Imagine going about your day, going to work, reading the paper, or just enjoying the sun shining in your face. Next thing you know, the peace is broken by the sound of boots kicking doors, and you, or your friends/family, are dragged out of your home or place of work, and as it turns out, your country is under the control of a hostile enemy nation.

That's the sort of morning that Chris Stone, a plumber from New York, and Robert Jacobs, an ex-Marine-tuned-handyman from Colorado, found themselves in, when Chris's brother is captured by Russian Soviet forces, and Robert experiences first-hand by North Korean - Backed forces. Both men join the fight for freedom, becoming key players in the struggle - Chris freeing New York, and Robert supplying the U.S. Military with much-needed fuel for an assault on San Francisco.

Chris Stone and Robert Jacobs are members of two very different American Resistance movements, and come from very different backgrounds. Stone fights a Soviet Union - led invasion on the Manhattan Island, in a parallel world. Jacobs fights a North Korean - led invasion in Colorado in 2027. Stone was a plumber by trade. Jacobs was a Marine pilot. Stone has fought ever since the US was invaded, being one of the founding members of the Resistance. Jacobs was Recruited/Rescued by the Resistance two years after the country had been invaded. Both have faced threats that should have killed them, time and time again. But what happens when the two come face to face with each other?

Chris Stone

Chris Stone - Leader of the Freedom Fighters

As mentioned, Stone was a plumber by trade. While on a routine call with his brother, Soviet forces invade the country, with a group entering the place the two were working at. Stone's brother is captured, and Stone escapes by hiding in the bathroom. He frees a number of hostages by using his wrench to kill a guard. With the help of an ex-CIA operative, Mr. Jones, as well as a woman who'd been warning others about the Soviet threat, Isabella Angelina, he is the founding member of the Manhattan Resistance, and given the name Freedom Phantom, his forces striking back from the sewers of New York. During this time, he managed to rescue his brother, who set out to locate other resistance forces, and perhaps work with them. However, Troy is later recaptured and executed. Stone avenges his death, by assassinating the man in charge of the Soviet forces on the United States. However, it had all been a set-up - turns out that Mr. Jones had been the second-in-command to the Soviet forces all along, in the form of Colonel Bulba, and had used the Resistance to kill his superior, so that he could be the leader, and sent special forces to kill Chris. Stone manages to survive the attempt, and after commandeering the Soviet- TV station, manages to recruit a large number of people to the cause of freedom. He then lead a large number of Freedom Fighters in an attack on Governor's Island, where the Soviet Command was based, causing the Soviets to flee. He then tells his men to prepare for Round 2, because he knows that the fight isn't over.

Chris's Weapons

Note

Chris's forces are armed with a number of Russian-made weapons. The reasons for this are fairly simple - kill Russians, take their weapons/ammo, and kill more Russians. Another reason is this - part of the Resistance is made up of Russian Soldiers, who had defected, many of which had been wounded and left to die, if Chris hadn't come along with a Medical Kit. It seems that being left by their former Comrades left a foul taste in their mouths for the Motherland, and thus they are more than happy to fight for America's Freedom, after being patched up by the rebel.

Melee

Monkey Wrench - a common Plumber's tool turned Weapon-of-Freedom. With this everyday tool, Chris struck the first blows of freedom, when he killed a guard holding several Americans hostage. This chunk of steel is highly useful in stealth kills, not to mention opening prison doors to free POWs, and opening up manhole covers to allow for quick escapes. 18 inches in length.

Handgun

Colt Python - 6 shot revolver, uses a .357 Magnum round. Very powerful, but slow to reload.

Shotgun

Franchi SPAS-12 - 12 gauge pump/semi action combat shotgun that can hold up to 8 shells in the chamber.

Assault Rifle

AK-103 - Semi-Auto/Full-Auto, holds 30-round box magazine, with 7.62x39mm rounds.

Submachinegun

PP-19 Bizon - Semi-Auto / Full-Auto, 64-round helical magazine 9x18mm Makarov

Sniper Rifle

SVD Dragunov - Semi-Auto, 10 7.62×54mm R rounds

Heavy Machinegun

PKM - full-auto, belt-fed with 100+ rounds, fires the same round as the SVD Dragunov. 7.62×54mm R rounds

Anti-Tank

RPG-7 - a single-shot rocket-propelled grenade.

Grenade

RGO fragmentation grenade - kill radius between 20 and 60 feet.

Robert Jacobs

Robert Jacobs - Pilot for the Resistance in Homefront

Jacobs had once been a pilot in the Marines before the invasion, but due to budget cuts, he was forced to leave the service. Up until 2027, he worked at several odd jobs, when he was arrested for failure to answer the draft from the Occupation forces, and was to be sent to an Alaskan reeducation camp. However, the Resistance, consisting of Connor, a fellow ex-Marine, Rianna, a hunter who uses her skills for the Resistance, and Lee, a Korean-American who is determined to prove that he's just as American as the others, rescued him and then, after killing some Korean Military Police, recruited him, as he didn't have much of a choice as he'd be killed anyways by the Koreans. It turns out, his skills as a pilot are needed, as the Resistance plans to steal several trailers full of jet fuel, and take them to the US military for an assault on Korean-held San Francisco. He goes with several members of the group, first to steal some tracking devices, and later to attach the devices to several tractor-trailers hauling jet fuel. However, upon returning to base, they find that it had been compromised, with everyone there having been killed or captured. He and the remaining survivors decide to break out of the Wall that surrounded the area, all while Korean forces searched for them, killing many civilians for the Resistance's recent activities. After leaving the city, they met up with a group of Survivalists that Boone, the group's late leader, had made a deal with, in order to use their helicopter. However, because of Boone's death, the Survivalists decide to renege on their deal, and Jacobs and the others are force to fight, and sneak, through the Survivalists' camp, until they get to the helicopter, which they then steal. The group then located the Korean tanker trailers, and hijack them, with Jacobs providing covering fire from the helicopter. They then reroute the tankers to US forces outside San Francisco, California. Jacobs, along with other Resistance forces and US military personnel then engage in a massive joint effort to take back the city. During the assault on the Golden Gate bridge, Jacobs falls, seemingly to his death, but survives by catching the underpass, and climbing onto it. Upon hearing that the Resistance/US military can't make it to the other side, due to heavy artillery, he fights his way to the guns, and destroys them, allowing the rest to come through. After an airstrike damages the bridge, the forces try to get off, only to find out that the Koreans are sending tanks down the bridge. Connor, seemingly, sacrifices himself, using a flare to lead American bombers towards the tanks, allowing the planes to destroy the tanks, thus allowing the joint Resistance/US military to capture San Francisco. This inspires European countries to debate assisting the US, and if they should go on the offensive against Korea themselves.

