Snakes and Pills

077 - bones

"Get down, just... fucking, GET DOWN!" Kevin yelled at the new kid standing in front of him, Marcus. His head had popped up slightly over the wall when he was caught off guard by the sudden spattering of gunfire headed in their direction. The green recruits always reacted without thinking the first time they came under live fire.

Unfortunately, as much as Kevin had seen, more than half the time it ended in their rookie asses getting killed. Luckily for Marcus, he got the message just in time, and slid his back down against the wall that was providing their only cover. Bullets were still buzzing overhead as he began slithering back towards the rest of the team, about as low to the ground as one can get.

"That goes out to all of you guys," Kevin said. He looked out at the faces surrounding them. Boys in armor, carrying automatic rifles, their faces dirtied but still so scared. They had good reason to be scared, he knew. It wasn't as if they were all part of a new team that Kevin had been given command of.

They were all replacements for soldiers that had been killed. Miraculously, Kevin had survived an explosive detonation that completely destroyed his previous team's transport. He was the only survivor, and even then, it was a painful road to recovery. The scars that tattooed his back and chest were a living testament to that.

When he made it back to active service, Command had thought it wise to give him leadership of the squad. Of course, he was the only one left, so it seemed natural to the chiefs upstairs. They had hardly considered how Kevin was completely unfit for the position, even if he hadn't been through what he had just experienced.

But now, he had no interest in leading these boys. Each face reminded him of the one that had come before. And for all he knew, he was going to lead these kids to the same fate. The fear of that was the only thing that held him together at the moment. He knew that, above all, even if it was impossible, he had to try and get all of them back out alive.

"Stay sharp, and stay smart. Don't go getting scared, standing up to run, and getting your head blown off. Let's move out and flank them. Look alive!" he commanded. It was forced, but they were willing to believe him at the moment. They knew Kevin had been in the shit before, but they had no idea how woefully incompetent he was. At this point in time, though, they wouldn't have really cared.

They wanted someone to follow. Someone to believe when he said they could make it out alive.

The team slowly inched forward, until Kevin deemed that they might have a good spot to pop up, lay down some suppressing fire, and maybe even take out whoever it was that was shooting at them.

As he directed, a few of his men took up certain spots on the wall and quickly began firing in the general direction of where their attackers seemed to be. The gunfire coming toward them suddenly stopped. Kevin's men, though, had no intention of stopping. They finally had found a way to let out some of their anxiety, and it was in the form of sending a ton of lead downrange and hoping it connected with something or somebody.

He had to order them to ceasefire, and even then, it took them some time to obey. They were breathing heavily. It was the first time they had fired their guns at actual people, Kevin realized. Today was a day of a lot of firsts.


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