Letters of A Corpsman: Battle of Hill 324 and Hill 642
Posted By: (ENS) Rabid_Gallagher<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 June 2007, 7:23 pm
It does not matter where the battlefield is, it only matters that there is a battlefield, and I am fighting on it. This planet used to have a sun, where the heat and the light would soar upwards and you would truly feel alive. There would be no clouds, light breezes, grassy hills that would move with the mountains in the far reaching distance. It was a beautiful place, it really was.
But now it is grey, grey almost the entire day until our 'sun' depresses itself into the horizon, where it becomes the blackest black. The hills are now almost impenetrable outposts that the Covenant use to make sure that we remain where we are; and the wind is heavy with hate. The mountains are gone, I cannot see them, and now I realize what a Hell this place has become. Command says we're not leaving until this planet is taken back.
There was a firefight.
Randy, my hands were trembling with fear when we were attacked. The Covenant swarmed up our side of the base we were defended, with those, those brutish things that are callbacks to the silverbacks that are on Earth. They were screaming, charging up the hill with such anger and hate that scared me so badly, Randy.
I wanted to be in your arms, safe again.
But, needless to say, the men of my platoon screamed back at them and let loose hellfire from their repeating weapon emplacements we had set up earlier. To hear the screaming of men, not in pain but in retaliation, against the wild and angry calls of the Brutes, it was astounding. Some of the men were screaming over the weapon fire, ducking under the red plasma fire that came from those Brute weapons.
It was horrible, Randy. Horrible.
That whole line of Brutes were taken out, and the ones who weren't started to crawl up to us while they were bleeding out. They were dealt more blows from the men who were not using the weapon emplacements, but they seemed to take their time, firing shots into their arms and legs and yelling in fervor. The platoon Mustering Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant Thompson, grabbed me by the arm and pointed towards another OP that was taking heavy fire.
I could see the Brutes were in their lines.
He, along with a squad of four, saddled up with me and we took off running towards the OP via the back trenches that ran between our hills. I saw the men who accompanied me, two of them carried M90 shotguns and the rest were armed with Assault Rifles, and I realized we intended to fight.
The sounds of battle were getting closer.
My hands trembled again.
I could hear men and Brute screaming, loud octaves and low octaves concurring together. Men were off high, as if the pain was almost unbearable, and the Brutes were low, angry, dying but nonetheless still fighting on with such fury. All of the voices seemingly joined in a pained, horrible sort of music that made me cringe.
I swear, Randy, it was a Death Choir.
The two men with the shotguns charged forward, running into the battle as they fired their weapons. The other two stood back and let loose fire from their weapons, targeting the same shock troopers as the shotgunners. The entire Brute Squad that attacked were decimated, all of them dead after this brutal combo by my squad and the surviving members of Bravo Company.
The men moved back to the front line trenches and held that spot as I and Gunnery Sergeant Thompson began to move about the wounded. Randy, it was horrible. I say that often, but this time, it really was. Some men were holding in their guts from falling out, one man had severe burns all over his body, but one man was standing back and he had no visible wounds on him.
His foot was bleeding.
He was closest to the man with severe burns, so while I was working on him I asked him what happened.
He didn't tell me anything about it; he only said he can't take much more.
That made me think as I tried to stop the man with burns bleeding out on me, that the wound in his foot was probably made from a human projectile, and that was a normal sight during these battles here, to get scared and try to get out of it. I turned my head, the man bled out of me, and I looked towards the front.
The man who shot himself in the foot now seemed like an irreparable coward.
In that line I saw a man, with a Corporal rank, standing with his squad firing a pistol. It was the only weapon he could use; his right arm was gone by the weenus and the blood tied up with a small white rope. By what I saw apparently he was in great pain but he did not stop firing into the Jackals coming up on that side of the Hill.
They started to shout, happy, the battle was won and they beaten back the invaders on this Hill. I looked back to my hill and I saw my men doing the same, two dead bodies on the ground but the rest all alive. The man who shot himself, Private Collins, was on the ground with his knees to his chest and whimpering. The man who lost part of his arm was screaming out in victory, raising his good arm up in the air with a fist.
The wounded were taken care of, so I walked over to him with a shot of painkiller in my hand.
"You need some pain juice?" I asked him.
"No, 'mam, I'm fine. Just contact Command and have them replace another one of my forearms." He said, with a smile. He gave me a purposely sloppy salute with his left arm, and I hear soft little mechanical clicking. This soldier was truly a soldier.
And the soldier behind me, whimpering, was truly a man.
I'm putting in for leave, Randy, this whole ordeal makes me need to see you again, especially after the last letter.
I hope to feel you once more.
My eternal love, termina ex cadre;