Twenty feet, then fifeteen feet, then ten. Suddenly Anderson felt his boot catch on a tree root, protruding from the tall grass that hid it well, and he flew with the grace of a one-winged ostrich forward into a one-point landing on the cold, hard ground. He rolled onto his back just in time to see the enemy platoon hauling ass toward him like a pack of wolves after a rabbit. The important point that the green soldiers failed to pay attention to, however, was that this rabbit had alot of friends. The next sound that any of them heard was the frightening roar of four, .50 caliber machine guns blazing a curtain of light from thier laser emitters over the head of Sargeant Anderson and into the vests of the privates. Any other man would have covered his ears to protect them from the thunderous sound of the weapons and the high squeal of the TaC vests, but not Harland "Black Eagle" Anderson. From a sitting position he put his rifle to his shoulder and picked off enemy soldiers that he thought still might be, "alive." A cry of retreat came from one of the privates over the fighting and the enemy soldiers desperatly tried to save themselves. Few of them made it far without being hit by laser light. Eventually the gun fire stopped and an infernal wail of the TaC vests was left, shaking Anderson's eardrums to a point where he thought his head might explode.
"Turn those damn things off!" He yelled, standing up and dusting his uniform off.
The beeping soon died out and Anderson ordered all those who got shot to remain where they were, have a seat, and wait for thier "dead" platoon sargeant to catch up to them.
"Eagle to base, all hostiles in area nuetralized," Anderson said on his radio.
[Base copy. Your pants still dry?] Anderson laughed, "Yeah. Nice timing, Burnette."
[I do what I can.]
"You might want to ask these privates, though."
Burnette raised his head over the northern wall and observed the field of soldiers sitting on the ground.
"Damn! Those boy's faces are whiter than your legs, Anderson!" he said into the radio.
[Don't make me kill you,] Anderson turned toward the base and Burnette and glared at him.
"Ooo! The brave sniper's threatening the guy with the heavy machine gun! Will the wonders of intellegence ever cease around here?"
Anderson raised his middle finger high in the air and waved it for Burnette to see. Behind him he could hear the snicker of the teenage privates. He turned and glared at the group who instantly fell silent.
Behind the platoon of "dead" greens, in the distance Anderson caught sight of the platoon's sargeant, trudging along the roots and hills of the terrain. Anderson could tell by the way he walked that he was quite unhappy. Although, who would really enjoy having their entire platoon wiped out in a matter of minuites by one man and a couple of machine guns.
The sargeant stopped and took a look at a most unique sight. In front of him sat around twenty-two infantry men, all who looked more lost than a family of rednecks in an art museum, and the single man responsible for the 250 yards of caos through the woods.
"Anderson!" he yelled, "Front and center!"
Anderson quickly snapped his radio back into his belt and ran up to the sargeant, jumping over privates along the way. He stopped in close proximity, in front of the NCO(Non-Commisioned Officer pertaining to those in leadership posisitons, but are not officers. Example: the ranks E-5(Sargeant) to E-9(Sargeant Major of the Army) are NCO's, while the ranks O-1(2nd Leutenant) through O-10(5-star General of the Army) are commisioned officers by Congress and are to be addressed as, "sir.") and assumed a position of attention.
"Yes, Sargeant First Class Corrin! Sargeant Anderson reporting, sargeant!"
Corrin raised his hand slightly in a motion that one would use to quite someone down.
"Easy, Anderson. You know you don't have to go through all that with me," he said.
"I'm sorry, sargeant. Just trying to look professional in front of the privates, sargeant," Anderson replied. Sargeant First Class Corrin was two ranks above Sargeant Anderson, and although it is customary to call a higher ranking officer or NCO by their full rank, most NCO's prefere their lengthy titles narrowed to just sargeant. Every NCO has the word sargeant in their rank and cutting the added parts makes communicating much easier.
Corrin laughed lightly and presented his hand for Anderson to shake, "You always did try to make things look good."
Anderson took Corrin's hand, "Don't have to try very hard anymore, sargeant," he joked.
After the hand shake, Corrin put his hand on Anderson's shoulder and proceeded with him to the group of privates.
"Anderson, you must have either balls of steel, or be the stupidest, son-of-a-bitch alive to pull off what you did back there."
Anderson looked at Corrin's face and cocked an eyebrow. He wasn't sure if he should be taking this as a complement, or a way of anger-release for the defeated leader.
"Thanks, sargeant. I think," he said. "Don't get me wrong, Anderson, I..."
Corrin was interrupted by loud static on Anderson's radio. Neither of the men could make out the message of what sounded like a man in panic. Anderson quickly grabbed his radio from his belt and turned the volume down to save their eardrums, and then turned the knob to full power when he thought he could hear the man better.
[...getting thr... ... m I getting through to anyone? Come in please!]
"This is Eagle One, who am I talking to?" Anderson said into the radio.
[Thank God! This is Patterson. I-I've got... I've got a...] Patterson panted heavy, sounding like someone who has either seen a spirit of the great beyond, or who has just eaten three, one pound hamburgers.
"Calm down, coporal. What's the problem?" Anderson said, starting to become a little worried. The privates, still seated among the trees they were "killed" in, turned to the two sargeants who had on their faces looks of fear and worry. The experiences that the two men have been through have taught them first, and foremost, that anything can happen, even in the psychological safety net of a training camp. There have been numerous times that a young Harland Anderson had been walking with his father through these very pines of Dunn Forest only to find himself running behind his father, desperatly trying to catch up, for his life. One of many memories that Anderson tried to block from his mind each and every day, only to be held victim by his sub-conscience is his sleep. The last peace he held.