"Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die."By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Buffyverse or Scooby-Doo (the original cartoon series); neither do I own ‘Full Metal Jacket’ or any of the film scripted words featured in this fic. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: The Buffyverse with ‘Full Metal Jacket’, ‘Scooby-Doo’ plus the song ‘Feel Like I’m Fixing to Die’.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation; Written in glorious English-English. American idioms are used throughout this fic.
Timeline: Pre BtVS Season One.
Warnings: Some strong language.
Summary: They met as soul mates on Parris Island, they left as inmates from an asylum. How PFC’s Rory Harris and ‘Shaggy’ Rogers, USMC, lived through the Tet Offensive. BtVS, Full Metal Jacket, Scooby Doo (cartoons) xover.
Come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help once again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam,
Way down yonder in Viet Nam, so,
Put down your books and pick up a gun we're
Gonna have a whole lotta fun.0=0=0=0
How are you and how are you finding Parris Island? You can imagine my surprise when you were drafted into the Marines! I hope it’s not too tough for you, what with them trying to turn you into some sort of mindless killer. In a strange way I feel better knowing that you’ll be in Vietnam and maybe, just maybe, you might be able to bring some humanity to that terrible place.
As you’ve probably realised by now Fred’s father, Senator Jones, has been unable to get your draft notice deferred or get you discharged. I would have thought that with your well known pacifist beliefs it would be easy to get you away from all those killers in the Marine Corps, but obviously it’s harder than I imagined.
It’s strange that Fred wasn’t drafted at the same time; he said it was something to do with him being in the National Guard, funny how he never mentioned it before. Talking of Fred; Daphne and Fred have just announced their engagement and they’re planning the wedding for early next year. Hopefully you’ll be able to get a vacation and come to the ceremony.
Of course with Fred going into politics fulltime and Daphne spending more and more time helping him campaign and planning the wedding; we’ve had to break up Mystery Inc. The old Mystery Machine is up on bricks in my front yard, I had to take the tires off because the rubber had started to rot. I’m afraid I’ll have to sell her soon before she falls apart completely. Fred and Daphne both said that I can do whatever I want with her, I hope you agree. I’ll have half of anything I get for her waiting for you when you get home.
I’m sorry to say Scooby Doo is still pining; he sits and stares out of the window like he’s watching for you. He’s off his food and hardly ever wants to go for walks or anything. I’m doing the best I can but I think the only cure is for you to come home soon. It’s a pity that both of you didn’t get drafted together.
I’ll be moving to California by the end of the summer, I’ve got a job teaching Math at a little university, UC Sunnydale in fact. It’s a nice little town not far north of Los Angelis. The job pays better than you’d expect for such a small place and the housing is really cheap! I’m really looking forward to it and maybe the change of scene will be good for Scooby too.
Well, that’s about all my news, please write again as soon as you have a chance and tell me more about your buddy Rory, he sounds like a good friend to have. Didn’t you say that he came from Sunnydale too? Wouldn’t that be a really strange coincidence if that’s so? Anyway, look after yourself, Shaggy and come home safe to me and Scooby,
All my love,
Ps; I’ll send you another couple of boxes of ‘Scooby-snacks’ as soon as I can.0=0=0=0The countryside near Hue, Republic of Vietnam, 1968.
Waking with a start Mai sat up and reached for her rifle.
“Something wrong?” the old man who shared semi-ruined hooch with her cast a worried glance in her direction.
“No,” Mai took her hand away from the rifle and reached for her water bottle instead, “just a bad dream.”
“More monsters?” Tuan smiled reassuringly at the girl as she drank from her water bottle, “Were they ‘Imperialist’ monsters?”
“Are there any other sort?” Mai grinned at the old man, “Have no fear ‘grand-father’ they will be swept away when the revolution is victorious…as it inevitably will be.”
Both occupants of the hut ducked involuntarily at the sound of an American jet flying low and fast over the rice paddies outside.
