UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

Sometime in July I should have this part working...

Thanks, SoM

 

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 ahead.

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.

Shit.  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