somewhere along the Maryland Coastline

12 kilometers South of Chesapeake Bay

10:51 pm January 18, 2018

Dr. Lancer leaned against the bulkhead of the Pave Low observing Silver Team. Vector and Dare were playing a game of cards. Alpha, Rain and Butch seemed to be tidying up their weapons. Wildcard sat with his legs dangling over the edge, sharpening his knife as usual. Anthony "Prowler" Sorenson sat on the minigun in his new armor, apparently filling in his mission logs.

"Um. Doctor?" Prowler asked eagerly "Are you sure, this armor works, I am not a superhuman like my brother."

Lancer laughed, Anthony's brother Leo was a famous Ranger and was often idolized by others when he was killed trying to save a wounded teammate. "No Anthony. You need to grow some and adjust." Anthony nodded, but still looked confused. Falcon and Sarge also were in the cabin, wondering if they just had a free ride or were coming along for a mission.

Lancer ordered Silver Team over to her while she displayed a map of the approaching Russian Fleet as well as some top secret files. Rain saw something familiar about them, but he kept his thoughts to himself. She began, "Now. I have a plan to take the fight to the Soviets."

Chapter 7

Top Secret Location

Somewhere along the Eastern Coast of the United States

7:14 pm January 20, 2018

The Pave Low edged itself along the beach and slowly came to a stop, kicking up sand and dirt. Rain jumped out along with the rest of his team. He couldn't believe that Lancer's mission request was approved. Even though she created the LANCERs, she now had access to any top secret equipment in the US military. It was as if she was playing some big crazy ass game...

"Let's move!" Vector shouted. Rain snapped out of his thoughts and sprinted. As Silver Team approached a hill, rotors were heard and everyone looked up. It was like a movie scene. Mi-8s were approaching the beach by the dozens, flying over to the cities, along with escorting Mi-24s and Mi-28s. There were so many aircraft, too many to count. An Mi-26 Halo flew over and dropped Russians off. The team broke their ranks and began firing. Despite that they feared the LANCERs, the Russians put up a fight and it took a full 10 minutes to eliminate the entire force.

Further up the hill, an Mi-8 had dropped off a BMP and two dozen Russians as well as another Russian at the top of the hill. He had a rather more armored uniform and his shoulder pauldron was larger than the others. He carried an MP5K with one hand and a Riot Shield in the other. Rain had never seen the rank before, but apparently Vector did. "Officer! Take him out before he calls for help!" Rain aimed his M14 at the officer and pulled the trigger. The officer pulled the shield over his body and the shot bounced off harmlessly. Dare was already mowing down enemies with his M249. Rain primed a grenade and threw it at the officer, it sailed behing the shield and he turned to face it, he took this oppurtunity to fire four more rounds into the back of the officer, dropping him. Silver continued to the top of the hill, at the top there were several buildings and obviously an airstrip. Gunfire could be heard as Russian and US forces were facing off for control of the base. Silver Team entered, Rain was ordered to take point. He went down a hallway to see a russian officer taking cover behind a storage crate. He approached the officer, drew his knife and slashed the officer across the hip. He then drove his knife into the officer's eye and threw him down. The next room had a view to the front entrance. He saw a couple AT4s and was about to get them when an explosion tossed all but one off the side and a T-90 rolled to the base's front gate. The massive tank turned to face Rain, he gulped and braced for the worst.

The tank fired and Rain dove out of the way while taking cover behind a destroyed Humvee. A whooshing sound was heard as a rocket soared into the air and crashed into the T-90 vaporizing it. Prowler and his friend Jessup Grogan stood there with Prowler's smoking Javelin and Grogan's RPD. "You guys alright?" Grogan asked. "We're fine. Is it ready for launch." Vector, immdiately got down to the main reason why they were here. Anyone could tell that if Vector got impatient, he didn't like someone or something. Rain walked to the first hangar where he saw a familiar fighter sitting inside. "Rain, get to the Raven before the Russians wreck it!" Vector said. Rain hurried over like he had never seen one before.

The Raven was a prototype 5th generation fighter that had only two prototypes. Although top secret, Dr. Lancer had access to anything she wanted in the US military. It had sleek panels that would often deflect most gunfire and sometimes. It looked as if it were an alien fighter. Rain was involved in the development of the Raven and was ordered not to reveal any intel to anyone about it. He climbed into the pilot seat, it felt uncomfortable and he didn't fit. The single seat was designed for an Air Force uniform, not the bulky LANCER suit. Rain adjusted himself and started the engines. He knew this fighter inside and out, so flying this would make no difference to him. The Raven rolled out of the hangar and onto the runway where he initiated the takeoff sequence. "Stage 1 of launch sequence commencing." the announcer replied. The Raven rolled down the runway and took off into the sunset.

"Stage 2 of launch commencing." The Raven had three stages of launching, the first was getting it into the air, the second was to fold out its engines for maneuvering. "Final stage of launch commencing." the announcer ordered and the Raven shot out. Rain grabbed the controls and steered in formation of a few F-15s. "A Raven?" One of the pilots asked "Damn. We could use a hand!" Rain smiled and observed the US fleet stationed at the Coastline. The US had two aircraft carriers, a dozen destroyers, four heavy cruisers and about nineteen frigates. The approaching Russian fleet was three times as large. Rain was ordered to thin out the fleet's ranks before they got a chance to destroy the US fleet. "MiG's! Take em out!" the commanding F-15 ordered. Rain steered the Raven to face dozens of MiG-23 "Floggers". He fired the machine guns and clipped two Floggers, sending one into the water and the other exploded in midair.

"Eagles pursue and destroy!" The Eagles broke formation and began chasing the Floggers. In the fight, Rain had scored over half the Floggers while the F-15s picked off stragglers. One of the F-15 pilots even joked towards Rain and even he almost smiled at. "Yeah, those Russians are in deep shit now!" his co-polit remarked. "Ah. Shit! Flankers!"

The Flanker was a Sukhoi aircraft and was quite maneuverable and was more powerful than the F-15, but not the Raven. Rain wanted to show the Flankers what they were really dealing with and armed his rockets. Locked on. He hit the firing button, the Flanker rolled out of the way, just as Rain intended. He pelted the fighter with a barrage of machine gun fire and it exploded into bits. Rain smiled, if he had a fighter that resembled his personality, this was it. His COM channel was pinging and Vector came online. "Rain, the USS Coronado needs assistance on attacking a Russian Navy straggler. Clear a path to that frigate!" Rain steered the Raven and engaged the booster engines until the monitor alarmed him of the temperature.

The Booster Engines were two extra engines added to the side of the Raven. It allowed for a fast acceleration going faster than any other fighter, however the engines were quite prone to overheating and would activate fail-safe measures. Basically, the Raven would self destruct if the boosters are engaged too long. It had a computer that could identify enemy targets as well as the distance to the target and a reticule indicating where the operator should fire to lead into the enemy target's path.

Rain finally saw the Coronado engaging the Russian Frigate. The Coronado had itself stationed in shallower water, protecting itself from any submarine torpedoes. The Raven banked over the Russian ship and Rain released several bombs in the bay, explosions blossomed around the ship and he turned around to fire a missile onto the ships bridge, putting it down for good. Rain smiled and moved the Raven towards the base. His eyes widened at the sight of Russian fighters now using the airstrip and assumed it had been overrun. He gritted his teeth and moved the Raven into a strafing run over the airfield.

Chapter 8

USS George W. Bush

180 miles Northwest of Honolulu

11:16 am January 24, 2018

Silver Team walked through the corridors to the outside of the carrier. The George W. Bush was carrying reinforcements to the Afghanistan front. It had to go right through the North Korean blockade to get there. North Korea has made an ultimatum of allowing South Korea to be absorbed into a single Communist Korea or invade South Korea anyway and send troops to reinforce Russia who was retreating from the Western US.

