Brother's Blood

The morning held no relief. The world was still covered in mud and dirt. But now, there was a terrible smell. The smell of sweat. The brothers couldn't risk being caught with their pants down. In the building they stayed up , for all night. If they were to step outside, the Russian patrol will sound. Marines were told that the Russian patrol was its heaviest at night.

At both ends of the room, they were slumped down against the wall. Staring into each other's eyes, safe to know that they had th room secure. Jake shivered, sleeping wet and muddy on a cool autumn night. A breeze sweep through the room. It was dead cold for the two brothers. Reed rose to his feet, clenching his jaw, for there was no feeling in his hand or feet. He took his green gloves, because he thought, they only made his hands colder. But to Reed, dry cold winds attacks on his skin were less torture than wet numb fingers.

How long could we hold on? Jake questioned himself over and over again. His hunger tormented him all the while he is wake. His mouth dry, dying for clear blue water. And, no comfort came from sleep. There was no comfort at all! Jake was losing grip on everything around him. Why drag this on any longer? Why continue to let myself suffer so?

For me, lady fate will not bend. Her mind is made him. Our fate is death. We are only prolonging a quite end.

The world will not stop all of a sudden to mourn our death. It will only continue to revolve, as though nothing as happened. No one will shed a tear for us. It is because, no one has ever tried to help me and my brother! Right now, headquarters has it recorded, assuming we died with the others. Will it matter if we prove them wrong? Jake slumping down even more, falling more into his self doubt as well. Why don't we save everyone the trouble!

All those dead man in our regiment all had mothers, wifes, girlfriends waiting for them and most hurtful of all, children. Now, those of the most beauty, the most delicate of hearts. Their hearts will be scattered when they hear the news. That just says, they are worth the mourning. I guess God thinks we aren't worth the same privilege. Jake stared up, and Reed was glancing at him for quite some time now. Reed knows Jake's suffering without even giving it thought.

Reed's look, the look to keep on. "We made it this far, but weren't done yet," Reed's highly commanding voice, easily stealing Jake's attention. "We have to keep moving." Reed clenched his rifle. The cold metal didn't seem to bother him, that his hands were so numb from the cold. The older one headed for the stairway. A set of footsteps, heavy boots banging a hard wood floor. Reed stopped, he didn't hear Jake move. He turned back to his younger brother. Jake hadn't moved, not even to bothered to look at Reed.

Reed turned back, staring down the gloomy stairway. He bit down on his lower lip, feeling something turn in his stomach. My little brother wants to give up. "You can't give on me now, brother," Reed begging his little brother to shake a leg, but Jake wasn't swayed in the least bit. Reed shivered, as he finally realized his suit was damp and cold. All his strength, gone in a instant. He shut his eyes. "...Please, brother, just a little further, I promise."

"Why! Why not give up? No one as ever needed us!" Jake shouted at Reed, it deeply wounded the older one. Reed has taken to deep stabs to the heart. His very heart trembled, he tried his best not to weep, weep in silence.

"A—A—All we ever needed was each other," Reed speaking from the depths of his heart. "... Brother, I need you by my side. To follow me, to watch my back. I'm weak without you." Reed turned back again, to stare into his younger brother's eyes, into his soul, is where he draws all his strength. "Or have you forgot what you bring to me?" Jake stood up, his head hanging down, his shoulder limp.

"I'm—I'm sorry brother," Jake stammered. They smiled and left the temporary lookout.

They crouched low, staying close to the walls of the back alleys. Afraid to walk on the streets, they would be easy targets for any Russian snipers stationed on high roofs. Remember, they are taking San Fransisco as their base of operations and first base on US soil. So any enemy troops will be shot on sight. There will be no need to call to clear the shot, they'll only need to aim and fire. It was a cold jester, but Reed and Jake knew they would do the same in their position. It is a basic protocol.

Thank god, the mud is finally going away, Jake thought. The cold winds are freezing up the mud, but it would be like a rock surface when fully frozen. The little one quivered deeply at scratching his knees on the hard surface that used to be mud. And the mud on their heavy green suits will freeze up and simple fall off. That was one less thing to deal with. But, they were still hungry, their damp suits, and thirst. Those somehow didn't bother Jake as much as the mud.

