I roll into the ditch and catch my breath for a minute. I point my gun at the enemy ditch and start to shoot. I have had army training for the past few years but I’m still a terrible shot. I am still young at 18, and I never wanted to join the Army. In our country, everyone starts training at 15 and join the fight at 18. My leg is bleeding so I’m very slow when our leader calls for a retreat. I slowly hobble out of the ditch and get shot in my thigh. “This is the end,” I think to myself, and happily I’m wrong. My friend, Andrew, saw me when he was retreating and ran to my aid. He’s the opposite of me. He’s tall, strong, and best of all he’s a badass with a gun. He takes my gun because his is jammed, and starts mowing them down.
He picks me up and says “It’s gonna be okay. Don’t worry.”
“Thank you,” I respond, and I pass out.
I wake up in a hospital room, back in IB3. Our island’s coordinates is classified information. Nobody except the few that were chosen to fight know about IB3. I was forced to leave my house, my family and friends, and most of my possessions. I sit up, but a stern voice that must be the doctor’s says “Lie down, you need to heal.” I obey and lie back down and think about what happened. My eyes were still blurry so I couldn’t see Andrew, even though it’s very hard to miss him. “Thanks for coming back for me,” I tell him, “I would’ve died if it wasn’t for you.”
“Hey,” he replies, “What are friends for?” We both laugh. It’s like our brains are connected, because we always think of the same things. I look at my bedside table and see a plate of my favorite foods. I pick it up and start gobbling it down, not noticing my manners. Andrew looks at me with a “Manners, bro” look. I sigh, and pick up my silverware. After I finish dinner, I slide out of bed and start to walk to the bathroom. I’m limping still, so I check to see how my leg looks… But I don’t have my leg. I have a bionic leg attached to me. “Ugh,” I groan, “Did you have to replace my leg?” The doctor nodded back at me sadly. I hobble to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. I’m a mess, I need a haircut and a shave. Thankfully, my razor was moved into my room. I shave and then I fall asleep
When I wake up, I go to Andrew’s room. He is playing on his PS4. He’s playing online with friends back in Louisiana, where he’s from. He invites me to join, and I grab his other controller. I join and play against two people, and we dominate because we always play this game when we’re not in training. We start the next round, when there’s a knock at the door. Our lieutenant calls in “Soldier, training time.” He doesn’t expect me to be there, so I hide behind the bed. He slips his uniform on over his clothes and goes to the door. He salutes while he opens it, “Hello Lieutenant” He says to him, “What training room?”
“Number five” he says with a sigh. The highest room there is, is ten. The highest I’ve ever gotten to is room two, which isn’t hard but it’s pretty funny how I can mess up the easiest things. Even though I didn’t really want to go to war I knew I had to sometime, so I went anyway.
“Yes, Sir!” Andrew says as he leaves for the training wing. I crawl away and turn off the PlayStation. I hobble back to my room to eat dinner.
I wake up with a start and swear under my breath. I find my uniform freshly washed and my gun hanging from my hook. I slide into my uniform, and shoulder my gun. I hear the lieutenant's voice calling, “Room three, now!”
“Yes, sir!” I say with a grin. I walk out the door feeling proud of myself.
I open the door and see the interior of room three for the first time. I start training at the close combat sector, and start swinging a bayonette. I’m surprised that I’m this good and CC, even though it is in two. I walk over to another sector, the sniper sector, there is no sniper sector in room two so this is my first time with a sniper rifle. After the long elevator ride up, I feel a breeze whip through my hair. My eyes start to water when I peer through the scope. It’s a cold, cloudy and foggy day, which is terrible sniping conditions. I try to locate a dummy, and find one at the end of an open hallway, I stare at it and pull the trigger. The force behind the bullet pushes me over. I look over the fence and see the dummy on the ground with a small bullet hole through where his temple would be.
I hear one of the trainers yell “Nice shot sniper! How many times have you shot? I bet you’ve shot at least ten times, you’re so good!”
“First time mate,” I yell back, feeling proud of myself.
“Wow, you’re a natural,” he replies, “you should be with the best snipers at war. I’ll go tell the commander now.”
“Thank you sir,” I say as I put the rifle back on the hook and head to the elevator.
I get out of the shower after training, and start to dry off. I think of the trainer yelling at me about how good of a shot I was. I get in bed and start to doze off. I’m almost asleep when there is a rap at my door.
