Apocalypse Now

“In the heart of the jungle, morality is tested by the firelight as fate and darkness collide in the midst of the apocalypse.”

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The jungle was so thick that the sun didn’t penetrate all the way down to the jungle floor. The only light came through occasional gaps in the twisted vines two men were hacking through with machetes.

“Why are we even here, Willard?” Private Zemke asked. He was still new to Vietnam, and didn’t know why his unit had been picked for this mission – this secret mission that didn’t exist.

“Classified,” Captain Benjamin Willard replied, checking the map. They took a break, chewing MREs and drinking canteen water. Whilst taking his time, he studied his convoy – each filled with individuals urged to change humanity, whittle insanity out of it. Half couldn’t say definitively why death on this particular confidential operation was vital, and as weapons started firing cries above frightened monkey howls, he asserted to himself not to fall victim to such folly. And ultimately gave up that bloody existence to form not just a killing force but a friend and son.

Chapter 1: “Into the Heart of Darkness”

Captain Benjamin Willard sat silently on the boat, watching the never-ending trees pass him by. He’d been on this journey long enough now to know just how easy it was to lose track of time. The thick jungle looked the same no matter where you were. Five years in the Special Forces had taught him how to blend in with his surroundings, how to become invisible. Now he didn’t cut his hair most times, had floppy cheeks and had enough stubble to qualify for groaning as he walked.

“How much farther, Chef?” Willard asked the young seaman who was piloting the boat.

“Not far, Cap. That’s what we were told and we’re almost there now,” replied Lance B. Johnson, or “Chef,” the baby-faced underling who ironically wanted to become a cook in his post-Vietnam life.

Willard looked ahead to make sure they were moving in the right direction, as it was important to be mindful of border incursions. “This mission of ours – ” he began. “You know how it works? Few men down to a jungle complex maybe only we know about; search, then exterminate the SOB been there entrenched a while. Cakewalk.” Laid back, trading stories about the outbreak of the war and the sweltering heat that every language could comprehend, they converse. And then it is the envelope that emerges.

“I have it right here,” Chef said, following Willard’s lead. He handed Willard the worn envelope which was inscribed only with the position of Walter E. Kurtz- to kill or grasp as vital human property. The psych profile was clear: Kurtz had indeed gone mad, leading a giant irregular force into guerilla assaults ordering fewer plans and ignoring significant laws of war. Beyond burning rivers and destroyed temples, was a band of light-minded societies.

The intelligence index on with the operation said that Kurtz had found his resources becoming inexplicably larger despite understanding several corrupted ways to forfeit allocations from almost any military fracas in a priority galaxy. Willard pressed his fingertips together like a prayer gesture, deep in his post-Vietnam philosophy – this was his job, and he had to do it correctly. They treaded inland later and hacked through the growth before the plan plummeted down giving Willard assurances of deadly ambush.

For several hours, they shipwrecked trying to ground lost jungles before recognizing the abandoned pilot wheel lining the exterior: This land territory is the item of the government classified mission… No threats must compact interpretation.

Nothing and everything looks like hopelessness most of the time. But out of nowhere, pinpointing a small unmarked German army roamed overgrown monastery located poorly grounded along the riverbank, he smelled a hazy story behind it prominently containing Kurtz’s black marauding group in it. Navigating through this plausible hiding project further north that lay wholly violated, he could do nothing but recount lurking pressure under his horror-verged military minutes – something he muttered at his helm who ruefully suggest flying both day and night instead of water.

Willard straightened his collar and cigarettes after hearing an employee in the four decks clears his throat – “Here it is Captain, Kurtz compound.” As soon as he saw it on the periphery, the compound confirmed his chronic insane aim had been much more than just your ordinary objective. The stashed materials-filled site lay undamaged by copious bombing span dimensions… an vast greenhouse caught his attention, containing tasteful ornaments, sitting near a dryad most Vüsum like fortress.

“I crossed the river where you’d washed… We seem to have uncoupled.” Innocently spoken, a lanky young sailor passing brick-a-brack shortly afterwards on the banks called the fascination “quite beautiful.” Maybe graceless was much worse than evil, too irrational to plan theoretically.

“Maybe gracelessness is beautiful,” Willard muttered to himself. “Let’s finish this.”

Chapter 2: “The Faces of War”

The sun had risen high in the sky, and the boat glided slowly down the Nung River. The crew, each occupied in their respective duties, churned steadily through the murky water.

Willard stood at the bow of the boat, staring out at the vast expanse of jungle that stretched out before him. It seemed endless, and the oppressive heat and humidity made it feel like he was suffocating.

He felt the weight of his mission bearing down on him. To eliminate Kurtz, he had to navigate through the dense foliage, fight the Viet Cong and confront a man who had lost his mind in the depths of war. But he was not alone as he drifts – towards his possible third suicide mission – there in the river, amidst some leftovers of war, is something else that he cannot ignore.

As the boat sailed past countless small villages and hamlets, Willard watched in horror as the consequences of war became painfully apparent. The people who call places like these home are impoverished and mistreated by foreign invaders.

Their homes were in shambles and the land was scorched and barren, leached red by the villainous malaise of death and war. In the distance, billows of ash rose from perishing hamlets, casting dark silhouettes against the skyline.

It’s all too familiar a feat to be experienced during another land dominated by opposing and immoral foreigners. “Are we causing more harm than good?”, he wondered.

With his time running out, Willard was determined to find Kurtz and put an end to his bloody campaign. Amidst the scenery of this horrific confrontation, Willard tried to take in the value his target held and the impact that the man had. All around he could see that men and women alike were caught in the grip of war, bonded in the transcendent, nostalgic light of inoxidable disarray.

The massacre he witnessed, when a young child shot to death before his eyes hit him more deeply than he would like to express. That child was an emblem of the horrors erupting from those that will pay, the innocent ones. Willard’s eyes blurred with tears at the cruelty and tragic destiny being authored by man. The futility for hanging on creeps almost too far too choking choke depressively.

As the sun cast its last red curtain over the sky, the boat which for such a long time seem relentless, found shelter too. A makeshift harbor amongst the turbulence seemed a stance point amidst war’s harsh winds.

A soldier from the Second Battalion willfully joined that small dock, initially but suddenly turned grimacing, counting two strikes down at the surprise mortal ambush military camouflages. All around it was just weeping, tears and tormented pain coated the air.

But, even amidst the most harrowing of combat zones glorified by man, courage still emerged. For as long as ever flew the stars and striped flag or almost any political power stood to derive, patriotism would whether in poverty remain invulnerable.

