Location: Camp A12
Time: 14 00 Hrs
“How much supplies do we have left for the day?”, the Deputy Leader in charge enquired with concern.
“Just enough for a hundred sir”, SoldierS47 replied.
“And how many in the camp?”
“More than 2000 souls sir”
An eerie silence clouded the camp. The soldiers could sense the tension in their Deputy Leader’s face. Every ounce of motivation was draining away from their bodies and souls. Few days back, they would have thought this was possible, to win this battle. Since last night, things have drastically changed. They had just lost their Leader in a battle, and have hence lost their will.
“We don’t have much option, do we? Feed the women and children first. Make sure there is no stampede”, the Deputy Leader reluctantly declared.
“Yes sir”, soldier departed.
He called for an emergency meeting to all his soldiers. Every men of their race, was an armed soldier now. In fact, men in every household had become a soldier now – irrespective of them being armed or not. They all gathered around him.
“Gentlemen, we are at the end of the tunnel now. We have no choice but to fight till our last breath, and protect our people till the end. We will put up our best fight and die as warriors. When this war broke out, none of us believed, we could ever even face our mighty enemies. They are hundred times more powerful than us, in all possible ways. But, our Leader believed we could, and we believed him. We have the right to this land, as much as they do. Our ancestors have lived here for generations and they can only take this away from us over our corpses. So, let us get ready for the final battle of our lives, though the result is inevitable, giving up is something we are not used to”
As he was giving away his final inspirational speech, there was a hustle in the camp. A weary soldier was dragging himself towards them and finally fell on the ground. He was tired and thirsty and gasping for breath. He finally spoke “Sir, I have bad news. Camp A13 has been destroyed. They have ex-terminated 800 of us. Women and children included. They have used chemical weapons this time.”
The eerie silence clouded again. Soldiers hung their heads down. Few of them had tears in their eyes, thinking about their fellowmen mercilessly being killed somewhere nearby.
“Our camp might be their next target”, the Deputy Leader said in a low voice.
“uh..sir..it is not inevitable sir..” A feeble voice from the crowd emerged. Everyone looked towards the direction, and it was soldierC194, who was also the head of communications.
“C194, what is not inevitable?”
“Sir, the result you mentioned sir, it is not inevitable”
“Haven’t you heard what he just said? They are using chemical weapons to ex-terminate us.”
“Sir, if you will let me, I have a plan.”
His last few words were like a sudden shimmer of light inside the dark camp. There was pin drop silence and all eyes were on C194.
“Sir, all we have to do is, get the women and children out of this camp by midnight. And then we can carry out our operation after that. We would require soldiers to accompany our women and rest of us can be part of the operation”
“After midnight? Don’t you know our limitations? We never perform operations in the dark. We don’t have enough facilities. We cannot risk the lives of thousands of our women”
“This is the only choice we have left sir; you have to trust me on this. We have equipped soldiers who have travelled through the lengths and breadths of this land in the dark. And our enemies will never expect us to come out in the dark. This is almost a fool proof plan. If we can pull this off, victory is ours.”
“And where will they be re-located?”
“I have information from A22, about a safe place almost 45 degrees south of the camp. Nobody is aware of that place, and most unlikely for us to be spotted there. We even have access to food supplies from there sir”
“Even if they reach safe, how are going to help in this operation C194? What are you getting at?”
“Sir, we all have seen that heavy machinery that has been stalled near our base by the enemy camp.”
“ The humungous large tank that is almost thousand times bigger than ours - is that the one you are talking about?”
“Yes sir, all I know is that, that tank is of really high value to them. It is something, which they are proud of. If we all can manage to break into that tank, i am sure, by dawn, we can reach our destination and join our clan sir. Destroying the tank will be a huge diversion for them and we can help saving thousands of lives”
There were murmurings and whispers in the camp. Sighs of disbelief, worry, and fear all at once. But above all, the spirit of not giving up crept through the minds of every single man and they were up for their final operation.
