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Tunnel Rat

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  • Mathew Morrell
    The rain didn t reach the ground underneath the canopy except when a mortar shell exploded nearby and the vibration shook the trees and drops of water showered
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2005
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      The rain didn't reach the ground underneath the canopy except when a
      mortar shell exploded nearby and the vibration shook the trees and
      drops of water showered his fox hole along with small rocks and
      shrapnel. The explosion immediately deafened him. He heard
      nothing, save for the rattle and pop of machine gun fire. Then, a
      little louder, his machinegun fired low into the undergrowth; as he
      lay flat on his stomach, squeezing the trigger in short blasts, his
      fear and anguish overwhelmed him and he released a throaty scream.
      The only other soldier in the fox hole was dead, nearly decapitated
      by the shell explosion.

      Ed MacIntosh was an artist from Kansas City. MO., but in Vietnam he
      was a tunnel rat: a soldier specifically trained to explore and
      flush out VCs from underground tunnel systems. The standard issue
      for "tunnel rats" was a .45 automatic which he kept in a leather
      holster, and a 4 inch combat knife used for hand combat in confined
      spaces. The AK47s were reserved for the second and the third men in
      Ed MacIntosh's "rat" team, but both had expired in the fierce
      fighting tonight. Night covered the jungle in ink-black darkness,
      except for blasts of machine gun fire—bright, sulfuric blasts
      flashing against the canopy high above. MacIntosh reloaded quickly,
      and now crouched on one knee. Out of a spider hole emerged two
      Vietcong in black pajamas. The two flitted through the woods. Ed
      fired in sweeping motions toward the irregular movements they made
      in the undergrowth—and soon the movements stopped.

      QUESTION: What does MacIntosh, the "tunnel rat", see when he enters
      the spider hole and descends into the underground tunnel? Mind you,
      the tunnel exists in four dimensions!
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