Category Archives: Action Adventure

Casting Direct Action

Deckard

guy-pearce

Guy Pearce still takes the top spot as the best actor to portray Deckard.  He’s not the standard issue tough guy or ex-special-something-or-other dude you see in most action films.  Deckard is a smart ass dude sticking it to jive ass mofo’s all over the place.  Take a back seat Channing Tatum, I’ll use you as a henchmen in book #13.

Bill

dwayne-johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a terrific actor with a huge personality.  In Direct Action, Bill is described as a “human wrecking ball” so the actor that plays him can’t be some sally.  The Rock has the personality and the physique but my only hold up is that I wonder if he can play a truly evil character.  Because he plays the hero and since he seems like such a nice guy in real life, I wonder if he could pull it off.  If I were casting, I’d definitely let him take a shot at the role though.

Rick

bradleycooper

Rick is the team’s pretty boy, pompous ass, and self indulgent prick.  Sorry Bradley Cooper, this has you written all over it.  Pretty boy.

Zach

EXPENDABLES 2

Zach is actually described as looking like Waffen SS trooper but I think Paul Adkins has the street cred to pull it off.  He’s a real life fighter and martial artist so I think he’d work quite well.

Paul

BenFoster

Paul is another Liquid Sky mercenary, pals with Rick and Zach, who sports a nice Taliban beard.  I think Ben Foster can play a different type of character, more of an introvert which would work well in contrast to Adkins, the Rock, and Cooper.

Ramon

Mark-DacascosRamon is Liquid Sky’s only member who hails from Army Special Forces.  He is a Filipino-American who served in 1st Special Forces Group.  Mark Dacascos fits the bill and he is also a martial artist.  Plus him up with some karambit training and he would be good to go.

Nadeesha

freida-pintoNadeesha is actually from Sri Lanka as opposed to India which is where the actress Freida Pinto is from.  I pictured Liquid Sky’s sole female operative is being darker skinned but I think the talented Ms. Pinto could play the role of the femme fatale.

The Operator

shadowThe Operator.  Your worst nightmare.  The final member of Liquid Sky.  Can’t even remotely think of someone in show business who could play this guy.

DirectActionPreviewshot

“Gonna lay it out there… I love Jack Murphy’s work. It’s gritty, it’s fast paced, it’s got more bang than a breaching charge and it’s balls to the wall from cover to cover. Murphy’s latest, Direct Action, is all of this with a very healthy slab of contemporary world events thrown in for good measure. Yeah sure it’s a little controversial in parts but hey, it’s fiction, so it’s not necessary real…or is it? It’s the blending of fact and fiction that makes this book such a great read. If you’re interested in the murky world of SOF and the even darker world of contracting then this is the book for you. Another great read by Murphy that comes highly recommended.” -Jack Silkstone

Get Direct Action for your Kindle or in paperback!

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The Direct Action Soundtrack

I just wanted to pass one some of the music I was listening to as I wrote Direct Action.  I actually had a big break during the writing of the book as summer ended and the fall semester started up at school.  I ended up jamming out the rest of the book during Christmas vacation.  The THYX album actually really helped kick start the book.

Apoptygma Berzerk, Unicorn

Edge of Dawn, Beyond the Gate

And One, Military Fashion Show

And One, Body Company

THYX, Below The City

Stochastic Theory, What You Weren’t (Echos Virus Mix)

Conjure One, Like Ice

Korpiklaani, Rauta

Somewhat Damaged, NIN

Came Back Haunted, NIN

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Direct Action Release Date (and other good news)

DirectActionPreviewshotNow that I’m in the final stages of finalizing the cover and back cover art, I am announcing the release date for Direct Action.  Look for it on the 21st of February in both paperback and ebook formats.  I can’t know exact pricing for the paperback until the book is constructed, but expect it to be very similar to the previous two books.  Probably $15 for the paperback and $4 for the ebook.

I’m excited about the release and look forward to the response.  Some people are going to be seriously offended by the content of the book and many will want to string me up for it.  But I didn’t write Direct Action for shock value, the book is directly influenced by factual events.  My previous novels were about writing the ultimate action adventure tale but Direct Action is different.  This book is about sending a message to a very particular and specific group of people.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had friends tell me that I would be killed simply for investigating the subjects I wrote about in this book.  There is a lot of money, prestige, power, and legacy tied up in these events, and some people will do anything to cover up criminal activities.

Lets move on to somewhat better news.

Fans have been asking me for Deckard/Samruk International hats, t-shirts, ect for a long time now.  The hats and patches are both on their way.  Here are some preview shots for those interested.

Samrukhat2patch3They will both be offered on this website sometime later this month so stay tuned for that.  Again, I’m excited to finally release Direct Action and get it into reader’s hands.  I think it is my best written, and most important, book to date.  Deckard will return for book #4, but right now I’m going to be focused on finishing up college over the summer and a few other projects I have going on.  For instance, after the release of Direct Action I will be working on the release of a Danish SOF operator’s memoir which I’ve been having translated into English.  I’ve also got some great articles planned for SOFREP.com that I need to get cracking on.

