RECAP……. New section further below
FROM THE DARK:
The explosion caught Cat by surprise , not expecting it , the blast wave slammed into him with almost full force, only the presence of a small rise to his front shielded him from the blast, picking him up and throwing him backwards in a somersaulting, flailing heap of arms and legs.
Cat groaning, as he struggled to his feed stared in shock disbelief, at the now fading mushroom cloud above where Bundy Zero Zero had been, off to the right, he could see the remnants of a midair explosion where the Stinger had obviously killed the Hind. His senses returning Cat ran Forward Screaming, tears streaming down his dirty, blackened Face, “ No No Nooooo Rhino, DB!”, sinking to his knees, sobbing, his chest heaving as spasms wracked his body, his hands cupped over his flash burned face. Finally, as the sobs subsided, cat pulled his hands away and looked up at the remaining wreckage of Bundy Zero zero, he could see, that both DB and Rhino had been killed, completely blown up, in the resultant blast, little was left to tell that the smoking pile of embers and fire was once a chopper.
The small Jungle clearing, not more than 50 meters in diameter, was eerily lit by the dying flames of the choppers wreckage, the glow casting shadows that seemed to prance around the clearing, the golden flickering flames, highlighting a lone figure on the clearings only rise, immobile, shoulders slumped gazing off into the inky black night sky. The figure did not move, immobile and not making a sound, Bundy Zero Zero’s lone crew chief, simply sat there on his haunches in shock staring into oblivion.
Suddenly a few remaining rounds from the choppers .50 call machine gun exploded, popping and crackling loudly across the clearing and night sky, the sounds reverberating back and forth, startling the lone figure. Cat jumped, “ Fuck”, the sudden noise snapping Cat back to the moment, his day dreaming of outings and the various shenanigans on leave with DB and Rhino, suddenly terminated as he was snapped back to the present by the sounds.
Slowly almost in a stupor, Cat scanned the wreckage, there really wasn’t much to scan, Bundy Zero Zero, not only carried additional fuel for their long Spec ops missions, but also enough ordinance to fight a small war, several in fact, Both Rhino and Cat believed in having more than was required, “co’s Ya Never know when the shit will hit the fan” as Rhino used to say. Summoning all his strength, Cat stood up, grabbing the Steyr assault rifle as he did so and giving his big frame a shake, like a dog getting outta water.
Looking down at his combat harness and attached webbing Cat took stock of his Situation. “ well, that’s that I guess”, It was an unusually fatalistic approach for Cat, being known in the Spec Ops community as bloke who was always up beat, the death of his two best mates, had possibly altered cats outlook forever, it wasn’t however going to distract him from the task ahead. “ Right, Cat me boy lets get ya shit together, and bugger off before more trouble arrives”, with that cat turned and strolled across to a clump of low shrubs and knelt down on the damp ground, one by one he started unsnapping the pouches and checking out what he had to work with.
“Righto, 6 mags, 3 white phos and a frag, tucker in the bum bag, emergency radio and water, thank god”. Cat looked up, taking a quick scan around the clearing, tracking clockwise whilst looking over the steyrs battle scope, the tritium coated foresight glowing in the dark, scanning ever so slowly for the faintest sign of movement. The fires from the chopper were almost out, the smouldering wreckage was now just generating a lot of thick oily smoke, which Cat could see was starting to hang low across the clearing, just the faint sounds of the dieing flames coming to cats ears.
Satisfied that all was clear, Cat returned to the task at hand, having reached down and grabbed his Webbing, he swung it over his shoulder and put his arms through, he could feel the fatigue in his movements, the exercising during the Choppers air fight, the mad scramble out of the chopper and downing of the HIND had all been adrenalin fuelled, Cat new he needed to get moving, both to clear the site, as the Indonesians would surely be on their way and to keep from seizing up, action was the best course he thought to himself
. “ Hmmmm”, Cat quietly mumbled, ever conscious of sound and its ability to carry in the still night air, “ lets go due east, skirt the clearing and then see if we can get this fucking emergency Radio to work”. With that Cat stood up and started to walk for the edge of the clearing, the Head and Steyr continuously scanning together in unison, sweeping his frontal arc for signs of movement as he made a direct beeline for the jungles edge.
It took Cat all of 10 minutes to reach the edge of the jungle clearing, the distance had come as a surprise and the undulations, laced with decaying timber and chopper debris has caused him to trip several times, once almost falling flat on his face. That had required a brief stop to clear the barrel end of the weapon, which generated a few low mutters. Having reached the clearings extremities, cat hooked right and skirted the edge, no more than 5 feet into the still thin undergrowth, the chopper was now behind him, about 30 meters away, fading into the distance.
