"Saa, I think that it is too quiet," said Private Gerald Freeman, addressing his superior, Corporal Tansen. Tansen was a big man with brown hair and distinctly non-regulation facial hair. It was a mystery why he hadn't been court-martialed.
The Ghan-Den Freedom Corps had moved in on the city of Ganti five weeks ago. Ganti was a destroyed city, full of shells of buildings and wrecked walls.
Fireteam Bravo of the 3rd Squad of the Freedom Corps had been assigned to patrolling the North-East section of the city against soldiers of the Imperium, the ancient and corrupted empire which governed the terraformed planets of the known galaxy. The Freedom Corps was a rebellion against it.
Fireteam Bravo had four men in it, but Private Jeremiah had gone off to investigate a noise. While there was the possibility that there were Imperial soldiers here, Tansen dismissed it as an animal, but Jeremiah had insisted on going. The other member of the fireteam, Private First Class Greene, infamous for his trademark glasses, had said nothing for the entire patrol. A suspicious character, Freeman surmised.
The private examined his surroundings. A brownstone wall next to the ramshackle path on which they walked. Opposing it, to the left, a ruined building. There was the remains of a tiled floor there, destroyed by the war.
Freeman's musings were interrupted by his superior replying, "I don't know, Gerald. But I doubt that ther - "
He was cut off by the crack of gunfire. He was slammed back against the brownstone wall they were next to, his arm mashed into a bloody pulp. Between gasps of breath and pain, the corporal said, "Dammit . . . Freeman . . Greene . . . get out of - "
Another crack, this time the bullet slamming into Tansen's chest. He stopped breathing. Freeman stood in shock. Greene had already gotten in the remains of the ruined hallway opposing the brownstone wall. "Freeman, you fool! Get behind cover!" he hissed.
Freeman obeyed and hooked himself over the brownstone wall, falling with a thump on the other side. He shook with fear, his PDW clenched in his hand.
There were a few more cracks, and a groan of pain from Greene. Freeman could hear the man panting, "Oh God - oh Gawd - "
Footsteps sounded, punctuating the hiss of indrawn breath from Greene. They stopped, suddenly. Freeman heard Greene say, "Go to hell, you daw - " The man was cut off by another gunshot. The sound of the wounded man's breathing ceased, and the footsteps continued.