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“Sam!”, Bren whispered as she motioned him outside the stockade.

“What?” Sam asked, interest piqued.

“I’ve got to tell you what Hans said!” she replied excitedly.

After hearing her out, Sam said, “Wow, that is big!”, looking pleased and surprised at the same time.

Back at the stockade, Hans leaned back against the cell wall, puffing on a cigarette, humming a line from his favorite German beer hall song, “Eins, Zwei, G’suffa”.

At ease soldier

“At ease, soldier,” Colonel Barns instructed, “You’re Private Sam Harding, right?”

“Yes, Sir,” Sam replied.

“I’ve heard about you. Nice recon in Contigny. What can I do for you today?”

“Thank you, Sir”, Sam said. “The prisoner I captured at Contigny, Sir, may be someone important and gave his nurse information that may be useful.”

“Go on solider.” the Colonel said gravely.

Later, seeing Bren in the mess hall, Sam had to get her attention. “Bren!” He said excitedly, “I told the Colonel everything!”

Bren, seeing how pleased Sam was, congratulated him profusely. Plainly, Sam thought that this would get him noticed with his superiors.

“What are they going to do?” Bren asked.

“Well, I told him that Hans was Von Roar’s son and that he said an attack is planned for our position on July 15th. He said good work, and if this proves out there’s a promotion in it for me.”

What’s up Hunter?

“What’s up, Hunter?” Doc said as she entered the mess tent. “Something must be up, you look mighty pleased with yourself,” she added.

Excitedly, Brenzel told Doc about their adventure in spying and finished with, “Sam said there might be a promotion in it for him!”

Doc, looking at Bren, said, “Hon, how do you feel about that?”

“What to do you mean? I feel great!”

“No, I mean how do you feel about it in your gut – spiritually?” Doc said looking at Bren earnestly.

“What does that mean? I thought you would be happy for Sam!” Bren chided, feeling a bit deflated. “I just don’t get you, Doc. It seems whenever I say white, you say black”, Bren finished on the edge of anger.

“I can see you’re getting upset, so let’s talk later. I have to tell you something important.”

“Fine.” Bren said curtly as she sipped her coffee.

As Doc stepped outside the tent, a voice sharply said, “No”.

Doc, feeling a pain in her heart, said, “But Lord, I can’t bear it, please let me tell her!”

July 15th came and went with nothing unusual happening. Laying awake all the night before, Bren felt fear and dread about the coming attack. When the day dawned in the camp much as it had for the last month, Brenzel felt confused.

What’s the matter, soldier?

Coming to the stockade, Brenzel found Sam looking dejected. “Sam, what’s up?” Bren quizzed.

“The Germans attacked at Rheims-Soisson about a hundred miles north of us. That rat- bastard played us, Bren.” Sam said bitterly.

Brenzel, realizing that she was the one who had been played, felt both angry and hurt at the same time. “I’m so sorry, Sam. It was my fault, I shouldn’t have trusted him. He just seemed so sincere” she said.

Sam sighed, “I guess Hans is right. I’m just a country bumpkin.”

Bren slowly walked to the stockade to tend to Hans. Dressing his wound, which was healing very nicely, Bren was silent. “Vas ist wrong, Fraulein? You look like you are having a bad day.” After a while, when Bren said nothing, Hans continued “Did you really think I would betray my country? Or my Father? If you did, you are more naive than your boyfriend!” Han’s said with a slight smirk. Anger rising, Bren kept silent still. “And your country bumpkin bought it all, as you say, hook, line, and zinker!”

Ouch! You’re hurting me!

As Bren finishing wrapping his leg, Hans suddenly said, “Ouch! Fraulien, you are hurting me!” Bren, startled, tried to see what she did wrong, when suddenly Hans jumped up, grabbed the scissors out of her kit and, twisting her arm around her back, held the sharp end to her jugular.

Sam, hearing the commotion, burst through the door with his pistol drawn.

“Ah, the white knight arrives”, Hans snarled. “As you can see, Bumpkin, I have your friend at a disadvantage. Drop your weapon, or I vill cut her throat.”

“You rat bastard, I should have killed you in Contigny!” Sam said with deadly intent.

Bren, arm twisted painfully up her back, felt the cold steel against her neck, but managed to say, “Shoot him!”

Sam, looking at Bren then at Hans, said, “Ok, ok, just calm down, I will put the gun down,” letting the pistol muzzle slip downwards as he lowered it.

Releasing and pushing Bren aside, Hans lunged at Sam and the two men went down to the floor fighting for control of the weapon.

Bren, dazed, yelled “Stop!” to no avail as Hans and Sam crashed and banged into everything, grunting and swearing at each other. Suddenly, a single shot rang out and Bren screamed.

Death throes of a hero

Sam lay on the floor, blood gushing out of his chest, convulsing in death throes. Hans, standing up, stared at Sam for a moment, then let the gun drop from his slack fingers. Transfixed by the young soldier’s final moments, Hans began to shake.

Bren also began to tremble, and as she did red sparks flashed in her eyes and around her fingertips. Beginning with a low guttural sound, Brenzel let out a scream, which crescendoed into a burst of brilliant red energy, flashing from her body. In the resulting shockwave, everything around her, including Hans, blew outward towards the walls of the room. At the same time, the door to the stockade blew open as the building shook. Outside, vehicles rocked. People, feeling the rapidly expanding wave, quickly looked everywhere to see where the bomb had fallen.

Near the stockade, Doc, clenching her stomach, dropped to one knee. 3, away on special assignment in Hala, turned abruptly around, bracing himself into a fighting stance. In Elysia, Dove, bathing among the lilies, swooned against the ledge of the bath. Deep in the bowels of Hades, six wings stirred as a pair of red eyes suddenly opened.

Rat Bastard!

Heart pounding, struggling to her feet, Doc ran haltingly towards the stockade only to find Bren pointing a gun at Hans who still lay unconscious on the floor. Doc yelled, “No, Bren, you can’t do that!”

“He killed Sam!” Bren shouted with tears in her eyes.

Doc ran right pass Sam to the motionless German saying, “Oh my God, no…”

“Doc! Hans killed Sam!” motioning with her head over towards her dead friend drenched in his own blood.

Doc said, “Bren, put down the gun!”

“No, I am going to put a bullet in that bastard’s skull for killing Sam!” Bren said hysterically, taking aim and beginning to squeeze the trigger. “I was supposed to save Sam, and now he’s dead because of me!”


Doc, looking around at the destroyed room, said, “What did you do?”

“Sam’s dead!” Bren said helplessly.

Doc, standing up, put herself between Bren and Hans, saying sternly, “Put the gun down, Hunter”.

Lowering the pistol slightly, Bren sobbed, “Why??? He killed Sam, and I was supposed to save him. He deserves to die!”

Doc, looking devastated, put her hand gently on top of the gun until Bren lowered it, saying, “Bren, stop. I’ve already saved Sam, that was my assignment.”

“What?” Bren whispered incredulously, looking at Sam’s body then back to Doc.

Her mentor finished, “You can’t kill Hans, Bren, you’ve been sent to save him”.