“I hope,” Tuan glanced up at the roof, “that the revolution is victorious soon.”0=0=0=0
To Tuan it seemed he had been fighting all his life; first he had fought the French, next he had fought the Japanese. Then when the Japanese had been beaten and it seemed like Vietnam would be free of foreign overlords, the French had come back and Tuan found he was fighting them again. Finally the French left and for a while it was peaceful but the country had been split in two and it was decided to launch a war of reunification. It was shortly afterwards that the first Americans had started to arrived.0=0=0=0
Crawling across the floor of the hut Mai pulled the blanket that covered the opening back a little. Looking outside she saw that it was still daylight, too dangerous to continue their journey towards the old imperial capital of Hue just yet. Information had come to the notice of ‘The People’s Committee for the Direction of the Chosen One’, that certain southern officials had raised a demon and were using it to hunt down and kill local members of the communist party and Viet Minh.
Where the imperialist running dog’s soldiers and the American capitalists had failed, the demon was succeeding. Mai had been sent to hunt down and kill the monster. Her arrival in the city was set to coincide with the New Year offensive. Hanoi hoped that the attack would destabilise the southern government and encourage the peasants and workers to rise up against their oppressors. Mai didn’t care about that; she had a monster to slay and having to do it in the middle of a battle wouldn’t make it any easier.
“We’ll be able to move in an hour or two,” Mai let the blanket fall back into place as she crawled back to her sleeping space.
“Good,” Tuan sighed, “I hate all this skulking about during the daylight then sneaking around in the dark. One day…”
“Yes,” Mai smiled at her old mentor, “one day when the war is finally over, you’ll be able to walk anywhere you want with your head held high,” and I will probably be dead, she added to herself.
Mai had no illusions about being the Chosen One, she knew that she’d probably do this one mission and die. Tuan had told her all the stories about the past Chosen Ones; it seemed to her that her fate was sealed from the day she changed. The chances were she’d never see her sixteenth birthday. Taking a deep breath Mai tried to banish any dark thoughts from her mind. If that was her fate, well so be it, she would make her life count. Make it mean something in the great scheme of things and strike a blow for the people.0=0=0=0Danang Airbase south of Hue, 30th January 1968.
“Here,” Shaggy held the box of snacks out to his buddy Rory; the two men had drawn guard duty and were sitting in a small bunker on the perimeter of the airbase.
“Thanks,” absently Rory reached out and took one of the proffered snacks, he put it in his mouth and bit into it.
Moments later Rory was coughing and spitting bits of snack onto the floor.
“Yikes!” complained Shaggy, “Scooby-snacks are hard to get over here, don’t waste ‘em.”
“Christ Shaggy,” Rory reached for his canteen to wash out his mouth, “Scooby-snacks?”
“Man...what can I say?” Shaggy grinned at his buddy, “I’m one sad, dog food eating hippie!”
“You’re sick, man,” growled Rory as he took a mouthful of water and swilled it ‘round his mouth before spitting it out, “and y’say y’girlfriend sends you those things all the way from The World?”
“Well,” Shaggy put down the snack box and settled himself more comfortably against the sandbag wall of the bunker, “Vilmar’s not really my girlfriend.”
“Hey man, don’t knock it,” Rory joined Shaggy at the bottom of the bunker, “she’s a girl ain’t she?”
Shaggy nodded his head in the darkness.
“She's y’friend right?” Rory’s continued, “An’ she sends you stuff from the World.”
Rory’s logic seemed inescapable.
“And she looks after my dog,” added Shaggy.
“There you are then,” Rory concluded.
“I s’pose you’re right,” Shaggy beamed at his friend, “hey, I gotta girlfriend and I didn’t even know!”
“Does she give out?” Rory searched his pockets for a pack of cigarettes.
“Give out what?” Shaggy passed his buddy one from his own pack and dug out a Zippo from the map pocket of his fatigues.
“Asshole,” snorted Rory as he lit up; after taking a long drag on his cigarette, Rory shielded the glowing tip in his hand and peered out of the bunker towards the perimeter wire, a vague line in the darkness of the night.
“Anything?” Shaggy asked; Rory shook his head and sat back down, “Man, this place gives me like the heebie jeebies!”
“You an’ me both, buddy,” agreed Rory with a firm nod of the head.
The two friends had been bunkmates back in basic training, Rory Harris from Sunnydale California and Norville ‘Shaggy’ Rogers from…well from just about anywhere. Harris had been thinking about training to be an electrician before he’d been drafted. Shaggy had spent his life travelling around the country with his rich friends solving ‘mysteries’ that always turned out to be some guy in a rubber mask. Guard duties and KP’s always seemed to go faster with Shaggy around to tell you his weird stories. Of course Rory only believed half of what his friend said…but what the heck, they were good stories.0=0=0=0
“CRUMP! CRUMP! CRUMP!”
