Authors: W. J. Lundy
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
of the Forgotten
By W. J. Lundy
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Tales of the Forgotten
© 2013 W. J. Lundy
book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are
products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not
to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual
events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. All Rights Are
Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Edited by Monique Happy Editorial
had been weeks since the first attack – since the day the world went dark and
everyone had forgotten about them. The day he lost his company and most of his
friends. They must have more to worry about than a half-dozen stranded soldiers
in the back forty of the world. No contact, no messages, not even a flyover
from a friendly aircraft. They were completely isolated and alone.
twelve o’clock. Primal on the wire,”
the spotter whispered.
team had done well for themselves, considering their situation. They had held
up in the customs compound at Hairatan; they’d fortified it, made it a refuge.
Their previous mission, in their old life, had been to patrol the streets
looking for the Taliban. Now they worked with a former Taliban commander named
Junayd, rescuing civilians and rebuilding in the furthest reaches of
Afghanistan. Once enemies, they were now unified in a common goal to survive.
primal on the wire,”
Brad whispered, pulling the rifle into his shoulder
and letting his cheek rest on the butt stock. Gripping the heavy M24’s
handguards tightly, he forced himself to relax as he lined his dominant eye up
with the scope
routines had become monotonous, the same tasks over and over. His deployment to
Afghanistan had felt the same, but this was different. There was no real end to
this, no day circled on a calendar to work towards. No goal to reach, no
motivation to press forward. This was just surviving every day, day after day.
They did patrols into the city to salvage goods and locate survivors. They had
found plenty of the later, but never any soldiers. He feared his men might be
the last remaining U.S. forces in country.
twelve hundred meters, dial eighteen plus one click,”
ordered the spotter.
compound was home now. Survivors of all types seeking refuge had come here
looking for safety inside the fences. They all came together working the walls
and doing the tasks that kept a camp running, soldiers and civilians side by
side now. Brad’s men knew the compound wouldn’t stand against a large mass
attack. How could it? Their own base had fallen in the first days, and it had
been heavily fortified. That was when the attacks came in the thousands. More
recently they would come at the walls in twos or threes. Unless something
alerted them, it was very rare to see more than ten at a time during the
daylight. No one wanted to think about a mob pressed against their gates, but
they knew they were out there.
eighteen plus one dialed in,” Brad answered.
men hated the patrols. But they were a necessary evil, essential to the
survival of the group. This wasn’t like hunting the Taliban, which could lead
to days or even weeks of boredom, broken only by minutes of unrelenting
violence. This was constant. The soldiers were almost guaranteed to run into
conflict every time they left the wire. And unlike before, there would be no
calls for medevacs or air support. During the last patrol Brad went on, they’d
searched the village market. From all appearances, the place had been abandoned
and well picked over, but they needed to break into the old storage warehouse
to be sure.
from three o’clock, six miles per hour, dial wind right, two point three,”
was infested with the primals. When they’d opened the large, double doors, they
were immediately engaged. They often found hives of them behind locked,
barricaded, and closed doors like this. In the early days of the attacks,
families would seek refuge in their homes, securing themselves in, often with
wounded loved ones in tow—not knowing that their injured family member would
turn and attack them in their final hiding place. That was before they’d known
how it spread, how deadly it was. Before they knew a deep cut or bite would
bring on the rage.
dialed two point three, target indexed,” Brad whispered, making adjustments to
the rifle without taking his eye off the target.
had taken most of the day and a large amount of ammo to clear out that hive.
They had no for sure strategy against them; the primals played by no rules.
Primals massed quickly and would pour from every direction if they sensed prey.
They had no fear of injury or death; they couldn’t be suppressed; there was no
shock and awe to use against them. Primals couldn’t be intimidated into
drills called for shutting down the immediate threat as quickly as possible,
then getting very stealthy, running and hiding from the later waves of primals
that always showed up. In the city it was pointless to attempt to stand your
ground, there would always be too many. Stealth and escape were the only things
knew what they would do when the ammo ran out. Close combat with primals was a
nightmare; they were fast and strong, and they never tired. They didn’t
hesitate to strike and they wouldn’t quit if they thought a meal was nearby.
