“Captain, we’re running low on ammo and we still have damage from the last attack, not to mention we haven’t finsihed building the freaking outpost yet,” Lieutenant Betty Johnson reported.
Captain Jeff Frost replied, “Well, get the boys to work.”
“Sir, after three attacks in three days, the ‘boys’ are tired,” Johnson answered.
Frost thought for a few seconds, then said, “I’ll ask HQ if they can send us some help. Maybe if we can finish the outpost, we can deter the little bastards.” His aides chuckled and then Frost asked, “Anything else?”
Lieutenants Johnson, Harry Koval, and Ed Moore all replied with, “No Sir.”
“She has the nicest ass I have ever seen,” Private Chris Snyder boasted of his girlfriend as he and Private Jason Anderson added another tier to the outpost’s defensive wall.
Anderson asked, “Have you fucked her yet?”
Snyder just looked at him and smiled, “What do you think?”
“I think you’re full of it,” was Anderson’s reply.
The strain over the last few days had gotten to everyone, and the troops were waiting for some way to release it. “Fucker,” Snyder shouted as he punched Anderson.
Anderson put up his fists, “Ohhh, that was a bad choice. I can wipe the deck with your ass.”
“Yeah, you and what army?” Snyder asked.
“MOVEMENT ON THE PERIMETER!” The lookout’s call brought them back to their senses, but not soon enough. Anderson watched as Snyder took a hit square in the chest, and fall to the ground.
Snyder lifted his head to look at Anderson and groaned, “Ahhh shit.” His head then collapsed back to the ground.
Shots were hitting all around Anderson, and he had to get under cover before he joined Snyder on the cold ground. As he ran towards his position he let out some choice phrases about the enemy.
“Captain, we’re under attack,” Koval announced.
“No shit,” Frost replied. “How much ammo do we have?”
Johnson thought for a few seconds then answered, “About an hour or so.”
“Ryan get over here,” Frost ordered.
Private Bob Ryan came over with the outpost’s radio. Frost keyed the transmit button, “Devil Two, this is Angel Six. Do you read? Over.” After a few seconds of static, Frost repeated the call.
“Angel Six, this is Angel. Do you read? Over.” Came through the static a few seconds later.
Frost thought, ‘Ahhh shit. What does HQ want?’ He, however, replied with, “Angel, this is Angel Six. Go ahead. Over.”
“Angel Six, Devil Two is under attack. What is your status? Over.”
“Angel, we’re under attack as well. Over.”
“Angel Six, wait one.”
“They hit the Firebase so they don’t get shot to hell while they attack us,” Moore observed. “Smart little bastards aren’t they?”
“Maybe troops from Yankee could come to our aid,” Johnson said.
Frost thought for a few seconds, “No, if they’re smart enough to hit Bravo before they hit us, they’ll probably have troops in the woods between here and Yankee to hit any support.” His aides saw the logic in that, and Frost finished with, “No, we’re in this alone.”
As he finished, the static broke with, “Angle Six, this is Angel. What is your weapon status? Over.”
Ryan handed Frost the days code book, and Frost opened it to ‘WEAPON STATUS’ and looked for the code phrase for ‘Ammo low.’ He keyed the transmit button, “Angel, this is Angel Six. We are Blizzard. Repeat, we are Blizzard. Over.”
“Angel Six. Message understood. We’ll be in touch. Over.”
“Angel. Understood. Over and out.”
“Now what?” Koval asked.
Frost looked at his aides, took a deep breath, “The little bastards didn’t like it when we built Zulu in their backyard, now we give them a real reason not to like it.”
Frost fired one more shot at the retreating enemy, and then turned to the troops around him and said, “Good work.” He then looked around and saw Lieutenant Koval and ordered, “Lieutenant, get me a casualty report.”
Koval did not look pleased at their situation, but only replied, “Yes Sir,” and left to carry out his orders.
Frost looked out at the enemy and allowed himself a brief feeling of victory. They had repulsed the second attack of the day, but Frost knew they would be back. If they had gone through the trouble of attacking Bravo which had helped them in the past days, they were not leaving until Zulu was completely destroyed. ‘They’ll be back. The third time is the charm.’ Frost thought to himself. He looked around and saw his troops cheering and pounding each other on the back. He kept his observation to himself, he did not want to ruin it for them.
