Friday, September 17th, 2210GMT

There was an attack today. The alarms sounded off during the morning push into the office around 1300GMT (0900EDT). Geoff and I were standing guard at the stairwell door with our knives and batons at the ready. I could hear rounds being exchanged back and forth across the parking lot. The radio sounded like we were listening to five talk shows at once. A short series of alarm wailing sounded off signaling that someone had hit the gas-in-use alert. Me and Geoff hadn't yet gone through gas training and had no masks. I thought it wouldn't matter because we were inside, but I was wrong.

All of the sudden a lot of yelling came over the radio. It was a good thing that I decided to pay attention, because the SL called us out to the battle. We exited the side doors of the building. There was a wall that ran up to the parking lot driveway so we had cover. I'm not sure how it happened, but I just automatically assumed leadership of our small fire team. I told Geoff to stay behind me and listen for my commands. Peaking around the wall I could see the squad circled around someone that was laying on the ground. One of them motioned me over. I hesitated for a second because of the cloud of gas that was hovering around them. Eventually I remembered that it couldn't be lethal (it is illegal to use lethal gas) so I ran up to the group.

One of the fire team leaders motioned at the motionless body and yelled, "Carry him around the side of that wall you just came from so the doc can fix 'em!" Geoff hooked the casualty's arms and I picked up his legs. The fire team leader chimed back in over radio, "You may want to move faster. Hostiles are still working there way in." I think we made it back to the wall carrying a body faster then we made it from the wall to the group without one. We took off his helmet and body armor. Both were bright red as per the government's separation of civilian and security forces policy. Civilians could wear blue body armor to help them feel safer if the felt inclined. Every class started with us repeating after the instructor, "No shooty blue."

After removing his face mask I realized that I knew this guy. Yuri House. We knew one another in high school. He was a grade below me, but we hung out in the same crowd. He was a good kid. All I could think was what in the hell was this guy doing here? I must have said it out loud because he let out a short gasp and replied, "The wife is pregnant. Want to make a good life." I grabbed his hand and told him who I was and that everything would be okay. He smiled and said, "Oh hell man. I didn't know. I was hit by a flash-bang so I can't see very well." He coughed hard. No blood came out of his mouth. No blood is a good sign when they cough like that.

Someone came bolting around the wall. I jumped up with knife and baton at the ready. The person stopped and I heard the radio click on. A female Russian accent came over the speaker, "Good reflex. Now get the hell out of my way before I shoot you!" I moved and looked back at Yuri. I must have zoned out for a while after I realized who he was because Geoff had since dressed some of his bullet wounds. The SM looked up at me while she was working on saving Yuri's life and said quietly, "Go get a litter (flexible body board) and get a TS set for a hospital run."

Luckily the Transportation Specialists wait for orders near the medical closet. I grabbed a litter and reported the situation to the lead TS. A young girl, probably just barely eighteen grabbed some keys and followed me. After loading Yuri into the SUV I was about to hop in when the SM stopped me. She must have been able to see the concern in my face. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "He's going to be fine." I'm not sure why but it made me feel a little better. She then pulled me closer and said, "I need you to do something for me. The LRS on the 7th floor of the parking garage was KIA. Go grab his ID tags and equipment and bring it to the PS.

When I made it to the LRS I almost broke down. He looked peaceful; almost smiling with a small red hole in his forehead. I bent down to grab his gear and heard a strange whizzing sound. The concrete wall about 10 meters behind me had a small chunk blown off by a sniper round! I was getting shot at! The attackers must have a very skilled sniper. I looked at the LRS. I forced all thoughts of family and friends out of my mind and took off with his gear. I made my way to the office of the PS.

He was hanging up the phone when I went in. He motioned to a chair, "Put his gear over there."
I complied.
"Did you get his ID tags?" I pulled them out of my pocket and held them up.
He held out his hand, "Great work. I'll take it from here." I put the tags in his hand and turned to walk out.
"Hey trainee. Congratulations on making it past your first fight," he said.
"Thank you sergeant. I look forward to being able to fire back," I replied. He grinned.

The battle only lasted a few more minutes. There were no more casualties on our side. I also heard that Yuri is going to make a full recovery.

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