(This is completely fiction and the combat teams as I described are not the way it is)
My name is Samuel Allen Steele. I graduated highschool when I was sixteen. I wanted to join the military but I was to young so I went to a local trade school instead. I learned about working metal and fabrication. When I graduated they even helped me find a job. On my eighteenth birthday I joined the army. I thought I knew what I wanted to do.
First was basic and then advanced trained, after that I went to airborne school and then into Ranger school. After graduating I was assigned to a company that was working out to deploy overseas. Our combat teams were set up like this, they have a point man, two to four flankers for security and a four man striker team plus the team leader or squad leader.
New men normally start out as flankers, that was where I started. Right away I wanted to be a striker. They did the major part of any attack and that was how I got my nickname, Striker. By the time we arrived in Afghanistan I was where I wanted to be. Most of the missions were milk runs and we barely fired a shot. Two months in country all that changed.
It was early afternoon and we were coming back from a patrol. My squad was in the back of the lead truck and we had a hummer leading the convoy. In the intersection in front of us three black SUVs started through and explosions ripped into them. The truck slammed on the brakes and men scrambled to jump out. I was not waiting for that and leaped up and over the side.
I landed in a crouch and scanned the area as I flipped the selector off safe. I started moving towards the intersection as automatic fire began raking the wrecked SUVs. I was past the lead hummer when two men came out a doorway to the right. I knelt as I turned and my rifle came up. In that second before I squeezed the trigger I saw one man aiming a RPG and another lifting a rifle.
I put two rounds through the first man’s chest and he jerked back as he fired the grenade. Even as it sped in front of me, I shifted and shot the second man. The grenade exploded against a car and I was knocked down. I had searing pain in my left upper arm and my left thigh. I rolled to my feet as men yelled and started reacting. I glanced towards the SUVs again and lifted my rifle as an insurgent ran up to one and pointed his rifle.
I put three round through him before limping towards the vehicles, “Men down! Cover me!”
I reached the middle vehicle and knelt in the open back door. The vehicle had been flipped over and I glanced in to see two men wearing black utility uniforms. I pulled the closest out as he moaned and leaned further into the vehicle for the other man. I could see the two men in the front seat slumped together as I grabbed and pulled the other man out.
He was unconscious but breathing as I shifted him around and lifted him to my left shoulder. I grabbed the other guy I had pulled out by the back of his body armor and stood before walking backwards. I was carrying one and dragging the other as I scanned the streets with my rifle in one hand. I fired at two insurgents to keep them behind cover as I moved back.
I pulled the guy I was dragging behind the first hummer where three of my squad were providing cover. I dropped him as I knelt and let the other man slip off my shoulder and my shoulder bag went with him. I stood and lifted my rifle as I stepped out again and moved back to the SUV. This time I had to fight to yank the door open and reach for the first man.
I pulled him out and knelt and moved into the vehicle to grab the guy stuck behind the wheel. I struggled to get him out before shifting and lifting him to my shoulder. I grabbed the other man at the back of his armor before struggling to stand. I moved back as I kept my weapon up and ready. I went back four times to carry and drag men back to safety.
By the time I had the last man behind cover we had air support and two more companies on site. I left them to the medic as I fell in with my squad and we headed towards one of the houses that had insurgents in it. The other squads had covered the backs of the houses which was a narrow alley so we expected insurgents to be inside.
I went through the door third and Sgt James had already taken down two men. He had gone into the first room with the second man, corporal Davis. I moved past the doorway and kept going with specialist McDannels following. At the next doorway I glanced back as I pulled a flash bang. I pulled the pin and nodded as I tossed it through.
I moved as it went off and swept the room as I entered. There were four men trying to recover from the stun, each man held a rifle, there was also a couple of women. I put a burst into the chest of two men and shifted as the last two lifted their rifles. McDannels killed one with a burst through his body as he knelt just inside the door. The last man sprayed where I had been but I had kept moving and he only hit the wall.
Both McDannels and I killed him a heartbeat later with rounds through his chest and head. I covered the women as McDannels moved into the room to remove weapons from the men and search them. He covered the women and nodded towards the door. I stepped out and fell in with Sgt James and he started up the stairs. I turned and went up backwards, pointing my weapon up towards the next floor.
The insurgent that appeared suddenly lifted a grenade and I shot him through the head. We dropped into a crouch and waited a few seconds before there was an explosion. I was up and moving as the sergeant struggled up with blood running out an ear. On the next floor landing I moved across to the opposite wall before sliding my way down the hall trying to watch two doorways.
