Coulter M. Loeb
Table of Contents
Practice Makes Perfect____3
“Tweedy Two is Down!”_____10
Coulter M. Loeb
“All right, dirt bags! Time to get those sorry carcasses up out of bed! You have one more day of CQB ‘till you get on the plane and move out!”
My favorite session.
My eyes snapped open as the trumpet blared all over boot camp. Great, I thought, another day in close quarters battle training. Last time you were released from the CQB grounds you were mistaken for a member of the entering platoon and got to spend another week in the “Disney World” of all paint ball arenas; in other words, another week in hell.
I got up pre-dressed (I learned how to when I signed up) and quickly got into rank next to Trevor and Konso.
Second in command Lt. Blairinson came over the intercom, “All right people, you have made it to the final exams course. There is no time to celebrate, though, because the course is long. But remember this, the snipers paint balls are experimental, so no head shots!”
An attendant near a large, thick, green door started handing out assignment sheets. On mine there was a note at the bottom saying that I had the highest scores in the history of the Cougar Island Militia Training Facility. The scoring categories were: sniping, aim, shotgun, heavy weapons, leadership, grenade, explosives, machinegun (M-4), reconnaissance, driving, and teamwork. My overall rating was “Elite Special Forces” and my suggested assignment was “Black Mesa/Lambda Research Facility: Anomalous Materials Lab.” I remembered hearing something about Black Mesa, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
The capture the flag session was a lot more fun than usual, probably because I got to be the flag runner. Even though half way through the game my team was losing sixteen to three, our team sill won, barely, though. It started to turn around when I gave the pep talk of “Come on people! We were trained to eat defeat and crap victory; even if defeat chokes you on the way down!” My best play was when I sent a recon unit to scout the other teams defenses. He didn’t come back. I was feeling brave, so I took half of our defense and added it to our offense. That left ten or so snipers and H/W guys to defend the flag. With the big offense team, you sent them all on a suicide mission. While the other team was busy, I slipped in behind the defenses and quietly stole their flag. The rest of the team didn’t matter; you get them back when you capture the flag.
My platoon in action.
As we got debriefed, Lt. Blairinson interrupts the console I was at and told me to report to his office ASAP. Within seconds there were rumors about me being in trouble.
“Welcome! Come in and have a seat.” Said Lt. Blairinson. Well, at least he’s not mad, or at least not at the moment. There was also another man in the room. He looked like a lawyer, with a blue suit and a black briefcase. But I knew who he was. Well, sot of, at least. Rumors had been zooming all around camp about him. Most people said that he was a high-ranking G-Man, while others said things from a spy to a government inspector. I instantly tensed when I saw what was of the Lt.’s desk; a M-834 HAW Heavy Assault Machine Rifle, an M-100 Sniper Rifle with Chemical weapon clips, a .7898 caliber Desert Eagle with laser sight, Inferred N.V.G.s, and most importantly, a PCS-FBPA-24934 with “Spider’s Web” helmet and armor. All of the items had one thing in common; they were all contraband.
“Well,” the G-Man said in a rather evil voice, “I suspect that you know what all of these items are. So I will brief you on your first mission.
“Forty-seven hours ago, there was a renasonse cascade was created by accident in the Black Mesa/Lambda Research Facilities by Gordon Freeman.
If you don’t know what that is, than you will find out soon enough. You are to lead your new platoon made up of sixty-four of the best assault squads in the current ground forces into the AOO and eliminate of all living witnesses. Also, eliminate the things that the people are witnessing. You have ‘till 0200 hours to supply your forces with the type of supplies that you see in front of you. You will find the materials to brief your forces next to the entrance to the mess hall; code 15345310.”
My gut told me that I would be on my deathbed within 48 hours.
It was one in the morning. The briefing room was dark, with several desks with names on them. There was a door at the back of the room that lead to the supply depot and armory. When all of the desks were taken, I began my briefing.
“All right. You all have been chosen for this mission because you are all the best of the best. Most of you are already part of the Black-Ops, but some of you are fresh out of boot camp. The equipment you will be using is highly illegal, but has been authorized by the high-ups for use in this mission.
“Because of the uniqueness of this mission, the majority of you will be heavy assault soliders. But, the remaining of you will be divided into four main groups: snipers, heavy-weapons, demolitionists, and medics.
“All of the information you will need is in the folder under your desk. If there are any questions at all, now is the time to ask.”
Several hands went up. I began calling names;
“Will the mission be a cover up for something?”
“What type of equipment will we be using?”
“Everyone will be equipped with a .7898 Desert Eagle with laser sight, a PCS-FBPA-24934 with Spider’s Web armor, inferred N.V.G.s, and two No Hope pills. Your specific weapons are in the folder.”
“What are we up against?”
“Hell, soldier, hell.”
There were several photos in the packet that each soldier had received. Most of them were recreations of what had happened and what is happening at Black Mesa. Two pictures intrigued me the most. They were labeled as being models of what we were up against. They were not from earth.
Small, fast, and deadly blasts of unknown substance.
Named for the sound it makes when surprised and it’s stoutness.
About 5’3’’ with three claws and a long-range energy burst of up to 300 volts.
Named for its abundance.
After the pictures, there was a note saying that these are the only known species, but that satellite scans revealed that there were many different types of creatures that could not be identified.
About half the soldiers thought that this was another training mission, but then they realized that not all of the grunts that had passed boot camp were here. And that only the best were.
After they realized that, the remaining hands for questions went down. “OK then, you have one hour to gear up. Be at the helipads in rank in your groups. Don’t worry about sleep, it is a long way from here to Black Mesa.”
“Tweedy two is down!”
The blades of the chopper were hammer blows to the mind. Each “thump” amplifying the fear and doubt in me. Everything was fine until four minutes before we got to the LZ.
The Ospreys that served as transport were over the mountains that surrounded the lab. Some of the troops were asleep, but most of them were wide-awake with anticipation. Tweedy 2 had been carrying half of our ammunition; so only two lives were lost in that explosion.
Tweedy 2 just before the blast.
They came silently up from our blind spots. The looked like mantas or stingrays, but they were not made by any human. The first one began to hover over Tweedy 2 as if it were going to latch on. Suddenly the Osprey exploded, incinerated by the explosion. Then there was a snap in the top of the plane I was on.
All I remember is a flash.