Readers' Submissions

Crime Suppression Unit Part 18



Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok


Life or Death

Rick reached down and picked up a Colt M4 carbine and a bandolier filled with magazines holding the powerful .223 cartridges. 'I'm tired of this nonsense; let's stop these guys. Sonia, you go with Doctor Meier.'

'I will not. I'm going with you.' Sonia reached for an automatic rifle.

'Nahlee and I are not going anywhere. We already have wounded to attend to.' Dr. Meier spoke over his shoulder as he and Nahlee unfolded a portable operating table.

Andrew and Rick picked up all of their weapons. 'Okay. Stay and help Hans.'

'Give me a pistol before you go.'

'You don't need a gun to bandage the wounded.' Rick headed for the door.

'If they break through and shoot us Ricky, you'll be sorry. You better let me have one of those guns.'

'Okay, okay. Take this Glock.' Rick held the pistol out to Sonia. 'The safety is on. Leave it that way and don't shoot us when we come back.'

'You better come back.' Sonia gave Rick a big hug and kiss.

They walked out into the darkness. People shoved into them, pushing past, running by, fleeing as fast as they could.

Rick and Andrew walked rapidly towards the woods from where they had originally come.

Ahead was an open field about a hundred yards long with knee-high grass and weeds ending at the thicket.

'Let's take cover here.' Rick had stopped at a large metal cooking pot. 'Go about twenty yards down and get behind that old log. We'll have a clear view of the area. See those two big trees together?' Rick pointed off into the distance.

Your field of fire will be from those trees to your right and I'll take the everything on the other side. When we leave this position, if we do leave, don't stand up, we'll crawl out, not take any chances. Remember that order? "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes"

The closer we let them come the better chance we'll have to kill them. We'll have to kill as many as we can as quickly as we can.

We can't afford to get into a sustained fire-fight.'

The two men shook hands and Andrew departed without a word. Rick lay down behind the huge iron kettle.

The ashes from the fire were still warm and he rubbed some on his face and the backs if his hands, hoping to be as invisible as possible. He stacked the magazines of ammunition next to the kettle and settled back to wait.

Rick wondered if the soldiers would really come. How many would there be? Who would fire first, him or Andrew?

It would be kind of a macho thing, he thought, seeing who could hold their fire the longest. Rick wrapped the sling around his arm and got into a comfortable position. The weapon was tight against his shoulder, the clips of ammo within easy reach.

It was a clear night and the stars lit the field in front of him.

It's funny the things you think about when you're alone in the dark. Rick remembered a bachelor party that he went to years ago. The best man had brought a cake and across the top was written, "Don't fire until you see the whites of her eyes."

Rick wondered if the groom had indeed held his fire. This train of thought brought him to his own wedding night.

Anti-climatic would be the description as he had sex with his future wife many times. A week before the wedding she suggested that they abstain in order to have a more exciting wedding night. Rick said no.

He knew for sure that he was in charge of the relationship before the marriage as he would never be again and he was right.

Dark silhouettes gliding silently closer to Rick brought him out of his reverie. Ahead were shapes of men gently rising and falling as they came nearer with each step. They had no idea that Rick and Andrew lay silently in ambush.

The soldiers had come to slaughter innocents and now they would be slaughtered themselves. The ghostly figures grew larger as they approached. Rick tried counting and gave up when he reached fifty. They were all kind of blurred together in the darkness. It didn't matter how many there were. The two men alone in the night were committed. Committed to life or death or rather committed only to death.

It was Rick that fired first. The man that he shot was so close that he could have reached out and touched him.

Rick had to practicably fire straight up. By now the stars were hidden behind the figures of men. Rick squeezed the trigger and kept the pressure on as he swept the weapon back and forth like a scythe, cutting shapeless images down, reaping death.

Dark forms stumbled and fell against him as he struggled to keep his weapon free, jamming in another clip.

Rick started to fire short bursts now at the people still standing against the night sky.

Only a half-dozen returned fire. The troops were panicking with the swiftness of the destruction that befell them.

Rick fired at their muzzle flashes and they fired at his. Rick stopped shooting and rolled to the other side of the kettle as slugs rang against it like silver dollars falling from a Las Vegas jackpot, the noise filling his ears, reverberating in his head.

When the din subsided, he waited for a few seconds and edged out. Against all good sense, he stood up for a better view, his weapon to his shoulder, and fired until his ammunition ran out. Rick dropped to his knees and shoved in another magazine.

The clatter of lead slugs against the iron pot began again. Rick rolled to the side and fired at the fleeing figures in the dark. He did not hear Andrew shooting. He was alone in the night. Rick saw muzzle flashes ahead of him and paid no attention. He felt bullets rush past him seeking connection. No one could hurt him. His Colt jammed to a stop; Rick ejected the magazine and slammed another one into the weapon. He stood up and emptied the clip at nothing he could see in the dark.

Then, all at once, it was over.

Silence.

Rick sat on the ground and leaned against the kettle and listened. The wind blew against the dry grass, carrying soft cries and moans in his direction. A pitiful sound Rick thought as he listened and waited for ten minutes without moving.

'Andrew,' he shouted.

'I'm here.' Came the reply.

'Let's go back. And keep down.

Rick turned around still on his stomach and cradled the Colt in his the bend of his arms as he moved ahead using his elbows and toes to push forward. Both men stood up when they reached the tents.

'Are you alright?' Rick said.

Andrew was grim faced. 'I killed quite a few people.'

'Don't feel bad, so did I. They should not have come here to murder helpless civilians.'

They walked towards the doctor's tent. It was outlined by the glow of light inside.

Rick opened the flap.

Stickman's thoughts:

Frank never disappoints on Saturday.