“What the fu…!” Rory woke up with a start; he’d fallen asleep resting on his rifle as he’d been peering into the darkness.
“Zoinks!” Shaggy scrabbled about on the floor of the bunker as he frantically looked for his own weapon, finding it he nervously peeped over the edge of the bunker, “What goin’ on?”
Explosions and gunfire filled the night, mortar rounds dropped inside the perimeter to send shrapnel flying and cut down the unwary. Over to their left by the main gate they heard an M60 machine gun open up followed a moment later by a large explosion. This seemed to be the signal for firing to break out from both left and right. Watching his front Rory could see nothing clearly, flashes of light from explosions lit up the ground in front of him like some sort of deadly firework display.
Someone fired a flare; it whooshed into the night sky and exploded with a loud ‘pop’. As the flare floated slowly to the ground it lit up the area in front of the bunker where Rory and Shaggy cowered. In its flickering light Rory could make the shapes of running men as they came towards the perimeter wire.
“What do we do?” Shaggy’s voice trembled with fear, “Should we tell someone?”
“Too late for that,” Rory hauled back on the cocking handle of his M16, he glanced over at Shaggy, “we gotta deal with this ourselves.”
Sighting at the nearest man who’d almost reached the wire, Rory fired. The sound of his M16 was unnaturally loud in the confines of the bunker. Hot cartridge cases tinkled against the wall before falling to the floor. Releasing his trigger, Rory looked to see that the first man had gone down and was hanging on the wire. Another flare went off as the first died, Rory’s eyes grew wide as he saw what looked like hundreds of men running towards him firing their rifles wildly in his general direction.
“Come on Shaggy!” Rory reached down to grab his buddy and haul him up from the floor of the bunker, “You need to get some most ricky-tick!”
Resting his rifle on the ledge of the bunker wall Shaggy closed his eyes and fired, nothing happened. Looking at his weapon as if he’d never seen it before in his life Shaggy wailed in despair. Slowly his training from Parris Island took control, he pulled back on the cocking handle and let the bolt fly forward to load the first round. Once again he rested his rifle on the sandbagged wall of the bunker, closing his eyes once more he fired a long un-aimed burst at the advancing enemy soldiers.
NVA soldiers threw up their arms as they crashed into the perimeter wire and were cut down by the deadly fire from the bunker. More men rushed forward only to be cut down in their turn.
“Easy Shaggy!” Rory put a restraining hand on Shaggy’s arm, the guy was using up rounds at a prodigious rate, “I think we stopped them.”
“We did!?” Shaggy was shaking all over as the post combat adrenaline shock started to hit home, “Like, we won?”
“Yeah,” Rory put down his rifle and unscrewed the top of his canteen, “for now.”
The two men could still hear the sounds of firing and explosions from other parts of perimeter, but nothing moved on their section of the battlefield.
“Hey, man,” Rory pressed his canteen into Shaggy’s still trembling hand, “you’re a real heart breaker and life taker.”
“Yeah,” Shaggy took a mouthful of water and swallowed, he looked out towards the wire and seemed to see the bodies for the first time. “Yikes! Like I did that?”
“Mostly,” Rory nodded and pulled out a pack of Lucky Strikes, “hate to think what you’d have done with your eyes open!”0=0=0=0
The Tet Offensive caught the allied forces in South Vietnam completely by surprise. However, after the first shock of combat the Americans and the South Vietnamese started to strike back and regain the initiative from the NVA and Viet Minh. Shaggy and Rory’s battalion were moved north by helicopter to help with the retaking of Hue.0=0=0=0
Brushing at her eyes with the back of her hand, Mai angrily wiped at the tears that blurred her vision. She cradled Tuan’s head in her lap as she sat amid the rubble of the still smouldering building. When the American bombers had flown over, Tuan had pushed her towards the steps that led down into a cellar. Stumbling in the doorway Mai had heard the blast and sensed the shrapnel fly through the air above her head. When the noise had finished and the smoke had started to clear she had crawled on hands and knees back out into the open.
