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|Subject: Darth Apocalypse Now: The Story of Leo Leonardo May 30th 2011, 12:54 am|| |
Captain Leonard "Leo' Richardson Leonardo The 3rd is a US Army officer who has been attached to MACV-SOG, carrying out special operations missions in Indochina during the Vietnam War. He has worked in I-Corps for the CIA in the past, primarily as an assassin. He has already returned home from a tour of duty at least once, during which time he failed to integrate back into society and divorced from his wife. Despite his previous desire to return to the United States, once he had gone back to his homeland all he wanted was "getting back into the jungle". He has killed at least six people at close quarters (including, it is implied, a corrupt South Vietnamese tax collector), "close enough for them to breathe their last breath in my face" but never a fellow American national. His military past is a mystery but it is clear he has carried out many top-secret operations for the US Army. Leonardo is a withdrawn individual who doesn't speak often, and seems reclusive and at his best when working alone, where he more often than not operates. Because of this, he is somewhat of a loner and is awkward when around others.
Depressed and frustrated by his state of limbo in Saigon, Leonardo drinks heavily and ponders a return to the jungle, desperate for a mission. He wrecks his hotel room before being taken by American soldiers to a briefing in Nha Trang. Here, he is instructed by an Army general to take a patrol boat upstream and kill renegade American Colonel Walter E. Kickz, who has gone insane. He accepts the mission, wondering "what the hell else was I gonna do?". Leonardo uses a Navy Patrol Boat River to travel up the Nung river where Kickz has fortified himself and his private army in Cambodia. He is frustrated at being accompanied by the boat's crew, takes a passenger's view and rarely converses with the men, preferring isolation.
He and his crew are transported into the river's mouth by a manic Air Cavalry commander, Colonel Ceberus, an eccentric whose values clash fundamentally with Leonardo's. The trip upriver incorporates an entertainment show provided by Playboy models travelling with the United Service Organizations, and a close encounter with a tiger while searching for mangoes with Chef. During the course of the trip, Leonardo reads his dossier on Kickz and learns more about the man. He seems to slowly start to understand Kickz's actions and become more disassociated from his superiors. The crew encounter a sampan and the Chief demands to search it, over Leonardo's objections. The search goes badly with all but one of its passengers killed outright after a misunderstanding. Finding one Vietnamese woman alive but near death, the PBR Crew elect to take her to a field hospital, which would jeopardize the mission. Leonardo euthanizes her with his .45, then says to Chief that "I told you not to stop", showing his cold-blooded nature and dedication to the mission for the first time. Leonardo admits in narration that "they'd never look at me the same way again". After this encounter, the boat reaches the Do Lung bridge, the last US outpost on the river. The outpost is in chaos, and they leave quickly, but not before Leonardo rebukes Chief for trying to persuade Leonardo to send them back, showing his frustration at Chief's dissent and the general distractions his mission has suffered. He merely wants to complete his mission as quickly as he can.
Leonardo learns from Nha Trang correspondence that the previous man sent on the same mission as him, Captain Bill Cosby, has now joined Kickz following. The boat is attacked by the Viet Cong, resulting in the death of Clean. Leonado reveals his mission to Chief before they finally reach Kickz's camp. The crew are attacked once again, this time by Kickz's Montagnard army and with arrows and spears. Chief is killed. By this point, Leonardo no longer fears Kickz but is overpowered by an urge to "Confront him". Leonardo roams the camp, conversing with a crazed American photojournalist who says that Kickz is a "great man" and a "genius", before being abducted by the camp's population. He is brought to Kickz, and they discuss Leonardo's mission and philosophy. Leonardo is eventually released and frequents the base for four days, before finally completing his mission by killing Kickz, by which point he has almost completely lost all his humanity. Kickz's tribe kneel before their God's conqueror, but Leonardo simply leaves the base in the PBR and heads back downriver, contemplating that the Army are "Going to make me a Major for this one". However, his experience has made him apathetic to the future, and his path is now uncertain.
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|Subject: Re: Darth Apocalypse Now: The Story of Leo Leonardo June 1st 2011, 9:49 pm|| |
nice! very well written and intriguing
~Grand Master Cerberus~