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Old 03-02-2015, 09:28 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Auberry, CA
Posts: 866

Thanks very much. After the current work is posted, there will be more of Lieutenant Ray's time in Cuba put up.

Has anyone recognized some of the Soviet officers so far? The commanding general of 4th GTA should be very familiar to those who have RDF Sourcebook....

And the next part:

1540 Hours: Port Of Brownsville:

Major General Andrei Petrov stood on the dockside. He was the supply officer for, in theory, the American TVD, but for all intents and purposes, the whole Brownsville Pocket. His men had been helping to unload the freighter Cherepovets, and so far, he'd been cursing whoever had put the convoy together. Cargo that was quite useless was mixed in with what the Soviets and their allies could use, and it was taking time to filter out what was usable from what should have been left behind in Cuba.
One of his junior officers, a major, came up to him.

“Comrade General, we've finished the first hold, and are starting on the second.”

“Good, Major. What do we have that we can use so far?” Petrov asked.

“There's some more small-arms ammunition, a dozen cases of hand grenades, and a few anti-tank missiles for T-80s. Along with more cases of canned foodstuffs, and several crates filled with bandages and other basic first-aid supplies.”

Petrov looked at him. “That's a start, Major. Now, what can't we use, or at least, use in its intended purpose?”

“Well, Comrade General, where do I begin?” the major asked.

“Start with the most ridiculous, Major.”

“Ah, yes. Besides the 5,000 NBC suits, there's two tons of pepper, four crates-so far, and there's probably more-filled with propaganda leaflets and posters, and several cases of molasses,” the Major said.

Petrov swore. “I take it that's just the start?”

“I'm afraid so, Comrade General.”

“All right. Do your best, Comrade Major, and maybe we can salvage something out of this mess.” Petrov said. “The propaganda leaflets? Put them in the latrines. Right now, that's probably the best use I can think of.”

The major nodded. “Comrade General.”

1610 Hours: 324th Field Hospital, Brownsville, Texas.

Lieutenant Colonel Vassily Dherkov, M.D., read the message. He swore, but then composed himself. Now that things have gone to hell, they finally get around to this? Cursing those above him, he left his office, and then told his clerk, “I need to speak to Captain Chernova. Have her come to my office.”

“Yes, Comrade Colonel,” the corporal said, getting up and leaving the building. The 324th had set up shop in a Brownsville elementary school, with the gym being used as an operating room, while the classrooms were used as wards. The hospital staff lived in tents, while the school offices were used by the staff for their own office work. Dherkov paced outside what had been the principal's office when the corporal came, bringing a female Soviet Army medical officer. She happened to be his best orthopedic surgeon. However, he didn't like the possibility of her falling into American hands-or any of his other female doctors and nurses, for that matter. She also happened to be the senior ranking female staff member. “Come in, Galina, and have a seat.”

“What is it, Comrade Colonel?” she asked.

He showed her the message he'd received. “We're to have you and the other women on standby to be evacuated. Orders from General Alekseyev.”

“Comrade Colonel, it's that bad?” Chernova asked.

“I'm afraid so. We've been so busy here at times, we've lost track of how bad it is at the front, but there it is.”

“Comrade Colonel, I understand, but our duty is to the wounded. How many times has a wounded boy smiled seeing a female face before he goes onto the table, or wakes up in a ward?” Chernova said.

“Too many times, Galina,” Dherkov said. “I know what you're thinking; that you and your fellow doctors and nurses will be deserting the wounded.”

“We would, Comrade Colonel. Someone has to stay with them. Until the end.” Chernova said, tears welling up in her eyes.

Colonel Dherkov paused. He knew full well what she meant. “You're willing to take the chances of falling into American hands, even after what we've done to American wounded, prisoners, and civilians? Especially the women?”

“Absolutely, Comrade Colonel. I'm willing to take the chance. If you asked the other women, they'd say the same thing.”

“The TVD command isn't willing to take the risk. Especially if you fall into the hands of those lunatics in the 13th Armored Cavalry: you know, that regiment recruited from members of a feared motorcycle gang.” Dherkov said.

“I understand, Comrade Colonel. But that doesn't change the way I feel, or the other women.”

“Noted, Galina. Just be prepared to leave. And you'll be headed to Mexico if the airlift doesn't work out,” Dherkov said. “Be ready to leave on an hour's notice.” Seeing her nod, he finished. “That's all. And Galina?”

“Yes, Comrade Colonel?”

“When the time comes, I'll be one of those sorry to see you leave.”

1700 Hours: Off Brazos Santiago Pass, Gulf of Mexico:

Captain 2nd Rank Vladim Romonov paced his bridge. He was captain of the missile destroyer Boiky, and had managed to bring his ship, along with two freighters and a Ropucha-class amphibious ship, closer to Brownsville than he had expected. His ship had been escorting the second convoy when the order to scatter had been issued, and mostly it had been everyone for himself. Off in the distance, on several occasions, he'd seen other ships come under attack, mostly from American carrier aircraft, but one time, he was certain it had been one of the American cruisers-one of the older gun cruisers, he thought, had taken a freighter under fire. He'd made it this far for one simple reason: strict radio and radar silence. And he intended to get these ships to their destination.

His ship, a Kanin-class guided missile destroyer, had been lucky to make it this far during the war, but with so many more modern ships sunk or severely damaged, the older vessels had to take up the slack. The Boiky had been stationed in Cuba since 1987, and she was sorely in need of dockyard overhaul, but in Cuba, that was impossible. So many of his classmates had been lost, and a number of others had been “disciplined” by the KGB for their attitudes towards the war, that he'd kept his mouth shut, except to his own Executive Officer, who'd been a year behind him at the Academy in Leningrad.

His Exec came onto the bridge with a mug of coffee: “Here, Comrade Captain, from our Cuban comrades.”

Taking the mug, Romonov said, “Thanks, Nikolay Borisovich. So far, so good.”

“Yes, Comrade Captain, but for how long? We'll need to power up the radars before we approach the pass. If it's all clear, well and good. If not....”

“If not, then we'll fight our way in. Those ships have what the Army needs to survive. If we don't heard the Admiral. Those men will either die or be prisoners of the Americans,” Romonov said.

The Exec nodded. “Shall I power up the radar?”

“Yes, and get the men to battle stations.” They'd been on a second degree of readiness.

Before the Exec could give both orders, a lookout shouted, “Aircraft, low altitude, bearing 090 relative!”

Both Captain and Exec raced to their starboard bridge wing and saw the incoming plane. Romonov raised his binoculars. “Looks like a Crusader. Didn't think they had any still flying.”

“The Americans brought quite a few out of storage when the war began, Comrade Captain. And several of the old Essex class carriers as well,” the Exec replied.

The plane streaked overhead. It was low enough Romonov could see the pilot in the cockpit. “I think that was a photo plane, Nikolay.”

“I think you're right. And he's coming around again.”

The Crusader turned around for another run. Both Soviet officers, through their binoculars, could see it was a reconnaissance plane. After the plane went back over the northern horizon, Romonov turned to the Exec. “All right. We'll have to fight our way in. Use your Morse lamp, and notify the freighters: 'Have your Naval Armed Guards ready to repel air attack.'”

Up in the plane, the RF-8G's pilot looked at her chart. Sure enough, the Russian ships were where that P-3 had thought they were. She turned for the Oriskany, and in a while, she'd be trapping aboard. Soon, Ivan, you'll be feeding the fish, and those grunts in Brownsville are screwed, she thought, and a smile formed under her oxygen mask.
Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, but always have a plan to kill them.

Old USMC Adage
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