Tag Archives: Special Operations

Foreign Special Operations Roundup, News, and Future projects

One of my favorite subjects to research is foreign Special Operations units.  Many of our allied SOF units are very professional and I think much more proficient than we often give them credit for.  Some of them have literally been fighting and dying alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, a fact that the American public is painfully unaware of.  One of my main goals is to cut through the misinformation and bring some of the realities of foreign SOF to American readers.

This includes a two-pronged approach.  First, writing articles about these units with as much insight as I’m able to dig up via my sources and research.  Second, actually buying the foreign rights to books written by and about foreign SOF and having them published in America.  The current project that I’m working on is Jaeger: At War with the Elite by Thomas Rathsack.  The book is written by a former member of Denmark’s Jaeger Corps who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I’ve read the translation and it is an amazing book that I can’t wait to bring to American readers.

Currently, we are discussing having our company, SOFREP.com, actually open our own publishing house for Special Operations books like this.  Mainstream publishers won’t bring these books to America because they haven’t been able to make money on them.  That’s a shame and the English speaking world is missing out on some great books from Denmark, Poland, France, and beyond.  No wonder why Americans don’t know about this stuff…

So on that note, here is a roundup of some of the foreign SOF material I’ve worked on recently.

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Swiss DRA-10

In our coverage of foreign Special Operations units, there is one country which is easily overlooked. When we think of SOF in the Western world, it is Rangers, SEALs, SAS, KSK, or somewhat more obscure units like SOG or FSK that come to mind. In a conversation about international Special Operations units, few would mention Switzerland’s DRA-10. In a country famous for neutrality and chocolate, fewer still would be aware of the Swiss hostage rescue mission that almost got off the ground in Libya several years ago.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/34395/switzerland-dra-10-libya/#ixzz2zCJA4Zcj
Israeli S13

Shayetet 13, the Israeli answer to the US Navy SEALs, executed a ship seizure operation off the coast of Sudan yesterday.  The ship was carrying Syrian made rockets that were en route from Iran to the Gaza strip.  These are the type of rockets that would be used if we saw a repeat of the 2006 offensive against Israel.  I had the opportunity to meet a S13 veteran about two years ago in New York City.  He was a cocky little guy who gave a friend of mine (a former US Navy SEAL) a t-shirt that said, “Don’t worry America, we got your back!”  I always recognize SOF guys, doesn’t matter what country they come from!
Read more: http://sofrep.com/33652/israeli-s13-maritime-commandos-capture-ship-carrying-iranian-missiles/#ixzz2zCHwluYO
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Swedish SOG

We hear little about the Special Operations units of Scandinavian nations, but in recent days the veil has been lifted, if only just a little, to give us a small look at what our allied SOF units have been up to in Afghanistan.  Policy-makers in Sweden have refused to confirm or deny any operations that Swedish troops may have participated in, but by correlating martyr biographies of dead jihadists, at least one newspaper has been able to put two and two together.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/32212/swedens-sog-takes-taliban/#ixzz2zCIZGvTj
Australian Commandos

By all accounts Corporal Cameron Baird was true warrior and is greatly missed by his team mates in 2 Commando.  Corporal Baird is Australia’s 40th KIA in Afghanistan during the War on Terror and is now Australia’s 100th Victoria’s Cross recipient.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/33001/australias-100th-victorias-cross-corporal-cameron-baird/#ixzz2zCI8gteY
Norwegian FSK/MJK

Tom Bakkeli is a Norwegian writer and journalist who has written extensively about Norway’s Special Operations units, MJK and FSK. Unfortunately, his books are not available in English, but Tom was gracious enough to spare SOFREP a few minutes of his time to answer some questions about Norway’s allied Special Operations units, which have been helping us fight the War on Terror.

Q: What is the Norwegian approach to special operations? Is it roughly along the same lines as other NATO member nations, or do the Norwegian units feature historical and cultural traits unique to their country?

A: As a country with a five million population, we have a quite small defense force. It has undergone a huge modernization after the cold war. In this process, the special operations forces, Forsvarets Spesialkommando (FSK) and Marinejegerkommandoen (MJK), have been strengthened. The operations in the former Yugoslavia – Bosnia and Kosovo – and especially in Afghanistan, have shown that they are capable. The Norwegian SOF traditions go back to Second World War, when they were established under British command in Special Operations Executive. Company Linge executed several spectacular operations in Nazi-occupied Norway; one of the best known is the heavy water operation in Vemork in 1943.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/33876/inside-fsk-norwegian-special-forces-command-interview-tom-bakkeli/#ixzz2zCHhdiFd

Peruvian SOF

On the 17th of December this past year, a joint police and military operation commenced in the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (VRAEM) in which Peruvian forces launched multiple synchronized strikes against clandestine airfields used to smuggle an estimated 1.2 tons of cocaine per day.  Four 30-man teams were reportedly launched from a base in Pichari to begin the process of disabling the illegal airfields with explosives, probably cratering charges in this case.  The Peruvian troops were drawn from the police counter-terrorism directorate known as Dircote, a counter-narcotics units called Dirandro, and a Special Forces unit reported as being called FEC, however as Navy personnel are reported to be conducting the operation with law enforcement, it seems more likely that this unit was actually Fuerza de Operaciones Especiales which is more akin to America’s Navy SEALs.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/31564/peruvian-sof-strikes-narco-traffickers/#ixzz2zCIkvQFT
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Canadian CSOR

W5′s Mercedes Stephenson recently filmed a rare documentary about Canadian SOF, specifically about CSOR conducting Foreign Internal Defense operations in Niger.  The Canadians are very tight lipped about their SOF units, the other being JTF-2, so it is surprising that they were willing to publicize their involvement in Flintlock.  One of the interesting things about foreign SOF units is that what the US government considers to be the most low grade operations are often considered to be the most sensitive by foreign governments like Canada.  While the US military openly publicizes SOF’s involvement in Flintlock, allied nations treat it like a closely held state secret.
Read more: http://sofrep.com/34370/canadian-sof-operation-flintlock-niger/#ixzz2zCHQ6kEd
Hope you enjoyed the articles.  In addition to the Jaeger book, there are a few other projects in the works.  SOFREP will be publishing a ebook about the history of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, we’ve got an account from the Australian Commandos coming, and I may be participating in a military exercise abroad later this year.  More on that soon!

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Switzerland’s DRA-10 in Libya

In our coverage of foreign Special Operations units, there is one country which is easily overlooked. When we think of SOF in the Western world, it is Rangers, SEALs, SAS, KSK, or somewhat more obscure units like SOG or FSK that come to mind. In a conversation about international Special Operations units, few would mention Switzerland’s DRA-10. In a country famous for neutrality and chocolate, fewer still would be aware of the Swiss hostage rescue mission that almost got off the ground in Libya several years ago.

