The Trenches

April 8, 2008
By Cason Barlow, Brunswick, GA

It was just another day on the planet Fortis Binary. Scout Sergeant Mkoll had just returned with his platoon. It had been just like any other of his patrols, except that his team had spotted something very strange behind enemy lines. He was going to report it to Colonel- Commissar Gaunt when, all of a sudden, the artillery alarms began to sound. He immediately turned around to make sure that the men in his platoon were headed to their designated shelter area. He then began to follow them to make sure all of them made it in, and also to make sure any other stragglers got in, in time. Once all of the men were inside, he met with the other platoon leaders in the bunker to see what they should do. All of the sergeants agreed that they should have their men prepare to get back in the trenches to watch for any enemy forces as soon as the bombardment was over. But, for now, they would have their men clean and prepare all of their equipment. After about fifteen minutes, the bombardment was over. The sergeants immediately gathered up their platoons and told them what they were going to do. They then left the bunker by platoon and made sure that all flamer-units and support weapon teams went out first. They then went to their designated places in the trenches. They also had their snipers begin to scan the no-mans land for any movement. After they had been in the trenches for about ten minutes, they got a radio message from Colonel Corbec telling them to hold their positions and to fire on any enemy units spotted. Further down the line, though things were not so peaceful, the enemy was attacking this section of the line very hard, using hand grenades and shields that were made of wood and sheets of metal. But whenever the sergeants saw any of these things, they had their platoon flamethrower take care of it. All of a sudden, the enemies just stopped coming Then they heard the sound of something like an air cannon go off several times, and then five canisters landed with a wet thump in the mud about ten feet in front of the trenches. Immediately after this happened, the sergeants begin to blow their whistles to signal that the men should put on their gas hoods, but the men were already putting on their gas hoods. They knew that once the gas had spread around the trenches enough, the enemy would try to assault the trenches again, so the sergeants had their men put their bayonets on their rifles just in case the enemy managed to get close to the trenches. After about a half an hour, the other sergeants along the trenches reported not seeing any enemy movement. Then Colonel –Commissar Gaunt radioed that he wanted volunteers for a recon team to go out into the no-mans land to find out what the enemy was doing. After he had gotten about ten volunteers, he had them all gather in his command office to show them what he wanted them to do. While he was briefing them, Scout Sergeant Mkoll came in and told him that his platoon had spotted enemy tanks being moved up to the front lines and that he thought that the enemy might be going to try to assault their trenches using tank support. Then, Gaunt decided to try to take out the enemy tanks before they could be used against them. After looking at a map of the land, he found out that there was a huge river in the middle of the area where the enemy tanks would have to come across and he had found the only two spots where the enemy could move their tanks across the river. He then decided to split his ten volunteers into two teams so they could attack both locations simultaneously. All the teams had to do was get to their designated spot and blow up the bridges and get back to the trenches. Gaunt then gave the two teams an hour to get more ammo and to get the explosives they would need to blow the bridges. Once the teams had reported to Gaunt, he told each team which bridge they would destroy. He then sent them out into the no-mans land. As soon as each team was out of the trenches, they almost immediately disappeared, shrouded in their camo-cloaks. The teams had a little bit of difficulty finding the bridges because of the dense fog of poison gas the enemy had released just an hour ago, but both teams knew that their bridge was either in the east or to the west. The team that had the western bridge managed to find their bridge pretty quickly and planted the explosives and got out of the area. The team assigned to the eastern bridge began to hear the rumbling of tanks, but didn’t worry too much about it because they knew that they were close to the bridge. They did start to increase their pace a little bit. Once they made it to the bridge, they began to set up the explosives on the bridges main support points, but just as they were about to leave, the tanks came into view. The team then decided to wait for the tanks to come across the bridge. They saw the last thing they ever expected to see happen. The tanks lined up on the opposite side of the river and began to aim at the bridge; they then opened fire on the bridge trying to destroy it. Once the bridge had completely collapsed into the river, they turned around and left.
The team, stunned by what they had just seen, began to rush back to their trenches so they could tell Gaunt what had happened. When they finally arrived, both teams gathered in Gaunt’s office. The team that had been assigned to the western bridge said that when they had begun to head back, they heard cannons firing and they also thought they had heard the bridge collapse. The second team then reported that they saw the enemy tanks destroy the bridge and leave. Gaunt, shocked by this news, dismissed the teams and thanked them for their hard work. He then typed up a full report to his superiors, but never got a reply from them.

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