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  1. Hey soldiers! We’re shambling ahead to a pretty solid event of Squad goodness, but with a few additional treats. You, of course, already know Squad is on sale (tip your squad leaders), but we’ll be showcasing Space Crew and SquadZ all weekend! Straight from the community, both modes ramp up the tension just right for the Halloween season. Snag the mods then simply look for them featured in the server browser! If you’d like to know more about modding or these mods in particular, feel free to join the Modding Hub Discord. It’s a great place to meet fellow modders or get your first steps on the road to making the next killer game. Now, on to the events! OCTOBER 31 11:00 AM PT (1800 UTC) Smoking Rifles Halloween Event NOVEMBER 1 11:00 AM PT (1800 UTC) [RIP] Rusty in Places vs. The World 6:00 PM PT (0100 UTC, 2/11) Fused Legions Presents: Adawia Park Frag Fest NOVEMBER 2 11:30 AM PT (1830 UTC) Squad Ops: Operation Open Road 5:30 PM PT (0030, 3/11 UTC) Squad Ops: Operation Whirlwind SIGNOFF Keep your pumpkin’ head on a swivel, squadzies! Be sure to save us some Kit Kats, okay? (Or snag yourself a treat in the Squad store.) Would you like to see your event here? Let us know. OFFWORLD OUT.
  2. October 31st, 2002, Kohat, Pakistan. 1. Malak Abad. HQ had tasked my Squad to hold this village and so we did. It wasn’t much of a village to be honest, a few run down, war torn mud huts on the outskirts of a larger, mostly intact compound that had the distinct smell of goat shit floating about at all times. The village had no name, but we had come to call it Malak Abad after one of the riflemen, Pete, found a mostly intact children’s book in one of the huts and those were the two words he was able to read of the title with his limited Arabic, but even then it was the best out of any of us. We weren’t supposed to be here for long and contact with the locals was supposed to be limited and even then communication would be mostly in form of hot lead so a translator wasn’t deemed needed on this mission. Now it’s been 21 days since we were sent into this shithole of a village and the boys are getting pretty sick and tired of watching the same scenery with absolutely nothing happening. I set up patrols and watches as soon as we got here because the intel was that the village held of some unknown importance to the local populace and that independent insurgent groups would try and drive us away using any means they could. In the first two weeks since we arrived the guys would begrudgingly go on patrol in the heat, it was no joy to either walk around at all or and even less so to use the Stryker we came in so we mostly had it stationary to save gas and would only use it in a combat situation. There wasn’t much to observe, but the patrols kept the squad somewhat occupied. Now the problem was that we had not heard from HQ for two weeks, which is exactly how long we’ve been cut off from the supply lines. I knew that there had been some sandstorms in the area that would cause interruptions for a few days at a time, but two weeks was something we had not been prepared for. Food was running low and water supplies ran out a couple days ago. The one redeeming factor Malak Abad had for us was that it was close to a small river and while disgusting and muddy, it would keep us alive for the time being when boiled and disinfected. And while we were alive, we would hold this village until told otherwise. Since we arrived we had not seen a soul, even though there was supposed to be some civilians still in the area and the looming threat of insurgent forces sneaking up on us in the cover of darkness. I had no problem with this, I’m the sort of guy to enjoy peace and quiet and it made my job of keeping the squad alive a lot easier when they didn’t have many chances to get themselves killed in the enemy hands. But the guys were used to action, most of them veterans of several campaigns and while we were on duty they also wanted to do what they do best, not sit around with their thumbs up their asses and kick dirt around in the middle of nowhere. While the patrols and watches passed some time, the rest they had to come up with something to do, and the options aren’t plenty beyond playing cards, sleeping and talking shit. The spare time left too much time for thoughts. Thoughts to question our purpose here, what good did we really do to roll up a 9-man armed-to-the-teeth squad to defend a run-down village from absolutely nothing? Everyone reacted differently to the boredom, some would talk to me how homesick they got, Gec talked of his family more often by the day, while some were getting restless and arguments were heating up every now and then. And to make matters worse, Pete had come to the conclusion that the Malak Abad book he found had some local boogeyman stories and legends from the pictures in it and had come to make up stories to go along with the pictures to try and spook the guys. While it’d be stupid to say that the made up stories would scare a grown man, a veteran of war, I had ovearhead a couple of the guys talking about how the stories had started to creep them out and they couldn’t get them out of their dreams because there was nothing taking their thoughts off of them. By now I was secretly hoping to see some action, just to get the guys something to talk about for a few days. I came to regret that thought later on that night. 