The Death of a Soldier, the Birth of a Champion.

Bryan Singleton

Pain.

Blood.

Those we're the two things that registered in my mind when I became conscious. I looked around, slowly at first, then with an increasingly panicky look. All around me were bodies, bodies of people I knew, bodies of people I didn't know. Regardless of weather I knew them or not, I was surrounded by a mass of bodies that threatened to engulf me.

I tried to move my legs, which was when I realized my legs were pinned under the twisted, burning remains of my squads ARC-45 Assault Vehicle. I let out a groan as a sudden, intense pain shot up my leg. I glanced around for my pack which was thrown loose then the rockets hit. Seeing it, I let myself enjoy a brief moment of triumph before realizing I could not possibly reach it from where I was. Searching around for a stick or something with a bit of length on it, I spied a length of cloth on the ground about a foot away from where I lay, trapped under the vehicle.

I reached out and grasped it, pulling it toward me. Feeling my fingers brush on something that felt remarkably like flesh, I took a closer look at it. I froze up when I realized it was an arm, a HUMAN arm.

Knowing that my only way to survive was to get to my pack, which contained my medical kit and a radio, with which I planned to contact Home Base with, I steeled myself and manipulated the arm so that I was grasping as close to the bleeding stump of an elbow that I dared. Reaching forward with the severed limb, I used the curled fingers on the hand to grasp the sling of the pack. I pulled it toward with an ever increasing sense of urgency.

Bringing the pack close to my chest, as if it would magically disappear, I rifled through it, taking out the stuff I thought I would need. These consisted of; My radio, the Med Pack, and my 9mm Glock, and a few extra ammunition cartridges for the Glock.

I stuck my hand into the Med Pack and felt around for the two syringes that were standard with every Med Pack. I also tried to find the bottle of MK-94K, our field version of a bandage that you just sprayed on the wound. Feeling only broken glass, I consigned myself to my fate as I uncapped the two syringes and checked to see which one was the Morphine. My vision started blurring as I slowly started losing unconsciousness, again. I scrambled to find the Morphine, and when I couldn't find it, I lost control and uncapped the first one and stuck it in my leg. When the blurring in my vision started clearing up, I sighed. The first one WAS the Morphine.

I relaxed a bit and soon fell into a light sleep, forgetting, temporarily at least, about the radio. By my time, it was about 12:04 P.M. when I heard the first stirrings of movement around me. I snatched my 9mm up from its position next to me, loaded it and sat as still as I could.

I head the vague mumblings of the enemy and tried to sink into the shadows as far as my pinned body would allow.

I still don't know weather one of them saw me, or if I was simply careless and allowed myself to catch the light off one of their flashlights. Either way, we both opened fire at the same time.

One fell, then another, soon they started dropping like flies under my seemingly unending hail of bullets.

Click.

At that sound, I froze. I was out of ammunition. Quickly pressing the button to drop the empty clip, I slammed a fresh clip in, and resumed fire. During all this, the enemy had crept noticeably closer.

After repeating this several times, they were within 10 yards of me. I was on my last clip, counting the amount of ammunition I had fired. I lost count so I tried to figure it out by mentally tallying up the amount of ammunition fired. I figured I was down to somewhere around ten bullets. I counted off what I thought was nine bullets.

I knew this was the end. Somehow, I don't know how, I just knew. I slowly said the Lord's prayer,

"Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever and ever.

Amen. ",

and put the 9mm to my temple.

I pulled the trigger.

Click.