An APC drew up half a mile from the radio station. Simon Fell in his frogman’s outfit waddled the few metres the river beside the road. He lowered his mask and gave a thumbs up. There had been a rainstorm the night before. Stagnant puddles lay around. He awkwardly stepped into the muddy stream.
His comrades Earl Dibdin, Tejprasad Rai, Ian Alexander had all got out of the APC and returned the thumbs up gesture. They all wore khaki shirts and khaki shorts as well as webbing. The driver Dirk Coen reamined in the APC as driver.
A minute later he was swimming up the river towards the gate to the radio station gate.
The others felt curiously tranquil. An overflowing bin of rotten food offended their olfactory senses. Dibdin reflected that at least the stink took their minds off the danger.
”They’ll never see him coming” chuckled Alexander. He took off his helmet a minute to let his head cool. He was 6’1” and spare. His thick black hair was short and very carefully brushed. Alexander was muscular despite his slim frame and every inch the sergeant. He had a pointy nose and slightly rubicund skin. His brown eyes gleamed at the prospect of victory.
”We will be in there in a minute” said Rai in a thick Nepali accent. ”We do this against communist in Malaya. Send frogman in the river to surprise sentry. Many times big success.” Rai was 5’4”. His face was round and flat. His brown eyes were very hooded. His calves seemed to be far too thick for his diminutive body. It was clear that beneath his shirt lay rock hard muscle. ”He kill them silent. Sometimes I do it” he cackled and tapped the sheathed kukri knife on his belt.
”Is you some sort of Red Injun?” said Dibdin.
”No I am Nepali”
”Nepal?” said Dibdin quizzically. ”That an Injun tribe?”
”We are near to the India. We are not tribals.”
”You are an Injun. Sure some of my buddies are part Indian” said Dibdin.
Alexander had to suppress a smirk at them talking cross purposes.
”We are people of hills. We not Indian. They take out land but some of our people now West Bengal – Darjeeling side . Simla was Nepal now India take.”
They did not have more time for the geographical misunderstanding.
A burst of khalashnikov fire punctured the calm.
”Oh shit they got him” said Dibdin.
”I am no too sure about that. But even if they no got him the alarm is raised” said Alexander. ”Get back in the APC the noo – we gotta storm it” he yelled.
They all leapt back into the vehicle which sped off.
As the APC sped up to the gate they saw two sentries had turned flood lights on and were bent over the corpse of a frog man. The sentries looked up at the sound of the approaching vehicle. The metal wire gate was padlocked. They froze. Friend or foe? They raised their khalashnikoves but did not fore – unsure what to do.
The APC’s machinegun in the turret sprayed the two sentries. One took a blast in the head and fell dead. The other cried out in pain – clearly wounded and dived for cover. He crawled into the bushes and was not seen again.
The APC burst through the gate and gunned up to the radio station building.
As they approached they noticed an upper floor window was open. Someone was firing at their vehicle.
”Drive up the steps” Alexander ordered.
”Up the steps?”
”Up the fucking steps” Alexander said agitated. ”No sense in parking out front where that man upstairs can shoot us. Smash into the fucking door.”
Five very broad steps lead up from the land to the door of the building. There was a flat area under a portico in front of the door.
The APC drove up the steps and rammed into the door – breaking it wide open. The stone pillars made sure the APC could not drive into the building – it was too wide.
”Out now – go” ordered Alexander. Dibdin, Rai all leapt out.
Alexander said to the drive. Reverse – now use the machinegun to keep that sniper upstairs covered.
”Got it. I will reverse and use the GPMG on the sniper.”
”Aye” said Alexander. He and his men then dashed into the building. The looked for the stairs – right in front of them.
Across the lobby they saw the stairs. Alexander ran towards them.
”COme on move it” he said as Dibdin lagged behind. They noticed that there was a balcony on the first floor allowing people on it to view the ground floor.
After a few seconds they heard their GPMG opening fire from outside – keeping the sniper upstairs pinned down.
Alexander reached the foot of the stairs. ”Up the stair” he shouted and ran up himself.
Just then Alexander heard a blaze of AK 47 fire. He swivelled around to see Dibdin falling. Dibdin recovered himself slightly and aimed upwards -shooting haphazardly. A second burst of gunfire made him fall on his chest.
No time for him – Alexander thought.
Alexander came to the top of the stairwell. In the dark he made out the figure of a soldier 10 metres away. Alexander fired in his direction but clearly missed – the man did not fall or cry out. The soldier pulled his trigger. His magazine was empty. The Bornoese soldier turned and opened the door of a room – locking it behind him.
Alexander dashed toward the door. He stood by the wall and aimed his weapon at the lock – shooting it off deftly.
Alexander then pulled a grenade out of his webbing – removed the pin and counted to two before rolling it along the floor into the room. Alexander went back behind the wall and turned away crouching. As soon as he had got into position he heard an almighty explosion.
As dust billowed out of the room he went in – firing blindly. His eyes were stung by dust. He spluttered.
”Sir it is me Rai” Alexander heard Rai’s voice behind him.
”You are a bit fucking late sonny.”
”I got to see Dibdin. Dibdin dead sir.”
”I knew that. Doesnae fucking matter. Mission first then see about the wounded.”
The dust cleared and they saw that there was no one in the room. The window at the far end was wide open.
”Sneaky fucker must have jumped out. Good luck to him.”
”He brave man” said Rai.
”Right – Rai you know where the broadcast room is. You have studied the plan.”
”Yes sir I know. ”
”All right – you go there. I am going to APC – radio commander. ”
”Yes, sir. said Rai.
”And do not turn the lights on just in case there are more of the fuckers about. That man who escaped might be back.”
”Yes , sir” said Rai ”I understanding.”
Alexander hurried downstairs and out to the APC.
”Open up its Alexander.”
”Yes, sir.” said the driver.
Alexander hopped in. Only then did he realise he was breathing heavily.
He got on the radio.
”Radio party to commander. Repeat radio party to commander. Radio station is secured by us. Repeat we have the radio station. Send hostages. Over”
Five miles away at the airport Philipps received the message.
”Sterling work Radio party. You have taken the radio station? Over”
”Affirmative. We have the radio station. Over”
”Ok – I will send the hostages. Expect them in 10 minutes. Over ”
”Understood sir. You will send the hostages. Sir, we need reinforcements. Fell was killed, Dibdin was killed sir. Request reinforcements. Over ”
”What Fell is dead? Dibdin’s dead? over”
”Yes, sir Both dead. Over”
”Oh shit. Poor Fell. Well Dibdin is no loss. Ok APC bringing the hostages will stay with you. We need that radio station. Over.”
”Over and out.”
”Out” said Philipps.