I know I said last weekend, but hey at least it isn't a longer wait huh? Also I didn't realize how many people liked the OG version of this story. I just...I dunno I didn't like looking at it. I'm honest when I say I'm still surprised to this day how popular it got. I consider myself a decentish writer at best. The praise is appreciated though, ya'll rock.
Anyways, back to it.
This We Will Defend (Part 2)
"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning."
Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943
0100 HOURS FALMART TIME ITALICA DEFENSIVE PERIMETER, SOUTHERN APPROACH
The screams of the dying following bright flashes of light and the constant cacophony of destruction just beyond Italica's walls did little to ease the nerves of the defenders located at other parts of the town. Many had never seen the tanks and had to go off second-hand information slowly trickling back. One thing was for certain, nobody was sleeping that night.
The Southern approach to the town, as opposed to the other ones, had been left lightly defended. It was decided that Piña's knights, the two mages, and a small contingent of the militia would be enough to defend the narrow bridge. Should that not be enough, a few enthusiastic Marines from the LVSR* and M88 volunteered to shore up the defense. A few M16s, some motivation, and a machinegun would be more than adequate to mop anything else up. The only problem was, none of them knew how to speak the language. So Sergeant Muldoon made the reasonable call to have them hang back and man the wall.
"It would seem our new friends have unleashed their wrath." Cato rubbed his beard and tapped his staff against the wood beneath his feet.
Next to him, Lelei watched the flashes continue. "I wish we could be there with them. Do you think they'll be okay?"
Cato chuckled. "Oh, I believe they are just fine."
"I would be more worried about us." Gray unsheathed his sword and pointed towards the end of the bridge. "We have guests."
"Oh ho?" Cato raised an eyebrow and looked in the direction Gray was pointing. Sure enough, he could make out the shield wall slowly advancing up and towards the defenders.
"Lelei, if you could be a dear and shed some light on the situation?"
His curious apprentice cocked her head to the side. "Huh?"
"Oh, just a strange phrase one of Itami's men taught me. A bit of light would be most helpful here."
"Oh, of course." Lelei closed her eyes began muttering a few of the ancient incantations and slammed her staff. In seconds, she was covered by a shimmering blue sheen. Seeing this, the shield wall halted.
"What?! They didn't say anything about the enemy having mages with them!"
"Damnit where is Myuute?!"
Soon, the shield wall and everyone else had been lit up by a blue orb Lelei had begun to lift high and into the air. A long column of soldiers and a few auxiliaries stretched down the bridge and down some way onto the road. It wasn't the largest formation, but they still easily outnumbered the defenders.
Cato pushed past a few of the Rose Order knights. "Do wait but a moment Sir Gray, let an old man stretch his muscles."
The elderly mage stood in front of the rest of the defenders and took a bow. "Gentlemen! It seems that in your desire to avoid the fate of your fellows beyond, you have taken what you believed was the path of least resistance!"
Cato tapped his staff on the ground. "I can assure you that you have been very wrong in that assumption!"
Suddenly, the air around the mage began to distort and with it so too did Cato's hair. "My name is Cato El Altestan and so long as I draw breath Italica will not fall."
"Cato El Altestan?! The Mage of Mages?!"
Suddenly, wind gales appeared from nowhere and began pelting the shield wall and those taking cover behind it. Cato closed his eyes and brought a hand up, palm forward towards the attackers. The gales had started picking up in speed now men struggled to keep a foothold and even the water had started to lap up over the bridge. Then, just when the wind speed was at its fastest, Cato opened his eyes his irises now shining a bright blue.
"BEGONE FROM THIS PLACE!"
The air around Cato thundered as a powerful pressurized blast of wind was sent hurtling towards the attacking soldiers. Men and equipment were ripped up from the ground and sent screaming in all directions down into the cold dark water beneath the bridge. The shockwave continued for some distance until finally losing its speed just short of the lucky few that hadn't been on the bridge.
Satisfied, Cato retracted his arm and with it, the gale winds left just as quickly as they had arrived. The old mage smiled and looked over his shoulder back at the rest of the defenders. "Perhaps that will give us some breathing room."
Gray had seen magic only a few times in his life. A few Imperial battle mages here, a royal advisor there. None of this had held a candle to what Cato did.
The knight readied his sword and smirked. "Yes, I-I think that will do."
