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Authors: AJ Tata

Rogue Threat

BOOK: Rogue Threat
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ROGUE THREAT

 

A.J. Tata

 

VARIANCE

Usa

TABLE OF CONTENTS

COPYRIGHT

DEDICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

PROLOGUE

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 22

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 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

CHAPTER 59

CHAPTER 60

CHAPTER 61

CHAPTER 62

CHAPTER 63

CHAPTER 64

CHAPTER 65

CHAPTER 66

CHAPTER 67

CHAPTER 68

EPILOGUE

HIDDEN THREAT DESCRIPTION

SILVER TEASER

Copyright © 2009 A.J. Tata

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and should not be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For more information e-mail all inquiries to:

[email protected]

Variance Publishing

1610 South Pine St.

Cabot, AR 72023,

(501) 843-BOOK

Published by Variance LLC (USA).

www.variancepublishing.com

Library of Congress Catalog Number 2009928924

ISBN: 1-935142-09-7  

ISBN-13: 978-1-935142-09-6 

Cover Illustration by Larry Rostant

Jacket Design by Stanley J. Tremblay

Interior layout by Stanley J. Tremblay

Map by Jackie McDermott

 

Visit A.J. Tata on the web at: www.ajtata.com.

 

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

To my parents Bob and Jerri Tata,

who taught me to always care.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I have to start out by thanking the awesome Variance Publishing team, especially Tim Schulte, Jeremy Robinson, Shane Thomson, and Stanley Tremblay. They are a first class group that works tirelessly to get it right. Shane, as my editor, did a superb job of working through both the content and the line edits. He made
Rogue Threat
a better book, plain and simple. Stan steadily promotes all things Variance and is a huge help in the public relations department. Tim is the best friend and publisher an author could ask for.

As usual, I appreciate the technical expertise of Rick "The Gun Guy" Kutka, who ensures this officer employs his weapons systems properly.

I also want to thank the team at Ascot Media. Trish Stevens and Rodney Foster have worked around the clock to get the word out. As many of you know, I dedicated 100% of my royalties to the USO Metro DC Hospital Services Fund. Trish and her team helped drive that total royalty donation to the USO to nearly $30,000.

Elaine Rogers and her dedicated Metro-DC USO team deserve all of our thanks every day for what they do for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. It continues to be my privilege to donate all of the royalties from Sudden Threat, hard cover and paperback, to this great organization.

As always, thanks to Amanda for helping my dream come true.

Rogue Threat holds a special place in my author’s library. I enjoyed developing the characters beyond Sudden Threat and introducing Peyton O’Hara, the lithe Irish-American tough girl. This story began back in 2003 when I asked myself, “What happened to the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?”

I surprised myself with my own answer, “Does anyone really care?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

 

Iraq, February 27, 1991, Desert Storm

 

Jacques Ballantine snatched his AK-47 rifle from the desert floor and raced toward his command vehicle, stumbling as the artillery volley shook the ground beneath his feet. A funnel of sand blew into the sky, already darkened from hundreds of oil-well fires that Saddam had ordered set the day before.

“Henri,” Jacques stammered, approaching the back of the drab olive vehicle filled with radios. “Are you okay?”

Henri Ballantine pulled a crewman’s helmet from his head and leaned out of the small hatch of the Russian-built armored vehicle. His face showed the strain of weeks of U.S.-led Allied bombing of their defensive positions.

“Fine,” Henri said. “Orders?” The two brothers spoke in English to keep their subordinates from eavesdropping.

“We fight,” Jacques said. “We stand and fight.”

Jacques’ younger brother stared at him a moment and then nodded.

“Hand me my backpack,” Jacques ordered, motioning with his left hand while holding his rifle in his right.

Henri looked at him briefly and then turned toward the inside of the small command center. A moment later, Henri’s hand reappeared through the hatch of the track with a dusty rucksack about the size of a high school kid’s book bag.

“This,” Jacques said, taking the bag and shaking it, “this will set us free.”

Henri looked at him with doubting eyes, the cackle of machine-gun fire emphasizing his skepticism.

“The enemy is just over the ridge. What good will this bag do?” Henri challenged.

“This will save us, brother. Trust me,” Jacques said.

“I have always trusted you . . .”

Machine-gun fire danced at Jacques’ feet as he turned toward the American line advancing upon them. “Give the order to counterattack. Now!” he shouted and dashed the fifty meters to his T-72 tank, where he saw his driver’s eyes wide with fear.

Jacques Ballantine commanded the Tawalkana division of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard. Childhood friends of Hussein’s, the Ballantine brothers had moved with their parents to France when they were adolescents. Their original names, Beqir and Aliwan, had given way to their mother’s hope for a new life. In the suburbs of Lyon, they had lived a simple life. Then the two boys left home and returned to Tikrit, where they reestablished loyalties with their childhood friend. When Saddam had decided to attack Kuwait, his loyal and trusted friends received high-level assignments in his elite Republican Guard tank corps.

Jacques scrambled inside his tank, chased by the loud report of American M-1 Abrams tank rounds whistling overhead.

“Launch the counterattack,” he shouted into the radio handset. “Attack! Attack!”

Popping his head through the turret, he looked over the long bore of the tube. His driver had positioned the tank perfectly in a low spot so that only the main gun was visible as it stretched along at ground level.

“Counterattack is on the way,” Henri reported to his brother over the command radio net.

Jacques could picture his younger brother sitting in the command vehicle, peering through the periscope, wondering what would happen next. The Americans would surely overwhelm them, but they had always seemed to find a way to survive.

“I’m getting reports our infantry is surrendering, Jacques.”

Jacques Ballantine stared into the dark horizon, the sounds of war buzzing around him like a burst beehive. He could not surrender. Ever. Grabbing his AK-47, he radioed his brother, saying, “Meet me in the wadi to our front.” Then he jumped from the turret of his tank to the desert sand.

He ran toward cover, watching as twelve of his T-72 Soviet-produced tanks raced from their hidden positions and began to suppress the American M-1s and M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The long bores of the T-72s awkwardly hung over the chassis of the tanks, spitting flame and causing the entire tank to heave upward at every shot. The counterattack accounted for stopping four enemy vehicles before Jacques noticed a larger formation moving to their flank.

The air filled with the incessant chatter of coaxial machine guns and the loud report of tank main-gun rounds breaking the sound barrier as they sought out their targets.

Crouching in the wadi, Jacques turned and began firing at an American infantry column that had flanked his position. He saw the American soldiers rushing for a few seconds and then hitting the ground, never allowing him to get a decent shot.

Jacques looked over his shoulder as a sabot round crashed into the hull of his tank just a few meters behind him, causing the turret to pop off and spin like a top on the sand. The fireball reached out and licked his face, a demon from hell saying, “Come with me.”

Not yet
, he thought.

Jacques shouted to the men of his unit, now beginning to run from their tanks as they watched the others explode in bright orange fireballs all around them.

Jacques turned to look for Henri and shouted, “With me, men! Fight with me!”

Suddenly someone was on top of him, wrestling him to the ground. “Cease fire!” an officer shouted, holding a 9mm Beretta to Jacques’ head.

Out of the corner of his eye, Jacques saw Henri rushing over the hill. It took the man less than a second to fire two rounds into Henri’s face, killing him. Jacques watched his younger brother’s face explode as if someone had placed a stick of dynamite into his mouth.

BOOK: Rogue Threat
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