Moving at Night

A few red and green flares went up in the distance. A white flare followed seconds later, illuminating some buildings a dozen blocks away. The gunfire rattled a bit. Evans shrugged at Lucy, “Well, if there is one thing this war has gotten us, it’s free fireworks shows.”

“Yeah, pretty lights are always nice….” Lucy pulled a folding periscope out of her pocket and started to polish the mirrors, “I especially like it when they aren’t near me.”

Lieutenant Ricci walked into the room. She played with her skirt for a moment before drawing her pistol. Weighing it in her hand, she dropped the magazine and loaded two more bullets in. After holstering her pistol, she went through the magazines tucked into her belt until most of them were loaded. She then pulled out her binoculars and looked at the airship. Sighing, she tucked the binoculars back into her webbing and looked at Lucy and Evans, “I think we should get going soon. We’ll move until about three and then hunt for someplace to stay, assuming we haven’t found our lines yet. We’ll stick to back alleys and try to just head straight west. When we cross streets, one at a time and at a sprint.”

Evans nodded and patted down his webbing. Noting that everything was in place, he picked up his Auto Gun and checked the magazine. He then slung it over his shoulder and fitted his helmet on. He then picked up the Vledscan rifle in the corner and handed it to the Lieutenant, “Lucy and I picked this up for you, hopefully you won’t need it. It’s got ten rounds in the magazine and twenty more on the sling. You do know how to shoot a rifle right?”

Lieutenant Ricci shouldered it and smiled, “Yes, it’s Intel officers that have to teach the infantry how to work enemy weapons in the first place.” She gestured to the stairway, “Shall we be going now Privates?”

Lucy and Evans nodded and followed the Lieutenant downstairs. When they arrived at the front door, Evans opened it slowly, Auto Gun at the ready. The street was dark except for the light cast by the moon. Lieutenant Ricci followed behind him, pistol drawn, electing to keep the rifle holstered. Lucy followed next, with her bayonet fixed to the end of the rifle, and shovel slid into her webbing for quick use. The three made their way to the nearest alleyway pointing West and started walking, sticking to the shadows.

They quickly came to their first street and stacked up by the edge of the building. Evans poked his head out and looked around. He gave a thumbs up behind him. Lucy sprinted across the street. She momentarily disappeared into the alleyway before popping back out with her rifle and waving her hand. The Lieutenant moved next. With one hand, she held out her pistol, and with the other, she pulled her skirt up so she wouldn’t trip. When she got across, Evans took off.

Continuing this leapfrog pattern, they managed to move five blocks without incident. At the sixth block, they ran into trouble. Lucy was able to make it across fine. She waved to the Lieutenant, who started running. A shot rang out. The Lieutenant tumbled. Evans waved to Lucy. She scanned the area for the sniper and started firing. Evans ducked low and ran to the Lieutenant. He dragged her behind the nearest cover, an Ethslin Army truck parked on the road. He heard another shot.

“Fuck,” Lucy collapsed onto the ground. Evans started to show signs of panic. He first looked after the Lieutenant, since she was closest. He ripped open her jacket and looked for bleeding. He then grabbed his knife to cut open her blouse and undershirt to get at it. He reached into the Lieutenant’s webbing and pulled out her bandages. After bandaging the wound, he quickly fired a burst down towards the sniper and sprinted to Lucy.

Lucy had crawled up to a seated position by the wall and was unbuttoning her jacket. Evans helped with the last two before cutting open her blouse and shirt. Lucy attempted to point at her chest and said deliriously at Evans, “Like my breasts? See how great they are?”

Evans ignored her and started bandaging the wound on Lucy’s waist. She laughed at him, and then coughed out a sentence, “Oh come on, I bleed like every month, it’s nothing to worry about.”

After finishing, he pulled the periscope out of Lucy’s jacket. He unfolded it and scanned the buildings. He saw the glint of a rifle scope. He slowly pulled back the periscope. He had one shot. Evans grabbed Lucy’s rifle and took a deep breath in. After he counted down from ten, he turned around the corner and fired a shot.

