The Amulets of Power V: A New Beginning
Caution: This Time Travel Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Interracial, White Male, Oriental Female, Oral Sex, Petting, Pregnancy, Violent, Military,
Desc: Time Travel Sex Story: Chapter 18 - Following awakening in a grass field after an auto accident, Mike Barnett discovers a young woman from a separate accident a short distance away. It is the next day before he discovers that he is 110 years in the past, and it is much later before he learns that he is there to change history.
The following new characters appears in this the last chapter:
Captain Prawit's future wife, 5'-2'' tall, about 100 pounds, 32B-21-30, 20 years old, long black hair, brown eyes
Master Sergeant Sunsarn
Master Sergeant 1st Class, Custodian of the Ranger Museum, 5'-7'' tall, 140 pounds, 48 years old, black hair going gray, brown eyes
Sunsarn's wife, a descedant of the original Ratana, 5'-2'' tall, 112 pounds, 34C-24-34, 42 years old, long black hair, brown eyes
The following characters reappear from the previous stories in the series:
Command Sergeant Major 46th Group, 6'-6" tall, 275 pounds, 43 years old, black hair, brown eyes
LTC Philip Hawkins
Executive Officer, 46th Group, 6'-1" tall, 185 pounds, 46 years old, brown hair, blue eyes
The patrols returned on the evening of the fifth day. They were tired but happy to be back. They had all found water – apparently a lot of water since they had all showered and also washed their clothes before returning. Additionally, they had brought a good bit of fruit and vegetables with them.
"There are nam tok (water falls) everywhere," the returning team leaders told us.
"Did you see any signs of the bandits or their camp?" I asked.
"No camps, krup, but many signs of wild animals including elephants, tigers, and bears plus many snakes," they replied.
The next day, we moved our camp forward to be closer to the areas that the next group of teams would be covering, and set up a short distance from a river that flowed in a generally northeastern direction.
The day following that, three new teams sent out to recon the area. My team and I made good time and covered quite a wide area. On the third day, we came across signs of human involvement. There were several patches of vegetables that had obviously been cultivated by someone and were not growing wild as were the others that we had seen. There were also a number of trees where the fruit had been picked and there was little or no rotting fruit under them.
I had been using my compass to make a strip map of our movements, and was sure that I could find this area again. We turned around then and headed back toward our new camp. We would have needed to return tomorrow in any event.
There was great rejoicing when we reached camp the next day, but there were also a number of things that needed doing. We had been here for ten days and were in need of rice and other things. We had an operations meeting that night to discuss what needed to be done and just who was best suited to do it. It was finally decided to send Sergeant Chuang back to Korat to get the remainder of the unit. Sergeant Jatuporn would take the buffalo cart to Pak Chong to purchase rice. Five men would go with him but only two of them would enter the town with him. The remaining three would set up a camp farther from Pak Chong than Lieutenant Chatchai had. Jatuporn would join them and they would wait for the remainder of the unit to arrive. The cart with most of the rice and the other two men would return to our camp.
While those things were being carried out, I would take Corporal Wiwan and four other men who he selected for their skills in the jungle, and we would scout the exact location of the bandits' camp before returning. When the remainder of the unit arrived, we would plan our attack and the disposition of our forces.
We knew exactly where we were going, because I had my compass and the strip map that I had made, so we should have been able to cover the distance to where we had found the evidence in less than a day. Naturally there was a problem to interfere with this plan. It seems that we weren't the only ones moving around in these mountains, and around noon, we had to go into hiding when a herd of elephants came our way. Wiwan and I counted 24 elephants of all ages and sizes in the herd.
We waited for a time after they were gone to move out again. Consequently, it was very late when we neared the area where the vegetables were growing. It was well that we approached it carefully, as there were several men there. They had apparently been tending the plants for at least a part of the day, and they had gathered a large basket of the vegetables to take with them.