"Good, you may lead the counterattack now. My apprentice and I will fight alongside you." Cato beckoned Lelei to join him at his side and the pair followed closely behind as Gray gave a war cry.
The attack at Alnus had been a catastrophic strategic failure, that was something everyone agreed on. What transpired at Italica was nothing less than a waste of life.
The enemy never got close; not cavalry, not ogre nor even the rare wyvern rider. Everything sent at the tanks and the Japanese were destroyed. Those who were smart enough figured this out early and had started a retreat, but even for them, there would be no reprieve. Rory Mercury, fueled by the death and destruction, had joined the battle. Retreat was the highest form of dishonor and dishonor had no room on the battlefield. It was here that the Marines and Japanese saw what she was capable of.
"Run! Run you dogs!" Elsewhere and away from the big guns of the tanks, Rory laughed as she effortlessly sent her halberd spinning through the air. The weapon appeared as a blur as it cut clean through anyone unfortunate enough to draw her ire. Each time the weapon always returned to her and the process was renewed. It was her job to sow fear and discord in the ranks of the enemy. Anywhere her new "friends" hadn't done so already that is. Fine by her, she had already seen what they were capable of and she was nothing short of ecstatic at the prospect of them serving her lord.
This was truly a night of nights.
"And what do we have here?!" Seeing a battered group of bowmen trying to take cover in a ditch the apostle giggled as she took off into a sprint. The superhuman speed granted to her by her patron god ensured she could close the gap in seconds.
Rory lithely lept through the air and landed next to the terrified men. The apostle slowly got to her feet and smiled at the soldiers.
"Hiding are we? Rats deserved to be flushed out-"
The apostle flinched and rocked back slightly as something sharp pierced her chest. She looked down and smiled. There and jutting, out of the center of her torso, was the shaft of an arrow. One of the men had been bold enough to shoot her mid monologue.
Rory giggled and wrapped a free hand around the shaft, grunting as she yanked the arrow out with a sickening squelch.
"Aww, how cute." Rory tossed the useless projectile on the ground and readied her halberd, her body lowering itself into a battle-ready stance. "At least one of you will go to the glorious afterlife, the rest well."
She licked her lips.
"Shall fertilize the earth~."
The apostle was about to swing when she heard a sound, a sound that gave both her and the enemy pause. Music, faint at first but, it quickly grew louder. Accompanying this came the sound of something slapping in the skies above. New tools of destruction had arrived, their herald drowning out the sound of Rory laughing as she killed men.
"Hunter, Horseman 1. Multiple siege engines due north of my position. Range, 300 meters."
"Ryokai Hunter 1 copies, hellfires out."
The Marines and Japanese watched, with no small amount of satisfaction, as Aldritch coordinated with a Japanese FIST* team and began raining hell on the now fleeing enemy. The air assault team had arrived and the situation was well and truly FUBAR for the enemy. From behind distant treetops Japanese OH1s coordinated with American Cobras as they delivered accurate missile fire on priority targets.
Anything or anyone not granted a quick death by the missiles found themselves torn apart by cannon and machine-gun fire from circling Hueys and the other gunships. All of this was done to the tune of a custom soundtrack courtesy of two American Hueys. For the enemy, it was hell incarnate. For the Japanese and Americans, it was almost enough to consider reenlisting.
"God damn, SDFs really looking for its pound of flesh." Aldrtich flinched as another Japanese cobra unleashed a torrent of rockets on a few lumbering ogres that hadn't had the wisdom to seek the shelter of the forests. Each impact brought a loud whump and thunderous applause from the Marines as chunks of flesh and steel were sent flying every which way.
"Winchester on hellfires."
Aldritch scribbled the information on a notepad hanging next to his instrument panel. "Good impacts Hunter, observing multiple KIA* and destroyed material. Proceeding to push now."
"Understood." The two OH1s and the American Cobras slowly rose from behind the trees and turned around towards the direction of Alnus. "You know our motto, we deliver. Let us know if you need anything else. Hunter out."
Aldritch rose out of his hatch and waved at a few helicopters flying towards Italica before switching channels to the platoon net.
"All tanks, 1, destruction criteria has been met. Push push push."
Aldritch changed frequencies again as the other tank commanders acknowledged the orders. Piña and Hamilton had been on their horses through it all. Awestruck as they watched the chaos unfold in front of them. Somehow they were able to keep their horses calm through it all. "Princess, you still want to fight on the frontlines?"
