Rhino looked at Moko, sweat was clearly evident across his face in the rapidly brightening morning, Rhino could see no less than four assault rifles strapped across Cats torso, intermingled with webbing, ammo pouches and what looked like one awfully long, big arse RPG rocket launcher Rhino thought, breaking into a grin, Cat stopped scanning the surrounding bush , staring directly at Rhino he spoke.
“ What’s with the big fucking grin ya git”.
Rhino chuckled, Cat really had no idea, “ well, seeing as you ask, you look like a bag lady has met Rambo, was there anything that you left behind, a pair of boots perhaps, jocks and socks of the marines?”, Rhino exclaimed in a high pitch, before breaking out into a low rumbling Laugh.
“ look cat, I asked you to grab everything you could because we are heading back to the chopper”
. That stopped Cat dead in his tracks.
“ Ya fucking what!”, Cat exclaimed,
“ Oh for fuck sakes, you trying to get both of us killed or what, You know that every Chinese naval marine from here to bumfuck east will be descending upon this joint, once they work out their short little fellows over there are not coming home, they will be out for OUR ARSE!, that’s me and you buddy!, Dick here aint no fucking help, and he needs medical attention”. Cat was really starting to get animated; Rhino had already figured the reaction from Cat would be animated, so he just let him run his course.
“ I mean rhino, you’re the boss, but I gotta say, this is not exactly your brightest idea I think, how long you reckon we can hold out against those other blokes”, cats arm was extended and waving back in the direction of the four dead marines.
” They were fucking unlucky and we were dead set bloody lucky, we should be high tailing it for the fucking border and staying the hell out of sight, not”,
Cats arm was pointing at the direction of the chopper,” not back into the biggest fucking flare of come get me that’s been set down around here for fucking god knows how long, HELL!, even the natives will be out looking, and just in case you forgot about that one, its a dead fucking Dyak over yonder, I’ll wager his kin folk will be rightly pissed at us for killing him, I don’t see you making a nice shrunken head fucking mantle piece ornament after they cap our arses”.
Good Rhino, thought, cat had finally run out of steam, the tirade had lasted a little longer than rhino had expected. ‘Guess cats got it out of his system now Rhino thought to himself’.
“Righto!” Rhino said, Cats gaze was fixed on him,
“ Let’s grab Dick here and get our arses over to the chopper, I want to get set up before it gets too light, have a poke around some and then settle into a nice quiet camouflaged position if possible.”
Cat was shaking his head, “you with me Cat” Rhino enquired. The question was just that, concern clearly evident in Rhinos face and voice; they were a team after all.
“It’s going to take the both of us Cat, I need you focused”, rhino punched his crew chiefs arm.
” Loose and not ranting and raving like a complete fucking nutter, clear!”. Rhino sat back on his haunches, studiously studying cat for any signs that he was about to run off on another tangent, several seconds passed, cat merely sat there, looking out towards the clearing, then, suddenly, grabbing his weapon he stood up.
“ OK Boss, lets do it”.
Satisfied that all was in order, Rhino stood up beside cat, the shoulder wound clearly not bothering him too much as far as Cat could see.
Turning slightly towards Cat, Rhino spoke again, “ Do you happen to remember what our primary mission typically is Cat?”, Rhino continued to star at Cat, waiting patiently for a response.
Cat continued re adjusting all the equipment he had on, clearly thinking about Rhinos question, Whilst bending down to grab Dick, Cat almost froze, “Bingo” Rhino thought!.
“SHIT” Cat exclaimed and stood bolt upright, Looking straight back at Rhino. “ The weapons locker!”
Rhino stepped forward towards Cat, he had noticed that with the approaching dawn a heavy blanket of fog was starting to form, “ Rhino thought to himself”.
“ Hang a big Rodger on that Cat, I’m hoping that the armouring we did on the weapons lockers has let them survive, I figure that the blast will have torn off the rear ramp, if so, then the lockers should be okay, we just have to find them and fast”.
Reaching down in unison, both Cat and Rhino, grabbed Dick under each arm, gently hoisting him up between the pair of them , they started to pick their way towards the clearing, the faintest glow of the final embers of the chopper fire still visible in the distance.
As they slowly sorted their way through the jungle, Rhino’s mind was working in overdrive, unbeknown to Cat, that didn’t stop Cat from piping up mind you.
“ Rhino, you realise that if both weapons lockers are intact, we are in business, at least for a short while”, Cat was brightening up Rhino could see, so he helped cat along a little more.
“ Sure Cat, you do the stock take before we left , what’s the load out”.
As Rhino suspected, this helped cat shift his mind somewhat, I also had the effect of lightening up Rhinos mood too.
Shifting his hold slightly on Dick, Moko went through the contents of the weapons lockers.
“well Boss, Locker two has all the weapons stored in it, 3 steyrs, plus NVG’s, spare batteries, Mags, 6 tins of ammo as well. There is two SRAAW’s, plus grenades, bout 15 I think from memory , Flares, 10 claymores, spare radios and batteries and a minimi. Six boxes of ammo for that too”.
Rhino just rolled his eyes, “ That’s a lot more than standard Cat, how the fuck did you fit that much into the one bloody locker”.
Fro what Cat had just ran through, Rhino new something had seriously changed, it was almost double the normal load they would carry when inserting or extracting SF troops. The gear was not really for the chopper crew, although it could be used in a emergency..such as this one. The primary reason the ADF had decided to fit out SF choppers with the two lockers was so that troops could be resupplied to a degree IN FIELD or re inserted at short notice without the need to return to base and re supply.
“ Easy” cat exclaimed, I removed most of that useless fucking absorbent packing, I just made sure I replaced the packing with equipment”.
Rhino just shook his head, “ Well I guess that one way to ensure that don’t bump around and get damaged, I take it you didn’t removed the outer layer of insulation and padding?”