As he opened his eyes, Tom was met with a torrent of light and tried to quickly shield his eyes from the light, but he couldn’t.
“Why can’t I move my arms?” He wondered aloud
“Because nearly getting hit with a Kronotion concussion grenade hurts even if you don’t get directly hit.” A voice said.
“Who’s there?” Tom asked, “Where am I?”
“You’re in a supply truck headed for base 115.” The voice said again.
“Well who’s there since I know where I am.” Tom fired back again.
“You mean you can’t even remember the sound of your best buddy’s voice, what a shame, what a shame.” Matt teased.
“Matt? Where’s the rest of the squad?” Tom asked
“Do you ever stop asking questions? Or do you want me to make you stop?” Sarge questioned.
“Well there’s Sarge and Matt but where’s John and Luke?” Tom continued.
“Luke’s in the cab with the driver and John’s dead remember?” Matt answered. That’s when Tom’s memory came back. He now remembered everything that had happened.
“So how much longer till we get to 115?” Tom asked?
“We’ve been on the road for about an hour so I’d say about… 5-10 mins.” Luke answered, “Oh and I’m glad you’re awake.”
“So once we get to the base then what?” Tom asked
“Really we don’t know,” Sarge answered sadly,” But rumor has it that we will go to the capital to help defend it from the Kronotions.”
“Sarge you picked the right time to say that. Command is telling us that we are going to 115 to get supplies and gas and then are heading right for the capital.” Luke stated.
“Alright then, Tom if you’re feeling like it you could ride up front in the turret, it would give you some fresh air to breath instead of having to sit here smelling all this crap.” Sarge said.
“Ok, I will, Luke move over I’m coming.” Tom quickly responded. Moving in a vehicle that is moving at 70 mph on a road is ok, but moving in a supply truck that is moving on a dirt road and is about to go up a large hill is something else. But with not a whole lot of difficulty, Tom extracted himself from the back and moved to the front where he was greeted by a smiling face.
“Did you have time for your beauty nap?” Luke joked
“Yes but I don’t think it did any good though.” Tom replied. They both laughed and with a little movement Tom was in the turret.
“Hey Luke! Is it bad if when you look strait ahead all you see is the sky?” Tom questioned
“That would be because we are at the top of the ridge around 115 in about 3 seconds you’ll see something else.” Luke answered.
“Yeah hopefully a base with a warm meal, I’m starving!” Matt exclaimed. They all laughed, even Sarge put up something that resembled a smile.
“Here we go! Base 115 is strait ahead of us.” Luke declared. But there was something wrong, very wrong. Instead of base 115 their convoy was met with a crater the size of the whole base.
“Oh my gosh, what happened?” Luke wondered.
“Looks like the whole base was obliterated.” The driver said.
“Driver take us to the road that is right over there that should lead to the capital.” Sarge ordered.
“Sir, why aren’t we looking for survivors?” Matt asked.
“Because Matt, not many people can survive an orbital bombardment of this scale. So driver, get this truck into gear.” Sarge fired back. For the rest of the trip the whole convoy was silent, no jokes or anything just, silence.
“Guys we’re here.” Luke said.
“At least the capital’s standing. That’s for sure.” Matt said.
“This is anti-armor position 11765 who is this that I’m speaking to?” a voice said on the radio.
“This is convoy 110963 of the 56th Infantry coming to you from base 112.” Tom’s CO said.
“Acknowledged, you may proceed.” The voice then said, “Oh and welcome to the capital.” Tom had been to the capital only once that was about 14 years ago when he attended the ceremony where his father was awarded his new rank of general and his medal of honor. Of course that was when Tom was about 6 years old so he wouldn’t remember much except for the video footage of the whole ceremony.
“Convoy 110936 you are here by ordered to move to grid 1145 for resupply and assignment.” A voice said.
“Understood, who is this that I’m speaking to?” Sarge questioned.
“This is General Perconte of the 1st armored. I for now am the CO of the battle here.” The general answered.
“Wow, Perconte,” Matt wondered aloud, “Hey Tom do you think that we’re going to see him?”
“Probably not, He’s probably holed up in some CP drawing plans for the defense. So nope, probably not.” Tom answered sadly.
“Well the thing you guys should be seeing is the armory. It’s right over there.” The driver said quickly, “So get moving you guys and kill a few for me.”
“I’ll remember that when I see a Kronotion.” Matt replied.
