MidReal Story

Rebel Blood: Sibling Bonds and Betrayal

Scenario: M23 rebel war in the DR Congo until 2024
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M23 rebel war in the DR Congo until 2024
The heavy thump of the chopper blades echoed in my ears, the sound underscoring the panic in Malik’s voice as he relayed the news that we were walking into a trap.
We were just outside Goma, waiting for the start of our next operation against the government, when Malik had slipped away from our group and contacted his government contacts.
I’d never trusted him.
He’d been with us for too long.
I knew he was a traitor, a spy.
I should have killed him weeks ago when I first suspected.
But I hadn’t been able to confirm his guilt yet, and I hadn’t wanted to be too hasty and lose the intelligence he could provide.
I would make sure he paid for this, though.
He wouldn’t escape my justice.
The call went out to move forward, and I followed my comrades into the village.
Our commander, Ngabo, was well-liked and respected by all of us.
He’d earned his rank; he was a fighter who wouldn’t ask us to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.
Only the bravest or the most foolish would have tried to challenge him for his position.
The gunfire started almost immediately after we entered the village.
We were being ambushed from both sides.
My heart pounded in my chest as I moved forward, keeping my body low to avoid the bullets flying overhead.
I didn’t waste time being scared; I didn’t have time for that.
I had to survive first and foremost.
My training took over as I moved between trees and ducked behind walls when they were available.
“Take cover,” Ngabo called out from behind me.
I followed the lead of the others and crouched low while bullets whizzed past my head.
The government forces were better armed than we were; they had more money and more connections than we did.
But we were rebels, we were driven by a cause; we fought with everything we had because we had nothing else to lose.
I waited for the lull in the gunfire and then lifted my head, firing at the enemy soldiers in front of us to keep them at bay while the others moved forward.
We were outnumbered, but we wouldn’t be outgunned until they brought in the helicopters.
Then we would be screwed, but I wasn’t going to worry about that right now.
I had to make sure my comrades escaped the ambush first, and that meant taking out as many of the government soldiers as possible.
Once everyone was out of the village and into the jungle, I would worry about getting us to safety.
“Come on,” I called to the men around me, motioning them to follow me as I moved toward a small copse of trees where the rest of our unit was congregating.
“There are too many of them,” one of the rebels said, his voice shaking with fear as he peeked out from behind the tree and fired off a few more rounds toward the enemy forces.
They were getting closer, and we weren’t going to be able to hold them off much longer without reinforcements.
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Our commander’s voice was firm, but it was strained, too, by the effort it took to yell over the continuing gunfire.
I nodded, my mind already considering what to do next.
If I could move around the enemy soldiers who were coming up on us from the back, I could take out their machine gunners before they got into position to do any more damage to us that would slow down our retreat.
I slung my AK-47 over my shoulder, and then I moved quickly but quietly through the trees, keeping low so I wouldn’t be seen by the government soldiers who were rapidly closing in on us from all sides, not just the back anymore.
The jungle was dense, but I knew it better than my own home, and I was able to move quickly through the trees, keeping the enemy forces to my side as I circled around them to get a better position to attack them from the rear.
I could hear the enemy fire coming closer and closer, and I ducked lower still, my heart racing with anger at what this slimy traitor had done to us.
We’d trusted him, brought him into our inner circle, and he had betrayed everything that we stood for, everything that we fought for!
Fury gave me strength as I moved through the trees, watching the enemy forces to see if there was any way to get the upper hand on them before they surrounded us completely and wiped us out for good.
I could hear the cries of wounded comrades mixed in with the sound of bullets flying through the air, but there was nothing I could do for them now.
My job was to make sure that those of us who were still alive at the end of this made it back to our base safely, so we could plot our revenge on those who had tried to take us down.
“Take out the machine guns!”
Ngabo’s voice came from the other side of our position.
“They’re killing us!”
I could see them, now, too.
The government forces were setting up their machine guns, and we were going to be sitting ducks if we didn’t take them out now.
There were only three of them, but they were enough to mow down our entire force if we didn’t move quickly.
“Come on,” I called to a couple of rebels who were near me, motioning for them to follow me as I ran toward one of the machine gun positions.
The government soldier who was setting up the gun saw us coming and started firing, but I was able to dodge out of the way, barely avoiding being hit by his bullets.
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Heart pounding, I ran up the hill toward him as bullets flew past me, kicking up dirt on all sides.
The battle had reached a fever pitch, with bullets flying in all directions.
