TG Universes & Series:
Mario J. Donovan had never been much of a daredevil or risktaker. He was just a seventeen years old guy of average stature, average marks at school, had finished high school and that kind of was it. Coming to think of it he was the typical 'John Doe', so to say. - So how did he manage to get himself into this situation anyway? That's what he kept questioning himself over and over now, while the boat's engine steadily roared and the water of the rough sea kept sloshing on an on and spraid in waves over the sides of the armored landingboat and had already and totally soaked his uniform. In the distance, he shudderingly heard the sound of grenades striking as well as the awfull sound of german machine-guns, constantly firing. Far cries of pain filed the air along with that. Despite he was wet already, he undeniably felt that he sweated. His heart was beating, even if not in a frequency fast enough to be able to compare with the merciless machine-guns rattling over there, which he in sheer shock now finally realized, was soon about to face.
"Soooldiers!" A senior officer authoritariantly yelled from behind, addressing all of us G.I.'s as we were gathered shoulder to shoulder in the small boat. "E.T.A. (Expected time of arrival) is five minutes! Get yourself and your gear all ready, men! We're up to kick some Kraut asses now!" - Right besides us, another boat of our invasion-force took a direct hit by a german grenade, simply blowing up like a torch. The flames of the explosion shot up high in the air, lighting the cloudy sky of that fatefull stormy day. Mercifully, the high sides of that boat of ours didn't give us a direct sight of it. But every single one of us knew what had just happened. Maybe it was just me, but I thought I could actually feel the heat of the flames while the fiery debris rained down on the water nearby.
This wasn't right. "I shouldn't be here. I gotta get out of this..." I thought, starting to panic. I obviously had fallen for some illusion, for mere propaganda. "Uncle Sam wants YOU!" the poster's which where on like every wall of the town had said. "The german's already are afraid of you, marines!", the drill seargent constantly used to tell us through the three months of our basic training. He told us the german soldiers would refer to us as "Teufelhunden", the 'Devil's hounds'. "They're already pissing their pants!" I remembered him shouting. "And you fine young soldiers are going to have the honor to finish them off!" - Well, judging of the smell in this boat, which was still heading toward the beach, they were obviously not alone with that. To be honest with myself I wasn't really much of a fighter. Christ, why the heck had I gotten myself into this whole thing?
-PRRRRRT! PRRRT! PRRRRRRT!- This always present sound of these damned MG-42 machine guns of our enemies which they fired off merciless and constantly, simply drove me mad. They must have had endless loads of ammunition up there in their concrete bunkers. - "I'm gonna die here... There's no chance whatsoever to survive this!" That thought hit me like a truck. I was young, not even in my twenties. I didn't WANT to die here! It was not my time! I was not ready! - The guy on my left started to mumble a prayer.
At least I stood far in the back of the boat, so leastways I wouldn't be one of the first to die if one of these machine-gunners would choose our boat as a target. But to be frank, I told myself: It wouldn't make any difference. If one of those Kraut-dickweeds up there would choose to take an aim on us we all would be toast anyway. Hey, I had been shown the training-films. Those guns of them had a unbelievable rate of fire which would have been easily capable to just sift through the wohle unit in this small vessel whatsoever. - Realizing that, I in sheer disbelieve pressed my teeth together till they nearly cracked. "Get me out of this. Someone get me out of this. I'd pay any prize!" I hissed out desperately.
Suddenly, everything seemed to become more silent around me. As if all the noise around was just dimmed down somehow. The soldier to my right all of the sudden turned his face to me. Taking sight of his appearance I simply gasped in surprise. He was an old guy with a long white beard. Hell and, yes: He even wore our uniform and a full equipment. But he was not even close to an age which any sane in his mind recruiting-officer in the world would have considered ever to be 'fit for service'. I mean: Hey?! The guy seemed to be easily like seventy years old or something! And where the f... had the marine with the scar under his eye gone which stood there nearby me just seconds ago? And why didn't anyone else around seem to take notice of 'Grandpa's' presence? - "Any prize, you say?" The old one yelled over in my face with a sly grin on his face, as loud as it was necessary to beat the (although now appearing somehow dimmed down) noise of the breakers which were still constandtly smashing on the sides of the boat.