Even before Hillary Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi unfriended Omar Gaddafi on Facebook in 2011, relations had begun to sour between Libya and Switzerland as early as 2008. The trouble began when Swiss police arrested the Libyan dictator’s son, Hannibal Gaddafi, in Geneva for allegedly mistreating his house staff. Hannibal Gaddafi and his wife were later released, but the damage had been done, and Omar Gaddafi carried out a series of retaliations against Switzerland.

Flights from Switzerland to Libya were halted, Gaddafi threatened to stop oil shipments, Swiss businesses were forced to close their doors in Libya, and most notably, two Swiss businessmen named Max Göldi and Rachid Hamdani were held on house arrest in Libya, kept as de facto hostages and political bargaining chips to be used against the Swiss government. The two Swiss nationals were initially allowed to stay in the Swiss embassy but were not permitted to leave Libya. Then, in 2009 when diplomatic negotiations broke down, the two Swiss nationals were kidnapped and disappeared and were not returned for over a month.Negotiations over the fate of Max and Rachid continued to grind away. Both were convicted in a Libyan court of visa violations. The dispute went from being a Swiss problem to being a European problem when Gaddafi then refused to issue visas to any European Union citizens. When Max Göldi was imprisoned, the Swiss government secretly paid Hannibal Gaddafi 1.5 million francs to try to smooth things over and normalize relations with Libya.

While the falling out between Switzerland and Libya was being reported in the European media, what was not reported was the quiet deployment of Swiss counter-terrorist operators to the Swiss embassy. Planning for a high-risk hostage rescue operation began, as the Swiss commandos started working to recover Max and Rachid. In Bern, frustrations were growing with Gaddafi’s bluster.

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Why the Obama Administration Won’t Release Pictures of Bin Laden

There are a lot of puzzled expressions on people’s faces when it comes to the subject of the late Osama Bin Laden and why the White House has not authorized the release of any pictures of his body.  Photographs and video were released of Saddam Hussein’s hanging as well as post-mortem pictures of his criminal sons, Uday and Qusay after Delta Force took them out.  Why not release a few pictures of public enemy #1 to prove that he is dead and show the world what happens when you take on the US of A?

Matt Bissonnette, one of the SEAL Team Six operators on the raid partially outs the reason in his book “No Easy Day.”  The book reads, “In his death throes, he was still twitching and convulsing. Another assaulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless” (No Easy Day, Chapter 15).

But this is perhaps the most measured and polite description that one could give of how operator after operator took turns dumping magazines worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body.  When all was said and done, he had at least a hundred bullets in him by the most conservative estimate.

But was it illegal?  Under the Laws of Land Warfare, a soldier is fully authorized to put a few insurance rounds into his target after he goes down.  Provided the enemy is not surrendering, it is morally, legally, and ethically appropriate to shoot the body a few times to ensure that he is really dead and no longer a threat.  However, what happened on the Bin Laden raid is beyond excessive.  The level of excess shown was not about making sure that Bin Laden was no longer a threat.  The excess was pure self indulgence.

You may not care if Bin Laden got some extra holes punched in him, few of us do, but what should concern you is a trend within a certain special operations unit to engage in this type of self indulgent, and ultimately criminal behavior.  Gone unchecked, these actions get worse over time.  And they have.

The real issue is not that Bin Laden was turned into Swiss cheese but rather that this type of behavior has become a Standard Operating Procedure in this unit.

Now you know the real reason why the Obama administration has not released pictures of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse.  To do so would show the world a body filled with a ridiculous number of gunshot wounds.  The picture itself would cause an international scandal and investigations would be conducted which would uncover certain activities which took place on the OBL objective as well as other operations, activities which many will do anything to keep buried.

And now you also know why the administration would pretend to dispose of Bin Laden’s body at sea.

Of course, these attitudes and behaviors do not come out of nowhere.  Endless back to back deployments, PTSD, broken families, and war itself all plays into it.  There is also another reason, one that the military has papered over and that I only dare to write about as fiction for reasons which will become apparent.

I stress that the below account is a work of fiction which only represents actual events.  Names and specifics are completely altered.

Excerpted from Direct Action:

Afghanistan, 2005:

Navy Chief David McAtee was alive when the jihadists moved in. They were Chechens. Foreign fighters who had over run the hide site he had occupied. With three teammates, he had tried to escape and evade down the side of the mountain. There were simply too many of them for him and his recon team to successfully break contact and escape.

Chief McAtee was alive when the enemy started picking over his body, beginning to strip him of his weapons and equipment to divide amongst themselves. Shot through one lung, both legs, and through his cheek, he was in no condition to defend himself. His arm was limp; he couldn’t even feel any sensation in it as one of the Chechens undid the clasp on his wrist watch and then let his arm flop to the ground.

Chief McAtee was alive when the Chechens cut the gear off his body and yanked away his M4 rifle off by its sling. He struggled to breath. His three comrades were dead, that much he knew for sure. He had watched them die one by one. Now, he knew that they were better off.

Chief McAtee was alive when the knives came out and they began the cutting.

* * *

Wind howled down the side of the mountain. Snow-streaked crags of rock poked up from beneath the white ground, forcing the team to negotiate their way around them. The windswept mountain was an even bigger obstacle than the enemy, the terrain slowing them as they moved uphill through knee-deep snow.

Master Chief Bill Geddes saw the world through a green-tinted lens. The PVS-14 Night Optical Device limited both his depth perception and his field of vision but he was walking point and needed to be able to see the enemy before they saw him. Although the wind was blowing snow drifts off the side of the mountain, the night was clear with a full moon hanging over their heads. The added illumination would make it easier for the Master Chief to spot the enemy, but it would also make it easier for the enemy to see his team.

For what seemed like the hundredth time, he wiped snow off the lens of his NODs so that he could see.

The word to describe their current mission was anger. As members of Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six, they had been assigned to lay up in a hide site over a valley and watch for suspected enemy activity. Intelligence indicated that large numbers of foreign fighters were moving from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the valley, and the brass up at the Joint Operations Center in Bagram wanted a heads-up as to what was coming their way.

A second reconnaissance team, led by Chief McAtee, had occupied another overwatch position where they had a vantage point over a section of the road running through the valley that Bill’s team couldn’t cover. Four hours ago, McAtee’s hide site had been compromised. From what they could gather from the radio transmissions, the team had been on the run ever since. Two hours ago, they had lost radio contact with McAtee’s team altogether. Bagram couldn’t get them on comms and neither could Bill.

A Troops in Contact call had been sent over the net, but higher said it was a no-go. There was a storm moving in and they could not risk flying in close air support or the SEAL platoon that had been standing by as a Quick Reaction Force. Last month a CH-47 filled with Rangers had been shot out of the sky by the Taliban. It had turned into a big fiasco on the news networks back home and now the commanders were risk adverse about sending in helicopters on another rescue mission.

