Brothers at War - Part 27

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As one brother watched the sunset, the other watched it rise, as at 7 am German time, Chase was on a morning run with his platoon. They had been out 2 hours and were heading back to the base. It was twenty-one days since he and Ian had reached the base safely for the first time after stealing the enemy truck. Everyday since then they had been sent on either patrols or rescue missions in the area. From what the men had been told Chase assumed that their purpose in that specific part of Germany at that time was to hold the base and prevent the enemy from making any substantial movements and actions. 

 Once the men returned from their run, Chase, Ian and 4 other selected men were to go on a patrol of an area that was previously occupied by the enemy, but after recent satellite pictures came through it seemed that it had been abandoned. It was the group’s responsibility to check and verify this.

 Chase found Ian half an hour before they planned to leave the base. They grabbed some breakfast out of their ration pack and sat on their bunks opposite each other and ate in silence. It was a 4th time they had been on an investigative patrol like this one and each time they had either had an injured soldier or a soldier killed. Chase had had six people die in front of his eyes by this point. For nearly six months at war, Chase considered himself lucky that there had been only six. He felt even luckier that he had not yet been injured.

 After they ate they started putting on their full combat uniforms. After nearly 6 months wearing it, it had lost it’s new clean look and now had a little bit a of character with every light rip or stain having a different story to tell.

 They met the rest of the group and reported to the officer that was going to lead the group, a soldier by the name of Loustra.

 Loustra was not one of the more respected officers. He was a capable leader but had been prone to crack under pressure and to swear and blame other soldiers for his mistakes. Chase knew that it was his duty as a soldier in the American Army to follow the orders of Loustra – he however was simply hopeful that those orders would not lead him to his death.

 The group headed out into the woods. Moving between the trees silently with only the crackling of leaves and twigs underneath their feet making noise.The group of men walked slowly and were constantly checking their surroundings as they moved farther and farther away from their base.

After 20 minutes of walking they made it to the area they were investigating without disturbance. Loustra reported this over his radio back to base. The place they were investigating was an old abandoned stone house with what appeared to be an old barn to the left. Apart from the overgrown weeds and shattered windows, it looked like once it had been a neat little property. Loustra quickly instructed the group to split, two men to investigate the barn and two to investigate the house. The final man would remain a look out outside with Loustra. The six of them were connected by radio and would be in contact at all times while they investigated the areas. Ian and Chase were told to check out the barn.  Guns held tightly, Chase wiggled the latch to the barn door lose until they could open it. Once it was open they listened to the silence inside for a few seconds, waiting for movement or some disturbed chicken to suddenly rush out. Nothing moved, nothing made a sound what's so ever. Chase signaled to Ian to move forward with his hand. The hay and dirt crunched under their boots as they walked and went about checking every nook and cranny of the barn, any possible hiding spot. The kept their backs to each other at a distance of a few feet to allow their backs never to be unguarded, in case of a sudden attack. They had learned by now that you needed to take every precaution because sudden ambushes had happened in stranger places. 

The barn was large, and had a huge amount of wide spaces. Both the bottom floor and the loft had a thin layer of hay on the ground and light shining through the slits between the wooden sides of the barn. Hay bails found themselves strain around the place and stables and doors to other rooms made it a place with many possible points of ambush. Chase and Ian searched, in practically silence for probably 20 long minutes. Up in the loft, after climbing the ladder to get up there they came face to face determining that there was nothing and nobody in the barn. They began their decent down the ladder and as they were doing so they heard two vehicles pull into the clearing in front of the house. They stopped and looked at each other before deciding to climb back up the ladder to get a better look at who had arrived. The owner of the house and barn was who they hoped it to be but with the sudden and aggressive shouts they could only assume that they had finally found the ambush. Two trucks full of enemy soldiers was quickly emptying and Ian and Chase watched hopelessly as Loustra and their fellow soldiers put their hands to their heads, guns on the ground, surrendered. Chase knew they couldn't hide and that there was not doubt that they would have to surrender. They had no choice. All they could do was wait. 

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