In the Red Zone

A short story written by: Lee Sonogan


“Victory is a thing of the will.”
― Marshal Foch

The mission was clear behind enemy lines. Following orders, he was to scout out the area in Sector D. The mission was to move everything forward through the open area. Two snipers in the distance had him cover at long-range. All three had ear pieces to communicate with each other The environment was full of large vegetation, cover and slopes in the hills. A small river runs along the hills. Keeping in communication the soldier with full gear made his way through the trees and bushes. “You should find some structures north of you past those rocks 200 metres out,” said one of the snipers in a serious tone. Now seeing cabins in clear view of him, he says back “Roger,”. An automatic riffle with a scope and a shotgun hangs off his back. Within his pockets there are enough 12 gauge and 5.56mm rounds to last any gunfight. He also carried with him a communication device that was long range. It was small and was to be used later once they reached the centre of Sector D. Reaching the structure he puts his back to it just outside an opening. He waits to hear foot steps. The enemy could be inside.

Ready to aim down the sights of his automatic shotgun in his hands. He peaks around and he looks inside a window. He does it very carefully. The room is clear and looks empty. He wait more to hear movement. Then, moving low, he reaches the door and opens it. “We are moving up, keep quiet Harry,” said one of the snipers. “Understood,” replied Harry, keeping alert. In the house, Harry walks to the other side of the room. An engine of a vehicle creates a sound very close to Harry. He hides behind an interior wall. “Get down, get down!” yelled Harry. Now prone, there is silence in the communications. The sound of the vechicle fades away. “I see you,” said one of the snipers. Harry looks in the direction of the door. Someone is outside. A bearded man with a long scoped sniper enters the room. He gets close to Harry. “The basteds! What’s the plan Harry?” asked the sniper. The two look at the entrance hearing approaching movement. A different tall man enters the room carrying a sniper. He barricades the door behind him with steel drums close to the door Harry did not see. The shotgun is placed leaning against a interior wall. Looking at his arm, Harry activates a hologram map. In great detail it shows the map of Sector D.

All three examine the 3D map in front of them. Their locations are located on the map in bright orange. Orange soldiers surround Sector D in two directions. “In every direction we are surrounded. stick to the game plan and reach the centre with the others after we signal them there. We have to push through the war zone,” Harry announced. The other two agree. A whistle hits the air. Making all three look in the direction of a window. EXPLOSION! A large explosive bomb lands on the other side of the hill. “That one was close,” said one of the snipers. “It is only gonna get worse if we stay here,” said Harry. “We should move through the forest hills over there. We will be sitting targets if we stay close to the river here,” pointed one of the snipers. “You will be at a disadvantage in a forest, Myers,” said Harry. “If you go through first, we will cover you from the distance,” replied Myers. In the 3D map in front of them, redness draws into one section of Sector D. “You see that?” said Harry. “It is coming in. We gotta move now,” replied Myer. Harry picks up his shotgun and switches it with his automatic riffle. The red zone was coming for them. They knew it would be coming for them sooner or later.

Harry leaves first and heads straight for the forest. The snipers tactically follow behind him. As they move, gun shots fire far from eye site. They keep low and slow. Harry uses hand signals that makes them stop. Then hand signals are used to keep moving. Slopes in the forest give them good cover. “It is too quite,” thought Harry. They reach the other side of the forest without any threats. Harry prones on a side of a hill inside a bush. He is well hidden. Myers and the other sniper come up close behind him on their stomachs. In silence, they wait for anything. Spending all day getting to this point, they take the time to recover from fatigue. It got hot with everything they were wearing. The other sniper finally breaks the silence. “Can you check the red zone?” he asked. Myers takes a painkiller. “Anything for you Zach,” replied Harry. Myers takes a look into the distance with his long scope. With his knowledge of the 3D map, he sees the center of Sector D far in the distance. “What do you see?” asked Harry while looking at the 3D map. The red zone has seemed to spread around them and gone directly around the center of Sector D. “You might need to take a look,” replied Myers. Zach quickly looks into his own long scope on his sniper.

