I Believe

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Welcome Part 1

Doug fires a M203 round at the bear. The round hits the bear dead center in the chest creating a large hole. The bear collapses to the ground dead. Katrina tries to stand up thinking that it is over. Suddenly, she hears a whistling sound coming from the bear. Katrina looks at the bear and sees smoke coming from inside the Bear’s chest. Doug doesn’t hear the whistling or see the smoke until he sees Katrina looking at it. He immediately knows what’s about to happen.

“FIRE IN THE HOLE!” Doug yells.

Doug rushes to Katrina and covers her with his body. Everyone takes off running in opposite directions. All of the sudden the bear explodes into pieces. The explosion is so big and powerful that it that knocks Katrina and Doug several feet back. The blast comes close to knocking Katrina unconscious. When Katrina regains consciousness she is dazed and confused. Katrina lies there for what seem likes forever. She tries to move but finds it difficult and painful. The blast rattled her pretty good. Katrina shakes the dizziness and confusion from her head. The shockwave from the explosion was so powerful that Katrina throws up when she tries to move.

“Katrina, are you okay?” Zathora shouts.

Zathora kneels down and helps Katrina sit up. Lady is following right behind her. Katrina sees a bruise on Zathora’s face from the hit she took from the bear. It is a deep gash but nothing a few stitches won’t fix.

“Yeah, I am fine, just give me a minute.” Katrina says.

Katrina rolls over on her side and tries to stand but can’t. The cut on her leg is painful. Just looking at it makes her sick. She can almost see the bone. Katrina manages to get on her knees and hands. She looks for Doug and finds him a few feet away. He is not moving. Katrina tries to get up and walk over to him but the injury to her leg makes it almost impossible.

“Help me up Zathora.”

“Sure, no problem”

Zathora easily lifts Katrina up. She basically carries Katrina over to Doug. Katrina has to put her pride behind her. She likes being independent. Zathora helps Katrina walk over to Doug who has not moved yet.

Doug coughs himself awake. He feels the pain from the grenade’s blast wave. Since he was covering Katrina he received a lot more of the blast than she did. Doug feels the pain from the shock wave in his chest. It feels like his insides are vibrating. This is not the first time he’s to be this close to an explosion. But it will still take a few minutes before he is able to think straight. There is the taste of blood in his mouth. Doug turns and spits the blood on the ground.

“You ok” Katrina shouts at him.

Doug can barely hear anything Katrina says. His ears are still ringing from the explosion. It sounds like someone is continuously blowing a whistle. It’s making his headache hurt even more than it already is. Doug doesn’t reply immediately. He shakes his head to clear his thoughts.

“Did you hear me? I said are you alright?” Katrina shouts again.

“I’m alright” Doug shouts back. “I’ve been a lot worse than this.”

“Seriously, what can be worse than this?”

“You’d be surprised. Do you have any water with ya?”

Katrina tosses Doug her canteen. Doug takes a long drink. He hands it back to Katrina who also takes a sip.

“What is that you said to the bear before you shot it?” Katrina asks.

“Goodbye go with God.”

“Why did you say that?”

“I felt like it.”

Doug takes out his cigarette box. He takes one out and reaches for his lighter. But he sees a small spark only a foot from him. Doug reaches over and lights the cigarette. He puts it in his mouth, takes a long inhale, and then slowly and painfully gets up. Doug tries to get up but the pain is slowing him down. His muscles also absorbed a lot of the shock wave. As a result his muscles are stiff.

“So you got a name?” Katrina asks.

“Doug, but everyone calls me Cobra. So what’s your name?”

“Katrina”

“That’s a pretty name.” Doug replies.

Katrina turns her head so Doug doesn’t see her blush. He sees her blush anyway. Doug turns and sees Roger, Shawn, Frank, Jake, Corporal, Charles, John, and Nick running towards him. They all look exhausted and covered in blood and dirt, some it is their blood. Charles is especially slow because of all the cuts he received from the wolves. Roger helps Doug up. He picks up Doug’s glasses since they are knocked off his face. He hands to Doug who whips off the dust and puts them back on his face. Out of the corner of his eye, Doug saw the oldest Dog running to Katrina.