The sergeant was across from me a moment later and nodded as he pulled another flash bang. I copied him and we pulled the pins together and tossed each one into the rooms. As they exploded we started moving, I slid through the door and fired straight into the chest of a man in my way. His rifle went off as he fell and I continued to move.
Several crates were open with RPG grenades in them but that was it, “CLEAR!”
I heard Sgt James, “CLEAR!”
I went back to the man I had shot and knelt to search him and moved the weapon away. I moved to the door to see Sgt James in the other doorway. He gestured to stay and headed back downstairs as more men came in. A few minutes later the lieutenant came up. Several men were with him taking pictures of the weapons and dead for after action reports.
An hour later I was sent to the hospital with Sgt James to have them look at the shrapnel in my leg and arm. The next couple of months were busy ones and it was not until we returned to Kandahar that I had a visitor. We walked into the huge company tent and stopped when we saw the general. A civilian was with him and they turned to face us.
The company commander grinned, “specialist Steele, you have a guest.”
I looked from him to the general and he smiled as he gestured to the civilian who was wearing a utility uniform, “this is Mr Jackson, one of the men you rescue in that ambush.”
I nodded, “sir.”
Mr Jackson grinned and waved me forward, “they told me what happened when I woke up in the hospital. I also had your bag.”
I frowned because I had been looking everywhere for that. He grinned as he looked at the general, “he has talent as a weapon designer.”
I looked at the general when he looked interested. Mr Jackson turned to touch a long weapons case, “I had a fabricator look over your plans. He built the pistol and the sniper rifle.”
I came closer to look into the case when he opened it. I grinned and reached in to pull out the carbon fiber 45 and look it over carefully. On the side it had the name Striker inscribe and 001, “has it been fired?”
Mr Jackson laughed, “yes and several of my men want one.”
I looked at him as he looked at the general, “it is light, rugged and very accurate.”
I reluctantly put it back and picked up the long barreled sniper rifle. I looked it over carefully, “any trouble with the integrated silencer or the new double buffer system I designed?”
He shook his head, “none. The piston and rotary bolt increased both the accuracy and the effectiveness of the silencer.”
I nodded and caressed it before putting it back in the case. Mr Jackson smiled and opened another case with a thigh holster, “the general agreed to let you use the pistol since it uses the 1911 magazines.”
I looked at the general before grinning, “thank you sir.”
He laughed, “it is the least I can do.”
I looked at Mr Jackson, “are you going to use the rifle?”
He nodded, “I had two made. My sniper team can not wait.”
I looked at the rifle and sighed, “I should have designed a shorter rifle.”
The general laughed and slapped my shoulder before nodding to the company commander and leaving. Mr Jackson left a few minutes later after putting the pistol in the other case. He also left me a check for using my designs. It was a month before I saw Mr Jackson again. Our company had cleared a compound his company had found. When he came into the compound it was with a few squads of his people.
He spoke with the CO and the Intel people before looking around and crossing to me. I smiled and turned to introduce him to my squad and he grinned, “your rifle has been a big hit.”
I grinned and turned to pull out my new shoulder bag. I pulled out my pad and separated several sheets before handing them to him, “think you might be able to look these over?”
He frowned but started looking, a moment later he looked at me and grinned, “it is the same as the sniper rifle but shorter and chambered for 5.56.”
I nodded and turned to point to the top drawing, “the biggest thing we have when clearing a building is the loudness of the rifle in the building. This is like the sniper rifle, the silencer has four double chambers, each chamber buffers up into a second chamber. Several companies make rifles with pistons but use Aluminum. I use carbon fiber because we need something stronger that can take a beating if it has to.”
He nodded and switched to another page, “you have a built in laser sight in the front stock?”
I grinned, “yeah, for short ranges. See the cover flips back to uncover it so it is protected when you do not use it.”
He nodded and folded the design, “I will have someone look it over.”
He looked around, “you men did a great job here.”
After he left we packed up and headed back to our camp. Three months later I was trying to decide where to go on leave when Mr Jackson invited me to go to the shop that he had turned my drawings over to. Not only did I help make the new rifle but several members from swat teams came to see it. When I came back to my company I had a check and a pistol for each man in my squad.
Our first mission was a large building with suspected tunnels. The whole company was going with my platoon clearing the inside. I followed Sgt James through the door and moved as I fired into the two insurgents that appeared suddenly with rifles raised. The sergeant swept into the room they came out of and I followed as he shot two more men.
I knelt and watched the narrow stairs down as the other squads started sweeps through the building. It was a long time before the corporal tapped my shoulder, “take point.”
