Chapter 2: This afterlife blows

Just a quick character overview and the equipment they have. I'll elaborate more at the end of the chapter

Sgt. Alexander Volkov, Squad leader

Age: 23 H/W: 5'10'' 168 lbs.

Weapons:

-AK-12 assault rifle w/ under barrel GP-34 grenade launcher

-MP-443 pistol and combat knife

-x3 Frag grenades

-x2 Flashbangs

-x8 40mm grenades

-x1 Smoke grenade

Other equipment:

-short range radio

-First-aid kit

-compass

Sgt. Gregory Fedorov, Designated marksman

Age: 21 H/W: 6'1'' 175 lbs.

Weapons:

-Dragunov SVDM sniper rifle w/ hybrid scope

-MP 443 pistol and combat knife

-x2 smoke grenades

-x1 smoke signal grenade

-x2 flashbangs

-x1 RPG 27 disposable launcher

Other equipment:

-short range radio

-long range radio

-binoculars

Cpl. (Junior Sgt.) Nicholas Stepanov, Anti-armor/ assault man

Age: 22 H/W: 6'0'' 180 lbs.

Weapons:

-AK-12 assault rifle

-x2 RPG 26

-MP 443 pistol and combat knife

-x2 Frag grenades

-x3 incendiary grenades

Other equipment:

-Short range radio

-Extra medical supplies

Cpl. (Junior Sgt.) Ivan Sokolov, Machine gunner/ explosives

Age: 22 H/W 6'6'' 250 lbs.

Weapons:

-PKP Pecheneg SP general purpose machine gun w/ SCORPION system
(basically a backpack ammunition belt storage/ feeding system)

-MP 443 pistol and combat knife

-x2 Frag grenades

-x2 incendiary grenades

-x4 blocks of plastic explosives

-x2 RPG 26

Other equipment:

-short range radio

-extra ammo for rest of squad

Again, this was just a quick overview and I'll go into detail later.

"Ughh." was all Alex could say. It felt like he took a crowbar to the head. His arms and legs felt like jelly and his back was killing him. If he didn't know better, he could have sworn he was laying on a rock. He lifted his visor up and wiped his eyes, trying to get them into focus. When he came to, the first thing he noticed was the blue sky above him. "I thought it was nighttime." Alex thought not even realizing his situation. It took about another 30 seconds of laying down before he shot up off the ground. "WHAT THE? HOW THE? WHERE?" Alex couldn't even form a complete thought. Well, how could he? He and his squad died! That mortar shell came down right on top of them. He failed as a squad leader and got everyone killed! His thoughts were interrupted by a groaning pile of leaves next to him.

"Augh, I'm 21 years old and yet I feel 40." Greg grumbled while brushing leaves off himself. "Why was I passed out in a pile of leaves?" He thought to himself when suddenly he found himself in a bear hug from Alex.

"Greg, You're alive!"

"Yes? Why wouldn't I… be…alive?" It suddenly dawned on him. They died! They should be dead! He looked back at Alex and got a nod back as if he knew what Greg was thinking.

"Greg stay with me; do you know where Nick and Ivan are?" Alex, regaining his composure calmly asked. Greg was about to shake his head until he heard a rustle in the bushes near them. Both brought up their weapons up just in case. Alex slowly approached the bushes with Greg following up closely behind. Using his free hand, he reached forward and pulled the bushes aside…and started laughing?

"Oh man you have to see this!" Curious, Greg looked over Alex's shoulder and started laughing at the sight before him. Nick and Ivan were laying on the ground in a rather intimate and comforting embrace. Spooning to be exact. Greg knew Alex would never let them live this down. "hahaha, look Ivan's the little spoon too!" Alex was hunched over laughing while trying to catch his breath. Looks like his laughter was waking up Nick.

"Hey what are you laughing at…AHH get off me Ivan!" Nick shouted and immediately jumped to his feet. Ivan meanwhile got up and started brushing himself off while Alex and Greg were still laughing.

"Relax Nick. What happens in the field, stays in the field. Besides you came on to me." Ivan joked back. Nick was about to say something but stopped when he noticed his surroundings.

"Uhh Alex, where are we?" He looked back to his squad leader hoping for answers but only got a confused look back.

"Well I'm trying to figure that out, but what's the last thing you guys remember?" Alex questioned his squad. The three men looked back and forth at each other until Ivan broke the awkward silence.

"We were in Syria about to storm a hospital until…" Ivan froze mid-sentence. Nick continued his thought

"Until a mortar shell came down on us and then…" Nick tried to continue but he couldn't believe it. Greg finished off with the hard truth.

"We were killed." He stated flatly. A long awkward silence followed Greg's statement. It was about 10 minutes before Nick broke the new silence.

"Killed by a mortar shell, what a stupid way to die!" Alex couldn't help smiling at Nick's remark. Even after realizing that they literally died and shouldn't be alive, he still finds the humor in any situation.

