Part 3: Resist
TIME: 19:22 Herdiet Western Time
DATE: War Day 414/22 Quintillus 1873
LOCATION: Detention Center #10, Sarov (Gorki-16), Gorki Oblast, Union of Herdiet Stableist Republics
As the darkness fully took hold of the facility where various secrets important to the UHSR were kept, the guards outside - I imagine - were used to seeing trucks come and go, even at this hour. So, when we approached, they probably thought it was just another shipment of some kind. They had no idea that the truck itself was loaded for murder.
It wasn't a military truck we were driving, but a civilian truck with Commissar markings - Sinichka told me that these were called "Harvest Trucks" and their purpose was to secure the Food Allotment from individual farmers in various regions and to ship them to central collection centers in each administrative division. As such, they were given to Commissars to also handle other tasks, including personal transport at times. Thus, they used keys instead of push-button ignitions.
Actually, interesting story about 'individual' farmers, here - as part of the cultural tradition, farms were allowed by the State to be family operated (as they understood that this allowed for greater efficiency) though state owned. If a farm could not meet its Food Allotment, THEN the State would take it over and either convert it to a Collective Farm, send the farmers themselves to a Collective Farm to work at and reuse the land for some other purpose, or if it wasn't economically viable to do either, the local Commissar was supposed to 'improve' the farm with State funds to make sure it made its Food Allotment. It was because of this flexibility, and a lack of exports, that ensured the UHSR always had a significant food surplus, allowing price controls.
Prelkov, instead of helping like he should have been (since their farm was one of only two in the area and it wasn't economical to convert it to a Collective Farm), had been using his position to try and force Sinichka's farm to fail, so he could force her to marry him as an alternative to her going to a Collective Farm or - gasp in mock surprise - be held accountable for the farm's failure herself (which would mean prison).
As we approached the gate, the guard in the front seemed utterly bored with his job. As though nothing interesting ever happened. Sinichka and Rarity were in front, in uniform. Rariy was dressed as the secretary, and Sinichka as the Commissar. We had his identity papers, travel passports (the ones we took were for unrestricted travel), the works.
The guard looked up as they rolled to a stop in front of the guard post. The guard on the other side was practically asleep.
The guard asked them for their clearance and identity papers (I guessed - after all, that's standard procedure).
Rarity pointed the APSv at his face and pulled the trigger bar, painting the guard shack with his brain matter.
K: "FIRE!" I yelled, popping up from the back of the truck and unloading with my AK into the second guard at the gate - three shots - then redirecting fire to the nearest 2.5-meter wide spotlight up on the nearest guard tower.
Fluttershy came up and hosed down the tower on the other side, pumping half a drum magazine into it.
K: "DRIVE, DRIVE, DRIVE!"
Rarity hit the gas, bound for the double doors at the front of the facility.
Rarity: "BRACE YOURSEVES!"
I lowered myself to the floor of the truck bed, and tucked Fluttershy in close to me, so I didn't see how fast Rarity made the truck go, or the incoming fire from the machine gun emplacements along the walls. All I felt was the crash.. and once we stopped, the truck was wedged halfway into the main hallway.
Yes, we were going for a frontal assault with only two trained ponies, myself, and Sinchka. Suicide? More like the very last thing they would expect me to attempt.
I pulled myself over the side of the truck, and knelt to cover Fluttershy. Two guards came from around the edge of the building, but I cut them down before they realized I was even there. They each got four rounds.
Rarity: "We're out! Let's go!" She covered Sinichka, who was armed with a PPSv.
Sinichka: "Where do we go!?"
K: "Follow me!"
I pivoted from my position, letting Fluttershy take over as Rear Security, as I moved up the hallway to one of those convenient pictogram "street signs" just like the one in the KSVB Station in the town I was originally held in. Jail area.. Jail area.. aha! High Security Containment (a barred jail door with a big lock on it).
Straight ahead, I went, following the signs. The alarms sounded, with red lights and klaxons blaring in the distance. I could hear more KSVB troops moving in, and as we passed a door, a KSVB pony came right out of it, looking to see what had happened. He yelled at the sight of me, but he wasn't nearly fast enough to draw his sidearm. I smashed him in the head with the stock, wheeled the rifle over, and impaled him on the knife bayonet, right in the heart. I pulled out, swapped positions with Fluttershy again, and fired the rest of my rounds back up the corridor to discourage pursuit (suppressive fire).