Willard without delay sprang into action, grasping for whatever minimal cover from hostile snipers. The boat which for such a long time offered any kind of encouragement by means of salvation repelled the mad chimes of thunder seeking to scatter armored covers like shirts.

The scene was alive with hunger for winners and Losers, nevertheless the brave who for years to come would be remembered staring death squarely mulitpled their deeds beyond dimensions.

Once more, man’s violence proves incapable of changing reality simply amidst the ruins, representing part of that ever dreaming life.

The sounds of guns, grenades and the screams of aid fill the air once in that sunset. Forcibly, strongly beaten are sheer fate and happenstance, and to stay machinating evil would have to weigh in far overnight.

Tomorrow loomed, and much like everyday Willard was unaware of the dangerous surprises lying ahead.

Chapter 3: “The Meeting of Legends”

The sun rose high over the river, the heat already palpable as the boat drifted along. The sound of the engine disturbed the otherwise peaceful surroundings, with only the occasional caw of a bird breaking through the monotony of the scenery. Willard felt a sense of unease, which he couldn’t shake off, despite being the most veteran among his military personnel.

The steam arose from the river and created a slight mist in the distance, matched with a low hum of insects. Willard’s vulnerable, restless body inside the boat seemed entirely out of place in this natural world, outmatched by a paradisiacal institution where strange high ground overhanging from the river and orchard lined suburbs broke the banks’ monotony. Vines and light flora-colored foliages stood out everywhere around him, awaiting a momentous separation between life and dread.

As hard as Willard attempted to concentrate on the objective at hand, the worries and confusion threatened to overwhelm him. The mission he’d been given was straightforward enough, traveled thousands of miles to an unknown Asian land to find a troubleshoot kind of hero team led by Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, which implied he claimed autonomy none were granted yet in Vietnam’s civil conflict. Plenty of recruiters legitimized answering to Kurtz as he pushed high risk guerrilla commands and held extreme and spiteful people up in “his utmost esteem.”

Willard scanned the passage ahead, navigating around riverjacks and occasionally edging the boat closer to land for better agility. He then adjusted the canvas flap that helped to camouflage them across any contact with approaching targets moving up or further down the river bed. Nothing indicated that they were in serious danger, but his instinct–which had saved his life on previous adventures–gave him a nervy feeling as if something stuck beneath the walls.

The boat passed into daylight, and they found themselves at the start of a slender canal lined with thick marshy undergrowths. The curves occasionally revealed colorful figures or flowing canopies that the adventurer capture intimately or at sand-off range without eliciting interest, whereas their public have managed to maintain relative normalcy compared to life just miles up in civilization’s surreal mean spaces. A humid haze rolled over the water as they continued, flocks of colourful birds seen flitting between the trees, strangers in paradise for lost civilizations, forests, and watery savannahs, as different and obvious as their own kind.

Suddenly, the booming sound of a helicopter invaded their clear skies. Willard’s heart raced as he promised to himself, “I’m prepared to counterattack anything.” He glanced over to the left as an enormous military transport bike broke overhead at tree level, traveling across the commanding flanks of a nighttime war zone rally. The helicopter was shockingly brightly coloured in garish orange-red, drawing eyes towards the huge lettering plastered permanently on both sides: Lt. Col Kilgore.

“Pass inspection,” shouted Kilgore from the door, his AK rifles slung around his back. “We adjusted the point with the Corvair. We’ll resume operations despite this setback in following couple of hours.”

Kilgore himself leapt out of the chopper, sloshing through the stream that was ankle-deep. He was around 6ft3in short and slim build, with striking green colored eyes that resembled mine candy gems. On that subject, he was quite possibly the slightly weirdo person who showed little regard for soldiers under his command as he skimmed through the forest like an airborne cowboy, screaming “Crushing in a river landscape formation, everything signed over 12 sandwiches!”

Willard quickly took charge, realizing it would not take long for Kilgore to intervene in their private op. “We are a medical streaming company, as well as a humanitarian commerce platform,” he intoned firmly, channelling his thoughts. As if Marking fellow stealth fighters surfaced.

Kilgore sneered at Willard’s diversionary press release before finally touching base the marines group masquerading as his medical unit for the balance of the courier sortie. Surprisingly, the eccentric college football watchman responsible for supplying ice and other medical lifts that assured jitter-free communications recovered quickly as he satiated his oily cigarettes lighter with the heat from the hidden battery box of phones in a sack to charge. At heart anyone is capable of anything- this was Vietnam, he thought as he strode aboard another boat ferrying residents close by.

Chapter 4: “Tensions and Madness”

The buzzing of mosquitoes is one of the few sounds heard along the Nung River, the sweltering heat making the air thick with humidity. The crew on Willard’s boat, the PBR Street Gang, sits in an uneasy silence as they continue deeper into the uncharted territory of Vietnam. The tension amongst them is palpable, each man struggling to keep his sanity amid the madness that surrounds them.

Lance, the young surfer from Southern California, lays slumped over the side of the boat, seemingly indifferent to his surroundings. Sweet, the baby-faced youngster who has never seen combat before, sits rigidly upright, fear etched into his face. Clean, the loyal and steady gunner for their boat, busies himself with the weapons as if trying to distract himself from the situation at hand. Chef, who is one-part cook and one-part weapons expert, churns out mystery meat despite the fact they had caught plenty of fresh fish along the way.

And then there’s Willard, seated in the most basic tropical combat attire; shorts, tank top, sunglasses and a sleek machete discreetly keeping watch beside his captain’s chair. His eyes scan the surroundings for any signs of impending danger; the only sign of any emotion completely under wraps beneath a hardened expression wearing off disquiet decimation war worked on his soul.

The tension in the air around the crew reaches a boiling point as they engage another boat traveling upstream. The boat is overflowing with civilians who are desperately trying to escape the war-torn region. When they ask for assistance, Willard coldly denies them help – “they have nothing to do with this war,” he snarls.

As they continue upstream, the oppressive atmosphere seems to seep deep into Willard’s soul as he reflects on his own personal demons and the horrors of war he has seen. It’s only a matter of time before someone on the boat loses their grip on reality.

As they near the end of the day, the PBR Street Gang pulls alongside a port on whose bank a sudden savage attack ha captured what used to be labelled landmarks up for debating. Without warning, an explosive device – direct aim hitting Willard’s boat throws them all overboard, and immediately, even to the worst possible entrance of such environs in their raw apocalypse, the firefight begins.

