"What are we doing here?"

"Huh?"

"I said, what are we doing here?"

"Well, the bad guys have to plant the bomb, right? But we got their guy who had the bomb, so they have to get it back from his dead body. We're here to watch said dead body and make sure no one gets their dirty little terrorist hands on the bomb."

Behind his visor, Chad rolled his eyes. "No you idiot, I meant, what the hell are we doing in this stupid war?"

"War's not stupid," Hank replied as he absently fired his sidearm into a nearby wall.

"Yes it is."

"No it's not."

"Yes it is."

"No it's not."

"Look, how can it not be stupid?" an aggravated Chad demanded. "This battle ends two ways. One, they get the bomb and plant it, kaboom, we lose, we go somewhere else to try to stop them bombing that place. Two, they don't get the bomb, we win, we go somewhere else to try to stop them bombing that place anyway. When does it end?"

"You could always quit," Hank suggested with a shrug as he reloaded his Desert Eagle. The slow handgun was a strange choice of firearm next to Hank's semi-automatic Benelli M3 shotgun, but sometimes there was just no figuring some people out.

Chad sighed as he switched through his weapons out of boredom. "Eh. I'd probably wind up coming back for more anyway."

"Well, what's the use in complaining then?"

"I dunno," Chad muttered. "I just…I just feel like we're nothing but pawns in some weird game. It's like, there are so many other things we could be doing instead of crouching here behind a stack of crates, but we're not doing them."

"Name one thing we're not doing that we could be doing."

"Okay, um, take the bomb."

"Yeah?"

Chad stood and jogged over to where the brick of C4 lay beside the bloody, perforated corpse of some unlucky guy whose assault rifle had run out just as Chad and Hank had jumped out at him. John and Tony had been with them for the ambush, but someone on the other team had managed to blow them twenty feet away with a grenade before being taken down himself when Chad and Tony rounded on him with their pistols.

Chad aimed down the sights of his carbine at the bomb. "We could pick it up and throw it away, right? But we don't. We don't really know why we don't, but we don't."

"I know why we don't," Hank volunteered as he took out a can of spray paint and began coloring a patch of wall next to him.

"Oh really?"

"Yeah. It's cause that's not how to win."

Chad rolled his eyes again and decided some people just weren't made for philosophical conversations. He crouched down next to the explosive and started poking at it with his knife, just waiting for something to happen. He was about to get up and return to cover when a quartet of bullets struck the pavestones near him.

"Crap!"

Chad jumped to his feet and twisted as he fired his gun almost blindly. A pair of machine guns returned fire, joined by someone wielding a pair of Beretta 92G Elite handguns. Hank moved up and began blasting away with his shotgun, forcing the attackers to retreat.

"You stupid campers!" one of them shouted. "We ain't going in there!"

"Well you ain't getting your stupid bomb back then, are you?" Chad retorted as he reloaded his weapon. Hank slammed more rounds into the magazine tube of his shotgun as he tried to peer around the corner. He was rewarded with a shower of bullets for his troubles, one of which grazed his head. He was in no danger of bleeding out, but unless they thought of something quick, they were trapped.

The decision was taken from them as someone around the corner shouted, "Fire in the hole!" A small cylindrical grenade bounced on the stone path in front of the two counter-terrorist operatives, then came to a halt not ten feet in front of Hank.

"Flashbang!"

The grenade went off just as Chad finished his warning, emitting a blast of noise and a flash of light that disoriented both Hank and Chad. Despite his confusion, Chad fired blindly in front of him, unable to tell if he was even hitting anything or anyone. As his hearing gradually returned, he became aware that his gun was empty, but no one else was shooting anyway. The terrorists lay dead before him, they and the wall behind them punctured with rifle round holes and shotgun shell craters.

"Well crap," Hank commented from where he stood. Chad turned to see his teammate covered in bullet holes; luckily, however, none of them had hit anything vital. Hank was reloading his shotgun, and Chad had just decided to follow his example when a pistol round struck his back armor. He turned to see one of the terrorists still up, having just come around the corner with a drawn Glock. The man let loose another round, but the slide of his weapon locked back immediately afterward. Chad heard Hank pump the action of his shotgun and knew what was coming next.

"Oh brother."

The shotgun boomed and the terrorist fell dead, his face a red mess.

Less than two minutes later, it was a new place, a new battleground…but the same old routine.

Chad sighed as his teammates loaded up on submachine guns, grenades, and body armor. Hank turned to him, a new P90 in his hands. "Aren't you gonna arm up, buddy?"

Again, another sigh. Chad considered asking again why they were there, but he already knew the answer. They were there to stop the terrorists from bombing the bomb site – no more, no less. He simply selected the Steyr Tactical Machine Pistol and nodded to the team leader.

As Tony led them down a side alley, Chad shrugged and said, "Well, I guess it could be worse."

"How?"

"There could be zombies."

"Zombies? Man, that would be awesome."

"Whatever you say, Hank."

"Enemy spotted," John called out moments before gunfire erupted around them.

At least there were no zombies.