When Thomas and his squad arrived at the bunker where the rest of the company was hunkered down at, they were greeted with enthusiasm. The bunker itself had several blackened scorch marks on it by the machine gun port, most likely from grenades. Several dead Germans lay on the ground, their corpses were freshly riddled with holes, still oozing blood, they had a lifeless blank stare on their faces. Thomas walked over and closed each of their eyes, every man deserved dignity even in death. The other soldiers saw what he did, and their admiration for him grew a little bit more, this was a man who respected friend and foe alike, such honor and compassion is rare.
A soldier with the rank of Staff Sargeant walked quickly up to Thomas and gave a field report.
"Sir! We've cleared this and the next two bunkers, we've also destroyed two more field guns, sir! Two casualties and ten wounded, sir!"
"Acknowledged, carry on Staff Sargeant," Thomas replied.
"Sir!" The Staff Sargeant turned upon his heel and strode away for whatever purpose he had in mind or was given before he made the field report. Thomas watched him walk off before sighing to himself, two more deaths, ten more wounded. This was getting more and more difficult, they were losing more troops with each bunker they took, there had to be a good way to do this. He did not like unnecessary sacrifices, though he could see they did attempt to conquer the bunker the same way he did. Speaking of conquering and dead people, he himself was wounded from that last action. Now that he noticed it, his arm did burn a little and kind of throbbed. He went to go find a field medic, why patch it up himself when he could let an expert do it?
He found the field medic tending to the ten wounded soldiers, there was a strong smell of alcohol and antiseptic, almost like a hospital, if it were outdoors and also smelled like gunpowder and dead people. The ten wounded men had varying degrees of injuries with the least serious being clean through and through bullet wound, the nastiest being some poor bastard who had his arm severed. Looks like the field medic had his hands full, he had a couple of volunteered soldiers helping him out with basic and menial things he couldn't be bothered to do. The medic took a quick uninterested look at Thomas before gesturing to an empty corner of his temporary triage field, which in reality was just a twenty square foot area laid down with tarps and a tarp covering above to ward off the rain so the wounded don't get sick.
Thomas cleared his throat once, the medic took a second glance before his eyes widened.
"Sir!" The medic jumped to attention and saluted Thomas with much gusto. "Apologies for the disregard sir! I was not aware you were visiting the wounded sir!"
Thomas waved his hand, it wasn't really a big deal, everyone is as stressed as is, no need to pile on more. Especially since it seems he's the only medic here. The medic quickly walked over to him and asked him to remove his uniform shirt, he needed to see how bad the wound was, considering at this point the blood was running down his arm in a thin line and dripping down into the mud in a swirl of rust-colored dirt. Thomas complied and removed his shirt, he was much more muscled than when he first entered the boot camp three months ago, his biceps alone were pretty chunky, almost as thick as a small log. Speaking of his biceps, there was a small round hole currently oozing blood, the medic turned his arm this way and that before he made his determination.
"It's not a clean wound, the bullet is still lodged inside, we have to take care of that immediately or infection will set in, come with me, sir." The medic waved him over and then he pulled a bunch of instruments out of a neatly rolled green matted tube that was on top of a nearby crate, doubtlessly taken from inside the bunker. There were surgical tools of all kinds, but the medic picked up a pair of forceps which he quickly doused in alcohol to sterilize. Then he doused Thomas's wound, which sent fire through his nerves, it was almost like applying lemon juice to a papercut. A lot of blood was washed out of the wound along with some debris and fibers from the uniform. The medic took the forceps and entered the wound, it made a soft slithering sound as he prodded around for the bullet, Thomas winced a little bit, but it mostly caused him discomfort to feel the forceps poking around in his flesh. It felt like a cold, hard metal worm was slithering unforgivingly beneath his skin.
The medic winced when he was digging around for the bullet and accidentally hit a cluster of nerves, Thomas gritted his teeth as fire shot through his shoulder. The pain burned and Thomas had the sudden realization that he was grateful that he didn't have to be awake for the operation that saved his life. He most likely would have had to face a pain a thousand times worse than mere nerves being hit with forceps. After a minute or so of rummaging through Thomas's arm, the medic finally found the bullet and pulled it out. It was a copper piece of metal that looked a bit smashed, not fully deformed, but it did look like it hit something really hard.
"That was pretty much near your bone, lucky it didn't break anything, but your shoulder is going to be sore for a while, sir." The medic finished diagnosing and treating Thomas. He patched up his shoulder with expert finesse as if he had done thing a thousand times. The gauze itself was stained red, but it wasn't as bad as before, within a few minutes the bleeding had stabilized and the gauze was half red and half white.
"Thanks, doc, what's your name?" Thomas was curious, even though he knew this was a dream, he could probably find this man in the real world, and who knows, perhaps his skill will be just as good with real practice.
"Arkady, sir. Justin Arkady." Medic Arkady replied.
"Excellent, I will be sure to give a commendation to command about you," Thomas said. He never really planned to do so, but he did plan to find this man in the real world, after all, if he was time-phasing as they said he was, then this man should exist. He should also be careful not to sustain any more wounds, otherwise, he might really lie upon the operating table again. Thomas put his uniform back together and left the shade and cover of the medic's field tent, back into the now down-pouring rain. He really hated Italy during this time, it was cold, wet, miserable, and smelled worse than the latrine after two days. He went off to find a reliable weapon and some ammunition, and he found a small sort of armory within the busted bunker. Apparently, the Germans didn't have time to access it, but with a little bit of ingenuity and some explosive help, the Americans pried it open. There was a crew of two American Sergeants on duty within the armory, as soon as they saw Thomas they saluted and said, "sir!" There were many different weapons available, they had the Kar-98, MP-40, a couple of MG-32s, then there were some American weapons gathered from the fallen. M1-Garands, Thompson Sub-Machine Guns, a few Browning Automatic Rifles, there was even a Springfield M103 Sniper Rifle.
Thomas chose a Thompson, the weight of it in his hands was comfortable, familiar. He took five magazines of ammunition for the Thompson, he also picked up more ammunition for his sidearm, which he then immediately reloaded, the spent magazine ejected to the floor with an audible clack sound. It felt good to be fully armed again, but just for good measure he took the Springfield and twenty bullets. The Springfield had to be loaded one bullet at a time, it technically holds five bullets, but if you load one into the chamber you can stretch it to six. He slung the rifle across his back, it had a nice shoulder strap which fit pretty comfortable and snug, the previous owner must not have been a big guy. The two sergeants saluted him as he walked off into the rain, they were almost done with this ridge.
Soon enough, they'll take the castle and this pass. Be it hell or highwater, the Germans were going to lose, Thomas would see to it, and then he could return back to the present.