The surrounding area envelopes all shooting, yelling and occasionally “home-made soundtrack” drum rhythms. Willard grips his M14, taking cover behind the slick riverbank. Gunfire is blazing from different sources, with both sides suffering losses and a heavy tree motion revealing opposition fighters’ camps where the gang did not suspect any. In Willard’s mind, he questions why anyone would want such Hell on earth mirrored and present everywhere in this forest cluster.

After what feels like an eternity, the rioting eventually dies down, the silence that takes over only offering further admiration for the profound extent of wartime disasters forced upon even perpetuators of goodness. The members of the PBR Street Gang make their way back to the boat, the collective processing of every single person spent in unbearable danger setting a warning against feeling even the slightest grip on complacency amidst a beguiling environment they are hopeless in handling.

Chapter 5: The Expendables

The sun was setting over the lush jungle as they approached the makeshift market. Willard tightened the strap of his backpack and tested the weight of his M16 on his shoulder.

It was rare sight – a market being held in the middle of a warzone. Yet it seemed business was booming as traders crowded around selling opium, weapons, and all sorts of war-torn paraphernalia. Grimy survivors of current and previous hostilities negotiated with beurindanes and smugglers, each trying to use the desolate marketplace to gain something of value, even as their fellow men were fighting only a few kilometers away.

Willard eyed the area warily as the boat motored into the muddy banks. The hum of people bargaining and chattering was an incessant rumble. As the entire cobbled collections of huts came into view, the tension he carried simmered within him; he remained taut and alert. In a few kilometres, they are going to take up the danger once again. In a few kilometers, they’re going to feel the weight of a war lost and won.

Several Vietnamese traders scurried over to barter with the crew for cigarettes and canned foods, but the war-weary Marines steadfastly ignored their infirmity.

Lance, the youngster, separated from the crowd and walked over to a junk pile near a rotting meat stall. He searched through the debris for any hidden trade objects, unaware that there was a grenade over three-quarters filled, forgotten next to where he was clenching a piece of scrap metal, unexploded for who knew how many years.

One of the traders, seeing Lance’s naivety, sauntered over and offered him what he called a Good Luck Charm – a shrivelled animal organ stuffed with herbs and human remains. Lance’s eyes widened at the idea of having an enigmatic item — he had heard rumors of him elsewhere to be genuine – yet Kurtz’ only brought along men with special virtues; he declined.

As Lance slipped the mag—a root pigment wanted as payment from earlier boat trading—as covered by one of his unit members into the merchants handfuls, more shopkeepers swooped in, eagerly praising them with creaky English wafts of adulation over below-average sales.

Willard took slow, deep breaths; the mingling sounds of bartering echoed vibrantly within his relaxed throat, forcing him not to look his enemy’s lusty face from above, at least for this tranquilizing moment in time.

Charlie, who seldom donned his helmet or M16 when miles upstream, prattled than more random testimonials than Willard cared to endure regarding the trashed environment the market left behind for miles. He muttered like he always does.

Observing near them, the other soldiers stood in silence, definitely holding firm to their position, as if believing they’d slip deeper into some fiery pit with any thoughtless movement.

Soon after, Willard noticed an ash-streaked man with a beer belly walking up fast holding a handgun. With muffled cries, other vendors rapidly began pulling off the wooden boards that made up the fronts of a few shanties, ulitating trembling cries for civilians around the market to apportion hold on alarge rope that hung from a phone pole.

Thinking that word must have come out about Kurtz’s mission, and that they might be guerrilla fighters, Willard’s hand grasped his handgrip instinctively; shifting awareness around the swarming fugitives moved only with constraint.

Eventually, the dealer drew nearer, reaching out his unsteady face as he approached Willard. But before the man could utter a word, alarms undetected by the senses within the scuvy of butterscochied and undernourished scruff clanging began to echo off from trees not too far away splicing the skulls of all who try to escape it.

“Commander,” the trader said in heavily accented verbiage, revealing a scrawny-some copper throwing-oppressor to one side of the foreigners struggling circle. “Fucking mortars. Let me help you find cover.”

Without thinking, is what saved Willard’s neck—he followed along, past a crate stall with sacks brimming with something that had to be either wheat or narcotic, ducked when the first mortar shots began firing off in the distance.

The intense how they fit his ears made total sense – targets in the arena had no avoiding the most crude and pitiless agent ol War even empty-handed civilians, clearly caught in bad circumstances; Willard was relieved that he wasn’t left right where he was for such threats.

His mind reeled back to Saigon the few inconclusive visitors he wished farewell, the varying reports of well-known figures vying for power after the withdrawal would continue to rattle relations if all who carry arms don’t pay it forward adequately.

Several explosions rocked the busy scene, sending willard hurtling along with nearby bodies, ducking under tables besides surrendered arsenal.

Their morale depleted, apparently pushed beyond their mental limits suffocated by something men materialize only on such occasions, they all fathomed and were stunned by how much able and corruptible life War can erase.

Chapter 6: “Colonel Kurtz: Building an Empire”

Willard spends days hiding amongst an unknown group within Kurtz’s unconventional military. As the days progress, Willard quickly discovers that these locals apparently revere Kurtz as a God-like leader who is willing to incite fear in those he disagrees with. Inside this tight-knit community spanning 700-plus members, Willard sees Kurtz enjoying not just absolute control, but also a cult-like following that worsens his igneous aspirations.

Kurtz becomes aware of Willard’s true identity and torture ensues which clears out any ability to demonstrate will resistance or the ability to refuse his deluded version of reality. The colonel’s partner, J.M Donavan, coldly bribes their subordinate killers for favours and controlling their desire to kill Kurtz’s abusive leadership. It is at this point that Willard realizes something spellbinding has happened with Kurtz, and it might have led him to become the man that he is now.

However, Kurtz possesses acute intelligence, even suggestively interrogating his interloper in subsequent convoluted reasoning sessions. During one particular conversation, Kurtz keenly recognizes Willard’s distrust of the army as a whole– a realization that scares the captain.

Having had a first hand brief encounter with Kurtz, Willard is unsure of his next move. His hesitancy to proceed hits a crescendo just as the confused leader under evaluation deigns things to move at an extraordinary pace. If Willard has been pulled towards Kurtz initially, he’s currently the audience root for a man torn between masters.

In one of Kurtz’s private tapes, however, it becomes clear to Willard that let alone himself, the upper echelon ‘brass’ from USDA military who ignored Kurtz essentially, letting him forge his ideas on war endlessly, knowing he might serve their interests possibly.

Willard might have be torn for a while, but at some point, he seemingly has two choices. Remain and rummage in Kurtz’s brain even beneath its present, mentally chipped away veneer that portrays this fellow veteran as practically dangerous; or kill the now uncontrollable and threatening monstrosity along with the leadership image of helplessness and iron-ways adopt of agency cruelty.

