James Bond teams up with Green Berets for this deadly mission
|For a short while, Bond dreamt of retirement. Perestroika spelt the end of the soviet empire and of the tyrannical regimes that had flourished under its shadow. Suddenly, like a ray of sunshine piercing a dark cloudy sky, the world was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Other than infiltrating drug cartels that threatened the world with their poison, Bond saw himself as an icon of a forgotten time. The idea of settling in some vineyard in southern France, cultivating and savoring exquisite wine was appealing. Perhaps he would allow himself to finally settle with a woman and raise a family.|
September 11 changed that. It proved that America and its allies faced a new type of enemy. A ruthless and invisible enemy whose fanatical doctrines hold little regard to human life. It’s no longer a purely conventional war where armies met armies and soldiers fought soldiers. It’s a war of suicide bombers and of weapons of mass destruction. More precisely, Bond thought, it was a war of intelligence, a cat-and-mouse chase between the spy agencies of the Free World and the independent terrorist cells.
Suddenly, his dream of retirement was nothing more than chasing a mirage.
Yet he felt no disappointment in his heart. He was a chameleon, a man who knew how to blend with his surroundings, possessing multiply identifications allowing him to slip in and out of countries undetected. He was fluent is over nine foreign languages, an expert marksman and a diplomat. Deep down he knew that he wasn’t ready for retirement and that the world still needed him.
I can sure use a Martini just about now.
The thought passed through his head as he tilted his heavy helmet and surveyed his surroundings. Except for the red glow cast by the “no jump” light, much of the airplane’s interior resembled a dark cave. The men sitting beside him were dressed in jumper suits with night vision goggles strapped onto their helmets. Heavy canvas bags laid in front of them. The white of their eyes shone through the wild camouflage whose patterns blended with the red light. Yet he felt no tension or excitement from their hardened looks. They were professionals. They were men who could enter the gates of hell and accomplish their mission with clinical detachment. He also knew that they would follow his orders without question.
“Commander,” the squad leader’s Texan voice cut through the din of the roaring engines, “it’s time to chute up.” He was a small man of average stature, clean-cut with a crooked nose much like a thug straight out of a Dick Tracy comic book. Bond wondered how such a man made the team until he saw the tattoo of an angry gun-totting swordfish that covered half of his left forearm. It stretched and bulged as the man reached into the heavy canvas bag and pulled a rucksack out. It was definitely the body of a man who pushed himself to the utmost and beyond. The sight gave Bond a new appreciation for the senior parachute wings and the Green Beret tab.
He reached and opened his canvas bag, withdrawing his chute and reserve. It took about ten minutes for Bond to buckle and tighten all of his straps and to help the squad leader into his. The crew chief then helped Bond rig his rucksack under his reserve and checked the drop line. It was fifteen feet of nylon webbing to lower the rucksack to the ground first. It was definitely something Bond did not want to receive on his head.
He felt the weight of his kit, his MP5 machine gun with a suppressor strapped to the waistband of his chute, muzzle pointing down. The muzzle and receiver had been covered, protecting the weapon from dirt. His chute and reserve weighed sixty pounds. The rucksack added fifty more. Bond gave a little jump to better adjust the uncomfortable weight before sitting down. The rest of the men followed his example.
The crew chief gave a few more tugs at the straps and one at the weapon before patting a strong, meaty hand on top of Bond’s shoulders. He was an older man in his mid fifties with a short gray mustache and a crop of white hair. Bond saw experience reflected through his eyes and a yearning to join them for the jump. Bond smiled as the old man stepped backwards towards the airplane’s door. The old man returned a smile. He raised his fingers, 10 minutes out.
Bond nodded at the crew chief. His eyes shifted from one man onto the other. Tension was building and James felt it. The pairs of staring eyes had widened as their minds flipped the switch to commando mode. Adrenaline was flowing inside every pulsating vein of his body. His heart was pounding like a drum and felt the sharpening of his senses. The crew chief pulled the door lever and the night air howled as cold air instantly flooded the cargo hold. The moon appeared over a blanket of clouds like a ball of molten iron in a star-filled sky, its silver rays cutting though the dim red light. The roar of the engines thundered in their ears. The crew chief moved hand-over-hand along an anchor-line cable connecting to the rear of the plane. A safety line followed him like a tail. “Are you ready?”
The jumpers gave a thumbs up. The tension had increased exponentially as they viewed the bed of clouds. All were eager to see the light turn green.
