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Laos File by Dale A. Dye "Shake Davis Series" {Excerpt}

Laos File by Dale A. Dye "Shake Davis Series" {Excerpt}

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Military Writers Society of America Award Winner

The death of a salty old senior noncommissioned officer who ran special operations in Vietnam leads Marine Gunner Shake Davis on a shocking and potentially lethal quest to find out what happened to hundreds of American POWs.

Written by Dale A. Dye, bestselling author of the novel Platoon, based on Oliver Stone’s classic film.
Military Writers Society of America Award Winner

The death of a salty old senior noncommissioned officer who ran special operations in Vietnam leads Marine Gunner Shake Davis on a shocking and potentially lethal quest to find out what happened to hundreds of American POWs.

Written by Dale A. Dye, bestselling author of the novel Platoon, based on Oliver Stone’s classic film.

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Publish date: Jan 22, 2013
Added to Scribd: May 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/26/2013

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PART ONE
1.
 
 
THEWORLDOzarksMountains—February1996
Deathcamecreeping.Crawling,clawing,anxioustoconsume;thewayitwas,thewayitalwaysis.Deathslitheredundertherattyquilt,overtheoldsoldier’sdistendedbelly,thefinalassaultonaheartundersiege.Hestoodhelplessbesidetheknotty-pinebunk,feelingimpotent,asinine.Kneeshitthehardwoodfloor.Asolid,icyjoltfromthechunkofshrapnelstilllodgedbehindakneecap,upthroughthethighintothebaseofhisbrain.Dealwithit.Driveon.Facethisdeathashe’dfacedtoomanyothers.TheEnd.Nowdriveon.Butaprayerfulposturebetrayedhim.WordsbubblingupfromanartesianwelldugyearsagoinaLutheranSundaySchool.Yea,thoughIwalkthroughthevalleyoftheshadowofdeath,Iwillfearnoevil...Andtheoldsoldierwouldfinishit...ashealwayshadwhentimesweretight.BecauseIamthemeanestmotherfuckerinthevalley.Aneyepoppedopenandrolledtowardhim.Red,whiteandblueinasinglesocket.Theflagstillwavesattwilight’slastgleaming.“Checkin’out...”Theoldsoldiergroaned.“Almostthere...”“WhatcanIdo,Gus?”Deathinthewirenow,bayonetfixed,readytorush."Isthereanything...”“CharlieMike...”Flagfurled.Lasttransmission.YoumaybesufferingunderashitstormbutyouwillContinueMission.Droppinghisheadontheoldsoldier’schestheheardafinalvolleyofdefiance.Hollowthumpsfromthelasthowitzerstillfiring.Anddeathoverrantheoldsoldier’sposition.Gustav(NoMiddleInitial)Quick—crownprinceandonceheirapparenttotheSergeantMajoroftheUnitedStatesMarineCorps—wasnowjustanotherfuckingstiff,aroutinemedevac.
 
 
Mid-winterdawndevastatedtheeasternskyasShakeDaviscarriedthecorpsetowardapre-selectedgravesite.He’ddugtheholethroughfrozenturfasorderedthreedaysago,inashallowbasinatopapine-crustedknobbehindthecabin.SergeantMajorQuickhadfoughtoffwardemonsfromthismountaintop.Herehewantedtoremain;plantedhigh,asnipercommandingabroadfieldoffire.Herehe’dperch,agargoylelurkinginambush,waitingfortheJaps,theKoreans,theChinese,theVietnameseortheghostofanygookhe’dfoughtallhislonglife.Hisshroudwasacamouflagedponcholiner.AppropriateastheissueentrenchingtoolShakeusedtospewrichmountainloamoverallthatwasleftofthemanwhotaught,nurtured,kicked,cajoled,savedandsalvedhimoveralifetimeinuniform.Whentheholewasfull,hefoldedtheentrenchingtoolintoapickanddugthebladeintotheearth.Thereitstays;nononsense,agrunt’sgravestone.Routinedispositionofremainsinaccordancewiththewishesofthedeceased.Everythingbeyondthecarcass—thedetritusofasoldier’slife:medals,citations,rifles,recordsandwritings—packedandwaitinginsidethecabin.Afewcondolencecalls—thelistwasmercifullyshort—andthenhaulitallbacktothemuseumatQuantico.Justthatandthenhandlehisownbaggage.TheremightbelifeafterdeathbutthelargermysterywaslifeaftertheCorps.MaybeI’llbeback,Gus.Hemeandereddownoffthehighground,watchingthepastelmorningskyoverspikyOzarkpinesswirllikecitrusinablender.Maybethisisagoodgraveyardfordinosaurs.ShakeraneastonHighway70,vaultedtheMississippiatSt.LouisandboltedintoIllinois.AnoverheadsignannouncedEffinghamandbythetimeheslewedontothebypass,wheelsbeganfallingoffhisresolvetoescape.Run,butyoucan’thide.Deathislightasafeather;dutyheavyasamountain.Orwordstotheeffectthathewasaprocrastinator,coward,shirker;ashit-birdwithoutmuchsenseofthehonorandethicshepreachedtoyoungMarines.

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