Georg E. Mateos
The forgotten day arrived, and with it, the word coming down with Walther’s green light for the designated hit in a location not yet provided.
He felt a sudden emptiness in the pit of the stomach; he had come accustomed to have around the unruly bunch. He was nearly converted into a combat junkie, savoring every adrenaline rush as the rest of the team did until Boom-Boom ran out of luck in one tunnel too many, and Kenny finally didn’t give a damn, stepped on a mine and kept on going.
Walther mourned the deaths in their little family with the others. Each of the fallen men was replaced, but it wasn’t the same; the spell was broken.
After Walther was gone, the team’s core dissolved like a lump of sugar in a cup of tea. It wasn’t a case of professional capability deficiency; the symbiosis that had glued the team together wasn’t there anymore. The eyes that “I watch your ass and you watch mine” weren’t looking anymore, and as time passed…
… Sereno went out with a bang while Walther was confined to a hospital bed. The ammo transporting chopper in which he was flying was hit by rocked propelled grenade – right in the smacker and everything was converted in a big ball of fire with a deafening thunder, which could very well have been Sereno saying goodbye.
… Roscoe, of the John Hopkins peerage, got badly hit by mortar fire, with Mister Lee by his side not knowing the first thing about how to apply a band aid on a scrapped knee, let alone how to attend a big hemorrhaging open wound trauma. But the Chinaman wasn’t about to retreat with the others and leave his last “team” buddy, who couldn’t be moved, to die alone. The Cong were stopped for a short time – time that was used to retreat to more secure positions with the help of attack whirlybirds.
When the mortar barrage came, Roscoe didn’t die alone and neither did Mister Lee. He manned the faithful 50mm inherited from Boom-Boom mowing, just as Boon-Boom used to, the advancing horde of black pajamas like they were overgrown weeds.
The news reached Walther after a while and, with the last of them falling, the pieces of the broken spell vanished forever.
©Copyright 2007 by Georg E. Mateos