There was no recoil as the Browning fired. The recoil was absorbed by the fixed tripod attached to the top of the Ontos. I’d never fired such a weapon. In training I’d fired a short burst of an M-60 but it had been a stuttering jerky experience fired standing in the offhand position. I eased back on the trigger, as the tracers bit into the mid-part of the jungle running along the base of the hill. The gun was smooth, the explosions multiplying upon one another from the barrel, more pleasing than loud.

For some reason I had not expected the operating handle to cycle back with each shot, but it did. Somehow it was an odd but strangely reassuring series of movements. I looked down into the ammo box the fabric belt was feeding rounds up out of. I paused for a few seconds, wondering if Jurgens, Fusner and the others knew enough to make their break under the cover of my fire. I waited a few seconds before pulling on the little trigger that stuck out of the back of the gun’s receiver. I smoothly guided the line of yellow tracer lights up the side of the hill, again letting the bullets pour out in short but consistent bursts.