PRIVATE THOMAS CLARKE
The Covert Ops Division didn’t exist on paper. There was no official record. It was a covert operation, which meant that Headquarters would deny all knowledge of its existence if the mission was compromised. They were deep within the heart of enemy territory. The village was deserted, and looking at the bombed-out huts in the vicinity, nobody asked why the residents had left. Private Thomas Clarke knew that the stakes were higher than ever. America was facing tough opposition during the ongoing Tet Offensive, and the Viet Cong was gaining ground. Headquarters had resorted to desperate measures, and had hatched a plan to slow down them down. The Covert Ops Division was summoned, and orders were laid out by Lieutenant Colonel William Rhodes. Intelligence had reported that a major arms drop was on the way towards the NVA at the front. The arms were being carried in a convoy of three armoured trucks, and were crucial to sustain the troops. Intelligence had gained access to the entire route to be taken by the truck, and the plan was to intercept the convoy behind enemy lines. They were dropped into North Vietnamese territory in the dead of the night by a stealth chopper, and had secured the deserted village. According to the information, the convoy would be passing through the village at 0500 hours.
“Hawk-Eye, this is Team Leader. What’s the status?”came a voice from his communication unit.
“No activity”, replied Private Thomas Clarke. He was perched on the roof of the local school, and was on the lookout for the convoy. He kept looking Northwards through his binoculars for another five minutes, until he saw movement. Three trucks were approaching towards the village, and they matched the description provided to him. He spoke into his communication unit, ”Target approaching! ETA Two minutes! Acknowledge!”
MAJOR JOSH DAVIS
“Roger!”replied Major Josh Davis.”Everyone, move into position. Stand by for further orders! Do you copy?”“Copy” ,came the reply. The Major had a dozen men under his command,all of whom he had handpicked for this mission. They were the best in the business, and there was no margin for error.”T-minus sixty seconds”, said Hawk-One.
He could see the trucks now.They were moving at a gradual speed, very close to each other. The Major spoke into his unit, ”Attack on my word.”Sixty seconds later, he said, ”Engage!”
His men came out of their hiding places and fired on the truck drivers. After 30 seconds of incessant firing, there was silence once again. The Major walked up to the foremost truck and took the key from the ignition. It hung on a keychain which held one other key. It was the key to the containment chamber which housed all the weapons. He walked up to the back of the truck and inserted the key into the keyhole. On opening the door, he had expected to see firearms stacked on top of one another. What he hadn’t expected was half a dozen men in NVA fatigues, who fired at him.
FIRST LIEUTENANT JAMES WALKER
It was an ambush. They had been sold out. First Lieutenant James Walker heard the gunshots and dove for cover into a nearby hut. He could see his comrades diving for cover as well, and he saw half a dozen men come out of each of the armoured trucks. He watched them take down seven of his fellow officers. He saw Private Thomas Clarke crawling towards his hut, and provided cover fire until he was safely inside. They fired together at the enemy, and managed to hit four of them. At the same time, two more of his officers were killed by enemy bullets.
The Lieutenant noticed that an NVA soldier had been shot down at a close distance to his hut.A plan began to form in his mind. He spoke into his comm. unit,” Sergeant White!On my signal, give me cover fire! ”He then looked at Private Clarke and said,”Private Clarke and Sergeant White!It was an honour to serve with you. Give me cover fire at my signal,and finish off these bastards!”
“Sir, what are you-”began Clarke, but Walker continued,” That’s an order!Listen to me! Find the son of a bitch who sold us out, and kill him !I want your word on this gentlemen!”
“We swear to hunt down and kill whoever was responsible for this,Sir!”replied both.
“Well, that’s settled. Time for some fireworks,fellas!Now!”Walker ran out of the hut towards the dead soldier,while a hail of bullets was exchanged between the combatants. He picked up the dead body and used it as a human shield, and started moving towards the foremost truck. The dead body was splattered with bullets. Yes, his plan was working.
On reaching the truck, he let go of the body and slid under the chassis. He positioned himself beneath the diesel tank, and pulled out a grenade from his flak jacket.
SERGEANT DAVID WHITE
The explosion was tremendous. The truck went up in flames,which spread to the other trucks almost instantly.Two of the NVA soldiers went down during the explosion, while the rest caught fire.Lieutenant David White fired at them, and watched Clarke do the same.In no time, the remaining assailants were terminated. They scoured the battle scene for survivors. There were none.
“What now,Sir?Back to base?”asked Clarke.
“No. Whoever sold us out is probably still at base. We’re not telling anyone that we’re alive. We aren’t supposed to exist anyway, so they’ll report us Missing in Action.”
“So what’s the course of action?”
“We get back home and investigate.”
“But you said we weren’t going back to base.”
“I meant home,Private.”
FOUR MONTHS LATER
Los Angeles, California
Lieutenant Colonel William Rhodes was pleased. The Tet Offensive was over, and so was his time in Vietnam. He had served for four years, and been sent back home.He was looking forward to a quiet life with all the money he had earned. He turned into the access road which led to his newly acquired apartment in Brentwood Park, one of the richest areas in LA. He parked his car in the basement of the building and took the elevator.
Upon entering his apartment, he closed the door and turned on the lights. Sergeant White and Private Clarke were seated on his sofa. They had their Berettas pointed at him.
“What’s the meaning of this?”asked Rhodes.
“The jig is up, you moron!”, said White.”We know about the account in the Cayman Islands, and we know who deposited three million dollars into it, you treacherous swine!”
“Sit down”,said Clarke, motioning to a chair opposite the sofa.
Rhodes took the chair and said,”Okay, so Mr.Holmes and Dr.Watson have solved the case.What are you going to do about it? Take me to court? Ha!I have enough money to hire the best lawyers and sue the both of you for slander.”
“You think we’re that stupid?”,said Clarke, and stood up.He walked over to Rhodes and punched him in the face.”This one is for Major Davis.”
White also joined him, and both of them punched Rhodes in the face repeatedly, until their arms hurt. Rhode’s face was covered with blood and he was in considerable pain.
White then held his Beretta to Rhodes’ forehead, and pulled the trigger.
The Red Company was off the mark, and the first assignment undertaken by Red One and Red Two had gone off without a hitch.