As Jordan's lifeless body hung limp in his comrades arms, Mike saw Joe's body gently shaking as he wept. He wept from grief, exhaustion, anger, and a hundred other emotions. A war that shouldn't have been fought killed people that should still be alive. He should be sleeping until noon, going out at night, doing stuff that people normally do in the summer, but instead he was holding half the body of a friend of his, fighting a meaningless war, killing innocent men with cold, metallic, tiny shells.
"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."
- Winston Churchill
"Men, its time to move." Commanded Alex.
Joe slowly got off the ground, picking up his helmet which was on the ground next to him, and put it on his head. His mind was in a daze, he tried to sleep but the few hours of sleep he had, were filled with nightmares and grotesque images. He felt sapped of any emotions, like a machine. He didn't care whether he lived or died, where he was headed now, or about the people in his squad.
. A few ear piercing screams could be heard as they amputated the leg from the man whose was practically falling off. After a few nauseating sounds later, Joe could hear the man quietly sobbing and praying. He handed the last of his medical supplies to the medics and quickly ran back to Alex.
"Sir, what do we do now?"
"We sit, and we wait until higher command tells us what to do, just try to help the wounded and..." he trailed off, taking his helmet off and wiping the sweat from his brow "Count the dead." He sighed.
Joe walked over to Mike and he told him what Alex had said. They cautiously walked over to the field. Joe ran behind a tree and used his iron sight to scope out the windows on a near-by building, seeing it was clear, he motioned for Mike to move up.
Mike jumped over a fence, and dove onto the ground; he looked down and across the street, then stood up. Mike then motioned for Joe that it was clear. Joe stood up and went to where Mike was standing.
"Looks like they got Carter" said Mike, kneeling by a fallen soldier.
Mike ripped off Carter's dog tags, closed his eyes, and Joe saw a tear, a very small tear, but one nonetheless flow down Mikes cheek. Joe was stunned as Mike never showed any sadness as he thought it was a sign of weakness.
"God Damnit! He was only 18! I used to be good friends with his girlfriend, now what am I supposed to tell her? That he was shot like a dog before firing a shot in the middle of a fucking field? That he was just another waste of rations and a uniform? That he was just one of fucking many? Damnit!"
Mike pounded the ground and yelled
"You bastards!" to anyone who would hear him.
Joe left Mike to himself, and walked around the field. He saw some familiar faces
Four brave men, four young men, shot and killed as if they were nothing. They won't be remembered as war heroes, they won't be remembered for winning medals, they'll only be remembered as names on a monument along with hundreds of others and no one will pay any special attention to them.
When Joe walked back to Mike, he was still kneeling by Carter. Joe tapped him on the back and Mike stood up. They walked back to the rest of the troops and waited for their orders. Alex still didn't have any orders yet, so he told Joe and Mike to take a breather, they had been through a lot that day.
The two of them walked into a alleyway between two identical buildings and sat down on the ground. Joe didn't realize how much he needed to sit, but his sore legs did a good job of remind him of that. For a few minutes they both sat there in silence, when Mike spoke up
"I just can't believe Carter's gone"
"You knew him well?"
"Yea, he was a senior at my high school, an amazing athlete and he managed to keep his grades high, more than I can say"
"You knew his girlfriend too?"
"Yea, Lindsay, gorgeous girl, I knew I'd never have a chance with her, she's 18, but still I'm a bit too young for that, I just don't know what the hell I'm going to say to her when I see her."
"Tell her the truth, he died like a brave soldier trying to save his country, there's no sugar coating there, it's the truth, and tell her how much you looked up to him, and that his loss affects you lot as well."
"The same old generic crap they probably told my grandma when my uncle died in the Gulf War"
"Your uncle fought in the Gulf War?"
" Yup, Sgt. Larry Horning, he was in a Humvee when it hit a land mine, he survived but his wounds killed him a few hours later at a field hospital. He was given a purple heart just before he passed, I heard he cried when he got it."
"Damn, man, did you know him?"
"Nah, I was only a few years old, but I remember seeing the casket and my grandma and father looking like they had just lost their best friend, which they actually had. I've never seen my dad cry, that was the first and only time. I hope to God it's the last."
"Make sure the same thing doesn't happen to your mom this time, alright?...Keep your damn helmet on and don't be an idiot"
"You don't have to tell me twice"
And for the first time that day, Mike cracked a smile and laughed a little.
The two friends sat in that alleyway until night fell, when they both fell asleep. Then they were woken up by what seemed like an earthquake.
"What the hell was that?" yelled Mike
"I don't know"
They both ran towards the Humvee and saw that it was under attack. The Humvee was turned over on its side, one side of it charred black with the door missing. Alex and two other soldiers were using the over-turned vehicle as cover. Fires dotted the street, there were craters everywhere. The northern corner of the hospital was now just a giant hole, and Joe could see a ruined hospital bed with a corpse on it through the opening.
"Joe, Mike! Take cover inside the hospital, my radio was hit with shrapnel and Pvt. Jordan is the only person with another radio, last I know of he was sleeping in the hospital, go get him and call for air support!"
"Yes sir" said Joe and he headed off for the hospital.
As Joe headed for the hospital doorway, a searing light burned his eyes and a loud explosion followed it, the loud sound then changed into a high pitched ringing, and Joe fell to the ground holding his ears.
A few seconds later when the ringing had ended and Joe could see a bit clearer, Mike picked him up and patted him on the back.
"You'll be okay, it was just close mortar round, we have to get the hospital, lets go!" and they both headed towards the door. The passed the main lobby and attached flashlights to their M16s. It was pitch black.
The lobby was a scene to behold; only half the picture of Dr. Wimcholl remained, most of his head was missing and the rest had black charred spots on it. The sofa's cushions were lying all over the floor with pieces of metal sticking out and the cotton of the old sofa was overflowing from the seams and onto the floor.
The lobbyist's desk was intact, but all the pictures and papers on the desk were scattered across the floor, and the chair that belonged to the desk was by the back wall and on its side, broken in half. A stream of moonlight came from the ceiling and when Joe looked up he could see a hole that went through the second floor and through the roof, he could see the night sky and the moon that gave him an eerie peace amongst all the chaos.
"Come on, we have to get Jordan" said Mike, as he walked up the destroyed stairs.
"Shit, how am I supposed get up these things?" asked Joe as his foot fell through a broken stair.
"Ah, I can't get out, can you help?"
"Yea, hold on"
Mike grabbed Joe's hand and pulled him out of the hole. As Joe's foot was ripped out of the step, the whole bottom half of the staircase collapsed.
"Holy shit, lets get out of here before this whole place collapses" Mike yelled.
They walked up the rest of the stairs, more cautiously now, and started to call for Jordan. After walking through the abandoned second floor's hallway, they heard a sharp whistling sound, steadily becoming louder.
"GET DOWN!" yelled Joe, diving under the nearest bed, as a blinding white light filled his eyes and what felt like the entire world was lit on fire as intense heat seared his face and hands.
Followed by the intense pain was a deafening crack as the sound reached Joe last. Finally everything passed, and Joe couldn't see where the shell had hit. After what seemed like an eternity but was only a few seconds, Joe slowly crawled out from under his cover.
"Mike, are you alright?"
He heard Mike coughing from across the hallway.
"Yea....yea I think I'm all good, ugh I got tons of shit in my mouth."
As Mike took a draw from his canteen, Joe continued to scout out for Jordan.
"Jordan! Where are you?"
He heard a scream from the last room.
"Shit, Jordan, where are you?"
"I'm in the bathroom! Oh GOD, hurry up!"
Joe ran to bathroom door and tried to push it open, something was keeping it from closing from behind. He called over Mike and they both put their shoulders against it and pushed, the door finally opened up and behind it was the mountain of rubble that was blocking the door, when they both climbed over the rubble they saw lying in a pool of blood, was Jordan.
"Oh shit, Jordan!"
Joe ran over to Jordan and took off his helmet, knelt down, and put Jordan's head on his lap. Mike walked over, took off his helmet, put his gun down, folded his arms and looked down.
Jordan had lost both of his legs and some of his torso, the amount of blood that he was lying in contrasted with the pearly white of the tiled floor. He was deathly pale, his legs a mass of blood and mangled flesh a few feet from the rest of his body. He was trembling and there were tears in his eyes.
"I...don't...want...to...die" he said, very slowly.
"I won't let you, you'll be alright soldier" said Joe, even though he knew these were Jordan's last seconds of life.
"Don't be soldier, you did your job, you'll be fine in a few months, back to normal, your not going to die here. Your not!" yelled Joe pounding the floor beside him.
Joe had known Jordan because he was the base's cook, and Joe and him always talked about the New York Jet's football team. They had become close in the short time Joe was stationed there, now Jordan was dying in his arms.
"Sir...Joe...I know I'm going to die here, please tell my daughter I loved her."
"I will, Jordan, don't worry"
Jordan told Joe earlier, that his daughter ran off with some man she met who was in college when she was 16, no one knew where they went, and Joe knew he could never find her. She was probably long gone seeing how this was over 2 years ago; but still Joe promised Jordan, and tried to make his last breath as comfortable as possible.
Joe just nodded and was led by Cortez to a cot in the back of the tent, Joe laid down and, eyes still wide, just stared at the ceiling. Cortez brought back a tray full of food for Joe, but at the end of the day, it never was touched.
By nightfall, a list of all the bodies found at the destroyed convoy was sent to Cortez. By then Joe was aware of his surroundings, and had been crying on and off for a few hours, but still was on the cot. As quietly as he could, Cortez started to read the list of names. Joe was never told what the list was, but he knew, and after Cortez mumbled a swear, Joe instantly knew that his family was gone.
In a fit of rage, Joe jumped up and threw the tray of food across the room, screaming curses he grabbed his assault rifle and went for the door, but was stopped by Cortez
"Where the hell are you going?"
"Where do you think? I'm going to kill those bastards!"
"Joe, think about this! It's just you, there's thousands of them!"
"I don't care! I'm going to do whatever I fucking can!"
Cortez pulled out his pistol and aimed it at Joe's stomach
"You put that damn gun down or I'll shoot you, it won't kill you, but we need you, you can get revenge when we're all behind you, when you actually have a chance!"
