“Hey! Lance Corporal! Over Here!” The Corporal hissed at Evans. Evans huddled himself into his coat and crawled towards the Corporal, “Where are we?”
“I have no fucking idea Corporal,” He strained his ears for any sound, “No gunfire.”
“Well Shit. Which company you with?”
“F Company. You?”
“Shit. I’m A Company. We must be really fucking lost. F Company is supposed to be in the far north of the advance, and we should have B, C, and E in between us. You wouldn’t happen to have a map?”
Evans reached for his periscope, “No, but I’ve got this. Though I don’t think we’re near the lines.”
The Corporal grabbed Evans’ periscope and started to look around, “Yeah, we should have at least seen some flares go up. Lets try and piece this together, what happened to you?”
“I was getting orders back to my company in the Third Line, I think I missed. You?” Evans took a turn looking around with the periscope.
“We were pushing towards the Fourth line when I got separated. So my guess is that we are somewhere between the Third and Fourth Vledscan lines. Far enough behind the third line if we can’t hear any gunfire. How fast do you think you were running?”
Evans thought back, “I don’t know, I think I ran at least half a kilometer. I could have doubled back though. We could be anywhere.”
“Wait…” the Corporal fiddled with the periscope and put it down. He crawled up and looked over the edge of the shell hole, “I think I saw a glint over in that direction.”
Evans crawled up and looked where the Corporal was pointing. He saw a small piece of metal glinting. Evans rooted through his pockets and pulled out the small compass. He set it on the ground, “Hey, Corporal, do you have a match?”
Covering it with one hand, the Corporal struck the match with his other. He held it over the compass. The red needle pointed perpendicular to the glint. West. The Corporal looked at Evans, “Let’s get closer and see if thats towards the lines?”
Evans nodded and checked the bolt on his rifle, “How about I take point?”
The Corporal checked his rifle and nodded, “Let’s do it.” He paused a moment, “What’s your name?”
“Jim Evans. You?”
“Chris Hammond. Let’s do this,” Evans nodded and stood up. He slowly started working his way to the glint. Corporal Hammond got up behind him. It took them half an hour to work their way towards the glint. The two slid behind a rock.
Evans poked his head out and looked at the glint. There were three Vledscan soldiers sitting around a pot. They were talking, and one of them was looking at a map. Evans slid back and whispered to Corporal Hammond, “Three of them, one has a map. Also some food.”
Corporal Hammond pulled out two hand grenades, “Can you throw this into their position? We can go in after and look at the map.”
Evans nodded and grabbed the grenade, “Be ready to shoot if they try to run.” Evans flung the grenade in a high arc, which landed in between the three soldiers. There was a scream. One dived on the grenade. There was a muffled thud and two quick shots from Corporal Hammond’s rifle.”
The two ran forward towards the three bodies. Corporal Hammond laughed, “Hey, the soldier who jumped on the grenade saved the map for us.”
“Convenient isn’t it?” Evans knelt down and picked up the map. Corporal Hammond fixed his bayonet and walked to the closest soldier. The one who had jumped on the grenade. He kicked the soldier with his boot. After a few moments he walked over to the next soldier and kicked him. There was a groan. Corporal Hammond drove the bayonet into his chest. The soldier let out a sigh. Corporal Hammond moved onto the last soldier. He kicked him with his boot. The soldier tried to crawl away. Corporal Hammond stepped on the soldier’s neck and beat his head with the rifle.
Evans waved to Corporal Hammond, ”I think we’re two kilometers from the our line. If we’re still holding the third line.” Evans looked in the pot and pulled out a piece of meat, “It’s cooked. Want some?”
Corporal Hammond pulled the bayonet off his rifle and wiped the blood on it. He cut a little piece of the meat off and took a bite, “Tastes good.”
Evans started eating the meat and looking around the map. He pointed to an empty looking area, “If we go through here, assuming the lines haven’t shifted, we should only encounter some light resistance, if any at all. Or at least I think so, These symbols could mean something completely different.”
