Buoyed both by her Communist revolutionary fervour and an inflated pig skin intestine the 19-year-old Khan Le floated down the swollen, fast flowing Mekong River. Her 5ft 3 32A 24 32 85-pound body was naked except for a knife in a calf scabbard and a garrotte wrapped round her forearm. Her head was masked by a camouflaged hood with tiny eye holes so the whites of her eyes and teeth did not reflect any light.
Little did she know at this time that all the work and efforts of herself and the Viet Cong was to be ignored, and that the conquered South of Vietnam was to be controlled not by the VC but by faceless bureaucrats from the North those leaders who had fought their war from armchairs in Hanoi and who later ignored any claims for power sharing by the VC. An even more astounding that she would flee the South by boat in 1979 to live in the land where the người Úc (Australian) soldiers came from. The người Úc, who fought as the VC did patrolling in small groups for days at a time, setting ambushes, harassing the VC, denying them supplies and sleep. She had laughed when the regular North Vietnamese army had dismissed the VC warnings only to see 100 Australian soldiers defeat 1500 Nth Vietnamese regulars, and according to Nth Vietnamese conservative, doctored records, kill 500 in the rubber tree plantation at Long Tan in Aug 1966.
In fact, her disillusionment with the north would begin earlier than most as she realized the leaders placed no value on their soldiers and VC pawns and she ended up as a bar girl in Saigon where she entertained the US military on leave with savage and vicious catfights.
All civil wars are brutal, and Vietnam was no exception with many families split with combatants on both sides and the use of recruitment by fear. Khan Le felt a tingle rip though her cunt and her nipples harden as she remembered raping 3 Village women in front of the village as a lesson as to which side they should join. It was her reward for killing 3 South Vietnamese soldiers in their camp where she had been allowed in as a prostitute.
Monsoonal rain bounced off the water and her face with the rapidity and force of a burst from an AK47 and flashes of lightning enabled her to see and guide her to her destination. A small island in the middle of the river, where, as an advance scout of the VC, her job was to lie low on the island and observe South Vietnamese regular army traffic. A tree trunk bore down on her carried by the current, and she grabbed hold of it using it as cover until she reached the island. She lay prone beside the beached tree trunk listening as the moonless night brought visibility down to a metre.
Footsteps approached and she used all her senses to determine there was only one person and the clink of metal warned her it was a soldier. Probably a South Vietnamese Ranger. They wouldn’t use ordinary soldiers on a job like this. Too much of a chance they would slip off in the night and desert back to their village. Rangers always operated in pairs and Khan Le knew there must be another on the island.
The Ranger passed by the tree trunk and Khan Le rose silently behind him, her garrotte now off her forearm and the wooden handles held in both hands. Her left hand made a cross-body movement at the back of the enemy’s right shoulder. Her right hand holding the other end of the garrotte moved with the swiftness of a snake to loop the metal wire over the head of the Ranger in a semi-circular, counter clockwise motion.
Khan Le pulled her arms apart tightening the guitar string around his neck. She spun on her heels and completed a quick turn of her body, so she was back-to-back with the Ranger, and using her advantage of surprise, she hip hoisted him off his feet to complete the manoeuvre. The Ranger, being small, enabled her to do this but if he was bigger, then she would have kicked the back of his knee and pulled back and down or used a knee strike to the lower back to give herself the leverage to complete the kill. As it was the garrotte cut his air off by compressing and crushing his trachea, and then severed the trachea and other vital structures (the carotid arteries, jugular veins, vagus nerve) as it half decapitated him almost in silence.
Some sixth sense warned her, and she stopped short of full decapitation and swayed away as a blade whistled down in a killing strike that glanced off her shoulder opening a shallow cut.
Khan Le rolled forward and came up crouching, her knife in her hand facing the second Ranger. She was taken aback momentarily as she faced a female a little shorter than her in dyed black army issue panties and bra and balaclava. What. The Rangers were using women! It had been rumoured but now she had proof that it was true. But then she kicked into combat mode. Her mind quickly registered her opponent looking for weaknesses.
It was obvious the woman was US Marine trained. She held her knife, a 7-inch version of the famous Bowie 10-inch knife in a hammer grip so that it was less likely to be knocked loose. The thumb was protected, the blade could be used chopping, slashing and thrusting, plus the butt end could be used for striking. The Ranger had taken a classic triangle stance with the knife forward and the other free hand guarding her heart and face. She was obviously experienced and well trained.
Khan Le quickly switched her knife back and forth from hand to hand hoping to distract the Ranger but both women had done this dance before. Neither displayed any sign of fear. They circled each other with their knives in their right hand. Khan Le lashed out first, slashing her thinner, longer knife towards the woman’s belly, but the South Vietnamese managed to suck her gut in and jump back, avoiding the knife. There was a lot of feinting, before the Ranger finally nicked Khan Le low on the left side of her ribs. Khan Le jumped back and glanced down at the cut: she was now bleeding from two cuts, neither major.
The Ranger charged in looking for an advantage as Khan Le glanced down, but she avoided the charge, stepped to her left and slashed the other woman shallowly across her belly, just above her belly button. They both resumed their stances and faced each other.