They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, when in reality was only a few seconds, before Joe put his gun down and walked away. Cortez walked back to his bed and put his gun back into its holster and went to sleep.
Over the next few days, Canadian and American forces from the west began trickling into the ranks. Joe had learned a few French words over the course of his life, but he didn't understand anything more than "Hello" or "How are you", so he was always made fun of by the Canadians for his lack of French.
"Bonjour là soldat de camarade, je suis sûr que j'aurai un grand temps vous combattant le long du côté des Américains" a Canadian Sergeant sad to Joe one day.
The soldier just nodded and walked off. It would take getting used to, but Joe thought that it would make things more fun with the Canadians around him.
After a week, all the forces had made it to where they stood; they had faced some recon forces as they neared Nutley, but nothing too major. In all there were 15,097 soldiers joining the ranks, along with 400 tanks and 90 Aircraft. Most were Canadians, though some were Americans, mostly from California or Washington. Cortez called a group assembly.
"Alright men, I'm sure there's been some rumors going around, about how all the top officers and I have been planning an end to this war. Well I am here to confirm that rumor"
With that the soldiers cheered and lifted their helmets into the air
"Quiet down! What we plan to do is to attack the R.E.D. stronghold in NYC and take hold of it by early August; from there we'll wipe them out of existence in America. We're heading off in three days and we're going to take over Trenton, and then move on up to Newark, and then New York City. We are going to end this war!"
All the soldiers cheered at those last words and started pumping their fists into the air. Joe, Mike, Brian, and Mark were all standing in the back while this was going on.
"Really think this will work?" Mark asked
"It better, I mean, what else is there to do besides sit here and wait? If we have a bigger number than R.E.D, this will probably be over quicker than they say." answered Brian
"What if they have a bigger force than us, or developed some kind of weapon that we won't be able to stand up to?"
"Dude, this is the damn U.S. military, we're the most advance military in the world. We have all the most advance weapons available."
"But they probably have U.S. scientists that were brainwashed and put onto their side, they could have developed some sort of super W.M.D. that will kill us all!"
"Hey, if anything happens...it happens, no point in worrying about it, let's just do our job."
"I guess your right."
"You guys seriously need to just shut up and enjoy the fact that you're going to help save the freakin world." said Mike
"Sorry Mike, most of us don't take pleasure in killing people" said Mark
"Yea, I feel bad for you guys"
Over the course of the next few days, preparations for the new plan were underway. Tanks, jeeps, A.P.C.s, and masses of other military weapons passed through Nutley, a series of checkpoints were set up between Nutley and Trenton. Most of the way to Trenton was traveled on Route 95, a long stretch of highway that since the evacuation; had become a scene from a horror movie. Not a single breath of life on the entire highway except for that of the U.S. Military. Abandoned cars littered every median and side rail of the highway. The soldiers tried to keep up their spirits by making jokes and telling stories about their wives or girlfriends, who they hoped were still alive, but they couldn't get past the fact that they all felt lonely on this desolate stretch of road.
"I told her I'd propose when I got back, but you know women, you can't leave them alone for a day without them jumping on top of the freaking Guido down the street." said Pvt. Plamis in disgust
"Reminds me of back when I was a frosh, I asked out this beautiful blonde girl who was in my Math class, she said yes, so we went to "Starbucks" for some coffee. So afterwards, we make out behind the baseball field which is just across the street. She tells me she loves me, we say goodbye, and as we're walking home, I get a text from her saying she found someone else and wants to break up with me. In 10 damn minutes she finds another guy, it's unbelievable" added Sgt. Dian.
"I bet Joe has quite a lot of stories about girls he dated, too bad they're all depressing" Mike said with a laugh.
Joe punched Mike in the shoulder
"At least they didn't all transfer schools after dating me, too bad I can't say the same about you" and Joe's laugh was joined by everyone else in the Humvee they were in.
"You can be such an asshole sometimes man, that really hurt, she had...problems that didn't include me"
"Nah, I know, I'm just kidding"
Night fell before they reached Trenton; they still had not seen a single soul of a human being. They set up tents on the highway and some ventured into the woods to set up camp there. They were only thirty minutes from Trenton at this time, but drivers were falling asleep at the wheel, and fighting was out of the question.
"So I'm sitting there, my sights trained on this guy wearing a turban, his hands are up in the air, and he's screaming some gibberish I can't understand. I start to yell for him to shut-up and to tell me where his kids are. He can't understand me, I can't understand him. I finally got the damn translator to come and allow me to speak with this Arab. He said he didn't have any kids or a family, but he had three beds in the house, he must have thought we were idiots. So I punched him in the face and the translator yelled at him to tell us where he was hiding them. He had hid them in a ditch in his backyard. The guy was a freaking dumb ass. I'm so glad I'm out of that hellhole" said Pvt. Herrid
"How long did you serve in Iraq?" asked Pvt. Amaril.
"Two friggin years...I hated every minute of it, but I'm not against the war, those people there, the innocent people, really love the fact that we're there. I had a girl of about five or six run up to me, gave me a flower, kissed my hand and then ran behind her mother who was crying and waving at us. It gave me that warm feeling inside, you know what I mean."
Everyone around the campfire laughed
"Yea I know, I was in Darfur just a few months ago, helping to stop the violence there when a group of children drew in the dirt a picture of me and over it, it said "We Love America!" and I started to cry."
"Wow...what a pussy."
"Oh shut up."
Again, everyone around the campfire laughed
"Men! Get to bed, we're getting up at 0600 hours to go over mission briefing and get to Trenton." Yelled Cortez
So everyone went to their tents that housed three men each. Every light in the camp was out by midnight. Not a single sound could be heard for miles, but beyond the horizon was the glow of Trenton, lit up by the hundreds of fires set off by R.E.D., this war had just begun.
"Wake up boys, we got one helluva fight waiting for us!" yelled Cpt. Alex.
Hundreds of groggy soldiers lined the barren highway and waited on line for food and ammo. Each soldier was issued 400 rounds of basic M12 ammunition, three cans of food, and a canteen of water.
"Men, this fight is going to last at least a few days, Trenton stretches for miles, and I'm sure they have every inch of it covered. We're going to need your courage, your skills, and your brotherhood with one another. As the Russians said in World War Two "For every one of us they kill, kill ten of theirs" follow that saying as a law. We won't let this group take over our country, and our homes. Now enough of the corny war sayings, lets win this war!"
As customary with every war speech, every soldier shouted "Huzzah!" and lifted their helmets into the air. Almost right after the last soldier resumed his or her duties; a trio of Jet fighters soared over head. Leaving a trail of cheers and shouts behind them, after a few hours of preparation, everyone was off towards Trenton. The thirty minute drive was cut short as resistance met them fifteen miles off the border of Trenton.
"Amaril get up to the 50. Cal and lay suppressing fire!" yelled Cpt. Alex as we sped through a roadblock of enemies.
Amaril picked up a chain of ammo and put on his helmet. He stepped onto the first rung of the ladder to the gun, and was stopped in the middle of his climb as an RPG knocked into the side of the Humvee. Mike grabbed Amaril's arm and pulled him back into the vehicle before he fell out onto the ground.
"Damn, thanks Mike"
"You're not done yet Amaril, you still need to get onto the .50 Cal."
"I'm going!" yelled Amaril as he swung his legs back onto the ladder and climbed.
A few seconds later, Joe could hear the steady roar as Amaril fired the gun above everyone's heads. A Humvee next to them, hit a ditch in the road, and flipped over onto its roof. Four men climbed out through the windows. One was yelling something intelligible and waving them over.
The Humvee Joe was in, did a wide U-turn, narrowly missing an RPG propelled right where they were, had they not turned. The Humvee then sped across the war-torn high-way and reached the upside down Humvee.
"Save those men!" yelled Cpt. Alex, as he strapped on his helmet and ammo and jumped out the side. Joe and Mike followed suit and Mark and Brian went out the other side. Cpt. Alex ran towards the man who was yelling and although Joe still could not hear what he was saying over the chaos going on around him, he could see that someone inside the Humvee was hurt. Cpt. Alex got down on his knees and both him and the man lifted up the Humvee just enough, so that the wounded man could crawl out from underneath. Once he was out, Joe saw he was badly injured.
A bloody stain on his shirt showed that he had a stomach wound, and his arm was bent in an un-natural manner while his ankle looked to be broken. The man looked barely conscious and only let out a few groans. Cpt. Alex and the other standing man dragged him back to our Humvee.
"Get in!" Cpt. Alex yelled, and everyone jumped into the Humvee, Brian climbed up the ladder and got on the 50. Cal. Mark kneeled on the backseat and aimed his gun out the rear window. Occasionally firing a burst or two. Mike took the drivers seat, and Joe took up the radio on the passenger side. Cpt. Alex and the two other men that survived the Humvee accident were tending to the wounded man.
"We have a man down! I repeat a man down! This is Cpt. Riccardelli talking, a Humvee flipped, and one man is in critical condition we need a medic in Humvee 3! I repeat a medic in Humvee 3!" yelled Joe into his radio.
Joe stuffed the radio back into the backpack he got it out of and looked out the window. A city decimated by war lay all around him. A small, lone, and grey building on the border of the city had the Rebel insignia strewn all over it.
"Everyone, clear out and capture that building, there might be something of worth inside there." yelled Cpt. Alex
Everyone obeyed their orders and jumped out of the Humvee and lined up by the ground floor doorway. Mike and Amaril on one side, Joe Mark and Brian on the other side. Cpt. Alex came and threw a flash bang grenade into the door way and yelled "Move! Move! Move!" and ran inside the door, inside the room was a small lobby room.
A beat-up couch was set in the corner, a man with a bandage around his leg and torso was unconscious, violently coughing every few minutes. A picture of a man with a grey suit, glasses, and his hands folded on his lap was hung up on the wall over the injured man. Under the picture hung a nametag that said "Dr. Wimcholl" and a certificate next to that.
This grey building was a doctor's office; the reason for the injured man on the couch was because it was easier to get medical supplies. There was another man standing up by the coach, considerably shorter than anyone else in the room. He was tending to the wounded man on the couch before Cpt. Alex threw the flash bang. Now he was cowering in the corner covering his eyes.
