We are saviors of a different type and our cause is our own. We stalk the shadows where we dwell, but we also shine when faced with the utmost adversity. We are killers, we are healers, we are saviors, we are conquerors, and we deal in all spectrums of the same cause. One is not put before the others, no one is without justice, no one is without mercy, but to deal in dealings of crisis, we put others before ourselves, bringing justice and mercy to those who cry out for it. We bring the sword down on those that threaten or would otherwise bring discontent among their populace. (Swiftly we strike, swiftly we heal, and that is our way.) We are gray-winged angels.
We were sent to a meager-looking town, not much, but a few homes, if they could be called such. The populace spoke an unusual language, sounding more like animals than humans. They help us as little as they can, but stay a good distance away from us. We know they fear us, but in their fear lies respect. They never throw stones or yell at us, and they always accept what help we give them. We are as curious about them as they are about us, and plan on learning more about them as long as we stay here.
It has been two weeks, though, and we have learned little about these people. We know now that the name of their village roughly translates to Shining Stone, but the small dwellings about the village are a dull brown on the harsh desert. We setup a makeshift medical facility and a forward command post. We are the only ones of our kind in this area. We have dug defenses to help keep the citizens safe. Soon we will be leaving to fulfill our main objective. This will be our baptism of fire. We do not know what to expect, but we must remain very confident in our abilities.
The wind is strong; it has battered us for quite some time now. Movement is a long-drawn-out process; we mustn’t move too quickly for enemies could be anywhere. We need to get a feel for the landscape. For even though we are in a desert, there are places where we could be ambushed. We happen to find an oasis. It is a sight to behold, in the expanse of the desert where this small patch of life lives. We walk toward the palm trees quite slowly. If there are enemies around, they surely have spotted us by now. We must be cautious, for there may be civilians beyond the trees and we must not harm them. Slowly, we approach. Ever so slowly; it feels like it is taking an hour and a half to move twenty yards. We advance in a crouching position with our guns at our shoulders, ready to fire. We breathe heavily before we move into the trees. No one in sight, no camp, no footprints, nothing, and all is quiet, we are alone. PING, we look toward our self, bleeding from the mouth on the ground, shot in the head. We scramble to the hot sand, looking around to find no one but our self.
We stayed at the oasis for a day, but we couldn’t save our self. We were hit by a sniper, we have left the oasis with haste watching every direction to make sure we are not being followed. Our next destination is a village that has been hit by enemy attacks. We are not expecting to find the kind of help we received in the last village. We have received Intel that the village was badly damaged and that the occupants were badly injured and in need of medical attention.
As we approach the village, we behold a troubling sight. The Intel was badly outdated. The village has been completely destroyed. We walk through the broken buildings. Other than the breaking of stone from the crumbling buildings, the only noise we hear is the wind whistling through the air. We search through the rubble to find any sign of life, but to no avail. Everyone in the village is dead. For those whose bodies we could find, we went against our training and buried them in the sand just outside the city.
We leave the village quickly, for we don’t know where the sniper is. He could have already sent word back to his leaders that we are stalking the desert. We took water from the village and any supplies we could find. Though we have lost part of our self, we are picking up the slack of carrying everything we need. The desert is a tempting mistress, making us see that which is not there. We mistook a large field of sand surrounded by dunes as a large lake. We have spent far too long in the desert, but we must keep going on. No one can get to the villages but on foot so, we must press on. We cannot call for support until we make it to this last village.
We hurry to the village that we received word was last village is expecting to be attacked. Our first objective is to halt the enemy mortar attacks on the village. We infiltrate the village and dispatch all hostels that we come across. We call in for helicopter support and pick up; when that happens we must hurry to get everyone on board. If we take too long the chances of escape diminish and no helicopter can stop to assist the fallen.