They traveled southwest, Reed knows that there will be a base at Los Angeles. Since the Russians have taken San Fransisco. The US will heavily fortify in Los Angeles, to try prevent the Russians from walking in any further in America. Reed snorted, the Americans are scared now, very scared. I guess from being the fattest dog on the block for so long does things to you. But as any good American, its my duty to protect my land. But above all else, my brother comes first before anything.

They're eyes were on full alert, shifting to and fro. Taking short little breaths as they move swiftly through the back alleys. Sticking to the walls, as the Marine Core as trained them. Reed leading his brother, making sure he was safe. Gripping his rifle with his cold numb hands. For awhile now, the cold as been constantly biting at Reed's hands. But now, the biting as stopped. Reed knew that wasn't good, but it matters not. His brother's life, that is what matters.

Something felt wrong, something was amiss, but what? Reed asked. His eyes stared down, thinking to himself as he continued to lead his brother. Searching his mind for the answer. No! A Russian came out of a corner, running into Reed, knocking him clear off his feet. The Russian soldier hadn't noticed the younger brother. Jake's grew wide, his mouth came open. For a split second, Reed was suspended in mid-air. Crashing hard on the rock hard surface, Jake could only image his big brother's back would be all scrapped up.

"Jake! Shoot him!"Reed yelled, but Jake didn't hear a word nor the Russian Soldier couldn't understand the American. He only thought the American was cursing him.

As Reed finished falling, he quickly reached for his pistol. On it was his silencer he quickly attached in the temporary lookout. But... the Russian already had his drawn and was starting to take aim. Jake was frozen, the unthinkable as happened. He shut his eyes closed tightly. Bang. No Reed, you can't die... Jake said to himself.

The impact of the bullet didn't effect the Russian soldier one bit. Only a sway of the shoulder. I missed, Reed shocked. Bang. A loud horrifying shriek followed the shot. The bullet almost ripped off Reed's right arm, his gunslinging arm. Now it was useless, blood leaked out heavily. I'll die slow.

That moment, the sound of the second shot, Jake's heart stopped. I'm dead. But he didn't fall and he didn't feel any pain. May be he shot me in the head. I should be dead without feeling anything. What's going on? His eyes flew open, looking for answers. No one died, now Jake was confused. But they did have wounds, each of them had their right arm shot and bleeding. But Russian's arm stopped bleeding.

"Jake! You stupid idiot! Shoot him now! That's an order!"

Jake heard that loud and clear. Forgetting about the no gun policy. But Reed's life is at stake! He pulled up his rifle, quickly pressing it against his chest. In that second, the Russian soldier was in his sights, squeezing on the trigger slowly. Bang. Bang. Bang—Bang. Bang. Tears were shedding out of Jake's eyes as he shut them tight. Reed watched in horror. The Russian was dancing in beautiful unisons with the bullets. Fragments of clothe was blown off as blood splattered all about.

I didn't want to kill anyone! He kept repeating in his head. But his finger kept pulling the trigger back, one bullet after the other. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang—Bang. Finally the clip was empty. The body finally fell, bleeding and bleeding. Soon the dead Russian was laying in a pool of his own blood. Reed couldn't look at it, he turned away, closing his eyes. But he could still smell the scent of heat lead, burning inside the dead corpse.

Click. Click. Click—Click. Click. Jake's were watery and red from tears. His eyes were open, but it seemed there was no brain behind the eyes. He wanted to shot the Russian more, but there just isn't enough bullets in the clip. His mouth hung open, but Jake didn't know. What have you done! The question echoed, and another voice howling the same thing, not waiting for the echo to die. It didn't end, soon it just became white noise inside Jake's mind. His expression reflected that. He dropped his empty rifle. He stared at the dead body for a long minute. His arms and head hung low.

Jake blinked, coming back into himself. He bit down on his teeth, clenching his jaw tightly. He took two quick angry breaths. "Ahhhh!" He ran up to the dead body, kicking it and kicking it. Reed watched in silence. All he heard was the kicking. His eyes became watery, and shut down. Bowing his head low. He could feel the darkness flow into his heart. We weren't going to kill anyone. A low voice in his head spoke.