A couple of rebels went down next to me with cries of pain, but I kept going.
We’d suffered losses already, but there was no way that I was going to let that slimy rat get away with what he’d done, not when we needed him alive so badly.
I ran up the hill as fast as I could, my breath coming in short pants as I struggled not to break down and cry right there on the spot.
My brothers were dying all around me, but it would do no good to let myself get bogged down with grief.
We would mourn our dead when this battle was over, but right now, we needed to focus on staying alive long enough to actually mourn them at all.
Finally, I made it up to the crest of the hill, where I found a line of government troops entrenched behind some sandbags.
They started firing at me immediately, lighting up the night with their AK-47s as bullets flew past me in all directions.
I dropped to my knees and returned fire, doing my best not to break down in sobs as I heard more of my brothers go down behind me.
There was nothing that I could do for them now except stay alive myself so that they would not have died in vain.
We exchanged fire for what felt like forever, but I knew it couldn’t have been more than a few minutes before an explosion rocked the earth beneath me.
Someone had just thrown a grenade at us!
I turned toward where I thought it had come from and spotted a government soldier about halfway down the hill who was bent over and fumbling with something in his hands.
He was about to throw another grenade at us!
In desperation, I reached into my pocket and pulled out one of my own grenades, pulling out the pin before I could think better of it.
I pulled myself to my feet, counted to three, and hurled it down at him.
It exploded with a dull thud, kicking up dirt around him, but he was apparently not injured, because he stood up, turned toward us, and raised his machine gun, lighting up the night with bullets as he screamed in anger.
As if on cue, all of his fellow government soldiers started firing at us again as well, apparently feeling that we had gotten off lightly with only one grenade being thrown at us.
We returned fire, but it was clear that we were outnumbered.
Most of our comrades were already dead or badly injured, leaving only about fifteen of us left to take on an entire battalion of government forces.
But there was no way in hell that I was going to give up now!
I would fight until my last breath if that was what it took to get revenge for what they had done to us.
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The firefight raged on as bullets flew in all directions.
Bodies fell left and right as bullets either found their marks or went wide.
The ground shook with explosions as grenades were thrown back and forth between our sides, but still I pressed on.
I exchanged desperate glances with some of my fellow rebels as we fought side by side, trying to convey our fear and determination in a single look.
We had been fighting this battle for what felt like hours already, but we would continue to fight until either they were all dead or we were.
But there were just too many of them!
We were being outnumbered, outgunned, and overwhelmed at every turn, but still we refused to give up.
I caught sight of my sister moving along a small path behind me out of the corner of my eye, dressed in her medic uniform with a red cross prominently displayed across her chest.
She was moving with purpose despite the danger, following me along as she ducked behind trees and rocks whenever enemy fire came too close for comfort.
I had to admit that I was worried about her being out here on the front lines like this.
But I was also proud of her.
She could have stayed behind in the rear, where it was safer, but she had chosen to come out here into the thick of things, risking her life to save as many of our brothers as she possibly could.
She was a good medic, as well as a brave one, but the fact that she was out here right now was a source of some conflict for me.
I was glad that she was here to help us, but I still could not shake off the worry that I felt whenever she was in danger.
I knew that I could not stop her from being out here right now, so I did my best to simply focus on fighting this battle until it was over.
But it was hard to just ignore her like this, especially when I knew that she would be the first person to die if our luck suddenly ran out.
I continued to duck behind rocks and return fire as bullets flew past me, doing my best to stay alive right now.
But no matter how much I tried to focus on the bloodshed around me, I could not stop myself from worrying about her.
We caught sight of each other’s eyes and exchanged a quick glance before she disappeared behind a tree trunk, leaving me alone to fight it out on my own.
Her eyes were worried, but there was also a look of pride in her gaze.
She knew that I was doing my best to stay alive right now, even if it was hard to focus on anything else while she was out here in danger too.
But she also knew that I would do everything in my power to keep her safe out here, no matter what it took.
She was my little sister and I would protect her from anything, even an army of government soldiers if that was what it took to keep her alive.
But I couldn’t protect her from everything and that fact made my heart clench with fear and worry inside my chest right now.
As soon as she was gone, I turned back toward the battlefield and started firing at the government soldiers again right now, trying my best to keep my mind off the possibility of her dying out there somewhere in the darkness right now.
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We had been fighting for hours now and the sun was already starting to set on the horizon when I heard more gunfire echoing through the air.
