As Evans got closer to the hellish red glow, he heard screaming. He saw a sudden movement from the trench. Without thinking, Evans brought the Auto Gun to his shoulder and fired a short burst. It was easy to see the man tumble. His body was covered with… Fire, sticking to him. And he collapsed smoldering. Holy Fucking Hell.

Captain Ricci dashed forward and took a long exposure of the body. She signaled him over and gestured for him to roll the body over. Evans nodded, grabbed a piece of lumber and rolled the body over. He quickly looked away as Captain Ricci took another picture. She waved Evans forward.

Evans slid into the trench. The combination of being out of open ground, and a lightening in the barrage led to Evans being able to hear things beside the endless roar. Another burning man started to stumble towards him. He could barely make out the words the man was speaking. It wasn’t Vledscan. “Killlll Meee”

He unbuckled his holster and drew the pistol. Placing it carefully against the man’s forehead, he saw a pained smile and a nod. Evans pulled the trigger. The man crumpled to the ground. Captain Ricci slid in behind him. She took a picture down the trench line, turned around, and whispered in his ear, “Dugout forward. Try and clear it without grenades.

“Ma’am.” Evans dashed forward to the dugout stairs. Captain Ricci followed halfway down the stairs, then took a position covering the entrance.

Evans turned the corner at the bottom and…


Everything was fire. He started to sweat from the intense heat. Evans saw two charred bodies, embraced in their last moments. Evans looked around the room. Nothing could have survived that. Evans ran up the stairs, gave the Captain a thumbs up and vomited. He took up the guard position while Captain Ricci took her pictures. No one came. Why would anyone come.

Captain Ricci ran back up and whispered, “Lucky. Shell must have tunneled through the ground and burst right in their dugout. We can make our way back to the sap now.”

“Lucky?” Evans made his way up. He looked left and right. Still clear. The artillery had stopped. Likely moments before the Vledscan soldiers came rushing to retake the trench. Captain Ricci waved him over the top.

Rolling over, Evans flattened himself and watched for movement. Captain Ricci rolled over next to him. She whispered, “Let’s run like Hell.”

The two got up and sprinted to the sap.


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