They could write off a small four-man recce team, but another downed CH-47 could cost some Colonel his star.

Pissed. That was another adjective that described how he felt, Bill thought to himself.

Since the cavalry wasn’t coming and they had no overhead surveillance, Bill decided to take the initiative. His four man recce team abandoned their hide side and began trudging through the snow towards the last known location of McAtee’s team.

Bill and his men had hardly slept since occupying the hide site several days prior. Now they were dehydrated from snaking their way up the side of the mountain. Most of them were big guys, weight lifters with a lot of upper body strength. Now they were paying the price as those large muscles required a lot of oxygen during exertion, oxygen that wasn’t available at high altitudes. They were exhausted, but Bill knew that as SEALs, there was no way they would turn around, no way they would quit, not without bringing their comrades home with them.

His legs dragging trails behind him, Bill was perhaps the most tired of all as he was up front breaking through the thick snow and making their route selection. Time seemed to standstill in the night, their faces having gone numb from the cold wind, their heads beginning to hang as sleep deprivation set in. Maybe it was another forty five minutes, maybe an hour and a half. During the after action review, Bill was unable to recall with any clarity when he saw the four silhouettes in the night.

The Master Chief could see them clearly through his PVS-14s from several hundred meters out. They wore thick jackets and Afghan pakol caps on their heads. The four of them had AK-47 rifles slung over their backs as they squatted, huddled around something. There was no camp fire. Adjusting the focus on his night-vision monocle, Bill could see their long ratty beards blowing in the wind.

The firefight was nothing spectacular. The SEAL Team Six operator had his men get on line and they opened fire as one, cutting down the four enemy fighters in half a second. No fancy tactics were going to be applied with the men exhausted and in such difficult terrain, and none were needed. Their M4 rifles cracked through the night. Two of the jihadists dropped like marionettes that had their strings suddenly cut. Another was struck in the shoulder, then tried to get back up and run until Bill emptied the rest of his magazine into the jihadist’s back. The last fell face-first into the snow. At first he tried to push himself back up, then thought better of it, laid back down, and promptly died.

Bill dropped his expended magazine, inserted a full one, and dropped the bolt on his M4 to chamber the first round. The other three SEALs on his team did the same.

Moving forward, the mountain planed out into a small ledge. As they grew closer, the SEALs put a few insurance shots into the Chechens just to make sure they were well and truly dead. Closing on the bodies, the SEALs were able to see what the enemy had been crouching around. Bill slung his rifle and ran to the prostrate form. Laying face down, the snow around Chief McAtee had been stained a dark shade of crimson.

The seam down the back of McAtee’s fatigues had been sliced open with a knife. His ass was bloody where the enemy had been sodomizing him. Bill took a knee and rolled his friend over on to his back. Reilly, the team medic, dropped his aid bag and began digging through its contents.

As Bill rolled McAtee onto his back, his blood ran colder than the wind blasting down the side of the mountain. McAtee convulsed in his arms, in a deep state of shock. He was not conscious but still technically alive. When Bill cradled his friend in his arms, the SEAL’s head hinged backwards with a jagged second mouth opening at the neck. McAtee was shaking in his arms.

Reilly crouched over him with bandages, but there was nothing he could do. He was a Special Operations trained medic, but felt utterly useless as his comrade’s condition was beyond anything he could begin to treat in an emergency room much less on the side of a mountain during a blizzard. They could hear McAtee gurgling as he struggled to breath.

Finally, the ravaged SEAL convulsed for the last time and lay dead in Bill’s arms. The four SEALs stared at the ground in shock. Each of them was a veteran of countless battles. Ship seizures in the Persian Gulf, covert operations in Somalia, targeted killings in Colombia, and direct action raids in Afghanistan, but none of them had ever experienced anything like this. This was different. This was crossing a line from which they could not return.

Bill laid McAtee down in the snow. Digging into his kit he found a space blanket that he used to cover the remains with. He then began camouflaging the body under snow with the other SEALs joining in. Reilly got out his GPS and wrote down a ten-digit grid location, marking where the body was cached. A snow storm was quickly blowing in from the west.

Getting to his feet, Bill slung his rifle in front of him and looked up the side of the mountain. They had three more SEALs to recover. They were up there, somewhere. With the Chechens.

Bill looked over his shoulder at his recce team. His gaze cut right through them.

“From this day forward,” he shouted over the wind. “It is an eye for an eye.”

The SEALs nodded.

“Every single day. For McAtee and the rest.”

Master Chief Bill Geddes ground his teeth and stepped off in search of the others.

“Its blood for blood,” he yelled up the mountain at anyone who would listen.

Three SEALs followed close behind their team leader, walking in the footprints he made in the snow.

Soon, the four operators disappeared into the snow storm.

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America’s Libyan Assassination Program

Last week’s prison break in Benghazi is just the latest indicator that Libya, and Benghazi in particular, is sliding deeper into chaos and sectarian violence. Between the prison breaks, riots, bombings, and shootings, there is something else that has gone overlooked. While much of the violence appears to be tribal in nature (with Libya roughly divided into three regions, East, West, and South), or conflict between the moderates and Islamists, or even a liquidation of Gaddafi era officials, there is also another player on the scene. One that is keeping a much lower profile.

Our first indication that something was up came in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on 9/11/12. The details of the attack itself are laid out in Benghazi: The Definitive Report, which I wrote with Brandon Webb. But here is an additional piece of information not in the book. When Ambassador Chris Stevens was lost in the smoke caused by a fire lit by the Ansar Al-Sharia militia, a Diplomatic Security Service member made several valiant attempts to go back into the fire to find him. Eventually, he had to break off his search due to smoke inhalation. The last time I inquired about this individual, I was told that he was still in the hospital due to the smoke inhalation he suffered. Ty Woods then arrived at the annex with his Global Response Staff element and they fought off Ansar Al-Sharia, recovered the remains of Sean Smith, and saved the other Americans. But Stevens was nowhere to be found and Ty’s element had to retreat back to the annex with the other Americans.

Read the rest at SOFREP.com

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Thirteen

Nikita

Chapter Thirteen:

 

“It happened again.”

Admiral Corbett looked up from his desk and set his reading glasses down so he could see his J3 officer. The Admiral always left his door open, a literal open door policy. Where he worked, he needed a team more than he needed a hierarchy.

“You’re kidding me,” Corbett said as he sat back in his chair. “Again?”

“I’m afraid so, sir.”

“Who the hell is doing this?”

“We’re about to sit down in the SCIF and try to hammer that out right now.”

Admiral Corbett left his desk and followed his right hand man down the hallway. A vault door was open which led into the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility. This was where sensitive operations and intelligence was discussed and records stored. At JSOC, practically everything was sensitive.

“Where?” Corbett asked.