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Seventeen

Nikita

Chapter Seventeen:

 

Deckard woke up as he felt someone grabbing his dick. He turned around in bed and found Nadeesha smiling. She rolled on top and straddled him. Her perfect hips bulged slightly as she sat down on top of him. She was soaking wet already.

That was when her cell phone began to vibrate on the bed stand. Reaching over, she snatched it up and looked at the number.

“What the hell,” she cursed before answering the phone.

Deckard popped his hips, bouncing her several inches into the air.

“Oh!” she screamed with the phone held to her ear. “I mean, hello.”

He tried not to laugh as she had a brief conversation.

“And you,” she said as she hung up the phone. “We’re flying to Egypt. Everyone needs to be standing by to drive to the airport in twenty minutes. Sounds like some kind of an emergency.”

“How big an emergency?”

Nadeesha rocked gently on his lap and placed his hands on her hips.

“Nothing that can’t be put off for another nineteen minutes.”

 

 

* * *

 

 

Liquid Sky boarded a Gulfstream private jet that morning and went wheels up, flying to Jordan. They carried their cover identity passports and no weapons. There was no time to plan a more complicated clandestine entry. This was a crash mission, thrown together on an ad hoc basis in response to an emergency.

Nadeesha sat a few seats in front of Deckard. She looked back a smiled at him before turning away. They both preferred to keep their recent…situation private.

“What’s the story boss?” Zach finally spoke up.

“We’re all going in as NGO workers,” Bill said as he stood in front of them. “Half of you will be going in with a cover as working for some feed-the-kids bullshit and the other half will go in as human rights observers. We’ll take separate flights out of Jordan so that we stagger our arrival into Cairo. Its sloppy, but our timetable is extremely limited.”

“What’s the job?” Paul asked.

“Nothing special. Just a no-notice hostage rescue in a city besieged by fucking savages protesting the other savages running their country which is on the brink of civil war with a follow on asset recovery mission for some classified tech that fell into the hands of the Egyptian military.”

“Oh, that’s all,” Ramon laughed.

“We need to procure weapons on the ground,” Bill told them.

This got better and better.

“Then the main element will strike the prison where these three kids are being held. They are frat boys back in the United States and apparently one of them is the son of somebody which gives this mission added priority.”

“And what is this device?” Rick asked.

“Some high speed tech dreamed up in a DARPA lab I guess. It causes blackout and allows one to penetrate computer networks. I don’t know, I didn’t ask for information I don’t need to complete the mission but the three college kids were using it when they got popped by the Egyptians. Now which of you went to the SEAL sniper course?”

Paul threw his hand up.

“I’ve been to SOTIC,” Ramon offered. The Special Operations Target Interdiction Course was the Special Forces sniper school at Ft. Bragg.

“Okay fine. Ramon, you take Deckard with you. He is still the cherry on this team so you make him go in and snatch the device. I made some phone calls about where we can find weapons and we will get something for you to pull over watch with.”

“Got it,” Ramon confirmed. With so little information, there wasn’t much to discuss. They were making this up as they went along.

“The rest of us have the prison. Its going to be a shit show one way or the other.”

“That’s why they are using us,” Rick said. “Delta or Dev specialize in missions like this, why not use them?”

“Because we’re expendable,” Nadeesha finished.

“You got that right,” Bill said. “I’m not here to blow smoke up your ass. But some of us might even survive. I’ll have a exfil point worked out by the time we do our hits, which will have to be executed simultaneously. Probably a boat that can get us into international waters but right now we need to take it one step at a time. First you need to clear customs, then we hit a weapons armory I’ve located.”

Three college students and a mysterious device.

Deckard realized that the reason why US counter-terrorist units were not being sent in for this mission wasn’t just because of the political ramifications of sending US troops into Egypt but because of the target itself. What were the three kids doing with the device in Egypt in the middle of the Arab Spring?

Author note: Thanks for reading Direct Action so far.  By now I am getting around the halfway point with writing this book so it is time to take it back underground.  I will have some updates here and there and will post the final version of the first 17 chapters as a preview down the line but I won’t be publishing the rest of the book here.  The release date will probably be sometime around Christmas but hopefully sooner.  Thanks!

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Sixteen

SEAL_Samruk_130304

Chapter Sixteen:

 

Morning PT crushed the entire team. To warm up the team ran two miles down the beach front barefoot and then back. It was a slow comfortable pace, but everyone knew what was coming next. With a barbell they took turns doing three repetitions of the power snatch which involved lifting the weight above your head and squatting it. They increased the weight every three reps until failure.

