0 comments

Fiction Adventure

“Send it,” the voice rang through his ears. Holding his breath, slowly exhaled, and a squeeze of his right index finger. Flash of the muzzle, then silence. “Report back soldier” the voice returns. “Confirmed hit sir, enemy down, site secure to advance,” replies Gunny. “10-4 Gunny, advance and secure payload”.

Gunny calls out “check in team.” Frank, Jack, Sarah, and Jex confirmed. “Chuckles, do you copy?” burst of static, but no return call. “Frank, do you have eyes on Chuckles?” “No sir” replies Frank. “I saw him take a hit and drop for cover but did not see him since.” Gunny orders “go to last visual location, and report what you find, take Jex with you.” As they move to the location, Gunny, Sarah, and Jack move forward to secure payload. “Do you know what we are collecting here?” inquires Sarah.” Just told it was valuable and return at all costs” replied Gunny. As they reach the assigned coordinates, looks like a small container sitting in the corner, between a shack and cluster of rocks.

A star was hovering above the crate, like a futuristic hologram. As the three looked at each other with confusion, Jack said what they were all thinking, “can we touch this”? Gunny shrugged his shoulders, and had Sarah and Jack spread out and stand guard while he confirmed. “HQ, please confirm payload, we have some kind of light shining out of crate, are we good to open, over?” called out Gunny. “Is there a Star shining above the crate?” asked high pitched excited voice over the headset. “What color is it?” Gunny got closer to the box. “Confirmed star, and color is green.” “Although the confirmed kill that was next to the payload, we cannot locate.” “I know the shot was clean and saw them drop.”

Different voice irately called back over, “Soldier stop asking questions and open crate.” “Report back on contents.”  Gunny called the other two over, to assist. With the glow around the rim of the container, Gunny reluctantly reached down, quickly touching the box. Did not shock him or seem to be hot. He sees the latch and grabs with left hand, while having a pistol drawn with right. Slowly opens, as a bright light shines out, making all three turn and cover eyes. As the lid is fully open, they see more holograms hovering above the crate, and then disappearing. Some were symbols, and some were weapons. It seemed odd to see that many items come from that box. “HQ, we are seeing holograms, and they are slowly disappearing” a confused Gunny called out. “Not sure what we need to do?”  “Stay on site until all... “A loud crack silenced the voice. “We are under fire” Jack called out “coming in from the north.” “Take cover” called out Gunny “I will hold tight by payload.” Jack ran west to the rocks for cover, while Sarah headed east and dove behind a small shack. “Frank and Jex, do you copy?” called out Gunny, as bullets were flying over their heads. “Yes Sir, we are just south of you” replied Jack. “We see the enemy to your North, looks to be 2 or 3 lone soldiers, we will move to higher ground to get visual and clear shot”.

“What is happening there, calls HQ?” a loud voice calls over the radio. “We are under attack Sir, looks to be 2 or 3 coming in from north”, replies Gunny. “At all costs, do not let them close to crate, until all items are gone” an angry voice called out. “We cannot go through this level again.” “Level?” Inquired Gunny, “what do you mean level?” The sounds of the rifles are getting closer. One large blast rattled all three of them, as debris flew all around. An eerie, quiet came over the area. “Enemy down, enemy Down!!” called out Jex, as the sound of a friendly Helo flew over. “Thank you, HQ, site is clear” radioed Gunny, “Crate no longer has light coming out, and looks to have taken possible hit.” “Items have been transferred” replied HQ. “Your mission is complete, return to base.”

As Frank and Jex moved forward and met up with the others, and all of them cleared the perimeter. They all converged on the crate, looking inside. All looking confused, as their mission was complete, but nothing in the box, not even a power supply or a light bulb. “Did you locate Chuckles?” Gunny asked Frank. “No sir, we did not find any evidence of him even being there, like he vanished” replied Frank “I know I saw him there, unless he was captured?” “We covered the area thoroughly, and nothing.”