Fluttershy changed positions with me again, as I moved forwards as fast as possible, and grabbed another magazine from my vest. Catching the lip of the magazine on the AK's mag release lever, I pushed it out, slid the new magazine in place, and rotated the rifle in my hand to grasp and pull the charging handle.
She had taken position as leader, and stopped at the door leading to the next section of hallway. She motioned for us to press ourselves against the walls - which we did quickly - and she pressed the door open with the tip of her rifle. The second she did that, the door was peppered with gunfire. They were there, and waiting for us.
Fluttershy: "What do we do?" She already knew what I was thinking, though.
K: "Break through."
I nodded to Rarity, and she levitated her rifle out ahead of her, and cracked the door open again. Using the window in the frame of the door to see where her rifle was pointed, she telekinetically yanked the trigger ten times, emptying her magaizne. She retracted the rifle through the door, and I moved forwards, kicking the door flat off its hinges, and taking accurate burst shots at anything that seemed to be moving.
I reloaded again, and motioned for the group to move up.
Fluttershy took over as formation leader, as Rarity finished reloading, and I reloaded my AK. That put me at third man of the formation again as we quickly moved to the end of the hallway. There were stairs here, going down to the High Security Area. There was a landing halfway down, and the stairs continued after that - a standard 'corner' staircase.
K: "Wraparound." I directed. "Sinichka, hold the corner." I put her in position right at the corner, and put her in a proper firing position. "Shoot anything that tries to come through that hall, until I tell you to move."
Sinichka: "DA!" She affirmed, and kept her eye down the crude sights of the sub-machine gun.
We got down the steps, bounding cover the whole way. I heard Sinichka's PPSv fire up above us, and hoped she was okay. As it happened, I got to the bottom first, being third in line, and took cover near the edge of the stairs. Most of the commotion was above us - I didn't hear anything ahead, but that didn't mean there weren't surprises.
K: "CLEAR! SINICHKA! MOVE UP TO ME!" I called back to her.
Sinichka: "COMING!" She fired again, and then moved - I could hear her hooves hurrying down the stairs.
K: "RARITY! WHAT'S IT LIKE BACK THERE!?" I called back to her.
Rarity: "JUST A FEW!" I could hear her open fire, and bodies hit the floor (let the bodies hit the floor!)
K: "MOVE UP!" I called. Rarity joined me after a moment. Fluttershy followed her.
Once again, I took the lead. I was down two AK magazines (I'd been discarding my empties for speed), but that was okay. We could always steal more. As we passed each doorway, Rarity kept her rifle pointed at the ones on the left, and Fluttershy the ones on the right. I advanced up the hall with my eye down the sights, somewhat hunched over.
We reached the end of the hallway, which had a large barred sliding gate over it. We could see beyond the gate, and there were individual cells here, lined up along the walls. This was the 'dungeon' area, more or less. High Security prisoners were housed seperately from the rest of the population. I intended to set every prisoner here, free, to further confuse the authorities and keep the KSVB as busy as possible. The gate, however, was locked.
K: "We'll need keys." There were four doors in this hallway that we'd passed - two on either side. "Sinichka - what do the door plates all say?" I nodded to them.
Sinichka: "Names. Uhm." She pointed to the one nearest the gate. "His is the higher rank."
K: "Rarity, Fluttershy, breach and clear." I took cover in the far corner, away from them, covering the hallway. I moved Sinichka next to me.
Rarity: "On it." She switched to her APSv, and moved to the door. Fluttershy stacked up behind her. "Three.. two.." She back-kicked the door near the knob, and Fluttershy went in first.
I heard a burst of gunfire, and they exited in short order. Nods were passed to me and Sinichka, as Rarity tossed me the keys and swapped back to her rifle. Despite its long length, she handled it well in close quarters. For comparison, it would be like me using an M1 Garand for CQC fighting.
We moved into the main 'dungeon' area, and were immediately greeted by cheers in Russian - half the cells were full. I passed Sinichka the keys.
K: "Here! Free them!" I instructed. "Tell them if they want their freedom, they'll follow me!" I gave her a firm nod. "Fluttershy, with me. Rarity, help Sinichka!" I made pointings, as Fluttershy and I advanced towards the back hallway of the High Security Area.
Pressing myself against the walls, I kept as close to the sides as I could. Fluttershy was across the hall (it wasn't very wide) and pressed against the opposite wall, and back a little bit. We got to the end of this hall, and found ourselves in another section of jail cells. They were full, too. It seems that even fter 1873 years, The State still has problems.. interesting.