Then they did the same for the power clean, which was a similar exercise but the barbell was only brought up to under the chin with a reverse grip. The power jerk was done for the same repetitions and was also similar but from under the chin, the barbell was then snapped above the head in one popping motion. Next was the clean pull. From the squatting position, the lifter snapped up with the bar held in an overhand grip until he was standing on his toes and then lowered the bar back to the ground.

Repetitions were increased to five for the front squat. Again, more plates were added after each repetition. Holding the barbell under the chin, they did five squats for one rep. Last but not least was Bill’s favorite, the bench press. About half of the Liquid Sky team puked this time around. Deckard managed to hold it down this time but had to wonder what the point was. They could probably take turns kicking each other in the balls and get the same result. They wrapped up with a two mile cool down run. Most of them took water bottles and tried to rehydrate as they jogged up and down the beach.

After dragging ass back to his pad, Deckard took a shower, tried to pound down some more water and stretch out. He found it funny that Liquid Sky was so careful about their operational security but six physically fit men running and swimming around a residential area was a signature in of itself. Apparently the guys just told the locals that they participated in adventure racing around the world, sponsored by some jockstrap company or something.

Sitting down on the couch, Deckard began to plan his next move. He didn’t have any time to waste. Bill had mentioned during PT that he would be reviewing a series of new contracts to bid on this afternoon. A comment like that made Deckard wonder how many other teams might actually be out there. He would have his hands full taking this enterprise down as it was.

Deckard had to hand it to Liquid Sky. These guys were not fighting some one sided firefight against chicken shit terrorists in Tikrit or Ballad. They were skating the edge, almost for the sport of it. And they were winning. They were good, but the lack of discipline would catch up with them. Back to the operational security again. The war crimes were not just unprofessional, they also violated OPSEC by creating a signature. If they were scalping or canoeing bodies on every objective, then eventually someone would put two and two together and realize it was the same team conducting these hits all over the world.

He knew that more than likely, some intel agency somewhere had already done just that and had Liquid Sky on their radar because of it.

The next phase of Deckard’s operation was to find out who this retired General was that Bill was getting his contracts from. Once he had that name he could call in the cavalry and get this job over with. In the meantime, he tried to kick back and relax. Making the hard sell didn’t work in human intelligence operations. If he came off over eager and over played his hand then Bill would figure out what his game was. He had to take his time, built rapport with each member of the team and slowly gather each piece of the puzzle. It was frustrating, but necessary. Their odds of taking Bill alive in a direct confrontation and forcing the information out of him were slim to say the least.

Deckard just hoped he could run this charade long enough because sooner or later, this whole house of cards was going to come crumbling down.

 

 

* * *

 

“Come here,” Bill said with a smile on his face.

Night had come, and with it there would of course be another party. The girls were on their way and then everyone was going to go out dancing at some disco somewhere on the island.

“You know why you are still here Deckard?” Bill asked him. “It is because you understand something about combat that very few even in elite units seem to get. Combat isn’t just about being technically and tactically proficient. It isn’t even a game of luck. You know what our game is?”

“What’s that?”

“Making the biggest grandstand play. That’s what you did in Manila. Threw your balls on the table and made it happen. I respect that.”

“I’m just happy to be on a team that knows how to get work done,” Deckard said playing up the bravado.

Just then the girls showed up at the front door. They all took a couple cabs out to night club set up inside a nearby hotel. The boys were cutting some rugs on the dance floor and everyone took turns going to the bathroom to blow lines of coke. Deckard agreed to partake, but brushed the cocaine he was given onto the floor when no one was looking.

He was getting pretty drunk on rum though. As the partying continued deep into the night, he quietly slipped out knowing that he wasn’t going to get any further intel off the guys this night. He had no desire to hang out with any of them if he didn’t have to.

Hailing a cab, he had the driver take him back to his bungalow on the coast. He paid the driver and went inside. Sitting down on his couch he began to feel something deep inside of him, something bubbling to the surface. He pushed it down.

Henderson had kept a sizable liquor cabinet above the sink. Deckard dug around until he found what he was looking for in a green bottle. Laphroaig whiskey, aged 18 years. He poured a glass and sipped it. The whiskey tasted like a burning church. He stood over the counter with his hands bracing himself over the bottle. He finished the glass and poured another one.

Before Liquid Sky, that last mission in Mexico had been rough. Deckard had been to some dark places, darker than he ever imagined even existed, but Jimenez had pushed him somewhere he had never been before. When Deckard and Samruk International started putting pressure on his cartel someone struck back in the most flamboyant way possible to try to get a reaction out of Deckard, to try to get him to make mistakes. They executed an entire Christian mission, murdering the priest, the nurses, recovering drug addicts, and large number of mentally handicapped patients in cold blood.

Deckard struck back and picked apart the cartel, and later another player nicknamed The Arab. But when he caught up to Jimenez things got ugly. Deckard not only killed him, but hacked his head off and displayed it to the surviving members of the cartel. He didn’t do it for pleasure, it served a purpose. It made for no doubt in the cartel member’s minds that their war was over and Deckard had won. They got the message and retreated.

