Book One Chapter 15 and 16

Posted: March 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
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CHAPTER 15

 

 

Doctor Evan Porter sat between two large roots of an old gnarled pine tree leaning back against the rough tree bark. He was dressed in what could only be described as a prison jump suit. It was light tan in color and ill fitting.  He lazily swatted away a flying bug that had decided that it like the good doctor. In his lap sat a laptop computer. He looked up from under the wide brim of his hat that covered his thinning silver hair to see his wife of 42 years making her way to him with a bottle of water. For a man in his mid 60’s he was in surprisingly fair health despite his living condition and mistreatment at the hands of the Chinese.

“Here is some water for you love” she said as she kneeled down next to her husband. Doctor Linda Porter was a stout woman in her early 60’s. Like her husband and the surviving students she had a sinewy leanness brought on by the meager diet and the forced labor during their 4 years of incarceration. Held incognito and against their will, the world believing they died in a tragic accident. She adjusted her rolled up legs on her jump suit.

“Thank you for the water, love.” Evan said as he removed his hat to mop up the sweat from his brow.

“You are very welcome my dear,” she replied as she caressed his silver stubbled cheek. “The guards are getting ready to start their grid search on field 6.”

“Good, it is about time. Have they set the calibration correctly, this time?” he asked as he shifted to find a more comfortable position for his back.

“Yes, I saw to it myself,” she replied.

Four years ago Doctors Evan and Linda Porter along with a party of 10 undergrad students from the University of California, Los Angles were reported dead to the world.

The school had been contacted by a public relations firm that was employed by the North Koreans and China to begin work on some ruins. The ruins had been unearthed after a landslide exposed part of a foundation at the top of the hill. The doctors took the job with the blessings of the school and the U.S. State Department. They took with them some of their top notch students. Shortly after arriving at their destination the elderly doctors and the students were kidnapped and their deaths faked. The Kidnappers worked for one of the many crime organizations that belonged to the powerbase of the chairman. He had need for their skills and had orchestrated the events so that he and his cronies could look for the rumored lost treasure of Attila the Hun. Some of the undergrads were women; they had caught the eyes of several of the thugs that had kidnapped them. It was no different with the Chinese guards who now guarded them.

Evan smiled at his wife and remembered with fondness the day he meet this wonderful creature who would share his life and complete his soul by becoming his wife. His revere was cut short as he spotted the vicious little lieutenant in charge of the guard detail today.

He looked at his wife and spoke softly to her. “Don’t look now but Diablo is walking this way. I wonder what he wants now?”

The lieutenant was small and vicious man, his face was thin and he had just a few scraggily black hairs on his chin. His pinched face and bad over bite reminded everyone that looked at him of a rat. He was a man that knew how to inflict pain and misery. The lieutenant’s most favorite implement of inducing pain and suffering was a bamboo walking stick. Most of his victims tended to be local girls that shied away from his affection. But if he was having a particularly bad day it was usually one of the ‘Foreign’ women that became the focus of his venting. It seemed that over the years he had developed a liking for one of the undergrad woman.

Her name was Susan. Diablo would rape and beat her and rape her again. Just when she was starting to recover from the beatings he would beat her again and when she appeared to be getting over the latest rape he would rape her again. The first time the lieutenant tried to rape her one of the men from the group of students stopped him by hitting him. The young man punched the lieutenant so hard that it snapped off one of the lieutenant’s buck teeth at the gum line. The lieutenant was knock out, later when he came to, the Lieutenant bashed the young man’s brains out with the walking stick and to this day he still wears a necklace made up from the young man’s teeth.

The lieutenant walked up to the two doctors swinging his walking stick as he went. He knew that he could not harm the doctors or any of the other scientists. To do any harm to them was to face death at the hands of the general. Such a fate would not be enjoyable; the general would ensure that the pain would last for days before finally killing him.

“The men are ready to begin,” the lieutenant said in his broken English. The smell of cheap liquor and decay coming from his breath as he spat the word into the doctors faces.

“We will be ready in a few minutes, lieutenant,” replied Evan making sure that he breathed through his mouth.

“You would be wise to hurry, the General is most anxious as to what you may find at this place,” he said waving his arms wildly. The stench of the man’s sweat could almost be classified as a weapon. “As you know I can not treat you as you should be treated, but that does not hold true for your young students,” he sneered at both doctors as he started to stumble away.

With that Evan finished his entry into the computer and started to rise from his seat between the roots with the assistance of his wife. “How was Susan this morning?” he asked.

