1 Cyprus pass

The wind whistled through the rocks and ruffled my fur making my ears twitch as I stared through the rifles scope adjusting just a bit to focus on an approaching truck I heard rocks bounce down the mountain behind me and I heard the small curse from my companion, a female wolf that clutched a C7A2 and was dressed in the same tan vest and chocolate chip clothing I was. I'm sorry I haven't introduced myself yet my name is Jason whitefang a grey wolf and I am one of the few members of the Canadian black devils an old Canadian spec ops force from WW2 that had been reactivated for the war in Afghanistan, the lionesses name is Jessica pride one of the few female lions in the black devils there was another person behind her a female Doberman pinscher named Alex Shepard holding a C7A2. I felt Jessica's tail brush against mine as she moved to lay beside me "hey Jace want me to take over?" she asked putting her hand on my shoulder I turned my head toward her "okay, remember any vehicles with the eagle on it, kill the driver" I said as I removed my arms and hand from the sniper rifle and moved back toward Alex bringing my rifle to bare as I did Jess gave a low growl and I heard the sound of the suppressed C14 Timberwolf MRSWS fire and I heard Jess move the bolt back and the empty shell hit the rocks I moved next to her and saw what she was seeing as I looked through my C79 scope to see four trucks stopped on the road with the lead truck in the conveys windshield cracked and splattered with blood Jess fired again hitting one of the people that had jumped out of the back of the first truck I motioned behind me for Alex to move up and I rolled over to look at her "Alex use your M32 and adjust for 500 yards" I whispered and a grin spread across her face as she unslung her MILKOR M32 MGL and adjusting the sight. The thump of the M32 firing was followed a minute later by the 40MM grenade exploding and a truck was engulfed in a plume of fire I focused on the third truck and started firing, four men went down before the truck exploded, I moved on to the last truck and this was when the Taliban members choose to start firing, I saw a lizard heft a rifle that I instantly recognized as a Dragunov SVD I moved back and pulled Jess with me and she grabbed the Timberwolf just as we moved from that position a round hit the rock where the Timberwolf sat I heard Alex's M32 fire twice and the two grenades exploded sending the Talis into chaos I took the Timberwolf from Jess and put it back into its bag and returned it to its place on my back and hefted my C7A2 before starting the descent down the hill I activated my mike as Alex and Jess moved in front of me "6-6 this is kilo 9-2 convoy destroyed and we are moving to primary extraction point" my radio crackled with static before someone responded " Kilo 9-2 this is 6-6 acknowledged convoy enroute" "Kilo 9-2 acknowledged going dead on comms" after I said this I switched my radio off and motioned for Alex and Jess to do the same I continued down the hill as Jess and Alex switched off their radios as we reached the bottom of the hill I heard the faint rumble of strykers and humvees approaching. I sat down behind a rock and motioned for Alex and Jess to do the same and they did while resting their rifle barrels on the rocks I looked toward the sound of the convoy to see the green vehicles shimmering in the heat haze I sighed and turned around and rested my back against the rock.