"I'd recommend to hurry up, my young, friend." he shouted. "We're almost at the beach! So make up your mind! Still willing to pay ANY prize to get out of here?!" "Sure, gramps, like you would be able to..." I laughed along with these words in sheer disbelieve of the whole situation. "You better stop this kind of talking, before I lose my patience and just leave..." "But why would you want to save me?" "'Cause you have a bright mind and are capable even to become of some use for mankind, maybe even an 'inventor'." I wondered what I could ever invent whatsoever. Supposably the guy was anyway just a weird fantasy, created by my mind and I was about to be blown to bits anyway as it seemed. - "Well, then: YES! - HELL YES, I WOULD be willing to pay any prize to get out of this whole madness, you hear me you old dudderer?!" I just yelled and shouted the whole stress and anger that I felt in my bowl right into the face of the strange old geezer. - "Well then, Mario. That's all I wanted to hear. So, it's a deal." With a weird smile on his face, the 'old wacko' stretched out his bony hand and I shook it. - "Whatever." I thought. "It won't make a difference anyway..."
The mechanisms gave of a loud buzzing sound, as the ramp of the LCVP opened up and lowered onto the sand of 'Omaha beach'. Along with the shouted commands of the captain, all of the marines immediately stormed out of the boat, yelling their guts out in a collective battlecry. The captain gave several man who seemed to hesitate some spurring rough pushes on the shoulders, constantly yelling encouraging phrases, when he suddenly got aware of a silhouette, which cowered all curled up in the back of the landing boat. He simply couldn't believe his eyes and, while the rest of his other men meanwhile stormed towards the ramp, stomped over to the person, mercilessly grabing the collar of the uniform and pulling the 'bastard' up to near his face while he yelled: "And YOU will go too, soldier!" His face was as red as a tomatoe. "The enemy's not gonna wait for us! You call yourself a marine, you...?!" he suddenly stopped inmidst of his sentence, a stunned look occuring on his face.
Mario looked up, tears of desperation and shame running down his cheeks. "Sorry Sir, I... I can't... I don't wanna die! Please, I..." he stammered. "You gotta be one hell of a crazy bitch to smuggle yourself into something like this voluntarily..." The senior officer interrupted him with a nearly toneless voice, a freakish look of total surprise mixed with contempt on his face. Suddenly and abruptly releasing Mario's collar out of his grip, thereby throwing him careless back on the ground, he without any further words just turned around and ran down the ramp to catch up to his men.
The ramp of the boat was fastly closing now, as one of the two crewmen of the boat jumped down on the main platform, landing near to the remaining person sitting there. The helmsmean meanwhile as fast as possible turned the boat around to get them away from the dangers of that bloodsoaked beach. - "You're hit, man?" the crewman yelled asking. When Mario raised his head to look him in the eye, the whole attitude of the young man seemed to change. "Oh, my... God, you're O.k.?" Mario nodded, still in shock. "So, how did you even get here?" the young Navy-soldier with a very friendly, if not to say 'caring', voice now asked, as he knelt down besides Mario.
"Are you one of the nurses from the base?" Still shacking 'cause of the adrenaline, Mario stammered. "N.. No. I'm a marine..." - The young ensign in front of him paused for a second with a surprised look on his face, then all of the sudden he laughed out loud and heartfully. He, obviously amused, wiped his eyes with one sleeve and said "Well. You might be possibly crazy, but obviously you gotta have SOME guts if you still are able to pull of jokes on one hell of a day like this one."
Being softly pated on his helmet by this stranger, Mario just was speechless for a moment, not knowing how to respond to all this. He didn't even have a clue what the reaction of this guy was all about. "So, what's your name?" the guy, still kneeling in front of him, asked with a smile. "M... Mario." "Well, Marion. You don't worry, precious. We're gonna get you out of this savely. - I promise." he once more smiled and blinked kind of encouraging with one eye. The young ensign then got up and climbed up a ladder nearby, getting back to the helm of the boat. "I... - Th... thank you." Mario was still quite confused but anyway relieved, as the boat fastly headed back towards the battleship. - But he still was afraid. Had he been shot? At least he felt this strange ongoing pressure on his chest, somehow feeling like a weight or something and...
If it wouldn't have been for all the infernal noise around, the loud hysterical scream surely would have been audible over some miles...
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