Breakdown

What was worse than summer in the middle of the desert? Having to work during summer in the middle of the desert with only a small pause for lunch. The blazing morning of June was enough to nearly roast the mercenaries. They were used to it, but that year the weather was way too hot. But worse than the battle itself, it was the way through there. Sniper managed to finish loading the van with all he needed for battle and waited for who was about to be his travelling companion. The Spy walked out of the base and grimaced at the Australian and his vehicle. "I'm not going in zat. I wonder if you ever washed it" he spat out, pulling a cigarette out of the case. The Sniper remained in silence, watching the Frenchman smoke and wondering why couldn't he go with somebody else. "What a shame zat Engie's truck was full. And I won't get in a car driven by Medic" explained the Spy as he took his jacket off, folded it and rolled up his sleeves. It sure was hot out there. "What's ze matter, bushman? Heat rot your tongue?". Sniper simply mumbled something and dropped himself on the driver seat. He hated when he had to drive with Spy. He won't stop picking on him, complaining about the filthy van, and being obnoxious in general. Sometimes, Sniper tried turning the radio on, but then the Spy would complain about his horrible taste in music. "They're the Rollin'. This's me van. Ya don't loike it, ya bail out or shut up" he would say to defend his tastes, but the Frenchman would always out argue him by putting Mozart, Beethoven or Chopin over everything.

Engineer and Medic already left, and the two remaining mercenaries were ready to move on. The sun was in its highest point and the heat was way too much. Spy had rolled down the window, put on his sunglasses and tried getting some fresh air, because Sniper's van didn't have air conditioner. It was almost impossible due to the desert heat and the sand. It will be a long trip until they get to Lakeside. Some Elvis Presley tune was playing in the radio and the Sniper humming to it when the Spy turned the radio off and told his companion to shut up. "What's wrong with ya, wanker!?" the Sniper shouted, about to strangle the Frenchman when he put a finger between them. "Don't you hear zat? Ze van is making razher unusual sounds" he interrupted the other one, but he was interrupted back. "My van's in a perfect condition, shut yar hole". It was indeed making a different sound, and it was a bad signal. The Sniper didn't pay it attention. He knew that his van sometimes liked messing around with the sounds but it wasn't anything bad. But the slight scent of something burnt got his attention.

The van's engine started to fail and both mercenaries could feel that the vehicle was slowing down. Sniper pulled over next to the road and went to have a check, while Spy lit one of his cigarettes. "Crickey, the engine's smokin'..." the Australian muttered, and turned his head to the Spy "don't smoke next to it, ya bogan! Ya want it to explode!?" he spat out, Spy looked at him without amusement "Look Sniper, if you had taken proper care of your horrible van, it wouldn't 'ave broken down. I hope you know how to repair it". "Nah. Engi did it fer me" answered the Sniper and causing Spy to face-palm. "Could it be worse?" asked the Frenchman to himself, and one of the wheels blew out. "Thanks fer speaking, spook".

It has already been one hour after the van breakdown. Spy was sitting against the van and Sniper was still checking the engine. "Will you stop zat? You already said zat you don't know how to fix it" Spy complained and undid his tie. The heat was killing him slowly, and he couldn't sit anywhere. "Sniper, give up. Let's see if we can find a gas station or a phone" he said as he patted the Australian's back, but Sniper didn't budge. "Ya sayin' we hafta walk under this bloody heat!?" he asked, "we haven't got anozher choice" the Frenchman responded, and he began walking to the direction they were driving to "Are you coming? Because if not, I'm leaving you here and let ze vultures eat your roasted flesh". Sniper remained still, staring at the dead engine and sighing. Finally he got rid of the nuisance and he can finally focus on repairing the van, or trying to.

The Spy's balaclava was already damp with sweat, and he could feel his face burning because of the sun. He turned to the opposite direction only to see a small bunch of white and red dots. Did he walk that far? What time was it? He checked his watch: 1:23 pm. His stomach was already bugging him, and he wished he had something to calm down his hunger. In front of him, there was nothing else than nothingness, but he hoped that he'll eventually find a gas station. He didn't have faith that Sniper would repair his van, so he will have to call someone. He was feeling heavier and more tired in each step, and stopped to look back once more. He needed water so bad. Sniper was running towards him with something that looked like a backpack. Was he carrying supplies? He hoped so.

Sniper caught up soon with him and panted, dropping the backpack and checked it. He pulled out a canteen filled with water and offered it to the Spy, but he pulled it back and drank him first. "Merci" the Spy thanked as he took a large gulp of water "you gave up wizh your van?". "Didn't bring the toolbox" Sniper made up an excuse to deny that he, in fact, gave up "brought out lunch boxes too". But they couldn't have lunch out there yet. They needed to go on and find a gas station. The sun was going down, the weather was getting colder and the water was running low. "Oh merde..." the Spy sighed and glanced over the horizon: nothing in sight, only dunes. "We need to find somezhing, I don't care what. I need a proper shower and a toilet and I don't want to sleep in ze wild" he complained. The Australian remained in silence and kept walking, soon being followed by his companion. There were some lights far away. Whatever they were, it was their salvation.