20 minutes later the trucks arrived to where we were sitting , Jess and Alex climbed into one of the humvees and I followed them slinging my C7 over my shoulder and sat down next to Jess and she removed her gloves and gripped my left hand I looked at her and smiled then she dug her claws into my hand before letting go I looked out the window and felt her lay her head on my shoulder and I heard Alex coo from the other side of the humvee the driver a male gorilla looked back and chuckled I glared at Alex and the driver as the convoy started to move. As time went on the movement of the truck lulled me into a state of half sleep. I was jolted out of this state by the M2HB mounted on top of the humvee firing, Jess was already up and gripping her rifle and I scrambled for my rifle as well I looked to the driver to see him slumped against the steering wheel, blood coating the wheel and dashboard the co-drivers door was open and he was crouched behind it clutching a Remington 870 his swearing could barely be heard above the report of the M2HB I opened my door and stuck the barrel of my rifle through the slit between the door and the B pillar of the humvee and started firing. The sound of shells hitting rock was almost music to my ears and I smiled as I emptied the mag into the cliffside along with the soldier on the M2HB, as I crouched down and took cover behind the door to reload I heard a scream from the gunner and when I looked into the Humvee I saw the gunner laying on the floor holding his neck I immediately threw my rifle in and went in after it moving to the gunner and opening one of the pouches on my vest and ripping open a pack of gauze with my teeth, moving his hands and pressing it into his neck but as I felt his wrist for a pulse I found none "FUCK!!!" I yelled punching the floor and leaving a small dent before I ran my hand over his face to close his eyes and moving to the turret and standing up inside the turret, grabbing the spade grips, racking the bolt and firing at the glint of a scope on the cliffside and pulverizing the cliffside in a stream of .50, I stopped firing when I could no longer see the cliffside I heard other M2HBs firing in short bursts from 4 separate spots in the convoy and several rapid fire thumps from another three spots where the humvees with MK47 strykers were located along with the crackle of M240 bravos and popping of C7A2s I opened the ammo box to check the belt and saw I had 350 rounds left, I snapped the box closed and looked down at my feet to check the other boxes when I did I felt a shot graze my left ear "shit!!" I yelled ducking down and pressing my hand to my ear when I took my hand away it was red with blood, Jess looked into the humvee and raised an eyebrow "you good Jace?" she asked "I'm fine, it's just a sniper grazed my ear" I growled standing up inside the turret to take control of the .50 again and started mulching the cliffside, causing a small landslide of rubble that rained down the cliffside along with the crumpled body of the Taliban sniper, a little to the left of the snipers position I saw the yellow and white flash of a rifle firing and the sound and rounds reached me a second later as they sparked off the gun shield I returned fire in short deafening bursts before all fire stops, I look at my watch and see only 10 minutes had passed, even though it felt like half an hour I let out a long sigh and started to reload the M2, I looked down from what I was doing to see the co-driver had climbed into the drivers seat and layed the body of the driver next to the gunner, I also saw that Alex and Jess were busying themselves reloading and checking their rifles as we moved off.

Time 1530 hours

location Kandahar Air field (KAF)

I rubbed my eyes with one hand while the other stayed on the grip of the M2HB as I finished I caught a glimpse and a whiff of KAF, base of operations for the Black Devils. As the convoy got closer to KAF the smell increased to where I almost wanted to throw up, but this was home and dealing with the smell was part of living on KAF I gave a nod to the guard as he waved us through the gate and I started clearing the M2HB as we parked in a long row of humvees I ducked out of the turret grabbing my rifle from its place on the floor as I did so, as I stepped out a group of medics approached and inquired who was injured or dead I told them that the driver and gunner were dead. One of them pointed out my ear but I waved him off and I walked toward the main building to meet Alex and Jess for our debrief.

Time 1630 hours

Location Black Devil barracks

"Fuck" I said as the dart missed and thunked into the wall "for a sniper your aim with darts is shit" Monika a ring tailed lemur said from her bunk were she sat scrolling through her tablet "fuck off" I said retrieving the darts and starting again "she has a point" Alex said from above Monika I turned and pointed at her "your not making this any better" she laughed in response and went back to her book, I heard the door open and looked over to see Freya Tanner a grey wolf, Anya Ryder a red fox and Hanna Song a Bengal tiger enter dropping their weapons next to the rest of he teams weapons "hey boss" Freya said giving me a quick kiss on the cheek before pulling herself into the bed above Jess who was sleeping I turned to see where Anya and Hanna were and I saw them sitting at a large square map table that sat at the center of the room and starting to push thumbtacks into specific places on the map I turned back to the dart board and continue to throw darts, for a few minutes the only thing that could be heard was Anya and Hanna softly talking, Jess breathing, the creak of Freya's bunk and the thunk of the darts hitting the board until the door opened again to admit 3 more members of the black devils, Yumi Song a Bengal Tiger, Lexi Pine timber wolf and Marcie Miller a cheetah "hey guys" I said throwing the last dart at the board before turning to greet them properly when I did I saw Marcie limping, Yumi sporting a bandage over her left eye and Lexi missing her left hand, "the hell happened to you guys?" I asked moving to Marcie to help her into her bed and then turning to Yumi who was sitting on the bed below Freya who had put down her half-disassembled rifle to watch and listen, I saw that Alex and Monika had stopped what they were doing and even Anya and Hanna had stopped talking to listen "we got ambushed in Cyprus pass lost three guys and had to backtrack about three miles to go around" Yumi said falling heavily into a stuffed armchair she favored and running a hand over he face "jesus christ" I heard Anna whisper " I thought we cleared Cyprus pass" I said turning to Freya who wore a face of bewilderment "don't fucking blame me, I directed Mac, Ryder and Nick to clear the pass so go be mad at them not me" she said her voice laced with anger "so you asked those meth heads to clear an important pass? We cant trust those three for shit and now three of our men have died" I was pissed but I tried to calm down, my team didn't deserve it, they never earned my anger "who.. who died?" I asked turning to Lexi the medic of the three " Noah, max and Jesse" she said her voice sullen and hollow "fuck" I said falling backward onto the couch against the wall next to my bed I scratched the back of my neck in thought "tomorrow morning we go to Cyprus pass and we make those fuckers pay" I growled standing up and nodded at Yumi, Lexi and Marcie "you guys did good, stay here tomorrow, rest up, heal let us take care of this" I said kicking off my boots before I hoisted myself into my bed and pulling the covers over me.

