The team arrived back again at last. They drove right into the compound, three tankers branded as being from various oil companies, and the rest of the crews in humvees and trucks.
That is all except for one truck. It remained outside the compound gates. All of those that remained outside the closed gate had been infected during the mission. A few of us gathered at the gate to see them. Those still able to walk shouted out their goodbyes, keeping their distance so as not to infect the rest of us. They looked so sick and frightened. They saluted the Base Commander and a few of them walked off up the road. I saw some stagger off into the minefields and a big eruption of smoke followed quickly by the sound of the explosion as they took their own lives. Some just put guns in their mouths where they stood. The truck outside the gates was torched, along with those too sick to get out and walk away.
It is great to have most of the guys return, and the fuel will help out hugely. But those poor sods taking their own lives. Reason two I could never be one of them. And we’re back to that cowardice thing again. I’ll never forget that look on their faces as they knew what they had to do to keep the rest of us safe.