Robert's Weapons

Note

Robert's allies are armed with weapons taken from the KPA, many of which are actually American weapons. There are some logical reasons for this - apparently, Americans make the best weapons, and the Koreans only want to be armed with the best. Also, North Korea took over areas that had been armed with American weapons, and added them to their own weapons stocks. Finally, many of the enemies that Robert and his allies fight are Korean Military Police forces, who are on garrison duty, and thus would likely be armed with captured weapons, instead of those for Frontline troops.

Melee

Tactical Knife - 12 inches long with an 8 inch double-sided blade. Useful for stealthy kills. Likely a variant of the Ka-Bar knife.

Handgun

Beretta M9 - Semi-Auto with 15 9x19mm rounds in a clip. Fairly weak, but quick to reload.

Shotgun

Remington 870 Express - pump-action shotgun that holds 8 12 gauge shells.

Assault Riffle

M4A1 - fires 5.56x45mm NATO from a 30 round clip.

Submachine gun

TDI Vector - fires 30 .45 ACP rounds in a clip.

Sniper Rifle

Knight's Armament SR-25 - fires 7.62×51mm NATO rounds from a 10 round clip. Semi-Auto.

Heavy Machinegun

M249-E2 SAW - fires 5.56x45mm NATO rounds from a 100 round ammo belt. Full-Auto.

Anti - Tank

Panzerfaust 3 - the grandson of the WW2 Panzerfaust.

Grenade

M67 hand grenade - kill radius of 15 feet, injury radius of 45 feet.

X-Factors

Those little things that don't fit neatly into a computer.

Hero's Training

Just how well are our Heroes trained?

Chris Stone

Chris Stone - Being a plumber without a military background, Chris has no formal training. That being said, he's a quick learner, such as picking up on shooting barrels full of gas would save him bullets, as the gas would catch on fire and severely injure, if not kill, enemy soldiers, making them much easier to kill. He also learns how to use the weapons, from pistols to RPGs, he finds fairly quickly, or else he'd die.

Robert Jacobs

Robert Jacobs - Robert is an ex-Marine, who has skills as a pilot, meaning that he was well trained. That being said, it wasn't until 2027, two years into Korea's occupation of America, that he picked up arms, and began to fight back. Of course, his muscles seem to have a fairly good memory on how to use a firearm, as he has proven skilled enough to use sniper rifles and rocket launchers, with very good accuracy.

Allies' Training

When one goes into a fight, he tends to bring help. So, how well trained are those who fight alongside these two?

Chris Stone

Chris - For the most part, Chris's allies are civilians who have taken up arms against the Red Army. That being said, some may have had prior training, as many of these people followed Isabella, who had spoken out against the Reds, long before the Invasion. Other members include former NYPD officers, who had joined the Resistance after the city was lost, due to similar goals. Still, other members are Russian soldiers that became disillusioned with the Communist cause, especially since many of them had been left to die after being wounded, only to be saved by members of the Resistance. Between the Police Officers and the Ex-Soldiers, the rest of the Resistance learned how to use the weapons that they stole from Russian forces.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - Just like Chris, Robert's allies come from various backgrounds. Some are civilians who make use of hunting skills they learned. Others are ex-military or police officers. Others are remnants of the US Military. Others still are trained by those with military backgrounds. That being said, all are willing to do whatever it takes to take back the US from Korean forces.

Killer Instinct

Just how quick are these two when it comes to pulling the trigger on a foe?

Chris Stone

Chris - When it comes to defending himself and his allies, Chris will not hesitate to pull the trigger on a foe. That being said, if he can avoid killing, he'll do so. Problem is, the Russian military wants him dead, forcing him to fight every step on the way to retake New York. However, if he sees a wounded Russian soldier, he tends to have an act of Humanity, often patching their wounds. This in turn causes the Russian to have a change of heart in return, and thus will fight for Chris against their former comrades.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - Robert is more than willing to kill if need be to complete his mission. However, if it's possible to sneak past his foes, and not have to kill them, he'll do that. Also, unlike the American Survivalists, who will kill anyone they don't like, he and others in the Resistance don't kill for sport, although some of the members don't do the Koreans any favors, while some might, especially if the Korean was on fire - some would put them out of their misery, while others would let them burn.

Logistics

Just how well are these guys supplied?

Chris Stone

Chris - For the most part, Chris and his forces make due with stolen Russian weapons. That being said, they did have a base where they did store a large cache of weapons for their fighters, until Mr. Jones revealed his true colors as Colonel Bulba, a KGB agent who wanted his boss's job. However, the survivors of the deceit managed to set up another base, and continued the fight.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - For over a year, Robert's allies did have a base in the abandoned projects of Montrose. However, the KPA managed to locate it and destroyed it, along with many civilian's homes, killing those there in retaliation for the Resistance's recent activities. After that, Robert and his allies were forced to flee, implementing Boone's plan to steal the fuel trucks, and eventually hooking up with the US Military.

