By Hylda.

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NOTE: This story is the first answer to Judith´s challenge.

This story was written purely for entertainment and is not for profit, and is not meant to trespass in any way on the holders of the rights to Starsky and Hutch.

 Hutch sat in the dried grass with his broken leg wrapped tightly with sticks and ripped shirts. His head was spinning and he knew he was about to vomit again. “How the hell did this trip go so bad? Dobey said it would be like a vacation. He failed to say a vacation in hell.” He realized Starsky was gone again and frightened he yelled out “Starsk where are you?” The hills echoed his cry several times but no answer. Suddenly without making any noise Starsky was beside him holding a dead rabbit in one hand and covering his mouth with the other. “Don’t yell like that you’ll give away our position.” Hutch felt relieved and scared at the same time. Starsky had been acting strange since the crash. Even though he had banged his head and was thrown across the wreckage Starsky was the only one conscious after the crash. He had to rely heavily on his army training to get Hutch and the pilot out of the plane and try to patch them up.  Their prisoner James Price had escaped while Starsky was freeing Hutch from the wreckage. The pilot had received sever head trauma and internal bleeding from the crash and died within hours. The other passengers on the small plane died on impact. Hutch watched Starsky try everything humanly possible to save the pilot but his efforts were in fane. He had remembered everything the medic in Nam had taught him and was using that medical knowledge to help Hutch stay alive. Unfortunately he remembered everything he had buried about his two tours in Vietnam at the same time. The jungle like hill they had crashed on was too similar to Nam for Starsky to stop the memories once they started. He seemed to be living in two worlds at the same time.

 “Starsky, do you know who I am? Do you know where we are?”

“Hutch stop worrying I know you’re Sergeant Kenneth Hutchinson. You’re my partner we were transferring a prisoner to” He stopped as his thought drifted. “They called it hill 937 Ashau Valley and we lost thousands of men to take that hill. Hamburger Hill was what our Cornel called it. He just kept us marching back up even after everyone in our troop but Steve, Bill, John and I were killed. He moved us to another troop and we went back up. Our helicopters were firing on my men and I couldn’t make them stop. They shot at everything that moved.” He suddenly smiled “Did I tell you John was my medic? He had two months then he was going home to Kansas.” His smile turned to anger “Jimmy had nine days and he was going home but that bastard wouldn’t let him stay at the base camp. I sent him and all the others to die because those were the orders. Take that stinking rotten hill at all cost. Billy, Steve and I were part of the 30 percent who survived.” He felt Hutch touch his arm and he jumped pulling his gun. He stared at Hutch for a few seconds then finished his sentence “Taking him to Bay City for trial but he escaped. I tracked him through the woods but needed to get back to you.”

“Starsky you need to get some sleep. The plane went down yesterday morning and you haven’t closed your eyes or eaten since then.”

“Hutch I have to stay up and watch for the search plane they should have been flying over by now.” He looked worried when he finished saying “I was thinking about what Price said before the plane went down. He called the pilot Greg and said they were still to far from base.”

“Starsky he was panicking the pilots name was Steve and things got real crazy when the engine blow up like that.”
”Hutch what if the pilot wasn’t who he was suppose to be? If this was an escape attempt maybe we weren’t even heading in the right direction.”

“Starsk you’re really starting to sound paranoid.”

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get you.”  He moved to check Hutch’s leg and his head. He moved his hand on the side of Hutch’s rib cage and asked “Does it still hurt to breathe deep.” Hutch winced and tried to lie “Not really.”

Jeeze Hutch don’t play game with me dam it. I have to know if that cracked rib is pressing against your lung. If it punctures we’ll have no choose by to inflate it and stitch it up and I’ve never actually done that alone.” He looked at Hutch and said “So if you don’t want my Boy Scout knife and no anesthesia you had better stay still.” Hutch watched Starsky skin the rabbit and put together a small fire just outside the plane wing they were using for cover against the element. Hutch looked puzzled “Starsky I never heard you shoot the gun how did you kill the rabbit?”

“I broke his neck when I caught him in my hands.” He answered so matter of fact that Hutch could feel his skin crawl and his body shivered.

“Hutch you okay?” he felt his head to make sure he wasn’t running a fever.

“Starsky at Dobey’s cabin you hid from the rabbits and squirrels. You had expensive fishing gear and never caught anything. Last night you caught five fish with no pole and today a rabbit; just when did you become Grizzle Adams?”

“In Nam we had to go weeks with no supply drops so if you were near a river we eat fish in the jungle we ate everything from snake to dog.”

“You ate a dog.”

“When you haven’t eaten in six days dog taste pretty good. I had men who were sick and would have died if we didn’t eat Old Yella.”

“You named a dog and then eat him. That’s disgusting.”

