Perma-Death War is Hell: Eight Brief Moments of Glory

Scott Tortorice

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It has often been observed that "war is hell." Well, this one especially so. Nobody even knows who started the three-way global conflict, but that didn't matter anymore. All that mattered was victory. Victory at any cost. So, in they went, right down the maw of the insatiable beast of war. None survived. But some earned a few moments of fleeting glory.

Take Private Franz Pimmel. Here he is, locking and loading, getting ready for his big moment, his first exposure to combat.


"Keepsake Bay! Yeah!" thought Pvt. Pimmel. "This is where I am going to be a hero! Where I am going to earn my stripes! Let me at 'em, general!"

Go! Go! Go! To victory!

After a few minutes sprinting towards the front lines, Pimmel began to hear the sounds of war: the crack of small arms fire and the deeper "BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!" of an IFV's auto-cannon, something that made Pimmel's heart beat all the quicker. But Pimmel got there too late. All he found was the detritus of battle: a burning technical, a body or two of the enemy, and lots of spilt blood. "Darn," thought Pimmel, " I missed my chance."


But before Pimmel became too disappointed, he began to hear the sound of a new fight! A big one, from the incessant chatter of small arms. Excitedly, Pimmel ran with all his might and found another burning technical, but with a few live enemies still around! With a smile on his face, Pimmel opened up with his rifle, nailing what appeared to be a medic attempting to heal a comrade. "No prisoners! No mercy!" Pimmel shouted per his training.


Pimmel was thrilled! He had got one! And a part of a second, he thought! He looked around to tell someone, but realized he was all alone as his comrades had moved up the street to the north. As Pimmel turned to catch up, he heard angry bees buzzing around him. "Strange," he thought. It wasn't until the PLING! and PLANG! of rounds striking the wreck of the technical awakened him to the realization that someone was shooting at him! With a start, he threw himself at the wreck and took cover. There! Just up the road he could see a lone Brownpants taking potshots at him. Pimmel got angry. "Screw you!" he shouted as he popped up from behind the wreck and let loose two quick bursts from his rifle. The shooting stopped!


He got another one! Pimmel stood up and jogged closer to the body of his foe. He pumped his fist in the air....


Pvt. Pimmel never saw who fired the round that caught him in the forehead....

Pvt. Simon Lang was heading just south of where Pimmel had died, to the beach that ran along the road. HQ wanted his team to use the seawall to flank the despicable Brownpants.


With care, Lang crept along the wall, carefully moving closer to the sounds of gunfire. At last, he came across a cadre of the enemy patrolling the area. With a gulp, Lang realized this was going to be tough. He looked behind him, but he was all alone. No help in sight. He would have to play this smart.


He peeked over the wall and watched and waited. When he saw three of the enemy Brownpants cluster together, he thought he had a chance. He took out one of his grenades and pulled the pin. With a deep breath, he popped up and threw it at them!


BAM! He got one! Maybe wounded a second! Bringing his rifle to his shoulder, Lang took a deep breath and tur....


Lang was shot at point blank range by a Brownpants patrol that had spotted him and came up from behind.

Pvt. Segbert Kampfsau saw the death of Pvt. Lang. "Good," he thought. "That will distract the enemy." Kampfsau used the distraction to dive behind a stone wall, something that would give him some nice protection. Like Lang, he grabbed a grenade from his webbing, pulled out the pin, and threw it at two Brownpants standing near a car. As with Lang, he was rewarded with a BOOM! and two dead foes.



Kampfsau grimly turned on the rest of the enemy that was closing on his position from the south. He managed to empty one magazine and was reloading another when a bullet heralded "lights out" for the private.


By midday, the incessant skirmishing along the beach had caught the attention of the HQs of both sides. Reinforcements started to pour in to the meatgrinder. Pvt Elias Schultz was thrown into that grinder


Schulz carried a squad automatic weapon, just what his side needed to sweep what what becoming a very busy street. Upon contact with the enemy, Schulz threw himself to the ground, flipped out his bipod, and began laying down suppressive fire upon the enemy.


He caught two Brownpants taking cover behind a civvie vehicle. His SAW holed the vehicle with little difficulty, killing two and suppressing others. Meanwhile, his squadmates moved further up the beach under his protection.


Schulz felt really good about himself, especially when his lieutenant gave him a "Way to go, soldier!" on the comms net. He was grinning ear to ear when a sniper put a hole through his spine.



Pvt. Amadeus Stahl found himself climbing the building that overlooked Schulz's grave. He was told to clear the roof of an enemy soldier who was sniping the Graypants below.

Stahl climbed his way to the rooftop and slowly and carefully began to search for the enemy. He could hear the POP! POP! POP! of the enemy's rifle, and the tinkle of the expended cartridges hitting the roof's surface. He was close. Stahl check his weapon, took a deep breath, and charged around the square cupola, firing wildly as he went. As he turned the corner, the Brownpant turned with surprise and the two locked eyes for an instant. The Brownpant went down in Stahl's spray of bullets, but his shots went wide. Somehow, Stahl had survived.


A bullet from the beach killed Stahl a second later.



 
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Scott Tortorice

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It was dusk as Pvt. Willie Beyer made his way up what was now being called "Murder Rue." Bodies, blood and wreckage was everywhere as both sides attempted to grind the other down with incessant gunfire and grenades.


Beyer threw himself on the ground as a sergeant shouted, "Grenade!" Beyer heard the blast and felt the shrapnel wiz past, but he was unhurt. He opened up on the enemy from where he lay.


All was chaos. Soldiers fought and died in the street, on the beach, and even above him on rooftops, as both sides sought elusive victory. Despite popping off a few rounds, Beyer didn't think he hit any targets. Another call of "Grenade!" went out. Beyer saw the orb coming his way and stood to run. He was shot in the back and died instantly.

 
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Scott Tortorice

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Niles Schmid and his squad were tasked with retaking the beach before the sun set. Schmid found running on the sand difficult, something made all the more difficult by the incoming fire from the Brownpants.


Schmid spotted a beach obstacle and threw himself behind the concrete block. He rested the barrel of his rifle on top and took aim at some Brownpants hiding behind a boulder. He squeezed the trigger when the sarge shouted, "Cover me!"


He and his squadmates put down relentless and accurate fire. Within a few second, all their foes were dead or dying. Victory!

Pvt. Schmid was killed by an enemy reinforcement a few seconds later while searching for a war souvenir at Keepsake Bay. He was not alone on that dark day. :(

 
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