"Don't shoot!" he yelled
"Don't be stupid, you don't fire at us, we don't fire back" said Mark as he walked towards the man. "Who are you?"
"I'm George Trimel, a medic for this sector of Trenton, please, this man is in critical condition, he needs help"
"I'm sure our medical center will be more help than just a medic"
"He can't be moved, he won't make the trip, please just let me finish, then you can move him"
The man then stood up, and shakily walked back towards the couch
"Hey, Johnny? Your going to be okay, your going to get better help, I just need you to stay away for me? Ok? They're going to help."
The man just moaned, and Joe could make out a slight nod. The medic then took a bandage and wrapped it around the injured mans abdomen, which Joe now could see was covered in blood.
Cpt. Alex then turned on his radio.
"Cortez, this is Alex, get a med-evac to the doctor office on the border of Trenton, on Broad Street, right by the farms, we have a wounded R.E.D. soldier, and he needs medical help."
A younger voice piped back
"Cortez is tending to some other duties, sir, an R.E.D. soldier is not at the top of our priorities, with all due respect, you should leave him here until we capture Trenton."
"This man is in critical condition, a fucking paper cut can wait until after this battle, this man needs attention now!"
"That's an order!
"Yes, sir, sending a Humvee to your position, over" said the now shaky voice on the other end
With a click, the radio went dead, for a few minutes the soldiers just stared at the ground until, the silence was broken by another violent coughing fit from the injured man and ended up in him vomiting all over the floor. The short man was hurriedly giving him water and mopping the floor with a towel.
"What happened here, soldier?" Alex asked the Medic
"He was hit with shrapnel, the biggest piece missed his heart by a few centimeters, I'm surprised he's made it this long."
"Will he make it to the camp now that you did what you had to do?"
"I doubt it, he's barely conscious now, he probably won't make it further than a few miles"
"So what's the point in trying to save his life, you could be helping men that have hope."
Joe heard the Medic sniff and wipe his eyes, when he turned around
"This man is my brother, my best friend, I can't let him die."
"I'm very sorry, we'll do everything we can, he'll make it through, you can count on us."
"Thank you, there's more men up-stairs, in the different rooms, most of them have minor injuries, broken arms, twisted ankles, I want you to make sure they're safe, these men are part of my squad, I've been with them since I joined R.E.D. three years ago."
"Roger that, keep an eye on your brother, we'll take care of the rest."
Alex sent Joe and Mike up to check on how many guys there are. Joe reached the top of the steps to find a hallway lined with rooms. In every room they checked, there was a man either sleeping, or sitting in the corner. Their faces beaten, their arms bruised, a few were staring at the wall, others just looked at them with faces of men who were tired of war, who wanted to go home.
One man was holding a picture of his wife and son, his hand slightly shaking. When Joe and Mike walked in, he started to talk.
"She's beautiful isn't she, my wife, I haven't seen her in years, all because of those bastards!"
"You, the damn U.S. military!"
"Sir, please, calm down, your going to see her, your going to go back home, we're here to help, not kill."
"I don't know who to believe, I was told before I was shipped here, that you guys would show no mercy, you would kill us on sight. Now, you're here, and I heard what went on downstairs, do I shoot you now, or do I surrender." And with that, he pulled out a pistol from his pocket.
"They lied to you, you can still get out of here and see your family, we're here to help you, we want this war to be over just as much as you."
"You don't get it, they're dead, they're all dead, my family, I saw them blown apart by your rockets. I vowed revenge on you, and that I would kill you, but now, I find you're trying to help me. I just want to see my family, I miss them so much" he slowly raised the pistol to his temple.
"Listen to me" yelled Joe, over the roar of the chaos outside "You can still get revenge, on R.E.D., they caused this war, not us. We've all had losses from this war, you can join our ranks, you can help finish this war, get your old life back."
"Its too late for me now, my two loves are gone, my wife and son." He pulled the trigger, nothing happened, but a small click in the chamber of the gun, it was out of ammo. The man dropped the pistol on the ground, and put his head into his hands and wept.
"We'll be back, your going to get out of here."
Twenty minutes later, all the injured R.E.D. soldiers were sent back to a field camp, some of them bewildered by the kindness of their enemies. One soldier with short brown hair and a scar across his eyebrow shook Joe's hand and tears streamed down his eyes.
"I want this war to be over" he said calmly
"We all do, soldier, we all do."
And with a nod, the soldier turned and jumped on the back of the lorry that came to pick up the wounded.
A soldier with glasses and a shaven head walked up towards Cpt. Alex,
"Sir, we need orders, we can't stand by any longer, we're already a few miles behind the rest of the troops"
"Alright, Sgt. Sim, tell your men to cross that field" he pointed to an open field just a couple hundred feet from us. "And take over Sector Foxtrot, it starts a mile North of here, spreads twelve miles east, west, and north." He took out a map, and marked the sector with a pen.
"Lt. Alvarez is taking over Alpha, Beta, and Charlie, while Cortez is taking over Delta, and Echo."
"Sir, yes, sir"
With a wave of his hand, Sgt. Sim and his sixty-five men ran towards the middle of the field. The field was a few hundred feet wide, and a hundred feet long. Thick shrubbery lined the only road going through it; the road looked as if it hadn't been paved since it was laid down. Weeds grew through the many cracks through out it, tire tracks, crushed cigarette buds, and broken glass littered the small road.
From the east of the lone grey house, was a forest, and through it Joe could see a stream running through it. The forest looked as if all was right in the world, that a vicious battle wasn't being raged all around it. For a moment, Joe felt a calming sensation fall over him. A bird flew into the trees and landed in a nest, and Joe could hear the chorus of chirps coming from the birds children. A smile spread across his lips.
The smile was quickly wiped away as the roar of machine gun fire filled his eyes. He turned to the sound and saw Sgt. Sim and his men running through a field, with a machine gun in lighting them up in the distance.
"Fuck! Get some covering fire on them" screamed Alex.
Joe slid into a ditch a few hundred feet away from the machine gun and opened fire with his rifle. Mike followed suit, and Mark jumped onto the .50 Cal on the Humvee. A few short burst from the massive gun, and the machine gun noise stopped.
Static on Alex' radio, turned every head in the vicinity towards it. Alex picked it up and a scared voice sounded.
"Sir, its Sim, we need a medic here, at least four are dead, and more than fifteen are wounded, my God sir, I've been hit, my leg, sir, get help now!"
"Stay right where you are, we're sending in help!" with that he put the radio back into his pouch and turned towards his men
"Grab every damn thing in that hospital, and help those soldiers"
Joe stood up and stared at the scene, trying to comprehend what just happened. Sixty-five men, who were just standing there with Joe, had just been blown to pieces in a matter of minutes. Four lives were lost, and more were bound to be gone.
"What the hell's the matter with you? Move it!" yelled Alex to his men; most of them were in the same trance Joe was.
Joe then hurriedly went back to the lone grey house, ran up the stairs, and ransacked every drawer and cabinet in the entire facility. He picked up bandages, antibiotics, syringes, food, water, and anything else he could carry. He stuffed it in his pockets, in his equipment, in his belt, his helmet, anywhere he could fit it. Joe had to smile at his appearance, all the bandages he had made it look like he was enveloped in a large seat cushion.
Joe ran down the stairs and out the door, he could see men in the field carrying wounded on their backs, stretchers, or in their arms. One man had one leg torn up so badly, that it barely looked attached. Another was clutching his stomach, screaming in agony. Another soldier was limping along with the rest of the group. Mike came down the stairwell and put his hand on Joe's shoulder, when Joe looked back, Mike pointed to the soldiers, and Joe nodded.
They both ran towards the medics by the Humvee and handed all the medical supplies they had gathered from the hospital to them.
Thats all I have so far, I've been working on it on and off since June 2007, which means, working on it about an hour per month XD I'm sort of running out of ideas, but I do have an idea for the ending
The prologue and all the way up to where I'm in my history class, is actually the newest update XD...
The trio climbed over the machine gun nest and walked across Joe's driveway, a few familiar people from school walked past him, their faces pale and blank. A few of them were crying or holding on to each other. A yell from across the street brought every ones eyes to two soldiers pushing a stretcher with a soldier who had a bloody stump for his leg, he was screaming in agony as they were dropping morphine onto his wound as a painkiller.
Mr. Raidon wanted to see if his wife was alright, so he, Joe, and Mike split up, but Mike followed Joe around to see if they could find all they're friends. They walked all around the camp, it was like a scene from an old war movie, some men were sitting under a tree, smoking and talking. Others were sitting at desks writing letters to their loved ones, and others were sleeping.
After a few minutes of walking, they found Brian and Mark stuffing their face with rations and canteens of water. Once they saw them, they dropped their food and ran towards Joe and Mike.
"Dude! Your like a celebrity, everyone is talking about you" said Mark with his mouth full of beef.
"Yea, I know" said Joe with a chuckle "So how did you guys get out of the school?"
"Well, we were still in the closet after you guys left, we heard gun shots in the room behind us and hallway, and hoped you guys were alright. So after about 15 minutes I'm guessing, two men walked into the room, and someone started to whimper, and the men heard it." Mark said after swallowing his food. "So they ripped the door open and pointed their guns at us and started to yell for us to get out, and lined us up on the wall. They started to say how we were going to become part of a new generation of fighters, and started to ramble on about some crap with having the world united with only one government, them, and why not start with the strongest country in the world, us, the U.S.." finished Mark
Mark then punched Brian in the shoulder and shoveled more food into his mouth.
"Well, I guess I have to finish it now" said Brian, "So after they lined us up, they started to ask us questions, who are parents were, what are favorite things were, it was really creepy. Then they started to, I guess, try and intimidate us, by saying that we weren't going to win the war against them, and that America was going to lose. They were both psychos and brainwashed by their leader. So after a few hours of just waiting there, getting interrogated by these two psychos, we heard a few explosions around the school, men and gun shots every where. We all ducked and ran under our desks. The classroom door then shot off its frame and four or five men came running in. They had 'U.S. Military' patched onto their sleeves and the two men immediately surrendered. The men that just ran into our classroom, made us follow them outside of school to what seemed like a huge amount of some armored vehicle, and we ran inside them and they brought us here."
