His demeanor instantly hardened and the pressing crowd fell back as if they sensed the deadliness building up inside the warrior. Reports flooded into him as his troops called in with updates. Without hesitation the news was directed back to Base by the radio tech who kept close to the captain as he prowled the devastated marketplace. Among the townsfolk still milling about were a few local officials, including the police chief, working with the Marines to clear the area of unnecessary personnel.
Close-by a civilian pickup truck was being loaded with bodies, each wrapped in blood-soaked cloth, by a handful of weeping men as a small group of distraught women intermingled with them, wailing and clutching at each bundle being gently handled. The group was so overwrought by their gruesome task that they were totally oblivious of the poor bewildered individual sitting quietly among their shuffling feet.
A small tan nondescript pup was sitting sorrowfully beside one particular body. Occasionally it lifted a paw and tentatively touched the bloody cloth. Kramer watched transfixed as the pup looked up at the people then back at the small bundle of cloth, then back at the people. Then the pup nuzzled the bundle as if trying to awaken the person wrapped inside.