K: "SINICHKA! MORE OVER HERE!" I called back to her.
Fluttershy and I moved up to the next section - interrogations. This was represented by two eyes drawn like they're looking at each other. Three KSVB agents came right around the corner, no doubt hearing my calls. The turn was so tight, we almost ran into each other. Being the larger creature that I am, I pounded the one that got closest to me in the head with the stock of my rifle, and kicked the next one in the face. Fluttershy collided with the third one, and ended up on the ground with him.
I ended up grabbing the one I'd been clubbing, by the neck, and heaving him against the wall (adrenaline, folks - great stuff, as I've said before). He hit hard, and that let me go after the second one. I kicked him in the neck as hard as I could - hard enough that I felt his windpipe give a little. He immediately started coughing for air. This let me back up, and double-tap both of them with my AK. With that done, I walked over to where Fluttershy was struggling with the last one, picked him up by his uniform, and pulled him off of her. This gave her room to draw her knife and stab him in the side, right by the heart, three or four times, then kicking him with her back legs, in the chest. I dropped the corpse and helped her up. She recovered her PPSv and we started moving.
K: "ANYONE HERE!?" I called out as loud as I could muster. To be honest, I felt.. tight.. all over. It was probably the injuries acting up, along with the adrenaline.
Fluttershy: "I hope they're alright.." She said, quietly.
We moved into the main hall of the interrogation center for the dungeon. These were all 'enhanced' inerrogation rooms. I simply kept moving, watching each doorway until we reached the end of the hall. There was a larger door here, and it looked like it had fresh locks installed on it. This must be the place.
Fluttershy: "Does.. one of the keys work?" She asked, as I contemplated the door.
K: "Fuck keys." I levelled the AK at the door, and fired a burst offset from the lock plate, and kicked it open.
Inside was some kind of examination area. Most of our gear was in a huge metal tub off to the right. There was evidence that blood had been spilled here. There were two exam tables, and some other equipment that looked painful. I went for the big metal tub and rooted through it.
K: "They must have my cell phone elsewhere.."
But, on the plus side, my Morgan, my boots, and my (raggedy) clothes were all here, as was a couple other Morgans, most of our uniforms, and some other things.
K: "Cover me." I announced, as I got my stuff together.
It looks like the uniform I had been wearing, had had it, though. It was drenched in dried blood.. how much blood did I lose? Forget it. I got my rucksack from the bottom of the container, and got into my proper uniform. My rank pins were still fastened to my coat collar, so, I put them on my shirt collar. I pulled off my pants and hospital gown underware, and put my real clothes on. My proper military boots replaced the ones that Rarity made from the rough materials, and I put those clothes in my ruck. I checked my ruck for everything else I'd had in there, and found that except my cell phone, everything was here.
I stomped my boots on the ground.. felt good.
K: "Flutters, get your uniform on. I refuse to be called a spy or an insurgent." I twitched the sides of my mouth. "Not that we probably won't just be shot, anyway."
As I'd found out, the main questions they were asking the girls were military secrets - strength of the Equestrian military, things like that. They never once asked about the Crystal Kingdom, though they did ask about Tirek's capabilities. The girls had refused to talk. They said nothing at all, other than to demand they be released. Fluttershy got her uniform on and changed out the Herdiet Army saddle bags for the ones I'd designed for them. They were roomier and had better pocket access. Hers also had our squad medical gear - though they'd pulled this all out to examine it, she neatly put everything back. While she did this, I got my chest holster out for my Morgan, and slung it there.. partly symbolic, partly for comfort.
K: "We'll get the others' bags when we come back through." I nodded.
We moved through the Examination Room, and entered a little hallway. There was a secured locker here. I used the bayonet (dismounted) from the AK to break the locks on them. Inside was our weapons - my Bradley/Gavin was okay, but Dash's was broken in half. I grabbed it and checked the chambers - the grenade was still loaded, and the magazine was just as empty as I'd left it. Applejack's Chaffee was here, and I took that as well, slinging it behind me. Her shell magazine quiver was in another locker. One quiver was broken open, and the shells scattered in the bottom. I slung the quiver over my hip at an angle.
Strange. They hadn't even bothered to test fire them.