2. The Nine. But I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s about damn time I introduced my squad, my brothers in arms and my family for the time being. How and where from did this bunch of goons end up in the armed forces was none of my concern, all I knew was that they were the best at what they respectively did. The first medic of my squad was nicknamed Saint, for the man had saved our lives countless times in the past year. It was common to hear his aussie accent rise up in voice right before a hearty laughter from the other guys, he was an absolute gem for morale on top of all the lifesaving business. The second one, Gec, my second-in-command was the sort of guy to have your back at all times and after years of serving together I we could pretty much fill in the sentence the other had started. He had a funny habit of retelling the events of a day in his sleep as if perceived from a bird’s eye perspective. Funny as long as we weren’t behind enemy lines and have to remain quiet during the nights. Pete Richards, rifleman, was the oldest of the bunch, a veteran of more operations than anyone else but notorious for never shutting up about ‘the good old times’. Pete was the guy we could count on having a solution to every problem, even before when they happened. The designated Stryker driver was deservedly named after his job back when he had initially served with Richards in another campaign, Irontaxi. The man had expert knowledge of every path, rock and bush along the way even if he had never been there before, sometimes I had the feeling it was almost as if he’d placed them there himself. I can’t recall the name of the scoped rifleman we had with us as he had been assigned in last minute, I just remember that he always wore his own red undershirt. Anyhow, the support weapon guys, also known as ‘definitely not compensating’-guys. The first one, the only guy with a LAW was jokingly called Mother for some time, I don’t know where it came from but it was fun while it lasted until one of his friends got hit a few months back and was actually calling for his mother in his last moments. Now he’s just the AT guy with an obsession on folding the LAW neatly after use and a laugh that can be heard from the other side of the desert. The SAW gunner was nicknamed Ten, a great guy, even though he was more often than not late from anything and everything. He was a driven man, not one to stop and use a bipod. He was pretty religious too; he wasn’t a huge fan of being joked about when late that waiting for him was like waiting for Jesus. And lastly, the newest member of the squad, but the first to volunteer for this mission was the Marksman. He was another hardened veteran, a cold blooded killer, a true professional. But I had learned everything of him from his folder as the man was rumored to have bitten his own tongue off in order to keep silent when briefly captured and interrogated by his enemies in a previous mission. His record was chilling; a one man army by all accounts, the file stated over three hundred confirmed kills and participation in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda. It stated that he alone was able to communicate the movements of enemy troops using no external aids and was proficient in suppressing whole squads of enemies. We simply called him Marksman as that was his whole essence, he was a machine built for one job. He was an asset I could not pass up on and, as such welcomed him to the mission. 3. The evening. So to return to the events of the night of October 31st it started like the others before it, that night it was Gec’s four man fire team on the evening patrol and mine trying to get some rest in the quickly chilling desert evening while Ten was watching over camp Malak Abad. It was hard to tell if I had fallen asleep or not, it felt only seconds after I closed my eyes that I woke to the sound of gunfire. “Probably Gec’s run into an insurgent group”, I immediately thought. No, the shooting echoed from closer and I quickly recognized the distinct sound of the SAW, Ten was in trouble. The guys with me were half-awake grabbing their gear and running for the makeshift battlements where Ten was shooting into the distance. I heard the Stryker’s engine rumble into life behind me and knew Taxi would be moving into position to engage whatever it was that was coming for us. I was the first one to reach Ten, he was spraying the distant edge of a field with disciplined bursts of death. Ten shouted directions to guide our fire as Saint and Pete joined us on the shaky defenses we had built, but the only gun sounds I heard were Tens’ so I hesitated. I pulled out a flare and shot it to the sky to reveal our attackers. Ten seized his firing and the moaning of the dying was the only noise left in the night. The body count was grim: 18 goats, a farmer in his sixties and his preteen son lay dead in a mess of blood and gore. Ten was hysterical, claiming he saw them carrying weapons and shouting in Arabic and was elbow deep in goat guts trying to find said weapon. There were no weapons, unless you count the cane the old man had, which I might have to when trying to explain this incident to HQ. There was nothing to be done to help the farmer and his son and whatever goats had survived the hail of bullets had scattered long ago, I decided to let it go for the time being and return to it in the morning, Ten was shaken up enough and he would have Saint to keep him company for the rest of the night. Pete reminded me that we should radio the other guys and let them know there was no real danger; they must’ve been shitting themselves if they heard the firing. I tried to radio them all individually and not one responded. One odd detail was that I could hear Mothers’ radio constantly transmitting, but all I heard was static. I didn’t mention it to the others. Anyway, they should’ve returned hours ago. I called everyone with me together and told them the situation and that we were going to leave Malak Abad alone for a while, take the Stryker and go find the rest of the guys. I wasn’t planning on losing anyone in this place. Pete insisted on staying back with Ten to keep a watch over the equipment anyway, I wasn’t in the mood to argue with him so I agreed. 