Thursday, April 30, 2015

4-30-15 Thursday Twist
10:36 AM

4-30-15 Thursday Twist

Artwork © Billy Ludwig, All Rights Reserved -
Story and Characters © Corey Blankenship, All Rights Reserved 
Star Wars Entities © Disney
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Smoke choked the black forest, the new flora of ignes ignium* spreading with wild intensity. This effectively split the theater into two fronts. Howling engines screamed high above, feeding the flames with bright flames and their own dead falling from the air. Such strategic concerns mattered little to the 509th jump platoon. Sky-terrors and ground fires be danged, the new boys on the scene weren't going to turn around after crossing the pond and channel for a chance to punch tyranny in the throat. The acrid oil and smoke that flavored the atmosphere, even at three hundred feet above-ground-level, only confirmed to these men they were hellbent warriors at heart.

The red light shifted to green.

A series of parachutes mushroomed from the tail section of the flying steel beast. Black puffs erupted everywhere like a garden of bat orchids shot through with the countless blades of tracers. Some of the canvas sails darkened and caught fire as the green flashes cut threw their tops. The lumbering C-47 exploded and plunged into the churned earth long before its troops would hit the ground. Twenty of its twenty-eight jumpers landed alive on their feet. Backlit by the smouldering Sky-train, the troopers rallied and charged toward the remaining treeline beneath the fog of war.

Red tracers danced around the men as they hurdled ditches, blood and muck forming a ruddy clay. Carbines and heavy-steel automatic rifles answered the enemy fire, tossing white rounds into the thickets. The foreigners burst from their hidden positions in the foliage, reinforced by quick bursts of fiery bolts. Private Hauer and Corporal Sanchez acted as the tip of the spear, smashing through shorn bushes and broken fences. Hauer screwed his bayonet onto his carbine's tip as he vaulted a stone outcropping, lifting the weapon to the fore. Sanchez fired his Browning automatic to cover the younger trooper's progress. The enemy, fully clad in winter gear, rushed with their small carbines of foreign make. The opposition fired, shots going wide of the point men. Aiming for the thinner black cloth between the white helmet and chestplate, Hauer slashed through to soft flesh. The enemy collapsed, sliding on his back due to his own momentum. More bayonets dove and plunged along the ragged line, while snub rifles and ball grenades burned cotton jump suits. Tan and white corpses littered the field along the grove's edge. Fourteen Americans pierced the wooded veil, overtaking the fixed emplacements. Sanchez and Hauer continued to race forward while Sergeants Holland and Littlefield lobbed thermite canisters at the turrets and AA-fixtures, melting the giant weapons' tubes and exploding the magazines.

The field and grove taken, the platoon halted on the far side and gazed down the slope to the city of Alsace. The formerly quiet French town buzzed with speeding bikes, clanking all-terrain armored transports and scout transports. Sanchez glanced at the sky where the crisscross of rockets and gunfire continued to weave a maze of death. High above, the cratered moon gleamed in defiance of a full sun. It had remained for three months, the only warning before the invasion. Hauer pointed down the hillocks with an excited gesture. Even these "new boys" had tasted battle, so the antic caught the corporal's and sergeants' eyes. They gazed onto the open glade and smiled.

"Well, I'll be flyin' monkey. They've left one of their ships unguarded." Holland whistled.  "I thought these 501st goons were supposed to be their best."

Lieutenant Brennan stepped forward and said, "Check your gear and ammo, boys! We're going to throat punch their emperor. Radio command that Operation Yavin Four has a green light."

*Latin for "fire of fires"


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