Advance

Evans dismounted Felicity tied it’s reigns. He then started helping Blake off the horse. Four soldiers from First Platoon exited with a stretcher and pulled Blake inside. Amy and Evans followed. Captain Simmons was waiting for them. The two saluted. Returning the salute, Captain Simmons extended his hand to Amy, “I’m Captain Simmons, CO of Fox Company, 202nd Infantry.”

“Lieutenant Moore, Medical Officer of Apple Company, 3rd Dragoons,” Amy shook the Captain’s hand, “The rest of the Company will be a bit behind us, Jimmy… Private Evans and I took off ahead to pick up the Corporal. Captain Czerski will want to talk to you.”

“Very well,” The Captain turned to Evans, “Evans, can you take the Lieutenant to our casualty station?”

“Yes sir,” Evans turned to Amy, “If you’ll come with me Ma’am.” He went to the stairs and climbed to the casualty station. When they entered, Amy immediately got to work on the wounded soldiers. Evans waved goodbye and walked back up to his platoon.

Tiscornia saw him coming in and waved, “Evans. Whats going on out there?”

“Blake got hit, we contacted the Dragoons, oddly enough their medical officer is a girl from my hometown. I took her to Blake while Chambers went to a meeting with their Captain. Amy says Blake is going to make it,” Evans paused for a moment, unslung the scoped rifle, and stared at it, “Shit I left my shotgun out there.”

Shrugging, Tiscornia gestured at the rifle, “I think that will be more useful anyways, we’ll probably stay here for a while.”

“I just had this whole cool ‘Adventurer’ look going, See, I’ve got this whole Ammunition sling that’s useless now. And when we go into combat, I’ll have to do things,” Evans shrugged and slung the rifle over his shoulder and moved over to where Newey, Ustinov, and Hoste were on watch, “Hey guys, I’m back.

Ustinov handed the binoculars to Hoste and left, “Fucking finally Evans.”

“I’ve got Blake’s rifle now,” Evans looked through the sight at the Dragoons, who were making there way slowly down the road, “You know, I would have thought the horses were to make them move faster, but they seem to be going at walking speed.”

“Yeah, but they’re almost here. Another, ten minutes maybe,” Newey lowered the binoculars and handed them to Hoste, “So, is that Blake’s blood all over you?”

Evans looked down at his jacket and pants, seeing that he had not done the best job at cleaning himself off, “Yeah. She was shot twice by a machine gun. I cut clothes off, put the bandages on, and felt sort of bad leaving her topless in the middle of the road, so I covered her up with my jacket. So I’m going to smell like blood for a while.”

Newey laughed, “You can still smell things? I stopped doing that months ago. Is there anything good to smell out here? I’ve always hated cities, the country is where real life is.”

“Real life is in the country? I’m from a small town and it’s shitty,” Evans elbowed Newey, “Cities are great. If you do something stupid, no one cares. If I did something stupid in Halton, everyone would know and constantly give you shit about it.”

Hoste spoke up for the first time in their conversation, “Like marrying someone you’ve known for a month?”

Nodding approvingly, Newey patted Hoste on the back, “I’m so proud of you Hoste. Insulting Evans like that.”

The three stood around quietly for a while, waiting for the dragoons to move in. Hoste eventually spoke up again, “So Lance Corporal, you always give Evans shit about his wife, does that mean you’ve got some girl your to scared to fuck?”

Newey didn’t respond for a thirty seconds. He unslung his rifle and leaned it against the wall. With a quick blow, Hoste was on the ground. Newey turned to face Evans, shook his fist, and said, “I need to go make an excuse to leave for a bit.” Newey grabbed his rifle and left the room.

Evans helped Hoste up, “Newey’s best friend was a Lance Corporal in our platoon. She got killed at White Beach.”

The two stood in silence for a while. Newey eventually came back, but refused to talk to either of them. It was clear that he had been crying. Evans looked down at the company of Dragoons that were gathered outside. Their Captain walked inside for a few minutes. After a few minutes he came out again. The company moved out, leaving a few carts behind.

Another few minutes passed and Lucy came up and tapped Evans on the shoulder, “Hey Goldfish, how goes watch? Anything more exciting going on?”

Turning to Lucy, Evans raised an eyebrow, “Don’t you have a job to do?”

