p dir="ltr""URA!"/p
p dir="ltr""emSDELAYTE KAZHDOY SHOT! VYYTI IZ AMMO ISPOL'ZUYTE SVOY NOZH! VASHI NOZHNITSY PRAVILA ISPOL'ZUYTE VASHEGO SKAZKI!/em" Shouted Anatoli through a megaphone as the artillery finished it's bombardment and the main assault began./p
p dir="ltr"Me and the other 'foreign' soldiers stood behind./p
p dir="ltr""You got your orders. Get to it lads." said Graham./p
p dir="ltr"Me and Stephan linked up and began making our way around the german defenses eventually being joined by Elizavet who snuck away from the main assault./p
p dir="ltr""Sat low, and stay quiet. We don't want to get caught." I said as we snuck up behind a German MG nest./p
p dir="ltr""emWoher kamen all diese Leute/em?" shouted one of the soldiers in the nest./p
p dir="ltr""emEgal weiter feuern/em!" shouted another./p
p dir="ltr""Elizavet your up." Stephan said./p
p dir="ltr"She nodded and adjusted her pilotka before silently moving towards the nest. Without sound she had one soldier in a head lock with a knife in his neck and the other slumped against the sandbags with a large gash in his head. She began dismantling the MG-42 that was mounted and threw the parts into a destroyed building. We creeped our way past several other MG nests, and sniper positions only to see Graham, Justin, or one of the other guys dispatch them and give us a nod before disappearing. A bomber flew past us dropping a payload of bombs onto the German defenders./p
p dir="ltr""Even down here I can hear Kester laughing." I said as we crept up behind a German 88./p
p dir="ltr""My turn." I said grabbing a rock./p
p dir="ltr"I whistled for the crews attention. They turned around and paused for a moment giving me enough time to bash one across the head with the rock. I picked his helmet up and threw it at another one before picking up the first ones body and using it as a meat shield. I threw the corpse onto one of them and shot the other before returning and executing him. The gun operator took the ear plug out of his ear and called for his buddies. When he got no response he tried to get up from his seat. Without a thought I shot him through the seat and returned to the others./p
p dir="ltr""Gimme a thermite." I said/p
p dir="ltr"Elizavet handed me one and I returned to the gun. I loaded the thermite into the 88 and closed the hatch, pulling the firing mechanism. The thermite explosion caused the canon to implode destroying its receiver. A trio of German stukas dove for the incoming horde of Anatolis troops and resistance fighters. Only to be shot down by a group of soviet fighters acquired via lend-lease. By now the assault had turned brutal as Anatolis men had carved their way through the German defenses and were now inching closer and closer to the Kremlin. Me, Elizavet, and Stephan watched as Anatolis men used any means to cut down the German defenders. One soldier used his rifle as a club to beat down anyone in his way until the stock finally shattered. Another took out his shovel and ran towards oncoming fire. We stopped spectating and continued on our way to the next target. Another 88 pak was nestled in the ruins of a collapsed house as it tore up Anatolis men./p
p dir="ltr""Buddy-boy you're up." I said patting Stephan on the shoulder./p
p dir="ltr""Watch and learn." he said./p
p dir="ltr"Me and Elizavet stood pack as he popped a smoke grenade and he along with the crew were hidden away. We listened to thuds, screams, and a few gunshots. When the smoke cleared the crew was dead and Stephan was sheathing his knife./p
p dir="ltr""Here, blow it." I called tossing him a pack of thermite./p
p dir="ltr""Nah." he shook his head. "I got a better Idea."/p
p dir="ltr"With that he climbed into the gunners seat and strapped up his helmet./p
p dir="ltr""Spot me. Let's use their own gun against them!"/p