An assistant J2 intelligence officer turned to his commander.

“Manila. It was Kanor De Jesus.”

“I remember the name. He was on the SIGMA-11 target deck.”

“Yes, sir,” the intel officer confirmed. “Two TF Green attempts, one TF Blue, and local competitors tried to bump him off a couple times as well.”

“What happened?”

“We’re still trying to piece it together. We have someone from the activity on the ground working with local authorities. The police found a parachute in the park nearby which explains how the killers got off target but no one knows how they got there to begin with. We’ve had the special entry troop working this problem set for months. The building is a fortress.”

“What the hell is going on? This is our third target that someone else took out in nearly as many weeks. First those guys working for Karzai that the bed wetters in Washington wouldn’t let us touch, then Hezbollah’s main money man gets whacked in Dubai. Now this?”

“It has happened before. De Jesus had hits put out on him by both the NPA and Abu Sayaf. Whenever these guys carve out a piece of the local black market for themselves there is always a competitor who wants that slice of pie for himself.”

“Too many coincidences,” the Admiral stated. “And the hits are too precise, too well planned. The Israelis are good but they don’t have this kind of reach. Besides, they wouldn’t play in our backyard without a courtesy call.”

“What about Langley?” The J3 said as he rolled his eyes.

“They are ready for a tele-conference right now,” the J2 said.

“Put them on,” the Admiral said as he sat down at the long table in front of a projection screen.

The screen came on showing a bald headed CIA officer in a suit sitting next to a Army Officer in his class A uniform, a Special Forces liaison officer detached to Central Intelligence.

“Hey Russ,” the CIA officer said, addressing the JSOC Admiral by his first name. Technically they were of equivalent ranks but they also had a working relationship stretching back to the first days of the War on Terror.

“Francis, I need some help here.”

“I heard. Someone is working your target deck.”

“Talk to me.”

Francis shook his head. The Special Forces officer clasped his hands in front of him on the table.

“It’s not us brother.”

“You know I don’t believe in coincidences.”

Admiral Russ Corbett sat back in his chair. He didn’t ask questions that he didn’t already have the answers too. He knew Francis was telling him the truth because the CIA had hired dozens of former JSOC operators to do their dirty work. Those operators had loyalty to the home team and kept JSOC informed of everything the agency was up to around the world. He was simply hoping that Francis could help him unravel this puzzle.

“I hate to say it Russ but do you think someone over there is saying some things they shouldn’t to some people they shouldn’t be talking to?”

“SIGMA-11 is locked down. We can do an informal 15-6 just to snoop around but the CI around that program is air tight.”

“I hope so,” the CIA officer said. “Because I agree with your assessment. Someone is working your target deck and for both our sakes, we better find out who it is fast before this shit blows up in both our faces. You know how this works. Our fingerprints are on SIGMA so we’ll take the fall for whoever these chuckle heads kill.”

“It could jeopardize other programs as well.”

They both knew what programs he was referencing. Collection and sabotage in a country whose name started with an I and ended with a RAN.

“Get this done Russ. I’ll let my people know to help you however they can.”

“Thanks Francis, I appreciate it.”

The screen blacked out as the tele-conference ended.

The Admiral took a deep breath.

Someone was working their target deck but it wasn’t Special Operations, the CIA, or even an allied country. It was time for the Admiral to make a phone call to an old colleague. He had been his predecessor as the commander of JSOC. A General who had been publicly disgraced and removed after a series of revelations in the newspapers. It was known to those who knew that the General could get more done on the outside through his commercial endeavors than he ever could as military officer.

It was time to look up General McCoy and see what he was up to these days.

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Six

SEAL_Samruk_130304

Chapter Six:

The entire Liquid Sky element was passed out as they flew commercial air to Germany and then on to Italy. They had changed out of their mission clothes and into civilians provided by the staff at FOB Chapman. The team was still bleary eyed as they boarded a private aircraft in Milan to their final destination. Deckard tried to discern where they were going but found no indication and no one was telling him. Rick, Zach, and Paul bought some hard liquor in the duty free shop before taking off, pounded a couple shooters of Vodka or Whiskey and passed right back out. The others just gave Deckard the cold shoulder. Ramon read a magazine for a few minutes before falling back asleep. Nadeesha looked at Deckard like he was lower than dog shit before she drifted off to sleep.

Tough crowd, Deckard thought to himself. Before long, he fell asleep as well. They were all exhausted from the operation and Deckard was especially jet lagged from bouncing between time zones.

He came awake to the sound of laughing and screaming. After their cat nap, the Liquid Sky team had taken to watching an in flight movie in their Gulfstream aircraft. It looked like the comedy movie Superbad was keeping them entertained. Zach and Rick were giggling like school girls. Paul recited the movie line for line in a never ending stream of commentary. Nadeesha kept to herself, flipping through a copy of Flashbang magazine.

Uninterested in the movie, Deckard wished he had a book to read but he had always been someone who was comfortable with his own thoughts, if restless in his actions. Sitting around with nothing to do over long periods of time made him uncomfortable but he knew how to manage it. There was an on board refrigerator so he helped himself to a bottle of water.

Deckard watched out the window as they landed several hours later. The terrain was fairly flat with low laying vegetation and black top roads crisscrossing throughout. Disoriented, Deckard had no idea where they were. They landed at a substantial modern airport with a large terminal complex. The private jet taxied off towards the private hangers where a white van was waiting for them. Everyone piled in. If this was another operation, it didn’t feel like it.

They exited from the private aircraft area’s gate and out into the country side. The road was surrounded on both sides by green rolling hills, sugar cane coming right up to the edge of the pavement and pressing out into the street. Palm trees also dotted the landscape. As they drove through the outskirts of a city Deckard spotted a Hindu temple and knew he must be somewhere in India. Then he saw a Christian church and finally a Muslim mosque.

Where the hell were they?

Further inland were green covered mountains stretching up to touch the blue sky. Deep into the stalks of sugarcane he also saw a few abandoned factories and other structures. It wasn’t until he saw a billboard in French of a cellphone service that he figured it out. They were in Mauritius, an island in the Indian ocean.

The van let swerved through an intersection and passed the entrance to several four star hotels. They got dropped off right along side the ocean. Waves broke against the shore and the sun was already sinking into a blue and purple sky. The smell of salt carried on the breeze. It was a residential area with bungalows lining the beach.

“Party is at my place tonight,” Bill announced. “See you then.”

The team bombshelled in both directions down the street.

“You come with me Deckard,” Bill said to the new guy on the team. “I have to give you the key to Henderson’s old place.”

Bill led him on a stone path to his beach house. The Liquid Sky team leader was so tall that he had to duck under the roof on the back deck. Deckard spotted a security guard roaming the premises. Punching a number into the keypad on the door, Bill led him inside. Like the other bungalows, it was a one story deal, but spread out with plenty of interior space. The kitchen and living room was wide open. He had pool tables and an indoor bar. Through the sliding glass doors, Deckard could see an extensive gym out on the front deck which was littered with kettlebells and 45 pound bumper plates.