Taking the fact that he hadn’t been shot at as a sign that he had been successful, Evans started to drag Lucy towards the truck. He lifted her up into the covered bed and handed her his Auto Rifle, “I’m going to drive us out of here, if anyone chases us, shoot them.” He pulled out his loaded magazines and slid them into her waistband, “And don’t die on me, alright?” He started to crawl out of the truck before he went back to Lucy and buttoned up her jacket, “Wouldn’t to offend anyone’s sensibilities.”

Evans then went to the Lieutenant. She was trying to hide her pain while drinking from her flask of whiskey. Evans helped her hobble into the passenger seat of the truck. He then walked around to the drivers seat and attempted to start the truck. It took two tries, but it finally started. He slowly started to drive the car down the road, attempting to avoid attracting any more attention than the firefight had already brought.

It didn’t work. Evans heard a few rifle shots. He looked in the side mirror and saw a rifle platoon taking up positions. He heard a burst go off from the Auto Gun. Evans started driving faster, taking the first westward turn he could. He then floored it. After a few minutes, he quickly pulled to the side of the road and looked around the truck for something to identify it. He went around to the back of the truck and jumped into the bed.

Lucy smiled at him, Auto Gun in one hand, Jacket in the other, “Sorry if I offend your sensibilities, I’m way too fucking hot, I’m right above the engine.”

Evans started rooting through some of the boxes, “I see you’ve regained your pluck.”

“Hey, you know what rhymes with pluck?”

Finding a flag, a long rod, and some rope, Evans chose to ignore Lucy and started stringing up a flagpole so he could be identified. After he was done, he got back in the driver’s seat, “I found a flag in the back Ma’am. It’s from the 198th Infantry. I put it up so we don’t get shot by our own people.”

Lieutenant Ricci coughed at him, “But now it will be obvious to the Vledscans.”

“Very Fucking obvious Ma’am,” Evans started the truck again and started driving. It was quiet for a few minutes, until Evans spied some lights in the distance. Roadblock. From the looks of it, it was Vledscan. Evans idled the truck and went to the back again. He whispered to Lucy, “Any weapons back here? Especially some explosives?”

She nodded and gestured to a crate, “Some rifle grenades in there, and three rifles under my seat.” Lucy smirked at Evans, “Why, we run into something fun?”

Evans nodded, “You feeling good enough to fire off some of those?” He crawled up to the rifle grenades and started priming them. Lucy nodded and slowly stood up. She pulled out her knife and cut a slit in the trucks covering that she could aim the rifles out of. She then slid back down, took a drink out of her canteen, and buttoned her jacket.

Lucy then pulled out the three rifles and loaded a few blanks into each and passed them to Evans, who fixed a grenade to each. He shrugged at her, “What, it get cold all of the sudden Lucy?”

“Last time I fired a rifle grenade topless, I had a bruise for a month,” She then switched out the magazine on the Auto Gun and drank a little more water.

Evans handed her the three loaded rifles and scooted the crate with six more primed rifle grenades, “I’ll have to hear that story later.” He then went around front of the truck. Lieutenant Ricci was sitting in her chair inspecting the roadblock with her binoculars. She looked pale. Evans offered her his canteen, “Don’t want to die before the fun starts Ma’am.”

She accepted and took a drink, “See that building near the left, that’s the armory. If we can blow it up, they should be distracted enough for us to drive straight through the roadblock.” The Lieutenant opened her jacket and looked down, “You have any more bandages?”

Evans nodded and wrapped her wound with some bandages before heading back to give the final information to Lucy. He checked his magazine and then sat down in the drivers seat and started to drive as fast as the truck could go.

Airships

“Private. Wake up,” Evans felt someone shaking his shoulder. He heard a bubbling noise coming from a few meters away.

“Uh, Fuck off Newey,” Evans rolled over, “Gimme five more minutes.”

He felt the blanket being yanked off of him. The voice, now clearly female and annoyed called to him again, “Private Evans, Wake up now.”

Remembering where he was, he stood up and saluted, “Morning Lieutenant, sorry for my insolence Ma’am.”

“Morning Private,” Lieutenant Ricci returned the salute and offered him a ceramic cup that smelled like coffee, “I had to let your horse go last night. It was making a lot of noise.”

Evans groggily grabbed the cup of coffee, “Thanks Ma’am. And I feel like that was probably for the best Ma’am.” Taking a sip, he picked up his jacket and helmet, “So whats on the docket for the day Ma’am?”