Corporal Hammond loaded two more rounds into his rifle and slung it over his shoulder, “Let’s move Lance. We should probably get back to our lines before sunrise.”
Evans nodded and picked up his rifle. He checked the action and slung it over his shoulder. The two set off towards the line. The Corporal looked over at Evans, “So Lance, where are you from?”
“Halton. It’s a small town.”
“I’m from Medway myself,” The Corporal smiled, “It’s weird how this war makes us meet people from all over.”
Evans gestured back to the three Vledscan soldiers, “Meet and kill people, eh?”
“Part of the job. So, whe…,” Corporal Hammond dive tackled Evans to the ground. Machine Gun fire ripped over head, “Shit that was close… I think they spotted us.”
The two broke out laughing. Evans pulled out his periscope and looked over at the machine gun, he talked to the Corporal as he scanned for the machine gun, “I love this periscope. Served me well In the trenches.”
“Right? Mine got stolen last week,” Corporal Hammond started lining up his grenades to throw them over towards the Machine Gun, “Say, F Company isn’t the one Lady Demetria is it?”
“It is. There it is. Thirty meters, that way. At least two rifleman nearby.” He handed the periscope to Corporal Hammond.
The Corporal scanned the area, “I’ll suppress, you throw the grenade?”
Evans nodded. He grabbed both grenades. He put one in his pocket and pulled the pin on the other. Corporal Hammond counted down on his hands. Three. Two. One. Hammond opened fire with his rifle. Evans stood up and threw the wildly flung the grenade towards the gun pit. He grabbed his other grenade, pulled the pin, and flung it toward the pit. The two grenades went off in quick succession and the machine gun fell silent. Corporal Hammond stood up and ran over to Evans, “Let’s check out the Machine gun nest.”
The pair ran into the Machine Gun nest and looked around. Evans jumped in first and looked around. He saw a Vledscan soldier reaching for something in his coat pocket. He took his rifle and started to beat him over the head with the rifle. Hammond bayoneted another soldier. Evans wiped the brains off of his rifle and looked around. Nothing.
Hammond waved Evans forward out of the pit. They ran forward. Evans looked at Hammond, “I think we should be…” His head was knocked back, and a split second later, a shot rang out.
Hammond dived to the ground. He heard a woman yell out, “I think I got the blighter!”
“YOU BASTARDS! I’M 202ND!”
“Shit! Um… Come over here with your hands up!”
Corporal Hammond put up his hands and walked towards the line. He walked into the shell hole, where four soldiers were standing, three men and one woman. He punched the woman as hard as you could, “YOU MOTHERFUCKING BITCH!”
The other soldiers grabbed onto him and held him back, “What the fuck man?”
“That bitch killed Evans!”
The woman’s eyes got wide, “Oh fuck. Jimmy Evans?”
“Yeah, Lance Corporal Jim Fucking Evans.”
The woman wiped the blood off her face, “Fuck. We thought he was dead.”
“Well you definitely made sure of that you bitch.”
“We’ve been lost for the past few hours. We don’t know where to go.”
Corporal Hammond wrested himself free from the three soldiers, “Well, Evans and I thought we knew the way back, and Evans had the map… So are you all F Company?”
“One of the men responded, yeah, I’m Lance Corporal Morgan. The one you punched was Private Cain. That is Lance Corporal Newey, and that is Private Head. All F Company.”
“Corporal Hammond, A Company. Newey, Head, with me. Morgan and Cain stay here. And,” He grabbed Cain’s rifle and tossed it away from the trench, “I don’t trust you with a fucking rifle.”
Corporal Hammond waved the Newey and Head. The three of them quickly ran to Evans body. Hammond picked through his uniform for what the map. He pulled it out and wiped it down. He paused for a moment and then pulled the periscope out of Evans’ pack. He grabbed all the ammunition. Hammond nodded to the others and ran back to Lance Corporal Morgan and Private Cain.
He lit a match and read the map, “Third Line is nearby. If we’re extra sneaky, we can get through and hopefully find some of our guys. Let’s move.”
The four soldiers got up behind him. After another hour, they managed to sneak back to the Ethslin lines.