Opening a draw under the kitchen counter, Bill shuffled through some odds and ends until he found a key ring and handed it to Deckard.

“You are two houses down, between Rick and Zach. We own this whole row of eight houses on the shore. Whatever Henderson had stowed away inside the house is yours I guess. No one back in the States gave a shit about him. Keep it or throw it in the trash, I don’t care. He traveled light anyway so it won’t be much.”

“Alright.”

“Our rules here are pretty basic. We work hard, we play hard. Mandatory team party tonight just like after every op we do. PT is on your own but we usually work out together. When our optempo slows down you can catch a plane to wherever you want until I recall you but I’m not sure when that will be. Shit has been picking up the last month with no sign of slowing down.”

“It’s a dangerous world.”

“And they need us to stop it from all coming apart at the seams. We’ll work on getting you set up with a bank account here on the island later on so you can get direct deposits. Mauritius is a tax haven and we got a good set up here.”

“I like the sound of that.”

“Go do what you have to do and I’ll see you in a few hours.”

“Will do.”

As Deckard turned away, Bill had one final item to add.

“Deckard, remember that you are still on probationary status until I decide if I have any use for you or not. There are some pipe hitters out there that just don’t have what it takes to be on a team like this. We’ll see if you got it or not. In the meantime, we practice strict OPSEC. Say what you need to say inside our team areas. I have this place under 24 hour guard and our houses are routinely swept for bugs. Ramon will hook you up with a secure cell phone tomorrow. Aside from that, nothing gets said outside these walls. Do nothing that will draw excess attention to our operation here.”

“Goes without saying.”

“I hope so.”

Deckard shut the screen door behind him on his way out and walked over to his new crash pad. As he continued to scope out the area, he had to admit to himself that he could have done much worse. In fact, he had done much worse. Sleeping in run down safehouses in Lebanon, crapping in plastic bags in a spider hole on the Iranian border, or sleeping in a jungle hammock in Colombia had almost became a way of life for him. This sea side secret agent stuff was a whole new world. There were some things that these former SEALs were definitely getting right.

Turning the key in the knob, Deckard stepped inside his bungalow. It wasn’t as big as Bill’s place but there was more than enough living space for several people inside. It was furnished with chairs, couches, a flat screen tv, and everything else you would want at a beach house. There was a full bathroom and another shower stall outside with a hose for washing the sand off before coming back inside after a swim.

Henderson.

The Liquid Sky member that Nikita had killed in Pakistan.

The operator who’s corpse Deckard had picked over in the back of a van looking for intelligence information. Now he was in the dude’s house, literally filling his shoes on the team. The other team members seemed resentful of Deckard, not because they took exception to him replacing their former team mate. They actually seemed completely ambivalent about Henderson’s death. Liquid Sky was just pissed that they had to break in a new guy and didn’t trust him any farther than they could throw him.

It was a still a surreal moment.

Deckard found Henderson’s ipod on the counter, where it had been laying with the headphones attached since he left on a one way flight to Karachi. It was loaded with heavy metal music like Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, and Mega-Death. They were all sterile missions apparently. He had left everything behind. He continued to walk around and examine the layout of the house, conscience of the fact that Liquid Sky probably had hidden cameras installed so they could keep tabs on their newest recruit.

In the bathroom, Henderson’s toothbrush leaned diagonally in a glass. The toothpaste tube was squeezed in the middle, the inconsiderate bastard. At least the cabinet was stocked with toilet paper. In the bed room there were some dress shirts. Deckard was still wearing the Walmart clothes that Liquid Sky had waiting for them on their way back through FOB Chapman. He found a shirt which was probably small on Henderson to show off his beach muscles but would fit Deckard normally.

Going through the dresser to find a pair of cargo shorts, Deckard found a envelop full of pictures. Inside was a whole roll of photographs of Henderson with a blonde. It looked like they were on the shore, maybe Virginia beach. They were self shot pictures, close ups of the two of them kissing and smiling.

Who the hell was this guy?

Henderson, Bill, all these other guys aside from Ramon and obviously Nadeesha had served in the SEALs as far as Deckard could discern. They were the Navy’s most elite commandos. How had they drifted so far? Throwing the pair of shorts on the bed, Deckard shut the dresser draw.

Then the more important question.

Who were they working for?

He knew from the records that he and his Samruk International mercenaries had seized that they were in business with G3 Communications somehow but the full picture remained obscured. It would take time to uncover. Time he didn’t have.

Undressing, Deckard stepped into the shower and began to scrub away days of sweat and grim. He didn’t have a lot of time because as he infiltrated Liquid Sky, they were also co-opting him and using his talent for their own agenda, to cure their own contracts, one by one. Sure, they would take him on a couple righteous kills. Do some terrorists or narco-traffickers. Once they warm him up, then they take him out on the real work, killing people like Al-Khalifa, and those who got in their way, like Al-Khalifa’s wife.

Toweling himself dry, he slipped into the cargo shorts and began buttoning the blue and white stripped shirt over his chest. Deckard caught a glance of himself in the mirror. His eyes were open, even more focused than usual. Hyper vigilant. He put on a pair of Henderson’s sandals. He was slowly transforming himself into one of them.

<Deckard's priorities of work were simple. Get away from Liquid Sky and beat their surveillance long enough to get a message out to Aghassi and Pat. Let them know he was alive, where he was located, and what he knew about Liquid Sky thus far so that they could begin working on the problem sets. It was unlikely that he would be able to take out Liquid Sky by himself, he would need some backup when the time came.
Next, before walking Samruk International into the target, he had to get to the bottom of who Bill was taking his marching orders from. Where were the contracts coming from exactly? Who were the puppetmasters behind the scenes? Only when that question was answered could they cut this head off of the hydra and move on to the CEO of G3 Communications and whoever else Liquid Sky was in league with.

As he headed out the door to attend Bill’s post-mission beach party, he found he had another reason to be glad that he insisted on doing this mission himself and not sending Pat, Aghassi, or one of the others. He was heading down a dark road. He was wearing a dead man’s clothes and working for a kill team.

Some people might find that they liked this life. Some might not want to come home.

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Filed under Action Adventure, Military Fiction

DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Five (Part Two)

SEAL_Samruk_130304

It was another couple hours in the stifling heat of the closed compartment, bouncing around in the back of the janga truck before the driver stopped again. Liquid Sky disembarked the truck and Bill had a few more words with the driver, both of them taking turns pointing to a ridge line silhouetted against the starry night sky. Afghanistan had no light pollution, and unlike the Western world, you could see an entire universe of stars out in the badlands of Central Asia.

