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Hospital Fighter Ch. 10 Raiders

I write classic "good vs evil" creative writing pieces with smart twists inspired by vintage action cinema, gaming, and heavy metal.

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When the commander called this operation a “raid” I thought we were going to crash through the front door and shoot at whatever moves but, his plan of attack was more slow and methodical where every move was deliberate and calculated; prioritizing stealth and preventing unwanted attention before the shooting began. To start off, he mapped our route through the city’s sewers which meant hiking through knee-deep sewage while carrying our equipment. The men maintained dead silence using only hand signals to communicate.

Suddenly, trudging through cold sewage water came to a dead stop as the commander raised his hand and lowering it, we crouched as low as we could; my heart jumped into my throat and first time in decades, my hands began to shake in fear; did we get caught?! However, after scanning the immediate area, he pointed at the soldier next to me and then at the forward area; the man then, slowly stepped forth while looking through his weapon’s sights.

The soldier disappeared into the darkness while we continued to keep a low profile. It felt like hours waiting for him to return; I caught a glimpse of his hand waving us towards his position. Surprisingly, we were out of the sewer moments later; crouching behind thick foliage after almost flying out of the manhole. Not a word out of anyone of us as we approached the hospital compound walls. Positioning myself against the wall, I joined my hands to provide height for one of the soldiers to see over the wall. Getting off me, he showed 3 fingers which meant there were 3 people in the yard.

The commander, in response showed the gesture to cross the wall; I maintained my position to be helped across last. All of us were leaning against the closest wall; covered by shadows and holding our weapons. The commander however, slung his M16 and screwing a silencer to his sidearm. We looked on as he executed the 3 unfortunate targets. 3 shots is all it took. Holstering the pistol, he proceeded to cover up with goggles and a respirator – signaling the start of the main phase. All I did was copy what my unlikely allies did therefore, I didn’t think about why we needed the face protection or even possible resistance inside; all I thought of was firing my rifle at the right time.

Hyena, following the commander’s gesture, positioned himself at medium distance from the windows and deployed his M79 grenade launcher – explaining the COCl2 containers on his belt – makeshift phosgene gas grenades. Phosgene is a toxic gas which first saw use in World War 1; killing 85,000 people – hope the respirators would hold it back. At long last, we jumped through the windows; reception area was dead with the only sign of life being a hapless nurse coughing and losing touch with life. I ended her suffering.

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There were 6 of us and so, to cover the entire hospital, we had to split up into 2 squads to sweep the building room to room. Hyena, Angel and I were on the same team where Angel assumed command; each room unfolded new levels of carnage where I started losing track of my kills. For a moment, I felt like I was doing something wrong as all I did was shoot and reload; I saw Angel throwing a person who dared to show resistance against a wall; finishing him with a bayonet stab to the heart. Hyena, upon running out of ammo at a critical time ripped his victim’s larynx out with his bare hands. Casually reloading a fresh magazine after the fact.

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The hallway behind us was a flood of blood, bodies and some viscera – I was used to combat and fighting but never as a part of an organized force or at a larger scale. “They are all dirty.” Angel finally broke the silence, “All part of the green poison operation.” I can see why he went with me – the commander still thought I would malfunction and break down; he was almost right where the “almost” part was that I began to like this.

I loved being a part of a well-organized team who worked cohesively to complete an objective; I loved the feeling of an initially heavy rifle growing lighter, almost becoming a part of me. Hyena also started to size me up, almost expecting me to attempt escape; “How is your ammo?” he broke the awkward tension.

Patting and groping around my vest, I replied, “I’m out, how many rooms left?”

“We are done.” Hyena answered handing me 2 magazines, “Aim and pick your targets; those are big bullets you’re shooting – one of them is enough.”

Reloading my rifle, I suggested, “I will scout ahead for stragglers.

To my shock, Angel aimed his rifle at me, “Do that and I’ll put you down!” he warned coldly, “We can’t afford loose cannons!” This made me reconsider instantly.

“It’s time.” Hyena said checking his watch, “Final phase.”

Angel and I checked our ammo and followed him back to the reception – met by the commander and 2 other men.

“Floor clear – no survivors.” Hyena reported back.

“Time to burn this place down.” The commander ordered, “Hyena and Panther; set the charges and rendezvous at dust-off; Hospital Fighter, Angel and Heretic; on me!”

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© 2019 Jake Clawson