Chapter 7: “The River Perils”

The sun slowly peeked over the horizon as Captain Willard and his crew made their way up the winding river. The dense jungle lining both banks made it difficult to spot potential dangers lurking. Tree branches stretched out over the murky water like menacing arms of entrapment. The metallic hum of insects filled the air, relentlessly as if declaring supremacy over the harsh environment. From the captain’s spot on the gunboat, the river began to widen, and the vast canopy receded a little as it turned to face islands bubbled with vegetation littering the shoreline.

It had been two weeks since they left the last friendly army base on their mission, and things were not getting any easier. Monotonous naval delights encumbered the team constantly during this tough and wearisome mission. As they glided through the silt saturated river, they realized no genuine battles had occurred for metres good looking between opposing forces. Experienced hands knew this was the quiet before something really chaotic hit them. They continuously tested the horizon for any ominous signs – yet no enemies appeared to be lying in wait.

Suddenly, a blur of movement caught Willard’s attention: twin pods swim towards them, faster than they would ever expect someone with average strength to hold. “Enemy fast-attack crafts on our six,” narrator Colby snickered.

They heard the trill of bullets flying into the gunboat as soldiers on the bank were opening up, irritating the same anger among the team. Soldiers hidden in the thick, long trill of stalks that frequently barred boat movement kept changing positions. Despite the poorly aimed Vietnamese weapons at least inspiring a certain amount of annoyance, the Americans latched their ship onto dry riverbank ground and started firing in retaliation.

A soldier, feeling outraged at the impasse and confused about how out of control the emotions of this era had seemed to get, made a dash off the boat and caught a branch while shuffling through the underbrush. The others watched from the gunboat as his progress seemed sluggish and gradually disappeared in the line of brush. Only to find seconds later that bullets ripped through his uniform leaving behind useless remains.

Captain Willard swore would be slow torture as payback for drawing fire to the squad, the type of practical effect war naturally engenders.

An explosion jolted the gunboat, sending up a wall of spray and throwing everyone on it off-balance. They backed against the base of the boat to shield from the ambush, glimpsing unravelling trauma dynamics among specialized army divisions on unfamiliar terrain. Several officers were scattering around from different spots throughout the boat and cabin lights flickered–changing prominence between shrouding figures.

Willard spun towards one particular gathering of defenders at the rear of the boat, wagging a finger minutely signalling for people to take advantage of better and stand sentry still in anticipation of the predators’ attacks.

Snipers operating from the jungles’ overwatch points, establishing for predator authority by taking aimed shots, instead alternate this with gunfire, aiming indiscriminately at entryways due to lack of caution previous barrages had evoked.

As skillers, Willard and several other team members work with extra precision launching a stuttering gun poised perfectly, sending just ten precision rounds towards the sharp action sounds then finding sequential gaps in the automatic fire, adding to a deathly silence several minutes after ruining the enemy’s primary ambush-area shot frenzy.

After all they had just encountered yet, the incoming setting sun would paint what peace is left and kind inciting as equally seductive front.

Chapter 8: “Horrors of the Mind”

Willard opens his eyes to a dark and empty hotel room. His consciousness gradually takes shape, and he realizes he’s been in the grips of an intense nightmare. Trying to shake the fear, he heads over to the bathroom and splashes his face with cold water. As he looks up, however, he sees Kurtz’s face reflected back at him.

The dream had been vivid, with images of dead Vietnamese civilians and the screams of men and women ringing in his ears. Slowly losing his grip on reality, he sees visions of Kurtz in front of him, drawing him deeper into the depths of his own private world.

Willard brushes his teeth and gets dressed slowly, his thoughts in turmoil. The sheer weight of his mission hangs heavy on him, weighing him down with desperate thoughts about its reprehensible nature.

As he walks out of the hotel to explore the city, his shattered mental state becomes vividly clear on account of people passing him by responding immediately, moving fearfully out of his way. Trying to find some purpose and a remaining semblance of sanity, his thoughts move back and forth between the tormented Kurtz, and the possible relief that simply by carrying out his orders he might be getting out of the river’s endless loops.

The city buzzes with rush-hour noise and activity, but in his mind, Willard is always alone. But then, suddenly he hears the usual restaurant conversations marked with tones of Americanism, as a lot of them free from the bonding of chains for perhaps the first time in their lives. Racial discrimination and misplaced morality grind against his heart, a pressure worth so much that an absurd protest breaking into his attention it seems great injustice’s temptations often seem to arise.

Climbing to the rooftop of his hotel, he looks out over the sprawling cityscape. Almost instinctively he realizes his journey is rapidly coming to a close – its darkened finish now seems like resting assurance that has nowhere to lie in wait at conclusion than almost nothingness – but how could he ever move onward when the darkness inside is deeper that all imaginable emptiness?

And until Captain Benjamin Willard shoved himself intermittently through the questions on his plate, the weight of his darkness would prove unsurmountable.

Chapter 9: “Nothing is What it Seems”

As Willard approached the coast, large oil and fire plantations with demonic cranes appeared on the edge of the water. As expected, the roar of war had significant impacts there like any other part of the territory. Willard was a baby-sitter for the team, but each time he acted nervous and only stared at the horizon ahead. A unique sense of character compulsion squeezed everyone’s larynx.

They sailed up through the choked canals, smugly speaking to one another trying to tame their thoughts before landing. Kilgore seemed consumed by the environment. As they reached the dock, several uniformed beautiful ladies look at conflict camera-less taking money under a canopy of trees above them.

“That happened sometimes,” Lance whispered reassuringly behind Willard.

In front of them, a beautiful French couple, who were largely calm and understanding while presenting their child and puppy quickly, shared with them drinks while suggesting ideas for their crew in a joyous and hopeful demeanor. The beverage served altered smells brought slight memories of true civility as Willard sat debating, stunned that anything in this war could have still been possible.

Any hope for delightful French hospitality, however, flew out the open window the first time Willard let his job take priority inquiring about a green beret buddy, Eddie Diamond. The site of the family compulsion and fear towards building was the only instinct that could no longer put reserve in.

Manning the boat through more turbidity they had arrived within another reality by nightfalling, things no more visceral than as portrayed on earth. Their accent wasn’t American-Joe any longer, and there were few buildings left by the fire-assaulted canalside that displayed clean rub perceptive structures.

In the system’s lingering backdrop reminded apocalyptic matter of hours. They had handled the boat successfully despite a mountain-tree closing off the general area, but this put them in a different location.

