My Guardian Angel
The Corporal stood outside the base, searching with his eyes for the one person he wasn't seeing. He scanned the group around him with a critical eye, still a little unsure about what he was doing and why. He was a man in his late twenties but he carried with him an air of authority born though practice and intelligence. He was used to the blood and gore of fighting. The soldiers around him were not.
"Where is that mechanic of mine?" he called loudly and his voice carried far and wide, waking a sleeping sentry and ruffling someone's hair.
A small, timid girl with red hair in a ponytail walked up to him with ease. She was far shorter than him, but she looked ready for battle. Corporal Lomano hoped she would not be in the fighting. Strange that such a girl would end up here, for she looked like a teenager at the most.
"Aye, Aye Sir. Right here," she said quietly, but the Corporal heard.
He scanned the girl critically wondering what in the world she was doing here. "Hello there…ah…mechanic, you seemed to have been assigned most of the work."
The girl smiled pleasant smile. "Hello Sir. My name is Sarah and the only thing I have to do is set up and blow up some dynamite."
Lomano caught himself staring at the teen and averted his gaze. War he was good at, he thought, but teenage girls were another story. "Ahem…well, it's all standard procedure," he mumbled carefully. It would not be good for anyone to know that he didn't trust the kid.
"Aye sir. Is there anything you wish for me to do, sir?" She said carefully in a measured tone, very aware of the situation, but a bit confused about this man. He seemed nice enough, but why was he the one? He wasn't old enough to die.
"Perhaps you wouldn't mind storing the dynamite for now so the guards don't pick it up. Uh…never mind" He spoke briefly, checked his clock, and entered the building. The building looked like a big, gray box, absolutely boring. It was a warehouse with some computers in it and rebel troops.
Inside the main control room darkness was ever present. Sarah climbed in through a small window and took out the dynamite. With an efficient smile she set forth on her task; she placed the dynamite in areas that would light up well and quickly. Once finished she looked at the Corporal with a questioning gaze.
"That shall be it for now Sarah. Now we can hightail it out of here," he looked at the closed and locked door, "Wasn't this supposed to remain unlocked?" He became puzzled, but then thought that he probably was the one to close it.
Sarah shrugged. "I don't know sir, I walked through the window." Sarah walked over to the door, took out a small kit, and began picking the lock.
The Corporal didn't notice at first and mumbled, "How am I supposed to fit through the window? Looks like the high-fat food pills are catching up with me. Well do something!" He looked at Sarah in some amazement. "Looks like you are already on it…erm well done."
Sarah opened the door and smiled to herself. She wasn't trained for handling people, but locks she could manage with. Then she spoke, "You might want to leave sir and rather quickly. The men are waiting over the hill. My orders are to light the fuses once you are out of the building."
The Corporal walked out slowly, and tripped over a loose wire in the hall almost immediately after exiting the room. His crash could be heard throughout the compound and it was the alert to the guards. Sarah came close to him and gently helped him stand up.
Her voice was calm, though she already knew the consequences. "Better hurry sir. Time is a-waistin'."
Lomano stood up and was acutely aware that his ankle was badly twisted. He voiced that thought, fear present in his voice; this was a not a planned thing.
Sarah found a piece of sturdy pipe. "Limp and hurry."
The Corporal tried and limped away with Sarah's words echoing behind him. "I have to light the fuse soon, so better hurry up sir."
Sarah waited until she saw Lomano reach safety of the hill, lit the fuse, and climbed out the window. At first her suit caught and that little stop was long enough. Sarah was barely out the window when the dynamite exploded. The blast was deafening, the ground shook noticeably, and fire rushed out the windows. The door was blasted straight off its hinges. Sarah flew a few feet and almost happily met the ground. Behind her, fires raged and she was suddenly very glad to be alive.
The Corporal saw the guards walking towards Sarah, but he was sure that screaming would get them both killed, so he waited and hoped. After a moment he began crawling towards the guards, careful to be silent. In the end he was behind them, facing Sarah. What now?
Sarah groaned and stood up. A gun was pointing at her and a very angry guard scowled rather unhappily. "Is this hell?" she whispered.