Breathing heavily, they circled each other waiting for the right moment to strike. The South Vietnamese jumped in the air and brought her knife straight down on Khan Lee, But Khan Le managed to block and counter with her knife successfully knocking the other woman off balance and as she staggered back she slashed at her upper body, tearing through her tight bra and skin so blood trickled and ran from the cut.
The Ranger held her hand on her wound and looked at Khan Le, who in return returned the death stare. Both now had 2 cuts. The desire to kill one another was the message as they now knew this was no easy fight for either. There was no backup on the island. It was one against one. It was silent. None of the two spoke, knowing it was a waste of energy. They circled each other, coming closer and closer. Waiting. Waiting for that perfect opportunity to attack.
Suddenly Khan Le kicked sand at the other woman and swiped her knife upwards at her with blinding speed, but the Ranger successfully anticipated this and sidestepped it, grabbing Khan Le’s arm while it was at full extension.
“NO!” thought Khan Le as her arm was gripped and raised above her.
The Ranger screamed in triumph as she lifted Khan Le’s arm up over her head and drove her knife downwards at Khan Le. Khan Le instinctively had raised her left hand grabbing the South Vietnamese woman’s wrist and deflecting the knife away from her chest but upward into upwards into the elbow joint of her extended knife arm.
“AAAAGGHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNN” screamed Khan Le as blood squirted from her impaled elbow directly above her and the Ranger’s face. Sensing she had the advantage her opponent pushed the blade up causing more pain for Khan Le. With one last forceful push the blade drove further into Khan Le’s elbow.
“AAAAGGHHHHHHH!!!! MY ARM!!!!” screamed Khan Le in now in excruciating agony, as despite her efforts to hold the Ranger’s arm the smaller Vietnamese woman twisted and wedged her knife deeper in her broken, bloody and impaled elbow. The bones in her elbow began to poke out and rest on the blade embedded in her arm.
The Ranger enjoyed seeing Khan Le’s pain. Her screams and cries turned her on. “I’ll make your last moment hell” she hissed with a triumphant smile. Blood spurted over the two with every twist and push of her knife. Khan Le tried to struggle from her grasp but it was too painful. As long as she had the knife in her elbow she was trapped and going nowhere.
With one last adrenaline driven effort Khan Le released her grip on the Ranger’s wrist, dropped her knife from the hand of her impaled arm, and managed to catch it with her other freehand.
“YEEAAAHHHHHHHHH!” screamed Khan Le as she sliced at the other Vietnamese woman’s belly, making her writhe and cry in pain as blood spurted out from her gut. The Ranger didn’t let go though and desperately began to saw up and down with her knife in Khan Le’s arm trying to free it. Desperately Khan Le sliced her in the gut again, spraying more blood over them both and leaving and uneven X mark on her.
“AHHHGGGHHHH! ” screamed the soldier in pain as Khan Le’s knife tore through and sliced her abs. Khan Le’s blade tore through her abs and drove into her intestines and other organs. Blood spurted from the blade in her gut, spraying blood on the ground which slowly soaked into the sand. The South Vietnamese woman looked down and watched Khan Le slowly drive her blade deeper into her gut.
“NNNNGGGHHHH!!! Why won’t she fucking stop!” thought Khan Le as she screamed as the soldier still tried to drive her knife deeper into her elbow. Her elbow was ruined, and the slightest touch caused her a serious pain. But the Ranger was yanking and pulling at it forcefully even though in agonizing pain herself. Khan Le attacked the Ranger again, this time stabbing her in the gut another 2 times.
“DARRRGGHHH! GGGGAAAAAGHHH! UUUUGGGGGGGGNNH!!!” screamed the Ranger in pain.
“She is trying to saw of my arm!” realized Khan Le through her own mist of pain. She pulled back her blade and stabbed her again a third time in the left side of her foe’s exposed belly.
“GAGH…BLEGH..CARGCH!” gasped the smaller woman. Khan Le stabbed her once more causing more blood to spurt over their legs. The South Vietnamese woman felt the blade again slowly tear through her abs and slide past her intestine. Eventually she felt the tip of it begin to poke through the muscles on her back and rub her spine. She screamed in pain as she felt the long tear through her body.
“NO! NO!!” She cried out in pain and pulled one last time with all her might on Khan Le’s arm. “ARRRGGGHHH” she screamed as she pulled in desperation.
Both girls screamed with one last attempt and rolled apart semi-conscious. The pain for both of them was too much.
The Ranger lay prone as she held her wounds. She had 3 slashes across her chest. 2 deep ones that ran horizontally just above her belly button. Another cut was slightly more angled and crossed with the first one making a flattened X mark on her. Blood still squirted from the slash on her side she gained earlier. She had been stabbed several times by Khan Le and some coils and strands of her intestines could be seen through the deep wounds. She hugged herself to ease the pain. She noticed her intestines started to slip out of her stomach with a “squelch” where the 2 large slashes crossed.
Khan Le managed to crawl back to the other woman, her knife gripped in her left hand and her useless right arm dangling and dragging on the ground. She pulled back the balaclava to see the face of the woman who had nearly killed her. She hesitated, poised to deliver the final killing strike. Her hand shook and quivered and then she ran her knife across the Ranger’s throat slitting her older sister’s throat.