AN: This just been on my mind for a while now and just wanted to get it out there. Just a quick and fun one shot and is a bit inspired by Here We Go Again, Rome Sweet Rome and other Alt History stories, and features a tank crew to be introduced in my Gate fic.
Also, my tank speech and knowledge are not that great so don't expect that much.
Without further delay, enjoy.
UPDATE: All right, you convinced me. Say hello to your new story. I need another Beta for this one by the way so anyone who is interested, PM me.
Chapter I – A Blast From The Future
In an isolated field surrounded by trees and hedgerows was one of the most powerful war machines ever produced by human hands – the tank. However, this was not just any tank, this was the M1A2 Abrams SEP v3, one of the most powerful and feared armored vehicles in the world.
The M1 Abrams is a third-generation main battle tank named after U.S. Army General Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. and is the back bone of the U.S. Military's armored forces. The Abrams' reputation is well earned and it has the bite and the bark to back it up.
The Abrams boasts an impressive arsenal of weapons systems, protection, and mobility that gives it an edge on the battlefield.
During the first days of its deployment in the 1980's, the Abrams was armed with the M68A1 105 mm rifled cannon that could fire a variety of high explosive anti-tank, high explosive, white phosphorus and anti-personnel rounds. Although effective, the 105 mm was soon replaced with the more powerful German designed M256A1 120 mm smoothbore cannon as armor technology improved and the new gun has an effective range of two thousand and five hundred meters or more. It is supplemented by three machine guns; one is a .50 caliber M2 Browning machine gun located in front of the Tank Commander's hatch, and two 7.62 mm M240 machine guns with one located at the Loader's hatchand the other as a coaxial.
Of course, what good is a powerful cannon if it could not aim and shoot properly? The days of tanks crews having to estimate every single detail for a shell to hit its target – and trial by error – was a thing in the past now and the Abrams uses advanced fire-control systems that uses user and system-supplied data from a variety of sources to compute, display, and incorporate the three components of a ballistic solution – lead angle, ammunition type, and range to the target – to accurately fire the tank. With this, the Abrams can accurately hit a target well over a mile away even when on the move.
Conventionally, most modern tanks use diesel engines which are of no consequence since they have proven themselves as reliable and versatile but the Abrams is unique in this regard. Instead of a diesel engine, the Abrams uses a Honeywell AGT 1500multi-fuel gas turbine capable of 1,500 shaft horsepowerat 3000 rpm and 3,950 lb⋅ft at 1000 rpm, and a six speedAllison X-1100-3B Hydro-Kinetic automatic transmission, giving it a governed top speed of 42 mph on paved road and 30 mph cross country which is impressive since it weighs close to seventy short tons. Although the turbine engine is not very fuel efficient – no more than 1.67 U.S. gallon per mile – it makes up for it in versatility as it can use diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, any grade of motor gasoline, and even alcohol but it is not recommended.
The last and probably the most important aspect of what makes the Abrams such a renowned vehicle is its armor. The exact blend of the Abrams' armor is classified but it is a blend of various metals, plastics, and ceramics called composite armor. In comparison to an all-metal made armor, it is lighter and compact, and has proven to withstand more punishment than its counterpart.
In the event that an Abrams has been hit and its armor breached, the crew inside would still have a high chance of survival. Having learned from the mistakes of the past, ammunition is stored in a special blow-out compartment separated from the crew by a thick metal door in the event that they rupture and explode. The tank also sports a halon firefighting system to automatically extinguish fires in the crew and engine compartment.
The latest of the M1A2 series, the SEP v3 sees large improvements from previous models such as increased power generation and distribution, better communications and networking, new Vehicle Health Management System and Line Replaceable Modules for improved maintenance, an Ammunition Data Link to use airburst rounds, improved counter-IED armor package, improved FLIR using long-wave and mid-wave infrared, a low-profile CROWS remote weapons station, and an Auxiliary Power Unit under armor to run electronics while stationary instead of the engine. This version of the M1 Abrams is visually distinguishable from the others by a small exhaust at the left rear.
In the past, there was doubt that the Abrams could not contend with the other armored vehicles of the world despite its many advancements and impressive specifications but that all changed when it got its baptism of fire.
In 1990, Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, ordered his army to invade Kuwait to seize the small nation's wealth for his own; an action that quickly earned him the ire of the world. In response to this, the United Nations ordered him to withdraw and when he refused, they sent an American led multinational force of well over half a million to expel him from the Emirate. Force commanders named this Operation Desert Storm.
Of course, the United States was a little nervous at the prospect of a ground war; fearing that this would be another Vietnam. Everyone assumed that this would be a bloodbath on both sides with thousands of lives being lost.
However, it was not meant to be.
When the order was given, the coalition force met the Iraqis head on but it was not the bloodbath they were expecting. With the advancements of technology, tanks like America's Abrams and Britain's Challenger were able to smash through enemy armor formations with virtually zero loses to their own. The coalition was able to win the engagement and Operation Desert Storm would come to be known as one of the most one sided battles in the history of warfare.
With its mettle tested in the flames of combat, the Abrams had proven itself to be a monster on the battlefield and this is where our adventure begins.
Inside the tank was its crew. They were unconscious but for their appearance, they were wearing standard issue U.S. Army overalls along with flak jackets in the Operational Camouflage Pattern suited for fighting in various terrains. All of them wore balaclavas with the exception of the Gunner and Tank Commander.
On the right side of their chest was a U.S. Army patch and on the left side of their chest was a patch of their last names. On their right shoulder sleeve was a patch of the American flag. On their left shoulder sleeve was the patch of the U.S. First Armored Division or more specifically Third Platoon, Charlie Company, First Battalion, Thirty Fifth Armored Regiment, Armored Brigade Combat Team 2, First Armored Division.
"Ugh…w-what the hell happened…?" A course voice cracked as a pair of dark brown eyes fluttered open. This is Second Lieutenant Gary "Castle" Roberts. He is the Tank Commander of an M1A2 Abrams SEP v3 affectionately named, "Say Cheese!"
Second Lieutenant Roberts was a Caucasian man in his late thirties – thirty nine years old – and is a veteran tank commander of his division. He had dark brown eyes a graying stubble indicating his age. His face was grizzled and had a small scar just below his lips from an ambush he had the misfortune of being into.
After regaining some semblance of vision back, Gary saw that he was staring at some consoles and he was leaning on cold hard steel.
Shaking away the grogginess, he tried to remember just what the hell happened that led to this. He wracked his brain for anything that could tell him what was what but all he could not remember anything – everything was all fuzzy and jumbled up.
