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.
Tag Archives: mercenaries
Brandon and I are grinding away at this ebook about Benghazi and are slowly making some progress. It is a complicated topic that very quickly shoots out in a few dozen different directions. I think today I’m going to write into it how General Petraeus figures into this mess, or rather, how he doesn’t.
(Pictured: Private Security Contractor in Libya during the Civil War with an HK 417. The ebook will also cover previously unreleased information about PMC’s in Libya as Gaddafi’s reign came to an end)
Deckard threw the door open as Pat brought the car to a halt outside the Oaxaca police station. Holding his Kalashnikov at the ready, he proceeded up the steps, striding over a body riddled with bullets as Samantha followed close behind.
A second corpse lay in the entrance, graciously holding the door ajar for them to pass through.
“Better call and cancel that guy’s dinner plans.”
The female police chief snorted.
Behind them, the engine squealed as Pat peeled off to position himself behind the building, just in case everything went sideways on them.
“Alto!” someone shouted at them from down the hall.
Samantha spoke in rapid fire Spanish that was too fast for Deckard to follow.
Stepping from behind an over turned desk, with a snub nosed .38 revolver in one hand, a portly man in a police uniform crossed himself. Obviously, he hadn’t expected to see his new boss again, not unless she was hanging under an overpass somewhere.
In the corner, a muted television showed a broadcast of a masked man brandishing a machete from behind a podium as he gave his speech. Deckard did not need to hear the audio to know the revolutionary was fixing to lop some federale’s head off. Over the last few months Mexico had begun its final decent towards chaos, the federal government not controlling anything outside of Mexico City. Everyone with a gun was moving to fill the vacuum and the disarmed civilian population was forced to resort to the machete, the traditional weapon of peasant uprisings in the Latin world.
Continuing their conversation in their native language, the two police officers led Deckard into the offices. Peering into one of the adjacent jail cells, Deckard spotted the bales of narco-dollars wrapped in cellophane, safely locked behind bars.
“They didn’t come for the money,” he said curiously, referring to the cartels who would want their money back.
“No, senior, the police officer on duty said. Just a few opportunist thinking they might find some easy money. Word must have leaked out on the streets.”
“They had me,” Samantha said. “They thought the money would be theirs to reclaim whenever it suited them.”
“How many police officers do you have on call?”
Samantha looked at her subordinate, who in turned shrugged his shoulders.
“One, including me. The others left, ran away. They will be swallowed up by the Jimenez cartel,” Samantha said referencing the largest and most powerful drug cartel in southern Mexico. “That or they will go to work with them.”
“Along with whatever is left of Ortega’s organization,” Deckard added.
“We have to move on them fast.”
“I agree, but first we need to move the money to our new headquarters. We can keep you safe there as well, along with-” Deckard looked at the sole beat cop in Oaxaca city.
“Officer Lopez,” the policemen responded with a half assed salute.
“Right, let’s get moving.”
Lopez switched back to Spanish, asking his police chief something. Deckard only caught on to one word, intelligentsia.
“I’m not CIA.”
“That’s right, your some kind of gun for hire, huh? Then what do we call you mystery man?” Samantha asked.
“Black will do for now.”
“Well, Mr. Black, I don’t know-” her words were cut short as an old rotary phone sitting on one of the desks began to ring.
“Como?” Lopez said, holding the phone to his ear.
“Si,” he paused before cupping his hand over receiver. “It’s for the gringo.”
“I guess that must be me,” Deckard said taking the phone. “Yeah?”
Heavy breathing sounded over the phone before someone spoke, “We want the money.”
“Who is this?”
“A friend of Mr. Jimenez.”
“You want the money? Come get it.”
“Leave this place now. You don’t belong here.”
“We’ll see who’s standing when the smoke clears.”
“Take a walk and don’t come back. That is the deal.”
“Make your play.”
“I already have.”
The police station was suddenly plunged into darkness as someone cut off the electricity.
This has been a preview of Target Deck, the upcoming sequel to Reflexive Fire!
Good news, the draft and first edit of the novel are in the can. Now it is with a proof reader/editor for review! In the meantime, I will be posting a few excerpts…
The Iridium satellite phone was picked up on the first ring.
“Nam?” the man answered in his native language. For a moment he was confused as to where he was and who he was talking to.
“It is a Gulfstream V. The paint job is gray but there are no commercial labels or official seals. The tail number is N44982,” the caller told him.
“Good work Arturo,” the Arab thanked him while committing the information to memory.
The Mexican intelligence official had become his go between with the Jimenez cartel and himself. It was now clear that the CIA would be of no use to them. They were perfectly happy to see the Jimenez cartel liquidated. The Arab worked for vested interests who were determined to ensure that this never happened. If Jimenez went down, there was no telling how many of the drug corridors would collapse if the American set off some kind of domino effect. They had to nip this problem in the bud.
