Ray was bent over Scotty looking at the wound in his shoulder; it was deep red and oozing blood. I turned my head away not wanting to look at it anymore. Not wanting to watch what Ray would have to do. I walked away from the tent and sat down on a log next to Dag.
“Who were they?” He spoke quietly as if fearing being overheard.
“I don’t know, they just shot at us and then left.” I agreed.
“So what now? We can’t stay here, and we can’t abandon our mission”
“We don’t abandon our mission,” I mused and the a bit louder “Get them ready to move out, try to get Scotty about a mile north and set up a camp around there.”
“And what will you do?” He asked.
“I’m going to find the people who did this to Scotty.”
I bent down to the forest floor again searching for signs of humans passing through this way. I sifted through the pine needles in search of anything that might point me in the right direction. I was the best woodsman of any of the recruits in training and had proved it time and time again before then. I had been following a barely visible trail left by the attackers for about a mile, an accidentally dropped empty shell, a broken twig too large for something like a squirrel to break, a footprint hastily concealed in a small patch of wet mud. These people were good, professionals perhaps, but I was better. Looking up I saw a couple of branches bent back from a small opening in a wall of leaves which was only just big enough for a human.
I slowly moved over to it and peered through making sure no one was waiting for me on the other side. Moving slowly making almost no noise I crawled through the gap. It was a tight fit but I managed it without leaving any evidence of my passing through. Getting up again I continued following the trail taking out my pistol when I realised the trail had gone from a hasty retreat to a slow walk.
I heard it then, a small crackling of a fire as it slowly burnt its way through pine wood, a smell of roasting meat floated through the air to me. I crept closer to the source staying in the long shadows made by the setting sun as I moved in on the camp. I closed my eyes taking a second to calm myself down ready for anything and then moved forward to a large tree on the edge of their camp.
It was big, bigger than ours with about 20 tents scattered around the camp and people were moving about with guns handing loosely from shoulders. I could see almost everyone had a bullet proof vest on, as if expecting an attack to come at any time. I could see dogs tied to a tree not 20 paces from where I stood thankfully there was no wind to carry my scent to them. I watched as two of them lifted a crate up and moved off to the far side of the camp to where I could see six trucks fitted with dirt tires idling and on either side two armoured 4x4s.
The trucks, the cars, they reminded me of something. Not wanting to push my luck any further I turned and slowly crept away from the camp and then when I was far enough away for the dogs not to hear me I started running. I got it then, what they reminded me of.
The supply train.