Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

orange swatch— Jack doesn’t like the road ahead. He calls for the column to halt but a moment later, things get hairy. —

As Carla rumbled over the bridge Jack yelled:
“Stop!”
“What is it Jack?” Sprouts yelled back, when the tank had stopped.
“I don’t like it,” Jack replied. “It’s too quiet. No horses, no cows, no cars or wagons, no birds. Pull over Lucky! Get on the radi-…”
A flash of light caught his eye, straight ahead. He ducked, slamming the hatch closed and yelling, “Incomin- … !”
The tank rocked with the impact of an armour penetrating round. Everybody’s eyes closed, expecting their life to be snuffed out. A moment later they heard a ‘clang’ some way behind Carla, an explosion to their right, and the tank stopped rocking.
“What the fuck happened!” somebody yelled.
“Turn the tank Lucky!” Jack yelled.
The crew was as well-oiled as any crew in the US Army, so Lucky responded without thinking. The tank began to pirouette to the right, Lucky reversing one set of tracks and pushing the other forward as hard as he could.
“What the hell are you doin’?” Sprouts yelled.
Carla had almost turned round completely when they heard the whistle of another incoming round. An instant later, they were rocked again, but during that instant, Lucky had stamped on the throttle pedal and the tank had lurched ahead about six feet. Something smashed into the rear, right corner of the tank and explode, sending hot shards of metal into the main compartment. None hit the men. Carla continued to roll forward.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

orange swatch— Dawn. Pressburger briefs the tank commanders before the tanks begin to roll into Czechoslovakia. —

Dawn didn’t so much break, as inveigle its way into the darkness. Thick fog caused drops of ice cold water to drip off everything, soaking the Sherman engines’ spark plugs and making them reluctant to start. But now the steady rumble of the V8s in the gaseous Hades between silent trees added a hypnotic quality, which soothed the crews. The pre-dawn briefing didn’t start well for Jack:
“Merriweather, that’s the third time you have gone AWOL under my command,” Pressburger bellowed, throwing down a wad of maps. “If you weren’t the best tank crew I have, you would be up for Courts Marshal. Just once more and … .” He left the consequences hanging.
Jack noticed the tent canvas seem to shimmer, as if it wasn’t quite there. Then he found he couldn’t remember what the man had just been saying to him.
“You listening to me Merriweather?”
“Yes sir.”
The other five tank commanders, the last left in the 4th Armored Division’s 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, glanced at Jack, but he stared ahead, stone-faced.
“Now, down to business,” Pressburger continued. He rolled out a large map on a table and stuck his finger onto a black spider. “This here, is Pilsen. That’s where we’re going. Patton just got the go-ahead from Eisenhower and Bradley to invade Czechoslovakia. But we’re not to go beyond Pilsen. Why Pilsen?”

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Today’s News in: Rip – Find the Magic Key

orange swatch— Spring, 1947. Jack goes AWOL and gets up to his old tricks. Their Sherman tank, Carla , takes a break. —

“Don’t move!” Tom whispered in German, while holding his knife blade to the girl’s throat.
“But my brother will hear us!” she hissed back, struggling to escape his grip.
Tom squeezed her neck so tightly that she couldn’t breathe properly and her voice rasped.
“You know what I want?” he murmured.
“Yes. I won’t struggle or scream, if you let me go.”
He felt her tremble, but also the sound of effort in her voice, as if she were trying to hold back an urge that he knew all women couldn’t resist. It excited him.
The day had started quietly:
“All crews to stay in bunks, and that is an order! O-ffi-cial blanket drill!” Above the moans of the four tank crews in the tent, the corporal continued under his breath, “Scuttlebutt is; the next is the last action. After that, it’s home to your sweet-hearts fellas!”
“Brindley, you ninety-day wonder,” somebody shouted. “Why the fuck didn’t you let us get an extra hour instead of waking us then? Asshole!”
“You know what that means? No battle breakfast!” shouted somebody else.
“Sheet!” Deak added. “K–rations! That means biscuits and black coffee! Hardly ambrosia for the gods of death, is it?”
When they finally staggered out of the tent in their camp near ten miles from the Czech border, Lieutenant Tom “Jack,” Mayflower-Merriweather finished shaving and waited for his crew.

Rip-Find the Magic Key: 2nd longest Western novel at 1 M+ words. Subscribe bit.ly/LazloFerran | Buy Vol 1 bit.ly/ripvol1 | Understand more bit.ly/inforip