The Great Escape - Part One
Posted By: Neil Grattan<email@example.com>
Date: 09 May 2001, 5:33 pm
I could hear the drips from the ceiling above me while I lay in the corner. I had lost most of my teeth in the 'interrogation' and now all that remained where aching pulps that stinged violently as I drew in air. My nose was blocked up with clotted blood, and any attempt to unclear it just caused too much pain. There was blood all over the floor, from every part of my body they could swing a foot, or anything else for that matter, at. I was dying here, and I knew it. It had been a few days since I was caught and brought in. I was on a shit assignment but these really rounded it off nicely.
My Commanding Officer walked over to me as I jumped down from the back of the dropship. 'Faid?'
'Get your things and get your ass round to D block straight away. The head shed wants a word with you.'
I was really pissed off. For three weeks we had been out doing survival skills. That basically consisted of finding a big, antisocial bush and living there until the time was up. We had been taught how to live for months by using the environment around us, and my drill instructor back at the academy would say that this place would be 'a piece of piss' compared to some of the places he'd been to. Out in the forests we had everything we'd need. Shelter from the rain. Food in the form of flora and fauna. Personally I preferred plants because chasing animals around all day for a bit of supper is not very productive, because you waste more energy catching the fucking thing than you get from eating it. When you come across a plant that your not sure is poisonous, firstly you rub it on your skin and leave it for a few hours. Then, if there's no reaction, you rub it on a cut, and wait. If there's no reaction from that, you put it on your tongue for a few seconds and wait for a reaction. Finally if nothing has happened you just have to take a chance and eat it. Unfortunately we'd found some pretty nasty plants out in the forests. One particular plant, a purple evergreen kind of thing, actually tasted nice, so there was the entire squad munching down on some of these leaves when we all got the shits. We have to carry a plastic bag to empty into so we don't leave sign. If the covvies came across piles of human shit they'd know this must be a place we came and would probably leave up an ambush for anyone to come back this way. So our shit and piss came with us. Not a very pleasant thought is it? Also out in the forests, when we lay up for the night, we would wake up with all kinds of weird and wonderful insects running around us. So by the end of the trip we were infested with everything with teeth and a taste for meat. Dirt was ingrained onto our faces, and wouldn't come out after about another 10 washes, but it now looks like I'm going back out on the assignment so I won't even be able to do that.
The CO for D squadron was usually pretty lazy about whatever he was doing. This time however, he was marching his men around and shouting orders like the best of them. It turned out some officer from special ops had arrived and D block was his happy house of fun for the rest of his stay. He looked worse than I did, only with a slight hint of washing.
'You Faid?' he barked, and I could see already I was in for a good ol' time.
'This is Mol, you're going to be working with him for the next few days.' He pointed to his left at a tall man in a strange green suit. His gold visor was down so I couldn't see what he looked like, but by the look of that suit I didn't want to, he'd probably have big teeth and red eyes. I couldn't wait to hear him speak just in case he sounded like Darth Vador from one of these old datachips of star wars. He said nothing, but he gestured with his hand to follow him to a jeep. When we got there he took off his helmet, and breathed as though he hadn't tasted fresh air for days, which was likely. All he said to me was 'We're going out to borrow a little something from our friends to Covvies. All you're going to do is sit in the back of this jeep and man that autogun. You don't have to worry about anything else. We'll be gone for a few days, wait here and I'll be back in a sec' then we'll head out.'
About an hour out of the base and already I was wishing I was back home or even out on survival. I had been sitting there the entire time with absolutely nothing to do but look good, and right now I couldn't even manage that. I'd been down this path before. It was basically just a dirt track leading down the middle of a huge forest area, and the road ends when we reach the treeline looking out onto hills and hills of empty grassland. I had no idea where we were going and my friend never explained any more of the mission further than our first conversation, I guess it was so if the covvies were tickling my balls I couldn't tell them anything that would compromise us, or maybe he just couldn't be arsed, either way it wasn't going to be a good day out if I got caught...
About 120m from the treeline we slowed down. Mol started looking around for something, and he finally found a small hidden path leading off to the right. We traversed the path through a small stream, into a few ditches, around a couple of the indigenous population of animals and then we stopped. Mol turned around to me. 'Faid, be on the lookout this area is meant to be crawling with covvies. But remember that the best weapon we have right now is concealment so don't open up until your sure you've been spotted. I'm going away for a look; I'll be back in a second. If you hear firing, wait for an hour and if I haven't returned head back along this path and return to base.' Mol walked off to the side into the forest for concealment then headed further along parallel to the path.
