Lucas and I placed the last bodies in the trucks, “All right you numb skulls,” Hayden called, “head back to HQ and get your gear you left there. Then get back here. This is our new forward command post, let the head commander know about it.”
“Yes sir!” Avery called.
So, G company, excluding Hayden, jumped in the trucks and rode back to HQ. We got back and started unloading the bodies. The wounded bodies we took to the med tent and the dead, we had to leave outside.
“I hate it when this happens,” stated Marta, walking out from the main building seeing what we do with the dead bodies.
“Finally come out eh? What were you doing, Marta?” I demanded, “If you were with us Josh might not have died.”
Lucas quickly replied, giving me a hard shove, “Hey man, just because she wasn’t out there doesn’t mean it’s her fault Josh is dead.”
“I was inside, letting Keth know that we made it here, and that Durgma was KIA.”
“Well,” I sighed, “looks like you can add Josh and Maria to that list.”
“I know,” Marta’s face was downcast.
We sent Avery to get our thermal sleeping bags after we finished unloading the bodies, “Okay guys, ready to go?” Avery asked returning. He dropped one on the snow covered ground.
Miles made sure, “That one is yours, right?”
“Aw man, now it’ll be soaking wet.” he lamented, tossing them in to the back of the truck.
Lucas jumped in the cab and started the truck, “Hey Corr, can you get my chain gun?” he pointed to it by the front tire, “I left it there.”
I struggled to get it off the ground, but I prevailed and walked to the rear of the truck. Marta was all ready sitting in the back, “What are you doing here?”
“There wasn’t enough room in the cab,” she paused, “I guess we have to ride back here.” I sighed and hefted the huge lead thrower in the truck. I pushed it farther into the truck, “Need help?”
I shot her a dirty look, and put the chain gun all the way in the back as an answer, “No I’m fine.” I climbed in and sat down.
“Alright Lucas, we can go now,” Marta called, as the truck came to life and started to move.
Marta spoke, breaking the silence, “I’m-I’m sorry, about Josh.” I nodded, “That’s it, no-no…”
“No what? You didn’t have to report to the complex, you could have waited.”
“Hey, I had to get orders also.”
“Oh, what are those orders?” she hung her head, “Come on Marta, what are they?”
“We-we are to report to officers for further orders.” she said looking downward.
“Is that it? Even a rebel knows to do that,” I blurted out.
“Well, I am sorry about Josh, sorry about G company.”
“At least we have Miles and Avery are with us now,” I stated.
“What, a nerd and a criminal, like they’ll be a big help,” she put.
“So far they have, and I think they will help because they’ve been in battle before, unlike Josh and Durgma.”
“You haven’t been in one either,” she snapped.
“Have you forgotten, I was in a battle between two gangs.”
“If you count that a battle.”
I let her have the last word. I looked out the back of the truck and saw the weather, it was blowing and snowing hard, “Looks like it’ll be a cold night.” Marta kept silent.
We rolled into the forward command post and saw all the little tents lit up with small illuminators.
“Where is everybody?” ask Avery.
Miles cuffed him upside the head, “Ah, I think they might be in their tents.”
“Looks like they were nice enough to set up a tent for us.” Lucas said, pointing to one that was not lit up.
“Well, there better be another tent cause only four O.G.G.s can fit in one,” Miles said, “These aren’t like the ones back at HQ.”
“I call it,” Miles, Avery, and Lucas called, raising their hands.
“Well?” Marta looked at me.
“Oh no, ladies first,” I said.
“Fine with me,” she jumped out and ran to the tent with the others.
I climbed in the cab of the truck, “Oh yeah, still warm.” The cab felt so good since Lucas still had the heater on. I put my sleeping bag in the windshield to help keep the warmth in and the cold air out.
I took off my steel armor guards and settled down to sleep. So far, I was still alive to shoot another day. I was indescribably hungry though, but I made it unlike poor Josh and Durgma. So, day one is over, and I had no idea how many more I’d have to fight. I thanked the Lord once again and fell asleep.