After that Brian then took up his plate and started to eat, but not as fast as Mark, since Mark was choking on something, turning his face blue. Since all four of them were still tired, they walked down to Joe's basement and a few more beds were set up. They laid down on them and went to sleep.
Joe awoke to someone standing over him, shaking him. Through the window, Joe could see it was still dark out.
"Joe...Joe! Wake up! Cortez wants you guys now!" said Amaril
"Ugh, what time is it?" asked Joe
"Its 1:30, ready for your first spec ops"
"You're kidding" Joe said as he bolted up in his bed, his eyes wide with excitement.
"Nah, Cortez thinks you'd be perfect, but he might change his mind if you don't hurry up"
Joe jumped out of bed, woke up Mike, Mark, and Brian and they quickly put on their shoes and jackets and ran to Cortez's tent. Inside the tent's walls were lined with maps of all local areas, from highways, to baseball fields, to corner stores.
"Good evening gentlemen" said Cortez looking up from a map that was on a table. Around that table were a group of rugged men, dressed in all black, with silenced machine guns shouldered on their backs. There was Sgt. Birm, who was a tall and muscular man; he had short brown hair and stubble on his face. Next to him was a shorter man, his name was Private Ritter, he had thick glasses on and long blonde hair that covered his eyes. Across from Private Ritter was a black man, his name was Lt. Richmond, he towered over everyone, including Joe, being 6'7, he had a heavy machine gun in his arms, and chain ammo crossed his torso
"I want you to meet your squad, Joe" said Cortez, gesturing towards everyone at the table.
Joe shook hands with each one of them, Birm winked at Joe, Ritter nodded, and Richmond just stared. Then Cortez handed Joe a badge, it was the symbol for a Sergeant Major. Cortez noticed Joe's surprised look and started to speak.
"You have shown more bravery and skill in battle, then most of the men in my command; you deserve this, squad leader."
At those last two words, the men at the table saluted Joe, he couldn't do anything but salute them back, not being able to believe anything was happening, he figured he would just wake up in his room, and have to go to school, but that wasn't happening. He was at war with someone who took over his town, he was a soldier. Cortez then handed the four of them an assault vest, he patched on Joe's badge to the sleeve of the vest, and then told them to follow him as he left the tent. Joe was ushered into another tent across the street from Cortez's, it was the main armory.
Cortez then waved his hand as if to say "Choose what you want", Mark, Mike, and Brian had followed him inside, and immediately Mike ran around, cheering and laughing. He picked up some body armor, strapped it on himself, and started to stretch to see how much his movement was hindered. He then picked up an M16A1 Rifle, which is the main gun for the U.S. Military. Joe, Mark, and Brian did the same, and then they took black sweaters, black pants, black boots, and black caps to hide themselves in the darkness as much as possible.
As soon as they were all ready, Cortez brought Joe back into his tent, and gave him the mission briefing.
"Sgt. Roy told me that you had passed Red's field HQ for this area, which is North of here, so you and your squad, are going to infiltrate that area tonight, and try to capture as many leaders as you can, and steal documents, I choose you because you obviously have a knack for working B.E.L." Cortez finished by chuckling.
As Cortez finished the briefing, a short stubby man came into the room
"Captain, the squad is ready; they are in the baseball field just across the street"
Cortez nodded to the four boys, and they headed out with the short man and followed him across Bloomfield Ave. to a baseball field, that was very built up for a Little League field. A few soldiers and citizens stared as the four of them walked past; surely seeing such young teenagers with more ammunition than a S.W.A.T. member caused some discomfort for them.
The boys walked down a paved driveway which passed the Home dugout, the conference house and lead to the bleachers. By the dugout there was an open gate, and the four of them walked through it. Inside were Birm, Ritter, and Richmond and a few other men. Their orders were to ascend the hill that was just behind the field, and walk around the smaller two baseball fields on top of the hill. They were told that there was a pathway back there that leads to a road that would take them to another street that would lead right to the Rebel HQ, but from behind.
After fifteen minutes of walking, they reached the top of the road that they were supposed to be on. Just a few hundred feet downhill, was the big mansion that was the Rebel HQ. The street ended with a wall of hedges, the only entrance was a small opening cut into the hedge. From the top of the hill, the team could see over the hedges, there was a mansion all the way in the back of a field that took up the space of 4 houses. The huge front yard of the mansion was littered with M1 Abram Tanks, Humvees, and infantry. There were also seven tents the size of small houses around the yard. All of them had their flaps closed, through the light coming from lights inside the tent; the team could make out silhouettes of men moving in them.
"Alright men, this is the real thing, now listen to what the Captain says." said Birm, looking at Joe, intending for Joe to give them their orders.
"Um...alright, Brian, Mike, Mark, and I will flank the mansion from the south side and the rest of you will, um, suppress from the east. I'll try to get inside and get any leaders and documents as quickly as possible. Move out"
As the men moved, Joe thought he heard Birm laugh under his breath. As they crept down the hill, Joe started to think about his family before this all happened, his three sisters, his parents, his dog, and his cousins. He started to have second thoughts about doing this mission, maybe let someone else handle it. As he started to have even more compelling thoughts to turn back, a loud explosion brought everyone to the ground.
Joe could hear a loud engine come down from the road from the North, and he saw a small red car swerve through the road, hitting the side walk, and skidding sideways across the road and then turning onto the hill where Joe's team was. As the car came close, every man stood up and pointed their gun at the car that was now slowing down.
A fat bald man craned his head out of the window.
"MOVE! THERES A TANK BACK THERE THAT'S TRYING TO FREAKIN KILL ME!"
Next to the man was a woman looking horrified, who had a small boy on her lap. He looked to be about six or seven and had tears streaming down his cheeks. All the men lowered their guns and let the car pass, as the car sped up the hill, a tank rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill, and aimed at the team.
A few un-intelligible yells came from the field, and Joe saw tracers fly around the night sky, lighting up everything in what looked like hundreds of fire flies flying around. The team scattered once the tank came. Joe ran into a nearby house's backyard and took cover behind a fence that faced the mansion. Mark and Brian took cover behind two cars on the street, Mike hid behind a dog house in the back yard of another house. Richmond and Ritter kicked open the door of a house right on the corner and set up Richmond's machine gun in a window and started to fire on the HQ. Birm took his radio and yelled.
"We need support here NOW! We were spotted and we woke up the whole damn area, we don't have enough men, we need more. I repeat, we don't have enough men!"
As Joe hid behind a fence, sometimes pointing the gun over his head and firing blindly, he realized he had never been this scared before in his life. Knowing that a small metal cylinder could hit him at any moment and kill him, rendered him almost paralyzed, as he waited for the reinforcements.
After what seemed hours, which in reality were only a few short minutes; Mike kicked open the side door of the house that lead to the backyard Joe was in. He had a soldier on his back with a bullet wound in his leg. The man was moaning quietly but still, seemed to be in a large amount of pain.
Joe was in a state of shock, he had read books and seen movies about war, but being in it was a lot different. His eyes were wide and he was trembling slightly, he seemed to not be aware of anything going on, he was leaning against a tree, bullets whizzing by, but seemingly un-aware of them.
Mike dropped the unconscious body on the ground, and ran up to Joe. He started to shake him.
"Joe! Hey Joe, you alright?"
Joe was slowly coming back into focus, life crept back into his face and he shook his head.
"Yea, just a little bit freaked out, I'll be alright though."
"Good" said Mike pointing to the body "I found this guy yelling in pain on the ground in the house I just came from, and reinforcements are coming soon, so I'll get a medic to patch him up, all I've done is stop most of the bleeding, but I have nothing to wrap it up in."
"Oh, I think I do" said Joe, fumbling around in his vest, and after a few moments he pulled out a long roll of bandages that Cortez recommended he bring, and handed them to Mike "Here, these should do the trick"
They both walked over to the body, and Joe elevated the wounded man's leg, while Mike, gently, but firmly, wrapped the bandages around the wound. After they felt he was bandaged enough, they gently carried him behind better cover and gave him some water, told him to stay there.
"Ugh...not like I'm going anywhere, right" he said with a deep voice, and Joe then realized that this man was a senior at Nutley High, his name was Joe, and he also played guitar with Joe a few times. The man then chuckled which ended up in a coughing fit. Mike gave him some more water, and the two left Joe, who was sitting there uttering curses into the night sky.
As Joe and Mike walked back onto the road, there seemed to be a considerable increase in the amount of soldiers fighting, the reinforcements had arrived. Mark and Brian were still behind mailboxes firing into the night sky when Joe and Mike ran towards the mailboxes and crouched behind an APC just across the street from them which was firing at a jeep riding around the battlefield. A man ran by them with no right leg, he was hobbling as he went, crying out into the night sky as he screamed for help.
"Medic!" yelled Richmond as he fired his chain gun, "I need a damn Medic!"
"MEDIC!" yelled Ritter behind Richmond, screaming into his radio.
Just moments later a Humvee with a stretcher attached to the roof and back of it came down the road, two husky men wearing white bandannas jumped out of the rear seats and picked up the wounded soldier and put him on the hind stretcher, they then strapped him down, jumped back into the car that was now speeding up the hill.
"Captain, what the hell are we supposed to do now?" yelled Ritter looking distraught.
"Do we have any tank or air support?" asked Joe
"We might have a few Apaches but that's as much as I know, sir!" answered Ritter.
"Alright, ask for those Apaches to at least lay suppressing fire on this machine gun nests by the hedges and make sure they DO NOT fire on the building itself!" ordered Joe
"Roger!" said Ritter as he started to yell into his radio.
As helpless as they all felt until the helicopters arrived, they still fought valiantly, after about thirty minutes of constant fighting; the sound of a helicopter engine could be heard in the distance. The sound of a heavy machine gun starting its rotation in the air brought all eyes upwards, there were three of them, all painted black as if to be camouflaged against the dark sky. Joe would probably have run away if he didn't know they were on his side. The Apaches then fired all over the field making soldiers and vehicles run either into the many garages of the mansion or inside the mansion.