Yeah, sure, another seven-plus pounds on my back - but this came with a grenade launcher. I swapped out the chest harness I had for AK mags, for the NEIGHTO-standard magazine pouches that attached to my belt (my belt was even still here - no sign of my sword, though). Re-equipped, I reloaded the AK to a full magazine and decided to use it until it was empty.
Through the side hall, we moved to what looked like an observation deck. It was darkened, and there were a pair of one-way mirrors. I fished for Fluttershy's flashlight in her bag, and squeezed it on (they were designed for mouth use, and were more like those circle light things you buy for tool drawers that you tap to turn on, except they had a bit at the back for a pony to bite into), and stuck it in my mouth (even I had to admit this was convenient) while I searched for a light switch.
K: "Hrh wh gho.." I flipped the lights on - the switch was between the two mirrors.
That lit up the two cells. Twilight Sparkle was in one of them, heavily chained down, with some kind of magic restrictor over her horn. In the other cell was Pinkamena. Yes, Pinkamena had returned as Pinkie's dominant personality. She turned towards the mirror and stared at it with murderous eyes.
Pinkamena: "You won't get me to smile today." Her voice was haunting..
K: "Fuck this." I drew my Morgan and shot it at the one-way mirror (aiming way over her head, of course). The glass shattered in a million pieces. "PINKIE!" I yelled to her. "PINKIE, IT'S US!"
Pinkamena: "You've come to rescue us..?" She still sat there. "It's a trick. When I smile, they're going to shock the purple one." The purple one.. Pinkamena was seriously in control - she wasn't recognizing her friends.
K: "Fluttershy, get Twilight out of there." I nodded to the other cell.
Fluttershy: "Right." She went over to the other cell window, and likewise shot it out. I noticed there was a window separating Pinkamena from Twilight.
K: "Pinkie.. look.. we're getting Twilight out of here. This isn't a trick! Please!" I stepped closer to her.. "Please believe me." And reached my hand out for her. "We have to get out of here, Pinkie.. please.. please come back to me." I ended up kneeling at her hooves. She was completely unharmed, and she looked well fed.
It came to me what they'd done to her. They used Pinkie's natural personality against her - every time she smiled, laughed, or anything like that, they harmed Twilight, and rewarded her with food. They deliberately used the bonds of friendship against her. All I could do was - and this was a serious risk - get over to her and hug her tightly in my arms. Reach out to her.
K: "Pinkie.." I stroked her back. "..please. Please don't let her take over."
She had been in the Pinkamena personality for a while when she went crazy last year. We always feared that another psychological break like this might make Pinkamena take over permanently, and destroy her primary personality (or make it the submissive personality).
K: "Pinkie. I know you're in there. Don't let them win. If you let her stay out, they win. If you never laugh again, Tirek wins. I didn't nearly die for you to just give up. I gave up everything for you girls.. I was ready to die on that mountain to make sure you could laugh and party for the rest of your life. Please don't give up." I blinked. "Besides.." I whispered something to her, pertaining to that discussion I wouldn't tell you about a while back, before Chrysalis' first appearance.
Pinkamena: "T-Tickles..?" Was her response. She - Pinkamena - gave me a concerned look, but I could see in her eyes the will of Pinkie Pie, looking for a way out.
So, I flopped her on her back and Raspberried her belly. She didn't react at first - Fluttershy later told me her face was making all kinds of ridiculous contortions - but finally, after the fifth Raspberry, she popped back to her 'normal' self and started laughing her head off.
Just to be sure, I gave her a couple more.
Pinkie: "STAHP! STAHP!" She swatted me with her hooves, and I finally relented.
K: "Come on, we don't have much time - I don't want to imagine what kinds of reinforcements they're calling for." I stood up and offered her my hand.
Pinkie: "Whatever it is, we'll get 'em!" She took my hand and got on her own four hooves. I had to help her get up and over the window sill.
K: "Should I be concerned..? About how easy it was to change you back?" I started, getting a hand up over the ledge.
Pinkie: *Shh!* She put her right forehoof to my lips. "Don't worry." And she gave me a kiss on the forehead.
She may have said not to worry, but.. this personality switch thing did have me worried. Her swapping in and out of her Pinkamena persona hadn't happened in a while.. did she do it to protect her Pinkie persona? Or.. did Pinkamena do it? Or what? I was worried and unnerved by the idea that my friend was suffering somewhere, and - just like the others - I couldn't do anything about it.
