The Sabre

The Sabre
Abel Neto

DECEMBER 1914

Treading through the high, misty mountains that were covered in a white mantle, a squad of war heroes made their way up to the cabin, carrying wounded comrades on their backs. With refuge close, Lieutenant Tolmeron was sure that he and the team of experienced warriors would make it with no more casualties.

The mercury was falling lower on his thermometer, already on five degrees or thereabouts. The squad consisted of 21 ground troops, experts in combat, absolutely patriots for their country. Each one was equipped with a Sabre, heavy but manoeuvrable 3cm thick swords with large hand guards to protect their wrists. They all needed full head masks, available in their rucksacks, carrying small pistols strapped onto their belts.

Ahead a wooden cabin was in sight, only about thirty metres in front, motivating everyone to speed up their pace. The door slammed itself, stretching its hinges.

Brr…so cold inside, spacious, where the soldiers arranged all the beds in one place, placing each already-healing body on a separate bed, dressing and bandaging the wounds. They were lucky, they knew that. The snowstorm had begun its fury, raging winds that threw anything in its path, blinding any human who attempted bypass it.

“Just in time, folks! Another half an hour and we would have been finished for good” – started the Lieutenant. “Never give up. Any man left behind, is a man lost. How good is a comrade who gives a man’s life up for himself? A warrior who wants to fight, strong and courageous to whom isn’t given a second chance?”

Sighs were heard around the room. Tolmeron was reminded of his squad’s defeat earlier that month.
The German tanks and cavalry had forced them out of France into Switzerland, but though outnumbered, his men acted swiftly on the new German technology. They slashed through men with metallic muskets on horses, surrounding tanks and blowing them up with nothing more than revolvers. It seemed a bit ironic that a single elite squad armed only with revolvers and swords could out-skill giant gun-machines on wheels.

Lieutenant Tolmeron was a reference figure for the Allied Forces, a master strategist who played major battles, winning against the odds. Darkness was falling fast, whilst two soldiers ran around the cabin, closing the curtains and lighting candles. The Lieutenant looked at his fellow recruits on the ten beds that had been set out. They were recuperating well.

One was looking at him, having a tear in his eye. Tolmeron smiled, as he knew that Thomas Watt would have died out there in the cold, his wounds would have frozen… It was the Lieutenant’s duty and honour to save him, even under heavy fire.

Something outside caught his eye. A paratrooper, maybe? Yes, a lot of them. Tolmeron blew out all the candles, signalled to his men to charge out – “Now!”

 

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