We thought we could take them out the same way the black spheres had been. Their large ships didn't come any closer than the moon. We could not detect anything that had been launched from them, our nukes were useless. This was the first day of the second wave, the second day of the war. The Second Day.
The military truck stopped along the road, bracketed on both sides by fields of vegetables. The soldier in the turret scanned in all directions with the new issue binocular scopes, his mounted twin 50-caliber machine guns moving with him.
“Are you sure the report gave this location?” the Lieutenant was asking the Command Post over the radio. It was an urgent matter if one of the alien landing ships had touched down here in the middle of rural Texas. These aliens weren't as scattered as the first wave had been, they were now landing in groups and putting up a stiff fight all over the world. He was told that this was the place.
Just because you could not see anything did not mean it wasn't there. That is one of the reasons they had upgraded the night vision goggles, because you could see some trace of them even in the daylight with them. The upgrade was only hours old, it had been a simple thing, the instructions sent to all bases.
So there were a lot of bugs in it. Private First Class John Santos circled for the second time. Then he saw something. Just something. An unusual wisp, like steam from a teapot. In the middle of the field. He knew the rules of engagement had changed so he squeezed off a few dozen rounds from his guns at the anomaly.
“I saw something!” He told his buddies who were already exiting the back of the vehicle with their own guns. They laid down in a semi-circle and put their own 50 cal guns on tripods, one of them brought out a shoulder-fired anti-tank missile. Suddenly through their NVG's they saw the vague shapes of the enemy coming toward them.
All of them began firing.
“I need Fort Hood, now!” Lieutenant Paul Reese yelled into the radio, “We have engaged hostiles!”
The enemy soldiers had flashing lasers on their weapons to blind the human soldiers, but they did not know that the NVG's had been upgraded a couple years ago to block sudden blinding lights. Their flashing was used to subvert this upgrade but it was hit or miss for both sides.
The incoming rounds were exploding on impact all around the vehicle. The enemy didn't bother with small arms and their armored suits made it pointless to fire anything like a NATO round at them if you couldn't be sure of a hit to the faceplate.
PFC Santos was firing at the enemy troop concentration when he noticed there was some kind of movement to the right of him. The stealthy enemy had flanked them, the armored vehicle blocked these new soldiers from the rest of the squad. Santos turned the turret instinctively to engage them with his twin guns.
Almost immediately Santos was hit by several rounds of exploding ordinance tearing holes through his honeycomb armor and his body. The rounds also penetrated the windshield of the truck and the head of the Lieutenant inside who had been calling for reinforcements.
Three members of the squad picked up their gun and moved to the side of the armored truck to engage these new enemies. They found some cover fire when someone launched a grenade at the enemy, which usually did little but distract them. The three moving soldiers got the attention of the flanking enemy and withering fire exploded all around them.
They dropped to the ground, two of them rolled away from the vehicle to keep the three of them from being bunched together. Then they tried to bring their 50 cal machine guns to bear on the closing enemies. They took out several but there were just too many.
“We need to get out of here!” PFC Norris yelled and stood up to run, his back exploded. The body dropped to the ground and rolled off the road and down onto the field below.
The encroaching enemy was on top of them within seconds after that, impaling them with bladed weapons through their backs before they could react. The soldiers behind the vehicle abandoned their positions, now surrounded on three sides and tried to run up the lonely two-lane road they had come down.
They turned and fired at the aliens, one of them threw grenades before turning to run some more and falling to the ground with a hole through his chest and half his head missing.
PFC Christopher Wiles sat on the road and fired his gun at the enemy forces he could barely see, even without the tears and sweat getting in his eyes. Then he heard the whomp, whomp sound of an aircraft approaching. He knew that aircraft, it had a distinctive sound.
The Osprey was in helicopter mode as it swung into view firing it's new guns and the Maverick missiles slung under the wings. It had been an experiment but those upgrades were ordered for all Ospreys last night, forget all the red ink normally involved.
Before the enemy had a chance to get a bead on the aircraft the world exploded all around. Suddenly there were hits all over the place. Then he saw AH-64 IQ's passing overhead, the unmanned versions of the attack helicopter. The landing ship in the field was hit by the new Skyfire Missiles and its holographic stealth system failed.
It looked like a large flint arrow stuck into the ground now that it was entirely visible. There were still guns it trying to return fire. One of the Apache IQ's had gone down on the far side of the road and another was trailing smoke.
PFC Wiles dropped his heavy gun and surveyed around him. His entire squad was dead and there were several dozen alien dead. The armored truck had several large holes in it, but the wheels and motor compartment seemed intact.
The Osprey was landing in the field to his right and soldiers were climbing out. They ran up to him and started asking questions he couldn't make out. Finally he saw them collecting the 50 cal guns and the alien weapons and taking them back to the Osprey. The guns were needed elsewhere, the dead could wait a little longer.
Two of the men from the Osprey stayed behind and helped load the human bodies into the vehicle after putting them into body bags. One of them used a flame thrower to burn the alien bodies after cutting the armored chest plates from the ones where it was intact. Their armor was better, so we should use it too. The aircraft lifted off and moved away, PFC Wiles noted again the cursed red world in the sky.
A fighter jet came in low and dropped a larger bomb on the now-dead enemy landing ship. Just to make sure. PFC and the two other soldiers climbed into the armored truck and began to long drive back to the command post. PFC Christopher Wiles would have to tell his CO what happened, even though the vehicle had a recording device as did the corporal, whose body was piled in back.
“Tokyo was hit hard. It was one of the first to be invaded, we've learned a lot since then. Shanghai is a pile of crap. Some kind of explosion in the sewer system set off other explosions during the fighting. It's all a huge mess. The whole world is a mess right now.” One of the other soldiers was saying. Wiles supposed it was to get his mind off of everything, he appreciated the attempt, but it wasn't working.
They were dead. They were all dead. His buddies for two years since he joined the service and they died just like that. Too easily. Too quick, too soon. PFC Wiles thought he had seen enough war in Angola, against the Spear of Allah, but this was other level. The Jihadists had been ruthless, but they had hardly been the peer of US forces in real battles.
As soon as they arrived he saw a line of armored vehicles and their dragoons preparing to leave. There had been several landing vessels reported outside of San Angelo. There was heavy armor on the way from Fort Hood, but these guys were expected to slow down the enemy until the cavalry arrived.
PFC Christopher Wiles wanted to tell them not to go. He couldn't though. The whole world was at stake, everyone they cared about needed to be defended from this aggression. There was no telling how many civilians or militia members would be butchered before they arrived.
“Godspeed!” Wiles said, saluting a Corporal racing to climb into one of the vehicles. Then he turned back toward the large tent of the Command Post and rehearsed what he would tell his Commanding Officer.