He gazed at the concrete wall in front of him, lost in his thoughts. Shouts could be heard outside, further away the still distant thunder-like sounds.
My platoon has been pointed out to be sent to Japan; I'll arrive in Iwo Jima to fight soon.
His hands trembled and made it hard to continue reading the letter. But it didn't really matter, because he had already memorized it all, though the mail had been handed out less than an hour ago.
What he longed for, and feared the most, seemed to come true. This should not happen, not like this.
A beeping noise followed by clicks disturbed his worries, and everyone's attention turned to Souta, their decoder. A message from the headquarters. Silent waiting.
Souta handed the little piece of paper to Captain Ito, whose eyes moved from side to side in his expressionless face, quickly sucking in the information, before he looked up and glanced at every soldier's face.
"They are here," Ito said. "Find your weapons and get ready."
He folded the letter together fast and put it in the envelope reading his name - Yamazaki Keisuke - then tucked the envelope down his pocket, found his gun and got into line with the others.
"Everyone ready? Good, let's -…" Captain Ito was cut off by a loud bang that shook the whole bunker and made them stumble. Indeed, the enemy was here.
Without any commands, they knew it was time and what to do. Grapping their weapons - guns, grenades, even knifes - tightly, they stormed out.
The air was filled with grey dust that blinded them, their ears got deafened by the rumbling from explosions, yet no one hesitated.
They ran and shot, ducked and rolled, in chaotic, though still smooth movements.
When a comrade fell, they stepped over him without a second glance, there was no time for sorrow. Instead they immediately took revenge, watching with cold pleasure how their bullets hit their target, making the grey shadows without faces and names fall.
A few times, while running past the fallen ones, he thought some of the Americans looked familiar, and it took his breath away. First when he got close enough to see the face, his lungs once again allowed themselves to get filled with the dusty air, and he continued.
They were unstoppable, despite being greatly outnumbered, a fiery force fighting for their home and honour.
The coast quickly got nearer as they crossed over a hill and saw the boats with American soldiers, which they attacked before the enemy had even sat a single foot on dry land.
But things turned from good to bad, when a bullet pierced its way into the head of Captain Ito.
A shiver ran through them, making them lose focus. And they paid highly.
Within minutes half the team was gone, a few had run back to safety, but most of them killed.
He avoided a grenade, but it blew up so close by that the air pressure pushed him several feet to the side.
The gun got ripped out of his hand and his helmet fell off, causing him to almost pass out when his head hit the ground.
Laying there, feeling the earth beneath him tremble and faintly sensing the thunder from weapons, he allowed himself to relax and think back on a time before all this.
A peaceful time, a happy time. A time where honey-brown eyes met his, where laughter got mixed with his, where strong lips brushed against his. A time he longed for and fought for.
With new power he got up and rubbed his eyes, trying to get the dust and dirt out, so that it would be easier to see. Despite this he couldn't find his gun and instead pulled out his knife from his belt.
Looking more around, he realized that he had fallen into a trench and had to crawl up to get anywhere.
Once up he saw a shadow standing with the back turned toward him.
Sneaking closer, the sounds from the guns had become strangely toned down, the shadow got clearer. It was an American. He tensed his whole body, ready to kill fast.
But just as he was about to jump forward and stick his knife deep into the other's back, the American turned around.
Honey-brown eyes stared into his, and the knife dropped out of his hand and fell to the ground.
"Keisuke!" Oh, how he had missed that voice!
His attack to kill transformed into an embrace. Firm arms held him tightly, the familiar feeling of warmth and security rushed through his body.
That's when a gunshot stood out from the rest.