Letting out a sigh, Roberts decided that he would figure it out later. For now though, he needed to know the situation outside but before he could do that, he remembered that he was not alone here.
"Christ. Men, do you read me?" Roberts called over to his compatriots. "Delatorre, Weathers, Evans! You guys all right?"
He heard some groaning from his feet and he could see that his gunner, Corporal Andre "Bazooka" Delatorre. "Goddamn, did anyone get the number of that truck that hit me…?" He mumbled before clutching his head. "Ah, shit! Head's fucking pounding." Corporal Delatorre was an African-American man who was twenty nine years old. He also had dark brown eyes and his physique was lightly built.
The tank commander figured that his gunner would be fine; he turned his attention to the others who still have not sounded off. "Henry, Sandoval, give me your status."
On the other side of the turret, their loader, Specialist Sandoval "Sandy" Weathers, began to stir from his impromptu nap and groaned. "Dios mio…I'm all good, sir." He called over, rising up from whatever he was leaning on and massaged his sore neck. "Got a bit of a sore neck and I can't feel my ass but I'll live." Specialist Weathers was a man of South American descent who was thirty two years old. He had piercing green eyes and is a pretty big guy.
Roberts nodded before calling out to the last man of his crew. "Henry, give me a sitrep on your condition."
At the very front of their tank, the driver, Private First Class Henry "Nitro" Evans, was located. Like the others before him, he too was knocked out but began to stir when the voice of his commanding officer rang throughout the tank's hull.
The Private coughed a little bit. "Y-Yeah, I'm up, sir. A little shaken up but I'm good."Private Evans was the youngest member of the crew being only twenty three years old. He was a man of European descent and had vibrant blue eyes. "What the hell happened? And where are we?"
At this question, all Roberts could do was sigh. "I have no idea, Evans, but we'll find out soon enough." The tank commander rolled his shoulders. "All right, shake it off, guys, and let's do a systems check. I want to know if our boy can still fight before we go on from here."
After taking a few seconds to shake off the rest of their grogginess, the crew proceeded to do a full system wide check on their tank to ascertain that it was still combat capable.
Delatorre checked the systems on his consoles and ran some routine checks and diagnostics to see if their tank could still shoot. When the results came back the Cheese's systems on his end were all clear, he reported it to his superior officer. "Fire control systems are green across the board, sir. There seems to be no damage to the firing mechanisms on my end and no needed recalibrations."
Evans did the same thing on his end; checking for any signs of damage or irregularities with the tank's engines, suspension, steering, fuel and such. When the readings were optimal, he reported it to the Lieutenant. "Steering feels okay. Engine seems ok from the looks of it. Suspension and transmission is good. Fuel level is eighty seven percent. All in all, no problems on my end, sir."
Weathers ran his own checks on his part and deemed that everything is combat effective. "Breech is clear and functioning great. Barrel is clean and ready. We're fully loaded on ammo. Cheese is ready for a fight, sir."
Gary nodded in satisfaction as he was finishing up his own diagnostics. "Sensors are good. Imagery is also good. Comms are working perfectly. GPS is – what the hell?" What he said drew the attention of his crew.
"Anything wrong, sir?" Delatorre asked looking at his commander.
"GPS is down. I'm not getting a signal…in fact, I'm not getting any kind of signal There's not even a sign of interference or it being jammed."
The rest of the crew were surprised at that but kept their cool. There were times that some Abrams lost communications and GPS and it happened to them a couple of times as well. This was not the first time this happened and it probably will not be the last but even so, they should be picking up something. If it was a jammer, they should be still picking up some kind of interference with their system. The fact that they were receiving none was a little bit disconcerting.
"Maybe our receiver is busted or something?" Their driver offered with the others nodding in agreement. A damaged receiver could be the reason why they were not getting a signal.
"What about our platoon, sir?" Evans asked. "Are they here? Can we raise them?"
That was a good question and Roberts checked his console for any sign of them. "Well, I got good news and bad news, boys. The good news is I'm picking up their transponder signals but it's weak." The crew nodded in relief, glad that their boys were still out there and it was only a matter of finding them. "The bad news is, with GPS out of commission, we won't be able to locate them or where we are for that matter." At that, the crew could not help but wince.
Weathers shrugged. "Well, wherever they are, at least we know they're out there. Sir, request permission to go top side and see if our GPS receiver's broken."
Roberts nodded in approval. "Do it, and while you're at it, see if you can figure out where we are. The terrain should be enough to tell us where we are using a map. In the meantime, I'll see if I can raise our platoon or company command."
"Roger that, jefe." Weathers said before going up to his hatch as Roberts tried to establish contact with command.
"Starfall, this is Angel 3-1. Do you read me?" The tank commander waited for a reply but all he got was static. "I say again: Starfall, this is Angel 3-1. I got no GPS and no idea where we're at. I have lost contact with my platoon – possibly spread out over a large area. Request assistance, over." Once again, there was nothing but static on the other end. Frowning in suspicion and worry, hedecided to try and raise his platoon. "Third Platoon, this is Angel 3-1. Talk to me, guys." After a few seconds of nothing but static, he tried again. "Ortega, Pillsbury, De Leon. Give me your 20s. Over." Once again, nothing but static and Roberts was getting frustrated.
What the hell happened?
"Uh, sir…I think you're gonnawanna see this."
Thinking that it was something important, Gary halted trying to reestablish communications with command for now and head topside to see what was happening. Popping open the hatch, the tank commander pulled himself out of it. "What is it, Sando – what the actual fuck?"
When he reached outside, he expected to see what happened to their GPS receiver and a brief rundown of where they were but that was not the thing that bothered him – it was their surroundings. Instead of being in the deserts of Iraq like they should be, they were in some kind of grassy field enclosed with hedgerows and trees, and he could see quite a few stacks of smoke in the distance. Hell, he could even see streaks of light shooting up from the horizon and detonating in the air.
Just then, the two heard the familiar sound of propeller engines overhead and looked up to see what looked like a squadron of old looking planes but what made the men drop their jaw in shock was those planes were sporting an older version of the US Air Force roundel. The planes then dive bombed somewhere out of view and the only indication was the distant sound of explosions and the planes egressing out.
Of course, propeller planes were still in service in militaries around the world and some were even used by some as bombers because they could not afford the new and shinier ones. However, the men were pretty sure that the United States was nowhere near that poor seeing at their annual military budget was about five hundred and thirty billion dollars.
Weathers swallowed hard before looking at his commanding officer. "…Sir, I don't think we're in Iraq anymore."