I nodded and stood as I started for the stairs. By the time we reached the bottom I knew the rifles would just get in the way because the tunnels were very narrow. I flipped the safety on and let it hang on its lanyard as I pulled my pistol. When I glanced back it was to see the others doing the same thing. I moved down the tunnel with the pistol leading the way.
A few moments later I saw an intersection in the dim light. An insurgent appeared and lifted a rifle and I shot him in the chest twice as I moved forward quickly. I knelt as I turned the corner and shot two more men with rifles. The corporal slipped past me and knelt as McDannels followed. The corporal knelt in the main tunnel as McDannels moved around me and started down the side tunnel.
I came to my feet and moved after him as Sgt. James went past me and then the corporal to take the lead. I glanced at the other team following us and then McDannels was firing as he knelt. An insurgent was falling and two more were crowding into the tunnel. One held what looked like a grenade and I shot over McDannels head and into the man’s chest.
McDannels killed the other man and stood to move forward into a room. I followed quickly and went the other way as he knelt and turned to the right. The room was fairly large with crates of rifles and what looked like grenades. I turned in the other doorway and knelt as a man turned from running away and lifted a pistol. I shot him twice in the chest and once in the head before moving forward.
I knelt beside him as McDannels moved into the tunnel behind me and slipped up on the other side of the tunnel to cover me. I quickly changed magazines and nodded to him before moving forward. There was firing from somewhere ahead of us and McDannels used the radio, “we are moving parallel to the main tunnel.”
“We have a room full of insurgents so watch yourself.”
I came to a corner and knelt as I went around it. There were five or six insurgents crowded together shooting over some crates and into the room. I fired rapidly and killed two before McDannels came around the corner and started firing too. I emptied my magazine as the insurgents fell and dumped it as I reloaded. I moved forward and kicked weapons away from hands, “Steele and McDannels coming in!”
I knelt to check the downed men as McDannels continued into the room. The insurgents were dead so I moved after him as Sgt James and the corporal entered from the other tunnel. The lieutenant followed them in and glanced around as McDannels knelt in another tunnel. I moved across from him and Sgt James tapped my shoulder, “once more and then second squad can take the lead.”
I nodded and stood to move into the tunnel. Sgt James followed as I moved down to a turn in the tunnel. I slipped around it and kept going. A dark room was at the very end of the tunnel and I hesitated before pulling a chem bright stick. I broke it and shook it before throwing it down the tunnel and into the room. I moved after it quickly as I heard movement.
I knelt after going through the doorway and turning. I fired as four men rose up from behind a stack of small crates. I shot one man through the upper chest and another through the face as the sergeant came in and started firing. The two men left tried to duck down but only one made it. Corporal Davis rushed into the room and around me with McDannels following.
I stood and moved to the side as an insurgent stood and lifted a grenade. All four of us shot him and he dropped before pulling the pin. I glanced around as the sergeant went to move weapons away from the dead insurgents. After our debriefing I made a call, I was thinking about the noise the pistols had made. It was a couple of hours before Trent, one of Mr Jackson’s armors arrived.
I grinned when I pulled out a drawing, “look, if you thread the barrel and put a muzzle break as part of an integrated silencer...”
He was nodding and grinned, “it will still add a several inches to the length but it should almost completely silence it as well as keep the weapon’s ballistics.”
I had collected my squads pistols into a bag, “think you could fit these with the silencers?”
He thought before nodding, “I will have them sent back and e-mail the drawing so the shop will have everything waiting.”
We were down for two weeks and finally drew a mission. We had just finished the initial briefing when Trent returned with the pistols. He was grinning as he read off the serial numbers and I handed them out. He slapped my shoulder, “we have dozens of orders coming in for these.”
I grinned as I handed out new modified holsters. Our new mission was a company mission in a large compound. I led the team through the side door as other teams hit the front and back. I shot two insurgents that turned to see me while holding rifles. I dropped my rifle to hang from its sling while pulling my pistol. I was almost to the intersection at the end of the hall when four men ran around the corner.
I was not the only one to switch to the silenced 45. I shot one man and Sgt James killed another while corporal Davis killed a third. I put two round through the chest of the forth insurgent as he tried to point the rifle he was carrying. I moved forward and the sergeant and I moved around the corner facing away from each other. I shot an insurgent moving towards me and I heard a couple of shots behind me.
The corporal tapped my shoulder as a man from second squad moved across the hall to cover it. I spun and moved after the corporal as I changed my magazine and became the tail man in the team. A few moments later The sergeant and specialist McDannels tossed stun grenades before rushing into a room. The corporal waited until it was clear before going past the door.