Bill slapped the driver on the shoulder and returned to the team.

“This is our VDO,” he said announcing their Vehicle Drop Off point. “We will rendezvous with the driver at the exfil point early in the morning.”

Deckard checked the knock off Rolex watch that had been a part of his issued kit. It was almost midnight and he had a feeling that they would have a long walk ahead of them. Each Liquid Sky member grabbed a couple bottles of water on the way out and shoved them into their pockets. Bill had an old Soviet map in hand and led the patrol up into the mountains.

The approach to the mountains was hazardous to say the least and suicidal at worst. They couldn’t use flashlights because the light would compromise the patrol and Night Vision Goggles were to high tech for a sterile mission that could have no hint of American involvement, mercenary or otherwise. There was enough ambient light for them to slowly feel their way up the side of the mountain but they still slipped and slid on the soft rock that broke away under their feet. Slowly but surely Liquid Sky gained in elevation as they climbed towards the ridge above that bumped across the night sky, looking like the broken spine of a dragon.

Within half an hour of climbing they were all covered in sweat, their man dresses soaked through. They drank water while on the move. The former SEALs chugged water and then tossed the water bottles on the rocks. It was bad form to leave any sign of your presence behind, but clearly these guys didn’t care. They were on a one way trip and their only real concern was getting to the target that night and doing the dirty deed. Deckard downed his first bottle of water and followed suit, dropping the plastic bottle behind him.

Their VDO had left them about a third of the way up the mountain to begin with and now they were climbing higher and higher, at some points it was so steep that they were able to reach out and grab the terrain right in front of them. Bill led the patrol, taking them in winding switchbacks that inched up the ridge when the going got too steep.

There was nothing technical about their climb, it was good old fashion LPC’s, Leather Personnel Carriers. That and a lot of sweat. Still, they were doing it like the locals, traveling with the bare essentials in weapons and equipment. They were not nearly as weighted down as American soldiers were in body armor and other equipment so at least they had that going for them.

The Liquid Sky team took a short five minute break after climbing the wind swept rock for another hour. They sipped on what water they had left and tried to let their legs rest as they sat facing down hill. Steam was coming off their over worked bodies in the cool night air. Bill was the first to stand and start the final push to the top of the ridge.

Forty five minutes later the team huffed and grunted over the ridge. Deckard’s leg was throbbing, the cut on his thigh was hot to the touch with inflammation. The rest of the team was also hunched over, grabbing their knees as they tried to catch their breath. They were in good shape and no one complained, but between the altitude and the demanding climb they were all winded.

“That’s it,” Bill said pointing down into the valley.

Below them was a small archipelago of walled compounds. Pin pricks of light could be seen in the darkness from morning fires being lit in the courtyards. Bill was pointing to the nearest compound at the base of the mountain. That was their target.

“Let’s get down there and clean the place out,” he ordered.

Liquid Sky scrambled down the side of the mountain for the better part of two hours, the way down actually being more strenuous than the way up. It was almost four in the morning by the time they bottomed out in the valley and walked along the edge of dry river bed. It was a wide, rocky gouge in the earth that looked like it hadn’t seen water since the Triassic Period but when the rains came in once a year water would come rushing down the river bed like a deluge and sweep away anything in its path.

Bill picked up the pace as they moved out in a single file. They had to make up some time to get into position, hit the compound, and move out before the sun came up. Moving from the river bed, they crawled over a rock wall and walked through a terraced field. Finally, they were within a hundred meters of the target compound.

“Listen up,” Rick whispered to Deckard. “You are our black side security so that means you need to position yourself where you can see the back of the compound.”

Deckard knew what black side security was but merely nodded his head.

“Find a good field of fire so you can waste anyone who tries to go over the high walls and escape.”

“Got it.”

“We will be preparing to breach. Radio us when you are in position.”

“Will do.”

Deckard skirted around the edge of the compound, weaving between scraggly trees that barely clung to life. It only took a few minutes for him to find a shallow depression that he could lay in where he would have an open lane of fire on the back side of the compound with his AK-47. He pressed on the push to talk button on his radio.

“This is Deck. I’m set.”

“Okay dude,” it sounded like Rick.

They would not be explosively breaching the compound’s gate, that would give away the American presence. Deckard didn’t see any mechanical breaching equipment like battering rams or hoolie tools, none of them would want to have carried that crap up the side of the mountain anyway. He did see Zach with a locally procured double barrel shotgun over one shoulder, so he knew it would be a ballistic breach.

The radio crackled and hissed so Deckard turned the volume down a little bit more.

“Standby,” came the call.

Two shotgun blasts punctured the night. Deckard tucked the stock of his AK into the pocket of his shoulder and waited. There was a long silence as the Liquid Sky mercenaries began clearing the compound. Then came the gunfire, first in spurts and then full auto blasts. It was a one sided fire fight, Liquid Sky no doubt catching the enemy stumbling out of bed in the night. More auto fire sounded, then silence, then a few single shots here and there. Finally, everything went quiet again.

Then a Afghan dropped down off the back wall and crumbled to the ground.

Show time.

Deckard confirmed a pistol in the Afghan’s fist as he attempted to run away out into the fields. Pushing the selector lever one click down, he aimed low at the runner’s legs and triggered a full auto burst of gunfire. Three of the five rounds he let off spun the Afghan around and sent him staggering to the ground.

As he lay in the prone he began to get cold. The last few hours before dawn are usually the coldest and his soaked through clothes were only adding to the problem. Fifteen minutes went by before he heard anything over the radio.

“Black side security,” It sounded like maybe it was Bill. “You got anything?”

“One down crow,” Deckard reported.

“Nice.”

A few minutes later Rick radioed that he was coming out to meet Deckard. He stood up and whistled to Rick when he heard him getting close.

“Where is he?” Rick asked.

“Over here,” Deckard said leading him over to the body. Rick fired a couple more shots into the body. It never hurt to make sure corpses were still corpses but then Rick loaded a full magazine. Taking a step back, he aimed at the dead body and fired at the Afghan’s head on full auto. His gunfire blasted the top of the terrorist’s skull clean off and splattered his brains in the dirt. The Liquid Sky member held the trigger down until the rifle cycled through the entire thirty round magazine.

It was a completely unnecessary and unprofessional gesture. Rick had effectively turned the top of the Afghan’s skull into a canoe.

“What was that for?” Deckard asked absently.

“Sending a fucking message,” Rick scolded him. “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Deckard followed Rick back around the compound to the breach point. Zach was outside smoking a cigarette. His man dress was splattered with blood, his AK slung over one shoulder. Paul came walking out of the compound with two floppy pancakes in his hands. It took Deckard a moment to realize that the pancakes had hair. Paul had been inside collecting scalps.

“I got two,” he told Zach with a smile.

“Just the woman,” Zach replied, motioning to the clump of long hair and concealing blood at his feet.

