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Authors: Tom Wallace

Heirs of Cain

BOOK: Heirs of Cain
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For Julie Watson: No brother could have a better sister.

Published 2010 by Medallion Press, Inc.

is a registered trademark of Medallion Press, Inc.

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment from this “stripped book.”

Copyright © 2010 by Tom Wallace
Cover design by James Tampa

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law.

Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro
Printed in the United States of America

ISBN: 978-160542102-5

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First Edition


The author wishes to thank Kerry Estevez, an early and ferocious champion of the book. Also, two superb and enlightening books by Joseph J. Trento—
The Secret History of the CIA
Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network
—provided valuable insight into the darker involvement of the CIA during the Vietnam War. Thanks to Brooks Downing for guiding me through Florida. And a big thanks to the usual suspects, Amy Reynolds, Sarah Small, Wanda Underwood, Ed Watson, and Denny Slinker. And, always, Marilyn Underwood, my companion and confidante. Thanks to my editors, Emily Steele and Helen Rosburg, for smoothing out the wrinkles and pushing me to go the extra mile.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Nguyen Van Luc stood on the riverbank, shifting nervously from one foot to the other, watching intently as the small boat silently cut through the murky water. In the darkness, with the dense jungle at his back and a cold moon overhead, Nguyen, a notorious Vietnamese operative and black marketer, had but two things on his mind: pass along the message, and get away as quickly as possible.

He didn’t care for these men. Didn’t trust them. Most of all, though, he feared them.

Especially the leader, the one called Cain.

All Vietnamese, North or South, friend or foe, feared him.


The fuckin’ man was a legend on both sides of the DMZ. A stone-cold assassin known for killing with his bare hands. A “Cain kill” was rumored to be so quick, so perfectly executed that the victim seldom experienced pain. It was also said that Cain never killed a man he couldn’t look squarely in the eyes.

Skeptics questioned whether this was the truth, or merely another fabrication of the U.S. mythmaking apparatus.

Not Nguyen. He knew it was true. He’d seen the man in action, killing with precision and cold indifference. Cain’s reputation was not built on falsehoods; it was built on body count.

Nguyen wanted nothing to do with a man like that.

With the boat only a few yards from shore, Nguyen lit a cigarette, took two deep drags, and then tossed it into the water. Rubbing his hands together, he squinted into the darkness, silently counting the men in the boat. Five.
Oh, shit
. Fear stabbed at his heart.
That many here this time. Even that crazy goddamned Indian, the one called Seneca. This must be big

He plucked another cigarette from the pack and tried to light it. He couldn’t. His shaking hands wouldn’t cooperate. Frustrated, he threw the cigarette into the water and watched it float away. As the boat finally slid into the bank and the men came into focus, Nguyen’s fear overwhelmed him. He felt the warm piss stream down his legs.

Nguyen forced a smile, stepped back, and watched as the men silently climbed out of the boat. They were dressed in dark pajamas, and their faces were painted black. Each one carried an M16, a machete—and a knife.

Together, Nguyen thought, they looked like five faces of death.

When all five men were on the bank, Nguyen quickly pulled the boat behind a mango tree and covered it with bamboo and grass. His task completed, he took a deep breath, tried to steady his nerves, and then turned to face the five assassins.

The one called Snake, wiry and wild-eyed, put a hand on Nguyen’s shoulder. Nguyen spun around, terrified, heart beating rapid-fire.

“Lucky, my man,” Snake said. “Good to see you. We had our doubts about the fidelity of your commitment to our side.”

“Not to worry. Lucky always on side of money.”

Snake snickered. “A true patriot, huh, Lucky?”

“Patriot, yes. Lucky a patriot for sure.”

Cain moved forward. “Did Houdini give you the map?”

“No need map.” He shook his head. “Lucky born near here. Village less than three kilometers away.”

“There’s supposed to be a map,” Cain said.

“Map in Lucky’s head.”

“Forget this shit, Cain,” Seneca said, stepping forward. “This ain’t playin’ out like we planned.”

“Yeah, Seneca’s right, man,” Deke said. “If this sorry slopehead is lyin’, we’re screwed. I may be just a dumb nigger from Chicago, but I ain’t stupid. No way we should go in blind.”

Holding up both hands, Lucky said, “I no lie. Village three kilometers west. Meeting in school building. Wife’s cousin work there. I know this area good.”

Nguyen looked into the faces of all five men, his eyes finally coming to rest on the one man who had remained silent, the only one who exhibited any degree of understanding or sympathy—the one called Cardinal. Nguyen’s scared eyes pleaded for a friend.

“What do you think, Cain?” Cardinal said, sensing Nguyen’s silent plea. “You trust him?”

“Trust him? No. Believe him? Yes. He has no reason to lie. He hates the North Vietnamese more than we do.”

“Yeah, and he hates us even more,” Seneca said. “I say, no way we go in. Houdini scrounged us a map. We use it, or we pull the plug.”

“We’re too close to pull out,” Cain said.

“Maybe we should have brought Rafe and Moon,” Deke said. “Maybe we’re travelin’ light.”

“We don’t need them,” Cain responded. “We’re going in.”

“No fuckin’ way,” Seneca said.

Gray eyes narrowing, Cain moved two steps toward Seneca.

“With the gooks, you’ve got a chance,” he said, looking hard at Seneca. “With me, you don’t. Your call.”

The two men glared at each other for almost a minute. Seneca’s right hand touched his knife, his fingers dancing up and down the handle. The other four men watched, barely breathing, paralyzed, as though they stood in a minefield.

After several more seconds of thick silence, Seneca grinned slightly and then backed away. “Have it your way, Cain. You have the most stripes. And as we all know, stripes rule.”

“Don’t challenge me, Seneca. Ever.”

The Indian sneered, “Yes, sir, Captain.”

Cain grabbed Lucky by the arm and pulled him close.

“If one of my men dies—one—I’ll hunt you down like a dog. And when I find you—and I
find you—I’ll cut your gook heart out and feed it to your children. Then I’ll kill them. Understand?”

Trembling, Lucky nodded and backed away. “General White speak to me this morning. Say give message to you.”

“Lucas? What message?”

Lucky dug into his shirt pocket, took out a piece of wadded paper, unfolded it, and handed it to Cain.

Cain read it silently, then out loud. “
Tuez le messager

He carefully folded the note, looked at Seneca, and gave a slight nod. Seneca pulled Lucky forward, flashed a quicksilver smile, and then plunged his knife into Lucky’s chest. Eyes wide and registering total and absolute terror, Lucky staggered toward the water, dropped to his knees, looked around quizzically, and then collapsed into a spreading pool of his own blood.

“Dumb little slant-eyed bastard wasn’t so lucky after all,” Seneca said, wiping blood from his knife.

“Wonder what’s in his head now,” Snake said, laughing. “Wonder if that map will guide him into gook heaven.”

“You believe gooks got their own heaven?” Deke asked.

“Nah, not really, ‘cause they ain’t got a soul.”

“All God’s children got a soul, Snake,” Deke said. “Even the gooks.”

“Yeah, and all rats have fleas,” Snake answered.

Deke bent down and began rummaging through Lucky’s pockets. He stood up, holding a wad of U.S. money. Most of the bills were hundreds.

“Goddamn. Look at this,” Deke said. “Must be ten grand here. Where’d a little dink monkey like him come up with this kind of scratch?”

BOOK: Heirs of Cain
4.35Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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