Roberts swallowed the lump in his throat that he did not know he was holding in. "…No we're not." The two went back into the tank.
The tank gunner saw that they were back. "What's going on topside, sir? We heard some distant explosions in herout there. Are we under attack?"
Roberts and Weathers looked at each other, unsure at what were they going to say to them before just going with it. "…Men, you're not gonna believe this but I don't think we're in Iraq anymore."
Evans and Delatorre raised a curious brow at that. "You sure, sir? Because last time I checked, our unit was deployed into Iraq about four months ago and we haven't left since."
What Delatorre said was true; Brigade Combat Teams 1 and 2 of the First Armored Division were deployed to Iraq to reinforce American troops there as the threat of insurgents grew more out of control.
"Yeah…and I think I remember that we and the rest of the platoon were deployed somewhere in Diyala." Evans said that made the crew remember as well.
They were ordered by command to meet up with a platoon of soldiers from the Fourth Infantry Division. Their tanks would support those men as they cleared a village that was supposedly being used by insurgents as an ammo cache. They were keeping a close eye on things and everything was going fine before they suddenly found themselves here.
Weathers grunted. "Ah, that's right. Christ, I hope those boys are okay."
"Likewise." Delatorre nodded before turning to Roberts. "I'm not saying you're lying but how did we end up on grass?"
The tank commander released a breath before shaking his head. "Damned if I know. Anyway we're obviously in unknown territory and with bombs going off somewhere, we're not exactly safe here. Driver, move left. Get us under those trees so we're covered."
Evans powered up Cheese. "Roger that, moving now."
TWO HOURS LATER
Two hours had passed since the crew woke up and once they were in cover and relative safety; the crew took this opportunity if they really no longer in Iraq. It turns out that they really weren't in Iraq any more.
Seeing this, Delatorre and Evans had questioned if this was a dream or a hallucination. They even decided to punch each other in an attempt to wake them from this vision. Unfortunately, it failed and only left them with a bruised cheek and a bloody lip.
"Goddamn, we're not doing that again." Delatorre grumbled as he spat out a glob of blood and massaged his sore cheek. "I think you broke a fucking tooth."
Evans rolled his eyes at him as he massaged his mouth. "At least yours a tooth, I think you broke my damn jaw you ass."
"If you two idiotas are done beating yourselves to a bloody pulp, maybe you can help me figure out our situation?" Weathers said with a hint of amusement. After all, watching two fools punch each other was hilarious.
The two men grumbled a bit before nodding. "This is unreal, man. I thought we were in the fucking desert, how the hell did we ended up here?" Delatorre asked. He just could not wrap his head around it.
Weathers shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know, hombre. Weird doesn't even begin to describe this shit. I mean, me and Castle just saw those old planes do a run somewhere. I think they're P-47's or something. This is all loco to me."
Evans hummed. "Well, I recall that propeller aircrafts are still in use by armies around the world…but they're mostly used as recon planes, not bombers and fighters. Not anymore."
"And the fact that they were sporting U.S. Air Force roundels makes this even stranger."
"Could this be an air show of some kind?" Evans offered. "You know, like those things they do back home with old planes like P-51 Mustangs."
Delatorre scoffed. "Since when do air shows use live bomb and explosives in their shows?"
"Not to mention the anti aircraft fire tearing up the skies, the smoke stacks, the distant gun fires, and the debris littering the field." Weathers continued.
Evans tried to say a retort but he did not have one so he just conceded with a slow nod. "All right, damn, you got me there. I mean…there's just got to be an explanation for all of this, right?"
The other two men shrugged. "I don't know, man. Like I said, this is some mierda extraña. We're in some kind of war, that's obvious. But what and how did we get here?" The loader asked to no one apparently.
The men thought of anything that could lead to this but in all honestly, there was absolutely no logical explanation for how they mysteriously travelled from the deserts of Iraq to some patch of grass in the middle of who the fuck knows where.
Evans then spotted what looked like a newspaper lying on the ground just a few meters from them. "Hey, look at that." He said as he walked towards it.
Weathers and Delatorre followed him. "What is it?"
"I think it's a newspaper." Evans said before reaching for it. "It can probably tell us where we are." The two men nodded in approval and peeked over his shoulder to see what it was.
Delatorre raised a brow. "What the fuck is this? I can't understand a damn word on it."
"Me too." Weathers responded.
"…I can." The two looked at Evans who became as white as a sheet of paper. "It's in French. I can speak French, remember?"
The gunner and the loader remembered that Evan's grandmother immigrated from France to the United States and the old girl taught her grandson how to speak her native tongue when he was still a kid.
"Well, don't keep us in suspense, Frenchie. What does it say?" Delatorre urged.
Evans gulped down as a bead of sweat poured down the side of his face. "France invaded. Allied forces secure N-Normandy beachheads."
"…You're fucking with us, aren't you?"
It was not much about the headlines that made them freeze up as they did not know just what it was saying but it was the date which this newspaper was published. The ninth of June…1944.
Coyote gulped and Moose's left eyebrow twitched. "…Hey, man...you speak French, right? W-What does this say?" The tank gunner asked, silently praying that it was not true.
Henry drew a shaky breath. "France invaded. Allied forces secure N-Normandy beachheads."
The three felt like the whole world just came crashing down upon them. They could not believe at what was staring at them dead in their faces. "Okay…forget what I said about crazy. This…this is some fucked up shit right here." Andre said and his statement was only reinforced by the sound of plane engines roaring over their heads and the bombs exploding in the distance.
"I-I think we should tell LT about this." Sandoval suggested and the others agreed, and they walked back to the tank.
Inside the tank, Gary was trying his hardest to establish communications with anybody. He already went through every designated frequency in the book –secured or otherwise – and had no such luck. Now he was doing things the old fashioned way – try to find the right channels manually.
"Any stations, any stations, this is Angel 3-1. Does anyone read me?" Gary waited for a few long seconds but let out a growl in frustrations when no response came. "Goddammit."
The tank commander wiped his face with his free hand and took a deep breath to calm himself. He had been at this for hours; tried every radio frequency he knew but no one responded. It was as if those frequencies did not exist or something.
Then there was this…strange place. He may be old but Gary knew that he, his tank, and crew were nowhere near grasslands but the deserts of the Middle East. What's more is that were somehow in the middle of a fucking warzone.
It just did not make any sense. A thought came to him about them being transported through time and space but Gary squashed those ideas down almost immediately. He refused to believe that bullshit, there has to be some kind of logical explanation for this.
