Authors: Eric Meyer
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #War, #Men's Adventure, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Thriller, #War & Military
SEAL TEAM BRAVO: BLACK OPS VI - GUANTANAMO
By Eric Meyer
Copyright 2014 by Eric Meyer
Published by Swordworks Books
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
They'd traveled a long way to this place. The remote villa was positioned high on a hill in an isolated part of Colombia. It was an ideal location to meet, despite the heat and humidity that made everything clammy, clothes, furnishings, and skin. Even the food had that stale, jungle taste. Outside, the rain had stopped, and the jungle birds were shrilling their warning messages. Inside, there were four men in the room. They were cautious men, and for good reason. If a person browsed the FBI's most wanted list, their names would be prominent. For these were America's enemies, the men who had cause to both hate and fear the nation that lay only a few hundred miles to the north.
They were sitting in comfortable silk upholstered armchairs ranged around the room. The walls were decorated with a number of paintings, all old masters, all of them priceless originals. Whoever had designed this room had positioned more artworks, lavish sculptures to underscore the opulence and wealth of the building's owner. They were also priceless originals, the product of some of the greatest artistic geniuses the world had known.
Yet these men had neither the time nor interest in artistic beauty. They were here to discuss the nation a few hundred miles to the north. To talk of its destruction. Yazid Hamza, the Al Qaeda mastermind, motioned them to silence. He was a short man, and his feet barely touched the carpet. With thinning hair and a prominent paunch, he could have been described as a nonentity. He wore a cheap suit and grubby sandals.
Hamza could have been taken for a village storeowner in his native land of Afghanistan. Except for the glistening dark brown eyes that lay above his large hooked nose. The ice-cold, staring eyes of a fanatic. This was a man for whom life or death were mere commodities to be traded at his convenience, like so many sacks of rice.
"My friends, our efforts to bring America to its knees have stalled. Since the glorious attack on the World Trade Centre, we have been unable to repeat such a blow to that evil nation. Yet I would remind you that immediately after the Trade Centre lay in ruins, they were a cowed and beaten nation. Had we been able to follow up that attack with another, we could have finished them off. Their economy destroyed, their infrastructure reeling, they would have agreed to anything. We…"
"So why didn't you do it? Launch a follow-up attack?" a man snarled.
He was a Colombian, a former enforcer for the Medellin cartels. Ricardo Montez was one of the largest drug barons in Colombia. Right now, he was unimpressed with these strange people who came knocking on his door begging for help. He was a firm believer in self-reliance, the American way, he'd often reminded himself with a smile.
After the successful attacks on the notorious cartels, he left to form his own drug family. He managed to keep his business more discreet than his infamous predecessors, who often seemed to court publicity. As a result, he'd become one of the wealthiest men in Colombia. Until now, since the Americans had started to wake up and notice the increased imports of cocaine flooding their country.
Montez was more than a ruthless killer. He was also a skilled administrator and ran his empire like a major American corporation, micromanaging every part of his operation to maximize profits and minimize risk. It enabled him to saturate the United States with so much cocaine that DEA estimated the price on the streets had halved as a result of his efforts. Alarm bells rang in Washington.
As a result, his organization came under attack. Shipment after shipment was intercepted, and the Americans paid huge rewards for information that would lead to the location and destruction of his jungle cocaine labs. After he'd done the math, and watched his immense profits start to go down the tubes, he decided it was time to act. Then these men request a meeting, men who shared a common interest. They claimed to have a plan to hit America with a terrorist attack so devastating it would make 9/11 look almost minor. An attack which would divert attention from his declining cocaine business.
Hamza took some time to frame an answer to his question. Finally, he stared back at Montez, and the Colombian recoiled from those blazing fanatic eyes. The cocaine baron had a reputation as a man capable of the most extreme violence to achieve his ends. Yet he knew the Afghan was in a different league. A man who could and would launch a wave of suicide bombers to devastate his enemies. Would murder his own family if he thought it would achieve his ends. He would settle for nothing less than the ascendancy of an Islamic caliphate throughout Asia.