They departed as we watched, and Corporal Wiwan who was in the lead signaled for us to wait there and hide.
"I and one man will follow them and see where they go," Wiwan whispered to me. "The rest wait here. Six are too many for this." He and the other man slipped away like ghosts while the rest of us set up camp and picked a few vegetables and some fruit. We had brought Kao-neow (Sticky rice) with us as it keeps better in the heat than regular rice.
Wiwan and his companion reappeared among us about an hour and a-half or so later. It was amazing how silently they could move.
"We have located the camp. It is near a waterfall not too far from here. There are many men there and a few women. It didn't appear that some of the women were there by choice, as a number of them are kept in a cage," he told us in a very quiet voice.
"How many men did you see?" I asked.
"Enough to fill three platoons," he told me, as he wasn't strong on numbers but was familiar with how many men were in one of our platoons.
"You should go back to prepare the others, Chief Trainer, and we will check out the area around their camp before returning in a couple of days," he suggested.
"Yes, I will return and prepare things. Are you sure that four of you will be sufficient for the reconnaissance of the camp?" I asked.
"Yes, four will be fine. We will move where we stay each day, so they will not be able to find us," he assured me. It appeared that he was trying to get rid of me – perhaps because I wasn't as quiet moving in the jungle as he and the others were, or because he feared it would be too dangerous.
The next morning, one of the men and I started back to our main camp. Fortunately, we didn't run into any elephants, or other dangerous wild animals on the way.
Back at our main camp that evening, we found the men quiet, but enjoying a meal of rice, vegetables, and meat – a lot of meat. They had trapped and killed a good size wild pig. I was initially upset with Lieutenant Chatchai.
"You allowed them to shoot a pig? What if someone had heard the shot or shots?" I demanded.
"Certainly not, Chief Trainer, there are other ways to catch wild animals. We used a trail of cooked rice and some vegetables to lure the pig into a trap that the men had built. Once it was trapped, one of the men used his big knife to cut the pig's throat after we hit it in the head with a large club," he told me with a smile. I smiled too on hearing his explanation.
The pig had been roasted whole for many hours in the ground so that little smoke or smell was released to give away our position. The meat was a fine addition to our somewhat bland diet of rice, fruit, and vegetables.
"The man have done very well with their traditional way of doing things," I told him, recognizing that this method wasn't new to some of them.
The next morning, some of the men went down to the river to retrieve the fish from the bamboo fish traps, called Sai, that they had placed in the river yesterday afternoon. The fish would be baked the same way the pig had been prepared but not as deep or for as long a time, and not fried which produced too much easily detected odor.
Corporal Wiwan and his men returned after three days. They had scouted the entire camp area and its surroundings, and were able to draw a representation of the area in the dirt which I copied on paper and then reproduced several times after asking a number of questions about the area.
While waiting for them to return, I had rearranged the men of the First and Second Platoon into four groups to act as guides for the remainder of the unit when they arrived. The groups would be led by Corporal Wiwan and the men who had done the scouting. They in turn went over the area they were responsible for with their group, answering questions and pointing out various things on the approach to their area of responsibility.
I also increased the security patrols around the camp to insure that we weren't detected by the bandits. Fires and cooking were held to the minimum necessary. On the sixth day after Sergeant Chuang had left for Korat, I sent out additional people to watch the trail leading to our camp from the main road, but it wasn't until late on the seventh day that Captain Prawit and the remainder of the unit arrived. They had several carts with them, one carried food – mainly rice. A second carried much of the prepared ammunition from the armory. The third one carried a part of the men's equipment, as did the second cart.
That evening there was much quiet celebrating, but those arriving were tired and turned in early while those who had been here pulled guard around the camp. The following morning, I had a briefing for all of the Officers and the Sergeants where I went over how we had found the bandits' camp. Captain Prawit also briefed me on their trip here.
"We had prepared for the arrival of a messenger and had carts on hand but only partially loaded. Sergeant Chuang arrived on what he said was the evening of the second day since he departed here.