I woke up and the sun was still down. I put my armor back on and rolled up my sleeping bag. I looked at my shoulder. The bandage was worthless now, but it did it’s job of soaking up all the blood. I took it off to examine the wound. Ah, it looked horrid. I had to put something on it but the bandage was dirty, and I didn’t want to risk infecting my wound. The only choice I had was to wash it.
I got out of the truck and the dreadful snow burned my face and especially my open wound. I went to G company’s tent to look for something to melt snow in. I found a small bowl next to Avery.
I was going to take it when he grabbed me, “You wouldn’t take my washing dish would you?”
“What, washing dish?” thinking about washing made me think about all the grime and dirt on me.
“I just need to wash my bandage wrap,” I showed Avery my wrap.
“Fine, but I’ll need it shortly,” he rolled over and started to snore.
What a strange man. I went out and scooped up a bowl of snow. I took it back to the truck and proceeded to melt it. The blood and filth was washed from the bandage. Then I washed my wound and replaced my wrap.
I tossed out the bloody water. I wasn’t sure if Avery wanted to use it now, but I gave it back. On my way out I bumped in to Hayden, “Oh Laden, sir”
“Morning Corr, I was looking for G company. You don’t happen to know where they are do you?”
“In there, sir.” I pointed to G company’s tent.
“Thank you.” he burst into the tent, “All right you worthless rats, get up! We all have a long trek ahead of us today, so lets get moving.” I could hear them pulling on their gear with haste. Hayden spoke again, “First things first, we have to get some white over coats for the newbies, otherwise the insurgents will make quick work of you. Then we’ll get some grub, and after you’ve muscled that down, we’ll get started.” They followed him out of the tent, “Come on Corr.”
Miles and Avery broke off from us when we went to get our over coats. We walked into a temporary shed that held all of them. The coats looked like they were made out of sleeping bags.
“Sleeping bags right?” Lucas asked.
“Yep, the bags of dead men,” Hayden answered.
Lucas and I looked at each other then put them on. Mine had a bloody bullet hole in the chest area. “I thought you said these coats were from dead guys? There are no bullet holes in mine.” Lucas asked.
“Probably shot in the head. Now let‘s get some food,” Hayden replied.
Marta grabbed one and followed us to the center of the command post. The wind was blowing even harder now. I tried to zip up my coat-sleeping bag, but a bullet ripped right through the zipper stopping it half way up.
“Nice zipper,” Lucas commented.
“Thanks.” We stood in line for our meal. I grabbed a small bowl and stepped up to the server. Plop, plop, a slop of untold secrets fell from the ladle into my bowl, “Uh.”
“Ha, you’ll eat it.”
I walked to a fire with G company. Hayden, Miles, and Avery were drinking out of their bowls. Lucas stated, “No spoons.”
Hayden wiped his mouth on his sleeve when he finished, “Ah, not as bad as that crap they served us back at HQ.”
“Yeah, at least this stuff is hot,” Miles said.
Lucas looked at me then chugged his meal. I looked at my bubbling glop, “Here goes nothing.” I felt the mushiness slid across my tongue and down my throat. I barely kept it down. Then finally, it was gone.
“Yeah, it’s even better than what they gave us at military school,” Lucas commented, Hayden nodded.
Avery stared at Marta who hadn’t touched her slop yet, “Are, are you going to eat that?” Marta handed it to him.
“Girl, you’re not that sharp. We don’t get anymore food until tomorrow morning.”
Marta pulled out a little candy bar from her pocket. She opened it and bit off a tiny morsel in an attempt to save it as long as she could.
She replaced it and Miles whispered to Avery, who had his sight fixed on the bright wrapper of the chocolate candy bar, “Now you know where to find it when she’s asleep.” Marta eye’s grew in size to hearing Miles’ advice to Avery, I could tell she was thinking about hiding it elsewhere at night.
