March 3rd, 1968
In the wake of retreat of the North Vietnamese army and the Viet Cong guerrillas, the US Army 173rd Airborne Brigade was stationed on the south bank of the Perfume river, amidst the rubble of what used to be a residential area, awaiting orders.
Klaus Hargreeves brought a joint to his lips with shaking fingers and only managed to take one hit before Vanya snatched it away from him and stuck it between her lips and inhaled like her life depended on it. The two of them were huddled together against the small section of wall that was still standing. The rest of the unit was milling around, cutting quick glances towards Vanya before looking away again quickly.
Jones was twitchy, wide brown eyes darting around wildly, fingers flying over vest pockets looking for something to fiddle with. He was the youngest person here, had been drafted less than a month past his eighteenth birthday and was not yet nineteen. He finally found a crumpled cigarette in his back pocket and immediately stuck it in his mouth and reached for his lighter.
“So, uh…are, are we going to talk about this?”
Everyone else, who had been watching Vanya while pretending not to look at her, turned to Jones. He waved his hand to encompass Vanya’s hunched form.
“I mean, seriously, what the hell? Are we really going to pretend we didn’t just see what we all saw!?
Klaus glanced over to Vanya with a wild fearful look in his eyes. Vanya brought the blunt to her lips again and answered on the exhale.
“It’s kind of a long story.”