Fire Mission (Part3!)

((30km outside Colony Abraham, Mira System))

Artillery, lock onto our position. Fire mission, danger close. Use incendiary rounds. Fire for effect!

Herric eyed her response, Kilo two-three copy. Final Protective Fire. Grid west-north one-niner-three one-ten. Clear the kill zone.

“Danger close?” McCormick barked, “Crazy navy bastard wants it hot dropped in their laps,” she said as she tooled the guns on target. “How do you want it boss? Medium or well done?”

Herric shook her head and keyed up, including the command element of the forward infantry units in her airtime. “All gun crews, unknown number enemy infantry in open. Danger Close under one hundred meters. Spotting salvo, white phosphorus, alternate two napalm one airburst high explosive in effect.” She gave her orders a pause to let everyone catch up, and since she was also broadcasting to infantry, let them start getting the hell out of the way of what was coming. “Spotting salvo, shot over.”

The center gun of her vehicle boomed, rocking the entire carriage as it lobbed a marking shell of white phosphorus, which didn’t have much splash compared to what it used to be decades ago, at least from what she heard, but came up on the live grid as brilliant hot spots and told everyone and everything it was time to move out or die. Having seen the helmet cam view of her targets, she was in no way inclined to feel bad about dropping markers on the enemy either. Was it a war crime to bury mutated monsters in the stuff?

The grid lit up with heat signatures in a crisp line running cross between the retreating Marines and the urban center she intended to make vanish at some point. Just not right now.

“Splash, over. Repeat, alternate two napalm one airburst high explosive in effect. All guns, fire in cadence.”

The guns broke the air with a clear pattern of fire, a tune she knew by heart that rocked everything right down to her core. Like a vengeful drumbeat, the guns hammered away, and she watched and observed carefully as the first shells turned open field into open flame, with airburst explosives coming in hot behind them. Overall, it had taken about a hundred and forty three seconds to go from coordinates to fire. She really, really hoped those Marines didn’t try hunkering down, cause this was going to be messy.

The reinforcements she tracked as unit markers on the grid, just beyond the line of fire away from the urban center. The ammunition crews she could see through the undercarriage camera prepping the first reload crates for when the guns began to run dry.

“C'mon grunts,” she said quietly off the air, “Talk to me. Tell me y’all are safe..."

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