His act might have been justified, he might have been able to explain it to himself, but it was still in the same league was the war crimes that Liquid Sky committed on a daily basis to satisfy their own petty emotional needs.

Deckard finished the glass and poured a third. Holding the whiskey bottle in his fist, he slammed it down on the counter.

“Motherfucker,” he cursed under his breath.

They were all wrapped up in this conspiracy in some way or another. He had heard the stories about SEAL Team Six back in the day when he was a para-military contractor in Afghanistan but didn’t really know what to make of them. There was no way that he ever could have suspected that some of them were this far gone. Everyone hits that burn out point. Scientists had found it in Special Operations soldiers, astronauts, and Olympic athletes but Deckard didn’t accept PTSD as the rationale behind the war crimes. There was more to it than that. A decision had been made, by all of them.

Deckard took the glass and walked out onto the his back deck. He stood looking at the horizon for a moment.

He was no saint. He was nobody’s role model but he had to be the one who stopped this insanity. This cancer had to be destroyed. He would burn every bridge he had, do whatever it took to make that happen. He wasn’t saving anything for the next mission. This was it.

That was when he noticed a lone form standing down on the beach in front of the crashing waves. A small sarong on her hips blew in the wind. Deckard took another sip of the whiskey before setting it down and walking towards her.

“Out here all alone,” he said as came up behind her.

“You too,” Nadeesha said without moving an inch and keeping her back to him.

“Got tired of the party.”

“I’m surprised it took so long.”

“Me too.”

“From what I hear you are a card carrying member of the team now.”

“So they say.”

“You saved my life. Up there on the building.”

“That is what we do.”

“Actually it isn’t. You saw how Bill and Zach bailed. Any of the others would have left me to die. That is what we do.”

“That isn’t what I do.”

Nadeesha turned to face him, her hair blowing in the wind.

“And that’s why I hate you.”

“I thought I was the loveable rogue on this team?”

Nadeesha closed her eyes as she shook her head, ignoring his comment.

“Fuck you. Fuck you. You are the worst out of any of them. I’ve seen enough of you. You’ve been to some shitty places but managed to hold it together. Not like me. Not like them.”

“You’re saying I’m not on the same page?”

“Not even close. You’re still a soldier. Where the fuck did you come from? Who are you?”

“Like you said, a soldier.”

“You don’t belong here. Going back for team mates like that,” She said it like a curse. “I saw the look in your eyes in Dubai. You came through the door to save me, not to eliminate the target. You’re not one of us. You’re a fucking boy scout.”

“I do my job, I thought that was all that mattered.”

“You can’t fake the funk forever. You’re disgusted by all this bullshit. Taking scalps, mutilating bodies, you haven’t even seen how bad it gets yet. This is nothing.”

“So I’ve heard.”

“Why are you here?” She repeated.

“For a fucking paycheck. What do you care?”

“Bullshit!”

Nadeesha pulled away, kicking sand in her footsteps. Deckard saw an opening. It was a long shot but he took it.

“It isn’t just that it is morally wrong,” he told her. “It’s unprofessional. That isn’t soldiering.”

Nadeesha spun towards him with her teeth bared.

“Unprofessional? Are you fucking kidding me Deckard? Listen to yourself. You’ve seen the same shit we have.”

“What shit?”

Nadeesha stabbed a finger right into his chest.

“Fuck. You. When I ran intel for JSOC I used to be like you. I woke up. I was running a source, a village elder in Afghanistan. He married off his eight year old daughter to another village elder. On their wedding night he wanted to fuck her but a god damn eight year old doesn’t know shit about sex. I found out all about it after the fact.”

“Nadeesha, I-”

“She cried for hours as he tried to shove his dick in because her pussy was too small. You know what he did? He took a knife and slit up her pussy down to her asshole and up into her stomach then fucked the bloody hole. The girl went into shock and bled out, dead the next morning with her hands clenched in front of her from saying her fucking death prayer.

“That is what we are fucking dealing with so who gives a fuck how many scalps these assholes take? Who gives a fucking shit how many heads they cut off, how many people they execute, how many dicks they cut off. With these fucking savages, nothing we do can even begin to compare!”

“Nadeesha-”

“Fuck you,” she snarled. “You’re the worst of all because you know better.”

She stormed off to her bungalow, leaving Deckard alone with the tide and the wind off the sea.

 

* * *

 

He stood there for a long time, just watching the waves come in and then wash back out into the ocean.

She was right. In some ways he was the worst of any of them. He had options, he could go in other directions in life. This was the life he had chosen and he would not apologize for it. He had a mission and he would complete.

Unless he never heard the retaliation when it came.

Footsteps.

Deckard clenched his teeth. He didn’t expect to hear it. Adrenaline surged through his system. It was going to be a fight.

