Operation Black Gauntlet (2013)
On June 29th, 2013, Eckersley and his fellow mercenaries travelled to the Zargabad airport to await the arrival of Ruce's inspectors. The team arrived early to set up defensive positions and Eckersley was paired with Roland Saunderson to provide overwatch for signs any incoming threats.
Shortly afterwards, Eckersley detected a large group of unknown individuals coming from the city centre. He radioed Reynolds to inform him of the potential threats. Reynolds acknowledged his report and separated the mercenaries into two teams: Team Shield, comprising of Eckersley himself and Saunderson and Frank Radcliffe, and Team Sword with the rest of the mercenaries.
The unknown individuals continued to advance upon the airport and by now the mercenaries could see clearly that they were anti-government insurgents. They succeeded in driving off the first wave of insurgents, but were soon pinned down by sniper fire. Eckersley stayed behind to provide suppressive fire while two of Team Sword's members, Brian Frost and Henry Asano, moved around to flank the sniper.
After the sniper was eliminated, the UN inspectors arrived and Dr. Ruce began exchanging greetings with Reynolds. Two days later, they searched a factory complex on the outskirts of Zargabad to find information that had been left behind by a Takistani official. Eckersley accompanied Reynolds and the inspectors inside the factory while the rest of Team Sword guarded the compound outside. The official, who had once held a high position in the former regime's nuclear weapons programme, was hiding inside the city. They needed to extract the official named Abdul before anyone else could get to him first.
However, the New Takistani Army (NTA) had begun to shell the city in an attempt to root out the insurgents. If they were going to get Abdul out, they were going to have to fight their way into the city. Boarding their vehicles, they drove to the outskirts but were obstructed by roadblocks fortified with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Radcliffe was reassigned to Team Sword while Eckersley, Saunderson and a third member would stay behind to guard Ruce's team. Team Sword on the other hand, moved in to disarm the explosives and take out any suspected ambushers.
When the route was finally cleared, Team Shield drove the inspectors to Abdul's house. However before they could leave with Abdul, a mortar directly struck the house and knocked out several of Team Sword's contractors. In the aftermath, Abdul was found to have been killed alongside Radcliffe. Team Shield's third member was also killed on the way out by an insurgent sniper. They had no time to mourn their losses - more artillery was inbound and they had scant time to get themselves and Dr. Ruce out. They returned to their vehicles and raced back to the ION compound.
Ruce later requested that the mercenaries escort him to "OKB-754", the main facility where the nuclear programme had supposedly undergone testing. They boarded their vehicles and began driving north to the location but to get there, they needed to bypass a security checkpoint manned by the U.S. Army. Waiting to obtain clearance delayed them for several hours, with Reynolds opting to stay behind to negotiate further clearance from the Americans. They were eventually cleared to proceed and Team Sword cleared the way for Team Shield's vehicles, fighting past several insurgent ambushes.
Upon arrival on the outskirts of the facility, they discovered a platoon of NTA soldiers guarding the area for unknown reasons. Team Sword moved in to disable their vehicles while Team Shield stayed behind to wait for the green light. After the guards were eliminated, Team Shield drove the inspectors to the facility's main entrance and secured the surrounding area.
Later that night, the site was suddenly attacked by multiple drones. Both teams repelled the air assault but spotted additional ground reinforcements racing from the south. Eckersley and Team Shield took up positions while Team Sword repaired one of the drones and hijacked its controls. Together, they managed to repel the attackers and continued to wait for the inspectors to finish their search. By dawn, they finally discovered hard evidence of nuclear materials. Reynolds arranged for their extraction by arriving in a helicopter; Team Shield would drive back the inspectors with their vehicles while Frost and Asano covered them from the air.
Once again, they had to fight through multiple ambushers and were also pursued by several vehicles. Fortunately, both teams and the inspectors returned safely to Zargabad. Reynolds parted ways on an urgent matter while the rest of Team Shield/Team Sword waited behind at the ION compound.
From afar, Eckersley overheard Patrick Dixon and Frost arguing over unknown matters. It ended with Dixon furiously storming away from Frost and walking towards their vehicles.
Suddenly, Eckersley watched with shock as Frost and Asano fired several rounds at Dixon, instantly killing him in a matter of seconds. His death was quickly followed by Saunderson as the latter raised his weapon but he too was cut down by the renegade duo. A horrified Eckersley attempted to put a stop to them but he was too slow; the two put an end to Eckersley with a bullet to the head.
Personality and Appearance
A white British male, Eckersley had short black hair and wore a sleeveless black shirt. For personal protection, he wore a black Outer Tactical Vest (OTV) and combat pants adorned in the Desert Camouflage Pattern (DCP), and a pair of ComTac headphones for hearing safety and communications.
- Alongside Saunderson, Eckersley canonically dies at the hands of Frost and Asano in Decision.