Authors: Daniel Birch
All the old knives which have rusted
in my back, I drive in yours.’
PHAEDRUS (THRACE OF MACEDONIA)
This book is dedicated to all those
who serve in our armed forces.
The bravest of the brave.
I would like to thank the following...my friends - you know who you are. My family, always. My ace work mates for being – well - ace,
listening to me rattle on and giving me biscuits.
Tim Roux (author of the fantastic 'Missio' and 'Dance of the
Pheasodile' ) for believing in my work and for so much help that I
wouldnt know when to start, and, for being a friend.
Also to Night Reading. The phase of NightReading.ning.com is
changing the literary world as we know it, bringing people together.
There are so many outstanding authors like Minnette Coleman, Gerald D Johnston, Tantra Bensko, Eve Lorgen, Genevieve Sawchyn, to name but a few. I encourage all you readers out there to look them up, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Also a thanks to Bruce Essar with whom I am working on a secret project (wink wink, cha ching) - again, a fantastic author of titles like ' Edible - The Faith' and 'The Visible Man' . Tim and Bruce...you rule !
Thanks to the local talent of Hull for putting Hull on the map, Nick
Quantrill whose great new book 'Broken Dreams' is on the shelves now, Holly Roach with her brilliant poetry collection 'Plans to change and other fables', and last but not least Richard Sutherland with his debut book 'The Unitary Authority of ERSATZ' - which is pretty fricking good to say the least, as well as boasting one of the best book covers ever!
So there you go. Cheers dudes, hope you enjoy the book! : D
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
Get Some’ was first published by Night Publishing, a trading name of Valley Strategies Ltd., a UK-registered private limited-liability company, registration number 5796186. Valley Strategies Ltd. can be contacted at http://www.valleystrategies.com.
© 2010, Danny Birch
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Also by Danny Birch:
Clipped – The Editor’s Cut’
THE IRAQI DESERT, NEAR THE PROVINCE OF DIYALA – 0200
We were roughly one click away from our operation when we started checking our weapons. I remember thinking over and over that I wasn’t going to miss this. Not one bit.
I hated missions in the middle of the night. I hated the fucking sand.
I hated all the killing.
It was bloody hard to try and get all the sand out of my rifle. Sand - what a useless substance. I was sick of sand, had it under my fingernails, in my ears, in my boots, between my toes, fucking sand.
Ridding my weapon of sand had to be done. Last thing you wanted was your weapon jamming. I had the Barrat 50 calibre, a beast of a sniper rifle, which over the years had become like a friend to me. I turned my night vision on because I couldn’t see shit in the dark, never mind ridding my rifle of fucking sand particles. I checked all my other shit too.
Water – check, ammo – check, knife – check, night vision – check.
I was good to go.
Sat round in a small circle with the other guys, I listened to them chatter. Dave was as silly as they came but all the same he was an animal when it came to combat. Nobody would think this 5’1” skinny twenty-something would be so dangerous by the look of him, but he could kill with the best of them. He kept us entertained with movie quotes all the time; his best were always from the movie ‘Airplane’.
Sometimes, just randomly in battle, he would pull some silly line out to get us all laughing.
Samson was quite the opposite, an explosives expert from down
south. We didn’t really get on, but he was Trigg’s boy, so it was to be expected, I guess. What that man could do with C4 was scary. He could plant detonated triggers in mobile phones, cars, and I even heard that he once placed a small device in a ball point pen. At a huge 6’7” with muscles to match, you could see why Samson was his name, and assassination was certainly his game.
Spade was a great lad, always getting into trouble, though. He was a basic grunt but he was also a fine shot with an assault rifle. He had recently swapped the standard issue SA80 with an American M16. He nicknamed it ‘Mary’ and took it to bed with him. He definitely had a screw loose, but he wasn’t ‘bad crazy’ he was ‘good crazy’, most of all he was ‘our crazy’, which was good for us.
Now onto Trigg. We had met many years ago, before the Army, before all this stupid shit got out of hand. He had his own agenda, always, but before I had told him I was getting out of the army, and out of the game, we were ok. I wouldn’t say we were ever friends, more acquaintances, and partners in crime when we started out. I guess he needed me and I served a purpose. I can see that now.
