~Chapter Twenty Nine- Father & Daughter~
The base of Sotra prepares for battle. At the pace Miro is moving, his army will arrive tonight. Most of Uneva’s forces had come to support Sotra, as well as from the central regions of the country. Sotra’s base was bolstered to 10,000 strong.
Over the course of the war, Miro has stolen Survival Suits and used them for his strategies. He broke through Sotra’s border using his personal force of survival suit soldiers. Scouts indicate that Miro himself is with the army heading here.
Scouts indicated that Miro’s army heading towards us appeared to be little more than half of our numbers. They can’t hope to topple the base with those numbers. No, like always, Miro must have a plan. A few miles south of Sotra’s base is the jungle. I’m sure that Miro has forces lying in wait there as well.
I go over my battle plan once again. The bulk of our forces will defend the eastern side of the base with almost as many defending the south near the jungles. A few tanks will be manned on the south and eastern end of the base. If Miro manages to break inside the base as he did in Uneva, my soldiers will fall back to checkpoints. All that is left to be done is wait.
“You needed to talk to me?” Juaquin asks as he enters my office, prepared for the coming battle in his Survival Suit. He removes his helmet and sets it to the side.
“Yes,” I set a briefcase at my side on my desk and open it, revealing several specially made pistols, “I need you to take one of these.”
Juaquin observes the pistols, “It looks like a regular gun.”
“With Miro taking more of our Survival Suits, the R&D department developed guns that can pierce Survival Suits. They’re meant to look unassuming. This is all they could make. I’m going to distribute these among our other soldiers,” I explain, “You’ve come into contact with Miro more than anyone. If anyone can kill Miro, it’s you. Tonight, if you have the opportunity, don’t hesitate.”
Juaquin looks at the gun nervously. He swallows hard, “Do we really need to kill him? If we capture him, I’m sure they’ll surrender. When I spoke to Melissa, she said Miro and his followers will leave the country if that happens.”
Apparently, Melissa contacted Juaquin and told him she’s with Miro’s army. Juaquin told me she’s safe, but every second spent with them puts her in more danger. I should’ve taken more care of her, kept her from falling in with them. I’m sure it’s all because of the Montoya boy. I never should’ve let her associate with that kid. If I was a better father, she’d be safe.
“We can’t let that happen. If Miro leaves, he’ll take Melissa and Maria with him,” I say sharply.
“Well... what if we left with them? We’d all be together.” Juaquin asks idealistically. What is he thinking? Ever since he talked to Melissa, he’s been saying things like this.
“The only course for us is to defeat Miro to save Melissa and the others,” I rub my temples, “Should I take the gun back? If I can’t trust you with it, I can find someone else.”
“No, I can do it!” Juaquin says hastily. I’m not sure whether to trust him, but I let him take the pistol. He leaves to prepare for the coming battle.
In the war meeting we had recently, General Elian said that if we’re able to halt Miro’s advance here, it could shorten the war. The stakes are high here.
An unannounced soldier enters my office, “Return to your post soldier,” I say, not wanting to be disturbed.
The soldier is clutching a radio, “Sir, someone wants to speak with you,” They extend the radio to me, expecting me to take it from their hand.
“Who is it?”
“They won’t say. They just insisted they speak with you,” The soldier explains, sounding almost rehearsed.
Hesitantly I take the radio. “Who is this?”
“Dad?” The unmistakable voice of my daughter comes through.
“Melissa!?” I turn away from the soldier, “Melissa, where are you?” I ask frantically.
“I’m sorry it took so long for me to talk to you,” Melissa says, ignoring my question, “Dad, do you know what’s coming towards you?”
She’s talking about Miro’s army, “Yes.”
“Miro has thousands of soldiers waiting in the jungle, Dad. Too many. I’m worried about you.”
“We’ll be fine.”
“You need to surrender, Dad. I know Miro. He promised they won’t hurt any of you if you do. Please, dad.” Melissa pleads.
“You know I can’t do that,” I answer regretfully.
“Dad please! It’s not going to go the way you want!” Melissa begs more intensely.
“We’re going to defeat Miro and his army, and I’m going to save you.” I assure her.
Melissa is silent for a moment. I can hear her breathing softly, “I’m sorry, Dad. I love you.”
I feel something metal press against the back of my head. I look back, that same soldier is holding a gun to me with several other soldiers behind him.
“Do as we say, and you won’t be harmed.”