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The story so far:

"A quiet morning on the beach" -> (4 skipped) -> "U.S Army Major Jack "Major Y" Yoshida" -> "INTO THE JUNGLE/NIGHT FIGHTING"

The Native Standoff/Return of the Picnic Pilgrim  by ajgraphix

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Captain McCray and Sergeant Martinez cautiously aim their weapons in the direction of the approaching sounds. Then, quickly running through the bushes an image of a uniformed soldier begins to appear in the moonlight, his eyeglasses are cracked casting a broken mirror image of the hazy night moon.

“The fighting is over, don’t shoot, don’t shoot” Corporal Blackbird says as he runs out of the bushes gasping for breath surrendering with one arm raised up in the air. Captain McCray and Sergeant Martinez lower their weapons. “Corporal Blackbird, where is everyone else?” Sergeant Martinez asked.

“Everyone else is scattered throughout the jungle Sergeant, the fighting and the explosions separated everybody from everywhere, some of our men that I saw that were still alive said that they were going to stay where they are, they said that they did not want to get killed running into those traps that their buddies ran into, during the fighting, I must have heard the word medic yelled out so many times, I lost count, anyway after guns, screaming and explosions had stopped, I got up to my feet and left my position” Corporal Blackbird explained.

“How many injured men did you pull back from the fighting Corporal?”Captain McCray asked. “I’d say about a hundred sir, I gave medical aid to the seriously injured first sir and then I ordered the men who only had minor scratches and cuts to take care of themselves and watch out for the others, so I carefully walked out deep into the jungle to see if I could find anymore injured soldiers sir, the only things that I saw were burning bunkers and foxholes, Japanese machine guns and our machine guns with gun smoke still flowing out from the barrels and tons of dead bodies everywhere, theirs and ours sir, I think it’s over sir” Corporal Blackbird replied.

“How do you figure Corporal?”Captain McCray asked. “Well sir, I was thinking back to the time when we had the briefing back on the ship a few days before we hit the beach, Major Y said that the Japanese like to strike at night and early morning hours, they especially like to shoot at medics and medical aid stations of their enemies”. “What’s your point Blackbird?” Sergeant Martinez asked impatiently.

“Sergeant my point is that I was deep in the jungle and I thought I was going to get shot for sure, no one fired at me, I’m quite sure that if there were any Japanese soldiers alive manning machine guns, I wouldn’t be standing here talking to you two with an injured arm, so I lit a match, no one fired, then I lit a cigarette, I took a drag from it and again no one fired at me” Corporal Blackbird replied.

“So if no one fired at you Corporal then why were you running through the woods so fast and how did you hurt your arm” Captain McCray questioned.

“Well sir, unfortunately I walked into a vine snare trap and it snagged me straight up in the air, I was hanging by both legs upside down, I was about 25 ft up and swinging from side to side, I reached into my uniform shirt pocket for my utility knife that I use to cut bandages with and I started cutting on the vine, It was pretty tough to cut, then I started getting dizzy, I bent upwards to cut the vine again and again and then I fell to the ground, it took me a while to hit the ground, it felt like I was suspended in the air forever, I must have hit a rock or a log or something, I was knocked out you could say, I was out for a while.

When I came to I felt something like a very sharp stick or a spear poking me in my back, I rolled over on the ground and that’s when I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. Then I looked up and saw a very dark-skinned man with bushy hair on his head standing over me, he was holding a wooden spear with the tip pointed right at my neck, sir I was so scared I just got up on one arm without thinking twice about it and ran through the jungle for help as fast as I could” Corporal Blackbird said.

“Thank you for being honest Corporal” Captain McCray said. “You’re welcome sir, I would never run out on the battalion sir, I’m a medic and my job is to save lives not run out on them sir” Corporal Blackbird replied. “Are you okay Corporal” Sergeant Martinez asked.

 “No Serge, I’m hurting and I’m still scared, I would like to get out of this creepy jungle if I may Serge, besides I have nothing else to work with I ran out of everything” Corporal Blackbird replied.

The early morning sun slowly begins to rise over the island, the rays of the warm sunlight pierce through jungle trees, varieties of beautiful multicolored tropical birds begin to whistle and chirp throughout the jungle welcoming in the new morning, bandicoots and other ground animals cautiously come out of their dens and holes sniffing around as they rummage for food. “Captain, Sergeant look at this” Corporal Blackbird turns his musette bag upside down to reveal what he has left to prove to the Captain and the Sergeant. The items fall to the ground, a small red and blue hardcover book with a shield drawn in the middle of the cover with the words: AMERICAN

SOLDIER BALLADS printed on the inside of the shield, a pocket-sized bible in a gold-colored protective metal casing: “May God Bless You” are the words engraved into the casing, a U.S ARMY FIELD MANUAL BOOK dated 1943, a small red box with the red American Red Cross logo laid out inside of a white colored circle the box reads: Gift of the American Red Cross/not to be sold/regular playing cards.