“Grand-father!” she’d called as she searched amongst the rubble.
Seeing the old man’s arm sticking out from under a slab of concrete she had rushed over and heaved the heavy debris out of the way. As soon as she’d got him clear of the rubble were he’d fallen, Mai knew that he was dead. She sat down and gathered the old man in her arms and rocked him back and forth as she cried out her pain at losing her teacher and friend.
Eventually, after she knew not how long, Mai stopped crying. Gently she lay Tuan’s corpse down on the surface of the street and did her best to straighten out his body. She took his spare ammunition from the pouches on his chest before getting up and walking back to the door of the cellar. Picking up her own rifle she wiped the dust from the weapon.
Turning around to study her surroundings Mai found herself in an industrial area. The buildings were mostly concrete; some were two or three stories high. The Americans had hit it with heavy air attacks and rubble lay scattered across the streets and squares while the buildings themselves burnt fitfully, she appeared to be the only person around.
Noting that she was standing on the north side of a small square, Mai walked out into the open. Looking south she saw where a road led between two buildings to join with another wider road that ran east-west, south of the area she was in. It occurred to her that the Americans would come down that road and if she could find a good position she could make them pay for killing her friend.
Turning she looked at the surrounding buildings; her eyes fell on one standing in the north-east corner of the square. It wasn’t too badly damaged and was hardly burning at all. She started to walk towards it; she would make the Americans pay. The demon could wait; she would kill five, ten a hundred Americans to avenge the old man who had fought so hard for freedom and would now never know anything but the peace of death.0=0=0=0
Shaggy and Rory’s platoon had been much reduced in size. First the L-t had been hit while they were advancing under the cover of some tanks towards the industrial area they were now patrolling. Next the platoon sergeant had been hit by a booby trap, the guy had been in-country for months and should have known better; it just went to show that even veteran’s could make a mistake. About half a dozen guys had been dusted off for one reason or another and now ‘Cowboy’ was in charge of the platoon.
They’d been sent to check out an area of factories and workshops just north of the Perfume River. Intelligence wanted to know if the NVA were holding the area in any strength. This was how Rory and Shaggy found themselves walking cautiously along the drainage ditch that ran parallel to a main road. The road was scatted with lumps of concrete from the earlier bombings. The occasional bus or truck burnt on the side of the road victims of American airpower.
Signalling a halt Cowboy ran forward to talk to the platoon scout, Eightball, there appeared to be some argument as to where they were. Rory and Shaggy shared a look as the scurried into cover. Due to loses taken by the platoon Rory had been put in charge of Cowboy’s old squad, he moved forward to where he could more easily hear what Cowboy and Eightball were saying.
“I think we made a mistake at the last check point,” Eightball sat in the cover of the ditch’s wall, he pulled out his map and compass and handed the compass to Cowboy who was crouching down next to him, “here see what you think.”
Cowboy looked at the compass and map.
“I think we’re here,” Eightball’s grubby finger pointed at the map, “and we should be here.”
“We’re here,” not quite believing what he was being told Cowboy pointed at the map himself, “and we should be here?”
Nodding his head Eightball looked up from the map and at Cowboy. Looking back at the rest of the platoon Cowboy shook his head in disgust.
“Fuck,” he breathed quietly, before looking at Eightball hoping he’d know what to do, “what’d you think?”
“I think we should change direction,” Eightball pointed over the lip of the ditch towards the buildings just north of the road.
Pulling out his binoculars Cowboy swept them over the buildings, seemly satisfied that they held no immediate threat he turned back to the rest of the platoon and waved them forward. Rory scurried over to crouch next to Cowboy.
“What?” he asked shortly.
“Change in direction,” explained Cowboy, “Okay, listen up! We’re heading over that way,” Cowboy gestured towards the buildings, “Eightball’s gonna see if he can find a way through…got it?”
There were calls of ‘Got it,” from the other members of the platoon.
“Eightball,” Cowboy gripped his M16 tightly, “lets dance.”
“Put a nigger behind the trigger,” Eightball grinned as he slowly stood up and checked the ground in front of him; he climbed up onto the road before making his way cautiously towards the semi-ruined buildings across the road.