The deck was a busy place. Sailors were carrying boxes of supplies to and from places, fighters were taking off every fifty seconds, it was hectic on the top. Randolph was aboard with three new LANCER candidates, assigned to do a supposed assassination mission. Vector had gone to talk to the new LANCERs while the rest of the team sat in a troop quarters and watched the news on the Russian Invasion. Alpha finally broke the silence "I heard two of the new guys are Snipers, one's a pilot, a heavy weapons dude and the last guy is an SAS member."

Butch shrugged "I'm sure Vector will have any info about them, although they will comprise of Charlie Team."

Rain looked at Wildcard who listened intently while playing cards with Dare. Dare slapped a card down and smiled. Wildcard said nothing, slammed his fist into the table, knocking it over and walked out of the room. The TV suddenly was interrupted by Breaking News. "Dude. She's hot." Dare sneered, mentioning the reporter.

"Just shut up and watch the program." Butch snapped, obviously impatient. Dare shrugged at Rain and they listened to the story.

"Doctor Natalie Lancer along with LANCER Jessup Grogan have not been found for nearly 24 hours. They were last seen in Atlanta, Georgia. Known for creating the LANCER project. NATO has dispatched LANCERs aboard the USS George W Bush to assist on the search for their founder. Nothing else is known at this time." The door opened and a pair of LANCERs along with Vector and Wildcard entered quietly listening to the news. Rain knew who they were, the Jackson brothers. They stood in silence watching the last footage of Dr. Lancer being replayed on the news.

There was a knock on the door and Randolph arrived with Scott Petterson in his new LANCER armor. "My apologies for interfering, this is Petterson, a new LANCER who will now be assigned to Charlie Team. I am now commandeering the LANCER program. You will be taking orders from me until Dr. Lancer is found." Vector looked reluctant. Butch, Alpha and Dare nodded. Wildcard just stood there, not sure to just walk out again or stay. "I just recieved a possible sighting of Dr. Lancer in Venice. It is possible that an insurgent group has kidnapped her. They have established a hideout and can be very dangerous. Be careful around civilians." Randolph nodded and exited the barracks.

Vector turned to his team. "Charlie, you will continue with your assassination. Silver, lets go find Dr. Lancer and Grogan."

Chapter 9

Boryspil International Airport

Kiev, Ukraine

7:52 am January 25, 2018

"Finally!" Tyler "Pheonix" Anderson groaned. "It's been a long ass trip!"

Ryan "Shadow" Lewis nodded, Anderson was not very fond of staying put, despite being Lewis' spotter. Charlie team picked up their baggage and went to the outskirts of Ukraine.

Charlie Team comprised of Shadow, Pheonix, Tom "Weasel" Shaw, Scott Pettersen, James "Predator" Riley and led by Max Green. It was a newly formed LANCER team and at first they didn't get along. When they were assigned to assassinate Aram Bin-Asad. They rented an Mi-8 and flew towards the meeting zone. Every LANCER donned their armor and Green unveiled a map.

"Okay, Asad is supposedly coming here to collect Russian arms and ordinance." He pointed north of Kiev, near Chernobyl. "He seems afraid of coming near the plant, so radiation poisoning should not be an issue. There is a hill that allows perfect for a sniper to wreck havoc." Lewis smiled and Green continued. "Once Lewis takes him out, we will fly the Hip near their sniping zone in case Asad's henchmen compromise our mission. The entire LANCER team, except Shadow and Phoenix will stay with me and set up an encampment. Once you two pass the highway here. You'll be on your own."

The Hip descended, Shadow hopped out along with Phoenix. "It's a long ass walk." Phoenix remarked looking at the map in his hands. Lewis agreed "Then we better get started." The place seemed empty and they passed the highway. By sunset, they were about two thirds of the way, so they started a fire and ate a quick meal before falling asleep.

The Next Day

The next day, their progress was halted. Phoenix saw three Opfor members at a checkpoint. "You see em?"

"Yeah. I do. Should we take em out?"

Phoenix and Shadow were wearing Jet Black LANCER armor and they stood out agains the grass, they couldn't keep their element of surprise for much longer, one insurgent was smoking and was walking in their direction. A truck rumbled by and the third member ran back to his post.

"Follow me." Shadow whispered and ran back to a rocky area. He and Phoenix crouched and Shadow told him his plan.

"Okay. I'm gonna start a rockslide and that will cause the truck driver to have to roll them off the road. So we get on underneath and the truck drives in. There we go, a ticket to the city, expenses paid." Phoenix nodded and he planted four charges of C4 and detonated them causing several boulders to crash on the road.

"Now we just have to wait." Shadow said. "Aw. Shit. Those Opfor guys are coming here. Let's take em out."

Phoenix added his silencer and fired three bursts. The weapon coughed and all three insurgents dropped. Shadow and Phoenix walked over and dragged the bodies over in a corner. After an hour of waiting, a truck arrived and they heard doors open. Shadow peered over, there were two Opfor members pushing rocks off the road. He and Phoenix quietly and quickly ran underneath the truck. The Opfor rolled the last rock off the road and got back into the truck. Rocks flew up and pelted Shadow's mask. They both were inches off the ground and could be easily compromised if either of them lowered themselves.

The truck stopped at the checkpoint and paused due to Ithe absence of the guards. The driver said something in Arabic and drove into the city. It parked next to a T-72 and the two men took something from the back of the truck and walked out. Shadow was the first one to move, he lowered himself and crawled to the front of the tank. "All clear." He whispered. Phoenix followed and saw the hill where they were supposed to snipe from. They avoided several patrols and crawled to the top of the hill.

They saw many warehouses and the metropolis in the background, a helipad sat in the center. Phoenix saw it too. "I bet thats where Asad will be touching down."

They began assembling the M82 Barrett sniper and the sun was setting again. So they ate and fell asleep. Aram Bin-Asad was supposed to land tommorow. Shadow practiced aiming at the helipad before falling asleep.

Chapter 10

Unknown Location

Somewhere in Northern Ukraine

1:25 pm January 26, 2018

Shadow shouldered the Barrett and adjusted his scope. It seemed almost time for "Viper" to arrive. Sweat beaded down his hand and he had a white knuckle grip on the handguard. Phoenix was also watching and he checked his watch. "The shuttle should be touching down in 5 minutes. Look at all those guys down there. He must be a really special guy."

Shadow looked over, there were guards in a ceremonial arabic armor standing on either side and even a red carpet was being rolled out. At one end, there was a table with a bottle of whickey and an armored figure, who sat by another figure with less armor, but a more elaborate appearance. The guards held Saif swords, but retained their Opfor look. Shadow checked his watch, the shuttle should be touching down any second. In the distance a black dot moved and quickly enlarged into an Mi-8. It landed at the helipad and powered down. Phoenix saw two guards with AK-47s and Saif swords exit the helicopter. A third figure exited the Hip looking higher rank than the others. Phoenix couldn't identify anyone from this distance. "I can't tell if it is a positive ID, but the guy with the sash has got to be him." Shadow nodded and his finger touched the trigger. The crosshairs continued to follow his target's head until he sat at the table and the larger figure poured him a glass of whiskey. They talked and the second figure mentioned to the first to enter a building. Shadow steadied his aim and squezzed the trigger. The Barrett spat the round and Shadow felt the sniper kick against his shoulder despite his LANCER suit dampening recoil. Phoenix saw the target crumple with a spray of blood and all the guard's delayed reactions.

"Let's get the fuck out of here!" Shadow yelled and they both jumped from the hill as it was pounded by dozens of launched grenades. They ran through the field before they came to a stop near the highway. There were no infantry in sight and an armored Hip helicopter had a spotlight searching the fields.

"Charlie Two to Charlie One, where are you guys? We request extraction. A Hip is looking for us and we can't trick it for long!"

"I hear ya!" Green replied "Engine won't start up! We're trying to fix it. In the meantime get as close to here as you can. Charlie One out."

"Great. They just told us were fucked!" Phoenix shouted.

