Tactical Deception: Silent Warrior, Book 2

BOOK: Tactical Deception: Silent Warrior, Book 2
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Dedication

 

This series is dedicated to all of the Silent Warriors protecting freedom in the field, at home, and in the hearts of men and women around the world. Because you stand strong, I am here and free.

Thank you.

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

—Leonardo da Vinci

 

 

“All war is deception.”

—Sun Tzu

 

“The ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or to destroy, to love or to hate.”


Erich Fromm

Previously in
Collateral Damage

 

A failed mission to Lebanon

The exposing of billionaire Miles/Menendez’s terrorist plots

The subsequent chaotic world-state

Chapter One

 

Present Day

River of Blood Camp

Union County, Georgia

1000 hours (local), September 11

“Today the hunt begins. The predator is now our prey. The enemy who took Mullah Mohammed Omar’s power and turned our homes to rubble will suffer tenfold. They destroyed our way of life. Now we will take away theirs. Fear will hound their every step and rivers of blood will flow through their streets. Their leader will die and Mullah Meshood will reclaim our land.
Allah Akbar!
” Ahmed Hakim Zaeef paused for a brief moment of anticipated triumph then bowed slightly and stepped away, allowing his brilliant son-in-law Mullah Salaam Meshood to take center stage of the video.

Salaam’s plan to strike at both the heart and the head of their enemy would not only bring eternal blessings and power to their tribe, but would add fuel to the rising global revolution against the immoral imperialists. Worldwide hate for the Americans had become stronger and stronger since the terrorist attacks on the oil fields last month. The American government told nothing but lies. To believe one billionaire had single-handedly terrorized the entire world was stupid. Drug kingpin Juan Pablo Menendez had likely hid under the new identity of Andreas Miles but that man was not the only force behind the destruction of the oil fields and the assassination of Imam Hassan Omar Aziz. Menendez was a scapegoat. Israel and America were the responsible parties. They’d pulled the trigger years ago. Now
they
would feel the bullets.

No sacrifice would be too great.

Allah’s soldiers were ready.

Let the bloodshed begin.

Ahmed ran his gaze over the devoted men before him at the River of Blood training camp. Ten of their loyal men were in place and ready to attack. Those here at the camp, the elite of the elite, remained to protect Salaam and execute the most important part of the mission.

Each man was ready to die for Salaam. For Allah. And most would. They were all from Salaam’s Afghanistan village, a tribe of true believers committed to the Qur’an and the Taliban’s rightful enforcement of what the Prophet meant for Sharia Law to be. The men made Ahmed proud. He scanned through the group again then froze, jaw and fists clenching. His son, Fahran, was not among the devoted gathered to hear Salaam videotape their triumphant speech.

The embarrassment of Fahran’s slight cut deep. Ahmed already had to bear the shame and dishonor his daughter Maryam had brought upon him several years ago. Her fate had been death. Fahran had to learn that reciting the Koran and praying weren’t enough to serve Allah. A true believer had to fight. Islam and Sharia must prevail over everyone.

This was war.

Chapter Two

 

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

1400 hours

Good intentions didn’t pave the road to hell—they only led a man to that fiery pit. Razor blades paved it. White-hot razor blades to be exact. Lt. Col. Roger Weston knew that for a fact. His ass was shredded to ribbons, on fire, and things were about to get even worse. General Dekker was on the warpath and every agency with an acronym was crawling up every ass they could, including Roger’s, which left him in one hell of a bad mood.

He glanced over at SFC Jack “DT” Hunter and SFC Beck Walker. His Delta Team leaders. Men he’d lay his life on the line for and men whose lives he’d managed to screw up royally, along with the lives of a number of others.

DT and Beck had arrived at his apartment a few minutes ago so they could face Dekker’s verbal firing squad together. The general had called them all to his office and from DT’s and Beck’s grim expressions, they weren’t any happier about it than Roger was. Only Rico Santana would escape today’s ass chewing. He was on medical leave and luckily had flown to Atlanta this morning. Technically DT was on medical leave too, but Dekker had called him in after hearing he was in town.

Between the protesters today and the bomb threats last month, Ft. Bragg was becoming a circus and, right or wrong, Dekker was holding Roger and his men partially responsible. Not only because he, DT and Beck had voluntarily stepped in the shit that was causing the stink, but also because they’d deliberately kept Dekker in the dark about what was going down until it was too damn late to stop them. That meant anytime Dekker caught flak from the fallout of their actions, he’d shove it in their faces.

And it wasn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

Roger had been to hell and back in his military career and had never once came close to breaking. No matter what the challenge, he’d been able to toe the line. But ever since the mission in Lebanon last month, the hard choice he’d made and the resulting damage, his firm grip on everything had been shaken. He damn well needed to tighten it back up fast, though, because the way things were coming down the pipes from the brass, and the rising anti-American unrest around the world, none of them had seen real ugly yet.

This was the first time he, Beck and DT had been together since Dekker chewed them out last month after their rogue rescue mission to Peru. The upside of their actions—Lauren Collins’s boys, Angie Freemont and Rico Santana had been rescued relatively unharmed and getting the evidence needed to nail Juan Pablo Menendez’s (a.k.a. Andreas Miles’s) ass for terrorism and kidnapping—didn’t matter. The CIA and NCS—National Clandestine Service—got their Jockeys in a wad over it and that’s what mattered. Real life usually sucked that way, though. Any good done isn’t worth a crap if a wrong is anywhere in sight.

