Cheetah to Deputy One. Testing transmission.
Roger, affirmative, I respond into the two-way radio. Functioning. I return to my long silence.
Bleary eyes, mountain air, a brown and green desert, orchards and gardens, small stone buildings in turquoise and orange, olive groves. Everything is spread out before us. Are you dozing off? Dozing off? No way! Hey, you see that? You catch that? Is it what I think it is? Yeah, yeah. Are they armed? Yes, absolutely. Armed.
Cheetah, this is Deputy One, I report. Weve got three scumbags north of the Virlist road. Oshris got one in his sights, Chaki another, and Bendori the third. Theyve entered killing range, theyve got packs on their backs, it cant be anything else. Deputy One to Cheetah, marksmen on targets. Do I have confirmation? I wait.
Deputy One this is Cheetah. Negative, repeat: negative. No confirmation, Deputy One.
Cheetah, this is Deputy One, weve got them covered. Scumbags. Awaiting confirmation.
No confirmation, Deputy One. Negative, repeat: no confirmation for action.
But theyre moving forward. Fast. We shouldnt lose them. Weve got them in our sights.
Negative, Deputy One.
Negative? Why negative, you fucking assholes! Does it make sense to you that I should lie here like some goddamn faggot missing an opportunity like this? Does it really? No way. Squad, on my count. Four, three, two, one, fire. Twenty-one, twenty-two, fire. Prepare to attack.
Commander Cheetah to Deputy One, do not fire your weapons! No confirmation, stay in position.
Squad, prepare to attack.
Erez, you psycho! Stay where you are. Thats an order! Erez, youre in violation of an order!
Excerpted from Beaufort by Ron Leshem, translated by Evan Fallenberg. Copyright © 2007 by Ron Leshem. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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