"We departed early the next morning after loading everything. We ran into rain on the way here and it slowed us down somewhat. Also a lot of people in the various villages noticed us on the way here," he finished. We had received rain here also but didn't consider it unusual. Of course, we didn't have carts and a muddy road to contend with.
Following that, I went over the plan that we had developed for the attack, and I explained about the reorganization and the guides. It was also necessary to reorganize those who had arrived to have four balanced groups for the attack. That was quickly accomplished, and each group was assigned a Platoon Leader and a Platoon Sergeant. Each group went over their route to the camp and their responsibilities with their guides and the Platoon Leader. Weapons were cleaned and ammunition was issued that afternoon. Everyone went to sleep early that night following a good meal except those on guard duty, and they were changed often so everyone would get enough sleep.
The entire unit was up before dawn the next morning and had a quick breakfast before collecting their field gear and carbines. The cooks and a few men who had developed blisters on their feet or had other problems would remain to guard the camp. The remainder of us set out when it was just light enough to see the trail that we would be following.
I led the unit out with Captain Prawit and my compass. There were security elements out on each flank, and we didn't encounter any elephants or other wild animals as nearly 80 of us made enough noise moving to alert the animals in the surrounding jungle. The monkeys were especially quiet that day.
We arrived at the staging area near the field of vegetables by mid-afternoon, and each platoon again went over their assignments and the approach to their area. The platoons responsible for the southern and western parts of the camp departed first, since they had the longest approaches. The operations Officer and his Sergeant went with them. The northern and eastern platoons left later due to easier, shorter approaches to the camp. The attack was scheduled to take place one hour before sunset.
I moved with Captain Prawit and the northern platoon. Lieutenant Chatchai and Sergeant Jatuporn had the eastern platoon. We arrived early and I got my first look at the camp. It was located near a waterfall which provided a continuous supply of fresh clean water. There were a number of what can only be described as temporary farm-type shacks of bamboo with thatched roofs that had been raised a couple of feet off the ground. There was a main house that was of much better construction than the others, and it resembled the panel-construction used for houses on the central plains and was built on piers some six feet above the ground.
The entire area was covered with grass and there was an area where fires had burned visible but whether for cooking or other purposes wasn't clear. Lastly, there was the large cage area made of stout bamboo where a number of bedraggled looking women sat or lay on the ground. There were also several carts and a number of buffalo visible behind some of the houses.
The wind now brought to us the scent of fires and food cooking. A closer inspection of some of the houses revealed people cooking in front of them or on their verandas.
I checked my watch and as it neared 1745 hrs, I tapped Captain Prawit on the shoulder, he stood up, and stepped out of where we were concealed. I fired a shot in the air from one of my revolver to get everyone's attention.
"This is the Siamese Army. You are surrounded, surrender immediately or else," he shouted, as the sound of the shot died away. The shot had definitely gotten the bandits' attention, and they swarmed out of their houses with machetes, swords, and spears. An older man had appeared on the veranda of the main house also.
"There can't be many of them or we would have heard them coming. Attack and kill them all," he shouted to his men who immediately rushed towards the area where Captain Prawit had been.
The men of our platoon were arranged in two ranks of ten men each with the Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Captain Prawit and myself making up the third rank. We allowed the bandits to get within 20 Yot or 40 meters of us before the kneeling front rank fired their carbines into the bandits. The second rank stepped forward of the first rank, knelt, and fired their carbines into the remaining group of bandits many of whom appeared to be very confused by how fast the second volley of shots had followed the first. Some of them had continued to advance however.
After the second rank had fired, our third rank moved forward past them, knelt and fired. After firing my carbine, I drew one of my pistols and fired six rapid shots into the remaining bandits who were now strung out for some distance. Firing my pistol was also the signal to Lieutenant Chatchai for his people on the east side of the camp to open fire. They only had six men in a rank, but had three full ranks in addition to a couple of our best shots working as snipers to pick off any bandit leaders.