Willard thought of Wallace as they were on this assignment, grappling with new uneasy travel consequences the likes of which he has never experienced. Mesmerized by clues that boosted concern and preyed upon his soul, he held onto some semblance of stability, suspicious of De La Croix’ involvement in the program who seemed to induce guilt trips on the Americans looking below.

Eventually they process their way aware atop a secret trampline that gave him tiredness and imagined madness thoughts, dreaming a sea of scum swept up towards a noisy beach to restart any sense of time gone. Bob wasn’t getting much more alert around here himself, on gory dead bodies spreading continents sticking out of pure calamity.

Willard, wondering if he was even still alive or if he too had become overrun by Kurtz’s perspective, entered the shadowed corridor of the mansion with trepidation. Decrypting cryptic messages inscribed on the walls took a slow amount of length, which communicated fantastic sentiments portraying death, life superfluidity off-paced, fallacy unlike anything Chris has testified to date.

Within a world of fantasy reflection of the man, unassuming around tents behind the clan just failing on campaign likewise, they made a discovery with another outside hood with her chubby-faced husband in local dialect, similar but difficult to hear. The way the group had expunged each definition they initially had.

Then one long morning they got on boats they had before crossed and had mutual friends beckoning over things from a nearby bamboo bridge. Though no weapons were presented – at the post-industrial plant, the real deal-sealer lay hidden close enough to be seen.

This episode had exciting internal dialogue arcs stirring intense thought around the confidence of one’s work in such overarching themes of mystery and frenzy that cover-up things to extreme points even amongst those knowingly working together for ‘peace.’ Those American values spinning in circles never sure under what illusion of sleuth they will eventually find enough caution in to bring themselves back to reality.

Chapter 10: “A Carnage of Sorority and Interrogation”

Willard wakes up in a bind, with his arms and legs tied with malice. As he processes his sudden state of captivity, Willard’s last memory flashes back, having been fetched from fraternity front-line work on orders of his commander at Pronoi Point.

He hears the screams of his fellow soldiers emanating from a separate location, indicating that it may just be too late for him to save them any more. Instead, he waits for who or what is going to collect him next.

He sees an unfamiliar setup, significantly clueing the team wasn’t doing the ritual. He acknowledged that, having woken up strapped across his stomach onto a chair facing it was unprecedented, but that only affirms uncomfortably that things could quickly get worse before they got better.

But as daylight pokes through the window, an ideogram begins to come into good color clarity-distorted symbols decipherably cosmic bursts signifying terrestrial influences with possibility of nuclear radiation exposure-together spells out an emerging threat Willard knows they face.

Two men arrive-one comes in from his left, dressed in uniform available when the war began, boots, and high waisted trousers in everyday Korea War uniform, the stains on the makeshift attire giving obvious clues as to usage longevity. The other appears from the back door wearing casual jeans, an open shirt solely out of jeans to nothing else except shoes, he looks for something like a poor man’s expedition explorer, previously during Cold war explorations.

Willard inwardly reacts with confusion and irritation because he now sees following protocols might be considerably tougher with two clearly opposing character-changing moves coming from enemy insiders specifically and in this distant, non-combat encounter.

The lead informally dresses up, presenting a process completed already with the low monotonous keywords every new kid in freshly issued green kit uses to salute during drill.

The converse dislocates Willard from his thoughts like a commander who’d just want his instructions without input from any kid none of whose any ability at outlining research methodologies and really has every reason to steer clear.

Clap back faster and save what is left for another time catches a cheerful foot in Willard’s expression, his gory image aroused into anger urging courage and acknowledgment to the disorder-matching option of just bullet answers and his certainty that voice options have dangerous long-stretched consequences.

After exhausting attempts, interactions begin, some indicating emotional intelligence development efforts from the optimistic reaching color sympathy terrain while one remained with an irritably dumb expression-surefire enemies who neither sensibly communicate nor battle resurface.

The untouchable interrogation fades to emphasis while unassuming torture scenes of menacing drawn pain spark clues from the horrified encounters. Willard’s horror and witnessing goes beyond thinking unconventionally since he understands there may be nothing but scores in doing what he knows or stepping aside requiring ethical courage and “doing the right thing” choice?

Colonel Kurtz throws up that shade face-dark caution or creative arrogance that immobilizes nearly, regardless of charm counter points. Cunning or even excellent tactics, which may have worked, prove fleeting in volatile bouts of internal torment in soldiers’ loyal to constructs other than procedure-safe forces.

Eventually, Willard decides, bluntly delivered to him during a mortifying yet ineffective torture session, that the choice may not lie between offering his part into it-phew no inter-sector breakdowns then, granting secretive information always did sooner or later-or choosing to be anything at all. Instead, he lay down plans to complete strict regimens to agitate isolation by the rival and win set correspondences.

He walks away from it only with cutting loyalty cast beneath flames, the ones who believed would be formed with no trust or other military assurance going forward — effectively abandoned as it feels like they all have maybe let slip secrets only used by Kurtz membership.

Chapter 11: Confronting Kurtz

Willard steps off the boat and into Kurtz’s sprawling stronghold on the riverbank. The haze of early morning begins to lift as the group makes their way towards the heart of the compound. As they follow a winding path, the noise and destruction of war seem to fade into the background. Instead, Willard hears haunting choral music, martial rhythms, and amplified voices.

Finally, they reach the core – a small cavern illuminated only by candles. Kurtz sits shrouded in darkness, built like a statue, and neither intimidated nor afraid. When he speaks, his voice is touched with the resonant quality of a higher purpose.

“Have you come to kill me, Captain?” Kurtz asks, with calm poise.

Willard knows why he’s there, but he has to make a decision that will define his life. He hesitates for a moment, but his mettle hardens throughout his journeys and experiences over the previous months.

“I’m here to eliminate your threat, Colonel,” Willard replies, trying not to flinch.

As the conversation between the two continues, Willard has the suscpicion that Kurtz is manipulating him somehow,that perhaps this man before him truly fears he may be growing insane.

He recognizes Kurtz’s sheer strength of will, but also the Colonel’s obvious instability. There’s a fundamental danger Willard sees going on – in the way his ideals tap deeply into what it takes to not just survive in war, but to thrive despite it.

Throughout their talk, horror creeps up on him – he realizes how deep into the murk and muck of war he has arrived along this path to wipe out Kurtz telling him of how terror and decay and blood-stained firmament of curt law had ended up sticking to their existence. How danger was straddle with ideals so they can challenge all but our honor.

Kurtz’s mesmerizing fanatic discord ignites a spark within Willard. A perilous madness slowly took him, and while it frightens him, it also compels him forward. Kurtz challenges the rational categories of order and necessity, and Willard begins to buy into the idea of his erratic, freewheeling conduct.

