This is a small story I wrote over the past two days. Figured someone would like it.
"Hold the line, hold it!" Winslow shouted over the sporadic fire of the rifles around him. His had run dry seconds before, and he was attempting to find a fresh magazine in the area around him. For fuck's sake, his mind screamed as his eyes scanned the ground. He found a man crouched down behind the barricade and grabbed him by the arm, wrenching him to his feet. "Listen, asshole, those fuckers are going to break through if you don't get your ass up and fight!" The kid probably couldn't even hear him over the gunfire.
But he stood, teary eyed and frightened, and began firing bursts into the crowd of Carriers. Winslow reached around to the front of the man's vest and fished around for a magazine. He found one and popped it into the belly of his rifle. "Thank fucking--"
"Sargeant! Sarge, where the hell are ya'?" the corporal shouted. She was dark-haired, though it was hard to tell with her helmet covering the majority of it. She connected eyes with him and made a bee-line for him. "Hey, they need you to extend the line, Sarge."
Winslow gave her a look. "Extend the lines? What-the-fuck-ever!" He emptied his magazine and reached for her vest, reloading his rifle. "I've got fifteen fucking people, they should be amazed I'm holding the line!" He looked at her again, "look, tell them we'll extend it by two feet. You got that, Stewarts?" He smiled and affixed the bayonet to the barrel of his rifle.
She hopped on her radio and told the brass, "he's going to push it out now, sir." She always did know how to translate for Winslow. She gave him two magazines from her vest and resumed shooting.
There was a moment of silence for Winslow. The gunfire still rang in his ears, but his mind cleared all the ambient noise and, looking up and down the line, he almost believed he could do this. There were Carriers everywhere in front of him, and behind him were the hands of the higher-ups pushing on his back. He let his mind wander, working up just how he would do this. The buildings around him worked the Carriers into a funnel that pointed straight to him. The road was thick with them, both runners and shamblers.
"All right, Stewarts, let's do this shit." He jumped up on the hood of a car and shot the closest Carrier. Stitched the former teen across the chest and then once in the head. "People, let's move up!" He jumped down from the car and stabbed the bayonet into the eye of a shambler--they were the only ones that moved slow enough for that sort of action. His magazine was dry as he smacked the butt of the stock into a runner and performed the fastest reload of his life before the Carrier could stand back up. It received a bullet for its efforts.
And as there was a second of lull in the fighting, he was able to look around and recognize that his soldiers had just done it. They had extended the line 20 feet from the previous barricade. It was a Goddamned miracle. Now, all he had to do was hold it. He went for a spare magazine and his hand clasped only air. He looked down, momentary panic wrenching him by the throat. "Fuck! Magazine! Someone gimme a fuckin' magazine!"
Private Mills threw him one and he reloaded his rifle. More Carriers fell every second, and to him he felt like he and his soldiers may be able to hold the line--at least temporarily.
Stewarts found Winslow and dropped down beside him. "Hey, there's a convoy comin' through here. And you're gonna be pissed as hell with this news." She handed him the portable battle radio and he strained to listen.
"--The people are pulling out of the safe zone. Thank you for all your efforts, good luck and Godspeed." The line went to hash and he looked at it, then tried to hail someone. No one replied. He handed the radio back to Stewarts just as the convoy approached. He waved down the first Humvee and noted the sergeant manning the .50 swivel the barrel toward him.
"What the fuck is gong on, sir?" He asked the passenger--a lieutenant.
The officer sighed. "The lines have all but fallen in the other areas. This is the only line that's showing stability. We're pulling out while we still can."
Winslow nodded. "All right, sir. Let me get my men into one of these trucks."
The man shook his head. "No good, sergeant. We're full. Thank you for supporting us. Drive on." He told the driver. The driver hesitated, then reluctantly stamped the accelerator. Winslow threw every obscenity that could come to mind at the man and his mother, then watched as the last truck moved out and past his line. He couldn't imagine what would be more important than his troops.
As he thought that, a man fell off the back of the Duece that brought up the rear. He wore an officers' uniform and had a pistol in his hand. While protecting himself, Winslow watched the man firing rapidly into the crowd that came at him. They had him surrounded and bleeding within seconds. Winslow felt no pity for him.
"What do we do, Sarge?" he heard Stewarts ask. He didn't know. At any minute he was going to find himself between to line of Carriers--one at the front, another at the back. He didn't much like that idea, so he emptied his magazine and got a crazy idea.
"Fall back to the safe zone! We'll take it from there." He told his soldiers. He knew there was a helicopter there. They could rearm with whatever was left behind and take off for someplace. Maybe it would work.