Just a jungle mission

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
A small group of us were sent to a small Island to sort out some guerrilla head-hunters who were very dangerous.

Submitted: June 14, 2017

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Submitted: June 14, 2017

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Our small boat came in to the shore followed by two others. There were nine of us altogether--three in each boat. The sand was very fine and floury, and the water was clear so that we could see right to the bottom. We landed and pulled our boats right up to the woods and had them camouflaged. We gathered round our boss and he gave us a lecture. We had already had many lectures before, but this one was vital and recapping what we had to do.
Not much was known about the island, but there were tales going round that some natives live on it and they hated visitors. Other stories stated that they worshipped some sort of tree-god with stone altars where they throw human blood from their sacrifices. It is also said that they were head-hunters. If they catch you they will take the head away from the body. When I heard that, my throat became tight, I shivered a bit, then suddenly pulled myself together and pretended that I didn't hear what the boss had said,

The sun was almost touching the horizon with its red-yellow glow. The water bottle around my waist was filled to the brim. I made sure that I did not use too much of it for, I have heard of the water in the jungle; you have to put tablets in it, and wait for a while before you can drink it. And when you did so, it was horrible. My bayonet was on the left side in its scabbard. I drew it out a few times to make sure everything was ok just in case I needed it in an emergency.
We all wore green trousers--sort of jeans type that went down into our jungle boots. The boots weren't heavy--they were light and comfy. There was a strap that went around the boots and the bottom  leg of the trousers to prevent leeches from entering. The web belt around our waists had small webbing pockets where we could put small items in. Our jackets were dark-green, and we had a small pack on our backs strapped over and under both shoulders. Inside that, we had food for seven days, a sleeping bag, a poncho, and a bivouac. In one of the pockets on the right side of the trousers, was a small torch, and a small radio receiver/ sender. On the other side pocket, was a first-aid packet. We had on a green jungle hat. Around our necks we had a small pair of binoculars.
From the bosses's lecture, we learned a lot about the island. It had pythons and cobras and other sorts of creeping thing. Tigers had been seen, but not very often. I tried hard to keep my body from shaking, and to kick fear out the door. I had been picked for this extraordinary mission, and I decided not to let myself down. I just have to handle the situation as it comes, using all my skill and energy.

As the the sun sank lower, we entered the forest--three of us in a group. We spread out but kept in touch with finger signs, shaking our heads to the right or left, or bowing it down repeatedly. Everyone knew the signs. After ten minutes walk, we came to a small clearing with a path crossing ours. We stopped for a while, making sure that we kept alert and ready in case of trouble. I found a nice tree where I leaned back, still with my pack on, both feet out in front of me on the ground. Opposite was another one of us, and slightly to the right of him was another. About half an hour relaxing, looking over to the other opposite me, he was making signs, and shaking his head. I looked slightly to my right, and there, a few meters away, was a cobra,, up into the air with its head, and sort of dancing from left to right. I don't know how I came away from that tree. I'm sure both of my feet never touched the ground, as I found myself on the other side, and well away from that dangerous thing. Near to me was a solid piece of wood, just the right length and thickness for defending oneself from such a predator. Where we were,  the place was really green, many tall trees reaching up to the sky. The undergrowth was thick with all different sorts of plants and smaller trees. We had to get away from the clearing and find a place where we could not be seen easily. We manage to find a place and started setting up camp before the sun should totally disappear.
We tied a string in a circle around the trees where we camped, a few meters away; and after we had made our bivouacs or hammocks, one of us from the three, took on the duty of guard, patrolling the circle around the trees. It became really dark, pitch black. We had to penetrate the thick darkness by staring hard to pick out a movement. Now and then, we would see the light of a firefly. One time its here, another time its over there, and so it went on the whole night through.
Dawn came and found us preparing breakfast. One of the chaps said to me, ''It was a quiet night, extremely dark.''
I said, ''That's what we get here in the jungle, that's why the boss told us that we have to get to our camp place before the sun sinks down.''
''Did you see anything?'' He asked. ''Anything wild?''
''Only those fireflies,'' I answered. ''They're harmless. There was nothing else around.''

