First part here is a recap for ya, It has been a whil as i been focused on the Rhino and Moko. The new section is further down if you want to skip this part.
Sierra one was in deep, shit, what should have been a relatively simple journey for 40 minutes patrolling through the jungle to their RV , had turned into a series of ambushes and running gun fights for the last hour and a half, only the onset of darkness had given them a breather.
Havock now sat in a small huddle with Jolls and their very bedraggled looking prisoner, they were currently concealed in a large tree stump, which was surrounded with dense foliage and ferns, the moss making for a very comfortable seat, albeit with a wet arse.
Joll’s lowered himself back down into their bunker and looked at H, “ Jesus H. I’m not sure if we be having any lives left, fuck I reckon we’re in the negative”, jolls unsnapped a pouch on his webbing and pulled two snickers bars out, “H, want one”. Hell yes I thought, “Yeah ta mate”. Chewing away I wondered how the hell, we were going to make the RV, I was down to, two mags for the MP and still had four for the 16 I had collected, not good Harry, not good at all.
Whilst we quietly chewed our snickers bars I tried to figure out what the hell we would do from here on, the radios had now both gone tits up, Joll’s unit having taken a round through it and mine from a crash tackle. Well at least we had established contact with Burger 11, so the RV was at last transmission still on. Joll’s piped up, “ what’s the plan Harry, I’m down to just 4 mags for the steyr, glad we scavenged that ammo from that last fire fight”. Yeah I thought, our luck can’t hold, “ sooner or later we will be in deep shit, just scratches so far, that’s a fucking miracle in itself”. “Well at least its night now, we can use our NVG’s, they shouldn’t have low light gear”. True I thought, “lets fucking hope so Joll’s, keep ya fingers crossed, Hows our friend keeping up”.
After we had retreated from the weapons cache, we’d only covered about 250m when Jolls had spotted another inbound 6 man Indonesian patrol, that contact had lasted about 10 minutes and proved the worth of the suppressed MP5 in spades. Whilst Jolls had been point , he had worked his way, back towards the prisoner and myself who had moved off to a flanking position. It was here that it excelled, for whilst Jolls could suppress and hold their attention, targets could be taken out in silence, it hadn’t always worked, but two out of three was pretty good, the last contact was close run, way to close.
After the second contact we’d switched and I walked point, the last ambush was initiated by the Indonesians and only for birds scattering from some bushes further up alerting me, we would have walked straight into it. As it was they opened up immediately and they had a gun, M60 it turned out, two rounds had entered my ruck and tore out the other side, shredding everything inside almost. Whilst I had kept the patrol delayed, Jolls put out two claymores, which I retreated through.
Thankfully the Indonesians were a little to keen to pursue us and set of both claymores in our pursuit, at that point both of us charged forward, killing all the remaining soldiers and finishing of the wounded. I must admit I really have no stomach for that, but we had zero chance of saving them, reality in this part of the world is brutal.
Joll’s was shaking my shoulder, I had wandered off, recounting the what ifs, “H ya still with us or what!”. “Huh, yeah, just about ready for a nanny nap I think, something tells me that’s outa the question at the moment but”. Jolls had a small chuckle, “ Derrrr ya think so”, he muttered, grinning.
One of his attributes I loved was his humour, unusually we had joined up and progressed through the ADF together, Infantry training, the additional quals courses, commando selection and finally the SASR, fuck what a trip, I thought to myself. Still , one of the best mates I could have.
“OK, heres what we band of fucking numbats is gunna do”, I said. “ Jolls you take our friend here again and I’ll go point, but I’m switching over to the MP, that way we might be able to take out silently any bugger we bump into or at least thin the fuckers out, Its dark so the NVG’s are gunna be a fucking blessing, cool”. Jolls took all of half a second to think about it, “ Rodger that H, lead off boss”. “ OK lest get our little friend here a drink, well move in 5, I’m going for a recon, a sweep of our position, quick and dirty”. Jolls nodded and with that I got up, put my NVG’s on and step out, like the ghost that walks I thought.
The jungle had grown quiet, typically night time became very much this way, but you also got the normal nocturnal sounds. Cicadas, monkeys, owls and so forth, not screaming mind you, just sorta percolating away in the background, what pricked the senses was nothing, no calls, it was too quiet. Startled, I stiffened as the palm frond to my front parted in the NVG’s vision, the Indonesian trooper had simply burst into the very small clearing, stumbling around in the darkness.
