“Oh my leg,” Eric moaned. He had a piece of shrapnel imbedded in his thigh from a near by exploding grenade, “I’ve got to take a breather.” I had been helping him limp on. I told him I’d help him back to O.G.G. territories but he resisted. I eased him down inside a building, “Thanks.”
I stood up to stretch and I saw an O.G.G. dash by the window, “I’ll be right back.”
“What! You’re going to leave me alone?” he asked.
“Hold on.” ignoring him I ran out into the street with the O.G.G., “Hey!” I shouted.
He jumped at my voice but was surprised to see that I was a friendly not a rebel, “Ah, you have no idea how good it is to see a friendly face.”
“I’ve got orders to send you back to Drakka-norr,” I let him know.
“Just point me in that direction.”
Suddenly, we came under fire from insurgents up the roadway. I crouched and ran up the street to a large concrete barrier. I shoved my back against the barrier as my ally knelt behind the other barricade.
“We have to take out these rebels!” he shouted to me. Little pieces of concrete fell over my head as the rebel’s bullets impacted in my cover.
I sneaked a look around the block and caught glimpse of a tank, “We won’t last long with that tank.”
“Oh gosh, no!” he yelled.
I heard the tank fire. As the round flew between the two concrete barriers, the concussion from the shell threw me backward while splintering the O.G.G.’s blast shield into his face. I heard him cry out in pain, but my hearing soon faded after the shell exploded down the street.
I pulled my head off the snow covered road and saw my fellow soldier with his hands over his face and mouth open. I knew he was screaming, but I couldn’t hear him. I felt drowsy as I laid my head back on the ground. Out of nowhere, another O.G.G. came into my vision. He mouthed something but I still couldn’t hear. Then in a massive fury it all came back, the shouting of the rebels, the automatic rifle fire, and the new O.G.G.’s voice, “Move! Move!”
A shell flew over head and exploded. Dirt flew and the new O.G.G. shielded himself from the shower of debris. He looked down at me, “Come on, get up!” He peered over our cover and a nasty bullet caught him in the face. He fell over me, dead.
I pushed him off me and was about to run when the O.G.G. with his blast shield driven into his face yelled, “Here, take the grenade launcher.” In a last dying effort he slid his 60mm grenade launcher to me and fell to the street.
I slung my weapon over my shoulder and picked up the launcher. I aimed it to the best of my ability, Thoom-Boom! I fired quickly and ducked behind my cover. I took a look to see what I had done. The tank’s right track was destroyed which left it immobilized.
I noticed the rebels moving towards me so I left my cover and relocated in a ruined hotel. I positioned myself next to a window which gave me a perfect grenading position. I watched the tank, it couldn’t move but it’s turret could. I saw it swivel towards my location and I dropped to the floor, Ka-Boom! The tank fired and the shell destroyed a section of wall close to me. I had to kill that tank or it would destroy me. I popped up and had a perfect shot, Thoom! Thoom! I launched both grenades, Boom! The tank was reduced to a smoldering pile of metal. A few rebels returned fire but soon fled. I put my back aginst the wall and slid down to sit. I rested catching my breath before I went to get Eric. Back to the old house I went.
He was still there holding his MR-C ready to fire if need be, “I heard fire, what happened?”
“A tank happened, with a few rebels,” I answered.
“Dang, you took care of them?” he struggled up.
“With help from a few O.G.G.s, but they lost their lives.”
He sighed changing the subject, “We only have three hours left, we need to move.” what seemed like lightning lit up the dim sky followed by a rumble of thunder, “Artillery.”
“They’ve started again.”
“We really have to hurry before it gets light and they can zero in on Drakka-norr.”
We moved for the artillery position and encountered no resistance until we came within fifty yards of the position. I had to clear a safe route for the limping Eric. He could fight, just not get to cover fast.
We came to a large fourway stop with a small park in the center. The park was divided by two stone fences. Eric and I ran up to the first one and pushed our backs into it. I peered over the fence, and across the park was the artillery position sitting atop a raised plateau with steps leading up to it.
The rebels began firing at us from the opposite fence, “We have to get to the other side!” I shouted over the gun fire.
“Lead the way and I’ll try to keep up.” Thoom-Boom! A grenade impacted on the fence blowing stone into Eric’s neck and shoulder, “Agh!” He put his hand on his neck and the other on his medical bag.
“Can I help?” I questioned.
“Agh,” he took a bandage and put pressure on his neck, “you can take him out for beginners!”
