Sorry about the week long wait, and I assure you all I AM NOT DEAD. That profile update was a practical joke played on me by a friend in response for a prank I played on him. That means I have not had control of my account for the last couple of days. I apologize for any misunderstandings or misleadings. I assure you it wasn't in the name of attention seeking. Anyway, glad to see you guys are enjoying the Vietnam sequences. Nobody caught my Apocalypse Now Quote? Uncultured swines!

Haradion: Yeah, I thought it might fit. :)

Jonny2b: Ssh...keep it down about the POW thing ;)

Carrie Wolfe: Ah...you saw my Apocalypse Now quote. I am still not convinced EJ would be a good father. He may not even be much better than yours. Remember he is a mindless soldier, he knows no sorrow, no joy, no love and no other emotion except for Humor and Anger.

Scarstorm2000: I was using a Darth Vader quote...Anyway, the rest of the original trilogy is a must see. And it wasn't a filler chapter, it was a war scene, that definitely is important. :)

Chu10: Thanks! And that mystery you (As a Judgement reader) know the answer to. And some of the magic scenes will be replaced.

Cheers: JJZ-109


CHAPTER 13. THE DESCENT

TĂȘ Tu Province,Vietnam, 1969

Scar and the survivors of Omega Company cautiously stepped forward, towards the raging inferno on the other side of the clearing. Luckily, it was dying down. The flames lining the now blackened branches of the trees crackled, but slowly faded. As they began to investigate the Viet Cong ambush, Scar took off his helmet and wiped the sweat away. The heat still beat down on his face, and he panted for fresh air.

All except for Jones cringed at the maimed corpses around them. Barely recognizable bodies lay in the dirt, with their skin so gnarled and blackened by the flames; one would hardly identify them as a human being. Scar stared blankly at the corpses. Not too long ago, he would have looked almost as bad. That had been the work of Ahadi, and so had this. They should not be there. He should not be there.

Jones panned his head around, surveying the flaming mess he had caused with the napalm strike. He turned to his stunned radio operator and nodded.

"Radio Command. Tell them Sector Nine is clear, but with heavy casualties." Jones ordered him softly, before approaching a dirt mound, with palm branches messily thrown over the top of it. He scowled.

"Spider holes..." He then turned to Scar and Lukas. "Boys, search them tunnels. Find anything give us a shout. Kill anything that moves. Capiche?"

He tossed Scar a flashlight and he nodded, but Lukas spoke up.

"Should I not be tending to the wounded?"

"They'll have to wait. If there is anything down there, then we could have a whole lot more wounded than we already do." Lukas nodded. That did make sense, but it seemed like a risk they should be taking.

Scar shrugged and looked down into the pitch black hole. The darkness seemed to call to him, and he shuddered. The echoes of the flames crackling could be heard inside it. Scar took one last look at Omega Company's soldiers, who were still recovering from the fight. Here goes nothing. He took a deep breath and slowly slid into the blackness, as he did, he felt his heart and soul sink with him. He slid down deeper and deeper, into all sorts of possible dangers, and away from the light. Away from the light of Taka. When Scar felt his feet touch firm ground, he was met with pure blackness. He couldn't see anything at all, except for when he looked up and saw the light of the tunnel entrance. He switched on his flashlight, and panned around a bit, revealing another long tunnel to his left.

"Are you okay?" The voice of Lukas shouted from above.

"Yeah, I'm alright. You can come down now." Scar answered and moved out of the way of the hole entrance, so that Lukas wouldn't crash down on top of him.

Soon enough, Lukas gracefully slid down the tunnel wall and landed at the bottom where Scar awaited him. He dusted himself off and stood up to face him.

"Now what my friend?" Lukas asked. Scar felt a little flattered. Lukas was now the only friend he had left.

"We search around for enemy activity, then we get the hell out of here." Lukas nodded and gestured forward, into the pitch-black tunnel ahead.

Scar quickly drew a red flare, and lit it; creating a bit of light with a reddish gloom that surrounded them. He dropped it at the bottom of the entrance, and they both walked forward slowly. The claustrophobic tunnel was in complete silence, with the exception of the hissing of the flare behind them, and the occasional echo of a drop of water. Their footsteps against the dirt were also uncomfortably loud. The flashlight lit the way forward, and didn't look back. Just into the abyss ahead.

Suddenly, Lukas felt something grab his foot and he gasped loudly, making Scar spin around. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw what it was. "HSSSS!" It was a snake, a Black Mamba. As deadly as it was, it was nothing compared to what they were tensing up for. Scar silently stamped his foot down onto it's head, killing it. Lukas shook his head at him, this was the snake's home and they had just intruded. So they killed it, and Lukas was as always against that.

They crawled on through the tunnels, and finally came to a larger opening. Scar shone his torch around it, and found that it led to a much larger tunnel; one that they could stand up and walk normally in. They dusted themselves off, and began cautiously walking their way forward.