This new source of fire really confused the bandits, many of whom broke and tried to flee to the south or west. Several men had also emerged from the main house with old muskets. The snipers and our better marksmen immediately targeted them while the platoons concentrated their fire on the fleeing bandits but they were firing more slowly than they had initially.
The older man who I had identified as their leader was one of those who emerged with an old musket. He managed to fire a single shot before he was taken under fire by several of our men and went down.
The platoons on the west and south sides of the area had also opened fire on the bandits by now as they moved in those directions. The bandits had really turned crazy by now and only thought about escaping. None of them were interested in surrendering and they charged right into our guns in a bid to escape. We continued to fire until all of them were down. Some of our people had even needed to draw their machetes when the crazed bandits charged into them while they reloaded. Out of nearly 70 men and a few women, we eventually took four prisoners who had only been slightly wounded.
It was 1815 hrs before Captain Prawit gave the 'Cease fire' command, and we moved out of our positions to check on the dead and wounded. All of the bandit's bodies were checked and the four still alive were taken prisoner. A check of our men revealed some bumps, bruises, and abrasions but no serious injuries thanks to the Muay Korat training that they had received from Sergeant Kruu Bua. I thought that we had sustained no serious casualties until Lieutenant Chatchai was carried out by several of his men. It seems that the one shot that the old leader had fired had hit Chatchai in the thigh. It was only a flesh wound but it bled quite a bit. His men hadn't been able to apply a tourniquet to the area, so I went quickly to work on the wound. I had purposely brought several bottles of Makhong with me to take care of wounds. I gave the Lieutenant a stiff drink and soon had his wound taken care of.
"Well Lieutenant, it looks like you will be riding back to camp," I told him while the Sergeants treated the wounds of the prisoners.
In the meantime, Captain Prawit had gone to check on the women in the cage. None of them had been injured in the firing, as they had all fallen flat on the ground on hearing the first shot. They were all very thankful when released.
It was now after 1830 hrs and would soon be dark. There were a number of things that needed to be accomplished yet and little time in which to do them. I called all of the Officers to me for a quick meeting.
"We need to get organized since it will be dark soon. The moon set this morning at about 1030 hrs or so, and it won't rise again until much later tonight.
"We need to set up fires to see what we are doing and then move these bodies to the outer edges of the clearing. The buffalo need to be checked and secured for the night. We can check the carts in the morning. Someone also needs to be preparing food or collecting what the bandits were cooking. We will also need to set up the guards for the night, but that can be done after eating," I told them. Some of the women had followed Captain Prawit to the meeting and spoke up now.
"We know where the large kettles are kept and can make food for your men," an older woman who appeared to be their leader told us.
"Yes, that would be very helpful," Captain Prawit acknowledged and set everyone in motion. The bandit's food was brought to the burned area to finish being cooked, and the women soon had a fire going and water heating to make rice while others worked on finishing the other food.
Several fires had been started around the camp for light, and the dead were moved to the perimeter of the clearing, but not near the buffalo. The food was soon ready, and the men ate in shifts so there were always some of them on guard. Some of those on guard were responsible for keeping the fires going in the clearing until most of the men went to sleep. The majority of the women slept in the cage but locked it from the inside. I did notice that a few of the women slept with a Ranger that they had selected. I especially noticed that a very pretty young woman shared Captain Prawit's ground cover and mosquito net for the night.
In the morning, the women prepared a thick rice soup and steamed some of the remaining vegetables for the men's breakfast. The carts were inspected and hasty repairs made where necessary while the buffalo were watered and then hitched to the carts. Several of the kettles and woks were loaded on one of the carts along with the remaining rice. Lieutenant Chatchai was on a cart with several of the women. The other women and their meager possessions were on other carts along with the prisoners. The women had stout sticks with them, so the prisoners were very quiet and caused no problems to insure that the women didn't have an excuse to use their sticks – not much anyway.
