‘It is 2am sir’ Sgt Philip alerted Achor. He had been told to watch the time. Achor stood up with such agility like he had not been lying down a few seconds back, and as he stood the rest of the soldiers in his platoon stood also. They were to crawl on their bellies while only one man, the man with the binoculars, stood occasionally to view their destination. That was Lt Rikan. They had been split into three groups. Captain Achor would lead a team of six to the tent of the enemy captain as he had done alone once, six of his sleekest men, of whom Faraj was among, and would abduct him while killing every other person stealthily with a knife or a blow or a twisting of the jugular. Whichever way the killings were going to be done, they had to be done stealthily. Lt Rikan oversaw the whole attack. Sgt Philip led the other group of boys. They were going to cause an explosion somewhere a little distant from the camp and melt into hiding immediately after they got a success signal from their Captain’s team. In the chaos of the explosion, Sgt Mbika’s led boys would dissolve into the camp of the Salamandine forces pretending to be one of them and quickly recover some weapons, mainly explosives. It was dark and no one would notice their faces. By the time Sgt Philip’s team begins to shoot from the dark bush, and the enemy forces start retracting, Sgt Mbika’s team would have left and planted the battery bomb they recovered or any explosive at all inside the camp were they rested and Captain Achor would have successfully abducted their man. At the sound of the blast in the camp, Sgt Philip’s team would take the back route of the bush and return to their hiding position to defend any surging enemy army and possibly rally the other platoons to action while Captain Achor and his boys would melt away into the blues with the enemy captain. That was the part of the plan they hadn’t calculated well. Their captain would not be able to come back through the whole messy shooting and explosions and make it alive to their hideout for sure, but he couldn’t remain in the enemy controlled camp after abducting their captain either. Lt Rikan was to keep an eye on the Captain’s team from the tall tree he climbed when offences peaked, but he lost them in the middle of the whole chaos, explosions and shooting. The Salamandine forces had rushed out like lambs to the slaughter at that first explosion in search of safe havens in the nearby bushes, some not even with their weapons. They were as predictable as Achor had said. Sgt Philip’s team of eight brought down about thirty of them before they were out of their sight as they turned around and retreated to the camp. Just a few escaped. The battery bomb that Sgt Mbika’s team set up claimed much more lives but they had not completely left the scene before the shaky Corporal Jonathan had detonated. Four of their men had charred too in process and three sustained bad burns, but it was at least worth it. The Salamandine soldiers died in hundreds. Those that were propelled by adrenaline and ran out of the camp for safety at the first explosion and were returning from Sgt Philip’s ambush and those that had remained in the camp either for fear or for battle all got charred. The icing of the cake was when the other platoons got excited and began to open fire on anything that moved through smoke. Who didn’t like to join the winning team?

The counterattack was successful. The camp was not necessarily recovered, but was rather destroyed, destroyed along with the enemy forces. Some Salamandine soldiers escaped with their vehicles most likely to give situation report, majority died. The death toll that night alone was over three hundred men, with only thirteen of them from Rockville. The only thing that was wrong was that Captain Achor and his team did not return. Not that their immediate return was expected, they were expected to go into hiding for a while, but not after two to three days after the counterattack. They captured the enemy captain quite alright and had signalled Lt Rikan. What could possibly have gone wrong? What kept them from returning? Of the six man team he took with him, none returned. They all knew reinforcement was coming and they all knew the Salamandine forces would be back very soon. The battle for Lumpur was far from over and Captain Achor was missing.



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