Importance to Group

Just why are people willing to fight alongside these warriors in their quest for Freedom?

Chris Stone

Chris - After rescuing Isabella, Chris became known as the face of the Resistance, and led the fight against the Russians occupying New York City. While he's not the first member of the Resistance, he's the one most everyone, from armed civilians, to members of the NYPD, to deserters from the Red Army, looks to for leadership.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - The primary reason that Robert is with the Resistance has to deal with the fact that he is a Marine who can fly attack helicopters. Apparently, it's a little tricky finding someone who can do that, especially in a city surrounded by walls.

Leading and Taking Orders

Just how well do these people Follow Orders, and how well do they Lead their Men?

Chris Stone

Chris - As the Leader of the Resistance, or at least the Co-Leader, Chris, obviously, leads his men from the front, his men following him, and they do what he tells them to do - Man that Turret, Destroy that Obstacle, Follow Me - Defending, Attacking, or Following basically. Of course, he often has to prove himself to Leaderless Guerrillas if he's trying to recruit more fighters than he can lead - Affected by Charisma, and the number of POWs Rescued, Wounded Healed, Helicopters Blown up, and such. As for Taking Orders/Suggestions, by destroying certain things, like Power Generators and Helicopter Landing Pads, it makes things easier in other areas, as Spot Lights won't work, making stealth missions easier, and there will be less troops to face, as the Helicopters carrying them can't fly.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - Given that Robert was a Helicopter Pilot in the Marines, it can be assumed that he took some sort of Officer's Training, and might of been a minor officer in the Corps. However, this is largely an Unknown, as his military career isn't talked about at length, and had been given an Honorable Discharge, due to Budget Cuts. For the most part though, he follows the Orders/Advice from others in the Resistance, doing so fairly well, even coming up with things on his own.

Endurance/Healing

How much damage can they take? Also, Just how do these guys, and their allies, heal from wounds?

Chris Stone

Chris - Chris has face hundreds of Russian soldiers, from low ranking ones, all the way up to those armed with heavy machine guns, and has been shot hundreds of times. Thankfully, he has access to Health Packs, which he can use while behind cover, or while running. Also, he can give these to severely wounded (dead actually) allies, in order to get them back into fighting shape. Then again, to a wounded Russian Soldier who was left to Die by his Comrades, it's worth more than a million Rubles, causing them to defect to Chris' side. However, Chris can only carry 8 of these at a time, so he has to keep track of the others.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - This guy has a reputation for falling out of high things, from tree houses, to towers, and even the Golden Gate Bridge, and making out okay. As for healing, he just needs to get behind cover for a few seconds, and he's good to go. However, sniper shots and grenades tossed near him can mess up his day, if they occur at a bad time, when he's already wounded.

Personal Combat Experience

Just how long have these two been fighting?

Chris Stone

Chris - Chris Stone has been fighting every day since the Reds invaded New York, at least 8 months, if not longer.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - Robert Jacobs has barely been fighting the Koreans for two weeks, if that.

Allies' Combat Experience

What about their allies?

Chris Stone

Chris - Chris's allies have been fighting since Day 1 of the invasion. Some were even on the other side, until they were wounded and left for dead, and saved by the Resistance.

Robert Jacobs

Robert - Most of Robert's allies have been fighting for at least a year, if not all two years of the occupation.


Table Chart

X-Factors of Battle Between Chris Stone and Robert Jacobs
X-Factor Chris Stone Robert Jacobs
Hero's Training 75 80
Allies' Training 80 80
Killer Instinct 85 80
Logistics 85 70
Importance to Group 100 100
Leading Others 90 75
Following Orders/Advice 90 90
Endurance 80 90
Healing 95 80
Personal Combat Experience 90 80
Allies' Combat Experience 90 95
Overall 87.273 83.636

Reasoning Behind Numbers

Note: The numbers are based on my personal opinions about the fighters, based upon watching 2-3 walkthroughs of both Freedom Fighter and Homefront, as done by different Gamer/Youtubers. Your numbers may vary, depending on if you've played the games, or watched the walkthroughs, along with your opinions about the fighters.

1. Hero's Training. Robert gets this one. Robert on the other hand is an ex-Marine, thus is well trained. That said, it's been a few years since he used a firearm. Chris is a plumber by trade, with no known military background. That said, you learn quick on the battlefield, or die.

2. Allies' Training. Both groups are even here. Both groups have armed civilians who have learned how to use weapons. There are also trained soldiers in both groups - Russian soldiers that defected to Chris' group, and the US Army is allied with Robert's group. Also, both men have semi-trained allies - Chris in the form of NYPD officers, and Robert with ex-military members who hadn't worn the uniform in a while.

3. Killer Instinct. While Chris might lose out on training, he's slightly more motivated to fight his foe - The Russians captured and executed his older brother. Chris then went to avenge him, taking out the overall leader. However, as it turns out, the one person who had helped found the Resistance had been a Russian officer all along, and had used them for his own ends, and had made the claim that the group had been destroyed. Chris was eager to prove him wrong, capturing a News Station, and then attacking Governor's Island, where Russian command was based. As for Robert, he doesn't have any real reason to fight, other than the fact that he killed some Military Police/Soldiers during his escape, and thus has Korean blood on his hands, as it were. I mean, let's face it, it took him at least two years to get into the fighting, and that's partly because he was forced into it.

4. Logistics. The Advantage goes to Chris. While both fighters are rebels that have to make due with stolen weapons, Chris had a base for a long time, and even had some fallback bases after the main one was compromised. As for Robert, he and those he was with were mostly on the run, until they hooked up with the US Army, and even they are hurting for supplies, like jet fuel.