Once all the enemies were hiding inside the mansion, which, for reasons they did not know, was not being attacked; every eye was on Joe, since he was the highest commanding officer.
"What are you waiting for, CHARGE!" yelled Joe, Richmond actually showed a hint of a smile as he rushed.
Every soldier yelled at the top of their lungs, Joe never understood why, but now he did, it was a sign of courage and patriotism, to show that you were not going to stop until you or the enemy was dead. As they yelled, a window on the southern side opened up, and a machine gun was seen being placed on the sill, but before they could fire, the Apaches hard already fired into the window, making the gun drop out of the sill and fall onto the ground.
Ritter then yelled "I said DO NOT FIRE on the building, we need all their leaders alive and the documents not turned into debris!"
A muffled voice came through the radio and Joe couldn't hear what the voice was saying. He figured the pilot apologized for Ritter put the Radio back into his backpack.
A loud explosion erupted just behind Joe, and the soldier nearest to it was struck with a piece of debris and fell in the ground yelling in agony, a soldier with a red cross on his helmet ran over to him and started to apply pressure to his wound and wrap bandages around his back, where blood was pouring out and spilling onto the ground. A few more identical explosions erupted all over the front yard.
"Artillery! Get to cover!" yelled Richmond as he picked Joe up by his collar and threw him into a nearby bush and dove in after him.
The field that was once green grass erupted in an inferno of flames and explosions as each artillery shell landed, creating a crater in the once beautiful landscape, dirt and ash flew into Joes eyes, causing him to clench his eyes shut and rub them. Bright lights preceded every explosion, followed by a rumbling and a deep cacophony as the shell plunged into the soil.
Once the barrage ended, Joe crawled out into the open, and surveyed his surroundings. At least seven men were either in pieces on the ground, their limbs severed from their body and laying several feet away, or with giant pieces of shells stuck in their chest or other parts of their body, their faces blank and eyes wide open as if they were suspended in the emotion of being surprised.
Feeling his blood boil at this un-needed war against their own kinsmen, was fueling a deep rage Joe had never felt before, Joe recognized two of the dead as his friends Rob Woll and Raj Kothari. As he felt remorse for his two fallen comrades, tears started to well up in his eyes and then eventually streamed down his cheeks. He turned towards all his men, raised his gun in the air.
"If you did not realize it before, I'm telling it to you now, this is war, and some of you will not survive, but I'll be DAMNED if I let those bastards win this, we already lost great men, so lets win this battle and avenge their deaths, lets strike a blow into the hearts of those who caused us such grief, they broke up our families, destroyed our homes, and disrupted our lives. Let's make them pay!" and with that he fired into the air and ran straight towards the mansion yelling at the top of his lungs, almost as if he were mad.
As silent as it was before the barrage, now an ensemble of voices rivaled the volume of the artillery as every man under Joes command roared and followed their leader. Joe reached the door and kicked it in, as other men either followed suit or jumped in first floor windows.
Behind the door was a trio of men dressed in the same as the men in the classroom, body armor and balaclavas over their faces. They each had Benelli M1014 shotguns. They each fired one after the other at the cluster of soldiers now running into the door; Joe saw his class mate Lou Saporito clutch his chest as his eyes widen and pieces of his chest and ribs flew out of the cavity that was now part of his torso. He fell to the ground without uttering a moan.
Joe felt a pressure against his upper torso and saw a shotgun shell fall off it, it was a dud, before the trio could fire again Joe whipped out his knife like a trained commando and jumped at the men wielding the shotguns and jammed his knife up to the hilt in the middle man's neck, it was such a perfect stab that no blood emitted out of the wound.
Joe saw the eyes of the man behind the balaclava and saw the fear and panic that Joe's enraged and satanic face caused. Joe ripped the knife out of the man's neck which was followed by a jet of blood that emerged from the stab wound. The man fell to the ground making gurgling sounds and after a few moments, stopped moving and laid still. A tall tan, Hispanic man mimicked Joe on the man to the left, and the man on the right ran back towards the corner of lobby and tripped over a bookcase, Joe took this as his chance to attack; he lunged towards the Rebel that was now crawling on the floor, and put four bullets into his neck and head.
After Joe and a few soldiers ran around the entire first floor, they only found a few hostages or a soldier facing the wall with his hands behind his head, in obvious surrender.
"Man, where are these guys holed up?" Mike asked to anyone who could hear him.
"They might be upstairs, or in the basement, is there even a basement in this giant house?" answered Mark.
"Not sure, we need to find a staircase though, anyone have an idea?"
"Well, I saw a small window in the front of the house before while waiting for the barrage to end, now that I think about it, I'm sure it was from the basement, so there is a basement, but what if they're waiting up stairs? They could just evacuate while we're in the basement and then bomb this house to the ground while we're all in it." Said Joe
"So, what do you want to do?" said Birm
"Well, how about we take half our men and bring them downstairs, and have the other half go upstairs, if you find stiff resistance, call, and we'll bring the other group up to help. So Birm you take the upper floors with Mark and Mike and half our men, and then Brian, Richmond, and Ritter will take the basement with the other half." Ordered Joe
"So what are you doing?" asked Ritter
"I'm going to take care of some unfinished business" answered Joe with a slight smile and before anyone could ask what that was; he had already disappeared from the room.
"Sir, General Evans wants to speak to you"
"Tell him I'm in a meeting"
"I said tell him I'm in a meeting Marissa!"
"Yes, sir, sorry"
As he kicked his feet up onto his desk, cluttered with random papers and pictures, Mr. Narcia sighed. After being in Red for over 13 years, he was glad to be out, but they still wouldn't leave him be. His abrupt leave, made many question if Red was really going to pull through.
He was one of the founding members of RED, back in 1983, with Sid Evans, Martin Arberria, and Lucas Marshell. They were all soldiers in the army, until they realized that America was doing things wrong, they believed that with such a powerful military, they should be taking over countries, declaring war or alliances with the world leaders, and trying to dominate the world.
In June 1982, they all left the army and headed off in their own directions, but still kept in touch. In September, Evan's had a stock that made him rich, he invested his money in such a way that he was give back three times the amount he had, an enormous amount.
They all started to talk about their realist ideas with America and how if they could only control the government. It was a dream, but this dream turned into an obsession. The obsession turned into a reality. By December 1984, the group had amassed over 30,000 members, through discreet meetings, and propaganda. On New Years Day, they dubbed the group "RED" which stood for the "Realist and Effective Dictators" a name that suited the domination-type style that the group led.
In 1993, the membership had reached over 400,000, and a few bribes and threats kept the government from investigating. They recruited high ranking officials in the Military, who allowed them control of many weapons that only the Military was allowed to. Tanks, guns, vehicles, and air power were only a portion of what they had. They were given billions of dollars by big corporations that were promised an even bigger sum when world domination was accomplished.
The first incident that made Eddy Narcia start to doubt what was happening was when RED first started to face conflict, a small New York gang had found out what was going on, and wanted in. After a cold refusal, the gang turned violent and attacked RED, emotionally. Eddy's four year old daughter was murdered, along with Sid's son, Martin's granddaughter, and Lucas' brother. Martin, Sid, and Lucas were too greedy to care about these issues, but Narcia still had some morals left. In 1996, when the group started to make plans about domination, Narcia realized this isn't what he wanted; he didn't want millions of innocent people to die because of his greed.
By the end of 1997, Narcia had quit, and to hide his identity, he became a teacher in Nutley High School. The trio that led RED didn't find out about Narcia's new identity until 2007, which is when they planned their attack to that area of the World first, the East Coast of the U.S.
As Narcia put down his cup of coffee, his secretary, Marissa, opened his door.
"Sorry to bother you again sir, but an armed boy, a student of Nutley High school, requests an audience with you."
"Bring him in here"
Narcia had stood up to greet the boy when one of his students appeared in his doorway. This student was Joe, someone who Narcia admired at his intelligence of what was going on in the world, and his enthusiasm to speak another language. He stuck out his hand
"Joe, Joe, Joe, such a charming young boy, what brings you here?"
"I want to know why the rebels are looking for you!"
"It's not very polite to yell at someone whom you've just met"
"Just met? I've been your student this entire year"
"Yes, it seems you have, but you do not know the real me"
"What the hell are you talking about?
"The reason RED" he said with a certain sternness "wants me, we are not rebels, is because I was once a co-leader of it"
Before Narcia could finish that sentence, Joe had his rifle trained between Narcia's eyes.
"You are too impulsive, if you had listened to what I said, I was once a leader, I am no more a member of that evil group."
"Why did you leave?"
Narcia told Joe all that happened to them, but Joe never let his gun rest.
"Do you really expect me to believe all that?"
"No Joe, I didn't, which is why I want you to drop that gun and get out of this situation because you can't handle it, let me do what needs to be done and all will go well"
"Like that'll happen, what are you really going to do? You have no men, no weapons, it's just you and your staff and this tiny office"
"Joe, you don't get it do you? I was once a leader of them, they want me back so badly, I have so much control over them, and they don't realize it. I can craft my way into their ranks, and rip their hearts out before they know what hit them."
"You don't know if they will let you back in, and how are you going to destroy them from the inside out?"
"I'll play it year by year, boy, and if you don't think I can get into their ranks, look at this"
Narcia pointed to a pile of hundreds of un-opened letters, all sealed with a golden stamp with the words RED on them.
"Read one of those."
Joe picked one up and ripped open the seal, inside was a letter in script. It read
Dear Mr. Narcia,
My dear old friend, what has become of you and your sudden change of heart, was it the loss of your daughter, because, we can destroy that gang and make them pay for making us suffer those losses, or did you just become bored with the dream of us three? Didn't expect it to take so long did you? Well, master plans are not made over night. They take years to plan, and then even longer to be put into action and even longer to have effect. You, my friend, will be treated as a traitor unless you come back and join us. We will forgive this back stabbing if you just come and join us, you can't win on the other side Eddy, you CANNOT WIN!
"It's not signed by anyone"
"Of course not, Sid never wrote his signature, the absence of his signature became his trademark, if that makes any sense"
Joe slightly nodded, looking confused
"It doesn't sound like they want you back, its more along the lines of, join us, or die, not really begging you to come back like you said it was."
