|We Are Soldiers
Author: Frontier Productions PM
During the EndWar, many men and women will have to leave their families to fight. With his platoon greatly outnumbered, Staff Sergeant Butler has to find a way to survive this engagement and the war itself. -EndWar Short Story-Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,332 - Updated: 04-25-12 - Published: 04-21-12 - id: 8047822
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Twelve Miles South-Southeast of Montargis
13th Airborne Battalion
Charlie Platoon, Callsign "Spectre"
Staff Sergeant Davis Butler
"Daddy, why do you have to go fight?"
Looking towards the voice, I saw a little girl looking up at me expectantly. Rocking on her feet, her little pink dress swayed back and forth. Giving the woman in my arms a sad smile, I let go of her to kneel down in front of the girl. The duffel on my back was heavy and put me off balance but it didn't take long for me to find my balance. Looking at my daughter, I gave her a reassuring smile as I framed her face with my hands.
"Daddy has to fight because if I don't, bad men will come and hurt you," I explained, my eyes watering as I brought her forward and put my lips against her forehead. It was warm but not sickly warm.
"And you'll keep the bad guys away?" I heard her ask as she pushed back from me to look me in the eyes.
I nodded twice, wiping a tear from her cheek. I saw her eyes look over my shoulder at her mother, my wife, before looking at the big duffel and back to me.
"You'll come home right?" she asked. I heard a choked sob from behind me as I nodded again.
"I'll come home. For you and mommy, I'll come home."
With tears running down her cheeks, she threw herself into my arms and buried her head into my chest. I, myself, buried my head as far as I could into her hair, my hands gripping her as tight as they could. I felt the tears running freely from my own eyes.
"I'll miss you," I heard her mutter.
"I'll miss you too," I replied in almost a whisper.
I was halfway to my pistol when I finally remembered where I was and whose voice woke me. Opening my eyes, I looked down my chest to see a very pleased man in ACU fatigues and combat armor standing at the foot of my cot.
"Damn it Johnson, what the hell did I tell you about startling me awake?" I demanded as I rolled off the cot and to my feet. Taking a couple seconds to stretch, I began to put on the armor that all Ghosts wore. First it was the helmet, than the chestplate. After those I attached the pauldrons and forearm armor. Sliding on my Kevlar gloves, I flexed my fingers before sliding on my ammo belt.
"I'll remember that Sarge. The el-tee wanted to speak with you outside though," replied Johnson, smiling, as I put on the armor. After about a minute, I had my thigh armor and knee pads on. I had slept with my fatigues and boots on. If the Euros made a push, as was possible as my unit was stationed on the front, I would prefer to go running in at least the basics.
"Alright Corporal, thanks for informing me," I replied as I slid the pistol that lay by my cot into it's holster on my thigh. I than picked up my rifle, a SCAR-A1, and slung it across my back.
"The amount of time the new el-tee spends around you is frightening Sarge," Johnson stated. The young Corporal than threw his hands up in mock surrender when I glared at him through the visor of my helmet.
"She knows I'm married and she knows I'm loyal to my wife," I respond, walking past the Corporal and to the tent's exit. I heard him mutter something but I had him zoned out already as I exited the tent and looked around. All of the company's tents were positioned in a circle around a hastily erected flagpole, where the American flag flapped freely in the breeze.
Before I could begin to search, a helmeted face seemed to pop up in front of mine. The Lieutenant's lips curled in a smile as she took a small step back, still remaining close to me. At least, I hope she knows about my wife, I thought to myself, remembering what Johnson had said.
"Needed to see me, ma'am?" I ask, making sure not to salute her as we were in a combat zone.
"The Captain would like to see the Platoon Leaders and Platoon XOs. Something big is going on Staff Sergeant. He's got Bravo assisting Alpha in guard duty and he's put everyone on high alert. Come on," she said, her voice turning serious in record time. I watched as she spun around and began to walk towards the small gathering of people at the flagpole. Putting an extra platoon on guard duty meant that either he was expecting an attack or a very important visit. Last time anyone visited their outpost was when a Major had stopped by on a 'Morale Booster' tour. Needless to say, the troops got more of a morale boost out of laughing at him than actually listening to him.
Following the el-tee, the pair of us ended up squeezing between Alpha's and Bravo's commanders. The Captain, a man of about fifty years with graying hair and hazel eyes, gave us a nod as he glanced over his subordinates.
"Alright gentlemen," political correctness had no place in the Army. A saying in the company was 'Save the bullshit for the politicians'. "I got some disturbing news from command. Everyone's heard of the heavy fighting with the Russians and Euro forces in and around Paris correct?" He was met with a round of nodding heads. "Right. Well it turns out that our Euro friends in this sector are going to try to make a push and flank our troops assaulting Paris."
I looked around and met the gazes of the other Staff Sergeants. A push on us now would mean trouble as most of the forces were probably diverted to the 'Paris Punishment', as it was being called.
"Why is this such an issue sir? We've held them off before. Why can't we do it again?"
I looked to see who had asked the question to see that it was Alpha's Second Lieutenant. He was newer than my own el-tee. A green straight out of the academy. I could see Staff Sergeant Sanchez, the only female Staff Sergeant of the three of us, rubbing her visor in frustration as her el-tee made an ass of himself.
