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       Alpha, p.20

           Daniel Schmidt

  Chapter 20

  The knot in my stomach became tighter and more painful as I ran down the hill. My throat seemed to constrict to the size of a straw and my limbs felt heavier and heavier with each stride. David somehow had gotten back his bayonet and continued fighting with the Alpha, both of them trading blows and parries.

  Walter screamed David’s name as we charged. Halfway to them, the Alpha connected with a sword trust. David staggered and fell backwards. The Alpha moved towards him and David rolled to away and attacked him from the side. The Alpha make huge slashing motions but couldn’t connect. David stabbed at the Alpha several more times, most of his strikes bouncing off the Alpha’s armor.

  The Alpha was able to knock David away and I saw blood running down his neck and onto his shirt. His left arm looked limp but he attacked, hacking, stabbing with his bayonet. As we neared, the Alpha reached up, took hold of David, and pulled him to the ground. David let out a scream, not a scream of terror, but a scream of defiance, of frustration, and of courage before driving his bayonet into the Alpha’s shoulder. Walter and Carlos both screamed David’s name.

  When we were only a few strides away, the Alpha raised his sword and drove it through David in one powerful stroke. The Alpha pulled the sword free and looked up just in time for us to come barreling down onto him.

  I aimed my bayonet at the Alpha’s chest but he swatted my rifle to the side and I slammed into him. It was like hitting a brick wall. I saw stars and fell onto my knees, almost losing the grip on my rifle.

  The rest of the squad converged onto the Alpha, slashing and stabbing with their bayonets. I rose and brought my bayonet up towards his stomach, only to have it glance off his armor. The Alpha swatted bayonets away and brought the butt end of his sword down onto several men, sending them to the ground but not killing them. The squad, unfazed, kept pressing forward, pushing the Alpha back and away from David’s body.

  The Alpha grabbed someone’s rifle, tore it from his hands, and flung it down the hill. We kept attacking but no one had penetrated his armor. The Alpha surged forward, knocking several men to the ground. He knocked away several more bayonet thrusts and then shouted in a deep and metallic voice.

  “You fools! You fight for the wrong side.”

  The squad attacked again and I raised my bayonet, aimed at the center of its chest, and drove it forward with every ounce of strength I had. The tip struck just to the left of where I was aiming but I felt it penetrate, just slightly. I tore it out and drove forward again. This time the bayonet sunk several inches through the armor.

  I heard the Alpha grunt and he backed away. We converged onto him as he yelled again, “My fight is not with you, it’s with the Alvar!” I drove my bayonet at his chest several more times but didn’t get any penetration. The Alpha worked his sword from side to side, knocking our bayonets away and cutting one rifle in half, but we kept coming, cursing, slashing, and stabbing.

  The Alpha took a step back, raised his sword just slightly and drove it through a man to my left, sending his blade all the way through the man’s shoulder. While the Alpha’s sword was still embedded, Walter raised his rifle and bayonet high above his head and then brought it down, like an axe onto the Alpha’s featureless, emotionless mask. Walter’s powerful blow cracked the mask and partially separated it from the Alpha’s helmet..

  The Alpha tore his sword from the man and rolled backwards down the hill once, separating himself from us. After the roll, the Alpha’s helmet was still attached to his head but his facemask had broken off during his roll, giving us our first true look at the enemy.

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