"No time for bitching we got friends!" Both turned to see guards in ceremonial armor making use of cover and firing with FALs and TAR-21s. Shadow aimed his M40A3 and dropped three guards before noticing the leader in the back. He had a higher status and was pointing a saif at the two LANCERs. "What's the big deal?" Phoenix just kept bullshitting Shadow. "Did the Opfor finally decide to upgrade?" He threw some C4 and blew up the cover positions where he killed the remaining guards with his M16A4. The leader charged with his saif and knocked Shadow to the ground. he tried to reach for his sidearm, but couldn't. The guard raised his saif and Shadow struggled, until Phoenix got on top of him and swatted his hammer like arm into the guards neck. There was a shattering sound and the guard stiffened and fell down. Shadow got up and retrieved his M40A3, they both ran past the highway.

They got to a rocky field when a helicopter was approaching. They squatted in the rocks and a huge shadow flew overhead. It was the Hydra! The pilot aimed his gun and painted the rocks with a laser and then flew off. Seconds later, a barrage of bombs ravaged the field. Shadow was thrown and landed in a heap. The barrage stopped and Phoenix rushed to his sniper. He got out a medkit, Shadow had severe cuts and almost lost his right leg. Phoenix remained calm, it wasn't a long walk back to where the camp was.

In his radio, Shadow called him. "Phoenix, hurry up, that damn Hydra's coming back. Wait. Shit! It landed and a group of Spetsnaz are coming." Gunshots were heard in the radio and he heard static. "Shadow?! Shadow?! Ryan, are you there?! NO!" He ran as fast as he could back to the camp. Green waved to him just as the helicopter's rotor blades began to spin. "Where's Ryan?" Green asked.

Phoenix looked down "The Hydra took him. I think Ryan is dead." He walked into the Hip and sat in the corner seat as it took off and stared into the sky. "Damn." Riley remorsed "I never knew Lewis, but he was a great guy."

"Charlie One to Command. Target destroyed. We're returning to base."

Part 2: More questions than answers

Chapter 11

Downtown Savannah

Savannah, Geogria

5:27 pm January 30, 2018

Daniel "Spartan" Baird reloaded his G36C and returned to Silver Team. He was a new LANCER and since no LANCER teams were avaliable, Baird was put temporarily into Silver.

The Russian invasion of Savannah proved to be a costly one, the US expected them and they knew the city better than the Russians. They had retreated for an unknown reason and could be coming back with reinforcements. Alpha had gone up to one of the skyscrapers to watch the fleet. Vector stood guard while the rest of the team slept. Alexys "Cherry 23" Kinney also sat inside her Apache toggling her headset. All was quiet and Rain found it quite peaceful for a while. He had been fighting for nearly three days nonstop. He began to drift to sleep when the alarm went off. Rain was instantly awake, hands on his SCAR.

"Looks like the Russians want another party! Cherry 23, get to your helicopter, possible Hind approaching." Vector said. He had a lot of energy today and he could amp up the LANCERs. Kinney began flight checks with her gunner and she took off flying between the buildings.

"I can't get a target! There's too much fog!" Kinney reported

"Alright." Vector replied, "Wait until they get closer. If you see any Russians, don't hesitate to rip em up."

Through the thicker fog and the quickly darkening sky, it was difficult to see them, but the noise they made there was defenitely a Hind. Finally they came into view, there were at least 50 troops backed by 10 officers, one BMP-2 and the Hind came into view. It didn't even look like a solid military unit, the Hind was accelerating forward, right past the foot soldiers.

Vector surveyed the approaching force and turned to see US Army Rangers rushing to meet them taking cover behind barricades.

"Do you think they're a scouting party?"

"They don't look like it, otherwise they would've turned back by now." replied Butch who aimed his sights at an officer and opened fire.

The Spetsnaz foot soldiers and nine of the officers were easily killed with combined firepower and the officer continued calling for help. It seemed like random screaming to the US forces, but to the Russians, it might as well be a bugle call because more Spetsnaz soldiers began moving toward the battle. Rain finally put as many shots as he could into the officer, but most were deflected by the Riot Shield. The officer threw a flashbang which stunned the Rangers. The Officer rammed Butch with his shield and knocked him down. Rain took that oppurtunity to fire his last rounds with his SCAR, Wildcard jumped on top of the Spetsnaz and fired his Desert Eagle point blank into the officer's thick helmet.

The officer was STILL moving, he began to get up. Butch raised his weapon and slammed the back of it into the officer's neck.

"Fuckin knight. Gimme that." He picked up the shield and flung it towards the remaining Spetsnaz. It hit an officer and tripped him. Wildcard grabbed him and lifted by the neck.

"Heh. Now we might be able to get some info about why they decided to invade the US." Butch brainstormed

Dare nodded "Good thinking."

The Spetsnaz yelled something in Russian, for all they knew, it could have been cursing them out loud, either way it sounded garbled. "Hey asshole. Look here!" Butch shouted, snapping his fingers

"Why are you attacking us now?"

The Spetsnaz bellowed out loud.

Alpha looked over, "Just kill him already. He'd be much more useful if the doc had put some translator thingy in our armor." Butch nodded and pulled out his twin G18s and put a round in his head. Wildcard dropped the body and dusted off his hands. Butch put away his G18s and faced the remnant of the Spetsnaz.

Since their officer had been killed, they must have known the party was over. Two troopers carrying RPGs turned and attempted to run for it and were instantly gunned down when they went into the clearing.

Kinney was a patient lady for sure, waiting like a vulture until she got some trade. She circled and took care of the BMP and turned away. There was a whoosh of rockets and an explosion. Kinney came back on the radio "Hind destroyed. Coming back down." She landed the Helicopter and got out. Vector nodded, "Thanks for the air support."

"No problem!" she replied

Vector got back online, "Command. This is Silver. Enemy resistance has been neutralized. Prisoner attempts have failed."

"Roger that Colonel. Diamond Team has gone missing as well. Charlie Team is returning, but they lost Shadow. I have no further information. Continue your search for the Doctor. I will try to get Diamond's last known location. Command out."

"Who's Diamond?" Butch asked as Vector accessed the list and marked Shadow as MIA.

"They're the secret team going far behind enemy lines. You know, Sarge, Falcon, Buzz and Winchester? That's Diamond. Alright, I want to make sure the Russians are cleared out. Alpha, take Rain and scout the high ground to the north. Once they report clear or neutralize enemy threats. Cherry 23 will move in and we can make a suitable base where we can monitor the LANCER's activities. Move out."

Alpha groaned "Fuck. I gotta babysit again."

Chapter 12

4 miles north of Savannah Georgia

7:00 pm January 30, 2018

"Follow me and stay low." Alpha whispered. He crept under the outcropping. Rain followed, paying close attention to the voices on top.

Rain hopped on a step and slowly eased up. Two Russians stood with their backs to him. He drew his knife and threw it. It hit his neck and he crumpled in a heap. Rain then lunged for the second guard knocking him down and then stomped on his neck. "This ridge is perfect." Alpha said, pulling himself to the ledge.

Rain surveyed the Spetsnaz base. There were a hundred Spetsnaz soldiers, at least a dozen tanks and a Ka-50 Hokum patrolling the perimeter. "Patience. Those AA guns will probably be our first priority. Taking them out would alert them to our presence." Rain nodded and looked around. There was a small path from the cliff that ran near the AA guns. He tapped Alpha on the shoulder and slid down.

"I just got a transmission. There's an AC-130 with Thomas Kramer callsign Big Brother orbiting the base. Simply laze your target and he'll take care of it."

Rain smiled, an AC-130 was the perfect solution to his problem. He marked the AA guns and the Ka-50. "Roger that. Ready to see some fireworks?" A hail of fire pelted down and obliterated the AA guns. The Ka-50 was vaporized shortly thereafter. The base set off an alarm before Cherry-23 arrived and began tearing through tanks and troops.

"Ah shit!" she yelled, "Enemy reinforcements!"

Two Hinds arrived and began to engage the Apache. The AC-130 began pounding the base, as black smoke began filling the night.

Rain was firing his SCAR fully automatic, dropping as many as he could.

"Outta rockets!" Cherry-23 yelled and began moving back. The Hind pursued her and a Javelin accelerated and the Hind exploded, hurling debris everywhere.