After breakfast, we went farther in land. We arrived at this beautiful waterfall. It came out just above the rocks and poured out like a white sheet in a muddy gutter below. All around, the vegetation and plants were yellowish-brown-green, with moss-covered rocks here and there. At the waterfall I heard that one of the guys had hung his hammock just above a nest of pythons. He was lucky to escape unhurt. Later on, we came to a tree that had fallen across our path. It was a massive tree.very long, dark-brown-green. We climbed up and walked along it and came off just at the start of its branches. A few hundred meters on we saw a hut. It had opening for doors and windows, but there were none attached. From where we were, we carefully took in all that we had seen. There was a half naked man with a bamboo pole in his hand. A woman came into view with a child in her arms,she too, was half naked. I remembered in a lecture we had, we were told about those bamboo rods. The natives used them as weapons to shoot poison darts at the enemy, and at monkeys and other animals. The poison dart is placed  at one end, and then they blow down the bamboo tube with a puff of wind.
After we left the hut without them seeing us, we came to a river. It was fairly wide, greenish-white with trees along both sides leaning over as if they wanted to fall into the water below. We had to make some small rafts from wood, with room to carry three. We cut some wood and bound them together to make a good solid raft. There was a bit of sandy spot where we were, with trees on our left with their roots spreading out like snakes. The area looked greyish-green-brown-white. The river wasn't flowing fast, so we had a chance to get on it without any problems. All nine of us with three rafts got to the second location without any trouble.

Inside this jungle we saw some spectacular scenes such like when the sun comes pouring down through the trees--making it look like a white pathway upwards. Then to the side of us, a small river trickling down amongst the big and small stones. We came to a place, a sort of half-circle ridge with about seventeen different water falls pouring down into a beautiful body of water below. So inviting it was that a couple of us went in and had a dip, but not before we made completely sure that it was safe to do so. We set up camp again in a thick area, and posted guards for two hours at a time. It was now pitch black, and while the others were trying to get some kip, I was on guard. It was midnight when I took over my guard-post. I am patrolling outside the string that we had tied around the trees with our camp in the middle.
As I made a circle, a strange feeling came over me. I went down on my left knee beside the tree I was at; and let my eyes pierce through the black night. I saw a movement through the trees directly in front of me. I went flat on my stomach, making sure I had cover from the small trees there, grabbed my bayonet, and was ready. I now realized that I had to alert the rest of the chaps without causing too much confusion. With my eyes still glued in the direction where I had seen the movement, it hit me straight away that it might not be a human being. I was right. When I took my infra-red torch and pointed in the direction of the movement, I saw clearly that it was a tiger--a big one.
It was there, sort of yellowish-brown, looking in my direction. It must have sensed that I was there. I had to be careful now. We had a system set up that if anything was wrong, the others could be alerted. I had to act very fast. Without making too much noise, and moving around foolishly, I got on to the radio receiver/sender, and told those in the camp what was taking place. I was hoping too, that this tiger wasn't hungry, and would just go along its way. The others had carefully come to my aid. For fifteen minutes, we stayed there waiting for something to happen. Nothing did. The tiger went along on its way, and the others went back to camp, leaving me to continue the rest of my guard duty.. Later on, I handed over to another and went and had some kip.

The next morning while we were having breakfast, we talked about last night event with that tiger. When we had finished breakfast, we broke up camp and continued deeper in the forest. The sunlight was now filtering through the tall trees leaving many beams of white light. It was a spectacular sight to see. All the nine of us are in line, and each will take turn being the leader, cutting a path through the thick undergrowth for the rest to follow. My rurn came and it was about midday when I was in front and cutting a way so that the others could follow without much hindrance. After hacking away, I poke my head through, only to be stung by a great bee. I fell back on the root of a tree, stunned and feeling strange. It was the boss who sucked something from my forehead where I was stung. It wasn't long before I was back on my feet again, and hacking away. I mentioned the boss many times but you must understand only we in the group knew who the boss was--an outsider wouldn't know. In this sort of mission it was vitally important that no outsider knew who the leader of the group was. We kept it all to ourselves. 
Coming up to 13.00 pm, we all sat down and had lunch. We continued along our route until we came to a small river crossing. We could not swim across because there were too many rocks strewn here and there. We knew we were going to get wet--even up to the waist. We all made it across safely. We were now in that part of the forest where we saw many monkeys jumping from branch to branch, and from tree to tree. We came across a beautiful waterfall where it came down in three stages, and then it spread out just at the bottom, like a thick white cloud, before it went into the pool below. On both sides of it the trees were green-yellow-brown with a touch of light-red here and there. We got to where we should camp and started setting up, well before the sun should depart. Two hours later, after having something to eat, a patrol was sent out to see what they could find. They came back before it got totally dark. They saw and found nothing unusual.

