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Tag Archives: Jack Murphy
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
“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
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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
Somewhat Damaged, NIN
Came Back Haunted, NIN
Because you guys kept asking for them, I now have patches and hats in for all of you. Please note that the ball caps are fitted so when you order I need you to make a note as to what size you require. I sunk a good chunk of change into having some high quality stuff done up and am selling it just above cost, so I hope you guys enjoy! The order links will go live on the merchandise page on Friday morning. You’ll also be able to purchase signed copies of Direct Action, along with past books.
Viper Headwear is currently working on some Samruk International ballcaps for us. These will be fitted caps and unlike the prototype below, they will be in PenCott’s “Green Zone” pattern since I’ve decided that PenCott is going to be the unofficial camo pattern for the fictional Private Military Company featured in my novels. Look for ordering instructions in about a month. Also, please keep in mind that this is a prototype. The final hat won’t have those stiff front panels.
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.”
“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?”
Aghassi took out his smart phone and brought up a picture to show to Deckard.
It was Bill’s DA photo from the military.
“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.”
The former ISA operator brought up another picture on his phone.
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.
“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.”
Aghassi brought up another picture and showed it to him.
“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-”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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?”
“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.”
Aghassi looked across the table at him as their Chinese food arrived.
“So what’s your deal?”
The Twin Otter lifted off in the morning with six passengers on board. Rick had extra hair gel applied today and his ear plugs in, listening to music and not talking to anyone. He was still bitter about being bumped from the mission and moved to the support role.
The pilot, the one who had flown for their training jumps was a drug runner who routinely made illegal flights from the South China Sea to Darwin and knew the routes in and out of the area well. The Liquid Sky members had their wing suits and parachutes with them. In the unlikely event that they were stopped along the way, they would appear as nothing more than sport jumpers.
Deckard leaned back and watched fluffy white clouds float by the window. Was he scared? Scared of what? Jumping out of a blacked out aircraft over a major metropolitan city, gliding between buildings while wearing combat equipment, deploying a parachute at the very last second, landing on the smallest drop zone imaginable, then explosively breaching a door, and getting into a shoot out with dozens of goons, killing a terrorist financier, before parachuting off the roof down to the streets? What was there to be scared of?
At least a couple of them were going to die on this mission according to Deckard’s calculations. Bill didn’t seem very conflicted about that fact after basically admitting it to him. Who was he kidding, they were all going to die on this mission. Deckard closed his eyes and tried to get some sleep. He had been there before.
They landed at a remote airfield in Indonesia to refuel before continuing on to the Philippines. Some of the guys slept, others watched movies on portable DVD players.
It was late at night when they landed at Barradas airfield, a dusty airstrip not far outside of Manila. Under the cover of darkness, the team policed up their gear and walked to a waiting van. As they approached, Ramon got out from behind the wheel and shook hands with Bill.
“I have the team house set up and ready to go,” Ramon told him.
“About a hundred meters away from the airfield, just a short drive around the block.”
“What about our weps,” Zach asked.
“Good to go,” Ramon assured him. “Test fired all of them myself last week.”
It took the pilot half an hour to get the Twin Otter into the small hangar on the airfield and power down but then they all crammed into the van and drove off. True to Ramon’s word, the team house he had secured was all of three minutes away. It was a one story deal and had a garden around it that was well attended too.
Each of them had a simple cot to sleep on and Ramon showed them where the food was so they could cook themselves some dinner while he went over preparations with Bill.
“We’re on a reverse sleep schedule from here on out,” Bill told them. “Do all your preparations for the op tonight and sleep during the day.”
The hit was laid on for the following night.
Wooden boxes were filled with the combat gear they would need for the mission. There was a Ingram MAC-10 Sub-Machine Gun for each of them. Chambered for the .45 caliber round, each gun came with a threaded barrel for screwing on the suppressor. They had three 30-round magazines each. The sub guns and the cans for them were in “pre-owned” condition but Ramon said he tested them himself. Deckard picked one up and racked the charging handle on the top of the box shaped weapon. On inspection, it looked clean. He then conducted a functions check, so far so good. He would have liked to have fired it himself prior to the mission though.
