Episode 76 (PART 3) - Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero's heart

Exposed to heavy enemy machine gun fire and grenades, Corporal Dalton James Malloy held Ivanov’s men by the pond with her accurate rifle fire. While doing so, she suffered a minor fragmentation wound from enemy grenades. - Warrior 1, this is Warrior 2, please respond… I don’t know how much longer I can hold the enemy in check… - said Malloy through the radio. We arrived at the scene to find Malloy pinned down behind a knoll under constant firing from Baxter and another guard. Sgt. Palmer and I immediately jumped out of the jeep and opened fire towards the men at the pond. Professor Evgeny hid behind the jeep as he was instructed by the sarge; the professor was too valuable to participate in a gun fight. Rodriguez held my grenade launcher awaiting the perfect opportunity to use it. With bullets flying from two directions, Ivanov’s men split up in two groups. Baxter and a few men stayed by the truck, which was visibly stuck in the mud. A few yards away, Dr. Johnson and his men tried their best to protect Dr. Ivanov from our bullets. More bullets burst on all sides of the jeep, machine guns chattered by the water. A few men ran from behind the enemy truck, probably trying to escape, but unfortunately they never made it past the beach. Realizing that his chances of winning the battle were slim, Dr. Ivanov was now looking for a getaway. Abandoning his wheel chair, Ivanov was picked up by the burly guard I had seen by the helicopter. Dr. Johnson escorted them through the beach laying heavy fire at our position. The commotion by the pond was such that nobody noticed Ben walking towards the water. - Hold your fire! - I yelled. The sarge seemed a bit confused but he finally complied. - What in the hell is that? - said the sarge flabbergasted. And right there, even though he was caught in the middle of gun fire, Ben proceeded to get undressed. It was one of the most bizarre scenes I’ve ever witnessed. Ben took off his red jumpsuit and almost immediately disappeared into the murky waters. The incident didn’t last more than a few seconds, but it was enough time for Ivanov and his comrades to reach the end of the beach. Even though Rodriguez had popped a few grenades their way, they disappeared into the thick scrub. Baxter was the only man left at beach and it didn’t take long for him to grasp the situation. The fight was over. Baxter raised his hands signaling his surrender. Not wasting any time, Sgt. Palmer arrested Baxter, while Rodriguez and I followed Ivanov’s path through the bushes with no success. He had gotten away… Back at the beach his wheel chair stood by the water along with several dead bodies. One of them had a familiar face: Brian. I had once saved his life… what a waste. We checked on Malloy and radioed Redman to meet us at Base Camp with the abandoned van. Before leaving, I stared at the pond for awhile hoping to spot Ben. I never saw a thing. I wonder if he remembers me, if the guy I knew is still there, underneath that mutated body. At least, he was free again.

by Corporal John Harris, May 17, 2007