"Yes!" yelled Dansworth, "That was exciting, that was exhilarating, that was...fantastic!"
Dansworth was pacing restlessly around the barracks. Gunner Jones and Captain Arrington were sitting calmly drinking from bottles of liquor and eating ham sandwiches.
"Yeah," said Jones.
"Fantastic," said Arrington half-heartedly.
He took another bite out of his sandwich.
"How can you two be so calm and complacent after what we have just been through?" demanded the newsman.
"It is not complacency," said the Animal, "It is depression. We got beat back from Bayonne by the damn Coalies and we lost Moon."
"A tank crew gets really close, like brothers. How would you feel if you lost a brother, and for nothing, too?" said Jones.
"Well, well," Dansworth tried to search for words, "That sure as hell seemed like a victory to me. And it will to the rest of the world, too. We did some major damage. Now I know why they call you "The Animal", captain!"
Jones and Arrington exchanged glances. Dansworth was still giddy with the thrill of battle. When he saw what war did, he'd soon lose his bloodlust, and probably his lunch, too.
"The sad fact is no matter how bravely we fought, the Alliance still lost. Well, they did sneak attack us. At least we have learned. We won't get fooled again."
Dansworth nodded. Brazil, Russia, Australia, France, Britain, England (and to a lesser extent America) were the Alliance. Around the world they were having a hell of a time of it. America was probably getting the worst of war, with Washington taken, the country ashambles, Canada and Mexico invading, and everything else.
"So, when do we fight the Coalies again?" asked Dansworth.
He was relishing in the derogatory term for anyone in the Coalition. Arrington and Jones just used the word as a matter of identification, but Dansworth got a little thrill out of it.
"I suppose we will get a new driver, and then see where things progress from there," said Arrington, taking a long swig from his bottle.
Dansworth looked heartbroken.
"You mean I won't be able to go into battle again?"
"Not unless you quit reporting and join the army," said Jones.
"Well, that's just what I will do then!" said Dansworth.
"Until we meet again," said Arrington, rising and leaving the room with his gunner.
Later, Arrington made a bet with Jones that the next time they saw Dansworth he would still be a reporter. Jones was reluctant to challenge it, but for the sake of a game of chance he did.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
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."
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