"Once again, it was a trademark of Sid to write all his letters as though he were angry, quite brilliant really, gets the point across."
"So what is your plan then? How are you going to get in?"
"That, will take some planning, something you have nothing to do with" and with that he beckoned two of his guards to "escort" Joe out of his room. Before he left, Joe shot a quick suspicious glance back at Eddy and left the room.
Mr. Narcia sat back at his desk, drank the rest of his coffee, sat back in his chair, and sighed. This was far from over.
"Joe?...wake up!" said Mike, shaking Joe awake from a well-needed nap.
"Wah?" said Joe, still half asleep.
"Cortez wants you in his tent, he thinks he has a plan to end this war."
"It's about damn time" said Mark who was awake all night. "This war should haven't even started."
"I know how you feel" said Brian "What idiots think they can really take on the friggin U.S. Military and win."
"They obviously do." said Joe "Well are you guys going to come with me or not?"
"Nah, I'm just going to sit here and finish my journal entry" said Mark
"You have a journal?" asked Mike
"Um, yea what's the big deal?"
"Nothing, just...whose going to read that?"
"No one I guess, just something to pass the time."
Joe walked up the stairway, walked outside, and entered Cortez's tent.
"Joe, finally, we may be able to end this war" said Cortez as Joe entered.
"So, what is it?"
"Well, as you know, R.E.D. has taken over New England and most of the east coast, including New Jersey. The west coast is under heavy guard by the U.S. Military in case of an attack from the Pacific, but so far it's quiet there. Central U.S. is almost completely normal, people are living normal lives there, it's about the only place in the world. We are going to evacuate all civilians still alive there, and bring some reinforcements from the west to here."
"With those reinforcements, I think we have a chance for a final push into the North, it will probably take a few months, but I think it will work. As we speak, a convoy with all the civilians from the Meadowlands is on its way to Kansas. They'll board up in public buildings until we deem it safe to come here again, which may be soon, I hope. We have men contacting the generals on the west coast, to see if they'll send reinforcements."
With this new info, Joe was rejuvenated; finally an end was in sight, he was hopeful it was over. Just as Joe saluted Cortez, a soldier walked into the room. His head was shaven, and he was very tall. He had a slight stubble and he had a bandage on his right cheek.
"Sir, we just got word from General Thomas; he's going to send 15,000 troops over here"
"15,000? Are you sure soldier? That seems like a big amount, and General Thomas is not generous"
"Yes sir, he said has Canadian Forces over there, and over one million troops, he said 15,000 isn't as much as he would like to send."
"I'll be damned..." said Cortez, as he wiped his brow "Alright, tell General Thomas we're extremely thankful and that it's more than enough, and ask him how long until they get here"
"Yes sir!" and with that, the soldier ran out of the tent.
"Damn Joe, did you hear that? 15,000 soldiers, under my command, we only have around 18,000 here, we're going to be twice as strong, and the fact that the Canadians are now sending us forces, its just...wow, I'm speechless"
They both sat there in silence for a few minutes, thinking about how this war might actually be over before September. It was just the end of June, and they had figured the war would be over by Christmas. Heavy footsteps sounded outside the door. Both Cortez and Joe looked up at the same time as the same soldier from before came running into the room, breathing hard.
"Sir, good news and bad news, General Thomas said all of his troops and vehicles should be here by next week, but, the bad news is, the convoy with the civilians from the Meadowlands, has been attacked, we don't think there are any survivors. I'm sorry sir, that's all I know" and with that the soldier ran out of the room.
With those last words, Joes face turned deathly pale, he fell into a chair.
"Joe! Damnit, someone get a doctor over here! Joe, you alright?" said Cortez as he rushed over to Joe, who was breathing heavily and tightly gripping one of the tent's supports.
A man with a red cross on his helmet, ran into the room, and surveying his surroundings, ran at Joe and immediately, started to check his pulse. He seemed to relax and stood up, saluted Cortez and said
"Sir, this kid just went into a bit of emotional shock, I see it a lot, he'll be better in a few hours." And he walked out the tent, just like everyone else who had crowded around to see the commotion.
"Joe, come on" said Cortez giving Joe his hand "you should go lie down for a bit, I'll bring you some food, alright?"
Once again, going to add more descriptions and such.
2008-02-26 18:28:36 by Bballdude9997
All throughout history, there has been conflict, whether it'd be between a white blood cell and a virus, or two nations warring for land. Usually, conflict ends with one side in ruins, and the other side victorious, although not without some loss. The greatest war in history, World War II, had over 50 million losses from almost every country on this Earth. A man fighting cancer will never be the same, even if he lives. The story I am about to tell you is just one of these conflicts, except on a larger scale even than World War II. One side fueled by the want to do justice and good, and the other driven by hatred and greed. Although millions were brought into this conflict, I am going to tell you how it affected just one, a young man named Joe, just a student in a suburban high school on the east coast of America.
You may ask why such an unimportant character was chosen for my story, well, you'll just have to see for yourself. Also in this book are a few other men, just the same as Joe, Mike, who has a will to challenge himself beyond his limits and achieve what no one else does, Brian, who has the unrelenting will to do whatever it takes for there to be good in the world, and Mark, who changes disadvantages to be an advantage. Each character will play an important role in this war, every decision they make will affect billions.
There is also the ever-important mentor in a story, it happens to be Cortez, a brilliant and clever leader, he will open Joe to more opportunities to end this war than any one else Joe will meet. There are many others Joe will meet on this course, but all of them pale in comparison to the influence Joe will receive from the girl who loves him.
Love is the greatest mystery of man, its strength is un-matched, its determination un-contested, nothing can stand in the way of a man in love, not even life-threatening circumstances.
Now read on to live through the greatest conflict in history, through the eyes of one soldier.
Read on to relive Hell.
Opening his eyes, Joe could see the bright blue hue of his wall as he awakened from a deep sleep. Sitting up and rubbing his eyes, he grinned at the thought that summer was only a few hours away. He stood up, stretched his arms and back, shook his head violently, and walked out of his room.
His mother was standing in the kitchen, the faint smell of bacon floating towards him.
"'Morning mom" he said
"Good morning, honey, I made you some bacon, and there's cereal in the cabinet if you want some"
Taking out the almost empty box of Froot Loops, Joe sat down at his kitchen table, his chair squeaking under the weight. He poured the cereal into his bowl on the table, added Milk and a few cut up banana pieces to the cereal, and put Milk into his coffee.
He quickly ate his breakfast and wondered what today's history final was going to be like, he loved History, so he was confident that he was going to ace it. He could recite the whole Constitution from memory, and could tell the entire Soviet maneuver at Stalingrad during World War II.
After finishing his last drop of coffee, he stood up, thanked his mom, and walked through the hallway to his bathroom. He stared at himself in the mirror.
"I need more sleep" he said to himself
Under his crystal clear blue eyes, were dark circles, the obvious sign that someone needs more sleep, he had more definition in his cheek bones, his nose was becoming more slender, and his mouth had thin lines forming from the corners. He rustled his wavy brown hair, always a rebel and never wanting to stay straight, he hated his hair. Still recovering from a hurtful relationship, he hadn't smiled in weeks. He didn't eat much, and sleep was tormented by vivid nightmares. He opened up the mirror to his medicine cabinet and took out his toothbrush and Crest toothpaste. He stared at his nearly, pearl-white teeth as he snarled at himself in the mirror. Perfectly straight after having braces taken off just a few years before. He finished brushing his teeth, gargled a small amount of water and walked to his room.
Ripping a pair of shorts from a hanger in his closet, he sat down on his bed and changed. Once he had his shorts on, he looked for a shirt that wouldn't get too hot in the humid June weather. A collared white and blue-striped shirt suited him just fine. He kissed his mom goodbye, and asked her to say the same to his father, who was at work.
He jumped off his back stoop and went into his garage. Inside was his bike, a small BMX bike that was sleek black with silver spokes, it was almost invisible at night, just the way Joe liked it.
Joe climbed onto the bicycle seat and pushed off with his foot, he turned right on his street, and then made a sharp left onto Bloomfield Ave. He passed his good friend Chris's house and caught him just as he was stepping out his front door.
"SUMMER!" yelled Chris, pumping his fist into the air
Joe risked crashing, and did the same, narrowly missing an on-coming car, which was loudly blowing its horn. Joe just laughed at his idiocy and continued on past Lincoln school, and then down to Franklin. Ave.
He took a left and saw kids from all grades walking to school, few kids waved to Joe, others just stared, but Joe didn't wave back to anyone and continued on to school.
He rode to the park near the high-school and threw his bicycle into nearby shrubbery. He was walking up the stairs to his school, when his phone rang.
"Hey Joe, it's me, Chris"
"Apparently there's been a threat against school, some sort of attack happened over in Europe and the board of Ed. wants all schools to do a mandatory check of all students bags today, because supposedly whoever attacked the group in Europe has said that today is "D-Day" so...yea, people are pretty scared today."
"Alright thanks" Joe said, hitting the end button his phone.
As he walked into the school's lobby, there were makeshift metal detectors set up, with a line forming behind them. Joe reluctantly stood at the end and listened to the monotonous tone of the metal detector as the principal confiscated hundreds of cell phones and keys. Finally it was his turn, he took out his cell phone, put it onto a plastic tray, and walked through the metal detector.
"All clear" said Joe's gym teacher, Mr. Fuzim.
Joe was still too early for his final, so he sat down in the lobby and used his time for some last minute studying. Finally the bell rang, and it was time for Joe to head to his history class for the Final he so wanted over.
Joe ran to his locker, picked up a few pencils, stuffed them into his pocket, and ran to his history class. Walking in, he sat down in his usual seat in the back, and waited as his teacher arrived.
Mrs. Stagrid was a young, fun teacher. She had long black hair, which was a little curly. She followed every rule to the point where she was one of the strictest teachers in school, but her teaching methods were fun. She taught Math and she let her students engage in all sorts of different activities in projects, and every Friday was a math contest, and the winner won a free homework pass.
