Battle fatigue!
It had been a long war, Lt Cmdr, Givens had started out 5 years ago as a seeker pilot, and lowest of the low, now he was tank commander… Still a shitty job, they had been playing cat and mouse with the enemy on the outskirts of what was left of Raleigh NC for about a year now, trying to play the long game. Two EM pulses last night had announced the detonation of two nukes within a five miles radius of their location, the theist slime were getting closer, no way to know if they had really been targeted or if it was just wild blows by the Islamic State.

Of course it could have been some remnant of the Holy Roman Army of God trying to show they could still get it up but they were a minor player now in the western hemisphere, much of what they had in the way of men and equipment had been captured when Mexico city had surrendered and allowed the Caliph to take their protectors equipment, no doubt they had lost much of it as no less than five of the Secular Alliance Thunder Child tanks had had unleashed 5 twenty megaton war heads on Mexico city the moment the IS had announced the surrender and taking of the city.

Thunder Child tanks were the latest vision of the SA, nuclear powered, huge behemoths, it took only five men to run one and they could button up for a year and live off the internal power and emergency rations, Dig in, hide under a pebble.. well almost, that is what CMDR Givens had done when Raleigh’s ABMs had been overwhelmed in the big push by the IS but the dug in Thunder Childs had not given ground and the IS had been stopped inside Winston Salem NC.

No one wanted Winston Salem NC anymore, nor did they want Raleigh but they knew we had a large number of Thunder Childs dug in the area and they wanted them out!

“Jim” I called out on the intercom, “send up a few seekers, and don’t let them pop up on radar or send signals until they are at least five miles away. I want to see what was being chattered back and forth by the enemy, we had broken their latest codes and it might be important to see what they were up to even if 99% of was just propaganda and bullshit.

A few minutes later Jim called back “online with the seekers Lt! They are picking up SA transmissions!” “Can’t be” I replied we weren’t due to a COM check for another month!

Yes, it’s the SA! Calling in all Thunder Childs in this area to rendezvous at grid 15 mark 20…

“Hmm, that’s only a 100 miles away a days travel if the interstates weren’t too horribly blasted up.” Interstate HYWS, man’s gift to nuclear warfare. “Lt?” Asked Jim, “should I reply back? “They are requesting a head count, but it is an old code“

“NO!” Button up and power up the reactor lets follow protocol, no open channels that can be traced!” This could be a trick, until last night not much action had been seen around here for almost four months, “land the seekers and keep monitoring communications… ”

“Yes sir” Replied Jim… So they sat, backed up under an interstate over pass and waited to see what would develop.
Suddenly Jim called for my attention! Lt, I am picking up a small cluster of SA fighters about five miles away, they are three Thunder child crews, hit last night by the nukes, they are requesting extraction.

“Damn, they know better than that!”

“Should we reply?”

“No not unless you want a nuclear enema, those were impact bursts last night, very dirty bombs, probably managed to get a seeker hit on them and nuked their positions.”

“Lt!” Jim almost screamed, “I have incoming warheads! Tracking them back to their origin, they are coming from a place just outside Winston Salem NC!”

“Can give me a quick scan from an orbiting seeker?”

“Yes one is coming overhead right now!” Suddenly an EM burst caused the tanks systems to fluctuate… a few seconds later ground movement confirmed a nuclear hit.

“Jim did you get a pic of where they came from?”

“yes sending it up now”

“I grabbed the printout to see what was going on, I had probably doomed that orbiting seeker by contacting it but this was important, the fucking IS has our old codes!

The picture was grainy and hard to read but it showed a huge concentration of manpower just outside Winston Salem, probably a ten square mile radius of men equipment had been snuck in while they were dug in pounding their meat.


“Yes Lt?”

“Set up five 20 megaton antimatter war heads I want air bursts at about 5000 feet. Program them to follow the deep river channel near by for at least five miles before popping up for the dive on the IS encampment!”

Almost immediately the tank rocked as cruise missiles fired and went on their deadly path.

Their own seekers had jumped back into the air and were traveling toward the IS encampment to record the hit if any of the missiles got through. On the digital screen he could see three other flights of cruise missiles converging on the area, the cruise missiles would follow the treetops until almost on top of the enemy before jumping up and detonating. Slowly on the screen almost like a videogame the three flights of missiles converged on the screen, so far no sign the IS bastards suspected a thing then suddenly cruise missiles started to die as the ABLs started to take them but the bastards weren’t fast enough, five of the 20 megaton war heads converged and target and detonated, it must have like the fist of their non existent god hitting in their midst…

Lt. Givens and his men continued to flee down the open interstate finally finding a large group of over passes to hide under and play another round of hide and seek with the IS forces. It had been a long wait and but the climax had made it worth it, the IS had been Thunder Struck! !

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