Ninjas vs. Tribal Warriors

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

It's 1945 and the great war had just ended but not to some. For warriors, life without war is a life devoid of purpose.

“I don’t trust these guys,” whispered Pvt. Usue, as he wiped the rain off his brow and glanced at his three new superior officers.

 It had been raining since yesterday, though it wasn’t heavy rain, still he would have preferred the rain heavy yet abrupt as oppose to this endless cascade of downpour that kept you drenched everywhere.

“Keep it to yourself! Usue.” Snapped Sgt. Fukuda, he had been riding within earshot and discontent within the ranks was the last thing he needed.

Sgt. Fukuda was the leader of this unit, he was a stocky and well-built man, although a little thick around the midsection, he still carved an imposing figure and more so atop his horse, in complete contrast to the scrawny appearance of his men. But he shared their uneasiness, the war was over, the aftermath of the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki had ushered in the end of the Japanese occupation in the Philippine islands. A week ago he and his men were enroute for Japan, along with the rest of the Imperial Army. And then they were suddenly recalled for this mission and placed under the command of Military Intelligence officers. They were given very little information except that they were to pick up these crates from the town of Malaybalay, to secure its transport across the Bukidnon Mountains to the ships waiting on the southern shores of the Islands, which was to take them and their cargo back to Japan.

The contents of the crates were no mystery to him or his men, the crates contained treasure, gold, loads of it. This wasn’t why he was on edge though, Fukuda was a loyal soldier, and he made sure the men in his unit felt the same. No one in his unit would ever think to steal from the Empire. It was the new officers they had been assigned that bothered him, they were Nakano Operatives. Rumors had been floating around that the academy in Nakano actually trains Ninjas and not just mere intelligence agents, and the fact that there were three of them assigned on this mission increased his uneasiness. Military Intelligence Command rarely assigns two agents per mission let alone three. Yet here they were, sent specifically for this mission, three of the Imperial Army’s elite agents on a mission that barely requires intelligence gathering.

Something didn’t feel right about the mission. They had been trudging for days on horseback, going deeper and deeper into the mountains, avoiding the main roads. The jungle here was different from anywhere else he had been to. The trees stifled the air and made it unbearably hot. They felt like walls closing in, you couldn’t see more than 10 feet ahead. There was this nagging feeling he couldn’t shake, the kind that lingers on your thoughts and makes the hairs at the back of your neck stand. Like they were being watched, Fukuda felt it ever since they left the last town a day before. And now it was sunset, it would be dark soon. The shadows of the forest grew more ominous with each passing minute.

Something is definitely wrong.” Fukuda thought to himself.

The mud was getting thicker, and the roots and branches that crisscrossed the path were making it difficult for the carriages to move forward. Lt. Shimoda, the Senior Nakano officer, signaled for the caravan to stop, and directed Usue and another private to clear the path, not so much in words but doing it mostly through gestures. The mountain path seemed endless at this point, settlements here are few and miles and miles apart.

“This place feels like it’s detached from the rest of the world.” Pvt. Usue shrugged as he paused to take a swig from his canteen, tilting his head to drink. Then he caught something in the corner of his eye, coming out of the trees… and into his throat.

No sooner had Usue dropped on the forest floor, arrow lodged into his neck, and the Nakano Agents were already on the move and headed toward the trees, inhumanly fast. Sgt. Fukuda barked orders for his men to take defensive positions as a hail of arrows and gunfire fell on them. And already three of his men had fallen.

“FIRE!” he roared. Fire at what, exactly? He saw no one, he could see only trees. Then he caught a glimpse of his superior officers, moving like shadows, leaping from tree to tree. And with a slash of a blade, one of their attackers fell from a branch. Now he knew who their attackers were, they were up against Lumad warriors. Fukuda had never faced them before; he had heard stories and had seen field reports attesting to their savagery. They were known to be very fierce combatants, their reputation and ferocity, almost mythical. American soldiers described them as berserkers, attacking relentlessly, taking hit after hit and only falling after taking an enemy’s life. Their superior weapons shouldn’t be a match for the ones wielded by this savages, and on a better day his men would have had the advantage he thought. But this was an ambush, to make it worse; they were ambushed within enemy territory. They were surrounded not by men but by the jungle, without being able to see their attackers they were sitting ducks. What good are guns without targets? His men needed to see their enemy or they would all fall this day.

The Nakano operatives were swift and deadly, one by one, they were taking out these ambushers. Five Lumad had already fallen from the trees, felled by these assassin soldiers, the Lumad warriors had now come out into the open, the Nakano Agents had drawn them out. The rumors of the empire training ninjas were suddenly all too real; these agents were incredibly efficient killing machines. They were moving from kill to kill with such fluidity, pistol and blade in sync, as if each one was performing some perverted dance of death. But the Lumad warriors were too many, three of the Imperial Army’s elite was not enough.

The Lumad warriors were living up to their reputation, fighting with a singular purpose, to take as many lives with them to the afterlife. The rifles were proving to be futile against their attackers. The Lumad just kept on rampaging despite getting shot. And then there was the jungle, the trees and branches limited there movement as well as their vision and the ferocity of the Lumad warriors was living up to its legend. These barbarians were too much for Sgt. Fukuda’s men. If not for the Nakano Agents, this battle would have ended as soon as it began.

“FALL BACK MEN! PROTECT THE CARAVAN!”  Fukuda ordered. We must hold our own.  

Fukuda watched as his men were overwhelmed and cut down by sheer savagery. These Lumad warriors seemed to grow stronger in their frenzied rage, as if the act of inflicting carnage makes them grow stronger. Then Fukuda realized he had been outflanked, finally he saw the figure advancing towards him, a berserker bathed in blood with eyes, white and devoid of sanity. This Lumad warrior had just taken out Lt. Shimoda and was now headed for him. The Lumad dashed towards him mad with rage, Fukuda spun his horse around and quickly aimed his pistol at the charging Lumad, knowing full well that a well placed bullet to the head can stop anything, berserker or no. The Lumad warrior would run straight into his line of fire and all he had to do is empty all his rounds into the savage’s head. He tightened his finger on the trigger.

”I may die today but not before you will.” Fukuda thought.

 He was never more wrong. The Lumad was too fast, side-stepping onto a nearby rock and lunging into the air. Fukuda was only able to fire two shots before he felt the cold-steel of a Lumad bolo punch through his chest. 

Submitted: December 05, 2013

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