And you know what I mean when I say jeep, right? I'm not talking about the brand...I'm more of talking about one like this or this. But kinda larger...it's hard to explain.
To set the scene: This entire piece takes place on the road, while Dimitri's busily driving. So if you don't hear a lot from him, it's cos he's madly trying to navigate the roads. 'k?
Israel was running.
The ground melted and remelted to form solid ground, then water, air, sludge. He could not turn his head to see what was after him, but he knew that he could not stop. Around him the world was collapsing, drawing apart and crushing itself into one huge, crumbling earthquake.
Israel reached the edge of solid ground and leapt, his hesitations far behind. Falling through a constantly moving chasm, he saw faces rise up to stare coldly at him from beneath. Myest, they chanted, over and over. And then "Ooraaaaaaah!" in a voice made by many. Before the Russian war cry was finished and he hit the bottom of the chasm, Israel opened his eyes.
"Apologies, comrade," Dimitri said from the front of the jeep to Israel in the back. Israel rubbed the sleep from his eyes and let the Private explain. "The road's are getting rougher and rougher every minute."
"D'ya know where we are?" Israel said, clearing his throat. They had been driving for an hour, maybe. The sun had yet to set and still cast it's rays over the narrow road surrounded by forest that they were traveling on.
"Yes, Senior Lieutenant. The map says we're about two hundred kilometers from a Russian stronghold," Dimitri said while yanking the wheel left and right to dodge the largest rocks. "We should reach it by early tomorrow, if we do not stop."
Israel nodded and glanced around the jeep at his sleeping comrades. He did a quick check on their armaments and worked out that the mounted machine gun was completely out of ammo, while they had two clips left for their PPSH's each and one for the Mosin Nagant rifle he had brought. He knew that Vasilev had a spare clip of pistol ammo in his boot, and Nikolai had his machete, but apart from that, they were helpless.
He sighed and turned around to shake Vasilev and Nikolai awake. He left the three officers they were protecting asleep- he knew that if they were to wake, the questions would start. Better to just leave them be.
There was a crackle of static from the front of the car and Israel snapped around; Nikolai and Vasilev were well awake now. He leaned forward and flipped up a small compartment on the dashboard, revealing a standard-issue radio system.
Nikolai wordlessly shoved Israel aside from the passenger seat and fiddled with the dial, turning it back and forwards in hope of hearing chatter. There were snippets, and then a voice could be heard through the tiny speakers, clearly Russian.
Nikolai didn't hesitate. He grabbed the handheld microphone and thumbed the button on it, holding it close to his mouth.
"Puh Mawch! Puh Mawch!" he said. He took his finger off the button and held it away when there was no response and sighed. He brought it to his mouth again and spoke in English this time; "Help. Please, help..."
There was silence. The jeep still bounced over the dirt road, and the wind still rushed by them, but that was it; the radio was silent once more.
Dimitri sighed and turned a corner marked on the map, and that was when they saw it, only twenty metres away.
"German roadblock!" Vasilev shouted, and Dimitri went to swerve away. But there was no way around it; large rock formations rose on either side of them.
"Go right through it! Faster!" Nikolai cried. The soldiers at the roadblock looked up and spotted them, rushing to reach their weapons. Dimitri floored the accelerator and smashed straight through the gap between the two German cars, bashing them aside. They lost speed but Dimitri didn't stop, and turning around, Israel saw one of the German soldiers with a small radio in his hand.
The speakers came alive again and there was the distinct noise of German chatter.
"Shut up!" commanded Vasilev. "What is he saying?"
They all struggled to listen in. "Did he just say..." Israel frowned. "Motor-rah-der? The hell is th-"
There was a roar from both sides of the road, and two motorbikes soared from the rocky edges rising next to them and landed on the road. There was a German soldier driving each bike and a man sitting on the back, machine gun in hand. The bikes swerved to either side of the jeep and they opened fire.
"Shit!" Nikolai cursed and blindly fired his own weapon at the bike on the left. The driver slumped and the bike careened wildly into the rocky cliff face, stopping there. Vasilev held out his hand and the shooter of the second bike shot away like a cannon, too fast for them to even see him hit the ground. The driver barely glanced back, instead veering towards the jeep and pulling out a pistol from his belt. There wasn't a second wasted; the driver snarled and leapt forward, straight from his bike to the jeep's side. He clambered over and Dimitri swerved the car dangerously. Nikolai drew his machete and sliced it twice horizontally across the soldier's chest. The German looked down, horrified, and Nikolai kicked him.
