Fusner whispered into my left ear before first light. I blinked rapidly, once again not aware of having slept, but nothing could explain the passage of time from one waking moment to the next. I shook my head. Maybe I did sleep. If so, then it didn’t resemble, even remotely, the sleep I’d enjoyed all of my life up until one week ago. I eased up to near vertical position and rubbed my mosquito bitten repellent covered face. I brought my hands down, wondering when we would have enough water for me to take another jungle shower. Maybe it would pour rain again and I could run around in the mud naked, scrubbing madly with one of the small white bars of sundry pack soap.

Fusner knelt only inches away, already wearing the Prick 25 on his back, its flat field antenna folded over several times looking like a sheaf of palm blades. The shadows moved around me. I hated the moving shadows. Anything could come out of them or be them. Light was my friend and darkness, a tool of the enemy. I looked around me until I could get my bearings and overcome the night terrors. I breathed deeply in and out. The darkness had one good feature. Nobody could see me clearly, either — that I was busy being too afraid to be an officer, much less the company commander.