Mrs. Stagrid handed out the sheets of paper that was Joe's ticket to freedom for three months. He quickly wrote his name down and got to work, all the questions were based off what they learned during the year, but just basic knowledge, Joe knew almost everything about every issue they talked about. He quickly flew through the Crusades, the plague, the colonization of new worlds, early America, the Civil War, the First World War, the Depression, and then finally, his favorite, World War II.
Joe had finished in less than 15 minutes and had over an hour and a half to relax. So he cracked open the "Da Vinci Code" and started reading its falsehoods about the Catholic faith. With only a little while left in class, Joe's best friend, Mike, finally finished.
"Hey Joe, how much time left until we get out" whispered Mike.
"Not sure, I think 15 minutes, so what are you doing after school?"
"Might go to Guitar center, I hear they got some more Fender basses in, I wanna go check them out, you?"
"Eh, depends, if I'm not tired, I'll probably go out and play some ball with Mark or go to Brian's and just chill"
"Any plans for the sum...?"
Mikes sentence was cut short as Mrs. Stagrid cleared her throat, obviously telling Joe and Mike to be quiet. So both of them just faced forward and shut their mouths. Aside from a few people coughing, or the crumbling of paper, the room was silent. There was Mike, who although one of the nicest guys you could know, was very big and muscular, since he played football. He had straight brown hair and a radiant smile that could brighten a room. Then there was Mark, who was short standing at only 4'11, with long blonde hair and glasses, he was extremely smart; but seemed to lose his mentality in a crisis. Last, is Brian, who has straight brown hair, and is always quiet, but people liked him since, when he did talk, seemed to be a very good listener and always knew what to say. They were all best friends since elementary school.
There were a few other people in the classroom, but it was a relatively small class. Due to the fact that it was the last day of finals and must people either cut, or were exempt from them. It was around 90 degrees and every window was open and the fan was on. Some classes, such as the computer class were lucky enough to have A/C. This year had been unusually warm.
Joe could see that Mrs. Stagrid was reading the "Star Ledger" newspaper. He could see the front page, but could only read the title which read "Mysterious band of rebels kill 26". Joe raised his hand and asked if he could read the newspaper, but Mrs. Stagrid just shook her head, and went back to reading. So, defeated, Joe put his head down and drifted off to a light sleep, he was wakened with a start by a loud bang outside the classroom, in the hallway.
Everyone in the class room jumped up and ran to the doorway, but Mrs. Stagrid yelled for them to stay seated, they didn't listen and ran to the door. George, a student in class, opened the door, and screamed as the glass window on the door exploded in hundreds of glass shards. George was so stunned that he couldn't move and a second later there were two bangs and George fell to the floor in a heap. The whole class screamed as they saw two holes in George's head.
Mrs. Stagrid closed the door and pushed all the children into the closet that housed all papers and books. It was crammed, but all seven students left and Mrs. Stagrid managed to fit inside the closet and waited in darkness. There was an eerie silence for a few seconds until the classroom door was violently opened. No one could see anything but they heard muffled voices.
"Don't waste...have to find...hostages"
Was all the students could make out through the heavy door. Michelle, a small blonde girl, broke down and started to cry. Brian hugged her and told her to keep quiet. Joe opened the door a slit and looked through.
The classroom was empty, but Joe could make out shadows in the hallway. He opened the door slowly and quietly, just enough so he could slip out. Once he was out, he motioned for Mike to follow him. When they were both out, they dropped to their stomachs and crawled to the door. The door was slightly ajar and Joe could make out a tall figure with a black buttoned shirt that was ripped at the shoulders. The figure had tattoos on both arms and a black bandana on his head. He had a bloody bandage on his right arm, and both of his arms were scratched and bruised, he was also carrying a heavy assault rifle, clearly this man had seen a lot of action in his life, this wasn't some psychotic kid on a rampage, this was something else.
Joe and Mike crawled back to the closet and told Mrs. Stagrid what they had seen quietly. Mrs. Stagrid's eyes widened and she pointed to the clump of newspaper on the floor. Joe crawled towards it, picked it up, and brought it back. Joe was horrified by what he read on the front page.
"Mysterious Band of Rebels kills 26"
Today, at a private high school in England, a group of rebels took the lives of 26 students. The name of the high school is confidential for numerous reasons regarding the English government. Although not much is known, what is known is that a group of rebels raided a school, killed 26 students, and held the rest hostage. There is no known answer as to how 60 armed men got into a school without suspicion, or what their motives are.
Joe then handed the paper to Mike, and his face was identical to Joe's.
"Do you think it's some foreign terrorist organization?" said Joe
"Well, they can't be foreign since we heard men speak in perfect American accents, and the guy out there looked American, but I could be wrong."
"So, what do we do?"
"I have no idea"
No one had any idea how to escape, so as quickly and quietly as they could, all the students and Mrs. Stagrid barricaded the door with desks and book-cases. They couldn't escape out the windows since they led to the inner courtyard, which was surrounded on all other sides by other classrooms and no way to get out of school.
Joe then realized there was a door next to the closet that led to the next classroom. Joe pointed to it, and Mike nodded. They walked up to the door, and through the glass they could see the room was empty. Joe, remembering he brought his baseball bag with him, got his aluminum bat. Mike showed a hint of smile on his face as they both opened the door carefully. As Joe entered the door, a giant man, who seemed to have come from the shadows, grabbed Joe and put two hands on his assault rifle and strangled Joe with it.
Joe dropped his bat on the ground once the man attacked, and since Mike was still in the other classroom, the man had not seen him. Mike grabbed the bat and swung as hard as he can, hitting the man in the back. The contact made a sickening crack as the man screamed in agony, and then was quiet as Joe kicked his head, knocking him unconscious.
Since Mike now had the bat, Joe took his gun. Since Joe watched as many shows about the military as he could, he knew all about the gun and how to work it, though he never actually held or fired any gun in his life. He fished around for some ammo in the unconscious man's pockets, and found two cartridges. The gun was a FAMAS, which was notable by its sight, which looked like a handle the stretched from the stock to the barrel. The gun was extremely powerful, and was usually only used by military units.
Someone must have heard the man scream, because in a few minutes foot steps were heard racing down the hall. Both Mike and Joe ran into the back of the room and waited in the shadows after turning the lights off.
Two men burst in, the tattooed man that Joe had seen earlier in the hallway and a shorter Asian man with a baseball cap on backwards.
"Looks dead to me" said the Asian man
"He's still breathing" said the tattooed man as he checked his pulse
"Think some students attacked him?"
"Not likely, what student can take down Lucas?"
The tattooed man was right; Lucas was a big muscular man, who weighed almost 300 pounds, with not an ounce of fat. He stood at 6'1 and was extremely muscular. He obviously worked out with all of his free time.
The Asian man then turned around and faced the two teenagers.
"What the?...FREEZE" he yelled aiming his gun.
"SHIT! WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?" yelled Mike as he heard Joe fire a burst from his gun.
Joe put three bullets though the Asian man's torso. He fell to the ground yelling in agony. Joe wasn't expecting the amount of recoil and flew back and landed on the ground, bruising his back. The tattooed man then shot at Joe but missed by a good five feet being so startled. Joe crawled under a nearby desk and Mike jumped behind a book-case.
"WE'RE UNDER FIRE, JOHN IS DOWN AND I'M UNDER FIRE I NEED HELP" yelled the tattooed man into his walkie-talkie.
Three men then ran into the room seconds later, all wearing balaclavas and full body armor. They all had their guns aimed in front of them and scanned the room. Since Mike and Joe were hiding, they could not see them so they started to walk towards the back of the room.
Joe put his head down, hoping that with the lights out, they could not see him. As the three heavily-armed men advanced, Joe crawled under the next desk, hoping he could escape. As he reached the door without being seen, his stomach knotted as he realized Mike was still back there.
"HEY WHAT ARE YOU..." screamed one of the men at Mike, but was cut short as Joe opened fire wildly. None of the shots hit, but they made the men dive for cover as Mike sprang up and ran towards Joe. The man that screamed at Mike then jumped out of cover and was about to shoot Mike, when Joe fired in his direction hitting him in the arm and causing him to drop his gun. Joe and Mike ran into the hallway when a group of men talking spotted them.
They all yelled for others in the hallway to shoot them. Miraculously, a hail of bullets was shot at the two teens, but not one hit their mark. Since Joe and Mike were on the first floor, they ran into the main hallway and jumped into the main office. The principal, Mr. Raidon, was tied to a chair while three men were torturing him, by slapping and punching him.
Joe opened fire at one of the men, while he dropped; the other two cursed and ran for cover. Joe shot one man while he was running, and the other fired at Joe, missing, then Joe ran at him, firing, and two of the bullets went into his head. When all three were dead, Joe was amazed at how well he could shoot, and how easily he became accustomed to the recoil of the powerful weapon. They untied the principal and they asked him who these armed men were and what they wanted. As the principal told them, they barricaded the door and locked it, but luckily, no one saw them jump into the office, and the door was so heavy, the gun shots were probably never heard.
The principal told them that these armed men were the same that had killed the students in England since he heard them saying things about that school. All he knew is that they call themselves "Red" and that they had taken over the town, and most of the neighboring towns. He said they kept asking him where the Spanish teacher, Mr. Narci, was. They wouldn't tell him why, but he figured he was important.
The trio decided to fight their way out of the school, it was very risky, but it was their only option. Mike and Mr. Raidon took the guns from the corpses scattered around the room. Outside the main office was the main hallway, it was the longest hallway in the school and had fifteen classrooms. The safest way to get past would be to sneak past every room, since there were rebels in every room.
Joe knew the most about military tactics, so he was made the un-official leader of the three. He snuck up on the first classroom, crouching as to not be seen through the windows each door had. He peered over the edge of the window to see two men smoking cigarettes with their back turned; each one was muscular and very tall.
"They must have a tough recruitment program" whispered Joe, trying to lighten everyone's mood a little.
"I know, seriously" whispered Mike, offering up a small chuckle.