“Stand up!” With all the adrenaline flowing in their blood, they hardly noticed the weight of their kit as they rose from the bench. The light still remained red. Three minutes out.
“Hook up!” A burst of clicks filled the air as snap links connecting the static line overhead. Next was the safety line that also hooked with a flurry of clicks.
“Check your man’s lines!” The man behind Bond ran his hand over Bond’s static line, the man behind him checked his and so on. No kinks were detected.
“Sound off for equipment check!”
“Alpha Six check!”
“Alpha Five check!”
“Alpha Four check!”
“Alpha Three check!”
“Alpha Two check!”
Bond felt the smart tap on his left shoulder from the man behind him. It was a procedure designed to relay the order in case the man in front didn’t hear over the shrill of the engines.
“Alpha One check!” Bond exclaimed.
Bond proceeded towards the door as the plane sliced through the clouds. His jumpsuit was flattering like a flag in a hurricane. Suddenly a tiny set of lights appeared below, glowing like lit cigarettes.
“I can see the beacons!” he yelled as he turned his head towards the crew chief. With a push of a button, the chief made the light turn green. Bond jumped.
A violent blast of frigid wind pushed him horizontally as straps holding his chute snapped. With a solid tug, the canopy mushroomed nearly knocking the wind out of him. Above him, the disappearing plane spat a row of falling silhouettes. With resounding snaps, their canopies opened and they began their steady decent under a looming moon. The winds were still strong, tossing them from one side to the other. Instinctively 007 pulled on the left riser and caught a slight updraft that scooped him from the powerful gale. A few tugs later and he drifted elegantly across the dark sky, riding the cool wind like a surfer on a massive wave. The moonlight’s eerie glow rippled over the calm sea, revealing the growing shadow of an island under his feet. Bond lowered his night-vision goggles and viewed his objective.
The mission to the island of Las Madres was extremely dangerous. A local drug and arms dealer by the name of Sanchez Muharas purchased the island located 50 nautical miles off of the coast of San Salvador. MI-6 and the CIA had gathered Intel reporting of a major arms deal between his target and various international terrorist organizations bent on supplying top-grade military firepower to Iraqi insurgents. Hearing of Bond’s success in dealing with the Caracas Affair, President George W. Bush had personally requested Bond to pick and to lead a special strike team for this mission. Granting the President’s request, Tony Blair secretly ordered MI-6 to assign Bond with the task. As for Bond, he felt flattered by the attention. He knew that his government’s alliance with America’s war on terrorism posed a huge threat to his fellow citizens. It was only a matter of time before some form of terrorist retribution would strike his homeland. It was time to take the initiative and to obliterate the insurgent’s means to fight. His primary task was simple, total elimination of all major players. His secondary objective was to collect as much Intel on terrorist activity as possible. Earlier satellite pictures had revealed a series of pillboxes guarding the small fort located near the center of the island. A narrow dirt road was also seen snaking its way from the main entrance towards a heavily guarded jetty on the eastern side of the island. Through the green glow of his night-vision goggles, 007 noted something the pictures had missed. His goggles whizzed as the image magnified. He spotted a SP-5 machine gun mounted on a tripod beside each of the rampart’s eight projectors. There were several large helicopters already occupying landing pads beside a mansion.
He pulled the rucksack’s quick release. It dropped like a brick with fifteen feet nylon web whipping in the air behind it, giving his harness a slight jerk. The ground approached very quickly as he bent his knees slightly maintaining his eye on the horizon. A solid thud reached his ears as his rucksack crashed followed by a sudden impact that sent him rolling onto the parachute landing. A cascade of thuds surrounded him as the others arrived. Bond reached inside the rucksack’s main pocket and pulled a box. Inside was his Walther PPK, a suppressor, a box of ammunition, a block of C4 explosives and a detonator masqueraded as a pen. In the other pocket, he found a combat knife and a pack of cigarettes. Quickly, he gathered the strewn parachute, stuffed it along with his annoying helmet into the rucksack and hid the bundle in a nearby bush.
“Yo no se. Veramos!”