“I’ve got a map of the city and a compass, we’ll find out where we are, so we can move out tonight,” Lieutenant Ricci handed the Auto Gun to Evans, shut off the portable stove, and gestured for him to follow her, “Let’s grab some food and head upstairs.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Evans followed the Lieutenant up to the third story of the building. As the Lieutenant started to look out the window, Evans put his hand on her arm, “Wait, I’ve got a little periscope.” Evans crawled forward, pulled a periscope out of his pocket, unfolded it, and looked out the window. He scanned the street, nothing. He then moved to the buildings and… Evans folded the periscope and put it in his pocket.

Evans stood up and stared out the window, “Holy Shit.”

Lieutenant Ricci looked at Evans, “What is it?”

“I have no fucking clue Ma’am,” Evans stared at the mysterious object, “It’s like a cloud, but not… natural.”

“Shit,” Ricci pulled Evans away from the window, pulled out her notepad, and looked out, “We need to get down to Army Group Headquarters right away.”

“What is it Ma’am?”

Ricci quickly wrote something on to her notepad, “There should be two officer’s at AGH. Major’s Anson and Fitzroy. If all goes well, I can deliver it, if not, bring this to them.” She looked at the object in the sky, “Do you know what a hot air balloon is?”

“I’ve heard of them,” Evans looked back out at the terrifying behemoth in the sky.

“Well, this is like that, except of hot air, it is filled with hydrogen and bristling with artillery guns. Some of our spies reported these were moving into the area, but not so soon. They probably are prepping for a big push. We have to sneak back to our lines. If we don’t get this information back, Urbs could be lost. So we will probably keep moving at night. We will leave at sundown, a-”

Lieutenant Ricci was interrupted by a familiar voice, and the crack of rifle fire, “COME ON YOU FUCKERS! I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU YOU BASTARDS!”

Evans picked up his Auto Gun and looked outside at the road. He saw a lone soldier being closed in on by a squad of Vledscan infantrymen. He looked down at the cart of hay below in the street near the building. He looked at Lieutenant Ricci, “I regret this already Ma’am.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Private Lucy Chambers pulled the trigger, and another Vledscan soldier fell to the ground. She ducked down behind the brick wall and bolted her rifle, just missing another volley of fire from the Vledscan soldiers.

One of the soldiers made a break for a low wall closer to her, but Lucy brought him down with a shot to the chest. She yelled out, “COME ON YOU FUCKERS! I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU YOU BASTARDS!”

She then hid behind the wall and bolted her rifle and waited for a break in the fire, she could probably take out one or two more before they got to her.

Breath in, breath out. Wait, what’s that in the window down the block?

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

“Oh Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii…” Evans ran forward and jumped out the window, wildly firing his gun into the air, aiming for the cart.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Lucy and the Vledscans both stopped firing for a moment to watch the man jump out the window. The soldier was wildly firing his Submachine gun into the air. She took the opportunity to reload her rifle while they were distracted.

She managed to wing one of them in the shoulder while he tried to take advantage of the distraction.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Evans loaded a new magazine into the Auto Gun and started limping towards the firefight. This was without a doubt the worst decision he had ever made. He reached the end of the road where the firefight was taking place. He poked his head around the corner and surveyed the situation.

Lucy was pinned down behind a pillar by a small group of Vledscan infantry with Rifles. They were slowly trying to advance, overturned cart to overturned cart.

Ducking low, Evans gritted his teeth and sprinted to the pillar next to and slid next to Lucy, “OK, I might be starting to see your whole sidekick thing, but…” Evans popped up and fired a burst into an advancing soldier and ducked back down, “I think I’m the hero, saving you from all your troubles.”

Lucy popped up and shot one of the soldiers. She ducked back down, “You jumped off a building for me.”

Evans fired another burst, “Yes, and I regret it immensely. My leg really fucking hurts.”

Lucy stood up and fired two shots, “They’re retreating.”

Standing up, Evans fired the rest of his magazine at the retreating soldiers, taking down one of them. Lucy shot the other two. Lieutenant Ricci ran over with her pistol drawn, “Private Evans are you alright? And who is this soldier?”