"Well Lieutenant Conrad," began the Captain patiently, as if he was talking to a child. Even he made his dislike of the el-tee obvious when he had first arrived. While he tried to hide it, it sometimes leaked out, like I was witnessing now. "Most of our assets have been diverted to the assault on Paris and are locked in heavy combat. To pull them out now would be suicide and may end in the complete routing of all JSF forces attacking Paris. That cannot happen. Therefore, we have been basically told to try to stop this push on our own. That, Lieutenant, is why this is such an issue."
Conrad hung his head in defeat and looked to sink into armor slightly, as if he had become a turtle and was trying to escape from everyone.
"Command has to know that's suicide, sir. Won't they be giving us any support? A few Razorback fly-bys maybe?" This question came from my own el-tee. While she wasn't as new as Conrad and had already had her baptism by fire, she was still considered to be green in my book. A lot of Charlie platoon also thought of her as being green, or still new to war.
"Command is sending an armored company, the 22nd I think, to support us. However, it is predicted that the company will take about five days to get here."
"When will the Euros arrive, sir?"
"By all reports?" he asked rhetorically, pausing briefly, "Three days."
Surprised looks flew around the group. How the hell was this possible? How could the Euros mass so many men for a counterattack and not be seen by our satellites until they were three days away? I knew the answer however. It was because of the Paris Punishment. Everyone was so focused on the war over the Euro capital that barely anyone paid attention to the rest of the line.
"Is it their paratroopers sir?" asked Conrad again. The first time their company had fought up this way during the main push, they had fought one of the Euro's airborne brigades. They had been fierce fighters but the JSF had brought down everything it had on that push while the Euros had been fighting a fierce battle with the Russians at the same time. Now, with everyone's attention being on Paris, they had time to maneuver.
"Airborne, Armor, Infantry, everything but gunships, from what Command told me. Apparently the gunships are coming from a different brigade. Somewhere up North. I feel sorry for whoever gets hit by them."
Everyone was silent as they contemplated this. However, I was more worried about our plan of action. We were a mere company standing in the way of what appeared to be a brigade or more of men and machines and while they were moving, we were stuck manning a circular outpost.
Pulling my el-tee back a few steps, I brought her in close.
"El-tee, listen to me. This is going to sound crazy but I want you to volunteer the platoon to strike them before they strike us," I whispered.
"Your right, it does sound crazy," she replied, still whispering. Seeing as how she didn't pull away, however, I gave her my explanation.
"Their force is huge. Ours is small. However, they are moving with vehicles, tanks, trucks, and other heavy equipment," I started, seeing if she'd catch on.
"So they can crush us faster. What's your point Staff Sergeant?" she asked, getting irritated with my beating around the bush.
"We can move faster and more freely than they can, ma'am. We can hit them hard and disappear before they knew what happened. They can't spread over a far enough area because the forestation create choke-points for their vehicles and they wouldn't want their infantry straying too far from that, now would they?"
"They're still faster than us," she rebuked, catching on to what I was saying.
"Not necessarily. They must be pulling some heavy equipment to feed such a daring push through so many of our men. Past us are more JSF and past them even more. They'd need ammo, food and fuel and the trucks for carrying those are going to be difficult to maneuver in the woods and not be that fast anyways."
"Only as fast as the slowest member," she muttered, her eyes widening.
"Anything you two would like to share?" I heard the Captain ask us. Together, we both turned around and I saw my el-tee's mouth open and than close shortly afterward as she thought of how to word it. "Yes Lieutenant Acton? You may speak freely Lieutenant, I am open to any and all ideas."
"I would like to volunteer Charlie Platoon to conduct a preemptive strike against the Euro force. We can move quicker and quieter than they can. My men can take down a few of their supply trucks and other vehicles and thin their infantry numbers before they reach this outpost, Captain."
While the other platoon leaders looked at us like we were crazy, Acton and me watched as the Captain considered our idea. Finally, he nodded,
"Consider your Platoon volunteered Lieutenant. Prepare to move out," he said.
"Yes sir," replied Acton as she nodded her head. We were about to leave when Staff Sergeant Sanchez came forward,
"You cannot be serious, Captain. That is a sure way for them to die and than we will be short a platoon in our defense of this outpost."
"Staff Sergeant," Captain began, stressing her rank, "we are against a wall. If Lieutenant Acton and Staff Sergeant Butler think they can thin them out with this idea before they reach us than I say let them try. I also believe that they will be able to thin them out considerably before they arrive. They are right in that they can move considerably faster as a small, infantry detachment than the Euros can as an armored convoy. Also, if they play their cards right," a telling glance in our direction, "we can have men behind the Euros when they hit us."
After his explanation, Sanchez stepped down and looked to sidle behind Conrad a bit. The Captain just nodded as he looked at Bravo Platoon's leaders. Not getting an argument out of them, he looked back to Lieutenant Acton and me.
"Strap your boots on, Ghosts. I want you moving before sunset."
"Sir!" Acton and me replied before we spun on our heels and walked back to our tent with a purpose. Now came the hard part of informing the platoon of what had just went down and to tell them about the special mission. I honestly wasn't looking forward to their reactions but this idea could possibly keep us alive until the 22nd arrives.
It might also be the beginning of a new push through this damned forest.
A/N: This is gonna be a EndWar short story with a minimum of three chapters. Possibly no more than that. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and expect the next one to be our soon.