The cold Siberian wind cut through the air as Reaper stepped out of the helicopter. Bursts of gunfire indicated that Sheep’s squad had already begun their assault. Penguin set up a position behind a rock as the Black Hawk gained altitude and disappeared into the horizon.
“Let’s get to it, shall we?” Reaper smiled. Thunder cocked his bulky M60 as they descended down the slippery slope. A group of outlying buildings were separated from the main factory complex. An abandoned airstrip. No figures were in sight.
"Doesn't seem right, doesn't it?" observed Penguin. He passed the binoculars to Thunder.
"Nyet. Looks like a trap!" agreed Thunder. He then passed the optics to Reaper, who took a good look in them before returning them to Fitz.
“Right, Penguin, take Fitz and scout out the hangar,” Reaper called. “I’ll go with Thunder to check out the ATC tower on the other side. Use comms if there are any problems.”
“Affirmative, sir,” Penguin replied. Fitz saluted as they carefully traversed the open snow, attempting to stick to scattered rocks for cover. Reaper was suspicious about the emptiness of the Phantom position, but was sure that Sheep had distracted them well enough. He trudged on with Thunder, feet crushing the snow beneath their shoes.
As they approached the tower, a couple of cigarette butts and bullet casings were found scattered across the snow. There was definitely Phantom presence in the area. Reaper readied his AS Val as Thunder approached a campfire by the base of the tower. Peeking around the corner of the square tower, they saw three Phantom soldiers huddled around the heat.
"What the hell do we do with them?" Reaper asked Thunder.
"Well fuck," he replied. "Just shoot them."
Thunder went in first, stepping behind their cover and pelting the Phantoms with automatic fire. One was killed instantly by the hailstorm of silenced gunfire, 9x18mm rounds digging into his chest. Another was hit in the arm as he stumbled behind the log they were sitting on. The last one joined his comrade behind the log and returned fire with his M4A1 rifle. The loud spray bit into the Siberian air as it echoed across the valley. All 30 rounds in the magazine hit the concrete wall of the ATC tower as Reaper shot back a burst in retaliation, which kept the gunman's head down. Thunder had finished taking out his bulky M60 and it began to rain hell. Heavy 7.62 rounds destroyed the log and ripped the injured Phantom apart. The survivor clipped a new magazine into his M4 and aimed at the Ghosts.
The rifle clicked. He had forgotten to rechamber the weapon.
Thunder's M60 slowly sliced apart the remaining Phantom and put him to rest with his fallen comrades. He rigged his weapon with a new box as they worked their way to the entrance.
"Sloppy zhopas," Thunder commented. Reaper nodded in agreement as they gently pushed open the door to the tower. Phantom air control jargon was loud and clear as the Ghosts looked up to the air traffic control center above. It was also loud and clear that the Phantom up there did not hear the commotion that happened below him.
"Your ETA fifteen minutes, squak 1321," the unseen Phantom operative mumbled. "Keep altitude low below anti-aerospace defense and radar detection zones. Intel on hostile infantry in area, watch for man-portable anti-aircraft weapons." Reaper took point and silently stepped onto the metal staircase. He prepared to fire his AS Val at any Phantom who was unlucky enough to peer down the stairs. Thunder stuck closely to him and readied his Stechkin.
As Reaper stepped onto the ATC's main floor, a rumble sounded as he saw a C-130 Hercules touch down on the rugged runway. The Phantom operative tore off his headphones and prepared to walk down the staircase, but Thunder's Stechkin let out a silent burst, taking out the Phantom's head and several other pieces of communications equipment. When it was apparent that the Phantom was alone, Reaper dashed to the ATC's window and look down at the newly arriving aircraft.
"Reaper, a Phantom C-130 has just landed!" Fitz shouted in the communications channel. "Orders, sir?"
Thunder watched the stairs as Reaper asked, "What did you find in the hangar?"
"A T-80 tank and a shitload of ammunition," Penguin answered for Fitz.