Dare approached, with a smoking Stinger with a huge grin on his face. "See. I told Vector, we should have sent the whole team!"

The AC-130 kept raining death from above until Kramer called Alpha. "I see no more hostiles. Good luck down there, out."

"Command, this is Silver." Vector said through the radio "Scouting area cleared. Have you found a lead on the doctor yet?"

"Yes. I have. At the Savannah Airport, I have a C-130 waiting to take you to Venice, Italy. Also stashed on board are LANCER II suits. Apparently Lancer was working on the a new and improved suit. She finished only Silver Team's before she dissappeared. I will direct you to the last known location where she was. There has been insurgent activity in Venice recently, so don't engage unless nesscesscary. I don't want you in the news. Randolph out."

"We get new suits? I think Randolph just made my day." Butch remarked, laughing.

Chapter 13

Venice, Italy

9:13 am February 1, 2018

"I never knew Venice could be so warm in February." Dare said when they crossed yet another bridge.

Venice seemed like a great place. Silver had some good breakfast and were on their way to the beacon.

Dare was getting quite excited for some reason, Vector held it to himself until he could take it no more. He turned.

"Dare, what the hell is wrong with you. Oh, I get it. You don't like your new suit."

"Nah." Dare replied "There's just a whole lot of girls here that look amazing!"

"It's Venice." Alpha replied "What else do you expect?"

They moved closer to the insurgent's base and took a look around. The door opened and a woman, about 21 walked out to see the team with raised weapons. "Get down!" Vector hissed

The woman, began to panic and shouted in Italian. Butch looked at her, "She doesn't look that harmful."

"I don't mean to be overzealous, but Randolph told me to suspect anyone of an insurgent in close proximity of their base."

Wildcard walked up to her, grabbed her purse and presented it to Vector who rifled through it. He still retained his frightening look that even made the woman step back when he approached. He found many items, but no weapons or explosives. He walked up to her and handed her purse back. "My apologies for seeming like a thief. May I have your name and your purpose?"

She was shaking from head to toe. She finally spoke English. "Yes. I'm Madeline. These guys tried to rob me in there! They nearly killed me!" Madeline pointed in the direction of the insurgents.

Wildcard stepped forward and nodded. Vector turned back to Madeline. "Give him a description of the guy and he'll find him for you."

She described it to Wildcard, who walked off into the district. Vector asked her if she saw someone like Dr. Lancer and she remembered. Gunshots were heard and Wildcard came back holding a man with a bleeding nose by the neck. "That's him!" Madeline shouted. She shouted at him in Italian and he shouted something as well.

"Let me guess." Alpha asked Wildcard "You had to break a few fingers?"

Wildcard shrugged.

"Okay." Vector placed himself between Wildcard and the insurgent. "Who are you and why are you attacking her?"

The guy struggled and Wildcard finally put an end to the guy's misery by a knife to the eye. Rain kicked the dead body. Madeline wanted to tag along with the team, but when she heard they were heading into the insurgent territory, she bid them luck and left, but not before Dare got her telephone number.

Vector tracked the beacon until he stood over it. "It ends here. Now where?"

Alpha looked up from the beacon on his HUD. "You know what? It's coming from underground."

Chapter 14

Underneath Venice, Italy

10:39 am February 1, 2018

Rain slid down the slope and tumbled headlong into a large crystal. He groaned and got up, nobody was in sight and he clicked his flashlight. No response, he flipped on his night vision goggles and began walking back up the slope, but it was way too slippery and the slope was made entirely of clay. It was nearly impossible to climb the slick wall.

He gave up trying and walked along the tunnel. There were enormous crystals and the caverns were just as dazzling. Rain wondered if he had gone down a mile or something. His thoughts were cut off when he heard footsteps. Rain drew his handgun and crouched behind a crystal. The footsteps came closer until he saw a figure walk out. He approached, grabbbed the arm and twisted.

His opponent twisted and countered the lock. Rain reacted first and punched his opponent in the sternum. A crack was heard and a grunt. He didn't move again. Rain knelt and placed his hand on the face. He felt a LANCER helmet. He reactivated his night vision and he was kneeling beside Butch, who was unconsious. He knew what he should do, He grabbed Butch's wrist and activated a beacon. Rain readied his weapon, as his teammates wern't the only ones following the signal. He dragged Butch behind the crystal and readied his SCAR when he heard Russians shouting.

A five man patrol with flashlights approached where Butch came from. They spread out and began shining in the corners. Rain moved quietly behind one and held his SCAR in front. He grabbed the Russian and choked him to death with his own rifle. He snapped his foot out and caught another in the head. The guards whispered something, Rain grabbed two guards and smashed their heads into each other. He slashed his knife into the last Russian's stomach and ripped it out. The guard gurgled and dropped to the floor.

Butch stirred and got up. He turned to Rain. "What the fuck did you do that for?"

Rain shrugged.

"Well saying sorry isn't gonna cut it. C'mon we better find the rest of the team!" He hurried off and Rain followed.

They followed the tunnel until another slope, this one much bigger stood before them. Butch slid down and Rain followed. They were in an enormous cavern with crystals that lit the entire place. Rain looked at the top, where there was a two hundred foot drop and many long beams of water were crashing down into a large reservoir. They were on a small stone bridge that was nearly fifty feet above the water. The path led around a massive island where Rain saw Spetsnaz patrolling and even a Hip helicopter landing. There were two Hips circling the island and they pressed against a wall to avoid being in the spotlight.

All of a sudden Rain heared shouting and gunfire rip through rock.

"Fuck!" Butch shouted as he returned fire. "How did they find us?"

Chapter 15

Underneath the City of Venice, Italy

11:13 am February 1, 2018

Butch vaulted over a rock wedge and crouched. Rain had punched his armor's breastplate and there was a huge crack and the coolant leaked out. His armor's internal temperature was very high and quickly rising. He drew his weapon and began firing at a Hind that had taken intrest. It fled behind the island and launched rockets at the ceiling. He rolled to his side seconds before a razor sharp stalactite crashed into the ground spraying rock everywhere. The rocket had made a newly formed hole and water began falling in another stream. "Fuck off!" he yelled and began firing in a blind rage.

Rain was trying to get the Hind off Butch's back, but it was so determined to kill him, that even a full SCAR clip failed to attract it's attention. A memory of the rockets to the ceiling formed an idea in his head. He put his plan into action, by lighting a flare and throwing it into the air. The Hind flew over to him and began firing in bursts. Rain picked up a dead Russian's RPG, aimed and fired it at the ceiling.

The Hind dodged the rocket, just as Rain had planned. The gunner threw Rain a taunting gesture, Rain shook his head and pointed at the ceiling.

The RPG struck the ceiling, a stalactite broke off and fell on top of the armored helicopter, shearing right through it, the Hind crashed into the water and exploded.

Rain felt triumphant, until the Hip arrived with fully armed Spetsnaz. He braced for his end. He heard a faint whoosh in the distance. The Hip moved closer and exploded in a fireball. Someone came on the COM link. "Come on, you two. Rain..I'm dissapointed." Butch laughed, it was Dare with a smoking Javelin. He arrived with the rest of Silver Team.

"Good to see the both of you alive." Vector said, putting away the greetings. He seemed very battle hardened today.

"There's a possibility that Diamond Team is here. We're getting them out if they are. Let's move!"

Silver Team moved to the island, where the Russians had desperately destroyed the last helicopter so they couldn't use them. "Wildcard, Alpha. Check the wreckage for any clues." They nodded and began digging through the rubble.

"No excat location for anything we're looking for." Alpha reported after a few minutes. "There's something about a President Leonov. They were also saying something about a Mir II and Soyuz II craft."

Rain vaguely remembered. He also remembered looking up information about Soyuz spacecraft and the Mir space station in school.

"Trace it." Vector ordered. Alpha set a small device on the side of the radio and listened. "OK." He finally said. "Placing the beacon on all HUD's."

They hurried over to the beacon, sneaking past Spetsnaz patrols who were increasing, the closer they got to the waypoint. It took nearly four days to go what was seemingly north.