Jake abruptly stopped, he turned away, bending low. His ribs tightened, he puked his guts out. He puked again. Wiping the drool away, Reed is wounded. He rushed to see how bad Reed's wound was. Jake grabbing Reed's arm tightly. "Brother... We could still make it." More darkness filled Reed's heart. No. He thought. His sight again blurring and he stared off into the distance. His eyes, were slowly shutting. But hard shook by Jake interrupted him and his passage to the heavens, where he'll finally have peace. It wouldn't be peace if his younger brother were to suffer alone. I need to stay with him. He needs me more than ever.

Reed heard a tear in clothe. He looked. Jake was tying the clothe securely over Reed's wound; to stop the bleeding. "No brother, we'll make it together. I'll make sure of it." Jake said. A faint smile came over Reed. "You didn't give up on me. I won't give up on you. Now, come on." Jake sled Reed's right arm around his neck. Slowly, Reed was pulled to his feet. The stronger one always takes care of the weaker one. This is what brothers do.

Slowly, they moved with each half-step. They were moving slow, still keeping to the back alleys. Reed knew, he would slow his brother down. And almost every Russian soldier could hear the shots from Jake's loud rifle. In minutes, there will be hundreds of Russians searching this area. Together they have no chance of escaping now. But Alone, Jake might have a chance to escape. And if Reed only says he was alone. All other additional searches for others will stop. Jake would stand a good chance of getting out. The Russians wouldn't let me die, their doctors would attend to my wounds. But I would remain a war prisoner. It doesn't matter, as long as Jake lived.

"Jake, stop now..." Reed said. Jake looked at him in confusion, giving him a face that asked, why? But he did as told. "Sit me down, I need to rest." Jake sat him down against a building nearest. And he sat just next to his older brother. He looked to the clothe, it was already soaked with blood. The wound didn't want to stop bleeding.

Reed just stared around at everything. Finally, the dark clouds were leaving and the sun shined brightly. Finally, some color to this black and white world. All dirt-filled puddles were frozen into brown ice. And all mud became rock hard soil. But the cold winds didn't seem to bother him now. His mouth was dry and his stomach felt like it dried up like a raisin. He couldn't feel his feet, but he couldn't feel his right arm at all. He tried to move it, but it remained limp. Dying slowly.

"Jake, now listen to me," Reed started. "We won't make it out together. You know this. Already dozens of troops are headed in our direction. They will kill both of us. But! Not if I'm alone, and I don't mention you. They won't kill a wounded, and they'll fix my wound. But I'll be a prisoner of war. And you have a great chance to escape and tell the Major that I was captured."

"No! I can't leave you alone... Brother, I can't," Jake frowned, hanging his head down. This is what I get. Jake thought. For my actions dis morning. God, he's my brother... I can't leave him. We were never apart for any amount of time! I shouldn't have been weak. I should have been strong. And may be that Russian would be dead before even pulling that trigger! Why?

"Do you want to see me alright and alive?" Reed asked.

"Y—y—yes," Jake answered.

"Then go! Now!" But Jake didn't move, only staring at Reed, a loving stare. Reed grew angry. Jake was like a small puppy that did something wrong and was getting kicked out for it. Reed pushed him away, and again, and once more. "Go!" Jake was rose to his feet. Staring at Reed a moment longer. "Go!" Reed shouted.

"Promise we'll be together again?" Jake asked.

"Yes, I promise now get the hell out of here!" Reed answered. "And never look back..."

Jake's entire body trembled, weeping silently. Quiet sniffles. His shoulders were quivering. And he dashed off, running at full speed. He didn't think to look back. Quiet sniffles. Although his body and mind were in full run. His spirit still felt, he was standing before Reed, staring at him. Stupid war! Stupid guns! Stupid Russians! I hate it. Already Jake was miles away from Reed and still running away.

Ten minutes later, a dozen of heavy boots stood around the dead Russian's body. "Sir, its one of ours," A minor grunt said to the Russian Officer.

"Killed by an... Am—American, this can't be." A Boundary Breaker killed by an ordinary human, the Russian Officer was disgusted. "Where is the swine that done this!" Another minor grunt came running up to Russian officer. A quick salute, and the Russian officer half saluted.

"Sir theres another body a few blocks to the west, its American," The minor grunt paused. "But he's dead too. The doctor says he bled to death, just a few minutes before we got to him..."