p dir="ltr"I started prying open ammo crates and got ready with the shells. Elizavet gave callouts as Stephan used the 88 to silence the several tanks, pak 43's and half-tracks in the surrounding area. But with each shot I noticed Elizavet becoming more and more sensitive to the noise the 88 made. Once the surrounding area was clear of armour and once they had noticed our presence it was time to leave. I placed a thermite charge into the 88's receiver as fired one last time destroying it. Elizavet snapped back to reality as we left. We slipped away and rendezvoused with Justin who went alone due to the fact that Kester wanted to fly./p
p dir="ltr""How'd you guys do?" he said as we huddled in a bombed out garage./p
p dir="ltr""Two 88's, an MG nest, and some German armour we managed to scrap with one of the 88's." I replied. "You?"/p
p dir="ltr""A panzer, couple snipers nests, and a radio setup they were using to call in artillery and reinforcements."/p
p dir="ltr"Suddenly a figure jumped in through one of the windows. It was Graham with Quinlan calmly climbing through the window behind him./p
p dir="ltr""Look who we found." Graham said./p
p dir="ltr""Graham old sport we have a problem. " Said Quinlan looking out towards the ongoing battle./p
p dir="ltr""What's that?" Graham responded./p
p dir="ltr""German reinforcements are trying to halt our advance."/p
p dir="ltr"Graham pulled out a portable radio from his pack and wound it up./p
p dir="ltr""Kester ya ol' horsecock you still in the air.?" he said./p
p dir="ltr"Kesters voice came from the other end. "Whatcha need I'm in the middle of somethin'!"/p
p dir="ltr""If it'd please your highness we'd love some air support. We got German reinforcements halting the advance."/p
p dir="ltr""Aye, I hear ya. JIMMY FOR FUCKS SAKE VEER LEFT! I'll lay down some rain." Kester said before cutting out./p
p dir="ltr""You might want to hold brace yourselves." Quinlan suggested as Kesters fighter squadron closed in./p
p dir="ltr"We all kept our heads down as they performed several strafe runs. The area began to be shelled and bombed in an attempt to wither down the German reinforcements. I closed my eyes to keep the dirt and grime out that was upheaved from the gunfire. Suddenly I felt something squeeze my arm. I opened my eyes and saw Elizavet clutching onto my arm and trembling. Kester and his boys kept up the bombardment until a dogfight ensued and planes on both sides came crashing down./p
p dir="ltr""You alright?" I asked as more bombs and shells shook the ground./p
p dir="ltr"She didn't say a word. Her eyes were shut and she had a look of absolute fear on her as she hugged my arm. Finally the artillery stopped we all lifted our heads. A tank pulled up to the building we were hiding in and good 'ol Anatoli poked his head in through the destroyed wall./p
p dir="ltr""Comrades the moment of truth is almost upon us! The fascists have fallen back and fortified themselves. Come! We must do the same!" he said before getting back onto the tank and driving off./p
p dir="ltr"Graham and the others joined him./p
p dir="ltr""Veccio buddy we gotta keep movin'." Stephan said stopping as we exited the building./p
p dir="ltr""I'll catch up gotta do somethin' first."/p
p dir="ltr"His eyes moved to Elizavet still holding onto me and then back to me. He nodded. "Got it, take your time."/p
p dir="ltr"He picked up his rifle and left. I raised Elizavet's head from my arm. Tears were streaming down her cheeks./p
p dir="ltr""You okay?" I asked again. "You hit?"/p
p dir="ltr"She wiped her face and shook her head slowly. "emNyet/em." Her voice shaky and broken./p
p dir="ltr""What was all that about?" I said pushing the hair out of her face. "I've never seen you act like that."/p
p dir="ltr"She took a deep breath and spoke./p
p dir="ltr""When the Germans invaded, the people in my hometown helped house red army troops as they fought of the German onslaught...In an effort to flush out any resistance the Germans shelled the town for 3 days straight. I saw my family-" She began to choke up. "I saw them get obliterated when a shell hit my home and they were incinerated by the blast. All the bombs. The artillery. Just reminded me of that day. Like I was back there again. I couldn't help but be terrified. I looked at you and the others and saw them...I saw their faces."/p
