This is just a short piece, but it wraps up the Prologue. Remaining novel posts scheduled for release on Mondays.
The driver of the lead pickup had maneuvered himself to the far right lane of the highway. The onramp for Highway 77 south was fast approaching; his palms were sweaty on the wheel as he prepared for the suicide maneuver; he never looked up at the overpass. Five seconds.
Barret’s stomach was floating in his chest by the time he keyed the mic again; he couldn’t risk the chance and the time was now. “Up top, back in the Humvee now! Order! Now!” The two men slid back in their cabins and slammed the top hatches shut. They were confused and more than a little irritated; they were looking forward to rocking the world of the boys up top. As they finished the thought, they saw the first of the tracers hit the pickups in front of them and watched the trucks seemingly buckle in pain from the hail of bullets. Then a lead storm cloud erupted on top of them. It seemed as if every square inch of their armored roof was clanging in unison; at any moment, the roof would surely relent and be ripped apart. The lead pickup truck careened off the road, into the ditch and then sailed through the air. Limp bodies were flung haphazardly from the bed of the flaming projectile. The other truck had spun several times and looked as if it would stop in the middle of the highway until the front two Humvees slammed it to the other shoulder. The drivers of the rear Humvees had forecasted this maneuver and braked abruptly to avoid contact as their team in the front cleared the way. With the road ahead clear, they accelerated ferociously.
Barret quickly transitioned from shock to rage and keyed the mic up in English for the first time “Sheee-yit! We’re on the same team!” Silence. “This is the unit commander for Alpha Squad, Texas State Guards, First Regiment out of South Padre Island. Identify yourselves immediately or we will return fire.” Silence.
“Oh my God; Sir, do you have any casualties?” The voice of the squad leader was audibly distraught and strained. All protocol had been dropped.
The other Humvees had been following the exchange and responded almost in unison in their code, “all clear, Sir.”
Barret engaged the squad leader again, “Negative. We are taking up a defensive position; I want your squad off that damn bridge and down here with me, on foot. We have a lot to talk about.”
“Affirmative; coming down.”