When we get back to the encampment, I can see fighting going all around. Rebel soldiers in District 13 uniforms are assaulting the encampment, and peacekeepers are fighting to repel them.
On one hand, we are behind the rebels. On the other hand, we returning ambushers are few enough in number for an assault from behind to be risky.
I give a quick speech. "Soldiers, if we act carefully we can take the Rebs by surprise."
They nod in agreement, and we sneak up to the rebel line. Once we are close enough (I'm surprised they did not notice us yet), we all throw our grenades at once. Before the grenades even land, we open fire on the Rebs. They turn around and take cover right where the grenades land.
A series of explosions erupt from the rebel line, and most of them are killed. The few survivors throw their weapons down in surrender.
"We give up! We give up!"
A peacekeeper from the defenders side approaches the Rebs, he is holding two combat knives.
The five Rebs line up in front of him.
Using one of his two knives, he very quickly stabs one one rebel in the throat. He then uses the other knife to slit the throat of the next Reb, then he partially decapitates the third by stabbing his spinal cord. This was all before any of us can react.
Next the last Reb tries to run; he gets a knife in the back.
We back away in shock from the peacekeeper. What just happened has not yet sunk in, so there was not enough time to be horrified.
Holding his two bloodied knives nonchalantly, he explains himself. His voice reveals himself to be Harod.
"I didn't trust them."
Before I can say anything, another peacekeeper runs up to us.
"This side is secure, but we need you to reinforce the far side. There is a bigger rebel force over there."
Completely forgetting what just happened, we all run to the far side of the encampment.
The rebels there are fighting fiercely, as are the Peacekeepers.
However, it seems that just a few extra men can tip the balance. We take up positions, and fire our guns.
The Rebs will pop up from their cover just long enough to fire at us; sometimes we are able to hit them.
I am so busy firing at them that I do no notice the rebel who fires his machine gun directly at me. Fortunately, Harod does.
After the rattle dies down, indicating that the rebel also died, I thank Harod for pulling me to the ground and out of the way of the gunfire.
We fight some more, and the day gets late. Soon the Rebs run out of patience; the entire rebel battalion charges our position.
While most of us are low on ammo, we have bayonets. Standing behind the sandbag walls, we spear and club and stab at the rebels. One rebel soldier tries jumping at me from the side with a knife; I swing my bayonet to the left and spill his guts. Another tries activating a grenade at me from close range, and again Harod saves my life by knocking it out of the rebel's hands with the but of his gun. Again, I thank him.
The grenade bounces into the ranks of the rebels, killing many of them.
We are fighting, and it is not until reinforcements from another part of the encampment arrive that we can drive the Rebs back.
The reinforcements fire at the Rebs until it is clear that they are running away in panic.
Then Harod reloads his gun.
Pointing at the fleeing enemy, he unloads his machine gun into their backs and their legs. It echos through the otherwise quiet clearing, and soon Harod starts to scream as he cuts down the fleeing and currently harmless enemies.
"I'll kill every last one of you! I hate you! I HATE YOU!"
This time I am able to react. The first thing I do is nod to the others to guard us so the Rebs don't attack while I'm distracted. Walking up to Harod, I rip the machine gun from his hands.
"Harod, you need to stop."
"NO! I WONT STOP UNTIL EVERY MURDERING REB IS WIPED OUT!"
He tried to pull his machine gun out of my hands, but push him back. Throwing his gun on the ground behind me, I grab him by the shoulders and shake me.
"Harod, you have to snap out of it. You're letting your desire for revenge driving you crazy. Would Anna want you to be stabbing POWs? Would she want you to let yourself turn into someone else?"
Harod breaths in, and I brace myself for his probably furious rebuttal. That's not what happened.
Letting out a loud wail he began to sob, much in the way that a baby sobs. I am in no way insulting him; it is simply a statement that he probably feels helpless. I hold out my arms, and when he hugs me and sobs on my shoulder I hug him back.
While he sobs and wails, I simply provide support.
"Shhh shhhh. Its okey, we're gonna help you get through this. We're your friends: we'll always be here for you."
He is sobbing, and I provide the comfort and friendship he so desperately needs.
I do not notice that one of the Rebs, one who was injured during the hand-to-hand combat, has pulled out his pistol.
At first, all I notice is a loud bang sound.
Harod's body falls limp.
While one of the other peacekeepers runs up to the injured yet murderous rebel and uses the butt of a gun to bash his head into a paste, I lay Harod on the ground.
Gingerly I take off his helmet, then my own. I hold his hand, and he has enough time to look into my eyes before they grow dull. His hair is matted with sweat, his face is stained with tears, and his skin is pale. This is the last time I am ever going to see my friend.
Now it is my turn to cry.