Rory and his team mates got themselves into position so they could give Eightball covering fire if he needed it.0=0=0=0
Sensing something Mai lifted her head and looked cautiously out of the hole in the wall of the building she’d taken cover in. Raising her rifle slowly she sighted on the American who was standing out in the open where the south road led into the square. She could see it was one of the black American’s; she shook her head in disgust. From all she’d been taught she couldn’t understand why the blacks fought for the American imperialist industrialists. Surely the black Americans were just as oppressed as her own people were, so why did they fight?
Sighing, Mai sighted on the soldier, he was soon to know the error of his ways for not rising up and overthrowing the capitalists who ruled America. The soldier stood for a moment more, apparently satisfied with what he saw he turned and waved to someone on the road out of Mai’s line of sight. Squeezing the trigger of her AK47, Mai shot him in the leg; he fell to the ground with a cry. Smiling Mai waited for the Americans to come and help their wounded friend.0=0=0=0
The platoon opened fire as they saw Eightball go down. Bullets and grenades hit the buildings raising great clouds of dust and debris; someone even fired a 66mm Laaw into one of the ruins.
“CEASE FIRE!” yelled Cowboy over the sound of all the shooting, “CEASE FIRE, god damn it!” the firing continued unabated, “Come on, cool it guys!” pleaded Cowboy as the firing slowly subsided.
“Okay, listen up,” Cowboy looked along the line of the ditch, “did anybody see a sniper, did anyone see anything?”
Answers in the negative passed up and down the line.
“Okay,” Cowboy gestured for everyone to calm down, “no body fires until I say, save your ammo.”
Another shot rang out and hit Eightball in the other leg as he tried to crawl towards safety. Again the platoon started to fire wildly into the ruins, all to no effect.
“NO!” pleaded Cowboy, “CEASE FIRE! CEASE FIRE!”
Slowly the gunfire faded away, until only ‘Animal’, the platoon’s remaining M60 gunner was firing. Eventually even he stopped shooting. Running over to Cowboy the platoon radio operator handed Cowboy the microphone telling him that company sergeant-major Murphy was calling him.
Listening carefully Rory heard Cowboy give his report and request tank support. Cowboy had got it into his head that there were strong enemy forces in the buildings in front of them. Rory couldn’t see it himself, it was more than likely one lone sniper that’d shot their buddy. They needed to get in there and flush the bastard out before Eightball was killed.
Once again Cowboy called for the attention of the platoon, he started to explain how he thought they were being set up for an ambush and that there were strong enemy forces to there front. Rory shook his head, that didn’t make sense to him, if there were NVA out there they’d be being mortared by now.
Once again a shot rang out and Eightball screamed in pain, Animal started to fire his M60 into the buildings, this time no one else joined in.
“Fuck this shit,” this was from Doc Jay the platoon’s Corpsman, “I’m going in there to get him out!”
“NO!” yelled Cowboy to no avail; Doc Jay had already climbed out of the ditch and was running towards where Eightball lay.
Once again everyone, including Cowboy, opened fire. Slowly the firing petered out as Doc Jay got to the wounded Eightball.0=0=0=0
Mai was beginning to wonder if the Americans were ever going to come to help their wounded comrade. She was beginning to think that maybe she should have waited until she could shoot a white soldier when another figure ran into the square and bent over the body of the first soldier. Grinning to herself Mai fired once again as the second soldier tried to pull his comrade to safety.0=0=0=0
Once again Cowboy got on the radio wanting to know when his tank support was coming, he was told that there were no tanks available and he’d have to rescue his men unaided. Throwing down the mike in frustration Cowboy shook his head before telling the platoon that they were pulling back. Rory found himself one of the first to tell Cowboy ‘no’, that was not how they did it in the Marines, loudest of the men wanting to rescue Doc Jay and Eightball was Animal the M60 gunner.
“Come on you guys,” Animal turned looking for support from his platoon mates, “let’s go get the guys out!”
“Stand down Animal,” Cowboy pointed at Animal as he felt the platoon slip from his control, “that’s a direct order!”
As if on cue another shot rang out and Doc Jay was hit again.
“Fuck you Cowboy!” Animal started to climb out of the ditch, “Fuck all you assholes!”
