Booms led to whistles, and the whistling led to impact.
The attack had caught the government and townspeople completely unaware. Thousands of CFOB troops, indistinguishable from Federal troops, sat on the periphery of the capital city and blocked all exits or entries from its roads. Twisted steel and rubble marked where their blockade would stop all trains.
“Go! Get out!”
The barrage had originally targeted Fort Potemkin, the nearby military base, and the acres upon acres of Capitol Complex, but as the garrison of the Fort organized and diffused into the city, the strikes had been less discriminating.
“Start the car, now! Hurry!”
The outskirts of the city, with its views from apartment complexes, had become preferred positions of the city’s defenders and subsequently targets for mortars, underbarrel grenades, and larger guns. Small excursions by the Federal troops, mostly by small groups of infantry, were whittled down before they could get very far away from the safety of cover. The smoke spread from the center of the city to the outer edges.
“Does it блядь matter? Out!”
The hum and roar of distant aircraft could be heard, but their engines were still to the distance and were far from visible range. Meanwhile, apart from the artillery, rifle fire seemed to emanate from every corner of the city, as skirmishes and distanced firefights began sporadically. However, over the barrage of sounds, few could pick out the grumble of a civilian automobile’s engines as it kicked to life, pulling from the side of Remezov Street and rolling down the road, a passenger’s door asunder.
Nikita Kazakov slammed the sleek black car’s door shut and fitted the seatbelt around him. With a hand on the back of the driver’s seat, he whitened his knuckles giving directions to the driver. The driver’s hat was askew and his posture suggested he was caught unprepared, allowing only his eyes to peep above the hood.
“Out-- to the municipal airport!” Nikita ordered, frantically batting the headrest.
Meters ahead of the vehicle, the roof of an embassy suddenly broke apart in a flash of fire and limestone, turning the well-defined lines of the architecture into smithereens.
“They’re bombing the embassies! The bastards!”
The driver swerved left to barely evade the roll of a fallen piece of rubble before returning back on track in their mad dash through the beleaguered city.
Through New Krasnoyarsk, Kazakov saw passing glimpses of red-faced factory laborers on the sidewalk, clutching their ears as the next shell passed overhead; children being led by dismayed teachers to shelters in nice, clean lines; disoriented soldiers laden with machine guns, sandbags, and mortars rushing between alleyway and alleyway, glancing up as if expecting to see the enemy itself lob explosives at them from the rooftops. The car managed to turn off Remezov Street, and the tighter avenue greeted them with a fireteam of soldiers with vests chock full of ammunition, the leader of the group’s posture indicating Stop.
“Civilians are to report to shelters,” demanded a Mladshy Uryadnik as soon as the window was rolled down. Kazakov pushed his way into sight of the soldier between the window and the driver’s seat and immediately began to gripe.
“I’m Nikita Kazakov-- soldier, I’m a damn Chairman! Let us through!” But the soldier did not particularly react to the apparent pulling of rank.
“Get out of the car-- we can’t allow you to pass any further.”
“Проклятий fool!” Cursed Kazakov under his breath, unbelting himself as two more soldiers walked alongside the car. “I need access to the airport immediately-- oh, I’ll have you discharged!”
“Of course you will, sir.” Said the jaded young officer, adjusting his rifle and pointing down the street. “Get to your shelter.”
Kazakov, wincing as a nearby explosion resonated in his bones, clenched his fists and slowly turned to follow their directions. As the driver followed suit close behind him, Kazakov spat on the sidewalk. He would have to wait this out.