Captain Barringer saves Calypso:
Captain Barringer staggered across the rubble filled street, gripping a bloody wound on his side. While he moved across the road, bullets started whizzing passed his head, forcing him to duck as he limped. Several artillery blasts detonated not too far away, knocking him into the jagged cement road.
“GAhh!” He groaned loudly as he hit the ground.
He used his bloodied hand to push himself up but by uncovering his injury he spewed blood over his rifle. He grunted as he once again gripped the wound and began to run to the collapsed building in front of him. More bullets whizzed over his head but he managed to maneuver his way into the rubble, hiding from SRA line of sight. He dropped to prone and crawled his way through the rebar and metal debris with hope of escape. “MMnnnahhh Fuck!” he yelled as his wound got snagged by a loose pipe. He shifted to the side and continued crawling forwards.
Eventually he found a small cleared area in the rubble, it looked to be an old café within the shopping center. He nodded dizzily as he stood up and moved towards an intact chair. Sitting down with a grunt, Barringer spat a wad of black and red spit. Before doing anything else, he unsnapped his canteen and slowly drank most of it; he was dehydrated, but he was losing a lot of blood and needed to act fast.
He quickly stood up and wiped down the counter next to him, pulling out and laying down his med kit on it. Next he undid his combat vest. He struggled to take it off, but eventually managed to get a good grip and pull it off; it dropped heavily from his hand and onto the floor as he began to pull off his undershirts. He revealed his gaping wound, stretching across his stomach and chest. Blood gushed onto the floor while he pulled a canister from the med kit.
“Fuck me up.” he mumbled as he began to spray the contents of the canister into and over his wound. “Aaahhrg!” he grunted as it began to foam up, stinging and burning the inside of his body. He leaned against the counter with both arms as he took deep breaths, occasionally letting out hard grunts.
The faded sound of the battle outside became nothing more than a white noise to him as he slid down the wall and landed on his butt. He pressed both legs against the floor as his head fell backwards, thumping into the wall. His breaths become steadier when he closed his eyes, trying to push out the pain. There was not a lot he could do for himself in this state, just hope to God that he didn’t lose too much blood. He eyed up his canteen that he left on the chair, shaking his head. Mustering up some strength, he lifted his leg and pulled the chair closer, getting it close enough to reach with his hands. He dragged the canteen from the chair and drained the last of it. It was refreshing but not enough to last; water needed to be his first priority.
Barringer awoke with a jolt, lifting his head from the wall. ‘I must have passed out?’ he thought as he pushed himself up. The gunfire outside was muted but hadn’t stopped yet. ‘Can’t have been too long.’
He grabbed his shirt, throwing it on and then buttoned it up. After that he slid his vest back on, tightening it and checking his ammo reserves.
“I need to find someone from JOD.” He now said aloud while picking up his rifle.
He pulled the strap over his shoulder and secured it tight to the side of his body so he could crawl back through the debris. This time though, he drew his pistol from its holster on his hip and began to slowly creep forward. Once again he used his legs to push himself through the low hanging pieces of metal and cement, sliding passed the rebar that attacked him on his way in. He could still feel the dizziness engulfing his mind as he came to the exit, hearing the muffled battle come into full blare. Several jets flew overhead, bombarding an outpost further to the South; he knew they were ADF, which meant that the UPDA still had the upper hand. This gave him hope. Knowing was half the battle.
He dragged his body out of the debris and aimed left to right down the streets. All clear. Slowly, he placed his pistol back to its resting place and then lifted his rifle. Keeping it tight to his shoulder he moved along the side of the building in the street. One foot at a time, every few steps needing to stop to regain his breath and shake away the fuzz that continued to fuck with his head. It wasn’t ideal, but it was better than getting into a firefight and feeling like passing out before he had a chance to shoot back. At this point he had to do everything he could just to survive.
A few bullets whipped down the street ahead of him, some firing south and some heading north, clearly a skirmish between forces. If he was lucky it would be a GDF team and not just local military. He quickly moved his cold, sore body down the road and crouched down near the corner. He subtly peeked his head to see to the left side; there were a lot of gun flashes coming from behind barricades and through parts of rubble and damaged cars. He knew that the North side was where the GDF were holding off, so that meant that he should be seeing his own allies. Although in the chaos of war, nothing was for certain.
Barringer ducked back to his cover and as he went to move, he noticed movement in the middle of the street about thirty feet from him. He aimed his rifle but quickly identified the culprit as a little girl. She sat against a small pile of rubble and was surrounded by corpses. Dried blood had filled the hot, dusty street where the girl sat, crying.
“Hey!” Barringer yelled to her, hoping it was loud enough. “HEY!” He repeated.
This time the girl heard his shout, but couldn’t identify the source of his voice. Barringer sighed, standing up to wave at her. She saw him, widening her eyes in hope that he might save her. There was not much he could do, not without stepping into the middle of the road and being killed, or worse, getting HER killed. He lifted his fist and raised a single finger to signal ‘one second’ while he tried to think up a plan. Instinctively, the girl nodded and held her arms around her chest tightly. ‘What options are there?’ Barringer thought to himself. ‘What could even work?’ As his mind pondered the possible options, an SRA tank rounded the corner from a few blocks down the road on the other side of the main street. Time was running out. The armored tank rolled right towards them, driving on a path that would surely crush the girl if she didn’t move soon.
“Fuck it.” He uttered as he bounced from his hiding spot. Luckily, the turret on the tank was already aimed towards the GDF side of the road, but that didn’t mean he was safe. He slid across the open part of the road where bullets were whizzing just over his head and tucked in beside the girl. “You trust me?” He asked as he grabbed her hand.
She simply nodded her head, making him pull her from cover and lead her quickly across the road. They were almost to safety when bullets began to hit the ground around him. He pushed the girl ahead of him but took a bullet to the thigh, dropping him on the side of the road. With a roll and a kick to the wall next to him, he was safe, but not out of the fight. He scrambled to his feet and began to run inside another building, this time closer to his allies. If he was lucky, maybe it would have a back door and he’d be half way there. He staggered through the wrecked building but then collapsed to the floor. He’d forgotten that he had been shot … again. Blood trickled from his leg to the floor, pooling against his body. The girl stopped, crouched and rolled him on to his back.
“What can I do?”