Unknown Location

1:25 pm February 5, 2018

It had to be the longest trek, Rain had ever done in his life.

He had some of the most intense drill instructors that made you do near impossible things that could make you cry in your bunker, dreading the exact same thing the next day. This long journey, avoiding Spetsnaz and walking down deadly slopes made Rain wonder if they would ever get back to the surface.

After what seemed like hours of squeezing through narrow tunnels and climbing on stalactites over a pitch black abyss, they finally approached the waypoint.

"You'd think the entrance would be better protected." Butch remarked as they opened the doors.

There was a lone figure looking at a monitor. He turned to face them with an angry look on his face. He spoke English. "You must be American." They nodded. "My name is Dyavol. My hatred of Americans grows nearly every day. I suggest you leave before I am forced to destroy you"

Vector ignored his threats. "Dosn't matter. I also highly doubt you are capable of destroying all six of us."

Dyavol smiled maliciously. "Let's see." He pulled out a massive double bladed sword and charged.

Chapter 16

Unknown Location

1:15 pm February 5, 2018

Dyavol removed an RPG and fired three rockets at the ceiling. The columns shattered and debris began to fell.

Rain dodged one, but only him, Vector and Wildcard were trapped with Dyavol. Dyavol then began firing a modified PKM. The rounds shredded throught Rain's armor and he flinched while blood began to leak from his armor. Dyavol sprinted to him and swung his blade. Rain's reflexes savd him as he grabbed the handle and began to push with all his might. Dyavol was quite strong, but Rain had snapped his sword in two making Dyavol retreat. He rappeled over the edge of the cliff and dissappeared. The three rushed over to see Dyavol manning the single seat of the Mi-42 Hydra, he laughed and the Hydra flew off.

Wildcard had finished blowing a hole in the rubble. Alpha, Butch and Dare stood on the other side.

"We need to get out of here, I think we got what we needed." Vector said.

"Well, there are two more Hinds left in the helicopter dock." Dare perked up.

They hurried over to the helipads where two unpainted Hinds stood, looking ominous as ever. He mounted the gunner seat of the Hind with Dare and Alpha. They took off and began cruising through the caves and tunnels. Spetsnaz attempted to shoot them down with SAMs and T-72s, but from Dare's expert piloting and Alpha's spotting. Rain, easily put rockets and rounds into the resistance.

A Ka-50 ascended to face them and Rain fired a rocket into the rotor. It exploded sparying debris everywhere.

There was a loud explosion and the massive Hydra approached and instantly gave chase.

"Make this soup can fly faster!" Alpha growled

"It's going as fast as it can!" Dare retorted from the pilot's seat.

The Hydra was feet behind them when Rain turned the minigun and shot the rotor. The Hydra spun and dissappeared.

"Fuck yeah!" Alpha cheered "That's one for us!"

They finally found a large hole and emerged somewhere in western Austria. They crossed fields and small cities. Rain was about to fall asleep when he heard something coming from underground. Dyavol's gritty voice boomed from the speakers of the Hydra. "REMEMBER ME?"

"Fuck!" Dare said swerving to avoid the Hydra's massive blades. "Rain, fire everything you got into that flying bathtub!"

Rain armed rockets and fired, the Hydra easily dodged and fired twice the rockets back. "Hang on!" Dare yelled as he performed a barrel roll to avoid the volley.

Dyavol fired his machine gun and Rain shot it to suppress it. The Hydra shook, but maintained it's course.

"Rain! Shoot the rotors!" Dare yelled over the gunfire. Rain turned the turret and shot the rotors with hundreds of rounds, but it still kept flying. "Always hated Russian choppers!" Vector said over the radio. "They're impossible to take down!"

Rain kept observing as he battled the massive helicopter. It was quite maneurverable and it had an insane amount of guns, yet it carried only one person and it never banked sharply. So he fired at the tail rotor and it caused it to spin, Dare pushed every ounce of power to the limit and the Hinds accelerated past the Hydra. Rain aimed the turret at the Hydra and continued firing. It turned sharply and cut it's own tail rotor off, but it reamined in the air.

Rain's mouth dropped open. "Are you shitting me?" Butch ranted. "How much can this thing take?"

It accelerated in front and Rain fired every rocket at it. It spun and crashed, for good this time. Dyavol was hurled out of the cockpit and landed in a heap. Dare landed the Hind and the team approached the weckage of the lone Mi-42. Dyavol was crawling and drew his Desert Eagle. "Remember us?" Vector jeered before he placed a round in the back of his neck.

Alpha searched the wreckage, "Look at this. Coaxial rotors. The tail rotor was just a backup."

Dare pulled out a chip from the cabin. It was in an armored box. "Looks like this is what Dyavol wanted to keep away from us. Looks like some sort of rocket."

Vector took the box and read it. "They're getting an orbital space station to spy on our loactions and possibly launch missiles at our defenses! We need to get this data back to Command!"

Chapter 17

Makkah, Saudi Arabia

11:14 am February 6, 2018

Jake "Kimad" Smitty sat at his laptop. He typed an email to US Command and set up the jammer before sending it. Hopefully the LANCER team had assassinated Aram Bin-Asad so the nuclear arms were not collected.

Someone knocked on his door and he opened it. An Opfor soldier stood there, "Al-Asad wants to see you."

"Tell him, I'll be right out." The insurgent nodded and shut the door. He got his mask on and walked over to the command center. There were several insurgents operating computers and Al-Asad II stood, overseeing a monitor. Smitty walked up to him.

"Ah. Kimad, isn't it great that Bin-Asad returned alive?"

Smitty's heart stopped.

"What? He was attacked?" Smitty tried to remain calm. "Of course he did." Asad smiled. "The one that was attacked was a decoy, we actually achieved the ordinance a day before they were attacked." Aram Bin-Asad walked in, just as Asad II said. He was very much alive and well. "Anyway." Al-Asad II continued. "That's not what I called you here for. We recently intercepted this electronic message sent to the United States by a Jake Smitty. He sent this."

To: US Command

From: Jake Smitty

Aram "Viper" Bin-Asad has went to collect nuclear ordinance from the Ultranationalists. I have heard this from Al-Asad II who is currently staging a revolution. I have no further information. Al-Asad II plans to use the nuclear weapons to force the curent governemnt to submit. We need to stop them before this seriously gets out of hand.

Jake Smitty

"Find this Jake Smitty and bring him to me." Al-Asad II said calmly. Kimad saw something in his eye, but he left without a word. He needed to call for help otherwise, it was a matter of time before Khaled Al-Asad II found out his true identity. He decided to risk it. Jake Smitty sent a second email, this time without the jammer to the US Command, calling for help.

USS Nimitz

4:15 pm February 6, 2018

The deckhands could only watch in shock as the two Mi-24s landed on the helipad. They were even more shocked when three LANCERs walked out of each Hind. "My apologies to signaling." Vector said. "We were low on fuel."

Captain Michaelson nodded, "That's fine, but you had us worried. We get nervous when a Russian heli comes close."

Silver Team went into the bridge and inserted the chip. A display of a space station and a rocket came on the screen. Vector zoomed in and saw a pair of missiles being loaded onto the rocket. He sighed and dismissed the team before following Michaelson. "Excuse me captain. I have something to show you."

Michaelson followed Vector to a holographic table where he inserted the chip and a hologram of Mir II and the rocket were displayed. "This is the Mir II." Vector pointed to the space station. "That rocket is taking off in 24 hours to deliver parts and two missiles to the station as it nears the United States."

Michaelson scratched his head. "So you are asking me to stop them?"

"No. I'm asking you to approve a mission to sabotage the rocket or board the station."

"Mission request denied. We need to regroup and find out what the fuck is going on."

Vector didn't back down, even Wildcard and Dare walked up next to him. "Sir. With all due respect, if that missile gets onto the station and it may even be operational online now. It could possibly vaporize the entire western front."

Michaelson walked over to a cabinet and poured himself some brandy. He took a small sip. "You guys want a drink?"

Vector smiled. "No thanks sir." Dare gave a no signal and Wildcard just shook his head.

