A few shots of the city through PVS-14 night vision goggles:
Here are a few through the thermal sight on a Remote Weapon System (RWS) mounted to the stop of a Stryker.
Nothing much surprised Deckard as of late.
Richie had worked fast, cutting into bunker six with the thermic lance, the horsepower provided by a dump truck they found on the base helped them pry open the doors the rest of the way.
Inside were three Mk174 tactical nuclear weapons of the type that had become almost legendary in intelligence circles. The United States and Russia were the only two nations to have successfully miniaturized nuclear weapons to the extent that they could be carried in a suit case. They were the prized possession of both country’s nuclear arsenal.
Such weapons could be smuggled into a enemy country via commercial air travel or even strapped to a military free fall parachutists to deliver to a key target. These three were the latest models, with a yield of twelve kilotons a piece.
A military base run by mercenaries. Black project spy planes. Suitcase nuclear weapons.
The Counsel of Three that owned a controlling interest in Samruk, and in Deckard, also owned the United States government, National Security Counsel and all.
Their cargo boat bobbed and dipped in the ocean as heavy lines were thrown down to them from the stern of the super liner. Samruk’s mercenaries grabbed up the ropes and secured them to hard points along the side of the ship, mooring the two vessels together.
As this was done Deckard ordered the nukes rolled off the side of the ship.
They had been his best shot at using a Trojan horse to get close to the super liner and since he wasn’t coming under fire from the two destroyers, it appeared to have worked. The nukes themselves were in hard cases with multiple redundant systems. They would be safest at the bottom of the ocean until the US Navy could recover them at a later date. There was no way he was going to risk having them fall back into enemy hands.
Deckard watches the three metal cases splash and slip into the dark waters.
His men fired several stunted, suppressed gunshots, killing members of the super liner’s receiving party.
It was time to go to work.
Footsteps echoed across the floor, reverberating through empty space.
Obsidian was inlaid into the marble floor forming a black sun wheel, stylized rays of dark light branching out from the center.
Situated in the center of the underground compound, the black sun formed the most ancient of archetypes.
The void of creation.
Hieronymus crossed over the antediluvian symbol, a single pillar of light shining down from the oculas and reflecting off ebony rock. The circular room was cloistered with various pillars, each a different style, originating from ages long forgotten. Some of the pillars were carytids, shaped in human and non-human forms. They were idealizations of man throughout the millennia, others were of creatures from before recorded time. The imagery was buried deep in the sub conscience of man and known to make the uninitiated ill with just a glimpse of their visages.
Deckard punched a button on the keyboard and another video popped up. This one showed the CEO on the phone in his office. Overlaid on the video was the voice on the other end of the phone, taken from a separate tap on the line. The voice was unmistakeable, it belonged to the president of Kazakhstan.
They were talking about liquidating the Kazakh national bank and turning the reigns over to shareholders in the United States.
“I’ve got it all Kareem,” Deckard said pausing the video. “Hard evidence. Government collusion with Samruk’s corporate leaders to assassinate bankers and journalists who are not on board with your program. Selling Kazakh mineral wealth to European nations dirt cheap in exchange for kickbacks. Funny money Washington Consensus loans with the IMF. Plans to eliminate ethnic minorities so you can build a new oil pipeline. I’ve got it all.”
The Ministry of Justice official looked like he was about the be ill.
It had been a long plane ride home, the longest of Deckard’s life, sitting alongside the body bags. They had finally touched down in Kazakhstan an hour ago. Most of the troops were on their way back to the compound to hit the newly installed showers and then rack out in the bunks.
As the chaos swirled around him in the emergency area’s waiting room he felt it again, the crushing feeling that hung over his head. He had never lied to himself about who he was or what he did. Deckard liked war, loved it occasionally. Combat was the only time you ever saw people for who they truly are, a place where any one can be a hero or a coward, or both at the same time. War was the only time you saw the world for what it really was.
With societal constructs removed the truth became apparent, obvious even. Compared to war, any other job was just punching a time card.
He intrinsically understood that the mercenaries he commanded were grown men who had made their own decision, freely and with full knowledge of potential consequences. They hedged their bets because the pay was good, or signed up looking for some action after their military career. When you play big boy games you play by big boy rules, and any one of them could have been the guy coming home as a corpse.
Somehow that didn’t make him feel any better.
Myself and an Iraqi soldier I trained and worked with walking through a remote village. Carrying a M4 with 10.5 inch barrel, LA-5, EO Tech reflex sight, magpul stock, pentagon tactical flashlight (before they got sued out of business by Surefire), and pmag.
This was January or February as I recall. It was pretty hot during the day but once that sun went down it was absolutely freezing. I took these pictures during the course of a five day reconnaissance patrol through a area not frequented by coalition troops.
I was an attachment to this unit for the patrol. As a Special Forces adviser I had five Iraqi soldiers with me who were there to help out with local engagements, meet and greets, and so forth. I have a lot of respect for these units who spent most of their deployment out in the desert like this. It isn’t easy living out of humvee day in and day out.