I raised my head above the rock I was hiding behind and caught sight of Josephine running across the battlefield toward a group of wounded soldiers who needed her help right now.
We were still taking fire from the government soldiers and the jungle around us was exploding in a series of bright flashes too, so I knew that it was dangerous for her to be moving like this.
But I was also proud of her for doing so regardless.
She had no gun except for one pistol on her hip, so she had always been more vulnerable than most of us while moving through a place like this one.
But she also had a red cross painted on her arm that was supposed to mean that we were not supposed to shoot at her while we were firing at our enemies right now too.
Of course, the government soldiers didn’t seem to care about such things when they were shooting at us through the jungle like this.
She darted between rocks and trees and patches of bushes as she went, doing her best to keep herself safe while doing so.
But it didn’t take long for the first of the bullets to start flying in her direction as someone caught sight of her movements out here.
The soldiers who noticed her started shooting in her direction and I watched as bullets zipped past her body in every direction.
She ducked lower and started moving even faster than before as she went, doing everything in her power to avoid getting hit by any of them right now.
But it wasn’t easy for me to watch as she moved through the jungle like this right now, knowing the kind of danger that she was in while doing so.
I ducked back behind my rock and tried to focus on returning fire at our enemies until the worry inside my chest faded away again right now.
Another explosion suddenly went off nearby, reminding me of how dangerous this place could be right now.
It reminded me of how quickly things could always change out here.
Bullets zipped past my head in every direction as I ducked behind the rock again and tried my best to ignore the chaos going on around me so that I could focus on shooting back at my enemies instead right now.
I could hear someone screaming in pain nearby and I could see blood spurting everywhere from someone who had just been hit by a bullet while trying to protect themselves out here right now too.
The whole world felt like it was exploding around me and I could barely think straight while all of this was going on around us right now either.
But I forced myself to focus on returning fire for another minute or two longer before I glanced back at Josephine over my shoulder and saw that she was unharmed and still helping our wounded brothers out here too.
I took a deep breath and turned back toward the battlefield so that I could focus on fighting this battle with all of my strength and determination instead right now too.
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Another explosion suddenly went off nearby.
I ducked my head down between my shoulders and tried to ignore the way that my whole body was shaking with fear right now.
I could hear the sound of heavy machine guns firing all around me, trying to shoot down as many people as they could while all of this was going on.
But it wasn’t long before I heard the sound of more heavy machine gun fire coming from our side of the battlefield too.
I glanced back at our brothers who were manning them and realized what was going on when I saw all of these men getting ready to shoot more bullets at our enemies.
I ducked down lower behind my rock while all of this was happening so that I could avoid getting hit by any of these bullets right now too, feeling like my ears were going to start ringing at any moment while all of this was going on.
But then I heard the sound of someone screaming in pain nearby, reminding me of how dangerous it was for me to be standing up like this right now.
I ducked back down lower again while all of this was happening, hoping that none of these bullets would wind up hitting me while I was out here either.
But it wasn’t long before the soldiers around us started firing back with more heavy machine guns too, forcing me to duck lower down so that I could avoid getting hit by any of these bullets.
I tried my best to focus on shooting back at them instead so that I could protect myself out here right now too.
But then I lost sight of Josephine for a second while all of this was happening and worry flooded through me again when I realized what was going on too.
I stepped out from behind my rock for a moment so that I could see where she was right now too, feeling like my whole heart was about to stop when I realized that she was unharmed and treating a wounded soldier nearby too.
He was lying down on his stomach behind a large tree while she knelt down beside him and did everything in her power to help him out right now too.
The red cross on her arm stood out in stark contrast against the green background around us, marking her as a medic who was doing everything in their power to help people like him.
He was screaming in pain while all of this was happening too but she was doing everything in her power to help him out right now too.
And my heart swelled up with pride when I realized that this woman was my sister and that she was doing everything in her power to help these wounded soldiers out here instead right now too.
But it didn’t take long for the sound of another explosion to go off nearby, reminding me that we were still in the middle of a battle where all of us could die at any moment out here today as well.
The sound of bullets started buzzing past my head again while this was happening too, reminding me that there were enemies out there who were trying to kill us right now too.
But it was Josephine’s courage that helped me to remember why I was fighting so hard out here today too.
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However, something else caught my attention when the sound of another explosion filled the air around me too.
My eyes immediately widened in fear when I realized that Josephine had moved even closer to the front line, putting herself directly in the line of enemy fire right now.