Deckard had no illusions about who he was dealing with. They were out murdering democracy advocates and helping to suppress the Arab Spring but this was off the charts. Even among those who went off the reservation, this was pretty much unheard of. He was shocked and would not have believed it if someone had described the scene to him in a bar.

Bill came out with another scalp in his hand and a bloody hatchet in the other.

“Fucking savages never had a chance,” he grinned.

Deckard still couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

Ramon came out carrying a plastic bag filled with documents and computer hard drives he had collected on the objective.

“Get rid of that shit,” Bill told him. “Sterile means nothing goes on the objective and nothing comes off. Zero evidence that we were ever here.”

“This was a major command and control node for the network,” Ramon insisted. “We can ball up the entire network based on what these guys have here.”

“Not our problem,” Bill said. “Let the fucking knuckle draggers in Big Army sort this bullshit third world country out. We work contract to contract.”

Ramon looked pissed, but walked back into the compound with the bag of sensitive materials he had collected. Rick followed him in and returned back with a couple scalps of his own which he dropped at Zach’s feet.

“There is my two.”

Bending over, he wiped the blood off his hatchet on Deckard’s man dress.

“Thanks bro. Gotta make sure this bad boy is ready to go for next time,” Rick informed him.

“We got a pickup inside the compound,” Ramon said as he walked back out.

“Good, that will save is some time,” Bill replied. “Deckard, go hot wire that fucker and get us out of here.”

Deckard nodded.

“Wait a second,” Paul said stopping him. “Let me give you a hand.”

Reaching into his pocket, Paul pulled out a dismembered hand and threw it at Deckard. It bounced off his chest and thumped between his feet in a cloud of dust. The Liquid Sky team burst out laughing at the look of disgust on his face.

Deckard walked back inside the compound trying to process what had just happened. These guys were so far gone that there was no turning back for any of them. His plan had always been to infiltrate and then destroy. Now it didn’t matter what his plan was. He was all out of choices. These were former Special Operations men like himself and so many others who served.

It was his responsibility as a veteran to clean up this mess. There was no need for him to justify this to himself, it justified itself. It was time to choose the hard right over the easy wrong. Finding the pickup truck in the corner of the compound, he threw open the door and went to work on the ignition.

As he began to pry the ignition cylinder out with a piece of metal he found laying around, Deckard felt completely disgusted with what he had involved himself in. Even if they were terrorists, this wasn’t how soldiers carried themselves. It wasn’t just about disrespecting the enemy dead, more importantly, it was about the discipline and self respect that the soldier had for himself. Once the rot of war crimes infected a military organization it would spread throughout the unit like a plague and destroy everything that they had once stood for. They would be no different than Al Qaeda and the other human savages that they fought. At that point, the war was already lost.

Just as he hot wired the truck, Deckard knew he would have to be slow and deliberate. He couldn’t allow his emotions to control him like the Liquid Sky team. One slip up and he was a dead man. He needed to play along, maybe no matter how dark this road he was heading down got. When the time was right, at a place and time of his choosing, he would drop the hammer and be done with this.

The pickup truck rumbled to life. Deckard got behind the wheel and worked the stick shift, driving out of the compound. Outside, the five other Liquid Sky operators piled into the truck, several sitting in the back. Bill got in the passenger seat and told Deckard he could flip on the headlights and white light it down the road. They just needed to make a quick exit from the target area before daylight and the risk of an ambush was fairly low. He gave him directions on where to go as they drove towards their extraction site. After driving for half an hour the sun was starting to crest above the horizon.

Bill ordered everyone out of the truck. Deckard put it in neutral and they pushed the vehicle into a creek bed where it rolled over on its side. At least it would be out of sight to any passers by. Then it was back up the mountain. They had done an off set infil, first traveling by Trojan janga truck and then moving by foot to the objective to maintain the element of surprise and absolute secrecy prior to their assault. It was sound planning, but now they had to walk all the way back to the exfil site where their janga truck driver would pick them up along a different spot along the road.

By the time they were half way up the ridge it was full daylight. The good thing was that they were far enough away from the road below and their objective that it was unlikely that anyone would spot them. They could see the smattering of compounds below, but without optics, no one was going to see a few ants climbing the side of the mountain.

By eight in the morning they again crested the ridge. Everyone was out of water. It was a short duration mission with one specific task, hunting and killing with zero American involvement as far as anyone could prove. They took five up on top of the ridge, everyone having a seat on the rocks and admiring the view. Afghanistan was really the prettiest part of hell. It would have been a nice place to visit if not for the Islamist radicals. And the occasional rogue mercenary.

Zach and Rick got into a blow by blow about who killed who and how it had all gone down.

“They were Al Qaeda?” Deckard asked Ramon.

“Naw man,” he answered. “Those were Karzai’s guys.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah, they were tied into the President of Afghanistan. Running a huge drug trafficking network for him. Completely untouchable by US Special Operations for political reasons. That’s why we got called in.”

“Shit.”

“No kidding. They let him get away with it for a long time but I guess he is starting to lean away from America and more towards China these days so someone wanted to give him a gut check. That’s my take on it anyway.”

“Its a good thing we took them out.”

Ramon turned to him and whispered, “Look, you did good today. Just keep your head down and they will offer you a full time job. We do a lot of killing and make good money at it. Its just harder for us Army guys to get an in with them.”

“I got it.”

But Deckard didn’t get it. He had completely misread Ramon by thinking he was a SEAL.

They picked it up and started their descent. It was a long haul through the morning as they suffered in the heat and slipped down through the dirt and debris. A few times they had to cling to the sides of cliffs and move hand over hand on their way along until they could find a wider path down the mountain. Bill was up front again and he began talking into his radio when the road came into view. There was no sign of their ride home but he was talking to someone.

They walked down a spur coming off the mountain which over looked the road and halted. Bill signaled them to stay low as they gathered around a rocky outcropping that looked like something that belonged on the set of Conan the Barbarian.

At this point they were only a few hundred meters above the road. Down below was a village with a stream running along side the road. Terraced fields were dug into the opposite side of the valley with houses and huts propped up against the sides of the cliffs at impossible angles. People lived where the water was, no matter how ridiculous the terrain might be. They learned to live there.

In the stream next to the road, a woman in a blue burka stood in the water up to her ankles, washing dishes, pots, and pans that she laid next to her one by one as she scrubbed them out.

“Where is our GI Joe Army guy?” Bill asked. “Deckard, get your ass up here.”

Deckard high crawled over to Bill and watched the scene below.

“You see that Hadji twat down there?”

“Yeah.”

“This is our extraction point and that fucking cunt is in the way. She’ll compromise us. You’re disguised as a local so I want you to get close to her and cut her fucking throat. Think you can do it?”

“Yeah,” Deckard said without hesitation.