After sneaking down the long hallway and peering into every room, they finally reached the southern exit which led to a small street that housed a church, a few houses, and a Carvel. It was always a quiet street, teenagers usually hung out in the back of Carvel smoking cigarettes. Small children were always walking with their parents, enjoying the sweet taste of an ice cream cone or milk-shake. Today, the scene was entirely different. One of the houses was on fire; the church had people banging on the door to be let in while a priest was talking from a window on the upper floor, trying to calm them down.
What was being said was un-intelligible since everyone was screaming. The Carvel building had craters in its roof and an armored vehicle was stationed on the street. A U.S. Soldier was sitting in the gun turret, intent on looking for targets.
As the U.S. Soldier spotted the two students and Mr. Raidon, he wheeled the turret around and trained his sight on the trio.
"Yo, who are you?" yelled the soldier.
Joe spoke first.
"We're two students who escaped" he said, pointing at himself, then at Mike. "And this man is the principal, Mr. Raidon"
"Hurry up and get in here" yelled the soldier, beckoning them to come inside the vehicle
Inside the vehicle, the U.S. soldier dropped from the turret and offered some water to the tired students and to Mr. Raidon.
"How the hell did you get past all those armed men" asked the soldier
"We...we really have no idea, all luck...and our guns" said Joe, pointing to the three FAMAS rifles they were all holding.
The soldier offered a little chuckle
"Well, I have to stay here and watch the school, so your gonna have to find your own way home, sorry"
Joe looked at Mike and knew they were both thinking the same thing, their friends.
Joe asked the soldier
"Do you have any idea how many students were killed? We saw one get shot in the head, so he's dead."
"Well, to be honest, from the massacre in England, I would have to say probably more than just one."
Both Joe and Mike looked at the floor for a few moments, hoping that everyone they knew were alright. Mr. Raidon then spoke up to break the silence.
"I heard that almost all of Nutley is under siege, is that really true?"
The soldier nodded and answered.
"We evacuated most of Nutley's citizens, but we're fighting for every inch of this damn town, but we turned a house into a field HQ on Plymouth Road and the area around there is ours, and we're keeping it that way."
Joe's head snapped up when the soldier told him where the field HQ was.
"That's my street, what number is the house?"
"I think it was seventeen, not sure"
"That's my house! Is my family alright?"
"Yes, everyone on that street was safely evacuated to the Meadowlands."
Joe was relieved, but then a few more questions entered his head
"But, why Nutley? It's just a small suburban town, there's no point in attacking us"
"It's not just Nutley, the entire East Coast is under attack, they even took over Washington but President Bush is alright, he's in some base in California, away from the enemy. We really don't know what the rebels' motives are, but we're sure they're American, which doesn't make any sense, like, how could an organization amass so many weapons, vehicles, men, even airpower right under our noses? No one knows right now."
The four of them sat there for a while, all around them there were explosions, gun shots, and people screaming. It was hell on Earth. Overhead were U.S. Airplanes dropping bombs on anywhere they were told was a target, one missed the four of them and just hit the street over. During the few hours they sat there, the soldier introduced himself. He was PFC. Amaril; he grew up in Wildwood which is a beach resort in Southern New Jersey. Wildwood was Joe's favorite place, he visited it every year with his family, and some of his fondest memories were there. He hoped he could still go back some day. After high school, he went to college, but he knew it wasn't for him, and since he loved to work out and push himself, he figured the army was the best course for him, and it was.
At 4:30, PFC. Amaril's radio came on.
"Amaril, this is Cpt. Cortez speaking, what's your status?"
Amaril answered him
"I have two students here, sir, and the principal; they are safe inside the Bradley."
"How did they escape?" yelled Cortez
"I'm not sure, but they had three automatic Rifles, FAMAS sir, they took them from the rebels."
"I'll be damned..." said Cortez, trailing off "I'm sending a Humvee evact to pick them up, I'm sorry soldier, you'll have to stay."
"That's alright, sir, it's my duty"
They sat in silence as they waited for the Humvee.
Home, Sweet, Home
The Humvee arrived at 5:00 P.M. Joe, Mike, and Mr. Raidon entered the Humvee. Inside, the soldier driving introduced himself as Sgt. Roy. He asked if one of them wanted to man the .50 Cal turret. Mike was the first to say he wanted to do it.
"Mike, you sure you want to, its risky." said Joe
"Hell, you got to be all badass in school, I want a chance to be badass too!" said Mike, they both laughed.
Once Mike had a helmet on and some body armor which was stored in the back of the Humvee, the Humvee turned around and went down Franklin Avenue, which was where Nutley High School was. As they went down a block, a rebel tank was in front of Franklin Middle School.
"How did they get an Abrams!" yelled Sgt. Roy as they swerved up Church Street. The Rebel Abrams shot at the Humvee, but the shell missed and hit Giovines Music Store%u2122. Blasting a crater into the front of the store. They sped up Church Street, and a pair of rebels walking down the street turned and fired at them. Mike quickly spun the 50. Cal and aimed at them. He fired three bursts and the two rebels were down.
They made their way down the road, amazed at how their town had been ruined. Houses that were standing there only a few hours ago; were now pieces of burning wood and rubble, or piles of ash. Down the hill, Church Street ended by a Mansion that took over a big plot of land, and it was crossed by Bloomfield Ave. The mansion was now what seemed to be a rebel barrack; there were tanks, vehicles, and infantry spread out all over the big plot of land.
Luckily before anyone spotted the speeding Humvee, it was around the corner and out of sight. They sped down Bloomfield Ave. and were happy to see U.S. military troops walking around, they were in friendly territory. They passed a destroyed gas station; a few men were stationed around there, across the street was an apartment building, which was also damaged with craters and fires, down the street were a few blocks of suburban houses, and then there was a park, with three baseball fields. It was the American League. Joe had played there when he was a kid. He remembered almost every season, the good, the bad, and the horrible. Most of his teams had lost most games, but a few seasons, they had almost won the championship, he had played there for seven years.
Across the street from the biggest, and most built up field, was Plymouth Rd. The sight was breathtaking. There were tanks in front of every house, soldiers rode ATVs up and down the streets, Humvees much like their own, were riding up and down, there were sandbags, artillery pieces, heavily armored men walking everywhere. The thing that bothered Joe the most was that his neighbor's house didn't exist; it was just a small square of bricks. He hoped his neighbors had gotten out soon enough. They were a young couple with three children, and a fourth on the way.
Last, but not least, was his house. Every window was either reinforced with a machinegun, or was boarded up. His house was relatively small, but with all the men, sandbags, and tents around his lawn; it looked bigger than usual.
The Humvee stopped in front of the house. A man about average size walked up. He had a Marine officer's uniform on, fitted with ribbons, and medals. He had short brown hair and very sharp facial features. He had a small fresh bandage on his left cheek, which showed he was in some sort of battle, whether it was this one or not, didn't matter.
"I'm glad to see your safe Sgt. Roy, and Mr. Raidon, now who are these two famous kids who everyone at HQ is talking about?"
"I'm Joe" he said, and then pointed at Mike "and this is my best friend, Mike"
He shook hands with both of them
"It's an honor to meet you both; I am Cpt. Cortez, in charge of protecting Nutley, Belleville, Bloomfield, and Clifton. This is your house, is it not?"
"Yes, it is"
"Well, once this battle is over, which I do hope it is soon, we will fully restore it to its old quaint self."
Cpt. Cortez seemed to be very old-fashioned, which was rare in 2007. He talked like it was the early 1900s, which Joe thought, was a lot better than the way people spoke now. He didn't use a hint of slang, but he gets straight to the point, which Joe found very respectable.
"I made sure we had provisions for you three when you got here. We have some food and water, and I saved all the food in both your refrigerators, so you can have some soda if you wish" he offered up a small chuckle
The three of them thanked him and walked up what used to be Joe's side steps, now it was a machine gun nest, with two men working a stationary .50 Cal. Joe felt as if this were a dream. They entered his basement which was now set up with dozens of computers, and tables with maps. A good twenty-some soldiers were here, a few were eating something in a can by Joe's fridge, three were crowded around Joe's T.V., watching the news, and the rest were running around, looking at papers, or talking to each other.
As soon as the trio descended the stairs, every eye was on them. Some cheered, others whistled, and a few more just stood there with blank expressions. A Puerto Rican man came up to them and gave them their food, Joe thanked him and they sat down to eat watching the T.V.
What they saw was, although sickening, amazing. It was CNN News%u2122, since it was 5:00; they had their daily news-cast on. No other story ever had gotten this much media attention since 9/11. The head-line read
Breaking News! A mysterious band of rebels has taken over almost the entire East Coast of America!
The newscaster, who was an older woman, probably in her fifties, with a beige suit on, started to talk about it.
"This afternoon, a group of rebels, simply known as "Red", have taken over the East Coast today, we have almost all of our troops that are stationed at home in the fray, the situation does not look good."
A few of the soldiers cursed and yelled at the T.V.
"What the Hell? We're doing great, this fight should be over anytime now."
"Yea, who do they think they are, saying it doesn't look good, are they over here fighting? No!"
Joe and Mike looked at each other and just laughed. Once a commercial came on for Subway%u2122, Cortez came down the stairway, once down; he looked at the two boys and Mr. Raidon and smiled.
"Good news, we have troops inside Nutley High School now, and it seems that there are only two serious injuries, and George was the only death. They have amassed a few vehicles to escort the students back here, we need all the man power we can get, so we need a few of them to fight, as you are."
"Ok, sir, that's a relief" said Joe
"Oh, and one more thing, Joe, we want you to hand-pick the fighters"
"What? Me? But...I don't know whose a good soldier"
"It's really not that hard, pick your friends, really, that's all"
"Alright, thank you, sir"
"And one more thing, PFC. Amaril is coming back too; he's going to stay with us for the remainder of this fight"
The fact that all of his friends were alright, and that Amaril was safe too, made Joe feel more relieved then he ever had before. Mike suggested that they all get some rest, so they walked over to a few make-shift beds in a corner, and as best as they could, blocked out all the noise and went to sleep.
A thundering noise woke them up a few hours later, something was moving overhead. Joe jumped out of the bed, and it seemed no one but the trio was fazed by the loud noise. Joe ran up to a nearby soldier and asked what the noise was.
"Oh, it's just the Bradley's carrying the students from NHS."