A moment later Animal was up and running towards the buildings firing his M60 as he ran. A second after Animal had started his charge the rest of the platoon began to fire in support. Cursing the unseen sniper, Animal sprayed bullets in front of him as he ran. In what seemed like only a few seconds he found himself in the cover of a wall on the corner of a square. Doc Jay and Eightball lay bleeding in the road not half a dozen yards away.
“Doc! Doc?” he called over to the wounded man who lay on the blood stained street, “Where’s the sniper Doc? Where is he?”0=0=0=0
All the American fire told Mai that another American had moved forward. This one had more sense than his earlier comrades and took cover out of her line of sight. She saw one of the wounded men move, he was trying to point at her position and give it away to his comrade. Clicking her selector switch to automatic she fired and killed the two wounded men with a short burst.
Going back to single shot she sighted on the corner where she sensed the new American was and waited. She didn’t have long to wait, the foolish American gave away his position by pocking the muzzle of his weapon around the corner of the building. Shifting her aim a little she sighted on where his head should appear. Once again the Americans didn’t disappoint her; the man’s head appeared and she fired, she smiled, another American dead to avenge Tuan.0=0=0=0
Ducking back into cover, Animal pressed his body into the wall; fuck, that had been close. The bullet had hit the wall right next to his head; but he’d seen the muzzle flash of the snipers rifle now he knew where the bastard was he’d be able to get in there and kill the little fucker!
“COWBOY!” Animal called back to the platoon, “Doc Jay and Eightball are wasted. There’s only one sniper, nothin’ else. Bring up the platoon; you’re clear up to here.”
Back in the ditch Cowboy bowed his head as the surviving platoon members turned to look at him in disgust.
“Son of a bitch,” he said quietly as if to himself, he’d screwed up big time and got two of his guys killed.
“Listen up,” Cowboy rubbed his face before looking his men in the eyes again, “No-doze, Stutton, Donlon, Rock, you come with me and take a look.”
“I’m goin’ with you,” announced Rory as he put a full clip into his rifle.
“Like, I’m coming too,” added Shaggy from behind Rory, Doc Jay had been a good medic and friend.
“Okay,” agreed Cowboy, “all set?” The rest of the platoon took up their firing positions, “Lets move!”
This time when Cowboy and his men started across the open ground towards the ruins no one fired, this time they knew it was pointless. As the men got near him Animal waved them over and led them around another building in the hopes of being able to outflank the sniper. They rested for a moment next to a three story block before working their way further into the tangle of semi-ruined buildings and debris that covered the area.0=0=0=0
Half expecting the Americans to come charging into her trap Mai waited patiently for the enemy to come. Something caught her eye and she shifted her aim over to a building on the other side of the square. She smiled, the Americans were starting to show some sense, they weren’t going to try and charge her. They were trying to get behind her; she sighted carefully along the barrel of her rifle.
One of the Americans had forgotten that even behind the building he was still in danger; she could see him clearly through a hole in the wall. The man must be the unit’s leader as he stood talking into a radio. Mai stroked the trigger of her rifle and the American fell and didn’t get up again.0=0=0=0
Rory looked down in horror at the body of Cowboy who lay at his feet, there’d been a shot and Cowboy had sat down, a surprised look on his face. As a couple of other guys had tried to stem the flow of blood that pumped from his chest, Rory had seen the light go out in Cowboys eyes, in another moment he was gone. Looking into Shaggy’s frightened face, he saw his own fear reflected in his friend’s eyes. Just how was the little dink, motherfucker doing this? Three guys were down and they’d not even seen him!
“Let’s go get some payback,” Animal’s words galvanised the survivors into action.
Moving quickly they worked themselves around the building. Looking out over the square they realised that they’d have to cross the open ground in order to get into the building where the sniper lay. Animal took up position with the M60 to provide fire support as Rory and Shaggy unhitched smoke grenades from their equipment harnesses. Throwing the grenades into the square they waited a moment for the smoke to thicken before running towards the building.
Racing through the smoke Rory expected to feel the sniper’s bullet snuff out his life at any moment. Much to his surprise he found himself running through the wreckage of the ground floor of the sniper’s building unharmed. He paused behind a pillar to check if anyone else had made it. He could see Shaggy and Animal over to his right, he could hear some of the other guys moving through the junk that littered the floor but he couldn’t see any of them.