5. Importance to Group. Both are Even here. Chris is the leader of his group, and is very hard to replace, especially after he's freed New York City. As for Robert, he's stuck in a city that has been walled in - it's very hard to find a pilot who's willing to be on your side in that situation.

6. Leading Others. Chris has this in the bag. He is the Leader of the New York City resistance, or is the Second-in-Command/Co-Leader at any rate. Robert, he might have some officer's training, (based on requirements for Marines to become Pilots in today's Marine Aviation Corps), and thus might know how to lead men into battle, but he doesn't really show this.

7. Following Orders/Advice. It's a tie here. Chris might have a little bit of Leeway, as he is a main leader of his group, and doesn't have to follow orders. That being said, he does listen to the advice of those under him - for instance, taking out the generator in one neighborhood can disable lights in another, letting him free some prisoners, which lets him recruit more people to help him attack the Main Base in the end. Robert on the other hand has to follow orders - making noise during stealth missions can cause the enemy to kill him - In the "Heartland" level, if you shoot a certain Survivalist instead of stabbing him, his buddies will hear the gunfire, and kill you.

8. Endurance. Both of these guys have been through tough situations, but Robert seems to be tougher than Chris. I mean, this guy has survived numerous falls from over twenty feet in height, survived a simi crashing into the bus he was on - only one other survived, but that MP was in bad shape, until Connor put him out of his misery, being bombarded, and numerous other situations that would have killed your average person. That being said, Chris is pretty damn tough himself - I mean, he's been chased by armed attack helicopters, face 40-1 odds on many occasions, fought single-handed through a large number of foes on several occasions, dealt with limited ammo issues, and more.

9. Healing. When there's gunfire and grenades going off all around you, odds are that you're going to get hit, and thus need to get patched up. In this case, Chris has the advantage, in the form of Medical Kits. Sure, Robert can sit behind cover, and wait for his health to replenish, but a grenade landing next to him tends to ruin that. Chris, on the other hand, can use a Kit while on the run, and use them to revive injured allies, or wounded civilians/Russian deserters.

10. Personal Combat Experience. This one is tricky, but I have to give it to Chris. Chris has been fighting the Russians for at least 8 months, if not longer, and fights mainly Frontline troops, along with more than a few special soldiers. As it is, the Russians want him dead because of how he rallies people to his cause with each victory. As for Robert, I'll give him credit for using vehicles during some of his battles, but for the most part, he fights the Rearguard troops, or the Military Police. Plus, he's only been fighting for a week, maybe two at the most.

11. Allies' Combat Experience. A slight victory to Robert's allies, as they have been fighting for at least a year, if not longer. Still, Chris's allies have been fighting since the war began - some had even fought for the other side once before being abandoned by their comrades.

12. Overall. This is very close, but Chris gets this. However, Robert comes very close, and thus will give Chris a tough fight.

Battle Story/Rules

Story will be set in an Alternative Future/Parallel world where the Soviet Union and Greater Korean Republic are allies, and had attacked the US - Korea on the West Coast, and Russia on the East Coast a year later, to make things easier for their allies (Similar to the US during our WW2, to make things easier against Nazi Germany for Russia). Also, the Mississippi River is not Nuked, so that Russia and North Korea can use the river to transport supplies and troops. Problem for them is this - America is fighting back. Both New York City and San Francisco have been freed - NYC by Christopher Stone, and San Fran by Robert Jacobs, and now the Resistance Groups and the US Military are poised to attack a major stronghold of the Enemy forces. There's just one problem - Who will lead the First Wave?

A solution was found. Using some specialized training equipment (an advanced form of the MILES Gear), Christopher Stone, and a Squad of his Freedom Fighters (joint Guerrillas/Russian Deserters), will face off against Robert Jacobs, and a squad of Resistance members (joint-Montrose cell/US Military), to see which one will lead the fight.

Rules of Battle

Chris will have 6 New Yorkers, and 6 Russian Deserters as backup. Robert has 6 Montrose Cell members, and 6 US Soldiers to aid him. The Training Battle will take place in an abandoned town, with plenty of buildings to place snipers, and a sewer system for sneaking around in, meaning that one has to watch the buildings, and the manholes. Also, if the MILES Gear says that a fighter is "Dead", he can't fight anymore.

Voting Rules

"Mario" References count as Zero. At least three proper paragraphs to Count as a Point, or Weapons/X-Factors Edges.

Battle Open

Who will Win?

Battle closes August 23, Saturday.

Intro

Chris looked through his binoculars, scooping out the target below; in particular, he was looking at City Hall. He hated the flags that were flying in front of it – one was the Hammer and Sickle of the Soviet Union, a second was the Red Star on a White Circle that represented the Korean Republic, but the third was the worst – a bastardized version of the Star-Spangled Banner herself.

“I can’t wait until Command gives the ‘Go-Ahead’, and we liberate this city,” he said, as he lowered the binoculars. “I can’t wait to fly Old Glory in front of City Hall.”

“I have the same feeling that you do,” said the man next to him. “It will do the people good to see that flag flying.” The man lowered his own binoculars. “Still, I find it impressive that the Commander is thinking of giving you Field Command for the fight, and isn’t going to give command over to Connor.”

“With respect to your friend, that man isn’t in his right mind, exactly,” said Chris. “Besides Robert, I’ve got experience leading men on the battlefield.”

“Sure, you freed New York, with help from a bunch of civilians and Russian defectors,” said Robert. “However, I doubt that the average soldier is willing to follow a civilian, unless ordered to. You were just a plumber before the Soviet Union invaded. As for me, I was a pilot in the Marines, until I was let go.”

