In a morning where the sunlight is blocked by a thick layer of haze, we are trapped in a tiny oasis. All of us are exhausted, speechless. The soldier next to me takes out his most precious -- also the very last cigarette. It takes him some time to light it up as his hands keep on shaking. This is against the rule. But after the fight happened last night, we only have few of our men left, we were on the edge of collapse. No one can tell if we can survive till next day.
Three weeks ago, our whole infantry unit, 15 of us were deployed to the desert area in an emergency. My commander told us that the intelligence found the military camp of Soil Ghosts and the Soil Ghosts were planning an attack to us. We then arrived the desert area but was not merged to the Team 88 there, and we received no orders from Team 88. We were being kept in a container awaiting for further instructions. What made things weird was that Team 88 was not allowed to make any contact with us. We have been feeling nervous since then, and the "imprisonment" has made us more tense. After I noticed that some of our men became very hyper after having the meat dishes in the dinner so I tried to avoid eating them to keep myself awake. At first I thought it was a type of endurance training, but after weeks, I started to suspect if it's a punishment instead. But why? What's wrong with our unit? I asked myself but could not think of any. I didn't know some of the men here, I joined the unit at Zamai, at that time the Old Man was still there. But if things were related to the Old Man, I have a better clue now. After the death of the Old man, a group of senior commanders searched our place thoroughly. It looked like they were checking if anything left by the dead so to pass them to his family. Now I guess they might be searching for the notebook which was now in my hands, as the notes were written with code.
When I was figuring out the relationship of all these, there came the voice of the commander, telling us the Soil Ghosts would launch a full scale attack and we have to preempt it. We were given a big feast then pushed to a truck without being given further details. What worried me was that some of us showed utmost excitement to the coming action, instead of the nervousness and the cautiousness we usually have before any military action. Then we arrived an unknown place in a complete darkness, we then heard some gunshots and our men at the front fired back like crazy. A few of our men including me stayed at the back awaiting for further commands anxiously but did not hear any. As the dawn set in so we moved forward to see what happened. I saw bodies of children, elderly and women all over the place. Our soldiers were all stained with the blood of these innocent people. It was not the military camp of the Soil Ghosts! It was the village which lived the civilians of the Soil Ghosts!
When I was thrown in deep shock, other soldiers who have fired started to scream with madness, some of them could not stand it and shot themselves to death. In a complete chaos, the militants of the Soil Ghosts arrived, seeing the devastating scene, they attacked us with no reservation using all their gun power. We tried to retreat but found that our commander and the truck were all gone. We were in complete isolation! After making a hard resist, only a few of us managed to flee away to an oasis.
Even get trapped in the oasis, I cannot help to ponder on what has happened all through. Is it related to my attempt to send the letter to King, if yes, why other soldiers were targeted? We are a group of soldiers mean to protect our country only, not to kill innocent people. Who set us up? Why they have to do it? Suddenly there is a sound at the back and when I turn back, I see a dark shade in front of me and I am struck down and fall into unconsciousness.