But one thing is foreordained. He has to deliver the fatal blow that ensures Kurtz never poses the slightest threat to the bridge beyond this borderline. With his old self buried into his soul, Captain Willard dedicates himself to the fulfillment of his nebulous plan.

As daybreak emerges, Kurtz continues with mad hallucinations from fever and existential disquiets, and Willard realizes the magnitude of his madness: that he wants to die, die to absolve him of the inequities he enforced in so long and blood-strewn a path.

To be able to snuff that vitality, that hope of redemption, Willard is trained for much further right or wrong than he may have ever before admitted to himself. It is inevitable as the scope for destruction becomes visible as necessary, allowed, and encouraged in forces, environment, whatever was best to work for them behind his greatest action.

And what greater action than thumping the life out of even the deepest pools of malignant distortion in the violent demon characters who had built an empire through amoral rampaging!

Chapter 12: “The Fallout of War”

The abandoned army base was just a short walk from the river. Collapsed tents and rusted barbed wire fences lined the way. They walked through the empty huts, illuminated by the occasional flicker of a flashlight as they ventured further into the base. Steve led the way, pistol drawn.

“How do you think the pilot is doing?” Fresno, one of the other crew members asked.

“I’m more concerned with getting this mission done and getting out of here alive,” Steve responded gruffly, scanning the empty hallways.

They reached the main control room, an expansive open room filled with old machinery and large computer banks. The air was thick with dust and the silence was overwhelming.

“Alright, start setting up the detonators,” Steve ordered, “I’ll take a look around for any useful documents.”

Willard followed Steve through the control room, observing the rows of desks and old-fashioned computers, as Steve rifled through drawers and cabinets. He eventually came across a discarded duffel bag with a small trove of files and documents.

Even in this special time of microfiche readers, printed files were assumed, stapled new versions of chronological consumption log reports suggesting only summary subversive guidance by a central Asian region. Willard carefully conducted a thorough search of the papers and discovered letters and memo around which such document cache rotated.

Steve wandered over to Willard’s station, “find anything interesting?” he asked.

Willard shifted through the pages, gathered his thoughts, and reading out loud, recited some phrases from an attached letter aloud: “’Our commander graduates from MIT’…Big words and lofty ambitions masked by acid-debased procedures,” Willard paused, highly disdainful of the content presented.

“What does that have to do with anything?” Steve was uninterested and impatient.

Outward-facing and looking towards Steve, Willard rhetorised more: “Kurtz insisted that some officers came from a top institution to delve deeper into reality by testing his edge of chaos theories, and questioned what grotesque planning means matched that the fragility one sees next to audacious at war.”

Steve was not much of a reader, rapidly confirmed their primary goal “Whatever it is, pack it up. We’re blowing up the entire base”.

Willard looked up from the file, with all the fuss surrounding the act of violence. “Those theories were manipulating one soldier during commander policies. Something catastrophic became method at the forefront , justified with the end goal being occupation.”

Steve nodded, “Yeah, and that kind of thinking is what got Kurtz killed. C’mon, let’s get out here before Charlie shows up”.

Willard and Steve rejoined the rest of the crew and watched as the countdown began on the explosives. Beneath their feet, the earth shook as the entire army base was blown to smithereens. They scrambled back towards their boat and started the long journey down the Nang River, towards safety.

But Willard couldn’t shake the feeling that things weren’t over yet. The words and actions of Colonel Kurtz continued to haunt him, prompting him to question what horrors he was forced to become a part of. He contemplated pulling Steve aside to discuss further, but decided to keep his thoughts to himself.

As they exited the river towards their final destination of Vinh Long, their spirits were slightly lifted by the sight of a military base in full operation, with people actively working and socializing. Amidst the devastation of the Vietnamese War, it provided a brief glimmer of hope.

Willard set down in lieu of leave in Vinh Long. Dazed and confused for his country and leaders, changed from the man who kicked it off as one complying cog in a more malicious machine almost 12 months ago , scarcely pretending it would check incessantly most nights from now on. The weight of the C.I.A.’s dark regime upon him. No willpower to trot back to his old life – there still was no shaking of that feeling.

Chapter 13: “Beyond the Apocalypse”

Willard had never felt such confusion in his life – he should have felt proud; a hero even, but as the General praised his heroism ostensibly, Willard felt deceitful, fraudulent for instigator ruin, for what he had directly caused. The pride of a warrior vanished before the heat of stinging guilt, the look of PBRs drifting behind his teary eyes, as he trudged over now wounded, honest land.

Disappointed, disillusioned and disheartened by the horror that he had experienced, Willard disembarked the boat and headed down the beach towards the dense jungle ahead. He immediately discarded his military-issued uniform in favor of light civilian garb, deciding that he would never willingly belong to any organization capable of perpetuating war again.

As he embarked on this walk away from war, a both physical and mental trek throughout South-East Asia, he couldn’t help but be chastised by the reality of what he had done. He hopped from one formed group to other, soldiers, traders and petty bandits mainly, with whom random moments of affection resulted in casual fuck occurrences. Still, those loveless gestures he had with them could not eliminate the weight on his heart; different memories and decibels still ran around, compelling him to head back to civil society.

However, there was something that Willard craved now almost subconsciously: a searching still fired inside of him for that heady sense of shadow-like dread that came from navigating a world unfamiliar, that he had conquered a nature of challenging missions previously. He recognized now that it was the only supreme root of the sense of blank adrenaline that he had experienced for a long time.

It was as if Willard had eschewed being a supporting character in a war story that he was once passive in, instead testing the survival qualities imbibed from the war personally, detached from others. This chapter of his journey to return to his humanity and true morality is incomplete, far as he can recollect.

But on this long walk towards existence anew, the stills of war that once fuelled some fantasies of heroism, began being replaced with alternate realities. Willard connected to co-travellers real and cryptic, and was re-adjusting to an ordinary existence, exploiting weed passed on for personal as well as medicinal gain; snapping photographs to document experience and form his life of the endurance of the previous disaster. From that discovery of these new existential aspects of living, the man transcended; anticipating further vibrations of a life he shuddered yet looked forward to living in within the nearby haven that he slightly daydreamt about.

Some scenes from the AI movie Apocalypse Now

Title: Dark Times

Fade in:

Ext. Elbjorn, Northern Norway – 1868

A cold northerly wind whistles through the fjords seen from high above. A beacon juts up through the jagged rocks looming tall to light the way for ships on this treacherous coastline.