Michaelson took another sip and said three words, "Mission request approved."

Chapter 18

USS Nimitz

Somewhere off the coast of South Carolina

4:36 pm February 9, 2018

Dare was enjoying a drink when he heard the radar ping and set off the alarm. He tried to hail the unknown aircraft. "This is the USS Nimitz, identify yourself." He turned to Butch. "No response. Aircraft has been identified as an Mi-26T Halo."

"Well, let's get it onboard and see what he wants. If he has a troop bay full of armed Spetsnaz trying to kill us, we're fucked." Butch finally stated.

Dare grabbed his M249 and armed it. The Mi-26T was a massive helicopter, bigger than the Pave Low. It could carry up to 80 fully armed troops into battle and had two mounted RPDs on the side. Even Dare's modified M249 could barely punch through the heavy armor.

He saw the Mi-26T in the distance and readied his weapon, but looked casual. It approached and landed on the helipad, dwarfing the Pave Low next to it. Wildcard was also next to the massive helicopter with an armed MGL. Vector walked to the cockpit and opened it. A pilot with a Desert Eagle climbed out. "Drop it! NOW!" Vector ordered. The pilot deliberately laid the high caliber pistol on the deck. "Do you speak English?" Vector babbled something in Russian and the pilot relaxed. "Yes. My name is Matheus Kerensky, me and my Spetsnaz unit are defecting."

Wildcard had his knife to Kerensky's throat. "Easy Wildcard." Vector cooed. Rain was quite surprised that the Spetsnaz was not even scared of Wildcard. Wildcard, during the notable LANCER voting, was voted as the LANCER with the highest fear factor. It seemed everyone respected and some even were in awe of Marcus.

"I heard you guys killed Dyavol." Kerensky finally said. "I have a plan, not sure if it will work, but it's worth a shot. As long as my unit and I are allowed to create a special forces unit in the armed forces of NATO and the United States. Me and my men were obliged to fight for the Ultranationalists, but their beliefs were not enforced."

Damian finally spoke up, lowering his M249. "How many men?"

"Sixty. Not counting me."

"Well, you can tell us the advantage you brought us, besides your Halo. Let's get a drink. I'll ask the ship's captain to prepare bunkers for your men."

Rain followed Vector and Kerensky into the bar. Vector poured three glasses of whiskey and handed one to Rain and to Kerensky.

Kerensky sipped. "Very nice. Not one of the cheaper brands." Vector laughed.

"Anyway. What are you? You don't seem to be an average Yankee."

"I'm a LANCER. A top secret commando trained to counter the Ultranationalist threat. So what's your story?"

Kersnsky' eyes hardened and he finally spoke "We were the Federation, until the Ultranationalist uprising. I had used my Mi-26 in battle against Chechnya. We were scouting for rebels in the Baltic Sea when the message came. I could not comprehend what I was hearing. We had been betrayed by the Ultranationalists. At the time, I had a Ultranationalist Colonel whom I was under command of onboard our carrier. When my people refused to swallow this lie, the Ultranationalists tried to strip us of everything we had. My men looked to me like they never had before, but I knew what I had to do. The Colonel knew I was coming, so I dodged the Desert Eagle shot and kicked him off his command throne. I showed my people of what deception we had, beginning with the only piece of the evidence we had. Our war against the liars began with the Colonel's death, whom I personally executed. Since the repelling of the First US invasion, we hunted the Ultranationalists. It was a brutal fight, the Ultranationalists armed their troops with powerful, new weapons, hoping in return they would protect Russia from our wrath. When the Ultranationalist leaders went into hiding, the lack of a strong leader allowed the party to revert to their more aggressive ways, so they turned on each other for control of Russia. As a result, they were easier targets for us. Some of my fellow commanders continue the conflict to this very day. For fighting for Russia so long, we don't know if dying for our country is truly worth the risk."

The room fell silent for a full five minutes. Finally Dare just said "Damn."

Vector simply said "So you're defecting to avoid your own extinction? What about that plan that you said could turn the tide of the conflict that has engulfed the world?"

Kerensky snapped out of his dark past and told the team. "The Ultranationalists ordered us to deliver a missile that will be going to the Mir II orbiting Earth."

"Damn. I never knew Russia could build a space station this big, this fast."

"My plan was to smuggle a few of my units as well as a couple of your LANCERs to get onto the shuttle heading for Mir II. There you will easily be able to take control of the station. You will have to release the missiles and scan for enemy locations. Once the station has been used to its full potential, you will take the shuttle back to Earth."

"Michaelson has already approved the mission. Okay. I know the perfect LANCERs that can go to the station. Prepare the Halo for departure, we will also need three Spetsnaz commandos to accompany them." Vector left the room.

Two and a half hours later

Jarod Jackson and Joel Jackson sat in the Pave Low toying around with their weapons. Wildcard was leaning his back against the bulkhead carving his knife. Across the deck was the Mi-26T, a small crowd of naval personnel and SEALs have gathered around to look at it. All three looked up when Vector approached, he pushed past the crowd and put one foot on the floor.

"Jackson's. They're going on another mission to Russia. I picked you to go with Rain and three Spetsnaz commandos."

Jarod was excited. "Finally, we get to kick some Soviet ass!"

Vector smiled and proceded to brief them about the mission.

Part 3: The collapse

Chapter 19

Makarov Launch Facility

12 miles east of Volgograd

9:44 pm February 11, 2018

Rain clutched the bulkhead of the Halo as it zoomed along, passing over checkpoints. He was ready for nearly anything. Joel and Jarod sat adjacent to him. They looked nervous going into space. The three Spetsnaz commandos geared up, they had NATO weapons and only knew how to use the TAR-21 and AK-47.

"I hope you know how to use American weapons." Joel joked as he passed two M4s and an MG4. They laughed too. Rain remembered their names, Mikhail, Leonid and Alex.

"Okay. I'm landing." Kerensky finally said "Take positions and get inside the facility. That shuttle will be launching in twenty six minutes."

The Halo landed and two guards came aboard. Rain and the Jacksons hid behind seats while the Spetsnaz stood in the open. The guards checked the missile and left. The ramp opened and a forklift came in, it picked up the missile and reversed towards the shuttle.

"We're authorized to use force, but should be kept at a minimum." Joel reminded the group. He turned to Leonid, "So why did the Ultranationalists ditch the old Federation troops?"

Leonid armed his MG4. "I have no idea. We were the superior warriors. The only reason was we didn't believe in the Ultranationalist ideals. They were quite exterme if you ask me." They moved along the Halo and it took off vanishing in the skyline of Volgograd. "Two and three are in position. Four, five and six move up." Joel ordered. The Spetsnaz moved forward.

Rain couldn't help but give every ounce of respect he had to these Russian commandos. Hearing movement, he ducked out of cover to see four Spetsnaz soldiers with weapons drawn and aimed at him. He gasped and drew his knife.

Chapter 20

Makarov Launch Facility

12 miles east of Volgograd

9:50 pm February 11, 2018

The two groups stood with weapons drawn. "Don't worry. You can trust them." Kerensky said over the COM.

"Why should we?" Jarod threatened.

"They're undercover. They will guide you throught the mission from the command center."

"Don't worry." One of them said, "You can count on it!"

"Let's move!" Joel ordered. "That shuttle is waiting!"

Rain ran over to crates and entered the building with the weapon ready. The team went through a walkway and saw the massive shuttle. It was larger than any aircraft that he had ever seen. Lights lit up its sleek features as it sat waiting for the countdown to launch it into the black abyss. A Ka-50 patrolling it looked like a pinhead near the top. They paused to avoid very tight security patrols.

"Now! Let's go!" Jarod yelled. Leonid tried to stop him, but it was too late. He ran into four guards who drew their weapons and fired before Jarod could react. Jarod yelped and fell to the floor. Leonid killed all four with his MG4 and knelt beside Jarod to check on him. "He is fine." Leonid said, sounding confident. "Lucky armor saved him."