Brad needed to make long term preparations, but his people were always too busy
surviving to look to the future. They needed to make contact with the States,
their families, and their command. They needed help.
Brad said as he focused the sight picture and pulled the trigger during the
natural pause in his breathing.
SEAL Team Chief was the only one to have had contact with the military after
the attacks, but even that was lost when the satellite phones batteries died.
Sean told Brad that NATO had pulled out all of the soldiers in the first days.
They had been re-called to defend their homelands. Brad’s men were not so lucky,
blindsided by the fog of war. The government gave little advanced warning that
the attacks were coming; as always, ‘
the need to know’
didn’t reach the
soldiers on the ground or in remote camps. They were afraid if the intelligence
about the biological attack leaked, the enemy would strike early, before the
Special Forces could stop them. Either way they’d lost.
head, target down,”
confirmed the spotter.
fog of war and Murphy’s Law had taken down innumerable members in the attacks.
Now they were alone, lost and outnumbered. A dozen men from a lost patrol were
of little concern to the big picture in the fight for humanity. The United
States was under attack and fighting for survival. How could they spare
resources to look for others when they were fighting for their own lives? Those
were the arguments Brad used to justify the abandonment to his men, but he
didn’t have one for himself. As hard as it would be to leave the safety of this
compound, the decision was clear. Someone needed to leave, to reach out;
without support they wouldn’t make it out here alone.
hit,” Brad replied, opening the bolt and chambering another round. This was his
seventh kill this morning, and the start to a long watch.
Forward Operating Base Bremmel
Zero day plus one.
wasn’t a bad soldier, just misunderstood. Sergeant Robert Logan was always in
trouble, not on the job, but for things he did on his own time. His last
adventure had caused him to oversleep and not show up on time for duty. That
cost him his team leader position and sentenced him to a week of working in the
chow hall. Now the rest of Echo Company was preparing for a patrol, and he was
getting ready for a day slinging hash. Time in the mess hall sucks, but not as
bad as watching your men roll out without you.
was helping Corporal Méndez prepare his crew for today’s mission; this would be
his first as team leader. Robert was nervously quizzing him to make sure he was
ready for the responsibility. Méndez told him to relax, that everything would
be fine. He had a solid crew, Specialist Eric was a good driver, and Private
Ryan was one of the best gunners in the company. Besides, it wasn’t Robert’s
concern today, his job was serving up breakfast and the last thing he needed
was to be late for work again. Robert shook his former teammates’ hands and
wished them luck on today’s patrol, then walked away towards the chow hall.
felt strange for Robert to be going to work without the body armor and weapons
he was used to. He still carried his M9 pistol in a holster, but other than
that he felt naked. Robert made his way to the mess hall and said good morning
to the mess sergeant that ran the dining facility. She gave him a scowl,
obviously not happy that she was always being assigned the other units’
troublemakers to work in her facility. She needed the help though, and couldn’t
afford to turn anyone away.
told Robert to get washed up and got him started on peeling and slicing hard
boiled eggs. Robert was disgusted by the work assignment, but he settled in and
got busy. Even though it sucked, he found the work surprisingly easy. He looked
over the counter at the end of his work area and watched the soldiers begin to
pile in for the morning meal service.
a few minutes of peeling eggs, Robert decided to put himself on break and he
wandered into the seating area. He saw a good friend of his and a fellow
troublemaker, Staff Sergeant Bolder, just sitting down with his tray. Robert
grabbed a cup of coffee and made his way over.
Bolder, how you doin’, buddy?” Robert asked him as he sat down at the table
across from his longtime friend.
good, I see they still got you on Kitchen Patrol, how long you got to do this
for?” asked Bolder.
Sergeant Turner says I can be done at the end of the week if I stop being late
all the time, but he said K.P. will be my permanent job if I screw up again.