He was looking straight ahead, weapon at the ready, trying, straining I could see to make out movement in the almost pitch blackness, silently, with the advantage of the night vision goggles I stepped forward, seamlessly letting the MP5 come to rest against the ammo pouches, the right hand reaching behind and extracting my Gerber combat knife, silently everything operating on auto pilot. The trooper had progressed forward another metre or so to the edge of the small clearing, crossing directly in front of me, his upper torso exposed from the ferns and dense jungle undergrowth.
My heart had jumped, racing, as adrenalin was dumped explosively into the bloodstream, I took too full steps up behind the trooper, as my left hand grabbed the bottom part of his chin, yanking his chin and head, up, at the same time back onto my shoulder. Making sure his mouth was closed, I jammed the Gerber into the right side of his neck, slicing all the way into the hilt and viciously pushing it forwarding a clock like motion whilst pulling the knife out, fully severing over half his throat and neck muscles as I felt his blood spurt, warm all over my hand, soaking my combat gloves.
He tried to twist, and bucked violently as the knife penetrated, pushing himself up on his toes, until the Gerber’s twin sharpened edges cut both his arteries, whilst the point spun towards the back, slicing through his spinal cord between his vertebrae. He went limp, just some final spasms, as I smelt the stench of vented bowels.
I was lowering him to the ground when I heard a shout in Indonesian, his mate, armed with his flashlight popped out the same fucking whole his now dead counter part had. “Jesus this is getting hairy”, I thought, getting no answer and I guess, thinking something was wrong he turned on his fucking torch, instantly the goggles flared as I dropped and spun right, desperately seeking to get the MP5 free for a shot.
As the torch came on his eyes went wide at the scene, me his dead, blood soaked comrade with severed throat, falling to the ground in front of him, pure horror and astonishment at what lay before him. He dropped the torch and immediately started to bring around his M16, which had been slung over his right shoulder.
Fuck, I thought, this is turning to shit fast, he was screaming now at the top of his voice, the whole jungle now aware, “ Allah Akbar”, as I rolled right, snatching the trigger on the MP5 one handed, my left arm still pinned beneath his comrade. The line of slugs, all hit him fully square in the chest, a perfect three in his centre ring, smashing through his rib cage and tearing his heart apart on their way through towards his right shoulder. Before the rounds left his body though the smashed into his shoulder blade, the sub-Sonics venting their full force on his scapular, smashing it into thousands of tinny fragments and spinning his body, just as he depressed the trigger on the M16.
The night, which was punctuated by his screaming, now was shattered by the roar and muzzle flash of his M16, discharging on full auto, as he fell to the ground, rounds walking into his dead mate on my left, arching further up into the tree tops as he fell. The final two rounds of the 20 odd discharged slammed into my light weight body armour just to the left of my collar bone, whilst not penetrating, instantly breaking the bone in three places as the glanced off, careening into the jungle. Pain rippled through my shoulder, burning and numbing sensation from my left arm as I let out a scream.
Gunfire erupted all around me, rounds tore through trees and muzzle flashes could be seen left and right of my position, as what must have been a full 15 man Indonesian patrol opened up, wild random firing by panicked persons, not aimed at anything specific, just an ever increasing crescendo of exploding steel and noise, somewhere down their line grenades were being thrown, no targets just the massive whump and concussion of them going off..
The rounds were zipping passed, some close, some further away, I rolled right to fully free the left arm up, the Indonesians were both dead, so there really was no point hanging around waiting to get my arse shot off, The head set came to life, “H come in”, it was jolls. “Yeah Jolls, copy you, what’s your situation”. I was all of 60 feet from the tree stump, but as the vegetation was so thick I still could not make it out, The fire coming from the Indonesians was still fairly heavy, two of their light machine guns were working the area over pretty bloody hard, and this crawling along the ground shit wasn’t much better.
“ H we’re in tact here , no contact, some close calls with snoopers , but the trees holding up, had to gag our little mate, he’s shitting himself”, That brought a smile to my face, I could well see the poor bastard there in the stump, all manner of shit blowing up around them.
Panting and sweating profusely I continued crawling over towards the tree stump, each movement burned as pain from the broken collar bone shot through the body, only adrenalin tempering its effects. 10 meters out from Jolls position I heard more gunfire, this time it rolled in from over the ridge line, from burger one ones position.
“Great!, Fucking hell, now the cavalry is in the shit”, I muttered to no one in particular. The throat mikes were hot, so Jolls heard my muttering, “H what’s the plan, I do not figure on being general fucking Custer here”. I grinned a little, no, that was not my plan either, although I wasn’t completely sure just what we were going to do, except maybe get the fuck out of doge in a hurry.
