There was a loud clanging. Evans opened his eyes, sat up, and pulled his blanket off. It was still dark out, Evans looked at his watch, Five Thirty. Private Clark was banging a frying pan against the side of an armored car. The Lieutenant was standing next to her, smirking. When most of the platoon was awake, she started walking down the line and yelled out, “ALRIGHT! WE ARE MOVING OUT IN FIVE MINUTES! PACK YOUR BED ROLLS AND STEEL BUCKETS ON! TODAY WE ACHIEVE GLORY!”
Evans quickly packed his bed roll, slipped it into his pack, and put it on. He then picked up his shotgun and looked over at the Lieutenant. She was sitting on the hood of a truck polishing a sword that was over half her height. She tossed it from hand to hand. Evans walked over and extended an upturned hand.
The Lieutenant brought her right hand over her waist, “Good to see you Private Evans, I hope this day goes well for us.”
“If you will pardon my question Lady Demetria, Why do you have a sword?”
She smiled and slid the sword into a scabbard, “Family tradition. A few hundred years ago, it was a law or something that in order to marry a noblewoman, you must first defeat her in combat with a sword. To show that you could protect her. Because women are dainty flowers or something. So the story goes that one of my ancestors fell madly in love with a man who was fourth in line to marry her. So she trained constantly for the year leading to her betrothal, so she could defeat the first three suitors. When her lover came, she kept her sword in it’s scabbard and refused to fight.” The Lieutenant shrugged, “So, the women in my family started training ever since so they could choose their own path.”
Evans bowed and returned to his team. He looked at Chilcott and shrugged, “Well, the Lieutenant is crazy. She has a sword. It’s like half her size. And it seems like she wants to use it.”
Tiscornia shrugged, “Well, she did have that speech about all of us dying.”
A low rumble started. Exhaust started billowing from the armored cars. The Lieutenant got on the hood of the front car and extended the sword, “FOR GLORY!”
The cars slowly started to drive forward. The platoon started to march forward. Nazarri walked up next to Evans, “Lance Corporal, do you need anything?”
“No thanks Nazarri… And call me Evans, we’ve been in the army for the same amount of time. It just feels weird,” Evans looked over at Pastor, who was talking with another private, “Keep an eye on him, I like him, and wouldn’t want him to die so soon.”
Nazarri nodded and walked over to Pastor. Evans walked over towards Turner. She looked at him, “I feel like we could move faster if we could ride in the cars.”
Evans nodded, “Yeah, it also would have made Lady Demetria’s whole thing more inspiring… I kind of hope she kills someone with it.”
“Yeah. That would be pretty impressive,” Turner nodded, “But seriously. Why do we have to walk everywhere? Those cars are right next to us. We could just hang on the side.”
“No,” Evans shook his head, “We’re the Infantry. Everyone hates us. So we walk. We walk everywhere.”
“HEY!” A women shouted from behind the platoon, “PRIVATE EVANS!”
“Well aren’t you popular.”
Evans nodded and jogged to the back of the platoon. Lieutenant Ricci was limping towards the platoon with a cane, “Evans. Good. This is your platoon. Ooh, and congratulations on the promotion.”
“Should you be here Ma’am? You got shot like three days ago.” Evans gestured at her uniform, which still had a hole and obvious bloodstains.
“I snuck out. I was getting antsy,” She gestured to the cars, “The Majors told me to follow your column.” She then pointed to the car with a radio antennae sticking out the top, “Can you help me to that car?”
Evans put his shotgun into his right hand and his left hand around Lieutenant Ricci’s waist. She put her arm over his shoulder and he helped her move alongside the car. He knocked on the door.
A Lieutenant opened and looked at them, “You need me Lieutenant?”
Lieutenant Ricci nodded, “Can I have a ride? I’m an Intel officer and I’m not supposed to be walking.”
The Lieutenant tapped the driver on the shoulder and the car came to a halt. He gestured to the person behind him and the door opened. Evans helped Lieutenant Ricci onto a bench in the car next to a Corporal. He saluted Lieutenant Ricci as the door swung close and the car started moving again. He then walked back up towards Turner, “Man it seems like every officer loves me,” He gestured back to the communications car, “She apparently snuck out of a hospital to join our platoon on the way to the front. She can’t even walk without help.”
Turner nodded, “I think it’s a sign. You should become an officer. And that way you can be crazy and people will just laugh and call it eccentric. And you get to yell at people.”
“Great, Now all I have to do is be rich enough or smart enough to become an officer.”
“Hey! You could also be well connected and be an officer. Think. Are any of your relatives important government figures?”
There was a burst of machine gun fire. Evans dived to the ground. There was a loud explosion next to him. A large piece of brass fell to the ground. The machine gun didn’t fire anymore. Turner looked over at Evans and yelled, “I LIKE THESE CAV GUYS!”
Lieutenant Kestel was looking through a pair of field glasses at the building that used to hold the machine gun nest. She drew her sword and gestured forward. The cars started moving again and the platoon rose. The lead car swept the building with a few bursts from it’s machine gun.
Evans looked at Turner, “OK, so that use of the sword looked pretty cool.”
After about an hour of this slow march forward, with sporadic enemy fire, the unit arrived at a roadblock. The cars halted and the platoon sat down to take a few moments rest. A Cavalry Captain came out of the lead car with a pipe in her mouth, “Any of you infantry lot have any experiences with using explosives to blast holes in things?”
To Evans’ surprise, Pastor was one of the few who raised a hand, along with Barnes and Riley. The Captain then pointed to the three Privates who had volunteered. She then saw Evans and his Lance Corporal Stripes near the front of the column, “You too Lance Corp. With me.”
The four followed the Captain to a car nestled in the middle of the formation. She looked at the four, “I need you three to blow a hole in that road block. Lance Corp, you’re here to supervise and help carry explosives. You can get the charges out of the back of this truck.” She then knocked on the back door and left to her car.
The door swung open and a Private stepped out, “Hi, I’m Peters. What do you four need?”
Evans stepped forward, “I’ve been tasked by your Captain with blowing a hole in a roadblock,” he looked back at his detail, “Pastor, how much do we need?”
“One case James.”
Peters nodded, pulled out a case of explosives, and handed it to Pastor. He then pulled another box labeled ‘blasting caps’ and handed it to Riley. The next box was labeled ‘blasting machine’ and Peters handed it to Evans. Peters then pulled out a large spool of wire and handed it to Barnes. Evans then led the group to the roadblock.