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I was packing the rest of my military supplies that the base had given to me, Matt and Brett. Brett walked in and slammed the door.

He looked at Matt and I. "War has just reached a whole new level of s*cking."

"How did things go?" I asked, curious to know what happened after I left.

"Couldn't have gone better." He said with a smile. It was the first time I had seen him smile in a long time. "Thank you." He said genuinely.

After we had all packed our things, got dressed in our combat outfits and got our gear on, we headed out the door and to the military base. There were dozens of helicopters waiting to transport the new soldiers to the front lines. Captain Gibson also had his gear on. When he saw that his company had all arrived, he spoke up.

"I'm sorry to pull you into combat early, but the situation in Los Angeles is not good. They have requested emergency reinforcements from anywhere willing to send some. We will be dropping in a hot zone under enemy fire. I will brief you on what you need to know onboard the helicopter. This is no longer a simulation people so I expect you all to stay focused and stay alive. We move out in ten minutes." He said as he left.

We all glanced at each other

"10 minutes?!?!" I said "But I didn't even get to say good-bye to Mary-Kate!"

"She'll get to remember your last meeting as you lecturing her. What a memory" Brett said with a grin. "I'm sure she'll miss you"

I punched him lightly.

"Well go on!" Brett said to me.

"What?" I asked him.

"Go say goodbye quickly so I have a chance too!" He said as he pushed me.

Brett went to say goodbye to Ashley while I said goodbye to Mary-Kate. I gave her a big hug. "You and Ashley take care. We'll be home before you know it." I said.

Mary-Kate forced a smile, as did I. Brett came over and gave Mary-Kate one last hug.

Matt was waiting on the helicopter with the rest of our company. Brett and I got on the helicopter as it lifted off a minute later. Brett only looked at Mary-Kate while Matt looked at Ashley as the helicopter rose tot eh sky and moved off towards Los Angeles.


Mary-Kate and I burst into tears. We'd held them back until the guys had left, not wanting to make them guilty. But, now they were gone there was nothing stopping us.

Arms around each other we walked back to the village...


The captain told us our objective and where we would be dropped. It was close to our old school. We were to retake the school and turn it into a command post. We were given our last hour to relax abord the helicopter before going into combat. I looked over to Brett and he only stared at the passing scenery below the 'copter.

"Don't worry." I yelled out to him over the roar of the engine, "Well be back home before you know it."

He gave me a nod with a small smile showing he appreciated it. Marc-Andre was going over his gear to make sure it was all ready. You can never be too careful I guess.

After what seemed like forever, the pilot yelled out "Five minutes to drop off!"

All of the soldiers got ready and had their guns drawn. This is it.


"I wonder what Matt's doing right now" I thought then shuddered. The thought was kind of scary.

"Yeah" Mary-Kate agreed.

We walked into our apartment building. Mary-Kate sat on the sofa and I walked to the window and looked out.


I glanced out the window at the disaster area that was once our school. It was still standing but man did it look different!


I took out Mary-Kate's picture and took one last look at it before I went into combat. She was the whole reason I was fighting.


I took out the picture I had taken with Brett only an hour before. It had only been a short time since he left and I was already missing him. I joined Ashley in a silent prayer for our friends going off to war.

Chapter 21/a>

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