4. The night. Driving around the moonlit desert from one elevated position to the other to scan the area was a long shot at finding a four man patrol, but we had to try. Our biggest hope was that they would hear the engine and make their presence known if we got close to them. We drove in circles for maybe half an hour when we could see a waving flashlight on top of an eerily nipple-like hill. That had to be Gec and the boys. Driving up to them, a figure ran up to the Stryker to meet us, it was Mother who had a concerned look on his face I had not seen for a long time. “I can’t explain this, you’re gonna have to come and take a look Squad Lead”, he said. We dismounted and found Gec, the scoped rifleman, whose name escapes me and Marksman all in seemingly good health, but they were all gathered around Marksman. Walking up to him I saw that the man had literally become frozen in place, not a muscle moved in his body and his eyes were glazed, unblinkingly staring into the distance. Gec filled me in and Marksman had been like that for a few hours now; they had carried him up to the hill from a little way away in hopes of us coming to meet them with the Stryker like we did. He explained that comms to us had died quickly after they left camp Malak Abad, but were surprised to be able to gain contact with HQ. And they had been able to establish that a relieving force with supplies would be arriving at dawn. Relieved, but still mystified with Marksman’s fate we loaded him in the Stryker and started driving back while I briefed them about the incident back at camp. We arrived back at Malak Abad soon enough and found something I cannot begin to explain to this day. Walking to the main compound we were greeted with the familiar stench of goat shit but this time mixed with the intrusive smell of blood. Pete and Ten were nowhere to be seen and I thought it was uncharacteristic for Pete to leave the camp unguarded, even after such an incident. We found both the guys quickly enough, their bodies mounted on crude crucifixes. No, not their bodies, they were later found in the lavatories. Their heads were mounted on crucified goat carcasses and the ground around them was stained dirty red by blood. After thorough searching, there was no evidence of intruders. Everything was just like we had left it, weapons, ammo and food in the open, everything left untouched while the men guarding it had been massacred and disgraced. And to add insult to injury, the book Pete Richards had found was nailed on his forehead. Unable to comprehend what happened, some got sick and couldn’t be near the camp so I had the carcasses taken down and ordered everyone to huddle up in the Stryker to pass the night and at dawn we would at least be able to see in front of us and try to make sense of this madness. I envied Marksman in his catatonic state, unaware of what the rest of us had been through 5. Aftermath. The dawn of the 1st day of November was a relief, no one had got a second of sleep all night and we just wanted to get out of that nightmarish village. Seeing the convoy approach in the distance relit some of the lost hope and Saint even managed to crack a joke and get a chuckle out of someone. There was nothing i could think to say at that point; I felt the urge to explain something, to someone, to tell the guys that it was going to be O.K. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I just sat there in a semi-circle with the rest of them, exhausted and speechless. Taxi had propped Marksman up against the Stryker and just before the convoy reached us he suddenly shook up into life, startling everyone. The guys weren’t sure whether to cheer or to be frightened so we just stared at him for a second. What happened next will haunt me to my grave: Marksman spoke. But his lips didn’t move and even if they would have it was impossible to comprehend what we were witnessing. The sound coming out of the man, a grizzled veteran, was that of a 7-year-old boy and the words he spoke drilled into my mind at an ear-shattering volume. “Sorry for afk guys, mom made Hot Pockets”. I noticed a bottle of scotch had appeared in my hand, took a sip and scratched my balls, thinking I’d be the one that had to explain this to HQ without seeming like a madman. Happy Halloween.
  3. From the darkness they were born The evil beings of terror From the light, we were created in reflection of our enemy. For we are wolves hiding among the sheep Together we rise To ensure our enemies Fall
  4. You scared me!

    OMG!! Can you guys not start off posts like that? Scared the living feces out of me, my neighbors heard me screaming in absolute terror and a police officer came to my house asking what happened, I showed him the post AND HE RAN OFF LIKE A LITTLE GIRL!! You guys need to tone it down a bit, someone's going to die of a heart-attack because of you! Sheesh! For people that don't understand it's just sarcasm. Happy Halloween! I'll be hosting the [TWB] Squad in V2, DLing right now.