Private Henry Gelder was sitting in a poorly dug foxhole just north of Kon Tum. He had been here since May during some of the toughest fighting but luckily things seemed to have calmed down at this point. It was starting to rain as he looked out over the plains. The Viet Cong had been thrown out on the 9th of the month so things were pretty calm now. Luckily he and the rest of his squad weren't tasked with clearing the bunkers. ARVN apparently ran into some minor trouble doing so. Anyways ever since then he and his unit have been here till they get pulled to some other offensive along the line. At least it was quiet now. He saw a jet fly overhead, probably on some strike run deep in the jungle. He sighed, maybe he should've gone into the Air Force like his dad. Not much choice now after getting drafted. At least things were cooling down over all. He and his squad were only here anyways to keep some damned advisor safe and now he was back in Saigon living it up while they waited here for orders. It was getting late when he saw his friend Johnny run over.
"Hey man you're not gonna believe this!"
"Oh yeah? What is it? ARVN found some dig out and was too scared to go in themselves?"
"Nah nah man, I was listening in on the CO with the radio and apparently Aliens landed or something"
"Yeah yeah, some strange kind of plant people. Apparently they're here for peace and prosperity or whatever. I dunno"
"Look man if you're trying to prank me you gotta come up with something better than that"
"Ah man to hell with you, just trying to keep you in the know. CO's losing his shit so something is going down anyhow"
"Look Johnny don't get me dragged into your shit with the CO I dont wanna get stuck on another 'patrol' "
Johnny shook his head and pulled out a cigarette from a side pocket. "Look man, the sooner we get outta here the better. I don't care if its Aliens or what"
Henry looked up into the night sky, he wondered if it was true.
It was early next morning when the CO, a short angry man who went by the name of Kray, had grabbed every man of Henry's squad into some briefing in the middle of a burned out house. "Alright you cowards we're pulling out. Command wants us back east, apparently something big is going down. You all aren't to say anything to anyone else you hear me?" A tired yes sir came from the small collection of men. Kray continued "A heli is coming to pick us up in an hour and you're all gonna be on it, keep your heads down alright?" The men looked more confused now. "We going home soon Kray?" Johnny spoke up this time. Kray glared at him "You get to go home when I say you do Johnny." "Yeah yea fuck off man." Kray was sweating, something was clearly wrong. None of the men said anything else but they all waited in the burned out hut until the heli came an hour later. The landing itself was uneventful and all the men and Kray were aboard. As the heli was lifting off they saw some ARVN officer running out shouting at them. The helicopter drowned them out but they looked scared. Something was going down. The heli flight was uneventful until they touched down at the nearby Air base. The men got out but they could see something was wrong. MPs were out in force everywhere. Henry saw a group of men surrounded by them in the middle of the tar mac.
Kray turned back to all the men here and stuttered at them "s-s-stay behind me alright? Don't cause any trouble and we might get outta this one."
Henry mustered what little courage he had and spoke up. "Wh..what's going on sir?"
Kray looked terrified. "You don't wanna know...the less the better now let's get going. I know a guy who can get us aboard the next flight back."
The men's curiosity turned to dread as they followed Kray out onto the tarmac. They could hear shouting coming from the crowd of surrounded men.
"ITS OVER, THEY SAID THE WAR'S OVER MAN." A MP struck the speaker in the head with a pistol the speaker fell to the ground
The crowd of men was getting riled up, more shouting. "YOU THINK YOU CAN DO ANYTHING? THE ALIENS SAID WE GOTTA LISTEN TO THEM" The same bull-headed MP shouted back. "SHUT UP, THIS IS A WAR AND YOU MEN WILL STAY AND FIGHT"
Kray hurried the men past the scene and they were quickly making their way to a C-17 that was spinning up its engines, it was filled with injured and medical crew. Kray started speaking to a doctor who came out to greet him and the two exchanged quick looks before Kray called the men over. The men followed. Kray spoke up "Alright look, you guys gotta get out of here. This shit has gone to hell. Aliens showed up and got the damn president. I don't know what's going on but as much as I hate commies I'm not letting you all die to Aliens either. This plane will get you back to Saigon, from there just get the hell out. The Generals are going crazy saying they'll fight the Aliens. As far as I'm concerned we're fucked...I heard they got the commies too." Kray seemed on the verge of tears. Henry had never seen him like this before. Johnny looked over at him and was nodding like all this was clearly logical. The rest of the squad huddled into the C-17 and was sat behind some crates so the MPs couldn't see them. After a few minutes the plane began taxing to the runway for take off. The squad looked out the windows and saw Kray being interrogated by some MPs. Kray was punched in the stomach and collapsed as the plane took off. Henry was filled with dread as the moans of the wounded surrounded him. Johnny smoked his last cigarette and simply muttered "told ya it was aliens". The plane landed in Saigon and the men acted as normal as they could before breaking into the city itself and ditching their army gear. Whatever was going down they knew the army had lost it.
For the next few months Johnny and Henry spent their time in an old colonial hotel trying to hear what pieces they could of what was going on back home. It sounded...strange.