I get up slowly and say “Who is it?”
“I hear you’re a good sniper,” a stern voice says.
“I guess,” I say back.
“Show me your stuff then.”
“Yes, Training room seven,” says the stern voice that must be the commander’s. I slip out of bed and put on my uniform. I’m still buttoning my top button when I run out the door and head down the training wing. I’m wondering why he called me to training room seven, until I get in. The only thing you can get to is a glass elevator that goes very high up. I walk in and the doors slam shut behind me and the elevator shoots up faster than a rollercoaster. When I reach the top there is a small group of people attending for my performance. I salute and they salute back.
“So soldier,” says the stern voice of the commander, “show me your stuff.”
“Yes Sir,” I say, as I walk over to the rifle that is hanging on the hook, just like in room three. I sling it over my shoulder, while I head to the edge of the the platform. I finally notice how high I am off the ground and how many dummies there are. What I didn’t see until I looked through my scope is that they’re all moving, and pretty fast too.
I look back at the commander and say “How many bullets are in this thing?”
“Ten,” he replies. “But only use six, those bullets cost a fortune.
“Yes sir,” I say. I look into my scope and then back at the commander. He gives me a slight nod and I focus on one dummy that is moving a bit slower than the others. I line up my hot for where it will be and wait a second. I pull the trigger and I am blasted back again. Everyone including me is looking over the side if I hit it. The fog clears and the results of the bullet even astonish me. Not one, not two but three dummies are laying on their sides with a huge bullet sized hole through all of their heads. Everyone starts applauding and get a handshake from the commander. Just as everything seemed to be getting better, an alarm went off.
“Commander, Commander come in,” says a woman’s voice.
“What is it?” he replies.
“Airstrike from 314, coming from the east and only ten miles away.”
“F**k, this is more serious than I thought. I thought it was the fire alarm going off again for burnt bacon.”
“Not this time sir, report to aerial tower immediately.”
“Ok, I’ll be there in a minute, I’m recruiting a new sniper, to replace Bode,” he says back, in a more of an I’m in a hurry voice than his usual stern one. “Everyone, get into your rooms, you’re more safe there than it is here.”
When I’m back in my room I try to fall asleep, but I’m scared that I might not survive the night. I too hard for me to fall asleep so I decide to look at my new sniper rifle and sniper badge that the commander gave me in his rush to get to the aerial tower. He ran the other way from me when I was heading to my room, and I only heard one more thing from him:
“Training is on Wednesdays and is at four o’clock. Room Seven!” That’s the last I heard of that commanders voice. I had just set down my rifle to look closer at my badge when my room shook terribly. The first bomb had just hit. I could still hear the alarms and I could hear screams. This process happened ten times. After the tenth, the alarms went off and I heard the same woman talking on the commander’s walkie talkie on the loudspeaker.
“All clear, repeat, all clear. Everyone back to your stations. No harm has been done.” I was thinking about where I heard her voice before, but then I remembered that the commander usually gives the all clear. I thought about it and then had an idea, and it wasn’t a good one. There had been harm done during the bombings, the commander was dead.
I find it hard to eat the next few days. We were starting to become friends at that point. At four o’clock, I did come to sniper training. I took a few easy shots and then went back to my room. After looking at the the badge, I knew what I had to do. I had to go to war. I had to avenge my commander and fight for my country. If I died trying to overcome country 314, f**k it, I have nothing else to live for. I went straight to the lieutenant's office and told him this. He seemed pretty surprised at this news. He said that if I really wanted to a spy plane would be flying over to our attack base on the ocean in between what people used to call Russia and 314. I accepted the offer, and got onto the plane the next morning.
The plane streaked across the sky, being practically invisible because it was a spy plane. We got there a day earlier than we would’ve if we had taken normal plane. We take spy planes because they fly too fast for 314’s detectors to locate them. When inside the base I am taken to the mission planning room. The meeting has already started but I still hear most of it.
“You’re right on time sniper,” The man leading the meeting says, “all we’ve said so far is that the tanks will go first.”
“Yes Sir,” I reply as I take my seat.
“I said this already, but I’ll say it again. 314 is having a secret meeting that we’re not supposed to know about with their highest officers. We already have a spy in their ranks that will be attending. He is supposedly a cameraman videotaping it,” he said with a laugh. “It’s so stupid that they don’t know yet. All he has to do is bring his camera to us and we’ll have the whole thing. Okay, tanks will go first, then we’ll have the big guns. After them, the riflemen and grenadiers will go. Finally snipers and medics. Snipers, they will have sniper towers, so you will have to take them out from a distance and sneak into their own towers. They won’t recognize you until their cameras go back to check on the tower. When you see the light, get down and hide behind the ammo containers.”