Twilight looked horrible. Fluttershy was rendering what first aid she could to her. Her forehooves were both charred at the base of the hoof, her horn was charred at the base, one eye was almost swollen shut, her snout was bloodied badly, and her tail was frazzled. She'd fought back.. and paid for it.
Twilight: *Ngh* "K!" She gave me a weak smile.
I went over and hugged her. What were we just talking about last? Not making it weird? What a difference. Fluttershy bandaged her forehead and stuck an eyepatch over her swollen eye so it wouldn't affect her vision.
Twilight: "I-I knew.. you'd come for us." She looked over at Pinkie, with tears in her eyes. "Oh, Pinkie!" And they hugged.
Pinkie: "I'm sorry, Twilight.. she.."
Twilight: "It's okay." Twilight petted Pinkie's mane, giving it a few strokes before pulling back and looking at her. "I know it wasn't YOU.. well, not really YOU.. but.." She shook her head a little. "The technology here, is amazing!" She beamed. Same old Twilight.
K: "We have to get out of here." I nodded to the door. "Come on - most of our stuff is in the rooms beyond."
I led them back through, and got them geared up. Pinkie's Knox was ruined, so she took my AK for the time being. Twilight's Merrill was still operable, and had its ammo, so she took that for now. We got their uniforms and packs on - Twilight just slid on her black undersuit and LBE riging for the time being (yes, she now looks like Solid Twilight) - and I led them back to the chamber where Sinickha and Rarity were. When I got there, I was presented with two dozen freed prisoner ponies.. one of them was wearing the field uniform pants of the Herdiet military.
K: "Who's this guy?" I nodded to him, keeping my distance a little.
Maj. Kosegin: "Am Major Yuri Kosegin. Herdiet Union Strategic Rocket Forces. And I rekvest political asylum in Kingdom of Ekvestria." He bowed his head all the way to the ground, at me.
K: "Asylum..? What did you do to get locked up in here?" I tilted my head at him - surely, this was some kind of trick. Wait.. strategic rocket forces? Weren't they the ones that...
Maj. Kosegin: "I objected to Comrade General Secretary Zhelezo's directives and policy regarding use, deployment and planning of.." He looked at me like I wouldn't understand. "..vepons of extreme power. Bombs that destroy whole cities!"
K: "A-Atomic.. Bombs.." I was dumbfounded.
Maj. Kosegin: "DA!" He nodded enthuseastically. "I vill provide every'ting I know! Everyt'ing. Please." He implored me. "Just get me out of here."
Twilight, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie all had a look of absolute horror on their faces. Twilight started to say something, but I cut her off.
K: "Sinichka, who are the rest of these people?"
Sinichka: "Political prisoners. Mainly people who object to government, local commissar, or other policy." She nodded to the other large stallion in the room. "Except him. This is Stupka. He is from the Don Cossack."
Stupka: "Joo arr.. General." He nodded, as though General was my first name. His Equestrian was very poor.
I gave him a nod. Cossacks, as I recall, had been a unique semi-political, semi-military, semi-cultural little nugget of legend and tall tales on Earth - a group of people that had a unique and seperate history within Russia and Ukraine. They'd been, recently, victims of extensive eradication attempts over.. oh.. nearly eighty years, on Earth, until the end of the Cold War?
Sinichka: "Stupka is here because his people.. they fight against conquest of their home lands." She shrugged - military terms and such being new to her, she didn't quite understand how to put it.
Maj. Kosegin: "Donetesk and Raizina regions were conquered by Herdiet Union in year 1831. Ever since, we fight constant rebellions there. Sparse population in the region, but very fertile. The natives there - the Cossacks - have fought us every step of de way." He explained.
K: "An insurgency." I nodded. "Stupka, welcome aboard." I offered him my hand, and he put his hoof out to shake it. "We're going to have to fight our way out of here and steal a couple vehicles." I looked at the ponies. "Who here can drive?"
Maj. Kosegin: "I can."
Stupka nodded to another stallion in the room - a smaller stallion with broken glasses. The stallion nodded to me.
K: "That's three ponies." I shrugged. "Major, would you know where they took my.. I had some advanced technology on me-"
Maj. Kosegin: "Detention Center Number Ten. It houses technical institute as well - they use prisoners there for experiments." He shrugged.
K: "Well, we need to get there anyway - my Leading Mare is there, along with my other friend." I looked towards the door.