“You got a knife?”

“No, just the kit you issued me.”

“Here,” Bill said handing him a rusty butcher knife. Another local purchase. “Make it happen. Once it is done we will come down and I’ll call in our driver.”

“Piece of cake.”

“Yeah,” Bill said dryly. “We’ll see.”

“Do that bitch Deckard,” Rick told him. “Go only only knows how many puppies she will squeeze out that will become Allah lovin’ terrorists.”

Deckard looked down at the road for a moment and plotted his route down to the stream. He figured it out in a few seconds and then dropped down below the crest of the spur, keeping the terrain feature between himself and the woman below. He stepped very carefully now as not to give away his position. Stepping from heel to toe, he slowly maneuvered his way down to the road. The small stones still ground beneath his footsteps but that couldn’t be helped.

Moving slowly, he made it down to the road, then crossed it out of sight of the woman. With any luck, she would have finished her task and have walked back home by the time he got there. Another reason why he was in no rush.

There was no way that Deckard was going to murder a civilian in cold blood. The game was over before he had even gotten started. Bill had called his bluff. They wanted to see if he was one of them, ensure that he was a war criminal and just a guilty as the rest of the group. No doubt, the entire Liquid Sky team would have their rifles pointed at him and the woman, ready to open fire on them both if he failed to complete his task.

Crouching in a thicket of bushes, he checked his AK-47 and Glock pistol to make sure he had rounds chambered and ready to go. Once he closed on the woman, he would drag her across the stream and behind a stone wall a few meters further back. From there he would have to escape and evade, run has hard as he could, ambush the Liquid Sky team when and where he could to slow them down, and eventually find a vehicle and make his way back to Kabul. Truth be told, he’d be lucky if he lasted five seconds into that plan and he knew it.

He was a dead man walking, killed by his own self restraint.

Silently, Deckard moved through the thicken in a crouch. He cursed as he saw the blue burka through the twigs and leaves of the bushes. She could have saved her own life, if she had only known. Now they were both dead.

Deckard was on the opposite bank of the stream from her but the stream was only a few feet wide. Once he closed the distance he would be right on top of her. He could jump out of the bushes, grab her, and make a run for it. Maybe. A big maybe.

The Afghan woman bent down to wash another one of the pots. He was almost within striking distance now. The American commando readjusted the sling on his shoulder and prepared to move. He had the butcher knife in his hand up until this point, but now he stuck it in his belt.

He took a deep breath. It was now or never. His muscles tensed, prepared for what was about to happen. He was ready to execute.

Suddenly, the woman stood straight up and turned towards him.

Deckard froze.

“What the fuck do you think you are fucking doing you stupid cocksucker?” she asked him.

His jaw hit the ground.

“Get your dick beaters in the air where I can see them. What the fuck are you doing over there?” The voice coming through the burka didn’t match anything Deckard had expected to say the least but it was a woman’s voice. “Hey fucker, I’m talking to you.”

Suddenly the crackle of a radio sounded under the burka.

“Got you good this time,” Bill’s voice said over the radio. Laughter could be heard coming over the net.

“Very funny asshole,” the burka clad woman said. “Who is this needle dick you sent down here to hide in the bushes?”

“He’s the new guy,” Bill answered. “Whatever.”

Deckard was pissed.

“Who the fuck are you?” he asked the woman.

“Who the fuck am I?” she answered as if she was insulted. “I’m the one who has been pulling over watch on your fucking objective for twenty four hours dick face. I confirmed that Muhammad what-ever-the-fuck was bedding down there. Then I walked through the night to secure your fucking extraction,” she practically screamed. “That’s who I fucking am, so who the fuck are you.”

“Just a trigger puller told to do a job,” he answered honestly.

“And like a true meat head you proved to be very good at following orders. Good for you. Just squat there in the bushes and try not to piss me off any more than you have already.”

“Yes ma’am,” Deckard said as he rolled his eyes. This was getting stupid.

Exhausted, Deckard sat on the edge of the stream with his feet in the water. The woman kicked the pots into the water and cursed at him some more. They sat silently for a few minutes, Deckard unable to discern anything about her through the mesh eye window in the burka. A few minutes later the rest of the team arrived and sat down alongside the stream. The tactically correct answer was to push into the thicket and maintain a security perimeter but that didn’t seem to concern Liquid Sky.

“What the fuck was that?” the woman asked.

“C’mon Nadeesha, it was just a joke,” Rick laughed.

“And how far would you have let that joke go before that pussy sunk a knife into my back?”

She was pissed, balling up the burka and threw it into the stream. Underneath she wore spandex shorts and a loose t-shirt. That and a MP-5k Sub-machine gun. Deckard’s eyes went wide. Her skin was dark like someone from Southern India but she had almost Caucasian features and large brown eyes. The woman, Nadeesha, busted him too, seeing the look in his eyes as she swung around to point at him in her fury. She paused for a split second, also surprised by the expression on his face.

She was beautiful and none of it made sense to him.

“Fuck all you guys,” Nadeesha spat. “I quit.”

“Bullshit,” Zach laughed.

“Yeah, that is like the fifth time you’ve quit,” Paul said.

“We pay you way to much for you to quit,” Bill reminded her. “Speaking of which, where the fuck is our extract.”

“He should be here any minute,” she said shaking her head. “Where did you find this peckerwood,” the said while cocking her chin towards Deckard.

“Craigs List,” Bill said.

“What the fuck.”

Just then the Janga truck pulled up, the driver with a big toothy grin. Another successful mission and another big pay day for him. One by one, Liquid Sky crammed back into the secret compartment in the back. Nadeesha scowled at Deckard as there was limited space inside and she had to sit next to him. The truck started to move and while the door was still cracked open Rick passed out the remaining bottles of water before locking the door shut.

Five hours later they arrived back on FOB Chapman where they discretely unloaded and jumped on an awaiting CASA airplane heading to Kabul. Bill had paid the janga truck driver in cash which he happily accepted. The plane touched down in Kabul and an hour later the entire six man and one woman team flew out on an international flight.

Meanwhile, in southern Afghanistan, the drug trafficking organization that they had hit during the night decided to retaliate. Tied into the Taliban, they called in fighters from all over the province, as well as insurgents from as far as Pakistan.

For the next few weeks they set up ambushes and IED’s alongside the main roads that weaved through their territory. Without any suspects in the hit on the drug lords compound and murder of him and his entire family, the Taliban simply assumed that the Americans were involved and struck back against whatever Americans they could find.

Within six days their IED’s and ambushes had killed four American soldiers. Private First Class Nelson, Specialist Rodriguez, Private First Class Thomas, and First Sergeant Harper were all returned to the United States in bodybags. A dozen others were flown to Ramstein Airforce base and then to Walter Reed with critical injuries.

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Filed under Action Adventure, Military Fiction