"Do I still want to fight?" The captain watched as Piña shook off her haze and slowly raised her radio with one hand and unsheathed her sword with the other. "If it means ending this.…I am. Aldritch scoffed and shook his head. "Well then, try to keep up."
The battle plan set in motion tank and knight advanced side by side. Ending the nightmare once and for all.
"Alright, Benitez floor this bitch! Kincaid you and Wilkes take it from here."
"Way ahead of you!"
Elton quickly switched channels and fell into coordination with his wingman.
"3, 4. On your move, I'll stay online with you."
Here We Go Again lurched slightly as its turbine engine shifted into drive and towards the enemy. The tracks roared as they propelled the tank across the once verdant fields around Italica, had the crew not had their comm helmets on, they might have heard the dead and the dying that got sucked under the vehicle. As if watching it happen wasn't bad enough already.
As this happened Kincaid and Wilkes fell back into seamless fire commands while Elton focused on coordinating the section, each enemy that presented itself being neutralized in quick succession.
"Jasp right, runners!"
"Yeah yeah, I see em'! Coax on the way!"
Kincaid swung the turret hard and to the right towards a group of foolhardy cavalry attempting to make a break for Italica. Kincaid could almost see the fear in their faces as their thermal outlines were turned into white chunks of indiscrete matter.
The kills confirmed the tank continued to push next to its wingman, the treeline wasn't too far away now. The section would push the stragglers into the forests and back to whatever encampments they had come from. Everything else rested on the airborne assault teams. Both tanks halted in their place and continued to engage.
"Yo yo yo! Got some glowing shit by the treeline! 3 o'clock!-"
Kincaid didn't need the target to get called out, he already knew who it was. What he did need was for Wilkes to arm the gun so he could send back a projectile of his own.
The telltale clunk of a safe/arm handle being thrown and Wilkes yelling "up!" was all the signal Kincaid needed.
"On the way!"
Kincaid clenched his teeth and depressed the triggers as he sent an MPHE* shell hurtling towards the magic user. His thermals shook as thick smoke obscured his optics and dust filled the turret interior. "That's a kill Four."
Kincaid eagerly waited for the obscuration to fade. Sure enough, all that remained of the mage was a smoldering crater in the earth.
"4, 3. We're set. Destroyed multiple sets of troops and artillery pieces. Gonna go ahead and hold our fires, let the helicopters take it from here."
"What? Out of ammo?" Elton snickered over the radio as his tank came to a halt. "That's not like you."
Elton watched as Boyd took his comm helmet off and flipped him the middle finger. "No, just fucking tired. 3 out."
"Yeah, that's what you fuckin' get!" Wilkes hooped and hollered from outside his hatch as he watched the helicopters fly over the forests to finish what the tankers had started. The loader was hyped, but the rest of his crew wasn't. It had been a long night and they were tired.
The distant chatter of automatic weapons fire, melodic chords of heavy metal, and the dull thuds of rockets would serve as ambiance as the tankers began to wind down.
For the Japanese and Americans, the battle was long over. The same could not be said for Piña. She still had to deal with the one responsible for all the suffering brought to the people of Italica.
Dismounted from her horse and flanked by Hamilton, Piña slowly removed her sword from the leader of the remnant armies. It had not been an easy fight, but with Aldritch and Hamilton keeping the underlings off her, she had prevailed. All around, the sounds of the dying, the strange contraptions flying through the air, and the distant battles still being waged by the armies continued. The sun had also started to rise casting a warm orange glow in the skies above.
"There are no words to describe the betrayal that has occurred here." Piña took a step back and lowered her bloody blade. On her face was nothing but contempt for her enemy. "You are finished, your traitorous armies laid low."
The leader laughed the sort of laugh that belayed a range of emotions; disbelief, anger, fear. "Betrayal?! You call this betrayal?!" He spat as he dropped his ornate axe and fell to his knees. Blood poured from both his mouth and the neat hole in his equally decorated armor. "As I see you here working with those who have come to this world in conquest?"
"You know nothing of my intentions or those who I fight alongside-"
"I know nothing?! Not it is you who know n-nothing!" The leader gurgled some blood and shook his head. "E-verything I have done is an act of revenge for what your wretched family started."
"You heeded our call all the same." Piña took a cloth from Hamilton and began wiping her blade down. "Service does not come without bloodshed."