“We believe you Corporal, now pick up your things and get back to the beach and get us some help as soon as possible” Captain McCray said. “Be careful Blackbird, take care of your shoulder and don’t get stuck in the mud,” Sergeant Martinez said.

Corporal Blackbird gathers up his belongings with one hand and puts them back into his musette bag and heads back to the beach.

“Island natives Captain, you think?” Sergeant Martinez asked. “If the Japs did not kill them off Sergeant, I would say yeah, Major Yoshida said that we may run into them during the briefing a few days ago before we hit the beach remember” Captain McCray said.

“Oh yeah! That’s right, Major Y did say that, but the big question is who side will they be on if we run into them, will they be on the Japs side or our side?” Sergeant Martinez asked. “I wonder about that myself, especially when Corporal Blackbird said that one of the natives was poking at him and pointing a spear at this neck” Captain McCray said with a puzzled look on his face as he looks out into the early morning smoke-filled jungle.

“Well, we will soon find out John, come on let’s go and find the others watch out for traps and snares and natives” Captain McCray said. “I’m right behind you Robert” Sergeant Martinez replied.

Captain McCray and Sergeant Martinez begin to walk out into the jungle, they walk pass the bodies of many dead American and Japanese soldiers, who had just recently fought each other to the death just a few hours ago. The smell of burned wood, burned human flesh and gun smoke pollute the early morning air. Some of the American soldiers who survived through this horrific jungle night battle, come out from their positions holding their weapons in their hands, their eyes are still widened from the intense night fighting.

“Captain! Sergeant! Over here” A young soldier yells out as he spots the Captain and the Sergeant walking over the dead bodies, they walk through the bushes over the young soldier. “We did the best that we could do sir” the young soldier said as he points over to the injured soldiers who are stationed a few yards behind him, then the young soldier reloads his 30. Caliber machine gun and continues to watch out for the enemy.

 “Hang in there boys, you’re going to be alright help is on its way, just hang on” Captain McCray said. Captain McCray reaches into his field backpack and pulls out his walkie-talkie, he presses the transmit button and then he speaks into the device. “Red fox to lazy dog, do you read me lazy dog over, red fox to lazy dog over” The Captain repeated.

Meanwhile, back at the beach inside Major Yoshida’s tent. “Try to reach them again” Major Yoshida said, as he looks at the telecommunications

specialist (radio man). He puts his head phones on and after many times of trying to get through, he turns on his radio equipment again, he hears electric radio static on his line; he looks back at the Major nodding his head from side to side.

Major Yoshida walks out side of the tent in disgust. “They can’t be dead I trained my men well in what to look for in jungle warfare, they can’t be dead someone has to be alive” Major Yoshida said to himself.

Then, “red… (static). over”. The radio man hears a faint voice on his line, he adjusts the radio frequency dial again and then the line clears. “(static). Red fox to lazy dog do you read me lazy dog over” The radio man hears the voice of Captain McCray trying to get through. “Major Y, Major I got’em sir,” the radio man yells out.

Standing on the outside of the tent looking at a U.S Army map of the Solomon Islands, Major Yoshida drinks coffee out of a canteen holder cup, then, he hears the radio man call for his attention, he immediately slams the cup down on the wooden table and rushes back inside of the tent. He looks at the radio man.

“I got’em sir, its red fox” the radio man replied. Major Yoshida grabs the radio earphones and puts them on his head, he presses the transmit button. “This is lazy dog red fox, go ahead red fox we read you over” Major Yoshida said. “Major Y, this is Captain McCray reporting in sir over”. “It’s good to hear from you Captain, we thought you got killed out there in the jungle, we heard the explosions and gunfire throughout the night, we were standing by on the beach, just in case if the enemy had battled pass you or captured you, I put everyone one this beach on high alert, I was thinking that they would fight their way back down to this beach and try to reclaim it so we had to hold our position here, how are things going in the jungle Captain over” Major Yoshida asked.

“Well Major, it was tough, very tough but now there seems to be some kind of a cease-fire sir, the machine guns have stopped firing at us, but we are still on guard” Captain McCray said.

“How many casualties do you see Captain over” Major Yoshida asked.

“Major this jungle is littered with dead bodies all over the place, ours and theirs sir, so far we have about 80 injured men and we are still counting the dead, now we are being watched by people who are armed with spears, bows and arrows and those blow-guns they use to kill animals with sir over” Captain McCray replied.