Lucy saluted, “I’m Private Chambers Ma’am, from 2nd Battalion of the 202nd Infantry. I was sent to link up with the 401st after Private Evans here disappeared.”

Evans gestured the way the Vledscan soldiers had come from, “Ma’am, Should Chambers and I clear these bodies and scout out the area while you work on our location?”

“Sounds good Private, Come back to the building in two hours,” Lieutenant Ricci turned around and returned to the building.

Evans and Lucy both loaded fresh magazines and started walking down the street towards the bodies. They picked up the closest one and started carrying him to a building with a broken window. Lucy looked at Evans, “So that Lieutenant, how is she?”

“She’s not Infantry, in case you didn’t see the skirt. She said Intelligence officer.”

“Of course I saw the skirt, not an idiot.”

The pair started to swing the body. Evans counted down from three and they tossed it into the building. They slowly worked their way from body to body until the street was clear. Evans gestured to the building where they dumped all the bodies, “So, you want to wait in there until the two hours are up? See if they have anything to drink?”

“Sure, what the hell,” Lucy led the way into the building, climbing through the window over the bodies. She walked into the back room and started rooting around the cabinets.

Evans followed her and sat on the counter, “So what happened to the company after I left?”

Lucy frowned, “Lot’s of wounded and killed. Don’t ask me who. Captain Simmons actually sent me to tell the 401st that we were pulling back. Lieutenant Moore stayed behind with the wounded to surrender to the Vledscan forces,” She pulled a bottle of whiskey out of the cabinet and yanked off the cork, “Well then.”

The two passed it back and forth for a while. Evans eventually broke the silence, “So, Lucy, there’s something I’ve been wondering for a while… It’s an awkward question.” Evans kicked his feet back and forth and looked down, “So, how are you not… um… pregnant? I can’t imagine you brought enough stuff for all that.”

There was a pause. Lucy pointed at the scar on her face. She pulled up her shirts and jacket, revealing a long scar on her waist, “Same shell that got me up here got me down there… Doctor says theres almost no chance I can… I figure that means I have some chance. I really want to have kids. But I guess there isn’t. Doctor said that they might need to remove it. Something called a historiography. That’s kind of why I do it. Because it’s the last chance I have.” Lucy grabbed the whiskey bottle and took a few gulps.

Evans looked at his watch, “Let’s head back early. See if the Lieutenant has anything for us to do.”

Ricci

Lieutenant Ricci dropped the magazine and fished around in her skirt pocket. Three measly rounds. She ducked down behind the wall and loaded them into a magazine. This was the end. A platoon of riflemen, all coming for her. She slammed the magazine in, took a deep breath.

A loud staccato pierced the air. She heard the clop of hooves. She looked to the right. A lone horseman appeared through the fog. He reared next to her and looked down, “Evening Ma’am,” The horseman fired off another burst, “Do you know how to ride side saddle?”

” Um…” Lieutenant Ricci holstered her pistol, grabbed on the saddle and hoisted herself up. She put one arm around the horseman and held on. The horseman spurred the horse and cantered out. He drew a pistol and fired a few rounds downrange.

After they moved out of range of the platoon, the horseman slowed the horse to a canter and angled his head back towards Lieutenant Ricci, “I’m Private Evans Ma’am. 202nd Infantry. And whom might be?”

“I am Lieutenant Ricci. Staff Officer. As you can see by my skirt,” Lieutenant Ricci swished her skirt a bit with her left hand and tried to look through the fog. She could barely see down the block, “Where are you headed Mister Evans?”

“I was sent to hook up with the 401st Ma’am,” Evans slowed the horse to a trot and started to look around, “I’ve been lost for about a day now. The lines have been changing too fast. We should probably find some place to hide Felicity and sleep for the night.” Evans stroked the horses mane.

He pulled the reigns back and looked back at the Lieutenant, “You want to hop down Ma’am? I think this house looks promising.”

The Lieutenant slid down and drew her pistol, and thumbed the hammer. She turned to Private Evans, “You have any extra magazines for the Benett?”