The village is in sight. All seems quiet the attack has not begun yet. We are at least twenty miles from it. We advance to ten miles, then we hear soft explosions from the distance. We see flashes of light fling through the air. We quicken Our pace and when we get to six miles from the city we find the mortar teams. We dispatch our prey with ease, for the most part the air was silent afterward. We could still hear the faint cries of guns in the distance. We approach the village weapons high, we use the buildings for cover, keeping our backs to the walls. Slowly we crouch through the streets, making our way toward the sounds of gun fire. We turn a corner when machine guns fire on us. We are shot. We drag our self into the buildings and begin to return fire as we proceed to treat our injury. “One, two, and three” we would count as we return fire then back to cover. “One, two, and three” we would count as we heal our injuries. We shoot and kill many, but they are flowing out of buildings like a river of men.
We kill many men and halt their advance for a while, we find out that survivors are being held up in a small building the edge of town. We leave more of our self at the building; we would return to collect us when we have returned with the survivors. The streets are littered with the corpses of dead villagers and enemy soldiers. Aside from small street battles, we have not been confronted by large-scale attacks since we have entered the city. Every once in a while, we would hear the whizzing of bullets past us and we would return fire and keep moving. When we reach the building where the survivors are being held, we find that seven men patrol the outside of the building. We take our position, fire and kill the enemy with frightening precision. We move to the entrance of the building, we break the door down, moving in we shout and shoot anyone with a gun in their hands. There were four additional enemies inside the one-room building. We find ten survivors, kept the braces on their hands and moved them outside the building. Then we moved the survivors in-between us.
The sniper returned and killed one of the survivors. We shoot where we thought he was while moving our self. As we race back, more and more enemies come at us making it harder and harder to protect the remainder. When we finally make it back to the building, we only have seven survivors left. We find that most of us were lost when we departed and we call for air support.
For hours we have been stranded at the building, we have come under heavy attack. We finally hear the whipping of the rotor blades of the helicopters and our ammo is almost depleted. The helicopters lays a volley of gun fire on the enemy position before they finally touch down. We scramble toward the helicopters, keeping our guns toward the enemy, as the first helicopter is loading with the remaining survivors and our injured, we cover them with fire. We loaded onto the second helicopter after the first took off. As we leave, the pelting of enemy fire left holes in the bottom and sides of the helicopter.
We think we are safe as we leave the village and make our way toward our base. However, in the hours that we waited, the sniper had ample time to set up RPG sites in the mountain overlooking the village. We cross over the mountain, dodging and evading the rocket propelled grenades. We are tossed about our helicopter. As it weaves through the chaos, we hear a loud explosion and the twisting and disfiguring of metal. Our helicopter is spinning out of control for what feels like hours, until we hit the other side of the mountain. Dazed and confused we wake from our stupor to find the pilots have died. We gradually emerge from the smoking carcass of our helicopter to spot a little two story building not ten yards from us. Bit by bit, we move toward the miniature edifice. It is to be our sanctuary till help can come and retrieve us. Half way to our destination, our enemy pours their hatred down upon us once more. We return the barrage with our own hail of fire. We make it to the structure, losing more of our self in the process, but we make it. We just have to hold our position and last until we can radio for help. We find that the house contains a small family. We found them huddled in a corner. We have to protect them now, so we take them to a small room in the center of the house. We begin to attend to our wounds with the utmost precision and care. However our screams scratches at our ears like a thousand tiny needles. We finally take up position and find that a few of the insurgents are coming from the east. We use the windows for cover and open fire. Our volley of fire tears through the men outside. For hours, we unleash our fury to those that would seek to destroy us. We yell constantly for magazines until our voice becomes hoarse.
For three days we have fought, for three days we have lost a part of our self. The enemy has surrounded us and has infiltrated our safe haven. They killed the family we tried to protect. They slaughtered them without second thought. We failed. We hear the whipping of helicopter rotors in the distance, but the thought of rescue is empty. We are no longer an individual body of people, but an individual. I am alone.