“Yeah, I’m supposed to be helping Lieutenant Moore settle in. She said that she didn’t need me, so I decided I’d chill with you to shirk my job. Captain doesn’t usually do anything important this time of day.”

Hoste turned around, “Are you the Captain’s runner? I’m Private Hoste.”

Lucy looked Hoste over, “Hey, when do you get off watch? And do you want to fuck?” Lucy turned back to Evans, “So your friends with that dragoons Lieutenant? Fancy.”

“Yeah, she’s from my hometown. I used it to have a crush on her as a kid,” Evans glanced out the window and looked outside, “So whats up with the dragoons? Why are they leaving?”

Butting in, Hoste tapped on Lucy’s shoulder, “What did you say?”

“Yeah, your kind of attractive, and I want to fuck you, but the adults are talking now,” Lucy turned back to Evans, “Apparently their Captain has orders to move up a few blocks after they resupplied us. He left Lieutenant Moore here so they could send back the casualties.”

“Well they’re all going to get killed. Glad Amy doesn’t have to do it,” Evans gestured to Hoste, “And he’s really old, like 26.”

Lucy looked at Hoste, “Wow, so you’re almost twice my age.”

Hoste squinted at Lucy, “That would make you thirteen years old. And I watch ends in about,” he looked at his watch, “Forty Three minutes.”

“Wait… Shit, I guess that would be thirty eight. I’m not really good at math,” Lucy turned back to Evans, “And back to you, my birthdays coming up, you should do something special for me.”

“Three things. One, we are in a war zone, I don’t think it’s appropriate. Two, What the fuck would I give you, the only personal items I have are pictures of Anna and my letters. Three, isn’t there anyone else… Oh God you’re my best friend,” Evans shouldered Blake’s rifle and pulled out a notepad, “This is going to be the worst party ever, and when is your birthday?”

“I’m expecting something in two days. If it’s not there, I’ll be angry. Bye!” Lucy turned around and left.

A few seconds later, Newey laughed, “Seriously Evans, what is up with you and hot chicks? You’ve got your own personal harem going.”

Unslinging Blake’s rifle, Evans responded, “You realize I’ve only ever slept with one woman. The one I’m married to. And Lucy just asked to fuck Hoste later. So not really personal.”

“Yeah yeah, I know about Chambers. Just sort of suspicious that your self admitted best friend is the,” Newey made air quotes, “Fox Company Bicycle.”

“Will you shut up Newey. I’ve always hated you,” Evans hit Newey on the shoulder.

“Aww, I hate you too Evans. And for what its worth, I didn’t come up with that nickname. I’m pretty sure Smithy from First Platoon came up with it,” Newey grabbed the binoculars from Hoste and leaned out the window, “I’m trying to see where the Dragoon’s are going. I hope Captain Simmons won’t make us go help them when they get killed.”

About fifteen minutes passed before heavy gunfire opened up. Fifteen more minutes and the dragoons came galloping into view. A few of them firing over their shoulders. Evans could only see about twenty soldiers of the original hundred soldiers in the company. They quickly dismounted and set up positions, ready to fire.

Lucy shouted into the room, “DUTY SOLDIERS MOVE OUTSIDE! NEXT WATCH MOVE OUT AS WELL. EVERYONE ELSE, READY FOR FIGHT!”

Shit. Evans ran down the stairs, followed by Hoste and Newey. Giuliano, Nazzari, and Hunt followed down the stairs as well. They meet up with soldiers in the other platoons outside the building. The dragoons were already starting to fire downrange. Captain Simmons came outside at the head of the Machine Gun Team, “Set up positions by the Dragoons. MOVE!”

Lance Corporal Giuliano took charge of the Second Platoon contingent, “Let’s go, set up by that overturned cart!” The six ran forward and started firing.

After what seemed like an hour, the Vledscan forces were repulsed. Evans stood up and looked around. Lucy looked at him and smiled. Evans looked confused, “When did you get here?”

“Right after the Captain,” Lucy looked at her wristwatch, “Your watch has been over by like… Ten minutes. So I’m going to grab Hoste and have some fun. Catch you later Goldfish.” Lucy grabbed Hoste and pulled him to a nearby storefront. Evans moved with the rest of the company and dragoons back into the building. Luckily, in the firefight, they had managed to take no further casualties.

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