Now, if I was the on-site commander, I'd be building temporary reinforced positions, starting at the breach point, and moving inwards. If they had dedicated counter-assault teams, they'd be in the vanguard, with standard troops right behind them, who would pull sandbags, office furniture and whatever else they could gather to build little fortified points leading back towards the entrance as the counter-assault team moved in.
Maj. Kosegin: "Our first task is escape.." He lowered his head a little. "..you will trust me with a weapon?"
K: "Any of you that want to escape, come with me and start grabbing weapons from dead guards - I can't guarantee we'll all make it, but it's better to die on your hooves fighting, than die on your bellies like Diamond Dogs!"
Sinichka translated for me.. and into the hall we went. The girls and I were in the lead. Major Kosegin was the first to pick up a weapon - the PT-71 from the dead guard in the office. He also threw on the man's jacket, but pulled off all the medals and pins with his teeth, before resuming position right behind me.
Maj. Kosegin: "You are.." He paused, trying to remember. "..General K, I presume."
K: "I am, Major." I nodded, with the Bradley/Gavin at my shoulder.
Maj. Kosegin: "Then you must know at least this.. Comrade Zhelezo is plan to use Atomic Missiles as first strike on NEIGHTO. He knows you do not have any means of counter attack. He will demand NEIGHTO surrender to Herdiet Union." He shook his head. "He vould kill thousands!"
K: "I figured that. We have Atomic Weapons on Earth, where I'm from. And we've used them before. The reality of their use is far more tragic than you can imagine." I frowned. If they had atomic weapons, perhaps that's where Tirek got them from? Stole them..? "Was there a security breach about.. oh.. four or five months ago? Did a missile warhead or a gravity bomb go missing?"
Maj. Kosegin: "Y-Yes! Was big scandal. Is part of reason why I am here - my voice of objection made me a prime suspect." He shrugged as we got to the stairs. "Weapon was never recovered - I was to be tortured for information starting tomorrow."
K: "Tirek stole the weapon." I nodded. "And it was improperly detonated in Neighpon." I swept my aim up the stair well. "Please tell me you know a back way out of here?"
Maj. Kosegin: "T-Tirek..?" He seemed unnerved by the mention of him, but addressed my question. "Yes, but we must go through Armory." He nodded.
K: "Location?" There was no way out of this basement but up those stairs.
Maj. Kosegin: "First floor, hallway C, down to lower level, there is vehicle dock behind Armory." He nodded.
K: "Twilight, my left. Can you levitate the Merrill?" I didn't know how bad off she was.
Twilight: "No. My magic isn't working right now." She looked down at the ground, but back up at me. "Lead on."
Up the stairs I went, directing the Bradley/Gavin at the open spot (the landing, then up the facing stairway) at all times. I paused right at the corner.. my paranoia. I could.. FEEL them. That sense that you're being watched and can't see your watcher. I motioned to Twilight to get ready. She reared up on her hind legs and held the Merrill's belt with her off hoof.
Guard: (Around the Corner) "Granata..?"
The Gavin fired, the shell - an impact fuse grenade - bounced off the far wall, the impact fuse lasting the appropriate half second before exploding. I could hear screaming, and tapped Twilight on the shoulder to go ahead of me, and motioned for Fluttershy to go next. I reloaded the grenade - my load bearing equipment had two left on it. I should have had five. One was a timed fuse, one was an impact fuse. I loaded the timed fuse grenade as Twilight got to the corner. She pressed herself just barely around it, and hosed the hall down with a 3-second burst of fire. I heard more screaming as she ducked back. Fluttershy was ready to move, and I got behind her. I tapped Twilight, and she slid the Merrill around the corner again, and opened fire, covering me and Fluttershy as we moved across the hall.
As I popped out from cover, I took aimed shots at the targets in the hall - a counter-assault team, as I suspected. They were armed all with PPSv sub-machine guns, with officers carrying AK-72 rifles. The grenade had dropped a pile of them that were waiting for us around the corner and in one of the rooms just off of it. Twilight's first burst caught them as they were trying to reposition and recover wounded. Our second act caught them as they were trying to get BACK to cover.
Clearly, they weren't trained on how to deal with an enemy special operations team. Especially fitting given what Twilight looked like. I pressed myself against the cold concrete wall, and slid up the hallway as Rarity came up at the rear with Sinichka, Major Kosegin, and Stupka. Stupka started grabbing and handing back PPSv's as he could, so that everyone had a weapon. As I advanced up the hall, I kicked a wounded officer in the head as hard as I could, and stopped his breathing. I slid my toe over the strap of his AK-72, lifted it with my foot, and 'kicked' it to Kosegin.