James’ head whipped towards the direction of the voice and saw the two sentries treading towards a lit beacon. They were short and dressed in short sleeved shirts with jeans. Both were sporting AK-47s with sidearms. One of the men held a lit cigar in his lips. James crouched in the shadows and held his breath. Both men approached the beacon and the one with the cigar kicked it. The other grabbed a walkie-talkie from his rear pocket. Like a wildcat, he leaped towards the man with the radio. The razor-sharp blade of his combat knife glistened like a star under the moonlight as he charged, plunging it under the guard’s Adam’s apple. Dumbstruck, the cigar dropped from the second one’s lips as he raised his rifle. Suddenly a geyser of blood erupted from the side of his head spraying the neighboring flora with brain matter. Alpha Two emerged from a crop of jungle leaves, a wisp of smoke exiting from his suppressor. He flashed a quick salute. Bond returned the same before sheathing his blade.
Bond surveyed the fort ahead. As indicated by the red digital display in the lower corner of his vision, a huge fort was five hundred meters away, past the jungle and into a clearing lit by the swiveling rampart projectors. Several guards were amassed around the compound, some patrolling, others smoking cigarettes or idly engaging in conversation. All of them had AK-47s hooked to straps across their chest. His eyes panned the reinforced walls. The pillboxes were the real problem. They held .50 machine guns and there was plenty of open space for the gunners to see. It was clear that he and his men had to find a way around them while dodging the damn moving lights. It was time to call Eagle One, his ace in the hole. Bond grinned as he sank into the jungle foliage.
Bond thrusted his knife into the ground. The end of the hilt whirled and split open, unfolding a miniature satellite dish. He then opened the pack of cigarettes uncovering a micro LCD screen and keyboard with a red button from under the lid. A set of wires, dissimulated inside one of the cigarettes, helped connect both the pack and the night-vision goggle with the satellite dish. A tiny red light pulsed as the goggles relayed the fort’s coordinates to the dish.
Somewhere high in the Earth’s orbit, Eagle One’s slowly drifted against a star-filled background, its internal electronic arrays awakening with a flurry of pulses. A tiny flame burst from one of the many ports that dotted the satellite’s lower dome, nudging it over Central America. A few seconds later, another rocket fired, rotating the platform’s central railing system, titling its EMP cannon towards the Earth’s surface and adjusting its sensor to the uploaded coordinates.
The commando’s were crouched around Bond, their MP-5s machine guns at the ready, watching the enemy’s activities. There was no apparent change in the guard’s pattern. The field before them was covered with dancing light circles. A small group of guards were laughing as they each took a swig from a bottle that was being passed around. Others were idly patrolling the various parameters.
Bond and his group heard the echo of an approaching helicopter from behind. It flew over their heads, briefly illuminating the ruffling foliage with its front projector. The guards stopped their activities and peered overhead as it flew past the clearing and around the fort’s walls. It finally hovered over the compound, pivoting as it was preparing to land. Suddenly, a beep from the cigarette pack caught Bond’s attention. The word ready was blinking on the screen. “Time to crash the party” whispered Bond as he pressed the red button.
A Thermo-Nuclear flash sallowed Eagle One, sending millions of megawatts racing through the cannon’s circuits. A nanosecond before the blast vaporized the satellite, invisible columns of electromagnetic pulse bursted through the muzzle. Its energy sliced through the Earth’s atmosphere before slamming onto the center of the fort like a sledgehammer. Shards of pulverized glass filled the night air as every projector exploded. The helicopter’s engine gave a loud mechanical screech as electric arcs raced along its side. Its nose dipped, raising the tail end into the air and swinging its rotor blade in erratic arcs. Its front spotlight brandished in frantic motions, flashing the parked helicopters and concrete walls of the compound. Its tail rotor slammed into a frightened guard, shredding him into flying chunks of flesh and bone before slamming onto the rampart’s edge - exploding into spinning splinters and concrete chips that whipped in every direction. The helicopter lurched to one side and smashed its rotor blades onto the landing pad, sending flying debris into a nearby depot of oil barrels. Their impact tore monstrous gashes along their sides. Guards were screaming and running in every direction as the chopper slid along the pavement amid a shower of sparks and glass. One of the sparks flew into the growing puddle of petrol. With a whoosh, a wall of flame shot towards the pile of barrels. A colossal fireball launched them into the air with fiery tales, screaming like fireworks. One by one the parked helicopters exploded, flipping them into the air. One of them smashed through the roof of the mansion’s eastern wing.
“Go!” Bond screamed over the clamor of another mushroom cloud as he grabbed his night-vision goggles and sprang from the cover of the foliage.
The Green Berets followed, their MP5s pumping lead towards the ensuing chaos.
Bond grabbed his night-vision goggles and placed them over his eyes.