Linda blinked away a tear as she replied. “She tried to hang herself last night.”

 

CHAPTER 16

It was 2245 hours and the men had feasted and were ready to start the mission. The ship’s Captain had his personal chief prepare their pre mission meal. The meal was fit for a king. They had baked salmon with teriyaki sauce, lobster tail with drawn butter, steamed green beans in garlic and white wine sauce, a small portion of a flank steak, baked potatoes, and dinner rolls.

All 3 squads from the first platoon recon were assembled on the aft quarter of the hanger deck. This section housed many of the larger items that the ship needed to store for repair of the various aircraft that called the ship home. The squads were rehearsing and revising the ways they were to enter and exit the VTH-32. Gunny Riddel was putting the men through the paces, His voice could be heard bellowing the time over the dim of the sounds of maintance being done to the ship and to the numerous aircraft that were on the hanger deck as Gunny was looking at his watch.

With their gear grounded in neat columns and rows with their weapons placed squarely atop their packs the men ran and reran the exercise. The extra supplies that the platoon needed were stacked on two pallets next to the gear near the elevator’s blast doors. Diesel and Big Rig walked on to the hanger deck and its harsh white light that came from the lights suspended from the ceiling, or as the navy and the marines called it the overhead. Diesel grounded his gear in front of the neat and orderly rows. He could taste the dust and dirt that was kicked up from the men. The air was warm from the glow of the lights.

“Are you really sure that you have everything that you are going to need on the op, you sure you don’t need a pool table or a wet bar?” asked Big Rig pointing to the pallets of supplies.

“I’m sure that one or more of my very industrious marines will have managed to arrange for the delivery of a few non essential items to be among the gear,” Diesel said as he cracked a grin.

Although the intelligence they were given told them not to expect any problems with the insertion, the unit always trained as if they were hitting a hot landing zone. The colonel and captain made their way over to Gunny, whom was standing on top of one of the many conex boxes filled with spare parts, timing the men as they ran through the exercise.

Gunny looked down at the captain and colonel. “The men are ready sirs. Do you need anything sirs?” asked the Gunny in his gruff voice.

“If you could please have the squad leaders join me and the colonel over at the gear,” said Diesel.

The Gunny used a voice that harkened back to when he was on the drill field to cut through the noise of the hanger deck “Squad leaders report to the captain on the double.”

All three squad leaders replied with the standard “Aye aye sir.”

To which the Gunny responded just as fast. “Don’t sir me, my parents were married…to each other,” he said with a grin.

The Gunny’s response generated laughter from the men of the unit and from those men that were working nearby. The Gunny knew that he had to give the men something to do, the constant drilling and exercises would only take them so far. They needed to blow off a little steam before they put their lives in harm’s way, again. If they did not keep their mind and hands busy they, the men, would start to think about what it is they were going to do. That would likely lead to thoughts of will this be the one I don’t come back from.

“First platoon bring it in and have a seat. You men are ready,” Gunny started to speak.

The squad leaders nearly ran to where the captain and the colonel where standing near the aft elevator’s blast doors next to a conex box. “At ease,” stated Big Rig. He turned to Diesel and continued. “I will see you when you get back, and this time bring me a few girly pictures back if you can,” With that he turned and walked away.

“Good morning sir,” said all three squad leaders in unison.

“What’s so good about it? I was having this great dream about this really hot blonde with legs up to here,” Diesel said as he indicated by pointing to his chin.

“If she looked anything like Trojans wife then you and I were sharing the same dream,” quipped Loki.

Diesel’s men were relaxed, Diesel thought to himself that this is a good thing. He waited for the retort from Staff Sergeant Simmons whom the men called Trojan.

SSgt. Simmons slowly turned his head to look over his left shoulder to peer at Loki. “You can have all the dreams you want. I have the real thing, boys.” SSgt Troy Simmons was one of the few married men in the unit. His wife, who happened to be a swimsuit model, and the mother of a set of twin boys married him 6 years ago this past July. She was truly a very sexy woman. The boys would be turning three sometime in February. Trojan stood just at 5 foot 10 inches with broad shoulder and a glint in his eyes. He had the appearance of someone you would rather not piss off.

Diesel reached into his pants left cargo pocket and pulled out a fair sized topographical map that had a clear satellite overlay that showed terrain features like trees and buildings. He unfolded the map and was placing it on top of the conex box.