Moving forward again Rory saw a door that led to a stairwell, no doubt this would take him up to where the sniper was hiding. He whistled softly to attract Shaggy’s attention, slowly and cautiously they started up the stairs. After climbing up a couple of flights Rory found himself on what he reasoned was the floor from where the sniper had fired; he moved forward from pillar to pillar. Pausing again he looked around to see where Shaggy was. Sighing quietly Rory shook his head, Shaggy had vanished, maybe he’d carried on up the stairs maybe he’d got lost, maybe he was hiding.
Coming out from the shelter of the pillar Rory moved forward again, dodging between the ruined machinery and furniture that litter the floor. Looking around another pillar he saw a figure dressed in black pyjamas pointing a rifle out of a hole in the wall. He’d found the sniper; slowly, and as quietly as he could he raised his rifle to take aim. He drew a bead on the snipers back and carefully squeezed the trigger.
“CLICK!” went the hammer as it hit the firing pin and the weapon failed to fire.0=0=0=0
Watching the square intently Mai couldn’t work out where the Americans had disappeared to, everything had gone quiet and she was just thinking that it might be wise to move on; it was then she heard the metallic click behind her. Turning rapidly, Mai’s pigtails flew out from the side of her head. In a fraction of a second she saw her target, brought her rifle to bear and fired.0=0=0=0
Frantically Rory tried to workout what was wrong with his rifle; the sniper was firing at him as if he was trying to demolish the pillar Rory was hiding behind. Trying to gauge where the sniper was Rory glanced around the pillar, the sniper was still by the hole in the wall, but this time Rory realised the sniper was a girl her rifle looking way too big for her slight frame, but she sure knew how to use it.
Dropping his useless weapon Rory snatched out the automatic pistol he carried as a back up. The girl was shifting position as she tried to get a better angle on him. Bullets ricocheted all around him showering him with pieces of concrete. It would be suicide to expose himself around the side of the pillar. Instead he stood helpless holding the pistol in his hands hoping against hope that maybe the girl would run out of ammunition and he could get a shot off as she reloaded.
Just as he thought the girl would never stop firing a fusillade of shots came out of the darkness to his left and hit the girl in the side. Still firing she started to fall, another burst hit her and she dropped her rifle and collapsed amongst the litter on the floor. Heart beating like a drum Rory peered out from behind the pillar.
Looking into the darkness he saw who his saviour had been; Shaggy burst from cover to skirmish across the room, checking the area for anymore enemies before joining Rory. They stood over the girl’s body looking down at her in amazement; she was barely more than a child. Somehow the girl was still alive, although probably not for much longer.
“Ha-ha,” giggled Shaggy slightly hysterically, “girl go boom!”.
Hearing a noise Rory looked up to see his team mates rush into the room led by Animal. Shaggy kicked the rifle away from the girl.0=0=0=0
Looking up at the faces of the Americans, Mai knew she had failed. She had failed the revolution and more importantly she had failed her teacher. She had let her desire for revenge deflect her from her true path and now more of her comrades would die at the hands of the demon and another girl would have to complete her task.
The Americans were standing around her talking, she didn’t understand more than a few words of what they were saying, she didn’t care, she knew she’d be dead soon. Mai started to pray; she prayed for forgiveness and she prayed for the girl who would be chosen when she died, the line of the Chosen Ones would always go on. She prayed that the next girl would have more luck.
Looking up she noticed that the Americans seemed to be arguing about her, no doubt wondering whether to leave her to die slowly or finish her straight away. She didn’t care one way or the other, although her wounds made it hard for her to breath they didn’t hurt, not much, not really. Tuan had taught her some English phrases that he thought might be useful; she racked her mind trying to remember them.
Staring up into the eyes of the American she’d so nearly killed at the last, Mai made a terrific effort and managed to speak.
“Shoot me,” her voice was barely a whisper but it reduced the American’s to silence as if she’d shouted.
“Shoot me,” she repeated, the sooner she was dead the sooner the new Chosen One could start her work and the better for everyone.
“Shoot me,” Mai looked up to see Tuan’s face and saw that the old man was smiling down at her before the darkness finally descended.
She never heard the shot that killed her.0=0=0=0And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for,
Don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates,
Ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee we're all gonna die!
*;Written by; Country Joe McDonald.
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