They may have been abducted by some secret organization or a Black Ops division of the government, sedated them, stuck them inside a super realistic simulation of a battle to see how they would react on the fly like that movie, the Matrix.
Yeah, that seems a little bit more believable than time travel but…Gary just was not sure how to make sense of this. As far as he knows, the closest thing they have to virtual reality technology was used video games and none of them were this…detailed. Either this was a really good recreation or this was the…real deal. Gary hoped that this was just some kind of fucked up experiment.
Or even scarier…they were dead and this was their hell. The mere thought made Gary's skin crawl.
Regardless of his thoughts, he had to establish contact with anybody here so he returned to the radio. He would take anyone even a kid playing with a walkie talkie. At least then he could convince the kid to give it to his parents and in turn, convince them to help his crew.
"Uh, sir?" A knock from his hatch alerted him and Gary looked up to see Henry looking at him with a troubled look on his face.
"What is it, son? I'm in the middle of something here." The tank commander asked, slightly annoyed that he was disturbed from his work.
"I can see that, sir, but I think you should see this." Henry handed to him what looked like a newspaper.
Letting out a sigh, Gary took the newspaper and looked at it. He could not understand what the headlines as they were in a different language but what made his eyes almost bulge out of their sockets was the date from which this was published. "June 9, 1944?"
Henry nodded slowly. "Yes, sir, and those headlines are in French so I can understand them. It says, 'France invaded. Allied forces secure beachheads'. What's going on, sir?"
Gary's throat went dry as soon as he understood just how much shit they were in. If what he was looking at was correct, they were in the early years of the Allied invasion of Europe in World War 2.
"What do we do, sir?" Henry sounded almost desperate when he asked that.
"I'm thinking, soldier. I'm thinking." Gary muttered in response. Okay, they were in World War 2. There was no use denying it now because of all the old planes circling over their heads, the sounds of gunfire, artillery, flak, and explosions going off all over the place.
His earlier assumptions still stands though; this could just be an elaborate experiment from someone who is a little bit too curious about what would happen if modern technology was transported to World War 2. That was the only logical explanation he could come up with at this time no matter how stupid it sounded.
Still, he would take that over time travel and teleportation right out of the fucking blue.
Before he could say something, the radio began blaring to life. The two men could not help but stare at it in disbelief. They were receiving a transmission! Fucking finally!
"Recall the men back!" Gary ordered and Henry immediately did so. The tank commander worked fast to clear the frequency up because he knew that this was their chance to get some answers.
Just as his crew was resuming their positions, the radio began to speak and Gary tried harder to clear it up. "Dag-d Wh-e 2! We're ge-ng sh-t -p he-re! Request immediate support to our position!" After finally able to get a fix, the men felt relief wash over them before their commander responded back.
"This is Angel 3-1. Say again, over."
"Roger! First Platoon is taking heavy fire from a fuck ton of Panzers and a whole company of Germans! Our position is taking a pounding and our armor support is too far out!"
The men shifted in their seat. They still could not get over the fact that they were right in the middle of the deadliest war known to mankind.
Gary still believed that this was no more than a simulation and these guys were technically not real…but on the off chance that they were…he could not just let them die. "Roger that. We're more than ready to assist." What he said made the rest of his crew look at him with wide eyes but he ignored them. "Be advised, we're driving blind here and can't find your position in this shit. Request you send up a flare."
"Roger that! Just get here fast goddammit!"
"Sir, what are you doing?" Andre asked.
Gary looked at him as he climbed out of the hatch to looked for the flare. "What does it look like?"
"It's just…are we really going to do this?" Henry asked. "I mean…shit, I don't even know what to say anymore."
Gary looked at his crew in sympathy. "I know you guys are scared; fuck, I am too. I got to be honest with you, boys, I don't really know what's going on. We're in World War 2 so the only explanation I can cook up is that we're in some kind of fucked up experiment using VR technology…or we died and God fucked up on where to send us. None of that matters right now, those boys need us and we can't just let them while we sit here moping. So who's with me?"
The crew looked at each other for a few seconds before turning back to their commanding officer. "Well…I always wanted to know which tank would win one on one – Abrams or Tiger." Henry chuckled. "Not to mention the chance of meeting 'ol Blood and Guts himself."
"We got nothing better to do so why not?" Andre shrugged. "Besides, maybe Dagwood can help us out."
Sandoval grumbled before throwing his hands up in the air. "What the hell…all right, fine let's do it. I can't believe this is happening."
Seeing as the entire crew was in on this with their own…reasons, Gary hoisted himself up and immediately spotted the flare and went back to the radio. "I got it. Eight hundred meters to the North East. Just hold on, Dagwood, we'll be there."
"Roger that, just step on it! Out!"
Gary looked at his crew. "All right, let's roll. Driver, full speed to the North East."
"Roger that." Henry started up the tank and took it full speed to rescue their boys.
LOCATION: CAEN, FRANCE
DATE: JULY 25, 1944
Private Roland Daniels watched the flare he just shot burn brightly into the air before turning back to where the action was. "Sir, flare's sent!"
"All right, everybody! Help's on the way! We just got to hold them off until they come!" His platoon leader, Lieutenant Joseph Turner, ordered as he and his men tried to hold the Germans off but it was next to impossible since Kraut armor destroyed theirs and the rest were too far away to be of any help. Their only hope was either to fall back or wait for Angel 3-1 to get here.
"Sir, we can't hold them off forever without armor!" Private First Class Frank Aiello screamed over as he shot an advancing Kraut through the face effectively blowing a large chunk from it. "We need to fall back!"
Alas, Turner refused. "Not yet! We can still hold them off! Pierson, take three men to the barns! I think I saw some Panzerschrecks there! We sure as hell need them now!"
Technical Sergeant William Pierson, Turner's second in command, nodded. "Roger that! Daniels, Zussman, Stiles, with me! Let's go!"
The three men did as they were told and followed Pierson to the barns. High and low, they ransacked the barns until they finally found what they were looking for. "Grab everything you can let's get back to the others!"
"Remember what Perez said? It's like Kasserine Pass all over again." Private First Class Robert Zussman, Daniels' best friend, mumbled to him.
"Don't let Pierson or Turner hear you say that, man, or it won't end well for you." Private Drew Stiles said to him in warning before they raced back to the front.
When they got back, they saw that their platoon lost a few good men already as they took cover. "Sarge, point them out for us!" Daniels said and Pierson obliged.
"Three to the left of that house! Two on the far left side of that tree! One on top of that hill! One more at the center of the field!"
