Sometime in July I should have this part working...
For now, here's a true story...
BATTLE IN THE SNOW
My legs are tired, but that was
expected. The snow almost holds me
up, but usually I fall through, the ice crystals getting between my boots and
pants. We try to stay where
thereís less snow but often itís not possible.
Thereís a shallow stream ahead. A position on the far side should be easy to defend.
Thereís the stream on the east side and deep snow to the north and
west. We hang the flag on a small
branch of the tree in the center of our position.
Jon recommends that we camp in sniper positions and wait for the attack.
We know theyíll come from the
north. Jon chooses a position at
the crest of the outcropping to the north.
Thereís little cover so I let him hunker down there and I look for a
place for me to defend from. Thereís
a good spot I can use that covers the stream.
I lie down in the damp leaves. What
a great spot if only theyíd come now. The
leaves are really a lot damper than they looked and I feel pretty exposed.
Iíll go back up and talk to Jon.
Jon has his mask off.
I yell at him in a stage whisper to pull it down.
ďItís fogged up!Ē He puts it on though. After
we listen for a couple minutes, only hearing leaves rustling and our own
heartbeats, I check my gun. The
safety is still on. I gesture to
Jon, showing him how dumb Iíd been. He
looks at his gun and then turns off his safety.
It seems like itís been a long
time. Weíd hoped theyíd attack
our good position but it seems they either know we have the upper hand here or
are happy with a standoff for now.
I canít take this any longer,
ďIím going to reconnoiter down to the stream.Ē
I think this is a dangerous move butÖ ďWatch me, if anyone shoots,
spray them so I can get back.Ē
I slowly creep down, carefully
avoiding stepping on anything that would make a noise, pausing every few feet to
survey the surroundings and listen. Down
by the stream I actually have a better view of the area to the North.
Nothing. Back up the hill
with Jon, ďThis position is great to defend but itís not good to attack
from.Ē We have to get this thing
going so I propose that Iíll go down and cross the stream.
Jon is to keep about 75 feet behind me so if I get shot at he can lay
down covering fire allowing me to retreat.
Crossing the stream is not safe. Itís wide open and the sun is bright in the sky.
Iím trying to avoid splashing or stepping on any sticks that will
crack. But I donít know whatís
Finally Iím across and move up to a
thick clump of trees. Iím on my
elbows and knees trying to look for anything that might move.
Wow, my heart is pounding hard now, but not from the exertion.
I just wish I could hear something useful.
Watching, watchingÖ ok,
Iíll move up further. Itís
safer in the dense brush. Iím
taking a course I wouldnít normally use but I need to stay off the crunchy
snow, thereís a big tree up ahead. If
I can get to it, Iíll finally have a place to rest for a minute.
I had to risk running through the open but I made it.
Iím thinking, ďI took the lazy way to get here.
I would have been safer to cross from the right, but Iím winded and I
really needed to get to this safer position to rest.Ē
Now that Iím in a new position, itís important to take a good look
around. Shit, about 50 feet away I
see someoneís pant leg partly visible from behind a tree.
Without hesitating, I step into the open to get a better angle and
rapid-fire 15 or 20 shots finally hitting Bryan.
Wow, I was really lucky to see him when I did, he would have had a clear
shot the next time I moved.
Now thereís just Erling.
I donít know where Jon is behind me but I canít risk calling out.
Erlingís flag is somewhere to the North.
Heh, Iíll follow Bryanís tracks.
Well, it seems like Bryan really
likes to walk through nasty weeds and pickers so I donít retrace his steps
very far. Maybe 15 feet. Now Iím just following a path.
Watching mostly to the right where it looked like Bryan had come from.
Suddenly I hear shots from my left.
I scramble up to the next big tree to take cover, my feet slipping out
from under me and I almost fall in the snow as I get to cover.
Thereís shots whizzing by and glancing off both sides of the tree Iím
behind. I stick my gun out and try
to return fire blindly, but this only seems to encourage him to shoot more.
Iím really pinned down here. I
call out to Jon to move up and help me. It
sounds like heís a long ways off but I yell that Iím pinned down. I just hope he understands.
Peaking out, I can just see the edge of Erlingís jacket.
I blast another 20 or so rounds at him but at least half are taken out by
twigs and branches before they get there. Heís
moving left and I move counterclockwise to the next cover, now he is southwest
of me. Again Iím pinned down.
Thereís shots whizzing by me on both sides.
Weíre maybe 75 feet apart and he sprays ammo toward me again.
When I next peek out I have a good view of him with less branches so I
start spraying fire at him. Now
Erling runs south and I see his flag, abandoned on the hillock.
Probably never have a better chance so I run up the hill and grab the
flag. Not dead yet. I run for the path back to the stream. I know Erling went southwest and Iím going southeast.
My base is straight south from here.
My mask is pinching my nose and
itís hard to breath, mostly breathing through my mouth now, pounding my way
through deep snow. I just need to
get to my base before Erling does. Does
he know where it is? Thereís no
time to think about stepping on twigs now and my lungs are screaming for air.
I stop for about ten seconds to breathe, whereís Jon?
OK, just down to the stream, across, and up to our flag.
At the edge of the stream I look across and up and thereís our flag.
Just 60 feet more. I cross
the stream and as I reach the other side I hear it. Someoneís shooting rapid fire from the top of the hill and
I dodge back toward to stream but YOW! Shot
in the knee.
Erling got me. He must have gotten off 15 shots in about 2 seconds, man that stings. I was about 15 feet from our flag and he had just climbed the ridge from the other side. I call out ďhitĒ and drop their flag. Now Jon is coming back, Erling shoots him in a brief flurry of shots. Well, almost had themÖ