"Mr. Montez, at the time of 9/11, our organization was in its infancy. The Sheikh, Osama bin Laden, was a miracle worker; he built up Al Qaeda from nothing into a force that terrorized the world. However, it was still ramshackle and flawed. Perhaps those early successes blinded him to the need for stricter discipline. Since then, as you know, we have fought a long war in Afghanistan, aided by our allies in the Taliban. Al Qaeda has also established many more cells in scores of countries worldwide. It has been a long, slow process, but now we are ready. Ready to finish what Osama started all those years ago."
Montez nodded. "I understand. Tell me, what are you planning, and what do you want from my organization?"
"We require your help to mount a single, massive attack on America, to strike a blow on the scale of 9/11. It is my belief that such an attack will shatter their morale, as well as their infrastructure and economy. A blow so staggering it will take them many years to recover. During that time, we will take steps to ensure that never again are they able to send their armies to attack our homeland."
The Colombian looked aside at his Segundo. "What do you think, Carlos? I like the idea giving the Americans a bloody nose. The bastards are costing me billions of dollars, and if it makes them look the other way, it could give us a breathing space. Then again, these things have a habit of rebounding. Is it worth the risk? Or would our resources be better employed hitting the DEA? Those fuckers are always giving us trouble. Kill a hundred of their people, and they'll think twice before they come knocking on our door."
Carlos Hidalgo, his second-in-command, kept his expression calm. Carlos was a slim, elegant Latino, broad shouldered and sporting a thin mustache. At first sight, he was almost the caricature of a gigolo. Well dressed, almost overdressed in a lightweight designer suit that would have cost the average Colombian more than five years’ pay. On closer inspection, it was apparent the suave image was only a thin veneer. His hard muscled body filled out the suit, and his sharp eyes surveyed the world around him like a predator. Not for nothing was he the Segundo of a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise. He was a sociopath, an amoral, vicious killer. Montez's killer.
Hidalgo knew the Jefe was worried about the possibility of an overwhelming American military response following a major terrorism outrage. Montez had to balance that threat against his current worry, the steady drip, drip from his business empire. Bombed and burned cocaine labs, workers killed and imprisoned, and funds sequestered by the authorities. Like Montez, Hidalgo was a modern manager, and when he looked at the flowcharts on his computer he was worried. If something weren't done, they'd be pushed back to a penny-ante, two-bit outfit. The next step was someone else would come along, a rival cartel, and wipe them out completely. It was time to act. He caught his boss' attention.
"We have to do something fast, Jefe. Every day we come under more pressure. If our friends here hit them hard enough, it could keep them busy and give us several years of freedom to develop our business."
Montez nodded and starred at Hamza, "My major concern is what you want from us. Money, weapons? Or maybe you need help getting your people inside US territory." He had a sudden thought, "Santa Maria, don't tell me you need my people to take part in the actual attack?"
Hamza smiled and waved away his concern. "Weapons we have in plenty, as well as explosives. We have stores cached in a number of American cities. Money is not a problem; our plan requires relatively little."
"So what do you need?" Hidalgo asked with a trace of irritation.
"Soldiers, Mr. Hidalgo. We need martyrs, the bravest and the best of our fighters to mount this operation. That is our problem. The men we need are locked away in an American prison. We need you to free them. Once they are released, they will head for the target and carry out the attack with only minor assistance from your people."
Montez leaned forward, astonished. "You want us to break people out of an American prison? Impossible!"
Hamza's companion, Mohammed Hakim, glared at the drug baron. "You smuggle your product into the US all the time. Your organization is known to have huge resources, the ability to go anywhere at will. It is said you have policemen, customs men, even judges on your payroll. Why should getting a few men out of prison be a problem? Our leader Yazid Hamza has it worked out, a solid plan. It is a simple matter of you people doing what you do best." He held the other man's gaze, "Or are you frightened of the Americans?"
