Here it is - The complete Red Alert Story! It is a completely fictitious story written by Gareth Bird. If you want to print or read it offline then download a zipped plain text version of the whole epic stor.

The Red Alert Story.
by Gareth Bird

It was a cold, November night, and whilst the rest of the mountainous Polish town of Dawsal slept, 5 soldiers sat in their hut and discussed the day's news over a beer and a game of cards. The news had been that there was a 'genuine' Soviet threat - the Cold War was well and truly on. Meetings, negotiations and other political arrangements had been taking place for several years, but nothing more than mere words. However, talks had broken down with the deadlock remaining firm, more times than anyone cared to remember. Not since the sudden disappearance of a young Austrian heading a German fascist front had the threat of war been a reality. Not since his alleged death by an unknown assassin, which sparked major riots throughout Central Europe. But that was then, and this was now.

Josef folded from the game and put on his thick coat and gestured to the door. The four others grunted in acknowledgement and carried on. He gulped down his beer and pulling his collar up around his neck, left the hut. He closed the door quickly to stop too much of the swirling snow from blowing in, then turned to Jack Rivers. Jack was the only Briton in this group. In fact, he was the only foreigner at this post. He'd volunteered to go there instead of staying with the rest of his comrades in Tjost. He was part of a huge Allied force located in Eastern Europe, near the border with the Ukraine, whilst the meetings were taken place.

Looking up, he took his hands out of his pockets, stood up straight and saluted. He stared straight ahead, as the snow pelted his eyeballs. He stood in this posture for a few seconds, before Josef smiled, then laughed and gestured for him to relax. He turned and walked around the side of the hut to relieve himself. Jack slowly shuffled his feet, trying to get some life back into them and returned his hands to his pockets. Jack spoke little Polish, and they spoke even less English, but they got on well enough. Josef emerged from around the corner whilst igniting a cigarette, and offered one to Jack. He nodded and was reaching forward to take it when he was interrupted by a Jeep, which drove past, spraying the slushy snow in their direction. He looked up at Josef, sure in his mind that it must have been one of theirs. Josef stared back as a distant rumble became more apparent. Turning to face the noise, a bright light headed along the road. Shielding their eyes, Jack and Josef tried to make out what it was.

Josef turned back and opened the door and called for the others. Jack could now make out two shapes with two spotlights. The rest of the soldiers reluctantly left their game, but Josef insisted that they hurried. Grabbing their coats they ran out. Jack could see them quite clearly now, they were tanks, so he thought, because they had a turret protruding from the front.

Then the Jeep returned from the other direction, and four Soviet soldiers got out. Their senior asked for Josef, and began to explain something. Two of the Allied soldiers started to turn back to the hut, whereupon a Soviet gestured for them to stop, with his gun. It was obvious by their postures that the Soviets were uncomfortable with what they were doing, but had been ordered to do whatever it was they were doing.

By now the tanks had arrived. Jack saw that they were unusual in design in that they were duel turreted but he was more concerned with the several Soviet soldiers who emerged, fully armed. Josef turned to his men and explained the situation as the Soviets approached. Jack couldn't understand what was going on but was told to drop his gun. He complied and was sent inside with Josef to help bring out some papers from a desk. Apart from throwing down his cigarette, he remained calm as he dug out his files and passed them to Jack.

However, things were far from calm outside. What had sparked it, Jack didn't know, but what he did know was that one of his fellow Allied soldiers was down on the floor, clutching his stomach. A row had broken out, whilst the senior Soviet soldier tried to restore some order. Over the roar of the wind, Jack heard another soldier get hit. Josef thrust the remainder of his papers into Jack's hands and stormed out. Jack waited for a few seconds and was about to follow when he heard a gunshot, followed by another.  Then silence. Then an order was shouted, followed by several more gunshots.

Panicking, Jack looked around for a way out. In the open drawer, he saw Josef's pistol. He stuffed the papers into his coat then grabbed the pistol and a few rounds of ammunition. As he heard the sound of bodies being dragged through the snow, he ran into the back room, where he grabbed a first aid pack and a torch. He scanned the room one last time as he heard the soldiers burst into the hut and, satisfied that he could take no more, he dived through the only window and out into the forest behind the hut.

Running through the snow covered trees, he could hear the Soviets' shouts, they were hot on his heels. He was now far from the well lit road so he could see no further than the filtered moonlight would let him. Possibly one hundred yards away, the barks of the Soviet dogs could be heard, and they were gaining. Jack leapt over a rock and pressed himself up against as he flicked on his torch. He fumbled around, but eventually managed to load a few bullets into the pistol. As the hounds approached, he forced himself up and started running down the mountainside. Instinctively, he turned as the dogs came within a few yards of him. The light off his torch reflected against the menacing eyes of his attackers, and fearful of his life, he shot out at them.

The first dog took two bullets in the neck before falling down, and as the second leapt at Jack, he shot it in the gut. Jack kicked it down the mountainside before it got a chance to try again. Catching his breath, Jack waited for a few seconds, until the soldiers above him caught up. Shots rained down around him. In an attempt to mislead his assailants, he threw the torch in the opposite direction and continued to run down the steep, rocky slope. The deep snowdrifts made it hard going, and just as he felt he could run no further, he slipped on an icy rock and fell headlong down the slope.

Jack rolled helplessly over and over, dropping the pistol in the process, before striking his head against a rock, when everything went black.

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