"Lied to, sent to die, and robbed of any honor." The leader shook as his strength began to fade. "Have you no shame, no pity for us?"
"Lied to?" Piña sheathed her sword and quickly knelt near her dying adversary. What do you mean?"
The leader coughed and sputtered more his face turning paler with each strained breath. "Do you think we would have-have gone in if we knew what our enemy was really like?"
"I don't understand."
"We were lied to, led to believe we could fight this enemy. It was imperial scouts and messengers that told us we stood a ch-chance. You fools m-marched in and killed their women, their children." The leader looked up at his wound and then at the broken bodies of his men scattered across the fields. "Then y-you sent us to cover up your mistake!"
Piña stood there mortified as her enemy toppled over to his side and fell to the dirt. Tears began to well up in his eyes as his breathing became further strained. "I-I will die here for no reason and with no home to return to."
With his last ounce of strength, he pointed at the flying contraptions that circled the battlefield like vultures over fresh kills. "We are doomed, our world our way of life. It is all theirs now and it is your fault for invoking their wrath."
Then, with one last cough, he breathed his last leaving the two devastated Rose Order Knights to bask in their victory.
"It is….no." Next to Piña, Hamilton felt her legs weaken as her heart rate increased. "It is not possible. We ould never betray our allies like this, would we?"
"Surely there is more to this story than we know." Piña shook her head. "We must be calm of mind-"
"Calm?! What about this is calm?!" Hamilton pointed at the dead and the dying all around them. "Your highness, madness has gripped these lands! The Empire-we." The young knight buried her face in her hands and started to sob. "Nothing makes sense anymore."
"No, it does not." Piña put a reassuring hand on her subordinate's shoulder, the act eliciting a response in the form of a teary-eyed face looking back at her. "But we will find reason in this madness."
"Yes." The princess looked back at the two tanks behind them and Aldritch. He had taken his helmet off and was fidgeting with something hanging around his neck. The princess would never admit it, but she had felt safe so long as he and his men were near. "We will find the truth and we will bring order to these lands. The Empire will survive, we will survive. Now get up."
The princess helped her friend up as two of the flying contraptions began to land not too far away from where they were. Soldiers both Japanese and American piled out and began to disperse into the fields, tending to the fallen. A few lingered back and stayed side by side with two older-looking soldiers that began to approach the knight.
"The day is yet over Hamilton and there is still work to be done."
"Jesus what a mess." Elton took his comm helmet off and shook his head at the fields of carnage. With the engine off they could hear the moans of the dying and those who still yet clung to life. "Poor fuckers..."
"Nobody told em' to charge us. They could have just left." Wilkes responded solemnly. "If they wanna die, who am I to say no?"
Benitez crawled out of his driver's station and tsk'd. "Poor horses, shit ain't right man."
"Yeah, I guess." Elton opened the feed tray cover for his .50. "Hey, load me up I'm dry."
"Yep, I got you." Wilkes reached over into his sponson box and pulled out a box of .50. With practiced hands honed by years of experience; he slung the empty box out of the tray for Elton's .50, slammed the new one, and dropped a fresh belt across the weapon's hungry feed tray.
"Thanks." Elton lit a cigarette and used a free hand to slam the feed tray cover down. The enemy had long been driven off into the forests leaving Here We Go Again and its wingman alone with the dead.
The all-clear had been sounded and like cautious gophers emerging from their holes, the tankers slowly got out of their tanks to stretch their legs and get some air.
"Air, need…air." An exhausted Kincaid clambered out of the loaders hatch and onto the front of the turret. He lay flat face up, staring at the morning sky and at the giant energy drink can now being held by his smiling loader.
"Good boys get good rewards! Drink up nigga!"
"Bless you, you fucking idiot." Kincaid eagerly snatched the drink and chugged it. In truth what he really needed was water, but there was plenty of that to go around and he needed was some creature comforts.
"...Goddamnit there's a fucking dude's torso-oh dios mio!" Retching followed by the sound of vomiting at the side of the tank indicated that Benitez was being a good driver and conducting a walk around of the tank.
"Put some gloves on if you're gonna go fucking with body parts again." Elton groaned as he lit a cigarette and leaned back against his cupola. "Wilkes go help him out or something…I don't fucking care."