The sound of bells announces a passenger steamship, the ‘Northern Cross’, rounding the bend with great ships appearing belligerently throughout the movie. A customs hut is seen in the foreground with painted on its name ‘Elbjørn Toll Station’. A tracking shot scans past the customs buildings past livestock enclosures for local fishermen into the fishermen’s wharf-side village.

The town’s cobblestoned street is vibrant with fish boating crews transporting their catch to gutting sheds that run into the wharf. We pass through the main square lined with stores.

Jacob MENDEL honks his bicycle horn outside the herring delicatessen as the cobbles give way to street-level paving. Jacob parks his bicycle while inside Lassen RASMUSSEN, the store clerk, readies himself for business with a slight roguish glint in his eye. Jacob enters the establishment, and because of the ‘sold out’ sign by herrings piling up on ice, he clicks his tongue furiously.


How am I going to pacify Siegfried now that Mrs Fly will find no smoked herrings for edible gifts?

Some customers are gathered drinking tea. Jacob insults everything under the sun and implements cashier Lassenís fraudulent business outside by hawking countless suurima cüri – curly herrings!


All learned-by-sweet-smoothness-Norwegianians wrap the herrings inside crunchy black Danish-lith debeläggersmør. Did you forget the unafraid aphorism “og maur med saliven dem belegger”?

Now the treasurer of the World Council appears with intentions of throwing ‘banknotes’ all around like one-man ticker tape parade.


Entrepreneur of note grins through gold glasses, presenting part time deck clerk Cornelius SCANT and his huge shoes advertised as ‘the best a man can get’ campaign slogan.

Lassen fades into the background irreverently holding two herring towards his nose holding in monstrous phlegm clogs.

Jacob watches as two friendly Franks; baker Adolf GERHARDT and policeman played by Spike Jones of silent movie fame enter exchanging pleasantries. The air is thick with coal-smoke, the oil resembling delphinium petals translucent and wavering in a translucent shade.

Cameraman COL and multi boom cark on overhead rig, focusing on the Franks conversation. As the shop bell rings, the owner hastily moves into an alcove stacked with produce.

Adapted from the novel, the script opens:


The streetlamps flicker as the shadowy figure of Cooper visits the city’s seedy underbelly, twisting alleys and dark corners. Sold into slavery at a young age, Cooper turned to thievery and assassin jobs for the freedom offered by cash. Onto his iPhone, he listens to instructions from an unknown stranger on where to find someone he thought long dead.

Unknown Stranger (through phone): “He’s alive, and we want him found, Cooper.”

Cooper narrows his eyes, seemingly uncomfortable.

Unknown Stranger (through phone): “Just bring him to us when you do.”

Cooper hangs up and shoves the phone inside his leather jacket. As he trots on, his heart races, assured that whatever perceived control he has over his life is slipping away with every moment spent obfuscating in the demon-infested city.

Just as he heads down an unused alley, Cooper catches a whiff of smoke perfumed heavily with camphor. Recognition sends a tight knot to his core. Smoke instinctually demands a round hole, but what he sees has been crushed, flattened by an unseen but apparent anvil in COOPER’S MEMORY IS INTERRUPTED BY FLASHBACKS TO HIS CHILDHOOD HOME.

Overwhelmed by waving snippets of figures, environments, and pains that attack his familiarity fiercely, Cooper drops to his knees.

Eunjoo, Cooper’s long-agio-burried shared emotions and memories, objects and relatives rises from the series of flashing memories. She settles them all by wiping tears from his sprawled-out head.

Eunjoo : “I’m in your thoughts again.”

Cooper (Startled as the flurry of memories disappear): “I must be losing my goddamn mind. Im seeing memories from my past that I’ve never seen before Eunjoo.”

Eunjoo looks delicately at Cooper.

Eunjoo: “No, just perhaps your past is seeing you.”

Cooper shakes his head it’s surreal and incomprehensible.

Cooper: “I dont believe it”

Eunjoo looks right in to his eyes graveled with sense of loss.

Eunjoo: “But you believe a lot of things that bring punishment.”

Did Cooper hold onto abstract constructs and excuses to excuse how much easier it was staying what he was used to, where the present defined his power without any hard management of ongoing work that helps him support this new revelation?

The smoke clouds pool out of the alley, momentarily obliterated by headlights traffic from the adjacent road.

Eunjoo straightens his collar and brushes his fedora hat down the lapels.

Eunjoo: “Smoke hopes Cooper, are sometimes enough to illuminate one’s way.”

Fleeing deeper down a labyrinth of miscreant disorder, Cooper’s inquiries invite a tragic fate ahead of him. Trauma appears to cast abnormally, relentlessly unfurling ways to stay awake until it is solved, catching his clueless soul lurking inches from death’s ength.


As Ben walks towards his front door, JEN, his neighbor in her mid twenties, jogs up.


(Out of breath)

Good morning. I’ve been trying to

catch you for days.


(reaching his front door)

Oh. What’s up?


(smiling, trying to catch her breath)

I’m introducing myself to everyone in

our building so that we can all get to

know each other better.



Uh huh.


I brought you a key lime pie as a “welcome to

the building” gift.

Jen holds the pie out to Ben who reluctantly takes it.


Thanks so much.


(casually pointing to Ben’s hoodie)

So are you a writer too?

Ben looks down and remembers he’s wearing his “Army of Darkness”




Oh, no. I just like the movie. You know, they say,

communities that hate together, stay together.



Well go check out the bulletin board in the lobby

when you get a chance. You’ll see my flyer for my

book club. It’s mostly people from the building.

Ben looks down at the key lime pie and back to Jen.


(still skeptical)

Just out of curiosity, what part of Florida

is your pie from?

Jen smiles, knowing exactly why he’s asking this.



Miami, born and raised.

Take care, Ben.

Jen jogs off as Ben goes inside.


Ben heads backtohis table and sets the key

lime pie down in front of him as he pulls out his laptop.



Scene 4:

As she unpacks boxes, Diana pauses as she catches sight of a wrinkled and worn old envelope, hidden at the bottom. She picked it up and studied the scrawled handwriting outlining the name “Robert Woodley” on the front. Diana hesitates, but eventually works up the courage to open it. Out falls a black and white photograph of a young, handsome couple, laughing together in a field – the woman Diana doesn’t recognise, but the man is unquestionably her father. Along with the picture, there’s an old folded letter crisply tied with a ribbon – all too convenient to just fold back up and put away without reading.

She takes a deep breath and unfolds it, slowly scanning the words, feeling like she’s unlocking a part of herself she didn’t know existed as the handwritten memories started consuming her.

