Nothing much happened on the way back to camp, we’d all been as quiet as church mice. But boy, that silence was louder than any amount of noise possible. If that makes any sense...
To tell you the truth, I was a bit worried about that Tiger. Yeah he was the enemy, but I was just sick and tired of the war then. I didn’t want to kill any more. I was tired, along with everyone else. The War was over with Germany, why should we keep killing?
Sorry about that little rant there...That stuff just...gets to me sometimes, even today…
Anyways, I had next to no power in deciding what was gonna happen to our new Tiger friend. He wasn’t the most ah, “child-friendly” sort, you see. The tank had a mug on him that could scare off anytank just with a single glance. Heck, I wasn’t feeling too easy around him, and I kinda started this whole shabang! The C.O. himself was a bit startled to see what I’d dragged out of the woods, for good reason too. He’d been thinking that this was going to be a simple clean-up job, now he was going to have to deal with this wrench in the works!
That big ol’ Pershing cleared his throat, looking as lost as a Ruskie in the desert, and said, “Well now son, looks like you’re in our hands now.” To keep things simple, that there Pershing nearly had his throat crushed by a very furious Tiger right then and there. That same Tiger was hustled away faster than you could blink an eye. I briefly wondered if I would see that fella ever again, maybe there was a spark of good in that chassis of his.
I didn’t get to wonder for long, as we got rushed right back out into the woods, collecting the fallen. It was grim work, and I lost count of how many wrecks I picked up. Too many, if you asked any of us. Huh, looks like I still have an old sketch of one...Dunno why, maybe a fit of boredom and morbidity clashed. Looks like I also spilled a bit of something on it too...or is that a teardrop? I can’t tell.
I’ve lost count of when we were finally finished (old age is probably to blame there), but boy was I happy to finally step onto that ship. If my memory is serving me correctly, she was the U.S.S. Enterprise herself, ah, such a shame that such a beaut got scrapped years ago. That big carrier was packed from her bow to the stern with Americans of all types! From the lightweight jeep field officers, to us big ‘n burly tanks, it was a scrambled bunch. I could’ve sworn I saw a couple of foreign boys too. Red stars and black crosses tended to stick out, you see. I recalled though, that things weren’t too good back in the Soviet states and well...Germany...it would take some time for that country to stabilize.
My thoughts drifted back to the lone Tiger, and I wondered, Just what exactly happened to him? Hopefully the Russians didn’t get him, then his fate was as good as sealed… It was doubtful that he’d stay in his homeland, from the bit I glimpsed of him, he had an attitude that, well...kinda matched some of the higher-ups. So to speak. Figure that out if you’re too thick to get the gist of it. I’m not explaining.
Now, half-way home I was starting to feel less...excited...to be on the Enterprise. My fuel tank was complaining regularly about the constant rocking, and I got really, really, sick often. Like, I could not move from my bunk sick. Thankfully, I was usually able to keep everything “down the hatch” when it came to the worst of the nausea. Can’t say the same for some of the other boys, they all looked a bit green in the gills. Yes, most were already a shade of green. Can a tank not use a metaphor once in awhile?
Nothing of any importance happened besides getting seasick over, and over, and over. You learned to anticipate the terrible taste of regurgitated fuel and whatever else was in your tank. It didn’t make it any easier though, and the Navy boys still found it funnier ‘n shit too. Laugh it up Navvies, you probably weren’t too good with the waves at first either.
Setting a treaded boot on the dock when we got stateside though? Nothing felt better. I was home. Admittedly, there wasn’t much time for me to actually see my homeland after my activation, seeing as I was quickly rushed around to become battle-ready. It’s probably that ingrained loyalty us war-time models have. Bless it.
Heh, I can remember how confused and lost I was just like it was yesterday. I was fresh from the war and didn’t know anything else besides killing, fighting, and blowing shit sky-high. New York was such a stark contrast from the battlefields that I just about lost it. Thankfully, one of the nicer Jeeps took me under his wing for the time being, along with some other equally-confused men. Captain Lancer was his name, and bless his carburetor, that man taught us idiots how a civilian life worked. He’d been built before the war, so he was fully capable of helping us find work and sort out our new lives as… free men and women. I chose the life as a welder for the time being, and that was how I made my living for those few years.
Of course I moved out from Cpt. Lancer’s “camp”, and after a few goodbyes, I was crashing in an acceptable apartment in one of NYC’s...less crowded districts. It was amazing having my very own space, and I will admit...I went a little bit wild. Well...wild compared to the stricter neatness of my military life. Whenever I wasn’t in the field, that is.
It was weird to say the least, no longer wondering if I was going to survive the day. I wasn’t complaining! No siree. I rather liked the vacation from having certain death behind every bush. I didn’t have to walk around with a round ready to go. I was free.
Now a couple years later, I was still living in that same apartment. Now I’m pretty thankful that I didn’t as I had a rather surprising visitor one morning...