Lomano saw his mechanic and nearly panicked. I'll have to shoot but one inch to the left and it's her I shoot.
Sarah saw the Corporal, caught hie eye. I hope you are good or it's my life that's going to end. In one movement she kicked the guard in the stomach and ducked. Lomano fired and made a hole in the guard's head.
He IS good, Sarah thought and ran to the Corporal. Her feet didn't like the idea and she went tumbling again. Lomano dragged her over to the bushes and sat down on the ground beside her.
"Are you alright?" he asked. He too was still a bit shaky, but the scenery was nice, minus the burning warehouse.
"I'll live but there were other guards. How's your ankle?" Sarah asked, searching his face for a clue as to what he felt. It was important that she knew. Her suit was burned in places, and so was small part of her back, but otherwise she was alright.
"I thinks it's twisted pretty badly, but this is the easy part. We wait for reinforcements."
Sarah took Lomano's leg, tore a strip of her shirt, and bandaged over the ankle, locking it in place. Again the thought returned. Why is he here? It isn't his time.
"Wow, you're good with your hands." Lomano said, trying very hard not to stare at her torn shirt. "When we come back, remind me to make you my wife."
Sarah shrugged. "I can't. I am sorry. I've people to take care of."
Lomano was heartbroken and Sarah was aware of that. Rather she knew that saying no now would save them both later. "Say, that leg is alright to walk on then?" He asked carefully
"Yeah sure, with the pipe. Say, you look sad. Can I help any?"
The Corporal looked at her carefully weighting the odds and shrugged, shaking his head. "I've an old score to settle."
Lomano left and Sarah followed thinking when am I going to learn? He walked out of the bushes shouting "CHARGE" Then, by his own description, he ran around like a headless chicken looking for guards to fight. "I've got you now, you little scum. Come out and have some of me."
Sarah became scared suddenly, all of her growing cold at one, when she saw the guards at the back of the building, refilling their weapons. Behind them stood gasoline tanks. Carefully she got as close to Lomano as she could. He noticed her then.
"Go home Sarah. This is no place for a mechanic with 'people to take care of.'" His voice was sad somehow, but Sarah couldn't figure it out at the moment. She really didn't have time. Thankfully Lomano whispered
"The guards are behind the building, refilling their guns. And sir, I knew the risks when I signed up." Her voice was full of pride. She knew where she was and what the odds were of survival. She came here for a reason and he was it.
"I won't let you do this. You've your whole life ahead. Think of what you're doing." This was scaring him badly, but he would never admit it.
"You don't have a choice sir. They are firing. DUCK." The Corporal ducked and so did Sarah. There wasn't much of a choice there but Sarah saw a way out. Somehow, deep inside, she knew it was going to come to this, but then there were a lot of things she knew: didn't help any.
"So miss bright ideas…how do you suppose we get them?" Lomano asked. He was being sarcastic. He never expected an answer, and one so clear as this.
"I march forward and they shoot, since they assume there is only one person. While that, you aim at the tanks. They go up in smoke and take the guards with them." She smiled at the idea, rather sadly. These were lives lost. She hoped that someone would listen to their prayers.
"You'll never survive." Lomano was up to arguing.
"I'll duck." Sarah wasn't.
Lomano thought for a moment. "Take my uniform, it'll help protect you."
"Okay sir." Sarah put on the uniform and rolled up the sleeves. The uniform was dark green and rather comfy, though a bit big for her.
"Make sure you come back alive Sarah. That's an order." Lomano saw the possibilities of her not coming back, and they weren't pretty.
"YES SIR." Sarah crawled few feet away and stood up, nearly waiving her hands. She guessed they needed incentive to fire. The guards looked up, saw Sarah, wondered if she was rather crazy and shot. Sarah ducked or more accurately fell. All but one shot missed.
Lomano lay hidden and with great accuracy he fired at the tanks which exploded to high heaven. Like a little bomb, the fire shot up into the sky and then in all directions too. The sound might as well have been the end of the world. The guards flew up and bodies were lying everywhere. He saw Sarah fall and his heart nearly stopped. He ran to her as fast as he could manage.
