15. The End and a Beginning.

The invasion of the US had finally ended. I didn't see much more combat because of my wounds. However even without my aid, the battle was quickly won. The American forces proceeded to push the GE soldiers back through California and to the sea. The troops were whisked away by their ships. Presumably returning to Chad, where they were manufactured.

On the east coast, a brilliant naval commander fought a in a glorious battle where he completely annihilated their Atlantic fleet in a three day long battle at sea. In most sea battles nowadays the ships do not even see each other, they use long range missiles, and planes to fight. However he managed to get in close, and their ships were ill equipped to fight a short range battle, focusing on long range bombardment.

While the war in the United States was over, the threat was far from over. As long as the facilities that created these monsters and weapons of destruction were still out there, there would always be a danger of a second army returning.

Thus one war ended, and another began.

With that in mind, the president of the United States of America made a speech to the world.

"I'm sure all of you know about the conflict that has been fought across the western coast of the United States. Forces from an unidentified source suddenly and forcefully attacked, then invaded the United States with the help of a traitor in our own government. That force is no longer unidentified. We know that the parties responsible are hiding in remote regions of the world. We also have received intelligence, that has been confirmed using a number of sources, that the men responsible purchased the African nation of Chad secretly. But not at all secretly, I have asked congress to declare a state of war against the men responsible for this horrible invasion. Unfortunately that means declaring war against the nation of Chad because the men own that country. I assure everyone that the US forces will not harm any parties that are not involved. However I am issuing this statement now. Anyone seen carrying any kind of firearm will be considered hostile. Our forces will rid the world of the evil men who committed this foul deed."

The live audience he gave the speech to broke out in cheers an applause. Others around the world cheered as well. Where I watched, in the rec room of my new station the men cheered as well. Where I sat on a lounge chair at the back of the room, with Jody sitting across my lap, I remained silent.

Most captains don't spend much time in the rec rooms, cause the men feel intimidated. However since I was younger than many of the men, and frequently led missions, even small unit actions myself, I was accepted as one of the men.

"Why so quiet?" Jody asked, stroking my cheek with her fingers.

"Just thinking." I replied.

"About what?" She asked.

"Just things." I said back.

"Like what kind of things?" She asked.

"All kinds of things?" I replied.

"Ah, Military type things." She said.

"I hate how you can read my thoughts like that." I said.

She laughed and kissed me quickly. "You don't have to worry about telling me that when they send the forces in, you'll be right at the front." I started to speak, but she stopped me, and continued. "I understand now that that's who you are. And I love you for who you are. I know you won't let me come with you out there, but know I'll be waiting right here for you when you get back."

"Actually I was thinking about what my plans were for the invasion, but now that you mention it..." I said, unable to hide my smirk.

"You little." She said, twisting around so she could tickle me with both hands.

"Hey no fair." I protested. "I can't get up cause your sitting on me, and to throw you to the floor would be improper."

"Life's not fair, deal with it." She said, tickling me more. I stopped all attempts to fend her hands off, and proceeded to tickle her.

"Now that's not fair." She protested.

"And why is that?" I asked.

"Cause your not supposed to tickle me, it's against the rules."

"Is that a fact?"

"Yes it is."

"I'd like to see that in writing."

"I'd be happy to." She said kissing me.

"I hate it when your right like that." I said.

"Quiet you." She said kissing me again.

* * * *

A few hours later I stood in Craiger's office. He had asked me there to discuss the topic of the invasion.

"As you no doubt have guessed, we have a serious problem with the invasion." Craiger said.

"Indeed." I replied. "Our normal methods of invasion, send in the marines to capture the beach will not work because the country is landlocked. I assume that the surrounding countries will not permit us to launch our invasion from there, for fear of retribution if we fail, otherwise you wouldn't be so distressed about it."

"That is correct to the letter. There is a loop hole we can exploit however." Craiger said.

"And that is?" I asked.

"We can fly planes and helicopters through commercial air space, and not violate any treaties. However, for the helicopters this gives us a very limited landing zone, for they can barely carry enough fuel to fly across the continent and into Chad. The borders and deserts are probably going to be bristling with fortified positions and anti air weapons."

"Sir I volunteer to lead the helicopter ground forces in their assault." I said.

"I knew you would. And know this, I wouldn't have it any other way."

"Indeed."

* * * *

Five weeks later I addressed an amphitheater of over three thousand men. We were stationed on a base in Italy. From there we would fly in about one thousand helicopters to land in Chad. Two thousand other men would be parachuting in, but they were not under my command.

The trip to Chad itself was a major chore. When all the head work was done, Italy was the closest base to Chad, taking into consideration that commercial air space had to be observed. The planes could easily fly to Chad. However the helicopters were a different story. Using a massive fleet of refueling planes, the thousands of helicopters would be refueled periodically along the trip.