Pivoting in the sand with one foot in front of the other, he brought his arms up in front of him but not fast enough.

Nadeesha’s arms circled around the back of his head as she pressed her lips to his. Her tongue went into his mouth as they kissed deeply. She let out a soft moan as he lifted her up and they both fell into the sand.

Deckard tore the knot that held the sarong in place then untied the laces that held the bikini in place on her hip as they kissed. Her hands tore at his pants and opened them. She reached inside and grabbed him. As he pulled her bikini bottom to the side her legs wrapped around him. They were both already short of breath.

With her heels on his hips, she drove him into her.

Deckard climaxed immediately. He could see the veins in her neck go taunt as she began to shake in his arms. So had she.

He pulled away slightly and tore away her bikini top, grabbing her chest with one hand and her hair with the other. Slowly, he began grinding his hips into her. After a few moments, she was able to speak again.

“Holy shit,” she whispered. “Deckard. I’m not used to someone this big.”

She had another orgasm and her body shook again. Her arms and legs got shaky as she laid her head back in the sand. The waves were at their feet when they came together again a third time.

As the tide came in, he picked her up in his arms and carried her inside.

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Fifteen

 

Nikita

Chapter Fifteen:

Deckard walked under the sign that stretched across the road on two sign posts on either end. It announced that he was entering China Town. China Town in Port Louis. He walked his Surveillance Detection Route through the city, visiting a number of shops along the way. They had only finished breaking down the staging area in Australia and landed back on Mauritius a few hours prior. By the time he got to the third shop, he realized that he had picked up a tail.

Stopping at a fruit stand, Deckard picked a kiwi out of a basket and tossed it into the air several times. The person tailing him stopped alongside and picked up a mango.

“How long have you been in country?” Deckard asked.

“Long enough brother,” Aghassi responded. “Long enough.”

They walked into a nearby Chinese restaurant and immediately sat down at the table they wanted without waiting for a sever to seat them.

“You look beat dude.”

“I’m hanging in there.”

“This is starting to come together. You won’t have to do this much longer. I’ve done the forward reconnaissance of the address you gave me and scoped out all those Bungalows. We can get a platoon from Samruk in here within a week and clean this nest of vipers out. Pat is already talking to people in Madagascar about it.”

“No,” Deckard said. “Not happening. It’s not enough.”

“What do you mean?”

“We need to effect an enterprise takedown.”

Aghassi nodded. They had recently conducted one in Mexico. One particularly nasty cartel was giving them a hard time in the Mexican province of Oaxaca. However, once they got their hands on a source, the cartel’s money man, they had racked and stacked the entire organization in a night. Jimenez, the cartel boss still held out in his fortress and had to be dealt with, but the cartel itself was functionally dead after that one night of non-stop raids by Samruk International mercenaries.

“We’ve been here before. After we took down Jimenez, we followed the flow of guns upstream. The problem is that we thought we were dealing with one rogue operation. We didn’t realize that the weapons trafficking into Mexico was but one program run by G3 Communications. We shut down the weapons pipeline and killed their MEK terrorist proxies in Nevada but at that time we didn’t know about the other arm of that enterprise.”

“Liquid Sky.”

“Right. I’ve confirmed that they are no longer working for G3, their CEO cut sling load on Liquid Sky after we hit Area 14 in Nevada in order to distance himself. Now they are working contracts coming out of the gulf states, with a retired American General acting as a cut out, proxy, and pay agent.”

“Who is he?”

“I don’t know yet. I was only taken off probationary status after this last mission. Maybe now I can dig a little deeper but if we bring Samruk in now and clean out Liquid Sky then we will never find out who the puppet masters are.”

“Once we know that, then we take down the entire enterprise,” Aghassi finished for him.

“With pleasure,” Deckard told him. “I don’t want to be here any longer than I have to be. Speaking of which, what did you find out about these dirtbags?”

“Shit,” Aghassi said. “How much time have you got?”

“Start at the beginning.”

“Myself and Pat have been making phone calls. Cody has been digging through the net as well. We found the phone number in your kit and have called Dusty and Flakjacket but haven’t heard back from them yet.”

“Probably still deployed off the coast of Somalia.”

“Here is what we do know. In 2007 the US Navy commissioned a study on retention rates within Naval Special Warfare Development Group AKA SEAL Team Six. Guys were popping smoke left and right, not re-upping even if they were only a few years away from retirement. The study concluded that it was because of a ramping up in private sector contracts.”

“They were getting out to do private security contracting. That was happening long before 2007 though.”

“Yeah, but this is what the report didn’t uncover, a former SEAL Officer who was running a Private Military Company at that time was offering big money to SEAL Team Six operators who came to work for him. He was pitching individual operators in person at one point. He would pay them three times their normal salary, plus the equivalent of their military benefits and pension after twenty years.”

“No wonder why they were leaving for greener pastures.”