“Captain.” Koval and Moore approached with grim looks on their face.
“How many?” Frost asked.
“The list is not yet completed, but Lieutenant Johnson is on it, Sir,” Koval answered.
Frost looked back out at the enemy, but his thoughts were interrupted by Private Ryan calling out, “Captain.”
Frost turn and Ryan handed him the radio saying, “HQ.”
Frost took the radio and said, “Angel this is Angel Six. Go ahead. Over.”
“Angel Six. We are Frostbite. Repeat we are Frostbite. You are Snowman. Repeat you are Snowman. Over.”
Frost looked at Ryan who was looking up the codes in the day’s code book. “Frostbite,” Ryan said, “Placing surrounding forces in a defensive posture.” Frost and his surviving aides did not look pleased, and had a good idea what Ryan would find for the meaning of Snowman. “Snowman.” Ryan paused, then finished with, “No relief.”
“Surprise surprise.” Frost said. He keyed the transmit button, “Angel, this is Angel Six. Message understood. Over and out.” He then handed the radio back to Ryan. “Ed, spread the word. Make every shot count.”
“Yes Sir,” Moore left to inform the troops.
Frost looked around and said, “This must be our day.”
Just then a Private near him announced, “Sir, I think they’re rushing us again.”
“Sir, we barely repulsed them on their third charge. I don’t think we can hold them off again. We’ve lost almost halve of our force,” Lieutenant Koval shouted at the Captain.
“Do you want to go out there and say to them, ‘Please don’t attack us again. We can’t take it.’ We fight, or don’t you remember what they did to Outpost Romeo?”
Their argument was interrupted when a Private near them was hit in the arm and groaned in pain. Frost moved towards the Private, who looked up at the Captain and said with a smile, “Don’t worry Sir, it’s not my shootin’ arm.”
“As you were, Private,” Frost replied.
“Yes Sir,” the Private then took her position back at the wall.
Frost turned back to Koval who said, “Sir, we must do something.”
“No,” Frost started, but before he could finish he watched as the Lieutenant was hit in the temple. Frost turned from the scene and looked out at the enemy. Whoever had fired that shot would soon follow. Frost looked about at his outpost, which had never been allowed to be finished, but it had repulsed three major attacks in as many days. Frost looked at his troops, the living who were tired but who kept fighting, and those who had stopped fighting. Among the latter, Private Ryan with the outpost radio. HQ had not heard from them in almost twenty minutes, and would assume that the outpost had been overrun. If nothing was done soon, HQ would be right.
Frost took a deep breath, looked out at the enemy again, and announced, “Listen up.” The troops listen as they continued firing. “If we stay here, they’ll run over us like a steamroller. HQ probably believes that has already happened, and they’re too busy protecting themselves to come to our aid. We’ll have to do this the hard way. If we charge them, we might catch them off guard, and make it to Outpost Yankee.” The troops looked off to the distant haven of Outpost Yankee, and began bracing themselves for their run at the enemy forces. Frost finished, “Take what you can carry, and destroy everything else.”
As the troops started preparing for their run to Outpost Yankee, Frost went to where Private Ryan lay quietly on the ground. Frost reached into Ryan’s pocket and pulled out the day’s code book and the Private’s lighter. He smiled at the heat given off as the flames licked the pages of code words. When the book had burned beyond any help for the enemy, Frost dropped the glowing embers to the ground. He looked at the boy at his feet and said, “Sorry to leave you like this,” and turned back towards the wall.
As Frost approached the wall, he drew his sword and turned to look every one of his troops in the eye, and saw that they were ready. He raised his sword in the air, and shouted with all his might, “DIE MOTHERFUCKERS.” His troops followed suit, and they were a mass of noise and sheer determination as they went up and over the outpost’s defensive wall. Frost paused at the top to watch as they started their run into the face of the enemy, and had never felt prouder of them. He never saw the shot that hit him in the face.
As his body fell back into the outpost, almost in slow motion. His fingers lost their hold on his sword, which enjoyed its brief free fall through the air, until it hit the ground and broke into half-a-dozen pieces. Frost’s limp body hit the ground soon after, and laid there like a fallen angel.
Frost sat up and looked at the remains of his outpost. Had it been worth all the work that had gone into it? Frost shook his head, and spit out a mouth full of snow.
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