“Hey, you helped to save San Fran, and I saved NYC,” said Chris. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you got nominated to lead the attack. You were an officer in the Corps after all.”

“Kind of had to, in order to be a pilot,” said Robert. “You have to be able to give orders to your crewmates.”

“I’m just surprised it took you two years to get into the fight,” said Chris. “I’ve been fighting ever since the Big Apple was invaded.”

“The Koreans tried to draft me into their Occupation force,” said Robert. “I may not of been fighting to free my country, but I wasn’t going to fight against it. If it wasn’t for Connor getting me off of that bus, I’d be in Alaska, doing only God knows what.”

“Could be worse,” Chris said, as he walked over to the car that the two had been using to scout the place out. “It’s not like you’ve got family who were killed.”

“Are you talking about your brother?” Robert asked, as he got to the driver side.

Chris nodded his head, pulled out his revolver, checked the ammo, and holstered it. He then took out a pipe wrench, and examined it, making sure that it was still functional.

“Why don’t you use a knife?” Robert asked, as he checked his pistol, and his tactical knife.

“I killed my first man with this,” Chris said. “That and it has lots of other practical uses, like opening manholes and prison doors.”

“A chunk of steel that allows for quick escapes,” Robert said, as he got in the car. “That is useful in a fight.”

“Even more so when you’re out of ammunition,” said Chris. “Now, let’s get back to Base; I want to know if the Commander made a decision.”

When the two got back to the Base Camp, which was located in the campground of what used to be a National Park, Chris had to smile a little bit when they were greeted by one of his own Freedom Fighters, specifically, a Russian Deserter named Nikolay.

“Vy dolzhny speshit', Freedom Phantom,” the man said. “Komanduyushchiy prishel k resheniyu o tom, kto budet vesti napadeniye!”

“In English?” Chris asked.

“The Commander made decision about who lead attack,” Nikolay said, his accent still prominent. “That is good, da?”

“Do you know who it is?” Robert asked.

The deserter shook his head. “Neyt. I not know who. Something about you two.”

“Do you mean that Robert is a candidate for leading the attack?” Chris asked.

“Da,” said Nikolay. “Connor say that Robert good fighter. He say that Robert better choice than plumber. Commander say that he see you two.”

Chris chuckled at this, and patted the Russian on the shoulder. “That’s good to know.” He then started to walk towards the Commander’s post, which was a two-story Park Ranger’s cabin, along with Robert. He looked back towards Nikolay. “Keep working on your English; you’re getting better at it.”

“Da, that I will.”

“I’m surprised that you’re willing to work with him, and others like him,” Robert said quietly. “Especially since someone in his unit killed your brother.”

“Actually, that was the man in charge, General Tatarin,” Chris said. “He thought that it would be a good way to break me. It didn’t work out as he planned. Of course, the whole thing had been a set-up – Mr. Jones, the man who had helped create our group, and helped to get our information and such, turned out to be a traitorous spy, one who had used me to kill his boss and take his place, in the form of Now-General Bulba.”

Robert blinked at this. “That’s seriously messed up. He created the group just to kill his boss?”

“Something like that,” said Chris. “Then again, he was probably expecting me to get killed in the attempt, and his promotion was a nice bonus, although he still tried to kill me, and captured Isabella.”

“Makes me wonder if the soldiers serving under him know the truth about their commanding officer,” said Robert.

“I tell them that whenever I encounter a small patrol,” Chris said. “Sometimes the information that the old boss was murdered as a result of their current one’s manipulations is enough of a reason to join us. I guess even Communists have standards, especially about honor and such. Of course, sometimes they call me a liar, and will try to kill me, as I did kill their old boss.”

“Ever worry that they will turn against you and the Resistance?”

“Let me put it this way – most of them I found were wounded and thus abandoned by their former comrades,” Chris said. “It puts a foul taste in their mouths when they realize that the Motherland abandoned them to die, and they are more than happy to sign up with the guy that patches their wounds – me.” With that, he opened the door, and the two stepped inside.

“You boys have fun scooping out the city?” The Commander asked, as the man set down a sheet of paper, onto a table. “Notice anything different?”

“Not really, other than they keep on sending out more patrols than usual,” said Chris. “Lots of machineguns, snipers, even a few tanks and helicopters.”

“Did you see who’s in charge?”

“No Sir,” said Robert. “However, both Korean and Russian forces are there, so likely it’s a joint-command.”

“That’s what our spies tell us,” said the Commander. “I had a couple of our forces get inside the city – Dinh Nguyen – A.K.A. The Kid, and Hopper Lee – A.K.A. Hacker – and they got some very important intel about who is in charge – General Bulba and General Jeong.”

“Sounds like Jeong got promoted,” Robert growled. “Did he get that after what he did in Montrose?”

“That’s what our intel suggests,” said the Commander.

“So, what are we to do if we find them?” Chris asked.

“Take them alive, if possible,” said the Commander. “But, if they prove to be too much to capture, I wouldn’t mind seeing them dead. However, that brings to mind why I asked for the two of you.”

“And what would that be?” Robert asked.

“Which of the two of you will be leading the charge,” the Commander said. “You both have good qualities, things I like in a field commander.”

“Why don’t you lead, Sir?” Chris asked. “I’ve heard that you’ve got plenty of experience.”

“Doctor’s orders,” said the Commander. He pushed the table, and swung his legs around; one was in a full cast, and the other was gone. “I could sit in a Humvee and call the shots, maybe operate a big old machinegun or something; however, those boys ought to be led by a man with two working legs standing alongside them, not as a passenger in a car. It’s a morality thing – they’ll feel better being lead by a Hero instead of a chair-bound man.”

“So, just who will lead the men?” Chris asked.

The Commander smiled. “The winner of the fight between you two.”

“Fight?” Robert asked.