“Alright guys meet me at the checkpoint in 5 minuets. Stay together and grab some ammo from the Armory.” Sarge ordered, “I don’t want to go out there and find out that we’re low on ammo even before we fire a shot.” Now the situation at 112 was a bit more hectic than this. There everyone was rushing around in an ad hoc way, here however there was a sense of order going around since no one was shooting at the men while they were trying to get ammo and supplies. So compared to the situation at the base this was not difficult at all and a few minuets later squad 2, minus John, was assembled and ready to fight back.
“Alright squad, our sector to defend just happens to be exactly where we came in at.” Sarge began, “Command believes that if the Kronotions take any of the roads into the capital that we will then face heavy enemy armor. So we are joining the anti-armor battery that we passed earlier. So let’s get going.”
“You got to hand it to Sarge,” Matt began to say, “He’s short sweet and to the…” But his last word was droned out by a huge explosion that rocked the ground beneath the squad.
“What was that?” Luke Exclaimed.
“I don’t know but we had better hurry to that battery or else we might find out sooner than we think.” Sarge said. But this order was needless to say, for right when the explosion hit the squad had started sprinting towards the battery.
“Hey Tom!” Luke called out “Look behind us!”
“Well what do you know? We just found the tortoise of the group.” Tom chuckled. And sprinting behind them was a squad leader that looked like he was about to hit the boiling point, which was not good for the squad.
“Hey guy’s glad you could make it.” One of the battery gunners said. “It looks like the Kronotion armor is supported by infantry and one angry squad leader.” He then joked.
“Squad!” Sarge roared “You are not supposed to go anywhere with out my order, is this clear?” He then questioned.
“No sir!” was the reply from the squad.
“Matt and Tom go upstairs and set up the turret and sniper fire from there, also Matt direct fire for the artillery inside of the city, they need a spotter. Luke find a comfortable position and start firing just like at the base. Kill any who get too comfy cozy. Come on people let’s move!” Sarge ordered.
“Good old Sarge always yelling at us.” Matt joked.
“Yeah well at least we didn’t leave him too far behind or else he may have shot at us.” Tom warned.
“Yep, then it would have been just him in the squad. He wouldn’t have had anything to yell at. Poor guy.” Matt joked. This of course was all being said whilst they were firing their weapons. Matt and Tom were exactly the group to lay down heavy fire since they almost could read each other’s minds.
“Matt switch your fire to your right, I’ll going down the middle, Sarge I request that you and Luke switch fire to the left so we can trap the Kronotions in the middle with out a whole lot of problems.” Tom suggested
“Good idea Tom, but Matt when the Kronotions get to the middle I want you to call a few artillery strikes down on them Luke will take care of the right flank.” Sarge ordered. And with precision that only few could imagine the plan was executed. Luke fired right, Tom up the middle and Sarge to the left, which trapped quite a few Kronotions in the middle. Volley after Volley was fired from the artillery battery that was in the capital, until an odd order came though.
“All units fall back onto highway 116, the capital has fallen. I repeat the capital has fallen.” General Perconte ordered.
“116… that’s the road we’re covering!” Matt exclaimed. “How did the capital fall so fast?”
“It must have been the explosion we heard earlier. It must have taken down the shield barrier protecting the capital from the Kronotion armor and infantry.” The Battery commander answered.
“Well fallen capital or not, we need to get this battery moving down this road.” Sarge ordered. A few years ago some scientists figured out how to place hover plates underneath structures. So some of the bunkers that were dotted around the main cities of the country had them installed underneath of them so that they could then serve as a low altitude strike base or command post. Luckily for Tom and his squad, this was one of the few that had it.
“Initiating hoverbase operation. All units hold on.” The battery commander turned driver said. And with a jerk that tossed the squad towards their rifle ports and windows they were up in the air.
“Battery 11765 we need a lift can you give us one?” a squad leader wondered.
“Sure who are you guys?” The battery commander asked.
“Squad one of the 56th infantry, and is that you Bill?”
“Jimmy I thought I’d never see the day that I’d get to meet you again!” Bill, the battery commander exclaimed.
“So, 1st and 2nd squads are back together again. Nice.” Sarge said with a small smile
“No way. Could that be the same Sarge from base 112?” 1st squad’s squad leader asked.
“The same. Glad to have you guys back.” Sarge answered.
“So where are we going?” one of 1st squad’s riflemen asked after they jumped on.
“This is General Perconte, all units fall back to mega base 12.” The General ordered quickly.
“Well looks like we’re falling back. 12… you guys ever been there?” Bill asked
“No but we might as well get going. As you can see we are falling behind.” Sarge said, and that was true. Because ahead of them, all kinds of defensive structures and aircraft were headed to the same place. And so with the capture of the capital, Tom’s world fell apart.