“Okay boys,” started Diesel. “Since we’re using the whole first platoon on this mission, I want to cover a few things. We will not, repeat not, be using our standard deploying method upon exiting the aircraft. Instead Loki you are to take your squad to the left and aft of the aircraft. Trojan your squad is to go to the right and aft of the aircraft. Nightstalker you are to fill the gap at the ramp of the aircraft. Your squads will form a circle and the command section with the intell weenies will move to the center. From there we will move out to this section of the woods,” Diesel pointed to spot on the map as he spoke. “Call 100 meters inside and setup a perimeter. At this point I will want to meet with you and your fire team leaders.” Diesel paused to look around. “Has anybody seen the Lieutenant Jefferys or the CIA pukes?” he asked.

“Sir, I saw Lieutenant Jefferys down at the armory about 45 minutes ago, he said that he would be up as soon as he signed some paper work. As for the CIA pukes, I have not seen hide nor hair of them since the briefing,” said Nightstalker. At that moment Lieutenant Jefferys entered the hanger deck.

Lieutenant Jefferys looked like a nervous wreck. He was paler that his usual pasty white cave dwelling self. Sweat was already beaded on his forehead and was running like a river off his face. He tried to march up to where Diesel and the Squad leaders where, but his legs felt as if they were made of rubber, he started to sway.

Diesel seeing the man’s predicament rushed over to the Lt and grabbed him and helped him down next to the conex box. Diesel turned to Loki and said. “Quietly get static over here to check the el-tee over.” Within moments Static was kneeling next to the lieutenant. With their forms hidden from the view by the conex box, Static looked over the lieutenant.

A few minutes passed while Diesel continued to talk with the squad leaders and static looked over the stricken man. Static stood up and look to Diesel. “He is a little dehydrated and more than a little nervous. He’s drinking some water now and I would have the Gunny talk to him. Other than that he’ll be okay,” reported Static, who felt no sympathy for the man seated at his feet.

Diesel knelt down to look at the lieutenant. “Are you going to make it lieutenant?” Diesel asked as Gunny made his way over to the conex box after telling the rest of the platoon to stow the rest of the supplies with their gear.

“I will be fine in a few minutes, sir. There is something that I wish to say to you in front of these men here,” Lieutenant Jefferys croaked. The squad leaders looked at each other and they too knelt down next to the lieutenant. “I,” began the lieutenant. He took a sip of his water and cleared his throat before continuing. “I was wrong in both my actions and in my comments to you and your people. I went back and read your after action reports for the past 3 months. What you don’t know is that Lieutenant Smith and I were friends. He told me of what happened to him and his platoon. But he did not tell me everything. Before reading the after action report I believed that he was getting a bum rap. Now I know what a colossal screwup he is. I’m sorry for my actions and behavior towards you and your marines.

Diesel looked the lieutenant straight in the eyes and said. “It takes a real man to admit to his mistakes to others, lieutenant. That being said, it was your comments that lead us to where we are now. You gave me food for thought and made me think on some of my actions and decisions.”

Diesel turned and looked up at static. “Thank you static, can you be so kind as to take the lieutenant’s gear and put it with the rest,” Diesel asked.

Diesel helped the lieutenant to his feet. His color was slowly returning to normal and he could stand steadily on his own. Diesel ran him through what he and the squad leaders had been discussing prior to his showing up.

It was 2336 hours, 25 minutes before the scheduled time for their takeoff when the two imposters showed up. Each of them had some poor navy seaman carrying their gear for them down to the hanger deck. When they arrived they spoke to no one and acted as if they were above getting dirty.  The newly assigned men didn’t even load their own gear on to the aircraft, they just handed it to crew as if they were flying American Airlines rather than being part of an insertion team. To the trained eye these two were new to the world of combat. Their uniforms and gear had that new crisp look about it. They acted as if they had done this sort of stuff before but their inexperience showed in the way that they were constantly checking their weapons during the flight. While the rest of the men with the sole exception of Lieutenant Jefferys looked calm and relaxed.

Just as before, on the pervious mission with this same aircrew, they were professional. The total flight time was two hours. With a slight, jarring bump the VTH-32 touched down and the light turned green and within ten seconds the recon platoon was off the hog and on their bellies. The members of the platoon was formed up in a circle  their weapons trained out, looking for any hostiles. The hog was quickly getting back into the air to repeat this insertion two more time to fool any enemy radar units that might have acquired them or units on the ground that spotted them as they headed in country. Low crawling, the men made their way into the tree line and formed a perimeter with the command section at the center.  As predicted, the insertion went off without a hitch.

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