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View Full Version : The Firefight at Fallen Cranes



sdougjohnson
05-18-2019, 11:14 PM
Inspired by actual in-game events

We weren't exactly friends, Miracle Man and Peachy and me, but we were all second-wave Division, fresh off of sorting New York out. When the call came to head to D.C., the three of us ended up on the Shoe Leather Express together, following I-95 and I-295 all the way to our rally point at NASA's old center at Goddard. From there, it was a needlessly convoluted fifteen-hour trek to the White House, thanks to Peachy's amazing sense of direction. It's eleven miles from Goddard to the White House, as the crow flies. Eleven miles to the southwest. We should have been able to make it in four hours easy, five if we stopped for lunch. But no, Peachy had been to D.C. once, back in junior high, and that's more than Miracle Man or I could say. Miracle Man was a California guy, and I'd spent my whole life before New York in Arkansas and Afghanistan. But Peachy was from Baltimore, and for some reason that counted for something. So, from Goddard we headed south and then southwest and then a bit north and then back southeast and then west and so on and so forth, alternating between all the directions other than “toward the White House”. That's Peachy for you.

Miracle Man was a grumbler. Everything we do, he's got to grumble something disparaging, but he won't say anything where you can actually understand him. All the while we're meandering through Prince George's County, it's just grumble grumble grumble. Speak up, me or Peachy would say, and Miracle Man would fall quiet every time. So Peachy and me started telling Miracle Man to speak up preemptively. If it looked like he was about to say something, we'd holler for him to speak up, and then he wouldn't say a word.

And me...I probably have some glaring character flaws, too, but things that are easy to see in other people are hard to see in yourself, so I don't know what to say about that.

So, yeah, we were a team -- Miracle Man, Peachy, and Stone (that's what they call me, because I once caved a LMB lieutenant's head in with a twenty-kilo rock, dropping it on him from the eleventh story of a highrise) -- and in a firefight, we worked well together in the early days of the reclamation of D.C. So, comrades-at-arms, but not friends.

Anyways, once we got squared away at the White House, which was our new base of operations, we headed out into the capital to try to unfudge it up. First on our plate were these Hyenas who were holed up a couple of blocks from the White House at this control point they were calling Fallen Cranes. I think it used to be a Wells Fargo or something like that, back when money was worth something.

We headed out, Miracle Man on point with his Vector, Peachy hanging back to snipe with his M700 and me in the middle with an ACR I'd found in a sewer north of the White House, of all places (why I was in a sewer is a story for another day). The three of us charge up to Fallen Cranes and just roll the Hyenas that were guarding the place. They didn't stand a chance. A dozen Hyenas, armed to the (missing) teeth. They even had a minigun on top of a van out front -- you know, one of those gatling-style chain guns they usually mount on Black Hawk helicopters that fires a million 7.62mm rounds a minute or something like that -- but never got the chance to fire it. A barrage of gunfire from the three of us (well, two of us. I think Peachy only fired seven times, killing five Hyenas, including their boss) and it was done. Control point captured.

I was just about to call the White House to send a team to hold the control point after we'd left (because holding territory is a poor use of a limited, elite asset like us Division agents) when a second group of Hyenas come stampeding down 14th from the north, and another group came up 14th from the south, and unlike the bunch that we had just ended, these guys were No Joke.

Miracle Man and Peachy were dealing with the south group while I tried to hold the group to the north off by myself. But I couldn't hardly get a shot off -- every time I peeked out of cover, a hail of bullets would make me squeeze myself back behind whatever bullet-blocking barrier I could find, screaming at Manny to send backup Now. Every time I stayed in cover for more than two seconds, one of the Hyenas would chuck me a grenade to keep me company. So I'm diving from cover to cover, a quarter second away from being turned to salsa. I end up next to that minigun, but I daren't hop up there to try using it. It was too exposed. Only an utter madman would try. Or an utter madwoman, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

While I was dancing to the tune of “Staying Alive”, Miracle Man and Peachy weren't having much luck either. A Hyena in riot gear wielding a baton like it was a lightsaber clocked Peachy, opening up a nasty gash on his forehead that instantly covered his face in blood. Miracle Man was trying to render first aid with one hand while simultaneously holding off the Hyenas with his Vector in the other.

It was bad. We were flanked. We had no where to run. More Hyenas were coming out of the woodwork, and they weren't just rank-and-file thugs. There were some heavy hitters in there, too.

