08 - For Our Country - Saralynn

"GET DOWN!!" some one yelled above all of the noise.

Zac threw himself down into the trench as bullets wizzed overhead. The guy next to him wasn't so lucky.

God, please help me get through this alive. Zac prayed silently to himself. Then he poked his head over the edge of the trench, repositioned his gun, and began firing once again.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Taylor repeated over and over as he shot down yet another plane. He was good. Almost too good. I'm sorry. Down goes another plane.

What ever made me decided to join the Air Force? Taylor thought silently to himself.

Because you didn't think there'd be a war anytime soon, he thought, answering his own question.

Isaac paced back and forth within his small confinement. "This is the last time I ever let Zac talk me into anything. 'Let's join the army' he says. 'It'll be fun. Does it really look like we'll be fighting with anyone?'"

He just shook his head. "I wonder how Zac's doing out in the field," he mumbled to himself. "I wonder how Tay's doing up in the air."

He sat on the floor and drew his knees up to his chest. Leaning his head down on his knees and closing his eyes, he sighed. "I wonder how long I'll be kept here..."

Two months prior:

"We didn't make it as musicians. We didn't make it as actors. No one would print my comic strips. No one would publish your book. No one would accept Tay's paintings. What else is there?"

Isaac looked pointedly at his brother. "You want us to join the army?"

"Why not? It'll be fun. Does it really look like we'll be fighting with anyone?"

"Come on, Ike! The benefits are really good. The pay is really good. Tay's already in the Air Force, so why shouldn't we join something too? It's not like we have jobs or anything."

Isaac could see the reasoning behind his younger brother's staements. "Why not? What harm could happen?"

Present day:

"Fuck!" Zac shouted as the man on his left went down. Almost every man in his platoon was dead. He knew that they were losing this battle, but he resolved to go down fighting. Taking a deep breath, he began to pray to himself before looking over the trench, taking aim and firing.

"I'm going down!" Taylor heard over the radio in his helmet. That was the third one. Only two were left in his squad.

Aim. Lock. Fire. Another enemy bites the dust.

A loud noise. Taylor looked back. He had been hit. His wing looked damaged, but it was still intact. "I've been hit!!" he cried into his radio.

He knew that the plane behind him had a weapons lock. He tried to get out of it but he couldn't. Taylor turned around and saw the missle heading for him.

Taylor ejected.

A scream sounded down the hall. Isaac was awoke by the harsh sound. He stood up, trying to streatch out the cramp in his neck.

Another scream sounded. He was scared. He didn't know how much he could take or if he would simply crack.

One good point here was that Isaac wasn't ranked high enough to know anything that would be of any importance. In fact, he didn't really know anything!

The screaming stopped and heavy footsteps sounded down the dank hallway outside his room.

Isaac sat back down in the corner and drew himself as tight in as he could.

Holding his breath, he prayed.

Seven weeks prior:

"Boot camp. Home, sweet home for the next six weeks." Zac inhaled deeply, loving the smell of the fresh air.

Zac walked ahead of Isaac, looking around at all of the unfamiliar sights as they made their way to the main office where they would recieve bunk assignments and uniforms.

Isaac looked at the eighteen year old in front of him. He remained quiet as he followed Zac. Having already completed a four year college, Isaac felt old among all of the "just out of high school" enlistees. At 23 he was probably the oldest private there.

Zac finally found the building they were looking for and went inside. Moments later they walked back out after being informed that they had to report to the barber for a buzz cut first.

"Dammit, Zac! I completely forgot about the buzz cutting thing." Ike gave a death stare in Zac's direction.

"Well, I wasn't gonna remind you cuz I thought you might back out." He grinned evilly at his older brother.

Isaac threaten that Zac would regret this later. Zac just laughed and opened the door to the room of terror (aka the barber shop).

Zac sat down in the empty chair. Isaac stood still, watching as the tall thin man wrapped a smock around his brothers neck. The electric shaver turned on.

Isaac swallowed hard.

Taylor ran a hand over his freshly buzzed head. Looking into the mirror, he hardly recognized himself. But then again, he should be used to it by now, seeing as how he'd been in the Force for about three years now, since 2001.

Tay had to go through a new training course. It would take about six weeks, but he was looking forward to it. Especially since he'd be working with the fighter jets. He just loved being in and around those machines.

He could already fly a three person cargo plane, but he was looking forward to this new experience. It would be just him and his electronic navigational system and radio contact.

He knew he'd be good.

Present day:

Zac seemed to be of the last people left alive in his infantry. It was dark and rainy. He wondered how much ammunition he had left. A deep breath and he was ready to fight some more. He leaned far out over the trench, trying to find something to hit instead of blindlessly shooting.

Then a bright red pain exploded in his shoulder. Things went black before his eyes.

Zac had passed out.

One week later:

"The war is finally over. All involved countries have signed the peace treaties..." Diana Hanson turned off the television. Her eyes were red and watery.

Walker Hanson walked into the room and saw the condition his wife was in. He hugged her and brought her to bed.

But the three papers still sat on the table.

The first informed the parents of Issac Hanson that he had gone POW MIA. That one came about two weeks ago.

The second told of how Taylor Hanson had taken down many of the enemy before being shot down himself. He also was was MIA seeing as how the plane reckage had never been found. They surmised that it had sunk in the atlantic where they were fighting over.

The third piece of paper notified that Hanson's of Zachary Hanson's death.

a special thanks goes out to kim delphi for coming up with the title! :)