Cat froze, slowly the his arms tensed and the Steyr moved up into his line of sight, scanning to his left out into the clearing, Cat wasn’t sure what it was he had heard, if anything at all, possibly something from the chopper or maybe even a small animal but alarm bells had gone off . Cautiously, Cat continued forward, one foot gently being placed in from of the other, Side of heel, foot going down forward and then flattening out, the process repeating itself for every footfall as he continued forward for the next 5 or so meters, scanning, straining his eyes, never looking directly at an object as taught. They hurt, still stinging slightly from the blast and resultant smoke and with no night vision gear, Cat was almost as blind as a bat, it was going to be a long bruising walk outta the jungle.
He started to pick up the pace, Cats thoughts were starting to clear, now he had the throes of a plan, “East, lets move east, gotta put 3 clicks between me and the crash site tonight me boy, Cat though to himself”, suddenly Cat got that oh shit moment as his foot struck the object, he started tripping over the log laying across in front of his path, without being able to get his other foot over it in time, Then the laws of Physics started to take over, with his tall frame and weight now forward over the log, he commenced his fall towards the earth face first, groaning cat instinctively put his left arm out, fully extended to blunt the impending smack of the ground, when he also noticed the log gave way, rolling slightly and moaning, “ Oh shit” cat cried out, suddenly realising as he crashed into the undergrowth, that the log was a person.
As Cat rolled, frantically trying to get himself upright he started yelling “ Rhino, DB, is that you”
Frantically scrambling to get up, cat reached for his flash light on his webbing, , yanking it free with his left, whilst making sure the steyr pointed forward, he thumbed the on switch, “Rhino where are you” he shouted quietly, panning the torch beam left and right, Cat was stunned, he couldn’t see any sign of the person he had just tripped over. Suddenly he heard a muffled groan over to his left, not 30 yards away and the faint sounds of somebody crashing through the underbrush. “SHIT”, Cat thought, Immediately grabbing his steyr he flicked the safety off and doused the torch light.
“Jesus, calm yourself,”, cat quietly muttered to himself, his heart felt like it was going to leap out of his chest, whatever, or who ever he had stumbled over was making a hasty retreat, standing upright, he slowly raised the steyr to his shoulder and started panning through the night vision scope. Instantly the world turned green and black,
“ come on ya fucker, gimme a look at ya” cat whispered..
Woooosh!, Cat spun almost loosening off a round, it was from the direction his unknown contact had run to. Almost simultaneously, three shots rang out, from what sounded to cat like a pistol.
The clearing had instantly turned bright red, as the parachute flare had reached its zenith it exploded to life, bathing the area in brilliant red light as it lazily drifted above them, the shadows dancing eerily and the flare slowly commenced it decent to earth.
“What the fuck was that”, crouching Low cat started making a line for where he thought the flare had come from, being careful to keep about 20 feet or so into the tree line and afford himself some cover, lest the contact be hostile, he rapidly , silently covered ground.
Slowing, now as he started nearing the area from where the flare had come, Cat started scanning with the scope, not much movement here he thought, but it wouldn’t take much for the enemy to be hiding and using Night Vision themselves. Cat stooped, dead still, suddenly aware all was not right, his finger nervously thumbed the safety on the steyr.
Unlike other weapons, it didn’t have a rate of fire selector, as you depressed the trigger to its first stage you got a single shot each time, depressing the trigger all the way, let you have full out and at this moment, cat was assuredly thinking about having to go all Rock n Roll.
Twisting agonisingly slowly to his right, cat raised the steyr to look through the scope. The sniff, like somebody wiping their nose with their arm whilst snorting in almost made Cat shit himself, freezing instantly!.
“ You fucking door gunners couldn’t sneak up on a blind deaf fucking mute, now gimme a hand will ya”.
Cats heart nearly skipped a beat “ RHINO!, how the fuck”,
“Enough of the huggy kissy and question time shit, will ya, DB here is a bad way, and I have already capped one poor bastard tonight on the ground, so unless you want to be the second, hows about we stop uselessly sucking air and get our shit together”.
Cat continued to stare at Rhino, simply not believing he had somehow managed to make it out of the chopper, Rhino bent down and started to open up a medical kit, DB was laying at his feet, still breathing, but most definitely unconscious.
“ Yeah sure boss, whadda ya want me to do”, whispered cat as he stepped forward and crouched down with Rhino of DB frame.
Well me matey, how about turning off the fucking light, for starters”, cat immediately turned off the torch, chastising himself for such a stupid actions.
“Seeing as you managed to get the gat out along with that stinger, I think you can play sentry whilst I patch up out boy here, I’ve stopped his leg from bleeding and it looks like the rest is really just superficial, but fuck ain’t he gunna have a head ache”. Rhino ripped open a shell dressing and started to wrap the bandage around DB left arm, his flight suit looked a complete fucking mess, HOW, they got out Cat really didn’t know, but he was sure as fuck glad the did.