"The fuck, why me?" Wilkes sat down and let his legs dangle off the side of the turret. "Can't we just like, chill for a moment? Do we really need to do fuckin' after ops?"
"Yeah, we only moved like…" Kincaid sat upright and looked down the bloodied torn-up field they had driven down. "...I dunno, maybe ish meters?"
Elton clambered out of his turret and got behind his cupola where there was some degree of shade provided."Bruh I just-fuck whatever." The tank commander was just about to sit down and nod off when he saw two Japanese trucks driving towards the tank.
"Aaand here comes fucking goon platoon." Wilkes grumbled and tried to shoo the trucks away. "Go, fuck off. Go away."
This, of course, didn't work and the trucks continued on their way, stopping just off to the side of the tank. In short order, Itami emerged from the lead truck and waved at the tankers. "Hey, that was some fight-oh."
Itami's excitement turned to dread upon seeing the exhausted crew and battlefield "decorations" splattered all over the sides of their vehicle.
"Yep." Elton responded flatly as he took another drag. The tank commander looked over at the Japanese and lifted his head at a bruised and bloodied Shino that emerged from the back of Itami's truck. "Fuck happened to her?"
Itami nervously scratched the side of the beach fuzz he was beginning to grow on his face. "Oh yeah, well it's about that."
"She ran out of ammo and got into a fistfight with an enemy mage." A grim-looking Kurokawa chimed in as she got out alongside Shino. "A very stupid and foolish thing to do." The medic rolled her eyes.
"But I won didn't I?!" Shino flexed her muscles at Wilkes. "Kicked her ass I did!"
"Oh, shit? Shorty got hands." Wilkes lowered his glasses and raised an eyebrow. "That's rad."
"Anyways she's subdued in the back of our truck." Itami interrupted the exchange. "Do you happen to know where Captain Aldritch is?"
"Down like other side of the town?" Kincaid answered flatly as he pointed in a vague general direction. "C'mon now you can't be that bad with land nav sir."
"Funny." Itami furrowed his brow. "Anyways, is it fine if we leave the mages with you?" The lieutenant pointed at Lelei and Cato as they got out of the back of the other truck. Both seemed eager to be around the tankers, a sentiment not mutual with the latter party.
Seeing the two Elton shook his head and raised his hands. "No-"
"What the fuck?!"
Itami and the other Japanese soldiers quickly got back into their trucks and sped off, leaving the mages with the tankers.
"My oh my what a night that was." Cato paused and stretched a few of his limbs, the snapping, and popping of old joints causing him to wince slightly. "Haven't felt that alive since I fought that elder demon in the crypts of Mudwan!"
Being the only one on the crew who could and cared to understand them, Kincaid sat crosslegged and rested his chin on a free hand. "That so? Well, we got some fighting in too there old man."
"So it would seem." Cato frowned at the gore-stained tracks before turning his attention to a tired-looking Lelei. "Well, my apprentice also put on a good show too, if you would like to hear!"
"Did she?" Kincaid smiled weakly at Lelei. "You kick some ass too?"
"I…I was of assistance yes." Lelei nodded trying to understand the strange lingo.
"Well shit." Kincaid got up and reached into a pack hanging off the back of the loader's hatch. He fumbled around in it for a few moments before taking out a familiar red can that made Lelei's eyes beam with excitement. "Sounds like you earned yourself one of these."
The gunner tossed the can into Lelei's now outstretched hand. The young mage had opted to actually catch it this time, forgoing the use of magic much to Kincaid's surprise.
"Hey, you guys wanna hear a story or something?" Kincaid sat back down and lit a cigarette. "I can like, translate it for you."
The rest of the crew exchanged tired looks.
"Fuck it." Elton shrugged with closed eyes. "Why not."
Kincaid blew some air out between closed lips and switched back to the language of the locals. "Okay, we are listening."
Cato planted his staff into the ground and rolled up the sleeves to his robes as he prepared to weave a tale. "Splendid! So it begins with a Siren!"
ITALICA SOUTHERN COURTYARD
Roger merrily whistled to himself as he folded up the tripod for his mortar and secured it to the back of an idling ATV. He paused occasionally to look up at the circling helicopters, many of which had started rappelling troops down and into Italica. It was time for him to leave.
"Leaving so soon?"
Roger had just mounted his vehicle when a blood-stained Delilah approached his side.
