Rolling Thunder - A Fan Story about Colonel Wesson

Rolling Thunder
By Arpinicl

The Outskirts
Lt. James Wesson
United States Marines
April 23rd, 2043

Gunfire erupted all across the battlefield. Mortars were firing constantly, the incessant booms deafening any other noise. Dirt, stone, and other debris tossed in the air as bombs came crashing down upon the earth below. Lieutenant James Wesson placed his back against the stone wall, and began to reload his rifle. Behind him, closer to the frontlines, he could hear the horrifying songs of death playing louder with each gun fired, each mortar shot. The ground shook with each explosion, shaking Wesson’s hands, causing him to fumble the magazine.

“Wesson!” A voice called out from his right side.

Wesson turned his head and saw his best friend Mack, whom had enlisted with him at the start of the war. Mack was charging towards Wesson while destruction followed. Mack dove at the ground, narrowly avoiding a mortar shell that landed right where he once was, and fell into Wesson.

“Are you okay?” Wesson shouted, his voice barely being heard.

“Yeah,” Mack replied, “The right line is holding strong, and there are reports that the left is failing.”

As he heard this, Wesson looked to his left to see the approach of enemy tanks, their numbers large, “Where is the rest of Fox Squad?”

“I don’t know!” Mack said as he grabbed his rifle from the mud, “Last time I saw them, they were on their way to defend the left line”. Mack began to stand, preparing to continue the battle, “We need to go defend now!”

Wesson nodded, and at last finished reloading his rifle and stood. Mack began to charge, with Wesson following closely behind. Artillery rained down upon the two men, with mortar blasts remaining near. Up ahead they saw the increasingly overwhelmed Fox Squad, their numbers dwindling. Suddenly, a grenade landed in front of the two men.

“Watch out!” Mack exclaimed, shoving Wesson to the ground and jumping onto the grenade.

The grenade exploded, spraying dirt and flesh onto Wesson. He became deafened, a loud ringing sounding in his ears. The world swirled before him, becoming a blur. He looked over to his right and saw Mack laying there, unmoving. Wesson began to crawl, digging his fingers into the earth to pull himself forward.

A large, gaping hole lay in Mack’s stomach, his life quickly fading through it.

“Mack!” Wesson cried, tears falling down his face into the soil below.

Mack coughed, blood soaking his shirt, “I’m still here,” he painfully laughed, “How bad is it?”

Wesson glanced at the wound, an obvious look of horror on his face, “Everything will be okay, we’re going to get you out of here,”

Mack reached out and firmly grabbed Wesson’s arm, “Forget about me, you need to save Fox Squad and continue the mission,”

“That doesn’t matter any more, I need to save you,” Wesson shook his head.

“Leave me, James,” Mack said, the light from his eyes fading, as he reached into his pocket, retrieving a ring box, “When you make it back home, give this to Sarah, and tell her I love her,”

Wesson’s crying intensified, grasping the ring box slowly from Mack.

“I need you to take care of my parents and Sarah,” Tears began to run down Mack’s face as well, “Can you do that?”

Wesson nodded, all the while sobbing, “You cannot die, Mack, you are going to live,”

Except Mack’s grip loosened, and his arm fell back down to his body, an absence of life in his eyes. His body lay there, lifeless, as the warzone continued around them. Wesson bawled, burying his face into his hands. He began to pick up Mack’s body when suddenly a radio fell out of Mack’s jacket. The item cluttered on the ground, directing Wesson’s attention. He bent down, picking up the radio, recognizing it as one from training used to call in airstrikes. Wesson sat there for a moment, thoughts and ideas running rampant through his mind. With tears still in his eyes, Wesson looked back up at the left line, the tanks and infantry digging deep into it, as Fox Squad had still somehow managed to hold on. Then he redirected his gaze to Mack’s corpse, and back to the radio in his hands.

“Command, this is Lieutenant Wesson,” He stared at the members of Fox Squad in the distance, “The left line has fallen, I am requesting a direct airstrike on the line to clear the impending infantry and tanks.”

Static sounded over the walkie before a voice responded, “Copy that, airstrike incoming, clear the area immediately,”

Wesson grabbed Mack’s body, and began to run back towards where they had originally came from. In the sky, the rumble of the jet’s engines roared, and Wesson looked behind to see bombs dropping out of them. As he ran, although small, he heard the screams and despairs of the soldiers left behind, their last cries silenced by the thunder of the bomb’s impact upon the ground.

The shockwave from the blast threw Wesson forward, sending him against the brick wall he had lied on the other side of not long ago. He frantically looked around for Mack’s body as he recovered, but it was nowhere to be seen. In the distance, fire erupted on the left line, the enemy tanks now scraps of metal, and the infantry now dust and ash. A helmet rolled next to Wesson, an insignia of a fox on the front. Wesson picked up the helmet, the fox almost mocking him for his actions. He yelled, tossing the helmet and beginning to sob.

Wesson stared into the sky, tears pouring down his dirtied face. Ashes poured down from the sky, landing onto him and the ground below. The sun began to set, creating a fiery red in the sky, combing with the raining ashes to create an almost hellish scene. At last, he stood, brushing off himself, before walking back to the allied rear lines in the distance, the sound of gunfire and destruction fading.

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