Episode 76 (PART 2) - Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero's heart

Minutes after my last radio transmission to Malloy, I crawled through the tall grass and sneaked close to the gun-toting helicopter pilot. I thought about taking him down with a single shot but I couldn't afford to be noisy. Besides, what good is a helicopter without someone to fly it? I watched him move up and down the beach for a while. He seemed uneasy. Slowly I crawled down the hill and hid behind the jeep. I needed to cause a distraction in order to get closer to him. I looked around for rocks or anything I could throw his way. I opted for a piece of timber heavy enough to make across the beach. I propped myself on the back side of the jeep and flung the piece of wood into the air. Within seconds it hit a rock a few yards away, bouncing once to finally hit the dry grass on the other side. Immediately, the helicopter pilot became anxious that something was wrong. He looked at the prisoners, flipped the safety off his M-16 service rifle and headed slowly towards the noise. I made my move fast, took off from behind the jeep, the sandy ground cushioning my footsteps. By the time the helicopter pilot noticed my presence, it was too late for him. I measured the distance between us with a right hook and then landed a crisp left jab to his jaw, making the pilot hit the ground instantly. All three prisoners had a look of relief in their faces. - Sorry I doubted you John. It's a blessing to see you… - said the sarge, eager to be freed. - Ignoring his apology, I replied quickly - We'll talk later. Right now Malloy needs our assistance - I told the sarge while untying his hands. After freeing them all, I gave my pistol to the Professor. Meanwhile, by the water, Sgt. Palmer took possession of the pilot's rifle. I briefly explained the situation to the sarge while Rodriguez dragged the unconscious pilot to the hill side. There, he tied the pilot's hands and asked me for my grenade launcher. - We have to go, now! - said the sarge, getting in the jeep. Rodriguez got behind the wheel and started the vehicle. Suddenly, a rifle shot echoed behind the swamp. Almost instantaneously, semi-automatic weapon fire followed, creating a faint cloud of gray smoke which drifted skyward. I winced at the sound of the blasts. Malloy was in trouble. - Wait! - I said to Rodriguez, who was already maneuvering the jeep. I ran towards the helicopter and grabbed one of its limiter circuits out of the instrument panel. This way the helicopter's fuel flow would be cut off. - If I can't fly out of here, no one will! - With that said, I got in the jeep and Rodriguez drove us towards Ivanov. I think we finally got him…

by Corporal John Harris, May 01, 2007