“What happened to you Katrina?”

“One of the bears got me Judas, but Doug here saved my life. Katrina answers as she points at Doug. “But right now I am more worried about Lucas.”

“Okay, but let’s get you fixed first.” Judas answers.

“I don’t thinks that a good idea.” Doug responds.

“I was not talking to you.”

“Lucas may die before we get finished with me.” Katrina shouts at Judas.

Judas sighs and shakes his head.

“Okay just hurry up.”

Charles, the medic, immediately starts on Lucas. He calls on Roger, Frank, and Zathora to help him. While Charles works on Lucas Doug starts with Katrina’s leg. Judas almost doesn’t let Doug even touch Katrina, but since Doug knows what he is doing, he lets him. He makes Doug put out the cigarette before he starts working though.

“Okay, this is going to hurt.” Doug tells Katrina.

The wound isn’t as deep as he thought it would be. The wound just appears to be deep. It is just that she got five long cuts along the leg. Doug sanitizes her leg before he starts working. He needs to make the wound clean before he fixes or it could get infected. Doug has to explain this to Judas. After he sanitizes it, he pulls out some stitches and a needle. Katrina jumps back when Doug first inserts the needle into her leg.

“I told you this is gonna hurt.”

Doug sees Katrina give him a painful smile. He smiles back at her. He keeps an eye on Judas. He expects that at any second Judas will try to smack him upside the head. As he works, Doug couldn’t make out his strange feelings. Even though he has just met her, he feels attracted to her in a way he can’t describe.

It takes Doug half an hour minutes to stitch up Katrina’s leg. He uses ten stitches per cut. He does a pretty good job for not having much experience. When he finishes, he stands up and lights another cigarette. Judas moves in to inspect his work.

“Do you really have to do to that right now?” Judas says referring to Doug’s smoking.

“It’s an old, addictive habit.”

Judas just sighs and goes back to inspecting Doug’s work on Katrina’s leg. Doug can tell that he is impressed.

“Not bad there boy.”

“Thanks, this ain’t too bad for my second time.” Doug replies.

Judas glares at Doug. Doug can tell that Judas is upset. He ignores Judas’s glare like he isn’t even there.

“Please tell me that does not mean what I think it means.”

“If you’re thinking that it means this is only the second time I’ve used stitches than yes.”

“You are joking right?” Judas shouts at him.

“No sir”

Why did you not tell me this before you started?”

“Charles is busy and I thought that you wouldn’t let me do it if I told you that I’ve only done this once.” Doug answers.

“So you’re scared of me. Is that what you’re saying?” Judas says smilingly.

Shawn, Frank, Jack, Nick, and Roger all look at each other like they are having a hard time believing what Judas just said. They all think that Doug is going to attack at Judas. But Doug just sits there and smiles.

“No why would I be scared of you.”

“Hey, can you two please save the cat fight for later, I need to concentrate here.” Charles shouts at them.

Doug and Judas notice that everyone is looking at them and that Lady is growling at them. Judas leans in close to Doug and whispers in his ear “You may be good with that gun, but that is not going to be enough around here. If we ever fight I will tear you apart.”

Doug just sits there, smiles, and whispers back, “Never underestimate your opponent my friend.”

Judas just smiles and walks away. Doug sits back and inhales a long puff on his cigarette. Katrina leans in close to Doug and whispers “I have never seen anyone stand up to Judas like that before.”

“I’m guess that I’m just used to being talked down to.” Doug whispers back.

Katrina smiles and laughs quietly to herself. So far she is very impressed with Doug. Katrina can see that he is different than the others.

“Hey Doug, you know you have a deep cut on the back of your neck right?” Jake asks.

“Oh, no, I forgot about it.” Doug replies as he reaches to feel it.

Doug sees the blood on his hands. He instantly knows how serious it could have been. If the wolf has cut him just a tenth of an inch deeper Doug would be dead by now.

“Hey Shawn, can you stitch my neck up?” Doug asks.