I followed until he gestured to another doorway, I moved closer and he tossed a stun grenade. A moment later we were moving as it went off. He went in and left as I continued around the corner and moved right. I shot a man in the chest that stood up with a rifle and knelt to cover the room. The corporal gestured and I moved to another doorway.
I glanced at him as he joined me and pulled a stun grenade. I pushed on the door to open it and it was splintered with automatic fire. I tossed the grenade and waited until it went off. I shouldered the door open the rest of the way and shot a man in the face as I went right. I shot another in the chest twice as he came to his feet and the corporal shot two men to the left.
I took one look at the barrels in the corner with a bright timer counting down and spun as I keyed my radio, “evac! We have a bomb!”
I shoved the corporal in front of me as we ran out of the room and followed him to the other door. As the roaring explosion shook the building I dove and covered the corporal and the lieutenant who had been at the door. Walls collapsed and the ceiling fell in as more explosions echoed and ripped the building apart. The air was thick with dust but I was able to slowly move and pulled up my face mask. I was pinned and shifted, “LT?”
He groaned and moved before turning his head. I tossed my head, “can you work your way out?”
He started moving and the corporal stirred. A minute later they were free and pulling me out as a beam tried to settle on my legs. I slipped my pistol into the holster as we slowly made our way out of the rubble. We were lucky, we had been the first to reach a room with a bomb and had escaped. The other bombs had been linked and killed the insurgents in the rooms waiting for us.
Men were scrapped and bruised but that was it. We spent another two weeks training before we got a mission from intel given from one of the merc companies. I had just been promoted to corporal and the sergeant was going to let me take the lead on entry. Almost from the moment we approached the building it seemed off. We did not see any insurgents... or anyone else.
The lieutenant called the company commander who gave us a go and I moved forward. Normally I would kick the door open but something made me reach out and feel the door before slowly pushing. It was cracked slightly and stopped as if there was a slight resistance. I looked at the top of the door to see a thin wire and froze.
I backed up and whispered just load enough for the sergeant behind me to hear, “I think we have a booby trap.”
He moved around me and looked at the door before gesturing us back and calling the lieutenant. I glanced up at a balcony and touched his shoulder before gesturing up. He looked and thought before nodding. I spun and let my weapon drop on its sling. Corporal Davis knelt and I used his knee and shoulder to climb up onto a narrow ledge. I jumped and caught the balcony before pulling myself up.
I knelt on the balcony and pulled my pistol and a moment later the sergeant was beside me. While he watched I leaned over and helped specialist McDannels and then the corporal. I turned back and moved to the door and carefully checked it before pushing it open and stepping into the room. I moved towards the far door since no one was in the room.
We waited as second squad and the rest of the platoon climbed up and joined us. I moved out into the hall with the sergeant following. I went through the next door and scanned the room as the sergeant followed. It was empty so we left and rejoined the corporal and McDannels who were coming out of another room. The lieutenant signaled to head down and I took point.
I was halfway down when I started seeing barrels on the lower floor. I held up my hand to stop everyone as I looked around carefully. I slid back and whispered to the sergeant, “remember the bombs in the other house?”
He looked past me down the stairs before turning, “wait here.”
He moved up to the lieutenant and they whispered before the Lt started gesturing everyone back the way we had come. I was the last one out and dropped to the ground when the building blew. I was thrown across the street with my team and rolled over groggily as the insurgents poured out of other building. I went to my stomach and started picking targets as the night came alive with red and green tracers.
The corporal and McDannels were unconscious as we fought. Second and third platoon had not been close enough to the blast and their fire ripped the insurgents apart before they could get close. I shot three together trying to fire an RPG and then turned as it went quiet. My whole body was one huge ball of pain but I reached out and grabbed the corporal.
I turned and started crawling, pulling him with me as I moved towards a short mud brick wall. I had barely gotten him behind it when the quiet night was shattered by mortars. I did not want to go back out into that but turned and started crawling out towards McDannels. The company had moved to cover but he was still laying in the street.
When I reached him I was coughing and spitting and did not even realize it was blood. The trip back was longer than it should be and the mortars finally stopped. I collapsed after pulling him up beside the corporal. I woke to a pretty nurse washing me but then everything went black. When I woke again and I was freezing and shuddering in a recovery room.
Beside four broken ribs (one had punctured a lung), I had shrapnel wounds in my arms and legs. A month later I was walking out of the hospital with a limp. I was medically retired which I had not liked. I looked at the large sedan as it pulled to a stop in front of me. The door opened and Mr Jackson looked out, “I need a striker Mr Steele.”