Inside the camouflaged tent, four men stood around a large table. The only illumination coming from an overhead lamp shining down on a map covered with red, green and grey blocks of wood. Listening intently to the headsets they each wore they would occasionally reach out with thin poles they each held and move one or more of the green and red blocks, maneuvering them around the larger grey blocks that indicated one of the nearby city’s buildings.
Striding into the tent a young officer glanced over the map, swore and strode back out, barking orders into the heavy downpour to the assembled troops. After a few moments of gentle silence, the officer re-entered the tent, this time with several other officers in tow.
“Status?” asked one of the senior officers.
“Not good Sir” replied the young officer “Incursion team four and seven have been cut off and surrounded. They managed to blockade themselves here and here” he said as he indicated two blocks of green balanced on two separate blocks of grey. “They have one injured, but not infected. The bigger concern is here” he said as he indicated a green block off to the side of the city “Last check in they were under moderate attack, however they lost their radio and we’ve heard nothing since”
“Have we sent anyone to check on them?” asked another officer.
“No Sir, apart from the command guard all units are tied up and with the heavy rain, as you know sir, air support is limited in how much they can see” replied the young officer as he watched more red blocks being pushed toward a line of greens to the north edge of the map.
“Well, we sho..” The officer stopped talking as the sound of machine gun fire, muffled by the rain drifted into the tent “ahh, the nearest combat group is two miles away, what’s going on out there?” As he finished his sentence, one of the radio men reached out and with a slight hand tremble, placed four large red blocks directly on the square of paper marked ‘command’.
Outside they could hear barked orders and more gunfire tearing through the night rain. With trained precision the senior officers headed out of the tent and toward their own individual commands. As they vanished into the night the junior officer looked around nervously at the radio men, who despite the looming danger stayed focused on the task at hand, leaning forward and adjusting troop positions on the map as the radio reports came in.
A blast of gun fire directly outside the tent made the officer jump and as he turned toward the tent flap a bloodied camouflaged soldier was thrown through. As he scrabbled for his pistol several dark shapes stepped over the now motionless marine, lunging forward, the first grabbed the officers shirt and dragged him in, smashing their heads together. Dazed the officer tried to swing at his assailant as a second figure caught his arm and pulled with inhuman strength. With a loud ‘crack’ his arm snapped, protruding bone through his forearm and spraying the room with blood. Reeling away from the two assailants the officer turned to the table only to more figures attacking the radio operators. He tried to call out for help, but with a hard ‘thud’ pain tore through his back as something smashed into him and threw him across the table, scattering blocks and smashing his head into the hard slate of the table top.
Pulling himself up he felt something tear into his back again and again, until finally, the pain stopped and he slumped down across the table, unfeeling, as something pulled at his back, spraying warm blood onto the back of his neck and shoulders. As he lay dying on the table, unable to move, he watched as his blood pooled out from the gaping wounds in his back and arm, onto the map and as he began to lose consciousness he watched as the red blood swept around the few remaining green blocks on the map and the sound of gunfire faded into the distance.