K: "Catch." I said, having seen him out of the corner of my eye. "I hope you know how to use it."
Maj. Kosegin: "I do." He chamber-checked it.
K: "Fall in as Rear Security." I nodded gently to the rear of our formation, trusting him to grab extra mags as needed.
Speaking of that.. the Counter-Assault Team was armed with something I'd not yet seen in pony hooves. Long, cylindrical objects.. with handles. Grenades! They looked like HE grenades without a fragmentation jacket. I plucked one from one of the CAT soldiers, and hefted it in my off hand, figuring out what the safety latch was and everything, just by looking at it.
K: "Major, if I pull the safety latch off, does that start the fuse?" I dangled it in my fingers.
Maj. Kosegin: "No. You must pull fuse handle. Six second timer." He nodded.
K: "Right." I flicked the safety latch off with my fingers, and held the grenade against the Gavin's tube with my hand - a dexterous maneuver that ponies would never be able to do properly. "The hallway?"
Maj. Kosegin: "Back to front of building, then turn left. Straight up that hall is stairs to lower level - armory will be off to the right." He nodded, as he picked up ammo and grenades.
K: "Got it. Let's go." I moved up the hall.
With the CAT unit defeated here - unless they had another - we shouldn't encounter resistance until we hit the front of the building. I could already see sandbags having been hurriedy placed around the truck we'd crashed. They were using it for cover. I knew they were taking cover behind it, and around the rubble..
I snapped the grenade's handle out, and I could actually feel the fuse snap into place and ignite. I counted in my head.. one.. two.. three..
..and I heaved it over the edge of the barrier, and heard it clatter to the floor.
Screaming. And one body that tried to dive out of the hole, flopped over, dead.
K: "HOSE IT DOWN! GO-GO-GO!"
I motioned for Twilight and Fluttershy to stay, and Rarity and Pinkie to take the lead, herding the escaped prisoners towards the hallway indicated by Major Kosegin. I heard Stupka say something to the Major, and the Major speak back to him a bit angrily. I think Stupka warned him the consequences of betrayal, and the Major angrily denied any such treason.
Twilight and Fluttershy hosed down the broken opening in the front of the prison complex as the others made their way to the hall. I moved out ahead of them and to the side, to provide moving cover fire. I ejected the spent magazine from the Bradley, and switched to a loaded one. I didn't have many of these left (4, including the one in the gun), so, I'd break and discard the weapon once we got to the Armory, and grab another AK or something.
K: "TWILIGHT! FLUTTERSHY! MOVE!"
I stopped at the rear of the escaped prisoners and knelt down to cover them. I only had to fire once - at the head of a lone Herdiet soldier that popped his head out from behind cover. I got him in the neck, and he fell. Twilight and Fluttershy moved around me and I took up rear security.
I had to say, it felt good not being alone anymore.
I started moving up the line, trading places with Ponies as my longer legs moved me through the crowd, until I was at the head with Rarity and Pinkie, the Major, Stupka, and Sinichka. We were at a door, it was wooden, and it was locked. I kicked it as hard as I could, and sent it flying open, partly breaking the hinge. Stairs - leading down.
K: "I'm on point, follow!" I shouldered the Bradley/Gavin and charged down the stairs, reaching the bottom as the Armory guards came out of hiding to check what was going on. I didn't even bother looking for weapons, I just shot them down like dogs. Once they were down, I marshalled everyone to the Armory. "Girls, grab local weapons - whatever you can get. Break and toss your NEIGHTO ones, we're not getting any more ammo for them anytime soon."
Maj. Kosegin: "General. I should varn you, there are Tanks deployed to thees prison. We should take Anti-Tank Weapon." He nodded.
K: "Grab me an RPG and a couple spare rockets."
Maj. Kosegin: "Understood." He nodded and started handing out weapons. Stupka ended up with another one of the RPD's.
I was going to use my Bradley until I was out of mags for it, the same for the Chaffee, but I wanted a local weapon, too, so I grabbed one of the long-barrelled RPD's and loaded a drum. I stuck an extra set of AK webbing and magazines into Pinkie's saddle bags, along with a couple drum mags. Major Kosegin grabbed one of the RPG launchers and a quiver of the half-meter-long rockets for it. It struck me as odd that they'd make the rockets so long, and thus, give them very long range.