Evans had dismounted Felicity and was tying the reigns to a fence post. When he finished, Evans reached into one of his magazine pouches and pulled out two. Handing them to Lieutenant Ricci, he swung his Blaire Auto Gun out in front of him. He checked the magazine and moved to the door. He turned the knob and threw it open. He waited a few seconds, took a deep breath, and burst in to the room and swept the muzzle around. Nothing. He waved Lieutenant Ricci in. The two cleared the bottom two floors.

The Lieutenant looked at Evans after they finished the two floors, “It doesn’t seem like anyones been here in a while. We can check the rest after you hide your horse.”

Evans nodded and moved downstairs, “So what is a staff officer doing out here?”

Lieutenant Ricci shrugged, “As you said, lines change. I was an Intel officer for a staff headquarters, when an attack hit. The unit I was attached to held them off. When the unit fell back, I had to stay behind to destroy all our code books and the radios. By the time I finished they had taken over the position and I had to hide in a dresser.”

“Ah,” Evans pulled open the front door with his left hand and aimed his Auto Gun with his right. He gestured for the Lieutenant to move outside. She obliged and he followed soon after. He set up a firing position next to Felicity while the Lieutenant untied her from the fence post.

The Lieutenant moved into an alleyway and around the back of a building. A few seconds later, she ran back out. Evans nodded and moved back indoors. Lieutenant Ricci followed him and locked the door behind them. The Lieutenant looked around at the dusty entry room, “We should try and find something to eat and a place we can sleep tonight.”

“Right Ma’am,” Evans shouldered his Blaire Auto Gun and moved ahead, “I think I saw a kitchen this way, why don’t we check for food there.

The kitchen was small, only a few cupboards next to a coal fired stove. Evans started rooting through the cupboards. He paused a moment to put his Auto Gun on the counter. After a few seconds of rooting, he had a small collection of cans on the table and a few candles. He opened a few up and prepared a rudimentary dinner.

For dinner, the two had chosen an inner room of the house, so the passing patrols couldn’t see the candlelight. It was quiet for a few minutes while Lieutenant Ricci scarfed down the food, she hadn’t eaten for days. After she had eaten her fill, she started talking, “So Private Evans, you’re married?”

“Yeah,” Evans played with his ring and smiled, “Anna’s pregnant with our first child back in Seahaven. She moved out there because the 202nd was spending a lot of time at White Beach, and as soon as we get the apartment, bam. Vledscan’s pull back and the 202nd is sent to Urbs.” He reached into his breast pocket, pulled out a photograph, and passed it to the Lieutenant, “Here’s a photograph.”

Lieutenant Ricci looked at the small pocket sized photograph of a young woman in a dress smiling at the camera. She looked up at Evans, “Anna is quite beautiful Private.”

Evans smiled a bit more, “Yeah, I can’t wait to go home and see her again. How about you Lieutenant? Anyone in your life?”

The Lieutenant took a drink from her canteen, “No… I had thing, but he left me when I joined up.” She then reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a flask and took a sip, “He wanted me to keep my current job instead of joining up. But you know what, I am glad.” She shook her head, “Sorry, it’s just that… I don’t know.”

Taking a quick swig from the flask, Lieutenant Ricci pulled a pad of paper from her skirt pocket. She then pulled a pencil out of her jacket’s breast pocket. She looked up and Evans, “So, about tonight. I haven’t slept in days, so you’ll take the first watch. Now until one. I’ll take one to five. We can have breakfast. We should wait throughout the day and move out at night. I’ll want you to take a look around from the roof of this building.”

Lieutenant Ricci offered the flask to Evans, who declined. She shrugged, took it back, and moved to the corner of the room, where she curled up to sleep, using her jacket and helmet as a pillow. Evans picked up the picture of Anna and leaned back in his chair, with his Auto Gun on his lap. Every half hour or so he took a walk around the building, staying low around windows. There were no patrols that he could see. He found a blanket on one of his walks around the house and draped it over the Lieutenant.

Eventually, one finally arrived. He tapped the Lieutenant on the shoulder, “Lieutenant, time for your watch Ma’am.”

Yawning, Lieutenant Ricci brought up her hand to wipe her face. She sat up, pulled on her jacket, and put her helmet on. She pushed the blanket off of her. She held out her hand towards Evans.

