Sorry for the delay on this one. I'm pushing hard to finish National Burden and get it to my editor.
Here's what you guys said should be in the room Cal and Gallagher burst into:
Here were some of your ideas:
The Fleet: Part 8
(CAUTION: SUPER DUPER LIGHTLY EDITED)
I could hear a light thumping as we neared the room. Shadows parted the red glow emanating from the crack under the door, moving back and forth. Amazingly Gallagher was still behind me, I could hear his tight breathing, anticipating.
Strangely, I didn't feel nervous. My body was loose, mind clear. Sure the adrenaline was coursing, but I might need it.
Once again I stepped up to the door, motioning for Gallagher to bend down and stay out of sight. He did so silently, waiting for my next command. Good.
I rapped on the door loud enough that I knew they would hear. Right away the red light was doused and I heard hisses from within. A moment later, the same guy as before cracked the door open, squinting as he looked out.
"I thought I..." I didn't give him a chance to finish. My left foot led the way, smashing the edge of the swinging weapon into the guy's face, knocking him back, his eyes rolling. I rolled with him, moving in fast, Gallagher at my heels.
The light from the moon followed me in, filtering the room in an eery gray blanket. My head swiveled left and right, my throat tightening at the smell of sweat and testosterone, like a basement gym full of meat heads.
The temporarily shocked looks of three more aggressors (the guy on the floor was out of commission for the moment) locked on to me. Behind them I saw where their focus had been, two Marines bound to stacked metal bunks, mouths taped, eyes wide, pleading for help.
"What the fuck?" I heard Gallagher say.
"Who the fuck invited you to the party, boot?" asked one of the Marines, a skinny little dude with hair probably too long for Marine Corps regulations. He held a web belt in his hand and started slapping it in his palm, taking two steps closer. "Get the fuck out before we..."
Again, I didn't give the guy time to finish. I bull-rushed him, but instead of tackling him, I kicked out with both feet, my aim perfect into his chest. In slow motion I saw his fly back, hitting one of his buddies head to head, taking him down in a heap of pain.
Before I could get back to my feet, a shadow moved around me, suddenly enveloping the last guy who stood stock still, mouth open. It was Gallagher. He took his target down with a knee to the gut, crumpling him to the floor.
Back on my feet, I rushed to free the captives, they were mumbling, straining. As Gallagher joined me, both of us keeping a wary eye on the fallen enemies now groaning and rolling around on the ground, I noticed the blood covering the faces and fronts of the two Marines, snot running from their overworked noses.
I eased the duct tape off of the first one's mouth. He took a deep breath in and nodded to me. "Thanks...I...they took us by surprise."
The Marine was about my size, didn't look like a newbie. His eyes steadied quickly as he surveyed the room, his partner now free as well. I flipped on the light switch, bathing the room in a bright white glare. There was blood all over the floor where the two Marines had been tied with 550 chord and standard issue white bed sheets.
They looked worse in the light, one's nose touched his right cheek, the other, the Marine I'd helped, with one eye swollen shut, a nasty deep cut above his eyebrow. Despite their wounds, they hurried to secure the men who'd attacked them, expertly hog tying the four, with our help, of course.
"Who are these guys?" I asked.
"Four assholes they just let out of the brig."
"What were they in for?"
"There were stealing from my Marines. Did if for months before we caught them. Fucking worthless pieces of shit. Who are you?"
"Lance Corporal Stokes."
"And that guy?" he pointing back to where Gallagher was handing the other roommate a wet towel to wipe off his bloodied face.
The Marine nodded, still ignoring his own wounds, keeping to task.
"Go down to the duty shack. Tell them to bring some flex cuffs."
"Who should I tell them..."
"Tell them Sergeant Meade sent you. Now get moving, Marine."
I hustled out the door, wondering if this is what it was like for every new Marine reporting in to his first unit. I laughed at the thought, wishing I could call my dad and tell him, knowing he would've approved of my actions.
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