“Night is coming in, and we need to return to base.” Gunny said regretfully, “Jack please take point, lead us home, and Frank take rear.”

Rough terrain made the journey slow, and visibility was low with the fog setting in. “HQ, do you have any visuals” called Gunny. Radio silence. He called in again, same silence. A DeJa’Vu feeling came over Gunny, as it always seems after 9, the radios go silent. “Do you all notice on each of our missions, once we hit around this time, we lose radio contact” asked Gunny to the team. “It does seem odd” says Sarah, “must be the satellites going into a sleep mode.” The team seemed good with that answer and moved forward cautiously. As they came over the ridge, they saw the light of the base in the distance. Slowly they continued to the gate, making their way back to their barracks.

“Home sweet home,” mumbled Sarah, as she threw her pack on her bunk. “It’s about time you got back” came a loud familiar voice. “Thought you got lost.” The crew turned fast, and yes it was who they thought, Chuckles. “How, what, where” confused Frank stuttered, “What happened to you?” “What do you mean” asked Chuckles, “I have been here, waiting for you to return.” “But you were with us!!” exclaimed Jack. “Have you been drinking, I was here? I woke up and you were gone, and I have had a strong pain in my chest. Not sure why it hurts but feels like someone hit me with a sledgehammer right in the heart.” “Maybe our heads are as foggy as the path back here, either way it is great to see you!!” exclaimed Sarah. “Let’s Break up the reunion, and get some rest” hollered Gunny, “We can rethink this after we get some shut eye and have clearer heads. Lights out, and that’s an order.”

As faint sounds of waves crashed onto the shore, and the sun began to rise above the ocean, the team started heading to the squad room. Chuckles greeted the team, with a big smile, and a loud “GOOD MORNING TEAM!!.” “How are you feeling this morning Chuckles,” asked Gunny. “How’s your chest feeling?” “Perfect, why do you ask?” replied Chuckles. “Well, you said you had a sore chest last night, just checking” Gunny responded. “Not sure what you are talking about,” said Chuckles, “I don’t recall having any pain.” A confused look took over Gunny as he glanced over to the rest of the team. “Alright team let’s go over yesterday’s mission and issues we had” he said to the team, as he put is face in his hands. “What do you mean, we had a perfect mission, completed all the tasks, and made it back without causing or receiving any physical damage?” Hunter said. Gunny looked up in disbelief and thought to himself all the stuff that happened during yesterday’s mission. As he looked up and saw Hunter talking, blood ran out of his face. “What’s wrong Gunny?” asked Jack, “you look like you saw a ghost.” Gunny stuttered “but, but I shot you yesterday,” pointing at Hunter. “You were working for the enemy guarding the crate that we had to retrieve!” “What are you saying Gunny?” asked Frank. “This is Hunter, and he is a member of our team. Maybe you need to get some fresh air?” Gunny quickly left the room and headed down to the ocean. He stood there just staring off into the horizon trying to gain his sanity. He can’t stop his mind from running over the previous day’s issues. “Am I losing it” he mumbles to himself. Trying to remember Hunter on the team, he is struggling to remember any of the missions or days before yesterday. Is he part of the team? Was Chuckles with us yesterday? What was in the crate we secured? While walking back and forth ankle deep in the water, he ponders why he is losing his mind. He heads back up to his barracks and goes to the phone. Dialing with hesitation, he listens as the phone rings on the other end. “Hello” says a sweet young voice. “Chaz is that you?” asked Gunny. “Yes dad” he said excitingly, “what are you doing?” “Just working son, what are you doing?” “I am just playing my new video game, called Military warriors,” exclaimed Chaz. “It’s a really fun game, you must send your team on daily missions, working to find and retrieve items from a magical crate. After each successful mission, you reset and do the same the next day. Right now, my team has the best team leader out there.”

A proud smile covers Gunny’s face….

July 24, 2023 03:14

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

0 comments

RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.