"So, are we in heaven or maybe an afterlife?" It was Ivan's turn to speak. Nobody, including himself were religious but this seemed so surreal.

"We party and get hammered every Saturday night, then wake up hungover on Sunday. I promise you we're not in heaven. Besides, I thought heaven was supposed to up in the sky with puffy clouds and golden gates. Nick responded.

"Well it's obvious we're not in Syria, or the middle east." Greg said trying to redirect the conversation. The first thing the soldiers noticed was that they were in a large clearing at the edge of a forest. Said forest was green. Very green. It almost looked like someone used green paint on the grass and leaves. Looking through the tree line, you can see a dirt road next to a wooden farm fence. Beyond that was more grasslands, trees and large mountains in the distance.

"Well I know we're not in Russia because well, we're dead and I doubt our bodies would just be tossed on the side of the road. Besides something feels…weird about this place. Like there's something in the air or something." Alex said.

"What, like smog?" Nick asked

"No you dumbass, it feels like…ah never mind."

"What I'm wondering is why are we still in combat gear?" Ivan asked

"Did you guys notice that our gear looks brand new? Our weapons look like they came straight out of the factory and our clothes aren't dirty or have any wear and tear." Greg said while looking over himself.

"Alright this is getting weird. All my ammo and grenades have been replenished." Nick noted when he looked himself over. Sure enough, everybody's gear was in perfect condition and were well stocked with ammo. At least they'll be ready for anything this afterlife throws at them. Even though the afterlife was supposed to be peaceful.

"Ok, even though we're all still trying to wrap our heads around this whole dying and ending up in purgatory or whatever this place is, I think we can all agree that we need to find a place to crash because there is no way in Hell I'm spending purgatory sleeping outside! Come on let's see if we can find a hotel or something." Alex addressed to his squad mates. They all nodded their heads in agreement until Greg spoke up.

"What makes you think there's a hotel out there? Or people or even civilization?" A fair question.

"Well if you look to your right, you'll notice a road. Roads don't just randomly appear. People use roads, ergo we follow this road and see where it takes us. Preferably somewhere that has a nice bed. And I don't know about you guys, but I am fucking starving." Again, there were more nods of agreement. The last time anyone ate was before their last mission and all they had on them was a canteen full of water, so what Alex was proposing made sense. This time Nick spoke up.

"So, do you think purgatory accepts Rubles? Or Euros? Also, I need someone to spot me. I had to pay my phone bill before we left, 5G LTE is expensive."

"How do you never have money?" Ivan asked Nick.

"I have hobbies."

"Get less expensive hobbies then."

"If you two are done, can we get moving now? I want to find a place to rest before night." Alex asked in an annoyed tone. The two didn't say anything as the squad started moving towards the road.

30 minutes later

The walk so far has been quiet, uneventful and downright boring. Nothing to look at but grass, trees, sky and the mountains in the background. Even if everything seemed peaceful, it never hurts to prepare for the worst. The Russians kept some military discipline while they made their way to a town. They maintained a tactical column at a relaxed pace. Alex took the lead on the left side of the road while Greg was five meters behind him on the opposite side of the road. Ivan was on the same side as Alex 10 meters behind him and finally Nick brought up the rear following 10 meters behind Greg. They kept their weapons in front of them in a tactical carry just in case. It's always better to have quick access to your weapon rather than carry it strong side sling arms, especially in unknown territory. It was another 10 minutes of walking when they came across a fork in the road. The good thing about it was that there were signs pointing in different directions at the fork. A good indicator of civilization. Alex decided now would be a good time rest and a chance to get his bearings.

"Well at least we know there's people here. So, which way we're going?" Ivan asked. Alex read the signs taking note of the name of the location, direction and distance. The one on top, according to his compass was pointing Northwest and read in big bold letters: VALE-30 MILES.

"Miles? Goddammit, got to use the American units of measurement! I hope you guys remember how to convert metric to the American system."

"We're in an American purgatory? Well that's wonderful." Greg said unenthusiastically. Alex continued reading the signs, noticing most of the places are far as fuck. He did also notice some of the signs had a large slash across their names.

"Perhaps those locations are no longer there? Well I guess Mt. Glenn is off the table which sucks because 9 miles didn't seem that bad." Alex thought to himself. A sign pointing East managed to get his attention. OXFORD- 4 MILES. "Only four miles? I'll take it." He looked up towards the sun and noticed it was directly above them. Since his watch is still set for Syrian time, he had to guess the time of day by the sun. Based on its location it was about noon. At their current pace, they should reach Oxford within an hour. 45 minutes if they pick up the pace. Looking towards the east, he noticed that the road drops down into a valley. At least it'll be downhill from here.

"Alright guys there's a place called Oxford four miles east of here. Take another five minutes then we're stepping off and hopefully we'll be there within an hour."