“Yeah, no problem”

Shawn drops his weapon, Doug hands him the stitches, sits down, and takes off his camo jacket so the Shawn can stitch up his neck. He hears a gasp from Katrina and Judas.

“What are ya‘ll so shocked about?”

“Your arm, what happened to it?” Katrina asks him.

Doug looks down at his right arm. He knows that they are asking him about the prosthetic arm. Doug is used to people staring at it.

“I lost my arm in combat two years ago. This is just a replacement.” Doug answers.

“Is it armored or something?”

“Yes, it is both armored and waterproof. And it can lift up to five hundred pounds.”

Shawn works slowly since he’s never done this before. Doug just sits there and takes the pain like a man. He rarely groans from the pain. It hurts him but it’s nothing that he hasn’t experienced before.

“When is the other time you stitched someone up before?” Katrina asks Doug while Shawn inserts the needle into Doug’s neck again.

“I did it about four years ago to myself. I can’t prove it because it was on my right arm.”

“You mean the arm that you lost.”

“Yep, and I didn’t do anywhere near as good a job as I did this time.” Doug replies.

Judas shakes his head and walks away. Doug’s attitude is really starting to upset him. It didn’t take long for Doug to notice that Judas doesn’t like him. But Doug just doesn’t see why Judas doesn’t like him, besides his sarcastic attitude.

“Hey Katrina what is his problem? I’m trying to be nice to him.”

“He is just being a little over protective, nothing to worry about. You have to warm up to him.”

Judas looks and sees the other humans just sitting there talking. He gets kind of upset at them when he sees them lying around doing nothing.

“Why are you guys just standing there?” Judas shouts at them.

“We don’t know anything about this stuff. It’s probably a good idea if we stay out of it.” Nick answers.

“They would do more harm than good.” Doug shouts.

Judas just shakes his head. He has almost no respect for the humans. He is finding it harder and harder to believe that one of these humans could be the chosen one.

Zathora is amazed on how fast and effectively Charles works on Lucas. Even with all his wounds Charles hardly slows down. The wounds that Charles received do slow him down a little though. Charles ignores his wounds the best that he can. It looks like he really knows what he is doing. Charles has to work fast or Lucas will probably die. Seeing Charles work like this gives her strange feelings. She feels strongly attracted to him.

“Hey Zathora how far is it to your camp from here?” Charles asks.

“Our village is about two miles from here. Do you think Lucas will make it if we carry him there?”

“I highly doubt that he would make it in the state that he’s in. He would probably die if we try to carry him. But I think that I can stabilize enough to where we can carry him. It’ll take a little bit though. I can only stabilize him for a few hours with the equipment I’ve got. He needs proper medical attention as soon as possible.”

Charles is also impressed with Zathora. He Charles has a lot of experience where people say no or run away. Even Roger and Frank are having a tough time not freaking out when they see all the blood. That is not true with Zathora. She stays there and helps no matter how bad it gets.

“Where did you learn to do this?” Zathora asks.

“I was a medic in the army.”

“You are a medic?”

“Yes, I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing.” Charles answers.

Lucas’s condition takes a turn for the worse. He suddenly goes into shock.

“What is happening to him?” Zathora shouts.

“I’ve managed to stop the bleeding but he’s lost too much blood.”

“How do we save him?”

“Do you know his blood type?” Charles asks.

Zathora, Roger, and Frank stare at him. Charles can tell that Zathora and Frank have no idea why he asked the question.

“Why do you need to know that?” Zathora asks.

“I need to do a blood transfusion if I’m gonna save his life.” Charles answers. “I need to know his blood type so that we don’t put the wrong blood type back in him.”

Zathora reaches into a pocket on Lucas’s chest and pulls a small piece of metal with writing on it. Written on it is Lucas’s information ranging from his name to medical information. It resembles a military style dog tag. Zathora hands it to Charles. Charles quickly skims through the information until he finds Lucas’s blood type. He then pulls out a sheet of paper that has each team member’s medical information.

“So who’s it going to be?” Roger asks.

“Me” Charles replies.

