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TITLE: Man Down

Man Down

AUTHOR: Dragoness



SUMMARY: Response to "Injured Character" Challenge at the ATSB2

DISCLAIMER: The Team belongs to Cannell and Universal. This piece created solely for personal entertainment.

WARNINGS: Character injury





            "Man down, Colonel."

            "How bad?"

            "Bad. Took a face full of shrapnel."

            "Everybody drop back. Meet at the crossroads."

            The colonel snapped his radio back onto his belt and cursed himself as he made his way through the underbrush. What an amateur mistake. His team was scattered across who-knew-where, the original rendezvous point was crawling with those half-cracked militia wannabes, and now one of his men was bleeding to death out in the woods somewhere. Brilliant, he seethed at himself. Just brilliant.

            Fifteen minutes later, maybe twenty, he peered down on the rough dirt road that had borne them into this godforsaken mess. It intersected a fire brake that ran for twenty miles up the side of the mountain. A crossroads for jackrabbits.

            A shadow moved in the trees to his left. The colonel gripped his pistol and flicked off the safety.

            "Colonel," a familiar voice called quietly from the brush. "We're down here."

            The colonel peered around a tree trunk and recognized the black-faced figure - and noted that one shoulder of his shirt was dark with blood. Glancing cautiously down at a battered pickup rattling down the road, the two of them descended into a small hollow, where they were screened from view by a wall of ancient spruce.

            A blonde-headed figure lay on his back among the wild strawberries, breathing fast and shallow. His neck and face were peppered with blood and grenade fragments. The worst of the damage, around his left eye, had been futilely bandaged with a handkerchief - the only thing any of them had.

            "I'm . . . sorry, Colonel," the young lieutenant managed to choke out.

            "There's nothing to be sorry for, son," the colonel said, kneeling by the injured man. Not on your, part, anyway.

            A rapid thumping sound rose to the southwest.

            "Colonel Decker," said Captain Crane, "the chopper is here."



Man Down by Dragoness



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