Evans grabbed her hand and pulled her up. Evans slung the Auto Gun and saluted, “Ma’am request permission to go to sleep.”

Returning the salute, Lieutenant Ricci responded, “Yes Private, I’ll take the Auto Gun as well.” She reached out and grabbed the Auto Gun from Evans.

Evans shrugged and pulled off his jacket and helmet. He packed them together to use as his pillow, pulled the blanket up, and went to sleep.

Happy Birthday

The sun was rising over Urbs. Evans and Lucy were sitting on the top of the Company’s building. Evans opened up his bag and pulled out a something hastily wrapped in newspaper, “So I went to this great boutique and the owner recommended this.”

Lucy ripped open the present, smiled. She picked up the brown scarf and draped it around her neck, “Do I look beautiful Goldfish?” Lucy sat down on Evans lap, put her arm around him, and leaned in close to his face, “Does it make you want to ravish me?”

Pushing her off him, Evans shook his head, “Still no Lucy. I did also get you a bunch of chocolate, some dried fruit, and…” Evans pulled a flask out of his bag, “Some whiskey. All these things I definitely didn’t steal.”

“And we should drink this whiskey fast. If an officer comes up we could be in trouble,” Lucy grabbed the flask and drank for a few seconds. She passed it to Evans who took a quick drink.

After they had finished, Evans gestured towards the back end of the roof. Evans pointed to a plank laid across the roof, “I found a record player, so I set up a semi soundproof room in the next building. So, Miss Chambers, care to dance?”

Lucy smiled and followed Evans across the plank. They made their way down into the building, to a room with mattresses pushed up against the wall. In the center, there was a table with a phonograph. Evans walked up and winded it for half a minute. It started to play a light waltz.

Evans shrugged and grabbed onto Lucy. As they started to dance, Lucy asked something to Evans, “So how did you set this all up? Seems kind of heavy.”

“Yeah, I traded some of the chocolate I’ve found for some help. I also have Head covering my watch,” Evans attempted to dip Lucy, stumbled, and yanked her back up, “So how did you get off duty?”

“Well thanks to my reputation, a bunch of men are glad to do me favors,” Lucy stifled a sneeze, “Plus, the Captain doesn’t really use me as much since we’re all in the same building. So with that guy from 1st Platoon covering for me, I’m free for another two hours.”

“Yeah, I’m good for three hours,” Evans dipped Lucy almost successfully, until he lost grip and dropped her on the floor, “Oh shit, sorry.”

Lucy dusted off her uniform and stood up while Evans wound the phonograph some more. She laughed, “So how about a punishment system. Step on my feet you owe me a kiss. Stumble, we get a little handsy. And so on and so forth until you drop me again, and then we flip down a mattress.”

“Still married,” Evans grabbed Lucy again and they continued dancing.

“Wouldn’t be a punishment if you weren’t,” Lucy jokingly made a sweep at his legs.

“So this is a challenge then, I try and dance well, and you try and trip me,” Evans dipped again, making sure not to drop her, “Fine, I’m going to win,” he spun her around, “And how are you going to know if I step on your toes, I can’t feel anything through my boots.”

“Well for example, you just did it,” Lucy turned her head and looked at Evans, “So you owe me one kiss.”

“Doesn’t count, I didn’t feel it,” Evans attempted to spin her around again, “And I definitely would have felt it, because my foot would…”

There was a loud explosion from outside that shook the room. The phonograph fell onto the floor. Lucy shrugged, “Well I guess you win this argument.”

Evans nodded and the two sprinted out of the room. By the time they got to the roof, two more explosions had gone off. A pitched firefight was developing. And to top it all off, the plank to Fox Company’s building had fallen off.

Taking off first, Evans took a running leap and cleared the two meter gap. He turned around and watched Lucy slam against the side of the building. She flailed wildly against the lip until she managed to just barely grab on to the ledge. Evans ran over and grabbed her forearms.

Bracing his feet against the wall, he leaned back, and slowly dragged her over the wall. She helped him back to his feet, hugged him, and whispered into his ear, “The lengths you’ll go to not have sex with me.” She then stomped on his toe, kissed him, and ran to grab her rifle and kit.