0400 hours KAF

I slid the bolt of my rifle back and forth to check if it was working correctly after I did that I removed the C79 optic and slid on a shorter range scope and slid a grenade into the launcher that was mounted beneath my barrel, I then selected a high capacity magazine and slide it into the magwell before chambering a round. As I set my rifle down I heard the unmistakable soft sound of metal on metal as Jess worked the bolt on her timberwolf I smiled and looked down at the table and picked up a sling of grenades which I slung across my chest I unholstered and checked my M92FS that I kept on my thigh before reholstering it and grabbing a backpack and a M240 bravo filling the backpack with spare mags for my rifle and belt boxes for the M240 I smiled to myself as I loaded a belt into the M240 and slung it and my pack onto my back and went to leave, but before I left the I slid my hand over a brass plaque on the wall that had a grey patch worn into it by all the times people had ran their hands over it I slipped my helmet on my head as I moved toward a line of humvees and 5-tons and climbed into one of the 5-tons marked with a devils head insignia and started it up as Jess, Alex, Lexi, Anya, Hanna, Monika and Freya climbed into the truck with me with Monika taking the roof mounted gun and the others hunkering down in the bed doing a final check of their weapons as I drove us to the gate. The guard stationed there motioned for me to stop and when I did he hoisted himself up to my window "where you headed too?" he asked "Cyprus pass" he nodded "what's the purpose of the trip?" "clearing it" I said matter of factly "you and a top gunner?" he asked "I have a full squad in the back" I responded and he nodded understandingly "then you have a good day sir" he said dropping to the ground and snapping of a salute which I returned before the gate was lifted and I headed off to Cyprus pass.

0750 hours Cyprus pass northern Kandahar

"Fucking dick!!" I growled emptying my mag at the top of the cliff and sending a 40MM after it, I ducked back behind a boulder to reload once I did a flurry of shots impacted the boulder I was hiding behind and prevented me from standing up "Monika find me and move up about 60 meters, you have it?" once I got an affirmative from Monika I gave the order to start firing and boy did she mulch up the cliff. In fact all fire from the cliffside stopped for a good 3 minutes, I took this time to reload all my weapons and move to a different piece of cover to get a better angle on the cliff as soon as I dropped behind the boulder rounds started pounding the boulder and I chuckled "they are pissed" I said over comms and I heard Jess and Anya chuckle as Freya responded "yes they are" I laughed along with them as I slung my rifle and unslung my M240 and set it up before sending a long burst into the cliffside causing two bodies to fall from the cliff with blood staining there clothes I chuckled as I hosed down the cliffside with the rest of the belt, "black devils forward hose down any place you think holds Talis" I said over comms picking up my M240 and loading a new box into it I looked to see Anya, Freya, Hanna, Lexi and Alex stand up from behind boulders reloading their rifles I saw Alex snapping her MGL closed I nodded at her and the rest of them they nodded back before we advanced firing at anything that moved.

( an hour and a half later)

I sat in the truck holding my stomach as Jess and Freya fussed over me and Anya drove us back to KAF, my eyes fluttered opened and I saw Jess pressing a bandage to my stomach "hold on Jace were almost there" I heard her say, her voice was distant and hollow sounding. To give you a bit of context on what had happened I had been hit in the stomach by shrapnel from a grenade and now Anya was driving like a bat out of hell to get me back to KAF so I didn't die. "don't worry I'm not going anywhere" I coughed making blood dripping from my lips staining my vest even further I moved one of my hands up to my neck and removed my dog tags holding them out to Jess I will always be with you" I said before blackness consumed my vision.