This is a short story featured in the recently published collection of short stories, First Person: War Stories from Gamespace. Written by Ahl_Capwn. Inspired by Red Orchestra 2. Edited by Kent Sheely.
You can check out our interview with the collection’s editor Kent Sheely here.
The map was Pavlov’s House.
In Red Orchestra 2, to win at this map, you have to hold more than half the points on the map by the time either one team runs out of respawns, and all remaining players are killed, or 45 minutes elapse. All but two points are locked off so the game doesn’t turn into a clusterfuck like Battlefield’s conquest mode.
About halfway though, we (The Russian team) realized that we weren’t going to capture the next point due to having an unhealthy number of people trying to rush across an open field with no smoke or cover running down our respawn tickets. Luckily, we could win if we just captured and held the building in the middle of January 9th Square ‘til the clock hit zero. I communicated this to my team. About seven of us got the message by the time our respawns had run out.
I threw down some smoke so we could run across the field without getting sniped by the riflemen in the half-destroyed apartments across from us. One person ran out only to get sniped, so we fell back in to the trenches, pinned down. Our light machine gunner calmly announced, “I saw the tracer, I’ll suppress him.”
He started firing into what I could only hope was the right window. There was no putting it off. the smoke was already starting to clear.
I ran. I heard machine gun rounds fly past me, making distinct popping noises. One of our riflemen tried to stop and return fire, but was struck. I could hear his final gurgle as he choked on his own blood, and then nothing.
Our machine gunner died in the effort as well. We dropped down into the trenches just outside the building. Our sapper tossed a satchel charge into the building, clearing it of a few inhabitants, but stood too close to the blast. We lost him. There were four of us left.
Our assault trooper saw a bayonet just barely sticking out of the doorway. He crawled up to the edge of the trench, grabbed a smoke grenade off a German officer, and tossed it in. The guy camping the door panicked, thinking it was an actual grenade and ran out. He was met by a submachine gun.
We ran in, capturing the building. The Germans still had a few hundred reinforcements and 15 minutes on the clock, with only four people to eliminate and one point to capture. We were going to make it a lot harder than it sounded. Our assault trooper dropped his submachine gun in favor of the dead officer’s Semi Automatic Rifle, a rare and deadly weapon, similar to the one I was using.
We each took a window, and started our final stand.
The next 15 minutes were some of the longest in my gaming life. Germans rushed blindly through smoke and through the open , so many that there was no room for error. The four of us were barely enough to hold them off. We would have to switch windows from time to time to keep up with Germans coming from different directions, and to throw off snipers.
Then I saw the last thing I wanted: The signature green tracer rounds of a German light machine gun flying out of an apartment window towards me. No. Not towards me. Towards the guy next to me. He died cleanly with a hit to the head, and I knew I’d be joining him soon if I didn’t do something.
I aimed for the window I thought the gunner been firing from, fired an entire clip in there, then a few rounds from my pistol for good measure. My name showed up on the kill feed, and i knew I’d hit him.
There were three of us left now, and about three minutes. We were still holding them off, but they were getting a bit closer every 30 seconds or so. Soon we’d have to retreat to the basement of the building, but then the Germans could camp the stairs and capture by outnumbering us from the top level, or picking us off as we came up the stairs.
Finally, with barely any time left on the clock, they actually organized themselves into a charge, took out another of us, leaving only me and the assault trooper. We communicated for a bit, and decided the best course of action was to have me go down to the top of the stairs, and him camp the doorway.
They came rushing in, maybe six of them. The assault trooper got about half, before yelling into his mic, “Shit! I’m down, it’s over.”
The capture timer started going, and I was sure it was done. We were going to lose. I tossed my last grenade and ran down the stairs.
Once I heard it go off, the capture timer stopped; I’d gotten all of them with one lucky panic grenade. I camped the door for the remaining fifteen seconds or so, as the clock ran out, and we won.