Montez jumped to his feet. The blood had run to his face, and he was red with fury. "I'm frightened of no man, shithead, especially the Americans. You should watch your mouth! Are you implying I'm a coward? I'll cut your fucking head off your shoulders!"
Hamza held up his hands, palms up, in a gesture to pacify the irate Latino.
"Of course he didn't mean to suggest you're a coward, my friend. It was an unfortunate turn of phrase. Mohammed, you owe Mr. Montez an apology."
Mohammed instantly obeyed. "Naturally, I meant no offence. It was the last thing I intended. Please accept my apologies."
Montez calmed, but it was obvious he'd have liked nothing better than to take a sharp knife to the impudent Afghan.
"Your apology is accepted. However, I still think your idea is crazy."
"You haven't heard the details, Mr. Montez." Hamza kept the frozen smile on his face, "To break out these men from their prison, we will need the special skills your people are famous for."
"Which prison?" Hidalgo asked. He was concerned to keep the meeting calm. If there was a chance of stopping the decline of their operation, he wanted to hear it, before his boss lost his temper completely and tore these camel jockeys to ribbons. Hakim opened his mouth to speak, but Hamza waved him to silence.
"I will answer. The prison is…"
He stopped as Hidalgo catapulted to his feet, crossed the room, and jerked the door open. A man was kneeling on the floor; he wore the overalls of a janitor. In his hand he held a screwdriver, and on the floor next to him was a small toolbox. Hidalgo dragged him to his feet and punched him in the stomach. The janitor screamed and almost fell to the floor, but Carlos held him up.
"Manuel, what are you doing here?"
The man was slight and spare, and he made no attempt to defend himself.
"I was fixing the escutcheon plate on the door,
. It was loose. I'm sorry; I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be here."
"What did you hear?"
The man shook his head. "Hear? Nothing, Señor, I swear!"
Hidalgo glanced across at Montez. "What do you think, Boss?"
Before he could reply, Hamza interrupted, "You know what has to be done. If there is only faint chance he has heard something, he cannot be allowed to go free."
"This is my home. I will deal with him," Montez snarled, his voice angry. He was caught between the need to maintain total secrecy, and his fondness for Manuel Flores. The man had served him well for many years, and he lived with his wife and two children in a nearby bungalow that belonged to Montez. He measured Hamza's implacable stare against the shivering old man. He nodded at Carlos.
"See to it."
"And the family?"
"Them too. Otherwise you know they will seek revenge. Make it quick."
"No, no!" The little man struggled, screamed and protested as Carlos dragged him away.
They heard the sound of a heavy blow, a fist striking flesh, and the noise abruptly died. Montez relaxed and smiled.
"Where were we? Oh yes, Carlos asked you the name of the prison from which you want us to free these men. And why my organization is so uniquely placed to carry out this task."
"First, Mr. Montez, let me explain what we need from you. We know you have a fleet of semi-submersible craft. The prison cell is close to a beach, behind a wire fence. Our men will be waiting, ready for the escape. All we require is for two of your men to go ashore from one of these vessels and make a hole in the perimeter fence. This will enable our men to walk out to the beach and reach your craft. You will carry them to a nearby beach, perhaps five miles distant, no more, and put them ashore. We will also need help later with minor matters of transportation."
"A prison close to the beach?" Montez sneered at Hamza, "What is this, some kind of a Club Med? A vacation center?"
"It is no vacation center. People say it is the worst prison on Earth, a living hell for those who are locked inside."
"Yes, yes, they all say that. Prison is no soft option. I know, I've been there. What is this place called, where is it?"
"The location and the name are the same," Hamza replied, his voice cold with fury at having to say the hated words, "Guantanamo Bay."
The Colombian drug lord erupted into gales of laughter. "Guantanamo Bay! My friend, you're making a joke." He shook his head in disbelief, "Stop wasting my time. Tell me the real name of this prison."