Smoke. That's all he could see. That's all he could smell. Fire exploded around him, and he felt his heart drum so hard in his chest, he was sure it would burst. Bombs fell from the sky, screams and shouts echoed through the air.
"Sergeant!" he heard a voice screech nearby, freezing him from his running. "Sergeant Muck! H-help me! I-I need a medic-" Another sudden wave of bombs cascaded upon them, and Warren dove to the snow packed earth. He quickly started army crawling, ignoring the stinging burns across his back. He finally reached the helpless victim; leaning over the boy's bleeding body. Warren stared down at the kid.
"He's just a young private," he murmured despairingly at the unconscious body before him. He reached out, pressing two careful fingers to the pulse point, and breathed out in relief as a heartbeat pumped underneath the skin. Warren Muck lifted his gaze, searching through the fire in hopes of his fellow comrades. "Medic!" he shouted. "I need a medic over here!"
He glanced over his shoulder right as a grenade landed two inches from his knees. He let out a terrified gasp and quickly tried to scramble backwards to get away, but it was too late. The lethal weapon exploded, throwing Warren into the bark of an ash covered tree. He collapsed to the snowy ground, dazed, as he tried to test himself for any injuries. The Easy company soldier lifted his numb hands to gently press against his face. His breath hitched as a searing pain stabbed his cheeks and eyes, and he suddenly realized in horror that he could no longer see. Blackness engulfed his sight.
"Help," he heard himself faintly whisper, voice hoarse. "Please, help me!" When all he heard was the loud crashing of the bombs and the splitting crack of bullets through the air, Warren let out a fearful cry. "Please, somebody, help me!" The pain in his face was growing stronger, and the sergeant could feel himself starting to be pulled into unconsciousness's deathly grip. "Please," he whispered, blood bubbling at his lips, "I don't want to die."
"You don't have to," a sudden soothing voice murmured, causing Warren to intake a sharp and painful breath, and turn his head towards the newcomer.
"Who's there?" he asked, forcing himself to stay awake. "Are you a medic?" Pleading entered his tone of voice as he felt the tears slip down his bloody face. "Please help me. I-I can't s-see…" Warren started panting as it grew harder and harder to breathe.
"Warren, listen to me," the voice said, growing closer as it kneeled beside him, placing a calming hand on his limp knees. "Do you want to die?"
The soldier let out a frail whimper. "No, I don't."
"Then what would you say to living for another eternity?"
Sergeant Muck felt his face scrunch up in confusion, but let out a cry of agony as the movement pulled at his raw flesh. "I don't get what you're saying- What do you mean, 'live for another eternity'?"
The stranger lifted a hand from Warren's knee and carefully pressed it to his face. A surge of warmth spread through the soldier, and he let out a wondrous gasp as the pain vanished, and light burst into his vision.
"W-who are you?" he whispered, still struggling to breathe in his slumped position. The smile that graced this being's lips was magnificent in the Easy company sergeant's eyes.
"My name is Gabriel, and I need you, Warren. You're my true vessel, and only you." The being's smile grew sad. "But I need you to say 'yes'."
Warren Muck stared at this beautiful person, eyes wide in awe. Everything will be better with him, a voice spoke softly in his head. You will live forever- Say yes!
Gabriel raised a perfect eyebrow. "Well? What do you say, Warren?"
Sergeant Muck inhaled a deep breath, shutting his pale brown eyes. Images flashed across his mind; images of soaring through space and time, of wielding incredible power, of holding light itself within him. Warren opened his eyes, training a look of determination and righteousness onto this unbelievable being.