The helicopter, an old Japanese Chinook, came to rest in the dry rice field and half a dozen North Koreans spilled out. Loud, Japanese pop music was screaming from the speakers. The Koreans were still clad in their military uniforms, but it was clear they’d mentally defected. Their coats were unbuttoned and hanging open and they were all either smoking or pulling on bottles of sake, or both. The obviously very inebriated group cheered and pointed at the pieces of the zombie they’d obliterated from the air. One of them, the tallest of the group, picked up the NY Yankees hat that the zombie had been wearing and put it on his friend. He happily accepted it and I think he yelled “America”, which set the whole lot of them laughing and cheering even louder. The pilot stumbled out after the rest of them, still wearing his headset, and fired a couple of rounds from this pistol into the air. The group went dead silent, but after they realized who’d fired the shots, they all bent over laughing, and one of them had sake coming out of his nose. The pilot immediately joined in the revelry, whooping, and pulling on a flask.
“What the hell have you got us into, Telders?” I said.
“Just act natural and they won’t kill you.” Michael raised his hands in the air and started whooping and hollering along with the rest of them. Someone handed him a bottle and he lifted his mask for a pull.
“Mi-kul Jack-son!” a Korean soldier screamed and slapped Michael on the back.
The pilot staggered over to me and extended a bottle of Suntory.
“No thank you,” I said.
“Uwhat?” the pilot yelled over the noise of the group.
I waved my hands back and forth. “No thank you,” I yelled back.
He narrowed his eyes.
“I don’t want any of that crap,” I said, pointing.
The pilot growled something in Korean, drew his revolver, and swung. A bright light flashed before my eyes.