The bodies of the bandits were stacked in the various buildings before we left. The lead platoon and the carts had set out before the trailing platoons set fire to all of the buildings before leaving. It was very late that afternoon when we finally arrived at our camp. Sergeant Chuang had made sure that the cooks had a meal ready for us when we arrived. There was rice, vegetables, fish and some fruit. That night there was much talking around the platoon campfires, as men recounted what they had done to those who were in other areas during the battle. Most of the women slept apart from us that night except for the few who had selected someone the previous night.
Following breakfast the next morning, all of the weapons were checked and those found loaded were discharged before weapons cleaning was started. The two large kettles that the women had brought with them were used to heat water to clean the weapons. Corporal Wiwan and two other men left camp to hunt meat and returned after a few hours with three Indian sambar deer. These were quickly drained, cleaned, and skinned while spits were set up to roast them on. There would be a grand meal tonight.
I met with the Officers that day and it was decided to leave tomorrow, since we would soon be short of supplies. The men had found quite a bit of money and jewelry in the main house when they searched it, but it wasn't ours to spend – yet.
Everyone was up early the next morning, Monday the 6th of August, to finish final preparations for moving out. All of the buffalo had been allowed to graze overnight and had been taken to the river this morning to soak in the water and to drink their fill. Breakfast was quickly eaten, the buffalo hitched to the already loaded carts, and we set out for the main road just after 0700 hrs. after policing up the area and making sure that all of the fires were out and cold.
That evening we stopped and made camp in a field southwest of Si Khiu. In the morning Captain Prawit accompanied by six men took those women who wished to leave us into the Army Garrison at Si Khiu to be cared for, and they would also help them locate their relatives. He returned with some rice and vegetables by using the decree that Prince Krom Luang Wongsa had issued us. The unit was waiting for him outside of town when he and his men returned with the cart loaded with provisions.
We continued on to Korat for the remainder of the day, but were a good ten kilometers short of it as sunset approached. We again camped in a field near the road for the night.
Everyone was up early the following morning, the 8th of August, and we were soon ready to set out for the Army Camp there and our barracks. As we neared Korat, the men were formed up into their regular platoons, and we marched through the outskirts of Korat and up to the gates of the Army camp where we paused to get everyone lined up before marching to our unit area as proudly as any Army unit ever had.
While the Platoon Leaders and their Sergeants took charge of their men to have them begin cleaning up their equipment and then storing their weapons, Captain Prawit, Corporal Wiwan plus five men, and I escorted the remaining women and the four prisoners to the Camp Headquarters. The greeter there was shocked when we marched through the doors and proceeded directly up to Major Werachon's office.
That gentleman was also surprised to see us, but the Captain explained things to him quickly, and we were soon admitted to see the Camp Commander.
"You were gone for four weeks and all you have to show for it are these four bandits?" the Colonel demanded when the Captain introduced everyone following the usual greetings.
"These four are the only ones to survive our attack," the Captain pointed out, but his lady friend, who I had learned was named Sisuda, immediately spoke up in his and our defense.
"There were over seventy bandits at the camp. I had been a prisoner there for three months and had counted their numbers several times. These soldiers caught them before the bandits were aware that they were there. It was good to see those who had abused us die for all of their crimes.
"That isn't a charitable thing for a Buddhist to say, but you have no idea what we went through," she finished in tears before turning to Prawit for comfort. The Colonel was shocked by her outburst and her remarks as well as her actions. I spoke up then to cover their embarrassment.
"I will have each Officer submit a written report on the actions that he and his Platoon took during the battle and afterwards. They will all be sent to you so you have a good understanding of what occurred.
"I will also send you a separate report on the conduct of the entire operation," I informed the Colonel.
"I understand that is done in the Fa-rung (foreign) armies," the Major remarked.