"Where were you hit?" Lomano asked in fear.
Sarah was lying down but smiling. "Nice fireworks. The leg sir. I'll live."
He sighed. "When I saw you fall I thought you were a goner, for sure." His fears calmed, but some other feeling came up. This kid was here with the right words and actions to make sure they both lived. Was she special?
"I was supposed to duck, just didn't expect to meet the ground so hard and so fast." She smiled again and if she had any strength she would have hugged him. Moron, she chided herself.
Lomano frowned. "The blast did something to my ears. Can't hear a thing."
Sarah dug in the pockets of his suit and found some paper. She wrote something on it and stuck it back in, absentmindedly. The reinforcements were here, late as usual. There were a lot of people, but the impression remained that only a few knew how to handle a gun and even less were aware of what to do with themselves.
Lomano had a talk with the Sergeant. Sarah stood up experimentally with Lomano's support. Her leg wasn't too steady, but it would suffice for now.
"Not too bad for a hurt leg. Thanks." She smiled and then frowned about something. Lomano saw, but he didn't ask.
"You are a brave woman," he said gently, with a lot of emotion, "lesser women would have been afraid of breaking a nail." He felt so proud for a moment and he wasn't totally sure why. It was her job, but somehow he felt that it was an accomplishment.
"Like I said sir, I knew what I signed up for. Are you going to stick around to watch them clean up?" She laughed wondering how long it would take to get the head out of the tree.
"No." Lomano shook his head. "You know we're going to win this war because of people like you."
Sarah blushed dark red. "All I did was blow up a building and make a fool of myself."
Lomano laughed, a pleasant sound. "Make a fool you say. You risked your life for your Corporal."
Sarah smiled slightly. "We succeeded at high cost."
"Yes. And now we must sit in the sidelines." He was a bit amazed that the girl was walking and talking so sanely considering all that happened. She seemed in reverie for a moment, then she snapped out and smiled.
"I am still up for another term." She spoke and Lomano shook his head.
"Not with that leg," he whispered.
Sarah laughed, eyes shining. "Want to see?"
"If I must."
Sarah sat down on the ground and peeled the leg part of the suit off. The wound was red, but not bleeding badly. "Close your eyes and count to three."
Lomano did and opened his eyes to a nearly healed leg. It was till raw but the would was closed tight. Sarah looked at him, expecting revulsion. None came.
"I'll be up and walking tomorrow. Show me your leg."
Lomano obeyed quietly. He wasn't sure as to what to think. Sarah put her hands over the ankle and searched, found. She urged muscles to relax and reinforced the idea that they must heal, now. Lomano looked at his leg. He felt heat there and comfort, and now even the pain was gone.
"Now try walking," Sarah said patiently.
Lomano walked around in a circle. A bit wobbly but nothing hurt. "I am speechless."
"Come on. We've got to hurry." Sarah said and Lomano had to nearly run after her. For a hurt kid she was fast, but he could still see the limp.
"Who are you? What are you?" he asked, still a bit freaked out. He took a few deep breaths and calmed himself. She had saved him, so why freak out?
Sarah just shrugged. "I am Sarah and I have a gift." She had always wanted to talk about it but not under such circumstances. He was the one, but would he believe?
"How long have you had it?" he wondered almost unsure that that she was Sarah.
"Forever. That's why I said I had people to take care of." Any hurt person and I am there, she considered, will he really want that?
Lomano had one last question. "What did you write on that paper?"
Sarah looked at him with more love then could fit in any number of words. "I wrote that I would love to spend my life with you." The sun shone brighter, the grass was greener, and all was suddenly well.
Lomano gasped, "Really?"
Sarah nodded and hugged him tightly. This was heaven on earth and real heaven could just about wait.
Lomano thought what a girl? She saves my life, heals my ankle, and mends my heart. For all I know she could be my guardian angel.
Sarah smiled and whistled. He guesses but he'll never believe.
Hand in hand, they entered the Helicopter. Hand in hand…life and death