p dir="ltr"She began tearing up again and she hugged my arm tighter./p
p dir="ltr""It's okay. Listen I'm here for you. Your a tough gal. You made it through the first day of the battle not many others can say so. Before you know it we'll be back at the base snoozing in our bunk listening to Viktor snore the night away." I said/p
p dir="ltr"She weakly laughed and rested her head on my shoulder./p
p dir="ltr""You are good friend Veccio...spasibo" she rubbing my arm./p
p dir="ltr"She lifted her head and placed a hand on my chin./p
p dir="ltr"I smiled down at her. "You're welcome."/p
p dir="ltr""Everytime I see you, you always have some sort of smile." She said looking into my eyes. She pulled into a kiss and for a moment all the fighting, gunfire, shelling, bombs, screaming, death, washed away. She held me for a minute before breaking the kiss and backing away../p
p dir="ltr""That was unexpected." I said./p
p dir="ltr"She smiled "You taste like dirt, with a hint of gunpowder."/p
p dir="ltr"I laughed. "We emare/em in a warzone."/p
p dir="ltr""C'mon, we gotta dig in." I said trying to get up before being pulled back down./p
p dir="ltr""emNyet/em." she grabbed my arm. "A little bit longer. I feel..safe here."/p
p dir="ltr"I tried to pull away but her stormy blue eyes begged me to stay. So I did./p
p dir="ltr"_/p
p dir="ltr""emInto each liiife some rain must fall. But too much is fallin' in miiiine/em."/p
p dir="ltr"I stopped singing for a moment and cracked open a can of stew I had resting on a makeshift fire./p
p dir="ltr""Keep singing. It's a nice song." Elizavet said wrapping herself in a wool blanket./p
p dir="ltr"Even though the main assault had subsided somewhat, gunshots and explosions still could be heard as fighting continued elsewhere. Now the main force dug in for the night as Germans did as well I sat down and ate while I continued singing./p
p dir="ltr""emIn-to each heeeaaart some tears must faaall. But some day the sun will shiiine."/em/p
p dir="ltr"Elizavet scooted closer to me and opened her blanket. "Is cold. Come."/p
p dir="ltr"I scooted closer and she draped the blanket over me. A bomber flew by overhead drowning out everything else under the noise of its engines as it went to deliver its payload./p
p dir="ltr""You gonna be okay? The rest of this battle?" I asked her./p
p dir="ltr""emDa/em. I just needed someone to talk to." she said looking at our makeshift fire./p
p dir="ltr""Why didn't you tell Viktor." I said./p
p dir="ltr""Viktor isn't much help in matters like these he has his own traumas. Viktor is man of many tragedies. He was there when the Germans first attacked us. He was there with Anatoli when they escaped Moscow. If you look into his eyes you see a thousand memories of pain and suffering." he does not like to talk about such matters."/p
p dir="ltr"I wrapped an arm around her and rubbed her arm./p
p dir="ltr""Well at least you got me. I'll keep you safe."/p
p dir="ltr""You better get some sleep Elizavet. I'll stay up and keep watch."/p
p dir="ltr""Mhm." she nodded and rested her head onto my shoulder and began to doze off./p
p dir="ltr"I looked up at the night sky trying to make out any stars. Back home whenever I was frustrated or needed some space I would walk out to the catwalk or climb onto the roof and look at the sky for answers and listen to the sounds of the bustling city. But back then the sky was clear and there was no war. Now all I see in the sky is smoke and all I hear is gunfire and screams./p
p dir="ltr""Veccio." Elizavet said breaking my trance./p
p dir="ltr""Yeah?" I turned my gaze over to her./p
p dir="ltr""Keep singing, Please." She asked looking up at me. "It's soothing."/p
p dir="ltr""Sure." I said smiling./p
p dir="ltr"I cleared my throat as she snuggled in./p
p dir="ltr""emSome folks can loooossse the bluuueees in their heeearrrts. But when I think of you an-oth-er show-er staaarrts/em."/p
p dir="ltr"I stroked her hair as I sang quietly. "Get some rest emAmore./em"/p