"Now listen up everyone. You'll all get specifics from your individual commanders." I spoke into the microphone. "So I am only going to bore you with technical stuff for a minute. Because the country is landlocked, we have to invade like this. Because we have to stay in commercial air space until we enter Chad, our landing zones are limited. We have to land in the area that will most likely be extremely heavily defended. The only thing going for us is the loose sand of the desert makes it difficult for tanks and other such vehicles to maneuver.

"June sixth, nineteen forty-four the largest sea to land invasion in history took place. You all know that story. If this country had a coast, the invasion of it would most likely dwarf D-Day by several thousand. However since there is no coast, forget about that. You people will be participating in the largest, and only full scale land to air invasion in history. This is what you have been trained for.

"We will be landing in the dark, and most likely under heavy fire. We have no way of telling what their defenses are like because they have found a way to shield themselves from satellite scan. Once you land make every effort to regroup with as many of our forces as you can. Eliminate any hostiles as you see fit, but your primary goal is to regroup. Because we're landing in the dark, and you might not know friend from foe, we will be using the code word system. If you see someone, you will yell the word, 'Incoming.' And when you year the word 'incoming' you shall yell back 'Duck.' I'm afraid I can't give you any more information or help but that. This is going to be difficult, and casualties could be extreme. I wish I could do more to help, but that is it. Good luck gentlemen. You have one hour to settle your affairs, and make any preparations. Everyone is to be boarded onto their assigned helicopter at sixteen hundred hours, no excuses. Dismissed!"

* * * *

An hour and fifteen minutes later over five-hundred helicopters took off from an insanely large field that had our men utilized an entire highway to find their helicopter.

About sixteen hours later we were five minutes from our landing zone. I sat, like everyone else, strapped to the wall of my helicopter. However there weren't enough radio headsets for everyone, so only the pilots, copilots and the commanders wore the headsets.

The helicopters were divided up into forty sub groups designated by numbers one through forty. Each sub group had on average twelve helicopters each designated with a letter of the alphabet. It was the easiest way we could organize them.

Time passed, and I called out each minute as it ticked by. "Two minutes!" I called out. I wasn't even finished and I heard the noises from outside the helicopter.

"Anti-aircraft fire!" Screamed the copilot.

"Evasive maneuvers!" Screamed the pilot.

I activated my radio on the fleet's frequency. "All crafts land where ever you can. Get down below the fire now!" I screamed.

"Hold on!" Screamed the pilot.

"SAM's incoming!" Screamed the copilot. The pilot jerked the stick down to avoid the surface to air missile.

We were the lead helicopter, so we could see some of the others if I looked out the door's window at an angle.

Everywhere I saw helicopters jukeing and jinking, ducking and dodging. I saw several of them explode brilliantly as anti-air missiles slammed into them. The helicopter right next to us exploded in a bright flash that made my teeth rattle painfully as it rocked our whole helicopter.

The radio went from dead silence to total and utter chaos in seconds.

"Taking fire! Taking fire!"

"Both pilots dead, we are going down!"

"I can't hold it!"

"Fuck! I have no control!"

"Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God!"

"Incoming miss...."

"DOWN!"

All the nameless voices screamed out for help, and I was powerless to do anything. That's the price of being on a ship. All twenty two odd men are in the hands of the pilot. If he can't evade that missile then all of them could die, no matter how good a fighter they are.

Anti-aircraft guns poured out shell after shell. Our ship was rocked repeatedly as our pilot just barely maneuvered in time.

"Missile dead ahead!" Screamed the copilot.

"Fuck!" Screamed the pilot. That really didn't sound good to me. We were all tossed violently forward as the pilot jerked the stick forward, plunging the nose of the helicopter down.

An explosion rocked the hull as the back end of the helicopter was hit by the missile.

"Shit we lost our tail rotor!" Screamed the pilot. "Can't.........Get..........Control!" The pilot panted as he struggled with the stick. The entire helicopter had begun to spin despite the pilots best efforts to keep it in check.

"This is helio A- one we have lost our tail rotor, and are going down, repeate we are going down!" Yelled the copilot. I gave a silent prayer. Not for me, however for Jody back in the states.

I knew that they were getting a direct feed of our radios. And I knew that she would be listening. I also knew that she knows what helicopter I am on. So when she heard those words, the fear and anxiety she must be feeling would be terrible. I cursed myself for putting her in that position.

"This is helio A- one we are going in, and we're going in hot. We have no tail rotor, and no control. I repeat we are going in hot." Said the copilot.

"Everyone brace for impact!" I screamed. Linking my arms with those next to me, even though we were firmly strapped in. Everyone followed suit. I looked out the front window, and saw the ground rushing up at me.

"This is it." Someone mumbled.

"We're dead." Another chimed in.

"We are going d......"

And then everything went black...

Authors note: Gotta love a good cliffhanger. This is the end of "The Perfect

Soldier, A New Life." You'll have to wait until the next book, "The Perfect Soldier, the Master of Destiny," to find out what happens. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this one.