The swooshing sound of the tunnel caught Mac the Tiger off guard. “Killer, you lead the way.”
“Sheesh, I don’t wanna. Let Zooman do it.”
Mike, the “Zooman,” was a giant of a human being; he dwarfed the men around him. His big guns struck fear in everyone he met. “I’m too slow, Kippy, you can do it.”
Kippy was swallowed up in his uniform. His only weapon was carelessly wrapped in leather. “Yeah, why not. I’m gonna kick some…”
“Watch yer language there son.“ An older man walked through the group. “Wait until the smoke screen is laid down, we’ll all go together. Mac, you’re on point.” He held his hand up to silence the tightly packed group of men. “You guys hold it down a second. I don’t want anybody getting killed in this stupid hole.”
“There’s even more of them out there, sir.” Kippy peered though the rubbish at the end of the tunnel.”
“They’re just as scared as you are son. But, remember, they’re just men like us. Oh, they look different, but deep inside, they’re just the same. Their weapons are no greater than ours, but we have a difference here.”
Kippy tipped his helmet back. “Sir, what have we got?”
The older man laughed. “We got you Kippy.”
Kippy kicked the dirt. A rock bounced off of the tunnel wall. Several men ducked. “Yeah, right.” He gulped. "Uh, sir?"
“Really, these other guys are going into the battle." He pointed at the men gathered in the tunnel." Some of them won’t make it all the way. You are going to be behind with me, ready to be," he paused, "maybe, the difference in this war. Just you kid.”
“Yeah a new guy like me, with no real training, sir.”
“Think of it this way. Do you want to risk your life and limb out there on the firing line during the battle? It’s a minefield you know. The enemy wants this skirmish just as much as we do. Technically, we are their roadblock to success in an even greater battle. If we don’t stop them today, then the nation will fall. But, we aren’t going to let that happen. You, Kippy, could be the difference. It’s going to be close, but if all else fails you will have your chance. Keep your weapon oiled, I always say.”
“Like, no pressure huh,” Kippy whispered, then he started to back away.
“Kid, a minute ago you were ready to go into battle on point. To lead the way.”
“Sir. How will I know if and when it’s time for me?”
The older man took a pad from an aide. Then he drew a big “K” on a sheet of paper. “If chaos reigns and you lose sight of me, then look for someone to hold this big letter up in the air. That means you Kippy. Find me then, and if I am still alive, I swear, I will tell you where to go and what I want you to do.”
“Yes, sir. Okay, I’m ready.”
Cannons began to fire and the night sky lit up.
The tunnel roared with anxious energy. Purple smoke covered the entrance.
Under a hail of oranges, the LSU Tigers ran into the Orange Bowl football stadium field. Kippy, the redshirt freshman place-kicker, followed behind with the coaches.
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