Rolling his eyes, Evans went to his rifle, put on his kit, and ran downstairs to report to Sergeant Campbell. Evans found Corporal Hardin first, “Evans! We need security around back! Drop off your rifle here and go pick up an Auto Gun in the stairwell. There should be extra ammo with it. MOVE!”

Evans nodded, put his rifle down, and ran into the stairwell. Someone had left an Auto Gun with a bandolier of magazines. Evans picked up the bandolier and put it on. He then picked up the Auto Gun and checked the magazine. It felt full. He put it back in, bolted it, and leaned against the wall.

There was an almost constant roar of gunfire from outside. Evans wished he could help. If he was fighting he wouldn’t have to worry. He tried to listen for any orders being yelled back and forth. Someone asking for ammo. Anything.

But the din of gunfire was too loud. Lucy ran upstairs. She nodded at him, and went through the door past him. A few seconds later, she ran back out and went upstairs. She sprinted back downstairs.

That’s the way it went for what seemed like an eternity. The Company and remaining Dragoons fighting and dying, Lucy delivering important messages, and Evans, just standing there. He pulled out a cigarette and was about to light it when Lucy ran up to him. She stood on her toes and yelled into her ear, “LIEUTENANT MOORE! ASK HER FOR HORSE! THEN TALK TO CAPTAIN! I’LL TELL YOUR PLATOON!”

Evans nodded and ran to the dressing station, where Amy was running from patient to patient. She saw him and ran over, “What do you need Jimmy!?”

“Captain wants me to borrow a horse Amy.”

Amy nodded, “Yeah, take Felicity, she’s in the alleyway out back.”

Evans ran downstairs to the Captain’s office. There was a note pinned to the door with the Captain’s handwriting, “Evans, Need you to link up wit 401st. They ar nearest unit. North of our position, unknown distance. Avoid main roads. Heavy enemies.”

Shit. Evans left the office, and went to the bottom floor and ran out back. He looked at the few horses tied up. He recognized Felicity’s coat and went to untie her. Evans slung his Auto Gun, mounted Felicity, and spurred her down the alleyway, away from the firefight.

Medical Duties

A few of the more heroic of the dragoons managed to sneak forward and recover a few casualties. Lieutenant Moore had requested that Evans assist her in the casualty center. Evans ran upstairs and saluted, “Amy, I’m sorry about your company. It sounds like you guys had it pretty rough.”

Amy shrugged, “I didn’t know any of them that well. I was thrown into the company at the last minute.”

Evans shrugged. After a few seconds, he stood to attention and gave a mocking salute, “Well what do you need me to do Lieutenant Moore?”

“Get a few beds ready for the incoming wounded,” Amy went to check on a few of the soldiers, “How many unwounded from my company?”

“About twenty. Your Captain was killed, and Lieutenant Lansbury took charge,” Evans looked sadly at Amy, “As I said, you guys had it very rough. Straight into an ambush.”

Her face went pale, Amy sat down on an unoccupied bed, “When you said rough, I didn’t think it was that bad.”

Evans sat down next to her and tried to console her. They sat there in silence for a few minutes before the first casualties came in. It was hard work for hours getting all the patients stabilized. Evans slumped down against the wall. He didn’t bother wipe the blood off. He watched Amy move from patient to patient.

Someone slid down next to him, “Hey Goldfish.”

“Hey Lucy,” Evans pulled a cigarette out of his jacket and lit it. He offered one to Lucy, who refused, “The dragoons really caught hell.”

“Really ruins my whole happy, just had sex feeling,” Lucy stared at the cots, “I think your uniform might have more blood than dye now. I should get back to the Captain.” Lucy stood up and left the room.

Evans sat for a few minutes before he put out his cigarette and stood up. He walked over to Amy and saluted, “Permission to join the hunt for wounded Ma’am?”

Amy hugged Evans, “Be safe. It’s bad enough with all these people I don’t know.” She then went back to tending to the wounded soldiers.

Evans leaned his rifle against the wall of the medical room and went downstairs. He drew his pistol and loaded a magazine. It was dark outside. There was a candle light flickering under a makeshift tarp. He ducked underneath and saluted Lieutenant Lansbury, “Sir, I’ve been released from my evening duties and would like to join the search Sir.”

