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The Nightmare Frontier

By Stephen Mark Rainey

Smashwords Edition published at Smashwords by Crossroad Press & Stephen Mark Rainey

Copyright 2010 Stephen Mark Rainey & Macabre Ink Digital

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Tay Ninh Province, South Vietnam (War Zone C)

June 1967

Technically, it wasn’t jungle. Its official military rating was “triple-canopied rain forest,” which meant visibility through the trees and undergrowth exceeded thirty yards, at least in places. In the past hour, the platoon had hacked its way through more than a thousand yards of matted vines, creepers, thorns, and bamboo clusters—half again the limitation of “jungle” terrain. Still, even if sunlight penetrated the leafy tiers only sporadically, the temperature hovered around the 100 degree mark, and at 99 percent relative humidity, the air quickly left a man feeling as if he were drowning in hot bathwater. Moving little faster than the ants that marched to their own drumbeat, the 39 Americans advanced single file through the brush, foregoing the standard parallel columns, which offered Charlie not one but two tantalizing groups of targets should he be in the mood to spring an ambush.

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