Saturday, September 16, 2017

Grunt: Role Playing in the Vietnam War "Mission One" Part 2

Cain pushed ahead into the thicket of the jungle. Williams wanted to go slowly, especially after their first encounter with some unknown enemy. Santiago slogged on behind Williams. "Hey, Sarge.", weezed Santiago. "Yes?". Santiago adjusted his backpack straps. "Why do you keep puttin' the wuss in front?". "You mean Case?". Santiago nodded, "Yea, I don't feel safe with him up front. Passin' out and all that garbage. But Cain? Man, that guy already has 1 confirmed and no one else saw it!". Williams looked back towards Santiago and continued, "They're both good pointmen, Case needs to get used to being up there. That's all. I mean, I don't see you up there.", Williams said grinning. Santiago looked up and glared at the back of Williams' head. "Hey, its not my job. I'm stuck with you.". There was silence after that.

(10km 1100)
The rain continued its down pour on the men. Cain pushed upwards on the slope. His feet slogging through the mud and he stopped. He didn't know whether it was the wind or the storm but he heard something. He scanned the jungle in front of him. After a while he felt Williams behind him. "Whats out there?", he whispered. Cain continued to look, "I don't know Sarge, probably some animal. I don't see nuthin'." They sat there for a few minutes scanning the jungle. "Hey!", whispered Santiago, "I'd like to know whats going on up there!". Williams looked at Cain and saw the look of exahstion on his face. "10 minute break", Williams patted Cain on the shoulder and delivered the message down the line. Cain leaned up against a tree and fell asleep. The men all began to try and get out of the rain as they pulled items from their backpacks, some eating again, others writing letters. Williams assigned Davenport and Hogan as guards while the men rested. Davenport loaded his M79 and peered out into the green veil around him. He paced around trying to watch all around him and as he scanned he came across Hogan who was tense aiming his rifle towards the jungle, "Hogan! Whats out there?", Hogan just pointed with his trigger finger towards the jungle. Davenport looked and saw two figures approaching wearing Kakhi uniforms. They both opened fire with a burst of 556 and a 40mm grenade. One figure slumped to the floor while a burst of fire came from the second. "Get down!", shouted Davenport. Cain awoke terrified and rolled out into the mud. Williams grabbed his M16 and opened fire into the tree line, not seeing who or what he was shooting at and Santiago followed Williams' lead. Jarvis spun his M60 around and let loose a volley tearing up leaves and twigs as the bullets flew threw the air. Williams began shouting to hold fire and looked around at his men, Hogan and Davenport were moving forward. He stared down in the mud to see Peters buried in the mud. He grabbed his backpack and pulled up revealing Peters' muddy face. "Are you hit?", Williams said while helping him up. "No, I'm fine", Peters said as he walked away. Davenport and Hogan approached slowly and saw the two slumped over bodies of dead NVA. They were soaked in blood and mud. "They're not doing any better than we are out here.", Davenport said laughing. Hogan smiled and began to search the NVA, "These must be some scouts. 2 AK-47s, Rice... all very typical- Wait!", with that Hogan pulled out a map from one of the bodies. "Any chance you read gook?", Davenport smiled, "Lets get that to Williams". (1200)

(11km 1200)
Williams observed his men after they had continued to march. Many were silent and Peters hadn't mentioned how he acted in combat but the keen eyes of Davenport and Hogan had saved them. Williams noted Davenport checking his M79. They had also gotten a map that they would be able to turn into Gwin Lop. So far so good. He thought to himself. Case stood at point again weaving his M16 through the scrubs and slashing through with his machete at the thick vines. Still wants to travel slow. He thought. I'd like to get this over with. He felt more comfortable in the day time hiking through. No more shadows playing tricks. Case smiled at that thought. (1300)

(14km 1300)
Case was still the point man when Williams gave the order to quicken the squad's pace. "You alright up there Case?", asked Williams. Case simply nodded his head and began to march again. They were deep in the mountains that separated HQ from Gwin Lop. The rain still falling from the sky made the steep slopes treacherous for the men carrying their heavy gear. Case began to head down a slope when suddenly he tripped and began to tumble downwards. His backpack and various gear went tumbling out in other directions until he reached the bottom of the slope. "Medic!", was shouted by Davenport and soon Hogan began to make his way down the slope. Davenport went with him, M16 in hand. Hogan went to the groaning pointman and began to check him for injuries. Various cuts and bruises were all over but the worst was a large cut in his leg. He began to patch the leg best he could. Once completed Davenport noticed the worried look on his face. They helped Case up, "Want to switch with Cain again?", asked Davenport kindly but Case shook his head. "I'm fine. I can still walk, just help me find my gear.". By this time Williams and the rest of the squad had made their way down the slope. They continued to follow Case throughout the jungle. (1400)

(17km 1400)
Case was still at point, though marching with a slight limp, he kept chopping and slogging through the brush when he saw it. A wire in front of him close towards the ground. "Hold!". Williams crouched next to him. "What is it?". Case pointed, "Wire". Williams looked and saw the wire but couldn't see what it lead to. "So what is the plan?", asked William. "I'm going to disable it", whispered Case. Williams nodded and told everyone to step back. They watched cautiously. Case began to lightly trace the wire with his finger following it to the trap itself. A crude device made with a bent back branch and sharpened stick. That could've killed me. He thought as be held the branch and cut the wire releasing the tension. He gave a thumbs up towards his Sergeant and guided them past the trap.

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