Without hesitating Charles reaches into his bag and pulls out a blood transfusion kit. He sticks the needle in his and Lucas’s arm and starts the transfusion.

“So what do we do now?” Zathora asks.

“All we can do know is hope and pray.”

It takes half an hour for Charles to transfer enough blood to Lucas stabilize. Once Charles is sure that Lucas has enough blood he pulls the needle out of both his and Lucas’s arm and puts the kit back in the bag. Zathora notices how pale Charles is. Charles gave Lucas so much blood that it weakened him. He can barely stand. The wounds he sustained from the wolves are only making things worse.

“He’s stable enough to move. I need ya’ll to make a platform to carry him on.”

Doug, Frank, Jake, Nick, Corporal, Shawn, Roger, and Zathora run into the forest looking for two long and stable sticks. Once they find the Charles hands them a large piece canvas. Frank, Jake, Nick, and Corporal stretch the canvas out until it won’t stretch anymore. Doug, Roger, Shawn, and Zathora use rope to tie the canvas to the sticks. Doug, Roger, Shawn, and Zathora carefully lift Lucas up and onto the platform. Once they have Lucas on the platform the group moves out. Frank, Shawn, Nick, and Corporal each grab a corner, lift up the platform, and carry Lucas.

With Lucas’ transportation problem solved, Doug looks around for something Katrina can use to walk on. Her leg is still causing her problems.

“Hey Katrina, you said it was two miles to your village right?” Doug asks.

“Yes why?”

“I don’t think you’re going to make it that far walking on that leg.”

“Alright,

Doug looks around for something to help her walk. He finds a small tree that is split at the top like a fork. It is a little taller than her but Doug can change that. He walks over to the tree and takes a quick assessment of how tall Katrina is. Doug roundhouse kicks the tree about halfway up. The tree breaks in half easily. He picks it up and hands it to Katrina. Doug can tell that Katrina is a little impressed by his technique.

“Here, this should help you.”

Katrina puts the stick underneath her arm. Doug got the measurements just right. Katrina tries walking around a little bit. The stick helps but the pain is still making it difficult for her to walk.

“Okay, hold on, I have something else that may help you.” Doug says.

He reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a small pill container. He opens it and pulls out a small, red pill.

“What is that?” Judas asks.

“It’s a pain killer. It will not completely take the pain away, but it will help.”

Katrina takes the pill, looking at it like she is unsure. Doug knows what she is thinking.

“Are you sure about this?” Katrina asks.

“Yes, the doctor gave me this for chest pain.”

“You take pills for something as simple as chest pain?” Judas says a little angrily.

“I had a lung transplant seven years ago. It still causes me pain from time to time. The pill helps with the pain.” Doug answers.

Judas awkwardly looks away. He walks away as quickly as he can. Katrina does the same thing except she doesn’t walk away. Doug offers Katrina his canteen to help her swallow the pill. It tastes bad going down. She is a little disappointed when nothing happens.

“I don’t feel any different.”

“It takes a few minutes for the pill to start working. Believe me Katrina you will know when it starts working.”

Before they start moving to the village, Roger radios Mark and Jack on their situation. He tells them to stay at the camp until he comes and gets them. Charles stays beside Lucas so he can keep an eye on him. Zathora stays close to Charles but doesn’t say a word. Doug stays behind Katrina and Judas since they are leading the way. When they move out Judas tries to help Katrina but he starts feelings some pain in his side and right shoulder. The pain he feels causes him to collapse. He brings Katrina down with him. Doug catches both of them before they hit the ground. Charles runs up to see what is wrong. He sighs when he notices the problem.

“What is it?” Judas asks.

“Judas, three of your ribs on your left side are broken, and your right shoulder has been popped out of place.” Charles answers.

“Then fix it.” Judas shouts at him.

“I can fix the shoulder right now, but the ribs will have to wait. I don’t know how serious the problem is. It could be that they are just broken, or one of your lungs could be punctured.” Charles answers.

“Okay, just fix the shoulder, the doctor’s at the village can fix the ribs when we get there.”

Charles does a quick diagnostic of Judas’s shoulder. He checks for other injuries.