“Would you guys knock it off, now listen up,” commanded Hayden, “Does anyone have a map!?” he shouted.
A scrawny young man ran over to Hayden from his warm fire, “Here, sir.” He handed a little piece of paper to Hayden, then hurried back to his heat source.
“Alright, now listen up.” Hayden unfolded the map, “We are here.” He pointed to the center of a wooded area on the map. Then he proceeded to slide his finger across many small tears in the paper and runs in the ink. He stopped his finger on a square, “This is where we have to go.”
I looked at a name printed in faded ink. I pronounced the name as best as I could, “Dra- Drakka-nor?”
“Yes,” Hayden said.
“We’re going back?” Avery asked.
“That’s what the man just said,” Miles answered.
“Shut it, we have to take it back from those dirty rebels, and that’s not going to be a walk in the park.”
“Yeah, it wasn’t easy for them to take it in the first place,” Miles stated.
Avery recalled, “If we would have known about those secret tunnels under Drakka-nor, we’d still have that place.”
“It sounds like this Drakka-nor is a fortress or stronghold of some sort,” I said.
“It is,” Hayden spoke, “and once we get it back from the insurgents, we can get off this ice cube and head back to Karthrill.”
“Ah, a warm bed,” Avery dreamed.
“Don’t wish now, we still have three more cold nights. Three more nights, that is, if everything goes right.”
“And that doesn’t usually happen around here,” Miles added.
Avery sounded, “Well, lets get ready to go.”
About a half an hour later, we were ready. We started our two day trek to Drakka-nor. The first day was arctic and uneventful. The second, however, was different. The events of the second proved that we were growing nearer to the fortress.
Avery and Miles conversed as we trudged through the waist deep snow, “So Miles, what are you going to do when we get back to Karthrill?”
“Can it, you two, I saw something,” barked Hayden.
I saw the flash of the rebel’s head move. I dropped to the icy ground and heard the snow crunch under my weight. Lucas noticed me, “You got a problem?”
A second later, our enemies opened up. Hayden yelled, “Take cover!” Hayden ran for a tree and the others found their own.
Marta couldn’t really do much in this type of open combat. She just hid behind cover and kept her head down.
“How many targets?! I repeat, how many enemies do we have here?” Hayden demanded.
“I count one!” I shouted, after a lull in the gunfire.
Miles called, “I got two others beside Corr’s.”
Hayden hesitated, “Fire at will!”
There was an uneasy silence before I heard automatic rifle fire. The rebel’s bullets were impacting in the snow, directly in front of me, forming little jets of snow. I saw the jets sweeping toward my position. I rolled over a couple times to avoid the deadly spray of lead. The tiny jets of snow ended right where I laid before, indicating that the rebel was reloading his empty magazine. As the snow gently floated to the ground, I looked in the direction from which the bullets had flown. I saw an elbow of the rebel sticking out from behind a small tree. I steadied my breath and took aim. I put the red dot of my sights on the rebel’s exposed elbow. I released a single shot. The bullet tore through the rebel’s elbow joint and flesh.
His lower arm fell to the ground, staining it with purple blood, “Agh! My arm!” it cried out in pain. The Zog exposed himself, and I took advantage, B-B-B-Bam! The Zog fell to the snow, dead.
“One down!” I called.
I heard Miles shout joyfully, “Oh man, I killed one through the tree!”
Lucas sounded, “G company, keep your head down!” I heard the chain gun start up, and it kept firing. Lucas let off the trigger and the lead stopped flying.
“Do we have a body count?” asked Hayden.
“Two for sure, wait, I see two more running for the clearing.” Miles stated.