“Call it a training exercise,” the Commander said. “You’ll each lead a dozen men, you pick who, chose your weapons, receive maps, and you’ll fight to the last man.”

“What do you mean, to the last man?” Chris asked. “Do you want us to kill each other?”

The Commander laughed. “Ever play Paintball or Laser Tag?”

“Been a while,” said Chris. “However, I think I know what you’re talking about.”

“You’re talking about using MILES gear, right?” Robert asked.

The Commander smiled. “Of course. I want my men to be well trained, not dead.”

“What’s Miles gear?” Chris asked.

“Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System,” said Robert. “Laser tag developed from it. We’ll be using specially modified weapons that fire lasers, and we’ll be wearing outfits with sensors that let us know if we got hit or not.”

“You get hit, and your outfit makes a loud beeping sound, which means you’re dead, and not allowed to participate anymore,” said the Commander. “You can turn the thing off, by removing a key from your weapon, but doing so disables the weapon. Keeps cheating to a minimal.”

“So, we’re playing a game of laser tag to save America?” Chris asked.

“Would you prefer to play poker, or flip a coin?” the Commander asked. “At least this way I can observe the two of you in action, and I’ll know if you have what it takes to lead in battle.”

Chris looked at Robert, then back to the Commander. “I guess I’m in.”

The Commander smiled. “Good.”

A while later, Chris and Robert were putting on their MILES Uniform, as were the men they picked, as a supply officer instructed the fighters on how it worked, especially the civilian guerrillas.

“This equipment uses special sensors on your arms, legs, chest, and head to determine if one is classified as Injured or Dead,” the man said. “If a limb is crippled, the light will be dim, coming on once every thirty seconds, but if moved in such a way that the limb shouldn’t move, the light will be bright. Should the Chest or Head sensor be triggered, it will register as a Kill, and you will hear a soft beeping. Sit down, or lay prone, as moving will cause the sensor to beep loudly. The training knives are collapsible, with a paintball inside, and the edges are lined with a special marker, to imitate stabs and slices. For safety reasons, we ask that you don’t stab people in the throat – however, tapping them, with a knife or a gun, or even a hand, will signal that they are Dead, especially if you ambush someone from behind.”

“Sounds useful to know,” said Chris, as he walked over towards the Training Weapons. He then began selecting the weapons for his fighters – one RPG-7, one PKM, one SVD Dragunov, several PP-19 Bizons, a few Franchi SPAS 12s, some AK-103s, and an assortment of Colt Pythons and Beretta 92FSs, keeping a Python for himself, and selecting a number of RGO fragmentation grenades. He also got several combat knives for his men, and was about to put one on his belt when the Supply Officer stopped him.

“The Commander had us make this for you.” He then gave Chris a cloth covered object.

Chris removed the cloth, and found himself looking at a rubber wrench, similar to his actual one.

“Commander figured that you’d prefer that to a knife. Same rules apply of course.”

“Tell him thanks.” Chris put the wrench in his belt. He then armed his men, each had at least a handgun, a knife, and some grenades. One Russian had the RPG-7, one got the Dragunov, and one got the PKM. Three men got Bizons, three got SPAS 12s, and three got AKs. Chris kept an AK for himself.

“Sticking with Russian weapons?” asked a man from Montrose.

“It’s with these weapons that I freed NYC,” said Chris. “They may not be fancy, but they do the job.”

Robert had to chuckle as he picked up weapons for his group – one Panzerfaust 3, one M249-E2 SAW, one Knight’s Armament SR-25, several TDI Vectors, a few Remington 870 Expresses, and some M4A1s. He also grabbed a number of Beretta M9s, Tactical Knives, and M67 hand grenades. He gave the Panzerfaust to an Army soldier, along with the SAW and the SR-25. He then passed out three Vectors, three Remingtons, and three M4A1s to the men, keeping an M4 for himself. He also passed out the handguns, knives, and grenades.

“There’s a saying there, somewhere,” he said. “The outside doesn’t matter, so long as the inside works.”

“Bury gun in mud, sand, oil, leave for decade, and it still shoot,” said a Deserter, as he looked over his AK. He then pointed at Robert’s M4A1. “Your weapon though, drop on carpet, and it break.”

Robert chuckled. “I think you’re talking about the AR – 15, this thing’s great-granddaddy – that was a piece of crap. This weapon on the other hand is a piece of engineering.”

Another Deserter scoffed. “I can field-strip my weapon in thirty seconds, blindfolded, and repair it just as quick, still blindfolded. That thing take forever to repair – lots of parts.”

“Less recoil than that thing, and easier to shoot,” said an Army soldier. “Also, this thing is a lot more accurate.”

“Maybe in clean environment,” said the one Deserter. “However, Russian weapons work in all environments – sand, snow, rain, jungle – all work.”

“We’ll see who has the better weapons during the exercise,” said another Army Soldier.

“Yes, we can compare our weapons after the exercise,” said Chris. “For now though, let’s treat this as the real thing, with you trying to kill us, and we trying to kill you. After all, the next time we’ll be fighting, it will be with live weapons, and unlike this practice game thing, you don’t come back to life when your head gets blown off.”

“I have no problems with that,” said Robert.

Chris smiled. “In that case, I’ll see you on the battlefield.”

“Not if I see you first.” Robert chuckled.

Battle

(For a number of obvious reasons, I’m going to treat the fight scene as the Real Thing, with Real Weapons. After all, there’s always Alternative, Alternative, Future Worlds.)


Chris Stone – 1xCS, 6 New Yorkers (6xNY), 6 Russian Deserters (6xRD)

Robert Jacobs – 1xRJ, 6 Montrose Cell members (6xMont), 6 US Army soldiers (6xArmy)

Somewhere, in a deserted town, the forces of Christopher Stone – a Plumber-turned-Freedom Fighter, and Robert Jacobs – an ex-Marine pilot, are about to face off. The forces are on the opposite ends of town, initially. Both groups have taken positions, each in a 2-story house.