“You said in your text that the leader of Liquid Sky is named Bill?”

“Yeah.”

Aghassi took out his smart phone and brought up a picture to show to Deckard.

“This him?”

It was Bill’s DA photo from the military.

“That’s him.”

“He was one of the first to take that offer and jump to the commercial side. Bill Geddes. A rock star operator in Dev Group. Got into some real nasty shit in Afghanistan when another recce team had their OP overun. Both elements were denied air support and their Quick Reaction Force because of some political bullshit going on at the time.”

“They got hung out to dry.”

“Oh yeah. Bill got out as a Master Chief with 18 years of service with the SEALs, nine of it with Dev. After that he went to work with that one former SEAL but they had some falling out over a botched operation in Liberia. He jumped between contracts but it gets difficult to track him as these programs are hidden behind both corporate proprietary as well as levels of classification. Who knows what the fuck he was doing.”

“He mentioned that Liquid Sky was not his first team, that he burned through his others guys.”

“That seems to fit his personality.”

“Who else?”

The former ISA operator brought up another picture on his phone.

“Zach?”

Deckard looked at it for a second. He was a little younger in the picture but still a good looking blonde kid who could have jumped off the cover of a surfing magazine.

“Yup.”

“Zach Larson. I talked to a team mate of his. He wasn’t a SEAL actually but a Navy EOD guy,” Aghassi said referring to Explosives Ordinance Disposal. “They are allowed to apply so he got picked up, went through Green Platoon and spent ten years in Dev.”

“He take the same offer as Bill?”

“Nope, they kicked him out. Remember when all those Dev Group guys got the boot because they were consulting with a video game company while still active duty?”

“I’ve been a little out of the loop.”

“Well, it was a breach of military ethics at the minimum if not completely illegal. They were giving this video game company sensitive Dev Group tactics to use in their game, putting on capability demonstrations for them, all kinds of shit. Zach took it a step farther and was doing public speaking engagements. He did one in Las Vegas just a few months after getting back from the Bin Laden raid, the speech itself was all about the Bin Laden raid. It was for the Forbes 100 set and was supposed to be about leadership but he divulged all kinds of classified information. That was the final straw so they kicked him out of Dev. He could have gone to the regular SEAL teams but with your reputation ruined like that not too many guys want to face that. He separated from the Navy and went to work with Bill.”

“Interesting.”

Aghassi brought up another picture and showed it to him.

“Rick.”

“Rick Teague. A half dozen DUI’s. Got pulled over with automatic weapons out of the armory and C4 explosives in one case. Naval Special Warfare swept it all under the rug. I talked to one of his team mates as well. Rick went through a messy divorce. For years he was on the outs with her. He kept volunteering for deployments because he thought it would save his marriage by giving him and his wife some time apart.”

“He never struck me as the type. He is the most narcissistic of the bunch.”

“Not always. He tried hard to save his marriage but of course he was trapped in a vicious cycle. Deploying in a misguided attempt to save his marriage, going back to the ‘stan over and over again. Loaded up with PTSD, the only one of this Liquid Sky group who actually sought help at one point, there was no hope for him. His wife took their kids and bailed. He left the Navy with fifteen years in and found work with GRS.”

GRS or Global Response Staff, was the CIA’s para-military force that acted as a security detachment for their case officers and targeting officers. They also did static security and occasionally worked operations.

“That gig ended for him when he was speeding around Kurdistan in an up-armored SUV and ran over a kid. No one knows for sure if he was drunk or not. GRS tried to cover it up but the case officer dropped dime and got him booted. Bill must have picked him up sometime after that.”

“God damn,” Deckard said shaking his head. “These guys were a train wreck before they even left the military.”

“Big time. That guy Nikita whacked in Pakistan-”

“Henderson.”

“Yeah, him.”

“I’m wearing his clothes right now.”

“Well, that’s special.”

“Isn’t it.” It was a statement rather than a question.

“Henderson was on meth, coke, and hard liquor pretty much every day from what I understand. Suspected of stealing weapons from the unit a few times but that got covered up as well.”

“Of course. He had a girl?”

“Back at Virginia Beach. She doesn’t know where the fuck he is.”

“And she never will.”

They had dumped the body into the Indian ocean.

“Next up,” Aghassi said changing the subject back to the living. “Paul.”

Aghassi showed him the picture he had.

“That’s him but without the Taliban beard he has now.”

“Guess he really liked Leonidas in 300 huh?”

Deckard rubbed his forehead queuing Aghassi to continue.

“Okay, so his name is Paul Paul.”

“Paul Paul?”

“For sure.”

“Who the fuck were his parents?”

“Mormon missionaries actually. He was holy roller back in the day. That’s actually how he got his job in Dev. The commanding officer of one of the squadrons in Dev was also a holy roller, into all that crusader shit. He hand picked Paul from Green Platoon because they were both taking Jesus pills.”