"Yes, it allows commanders who were not at the scene to better understand what occurred," I admitted before asking, "Do you have a place to keep these prisoners?"
"We have a place to keep prisoners and those accused of crimes," the Major told us, and sent an assistant to get some guards. Several men in the uniform of the Commander's guard soon arrived and took charge of the prisoners.
"What of the women?" the Colonel asked when the prisoners were gone.
"A number of them stayed in Si Khiu. Most of the remainder have attached themselves to members of our unit," Prawit told him, as Sisuda had moved away from him and now stood facing the Colonel again.
"Yes, we would not trade one abuser for another, even one in a uniform," she told the Colonel. We departed after that following the usual greetings.
The next several days followed the now familiar routine of repair, cleaning, and storing of equipment and weapons for everyone in the unit. The afternoon of our return, Captain Prompan, the Supply Chief, was surprised to receive back more buffaloes and carts than he had lent us.
That evening Chanthra was ecstatic to have me back, and Ratana nearly fainted when I brought Lieutenant Chatchai to the house. He still couldn't get around very well with the healing gunshot wound to his thigh. Ratana did everything for him except eat his food. She even volunteered her bed for him to sleep on.
"Where will you sleep then?" Chanthra asked her.
"There is plenty of room on the floor, Pee" she replied, but Chanthra and I both doubted that she would spend a lot of time on the floor.
Chanthra also had some news for me when we retired to our room.
"I'm pregnant. I wasn't feeling well while you were gone, and the Amulets informed me that it was because I am with child, a girl they told me," she confessed. I wasn't all that surprised, and didn't consider it unusual with all of the sex we'd had since meeting. I gathered Chanthra in my arms and we kissed for a long, long time before needing to come up for air. The rest of the night was very passionate, and we made love and had sex twice before falling asleep for the night very satisfied.
By the end of the third day back all of the cleanup chores were finished, and the men and the officers had been paid, since we had missed payday at the end of July. The officers had all submitted their reports and Chanthra had helped me by writing what I dictated to her in Thai. All of the reports had also been forwarded to the Camp Commander.
What had been left out of all of the reports was any mention of the money and jewelry that we had found. If those in charge of the camp knew about it, they would have confiscated it and kept the money and everything else for themselves. The money was split up between the Officers and the men based on what they had contributed to the operation. Corporal Wiwan and his associates received more than most of the men because they found the bandits camp and did the scouting on it. The men were all happy to receive the extra money. The jewelry would be sold and those proceeds distributed later. The entire unit was given the next three days off upon completion of the cleanup chores.
Captain Prawit and the other Officers still had their original quarters here in the camp and had moved their possessions back there upon completion of the operation. Sisuda had also moved in with him there. The other women who had selected members of the unit had moved to quarters near Korat to await their lovers.
We had been off for three days when Chanthra came to me mid-afternoon on the 13th of August with a concerned look on her face.
"Those at Army Headquarters in Bangkok have sent men to arrest you. They have discovered that the King did not send you here. They have not told Prince Krom Luang Wongsa of this, and they know nothing of the Amulets. They will be here in a few days. The Amulets have told me that it is time for us to leave," she informed me.
"Will we have time to pack, and what about the house and the horses?" I asked her.
"We can leave the horses here for Ratana and Lieutenant Chatchai, also the remaining money. There will be more money when we return to your time," she told me.
"You'll be returning to my time then?" I asked with a smile.
"Yes, and we will be married shortly," she answered with a smile before turning to the wicker chests where our things were stored and began removing our clothing. My backpack was there in our room and I began loading it with my clean uniforms, boots and sandals. The pistols in their boxes went in on top of that along with the poncho liner. Chanthra had recently bought a small wicker box and quickly packed her things in it, while I changed into my uniform.
She then went to speak to Ratana about our leaving. I had given her the remaining money and the gold. She returned in a short time with Ratana behind her in tears.
