I woke up with Gen next to me. She was lying in my arms and had an expression on her face showing complete content. I just went back to sleep. I awoke again and found her in the corner of the room crying. I got up and went to console her.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, gently.
“I miss A’Shual…” She said, sobbing.
“Aye…” I said, feeling some pain come to me.
I let her cry on my chest for however long it took. My commanding officer came in quietly and he realized it was not a good time for whatever he was about to tell us. He left and I just sat there, her crying on my shoulders. I stroked her head every now and then, feeling her fur. It was soft, not silky but not rough. She stopped crying enough to tell me how much she missed him, felt about him, and her memories with him and us. I just remained silent and smiled every now and then to show I cared. She regained her composure and I got dressed. I didn’t notice I had no clothing on.
“You’re a good listener.” Gen said to me.
“I learn.” I replied.
“Oh? From who?”
“I… would prefer not to talk about it…”
“Oh c’mon…” She sat me down and started rubbing my shoulders. “It’s better to talk about things.”
“I… I…” I began but ended up remembering how Shieta died, and I couldn’t take it. I got up and went to the other side of the room, not wanting her to see the tears that were forming.
She came over and put her arms around me. “It’s OK, you don’t have to if you’re not ready.”
I put my arms around her and embraced her. I didn’t want to let go. “I had another love once…” I began. ” She died in a bombing.”
“I was a Ranger. I saw the bomb go off, I felt the fear she had before it went off, I knew it was going to happen but I couldn’t help.” I managed to say.
“With your Sense…”
“Aye, with my Sense… I loved her so much. I was going to propose to her later that night, but I never got the chance…”
“I’m sorry…” She hugged me even tighter now, as though she was saying she would never leave.
We spent some time holding each other before Jed came in and interrupted. He told me that we were to move out again in about one day. All the snipers and a few others were on a special assignment to assassinate a leading officer from the enemy forces. His name was Chackar, and was a Colonel of the Chattan Forces. He was heavily guarded so a sniper team would be taking him out. There were other targets there too, but he was our main objective. We would be on our own throughout the duration of the mission. We would have a drop-ship insert us to a remote section and go in through there. There would be fifteen men altogether. Seven two man teams and one lone gunman. I would be the lone gunman.
That day my sniper team got their gear ready and did they did their pre-battle rituals. I always prayed to the Guardian before I went out into he field, all the while holding my Spatha and dagger across my chest. Gen would be assigned with the next best sniper and would be a spotter. Sniper teams usually went out in twos, a sniper and a spotter. I would be the exeption to the rule seeing I worked better alone and that I had requested that I work alone for personal reasons. I packed up my sleeping bag, compass/GPS system, ammunition, radio, etc. I reported to Jed and he handed me the basic plan and told me that I had complete freedom over this assignment. He knew that even if I had specific orders I would change them to suit myself better.
When I had finished prepping up, getting a plan ready, and doing some exercise I went over to Gen, who was sparring with someone. She was extremely fierce and strong; it came natural with most female Lupines, or at least the ones I knew. She beat her opponent mercilessly and then saw me watching in awe. She came over, fixing her fur.
“You fight well.” I said.
“Thank you.” She replied, smiling.
“I hear that a few guys found a diner that’s still working. Wanna go check it out?”
“Is that an invitation to a date?”
“Maybe…” I said, slyly.
“Oh you!” She said, and hit me in the arm, playfully.
We went to see if there was a working diner and much to our surprise there was. One of the cooks to the another platoon was fixing up some food. He saw us and nodded to a booth where only two people could sit easily. Gen just hugged my arm as we went to the booth. She had taken a real liking to me ever since that night at the pond. If she had any feelings toward me before that I never noticed. Yes, men are idiots. A soldier brought us some food and drinks. We had burgers and beer, something fairly rare to a soldier. We ate and talked about our assignment and general subjects. We finished up and said thanks to the cook on our way out. He saluted to us and smiled.
We went back to our building but stayed outside. We found a clear spot to lie down on and looked up at the stars. I gazed outward and thought about my past, how it had been hard but had its good times. I thought about my mom and dad, my childhood, my friends, my ex-family, my old gang friends, Jake, Ash, Shieta, the battles I had gone through (physical and mental), and Gen. I had been so engulfed in my thoughts I didn’t notice she was literally on top of me.
“So what’s going on in that head of yours?” She asked, looking deeply into my eyes.
I had just gotten back to reality when she said this. “My life…”
I almost got up but she had me pinned down pretty well with the position she was in. “Am I in it anywhere?”
“Mmm…” She cooed, and lied down on me.
She started stroking the fur on my muzzle and I just relaxed and became submissive. If she was happy I wasn’t going to argue. Sex wasn’t something I wanted all that much, surprisingly. I think she realized this by now. I put my arm around her and began to stroke the fur on her back. She relaxed a little and then kissed me.
“Your fur is rough.” She said to me.
“Yours is soft.” I replied.
“Mmm…” She cooed.