“What happened?”

“Don’t know when he fell off the wagon. It sounds like greed got the best of him though. He ordered a lot of individual components for Night Vision Goggles while he was overseas and then legally brought them back to Dam Neck with him. Once back in America, he had all the parts but they were not on the property books because they were not assembled and had no serial numbers. He put them together and was selling them for 500 bucks a pop. He was also suspected of shipping captured Taliban weapons home in ISU-90 shipping containers. The real kicker is the gold.”

“They told me a little about that.”

“Yeah, they had it down to a science apparently from raiding so many compounds. Put a gun to the wife’s head and make her open the safe. They would get the shit home on their own private airline. But some red flags started going up when these guys came home from overseas and started buying brand new Land Cruisers and in-ground swimming pools in the backyard for their kids. They asked him to leave before someone initiated an investigation.”

“What the hell was going on in that unit?”

“Here is the thing Deck, all these guys served in the same Squadron in SEAL Team Six. That is how they all know each other and why Bill brought all of them on board. It is the other members where things start to get really interesting.”

“Yeah, I was wondering how Bill got a girl on the team.”

Aghassi pulled up the picture.

“That’s her.”

“Hotter than a pistol.”

“I don’t have to be told.”

“Nadeesha Senevirathne,” Aghassi said pronouncing the last name syllable by syllable. “She came into the Army with very high test scores and got brought into Counter-Intelligence. She worked in a couple different Top Secret programs in Iraq, most of them I’m familiar with because I had to liaison with these guys when I was with ISA. She did real work, ten deployments to Iraq and Kurdistan, two to Colombia, one to Bangkok, one to Egypt. She was assigned to a special cell of female intelligence operatives within JSOC who would be drawn from as needed.”

“She’s pretty young, to have that many deployments she must have been drawn out everyday.”

“31 years old actually and you’re right. They run roughshod over these women because there are so few of them. When I called my buddies back at Ft. Meade they told me that she was for real, pulled her weight operationally, did her job. I don’t know why but she separated from the Army on her own. Probably it was just burn out from being deployed so often without time to decompress.”

“Happens more often than anyone wants to admit.”

“The connection to Bill comes from a counter-terrorism operation that SEAL Team Six ran in Colombia. Bill was the Team Leader and Nadeesha was attached to them to run intel. That must be where they first met.”

“What happened to her?”

“Don’t know but her test scores are off the chart. It freaked the people at the JFK Special Warfare Center out. She almost maxed out their IQ test. Speaks like a half dozen languages.”

“And she is of the right ethnicity. She can blend in with dozens of cultures. No wonder why JSOC jumped all over her.”

“It is this last guy that really bothers me.”

“Ramon?”

“Yeah, Ramon Pascua.”

“He is the most solid of any of them. They sent him forward to prepare the battle space. He’s a former 1st Special Forces Group guy from what he told me.”

“That’s true. After growing up in the Philippines he came to the United States with his father. He was a Warrant Officer in 1st Group and deployed with the CIF Team to Baghdad. He was a good operator by all accounts. Aside from running Direct Action missions with the CIF, he did low-vis work all over South East Asia.”

“So what is the concern?”

“That he appears squeaky clean. A guy like that would never work with a team like Liquid Sky. Are they blackmailing him or something?”

“No idea.”

“It is bizarre because the only other thing I can think of is that whatever he fucked up, wherever he stepped out of line, had to be so bad and so sick that the entire chain of command buried it and simply asked him to leave for the sake of all their careers. I can’t find shit for dirt on this dude.”

“I will probe the wire a little more. I have good rapport with him.”

“Do that, because this creeps me out. Nadeesha should be working for DARPA or JPL but I get why she is here. Ramon doesn’t make sense to me at all.”

“I’ll get another burner phone and text you whatever I find out. Keep Samruk on standby. If you can pre-stage in Madagascar that is great, but no further than that. Not yet.”

“I’ll let Pat know. But there is one other member of Liquid Sky we haven’t covered yet.”

“Oh?”

Aghassi looked across the table at him as their Chinese food arrived.

“So what’s your deal?”

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Fourteen

SEAL_Samruk_130304

Chapter Fourteen:

 

The exfil was more like a all expenses paid vacation. Liquid Sky quickly forgot that they were still on a mission, relaxing on the pump boats that ferried them south. All of their kit was sunk to the bottom of the ocean the moment the opportunity presented itself. Their pilot had headed for the South China Sea where he could hide out for a while. The assault team took a separate route, using a ratline that Ramon had established prior to them arriving in the Philippines.

They were called banka boats and were used for fishing and as water taxis between the various islands in the Philippines. The Liquid Sky mercenaries sipped on beer and worked on their tan while they were transported in a lazy, winding path that took them generally south. Unlike air travel or even vehicle traffic, maritime transportation was the least monitored and allowed for low-visibility movements over long distances.