The area now looked a lot more like humans occupied it. There were a few dirty papers lying in the dust, wires lining the tunnel wall and a cleared walkway. But they hadn't seen the half of it. Eventually, they came across telltale signs of VC activity, and maybe some involvement with the NVA. More papers, all in Vietnamese, were splayed out across the floor, and there was a great red, yellow and blue Viet Cong flag hanging up on a wall. Scar bit his lip. They must have left here in a hurry.

He checked his every step, trying not to make a noise. He stepped over an abandoned AK-47 and was drawn to another opening, leading to another side room. He turned to Lukas, who he saw had found one as well. They nodded at each other and split up, to search the individual side rooms. He all of a sudden felt vulnerable as he no longer had Lukas with him, watching his back. Yet another feeling of dread swept over him.

Okay Mr. Charlie, let's see what you're up to. Scar thought to himself, and pulled the hammer back on his standard issue M1911. The dark room was deserted, sure enough. Scar panned the flashlight around, and made out two hammocks messily tied to the two dirt walls. There was also more paperwork and maps on the floor. Scar stepped over to them, unaware that he hadn't checked his corners before he waltzed into the room, and hence missed large wooden cabinet...

Scar took it upon himself to pick up the maps and paperwork, to collect as Intel. He was about to fold and pocket them, but he noticed something: a red sickle and hammer. He flipped over to that page, and found that it was all in Russian. What have we here...He scanned over the page, and found two signatures on the bottom. It was only then he realized that what he was holding was a transaction. His eyes narrowed as he looked over it.

Meanwhile, a knife was unsheathed, and a cabinet door was quietly opened.

Scar started folding the paper, casually and silently, when -

"AAARGH!"

Scar wheeled around in fright, but only saw a flash of color and a gleaming blade. He swiftly ducked and was knocked over before he even realized what was happening. His helmet rolled across the floor, and he tried to get to his feet, but was instantly pinned down again.

"NO G.I!" The VC growled, and knelt down on Scar's neck, and thrust his blade down towards his neck.

Scar thought quickly and caught his arm, before it made contact. He clenched his teeth as they both engaged in an intense battle of strength, Scar pushed the blade baring arm back with all his strength, and the VC pushed his forward; to kill Scar, and he was winning. Scar felt the burning metal pierce the skin on his neck, and it was slowly pushed deeper. Can't give up...

It was too late though. He felt blood trickle down his neck as the knife was forced down. He knew it was over. So Ahadi has succeeded...He was about to let go and let him be finished, but they were suddenly interrupted.

"Sie Kommunistischen Schwein!" *BANG*

Blood was suddenly splattered all over Scar's face, and he felt the burning pressure on his neck cease. The body of the Viet Cong soldier went limp, and he kicked him off and leapt to his feet swiftly. The VC moaned in pain, and held a hand over his bloodied side.

Scar got his breath back, and looked to see Medic Lukas Heckler standing in the doorway, still pointing his gun at the wounded enemy; trembling uncontrollably. Lukas then let the handgun drop out of his shaking hand, and he dropped to his knees. A tear slid down his face as he looked at his work.

"Mein...What have I done?" Lukas shuddered.

Scar offered him a hand, and helped him to his feet. Lukas wiped away the tear and looked at Scar. He had just shot a man, and by a person of his nature, that something he would never forget. It was something he sworn never to do.

"Lukas...You saved my life." Scar looked at him sincerely. Lukas just nodded.

"Thank you." Scar added, and embraced his savior. The 38-year-old Lukas was no more of a father to Scar than Ahadi.

Scar then turned to his attacker, who was sprawled across the floor, groaning and writhing in pain. He crouched down beside him with such a look of burning hatred in his eyes; it would make any man, Pridelander, Vietnamese or American alike flinch. The VC turned his head to face his enraged victim.

"Life's not fair, is it?" Scar spoke to him; in such a calm voice it was more torture than his worst rage.

"You see I...shall never see power. And you...shall never see the light of another day. Adieu..."

BANG!

He put a bullet through the VC's head, with no remorse and Lukas shook his head at what he'd just seen. Scar looked at him triumphantly, but Lukas scowled. His frown then faded, and his expression turned into one of terror. Lukas just managed to raise a hand and point, and Scar turned around to see his dead victim's hand...

He had unpinned a grenade with his last action. Scar and Lukas both ran out the room entrance and dived to the ground, just as the explosion went off.

BOOM!

Scar was instantly knocked unconscious, and felt rubble and dirt rain all over his body. For several moments he floated in and out of consciousness, and his ears rang. Somewhere in the background he heard cries. Vietnamese cries. He forced open his eyes just in time to see a wooden stock get smashed into his nose; knocking him out.


Uh oh...Well, nosey people that read other reviewer's AN responses may guess what what will happen next. And does this finally prove to you all that Lukas Heckler is a good man? BTW, I didn't just include that for that purpose, it was always going to be in there.

This has been JJZ-109, and as always...Have a nice day.