The forest rushed past as I shot through the trees away from the clearing, I could hear all the small animals moving out of my way in fright. Branches slashed at my face and arms but I ignored them in my single-minded determination to get back to the camp. At one point a small dip caused me to fall over. Finally I burst into the camp covered in sweat after running the whole mile flat out. Nothing had changed; Scotty was asleep in the main tent with Ray sitting next to him with a bottle of beer in hand.
Dag got up when he saw my face and the state of my clothes and the rest of my body. I looked at my hands and realised they were shaking from the exertion. “They ... they’re, the supply train, its here it was them.” I gasped still trying to catch my breath.
James looked round the corner, “What, but I thought they would go through the pass.” He looked surprised at this but then so was I.
“Well they’re here,” I looked at him, “and they know where we are.”
A pain was growing behind my eyes, that was all I needed, a migraine. I walked over to my tent and ducked inside. I grabbed the flashlight and threw it to Dag.
“What’s that for?” Dag asked.
“You have first watch we attack tonight I suggest the rest of you also get some sleep.” I zipped up the tent front and clasped my head in my hands once the others couldn’t see me. I lay down on my bed and fell asleep.
I didn’t sleep well and tossed and turned fitfully for the few hours I could sleep plagued by nightmares in which I was forced to watch as a black army of men swarmed over the camp and slaughtered my team.
When I woke it was dead silent and it was pitch black, waving my hand in front of my face I couldn’t even see that. I got up and turned on the lamp and watched as my breath clouded in front of my face. I got dressed and moved over to the tent flap and looked out. Jason was sitting on a rock on the outskirts of the camp with a blanket wrapped round him and the flashlight in his hand.
“What time is it?” I called to him.
He glanced at his watch, “2:30 in the morning.”
“Ok wake everyone up we’re leaving camp now.” I told him and watched him as he started moving round camp and the muffled groans as the sleepers woke up.
I packed up my tent and put all the stuff in one of the jeeps then moved into the main tent to start packing that away as well. When the others saw what I was doing they followed suit without asking questions. When all the stuff was packed away I looked for Bonno, he was sitting by the remains of the fire and fingering the pistols that he kept with him at all times.
“I need you to set this place on fire.” I spoke quietly and calmly with no hint of joking in my voice.
He looked up at me confused “Why?”
“We need a distraction for them not his is what I want you to do...” I explained my plan to him and watched his face as his expression changed. We then explained the plan with everyone else and they all agreed to it.
The jeeps hummed to life as we started them up ready for the attack. Looking round at the grim faces around me I wondered if I had made the right choice. Bonno had a remote detonator in his hand and was idly fingering the switches. Scotty was sitting in the passenger seat of the last jeep looking upset at not being allowed to drive.
“Ok, move out,” I ordered over the intercom, “Bonno detonate all the charges as soon as we are out of camp let’s give them a show.” I eased the jeep forward and felt it start to move over the bed of needles that littered the ground. The first rays of dawn were showing over the far horizon as a new day began.
“Detonating now.” Bonno said a hint of a smile threatening in his voice. I waited wondering what he had done with the time I had given him.
An explosion ripped through the air as the first of the remaining mines exploded followed by a multitude of explosions and in the background a low rumbling as the pass that we had planned to ambush them in was destroyed.
I pushed the jeep to 40mph then since it was time to attack. The jeep bounced and careered through the hedged that I had struggled through just the previous day. “Full headlights blind them and get ready to engage” I spoke monotonously over the intercom. Hitting a rock in the ground the jeep became airborne as it crashed into the camp snarling as the engine raced to drag the jeep through the mass of tents.
I took out my pistol and fired again and again everything seemed to slow down as the jeep raced through the camp towards the trucks that I had seen.
“Use the grenades and blow the armoured cars first then the tucks.” I shouted over the intercom to make myself heard over the gunfire. Hearing the click of my pistol as it ran out of bullets I dropped it and pulled the pin out of one of the grenades and threw it through the window of one of the trucks. I sighed in relief and heard the explosion as it was destroyed quickly followed by several other explosions as all the other grenades found their mark.
Finally we got to the edge of the wood and out onto the flat grassland beyond. “We’ve done it.” I said relieved that it was over. The other two jeeps pulled up alongside as we raced across the land leaving the destruction and death behind us.
It was over, the task was done.