It’s all bullshit, man. So anyway, what’s new on camp?”
bro, didn’t you hear? There was a big fight in the aid station last night …
Yeah, from the medevac that brought in those wounded civilians yesterday,”
That was just a bunch of women and children and such. They were just cut up and
scratched bad; I even helped unload them from the choppers.”
that’s the group,” replied Bolder. “Seems they got into some shit, must have
been on acid or something, ‘cause a couple hours after the medics got them all
patched up and into bed, them folks woke up angry as hell. They went ape shit
on the medics. Damn, even the kids were biting and scratching at everyone. Had
to pull security off the walls to handle them,” explained Bolder.
the hell bro, that’s crazy! So where they at now?” asked Robert.
the Military Police got them all locked up, but man, it took half the guards on
night shift to shut them down, wasn’t cool, bro. I’ve never seen nothing like
it. Anyhow, the captain gave all the guards the rest of the night off and told
them to get some sleep. He called my crew in early to take over. They needed it
though man, some of those guys had some deep scratches; a couple even got the
shit bit out of them.”
this place is crazy. They just need to send our asses home. Got drugged up
civilians attacking us now; what’s next, you know?” said Robert.
hear ya buddy, I hear ya,” answered Bolder, shoveling in a forkful of eggs.
was about to get up and head back into the kitchen when he heard a loud
commotion coming from the main entrance. He turned to see what was going on
just as two soldiers burst through the front door. One was dressed only in
pants with no shirt; the other was wearing a T-shirt and shorts. The shirtless
man had tackled a soldier in the doorway, and several others were trying to
pull him off.
mess sergeant ran from the kitchen looking angry as hell and ready to confront
them. Yelling, she charged directly into the chaos. T-Shirt pushed off from the
crowd and ran directly at her, grabbing at her shoulders. The mess sergeant
screamed for help just as the crazed soldier took a snarling bite out of her
exposed neck. Robert could see the man pull back with his mouth full of flesh,
blood spurting out of the wound. The mess sergeant staggered backwards and fell
to the floor.
got over the initial shock of what he had just witnessed. He un-holstered his
pistol, took aim, and pulled the trigger. He put two rounds into T-Shirt,
knocking him back and away from the mess sergeant. Several soldiers ran to her
and began first aid.
stood dazed, with the smoking gun in his hands. To draw and fire had been
instinctive, his training taking over; but now to see an American soldier dead
by his hands stunned him. Robert holstered the weapon as the chaos woke him
from his stupor. He ran over to help the other soldiers restrain the first
shirtless man, but he was fighting hard and they were finding it impossible to
pin him down.
the mess hall in chaos, nobody noticed T-Shirt stumble and crawl back to his
feet. He staggered forward with the two bleeding gunshot wounds in his chest
and tackled a small female soldier providing aid to the mess sergeant. Robert heard
her scream. Turning, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that T-Shirt was
back up and attacking again.
What the fuck?
Robert thought. He started
to rush towards the female to help against T-Shirt just as four more crazed
soldiers ran into the crowd that had gathered outside the doors.
the hell is going on?
Robert again thought to himself. He stood and took a
step backwards, fending off his feelings of panic. Off to the right he could
see that the shirtless man was now winning the fight. He had taken a bite out
of a soldier and a couple of others had nearly quit in exhaustion. To the left,
T-Shirt had silenced the small female and was now wrestling with a third
soldier. Back outside the doorway, it was a cluster of bloody bodies all
battling for leverage. Fear had taken over and confusion was winning the fight.
the gunfire started outside. The first shots startled Robert, the familiar
sounds again sparking his training; he redrew his pistol, putting two more
rounds into T-Shirt and knocking him down for a final time. Stepping closer, he
plugged a final round into his skull. Pivoting hard on his feet towards the
shirtless man, he raised his weapon and emptied the magazine into his naked
chest, ending the struggle. Shortly after he fired his last shot, the shirtless
soldier stopped moving and slumped to the ground. The fight outside was
growing, and one of the wounded soldiers jumped to secure the mess hall doors,
locking out the madness just beyond them. A few more saw what he was doing and followed
suit by piling tables and chairs against the entryway.
turned to look around the room … the two attackers were down and dead. He saw
at least four other soldiers lying on the floor bleeding heavily. Five others
were in the room, most of them also covered in cuts and scratches. The cooks
came from the kitchen into the dining facility to assist in giving first aid.
