The objective was simple: move in, sweep the complex, get out while we still can. Shit had been winding down anyhow, it'd be an easy fight.
I don't recall what time it was exactly, dead of night though. The entrance was pretty well hid though, almost went right over it. I always wondered how these people camouflaged these passages so well. We crept through the narrow vertical passage until we found ourselves in a chamber. We lit our flares and inspected the room. We spotted a small corridor, couldn't have been more than a meter across. We each had to individually crawl through the tunnels in order to get into the next room. Here we found the bunks. We hoped to take some prisoners at the very least, so I went first. Before I stepped through the passage I noticed something. There was a message hastily carved into the wall. "Chú ý! Punji!". No one had any idea what it meant.
I heard a voice call behind me, "Oh my G-it's more of this...ching chong crap!". That earned whoever it was a couple blows to the head, and from the sound of it, one or two in the gut. I chuckled a bit at the sounds of the beating, until something caught me off guard. The flooring felt off. It wasn't totally stable, I could hear it rustling beneath me. Hastily I sort of bunny-hopped my way over to the firm dry dirt ground, and I motioned for the platoon to follow suit. After a couple made it over we fanned around the bunk to see if there was anything of use.
I remember the danger now, but I'm still confused. It sounds like there's nothing underneath this padding. But that doesn't add up. Why wouldn't there be anything there? Wouldn't it fall..?
Crunch. Shff. Crunch. Shff.
There's someone shouting now.
"Oh God. GET HIM OFFA THERE!"
It hits me as I hear the scream. Then, SCHK!
I turn and bolt towards the bunk's corridor, I see him. Punji traps, I think they're called. I look down and see one of my men skewered amongst bloody pikes of bamboo. He's barely gurgling. One through his head, another poking out his eye, and there's one that went right through his neck. It's coming out his mouth. My men are chattering frantically, some are trying to help him out, others drawing their guns to deliver the coup de grâce, others, myself included, are just trying to hold back the vomit and tears. His eyes roll back into his head, but he still jerks around and moves, holding up his arm. It's as if this was his personal hell, a deathtrap specifically designed to make him suffer. I hold his hand until I feel him go limp. He was the last one to get over. We checked the bunks, all empty. Fuck.
We all staggered out of the bunks into a narrow, arched stone corridor. We hear the slightest popping as we move along. Crashing, explosions, screams. We must be under the capital. I'd rather not know which side these agonized men are on. Some of us are crying still, no matter how much we wished we could just forget the site of that man impaled on a damn gook's spike.
We found a loose tile, it lead into a shaft. Nice, we found the ammo cache. Continuing, we found the first aid area. We stoked up on medkits and such before raiding the food supply. We keep finding these slits through the ceiling, one of 'em say it's for vents.
We find we're missing some others as we reach some shooting bunkers. For whatever reason, we didn't take charge and launch a search party, we didn't want to go back. We sort of just, sat around. Listening to the popping and screams, as if it comforted us. We found one, or rather, he found us. He was covered in blood, wielding a wet knife. He offed himself a bit later.
We hear a soft pitter-patter come from just ahead of us. They ain't speakin' English, probably not ours. I threw in a smoker and we charged through until we found ourselves in the midst of a corridor of cabins. We managed to squeeze into one just before the smoke settled. It was quaint, a rusty drain, a small wooden cabinet and some fire wood, nothing special. We heard the chatter and pitter-patter again, so this time we wasted no time. One man went out, drew his gun, and boom. He fell back, opening his mouth like he wanted to shriek, but all that managed to escape his lips was a terrified whimper. He hit the ground and we heard a sickening squish. We heard some more chatter followed my a couple klinks. A small metal object rolled in front of the doorway and we recognized it instantly. We were all frozen in fear, until we felt like we were pushed. One of my men ran over to it, and just shot us a look. It was for less than a second but it felt like an eternity, then he just...flopped down on it. I turned and covered my ears when I heard the bang.
Squish, sklop, screaming, fire. It burns. It really hurts. I kept quiet the entire time, of course it's not like I wanted to speak. There was someone on top of me, I pushed him off after I was sure those dinks were off. I was the only one left. My men lay around me, covered in soot and blood. I look to the doorway to see nothing but a large red splotch and viscera. I look back at my men, one seems to be holding onto rope. I don't recall even bringing any rope on the tour. I look a little closer, and I see it's protruding from his slumped form. I try to touch it, but I recoil as the wet sensation reaches my fingers. I look at my hand, it's red. I look back at the rope...
...that's not rope.
After I finish unloading my breakfast into the rusty floor drain, I looked around. I was the only one left, and I felt as if I couldn't go on anymore. I can feel my legs buckle under the pain of these burns. I had no prerogative, so I just...wandered. I somehow managed to make it out. I stumbled through the city, it's burning. I follow the smell of blood and smoke until I come across the fields. I find the capital building. I hear a rumbling and I see a tank barrel towards me. It has their insignia on it. It follows my path and then diverges. It's driving for the building now. I see it plow through the gates with a thunderous crash. As the smoke clears it hits me. It's over.
We lost it all.
I hear the cheers of the army men and I look towards my gun. I creep into an alleyway and make sure it's loaded. This is my final testimony. My men are dead, the entire force is dead. I can't seem to find another way to express this. I'm just too damn slow I guess. Oh well, hopefully this is peaceful.
They last thing I ever hear is the quiet droning of Tiến Quân Ca in the distance.
Written by The_Zog.