“Let us do this!” - the spirits soar high in the camp.
A battalion of 300 soldiers were selected, who were well-versed with the geography of the place, and who were part of the mapping and surveying divisions, to accompany the women and children.
The remaining 400 men, every man was a soldier now, were going to perform the mighty operation. Each one of the 400, were willing to die for their race and their land.
Location: Camp A12
Time: 21 30 Hrs
“Must you go?” She asked with tears in her eyes.
“I was the one who initiated this operation, how can I not go?” C194 held her close to his chest.
“I will stay here with you. How can I leave without knowing for sure you will be fine?”
“I will be, OK? Now, look at me”. He lifted her face and looked into her eyes. He wiped off the tears from her cheeks and kissed her. “I will see you even before this kiss dries out on your cheeks”
She smiled. “I love you. Why can’t our lives be normal? Why do I have to sleep every night fearing that i might not wake up the next day or i might lose you forever?” She wept.
“I love you too, more than anything in this world. Don’t give up. Not just yet. I will meet you tomorrow when the sun shines on the ground, we will meet in the new place near campA22, a new life will begin, we will get married, have 10 kids, and one day when they wake up to see the sun, this land will be ours” He spoke with his eyes full of dreams and love. They kissed for a long time and finally said their good-byes.
Time: 00 00 Hrs.
The women and children were lined up and the soldiers were evenly located in the group as batches so that for every 50 people, there was a group of 10 soldiers at least. Women and children of all ages, not wanting to part their men, stood there in line, with tears in their eyes. After the final sign off from the Deputy leader, the group started moving slowly, through territories that were dark and inhabitable till now. The Deputy leader returned back to the camp. He had with him 400 men who were ready to give their lives. He couldn’t ask for more. They sat down to discuss their strategy, and gathered all the little weapon they had. They divided themselves into different batches and took charge of various portions of the “huge tank”. C194 was particular that the attack should not be concentrated, but evenly distributed into almost all parts of that tank.
Time: 03 00 Hrs.
Four different battalions started marching towards the tank, from campA12. The silhouette of the huge tank was seen in the distance. They have seen that mysterious tank many a times, but have never dared to attack or even go near it, just because of its sheer size. It was inside enemy lines, which was also one of the main reasons. But today was different. It is their final battle, for their land, their lives.
The tank was more complex than they had imagined. It had various compartments. It was also very difficult to figure the whole thing in the dark. The four battalions managed to enter the tank after an hour long process of trying to figure out the way of intruding the tank. Once they were inside, it was another tedious process to figure out their hiding places, so that they can promptly come out of it for the attack. There were many square shaped objects, which formed the main part of the tank. The main battalion, headed by C194, took charge of that. He ordered everyone to hide behind those square objects, which had gaps, just enough to accommodate them. It was a very complex design for them to understand, but they were happy that they got this far.
After two long hours, everyone was in position. Now they just have to wait. Wait for the dawn. In one hour the sun will be up, a new life will begin, or it will be the end. C194 closed his eyes for a while. He saw her smiling face.
Time: 07 30 Hrs.
Sandhip had woken up early as it was his presentation day. He opened his laptop to check his presentation for one last time. He was bewildered.
“MOMMMMMMMMMMM!! there are ants all over my keyboard”. He took his laptop and started running towards the kitchen.
“Stop screaming. Haven’t I told you not to eat your snacks next to the laptop?”
“But i have presentation .. Maaa.. these ants..i am going to kill all of them” , Sandhip was furious.
“Ok relax, just keep your laptop in the sun. Keep it in the balcony for ten minutes and all the ants will go away”
“Fine. I am telling you i am going to buy that insecticide chalk this evening and get rid of this ant menace.”
Sandhip kept grumbling all the way, and placed his laptop in the balcony.
C194 emerged out of the laptop with a smile. His operation was a success. A new life begins..