Jarod got up. Rain did note Jarod to be quite reckless, Joel also knew, so he kept Jarod in check as he told him to take point. Jarod spotted three Russians, but they were simply hauling missiles on the shuttle. They were about to get aboard the shuttle when a Spetsnaz officer spotted them. Joel ordered engaging, but Mikhail put himself between them firing his M4.

"Go!" He screamed. "You got a mission to complete! I'll hold them off!"

Joel tried to reason, but Mikhail was narrow-minded and continued firing his M4 against dozens of Spetsnaz. Joel signaled to get to the storage area and the five of them ran in the warehouse. Rain slammed his hand on the control panel to shut the warehouse door.

Mikhail was still firing and he had killed nearly half of the Ultranationalists until he was shot in the back by the officer's Desert Eagle. He grunted and his M4 was out of ammo. He grabbed the nearest Spetsnaz and began killing them with his bare hands and knife. Finally he had no energy left, his wound was bleeding out and he mustered all the strength he could. The officer put a boot to his helmet and kicked his head. "So much for Federation might. That's quite ironic."

Mikhail turned over to reveal two grenades pins pulled on his vest as well as plastic explosives, the Russians looked in horror as he smiled, die hard style. "Last one to hell is a rotten egg!"

The squad heard a massive explosion in the distance. All fell silent for a minute. "No! We shouldn't have left him." Alex whispered. Joel couldn't confront the loss correctly. They wern't even on the shuttle and they already lost one man.

"We have to keep moving. Once life is not worth millions." he finally replied. Alex nodded and they crept in the storage room. Rain held up a fist, they heard voices and he peered around the box. Two Spetsnaz stood in front of the storage containers loading them onto a conveyor belt. "No way we're getting on the Shuttle that way." Leonid said while looking out the window.

Rain looked out too, there was nearly three dozen guards with AK-47s and RPD machine guns. Even a BMP was positioned at the back. Even with his armor, he couldn't tolerate that much firepower without getting wounded or most likely killed.

"I have an idea." Jarod whispered. "But we'll have to take them out." He nodded to the two in front of the conveyor.

The storage room had lights on and gave it nearly a futuristic look. A large 01 was posted digital style on the wall and the lights lit the floor. Rain crept up and jabbed his knife in the back of one's neck. The other guard reached for his sidearm, but Rain's improved reflexes let him pull the knife and toss it at the second Spetsnaz. The knife sailed through the air until it impacted bladefirst into the man's mouth and down his throat. Rain walked over and pulled the knife out, which was dripping with blood. Leonid handed Rain a cloth, which he wiped the stain off of.

They heard voices and two Spetsnaz walked in, oblivious of the bodies that Rain stashed in one of the containers. They started activating the conveyor. Rain and his squad watched from inside two containers. The line entered the shuttle and they smiled when they were stowed away in the cargo hold.

"Your plan, bro, was genius." Joel complimented as he high fived his brother. Rain, inside the other capsule watched the two spetsnaz in his pod pull over vaccum helmets. A booming voice came online in russian. Rain turned his translator to English. "System ready, counting down, T-minus five, four, three, two ONE! We have liftoff!" A roar filled the shuttle as the rockets activated. Rain felt a jolt and a steady ascent. It was nearly fifteen minutes before Rain felt himself floating. He smiled and performed a flip in midair. Everyone else was having as much fun as him. None have been into space.

Joel opened his container. Nobody was in the cargo hold, he drifted and nearly crashed into a guard. He gripped a handle and reached for his knife. It was as if it were underwater, things seemed slowed and gravity was absent. He couldn't have delivered a fatal blow with a knife without being alerted. So he took his M4 can strangled the man. He struggled, but still managed to set off an alarm.

"Shit." was Alex's comment.

Another soldier pointed them out, before Jarod neutralized him. With his final moments, the officer jabbed his knife into a button. There was a loud roar as the large cargo door opened, debris, weapons, missiles and containers flew out. Rain gripped the bar and saw Jarod, Leonid and Alex fly out. Joel was next to him clutching a pole, hanging for his life.

"Shit!" Joel yelled, "Rain, look out!"

Rain turned to see a container fly towards him, it slammed into him, flaring pain over his entire body. He cringed and saw Joel lose his grip. His fingers slipped on the slippery bar and was flung out into space.

Chapter 21

Russian Shuttle Yeltsin

Approaching Mir II

10:59 pm February 11, 2018

Rain struggled in the void. The shuttle was getting smaller by the second and containers were flying out. His strength was completely useless against the laws of physics. He tried to get his grappling hook, but he was too far.

Some crates headed for him and he outstreched and grabbed the container. He peered inside, there were a pair of thruster packs. He grabbed one and pushed the other one to Jarod who also was struggling in space.

"Quick!" Joel said over the speakers, "We need to get back before the door closes!" Rain activated his pack and he bagan drifting closer to the aircraft. He marveled at the blue globe below, it was as if he never saw Earth before. He shook off his thoughts and continued thrusting towards the shuttle. Joel, Leonid and Alex were onboard when he and Jarod touched down.

Leonid sealed the cargo bay and Rain entered the bridge. Two armed pilots stood with USPs drawn. Rain reacted first, he shot the first one and then jumped to the second one, jammed his handgun in the pilot's eye and pulled the trigger. "Awesome." Alex said settling down in the pilot's seat. "Now who knows how to fly a space bucket?"

Chapter 22

Aboard Russian Shuttle Yeltsin

Approaching Mir II

11:23 pm February 11, 2018

Alex ignited the engines and Rain sat in the co-pilot seat. The shuttle accelerated toward the Mir II, Rain saw another shuttle docked and a third one returning to earth.

The Mir II was larger than any other flying thing anyone had ever seen. It had missile silos and nuclear pods filled with armed warheads ready for launch at any minute from the Russian Command. Lights were flashing on every section of the mammoth object. Alex steered the shuttle into one of the bays where a holographic message was displayed. "Welcome to Mir II"

"Shuttle Yeltsin. You are about to enter the Mir II station. Please enter your passcode and you may proceed."

"Anybody know the code?" Jarod asked

Everyone shook their head. A transmission was heard again. "If you do not transmit the passcode, you will be treated as an enemy vessel and action will be taken." the shuttle docked and a walkway extended to the door. Jarod stacked up on one side and Rain took the other. Leonid stood in the middle, MG4 ready. Jarod tapped the control and the door slid open, revealing a sleek hall lit with lights that resembled an alien starship Rain remembered when he went to the movies years ago.

Jarod drifted through, calling clear for every room. "So where did they go if we didn't transmit the code?"

Rain drifted through the hallway, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a lone Russian with a Riot shield with even more elaborte markings than an officer. He took notice and began firing a Desert Eagle.

"Field Marshall!" Alex said out loud and opened fire. The Marshall raised his shield and the bullets harmlessly deflected off the barrier. Rain armed a Semtex and tossed it towards the general. The grenade sailed to the top and detonated a gas pipe, incenerating the Field Marshall, alarms screamed and the pipe was sealed.

"I never knew Russians had this technology, they might even be ahead of the Japanese." Joel said, still marveling at the interior.

"Probably a secret." Leonid added drifting to a door to press the button. The door hissed and the curcular light spun three times before hissing open.

A hlogram showed the massive station. Rain saw barracks for an entire platoon, the missile launch facility and a command center. Joel finally ordered, "Let's split up. Alex, Joel and I will head for the command center and control it. Rain, take Leonid to the launching area and see what you can do to shut the nukes down. Move out!"

Chapter 23

Al-Asad II's hideout

Somewhere in Makkah, Saudi Arabia

1:26 pm February 12, 2018

Jake Smitty had successfully sent the beacon, now he could only hope that Al-Asad II and the Viper would not find out. He heard a knock on the door and opened it. An Opfor member stood there armed with an AK-74U pointed at his chest.

The Opfor armed the weapon and was about to fire when a figure grabbed him and pulled a knife to his throat. The terrorist gagged, falling to the floor dead. A figure stood behind him holding a knife. Smitty cocked his pistol, "Relax." the figure said. "I'm here to get you out."

"Who are you?"