Daniels, Zussman, and Stiles spotted all of the Panzers and readied their shots. The three soldiers fired their rockets and destroyed two tanks as Daniel's rocket missed by a damn foot. They did not have time to celebrate however as the remaining Panzers turned their turrets towards them. With no other choice, the three men bailed out of their cover just as the Panzers opened fire.
Daniels landed harshly on the ground, his ears ringing and head spinning. Every inch of his body burned like all hell as the world around him slowed and dulled.
Around him, he could see more of his fellow soldiers getting torn up by machine gun fire. Turner finally ordering a tactical retreat but there was just too much heat to escape now. Over to his left, Daniels could see Zussman and Stiles were there on the ground writhing in pain.
So…this is how it ends for him huh? He was probably going to be shot by a stray bullet or get captured and then executed by the Krauts. To be honest, he prefers getting killed by a stray bullet than be captured by some Nazi fuck.
He was going to die here and he knows it. It looks like Daniels won't be able to keep his promise to his girl, Hazel, and come back to her in one piece. It broke his heart that he was going to leave her all alone in this world but the thing that really tore his soul apart was he was going to break his promise to his big brother, Paul Thomas Daniels.
Paul died when Daniels became too afraid to shoot a wolf that had pounced his brother and ever since that day, Daniels has been trying to kill that wolf.
But it looks like his chance was gone forever.
"What do you think you're doing, Baby Brother?" The disembodied voice of Paul said to him. "You're just gonna give up just like that? Think about Hazel, Red. She's a special girl and you're just gonna leave her like that? And what about your promise to your friend, Zussman?"
"I can't do it, Paul. I…I'm not strong enough." Daniels whimpered silently.
"Baby Brother, you're stronger than you know. I know you better than that. You get yourself up and keep fighting until you can go back home a hero that I know you are. Our hometown's waiting for you, I'm waiting for you, Hazel's waiting for you. And besides, I think you'll be surprised at what happens next."
"What…?" Daniels asked but the voice of Paul just vanished from his head. Even though it was probably just a hallucination or something, it was more than enough motivation for him.
Paul was right; he could not just let it end here. Not with so many waiting for him back home and Zussman…he said they would see this through to the end and by God's grace, he would see this to the end.
Forcing himself to move, Daniels grabbed onto Zussman and dragged him to cover while another soldier did the same for Stiles. "Don't worry, Zuss! We'll get through this!"
Zussman coughed out heavily. "Christ, Daniels. How would you know?"
Daniels gave his friend a smirk. "I just know." He said before he handed Zussman his rifle. "C'mon, we're not finished yet."
"Not yet we're not." Zussman chuckled before the two went right back into the fray.
Things were not looking good for First Platoon. The Germans were laying it on them so much that they could not even return fire or retreat.
"Sir, we won't last much longer here!" Aiello said as he ducked below a pile of dirt.
"I can take some men and flank them, sir! That could get some pressure off us!" Pierson suggested as a bullet blew right through the head of the man right next to him, forcing him to get down further.
"We can't risk it!" Turner shook his head. "Goddammit, where the hell is support?!"
"I don't think they're coming, sir!" Daniels said grimly as he took out shot out and hitting a Kraut by pure chance but this only made the heat even more unbearable.
"AmerikanischeSoldaten! Leg deineWaffennieder und gib dich! Das istdeineeinzigeWarnung!" ("American soldiers! Lay down your weapons and surrender! This is your only warning!")
"The fuck they saying?" Pierson asked.
"If I had to guess, Sarge, I think they're ordering us to surrender." Zussman said.
Pierson scoffed. "Yeah, well they can kiss my ass." To prove his point, he threw his last remaining grenade towards the Krauts and exploded. If he had looked, he would have seen it taking three Krauts straight to hell but it made the Germans fire once again.
"So, I guess this is it huh." Aiello remarked sardonically.
"Pretty much, Private." Turner said in an almost apologetic way. After all, he got them into their mess. It would have been the end for First Platoon…until they heard a high pitched humming sound all of a sudden. "Do you hear that?"
A Panzer was lining up one final shot that would spell doom for the remaining American but before it could shoot, a sound as loud as thunder rang out and the tank was literally gutted by the sheer force of what hit it before it exploded. The Germans and some Americans who were brave enough to stick their heads put were left confused at what just happened.
The humming sound grew louder and louder and all present in the field could actually feel the ground shake. "Fuck's going on? Is it the fucking cavalry?" Aiello asked.
"I don't know, Private." Turner respondeduntil, from the hedgerows to the left, came roaring a monster of a tank. The Germans and American alike were left in shock of such a mechanical beast.
Gary could see a lot of activity going on here with hostiles about company strength and supported by four armored vehicles. It was almost comical that every single one of them was frozen in shock at seeing his tank. Well, to be honest, he would be too if he was staring down the barrel of a strange and powerful tank like the Abrams.
"Dagwood, Angel 3-1, stand clear! We got this!" Gary announced before taking advantage of their momentary shock, the tank commander called out the next target.
"Up!" Sandoval called out immediately after loading a HEAT round in.
"Gunner! Enemy tank at our 2 o'clock!"
"On the way!" Andre exclaimed and pulled the trigger. The 120 mm HEAT round erupted from their gun and screamed its way to the target. Less than a nanosecond later, the enemy tank was no more than scrap metal. The gunner grinned as he waited for further targets.
"Gunner! Enemy tank by the old barn! 10:30!"
"Fire at will!"
"On the way!"
Turner thought that he had seen it all in this war. From the brutality and savagery humans were capable of when there were absolutely no repercussions to the butchered and mangled corpses of men, women, and children alike. But he was pretty sure this takes the cake.
In all his years, he has never seen a German Panzer destroyed like that. The Lieutenant was pretty sure that no American tank could do that, not even the Bazooka could do that kind of damage. The only way he could see that happening was that it was a direct hit from one of their artillery pieces and even that was a very hard shot to do. Not to mention that he saw that shot and it was on the side, not the top.
Then came that monster tank that made everyone freeze in shock.
"Dagwood, Angel 3-1, stand clear! We got this!" His radio spoke out and it only took him a second to realize that this monster tank was their support!
He and his men watched in awe as this beast took out two Panzers in quick succession and it only took one round each to destroy those Panzers. Then one Panzer got lucky and struck the mystery tank at its front. Normally, after a shot like that, a Sherman would have gone up in flames with the crew being barbequed. Panzers were just that much better than the Shermans.
But that did not happen. In fact, the Panzer's shot just bounced off the beast's armor. The only thing that it did was scratch the paint.