I tried my best to signal at her to move back using my hands but she didn’t see me while this was happening too, still trying to focus on treating the soldier who was lying beneath the tree right now too.
The sound of another explosion went off nearby again, reminding me that there were enemy soldiers out there who were trying to kill us out here today too.
But Josephine didn’t seem to notice any of this while it was happening either, still focusing on helping the soldier who needed her help right now too.
And so I did everything in my power to try and signal at her once again, realizing that she was completely focused on helping our comrades out there who needed our help right now too.
And so my heart clenched with fear when I realized that she was completely oblivious to the danger that she was in out here either too.
I screamed at another soldier nearby while all of this was happening, trying my best to get them to move forward and help Josephine out right now too.
But the sound of another explosion went off nearby, knocking me off balance and forcing me to try and get up onto my feet again as well.
And that was when I caught sight of the sniper who was aiming their rifle at Josephine’s head, getting ready to take a shot at her right now too.
Something snapped inside of me when this happened because the only thing that mattered in that moment was that my sister was about to die if we didn’t do anything about it right now too.
And so I charged towards Josephine as fast as my legs would carry me, doing everything in my power to try and reach her before the sniper could take a shot at her right now too.
“Josephine!”
I screamed her name at the top of my lungs while all of this was happening, hoping that it would be enough for her to do something about it right now too.
But the sound of gunfire all around us made it difficult for me to hear myself think while this was happening too, let alone scream for my sister like this.
And so I did everything in my power to try and reach Josephine before it was too late for us right now too, hoping that she would be able to do something about this sniper who was aiming their rifle at her head instead.
My legs moved as fast as they possibly could while all of this was happening, my heart racing in my chest while I did everything in my power to try and reach Josephine before that sniper could take a shot at her for real.
Because even though we were on different sides of this war, there was nothing that would stop me from trying to save my sister’s life if anything happened to her out here today either.
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And so I did everything that I could to try and reach her before the sniper took a shot at her, knowing that time wasn’t on our side while this happened either.
And to my surprise, I actually managed to reach her without getting hit by any bullets along the way, falling down onto the ground beside her while all of this happened right now too.
I reached out and grabbed her body, pulling her close to mine while all of this happened, hoping that she would be able to do something about the sniper who was aiming their rifle straight at her head right now too.
And when she finally looked up and saw the sniper taking aim at her right now, her eyes went wide with fear and panic, knowing that she needed to do something about this right now.
But rather than try to fight the sniper head on, she did something that surprised me by turning to her side and reaching out to grab my body, trying to pull me closer to hers while she did this right now as well.
I tried to shield her with my body as best as I could while she did this, knowing that if the sniper took a shot at her right now then there wouldn’t be anything that would be able to save us from this either.
I’m sorry, Josephine,” I said while all of this was happening right now, knowing that if she fell down then we were going to die here today too.
But rather than let that happen, I made sure to shield her body with mine as best as I could while the sound of gunfire kept ringing through the area around us, hoping that even if the sniper hit me then they wouldn’t be able to hit Josephine either.
And then we heard Commander Malik screaming at us to retreat back to base right now, knowing that if we didn’t listen to him then we were going to die here today too.
“Get out of here!”
I screamed at Josephine while all of this happened, knowing that we needed to move back before Malik called in an air strike on our position and killed all of us in the process too.
But even though we were brother and sister, she still listened more to Commander Malik than she did to me, backing away from me and running off with another one of the units that were still fighting out here too.
“Go with them!”
I told her while all of this was happening, wanting her as far away from me right now while we were getting ready to evacuate ourselves right now.
But something in my mind wouldn’t let me stop thinking about Josephine and how much I wanted to keep her safe, even if it meant watching her run away from me right now.
I promised myself that I would never let anything happen to her again after this, no matter what it took for me to keep my sister safe from harm.
“Go with them!”
I screamed her name while all of this happened, knowing that if we didn’t move back now then we were going to die here today.
But even though I screamed and tried my best, Josephine still kept looking back towards me, worried that something was going to happen to her brother while we were trying to retreat back from here.
“Go!”
I said while this happened, knowing that if Josephine didn’t move back then I wasn’t going to be able to leave this place without my sister running away from me first either.
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But just as I was trying my best to get my sister away from here, a sniper took his chance and struck another one of my comrades in the chest, making him fall down dead on the ground while Josephine was trying her best to bring him back and stop the blood from flowing out of his body.