“No disgusting was the way they tied bombs to the baby girls and then told them to go play with the soldiers or the way they treated us in the prison camp. They hung us by our arms and would cut us so the blood would attract the rats. The men who fell asleep would wakeup covered in rats screaming as the rats were biting them. They would but you in the hole for days at a time just to see if you would crack. They left me there four days no water no food. I’d hear my men screaming as they were being tortured with electric shock bamboo sticks knifes and sometime having pieces taken off. Fingers, toes, testicles or even your dick if the head guy felt you weren’t man enough to keep it.” Hutch looked at him with tear filled eyes and touching his shoulder said “Starsk I had no idea.”

“That’s because you were busy on the college campus protesting against our killing those poor Vietnamese soldiers.” He looked off into the hills “You don’t know what disgusting is Hutch and I pray you never do. It took me months in a V.A. hospital to recover from what they did to me. I was scared to go to sleep because I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing one of my friends getting killed. John, Billy, Steve and I were as close as you and I are and it just about killed me to come home with out them. John died on that God awful hill and Billy and Steve were murder in the prison. I should have died too but the morning I was to be put in the water pit some marines came in and freed the rest of us. They gave me a stinken medal and called me a hero. Some hero.”

Hutch tried to change the subject “Hey Starsk I think your rabbits burning.”

He smiled and tended to the cooking.

            Dinner was good and Hutch was feeling his energy returning but his head still hurt and any movement made him dizzy. He looked at Starsky who was making what looked to be a sled and seeing the dark circles under his eyes and watching his shoulders droop he began to worry. “Starsk you have to get some sleep.”

“I need to finish this so I can get you out of here tomorrow. If the search team knew where we were they would be flying over head by now. I’ll take some of the wreckage and leave them a sign which way we headed.”

“Starsk you can’t carry me out me out of here. You got a better chance alone.”

“This time I’m not going home alone. Either I take you with me or I don’t go.” He smiled at Hutch and told him “Get some sleep we got a long trip ahead of us.”

            The next morning they headed down the hill to follow the river. Starsky took the blankets, emergency raft and all the items he could salvage. Hutch felt guilty about the free ride but it was the only way to get out and he was just as concern about Starsky as Starsky was about him. The more he thought about what Price had said before the plane crash the more he felt Starsky’s gut feeling was right. If no one knew their true course no one would think to look in this national park area. He suddenly remembered something he read in the news the morning they left. The park service was doing controlled burning to help keep the forest fires down this year. They were going to burn three different spots about twenty five acres each. He looked around at the dried grass around them and thought to himself “my luck can’t be that bad or could it.” Starsky as if reading his mind said “Did you read about the controlled burn they’re doing today at noon. If my calculations are right we should smell smoke in about four hours.”

“Terrific what the hell else could go wrong? The next time Cap says it will be like a vacation I say we kick his ass.”

“Next time I say we take him with us.”

“You couldn’t catch enough rabbits to feed him for a day without putting them on the endangered list.” Suddenly Hutch felt Starsky drop the homemade sled and dive into the tall dry grass. Hutch laid perfectly still not making a sound. A moment later her heard someone walking through the grass. James Price appeared out of nowhere holding a knife. He put the knife to Hutch’s throat and quietly said “Before I slice your throat where’s your partner Hutchinson?”

“I’m Hutchinson he’s Starsky” he said pointing to his left. Price never knew what hit him. Starsky snuck up from behind him and in one swift move snapped his neck. Price’s lifeless body slid to the ground. He picked up the knife and put it on the sled and then checked to make sure Hutch was alright. Hutch looked at Starsky in total amazement and in a shaky voice said “Wh…What the hell was that? H… how the hell did you do that. He didn’t have a chance to move the knife.”

“Are you complaining or complementing?”

“Teach me how to do that.”

“Do what.”

“Move without sound, take out a guy with no weapon in no time.”

“Hutch we’ve both taken out criminals before.”

“Not like that. That was something out of a Bruce Lee Movie. How the hell did you learn how to do that.” He suddenly realized it was the first time Starsky had taken a life and had no signs of regret no remorse no emotion at all. “How many people have you killed like that?” He watch Starsky slump to the ground and look lost. “I couldn’t let him kill you. He had to… to be stopped. What did you want me to do knock him out tie him up and carry him out of here too?”

“Starsky I know you had no choice the man was going to slit my throat but you always had a hard time when you had to take a life this time it was different. Your face just looked num. It’s like your turning into someone I don’t recognize. Your scary Starsk this machine you’re turning into is really scary.”

“Hutch until the missions over I have to do what I have to do so we get out alive.”

