This story takes place in the Vietnamese War between Vietnam and USA. It was provoked by the USA to try to stop the spread of Communism during The Cold War. Private Cortez is in Ranger Squad 78, sent into the Jungles of Vietnam to seek out and kill the Vietnamese Cong hiding within the trees. Their mission was intended to make it safer for tanks to pass through the jungles.
June 28, 1964
Today we woke up to our first day of the mission. We're trying to hunt and kill those damn Viet Cong. We already found three of them hiding in trees like cavemen. I swear I saw a fourth, but the next time I looked at him he was gone. There was something weird about it... It's probably the heat.
June 30, 1964
We sought out seven more in the last two days. For risk there is reward. But the risk was too much. One of those fucking monkeys popped out of a tree. Private Cornwell died yesterday. Bayonet on the Cong's rifle went straight through his eye. The lucky bastard got out early. The thing that pissed me off was that the guy that killed Cornwell got away. I swear I shot at least half a mag at that little shit.
July 1, 1964
Today we were looking at Cornwell's tags in remembrance. I took a look at them. They didn't spell out Cornwell's name, it said "13 More." I went to show Colonel Fitch, but the next time I looked at them it said "Timmathy R. Cornwell". Something fucked up is going on. I decided to not explain what I saw to the others. Probably the heat.
July 3, 1964
Four more people within my squadron have been killed. Each one bearing a dogtag saying "12 More" or "9 More" and so on. No matter how many times I try to show someone it doesn't work. Every fucking time I show them it goes back to their name. But when they leave, and it's just me around, they go back to the message. Something is going on... It's scaring me man...
July 4, 1964
It's the Fourth of July. All is good in the world. Complete bullshit. In Vietnam there are still people who die every day. At this point there are 7 more people left in my squad. Is this all really worth dying for? Just because the USA doesn't want people to be communists? This isn't worth my paycheck. Something weird is going on and my friends are victims of it.
July 6, 1964
4 more people in my squad died. Each time someone is killed, the amount of people left to be anally raped by crazy ass banzai treepeople gets lower. Nobody believes me. They all think I'm hallucinating... It's the same Viet Cong soldier that's killing our squad. Always in the same manner. With dogtags that apparently want to make me look crazy. My squad has already issued an order to send my family a grievance under the fact that they think I've lost my mind. My children, my wife, my brothers and sisters are all going to think I'm crazy. I suppose it doesn't matter anymore because I'm not getting out of this alive.
July 7, 1964
Our sergeant, Sgt. Martinez has died today. His dogtags are different. This time it says "You're Next." Isn't that dandy? Now the dogtags say that I am to die next. Everywhere I look, I see that same soldier in a tree waiting. Blood and sweat all under his eyes. He's trying to confuse me, so I am going to simply shoot at every tree I see.
July 8, 1964
The only member of my squad left is 1st Private Kozak. He's very angry with me now. I ran out of ammunition shooting at all the trees. So when he was sleeping I took his gun and all of his ammunition. All of his bullets are now lodged in the bark and leaves of the canopy. We're now alone in the middle of the Vietnamese jungle, defenseless against any attackers (besides our knives, bayonets, and two grenades, anyway). Why does he care? Doesn't he know that he'll live. I'm dying. I'm going to die. Out of the corner of my eye I see the man with the bayonet. He's just watching me write this all down.
July 10, 1964
I've decided that maybe I could break the chain somehow. I have stabbed Kozak in the chest. It didn't break the chain, sadly enough. The man is still going to kill me. He even told me in Kozak's tags. They say "You know, a sacrifice isn't enough". I'm not going to let him kill me. He can't get his way. He put me through too much hell. After I am done writing this I'm going to shove a grenade in my mouth and pull the pin.
The rest of the book is covered in blood. This page was bookmarked with a pin and a dog tag saying "You're Next, God Have Mercy On Your Soul..."