I found out later that this was because their primary tank guns were equally long ranged, and they THOUGHT my 75mm mountain guns had extremely long range (6km in direct fire roles) when, in fact, they had about a 5km range at maximum. So, their primary anti-tank rocket launcher having an effective range of 400 meters (that it could reach in about 3.5 seconds), made sense.
Our little band of ponies - Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Major Kosegin, Sinichka and Stupka along with 22 other freed prisoners - was now heavily armed with the best weapons we could steal from the military. Thirty of us. We cleaned them out of hand grenades, too. Most of these dissidents had some experience with weapons, either because they were insurgents or they'd served in the military (draft is universal here, I found out later).
Major Kosegin took the lead, and moved us through the Armory's racks of weapons. They even had one of those water-cooled machine guns here, on its wheeled mount. Two of the prisoners grabbed it and hitched up to it, while a third grabbed the water can and attached it, along with a box of ammo, a spare one he took with him.
They were planning for the future.
The Major and I moved through the hall at the rear of the Armory, reaching the Loading Dock. It was locked up, so I whipped out the Chaffee and shot the lock off with a slug - risky, yes, but time was of the essence. Thankfully, the lock was more frail than the shotgun slug and it didn't simply ricochet off. Stupka lifted the rolling gate, and we jumped down..
Maj. Kosegin: "The left! Tank!"
He scooted everyone back, though I ran across the small road to a concrete block that was about a meter thick and took cover behind it. It looked like a light tank, and it was coming up the road at us. Some of the prisoners didn't heed his warning, and made a break for the rear fence. The tank fired its small cannon, and the shell impacted right amongst them. I could feel a fresh sting of injury along my arm, and when I looked down, I was gashed open by shrapnel. Not badly, but..
I popped up and fired the shell in the Gavin, hoping it had enough armor penetration ability to stop the tank. Timed fuse, so I aimed to have it land right where the tank would run over it. The shell landed right about where I wanted it to, and went off just as the tank drove over it. One of the treads blew off, and the tank skidded off course, ramming into the prison's exterior wall. I quickly reloaded as the second and third tanks appeared, and changed position just as they fired.
The cement block was blasted clean through by the cannon, sending shrapnel everywhere. I advanced, sighitng up the second tank in line and aiming the last grenade - an Impact Fuse type - for the driver's compartment. I fired and the shell landed a bit off. But, it was enough to cause the tank to stop moving. I didn't know it, but spalling from the grenade had killed the driver and wounded the loader.
K: "Throw me the RPG! Then get to the trucks!" I pointed at the trucks near the rear gate. Our escape.
Maj. Kosegin: "Are you sure!?" He threw it anyway, and the rockets.
I didn't see them, but the girls got everyone to the trucks that was left - 21 out of 30 ponies.
I caught the RPG. I let the rockets land on the ground as I moved again, not letting the tanks draw a bead on me with their main guns. I stopped, knelt, aimed at the still-moving tank, and fired the rocket at a range of about 300 meters, just as the third tank crossed in front of the second one. The rocket hit right at the turret ring, and while it didn't blow the tank itself, I managed to kill the crew inside with spalling. It also cut a nice hole in the turret ring, preventing it from turning. The second tank was blocked by the third, but I decided it better be shut down, so I moved over to where the rocket quiver was, and reloaded, the weapons on my back, sides, and front all clattering around.
Rocket reloaded, I got up on the loading dock, watching the second tank - "K"713 - try to turn its turret into a position where it could get a shot at the trucks. I aimed for the turret itself, just as the cupola machine gun got a rough fix on my location and started shooting. Honestly, I wasn't paying attention to that - I had no idea the bullets were landing close to me. I just fired, having sighted in on the Cyrillic "K". The rocket flew, and impacted right there, the hot jet going all the way through the turret at that angle, and igniting a shell in the hands of the gunner, who was preparing a quick second shot, given that his loader was dead. This caused the shell to detonate, right next to the gun's breech, which caused the shell in the breach to blow out, and blasted chunks from inside the turret's face, and causing the gun barrel to burst open.
That was that.. I jumped down from the dock, and grabbed the remaining rockets in the quiver, turned, and ran for the trucks. They already had them started, and two of the ponies were getting the gate open.
We had escaped.
[End of Part 3]