Every crumbling building reminded him of America’s shameful capitulation. The freeway was patched and torn, and distinctive Vietnamese army trucks rattled towards the Gook headquarters in Pioneer Square. Raucous cries from the sleeping quarters disturbed his thoughts and he turned to see what was causing the fuss.
One of the ragged band was throwing punches at the Colonel and the rest were laughing and jeering, Braddock stood there, impassive, while the little guy danced around him spitting and shouting all the while. It was just the usual pointless play fighting. You would think they had had enough of that in ‘Nam.
He looked pitiful in his torn combat fatigues. Nester sighed and turned his back on the prisoners. He was all there was between them and a Vietnamese execution squad but they still didn’t get it. At this rate the Gooks would kill them all.
Braddock was watching quietly in that spooky way of his. Nester couldn’t understand why he didn’t act like a leader. Most of the time the men did whatever they liked, and he just let them do it. Nester carried on his way past the untidy collection of small white crosses. They reminded him of the cemetery back home where his father lay. He could hardly be further away from his Mississippi childhood than he was now. Winter was approaching fast and he was not looking forward to the cold winds from the sea and the Northern snows. All ideas of glory and victory seemed like a hopeless fantasy. His job was to survive and use his wits to keep the others alive, even if they hated him for it.
In the distance the thud, thud of a chopper could be heard. Someone shouted out “Sounds like an American!” and everyone looked at Braddock. He inclined his head to the right and everyone scrambled towards the makeshift parade ground. The guards started shouting in that high-pitched squawk that passed for a language and gestured to Nester. They expected him to
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