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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 53

The train was shaped like an anaconda. It was as big around as an elephant, and as long as three football fields. Inside the snake's "head" was a fusion engine. The monstrous, shiny, and new chain reminded General Chavo Oso of Christmas morning.

"Christmas," Oso said, apropos of nothing but his own thoughts, "There is the tree and it shall lead us to our presents."

He pulled back the reins on his horse so that it dramatically reared up into the air, and then took off. The Mongolian cavalry company followed him, and behind them the thousands of Mexican soldiers.

After Oso had learned from the Colombians of the location of the American scanner station, he requested that the Eastern Bloc and Mongolia immediately send aid. He had specifically been hoping for a scanner jamming system. The Easterners had been using scanner jammers to confuse the German army. Now Oso needed one so that he wouldn't be discovered in this most important of missions. The Easterners had sent a tiny one, barely enough to conceal Oso's full force, and a few technicians to run it, with a few dozen soldiers. Mongolia had been only slightly more generous in sending the cavalry and foot troops he would need to reinforce his own soldiers.

"Remember that there are troops on the train," Oso said to the closest Mongolian horseback rider, "We will have to fight to take it."

The train began to pull out of it's station, and it was still going slowly as it accelerated when the Mexicans attacked. Mortars and grenades began to dent and eventually blow holes in the locked train cars. The infantry boarded the iron horse first. The mounted troops would be able to wait longer since they were moving faster and would be still be able to get on once the train was going faster.

Not every car was boarded, but many were. There had been a lot more troops on the train than Oso had foreseen. His men were fighting hard to stay on board. One a few cars had been established as bulkheads, he gave his next order.

"All infantry get on! Every last one of you! Pack in the train like cattle if you have to!"

As all the troops tried their hardest to board, the soldiers that had already been on board had to be displaced. Not all of the troops could fit on the few Mexican occupied cars. The Mexicans began to attack cars adjacent to the occupied ones, just so that they could have more room. It was interesting that the troops fought harder for comfort than they did because of orders.

A few stragglers were left behind. They were the fat ones, huffing and puffing and trying to keep running to board, but couldn't quite make it.

"Come on you pigs!" Oso yelled after them in vain, "Move, you swines! Disgusting."

The train was beginning to chug along much faster now. The Coalition troops had yet to take the engine car so they could slow the train down for the comrades. Oso knew that not even cavalry would be able to board one the train was going full speed.

"Are the Eastern technicians with the jammer on board?" Oso asked the Mongolian nearby him.

"Yes, sir," the Mongolian hacked out in awful Spanish.

"Leave the stragglers behind! Everyone board the train! Cavalry, everyone! Board, board!"

Oso had as good as delivered those obese soldiers who had fallen behind into an American P.O.W. camp. When Oso's horse began to tire and he found the train moving past him, many of the soldiers said to themselves, "Serves him right".

But Chavo Oso was not one to give up. He spurred his horse hard and made it press forward laboriously slowly, until finally he managed to leap off of it and into one of the Mexican cars. Some of the troops on the train cheered their commander for his miraculous feat, others did not who were still sore over the left behind comrades.

One of the soldiers in the car exclaimed, "We've won! It's over."

"No," said Oso, "We've not yet taken every car. The Train War has just begun."

By dawn the next day the Coalition army had taken the whole train, and left the walls and floors of every car covered with blood, both Allied and Coalition. The weary soldiers were happy for what little sleep they had gotten in the night, because a large force of defending Americans were there to meet them at the scanner station. The entire station was taken over by the next month.

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