One More Soldier
By DJ Cline
September 11, 2026 3:30 AM
High on a ridge between Pakistan and Afghanistan was one more soldier in one more war. Text from DJCline.com
Captain Don Jin of the Chinese Army was assigned to find and kill the latest villain named Jaca. Many men had been sent to kill him and all had failed. Don’s commanders briefed him in Kabul and gave him a rough direction on where Jaca was last seen. They would keep sending soldiers until Jaca was dead. Text from DJCline.
Don’s approach was very low budget and off the radar. After picking up his regular field gear, he poked around town until he found someone who had the kind of rifle he wanted, sneaked into their compound and stole it. He found a truck, stole it and drove it as far as he could into the mountains. When he ran out of road, he started walking and then climbing. When he arrived at the last known location for Jaca, he started tracking him like an animal. Three weeks later he located what he thought was Jaca’s entourage in a remote village. It was not that difficult. In a poor country, the trash of rich people stands out on a trail. Text from DJCline.
He lay flat on his stomach just below the top of the ridge looking through his rifle’s night scope. In the valley below he saw half a dozen mud brick buildings built by local tribesmen. He looked at the largest building glowing from a fire inside. Don had been waiting for Jaca to step outside and use the latrine for a week. It never happened. Instead women would carry slop buckets out every morning. Don was patient. Jaca would make a mistake. Text from DJCline.
He kind of wished Jaca still smoked. Smokers inevitably stepped outside. He had gotten several targets this way. Don looked around the ridge he was standing on and found dozens of cigarette butts from Americans, Russians, British and possibly Turkish soldiers. They had all been here before him. Since arriving he also found batteries, buttons, wrappers, brass casings and even a bronze arrowhead. He wondered if the whole mountain was simply a pile of trash leftover from earlier battles. People had been fighting here for a very long time. With tensions between China and India so high he wondered if the next soldier on this ridge would have a laser pistol or a bow and arrow. Text from DJCline.
There was movement at the bottom of the valley. A woman carrying a baby was walking up the trail. A guard woke up and stopped her. She held her baby close as it started to cry. Don turned on the rifle microphone and tried to hear the conversation. As near as he could understand it, the woman said she was carrying a son Jaca did not know about. The woman begged to see Jaca. The guard alerted another guard who escorted her to the large building. Text from DJCline.
Listening through the microphone Don heard the consternation of Jaca’s voice at being woken up in the middle of the night. It sounded like the baby was given to Jaca to hold. The woman excused herself to use the latrine. She walked quickly to the latrine and then ran past it and up the hill toward Don. Through the microphone he thought he heard someone shout, “It’s not a baby!” Text from DJCline.
Suddenly the large building exploded, temporarily overwhelming the night scope and hitting the overload cutoff on the microphone. Guards ran out of the other buildings shouting and began shooting in the air. By now the woman was halfway up the hill and had taken off her clothes, wig and makeup. The woman was in fact a very thin man wearing a black commando outfit. As he approached Don the man held up his hands and said, “I am Tapas Kalki of the Indian Intelligence Service. Captain Jin, we need to leave this area immediately.”Text from DJCline.
The guards were beginning to fan out into the flame lit darkness. Both of them were now going to have to outrun some very angry men. How did that this guy already know his name? Te
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Text from DJCline.
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