It wasn't the first time they'd seen it. Not by a long shot. He didn't even have to give the order any more. The men just knew...
He watched as the figures moved across no-man's land. Some looked back, some hesitated, but they kept moving. Closer and closer to the Americans.
The shooting started then, and within moments the moving figures were still. A quiet settled over the field. Men hung their heads, relieved. Ashamed. They'd just slaughtered civilians, grenades strapped to their bodies by the North Koreans.
Kill or be killed. That's what it boiled down to.
It took him a moment to realize that the killing ground wasn't totally quiet. There was a sound, muffled, but there. Crying.
A baby crying.
The men looked at him, but he was helpless. Anybody going out there was an open target.
The afternoon passed. The baby kept crying. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes just whimpering. But it never stopped. Never...
His men were crying. Swearing. The baby...
They couldn't take it any more. He knew it. One of his men, maybe Murphy, maybe Willis, someone would go after that baby. And then another one. And another. It wouldn't matter what he said. The crying...
He felt the bile in his throat, but he had to protect his men, even from themselves. He raised his rifle...
"Hey, Hannibal! You okay?"
He jumped, blinking. They sat in the van, waiting for their new client.
"Man, you spaced out worse than Murdock."
"Sorry, BA. Just thinking out the angles on this guy."
BA frowned, but nodded and went back to watching the street. Hannibal looked down the block.
At the playground.