"She is upset, but will soon recover. The Amulets have assured me that there will be no trouble for her, or for the men who you have trained. The elimination of the major bandit gang attacking travelers on the way to Korat has assured that," she told me. Lieutenant Chatchai had followed Ratana to our room, and I had some final instructions for him.
"Take very good care of Ratana, she is a very special young lady," I told him to a smile from him.
"Yes, I have already discovered that, and will take very good care of her," he assured us.
"Are we ready then?" I asked.
"Yes, we need to be on the ground for the Amulets to transfer us to the Army camp and your buildings there. We will need to be on the upper floor of the first building for them to transfer us to your time period," she told me before turning to kiss Ratana again, and I shook Lieutenant Chatchai's hand before we descended to the ground where I put on my boots. Chanthra and I had only clasped hands there, when we were suddenly standing in front of the unit's barracks.
We quickly ascended to the upper floor of the first building to find Captain Prawit the only one there. He was writing on the lap desk in a small diary. He looked up from his writing as we entered and quickly came to his feet.
"What's wrong?" he asked seeing the expressions on our faces.
"It's time for us to leave, the Amulets are recalling us. There are men from the Army Headquarters in Bangkok on the way here to arrest Mike. We will be gone when they arrive in a few days.
"Don't worry, all of the men in the Rangers are safe. Your work eliminating the bandits has assured that, they will only be looking for Mike," Chanthra quickly explained.
"How will you leave that they won't be able to catch you?" Prawit asked.
"The Amulets are sending us to a different time. We'll be fine," I assured him, as Chanthra took my other hand.
"Move over here with me, my Mike," she requested, and we moved over to one side of the barracks near the corner. We had only been standing there for a few seconds when there was a huge flash of light. When we could see again, we were still standing on the side of the building near the corner, but it was not the building in 1855, which had been nearly new.
No, this building was much older. The wood had aged and surface cracks had developed in addition to the wood darkening from age, use, and the accumulation of grime in its pores. There were only a few sleeping platforms there, but there were many displays of Ranger artifacts, pictures, and memorabilia. There were also a man and a woman there to greet us. They both Sawa Deed, waied, and bowed to us. We returned their greeting.
"Greetings, Master Sergeant Barnett," the man said in very good English. He was an older man dressed in what I recognized as the Thai Army's version of tiger fatigues. He had the insignia of a Cha Sip Ek (Master Sergeant 1st Class) on his shoulder boards.
"I am Master Sergeant Sunsarn, and I am the Custodian of the Ranger Museum. We have been waiting for you for several minutes," he told me before adding, "My great grandfather was the man who you knew as Captain Prawit. He was eventually promoted to Senior Colonel and was also the Commander of the First Ranger Battalion for a time before that."
The woman spoke when he paused.
"My name is Ratana, and I am Sunsarn's wife. My amulet spoke to me this morning instructing us to be here at this time," she informed us before adding, "My ancestor was your house girl Ratana, and the name has been passed down through each generation. She married the man who you knew as Lieutenant Chatchai several months after your departure when he had recovered his health. He was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Commanded the Second Ranger Battalion for some time. Our two families have intermarried a number of times, and we have always had sons in the Rangers, some were Officers and some weren't," she finished.
"The Rangers have had an outstanding history since you first trained them," Sunsarn continued. "There were many instances where they were sent to quell rebellious villagers and other officials in various parts of the kingdom. In 1873, the French tried to take over the Thai portion of Cambodia that we had ruled for well over a hundred years. The Army pushed them back to their own territory, and they sued for peace, but had laid a trap for the Army and those sent to sign the peace treaty. The Rangers discovered this trap, and the Army was able to surprise them and drive them even further into Cambodia. Siam was the one to set the terms for peace then and confirmed our sovereignty over the area that we had ruled for so long," Sunsarn told us with pride.