The radio was squawking again and Nikolai sheathed his blade and returned to it, one hand fiddling with the dial and the other holding the handheld to his mouth. He constantly alternated between Russian and English, trying to establish some form of communication between them and the stronghold they were headed to. After three more minutes of trying, he gave up and slammed his hand on the dashboard. "Hopeless," he muttered, and then clearly through the speakers came the words in Russian: "Renegade jeep, we read you, ov-"
The sound was replaced with static and the sound of motorbike engines, and then the jeep was once again surrounded by German motorcycles, their occupants and passengers yelling their separate war cries.
The decimated squad in the jeep didn't even stop to hesitate- they raised their weapons and fired.
Dimitri saw his chance and took it. He braked hard and the jeep instantly fell backwards, the motorcyclists looking around and realizing too late their peril.
"Fire, comrades!" Captain Vasilev said, and they took aim and fired at the motorbikes and their drivers in front of them.
Israel's PPSH bucked weirdly in his arms and he threw it to the ground- the mechanism had jammed. He pulled his pistol out and aimed his shots more carefully, shooting out the back tires of two of the motorcycles and watching them spin away. Nikolai took three out with his Mosin Nagant, and Vasilev mowed down the rest with his PPSH.
Nikolai could hear the far off noise of more vehicles approaching, but but he reckoned they still had a few more minutes before they were attacked again.
So he grabbed the handheld again and spoke through it once more, intent on communication. Mere seconds later he finally got a reply in broken English.
"This is radio command at stronghold Zahkaev, we read you. What's your position and situation, over?"
Nikolai's face exploded into a huge grin, and he passed it to Vasilev, who hurriedly spoke in Russian through the radio, relaying their coordinates and the fate of the camp they had been at. Then he glanced around the jeep and at the terrified officers in the back.
"We've, uh, had some... 'Magical' experiences today...uh, do you read, command?"
There was silence for a long time on the radio and Israel was reminded that there were still German vehicles following them; he could still hear them in the distance, probably working to cut them off.
"This is Commander Sergei Polonkski, we're reading you loud and clear," a new voice on the radio said. "Let's get straight to the point, comrades- how many of you are sorcerers?"
Vasilev looked around at the jeep's occupants. He wasn't looking for consent, he was only judging whether it was a good idea to tell the Commander or not.
"All of us, save the three officers in the back, sir."
The reply came almost instantly. "Good. Are you the commanding officer?"
"Yes, sir. Captain Vasilev, reporting for duty," he said, and added a second later "and ready to raise hell."
The Commander on the other end of the radio chuckled, a blotchy, alien sound through the radio speakers. "Not soon enough, comrade. Captain Vasilev, I'm promoting you to the head of a new squad- Codename Myest."
Israel could visibly see Vasilev stiffen before he picked up the radio and replied: "What other soldiers will be in this squad?"
"Do not worry, comrade. Your current squad has been promoted as well. I will, however, be adding whoever I deem fit to this squad, understand?"
Vasilev smiled. "Of course, Commander Polonkski. Thankyou."
"Think nothing of it. Your newest squad member is waiting for you in the treeline, one kilometer from your position. You will need to provide evac for her, then make your way here. This is the only reinforcements we can send, over."
Nikolai frowned and gave Israel a look, mouthing the word 'her' and raising his eyebrows skeptically. Israel shrugged, and Dimitri cleared his throat loudly. "I don't want to alarm anyone," he said, eyes flicking from the road to the rearview mirror, "but I think we're being followed..."
The air was filled with gunfire and Israel whirled in his seat, hands already ripping the magazine out of his gun and fiddling to load another one. Closing in quickly on their jeep were two German cars, all with collapsible roofs folded down and with several gun-wielding soldiers inside.
"Commander, that's going to be difficult, we're a bit outnumbered here," Nikolai said into the handheld.
"Not my problem, soldier. Good lu-" A bullet zipped from behind them and hit the radio, reducing it to scrap metal and sparks.