Just when I thought things were as bad as they could be, the team from the White House comes running up into the fray. I was expecting some JTF, or some National Guard at the very least, and I was expecting something like a full squad, a dozen trained soldiers or something like that. No such luck. Just a quartet of civilians that looked like they'd been picked up out of line at Starbucks, given M16s, and told to go shoot bad guys. One guy was screaming nonstop like a panicked toddler. One gal was ducked behind a burned-out car, blind-firing over the car's trunk and not coming within ten meters of hitting anyone. The third went to shoot at a Hyena, only for nothing to happen, because not only was his safety still on, but he hadn't even loaded a magazine in the gun yet.

I was convinced I was going to die surrounded by idiots.

The only way we had any chance of surviving was for someone to get up on that minigun and break the Hyenas advance. I was at that point hunkered down beside the van, that minigun literally only three meters away, but every time I thought about it, I'd hear dozens of bullets hitting the side and top of the van. It would be suicide to try, and I still had things to live for.

The Hyenas had other plans, though. Even more of them showed up, and they began to press forward. I couldn't see Peachy or Miracle Man, but I could hear them, and the Hyenas to the south were rallying for a push, too. The end was near.

And then, out of nowhere, came this lady, the fourth in the group of civilians the White House had sent us. She looked like a suburban mom who had stopped at that Starbucks on her way back from zumba class. However, unlike the other three, she didn't look like a scared deer. She had the coldly ferocious demeanor of a woman who was insufficiently caffeinated and utterly Tired Of All This Bullpuckey, and was in no mood to put up with it anymore.

Like the others, she had an M16, but clearly she had decided that thirty rounds of 5.56mm at a time was unsufficient for expressing her annoyance, because she charged forward, jumped up on top of that van, bullets missing her by centimeters, grabbed the minigun, and opened up on those Hyenas, the minigun roaring like God's own chainsaw.

I could only watch in awe as she emptied countless bullets into the Hyenas, felling them left and right. One guy tried to rush her with a shotgun; she all but cut him in half for his efforts. The Hyenas, they tried to take her out, oh, did they try, but they didn't succeed. A bullet came so close to her head it took a little chunk of her earlobe off, but she was so focused on kicking Hyena butt it didn't even make her flinch, and it certainly did not make her stop firing. Quite the opposite, actually.

Only after she'd taken out four or five of the Hyenas (including one of the heavy hitters) was I able to pop out of cover and start doing my job again. The firefight lasted for a few minutes after that, as the Hyenas became more focused on staying in cover and out of Minigun Lady's line of sight. I swear out of the dozen Hyenas bearing down on us, she took out at least nine of them, turning that gun this way and that. I was able to turn my attention south to help Peachy and Miracle Man as she held down the north. Soon enough, the only living souls in the vicinity of Fallen Cranes were friendlies.

Throughout all this, Peachy and Miracle Man couldn't see what was happening to the north. They could only hear the sound of that minigun behind them as they covered the south. They were impressed, thinking it was me who had done that.

I could have taken credit for it, I could have told them it was all me and I could have gotten away with it, but I'm not that kind of a jerk. “No, guys,” I said, “That wasn't me. It was her.” I turned to point the lady out --

-- but she wasn't there. The other three, Screaming Toddler and Blind Fire and No Mag, they were there, celebrating “their” victory, but there was no sign of Minigun Lady. I tried asking the trio of civilians who she was, but they were off in their own little world. I told Peachy and Miracle Man exactly what had transpired, and we searched around the area, but Minigun Lady was simply not there. Like the hero in the old westerns, she had apparently rode off into the sunset or something once the bad guys had been defeated.

“We need to recruit her into the Division,” I said, and I'm not sure if I was joking or not.

Miracle Man started to grumble something but Peachy and I both asked him to speak up. We enjoyed the quiet for a moment, only for it to be interrupted by Manny calling us up with a new assignment, then we headed off to the Grand Washington Hotel.

I still look for Minigun Lady around D.C., but alas, there isn't any trace of her anywhere. Nobody recognizes my description of her. Nobody's even heard of her. Miracle Man is a bit skeptical of my story, while Peachy thinks I'm completely full of it and made the whole thing up. They can believe what they want. I believe that in the Division's darkest hour, she will return...

er1cksson
05-19-2019, 09:59 AM
Good effort!

er1cksson
05-20-2019, 01:52 PM
Really nice to see other people writing about this as well!