The Art Of War The M16 feels familiar in my arms as I crouch-run up the abandoned steps of a burning building. The quick tap-tap-tap of gunfire sounds in the distance with an intermittent tap-tap closer by. I am the last man alive in my unit, and stuck behind enemy lines. I read somewhere, a lifetime ago, “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me” The thought is fleeting and gone almost as quickly, I spend no time thinking where I read it, when I read it, or even in what context it was presented to my then younger, inexperienced eyes. I keep the assault rifle at the ready, taking the corner with care. I’m shocked to see two enemy soldiers, almost side by side, guarding the entrance from a nearby window. I spare a moment to feel grateful that I survived that; that they somehow hadn’t seen me enter. I slip my knife out and sneak up on the nearest soldier. Putting a hand to his mouth I quickly slide the blade over his carotid artery. I hold him tight while I wait for the life to leave his shuddering body. Carefully, I lay him down at my feet. Too late! The second soldier spotted me. I squeeze two rounds off from my conveniently near 9mm. My heart pounding in my chest, I take a moment to just breathe in my good fortune. Holstering my 9mm, I crouch-run down the dark passage, another corner, clear! The building seems to have a basement, a good place to set the explosives, the enemy likes using basements for their base of operations. It should be investigated. Heart pounding in my chest, I sneak down the ramp, rifle at the ready… Just as I turn the corner, gunfire explodes all around me; a fine red mist clouds my vision… then, flashing in red… ROUND LOSS!!!