She kissed me again and got up a little, but was still on top of me. She removed her breastplate and my mind just went blank. I had seen her naked before but I was at a distance when that happened. Now she was lying on top of me, half-naked, and now rubbing the fur on my chest. She was beautiful. She had a reddish tint to her grey fur, beautiful brown eyes speckled with black spots, white fur going on her chest, a muscular (but not over-developed) body, slender figure, beautiful breasts, long muzzle, white patches of fur around her eyes in the shape of two tongues of fire, and a voice that was making me melt. This is when I realized that A’Shual was right. Shieta had been reborn in Gen. And then I knew that my love was true, that even though it had only been a about a year and a half, I had found love again. That night we made love with a new passion. It was as though it was Shieta, which wasn’t all too unreal. I felt her energy inside Gen and that even though they were two separate people, they had now become one. We slept well after that.
Jed walked in and woke us both up. We had our gear packed and ready and loaded it into the drop-ship. I did my pre-battle ritual again as we neared our drop point. We got into our groups and looked over our plans once again, even though we knew what to do and that we could communicate through our headsets if we needed to do anything. Gen was paired up with the second best sniper on our team, Ryan. He was a human, and was my second in command as well as second best sniper on our team. Gen was to be his spotter. I was the best on our team and the leader. Our previous leader was KIA when we were taking the city. He was helping A’Shual downstairs when he was taken down by three people. He went out in a blaze of glory. The drop-ship got to the site and we fast-roped out onto the jungle floor.
We spread out and looked for any signs of an ambush. Nothing. We signaled each other we were ready and left for our sniping points. It would take about two days of hiking to get to where we were supposed to be. We would radio in every six hours or if something went wrong. Hopefully, nothing would go wrong.
The first day had been relatively easy. The only problem with moving through the jungle that I encountered was not leaving a trail behind marking where I was. I radioed in and got ready for my night of rest. With my ghillie suit I was barely detectable. My heat signature couldn’t even be detected the way it was designed. I’m surprised that stealth technology wasn’t being used. It was available, but no one wanted to use it. I went to sleep, uneasily. I never did like to be off guard in hostile territory.
I awoke to find everything the same. I radioed in and reported my position. I knew the line was secure so I wasn’t worried about being found by the enemy. I got moving again and found my spot after hiking for about five hours. I reported in and got set.
What I saw was nothing short of impressive. There were guards everywhere, with detectors. Detectors where devices that all soldiers who were going covert hated. It traced the electric fields given off by their hearts and neural net. Worst, it detected shields. I had to turn mine off and pray I wouldn’t be spotted. The other snipers reported in saying they were in their positions. It would be some time before we would see any real targets. We would have to sit and wait.
It had been about four hours by he time we saw anything actually happening. There was a convoy of tanks and soldiers armed to the teeth. They were making sure that the area was clear and to take out any threats should they have anything in their way. In the center of it was an APC surrounded by soldiers. There were about thirty soldiers and ten with detectors. There were six tanks surrounding the APC, with a set of heavy lasers on each tank. Along with that, I had to worry about the others who had detectors. This guy must have been damned important. I knew that in that APC, our target was sitting and talking away with a comrade or two. The bastard was mine…
I aimed for the wheels hoping to stop it so that the others could take easy shots at it and rip it apart. APC’s were fairly well armored but stood no chance against eight snipers aiming at it. I fired, and scored a direct hit to the front wheel and aimed for the back one. The thing was a sitting duck now. The soldiers guarding the APC were returning fire in all directions. I took my time taking out the main cannons on the tanks and let the others snipe at the APC. The detectors were being sent out and I called out them as top priority for the snipers. They were taken out quickly and efficiently. This was almost too easy. I radioed in for Ryan to kill anything that came out of the APC and aimed for its engine. I fired off a round and blew it to hell. The thing was beginning to catch fire. If they didn’t get out they would burn to death; if they got out they would be killed by my snipers. They decided to get out. I took aim for the first guy and fired. He had a hole ripped into his back. He was dead. Another came out, Ryan got him in the chest. It went on like this three more times before our main target came out. I called him, fired, and saw his skull shatter. He was a Chattan, a lynx. Too bad, he had a great fur pattern. At least, before I blew his head apart. I’m a cruel one.
The team reported in and we evacuated. We got moving to our extraction point and waited for nightfall. We took watch for any enemies. There were none. We talked about who got who and general things about the mission. It had been a successful one, however messy. It would be nightfall in a few hours and we waited for it. We knew a lot could happen in a few hours, so we didn’t really relax all too much. We watched and waited. It was night and our drop-ship came. We got in and headed for base. I did my usual ritual of putting my blades across my chest and saying a silent prayer. I finished and went to Gen. She was tired. I put my arm around her and let her snuggle up and fall asleep.
We got back to base and reported in. We went to our sites and got ready for some rest. I was thankful I had Gen. I had something most of the others didn’t have, someone to be next to and love when I came back. This was one reason I hadn’t lost it yet. I was thankful because of this.
War is harsh, aye, and so is life. It teaches you lessons harshly and only gives you a single chance to learn them. The rewards are fairly small and simple, but can be fulfilling. I will ride through this. A’Shual once told me, “You don’t stop. When you think you can’t hack it anymore, you hack it. Don’t stop, don’t ever stop.” I never heard words so true.