As quickly and stealthily as possible the entire fleet had moored up on the muddy banks of the Orhon Gol outside Sühbaatar. Boris Nemov clenched his fist in impotent rage at not having more tanks and men, but he knew well that speed and surprise was far more important to the Sühbaatar offensive than numbers were.
It was June 11, the day of the Mongolian national games. No doubt all or most of the soldiers would be watching the games, and utterly unprepared for an attack. Nemov's brigade had the cover of fog, and an unimagined avenue of attack: from the river.
Marchenko was running around, furiously overseeing the disembarkment of troops and vehicles. He was beginning to grow exhausted from waving his arms and yelling. Finally, he ran up to Nemov.
"Colonel, sir, we can't get the tanks out of the holds of the fishing boats. I don't know quite how we managed to get them in, but we can't get them out now!"
The Iron Man looked out at the men and women struggling to let their mechanical beasts out of their wooden prisons.
"We built the boats around the tanks, major. A fishing boat with a huge hold would be suspicious," he explained.
"Just roll them out. Smash up the boats. We won't be needing them any more."
"How will we return? What if we must retreat?"
Nemov shook his head grimly.
"There will be two outcomes today. We either win or be cut down to the last man trying. There will be no retreat. Smash the boats. And do it quickly. We may be losing the advantage of surprise."
Marchenko stopped dead in his tracks for a moment as his commander strode solemnly away. Then he returned to the landing procedures.
"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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