I had one tour in Clar behind me and joined the Jade Dragons. They were special operation teams that went into the jungle or forest to hunt the enemy. In a few cases across the borders in Rus or Nees. With the new war waging in the north, Nees had not attacked openly but they were striking across the border.
We had to keep soldiers along the western border of both Clar and Han. To make matters even worse Nees seemed to have more mages that were developing new weapons or bombs. I was in a four man team working out of a southern Clar border camp. The other three men had been wounded in a ambush I had barely escaped from.
I had turned back and assaulted through the enemy with a silenced brush shotgun and a pistol. It had taken everything I had to get them out. I was looking at a map of the border when the third corp commanding general walked in. I came to attention and he waved, "relax."
He crossed the room and looked at the map, "I have a mission for you."
I cleared my throat and he shook his head, "I know your team is down. This is strictly voluntary. If you are caught we will not acknowledge you or your mission."
I blinked, "over the border again?"
He turned and pulled out another map and spread it out on a table. I followed and looked to see it was a map of Nees. He touched a spot that was over three hundred kilometers inside their border, "we have intel that a large mage gathering is located here. They are doing weapon research and setting up a new factory."
I looked at the spot carefully before I looked at him, "and you want me to do what?"
He cleared his throat, "we believe there are over two hundred mages. We want you to neutralize them."
I kept looking at him and then looked at the map, "you want me to slip through their lines and kill two hundred civilian workers?"
He sighed, "yes."
I folded the map and nodded, "I will need a parachute and a bomber."
He shook his head, "we can not..."
I snorted, "do you know how long it would take to walk that far? It would be more than a week before I reached that spot and that is if I did not run into problems."
He finally agreed and I went to pack and take a Charger to the airfield I would fly out of. It was the middle of the night when we took off and headed southwest. After we reached max altitude we turned to the west and then the northwest while shutting off all radios. I expected someone to see or shoot at us but it was a quiet ride.
Finally I went to the bomb door and adjusted everything one last time. I took deep breathes and finally nodded to the crew chief. A second and the door dropped open and I was falling. I tried not to panic as I spread out and looked down into darkness. Finally I pulled the release and the parachute opened and the rope with my pack snapped tight below me.
I took a deep breath and caught the controls and tried to search for the ground. Suddenly I was crashing through a tree and trying not to be impaled. When the parachute caught I was yanked up. I swung for a couple of moments before I tried to get free and climb down. I left the parachute in the tree as I collected my pack.
I removed the weapon tube and pulled out my brush shotgun and loaded it. I shouldered my pack and turned to start walking. If they had dropped me in the right place the Nees city close to the mage plant was only about twenty kilometers away. When the sun came up I was walking through rice fields.
Thirty minutes and I was using groups of trees and drainage ditches. I could see the city and turned to head towards the southern edge. It took a couple of hours to locate the factory. It was in a large compound and from the wire it looked more like a prison. I slipped into some bushes and napped.
I woke to evening and vehicles leaving and watched a line of people leaving the factory building. From the first look I knew the guards in the towers and those walking beside them were not there to protect them. Yeah there were at least two hundred people and if they were mages this was my target.
From the look I knew I could not kill them. I left the bushes and began to search the wire for a way in. It was in the back behind the factory, between it and the material warehouse. I hooked my pack on a foot and crawled through a hole in the fence. Next I had to crawl along the side of the warehouse in the tall grass.
I looked at the ground between the warehouse and the large building they had all gone into. I saw soldiers bringing in crates and boxes of food and relaxed to wait until it was dark. Finally as the light vanished and before the lights on the guard towers came on I moved. I stood and walked calmly across the yard and opened the door and stepped into the building.
I froze when I closed the door and saw six women in a very large kitchen looking at me. I shifted my shotgun, "anyone want to escape?"
They looked at each other but one woman grinned, "yes."
That broke the ice and I was led out and into a large dining area. Before I knew it I had all the mages around me. I was trying to think of how to do this when I had the idea, "can anyone do camouflage or stealth spells?"
Most nodded and tried to talk and I held up my hand, "quiet!"
I removed my pack and started stripping, "first I need my uniform changed so it is invisible. Once I kill the guards we are going to need to camouflage and make the vehicles silent."
More than one girl whispered as I took my pants off. One of the older men grinned, "are you married?"
I glanced at him as I handed my uniform to a woman, "no."
A girl with white hair grinned as she wiggled closer and put her hand on my chest, "I am horny a lot and I..."
Everyone laughed and I grinned, "are you proposing?"
She grinned, "claiming?"
I chuckled as I looked at her, "sure sexy."
I watched the mage whisper and the uniform shimmered before she held it out. I nodded as I accepted it, "everyone needs to go pack a single bag. Try to make it a pack you can carry and get as much food as you can find."
They hurried away and I got dressed and checked myself. I held up an arm and could look right through it. I went out the way I had come in and slung the shotgun and pulled my knife. I had to slip out of the camp before I could start climbing the towers. They only had a single guard in each one.
After I killed the last one I waited for the four man patrol that went around the outside. They had been at the main gates for a long time and I finally began to stalk them. When I slipped into the gatehouse the guards were playing cards. I watched and counted them before I lifted the shotgun.
I shot the first in the head and then a second followed by a third. They finally reacted but it was to late. I killed the last three as they scrambled for weapons. I checked them and left and headed to the factory truck yard. I was thinking of putting at least twenty in each truck and as many as thirty.
I found keys and checked the fuel in each vehicle before I opened the gates and returned to the mage housing. They were waiting and I caught my pack from the girl that had claimed me, "stay together and be quiet."
I led them out and across the yard and through the gate into the truck yard. I began splitting them in groups for each truck. It took awhile to enchant the engine and camouflage the trucks. While they did that I searched and found cases of rations I put in each truck. I had twenty two people in each of the ten trucks including another three in the cab.
They were loading up while I looked at the map. I had a red light on the back of each truck so the one behind could follow it. I knew we would not be able to drive all the way to the border but we could get close. I gestured and Star, the girl that wanted to claim me started the truck. We did not go fast as we turned onto the road and went north.
At the first turn to the east we turned again. I had Star stop after two hours and went to check each vehicle. We were on the side of the road in a forested area. I let everyone go to the bathroom before they climbed back into the trucks. It was another hour and I was seeing a lot of military activity in small bases just off the road.
I was following the map and shook my head when I saw the predawn sky, "pull off the road. We will have to walk from here."
It was thirty minutes before they were ready and I led them away from the road and into the forest. It was hilly and forest and not jungle so it was not hard walking. I stopped every hour so they could rest and finally the sun was up. We were in a clearing and I decided to stop and let them sleep for a few hours.
.... There is more of this story ...