"I'm LANCER known as Spartan. If you don't mind, we should get out before they find out their rabbit is missing." They hurried down the hall where Smitty saw a large hole blown open with sunlight filtering through the thick dust. Spartan jumped up through the hole and helped Smitty up while handing him an M1911. Three more LANCERs awaited them at the top.

"Our ride got shot down." Prowler reported, he clutched his M240. "What are we gonna do now?"

"Our mission was to get him out." the leader known as Revenant said, stepping out of the shade to reveal his face before he put his mask on. "And that's what we're going to do."

Revenant led the group to the helicopter pad. "Look. We're going to steal that ride. Longsword? You're with me!"

Longsword objected. "But sir! I don't remember how to fly one. It was years ago I did a simulation."

"Well, let's see what you've remembered." the two crept up to the ledge where a Hip helicopter was hovering next to a second Hip. The flying helicopter dropped a BMP along with some troops before flying off. Revenant laid down on the sand and began burying himself. Longsword helped him, soon enough, the Opfor troops along with the BMP were approaching the area where Revenant hid. Spartan planted an anti-armor mine on the road.

"Wait for my signal." Revenant said, he was quite zealous at whatever he did. "Go!" Revenant ordered. Longsword peered out with his FAMAS and fired four rounds. Four bodies hit the floor, the remaining Opfor charged, passing over Revenant's hiding spot. Prowler opened up with his M240, dropping Opfor in a massacre. The BMP passed over Revenant who burst up from the ground and grabbed the nearest opfor member to impale with his knife. The BMP spotted Spartan who detonated the mine and the BMP exploded. Soon enough, all the Opfor were killed and the BMP was burning.

Longsword fell into the cockpit and flipped a pair of switches, the Hip's engines turned on and the helicopter lifted off the ground slightly. Smitty and the remaining LANCERs boarded the helicopter. Longsword pushed a joystick, the helicopter ascended and flew over the market along with several other buildings.

Revenant saw Smitty, who was hit in the leg. He got out a trauma kit and expertly treated the wound. Smitty took a recording device and handed it to Revenant, who was applying a bandage to the hole. He took the chip and inserted it onto his TACPAD. It flashed once and began to play in his helmet. Revenant stood still for nearly ten minutes until he turned to Longsword. "Keep going to the bay. We're linking up with the navy and getting this intel back to Vector."

"You got it boss." Longsword replied and steered the Hip around a large sand dune. "You got open signal." Prowler said, leaning on the minigun. "Now would be a good time to send the intel to Silver."

Revenant nodded and sent the message to Silver.

Chapter 24

Near the Georgia-Florida Border

1:30 pm February 12, 2018

Alexys "Cherry" Kinney leaned against her Apache, she marveled at the sunlight. It was quite warm, even for February. She turned to see Vector and the rest of the team, minus Rain.

"Where's Rain?" she asked.

Vector stopped, "He's onboard a Russian space station stopping the facility from launching missiles."

"Hope he's okay."

"He's a LANCER." Vector smiled and playfully slapped her shoulder. He suddenly got on his TACCOM and nodded.

"Pirates. Cherry, get to the Longbow. Scout them out."

"Rodger that." Kinney replied, already putting her helmet on. She took off, circling the beach and linked the COM to Vector.

"Yep. Sure enough. Cuban pirates. Shining them." She turned on a large light. "Drop those weapons or I will open fire!" she threatened through the speakers. The boats continued their course, leaving behind trails of wake.

Kinney revved up the cannon and fired three warning shots. They splashed near the boats, the pirates did not waver and she fired rockets, obliterating one of the boats. Vector ran to the beach where he fired his ACR. Dare joined him, spraying thunderous rounds at the rogue ships. "Damn. The fuckers won't give up!" Butch shouted over the gunfire.

The pirates were finally killed off, Vector inspected an intact boat as well as the bodies torn apart by vicious rounds. Wildcard grabbed the intact boat and hauled it to shore. It was so damaged, when he heaved it and it broke apart. Vector climbed in the rubble and began searching. "Nothing." he said at last, "Those pirates were probably coming for food."

Kinney landed her helicopter and hopped out. She inspected the wreckage like the others. "Anyway." Vector continued, shorting out Butch's sentence. "Spy Jake Smitty has a possible location on Doctor Lancer. Silver, we're getting her out. I've got a Black Hawk en route. Meanwhile, you guys gear up. It may be a while before we can reach US territory. On the good side, Japan and South Korea have repelled North Korea's aggression. They have signed a treaty and are working to rebuild."

"At least North Commies are out of this shit." Alpha added.

A BlackHawk landed and the team climbed on. "Good luck Kinney." Vector said to her while taking off. Kinney saluted in return.

"So where was the Doc last seen?" Dare asked, leaning on the table.

Vector replied "Not sure. Locals reported her somewhere in Moscow. Looks like we get to take the fight to them after all."

Wildcard and Dare clanked fists and cocked their weapons.

Chapter 25

Moscow, Russia

12:15 pm February 14, 2018

"Aw. Fuck." Butch's only words were. "How come we didn't see this."

Silver was surrounded by Russian officers in a gulag and Field Marshalls. Thankfully, they couldn't remove their armor. One stepped forward, "Thanks to this beacon, you were lured like a moth to a flame. Without your support, the US has collapsed. Mother Russia has new territory!"

Wildcard struggled in his cell, he punched the cell door hoping to break it, instead his arm flared into pain and he was breathing heavily rubbing his fist. "Don't waste your energy. American." the Marshall said. "There's nothing you can do for your country. Since its collapse, your people have divided into clans and are fighting each other for control. It won't matter in the future though."

"What do you mean." Alpha asked, obviously irritated

The Marshall pulled out his handgun and pointed it at Alpha. He braced for it.

In Wildcard and Dare's cell, Dare saw Wildcard remove his last-resort combat knife. Dare could tell Wildcard always had an idea to get out. The officer turned to see Wildcard crouched behind bars with a throwing knife. He quickly pressed a button, sealing the bars, the only holes were large enough to stick a fist through.

"Face it." Butch said. "We're fucked."

Onboard Mir II

3:41 pm February 13, 2018

"Just got word." Jarod said, listening to his TACCOM. "The United States has fallen. Now the American People are fighting each other and the Russians are picking them off."

"Hope the family isn't caught in this." Joel said, stacking up beside the door.

"Joel, its me, Leonid."

Joel sighed with relief, Leonid and Rain hadn't checked in for a day. Damn, station was too big.

"Go ahead."

"We got a locked door and gunfire seems to be useless. We considered explosives, but that encounter with the Marshall still haunts us and we don't want to risk it again. Have you gotten into the control room?"

Joel sighed. "We're working on it. Out."

Suddenly a speaker boomed through the station. "Arming ballistic missile 1. Firing in three, two one!"

Leonid and Rain rushed to the window, they saw an ICBM accelerate past them. An explosion rocked the station.

"Aw fuck!" Leonid cried out. "They took out the shuttle, now we have no way back!"

See the Sequel NATO's Downfall and the prequel Abducted!

==Credits Victims == Ebithio as Green

Price25 as Jim Smith

My Wunderwaffle iz missin as Vector

My Wunderwaffle iz missin as Major General Randolph

My Wunderwaffle iz missin as Natalie Lancer

Doctor Richtofee as Kinkallen

Pillsbury810 as Joel and Jarod Jackson

Floody16 as Scott Petterson

Wontbackdown as Weasel

Bumblebeeprime09 as Jake Smitty

SSDGFCTCT9 as Dyavol

Fawkes 2.0 as Al-Asad II

Wtf man as Butch

Alex Martin Rider as Shadow and Phoenix

My Wunderwaffle iz missin as Wildcard

Gamemasta424 as Dare

SeaCrane 1 as Falcon

Cpt. Riley as Predator

SErGI01005 as Alpha

T3H Rogue as "Viper"

Snowman-526 as Big Brother

AdvancedRookie as Sidorov

Knotdead Yett as Rain

Spartan-056 as Spartan and Kinney

MatheusBond as Kerensky