“Deker, you’re with Granger,” our sniper counselor says. “Johnson, you’re with Richardson.”
“Yes sir,” I say, with three others.
“Hey,” one of them says after we’re out of the meeting. “You must be Granger.”
“Yes, I am,” I reply.
“I’m Richardson,” the same one replies. “This is Deker and Johnson.”
“Sup,” Johnson says.
“Hey,” Deker says as he grabs me by the collar. “You’re paired with me, the best sniper in the army. You better be good or I’m gonna throw you out of the tower, especially if you get us caught.”
“Don’t mind him,” Johnson says as soon as Deker is gone. “He’s not a very bright person, but he does have a good shot. You better hurry to your room, there is a funeral session before dinner.”
“Nice meeting you,” I reply as I walk back to my room.
I’m so hungry when I reached the ceremony hall, where the funeral process had already started. I look up and find three coffins, and about four hundred seats around them. I find an empty chair and join the giant group as though I had been there there the whole time. I heard the General say that he was so sorry to the friends and family of Joe Michaels, Jauna Hill, and Andrew Faulstick. My stomach lurches like how it had after I woke up from my dream. Suddenly I wasn’t hungry for food anymore. I looked at the stage and saw Andrew’s parents, weeping by the particularly big coffin. I had seen them before on a facetime call with Andrew. I started to cry. It sounds weird for an 18 year old man to cry, but I did. I hurried out of the hall to my room. I flopped onto my bed and cried until I fell asleep.
I woke up by someone knocking on my door. “Hey Granger, It’s dinnertime,” the voice of Johnson says.
“I’m not hungry,” I replied.
“Ok..., see you tomorrow at the meeting.”
At the meeting the next day, our officer told us that the time was now for us to go. The tanks had already been sent on flight. We would take a private army jet and start attacking right away. I ran to my room and grabbed my battle gear and ran to the hanger. I found the other snipers waiting for me.
“Took you long enough,” Deker says
“Sorry,” I said. “I needed to grab my stuff.”
“Get in and let’s go,” he said. “We’re gonna be late.” I got into the plane, and shut the door.
We took off and I feel back in my seat. “S**t, this thing is super fast.”
“What did you expect,” Johnson says. “The army needs to get places fast.” I nod and try not to barf.
When we got there, the battle was already started. They were not ready for our secret attack, since it was three in the morning. We got dropped off behind enemy lines. We saw their towers and snuck up behind them, Deker and I to one and Johnson and Richardson to the other. Deker told me to go up the ladder first. I nodded and slowly climbed the rungs that seem to go on forever. Five minutes later I finally see the top. We climb further and I see their snipers kneeling at taking out our front line shot by shot. I heaved myself onto the floor and went towards the snipers and unsheath my knife. I sneak behind one and stabbed. He falls over and screams out. His partner turns, but Deker is there and stabs him too. We take them to the edge and throw them off the tower. We take our spots, but Johnson and Richardson are too slow on their tower. Their snipers across the battlefield saw us coming and aim at us instead of our fighters. One shot and Deker fell. I ran over to him and ducked as a hole appeared in the wall where my head was a second before. I took his wrist but couldn’t feel a pulse. The shot was fatal. I stood up and felt a bullet graze my cheek. My face was bleeding but I was okay. I aimed at one and pulled the trigger, a second later, he slumped over. The other aimed at my head, but I ducked and shot him too. After all their sniper were down our team advanced faster towards their base. Our tanks blew holes in their walls. Our bomber snuck forward and filled the holes into their base with explosives. 314 finally sent out some troops in tanks and our leader told us to retreat. They didn’t know about the holes into their base. A jet came to pick me up. I hopped onto the edge and climbed onto the plane. Once our troops were gone we detonated the explosives. I turned behind me and saw the flaming base that was country 314.
When I got back to IB3, I was greeted with applause. I walked through the crowds to my room, flopped on my bed and turned on the news. There was a very interesting story about what we just did.
“Country 314, Russia’s main ally, has been defeated by a secret army, that we don’t know,” A newman says. I smile, and fall asleep.