For its trouble, the tank thanked the Panzer by firing a shot at it that made the hull open up like a flower. With only one Panzer left, Turner saw a German soldier running towards the tank's blind spot with a couple of grenades. Acting on instinct, the Lieutenant took aim and shot the German dead.
With one last thunderous shot, the tank finally destroyed the last Panzer but the fighting was not done yet. The Germans began to flank the tank and surround it even against heavy machine gun fire from it.
"Dagwood, we're in danger of being overrun! Get your ass in gear and help us out here!"
Hearing the call for help, Turner did not hesitate on what to do next. Whatever this thing is, wherever it came from, it saved their lives. Now, it was time to return the favor.
"First Platoon, return fire! Return fire, goddammit! Don't let the Germans destroy that tank!" Turner commanded as he rose from cover and began laying down fire on the Germans.
The rest of his men were reluctant about this but Daniels and Zussman followed their Lieutenant's example and provided fire support. Not long after, the rest of First Platoon joined the fight and soon enough, the Germans retreated due to heavy losses.
The men began to celebrate their victory against the Krauts but their joys soon turned to anxiety when they once again noticed the giant elephant in the room. Some of the men even went as far as pointing their weapons at it even though they knew it was futile.
"What the fuck is that thing?" Pierson asked partly out of awe but mostly out of suspicion and fear. This thing just cut through five Panzers like it was nothing and he did not know if it was a friendly. So the Sergeant was pretty justified in feeling distrust at it.
"I don't know." Turner mumbled as he also pointed his weapon at it. Even though this thing saved all of their asses, it was still an unidentified subject and could potentially turn on them.
"What do we do, sir?" Stiles asked quietly in fear that the tank crew within would hear them. Superstitious and dumb, yes, but who could blame him. "You've seen that thing take a direct hit from a Panzer like it was nothing. We have nothing that can take it out." He said as some of them men began to shake nervously.
They chanced a look at where the Panzer had hit the tank and were stunned to find that there was not even a dent to the armor. The only thing that indicated that it took any damage was a scratched paint.
Turner knew that what Stiles said was true. This behemoth had some pretty serious armor if it could take a Panzer round like that and they Panzerschreck rockets left. They had no other way to kill it should things go way South.
Of course, they could try rushing it and lob some grenades down the hatch but with only about half of the Platoon still standing, they would all be killed for nothing so it was out of the question.
Turner knew that it was a long shot but he had to request the tank crew to identify themselves and possibly step out of their tank. It was the only way to clear things up now if they were friend or foe but before he could radio the tank, he received an incoming message that made him curse.
"Dagwood White 2, Dagwood White 2, this is Villain. I heard you guys needed some help. Coming at you with five Shermans and Third Platoon. ETA six seconds."
The Lieutenant cursed loudly. Reinforcements had finally arrived but they came at a very precarious time. "Villain, hold your boys back! We got a very tense situation here, over." Turner field that in their surprise, Third Platoon and the Shermans could fire upon the mystery tank and that would end very badly for everyone here.
Unfortunately, his message came too late as scores of American troops and tanks burst into the field. "Say again, Dagwood. I didn't – what the fuck is that?!"
Daniels could see that his fellow soldiers were looking at the thing with varying degrees of emotion and he feared that this would really get out of hand.
"What the fuck it that?!"
"Holy Christ, look at the size of that thing!"
"Look at the size of that gun!"
"Is it on our side?!"
The American soldiers and tankers scrambled over their radios as they tried to figure out just what was that thing sitting right in front of them.
Daniels knew that with all of this panicking, somebody was going to make a very big mistake and take a shot at that monster and he did not want to die right now. "Sir, you got to tell them to hold fire before they do something we all regret!"
Turner could not agree more. "All units, stand down! I said stand down, goddammit!" He ordered over the radio but it did little to calm the men down.
"Dagwood, I don't know what you've gotten yourself into but get out of there! We'll give you covering fire!"
"No! Don't do it, Perez!" Turner exclaimed. "Trust me, that thing sliced through out five Panzers like knife through butter! Do not fire at it!"
"Well, what do you expect us to do?!"
Turner was about to reply before his radio came back with a message. "Dagwood, this is Angel 3-1. Looks like there's a bit of tension here."
The men looked at each other before they turned to the Lieutenant waiting to see what he would do. "Yeah, pretty much. You gave me and my boys a big scare when you came in guns blazing. But I'm going to have to ask you if you're friend or foe."
The men within earshot held their breaths for the answer. Daniels and Zussman probably already knew the answer but they wanted to hear it straight from those guys.
"We're friendly, Dagwood. We're on your side." The radio replied and some of the men breathed a sigh of relief but they still did not lower their weapons. "If you want, we can step out the tank to prove it to you boys."
Turner looked at Pierson who merely spat on the ground. "Your call, Turner."
"All right, but no funny business and keep your hands where we can see them." Turner said before he radioed back to the others. "All units, hold your fire until my say so. The tank's crew is coming out so they can clear things up."
The rest of the men were still nervous about this but held their fire. If the Lieutenant said that whoever these guys could be trusted so they were willing to follow his lead but that did not mean that they were going to let their guards down.
They waited for about twenty seconds in tense silence before they heard the humming of the tank's engine began to go quiet and they saw the hatches open and the soldiers instantly pointed their weapons at it. From the hatches, two pairs of hands slowly came upwards.
"Don't shoot! Don't shoot! Friendlies coming out!" One by one, the crew came out of the tank until all four of them were standing before the Americans with their hands rose in surrender.
Once they were in full view, the US Soldiers finally got a good look at their saviors. These men were wearing uniforms that were colored very differently than theirs; splotches of all kinds of colors but most of them could see that this was camouflage. They each wore some vests that looked to them as a form of protection and wore helmets and some wore masks.
Although these men looked radically different than the tankers Turner and his men were used to, they definitely look the part.
"All right. Pierson, Daniels, Zussman, with me. Let's see who these guys are. The rest of you cover us." Turner commanded as the four cautiously approached the four tankers.
Once they reached the four, Turner and his men now had a clearer picture of who they were dealing with. "Hey, they have Army patches on their chests and the First Armored Division patch on their shoulder." Zussman said in a confused tone.
His three compatriots took a closer look and they also saw the patches. Hell, they even saw a patch of the American flag on their right shoulder. This left the men confused because if the evidence they were seeing was to go by, these men were Americans.
Shaking his head, Turner looked at the four. "My name's First Lieutenant Joseph Turner. Identify yourselves." He ordered.
