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What If Tales: Hill 400
Posted By: Jin1<jermevans1990@gmail.com>
Date: 15 November 2007, 3:30 am

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What If Tales: Hill 400

       The explosions were close, really close. The teeth caused his teeth to chatter with every impact. His body tucked behind the four foot deep ditch, trying to hide from the blue pulses that flew over his steel protected skull. The M1 Carbine cradled in his arms, his ears perked waiting for the orders from his commanding officer who was only a few feet away, head in his arms.

       "They almost have us zeroed in, sir." The voice who spoke was of Sergeant Davis, his brow soaked with sweat but his whole appearance appeared in control. "We have to do something, Lieutenant."

       And there he was, cradled, his arms wrapped around the Thompson submachine gun, whimpering slightly giving a faint reply. "I don't know… I don't know…"

       A new voice piped up from an all too familiar person, Private Jackson who gave a sharp reply in his New York accent. "Well you better think of something, Mac!"

       The lieutenant remained where he was continuing to whimper quietly. "I don't know… I don't know…"

       The Private managed to glance up looking up at the gray smoke filled sky seeing the two dozen large blobs of gray fly gracefully over their position and hit fifty meters away.

       The platoon saw it but the question was what were they going to do about it? They had no air support; tank support was out of the question since the Sherman's couldn't put a dent in the enemy's armor.

       But they did have to do something…

       The solution came when he popped his head above his protection and up the hill which was completely barren except for the enemy hover tanks that loomed above them. Then there were the ad hoc defenses that dotted the lower portions of the hill.

       "Let's go get the bastards!" Jackson voice echoed, seeing the latest blue-white blobs fly from the enemy tanks and beginning to descend on their position.

       Voices replied along the line with harshness. "Charge!" Followed by the personal swears that accompanied each man as they pushed themselves off the ground and began to dash up the gray earth. Moving past the downed trees towards what would most likely be their end.

       The private could hear the Lieutenant's voice as the mass of men began to move. "Wait! Don't leave me! That's an order!"

       The platoon, would they comply? He doubted it, as far as he knew they were half way up the hill and that included him.

       He didn't glance back, the air was cold, blue and green pulses lanced by his head, his face, and he winced silently. His feet pushing against the damp Earth as he saw the bodies of his fellow soldiers lying face down in the dirt.

       His eyes finally glanced around to find him alone, his platoon dispersed along a wide front clustering behind what little cover was there only to be pinned down by the hellish shots of the heated blobs.

       "Rogers! Get your ass over here." To his right, it was a downed tree that provided the best cover along the front. He turned to it; he braced his M1 Carbine firing as he went, each round going either to short or too high.

       There was a dull thump behind him and he dove into cover, his head landing next to the feet of his squad leader, Sergeant Davis who looked down at him.

       "You're just going to lay there are we going to take this damn hill?"

       A quick nod as he crawled further getting his whole body behind the downed tree. Davis spoke fast as he went. "Rogers, you just gonna sleep on the job or go kill some alien bastards?"

       "No, Sergeant."

       He pushed himself off the ground, his eyes looking at the eight men who looked at him, their eyes laced with something which was fear.

       "Good. Okay gentlemen listen up, with our company commander AWOL looks like it's up to us again to get the job done." The Sergeant glanced quickly over the log and ducked back down. "Here's what we're going to do." He withdrew from his map of the barren hill, each one noting where each enemy position was.

       Of course since the scorching of the hillside and the artillery bombardment, it didn't take into account the slight movements of each position to somewhere much more secure.

       "Rogers, you and Smith take the right flank, there a few trees over there to give you a base of cover. Andrews and I'll take the left flank and hold from there. Pincer movement gentlemen, the rest of you will lay down a base of fire and make sure we don't get hit by one of those damn gun emplacements.

       "Are you hearing me, gentlemen?"

       A scattered sound of replies most of them were reluctant, and the reluctant ones were the ones who had to put their asses on the line by getting out of cover. Rogers didn't like the idea, too risky; they could always fall back and smoke the hill from the sky when the skies cleared.

       That idea is most likely out of the question.

       "Let's get it done gentlemen. Covering fire!" In almost perfect unison the men rose from their knees and onto their feet, and only exposing from the shoulder up they unleashed a wall of lead onto the inhuman beings. "Keep up the fire, gents, lets move!"

       Rogers found himself looking at the back of Smith who led the way to the first tree, firing his B-A-R as he moved forward. The M1 Carbine gave its own roar as it continued to deal its own 7.62 x 33mm death as with each pull of the trigger another round escaped.

       "Rogers! Get down!" There was that voice, and the searing pain of one of the blobs impacting his skin.

       The private fell to his knees and gripped his ankle but he fought through the pain. He used his rifle as a crutch he hoisted himself back to his feet and limped forward.

       The tree was so close and Smith waved him on, the gray ashy soil slipped between his boots and he fell again.

       Oh my god this it.

       He felt the tears swell in his eyes, the slight burning sensation and the all knowing fear that he, only at twenty, was about to face the reaper.


       The voice yelled at him, screamed. Get moving, look here you little whelp I didn't protect you most of your life so you can fail now. The voice of his brother. Now get up.

       Summer. Years ago. The warm air in a light breeze flowing over him as he lay immobile on the ground looking at the heavens, watching the small twinkling lights that danced above him. Wondering what they were.

       Years later. Winter. Molly looking at him and frowning at his failed charming attempts but smiling at his bumbling techniques to ask her to a restaurant.

       The year the krauts decided to go against the world by invading the Poles and the British and French standing up to say "no" and starting this new Great War.