Diana (voice-over): “Dear Robert. The system getteth nowhere too fast. Come hit the Sea Corduroy with the others. Meet some of your hard-working & fast rebel comrades. Forces gathering from local corners. Face a big Corporal failure unless you aid our new Truth Brigade. No knives or hatchets needed this run- hopefully. Yours truly, Cassidy.”

Diana looked cautiously across the room into the indifferent computer screen. It’s information from 1965.

Diana: (whispers) Who were you, Dad?

She breathed in the crisp ocean mist floating in through the open window for a moment of clarity.

Diana (voice-over): Maybe it’s time to stop running from your father’s past, and start running towards the truth.

Diana quickly gets up and heads over to the laptop, types in ‘Sea Corduroy’. Search results appear, and she sees an old article.

Diana: (whispers) Here’s where it began. Time to follow the rabbit hole.

The article raises more questions and confusion about why Robert Woodley supported the crew instead of his father’s military stance as an intelligent system disruptor advocate. The decision to start delving into her past suddenly sent her down a much-traveled but never-made heart-filled road that could have potentially saved her father’s life. Fastening her shoes, Diana developed her own mantra before deciding to fold the letter neatly and close a chapter she long feared–next in line…the Sea Corp! With that, she heads out for another adventure-bent on rectifying the flaws of history.

Scene 5:


As they move further into the warzone, gunfire can be heard, and explosions rock the area. The team is tense, weapons at the ready as they proceed cautiously towards their destination.

WILLARD: (whispers) Stay close and keep your heads down.

Suddenly, a bomb goes off nearby, and everyone falls to the ground as the ground shakes.

LANCE: (panicking) What do we do, man? We’re screwed!

WILLARD: (commanding) Pick up your weapon, soldier. Get back in line.

The team gets up, and they slowly move forward once more. The scene is chaotic, with people and equipment flying everywhere. The adrenaline is palpable as they fight their way through enemy fire and try to avoid death at every turn.

KILGORE: (over comms) Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore to Alpha team, be advised, we’re sending in an airstrike to cover your position.

WILLARD: (whispers to himself) Damn it, what’s he up to?

Suddenly, a fleet of helicopters flies overhead, kicking up dust and debris as they race towards their enemy. The explosions from their missiles swell around the team, as they rush forward, taking position on the ground. Smoke and flames can be seen in the distance. It is a scene of controlled chaos, destruction and death.

WILLARD: (pointing towards the horizon) Move to the trees. Double time!

And then they ran — raining fire and steel streaked across the atmosphere like murderous crackling veins in a thundercloud, casting shadows of rancor and madness upon poor, innocent houses; struts and jets of broken flame stretching upward painfully upon the contorted fingers of invading radio signals doing their best brave but doomed attempts to call out to home.

Scene 6:


Caitlyn and Ryan arrive at an abandoned factory. They cautiously approach the door, which is ajar. They enter the building, which is pitch black. Ryan pulls out a flashlight and clicks it on, illuminating the shadowy room. They hear a thump coming from a far-off room.


(whispering) Did you hear that?


(whispering) Yeah, let’s go check it out.

Caitlyn and Ryan slowly make their way to the source of the noise. The room is full of old machinery, giving it an industrial feel. They hear a rustling noise coming from behind a large piece of equipment. Ryan approaches cautiously and shines his light on the source of the sound, revealing a frightened young teen.


Please don’t hurt me!


We’re not here to hurt you. We’re here to help.


What are you doing here all alone?


I came here to meet someone, but they didn’t show up. I’ve been here for hours, and I’m scared.”


Who were you supposed to meet?


I don’t know. They just told me to come here and wait for them.

Cautioned but steadfast, Caitlyn offers a bottle of water to the boy and assures him that he’s safe. As they’re talking, he suddenly vaults to his feet and points, causing Caitlyn to see someone hiding behind the machinery… one of ANTHONY’s enforcers. Panic breaks out, and the race begins in getting away from the building with the unknown territory suddnely layered over their environment.


DIANE approaches the rundown building slowly, flashlight in hand, scanning for any sign of danger. The building looks haunted, long-shuttered bar wrapped in newspapers, ivy climbing the brick exterior. Diane checks the address again confirming she’s at the right place. Climbing the stairs, the door breaks off and thumps forward.


Diane surveys the old bar inquisitively as she passes rows of dusty tables and dead chairs stacked up. Empty beer bottles and broken glass lie scattered over the floor, ceiling stained where water from leakages has washed the white paint away. Evidence of a recent presence moves her through pure determination straight ahead: Cock fight posters plaster gleamed linoleum against an old saltwater fish tank, crates of black resin liquor set nicely on a shelving unit filled with bar glassware.

Suddenly, Diane heard a noise coming from behind the bar counter that definitely didn’t belong to the vacant atmosphere around it.

Suddenly diagonal from across the bar was a shape– a man, in a black suit, somehow not unspotted despite the groundcover of dust. He was seizing glass bottles from their hold on the cabinets behind him, holding only silence on his face. Diane takes cautious steps towards the figure as he removes five bottles of slick rosé champagne and starts walking to the back, then right out of sight.



Diane is checking again on her laptop the yelp page of Grice’s Roadside Food Shack. Spotlights of sunlight warm her room through skinny grey drapes, voices hustle outside audibly.

The pictures bring an uproar of mocking internal chatter. Then she surprises herself by FINALLY hitting the Order button which automatically logs the establishment to her Recurring Location settings. Within seconds an Order Received pop-up fades in; coffee being dolloped strezoom sugar, a shiny deposit made, and the purchased via Square Notification flashes.


DIANE spells her midday nothings and crackles her grilled cheese to completion, ready to wind off from the home-office rhythms.

The sound of breaking glass draws her to cringed attention as she walks over to the fractured toaster beside drooping bread onto the pan with one raised brow.

The camera moves forward as Willard’s helicopter approaches a magnificent sun-drenched tropical beach shoreline—one of the few close ones previous occupants of the islands the boys patrolled made habitable for a short time. Men swim in the late afternoon sun, fix bases, map surrounding territories.

The sound track is solemn, escapist music – a guitar rendition of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again,” and 1996’s different interpretations will be surfacing throughout the film.

The scene changes as we hear drunken orchestra music known from sailings products as the film fades-in that reads during opener : “SAIGON – 1968.”

Afternoon keeps coming to an end in Saigon, and exterior scenes start shading us from night collecting rainy streetscapes and stripped homes deserted by the occupants that’ve emptied the civil war clash zones. This city bracing for danger. We are later introduced to characters and their lives in this turbulence.

The film has only just begun.

Author: AI