We started to chase after them, but Marta bolted ahead of all of us. I got off the cold ground in time to see Marta throw her ion beam at one. The ion beam flipped end over end again and again. Then the beam implanted itself perfectly through the chest of the rebel. Marta dashed by the dying rebel and retrieved her weapon. Soon, she was upon the second fleeing insurgent. Marta cut him down with ease. She stood erect over her lifeless foe as she twisted her ion beam to the vertical position. She hit the button on the hilt. The ion mass retracted into the hilt.
“Get the bodies in a pile,” Hayden commanded.
We found three other victims of the chain gun, making our kill total seven. Marta took a rebel’s M16 assault rifle and some clips. She could do more damage with that in ranged combat than her ion beam.
“Hayden, is that little dot on top of that big mountain Drakka-nor?” Marta asked, looking across the clearing to a mountain range.
“Come on,” Avery commanded, “let’s move, I want to leave tomorrow.”
Hayden cleared his throat, “I give the commands, not you. Or, would you like to lead this company to Drakka-nor?”
“I didn’t think so. Anyway, we have to rest before we attack. Let’s get a couple hours of sleep, then we’ll move.”
We cleared patches of snow that burdened the ground so we could have a dry place to sleep. Miles was in charge of starting a small fire to keep us full of warmth.
“So, what’s our attack plan?” Avery asked Hayden.
“Sleep man, sleep. When you get up then you’ll find out.” I heard Hayden whisper under his breath, “I have to think about it.”
I laid down on my clear patch of snow and slept a very much needed sleep. I woke up to find Hayden drawing in the snow with a stick and Avery listening on the tips of his toes. I crawled over to them.
“Now that you are here, we’ve got one less person to tell this plan to.” Hayden drew a large rectangle in the snow, “Drakka-norr is huge; all of HQ was just on the first and second levels. The muntions were stored on the lower levels.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that, let’s get to the attack part,” Avery stated.
“Yes Avery, I know you know, but Corr doesn’t,” Hayden remarked with a tone that signified that he was disgruntled with Avery.
Avery came back as if he was embarrassed, “Oh.”
“So keep your mouth shut until I give you permission to open it again.” He looked at Avery, then to the drawing in the snow, “Okay.” He drew another line in the snow, “this is the wire car that is our only way up to Drakka-nor.” He cast his gaze toward both of us, “You two follow me?” We nodded and he continued, “Since we only have two rebel uniforms that are still intact, you can thank Lucas and his chain gun for ripping all the others apart, Marta and I will disguise ourselves with the rebel clothes and ride up in the wire car.”
Avery started to open his mouth, but Hayden shot a finger in his direction. Avery shut his mouth. “Now Corr and Lucas will ride on top of the car. Let’s just pray the shields are still there.”
“Shields?” I questioned Hayden.
Avery answered my question, “When we were moving into Drakka-norr, we carried extra gear on top that we couldn’t fit inside. The shields made sure that stuff didn’t fall off.”
“I see,” I replied.
Hayden continued, “So, you and Lucas will ride on top then jump off onto the roof. Once you are on the roof, run across and jump through the second window, not the first! The first window will put you right in the middle of the courtyard, and that will be right in the middle of the rebels.”
“Second window, got it,” I replied.
“When you jump through the second window, you will be in the control room. Quietly take out any rebels there. Then go through the door beside the balcony. That door will put you inside the supply shed; set up in there and wait till you hear Avery’s gun shot, then open fire.”
“My shot? Where am I going to be when I shoot, or how am I going to get there?!”
“Did I give you permission to open you trap?” Avery shook his head. “I didn’t think so. Avery and Miles are going to move into Drakka-norr by the undergound passages that the rebels used to capture the fortress. Avery, find a position above the courtyard to fire your shot. Miles is going to come check on you guys and make sure you remember the plans.” He looked at me and I knew he ment us, “Our intel indicates that Akkin Dorgan might be here. If we get him, we could get off this ice cube and end the war.”
My eyes shot open, end the war?
“Alright, let’s wake the others and load up,” Hayden commanded.