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Long Time Gone Part 22
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 23 October 2004, 6:54 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 22: Playing It Bogart

June 21st, 2550, Reach, fifth day of the 'Thirty Day Proving Battle', McAllen and Chambers vs. Camp #2, 2309 hours, pay back time

       Another wet fern leaf splashed against Chris' face as he rushed through it.

"I thought it didn't rain in space!" Said Chambers, a soft gentle but consistent pouring had started, limiting vision and wetting equipment.

"It doesn't! We're on a planet, man; it's similar to Earth, so it rains like Earth!" Explained Chris spitting out some water that got in his mouth from those brief seconds of conversation.

"Wish we brought our wet weather gear along, NV is shit in this weather!" Chambers pushed his goggles up, looking at the world in real time; through his own eyes.

"We're almost there, Chambers, keep it down!" Chambers gave two taps on his radio. They both slowed down to a half crouch quickened pace; weapons up and covering each other's six.

       Lt. Cromwell looked over at the three unconscious forms in the clearing, if it wasn't a baiting situation he would have brought them in; but he needed them out there to lure their comrades into his ambush.

The rain intensified, drenching everything not under rain coats; which scarcely anyone had brought along in the first place.

       Chris stopped when he heard a voice; an annoyed and unhappy voice. Chris gave the hand up for halt; but Chambers wasn't looking forward and backed into Chris and sent them both to the ground in a loud thump.

       Cromwell turned to see where the noise came from.

"You two!" He said pointing at the men who had been talking, "check it out."

"Yes, sir," was all they said as they moved off.

       Chris pushed Chambers off him and said,

"We just lost surprise." Chambers shook his head with a grin.

"I got an idea," he proclaimed as he removed his red arm band and nodded for McAllen to do the same.

"Let me do the talking Einstein!" Said Chris standing up, hiding his red arm band in a thigh pocket of his uniform. They both looked like any other Shock Troopers from any other camp; even though they weren't wearing the cover-alls the rest of the enemy was, they could have been any of the ten Corporals that they had knocked off.

       Cromwell watched as his two men came back with another two men who were in Black Fatigues; he failed to notice they didn't have any arm bands and the fact that they had no cover-all on was easy to explain.

"Lieutenant," said one of new arrivals; who was Chris, "we're from Wolski's platoon," Chris used the name of one of the men from the enemy scout group.

"And?" Said Cromwell returning the two men's salutes.

"We're happy to say the enemy has been eliminated!" Chris lowered his salute, "there would have been more of us but they got the jump on us, but we got them!" Cromwell rubbed his chin; thinking.

"Alright, good work, we can bring the three enemy troops in now, you two can help," behind his balaclava Chambers' face showed a broad smile, he could see if Susan was ok.

       Chris and Chambers were just waiting for the opening, they both carried Susan; one at each end, back to their 'comrades' positions. She was the last one; Quan and the other Mortar crew man had been brought back by other 'comrades'.

Cromwell; with the enemy troops now eliminated he could send out men to recover his 'KIA's and he should report that they had won.

"What do you suppose he is doing?" Said Chambers after Cromwell sent ten of his men out to find the KIAs, Chris and Chambers had hidden from him when he had chose the men so Cromwell didn't choose them to go with the patrol.

"I don't know, probably report in?" Said Chris eyeing the back of Cromwell's head.

"Wait a tick, don't we have to escape? If they report they won we will lose!" Chambers motioned to stand up.

"No they have to have eliminated all of us, first." Said Chris just remembering something, he reached for the HUD on his helmet and swung it down over his left eye. Their entire platoon was marked 'KIA' except Chambers and him, "but if they know they had been hit, the Officials will know we haven't been!"

       Cromwell had just gotten a hold of the Officials who scored the battle and claimed he had won.

"No, you haven't won," Cromwell could here typing on the other end, "there still is a, Corporals McAllen and Chambers on the enemy side still active, I suggest you take another look at the situation Lieutenant, HQ out!"

Cromwell checked his HUD for the first time since he had successfully ambushed Kelso's men at their rest stop. Everyone in the platoon Wolski had been in was KIA.

"But that means..." Cromwell stopped him self as he felt the barrel of the weapon pushed into his neck.

"We're McAllen and Chambers," said a voice before Cromwell felt a projectile hit him in the thigh, as he fell to the ground he spun around and saw the one who had shot him and the other one was finishing off his men who had stayed back with a knife.

       "Christ!" Said Chris holstering his knife, "why didn't you just knife him! Now the rest of his men know we are here!"

"Well sorry!" Said Chambers taking some stun grenades from the enemy, "I thought you liked a challenge!"

"We've come to face to fuck up now, man," Chris took another grenade and some clips, "so if we fuck up, it's your ass on the barby!" Chris pulled the mouth piece down from inside his helmet and used his HUD to get the correct rescue channel.

       "Black Shadow calling Whiskey, Black Shadow calling Whiskey, over, please respond!" Asked Chris hunkering behind a large rock, Chambers was shooting fanatically at the enemy troops who had heard the shot and came running back.

"Black Shadow this is Whiskey, over," came the reply from their drop ship.

"Roger, that!" Said Chris, watching Chambers throw a grenade, "we need immediate EVAC, over!"

"Roger that Shadow, what is your position, over?"

"Right where we're supposed to be!"

"We'll be there, what's your sitrep!?" Asked the pilot.

"We had two survivors including myself in immediate need of EVAC, remaining enemy personal are swarming our position!"

"Roger that, hold fast, Trooper, we're inbound, ETA one minute, out!" Chris looked over the rock and saw seven of the enemies on the ground, Chambers had done a good job and he was still firing at the three enemies who were running for the tree line.

"That's it, man, don't let up! Shoot the bastards!" Chris raised his weapon and fired a burst, catching the lead man in the legs, Chambers fired another burst and got both of them. They were as good as home...

       Kelso's eyes snapped open; his first thought was 'fuck, we lost!' He sat up and wasn't surprised that he was the last one to wake up. Everyone else was sitting down eating or talking to each other even in the dense rain pouring down on them.

"Ah, well," said Kelso standing up, walking toward Hans who was sitting with Michelle, Jinx, Sid and several NCO's from the enemies group, "we lost one that ain't so bad!" Kelso was really hoping to be undefeated this year but he had always won the battle with at least one loss.

Hans gave him a sly grin and told Kelso to look at his HUD, McAllen and Chambers' status was 'active' then Hans passed the helmet of an enemy Sargeant's and told him to do the same. The entire enemy for had been eliminated...

"We won?" Said Kelso, first in a low shocked voice, "WE WON!" He cried at the top of his lungs, "WOOHOO, YEAH, IN YOUR FACE CROMWELL!" Then he stopped realising almost 50 pairs of eyes were watching him... "Yes!" he breathed as he sat down next to Hans and ate some rations.