BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

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WAR DIARIES OF A SINNER Chapter 6
Thursday, October 26, 2006

Book wasn't born a shepherd, he was born Brian M. Yong, an ex-colonel surprisingly, and unwillingly, brought out of retirement by the Alliance to fight in the Unification War.----Yong and his men are involved in much fighting as they advance on their objective.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1243    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Yong’s regiment had advanced further into the tunnel after recodering all the kills and casualties of the recent skirmish. Noone of the Independents entrenched in the depot seemed to have gotten away. At least that was the logical conclusion at which Yong arrived. Had there been survivors they’d surely have mined the tunnel or otherwise tried to throw a monkey into their advance. On the other hand, something of the order might still lie ahead. Be that as it may, they had not met any living soul in three hours and had made considerable progress. Only the two or three times they had arrived at points in the tracks they had advanced slower, always expecting an ambush and also quickly getting their bearings as to which turn to take. According to the map Yong’s troops had almost gone two thirds of the way to their ultimate objective, a factory complex in the heart of the Sihnon’s satellite city of Tietam. The idea was to blow it up and thus drive a wedge into the Browncoats’ lines so that the main attack at the centre of their troops would not be exposed to attack on his left flank. It had made a lot of sense in the planning room with generals moving digital pieces over a 3D picture of the Greater Sihnon area. But even the three-dimensional simulation did not account for their underground hold-up, for mined streets, ambushes and drawn-out gun fights, which could all upset the overall schedule of this intricate battle plan. Communication with the command centre was to be kept to a minumum so they wouldn’t give positions or any details of the plans, but if every part of the operation didn’t go according to plan, or too late, the whole thing was in limbo. It could be disastrous. Of course, Yong admitted to himself, where should the generals have any experience for this scenario from. There had not been any street fights of military proportions since the colonisation of this system, as far as he knew. Least of all had there been any scenarios or battle plans for such a battle in Sihnon itself. Yong tore his thoughts away from the might-have-beens and what-ifs of this operation. It was not really his place to question orders, at least not now as he was executing them. The survival of his men and himself depended on him fulfilling his orders according to briefing. Mendes’ 5th was now moving in the centre of the troops together with the 1st company Yong had joined. The 4th and 7th were now forming the vanguard, searching the ground with torches and prods for possible mines. People tried to keep talk and any noise to a minimum, because there were mines that were not designed to be set off by the pressure of boots but rather by the sounds of them. Although it was unlikely that the Independents had had the time to install sonic mines, it was a possibility, however remote. Yong was not even sure the Browncoats possessed that kind of technology. Suddenly somebody some distance ahead fired a shot, most likely by accident because there was no more gun fire to follow it up. Then a chain of detonations could be heard deep ahead in the tunnel.

“Back, all fall back”, Yong screamed into the com.

Not a second too early. A wave of dust and fire was racing through the tunnel, holding straight for them. The impact of the explosion knocked Yong and several others to the floor. The torrent of heat rushed over them, some stones rained down on them from the ceiling. Coughing, Yong got up and dusted off his uniform. Then he turned on the com and addressed the captains commanding the 4th and 7th. “Lee, Richards, report.” Richards was the first to respond: “It all came down on us, Sir. Mines, sonic mines. Bastards installed them in the ceilings. Tunnel ahead has completely collapsed. Some men definitely buried underneath, Sir, or trapped on the other side.”

“Casualties?”

“Many. Mostly injured though, but they need medical attention. Got hit by bolders and rubble coming down. Can’t see much here, but most of the tunnel ceiling seems to hold. Could have been worse.”

“Get the injured out there and come back to my position.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Lee, do you hear?” Yong turned to the other captain, but there was no reply. “Lee, come.”

“Eh, Sir? This is Richards again. Just found Lee. He’s dead, Sir.”

“Zang huo!”

“Sir?”

“Sorry, Richards. Not you, them who did this.”

---------------------------------------------

The incident in the mined tunnel really offset the plans. Most of the 4th and parts of the 7th were either dead, injured or caring for their wounded comrades. Yong decided to leave the remainder of Lee’s company back so they could take care of the injured and find a way to transport them back to the surface. With the rest of his troops Yong himself had now to find an alternative route to their objective, because the tunnel was blocked. They could try a different tunnel for a ways and then continue to the surface but it was possibly that these were mined too. Plus, it would lead them too far astray. He had to reach the surface at the nearest possible point and make a run for position gamma, the factory. They had to make it in time. They were already delayed. According to the map there was an underground station nearby where they could ascend to the surface. They found it surprisingly quickly. The escalator shafts were not working but a faint hint of daylight was oozing in from outside. The troops climbed the motionless chrome escalator steps, going relatively slowly to allow their eyes to get used to daylight again. The sunlight hit Yong like lightning when he finally left the station building. He shaded his eyes against the sun and looked around the landmarks around to get a sense of how far away from their objective they were. To the northwest of them there was a huge skyscraper towering over several smaller but also huge builings. The tower of steel and glass had a very distinctive form, being built in several levels which overall mirrored the form of a seven-storey pagoda. The Tietam Tower. It was marked on his map as being not very far from the factory they were looking for. Yong’s eyes kept panning the horizon. He made out an assortment of giant chimneys a little further behind the tower and to its left. That had to be the complex. They crept forward again, nervously watching the surrounding builings for snipers. The companies advanced parallel to each other along several streets that were only separated by huge blocks of buildings. They were all leading straight to the centre. The 1st and 5th were moving on the right flank. All of a sudden there was gunfire coming from the left flank. The Alliance soldiers exchanged fire with somebody taking a shot at them from one of the builings. There seemed to be several snipers who could crossfire at the companies who were on the left and middle. Yong hurried to make a come to the aid of the pinned-down troops. He and Mendes led the 1st and 5th around another block and then cut across one of the streets running vertically to those they had been following. Hopefully they’d come at the Browncoats from the back. Yong looked around a corner. The other companies were still involved in gun-fights with the men hidden in the buildings. Windows were constantly breaking from stray shots and showering the men underneath with shards of glass.