He saw Bolder again; he had a long scratch down his arm from the fight with
Shirtless, and Robert asked him if he was okay.
I’m good. Man, that wasn’t right. That’s exactly what went down in the aid
station last night. You think them civilians could have slipped these guys some
of the same drugs?”
don’t know Bolder, but those guys were tough as hell. I shot one twice and he
still got up and kept fighting. What’s going on outside? It sounds like a
riot,” answered Robert.
and Bolder walked to a window and looked out. The camp was a mess; they could
see soldiers fighting soldiers everywhere. Some had weapons drawn and were
firing into masses of fighting men. Everyone was in a panic and in complete
we’ve got to get out of here. Let’s get back to the company building and find
out what’s going on,” Robert said.
Robert leading the way, the two of them cut back through the kitchen and out a
back door. The back of the mess hall was positioned against a long concrete
T-wall that protected it from mortar and rocket fire. A service entrance led
from the back of the kitchen and followed the wall around onto a dirt street.
Robert made his way through the service area and guided Bolder onto the street.
It suddenly grew quiet and the gunfire ceased. Only screams of agony and the
voices of soldiers shouting orders remained in the air.
rounded a corner and looked to the left. He saw that most of the fighting in
front of the mess hall had stopped. There were a lot of bodies on the ground.
Confused and shocked soldiers walked the camp, staring at the fallen. Robert
and Bolder moved in the direction of the company buildings; they could see
soldiers sitting on the ground with cuts on their arms and faces. Others were
weeping and trying to provide aid to their friends.
walked with Bolder across the open space. They stood stunned, looking at the
destruction around them. There were two dead soldiers in front of them. The
soldiers looked like they had been torn apart by animals. Another soldier lay
to their left; he had a bandaged arm, and his chest and head showed fatal
Erickson,” Bolder said, pointing at the bandaged man. “He was one of the guards
that got attacked last night.”
silence was suddenly shattered by sirens blaring and loudspeakers announcing, “
ground attack, all available personnel to assigned security sector.
got to be fucking kidding me! Let’s go, Robert, time to get to work!” Bolder
yelled before he turned and headed for the wall.
looked at the pistol in his hand; he loaded his last magazine, then picked up a
rifle off the ground next to a dead soldier and ran after Bolder towards the
wall. They got to the front gate just in time to see a large jingle truck
racing towards the entrance. The truck was going fast, driving erratically, and
blaring its horn. The men on watch fired flares and warning shots but the truck
raced on. When they were certain it wasn’t going to stop, they opened up on it
with their heavy machine guns. The large caliber rounds ripped into the engine
block, skipping through the truck, blowing out the cab and killing the driver.
The truck came to a rolling stop in a ditch just short of the first set of
young officer with a gold subdued lieutenant’s bar on his helmet pointed at
Bolder and Robert. “You two! Get out there and secure that vehicle.”
sir,” Bolder sarcastically grumbled back. He slapped Robert on the shoulder.
“You ready for this, bro?”
the way,” Robert answered.
weaved through the barriers and slowly approached the truck. The destroyed
engine made a clicking sound as it died and cooled off in the heat. The front
was bleeding coolant onto the ground; steam and smoke billowed from holes in
the hood. Robert rounded the front of the truck, sliced the corner with his
rifle and aimed into the cab. He found a mess inside with little left to
began to lower their weapons when they heard a whimper coming from the covered
bed of the vehicle. Bolder gave Robert a quick hand signal and they pressed
back to the rear of the jingle truck. Robert took a step back and raised his rifle,
providing cover while Bolder lifted the canvas to peer inside.
shit,” Bolder gasped.
stepped forward to look inside and saw the bed of the truck was littered with
wounded civilians, most of them children.
We need a medic up here!” Robert yelled back over his shoulder. The lieutenant
and another young soldier ran forward to the truck and looked inside.
You want me to call for a medic?” the young soldier asked.
they’re busy with the wounded inside, they won’t have time for this shit!” the
lieutenant snapped back in frustration.
heard a soft voice from the front of the covered truck bed, quietly calling for
help. Robert climbed over the tailgate of the truck and into the bed, moving
forward until he found the man who spoke.
here,” Robert said.