To their expectations, you could see that a group of people were going in and out of town patrolling the area. This Town was just off the center in Sector D. They have vehicles and were carrying firearms. “You should send the signal Harry,” suggest Zach. Harry nods at him and brings out his communication device. He sends out a coded message to signal the attack. “They flank from two sides and we attack from one more?” suggested Myers. “I will send a different message to tell them to spread out to three quarters and we will attack from our quarter,” replied Harry. “We should attack on an angle and meet up with the reinforcements,” said Zach. “If we get in a shootout and have to back out defensive, that will be plan B. Plan A, we survive in our quater as long as we can.” said Harry. ” Sounds like a good plan,” said Zach, looking more confident. “We need to create a distraction so you can sneak in,” said Myers. Thinking, Harry comes up with a plan. “Lets ambush a vehicle and I will take it into town. They do not seem to be checking people coming into town. You two should get a closer spot to cover me after we ambush a car. When I am inside I will give you a signal to fire that you can not miss,” said Harry. “You brave son of a bitch,” said Zach in respect.

On the other side of the town on a hill, it suddenly became very cold. The air is rough with medium strength wind. Harry crouches on a road. His assault riffle and shotgun is neatly hidden in a close bush. They all wait for the sounds of a vehicle coming in their direction. Harry was the bait on the cold road. A long-necked turtle runs across the road slowly while they waited. Harry looks at it as it moves past him. “Something is coming, get ready Harry,” said Myers. Harry gets to his feet and waves his hands about. The vechicle is with eye distance. The jeep slows down away from them. “They are going to turn around, we should fire now,” yelled Zach in the communications. “No wait! wait until they a make a full stop in front of me!” yelled Harry. Myers shakes his head at Zach. Nervous, Harry stands his ground. The jeep comes to a complete stop. ” Now!” yelled Harry. BANG! BANG! Zach and Myers each shoot once with one bullet breaking a back window and the other piercing through one of the jeep’s tires . The jeep swirls left to right until it crashed into the side of the road. Three armed people rush out of the car and shoot in all directions. “Shoot to kill,” ordered Harry. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

The enemy was defeated. They search the enemy’s bodies and jeep for loot. Harry found 5 stun grenades while the snipers found more 7.62 ammo for their weapons. Myers finds a spare wheel while Harry orders Zach to remove the damaged one. Harry studys hs 3D map. The red zone was expanding in Sector D. The jeep is lowered to the ground with a new tire on it. “I am now ready to enter the town now. You will have a second to get your breath back and i will find the courage to drive straight in,” said Harry. “You do not have to go in alone Harry,” said Myers. “I trust in you twos skills in shooting long-range. Examine the area and split up your targets in half. My signal will be explosive,” said Harry. “But?” said Zach. Myers pulls Zach by the arm and they head to a view above the town. Harry gets into the jeep and starts the exhaustion. He knew what he was about to do was very dangerous and sneaky. With a foot to a pedal, the jeep began to drive again.

Breathing in and out, Harry calms his mind. The jeep draws closer to the town. As he get closer he can see barricades and armed people keeping an eye out. More people that he could see before in the sniper’s scope. Harry manages to keep his cool. “Act like them and they might not notice you to be different,” said Zach over the communications. Harry did not reply back to him. He was focused and developing his new character. The road becomes blocked off and Harry can only travel one way. There was no turning back now. A different jeep slowly approaches him from behind. “That is not good,” thought Harry. “We got eyes on them, no need to worry,” said Myers on the communications. Sweat starts to produce on his forehead. He wipes it off and drive deeper into the town. By now Heath could see the town full of abandoned businesses and public buildings. Graphiti was drawn everywhere. More and more people were seen walking the street. All of them look angry or frustrated. He remains hidden in plain sight.

