Date: September 16, 2011 Time: 1525. Location: South America, somewhere along the Amazon River.
The trip has been brutal. They have had to escape the walking dead at most every turn. While the deep jungle was sparsely populated it's as if all the inhabitants of the South America, from local tribesmen to city dwellers, have converged on their location. In the sweltering heat of the jungle the weary men march. Determined to "escort" their fearless leader to his destination. He has continued to provide for the men but even his skills have their limits. Food is scarce, he has been able to gather sufficient edible plants but he keeps coming up short on protein and fat. The lack of proper nutrition is taking its toll. Minor cuts and scrapes that an able bodied healthy man wouldn't think twice about have become infected leading to illness and fevers. And still the five men trudge wearily along the game trail, each step more demanding then the last. After a near eternity they group stumbles upon the path they have been searching for. The road is little more than ruts in the mud, a clearing made by the few passing trucks capable of navigating the thick rain forest and not getting stuck in the deep mire.
They have been following a route that will lead them through the old native village and passes close by the Viper's Nest. All tactical convention has been ignored. They walk down the center of the road in an ever changing group as opposed to sticking to the sides walking single file evenly spaced. They realized long ago that the enemy they are fighting cared nothing for military tactics. On more then one occasion they were glad to be in the road as opposed to the side as they passed draggers who lurched out of the undergrowth. At their current state of fatigue even these slow half destroyed zombies could have overtaken one of the group.
"We're almost there Commander." The words barely escape from Corporal Akin's chapped lips causing a shudder to run through his body.
Silence is the answer. The Commander has done his best to provide for his men. He realized each morsel of food provided, every drop of water gathered, each fire started, every shelter built, cemented his men's loyalty to him. But now… Now a seed of doubt is taking root.
A sound stops the group in their tracks.
"Vehicle approaching." Tomax grumbles.
Cobra Commander looks at his men, "Well what are you waiting for. That could be a rogue Joe patrol. We have made it this far to die standing still in the middle of a dirt track. If we are going to die we shall die with honor." He pulls his Luger from its holster flipping off the safety. His words stir the men to action; they take to the road's sides lying in the run off ditches weapons ready. Each man knows his line of fire. It's a tactic that has been used throughout the ages of war. The idea being that should it be an enemy they will be caught in a zone of crossing fire. The men wait as the rumbling grows. The Commander recognizes the sound as do his men, it's one that they have all heard many times before. The HISS Tank moves into sight followed by the Tactical pick-up flanked by men on either side; a Range Viper leads the way followed by a pair Swamp Vipers, a Cobra Mortal, and the remaining Vipers of Viper's Nest. The Range Viper raises his fist, immediately the column stops. Hand signals flash as each man takes a knee pointing a weapon into the jungle. The Range Viper kneels down scrutinizing the ground before him. Cautiously he makes his way forward. Each step deliberate. Eye trained down the barrel of his rifle. He stops feet from the Commander bringing his rifle to bear. Looking into the brush he he snaps to attention and offers a salute, "Commander do you need assistance?"
The Commander comes to his feet. The rest of the men come out of hiding. The troops surrounding the HISS Tank remain weapons ready with a new reason, the protection of Cobra Commander. The Range Viper calls back, the men of Viper's Nest break ranks and run up to the emerging men.
Seeing the Commander Fintak stops in his tracks, "Commander Sir, Sgt Fintak at your service."
The Commander returns the salute pointing at the men he had travelled with, "Take care of these men."
"Yes sir!" Fintak Turns towards Nason and Lee, "You heard the Commander let's get moving."
Cobra Commander turns towards the Range Viper, "Is there room on that truck for the men?"
Hesitating, "Sir we brought it for you."
"Bah! Get these men on there. They've been through enough. I shall be fine walking out."
"Sir it's 10 clicks…" the Range Viper's voice trailing off.
"Then we better move."
The Range Viper answers with a salute turns towards the group of Cobra troops and shouts out his orders, " Get those men looked at. Ready that Tactical for passengers. You four perimeter guard." The men move with efficiency quickly tending the exhausted. They clear space in the bed of the pick-up offering it to the unkempt men. "If the Commander is walking out we're walking out with him." Akin states for the group. They make the final trek providing protection for the Commander as they go. Worn out and enervated by the long trek seeing the HISS Tank and Cobra troops gives them the strength to carry on.
"Sergeant, we have incoming. The package has been secured." The Tele-Viper hands the message to Kosa. Message in hand he turns and walks out of the communication room. He walks the long hall towards the main ready room where he knows Onesi is waiting uneasily for the message. He had sent out a HISS, tactical, and a squad of men on the advisement of Agent X-99 who claimed the Commander was nearby. The last several hours have been intense. Fintak enters the room, "Lietenant." He holds up the paper. Onesi knows by the look on the Viper's face that the message holds good news.
He steps around retrieving the slip of folded paper. Carefully scanning it, "Thanks Kosa. Looks like that crazy fucker was right. Ready the Nest for the Commander's arrival."
Categories: Cobra Chapters