It was the afternoon. The dark, heavy grey clouds covered the sky. Several hours after the extraordinary national state was declared by the President, Lhota village was one of the last remaining Defense positions on the left bank of Vltava river.
Special Unit C102 received a special mission from high military command: to save the most precious state treasures. They were ordered to move it to a bunker, located west of Prague, and as they had to maneuver between regular enemy forces, who were advancing in the opposite direction, they had to go through Lhota village.
Svejk junior was there too, so when they arrived, he and the First Lieutnenant Lukes met Denise again. It was the joyful meeting, regardless of circumstances…
“So we made a soldier of you eventually, Mr. Svejk!” Denise showed no surprise to see Svejk in a military uniform, although he was never a part of the Army. But the First Lieutenant fulfilled his dream “to be there, where the military action will be”, so he smuggled Svejk inside.
“I couldn’t miss all this,” Svejk confirmed his readiness for anything, including death in combat. But his colleagues accepted his strange personal values long time ago, so they didn’t wonder to this silly statement.
It was absolutely sure, that the enemy will arrive here eventually, and he will smash this last remaining position ruthlessly, using tanks and aircraft. The domestic AA defenses were out of orders for many hours already. The sky belonged to the enemy. But all VIPs were long gone. The Defense of the airport crumbled an hour ago.
“I met your famous Grandpa… but it was just a dream, I think. However, he said, that he sends you his greetings, that you are a good boy, that you remember him. And you should have a beer to honor his memory!”
“After this war, at six o’clock, we will all meet at the Chalice’s pub! I invite you to a drink, and not only one!” Svejk promised. The question was – how many of them will be able to come? Who of them will remain here, in Lhota, for eternal sleep?
“I have to go,” Denise noticed a waving colleague. “Good bye, Svejk, Goodbye, First Lieutenant! I will be at the south-western Defense position. Stop for a coffee, if you will have some free time during the upcoming battle!” she joked.
“Good luck, Denise,” they said goodbye too. And it was the last time they had seen her.
On the road, leading to the village, near the welcoming “Lhota” sign, a woman in full combat uniform, with black masking strips on her face, with an assault rifle in her hands and a portable anti-tank rocket-launcher on her back was standing, waiting.
But there was still silence. Only the birds sang. It was June, after all. The nature was full of happiness.
One, two, three persons occured behind the woman, two males and another woman. All fully armed, with tactical vests, loaded with ammunition and grenades. One man carried a M-249 light machine gun, and all of them carried anti-tank rockets on their backs.
A distant sound of tank engines could be heard. The enemy force, sixteen heavy tanks, in escort with armored transports, full of troops, was moving through the woods, directly to the Lhota village.
The three approached the standing woman. She turned her head to them.
They all met. They put their hands around their shoulders, in the sign of military brotherhood and sisterhood. To support each other. To remind each other, that they are the team, and nobody will be left behind.
But they will face the enemy separated.
As the proverb says: “We come alone to this world. And we leave it alone.”
It was time. They headed to their positions.
A large field was awaiting all drama.
The roar of enemy tank engines could be heard closer and closer. Then, the first enemy tanks occured on the field, felling the obstructing trees with crackling.
And another followed. It was impressive demonstration of military power, heading for Lhota in full throttle.
It seemed, that nobody is awaiting them. The onboard infrared scanners were silent – no sign of body heat signatures.
But the team was there, perfectly hidden. Every of them in a separate hole, covered with special aluminium foil and masking canvas.
All of them were alone now. Alone with their thoughts. Their hearts beat rapidly. It was coming. They had no chance to win. But everybody of them still hoped, that exactly he or she will survive. It was the only thing keeping them in their rat holes.
The tanks passed the first hole. There was the machine gunner. His task was to open fire from the side, to use the tactical advantage of enfilade.
Last several seconds remained… the soldiers all forgot to breath, eager to start, to be over with all this painful waiting!
Then a strong explosion echoed, when the first tank bumped into the hidden mine. It was the signal. Now!
As ghosts, the four SPECOPS put up, anti-tank rocket launchers in their hands. But the weapons were too light to destroy the modern tanks with reactive armor. So they aimed at the chassis, at the vulnerable tank tracks, to cripple the vehicles.
Suddenly, rockets were flying above the field, searching for their targets, followed by the smoke grenades, to cover the team. They will have to approach the tanks, and to place charges, to destroy them.
The machine gunner opened fire, as soon as troops started to leave the carriers, to launch a swift counter-attack. Using fast, but short and controlled bursts, he sent enemy soldiers away from his country, one by one.
But the gun towers noticed him, and all barrels started turning to his direction, with serious warning. Although his colleagues started firing also, the machine gun was the priority target for the enemy.
He was able to empty the whole 200 rounds magazine, but the cannon grenades were already exploding around his hole. He just entered a fresh magazine into the weapon, but the deadly line of 20mm bullets was closing to his fragile body inevitably. Before he finished reloading, a grenade finished all his dreams.
But his sacrifice was a perfect diversion. As eagles, the remaining three ran to the tanks, through the dense smoke, powerful charges with removed fuses in their hands.
But this couldn’t hide them from sensors of the onboard weapons. Another lines of projectiles were suddenly everywhere, so hot and so fateful, searching for their fragile, mortal bodies…
Denise was able to put the first charge under one of the tanks, and she moved to another immediately, trying to ignore the dense fire around her…
The crew of the tank she chose as next target opened hatches, and they were getting out, with their weapons in hands. Denise took the pistol from her holster, she fired the whole clip in rapid succession, and she eliminated all of them… then, she hid under the tank, to prepare the charge.
But the enemy troops, now unhindered by the machine gun fire, were dangerously close to her, shouting orders in foreign language. They shot their rifles, and one member of the team, pinned down nearby, repeated them.
Denise adjusted the timer for 30 seconds. The red numbers were running out on the display, but she still couldn’t move. And it was late to secure the charge again.
A strong detonation deafened her – her first charge set off. It allowed her to leave the spot, and move to another tank.
But they locked their sights on her. Any step she made was followed by a burst of cannon and machine gun fire.
She was hiding under the third tank, again preparing the charge, and projectiles clinked on the armor.
Her bag was empty. It was the last piece. She could do nothing else here. So she threw her last remaining smoke grenades around her, to make a hope of escape, to detach from the enemy, to regroup with the rest of the team… but was still somebody alive?
She ran for her life. Again.
She noticed a lying body, crawling away, in the same uniform. It her male colleague. She helped him back on the feet. He was bleeding from the hip and shoulder, and he was without a weapon.
Holding him up, they were moving away from the hell, but too slowly… a bullet arrived and hit his body. He just looked at Denise in endless horror and fear of upcoming death… and he was gone.
Denise remained alone, running to the wood, the poisonous tracers everywhere around her.
Behind her, enemy airplanes were just showering the village with napalm charges, burying all remaining defenders alive.
One enemy airplane detached from the others, maybe called by the tanks, to support them. The airplane emerged above the trees, and it dropped napalm charges down, where Denise was heading for.
A wall of fire appeared in front of her, approaching her so fast. She just covered her eyes with her palm in the glove, and lied down…
She was in the middle of heat wave, losing her consciousness.
The bright light surrounded her.
The dream was over.