Crouching Soldier,
Putting a new, modern, western twist to the great film.

Chapter One: "Where Am I?"

"Bravo Five, say again"

Corporal Jack Dalton popped his head up from behind the log he was using as cover, and fired a quick burst of rounds from his M4. Ducking behind the log as the Chinese soldiers tried to get him; he put the radio ear peace to his ear.

"This is Bravo Five, my squad is dead, pinned down by heavy fire in the foothills east of Beijing, think I've found the terrorist camp.."

He paused to use the break in the Chinese fire to pop out and take some more shots, killing one poor soldier who was reloading. "Request backup immediately" Dalton threw the ear peace away, and it slammed against the dead body of the radio operator. He fired another burst of rounds, and then his gun gave a dry click.

"Damnit" he muttered, throwing the rifle away, and picking up the radio operators "Sorry buddy" he grinned, and fired again. He ducked down as another hail of bullets hit the log. Then, suddenly, a bright flash of light illuminated the area he had set down in. He felt beams of light sting his whole body, and soon pain overcame him, and he blacked out.

Slowly, but surely, ambient noise began to work its way back into his ears. He could hear the twitter of birds and the creek of the tall pine trees. He could feel the wind lifting up the shirt of his uniform, and the blood of his comrades sticking to his body. As shapes slowly became defined, Dalton realised he wasn't dead. He picked himself up and looked around. Same forest, same light. Yet something was different.

He pulled the empty clip out of the weapon, and picked up all the clips he could find, quickly stoving them into his bandolier. Then he took a moment as he realised that the shooting had stopped. He moved up slowly to take a peek above the log. The forest was empty.

"What the.."

Where had all the soldiers gone? His first thought was that his forces had flown over and machine-gunned them, but there were no bodies. And the oddest thing was, there were no bullet holes, either in the surrounding trees or the log he was using for cover. All the spent cartridges had vanished. He reached for the radio

"Bravo Five to Eagle, come in over"

There was no response, not even the crackle of radio waves. Dalton tried again

"Bravo Five to Eagle, you guys messing me around again, over" again there was nothing. Dalton dropped the ear peace and stood up, his brow furrowing.

"Where am I?"

Dalton took a moment to think about what he should do. Firstly, he covered over the bodies of his comrades, taking their dog tags. Then he decided the best course of action was to make his way back into Beijing and hook up with either the Chinese or American Special Forces command in the city centre. Picking up the M4, and taking a swig from his water bottle, he stepped forward into the forest.