"Also during the 1870s and the 1880s, there were many engagements with the Hoa bandits in Luang Prabang and northern Laos. Finally in 1887, they crushed a major Hoa attack and captured many of their leaders.
"The Frenchman Auguste Pavie wanted to expand French influence in Cambodia and Laos and caused much trouble between Siam and the French. He died of a wasting disease in 1892, but the French continued to insist that all of Laos and most of Cambodia belonged to them saying that the Vietnamese had ruled those places, when in fact they never had. This led to several border skirmishes with the French, all of which they lost despite their superior weaponry. They refused to submit the border dispute to international arbitration, and instead demanded that Siam give up the territory that they wanted.
"In April of 1893, they sent a warship, the Comete, to the mouth of the Chao Phaya River. We warned them not to proceed past the fortress of Pakanm. There was a battle, but the Siamese Navy could not prevail against the iron, coal powered ships of the French.
"In July of that year, the French sent three ships, the Comete, the Inconstant, and the Luten, up the Chao Phaya to threaten Bangkok. The ships were still many miles from there when all three had internal ammunition explosions which wrecked the ships and killed many of their sailors. I believe that some of your Special Forces people have a term for that type of happening. I have heard it called 'an ammunition malfunction'.
"The French were outraged and accused Siam of sabotage, but a British Admiralty court of inquiry ruled that it was improper storage of their ammunition that was the cause. Apparently there were also some internal changes in the French government at nearly the same time, and the French remained very quiet until the start of the First World War," Sunsarn finished with a smile.
"Enough of history. You two need to get settled for the night, and tomorrow you can proceed with your business," Ratana told us.
"I have a vehicle to take you to your hotel for the night," Sunsarn told us, indicating the way to the stairs.
"The last time that I was in Korat, the hotels weren't all that great," I told them.
"The hotels and many other things are much improved now," we were told, and this brought another question up in my mind.
"Just what is the date and the year?" I asked.
"By your calendar it is Thursday, the 16th of April 1970, or 2513 by the Buddhist calendar," Sunsarn informed us. I was shocked to my very core by this revelation, as was Chanthra.
"But we were only gone a few months!" I exclaimed. "How can it be four years later?" I asked.
"Because this is where the Amulets want us to be," Chanthra said, entering the conversation following a long silence.
"But the Army will think that I have been dead for over four years!" I said aghast.
"Do not worry, my darling, the Amulets will take care of everything. Now, let us see what this hotel is like," she finished.
We picked up our things and on turning, I saw a carbine in one of the display cabinets. It had been a very fancy presentation carbine just a few months ago by my time line. Now it was a bit battered, the silver on the furniture was worn, and the barrel needed rebluing. Sunsarn saw me looking at it.
"That was a gift from the relatives of the man who you knew as Colonel Kampon. He carried it during a number of battles," he told me, as we walked toward the stairs. Outside we found a very fancy and well-polished jeep waiting for us.
"The ladies can ride in the back, and you can ride up front with me, Sergeant Barnett," Sunsran told us. Chanthra was somewhat shocked by the jeep.
"Does the Army have many cars like this?" she asked.
"Oh yes," Ratana assured her. "We have this one on loan to the museum, as we often have important guests to transport," she finished, as I raised the right hand seat and both women got in the jeep.
We were saluted as we passed through the main gate to the camp and were soon in downtown Korat. Chanthra was shocked at how the city had grown since she had last seen it in around 1930. She was especially shocked on seeing the statue in front of the remains of the west gate.
"Who's statue is that?" she asked.
"It is the statue to honor Ya Mo, Grandmother Mo," Ratana informed her. "It was erected in 2477 (1934), and the area around it has been added to several times since then," she added. Chanthra had also been shocked by all of the samlors (pedicab) and tuk tuks (motorized samlor) in addition to the other traffic.
We turned onto Pho Klang Road from the traffic circle around the statue, and I was soon surprised by the many new buildings and other improvements in the area. It was certainly more built up than it had been four plus years ago.