This meaty middle commemorates Memorial Day.
The radio man shouted into his walkie-talkie, “It’s colder than a witch’s heart out here and I hear tigers in the distance. We’re off the map so I don’t know where in the hell I’m at. The last sign I saw was 10 clicks to Bastogne. But that was several clicks back.”
“What do you want from us? It’s thicker than chowder in the sky and our big guns are busy.”
“Send some Shermans our way. The Krauts are almost on us.”
“We’ll do our best.”
The radio man lifted his walkie-talkie over his head for a few seconds to let the man on the other end hear the distant rumble of tanks.
“You got maybe 15 minutes to get them here. We might be able to hold the Krauts off for half an hour. But any longer than that and your crews will either find dead bodies or nothing but Krauts. So get your ass in gear.”
A light began to flash from the top of a tree Morse code. The radio man read the message and began to sweat a bit.
“The forward observer says they’re five clicks away and have a dozen tigers.”
“What do you want us to do?” asked one of the other soldiers of the commanding officer.
“Spread out and take cover. I want some of you to survive.”
The second lieutenant shouted, “Make each round count. I don’t know how Ted is going to hide his bazooka. But do your best.”
The men spread out and took positions behind trees. The rumble of tanks grew louder and a couple soldiers relieved themselves out of nervousness. Their minds raced as they thought about home, loved ones, and what might happen minutes later.
The sound of an 88 round shrieked through the air and seconds later, a tree shattered. A couple more men relieved themselves without opening their pants. Another man began to cry out of fear.
“Stay sharp, men,” the commanding officer shouted.
The sound of another 88 shrieked like a steel demon before another tree was shattered. Muffled shouts from German soldiers were heard. The American soldiers raised their M-1s and Ted had his shell man pop one into the tube.
Two tigers were seen on the crest of a hill lowering their main guns to position them for another shot at the Americans.
A split second later, a shell slammed into the tiger on the right and exploded it half a second before a high-energy discharge cracked like a giant firecracker. The tiger on the left lifted its main gun. But before it could lock into position, another shell slammed into the tank and it exploded. Half a second later there was another high-energy discharge crack.
The men looked behind them and saw the largest tank they had ever seen. It was larger than a tiger with a gun that had to be at least 120 mm. Its mirrored surface almost made the tank invisible as it reflected the trees, ground, and sky. The hatch on the turret opened by swiftly sliding backward. A man wearing an army green jumpsuit and thin helmet ascended to chest level out of the opening.
“Who are you?” asked the commanding officer.
“I’m here to save your ass. Get behind my tank and I’ll take care of those Nazis for you.”
The soldiers gathered behind the tank that soon proceeded down the road toward the advancing German division. Another tiger crested the hill and was shattered by another shell from the mysterious metal giant. German soldiers fired upon the weapon which fired back with beam weapons from two forward guns and a smaller turret that had twin ray weapons that could be aimed and fired independently that ascended from in front of the access hatch. German soldiers were either sliced in half or had pencil-thin holes punched through their bodies or helmeted heads.
For some reason, the American soldiers didn’t hear more than a low hum of the field that was emitted around them from the back of the tank. German soldiers fired on them, but their bullets vaporized when they hit the fields. One of the American soldiers raised his M-1 to fire. But a beam from the rear of the tank hit the weapon and the soldier dropped it to the ground. He yelled in pain and waved his hands to try and cool them.
“Don’t fire your weapons. Your bullets can’t penetrate the force field. Let us take care of the enemy soldiers.”
Three more tigers were destroyed and two took off to survive. The remaining German soldiers ran for their lives.
The access hatch opened again and the man appeared again. He turned around to speak with the American soldiers.
“Head back to the road leading to Bastogne. General Patton and his men will meet you there in about two hours.”
“Who are you? How do you know about General Patton heading for Bastogne?” asked the commanding officer.
“If I told you everything you’d think I was crazy.”
“Try me,” the commanding officer requested.
“We were sent here to make sure you survive the war. It’s about over and you have some future grandchildren and great-grandchildren to tell war stories to. I’m sure they’ll tell you you’re making all this up when you tell them about a giant tank with a 120 mm mag and four ray weapons took on a Nazi division and obliterated it. But tell them anyway. See you later.”
As the man slowly descended into the tank the commanding officer asked, “Are there more tanks like yours out there?”
The man smiled as he descended and the hatch closed.
I sometimes wonder if foo fighters that were seen during WW2 were from the future too like the tank.