Hutch began to yell “Starsk this isn’t a mission. You’re not in Nam we have to get out of this forest but we both need to get out in one piece. If you keep pushing yourself you’ll either die or …” He grabbed his head and sunk down into the sled. Starsky jumped up and was at his side in a second helping him get comfortable. He checked his pulse and breathing and asked Hutch “Is it only your head I have to know.”

“Dizzy just dizzy I’ll be alright in a minute.”

“God Hutch I’ve got to get you out of here. Starsky started to pull the sled and kept moving all morning. He followed close to the river and around noon stopped near a berry bush to get Hutch some lunch. He walk most of the day and until it was to dark to see. Hutch could tell Starsky was totally exhausted but his head hurt too badly to do anything. His chest was beginning to hurt and his breathing was becoming more difficult. Just before dawn he finally got scared enough to tell Starsk. Starsky listened closely to Hutch’s breathing and started to panic. “Hutch I think you may have shifted that broken rib. Buddy I think it’s pressing against your lung if we move you around anymore it could puncture the lung and then we’re in real trouble. I’m going to light a fire a real big fire and hope one of the ranger stations is close enough to see it. What ever happens you need to stay real still.”

Starsky gathered a lot of dried sticks and started a fire. He checked the wind and moved Hutch closer to the water. He threw every piece of wood for mile into the fire and watch in amazement at how high the flames reached. It took only about two hours before help showed up in the form of a very upset ranger in a helicopter. He called in to the local hospital and informed them he was airlifting a severely injured man with head trauma, broken rib, possible bruised lung and broken leg. The ranger told Hutch that if they lit the fire even a half a mile back it would not have been spotted. They were just at the edge of his viewing range. He looked at Starsky and asked if he was alright because he seemed to be swaying slightly. “Just get my partner to the hospital please.” was the only answer he received.

            The hospital crew was set up waiting for Hutch to arrive being told the story of the crash and how he was carried to safety. They asked Starsky to wait in the waiting room and he told Hutch he’d be right outside. He turned toward the door and crumbled like a rag doll to the floor. The doctor checked his vitals and then quickly checked him from head to toe. “What the hell is this man doing walking around? He has a high temp and a lump on the side of his head.” He looked at Hutch “Has he been acting alright since the plane crash.”

“No he was a little confused and he hasn’t slept in over three days.”

“Not sleeping may have saved his live. Your friend may have a fractured skull at the very least he has a concussion. I don’t like the bruising on his side. Get him down to x-ray and alert or to stand by.”

Hutch grabbed at the doctor as he walked by “What the hell is happened he seemed fine out there. He moved around better then he has in years and carried me all the way out.”

“I think your friend has been on stress high. He was so concerned for your safety he never had time to realize how sick he was or he hid it very well. Either way the man’s a medical miracle. Mr. Hutchinson we need to get you to x-ray to see how badly the leg was broken and we need to look at those ribs. Your head will need to be x-rayed also. We’ll talk when the results are in.” he looked at Hutch who was staring at the door and added “I’ll let you know as soon as your friend’s results are in also. Can we call anyone for you.
”Yeah Captain Dobey at the Bay City P.D. they must be worried sick.”

            Hutch’s leg was put into a cast and the Doctor was amazed at how well Starsky had set it. He was also told that he had a concussion and his broken rib had bruised his lung. Starsky had been right on the money with all his medical diagnoses. He was then told that Starsky had a fracture on the left side of his skull. It had caused swelling that was putting pressure on the brain. They had relieved the pressure by putting in a shunt. He had four bruised ribs and he was badly dehydrated. He was set up with and I.V. and would need to be watch for complications to the skull fracture and dehydration. Blood work had to be drawn every few hours to make sure his kidney and liver were functioning correctly. The doctor felt he needed sleep more then anything else. Hutch received a sedative to help him sleep but he was awaken by Starsky‘s frantic screams. The nurse was trying to calm Starsky down telling him that he was okay safe in the hospital but was making no headway. Hutch called to Starsky and the sound of his voice seemed to calm Starsky down.

“Are you okay partner.”


“Yeah I’m right here. You saved my life Starsk. You were hurt and you never told me.”

“You had a broken leg and rib you couldn’t have help me. I had to get you out of there.”

“Starsk, do you remember what happened to Price?”

“He was in the crash… and… he tried to kill you.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me what happened to you in Nam.”

Starsky turned his head away and Hutch could tell he was crying. Hutch felt his heart brake and he tried to sooth the pain “You made it out alive. You came home to the people who loved you and you did so much with your life since then.”

“I just wanted to forget it ever happened.”

“Starsky you have nothing to be ashamed of. You’re my best friend and I love ya pal. When you feel better we’ll talk and we’ll get threw this. Together we can get through anything.”

“Me and Thee” Starsky said before falling into a peaceful sleep. He knew Hutch would see him through the flash backs and nightmares and this time he would really put Nam behind him.


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