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The Greek Front

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For a moment, time seemed to slow down.

The rain was pouring down at that point, and I was soaked to the bone, but I didn’t care. Chaos raged around me; I was vaguely aware of someone pulling me backwards, but I refused to let go of him. I refused to accept the simple fact that he was dead. Everything was blurry around me; I could barely make out the burning wreckage of what used to be cars anymore. Somewhere in my brain, in a part of it not locked down with shock and grief, I must have realized the danger I was in, because when I looked around I discovered that I had pulled him away to the safety of an alley. Blood was still trickling from his chest. He stared into nothingness with a blank look.

“Lewis,” I heard a familiar voice say. “Let him go, he’s gone already.”

Lewis... Was that my name? Did it matter anymore? All I knew was that Andrew was dead, nothing else mattered.I looked towards the source of the voice. It was Thomas. I knew him, once. He was in my squadron when we were assigned to this godforsaken city. He was in front of me when...

“There’s nothing we can do about him now. Let him go, we need your help over here!”

It was then that I registered the noise for the first time. It all came like an explosion of sounds: Rapid gunfire, artillery shells exploding, everywhere men were yelling, running, hiding...

Why was I even there? I remembered Kingston, Ontario, my home town. My brother and I, we weren’t volunteers, we were conscripted. This wasn’t even Canada’s war. This was a conflict between the United States and China, Canada should just have stayed out. Or maybe I only thought that because I was afraid of going to war, of the possibility that I might not come back. Our squadron was stationed in Greece, where we were shuffled from town to town, defending against the advancing Turks. It was no good- The Chinese Air force, sent to protect their interests in the Middle East, decimated all of our own aircraft.


“Goddamn it, Rogers!” Roared Sergeant Kenwood. “Where the hell is our backup!?”

“Somewhere near next Tuesday!” Shouted a thin man -who I knew was Gary Rogers, our communications officer- over the deafening noise. “Every other unit is tied down and the Reds are knocking our birds out like flies!”

Kenwood swore loudly.

For the first time since I saw Andrew collapse, I took a good look around me. I was in a small, tight alley between two buildings that I assumed must have once been shops, but now were smouldering ruins. Kenwood was firing his rifle, regularly snapping back into the alley to reload. Thomas was huddling over another body on the ground, which I realized was Private Danson.

“Danson’s down, Gary!” exclaimed Thomas “Call in the casualties to command already!”
“Oh, right!” said Rogers, hitting his forehead with the palm of his hand before reaching down for his radio.

“This is Crow, we just ran into a heavily defended Turkish position. We have one VSA and Danson is critically injured. Requesting permission to-“ He suddenly trailed off, staring in the night sky.

“Red choppers! Get the hell down!” He shouted. I looked up and saw two helicopters swooping down towards us. I lifted my arms in a vain attempt to protect myself when I saw a bright flash-

Then everything went dark.
 
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