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Old 11-27-2021, 07:26 PM
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ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
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Default The Fuze - (Fiction)

(Fiction: Please note this deals with some difficult concepts and veterans and victims of warfare may wish to avoid it.)

The Fuze

Simmons dragged his tired ass into the group’s old bunker, dropped his k-pot and shrugged out of his webbing and kevlar. He thanked his lucky stars again this old position had been found so in relative comfort and safety they could fix up the LAV and keep heading west. He pulled off his boots and wiggled his toes with satisfaction. As he pulled on his cover he glanced over and Top was checking the box of grenades Owens had found. Something was off. Top was holding what looked like an M67 missing its fuze and had an odd look on his face, like he was seeing things that weren’t there. A deep feeling of unease hit Simmons and he said “are you okay Top?”

The sergeant looked up and his eyes focused. There was a lengthy pause and Simmons started to think he might want to go and get the captain. Then Top said in a far away voice “before we linked up with you we were in Warsaw, what a shit fight.” He looked down at the baseball and said “we’d come all the way down the river on this goddamned dinky little tugboat with a bunch of lunatic Poles. When we got there, there was these people there. They’d been farming in the ruins for some dumb reason, but they offered us enough food for the winter if we’d stay and help defend them against this group of bandits, real ‘Magnificent Seven’ stuff. Well, the Poles and their boat weren’t leaving and we didn’t have enough food to go far so we decided to stay”.

“Well, you got no idea what it was like. It turned out there was a lot of those bandits, they were well equipped with the same cast-off junk we had but more, and they had some seriously heavy stuff. What we didn’t know was they’d run out of food and it was either take ours or start eating each other. It made them kinda motivated.” He frowned. “Really fucking motivated. They came at us hard.”

He leaned back and looked Simmons straight in the eye. “It started out okay, we managed to whittle them down, pare away some of their heavier assets, and then they simply came right at us. Fuck, it was like Stalingrad. We started to take losses and ran low on everything. Everyone was on the front lines fighting like hell; men, women and even the old folks and the older kids. We were always thirsty and the groundwater was full of fallout so we had to get resupply dragged out for us from the central cisterns. At first it was a couple of guys, then they stopped turning up and it was some women in their OP uniforms. Then we didn’t see them any more and it was some kids in their little Pioneer uniforms, you know, the commie version of the Scouts. They had this little wagon and their little school backpacks and they’d haul ammo and water out to us in the rubble, right in the middle of the fighting. I was sick with worry. I never really saw their faces, they had cloth masks on because of all the dust and smoke. The oldest one, she was called Nadzieja and her little brother was Oskar. No matter how bad the fighting was we’d see these pale little kids dragging their little wagon right up to us. They must have been scared stiff, I was.”

He put the grenade on the map table and had a swig from his canteen, Simmons was about to say something but Top cut him off. “So, the third day it all turned to shit. We had to get down to the centre of town and we were on the corner of Jana Pankiewicza and the main drag. Our position in the bookshop was taking heavy fire and we were ready to pull out when the wall blew in. Of all of us only Miller, the captain and myself got out. We were falling back down the street towards the theater when a T-80 and its security element pulled into the street.”

“Well, fuck, it was hell. Miller went down and the captain and I were stuck in a doorway. He was putting his shoulder to it while I was shooting back up the street and I looked up.” Top took a ragged breath. “It was the kids, they were up in the building above the bookshop. I guessed they must have got stuck up there with their dumb wagon. I grabbed a grenade and went to throw it, trying to stop the security element around the T-80 seeing them up there.” He looked at the grenade on the table. “It didn’t have a fucking fuze in it.”
“I screamed at them to run but they looked over at me, held hands with each other and jumped out the window.”

“The T-80’s cover element had seen them, some started to shoot and some started to run. The little kids fell the four floors right onto the back deck of the T-80 and it just went right up in a sheet of flames. I remember just standing there as the turret flew off and landed in the street, just standing there.”

He looked at Simmons, almost pleading for him to understand. “You see, we’d run out of antibiotics and they, well it turns out they had TB. That’s it these days, so they’d stolen enough C4 out of our kit and were lugging it in their little school backpacks. That’s where my M67’s fuze was.”

Last edited by ChalkLine; 11-27-2021 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:32 PM
lordroel lordroel is offline
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(Fiction: Please note this deals with some difficult concepts and veterans and victims of warfare may wish to avoid it.)

The Fuze
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