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Old 11-20-2012, 12:04 AM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Default Dillards' War

Prologue

Afghanistan
The chilly mountain night air cut right through Dillard’s wool sweater, making him wish he would have donned his privately purchased Columbia Wind Breaker over it, but alas, the swishy nylon of the jacket was a noise discipline issue, so it was out. The thought of that jacket brought a smile to his face, remembering the drunken road trip to Savannah to get it, riding in the back seat of George’s Silverado, a Miller Lite in his hand as a road beer. What a weekend that had been, no football game, Anna was on a sister’s retreat for her sorority, and it had just been a gathering of trusted pledge brothers, alas, it had ended badly, when George woke up in the hotel with a tattoo and Jim woke up next to a KD from Savannah State. Then it had been a bad day all around.
The chatter of a DShKM heavy machine gun shook Dillard from his reverie, running his gloved hand though his scraggly beard growth, he pulled up his keffiyeh, a gift from a British SAS man after a particularly grueling running gun fight and flipped down his NVGs. He inserted a magazine into his H&K 416, racked the slide back and dropped a hand to ensure that his Sig Sauer pistol was still in its thigh holster. The Black Hawk flared and the crew chief kicked out the heavy rope for the Delta Operators to fast rope down, the Taliban manning the heavy DShKM swung his fire and arced tracers into the vulnerable helicopter, and was in turn met with fire from one of the door mounted mini-guns, resulting in quite the light show as the stream of nearly constant red tracers from the chopper crisscrossed the sky back lit by the bigger, but less frequent tracers from the heavy Russian machine gun. Dillard was the first one out, leading his men from the front, as he learned at the Benning School for Boys all those summers ago during college. While the rest of his Fraternity Brothers were golfing, interning, deep sea fishing, and carousing, he was running around with an M-16A2 learning the platoon in the attack and how to fold his shirts.
Feeling the ground under his privately purchased North Face boots, he unclipped his harness from the rope and went to ground, sweeping fire from his carbine across the ridge where the Taliban were emplaced. Several members of his team followed him, as the door gunner and the Taliban gunmen continued to duel. The door gunner lost.
Dillard happened to look back as the Blackhawk fell from the sky. Stifling a curse, he rose a little from his position to lay more accurate fire from his rifle as he fumbled for a rifle grenade from his assault webbing, inserting it into the tube affixed under his rifle; he fired a grenade at the Taliban position, hitting a little low. Fire from a RPD began to rake his position, harsh tracers searching for him, however, the Taliban didn’t have night vision goggles and the men of his team did, and soon his machine gunner, who had come down right behind Dillard, found his range and began to trade fire with the support gun position with his M-60E3. Adjusting the forward sight on his rifle, Dillard dropped another grenade, and the fire from the DShKM ceased. Dillard then snaked back down into his position of cover and turned to the Blackhawk, wondering if there were any survivors, but the blazing helicopter served only as a notice for the funeral pyre for his remaining team members, the Captain, and the helicopter crew. The body of Warrant Officer Charlie Watkins was slumped over the door gun, his body from his torso down ablaze with the rest of the burning chopper
Charlie was still screaming as Dillard got to the crashed chopper. Grabbing his friend by the shoulder straps on his harness, Dillard pulled with all his might. Charlie came out of the chopper, landing on top of Dillard, his woolen balaclava seared to his face. Dillard wrapped his arms around his friend and struggled with his first aid kit, mounted on the back of his pistol belt.
“It’ll be okay Charlie, I got you. I got you.”
“Jim…tell Hannah and the girls…tell Hannah and the girls…that it’ll…be okay….”
“Sure thing, Charlie. Sure thing.” Dillard gently rocked his friend back and forth, easing the morphine vial into his arm, hoping to ease his pain before he died. And just like that, Charlie was gone.
Dillard dropped to his knees and vomited up the remains of his MRE dinner, sickened at the sight of the mutilated corpse of one of his closest friends in the Army. An MH-47 appeared overhead, the QRF from FOB Rhino arriving on scene to continue the hunt for the local Al-Qaeda commander that Dillard and his Commando team were too mauled press. An Air Force PJ was running towards him, slinging a large duffel bag behind him. The world seemed to stop for the 27 year old captain.
Dillard allowed himself to be led back to the waiting MH-47, seemingly unaware of the severe burns on neither his hands nor the piece of Blackhawk lodged in his arm which was bleeding freely. When he set down on the bench seat, he took note of the blood running down his arm and passed out.
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I like to think, that before that Navy SEAL double tapped bin Laden in the head, he kicked him, so that we could truly say we put a boot in his ass.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:06 AM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Chapter One

Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia. Two years later.
Assistant to the Deputy Director, Weaponized Infections Department, CDC, Karen Dillard stood just outside of “her” building on the CDC campus in Atlanta, the warm Georgia sun beating down on her. Karen having always had dark brown hair; secretly hoped the sun would lighten her hair. She was waiting on the approaching green golf cart, carrying two burly security guards, that was driving over the from the High Security BSL-4 laboratory on the other side of the complex. A possible new variation of the Sudan string of Ebola, as found by an Army surgeon working in a refugee camp in Chad had finally arrived, after first going to Fort Detrick, the Army’s chemical warfare facility. USAMRID hadn’t been able to do much of anything with it, so CDC got the call, Karen specifically, having specialized in virology during most of her lab work. She signed for the bio-hazard box electronically. When she smiled at the security guard she was reminded of her brother. The man was short and stocky, with a high and tight hair cut, carrying a scary looking black rifle. As he handed the electronic signature reader to Karen, she noticed a “RANGER” tattoo under his shirt sleeve. Karen vaguely remembered an email from her mother discussing how Jim had earned his Ranger tab and what an accomplishment that was. Karen, however, had been knee-deep in graduate work and hadn’t been able to call. As the security guy walked the shipping container to her lab, Karen paused for a minute and called her little brother’s apartment just outside of Fort Bragg and left him a voicemail.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Later that day.

Captain Jim Dillard, Infantry, United States Army, trudged into his small apartment. Wearily, he looked at his answering machine and took note of the blinking light signifying messages. Dillard first walked to the small kitchen and retrieved a PBR from the refrigerator and then pressed play. One message was from his team sergeant, dating from day he had left for the just completed exercise, reminding him to report to the team room at 0530, the message being left about 15 minutes before the youngish infantry officer would have been late. The other was from his sister, and upon hearing her voice at the start of the recording, Dillard trudged off to the shower, more intent on washing off the grit and grime of the last three day field problem than listening to his sister. Being somewhat cynical, Dillard thought to himself that she was probably calling to tell him that she was either now the new Deputy Director of whatever department it was that she worked at in the CDC, or, that she had indeed gotten engaged. Promotions and possible engagement were something very far removed from the young Delta commando. Sulking into his easy chair after his shower, Dillard proceeded to drink another eight beers. Beer seemed to go down easily lately, and it seemed to dull the inner aches and pains inside. Oh sure, the Air Force PJ had sewn him up right good, not even giving him the honor of a visible scar, but deep inside, he still hurt, and hurt bad. The official reprimand from the Colonel hadn’t helped, nor had being yanked back to Bragg to serve as an evaluator for the training pipeline. He was no more than a glorified field instructor, doing the same thing he had done at ROTC camp the summer before his senior year, except now, instead of actively instructing novices, he was merely herding about professionals and making notes on his RainRiter pad. Another PBR seemed to propel him back to the Operations Shack back at FOB Rhino.

The Colonel, resplendent in seeming tailored ACUs, bear of any insignia save for an Eagle and a starred CIB fixed Dillard with icy stare as he reported to him, wearing clean, if rumpled ACUs himself.

“Mister Dillard, will please explain to me why you deemed it appropriate to launch a direct raid into the Korangal Valley with minimum support and next to know back up?”

“Sir, I received what I believed to be actionable intelligence on the whereabouts of the local Al-Queada commander and decided that it was better to act quickly and risk the possible casualties than to let the trail go cold, sir. If I may Colonel, a bad plan executed violenty now is better than a good plan later, sir.”

“Captain, be that as it may, you didn’t have a bad plan, you had no plan, and you failed to execute it at all. You didn’t go off half cocked, you went off without a fucking magazine. I want you out of my detachment.”


And with that, Dillard had lost his edge. The hard charging frat boy turned commando had long lived by his instincts, and had more often than not succeeded for it, he earned the first of his two Silver Stars as a young Ranger platoon leader in the Shai Kot valley by leading from the front and acting with aggression. It had worked and had fed his ego. His team had somewhat sarcastically, but with a twinge of respect, had referred to himself as Captain American, and he had secretly reveled in it. For once, he was good at something, people thought so, and he was rewarded for it. And perhaps best of all, it was something that Karen could never do, by virtue of her wearing panties in lieu of boxers.