“Ok, it’s an anterior dislocation. I’m going to perform an external rotation. That should fix your shoulder for now.”

“Just do it.”

“Ok, this is going to hurt.”

Charles makes Judas relax. He places Judas’ upper arm in a resting position. Charles bends the elbow to a ninety degree angle. He slowly, but steadily rotates Judas’s arm outward and inward keeping the upper part of the arm stationary. Judas braces himself for the pain. Charles repeats the process for until he relocates Judas’s shoulder. It takes Charles three tries to succeed. Judas immediately feels relief in his shoulder. Charles finishes by taking out a sling for support and gives Judas a couple of Ibuprofen pills for pain.

“Okay, let’s get moving.” Judas says once the pain recedes.

Judas tries to go back to helping Katrina but Charles stops him.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Charles says.

“What do you mean by that?” Judas growls at Charles.

Judas’s growl doesn’t even faze Charles.

“You are in no shape to help her. You would do more harm than good.”

“Don’t worry Judas, I got her.” Doug says.

Katrina looks into his eyes and sees a gentle kindness that surprises her. She has seen toughness, power, and leadership in him. She didn’t expect someone like Doug to be kind too. It is like two different people are combined into one. It surprises her to see something like this in a guy like Doug.

“Okay, I will lead the way.” Judas says.

Three minutes later, Katrina starts feeling very tired. She almost drops to the ground. She falls asleep walking. Judas turns around and sees Katrina fall down.

“What is happening to her?” He shouts at Doug.

“These are the side effects of the pill I was talking about. This always happens when people swallow this pill for this time. Don’t worry about it. She’ll wake up in a few minutes.”

Doug picks her up and carries her in his arms like a baby. He puts his cigarette out before he picks her up. This doesn’t make Judas very happy. He just lets it go and continues to lead the way. Doug’s robotic arm makes it easy to carry her. The robotic arm does not tire like a human arm. Doug feels Katrina’s black fur on his chest and neck. Her fur feels both smooth and soft. Doug pretends that he doesn’t notice and keeps on walking.

Katrina wakes up a couple minutes later. She feels extremely tired. The pill drained whatever energy she had. Katrina wakes to find that Doug is carrying her. She has her head on his chest. It shocks her fully awake.

“You’ve been asleep for a little bit. Judas wanted to keep moving so I had to carry you.” Doug says to her.

“Thank you, I guess this makes us even.” She replies cautiously to him.

“We are even when I saved you from the bear.”

“Okay, but I do not want you getting any ideas now Doug.”

“No problem”

Katrina goes silent for a minute. Now is a good time to ask him some questions that she wants answered.

“Hey Doug, do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?”

“Go ahead, as long as it ain’t personnel.” Doug replies.

“What is that mark on your neck, and what does it mean?” Katrina asks.

“It is a tattoo I got from my time in the Army Rangers. This tattoo on my neck is the Ranger symbol. Beneath it is my unit’s symbol, the Black Mambas.”

“What’s a Black Mamba?”

“The Black Mamba is one of the most feared snakes in the world. It is famous for being able to strike faster than any other snake in the world. It also has one of the world’s deadliest venoms. This is a very dangerous combination. My unit decided to choose the Black Mamba as its symbol because we are known for striking fast and destroying the enemy.”

“So you have been in a lot of battles?” Katrina asks.

“I’ve had my share of battles. What about you?”

“I’ve been in a few battles. In our community honor is earned through battlefield experience.”

“After seeing you guys fight I can believe that.” Doug replies. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Depends, it is a personal question?”

“No”

“Go ahead and ask.” Katrina answers.
“Is there anything I can do to get Judas off my back?”

“Simple, challenge him to a fight. My people do not believe in killing unless it is absolutely necessarily. When two Dogs have a disagreement, they challenge each other, fight, and get it over with before any real damage can be done. You don’t have to even beat him. If you can hold your own with him for a little bit then you will probably earn his respect.”

“I wish that the people on Earth were like that. I guess that we humans are just naturally violent.” Doug replies.

“I agree with you there. I have one more question to ask you.”