"Sir, I'm Second Lieutenant Gary Roberts and these are my men. My gunner, Corporal Andre Delatorre." The man gave a single nod. "My loader, Specialist Sandoval Weathers." The big man grunted out a greeting in Spanish. "And this is my driver, Private First Class Henry Evans." The youngest of them gave a shy wave seeing as he did not know what to do here.
Turner looked into the eyes of their officer and after a few seconds, he decided that these four were truly friendly and are allies. "All units, stand down. Stand down. These four are indeed friendlies." With his confirmation, the U.S. soldiers began to lower their weapons and relax.
The four tankers breathed a sigh of relief seeing as this whole situation was over. "Thank God, I thought this was going to get ugly for a second." Evans chuckled nervously.
Zussman chuckled in return. "You got that right. I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd want to go up against something that could make a Tiger tank into fucking scrap metal. At least, not without a Bazooka."
Some of the tankers smirked but said nothing else. Oh they were going to need much more than a Bazooka to get rid of old Cheese.
"Lieutenant Turner, I know you have a lot of questions for us and Lord knows we do too, but I don't think this is the right place to have a debriefing." Roberts said motioning to the smoldering heaps of Panzers and the bodies of Germans all over the field.
Turner and his men agreed. An active combat zone was no place for questioning and they were already exposed as it is. If anything, they needed to get base to base and inform Colonel Davis about this.
"You've got a point." Turner nodded. "Pierson, radio command and tell them that First Platoon cannot continue on mission since we're down to less than half of our men, tell them Third Platoon and villain can take over. And tell them we're bringing something that he really needs to see. Tell them that the intel we have would greatly help in the war effort if you have to."
Pierson nodded before leveling a glare to the four tankers and walked over to the radioman. His glare though did not go unnoticed.
"I don't think that guy likes us very much." Delatorre said, pointing to Pierson's retreating back.
Daniels and Zussman smirked. "Welcome to the club. Pierson doesn't like anyone."
As they waited for Command's reply, Third Platoon and the Sherman's were ordered by Turner to continue on mission. While they moved on, they could not help but stare at the behemoth in awe.
"Damn, that's one big motherfucker." Perez whistled appreciatively as he and his tanks passed beside the Abrams. "Hey, how big is your gun?"
"It's a smoothbore 120 mm gun." Sandoval said that made the men drop their jaw in shock.
"A 120 mm?! No wonder you guys took out those Panzers like nothing!" Aiello shouted. "That thing's not a tank, it's a goddamn battleship on treads!"
The Abrams crew chuckled before Pierson returned. "We got the go ahead to return to base. The Colonel says this better be good, sir."
Turner looked at the tank beside them and nodded. "Yeah, I think Davis is going to let us off the hook about this one for now. Lieutenant Roberts, any chance you can give us a lift back to base?"
Gary nodded. "No problem, sir. Just give us a few to fire up old Cheese here." With that, the crew began assuming their places in their tank.
"Cheese?" Aiello asked.
"Oh, it's the name of our tank here." Henry pointed to the fume extractor of the turret which had the words, 'Say Cheese!' painted on it.
Stiles hummed in acknowledgement. "Well, the name certainly fits."
The men of First Platoon waited for a few seconds, they heard a few cranks from the back of the tank and the engine roared to life.
Zussman whistled. "Damn, that's some engine you boy's got there." He said as they were given the signal to get on. "How many horsepower you got under the hood?"
"About fifteen hundred horsepower." Gary said that made some of the men whoop in surprise. That was a lot of horsepower; this tank's engine could power three Shermans at once.
Once the men were settled in, Gary turned to Turner. "All right, Lieutenant, we're ready to move out. We're going to need some directions though."
Turner nodded. "Our HQ's about seven clicks to the North West. Make your way to the roads and its should be a straight drive from there."
"Roger that. Driver, get us on the main road."
"Got it, boss."
The tank swerved around and rolled over to the main road. Once they were on the roads, the Abrams then thundered down according to the directions given by Turner.
The men had to hold on for dear life because of how fast the tank was going. "Holy shit, this thing can run!" Zussman shouted but it was clear that he was enjoying every second of this. He looked over to the tank commander who was standing on his hatch. "Hey, what kind of tank is this anyway?!"
The men of First Platoon too wanted to know just what kind of tank this is. After the things they had seen it do, they really wanted to know.
"Well, this tank is an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank." Gary explained. "The backbone of the U.S. Military's armored forces." The men were visibly relieved after hearing that these Abrams were commissioned by Uncle Sam.
As they were cruising down the roads, they passed through some American forces heading to the fronts, they were gawking at the behemoth thundering down the road. Some of the guys that were driving even lost control of their jeeps when they saw this tank. Thank God nobody got hurt though
"Poor bastards. Should've kept their eyes on the damn road!" Aiello laughed.
Daniels decided to get a question in himself. "Sir, are there any more of these Abrams out there?!" He could already guess that there were none but he just wanted to know but when he saw Gary nod, he and his brothers-in-arms' eyes widened in surprise.
"Our platoon is still out there! We've been getting their transponder signals so we know they're here but we couldn't pin point their positions or raise them on the coms. We've been trying to hail them for two hours until we got your call for help!"
The men digested his words thoroughly. If what Gary said was true, then there were more of these Abrams out there. It was a very good thing as even one of these things looked to be near unstoppable in a fight. If one was more than enough to demolish five Panzers, God only knows what a platoon of these things could do. They just hoped those Abrams did not fall to the hands of the Germans…now that would be a serious problem.
Turner then realized something. "Wait, you said you were trying to raise your guys for two hours right?" When Gary nodded, he continued. "We've been getting some strange transmissions from our radios around that same time but all we heard was nothing but gibberish."
"Yeah, that could be us." Gary replied. "All Abrams radio and transponder transmissions are heavily encrypted for OPSEC or Operational Security. I wouldn't be surprised if your Colonel Davis picked up on some of our transmissions too."
Turner nodded. "So you have any luck in raising your guys yet?"
"Not yet, sir. We're still picking up their transponder signals, thank God, but we still can't raise them. I've been transmitting a recorded message every half hour so they could pick up on it."
"Well, I hope your guys are all right, Roberts. God knows what'll happen to them if the Germans's catch them and I don't even want to think about the Krauts getting their damns hands on an Abrams."
As they continued on their path to base, they encountered further American forces who were looking at them with stunned eyes. There was a couple of times that some prepared to shoot at it if it were not for First Platoon sitting on it and waving for them to back off. That technically meant that this vehicle was friendly…no matter how strange looking it was.