Chris Stone looked at his fighters – 6 were fellow New Yorkers, and 6 were Russians who has defected from the Soviet Armed Forces, and all were armed. One Russian had a SVD Dragunov sniper rifle, one had a PKM heavy Machine Gun, and one had an RPG-7. Everyone else had Franchi SPAS-12s, PP-19 Bizons, or AK-103s as their main weapons. For sidearms, Colt Pythons or Beretta 92FSs were on their hips, along with combat knives and RGO fragmentation grenades. As for Chris, he was armed with an AK-103, a Colt Python, and he was carrying a Monkey Wrench, which was a nice chunk of steel, and had a few other uses.

“Alright,” he said. “Our enemy is on the other side of town. Our job is very simple – kill them.”

The men nodded.

“Good. You three,” he said, pointing at three New Yorkers, one with an AK, one with a SPAS, and one with a Bizon. “You are to stay here to protect the place, with these three” - he pointed at the three Russians with the Dragunov, PKM and the RPG-7 – “and provide Defense for them, should the enemy get close to the house. As for the rest of us, we’ll use the sewers as cover, and attack them at their place.”

The men nodded.

“Good. Let’s go.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Robert Jacobs reviewed his men – 6 were members of the Montrose Resistance, 6 were soldiers in the United States Army. One of the soldiers had a Knight’s Armament SR-25, one had a M249 SAW, and one had a Panzerfaust 3. The rest had Remington 870 Expresses, M4A1s, or TDI Vectors, Robert himself had an M4A1. Everyone carried a Beretta M9, a tactical knife, and a handful of M67 hand grenades.

“Alright,” he said. “Our enemy is on the other side of town. We find them, and kill them. It’s that simple.”

The men nodded.

“Good. Now, we need to make sure that this place is secure,” Robert said. “You three” – he pointed at the soldiers who had the SR-25, the Saw, and the Panzerfaust 3 – “you stay here, and take care of that. You three though” – he pointed at some Montrose Resistance members, one with a Remington, one with a M4A1, and one with a Vector – “You three stay here to protect them, just in case the enemy gets close. The rest of us will use the side streets, and strike their place.”

The men nodded.

“Let’s go.”

About ten minutes later, Chris and his six men are a block from Robert’s base. “Let’s move carefully. Our enemy is supposed to be ex-Military, and he’s bound to have friends.”

One by one, the men begin to move across the street.

Inside the house, the soldier with the SR-25 sees the opposition. “We have company.” He sets himself up, and fires.

Down below, Chris watches a New Yorker hit the ground, dead.


Chris Stone – 1xCS, 5 NY, 6xRD

“Sniper!”

Chris and his men begin firing, as do the men in the house. Chris manages to locate the Sniper, and fires a burst from his AK, killing the man.

Robert Jacobs – 1xRJ, 6xMont, 5xArmy

However, this victory was short-lived, as a SAW opened up, and a Panzerfaust fired its payload, killing three men, two Deserters and a New Yorker.

Chris Stone – 1xCS, 4xNY, 4xRD

“Shit!” Chris exclaimed. “Spread out!”

He and his two remaining men kept moving, and got to the house. “Let’s see how they like this!” he shouted, as he pulled out a RGO fragmentation grenade. He threw it into the window, and the others copied him. Exclamations were heard, and the explosives detonated. Chris looked at his men, a New Yorker with a SPAS and a Russian with a Bizon. “Let’s get them while we have the element of surprise!” The three men bust down the door, and open fire on the dazed survivors, killing all of them.

Robert Jacobs – 1xRJ, 3xMont, 3xArmy

Chris frowned as he saw the bodies. Even after all the people he’d killed, he still didn’t like pulling the trigger. Some could have once been his neighbors, or a customer. However, he snapped out of his reverie when he heard an explosion. He looked out a broken window, and saw smoke coming from his base. “Hurry!” he shouted. “We need to get back there!”

Meanwhile, Robert was having his own issues. Between the Dragunov, the PKM, and the RPG-7, he was down to two men, an Army soldier, and a man from Montrose. That being said, those three were no longer a threat, as he’d used his M4A1 to good effect, like a counter-sniper, almost.

Robert Jacobs – 1xRJ, 1xMont, 1xArmy

Chris Stone – 1xCS, 4xNY, 1xRD

“Let’s move!”

He and his two remaining men rushed forward. “Grenades!” He took out a M67 hand grenade, and tossed it into the window, a couple others following. He heard some exclamations, and the explosives went off. The three then bust down the door, and kill the couple still breathing.

Chris Stone – 1xCS, 1xNY, 1xRD

Robert looked at his men – the soldier had a Vector, and the civilian had a Remington 870. He then looked at the corpses – some had Russian uniforms, and others were in some sort of civilian outfit. “I guess they were Collaborators.” He then looked out a window, and noticed the smoke coming from his base. “Shit! They hit us while we were hitting them! Let’s go!”

Chris and the two remaining men with him soon find themselves in the center of town. “Alright men,” he said. “Our foes are tough, but we’ve fought tough foes before. I’ll be with you to the end.”

The men smiled at this. The Freedom Phantom had never let them down.

“Now, let’s find some cover, and surprise our foes.”

At about the same time, Robert and the two men with him were hiding behind a house. “They’re around here, somewhere. Move carefully.” He then crossed the street, and hid behind another house. He motioned to the others, and the Montrose man began running across. However, it was at that moment that Chris and his men popped from hiding, and opened fire, killing the man.