Trigg could be anything. He could be cold, he could be happy, he could warm, he could be sad. It all depended on which side of the bed he got up, and in truth he scared people. I wasn’t scared of him, ever.
But I was scared of what he was capable of.
Trigg was in charge of OP Sam. He was an expert in field ops and needed me (designated sniper) to get perched with my rifle and supply back-up from a distance.
A few days before the operation I had told Trigg I was getting out - out of the army and out of the game. We had a blazing row and he looked at me like I was shit from then on. I just hoped his new disliking for me wouldn’t affect the mission.
It was hard to try and get him to understand my reasons, but in truth it wasn’t me he cared about. He had a vision, and I was fucking it up for him. I just couldn’t do it any more.
I guess my eyes had just been opened. I mean without her, and without Joey, God only knows what things I could have been doing.
They were saving me, from myself and from this life that just wasn’t me.
I know that now. I know I’m worthy of a normal life.
Operation Iraqi Freedom- that was the official term used when we came here. Freedom my arse. It was a cluster fuck if ever there was one.
That night’s mission had a title too; only there were just a few select people who would ever know about it. You see Op Sam was a Black Op.
Black Ops are rare, and obviously classified. This Black Op was code-named ‘Sam’, after the driver. I think they named it that to keep us from thinking about him. Two weeks prior to the Sam Op, a convoy of medical trucks had been hit by Iraqi RPGs (rocket propelled grenades).
The front convoy had the chief medical officer in it, and he was driving. Graham ‘Sam’ Donnelly was a man everyone had respect for. It is a common misconception that the medical men in the forces don’t see any action. I have seen what they do with my own eyes. I have seen them come in the middle of battle, bullets flying everywhere, helping downed personal. I have seen them totally disregard their own safety, disregard all protocol, all for us.
Sam epitomised the word brave. He wasn’t just a great doctor, a great soldier, but also a great man. He was one of them faces that we all loved to see around. He always had time for a chat, no matter what it was about. I myself had spilled my guts out to him about all sorts of things, and he was great at giving advice. He was known as ‘Sam’ because he was seen as a Samaritan, a man we could all go to. Sam the Wise, some called him.
And now Sam was dead.
When they found his body, the only way he could be identified was from dental records. He had been blown to pieces. Poor bastard never had a chance.
The convoy had been hit and the men back at base wanted blood. Our CO (Commanding Officer) had pleaded with the suits back home to strike the area, if only for the families of Sam and his men, and for morale in the camp. The strike was denied. ‘Not in the interests of the war’ we were told.
The CO wasn’t having any of it. When I was asked by my CO to be part of this black op, I originally declined - I was getting out in 21 days - but then he said the mission would be a man short, because nobody else was available with my expertise. So I guess they had me over a barrel really. I kind of took heart that at least I was getting some for Sam, but in truth I was done with the killing, done with all the madness.
I just wanted to get home to her.
Trigg kept everything quiet until a few minutes before the mission.
We had been briefed, sure, but the details were kept to a minimum for Op Sam, something which I should have questioned from the get-go.
We had all done our checks and were ready. We had our night visions switched on. We called it Hulk vision for obvious reasons. We needed it too because out there in the desert the nights were as black as it got. The wind was sweeping up sand into the air, so we all had our rapists’ masks (balaclavas) on.
Trigg sat crouched with us. We were at the bottom of a hill. We weren’t that far from were we needed to be. Trigg gave us the info…
Right then, lads - the Intel. First hut, other side of this hill. This is where your targets are. They are all to be tagged and bagged, kill em all, possibly 8 targets inside, armed too so be aware, and try and keep it quiet, no grenades if possible. You have silencers so there isn’t any excuse. Second hut, just behind, with the car outside, is the one with our informers. Now I know this is the first you have heard of this, but they must be kept alive. They provided us with our info and have more info which the CO needs. Me and Samson will go first and secure hut 2.
You three wait for our say-so on the COM, then Dave and Spade move in, with Tommy providing fire from the sniping position. Both I and Samson and our informants will provide cover from the back.