Nadeesha reached for a box of ammo and started jamming magazines. The others sat down on their cots and did the same. Their next course of action was to rig up in their wing suits and parachutes and figure out how to run their combat load with it. They had small chest rigs that they could wear under the parachute harness but slinging the MAC-10 was problematic.
Among the supplies laying around the team house, Deckard found an elastic bungee chord that he hooked around the wire shoulder stock of the sub-machine gun. The other end of the bungee he looped around the chest strap on his parachute. Next, he screwed the suppressor on the MAC-10 and routed a rubber band under his waist strap and looped it over the suppressor, holding the MAC-10 in place diagonally across his body.
This kept the weapon secured while being able to quickly bring it into play when he hit the ground simply by snapping the rubber band when he yanked on the gun. The others saw what he did and began rigging their weapons in a similar manner. Even Rick was kitting up on orders from Bill. If one of them got hurt, got sick, or got dead between now and the hit time, then Rick would be taken off the bench and put back into the game.
Meanwhile, Bill and Ramon sat in front of an open laptop. Ramon’s remote devices were still running off batteries and would be for the duration of the mission as they kept an unblinking over watch on their objective.
The apartment was situated in the middle of the rooftop, a pent house that included a pool and party area outside. Sometimes De Jesus’ security people patrolled the pool area but usually they stayed inside unless they came out to have a smoke. A couple times a week De Jesus would send a few body guards down to Air Force One to pick up some girls and they would throw a massive rooftop party. Bill was adamant that they not infil on one of those nights, it just added to the number of things that could go wrong.
The good news was that from spying through the glass windows in the apartment from two separate angles, that it did not appear that De Jesus had a safe room. Liquid Sky would bring explosives anyway, just in case.
One by one, they found their way to the kitchen to find something to eat. The preparations went on deep into the night. With Bill’s permission, they went outside one by one and popped off a few suppressed rounds through their MAC-10’s into a dirt mound to make sure everything was kosher.
Zach dug into the explosives cache that Ramon had secured for them. It was mostly industrial explosives that had probably been stolen from a mining site before they turned up on the black market. That was sketchy as hell. He could test the time fuse but they were too close to civilization to test the detonation chord and plastic explosives. Worst case, they would shoot through the windows and enter the apartment that way. They also had a half dozen hand grenades that they could use to breach if need be.
As they laid their kit out one last time before donning in the following night, the Liquid Sky members joked with each other, pretending that they weren’t scared of smashing into a building at a 120 miles per hour.
“Shit dude, we could be the biggest bugs on the world’s largest wind shield if we fuck this up,” Paul said, his huge Taliban beard shaking as he chuckled to himself.
“Unfortunately this mission doesn’t come with any fringe benefits,” Zach complained.
“Oh, you mean like that pile of pirate’s treasure we pulled out of Abottabad?” Paul asked.
“Right now I think Rick has the pirate’s treasure,” Paul joked while curling his shoulders in. “The sunken chest!”
“Don’t forget to lick my balls while you’re down there,” Rick said as he got red in the face.
“What do you think Nadeesha?” Zach said. She hadn’t said a word all night.
“Suck my dick.”
The room exploded with laughter until Bill told them to shut up.
Deckard saw his opening.
“You guys were on the Abbottabad mission?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Zach answered. “Got a large haul off that one.”
“Fuck no. The Agency has been playing that angle up. We hardly got anything. Old boy hadn’t been operational in years. We got a big haul of gold though,” Paul told him.
“He had a stockpile of gold?”
“Yeah. Spanish, French, and Italian intelligence services had been paying the Taliban in bullion for years and years not to attack their troops so there is a influx of gold bullion in Afghanistan which eventually filters into Pakistan.”
“The Euros pay off the enemy because casualties would upset their shaky coalition governments and you rake up the fruits when you hit the targets.”
“Fucking A,” Zach answered. “The CIA has been paying their Taliban informants with blue pills unfortunately, so they are not helping us at all.”
“How do you get all that gold back?”
“Teeny Weeny Airlines. Dev has their own aircraft.”
“Shit, sounds like a good deal. And old boy goes into the ocean on the flight home, huh?”
“You really think we just dumped his body in the ocean dude?”