"Fuck you, you idiots! Can't you see us sitting here?!" Aiello cursed at a squad of soldiers who had mistaken them for enemy and even shot at them. Thankfully, they missed all of their shots before they saw First Platoon riding on it.
"Stupid schmucks. Fuckers could've killed us. I think one of them had a bazooka pointed at me." Zussman said, royally pissed that they shot at by their own boys. Of all the things he could possibly get killed for, he did not think it would be friendly fire that up close and personal.
"Yeah, they could've taken out Cheese." Stile said. As far as he was concerned, this tank was a genuine treasure trove of innovation and advancement, and once Davis sees it, he was sure that he would agree. That is why it was imperative that this tank was unharmed.
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that one, soldier." Gary said. "You'll need more than a bazooka to take out Cheese here." He patted the armored roof of his tank.
"Why do you say that?" Pierson asked.
"Because the Abrams' armor is extremely tough to punch through." Gary said. "One time, an Abrams got stuck in a mud hole and couldn't get out and it got stuck in the worst possible place – an active war zone." First Platoon winced at that. "So while the crew was waiting for pick up, they were ambushed by three T-72 tanks. Each one had practically the same gun as the Abrams and each took a shot at it. Their rounds didn't punch through and the Abrams took them out like what we did to the Panzers back there. After that, a recovery team finally arrived but they couldn't get the thing out so the crew was ordered to abandon the tank and two other Abrams came in to knock it out."
"So, those two took it out after the first hit?" Stiles asked. Even though he was truly impressed that an Abrams' armor could hold against three rounds from essentially the same gun, he thought that the armor was too beat up now to take another hit.
"Actually, the two Abrams couldn't even punch through the thick hide even when they were using kinetic rounds. Even those watching were scratching their heads." This left the men totally speechless. Two Abrams could not even take out one?! "After about three rounds, one round finally went through but only after hitting the armor at an angle and ignited the ammo. But thanks to the fire suppression systems of the tank, it didn't explode."
"Damn…these things can really take a beating." Daniels said in awe. "That's…six tank rounds and it can still fight. Fuck, this thing puts the Shermans to shame. Hell, I don't think the Tiger could take that much punishment."
Turner nodded, trying to wrap his head around just how tough these Abrams were. "To think this thing can take that much firepower before getting scrapped."
Gary chuckled almost bashfully. "Actually…"
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me."
"No, not really. After the recovery crew finally got it out of the mud hole, they found out that it can still run with only the sights being out of alignment. It was sent out to the division repair yards and before long, it was back into service."
"Good fucking God…just what kind of tank is this?" Zussman asked, looking at the tank he was sitting on in awe.
"The best money can buy."
When they reached the base, the arriving tank drew in a lot of attention from every personnel in the base. "Hey, buddy! You know where we can park?!" Henry asked a Private who was staring bugged eyed at the tank. "Hey, buddy! Where we can park?!"
The Private snapped out of his staring before pointing to the area where the Shermans were parked. "Right over there!"
"Thanks!" Henry drove his tank to the spot and parked it.
First Platoon began to disembark from their newfound ride as soldiers began circling the behemoth mostly out of curiosity.
Just then, an old man came in, shoving away some soldiers put of the way. "What the hell is going on here?!" He ordered. This was Colonel Davis, the commander of the 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division.
For the last couple of hours, he had been getting reports of some strange radio transmissions his operators were receiving. He figured that this was some kind of secret German transmission of some sort and ordered the specialists to try and find out what it was for it could hold vital intelligence.
Unfortunately, they were unable to find out what it was as the signal was too…compex and was like nothing his specialists had ever seen before. Either the Germans developed a new kind of cryptography far more complicated than before or something else was put there.
After that, he got a request from Turner that First Platoon was in no shape to continue on mission and informed him that Third Platoon and some tanks could take it from there. Davis frowned at that and told Pierson to continue with the objectives but when he was told the First Platoon had discovered something that would greatly help in the war effort, he reluctantly agreed for them to return to base.
Then, he started getting reports about a strange vehicle that popped up out of nowhere and assisted his forces despite of it giving them a good spook. At first, Davis dismissed this but then the reports were coming in that the vehicle was driving straight towards the base…with First Platoon in tow.
Could this be the thing Turner was talking about…?
It was not until he heard all the commotion going on outside before the Colonel saw fit to investigate it himself. Now, here he was, facing First Platoon and…a tank he has never seen before.
"Turner, what the hell is this?" Davis asked, pointing at the sand colored tank before he noticed four men disembarking from it. "And who the hell are they?"
Turner leaned forward and whispered into the Colonel's ear. "Sir, I think we need to discuss this in a more private location."
Davis looked at one of his best men and then at the four strange tankers. Seeing as this was no place for discussing what could be some serious shit, he nodded slowly. "All right. You, Pierson, and you four come with me. The rest of you, get back to your duties!"
Turner, Pierson, and the four tankers followed Davis to his tent but not before locking up Cheese good and tight. It was not that they did not trust these men…they actually did not trust these men to drive a multi million dollar piece of advanced military hardware and that fact that Cheese was their baby.
The group entered Davis's tent and stood at attention before a superior officer. Sitting down on his chair, the Colonel released a sigh. "Turner, I don't know what the hell happened out there so you better fill me in."
"Sir, we were pinned by Germans a few clicks to the South. They took out our Armor support and we were in danger of being overrun. I called for help and got an answer when Angel 3-1 responded. At first, I didn't know who Angel 3-1 is but I wasn't about to be picky to I gave them our position. It was tight but they arrived just in the nick of time."
Davis nodded before looking at Gary. "And I'm to assume that you four are Angel 3-1?"
Gary nodded. "Yes, sir. We're it."
"Well, as much as I appreciate it that you saved my boys, I don't know who you four are."
The tankers stood up straighter and prepared to introduce themselves. "Sir, Second Lieutenant Gary "Castle" Roberts. Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, Armored Brigade Combat Team 2,1st Armored Division. Tank commander of Say Cheese."
"Sir, Sergeant First Class Andre "Bazooka" Delatorre. Tank gunner of Say Cheese."
"Sir, Sergeant Sandoval "Sandy" Weathers. Tank loader of El Queso."
"Sir, Corporal Henry "Nitro" Evans. Tank driver of Say Cheese."
They finished off their introduction with a crisp salute.
Davis smiled before he returned the salute. They were disciplined and professional, he would give them that. "So, tell me, what's your story, Roberts?"
"…You wouldn't believe us if we told you, sir." Andre said.
"Okay." Gary sighed as Turner, Pierson, and Davis listened closely to what he had to say. "I know this sounds stupid but…we're from the future."