The Lieutenant nodded, “Thank you Private. We have another patrol going out now. Go to the overturned cart, Lance Corporal Booth and Private Hindley are getting ready now.”

Evans saluted and left the tent. He slowly worked his way to the overturned cart that he had seen earlier. He whispered out at the two silhouettes, “Hey, I’m from Fox Company, I’m here to help. I’m Evans.”

The taller silhouette whispered with a masculine voice, “I’m Lance Corp Booth.” Evans could make out the taller silhouette pointing to the shorter one, “She’s Private Hindley. What gear do you have with you?”

Thinking for a moment, Evans responded, “Benett Pistol, Bayonet, and flashlight. I used up all my dressing at the aid station.”

“Sounds Good. You’ll take the rear. Hindley has a rifle and Flare Pistol, so she’ll take center. I’ll take point with my Benett Pistol. Stay low, and if a flare goes up, close one eye and freeze in place. Then wait until the flare goes down. When we get there, we will move to the East side of the square. Don’t make any noises,” Booth pumped his flashlight for a moment and used it to look at his watch, “We should move out now.”

Booth shuttered the flashlight and clipped it back to his jacket. The three took off in the moonless night towards the square. Every few minutes, a flare went up. Occasionally a machine gun burst would follow. When the flares were down, Evans could barely make out Hindley, who was only two meters ahead of him.

It was half an hour before they had managed to slowly snake their way to the square. Evans could make out Hindley’s shadow lowering to the ground. Following her lead, he started crawling behind her. They slowly crawled from body to body, checking to see if anyone was alive. Evans got into the habit of aiming his watch towards himself when he heard a flare. The hour passed quickly with only dead soldiers.

They were by a dead horse when a flare went up. The flare was followed by a burst of machine gun fire that thudded close by. Evans took cover behind the dead horse. Booth and Hindley joined him behind the horse. A few more rounds thudded into the horse. Booth, figuring stealth wasn’t that important anymore, yelled over the gunfire, “When This Flare Goes Down, We Run!”

Evans nodded and fired a few shots from his pistol wildly towards the machine gun. The flare slowly dipped. Without waiting for the flare to go out completely, the three took off sprinting.

The bullets were whizzing past Evans head. He wasn’t paying attention to the two dragoons. He just kept running. He stumbled over something. It might have been a body. Another flare went up. Evans closed his left eye and dived behind a dead horse. He waited. The flare went down. Just as Evans started to run, there was a short flash of light followed by a loud roar. Fuck.

He ran behind a low wall and slumped down to try and catch his breath. A shadow came around the wall. Evans pounced on it’s source, knocked the rifle away, and started to beat it with his pistol. Evans dropped the pistol and grabbed for his bayonet. The shadow kneed Evans in the groin and forced him over. Cringing in pain, Evans froze. The shadow applied more pressure to his groin. He heard a knife being drawn.

Another flare went up.

Evans stared into the bloody and beaten face of Hindley, poised over him with her knife. There was a flash of recognition on her face before she dropped onto him to hide behind the wall. Evans yelled into her ear, “Sorry! I thought you were Vledscan!”

Hindley spat some blood out, “You didn’t notice the tits and the bun!? At least I was fighting someone who could be an enemy!”

“So what happened to Booth!”

“I have no fucking clue!” She rolled off Evans and grabbed her rifle. Evans grabbed his pistol. Hindley pointed to a nearby storefront, “When it goes down, grab my hand, and we’ll run over there.”

The flare finally went down. Evans grabbed onto Hindley and she sprinted to the store. They reached it just in time for another flare to go up. A few machine gun bullets conveniently smashed the window, so Hindley and Evans jumped through, careful of the shards of glass. The pair slowly crawled their way to the back of the store. There was a washroom in the back with no windows.

Evans unclipped his flashlight and pumped it a little. He looked over Hindley’s bloody face, “Shit, I really fucked you up. I’ll clean you off a bit.” Hindley sat down in a chair while Evans grabbed a washcloth. He slowly dabbed the blood off Hindley’s face. The machine gun fire that chattered outside was slowly petering out.

After he was done, he drew his pistol and opened the back door. It was an empty alleyway. Evans and Hindley worked their way back to Fox Company’s building. Booth wasn’t there.