A Box of Grid Squares
The lead armored vehicle in the convoy flipped through the air and landed in an irrigation ditch when the road buckled beneath it, followed by a deafening explosion.
“I should not be here,” she thought.
For six months, she flew above the carnage in a helicopter. Her first unit convoy mission began with an ambush.
“Ma’am, you ok?” the driver asked.
The turret machine gun drowned out her sobs as it slung rounds at the enemy.
“Report the improvised explosive device (IED),” the sergeant said from the turret, in between bursts of fire from the M2 machine gun.
Her leather gloves covering her face absorbed the tears.
“Ma’am, contact the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and report our situation,” the driver said.
The driver sped past the overturned vehicle on the side of the road.
The radio crackled. “Sentinel 6, Sentinel 6, this is Sentinel Base. SITREP over.”
“Ma’am sentinel base is asking for a situational report.”
The driver reached for the handset on the encrypted radio.
“Driver, head for the high ground with the grove of trees,” the sergeant said.
The armored vehicle stopped in the grove of trees overlooking the convoy. The sergeant in the turret slewed the machine gun to provide over-watch for the ambush site.
“Sentinel Base, Sentinel Base, this is Sentinel 6 Alpha. We have one improvised explosive device with casualties. Break.”
The machine gun opened fire again, casting spent shell casings into the vehicle.
“Ma’am, what is our grid?”
The only response was a vapid expression.
“What is our grid? I need our location for the TOC. The blast damaged our GPS antenna.”
The driver wiped sweat from his eyes to see the digital map display.
“Sentinel 6 Alpha, say again, over.”
“Shit, Colonel, you need to get a hold of yourself. You’re our commander,” the driver said.
The colonel wiped mascara from her eyes and peered at the digital map.
“Echo Tango 32391394.”
She removed her Kevlar helmet, adjusted her braided hair and lodged plastic plugs in her ears.
“Ma’am, you need to speak up. Give our location to the TOC,” the driver said.
The driver handed the radio handset to the colonel and scanned his sector for any new threats.
“Ma’am, scan your sector for any threats and call it out to the sergeant,” the driver said. “Did you hear me, ma’am?”
The colonel nodded while she disconnected the handset from the radio.
“Oh shit, more dismounts have converged on the convoy!”
The Sergeant eliminated the threat before the driver could fire his rifle.
“How are my splendid foot soldiers?” the sergeant asked, dropping into the vehicle from the turret.
The sergeant scrutinized each occupant and the inside of the vehicle. He removed a can of chewing tobacco from his cargo pocket and thumped the round case twice.
“Sergeant, what are you doing? Get on the machine gun and kill the enemy!” the colonel said.
The colonel removed the strap, securing her sidearm in the leg holster.
“Ma’am, the dismounts are dead. I need you to chill and stay sharp,” the sergeant said.
He took a pinch of tobacco from the tin and assessed the despondent colonel.
“Sergeant, hand me my assault pack,” the colonel said.
The driver scanned the area for new threats with his back towards the colonel.
“You ok, Sergeant?” the driver asked.
“Another great day Specialist.”
The sergeant offered his can of dip to the driver.
“Your pack is heavy, Colonel. Did you bring extra ammo for us?” the Sergeant asked.
The colonel gripped her pistol in the holster.
“The bag contains documents recovered from the raid on the cave complex yesterday.”
The sergeant handed the bag to the colonel and reached for another ammo can.
Figures, Intel weenies always place a priority on documents over ammo, the sergeant thought.
The driver pressed the combat optical sight attached to his rifle against his eye.
“Oh shit, Sergeant, three armored personnel carriers in ‘V’ formation are approaching the convoy. They are four clicks away from our position,” the driver said.
The sergeant craned his neck at the approaching threat.
“Specialist, start the vehicle. We have to bug out. I have no intention of slugging it out with armored vehicles.”
The Colonel withdrew her pistol and shot the specialist in the neck.
“I am in charge, Sergeant and that is my extraction.”
The sergeant lunged at the colonel, but the bullets closed the distance before the steel blade could disrupt her mission.
Thank You for Reading,
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