“Okay, as long as it ain’t anything too personal.”

“Why did you come here?”

“I had a dream from God telling me to come here. I saw a lot of things in the dream, most of it bad. But God also showed that something good will come out of it.” Doug explains.

“Did you see a sword in your dream?”

Doug looks at her shocked.

“Yes, how did you know that?”

“We Dogs have dreams like yours, except that God reveals more about them to us than he does to you humans. Well most of the time anyway.” Katrina answers.

“Can you tell me what I need to know about my dream?”

“Yes, but there is a limit to what I can tell you. The rest you will have to figure out for yourself.”

“Does that mean you don’t know or won’t tell me?” Doug asks sarcastically.

“A little bit of both.” Katrina replies.

Doug just smiles at Katrina’s comment. He looks down and notices the blue tick hound following right behind him. He is amazed by not only its size, but the speed and strength it demonstrated in the fight.

“So, what is his name?” Doug asks as he points at the dog.

“Her name is lady.”

“Oh sorry, she’s pretty big and tough for a blue tick.”

“Well all the animals here one and a half times bigger than the animals on Earth. But she is very tough for a dog her size.” Katrina replies.

“She reminds me of my dog Lucky.”

“What breed is it?”

“He is a Golden Retriever.”

“We are here.” Judas shouts.

He is on standing top of a small hill. The others cannot see over the hill. The hill has a steep slope, and they are all exhausted from all the fighting they’ve been through today. Judas takes off to the village to get help for Lucas. Roger and Shawn take off jogging after Judas. Frank, Jake, Corporal, and Shawn pick up the pace. Lucas’s condition has taken a sudden turn for the worst. He needs medical help that is beyond Charles’s skills. The sight of the village amazes him. It looks just like a medieval village. But they have some modern technology like hospitals and military technology. Doug notices Katrina looking at him.

“Were you expecting something more than this?” Katrina asks.

“No, this place looks exactly like the village I saw in my dream.”

“Good you can let me down now. I do not think my people would be all that happy seeing their heir being carried around by a human. No offense Doug.”

“You’re their princess.” Doug replies shocked.

“Well technically I am not a princess. I am the chief’s daughter.” Katrina answers.

“No wander Judas was being a little over defensive.”

He puts Katrina down, gets the stick from Roger and hands it to Katrina. Doug stays beside Katrina as they walked into the village. As they reach the outskirts of the village, several Dogs run to them. They run to Lucas, take Frank, Jake, Corporal, and Shawn’s places and carry him to the doctor’s building. Doug notices that most of these Dogs are about his height. Some are taller than him. They have the body and face of a human, but the ears, fur, and tail of a dog. The fur on their arms, legs, and body is easily an inch long. The fur on their face isn’t long at all. It looks like they all grew beard stubby all over their face. But Doug can still make facial distinctions. They remind Doug of Rottweilers. Two other Dogs help Katrina to the medical tent. Lady follows right behind them.

“Good luck.” She says as she walks away with Lady following close behind.

“What do I need good luck for?” Doug asks, but Katrina is too far away to hear him.

Doug sees Judas and two other Dogs walking towards him. They stop just in front of him.

“All of you come with us.”

Doug, Roger, Shawn, Frank, Jake, Corporal, John, Charles, and Nick follow him to a large building in the center of the village. The building that the Dog leads them to is obviously a church. As their walking, Doug notices that Jake, Corporal, and Nick have their weapons off safety and ready to fire.

“Put your guns on safety guys. There’s no reason to be afraid, they will not harm us.” Doug whispers to them.

This relaxes the guys a little bit. Judas stops them outside the door. He points to Doug, Roger, and Shawn.

“You three can go in. The rest of you stay here.”

Doug, Roger, and Shawn enter the building. Judas goes in with them, but the other two Dogs stay and guard the door. They don’t normally do this, but Dogs don’t know how the humans will act. It doesn’t hurt to be careful. Frank, Jake, Corporal, John, Charles, and Nick sit down, relax, and wait for Doug, Roger, and Shawn to get done talking with the chief of the Rottweilers.

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