I crept along the barrier to the corner. I wanted the rebel’s grenade launcher ammo. I prayed it was 60mm. The grenade launching rebel was sitting towards the corner of the other fence. I made it to the corner of my barrier and waited for my prey. He came up and rested his weapon on the stone barrier and took aim at Eric’s position. I aimed and fired, B-B-Bam! I missed and the insurgent adjusted his aim to me. This time I didn’t miss, I sighed in relief. But my triumph was dashed to pieces as two AK-47 wielding enemies sprayed their deadly lead into the fence inches from my head. I quickly pulled my head back and waited for them to stop shooting. As soon as they let up, I gunned them down with two quick bursts. I rushed up to the other fence. To my surprise, the rebels had pulled back to the plateau and were dug in, firing back with a fixed RP-K. I cautiously grabbed the dead insurgent’s grenade launcher and unloaded its 60mm ammo. I filled up my launcher with my newly acquired ammo. I checked for more ammo on the dead insurgent but found none. So now I had five shots to use against my enemies. I took aim at the RP-K, Thoom-Boom! The machine gun was gone. I fired two more shots at rebels struggling to find cover. I had two shots left, and I was going to save them.
“Eric, I’m moving up.”
Before I charged up the steps, I unloaded my nearly used belt into the insurgents. I prepared myself as I reloaded with a fresh belt. I put my hand on the short wall and vaulted over it. As I came to the base of the stairs I aimed my S.A.W. and fired, still moving upwards. My blood was pumping even more now that I came under fire, and I returned it. Only by God’s grace did the rebel’s shots not make contact with my body. I lowered my weapon and fired from the hip falling two insurgents. I reached the top, and the artillery team, with their two body guards, frantically backed up firing. With three good bursts from my S.A.W., they all lay dead on the blood stained snow.
I panted and looked at the dead rebels. I did it all in the nick-of-time, for I looked down and noticed that I only had three shots left in my ammo belt. That was a little bit closer that I like to have it. I reloaded and wondered why the Lord had chosen to save me again. He evidently had a plan set in stone for me and He wasn’t going to let anything change it.
Back to business I went. What artillery shells that were left I rolled to the base of the artillery gun. I gathered all the insurgent’s explosives and placed them along side the shells.
Eric appeared suddenly, “You ready to blow this thing, cause we got a boat load of rebels in bound.”
“Almost.” I saw heads bobbing up and down as they moved toward us, “Got any explosives?”
“Yeah,” he tossed two grenades in the pile of deadly explosives.
“Alright, lets get out of here.” We ran down the other side of the plateau.
“You gonna use that to blow it?” he pointed to my grenade launcher.
“Yep.” I stopped at the base of the stairs, “You go on a head, I’ll catch up.”
“Got it,” Eric moved off towards the rally point.
I shouldered the grenade launcher and raised the barrel higher than the plateau to make amends for the fall of the grenade. I waited for an agonizing time because I wanted to take out the rebels along with the artillery gun so we wouldn’t have to mop them up separately. The insurgents were close now, I could hear their voices and foot steps as the neared the plato. I took the shot, Thoom-Boom! I turned and sprinted after Eric as the position exploded, Kaboom! The position burst into flame, and I was sure that the enemies coming up the stairs were cut down by flying pieces of shrapnel.
I looked back and saw a pillar of smoke billowing to the sky. Eric was standing ahead of me, “You sure did a number on tht gun.”
“Only because of those two extra grenades.”
He smiled, “You know it.”
I smiled in reply, “We have to keep moving. You see that cloud of smoke?”
“Can’t miss it,” he answered.
“Exactly, rebels everywhere will be here in a matter of minutes.”
Off we went to the rendezvous point just as the sun was coming up. Miles and Avery were already there.
Miles was sitting on a blown out wall, smoking, “What took ya?”
“We stopped for a coffee break,” I joked.
“Oh, we did that too but…” Avery added but stopped as soon as Eric limped up, “Oh man, what happened?”
“Some rebels with a grenade launcher stopped for a coffee break in the same café, and they didn’t like the service there so they opened fire.”
I eyed Miles as he stared at Eric’s wounds mouth open, cigarette in hand. The cigarette burned him, “Ow,” it surprised him and he dropped it.
“You know that isn’t good for you,” Avery stated. Miles looked at him and lit another one, he sucked in and puffed out smoke, “You sure you’re okay?” he asked Eric.
“I’ll be fine as soon as I get medical attention.”
“Can’t you do that?” asked Miles, “You’re a corpsman aren’t you?”
“You have no idea how hard it is to work on yourself,” Eric replied.
“I think I agree,” said Avery staring at Eric’s medical pack of nasty utensils.
Hayden and Lucas joined us. No one asked what took him so long, and I wasn’t about to. Lucas spoke, “You wouldn’t believe the rebels in the square, so many!”
“I believe you,” I answered.
“But this thing,” he brought his chain gun into view, “made quick work of them.”