"Isn't that a city in England?" Ivan asked

"Small world after all. Or should I say afterlife." Greg responded. Nick just finished taking a large swig of water before looking back at the guys.

"Thank God! I'm so sick of hiking. You know when I died, I thought I wouldn't have to hike anymore but I guess not. This afterlife blows. And another thing..." Nick continued bitching but everyone else stopped paying attention to him and thought about the hot meals and warm beds that were only four miles away.

45 minutes later

Approximately 1/2 mile from Oxford

"So what's our story guys? I'm just asking because who knows how the locals are going to react to four heavily armed Russian soldiers strolling through their town? Also I'm pretty confident they won't accept Rubles or Euros." Nick actually brought up good point. He has his moments from time to time. What were they going to say?

"Not sure, I was just going to wing it when we got there. Of course, we don't need to mention that part where we died." Alex responded. The walk through the valley that led to Oxford was just as quiet and boring as the road from earlier. But at least on the road you heard the random bird chirp or you'll see a rabbit run by. But the closer they got to Oxford the quieter it seemed to get. It was too quiet for Alex's liking. The whole trip down the valley he didn't hear a single bird chirp or any sound you'd hear in nature.

"Is that smoke up ahead?" Ivan pointed towards the horizon. Everyone looked up and sure enough there were thick black trails of smoke rising from the ground up ahead.

"That can't be good." Greg remarked.

"Let's pick up the pace." The quickly transitioned from a casual walk to a light jog heading towards the smoke. Everyone had a bad feeling brewing inside. Black smoke usually meant fire and it didn't feel like a dry season so that can only mean it's coming from Oxford. Their fear was confirmed when they turned the corner and were looking down at a sizable town surrounded by a 20ft brick wall. They could see that several houses and buildings were severely damaged. Fires were spread throughout the town setting anything in its path ablaze. Needless to say, it was mess down there. When the Russians finally reached the town, the first thing they saw was the large metal two door gate at the entrance destroyed. But the odd thing was, it looks like something forced its way in. One of the doors was covered in large scratch marks and ripped off its hinges. The other door was ripped in half, like a piece of paper.

"What the fuck? No way bombs or rockets can do this." Nick said. Alex was about to say something when they heard screaming coming from inside the town. This was not a scream reacting to the fire. It sounded more fearful and panicked like someone is about to be brutally murdered. Alex had a new look in his eye. One filled with determination and courage. People were about to be killed and he refused to stand by and let it happen. He took a quick glance at Greg, Nick and Ivan. All of them had the same look in their eyes. Without saying anything he readied his weapon, pulling the charging handle back and loading a round in the chamber. He looked back and saw they all readied their weapons. They each gave a single nod indicating they were ready.

"Right, let's go!"

A/N: Alright before I continue, it's probably a good idea to elaborate on certain elements of the story

- The unit these guys are in, the VDV, are not active in Syria. However the story takes place in 2020 so who knows what'll happen by then. Besides it's a fictional story so relax.

-I'm taking the lazy route and not going to add a language barrier. Think of it like movies or video games where Russians speak perfect English with an accent.

-They're going to be using the imperial system units of measurement (feet, miles, Fahrenheit etc.). It makes things easier on myself and the readers. Again lazy route.

-With that being said a lot of military terms and equipment made be referred to by "western" names or just by common names. Example: the nomenclature for Russian frag grenades is "RGN". But I'm just going to call it a frag grenade. Or a PSO 4x optic? It's a Russian equivalent to the ACOG, so I'm just going to call it an ACOG. Keeping it simple guys. Also there is no Corporal rank in the Russian military. The equivalent is Junior Sergeant but to make it easier, they're Corporals.

-I'm going to do my best to keep things fairly realistic in terms of military logic. However some stuff might be exaggerated or make no sense at all. Like a sniper who also has a shotgun? that's dumb. But would you play Battlefield or Call of Duty if it was 100% realistic? thought so. For the purpose of entertainment, not everything will be realistic.

-Now if I say something that is false, inaccurate or outdated in terms of the Russian military, don't be afraid to correct me. I'll do what I can to correct the issue. Besides I like learning new things.

Alright with that stuff out of the way lets have a little chat shall we?

You may have noticed that they didn't start off in the Emerald forest and stumbled upon the initiation or just wandered aimlessly until RWBY or JNPR comes to their rescue like most fics. I decided to take a different approach. Now it was kind of hard to find a decent map of the Kingdom of Vale where I can place the random town of Oxford. It's more inland, almost towards the mountain range, while the city of Vale looks like it's literally on the coast. Yeah, yeah world of Remnant said they only have coastal towns and blah. Well it also makes it look like Vale is deeper inland than along the coast. So I'm going with this. And once again, dude it's fiction. chill bro.

Oh and before you ask, no they won't become a team at Beacon. Hello they're young adults in their 20's. Don't worry I have plan.

As always reviews, criticism, suggestions, bitches, moans and complaints are always appreciated.

Next update we'll see some action.