“They must be natives Captain over” Major Yoshida said. “Yes sir, there are a lot of them sir and they don’t seem too thrilled to see us, what do you want us to do sir over” Captain McCray asked. “Nothing, as long as they do not use their weapons on you do nothing, just let them do what they do, we’re not at war with island natives. I will send in more men in to help you with whatever you need Captain over and out” Major Yoshida replied. “Captain, Captain the natives are coming closer, what

“Captain, Captain the natives are coming closer, what are we going to do, what did Major Y say?”Sergeant Martinez anxiously asked, he and the rest of the men in Company L 10th Infantry aim their weapons at the fearless natives. “Do nothing Serge, he said do nothing unless they fire on us” Captain McCray replied as he looks at the natives walking closer and closer. The natives have very mean and angry looks on their faces as they hold their weapons ready to attack.

“Great, the Japs are gone, now we are at war with the natives, I knew they were on the Japs side, I just knew it” Sergeant Martinez said angrily as he continues hold his shotgun in position to fire at one of the natives who has a wooden crossbow with a long wooden arrow aimed right at him.

Suddenly, the sound of slow-moving footsteps echoes through the bushes. “Wait a minute, put your gun down Sergeant, everyone hold your fire, don’t shoot” Captain McCray said in a calm voice.

Then, a figure of a very old dark-skinned silvery gray-haired old man appears as he walks out of the bushes using a carved and decoratively painted wooden walking cane to help him. The old man stares at Captain McCray, Sergeant Martinez and the rest of the soldiers standing with their weapons ready to fire, then he stares at his own tribe.

Then his old, aging brown eyes stare back at Captain McCray. Captain McCray and the old island native man stare at each other eye to eye; the Captain has a hypnotized but a very calm look on his face at the same time as he continues to stare back at the old man.

Captain McCray slowly unstrapped his M1A1 Thompson submachine gun from around his shoulder and then he slowly lays it on the jungle floor then he raises both hands to surrender. “Jesus, Captain are you crazy, what are you doing?” Sergeant Martinez asked angrily again.

“No Serge, I’m not crazy, not yet anyway, everything’s fine Serge just don’t shoot” Captain McCray said as he slowly walks over to the old man with his hands in the air.

“No, no, no Thank you, thank you” The old man said as he laughs at Captain McCray standing in front of him with his hands in the air. Then, the old man puts out his wrinkled and fragile hand in a position to shake the Captain’s hand. Captain McCray lowers his arms, he smiles back at the old man and gives him a firm and respectful handshake.

The old man nods his head up and down in a positive way as he smiles back at the Captain. “Lower your weapons these soldiers have brought peace to our island do not harm them” The old man said to the younger armed natives in his native rotukas Bougainville Island language.

The island natives and the soldiers of Company L 10th Infantry withdraw their weapons from each other.“You are welcome sir”

Captain McCray replied with a huge breath of relief as he also nods his head up and down.

Later on in the bright afternoon, Major Yoshida and many other soldiers from different army battalions arrive in the jungle with army troop trucks and jeeps, bodies of dead soldiers both American and Japanese get loaded on to the trucks and taken to the beach for a mass burial. Captain McCray gives another piece of paper to Major Yoshida with another number of casualty counts it reads; CASUALTIES U.S 375 DEAD, JAPS 500 DEAD.

“A lot of lives were lost on this island Major” Captain McCray said. “That’s the cost of trying to maintain a free nation, a free world, Captain McCray we have won the battle for this island, but, this is just the beginning, we now have orders to guard this island until we receive orders to move out, there are still battles that go on throughout these many Pacific islands, we may receive an order to go further along these islands and help out other battalions, or if we are lucky, we will receive orders to go back home to the states, in any event we must be ready” Major Yoshida said

“We will be ready sir, you can count on that, Company L 10th Infantry Division will be ready” Captain McCray replied. The native men, women and children return to the beach after being enslaved in a Japanese army prison camp for many years, they are overjoyed with freedom as they cast their fishing nets into the clear warm water, the native teens and pre-teens play and splash each other.

One American soldier along with the help of others ties a flag on his back, then he climbs a tall battle torn coconut tree, at the very top of the tree, he unties the flag from his back and nails the flag to the tree, the 48 stars and 13 stripes of the United States flag flails in the gentle wind.

Using his wooden cane, the old native elder slowly walks out on the warm, white sand. He looks the soldiers laughing and playing and fishing with his people, he looks at the bright sunshine as tears of joy begin to slowly run down his cheeks, he looks at the US flag. “Thank you, thank you” he said to himself as he wiped his tears.

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  'The Native Standoff/Return of the Picnic Pilgrim' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: Oct. 26, 2011
Date published: Oct. 26, 2011
Comments: 0
Tags: bougainville, elder, sacrifice, tears, thompson-submachine-gun
Word Count: 5131
Times Read: 128
Story Length: 1