Final Approach

Evans climbed back up the tour as the cease fire was ending. He smiled at Johnson, “Well we’re fucked.”

“Quite Sergeant.”

“And if you see a Vledscan Colonel, blow his fucking brains out.”

Johnson fiddled with her scope, “Good meeting then?”

“The things he said about the young Private who carried our flag. She just reminds me of my daughter.”

“Sergeant?” Johnson peered an eye out towards Evans.

“Yes Corp?”

“Every young woman reminds you of your daughter. And every young man reminds you of your sons. Am I going to act like this when I have children?”

The Artillery Observer climbed back up, “Just so you know, the artillery only has enough for three more volleys.”

Evans smiled, “Ah, good, extra fucked then.”

“So we’re going to die?” The observer looked worried.

Evans nodded to the Artillery Observer, “Almost definitely… What do I call you anyways?” He gestured at the rankless shoulders of the Observer.

“Oh right, I’m a Warrant Officer. So Mister Branagan,” He paused, patted himself down, swore, then looked back up, “How are you two so calm?

Evans smiled, took a cigarette out of his pocket and offered it to Branagan, “We’re Infantry Mister, so we’re used to certain death. Personally, my wife has been informed of my death on at least four occasions.”

There was a crack as Johnson squeezed off a shot, “Yes, it’s a frightful bore really.”

Branagan grabbed the cigarette and lit it, “I can’t stomach it. I’m just a University student.”

“And I’m just a farmer.”

“I’m a hunter, so jobs basically the same,” Johnson took another shot, “Except instead of killing deer, I’m killing men who’d rather see me barefoot and pregnant.”

 

The massed enemy infantry started to approach, behind the cover of a few vehicles. Major Sutcliffe fired the last few volleys, but there was no stopping them, The rifle fire could hold them for some time. But Captain Gates was already sending non essentials back to the church to prepare for the final stand. The soldiers downstairs were clearing the broken chunks of stained glass out of the broken windows. Private Madison had been one of the ‘non-essentials’ sent back, and he had taken to the pulpit and started to give an impromptu sermon.

A rumbling started up to the rear. Evans and the Artillery Observer turned around just in time to see a column or Armored Vehicles rush into the town from the West. The lead vehicle had an Ethslin Flag waving from one of its flagpoles and a plow on the front. The column quickly started to whip past the church. Evans couldn’t count how many vehicles were streaming through the town.

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