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"Beep. Beep. Beep." the communinet transceiver sounded. "Beep. Beep. Beep."

The members of the ad-hoc Conglomerate squad for this operation were reading newspapers. There was a lot of riff-raff about the Communists taking power and conspiracies that the Illuminati was secretly in control of the world in Phantom newspapers, but they were okay and free.

The leader, Joe "Pilot" Steele, was reading an article about L115A3 sniper rifles and triangular construction methods. Jim "Mackerel" Macking was looking at a diagram of how to roast Hammer and Sickle-shaped marshmallows while Bob "Joey" Wilson of the Australian Unit gazed at the Phantom political power charts published by the newspaper. Apparently, the People's Liberation Party (Ghosts) received 72% of the votes while the Federated Union (Phantoms) had only 18% of the power. He was sure that it was much lower than that as he had never heard of the Federated Union party back at home. His last leave was yesterday.

The burning wreckage of a helicopter was behind them as Mackerel beat the Phantom pilot down back again as he raised his hand. Then Mackerel went back to reading about Desert Eagle|Conspiracy prices.

It was oddly boring as Conglomerate had secured their positions here hours ago. Apparently it was a Ghost rendezvous point that Sheep had deployed them to. Surprisingly, there was no resistance for the three-man Ghost team as they strafed and destroyed every single vehicle and piece of equipment the Phantoms had here in twelve minutes. They definitely weren't expecting any company.

"Boop." the transceiver sounded and there were no other transmissions.

"Right, lads. That's our signal," Steele announced. "Get in your machines for some fun!"

All three members of Conglomerate were experienced pilots. There was no hesitation as they clambered into their helicopters. The sleek Kamov Ka-50 attack craft of Mackerel and Joey flanked the bulky and seemingly harmless Black Hawk of Steele.

They quickly lifted off and saw a small fleet of helicopters approaching. The Ghosts quickly reached communications range as they flicked their weapons systems on.

"Oi! Who are you buggers?" a Phantom pilot yelled over the radio. Joey identified him as the pilot of a CH-54 carrying a rather large vehicle. Its escort compliment of three sinister AH-64 Apaches hovered around menacingly.

"Eh, some folks wondering what's that you're carrying," replied Steele casually. Mackerel picked his targets in response to some hand gestures by Steele. Joey pitched back to regain a sight picture of one of the escorts.

"The gun follows the pilot's eyes," whispered Joey on the Ghost-only channel. The Apaches' 30mm cannons were already trained on the Ghost helicopters, waiting for orders to fire.

"None of your business!" the Phantom yelled back. He had taken a rather long amount of time thinking of a response.

"Well, it really is my business," Steele said calmly as he increased power to his rotors. "It's my job, ain't it? I get paid for it, don't I?"

His 30mm cannon, often mistaken for a rather large antenna, fired a deadly burst at an escort. The AH-64 fell, blazing a trail of fire as it crashed into the snow. Joey's Ka-50 launched a fast R-73 air-to-air missile as another 36-million dollar Apache exploded. The third's cannon rounds glanced off of Mackerel's Kamov. He switched weapons systems to his own cannon and shattered the pilot's cockpit, the explosion killing both the pilot and copilot immediately.

"So..." Steele turned his helicopter to the Phantom transport pilot's CH-54. "Mind us replacing your escort as you set route to a Ghost base?"