“It is hard to see but there is some sort of parking lot structure ahead of you. You will see it when you see it,” said Myers. The parking lot of three storys makes it self known. “Make sure that…” said Zach before the communications in his ear started hissing. Harry could hear gun fire in his ear. While driving into the parking lot he takes the device out of his ear and hears no alerts where he was. Putting the device back into his ear, the communication device was dead. He quickly parks the car on the second floor and trys to find a private place to himself. On the third floor he finds an empty bathroom. Using one of the stalls he attempts to use his different long-range communication device to contact for help. He activates his 3D map to see where the reinforcements were. Before he could press the button, a loud voice spoke. ” I know someone odd came in here. Say something and speak,” demanded the voice. Harry was trapped with nowhere to go. “If you do not come out in peace, I will be forced to look in every stall until I found you,” said the voice. There was only one possible chance Harry thought he could survive this situation.

Truely in the moment, primal instincts came to him. The rush from his mind shifts to his body.  Sound of movement is heard in a stall close to his. Harry clenches his fist. A door of a stall next to him flings open. Aggressive emotion fills his veins. The voice outside clears its throat. Harry was ready to strike. Then silence. Harry tolerates his desires of violence. Movement is heard walking away. A thought hits him that the voice was going to alert the others. This thought made him paranoid in the moment. He had to do something now. Harry opens the door of the stall and rushes himself towards a man in uniform. The uniformed man turns around and sees him coming. He runs at Harry, scopes him up and tackles him to the ground. Harry trys to escape but the uniformed man holds his hands down. “Are you a spy? Tell me!” demanded the uniformed man. Harry spits directly into his eyes. Blinding his enemy.

The uniformed man loosens his grip to wipe at his eyes. Harry manages to knock him off him. He kicks at the man until he falls to the ground. This causes Harry to sweat and breathe very heavily. Then the bathroom door opens up to a man also in uniform looking shocked to what he has just seen. Harry stares deeply into his eyes like a mad man. A stare off leaves the other uniformed man to step backwards. “Do not take one more step back,” said Harry in a persuasive tone. The uniformed man’s face expression appears as he is choosing between two things in that situation. “I will not.. ” said Harry as the uniformed man runs away. “Go go go,” thought Harry as his body moves into action. He sees the uniformed man running down the pavement to the second floor. “Fire exits and I might just catch him,” thought Harry. He examines all the corners of the structure. In the last corner there is an opening that has an exit labeled above it. Moving, he gets to the fire escape.

Feeling the air, he looks down. Many of the enemy under him wore a uniform and looked in his direction. “Shit,” thought Harry. Being watched, he went downwards on the steel stairs. The stairs shock as he jumped down stairs. Below more enemy come out to watch Harry. BING! BING! BING! BING! BING! BING! BING! BING! BING! Then the town was on alert. He kept moving while looking for somewhere to jump to. “He is up there! He is up there!” yelled a voice below. Sound of machinery was pointed in his direction. He jumps over a steel rail and jumps onto a roof edge. A bright spotlight shines on him as he looks at everyone else looking at him. “Run,” thought Harry. The bright light follows him as he moves along the roof. BANG! A shot just misses him. The roof edge of a different structure appears in his sights. Hope returns to him. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! … BANG!

He was shot many times. One bullet hits two of the stun grenades in Harry’s gear. This was the end for him. Light burns his skins and vision. He falls to a knee. Harry accepted his situation. His death would be a bright one. Blood poured out from his gun shot wounds. Holding onto it, he drops to the ground. Looking around on the ground, he was not in pain. This confused him. Was it the adrenaline? “What is happening to me,” thought Harry. Then the reality shifts. The point of view from perspective reveals a young man in his bedroom on his bed. He heavily breathes in and out. A complex headset machine lays next to him. There is still parts of it strapped to the young man’s arms and legs. Rolling over on the bed it reaveals he is wearing a vest connecting to all the different parts. “HARRY455636 stoped recording,” said a voice from the headset. “That was some simulation,” thought Harry as he detaches himself from the bed. The other half of parts unattached themself automatically.


The End


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