The following day, we were out walking to another place. It was around 10.00 am, we came down a track, turned left around a group of trees, when one of the group spotted movement to the right of us through some thick undergrowth. We all knew exactly what we had to do in case we confronted the enemy. The chap right at the back had  got hit with a poison dart shot from one of those blow-guns. It hit him right in the back of the neck. The medic that was with us hurriedly went back, making sure that it was safe. The enemy had no guns, so that was ok. All they had was their blow guns, and their sharp machet for hacking heads off. The medic got the chap back safely in our area. Three of us went secretly to the left, then we turned left again, and tried to get behind the enemy. We saw that there were about three of them. Maybe there were more, but we had no way of knowing if that was so. I was in the group that went to the left. When we took the left turn again, we were right behind the enemy, some distance away In the jungle, we had to walk in a way that we did not make much noise--soft walking, we called it. Then sometimes we had to crawl, moving anything in our way that would make noise and alert the enemy. We saw the enemy very clearly now. Two were kneeling behind a tree, while the other one was just to the right of them. We knew without doubt what had to be done. Everything had to go according to how we had planned it. We could not afford to make one simple mistake; that would be a fatal move. One, or all of us could lose our heads and our lives. I got the signal from the other two chaps, and we moved in on the enemy fast.; and with our bayonets going where we wanted them to go; it was all over in seconds. The three enemies lay beside the tree dead. We hurriedly moved away and reported back to the others who congratulated us on what we had done. We then cleaned ourselves up, sat down, and ate something, then we moved on. We knew that if those three that we had gotten rid of, were part of a group, they'd be looking for them when they had failed to turn up at their base. Now we were on high alert. The information that we had got about the island, was that there weren't many natives living there, a total of maybe twenty or so, but that they were very dangerous. I was thinking to myself, maybe we could try and make ;peace with them. But have you ever tried making peace with someone who's coming to take your head away from your body? You have to defend yourself, and in doing so, the attacker could be in much trouble.

It was late afternoon now, and again we set up camp ahead of the sun going down and catching us unawares. We did it so that seven of us would be available, while one, along with the one who got hit, could stay and rest. When I think back on what had just happened between the natives and us, I realized how dangerous this mission really was. It could have been me lying back there mutilated, with no head on my body, But as it turned out, we were the victors. Whether luck was on our side or not, it was the training that we had that kept us in good stead. The following encounter I knew was going to be worst. If the total number of natives that we had been given came to around twenty, we had eliminated three, so that left 17 against 9 of us. No. I should say 8 of us because one of us was in jured. Well we had to push on and see what happens next.

Our boss decided that we should return to the boats for he could not wholly depend on the numbers that he had been given. The next day, we broke camp, and headed in the direction of the boats. In the jungle, it is sweaty and humid, and tiredness sets in after long treks. We arrived back where the boats were only to find that they had been set on fire, and we couldn't salvage anything from them. It had to be the natives who had done so, for there were no one else on the island. There was a little island not very far from this one, and the boss decided that we should swim to it. No sooner had he made the decision when an attack came from the woods. each one of us had a long solid stick which we had used for walking along our route, and which was also useful for defence against any machet attack. One of the chaps had already taken the chap who had gotten hit with the poison dart, into the water, in order to swim to the small island. There were now seven of us left to defend ourselves against six of them. They had their blow-guns in their left hands, and the matchet in the right. We held them in a close area, and gave them no time to move away so that they could use their blow-guns. The fight was hard and fierce. They made big swings with their machets, only slashing against the wind. two of the enemy fell from bayonet stabs, and into the white sand, turning the spot into a reddish-purplish color. They were rolling and groaning with pain. Two more of us went into the the  clear water, heading for the small island. Two of the enemy ran away back into the woods, leaving the other two to be killed by us. Then we too, went into the water, and started swimming to the small island. The water beneath us was so clear that we could almost see every single thing that was below us.

The End.

 


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