98 - Baghdad
SEVERAL YEARS AGO No.
I was not going to die right here, right now.
One day, I fully hoped and expected to make my own way to Heaven, but until that day, I was going to live a long full life. If God’s plan said otherwise, well then so be it, but until the, I intended to live.
The surviving MP had said that they were already in the courtyard, but he still had his eye pressed against the whole in the wall and had gone rather silent on any sort of details.
So I did the obvious thing I could think of and pulled up to another bullet hole right beside him. With any luck, the shots would be like lightning strike and wouldn’t strike twice.
Although that was a myth, wasn’t it?
Better not to think about it.
The MP was completely right in his observations, of course. The men that had been out in the courtyard were gone now, into buildings or whatever other scraps of protection they could find. Enemy forces had overrun the area and were starting to dig in as well, behind whatever chunks they had found out in the open.
Luckily, none of them seemed to have any of the heavier weaponry that they could have–improvised explosives went well beyond the line of normalcy, but they were far too common in the area to ignore completely. Instead, just about every man had a much more typical looking rifle in one of several models. Some they had gotten from Russian surplus sale’s over the years, some we had given them years ago. Some looked like they’d just come off of the factor floor. That’s troubling.
From my vantage point, I could watch the surviving MP. His face was curiously blank–focusing on the area outside. his finger traced a line on the stock of his gun over and over again. I didn’t even know if he realized he was doing it, but it was slowly eating away at my calm.
Before it got too annoying though, something happened out in the courtyard that I hadn’t been expecting. It was enough that the MP looked away from his vantage point, looking me right in the face instead.
It was Amira. She was being dragged out across the rough sand and pavement by two men either easily twice her size. She didn’t look at all happy with the arrangement, alternatively fighting back while screaming what I could only assume were Arabic obscenities and going completely limp–perhaps under the impression that would make her harder to carry.
Without even realizing it, I had gotten to my feet and already had a hand on the door. I had no idea what my subconscious had planned for me–whatever it was, it certainly hadn’t let me know about it–but the only reason it hadn’t dragged me out into the firefight was the MP. He pulled me down so hard that my teeth clattered together.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” I heard the man saying, “This is not a fight that you can win.”
I felt a strong urge to pull away, to just go out and do something, but it was already too late even for that. They had brought some sort of vehicle in with them–it was a close cousin to a Jeep, but not quite like any jeep that I’d ever seen before–and they’d backed it as far as they dared with fire still coming from the surrounding buildings. The shots were slower now, more careful, trying to avoid shooting Amira. Despite what the Sergent–and thus others–must have thought about here, she was still considered a civilian.
And just like that, she was gone. The bigger of the two men that had been dragging her unceremoniously picked her up and tosser her into the open backseat of the not-quite-a-jeep. He and his partner hopped up onto running boards that had been added to the back and one hammered some sort of signal on the meta. With a roar of spent fuel and exhaust, they were gone.