The Arab smiled. He was good at troubleshooting these types of problems.
“You are sure he is on this flight?”
“Yes,” Arturo said. “My contact in the federales personally saw him board this plane just before the pilots made an illegal take off from Cancun. I would have left the problem in your hands but before I could intervene our air force sent up a couple fighters.”
“Did you have them stand down?”
Fear clenched the Arab’s gut. On one hand if the Mexican Air Force shot down the jet it would save him the trouble, the job would be complete. On the other hand, he would be stuck with seven mad men that he would need to find a way to get rid of.
“No, I was too late but somehow they managed to avoid the fighters. The Air Force is still trying to figure it out. It may have been some type of radar cloaking.”
“But you are sure they are returning to Gran Cayman?”
“Almost certain. My sources indicate that the island was their stop off point on their way to Cancun and they were heading back in that direction when they dropped off the radar.”
“I will call you when it is finished.”
“I would appreciate that my friend,” the intelligence agent sounded uneasy. “Jimenez grows…impatient.”
“This ends today. You will hear from me soon.”
The Arab terminated the call and set the phone down.
In the muffled interior of the garage he could hear his seven charges initiating their prayers. The chants to Allah reverberated off the walls, filling the garage with their religious incantations. The Arab winced, his fingers tracing the thick scar tissue on his forearm. In the Caribbean heat it felt like the scars were tightening up on him. Soon it would be time for more plastic surgery to relieve the pain. The scars were a constant reminder of who he had been in a past life.
The Arab packed away his satellite phone and edged around the side of the Toyota van towards the prostrated Muslim extremists.
Deckard walked across the freshly expended brass that rolled across the street.
“It’s for you,” the radio operator sitting in his assault truck said as he handed him the hand mic.
With Fedorchenko’s platoon on stand down to recover from their airborne operation and Aghassi and Nikita running recon, Deckard was out on a parallel operation with Sergeant Zhenis and Second Platoon. They were back in Oaxaca City, mowing grass and churning through their target deck. After a brief firefight, they had taken down another ring of contract killers.
“This is Six,” Deckard said over the command net.
“We have a problem.”
It was Frank.
“Our entire ring of informants is about to be liquidated. Spooky-One’s mission was a success and they are on exfil right now. The virus allowed us to tap into the cartel’s network but not in time to stop him. Jimenez had someone conduct a link analysis on all cellular traffic in Oaxaca.”
Deckard’s guts twisted in a knot.
“How bad is it?”
“We’re trying to establish that now while we reach out to as many of our sources as possible.”
Gun fire popped off somewhere deeper in the city. It was just a few shots, then a spray. Seconds later, the heavy bolt of a machine gun thumped on full auto coming from a different direction, each blast echoing across the city.
“Start giving me names and locations,” Deckard told him. “We’ll see how many we can pull out.”
As he listened to the gunfire, Deckard knew it was already too late.
Deckard woke up underwater.
Bubbles escaped around the SCUBA regulator clenched in his mouth as he checked the glowing hands on his wrist watch. Time sometimes seemed to stand still while submerged. Maintaining neutral buoyancy he floated, his wet suit insulating him against the cold that threatened to creep in even while in warm waters.
Pulling the rubber sleeve of the wetsuit back over his watch, he breathed evenly, if a little to fast, recognizing the first signs of pre-combat jitters. He was burning through oxygen faster than normal.
In the darkness, the mercenary could feel, rather than see the presence of his team. They floated alongside him in silence, waiting.
* * *
Samantha Diaz struggled against the handcuffs, rubbing her wrists raw.
“How about we play a little game.”
Jose Ortega stood in front of her, his arms folded across his chest. The ratty black mustache on his upper lip wiggled as he suppressed a laugh.
“Yeah, let’s turn off the lights and play a game of whose in my mouth?”
Ortega’s crew broke out laughing, anticipation in their eyes. They lounged around the master bedroom, wearing flamboyantly bright t-shirts with different stenciled designs, all from designer labels. Their hair was all identically slicked back with the same product, jeans with the same prefabricated tears and wear marks that came pre-worn from the store.
“Try not to cry like a little bitch,” the cartel leader demanded. “We already suffered enough of that from your father.”
Samantha lunged, the handcuffs digging deeper into her wrists.
Ortega bent down and grabbed her by the hair.
“You were stupid to come back,” he said with rotten breath. “Now you pay the price.”
Reaching into his pocket, he flicked open a switchblade. Running the blade under the inside of her shirt, he began slicing through the fabric to the cheers of his lieutenants.
“Everyone will know that the Diaz family produces nothing but whores.”
Several of Ortega’s men got to their feet, their hands moving towards pants zippers.
The explosion was deafening.
Two walls immediately collapsed followed by smoke and what sounded like thunder strikes that were sent skipping through the bedroom.