Hayden stepped up, “Good work, I called for a helo to come and take us back to Drakka-norr. We can rest and then get of this planet.”
“Whoohoo!” Avery balled his hand into a fist and punched the air in a gesture of approval.
Hayden noticed Eric, “Oh corpsman, you need a corpsman.”
“Yes sir, I do.”
I heard the chopper inbound. “Brace yourselves,” Hayden warned, “we could have rebels on us any second.” I could hear the shouts and the foot steps of the rebels closing in, but I couldn’t see them. They must have been staying in our blind spots. “Get ready!” Lucas set up his chain gun on his tri-pod and Hayden noticed, “Let loose when you see them.”
“Roger,” Lucas replied.
“Your gonna need some cover,” Miles took off his chest guard and stuck it in the snow in front of Lucas’ weapon.
Lucas protested, “Hey, you need protection too.”
“It’s okay, I’ve already spent my life.”
“Naw Miles, don’t say that.”
“Ah, shut up Avery!”
We could hear them but still couldn’t see the rebels. Waiting was the worst. I was behind a small wall with my S.A.W. on it’s bi-pod. I was looking down the sights, locked on a blown out section of a building. Surely, I thought, the rebels would come through there. I felt a bead of sweat roll down my nose while a cool shiver ran up my spine. I tightened my grasp on the pistol grip of my weapon as the helicopter thumped in the background.
It sounded as if the insurgents should be right on top of us. Then, the noise of the rebel movement stopped.
Eric, who had crawled back to me, asked, “Where are they?”
I shrugged but didn’t take my sight off the area of blown out building. Then it happened, “Charge!” The rebels flooded from the builing.
Brrrrrrrrr! Lucas cut many down and kept pouring it on. I opened up along side G company. We couldn’t hold out for much longer; our ammo supply was dwindling as I saw Hayden reload with his last magazine.
The helo flew over head and landed behind us. I yelled, “Eric, go, I’ll cover you!”
“I’m gone!” he started to move toward the helicopter.
I could see Lucas’ chain gun ammo belt spend its last rounds, and he resorted to his side arm. He fired a few shots, picked up his chain gun, and ran to the chopper. Hayden and Avery soon followed. Miles was trying to put his chest guard on with out exposing too much of his body.
“Come on you two!” Hayden shouted.
I fired as I moved back to the helo. Miles got his guard back on and started to move to us. We provided cover but it was not enough, for he was hit many times and fell into the snow face first.
He looked up at us, “Miles!” exclaimed Avery.
I had to do something, “Give me some cover!” I commanded, jumping out of the helicopter and runing for our wounded comrade. What bullets my allies had left, they flung them at the rebels.
As I neared Miles I took to my knee and slid to him, “Come on, Miles!” I fired a burst.
I felt something tug at my holster, “No kid, I’m done.” I looked down from shooting to find him with my .45 pointed at his head.
“No!” It was too late, Bam! His head disintegrated, and I hid my face.
“Move Corr!” Hayden yelled.
I grabbed Miles’ dog tags off the ground and holstered my pistol. As I turned to rejoin my company, the helicopter started to lift off the ground. I doubted I’d make it as I sprinted with all the strength I had left. The distance between me and my salvation seemed endless. Then, at the last moment, I launched myself off the ground. Lucas extended his hand to catch mine.
“That was close!” I stated.
Lucas heaved me into the helo, “We’d sure hate to lose you.”
“Thanks,” I said laying on the floor panting. Avery’s face was downcast, “Here,” I handed him Mile’s dog tags, “you probably want these.” He took them and said nothing, “I’m sorry I couldn’t save him.”
“Tuh, don’t worry, I’m just glad you tried.” he cracked a smile at me. He read the dog tags of his dead friend, “Miles was always saying that this was going to be his last mission. I thought he meant they were going to let him out of the G.G. or something. I guess I thought wrong.”
“Well at least he’s in a better place,” I tried to comfort him.
“No he isn’t. I knew where his faith was, and it wasn’t in the right place.”
“I’m sorry,” I understood.
“I won’t be seeing him again,” he hung his head at that fact.
Hayden reminded us, “We’re not out of this yet.” He stood by the door and was looking down toward the ground, “Oh crap, RPG!”
I sat up and saw a missile fly by, just missing the chopper. Hayden demanded, “Get this thing higher!”
“Hold on, we should be out of range in a few seconds,” said the chopper pilot and I felt the helo rise.
Hayden sat down on one of the passanger seats and let out a major sigh, “We made it, another job well done.”
Avery pleaded, “You will make sure that we get off this ice cube and we don’t get conned into another mission, right?”
Hayden assured, “Yes, I will make sure we go back to Karthrill.”