“Mendes, you and your men storm that building over there”, Yong said and pointed across the street. “We take this one.”

“Yes, Colonel.”

“Okay, boys, let’s go”, he said to his company.

The ground floor of the building showed some signs of previous fighting but they did not encounter any resistance. Yong split his company, having some storm each staircase. He was pondering sending men up the elevators too but that might alert the Browncoats to his plan. Instead he left some people back on the ground floor guarding the elevators and preventing anybody from getting out. Then he rushed up one of the staircases himself taking three steps at a time. There was nobody on the first floor either, but on the second they encountered heavy resistance. Three men going before Yong went down one after another, taken out by someone hiding behind a counter. Yong ventured a quick look around the corner, only drawing a burst of fire which missed him by a few inches. He tore the trigger off a handgrenade with his teeth and lobbed it in a curved throw around the corner. A second after the detonation he looked around a second time and fired two shots in the chest of the still moving man. Another Browncoat appeared through a door frame. Yong did not hesitate. One shot hit the man grazed the man’s throat, another two to his knee sent him down screaming and clutching his leg. Yong rushed over to him and knocked him senseless. Meanwhile his soldiers had taken out the snipers at the window. Then they took the house across the street under fire, distracting the Browncoats there from Mendes approaching. He was all over them inside of the next minute.

Their further approach to the factory was interrupted several times by small groups of Independents opening fire on them or throwing grenades and then turning tails and disappearing in the maze of streets. While it did not considerably slow their advance, this hit-and-run tactic was extracting a heavy toll from his regiment. If the losses of over one-third for his unit were anything to go by, this would be a very costly victory for the Alliance. If it was going to be a victory. The factory lay ahead of them. Surprisingly they did not encounter as heavy resistance there as they had expected. Their superior numbers soon forced the small group of Independents to abandon their posts there and retreat. Yong entered the factory, joined by Mendes and parts of their companies. The explosives specitalists soon found the right places where they had to put their C4 putty. The idea was to blow up the supply pipe over which the factory got its gas from a power plant further northeast. Hopefully enough of the gas in the pipes would explode so that a wall of fire separated one flank of the Independents from their main body. Of course, if things went wrong, they would blow up much of Tietam on top, but usually a safety valve should prevent a the fire spreading over the entire gas pipe system of the city.

“Everything ready to execute, Sir”, reported a sergeant in charge of attaching the explosives.

“Thank you, Sarge”, Yong said. “Now everybody out.”

The troops took up postitions at a safe distance from the factory in the outlying buildings. The sergeant handed Yong the remote detonator.

“Okay, everybody take cover. Detonation in five, four, three, two, one.” He pressed the button, but nothing happened.

“Damn! What’s wrong with that, sergeant”, Yong asked angrily.

“Don’t know, sir. Maybe battery is low and the signal doesn’t carry that far. I’m getting closer.” The man ran towards the factory, but at that very moment somebody opened fire. A line of bullets tore open the sergeant’s chest. He stumbled and fell, spitting blood. Browncoats seemed all over the place in an instant. They drew fire from several directions. Yong fired a burst into the general direction from where the sergeant had been shot. Then he ran out of his cover and over to the dead man lying in the open before the factory. He grabbed the detonator and hurried over to the factory pressing the button again and again as he went. Behind him he could hear Mendes scream something in Chinese he didn’t quite catch. Something about feng kuang. He felt a shot pierce his upper leg, and another hitting his body armour along the lower spine but not penetrating. His leg gave way. Blood was gushing out. With his still whole leg and his arms he crawled towards the factory as quick as he could, pressing the button repeatedly. Finally the mechanism worked. The whole building went up in ball of flame, the windows bursting out from the pressure. That was the last thing Yong saw before something hard hit his head.

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Chinese (correct me if I’m wron): zang huo: dirty bastard; feng kuang: crazy, insane

Disclaimer: For the events of the war I am loosely orienting myself on the unofficial timeline on the Firflywiki. The ‘Verse is of course Joss Whedon’s. But Book’s alter ego Brian Yong is essentially my creation.

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COMMENTS

Saturday, October 28, 2006 10:52 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Damn...things just got a whole lot more nuts! Definitely makes me wonder about Book's interactions with Mal during the series and how it might trigger flashbacks to this point:(

Still...good stuff good stuff good stuff!

BEB


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