After a week of cruising alongside some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, they island hopped over to Sabah in Malaysia where their pilot met them on an airfield in his Twin Otter. From there they flew back to Dawin, Australia.

Back at the staging site, Bill ordered his two non-performers to tear apart the mock up of the objective. Rick for failing in the simulator and Paul for failing to make it to the target during the mission. They grudgingly went about their task. The others prepared for an epic beer blast. The pilot and the technician who ran the simulator for them were both invited.

That night all the wood from the mockup was piled up and set ablaze.

The technician was coerced into drinking a bottle of vodka. Zach was less successful in coercing Nadeesha to give the tech a lap dance but eventually she relented. Cheers went up as she began grinding on his crouch. The beer and liquor was flowing and everyone was finally relaxing for the first time in weeks. The technician promptly stood up as Nadeesha was rubbing his face in her cleavage. She fell into the grass as the gentlemen stood with a big dumb smile on his face as he projectile vomited a half gallon of vodka into the bonfire.

That got even more cheers than the lap dance.

Their pilot was buzzed out of his mind from smoking marijuana and could only muster a half assed applause.

“Deckard, I need to talk to you,” Bill said as he walked up to him.

They walked off to the outer edge of the fire while the party continued. Bill snorted through his nose and spat a snot ball onto the ground. When he turned to Deckard, his face was half concealed by the dark, the flickering light of the fire lighting the other half of their faces.

“I didn’t want to talk to you until we were back to safe ground about operational details. That was some ballsy shit you did back there.”

“Which part?”

“All of it. Sticking the landing for one. Then jumping onto a chair while sliding across the room firing on full auto. That was was some Bruce Willis shit. I can’t believe you pulled it off.”

“We ran out of options, that’s all.”

“The only reason why I left you on that rooftop was to make sure you could survive when you were really in a tight spot.”

“And Nadeesha?”

“I didn’t know the girl’s parachute was going to get shot the fuck up obviously. Again, pretty ballsy getting her off the roof like that. I’m shocked that you two are alive or at least not rocking a full body cast.”

“I’m hard to kill.”

Bill held out his hand. Deckard took it.

“Welcome to the team.”

“Thanks, I-”

“250,000 dollars will be deposited in a Mauritius bank account for you. Payment for the three ops you’ve done for us. Don’t let me see you sober again tonight.”

With that, Bill walked off to find another beer.

Deckard stood by the fire, his eyes getting lost in it for a moment.

“Don’t let it go to your head Deckard.”

He turned and to his unsurprise he found Rick lecturing him. He was obviously half in the bag, already shaky on his feet and slurring some of his words.

“What’s that?”

“Your amazing one combat operation with us. That other bullshit doesn’t even count.”

“Whatever man.”

“Yeah, whatever man. That’s all you got? I know you Deckard, I’ve seen your type and you are not prepared to go all the way.”

“Obviously you missed my crash landing. Two jumpers, one chute, C4 burning down on the way out.”

“You don’t have the balls to do everything that is necessary. My old unit has been fighting this war for a long time. That’s why all the SEALs on this team know how it is done. We know how to show those savages who is the alpha dog. Killing is the only language that makes sense to them. That’s why we take scalps. Its about sending a message.”

“I thought it was a hobby.”

“Its about establishing street cred. Simple as that. We don’t believe in target discrimination, if you’re brown, you’re down. We go over the high walls, we blast down the doors, everyone inside dies. Period.”

“Everyone?”

“Everyone. We cleared out entire compounds in Afghanistan on the reg. Standard Operating Procedure. Men, women, and children. They’re all terrorists. We start clearing rooms, and we really clear fucking rooms. The kids make for smaller targets. Its funny, because they don’t understand that they’ve been shot. Just like a dog or something, they will try to get back up so you have to shoot them again.”

“They’re all going to grow up to be terrorists, huh?” Deckard remarked, trying to see how much more Rick would divulge. He was drunk, angry, and suffering from small dick syndrome after their last mission.

“Americans don’t want to know what we do, they just want us to do it,” Rick informed him. “We get shit done. Cleanse the earth of these savages. Dump the kids and there are no future terrorists. Tell the entire family to go back inside, everything will be fine. Then drop a five hundred pounder on their fucking heads. Babies too. You know why?”

“Why?”

“Because fuck you, that’s why.”

“You’ve still got a lot to learn in this outfit and I still don’t think you have what it takes.”

Rick stumbled off, tiring of not getting the responses he wanted out of Deckard.

Fucking Nazis, Deckard thought to himself. How the hell did this happen?

Special Operations soldiers were not choir boys by any stretch of the imagination but these SEAL Team Six guys were completely out of control. Deckard knew that something like this didn’t just happen over night. It had to be a long standing cultural issue within the unit, a pervasive attitude that allowed these war crimes to occur.

Deckard looked back into the fire, remembering Bill’s words.

Welcome to the team.

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