Blaze broke of in the middle of the nights, licked the object close to the base, sending orange rays upwards, glowing dim behind our backs. I ran up to the officer’s tent, not stopping to announce myself. The guard in fluorescent vest pushed me back and screamed:
– What’s your damage soldier?! – he pressed my chest while inspecting my appearance and feeling the air streaming in my lungs.
– Fire! – I yelled, but I shouldn’t as that phrase meant we are under attack.
Base commander rose quickly, sobering up in a second, blindly frisking his surroundings for a rifle.
– Fire? What fire? – the officer asked, looking at his friends rising, hooking gear, loading weapons.
– Southeast corner. Two miles out. It is huge! – I spoke leaned on the wall, catching breath and wiping sweat with my sleeve.
– That’s what she said. – one of the officers said in his chin and two guys laughed, – So? Why do we care? – he added with a yawn.
– Our warehouse is there. – commander spoke calm, – Wake up the locals and move the water trucks to help them. – he held his pulsating head like a baby and grunted.
– Common, yo. We got some firefighting to do. – joker in group loaded the bullet and clicked the safety off, when everybody laughed again, then he left his rifle down.
Everybody took off from the tent screaming, alarming the base and battle weary boys that exited their barracks in nothing else but the underwear.
– Code red, maggots! Rise and shine! To battle stations! – officer shouted and the heavy engines thundered away from the garage.
We ran there, two miles out from the base and monitored the locals as they fought fire. Some of our men spilled water on their uniforms to protect themselves from the flames and they have been the most courageous ones, because they were the closest to the building. We localized the fire, and cooled down the walls of the family houses around it which were taken by the colorful heat from the warehouse.
It was beautiful at the moments, when the orange and red rays painted the floor and the neighbourhood. Everything was visible and shiny. My heart was full, seeing the locals and us working together. Morning came with the black smoke rising high into the air like drones did their best last night. Women brought us refreshments to thank us for saving the block, while we shared our cigarettes with the brown men, their husbands, stained with black traces of flame on face and clothes. We acted locally, and it was all good.