Militia Camp, Sudan
Commander Mahi al-Shaddi sipped at his bitter tea as he listened to the Doctor before him. Commander al-Shaddi, who had been little more than a private in the Sudanese Army before defecting, called the man Doctor, which was almost correct. The man, Hari Aslam had been a micro-biology grad student at the University of Cairo before being deported by Egyptian security forces. Since then he had been taken in by the al-Shaddi Militia, the rather grandiose name for the cell al-Shaddi ran out in the wastelands of the Sudanese desert.
“Commander, it appears as if this strain of Ebola is more resilient to temperature changes than any other known strand.” Aslam concluded his briefing.
“Explain that further please, Doctor.” The Commander asked, for even though he was a terrorist leader, the intricacies of micro-biology were lost on him.
“Sir, Ebola is very a dangerous bug, however, it as also very fragile. It can’t survive in any temperatures less than about 35 degrees, and it has a very high fatality rate. It often kill’s its host before it can replicate. But this new strain seems to be able to survive at temperatures well below 35 degress, giving it a large potential to be useful to our cause, Allah willing
“How many people know of this new strain, Doctor?”
“Just a few, Commander. I heard about it from a colleague recently returned form one of the refugee camps in Chad. An American imperialist discovered it.”
“I see. So how useful would it be to us?”
“Potentially very. I would need a sample of it and a live host.”
“Very well, Doctor. Take a team with you and get what you need. Oh, and kill the American.”
“Yes, sir.” The Doctor stood and took his leave. The Commander bowed his head and uttered a brief prayer of thanks to Allah. He could now strike at the Americans, and strike hard. Perhaps he would even assume a leadership role in the movement. Perhaps. Allah Ackbar!
__________________
I like to think, that before that Navy SEAL double tapped bin Laden in the head, he kicked him, so that we could truly say we put a boot in his ass.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:00 AM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Chapter Two

Red Cross Refugee Camp #4, Chad. Two weeks later.

Captain Andrew Rust, USA, MC, leaned back from his microscope and took a deep yawn. The young doctor hadn’t had much in the way of field training and considered the Army a means to further his medical career. As such, he was a bit unaware of his surrounding, especially when he was immersed in his work as he was now. Perhaps an infantry officer would have noticed the increased automatic weapons fire, an especially adapt infantry officer would have recognized them as Kalashnikovs and known that they must have been hostile as all the local Chad Security Forces used FN-FALs and a hodge-podge of old bolt action rifles. However, that was all lost on the young doctor. When the burly Sudanese militia man entered his small laboratory he didn’t even turn to look, thinking that he was one of his new found friends from Doctors without Borders. He never saw the man pull out the old Makarov pistol and turned around just in time for the 9x18mm round to impact him in the left eye instead of the back of the head. He died instantly. The burly Sudanese Militia Man looked around the room one last time. Nodding to himself, he motioned for the Doctor to come in. The Doctor did so and prayed fervently to Allah in humble thanks. Right there on what had been Captain Rust’s desk was a BSL-4 refrigerated shipping box. Opening it, he found a rack of test tubes, each full of blood, each label as “SUDV” and the box was pre-marked for Atlanta, meaning the CDC.
“ALLAH ACKBAR!” The Doctor exclaimed as he carefully closed the box and sealed it in a larger shipping container. Two more of the Sudanese Militia men picked up the box and walked it to one of the old Russian ZIL trucks that they had driven across the border. The mission was complete and successful.

CDC, Atlanta, Georgia. Three days later
Karen Dillard, wearing tight black slacks and a crisp white blouse, walked into her building full of anticipation. Her fax from Captain Rust said to expect her newest samples in four days, and today was the forth day. Walking to her off, she quickly placed her purse in her desk and donned her lab coat. She walked back outside to wait for the golf cart, which soon came into the view. The same stocky former Ranger hopped out, this time just a Glock pistol holstered on his side.
“Sorry ma’am, nothing today. Not sure what’s up. We were expecting it. I’ll make some calls.”
Karen Dillard rarely swore, a result of her mother’s hairbrush and the strict standards of her sorority, but she swore bitterly as she stormed back to her office. Sitting at her desk, she threw a world class tantrum, another thing learned from her sorority days. She was nowhere close to replicating SUDV in the lab, but she had completed enough preliminary work to realize that this thing was scary dangerous. Her direct supervisor, a kindly old gentleman was smart enough toi realize that Karen was smart, and had good instincts, and gave her a fair amount of autonomy to run her own department. However, Karen worried that she could go no farther until she had more concrete proof. And to get that, she needs a constant supply of samples of SUDV and those had suddenly tried up.
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I like to think, that before that Navy SEAL double tapped bin Laden in the head, he kicked him, so that we could truly say we put a boot in his ass.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:14 AM
Mr.Ice Mr.Ice is offline
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This is good. How many chapters are you planing to write?
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:44 PM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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No clue. A few more, just enough to finish it. We are still in the rising action part, lol
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I like to think, that before that Navy SEAL double tapped bin Laden in the head, he kicked him, so that we could truly say we put a boot in his ass.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:52 AM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Chapter Three
Militia Camp, Sudan
Hari Aslam swaggered into the tent that served as Commander al-Shaddi’s personal quarters immediately upon returning to camp from the successful raid.
“Commander, we have achieved great success, Allah be praised!”
“Great my friend, tell me, what did you find and what do you need to proceed?”
“Commander, we now have in our procession samples of SUD-V and have eliminated the American who was actively working on it in Chad. I believe I can engineer an effective weapon within a month or so”
“Excellent, Doctor. And will the Americans be able to counter it?”
“Doubtful, Commander. By eliminating the American in Chad, I believe we eliminated their primary researcher, even though there is another one in American, at their CDC.”
“Do we know who he is, Doctor?”
“Yes, sir. It is a she actually, a simple internet search has yielded her name, her credentials, and where she works. I am confident that with a little more time, I can even find her address.”
“Good work, Doctor. She will have to be eliminated before we can proceed.”

Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Jim Dillard plodded back into his small apartment, once again tired and dirty. There was a stack of mail in front of the mail slot, an official looking manila envelope sitting atop the pile. Grabbing it but leaving the rest of it, Dillard walked into the kitchen and grabbed a PBR as he ripped open envelope. It contained but one terse official document:

Headquarters
Personnel Command
United States Army

Dillard, James Eli, USA, Inf,

This is to serve as official notice than you have underwent screening for promotion to the rank of Major. You have not been selected for promotion at this time. At present time, you have screened and not been selected three times for promotion. In accordance with Army personnel policy, upon failure to successfully screen for promotion the third time, an officer is allowed to appeal the decision of the review board, seek assignment in the reserve components of the service, or allowed to resign his commission. Please reply by endorsement your response within three (3) weeks.

Dillard crumpled the sheet of paper up and proceeded to drink down his first PBR in one long pull. He then silently walked to his bedroom and retrieved his half gallon bottle of Johnnie Walker scotch and took a long pull from the bottle. In a flash of rage, he ripped his framed commission from the wall and threw it in the general direction of his trash can. Then came the two framed citations for his Silver Stars, and because he was drunk, and rolling the one framed picture of him and sister. It was from a happier time, atleast for most of the Dillard family.
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I like to think, that before that Navy SEAL double tapped bin Laden in the head, he kicked him, so that we could truly say we put a boot in his ass.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:30 AM
SPEMack618 SPEMack618 is offline
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Chapter Four
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, six years earlier.
Second Lieutenant Jim Dillard, USA, Inf, awkwardly put his arm around his sister after much prodding from his mother. Karen was glad in full academic regalia, having just been award a master’s of science degree in micro-biology, with several additional academic honors, all of which was sort of mind boggling to Jim Dillard, who was thankful to graduate with his BS in Political Science and 2.65 GPA. His mother snapped a picture of the two siblings, both glad in the dress uniforms of their chosen professions. Jim in nearly bare Army blues, adorned with a bear three ribbons and a Ranger tab and Karen in her cap and gown. Jim was a bit put off by the whole affair. Neither his mother nor sister had been at Benning when he was awarded his Ranger tab, and Karen had neglected to come to his commissioning ceremony, but Mrs. Dillard was most insistent that Jim be present and sober at Karen’s graduation ceremony from grad school. He having been at basic airborne school when Karen graduated from college the first time.

After snapping the picture, Mrs. Dillard moved off to find her husband and left the two siblings alone, the first time the two of them had been alone in quite some time. Jim was an impressive site in his neatly tailored uniform and shined jump boots, and Karen told him so.
“You look good in a uniform, little brother.”
“Thanks.” Jim mumbled under his breath, he hated it when she called him “little brother.”
“Thanks for coming, it means a lot to me, Jim.” And with that, she stood on her tip toes and kissed him on the cheek. And with that, Karen walked off to a group of her friends for even more pictures leaving Jim alone with his thoughts. When he graduated Ranger school earlier in the summer, he had barely been able to stand for the pass in review and had no desire to do anything other than shower and sleep for a month. His Dad had been there, but the retired Air Force major general had barely been able to contain his disdain for the ground pounders and the fact that his son jumped out of planes rather than flying them. Jim had been the honor graduate of his class, the former frat boy remarking several times that it was like being a pledge all over again and that any Eagle Scout should be able to survive in the woods. His infectious grin had often served to motivate his patrol mate and won him positive notice from the Ranger Cadre. It was the first time Jim Dillard had ever applied himself to anything other than drinking and his family didn’t seem to care.

Muttering to himself as the picture from that day crashed to the floor, Dillard collapse into his bed in a drunken heap. Even the Army was done with him now.
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