“Jolls, we will keep heading west for about another 100m then hook right hard towards Burger one one, maybe catch the bad guys their dancing with from the flank or something”, I blew more air out, the arms were fucking killing me as I rolled over a lent against the tree stump, just as more single shots rolled in from over the hill line. Someone was getting a coupe de grace I thought, hopefully our lot doing it.
As I continued crawling toward the tree stump housing Jolls I could feel the soft decaying ground vegetation beneath me, by this time, it didn’t really matter anyway, sweat now covered the whole body, as I approached the base of Jolls temporary hideout I gave him a quick call “ Coming in Jolls don’t shoot”, two brief click sounds came back, signalling Jolls had heard me. Slowly I stood upright, scanning left in a full circle, all the while tracking the vision through the sight of the Mp, ready to fire if a target was identified.
“All’s clear out here”, I leant over the edge of the hollowed out tree, it had that damp pissy smell, “ Care for a wee stroll” I as asked. Jolls stood up, in the process grabbing our Indonesian friend by his webbing and standing him upright also, “ Might as well H, my arse is starting to go numb, I’ll need Jenny Craig if I stay put any longer”. Stifling a laugh I indicted to Jolls with a head nod that we should move out. As Jolls grabbed the prisoner I gave the MP5 a quick once over, “ Hey H, speaking of food, you don’t happen to have any Lite N Easy meals on ya by chance”. Unbelievable I thought, “ No, not at this point in time I am afraid my good man, I will call in for some at the earliest I promise, here, I’ll give ya a hand”, I reached over and grabbed our prisoner, helping him up outta the tree and once more into the unknown.
Heading off I considered our position, “its not the best H, me boy”. I thought that we were roughly 400 meters or so from the RV, just the one hill separating us, “ Jolls”.
“ yeah H”, I continued slowly piking my way through the lower canopy, lightly pushing through the Tall Giant ferns which seemed to be in abundance in this area.
“ Gunna hook left for about 150, then we’ll head back right, reckon it’ll give us some space from that patrol”. After some shouting from their commander the patrol had ceased firing of into the never never and gone to ground. “ Rodger that H, lead on kimosabi”.
As I pushed on I couldn’t help but notice how the night sounds of the jungle were slowly starting to return, the incessant buzz of fucking mosquitos, was a given, but somewhere off in the distance I could hear monkeys hooting, most likely disturbed by some form of predator, other than a human. It was actually a sure sign, typically two or three sentry monkeys would lite up if a stray cat was about, but if a human spooked them, well!, the whole bloody troop would scream blue murder. You could hear the bastards for miles around and any signs of them would result in a deviation, especially at night.
I stoped briefly and crouched down next to an old tree fern, as I looked over it I could see it was now laced with vines, its death providing a home and structure for other creatures and plants to flourish on. The jungle, possibly one of the worst environments on the planet to fight in, certainly worse that that arse end of the earth Afghanistan, there you had rocks, rocks and more fucking rocks, but sometimes, when you ventured down unto the valleys, it was like an oasis, the rivers or streams providing sustenance for the surrounding area, especially so if humans were present. Poppies and all manner of agriculture would be taking place and the greenery just seemed so foreign in such a brutal place , where the Darwinian principal’s were so readily evident.
“ Moving again Jolls”, “Rodger that H”. As I had come to a halt, Jolls had closed up and then gone to ground as we both scanned ahead, this caterpillar movement ensured we provided cover for each other and were not over extended, typically we would all be moving, but our prisoner ensured we modified our SOP.
As we slowly started climbing a small rise, I began to veer right, round the eastern face of the feature, although it was not daylight, I still did not want to be sky lined in any fashion, although the moon was only managing to peak through the triple canopy in certain places, thin wisps of its beams highlighting plants and objects like some foreign medieval art gallery.
We’d been moving now for a good forty minutes, it was painfully slow going, more so as the prisoner seemed to be in a trance, blundering around like a herd of fucking elephants and given our distance with the ground now starting to fall away, I suspected we were not that far from the RV point, if the jungle was not present, I should have been able to see a small hill about 400 meters to my front, at the base of which should be a track, roughly 150 down from where we were now, this track would lead to the junction, not that we were going to be following it mind you.
I stopped and continued scanning the area, whilst doing so, I patted my head with a flat hand twice and immediately heard two clicking sounds, “ good” I thought, Jolls had seen the signal to form on me. Crouching down slowing, I set about scanning whilst I waited for Jolls and the prisoner to arrive.