The men dropped to one knee on the side of a dirty mountain road, their breath frosting into tiny, pulsing clouds as they focused a stare toward the objective. From here the twin peaks belied a peaceful scene of deep green slopes and gentle curving crests that melded with countless others in the region.

Any other time such a sight lured mountain climbers and hikers to its untouched beauty to stand upon their summits and view the gentle ebb of valleys and roads that coursed among them.

For these men though, such luxuries seemed alien. To them, the peaks defied beauty, and appeared brooding and alive, waiting to smash anyone foolhardy enough to scale them in an avalanche of fire and metal.

Thoughts of this followed them when the order came to move out, these armed men with faces black as night, like no other force on earth, eager and willing to do the impossible.