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Old 10-21-2006, 11:39 PM   #1
Leatherneck
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Houston, Texas
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Ghosts of Okinawa

Okinawa, October 31st, 1991 – Halloween.

3rd Reconnaissance Battalion is undergoing land navigation training in Okinawa’s Northern Training Area (NTA).



“Can I help you Lieutenant?”


“Yeah, Top. I just finished the course. Your training NCO, Cpl Jones, said that if I wanted to go back out and do another card, I needed to see you. He says he’s issued all of his course cards.”


“Well, I’ve got one card left.”


“But it’s too hard for you, Sir. It’s in the toughest part of NTA.”

“C’mon Master Sergeant Smith, I can do these courses in my sleep. You’ll be running the exercise for another six hours.”


“Well, I dunno, Lieutenant…we haven’t let anybody do that part of the course in a long, long time.”


“There’s a lot of old mama-san tales about that part of the island.”


“Top – give me that card.”


“Aye, aye, Sir.”


“…But you better keep your head out of you’re a$$ out there, Sir. It’s tough country.”

“Geez – these coordinates are out there. Finally, a course that’ll be challenging. What part of NTA is this last box in? I’m not familiar with that area.”


“It’s on your map, Lieutenant Stark. But if you can find that box, I’ll be amazed.”


“Why’s that?”


“I helped build that course when I was a PFC in 1964. The war hadn’t been over for all that long back then – only 19 years – there were plenty of old salts around that still remembered it. …Rumor had it, that that coordinate is the very spot where the Jap Marines made their last stand of the war. I was on the detail that planted that box. The area gave me the creeps. Back in the 70’s, two Marines disappeared trying to find that box…The locals say the area is haunted…”


“Ooooh – and today is Halloween. Top, you’ve got to stay away from that saki with the habu snake in it. I’ll find your box – and I’ll bring it back to you.”


“Good luck, Lieutenant – you’re gonna need it.”


“…alright – last box. Top wasn’t kidding about the terrain, this has been a challenging card. ”


“The jungle here sure is disorienting. Everything looks kinda dead, too. OK, I must be here.”


“Just shoot my next azimuth....”


“…eighty seven, eighty eight …The box should be just ahead….man the jungle just feels like it’s closing in all around you here…”


“Ah ha!..that looks like a box up ahead…Top Smith has got to stay out of the local bars…heh, heh…”


“…there it is, last one – Zulu 13…”


“What the…!?! Hey, where’d it go?”


“What’s goin’ on with my compass? The dial is just spinning. Man, this jungle sure is getting dark and thick....”


[low whisper] :aaaooo….Maaarrriiiinne…..yyyooouuu…dddiiieee…

“What was that?”


“ah…there’s that box – up there.”

[low whisper] ….wwaaar not over….


“Hey! I know I just saw it!”

[low whisper] ….banzzzaaaiii!!!….

“What IS that!?!”


“Zulu 13 - There’s that box!”


“Hey, what’s that on the ground behind it?...”

[low whisper] :aaaooo….Maaarrriiiinne…..yyyooouuu…dddiiieee…

“Maybe there was something to what Top Smith said. This place is givin’ me the creeps…”


“What’s goin’ on!?! “

[louder] ….wwaaar…not... over… Maaarrriiiinne… yyyooouuu…dddiiieee…


“What the…???”

[louder] ….wwaaar…not... over… Maaarrriiiinne… yyyooouuu…dddiiieee!!!


[loud wailing] ….banzzzaaaiii!!!…. ….wwaaar…not... over… Maaarrriiiinne… yyyooouuu…dddiiieee!!!

“This can’t be happening!!”


[loud wailing] ….banzzzaaaiii!!!…. ….wwaaar…not... over… Maaarrriiiinne… yyyooouuu…dddiiieee!!!

…wwaaar…not... over… Maaarrriiiinne… yyyooouuu…dddiiieee!!!

“AAAAAAHHHHHGGG!”


“Top Smith, how many people do I still have out on the land nav course?”


“Just one, Skipper – Lt. Stark”.


“Huh? He finished hours ago, just a few minutes before I did.”

“Yessir, but he came in and demanded to get a more challenging course card.”


“…What was his last box?”

“…Zulu 13…”


“…wwaaar…not... over…”


-fin-
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