I had been sitting there for what seemed like ages. I had acclimatized to environment so the insects didn't bother me and so I could hear abnormal noises from the forest one. I had been listening to the forest song when I heard the distant roar of automatic fire. They were in short bursts like we had been taught to fire during training. The firing went on for a few seconds, and then stopped. A few seconds later it started up again, he must have been reloading. I was shitting myself. Adrenalin was on overdrive as I scoured the surrounding forest for covvies. If I saw one and we got eye to eye I was just going to open up on him with a full 300round chain then quickly fuck off before his friends realized what was happening. The problem was, I was so hyped up that if one were standing right in front of me I wouldn't have noticed. Fuck it I thought, I'm staying here for 10mins then I'm rushing off with my tail between my legs. If anyone said anything when I got back I'd just say I saw him go down. Knowing how my day had been so far he'd turn up later at the base and I'd soon be cleaning up little messes that the soldiers made in the restrooms for the rest of my life. Still, it's better than being on the ugly end of a covvie's rifle.
It had been 20mins since I heard the contact and I was still trying to build up the courage to just fuck him over and leg it when someone arrived to speed my decision making up a bit. 3 Covenant grunts were making their way down the path in front of me. They hadn't noticed me yet because of the hilly nature of the path making line of site difficult, but once they arrived over the next hump there was no way they could miss me. I was flapping. 2 I could take down no problem but 3 meant that at least one would make it to the trees and from there he held all the cards. By my feet my rifle lay, with a 40mm grenade launcher already loaded on the underside of the barrel. I picked it up and hopped of the jeep into the trees. Slowly I edged forward nearer the hill and lay in wait for them to arrive. There was no way they could spot me before I fired a round off at them. I heard the squelching of mud underfoot and finally they came over the top. They started the decent a couple of feet before I launched the explosive. They don't explode like big fireballs in the movies, when one of these goes off it's more like a loud pop and a big flash, lots of screaming and flying limbs. It landed right in the center of the trio, and as far as I could tell all three had been taken down by it. The explosive resounded throughout the area, and I knew that if I didn't hurry up I'd be in the shit. I started to make my way back to the jeep. I ignored making tracks now as it didn't matter, the appearance of body parts should be clue enough that I had been here. There was a small branch that I never noticed on my way back and I tripped and fell on my face. I looked up to see a huge covvie with a pistol bearing down on my head. It was the first time I'd ever seen one of the bastards smile, and I didn't like it.
I had been marched the whole way back to a covvie camp, which I assumed was the place Mol had came across and met his end. The first thought that ran through my head was: I wonder if I'll meet the same fate. Or worse, I wonder if some of these lonely soldiers want to let out their sexual frustrations on my first. It was a sick thought but there were rumors going around the base about a POW who was rescued and someone noticed strange marks on his arse, the both of them got laughed at for that one. Still, if it looked that way I just promised myself that I'd try and incite them to beat me up instead.
Straight off I had been thrown into a small, cold room filled with water pipes and empty boxes. I lay there for an hour before someone arrived and picked me up off the floor. I was dragged away into a warmer, larger room with a group of covenant standing around and a metal sheet sticking horizontally out of the wall, which they beaconed me to sit on. One covenant walked up to me until he was about a foot away, stood for a few seconds studying me, then started lashing out at my face. After a few hits I was on the floor, and now the others starting filling me in too. There was a thunder of feet swinging for anywhere they could. The mass of kicks then stopped as if at the click of a finger, and I lay there groaning on the floor in agony. I was finally lifted up and put back onto the seat. Already I was totally out of it and I had a feeling it was going to get a whole lot worse. They all seemed to be waiting for something, until through the door a human was marched and was made to stand in front of me. They had him at gunpoint, but weren't very alert about it. If either of us tried anything we wouldn't get very far. He started speaking to me.' What is your name?'
He turned around and gobbed off something in what I assumed was covvie language. I stood there amazed.
'What were you doing near here?' he asked.
'I was with a friend, you must have met him. He had a mission to do but never told me about it.'
Again he turned around and gobbed off the others. They in turn said something back.
'We don't believe you. What were you doing here?'
'I already said: I don't know.'
'Fine' he replied.
I had a feeling that this wasn't the end of my interrogation. One of the Covenant reached for his rifle. He lifted it high with the butt of it in my direction. Just as it reached vertical another rifle butt smashed into my jaw from the other side and I went down. Something like that is twice as painful when you don't expect it. Finally the other rifle arrived onto the back of my head, and the last thing I remember was someone screaming in the room, it was me.