Robert Jacobs – 1xRJ, 1xArmy

Robert took a look at the situation. A Russian, with a submachinegun, was perpendicular to his surviving man, at the diagonal. A Collaborator, with an AK, was perpendicular to him, and a second, with a shotgun, was hiding behind a car between them. He looked at his surviving ally. “Middle target!” The soldier open fired, as did he, their rounds killing the Collaborator.

Chris Stone – 1xCS, 1xRD

Robert looked back at his ally and made a sign – he’d sneak around while the soldier kept the enemy distracted. The man nodded, and fired his Vector, as Robert snuck around the house. The soldier ran out of ammo for his Vector, forcing him to pull out his Beretta M9. Likewise, the Russian’s Bizon ran out, forcing him to pull out his Python.

“Who do you think you are?” the Army man shouted as he noticed the six-shooter. “John Wayne?”

“Chto uvlecheniye Dzhona Ueyna?” the Russian shouted, as he looked over at Chris.

“What?” Chris asked.

“What with John Wayne?”

“Just keep shooting!” Chris shouted. “I got an idea.” The former plumber then ran behind the one house.

“Sumasshedshiye amerikantsy!” said the Russian.

“Tell me about it.”

The Russian turned, only to get stabbed in the guts by Robert. “Looks like you’re red on the inside.”

Chris Stone – 1xCS

The ex-Marine pulled the knife out, and pushed the body. “Keep an eye out,” he said. “The other one’s around here somewhere.”

The soldier was about to respond, when he heard something.

“Did you call for a drain surgeon?”

The man turned, just in time to see Chris bash his head in with a red pipe wrench.

“Looks like you need a brain surgeon.”

Robert Jacobs – 1xRJ

The two rebel leaders glared at each other, as Chris placed his wrench back into his belt, and Robert placed his knife into his sheath. The two then pulled out their handguns, and fired. Robert yelled in pain, and placed his hand on the side of his face, his right ear gone. As for Chris though, he was on the ground, dead. Robert removed his hand from his face, and walked up to the body. Robert nudged the body with his boots, and reflected. Perhaps in another world, the two of them might have been friends, and allies.

Epilogue

(Fantasy Over. Back to the end of the Training Exercise.)

Chris put his head to his ears and shouted, “How do you turn off this thing? This thing’s loud!”

Robert laughed as he watched the former plumber’s antics, and heard the beeping of the MILES Gear. “Looks like I’m better than you!”

“Enough’s enough!” Chris shouted, trying to block out the ringing. “Just turn this thing off!”

“Alright,” the ex-Marine said as he walked forward. He looked around. “Anyone else need help?”

“YA prosto byl eta forma ochishchayetsya!” shouted the deserter who’d been stabbed. He was pointing at the “fake blood” on his uniform.

“In English?” Chris asked.

“Uniform! Messy!” the deserter shouted.

“What are you talking about?” asked the Army soldier who’d been hit with the “rubber wrench”. “This guy hit me hard enough to make my brains rattle in my skull!”

“Quit complaining,” said the Montrose man. “I got shot by three people!”

At this moment, the casualties from the other ends of town showed up.

“You’re complaining about getting shot! We got blown up!” one of them shouted. “That, and I messed my pants.”

This caused everyone to laugh.

Chris then looked at Robert. “Well, you won the competition. Looks like you’ll be leading the charge.”

“And you’ll be making sure that his orders are carried out.”

The two men looked in the direction of the voice, and saw the Commander looking out a window.

“Sir!” Robert saluted.

“What are you talking about?” Chris asked.

“Robert Jacobs, you will be leading the attack, and that will please the soldiers and other Military Personnel, as they’d want one that understood military tactics to be in charge,” said the Commander. “Christopher Stone, you will be the Second-in-Command, and that will please the civilian fighters, and a man that can rouse nearly eight million people into uniting behind him ought to be in the Chain of Command anyways.”

“Um, thanks.”

“Good,” said the Commander. “Make sure that the men are armed, fed, and rested. We’ll attack tonight.”

“Tonight?” Chris asked.

“Is there a problem with that?” The Commander asked.

“No sir, I was just wondering when I’d get to tuck General Bulba into bed, for good.”

The Commander chuckled at this. “Good, now get to work.”

Later that night, Chris was taking cover in an office room in City Hall. He looked across the hallway, into the room that Robert was taking cover in. All around the city, there were explosions, gunfire, screams, men and women shouting orders in English, Russian and Korean. However, the fight would soon be over.

Robert looked at Chris. “I’ll kick the door down, and you watch my six.”

“Your what?” Chris asked.

“My back,” Robert answered.

“Alright.”

The ex-Marine dashed into the hallway, and kicked down the door, pointing his M4 in front, while Chris pointed his AK down the other way.

“Anything?” Chris asked, upon not hearing any shots.

“The room is empty.”

“Are you sure?” Chris asked.

“I’m very sure.”

Chris then motioned to the others with them, and the group entered the room. Aside from some papers on a desk, the place was empty.

Chris then looked at one of the papers. “Figures.”

“Find something?” Robert asked.

Chris handed the ex-Marine the paper.

“Hello Chris.

“I expect that you and your friends have taken the city and had hoped to capture me and my ally. As you say, too bad, so sad, I am not there. By the time you have read this, we’ll have disguised ourselves as part of a patrol, and left the city. You might have won this round, but there are plenty more soldiers to throw against you.

“Your Recruiter,

“General Jones Bulba.”

Robert looked at Chris. “He’s very sure of himself, isn’t he?”

“Stinking cowards left before the party started,” said one of the men.

“Maybe they did, but we’ll get them one day,” Chris said, as he reached into his outfit, and pulled out a cloth that was red, white, and blue. “Now, would some of you cover me, while I put Old Glory in her rightful place?”

The men smiled at this.

“Yes sir!”

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