"Yep, onto the next task." The agent responded nonchalantly as he fixed his ballcap, raised a balaclava up over his nose, and lowered goggles down over his eyes. "What, going to miss me?"
Delilah nodded. "We make a strong hunting pack, yes. Surely you could stay for festivities at our manor?"
"Nah, not my speed, besides." Roger shrugged. "I did my job here, I do not need people asking me unnecessary questions."
The agent outstretched a hand. "We will meet again, no doubt about that."
"Huntress guide you Roger." Delilah reached under her cloak and unclipped one of her various blades. She extended the ornate dagger, still in its sheath. "Take this blade as a sign of our pact. One of my first, may it serve you well. "
"Huh, look at that." Roger eyed the blade for a few seconds before taking it and fastening it to the front of his vest. "Thanks. I would give you something back if I-"
"-The restoration of our queen and our lands will be enough." Delilah's gaze narrowed from under her hood. "I trust you will keep to your word."
"Hey, I am with the CIA." The agent chuckled before revving the engine for his ATV and gunning it towards the now open southern gate, kicking up dust in his wake. Delilah could hear the man yell back even over the sound of his mount. "We always keep to our word!"
And just like that, Roger was gone. Delilah promptly turned on her heels and made her way back to the manor. There was still work to be done.
0900 HOURS FORMAL ESTATE THRONE ROOM
"So it is over then?" Myui rose from the throne in anticipation. Dark rings under her eyes revealed that, like many others, she hadn't gotten much sleep. Especially not with all the strange going ons outside
"Yes my lady, Roger has assured me." Delilah removed her hood and bowed her head.
"And what of our new friend?" The young royal looked over Delilah half expecting him to show up. "Where did he go?"
"He has left, gone to Sadera."
"The capital?" Myui rubbed her temple. "Their influence truly spreads far and wide."
The sound of glass breaking downstairs and the shouting of maids and men abruptly halted the conversation.
"I take it that would be our guests." Myui slumped back into the throne as the thudding of boots down the hallway came ever closer. "So be it, more delegations."
Delilah went to the side of the room and joined a few of the other maids in awaiting their guests' arrival. The doors to the meeting room were opened revealing an older-looking Japanese and American soldier. Leaders no doubt, their stern faces, and crisp uniforms certainly made them look the part.
It wasn't them who almost made the young royal fall onto the floor though. It was the man who they had led in. There, flanked on either side by other soldiers and wearing a foreign garb Myui had never seen before, was her father.
"F-father?!" Myui rose from her chair with wide eyes. "Is this a trick? An illusion?"
"No my daughter, it is not." The count quickly hobbled across the room with arms outstretched and embraced his daughter. It was an embrace the count had been waiting for for a long time and one his daughter never thought she would ever experience.
"I thought you died, I had to lead-" The young countess choked as she held back tears and buried her face in her father's chest. "I had to lead on my own."
"I nearly did." The count hugged his daughter tight before letting go. "But in my doom, I also found my salvation."
The count gestured towards the soldiers and at the new caucasian man that entered the room not wearing a uniform like the others. "There is much you need to know and we have little time to discuss the finer details."
"Indeed." The new man took off his hat and glasses with a smile. "My name is Ramirez and I have a bit of a business proposition if you would be so kind as to hear us out."
Both father and daughter nodded, the former returning to the throne and the latter taking up position by his side. The count sighed as he slowly returned back to his rightful place atop the throne. How he had missed its familiar fabric and polished wood so.
"Yes, yes I do believe we have business to discuss." The count nodded. "And the Formal Clan never goes back on its word."
"Quite so." Myui nodded in agreement. "What can our clan do for you oh sir?"
Thus a deal with the devil was made there.
Honestly, this chapter was pretty tough to work on. Most because I was trying to juggle showing the side characters being useful. You know me, I like to do more with side characters. Anyways nows a good a time as any to announce my side project. I'll be scrapping my GFL story and starting from scratch at some point.
Wasn't happy with how it turned out and it originally was meant to serve as a distraction from Gate anyways. More on that later though, anyways I'm off to drink and play Elden Ring. Ya'll take it easy and stay safe/sane in these wild times.
LVSR: Logistics Vehicle System Replacement. It's a big ass truck that carries shit, you know.
FIST: Fire Integrated Support Team. Forward observers, they coordinate with other assets to get you your ordinance where you need it.
KIA: Killed In Action. Yeah nuff said