I’m sorry,” I said while all of this happened, knowing that there was nothing else I could do for him while he was already dead and gone.
But even though there was nothing I could do for him, there was still something in my heart that wouldn’t let me stop thinking about how much I wanted him to live while he was dying on the ground in front of us.
There was nothing I could have done for him, no matter how hard I tried, because he was already gone and there was no way for me to bring him back from this.
But even though he was already gone, there was still a part of my heart that wouldn’t let me stop thinking about how much I wished for him to live.
“Daniel!”
I heard Josephine scream my name while all of this happened, but I didn’t want her to worry about me while she was trying her best to save everyone else who was in trouble out here today.
But even though there was a part of my heart that wouldn’t let me stop thinking about Josephine, there was a part of my mind that wouldn’t let me stop thinking about her either while she was trying to save everyone else who was in trouble today.
We didn’t have to say anything else to each other while this happened, only looking each other in the eye and knowing that we were going to be okay while everything around us was falling apart today.
But the look on Josephine’s face while this happened almost made me want to fall apart, because I knew that there was something in my mind that wouldn’t let me stop thinking about her while I was trying to get away from here today too.
“Get back!”
Commander Malik screamed at us while this happened, but we couldn’t get back without making sure that Josephine was safe first.
But even though I wanted to make sure that Josephine was safe, all of this was making it hard for me to keep my eyes off of her while I was trying to get away from here today too.
I knew that there was something in my heart that wouldn’t let me stop thinking about Josephine while I was trying to leave this place behind.
“Get back!”
Commander Malik screamed at us, but none of us could move back when there were still bullets flying around us while we were stuck out here like ducks in a shooting gallery.
And then they started shooting at us with everything they had, making it hard for us to keep our position while we were getting ready to retreat back from here today too.
We couldn’t stop moving back now, because if we did then they were going to kill us where we were standing and make it hard for us to ever leave this place behind either.
But just when it seemed like they were never going to stop firing at us, something in my mind made me turn around and run towards the east, trying one last chance to save myself from dying out here today too.
“Run!”
I told my comrades while this happened, hoping that there was still a chance for us to live while we were getting ready to escape back from here again today.
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I don’t know how long I was running in this direction for, but it felt like I was never going to find a way out of this place until I did finally make it.
When I finally did get out of this place, I looked around and saw Malik waiting for me just ahead.
I knew that he was waiting for me for a reason too, and I didn’t have to say anything to him when I got closer and closer either.
“What’s going on?”
I asked him as soon as I stopped running and caught my breath while we were standing here.
I knew that he was waiting for me for a reason too, and it didn’t take me long to figure out what his reason was either.
“Government forces are advancing quickly.”
He said to me while this happened.
“But how did they find us?”
I asked him when he said this.
I knew that he had a reason for saying this too, and I didn’t have to say anything more when I saw his face either.
“You’re not going to like it.”
He said to me again.
“You’ve got thirty seconds.”
He told me when I didn’t say anything else.
He was right about me not liking it too, but I also knew that there was a reason why he was saying this to me either.
“The government received intelligence from our contacts inside the M23 ranks.”
He said to me again.
“They are heavily armed with machine guns, mortars, rockets and even tanks and armored vehicles too.”
He told me when we were standing here.
“I knew that you wouldn’t like it.”
He said to me again when I didn’t say anything else.
“I also know what you’re thinking right now.”
He told me when we were standing here together.
“You don’t know what I’m thinking right now!”
I said to him before he could say anything else.
“That we have no way out of this situation either.”
He said again after I said this.
“But what are we going to do now?”
I asked him what we were going to do next.
“There’s only one thing we can do now: prepare for battle!”
He said after I asked him what we were going to do next.
“There better be a good reason for you two standing there like a couple of idiots!”
I said to them as soon as they stopped running and caught their breath while they were standing here too.
I knew that I didn’t have to say anything else to them when I saw the look on their faces either, because there was a good reason why I was saying this to them too.
“The government is coming!”
One of them said to me after I said this to him too.
“They know we’re coming!“
He said to me again as soon as he caught his breath too.
“But how did they find us?”
I asked him as soon as he said this too.
“They got a tip from someone inside our ranks, and now they’re coming to attack us with everything they’ve got.”
He said to me again after I asked him what happened next too.
“Then we don’t have any other choice.”
I said to him when I heard him say this too.
“We’re going to fight back with everything we’ve got, and we’re going to make sure that they never find out where we are ever again either.”
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