"Stuck up piece of..." Vasilev begain cussing, and aimed his weapon at the advancing cars. They returned fire and Nikolai and Israel moved to the back of the jeep as well, shielding the officers as best they could. The two cars drove faster and worked on boxing the jeep in, almost running it off the road. German soldiers on either side fired at the jeep, and a few launched themselves onto it.
Vasilev grappled with a soldier that had made it onto the jeep, and successfully landed a punch in his face. He completed the move by grabbing his shirt and throwing him right back onto the car from where he had jumped, then steadied himself on the jeep's seat. He reached for his PPSH but another soldier was there, throwing it off of the jeep and punching him in the gut. Vasilev doubled over and Israel grabbed the soldier's leg and flipped him off the jeep. Nikolai jumped up, drew his machete, and plunged it into another man clambering onto the jeep. He withdrew it and Vasilev helped him stand on the seat so that he could fight properly.
They all stood there, back to back and out numbered. "Sir..." Nikolai muttered at Vasilev, as the soldiers in the two cars boxing them in raised their weapons and took aim.
Vasilev opened his mouth to speak but there was a sound that pierced everyone's ears, a single, sharp gunshot that awoke an animal-like fear inside everyone.
The car on the right of the jeep swerved sharply off the road, and Vasilev glimpsed a sudden flash of red in the driver's seat and then the car crunched into a tree and stayed there, smoking.
The three soldiers left in the other car on the left of the jeep saw their chance and opened fire with their weapons. Nikolai and Israel crouched instantly in their seats, trying to use the doors as cover. Vasilev stayed standing and kicked up a rifle from inside the jeep, aimed from the hip and took out two of the soldiers faster than the eye could follow. The third one yelled something at the driver and their car rammed into the jeep, making Vasilev clumsily fall over the seats...
Five hundred meters away, a woman wrapped in a Russian soldier's outfit stood defying gravity straight out the side of a tree at a ninety degree angle. For her, it was the world that needed changing, the real gravity that needed to be swung around to her absurd angle.
In her hands she held with great care a large Mosin Nagant rifle with a magnifying scope that was only just bigger than the ammo clip. She was staring with a grim face through the scope at the jeep careening wildly down the road towards her, and the two German cars boxing it in. She took careful aim with her rifle and fired the first shot, hitting the driver of one of the cars and sending the vehicle bouncing off the road. She lost sight of it and nudged her scope upwards the tinniest bit, aiming for the second driver. The jeep and the car were closer now, barely ten seconds away. She lined the sights up and fired, the sound echoing through the nearby mountain ranges.
The second driver's head snapped backwards and then fell forwards as his body slumped across the wheel. The body started to slide to the right, yanking the wheel as well, and making the car cut wildly across the road. Dimitri swerved in turn to avoid crashing, and Vasilev's hand shot forward to pull the handbrake. The wheels locked and the car spun round a full revolution on the road before coming to a screeching and shuddering stop. The German car, with no-one alive to drive it, kept on happily going the last five meters to the treeline and crashed.
There was stunned silence. Then a whimper of fear reminded Nikolai, Vasilev, Dimitri and Israel of the three commanders in the back.
"Shut up," Nikolai growled and kicked open the battered door of the jeep. Vasilev jumped out with Israel and they followed them to the crash-site, leaving Dimitri to mind the jeep.
"Where's our reinforcement?" Vasilev asked to no-one in particular when they reached the crashed vehicle. He turned as if the treeline would answer his question, and behind him, still in the car, the German soldier rose slowly, pistol in hand.
There was a flash from the tree above and an impossibly loud gunshot, and the soldier toppled back into the car. The Russians turned their heads upwards and there, now standing upside-down from the tree branch and with her rifle still smoking, was their reinforcement.
"Who are you?" Nikolai asked, amazed.
She somersaulted to the ground, stood up, and pushed right past them, slinging her rifle over her shoulder. Their eyes followed her every move as she heaved the dead German out of the drivers seat and dumped him on the ground, then moved to the back and grabbed the other dead soldier by the collar.
"Tanya Espionage," she answered simply, her Russian accent easily distinguishable. She lifted the German over her shoulder with ease and turned to face them. "Now start digging."