Gunfire erupted from the multiple breach points created through the cinder block walls, screams cut off by short controlled bursts of gunfire. New voices filled the room, speaking some strange language that Samantha was unfamiliar with.
When the smoke began to clear, she saw Ortega laying on his back with splotches of crimson staining his over-priced shirt. Attempting to speak, a strained gurgling sound was the best the cartel don could manage.
The heel of a combat boot came down on his throat.
Grinding his boot into Ortega’s neck, a large black clad man snarled, his lips curled back, bearing teeth like fangs.
“Get security up,” the man ordered in English. “Nikita, get those bolt cutters over here.”
A brown skinned man with Asian eyes moved forward, slinging his rifle over one shoulder, gripping the cutters in his hands. As he maneuvered the chain links of her handcuffs between the shears, she noticed that he was wearing a wetsuit, dripping wet despite the fact that they were no where near the ocean.
With the grunt, the commando severed the links with a loud snap, freeing her from the bed post she had been chained to.
Muffled shouts sounded from outside. One of the soldiers cracked open the bed room door, peering outside before pulling the pin from a fragmentation grenade. Rolling it outside, the grenade exploded, the voices suddenly going silent. Taking another glance outside, the grenadier turned to the large gringo with his foot still on Ortega’s throat and said something in what sounded like Russian.
Looking up from Ortega’s lifeless eyes, he replied in a similar rapid fire manner in the same language.
The man who had cut her free dropped the bolt cutters and took a knee next to one of the gaping holes created by the breaching charges, his rifle at the ready, waiting for targets to present themselves.
The gringo undid a waterproof bag that had been riding over his shoulder, producing a stack of papers before moving towards her.
“Ms. Diaz, I need you to-”
“Need me to what?” she asked pressing a .357 magnum into Deckard’s cheek.
“Uh,” the mercenary paused. “Where did you get that?”
“Ortega kept it in his waistband under his shirt.”
“I didn’t see you reaching for it.”
“You should be more careful or are you another dumb son of a punta?”
“Ma’am, I just need you to sign the-”
“Don’t tell me what to do jackass. I-”
Her words were interrupted by Nikita cutting loose with a staccato burst of gunfire, the wall he was taking cover behind chipping away under enemy return fire.
“I don’t think we have time for this.”
The ground shook as an explosion rattled somewhere in the drug lord’s compound.
“What the hell was that?”
“My boys blowing the front gate,” Deckard informed her.
“You know, my outfit. Your father contracted us but with him being killed seventeen hours ago, I’m afraid we are now here illegally, which is why I need, I would like, for you to sign the-”
“The contract, extending it’s duration until we can finish the job we were originally hired for.”
Nikita lobbed a grenade through the breach and resumed firing.
“What job?” she yelled over the noise.
“To take care of your drug cartel problem.”
Outside it sounded like the fourth of July back stateside where she had attended university.
“What the fuck is going on out there?”
“My platoons just drove their assault trucks into the compound. They are in the process mopping up the rest of Ortega’s men.”
“I can’t sign a contract with mercenaries, I’m a deputized police chief, not the provincial governor.”
“Actually, he was killed twelve hours ago.”
“The provincial judge?”
“He was with the governor,” Deckard said looking out of the corner of his eyes towards the door, with the massive revolver still stuck in his face. “The chief prosecutor too.”
“Yeah, so if you could just sign here,” he said handing her a ball point pen.
“And you work for me?”
“That’s the idea.”
“And we clean these motherfuckers out?”
“Precisely what I had in mind.”
Samantha snatched the pen out of Deckard’s hand and signed on the dotted line.
Another explosion sounded.
“Okay,” Deckard said flipping through the stack of papers. “Initial here.”
Samantha grimaced, sketching her name all over the papers.
“Right, and one more time right here.”
“That should do it,” Deckard said sliding the papers back into his bag. “But do you mind getting the cannon out of my face?”
Samantha looked at him long and hard before lowering her newly acquired pistol.
The mercenary posted next to the door leaned out, sending a barrage of gunfire down the hall.
“Pleasure doing business with you,” Deckard said, taking her by the hand and helping her to her feet. “We’ve got work to do.”
Tell us about your book:
After spending eight years in Army Special Operations units, I wrote a book about the kind of mission I had always hoped I would be a part of. In this regard, Reflexive Fire is written to answer the question, what would be the ultimate Special Forces mission? The plot of the book is a modern take on a real life coup attempt that almost took place on American soil before it was exposed by the heroic General Smedley Butler. In my novel, I speculate on what such a coup would look like today. The Wall Street gang tried to get General Butler (a two time Metal of Honor awardee) to lead their coup but if it took place today, what kind of person would they approach? What would happen if, like General Butler, that man decided to turn the tables on his employers?