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The Mercenary : : Laos

The Mercenary : : Laos

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Published by Garland Culbreth

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Published by: Garland Culbreth on Feb 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/16/2013

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The Mercenary : : Laos
Keith and Steven trudged up a ridge in the Laotian jungle.  Jungle was a bit inaccurate;Keith was actually reminded of hiking, without and gun, in Virginia.  But whoever decidedthese things had called it a jungle, so a jungle it was.They'd been in Laos for two months.  The Laotian people  were becoming restless, andthere was a rebellion forming.  No action had been taken, but the elements were there.  SADhad decided to speed up the rebellion by showing that the government was not as strong asthe rebels thought.  Keith and Steven were in country to hit targets of opportunity and SADwould see that word of the attacks got out.  They'd been flown into the jungle two months agoand set up their own little forward operating base.  They had satellite communications withSAD command, and limited air support in the AO.Right now, they were on their way to check out a camp of some kind that satellites hadspotted. Steven was in front, and Keith followed covering their tracks as they climbed the hill.Keith turned to look up the hillside, and got a face-full of Steven's tail.  The red husky turnedto see what the matter was, and burst into laughter when he saw Keith sputtering.  Keithimmediately lost his anger and laughed at himself as well.  Laughter could be a great way torelieve tension.  The two infiltrators got the better of their mirth after a few seconds, andreturned to the task before them.They looked like relics from the Vietnam war.  They both wore tiger stripe patternedBDU's, M56 web kits, and 'X frame' rucksacks.  For weapons, they carried CAR-15's as theirprimary, a throwback to the SOG spike teams who had led covert scouting operations in thearea decades before.  As sidearms, both Steven and Keith bore M1911's and suppressors forthem.  In addition to these, Steven had a bowie knife on his web belt and Keith carried his M3trench knife strapped to his lower right leg.  They were not geared up in this manner for somekind of sentimental or historical value of the equipment, but because its effectiveness had notdiminished with time.As they reached the crest of the hill, They saw what they were looking for.  The Laotiancamp was about a quarter mile ahead of them.  Down the ridge, and across some openspace.  They saw enough huts to house a full regiment of soldiers and some that appeared tobe for storing equipment of some sort.  Keith lowered his binoculars,“Jackpot.”  He observed softly.“Let's call a strike on this anthill.” Steven whispered.Keith began to take his map out of its pouch when a branch snapped.  Steven's earsperked immediately, and his eyes snapped to the source of the noise.  A Laotian sentry  waswalking toward them at an angle.  He hadn't spotted them, but would if he held his course.Steven didn't have time to fix his M1911's suppressor, so he drew out his knife and threw it.  Itimpacted the sentry's chest, severing his aorta.  As he fell, his fists clenched, firing a burstfrom his AK47.
 
“Shit.” Keith muttered as he crammed his maps back into the pouch and began running downthe ridge.  At the base, he crouched, and got out his radio.“Hecate 2-4, this is dagger, we've been compromised.  We need immediate extraction atlanding zone sierra.  Over.”There was no response.Steven, who had been scanning the ridge line, looked over his shoulder at Keith with aworried look.  Keith was bewildered.  He should have at least gotten something.  Thereweren't any jammers in the area.  Keith's breathing became quick and he tried again,“Hecate 2-4, this is dagger, do you copy? Over.”Nothing.Keith was exasperated.  He'd been given a devoted channel for this operation, andhe'd reported in earlier that day, so there wasn't anything jamming him, but why wasn't theradio working?“Hecate 2-4, are you there?”  He called.Still nothing.“Shit move!”  Steven yelled.  Laotian soldiers were charging over the ridge at them.  Keithclipped the radio onto his suspender's shoulder loop and they ran for it as the soldiers openedfire.They sprinted for about two hundred meters then turned and scaled the ridge to theirleft.  After about a hundred more meters, Keith dropped behind a boulder and tried the radioagain.“Hecate 2-4, this is dagger.  If you're receiving, we need immediate evac at LZ sierra.  Over.”No response.“Fuck,” Keith muttered, and clipped the radio.  Steven was trading fire with the pursuingsoldiers from behind the boulder.  Keith joined the firefight and it escalated.  The infiltratorshad superior position, but were almost out of ammunition just two minutes later.  Keith turnedto try the radio again and saw another platoon of Laotians running towards them from overthe next ridge.  He tapped Steven on the shoulder and they took off at a dead run, crashingthrough the underbrush.By now, they were taking fire from both sides and from behind.  As they reached LZsierra about five hundred meters later, they took cover behind some rocks in the clearing and

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