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Posted on Feb 9, 2007 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Interactive Combat Story: The Calm Before The Storm

By Brandon Neff


Nothing would warm your spirits as much as a warm drink and you accept Pvt. Luker’s hand as he pulls you up from your foxhole, your legs buckling under the weight. You wince with the first few steps as your feet are called into action, but the thought of a warm cup draws you forward.

Suddenly a low rumble vibrates the ground beneath your feet and you stiffen, slightly disoriented by the bizarre sensation. A deep booming staccato sounds through the woods to the east, like a great beast galloping towards you. You peer into the darkness and the forest around you explodes in a hail of shrapnel and debris.

The nearby wails of “incoming!” pierce your heart and you duck down instinctively. Sprinting alongside Pvt. Luker, you scramble towards the safety of his entrenchment even as Pvt. Bernson shouts encouragement and beckons you onward. The screams of the wounded and frightened come at you from all directions and you immediately drop into the trench, nearly losing your rifle in the process.


The seconds feel like hours and with one last booming explosion, the woods are quiet. Sensing a break in the barrage, you survey the carnage before you. Natural debris litters the forest alongside fallen trees and horrible darkened craters.

It is only then that you realize that Pvt. Luker is wounded.

Go to 2.

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