To the upper brass, they’d been soldiers out of line. Period.

Despite everything, the rescue had been worth it. He couldn’t say the same about the mission to Lebanon. The fallout from that was pure hell and something he would never likely come to terms with, but what was happening at night in his dreams was worse—completely unforgiveable.

“Mari all right?”

Roger jumped as if shot and met DT’s entirely-too-probing gaze. He crumbled Mari’s note in his fist. Every time he entered his apartment her alluring scent of jasmine and sweet spice jerked him every which way but loose. Normally at this time of day, Roger would be in his office, but he’d gone to his apartment to check on Mari, the pregnant widow of one of his men—a man whose blood was on Roger’s hands.

Roger’s calls to Mari this morning had gone unanswered and it was with relief that he’d found her note. Her cell phone hadn’t survived the washing machine last night and there hadn’t been time to replace it yet. He stood and frowned at DT as he tossed Mari’s note in the trash. “She’s fine. Out eating lunch with Holly. You and Beck ready to face Dekker?”

The men on his team knew Neil “the Sandman’s” widow was staying in his apartment on post ever since she’d been attacked last month by the radical right-wing extremist, Frank Dugar. They all knew Roger was bunking on his neighbor’s couch in the apartment next door. And they all knew that Senior Airman Holly Gear was staying in his apartment with Mari, but there were unspoken questions in his men’s gazes.

Questions Roger did not want to face. His dreams of Mari in his bed were unacceptable. So he stuffed them into the back of his mind where his decision in Lebanon and the resulting tragedy sat like a seething predator that often kept him from shutting his eyes at night.

DT moved to the front door. “Yeah. Let’s get it over with.”

Beck followed and Roger moved in behind, noting that Beck was not only sober, but had showered and shaved as well, taking the edge off the man’s rugged look. Of Native American descent with black hair to his shoulders, a razor-sharp gaze and a dagger tattooed over his heart, the man was a six-foot force to be reckoned with in battle and a damn good soldier who could track a ghost through thin air. Ever since the disaster in Lebanon, Beck had been looking for answers from a whisky bottle and skirting the edge of disaster. But after their wild-ass rescue trip to Peru, he seemed to be pulling it together. At least the man was staying sober when off duty.

Survivor’s guilt was hell to overcome. Roger knew that first hand. Neil Dalton had died in the explosion, along with three Lebanese children and two women. DT, the rest of Delta Team A, and the women they’d been rescuing had been seriously injured. Roger couldn’t shut his eyes without seeing the carnage…hearing the screams.

DT made an abrupt about-face at the door. “Just tell me one thing. Why are we ending up the bad guys here? I keep thinking the Menendez/Miles nightmare is over. I keep telling Lauren that she and the boys are safe. Then I wake up and it’s still there, bigger than ever.”

Beck snorted with disgust. “You expect things to be different?”

DT frowned. “We caught Menendez red-handed with enough evidence to nail him to a cross, but we’re the ones being crucified.”

Beck cursed. “Get out of la-la land, bro. Do you think that truth or justice have any weight in a situation when the government gets involved? If it wasn’t for the fact that Roger is cousins with the President, we’d be facing a court-martial right now.”

Roger winced at Beck’s growing disillusionment, but couldn’t refute the statement. Hiding the truth behind the missile strike in Lebanon had created a fissure in the solidarity of the unit that was eating them both alive. But more harm than good would result if the world realized an American missile had sparked the explosions in the terrorists’ hideout.

Discipline and control kept a soldier grounded when shit hit the fan, and shit always hit the fan in war. It was inevitable, but no matter what, a soldier had to do his duty and hold the line. Beck had been wavering on a shaky edge since Lebanon, and the news Roger had heard last night from his cousin wasn’t going to help. But both DT and Beck needed to be prepared.

Roger lowered his voice. “I spoke to Paul yesterday. The peace summit failed. And it wasn’t because the countries attacked didn’t believe Menendez and his special ops teams guilty of assassinating Imam Aziz in Iran and attacking the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. It failed because the leaders want control of Menendez’s biofuel and have vowed to destroy America if they don’t get it. They’re the source fueling the rumors that America and Israel were behind the assassination and terrorist attacks.”

DT cursed. “You’re not joking are you? It’s not as if America is going to profit from the biofuel. Did the President tell them about the worldwide charitable fund that all the proceeds would go to? Billions to feed, clothe and shelter the needy.”

“Yes. Even offered to have the overseeing board be multinational, but the bastards wanted all or nothing. They sat right there at the negotiation table and told Paul to his face they would discount the truth and blame the US and Israel if he didn’t hand over the biofuel, which means this political nightmare we’re in is only beginning.”

“Damn. It’s a good thing Lauren is in Atlanta. She’ll have a few days of thinking the world is a little bit rosier before her bubble bursts. As often as I tell her she isn’t responsible for Bill Collins’s role in Menendez’s plot, she can’t let go of the guilt or the need to do something to ‘fix’ what her husband and Menendez did.”

“What goes around comes around,” Beck said, disgusted. “We lied about what went down in Lebanon and now folks are lying about us. We deserve it.”

Roger clenched his teeth and forced himself to take a deep breath before responding, but his anger still came through loud and clear. “There’s a whole damn universe of difference between the oil-rich countries’ anti-US campaign to coerce control of the biofuel from the US and what the US did in glossing over what happened in Lebanon and you know it.”

BOOK: Tactical Deception: Silent Warrior, Book 2
4.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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