I tried to relax for a few seconds, so I could get the Heart of Darkness Plan organized in my mind. The night and rain were everything, along with our speed of movement. It had taken me almost three weeks to figure out that the Vietnamese were slow, compared to Marines, when it came to covering ground. Marines moved fast and didn’t stop to take breaks. The Vietnamese had tunnels, supplies and support people buried in spider holes, caves and tunnels. They took their time about planning and moving. Every success the company had experienced since I’d been in country had had something to do with moving unexpectedly and quickly. Slowing us down would be towing along the wounded and the dead, but there was no solution to that problem. We weren’t leaving any more Marines behind to supposedly come back and pick up later. There were enough of those strung out along the Bong Song to consider and try to retrieve, if that was to be done at all, given what resources we had to draw upon.

“I’m not using the first emperor of Rome’s name to talk to that man in the future,” I said to the Gunny. “What’s his real name?”

“No idea,” the Gunny replied. “He’s in Kilo. We don’t have a table of organization chart on them. He calls himself Char, so I suppose that’ll have to do for now.”