       Weeks ago, his body charging forward, the M1 Garand from North Africa lost in the sea and him with his new Carbine from the dead moving up the beach towards the bunkers that lined the cliffs.

       Those were the high lights of his life. Was he going to let them take more away from him? No.

       Now… Get. Up.

       The pain ignored, everything forgotten, and standing on his own two legs, Smith with his pudgy face looking at him, stunned. Amazed to see that he was still alive, "Rogers! Move your ass!"

       He ran, each step a closer to safety, green and blue blobs splashing on the ground, turning it into glass. He leapt, his feet leaving the ground and skidding to a halt next to Smith's feet.

       "Glad to see you're still alive, Rogers. How's the leg?"

       Rogers hoisted himself and pressed his back against the tree trunk. "Still here, I guess." He reached into his belt pouch retrieving a small box in which he quickly opened. With trembling hands he received a container which looked like a sardine can and opened it quickly looking at the bright white Carlisle dressings inside.

       He looked down at his right ankle; the pants around it were blackened. He slowly reached down and saw that the enemy round didn't hit but came damn close. The skin was hard, blackened and only the area around the hit hurt but the wound itself did not.

       But with the adrenaline flowing through him the young man barely noticed a thing. He just murmured the words. "Damn it." He began wrapping the dressing around his ankles before getting up to his feet.

       Looking to his right he saw Sergeant Davis look at him and gave the universal thumbs up gesture. The private returned it and nodded.

       "Time to go, Raymond." Smith smiled and raised his weapon, looked around the tree and flew backward. His hands letting go of his rifle and holding his face, muffling the screams that omitted from his mouth.

       The wretched and wiggled as the pain flowed through Smith. Rogers looked over to his Sergeant who held out his hand, as if telling a car to stop. The motion told him not to go for Smith, even though he was two feet away, crying on the soft soil.

       Davis pointed up the slop at the gun emplacement and nodded before moving from behind his cover and charging forward with Andrews in tow.

       "Screw it, if I stay here I'm dead anyway." He moved forward, limping more than anything up the hill, staying just out of range of his own squads suppression fire while still getting a good angle at the alien machinegun that sprayed back down at him.

       The small defenses of the bunker in which the enemy took up was shielded by two what he could almost call shields made of a purple metal that was tilted upward at a slight sixty degree angle.

       He moved toward the edge of it, making sure to stay out of view of the enemy fire he checked his M1, reloaded it in a blur and nodded. Using the purple shields as cover he came around the corner guns blazing and his voice shouting like a banshee from hell.

       It caught the enemy by surprise, three of the smaller beings ran, exposing their backs to him and were helplessly gunned down their bodies lying a pool of their own blue blood.

       Three more of the creatures turned, and returned fire, and the two that were on the "machineguns" –who were much bigger than the rest- stood up and fired their own weapons at a much higher rate than the smaller creatures.

       He was forced to head back around the corner; he reached down to his belt and pulled the pin on his last grenade. "Grenade!" The voice shouting, reacting to instinct since no one was around him. He lobbed it around the corner, heard the dull thump and looked around, two more bodies were on the ground, and a third –one of the split-chinned bastards began to get up to its feet.

       When it finally brought its weapon up, its chest exploded, purple gore splattering forward and it fell to the ground.

       Its buddy turned, took two in its back downing its force field, before the rounds from the front took care of the rest.

       There was only one left now and it stood there, it dropped its gun and cowered in fear. Davis moved towards it and without hesitance drew his pistol and fired twice in its head. "We punched a hole." Reaching down and grabbing one of the split-chin's weapons and slinging his own Thompson over his shoulder and looking down the "barrel" of the enemy gun.

       He then proceeded to lower the weapon and look at Andrews. "Get the squad up here, police the weapons and get that one kid to play runner… Young… Find him and get him to find our Captain Johnson. We need some men if we're going to keep this position."

       Andrews rubbed a hand through his hair and frowned before giving a: "Yes, Sergeant." In a low country drawl before moving back around the metallic protectors and down the hill without worry of being shot in the back.

       "What about Smith?" Rogers said, almost gasping for air, fatigue began to take over and his legs felt weak.

       Davis's blue eyes looked at Raymond, searching for something but the private didn't know what. "The medic are down there, they'll take care of him. No need to worry."

       "And Lieutenant Sumter?"

       "Hell if I know, but he could be dead for all I care." Davis glanced at the ankle. "Get back down the hill," The remainder of the squad arrived, weapons at the ready. "Get that checked out, if you can still walk get back up here as soon as possible. Okay private?"

       A brief nod, and he turned back around, the adrenaline faded from him and he was forced to use the rifle as a crutch again. He rounded the corner and moved back down the hill.

       No congratulations.

       No smiles.

       No rest.

       Just another day in this new war with this new enemy. This new enemy who came from the sky only weeks ago and burned cities to the ground.

       He passed Smith, whose face was covered and a single medic looking after him. He looked at the corpsman who did not return the look but instead was whispering quietly at Smith. A prayer maybe?

       Hell of a good time to start praying to God. Shaking his head finally spoke, "Corporal."

       The medic looked up. "Yeah?"

       "Wounded," He motioned to his ankle and the medic winced. "Damn it. You can walk right? Of course you can. Head down the hill, this guy needs more attention than you do. There should be –well what's left of it- a farm house a hundred meters from the base of the hill. They'll treat you there."

       "Thanks a lot, Corporal." His voice laced with sarcasm, before moving back up the hill. Wincing with step.

       "Where are you going, private?" The medic glanced Rogers up and down with a harsh stare.

       "There's a war going on remember?" His voice flat.

       If I go down there they'll send me a mile behind the front, then back to England and then back home. I don't want to go home.

       I want to win the war.