Traveler

Bad soldiers sometimes visit

By Bill Joyce

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5 min.
42
Chapter 1 – Takedown

The situation had come to a horrible climax and I was too far from the women to be able to help. I called for Emily and Megs, via ear buds but they were still five minutes from the warehouse. I was about to leave my lookout position when two of the men standing in front of the kneeling girls slumped to the ground. The third one, still holding the gun pointed at the head of one of the girls, turned towards the commotion when his neck exploded and he too fell lifeless in a heap. It was only seconds when Alverez stood, holding the weapon the third man had. He began to turn towards the women but a bright red dot appeared on his forehead and a spray of pink mist exploded behind his head. I took off from my observation area in a dead run for the warehouse.

The two women, held captive by Mexican bandits were beyond screaming and knelt in the blood and dust of the warehouse. Their six-week ordeal was over but it would be many months before normal life returned.

“Emily, Megs, scout the perimeter. We have a sniper. Maybe another merc hired for the same job. He took out all four and I have the women. See if we can at least buy him a cerveza.”

I had been a mercenary for only ten months. After receiving an introduction to the world by H in New York and playing runner on a few missions, I was asked to join Emily Burke-Hansen on an abduction case in Texas and Mexico.

“Peter, we are here and have scanned the likely spots. This sniper of yours is in the wind.” Megs’ voice in my ear meant I was no longer on the battlefield alone.

“Send in Emily to help me with the women. Keep an eye on the road and let’s get to safer ground.”

There were no leader-follower roles. There were no egos. Just three soldiers doing what needed to be done. Emily came in with two blankets and worked to get the women untied and ready for travel. I inspected the bodies removing any information that could be helpful and checked the warehouse for evidence. This case was not over. Yes, the two hostages were rescued and one known bandito lay in a pool of his own blood, but any lead we had on the rest of the gang had been killed in that warehouse.

I heard the three short bleats of the horn and took one of the bundled women, guiding her out of the warehouse into the waiting van. Within five minutes we were out of the warehouse district and blended into the morning traffic of Mexico City. Our only choice was to get back to our headquarters and regroup.

Alverez Montegue was a bad guy and a known bandito throughout Mexico. Now he was a distorted lump of clay in a dusty abandoned warehouse. We had been on the case for four days attempting to do the impossible, and he was our only lead into the gang that abducted the two women.

We had been called in a by a US Senator from New Mexico. He was the father of the two girls and had paid the ransom only to be told it was not enough. Six million US dollars left in an abandoned gas station just over the border in Mexico did not get the two women back. Now they wanted an additional six million. Six million the father did not have to give. That was when the father went to the US Senator from Texas, the senator called a friend in the armed services, and Megs received a call from JSOC to look into the situation. That was four days ago.

Sarge had been called and already had staff at our headquarters in Texas to handle the women and get them safely back to their father. We occupied the north wing of the fifteen room motel with picnic tables in the front courtyard. Those tables had a unique set of diners—six guys and gals sipping coffee and eating donuts. Each had a long leather bag on the table within easy reach. Each bag held their weapon of choice. They were our front line of defense but there were three others hidden from view that also maintained vigilance over WCM headquarters, Mexico.

The two women were guided into a room where three nurses and a doctor took over. Within three hours they would be tended to and prepared for travel.

It was a 1200 mile trip but they would not be traveling the highways of Mexico. Sarge had a team of rangers from Fort Hood to escort the woman back to the US. Six fully armed rangers accompanied by a Teniente Coronel. Our Mexican advisor, the equivalent to a Lieutenant Colonel in our army, was assigned by the General Secretario de la Defensa Nacional for this operation. They would land a Mexican helicopter on the road outside the motel blocking traffic. The helicopter would take the women to the Mexican military base where they would be transferred to a US Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey for their final trip home.

Emily pushed me into the last room we had commandeered. It was the room the two women used. It seemed I was in for a good talking to. As I awaited their arrival, I went over the morning. Had I done my job? Did I miss something? I wasn’t sure, being so new to the business, but my soldier’s training took over and I evaluated the day’s events without emotion. I infiltrated the enemy encampment, established visual contact with the captive women, called in the team, and properly advanced when the proverbial hit the fan.

Sitting on the bed, I awaited my fate. How bad could it be? Two of the prettiest women I had ever met in service would be my interrogators. How bad could it be?

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About Bill Joyce

Bill is a writer of prose, a poet in his own mind, and self-proclaimed master of words. Long-windedness is due the personal enjoyment of his inside jokes, most of which fall on deaf ears. He calls himself an Author.

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