The assault briefing was short.
"All right," the Captain said in his slow southern drawl. "Single story building. It's a small warehouse. There are five rooms, the main warehouse, and the roof. We have snipers watching the roof from nearby roof tops. So, nothings coming down from above."
Sergeants Rivera and Eckerdt sighed with relief. An entire squad had been taken out of action last week by grenades thrown through hatchways to a roof. Two dead. Five wounded. The losses had hurt the whole company. The event led to a full week of building take-down training. Fresh from that training, they were wanting to prove themselves, and avenge their losses.
"Each room is about 10 meters by 20 meters,” the Captain went on. "Two in front, Three in back. The two in front form a hallway, capped by a door into the warehouse. Each room runs longways, so you have 20 meters to the warehouse after you go in. Halfway up each wall is a door leading into the rooms."
Eckerdt swallowed hard. Side by side doors were trouble. With a four man team you had to cover both sides, and assault into the rooms, while waiting for your next four man team to assault to your position and advance ahead.
"The side door has three rooms, they form an L hallway," the Captain said looking at Eckerdt. "The right side room is more fifteen meters square. The door is about eight meters in. The left side room is 20 meters, door is about 10 meters in. The third room creates a cap, and the L. The door for that room is five meters around the corner. Once the rooms are clear, assault into the warehouse simultaneously. Intel says the warehouse is empty space, though."
Eckerdt and Rivera both nodded, saluted, and left.
Sergeant Miguel Rivera's squad was going in the front door while Sergeant Ronald Eckerdt's went in the side-door. There was no way to know which, if either, would be safer. Entering buildings from the desert sunshine meant moments of blackness that could spell either life or death. Tactically, Eckerdt knew his entry should be straight forward. First team, Eckerdt leading, takes the right side room while second team moves in to take the left. Eckerdt's team assaults to the corner and the third room. Second team guards the hall way. Then, both squads would assault the warehouse itself, one going left, the other right.
A little while later, the go order came over the headset. Eckerdt pointed at the door. Jonesy knocked it down with the ram. Two shots rang out from the end of the hall. Jonsey fell. The team charged in firing.
Without thinking, Eckerdt reached down with his off-hand and checked for a pulse. He found it.
"Medic," he shouted, and kept moving.
The darkness was total. Despite wearing extra dark sunglasses until bursting through the doors, the hallway was pitch black. It took time for eyes to adjust after the desert sunshine. Precious seconds the team might not have.
He and Davis sprayed the black darkness around the location of the muzzle flashes, hoping to hit something. It was impossible to tell if the bullets hit targets by sound. But there was no more shooting from in front of them. The inky black darkness was worse now. The muzzle flashes robbed the team of their vision.
Ten steps in, Ronald felt the edge of a doorway. Right where it should have been, he thought with a nod.
"Door," he said crisply. He took out a grenade and prepared to toss it into the room. Davis fired a burst high across the wall, and through the door. So did Thomas, firing low.
The door swung open, the lock blown off. Eckerdt started to pull the pin on the grenade. He could hear the second team of four coming in the door behind them. Then everything happened at once.
An assault rifle sprayed the hallway. Someone behind them grunted. Davis screamed from across the hall. But he returned fire along with Eckerdt and Thomas. Someone screamed in pain from the blackness in front of them. Then the building shook.
"Damn," his headset crackled. It was a Corporal from Rivera's team. "Trip wires. First team down."
"Peachy," Thomas whispered from right behind him.
Suddenly the wall next to him slammed Eckerdt across the hallway into Davis. Instantly, everything was black and soundless.
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