There were lots more details passed on by the Deacon. In the end I had to admit that Deacon was competent, smart as hell, and blood thirsty. When it ended, I had my own ideas. I did listen and evaluate everything he said to me.
Part one of the plan I could not disagree with at all. We were to be flown to the small country whose name I doubt that more than one out of ten Americans had ever heard. It was another grass strip for us when we arrived. Deacon informed me that it was maintained by something called ROXX. It stood for some kind of revolutionaries army hiding in the jungle. I didn’t give a crap whose strip it was as long as I didn’t have to shoot my way onto it.
We were ready to leave when the Deacon slipped something heavy into my pack. “You are going to love these, I guarantee it,” he said grinning at me. When the Deacon grinned I realized he was missing several teeth.
“So thanks for the briefing. I’ll take care of this or you can push the destruct button on me.” I said.
“Sweetie, I don’t need or want your permission. If it ends for you in that shit hole, it’s just the way it goes. I doubt that you can even come back to haunt me.” he said grinning again.
“Fair enough and when your number comes up on the kill list, I promise I won’t even blink an eye,” I said.
“Then we do understand each other. Good luck and remember a river of blood. Just killing them isn’t enough.” The Deacon said it without any joy in his voice. It was just business to him.
I filed all the information he passed on to me under, when I need it I’ll review it. In the meantime I was ready to get on with the job. It was the only thing I felt, when I climbed into the back of that airplane. I took a seat beside Eve and put my pack onto the seat behind me, just as Eve had done.
“You ready for this?” I asked.
“Of course,” she replied. I had forgotten how straight up, all business Eve was. Even after they did the personality upgrade, that model still lacked spontaneity. Or maybe it was something else missing. Something I didn’t even understand. Either way Eve could pull off being human, but only if a human or maybe me did the majority of the talking.
The flight south took most of the night. We had a different pilot for the flight, but I had expected nothing less. The sun had been up only an hour or so when the plane touched down. We grabbed our packs and left the plane quickly. The sprint into the jungle was an easy one.
I watched the plane take off, which in effect stranded me with the EVE unit. If the shit went rank and we survived, it would be a long walk home. The extraction plan had better work, or Deacon Burke would be the first one I killed, when I got home.
In the meantime we had a five mile walk through the jungle just to get within sight of the town. Then another ten miles to the hacienda. We were at the edge of the town by noon. I backed us away from the village but followed the road closely.
“Okay Eve, let’s hide our packs and walk into town.” I said softly.
“That isn’t the plan,” Eve said to me but it was the controller talking.
“We are operational. When you are in the field the plan changes by the minute . Now hide your pack and let’s go.” I said.
“What is the new plan,” the controller asked through Eve.
“I’ll let you know, when I know,” I said softly. “Now hide your fucking pack or I’m leaving without you.” I remembered the override code, but I also remembered Deacon’s admonition not to take over lightly.
Before I put my pack along side hers behind the bush, I removed the wad of good old US cash. We cut a few pieces of brush to lay over the packs before we walked away. Entering the village was tricky, because we had to walk in on the only road. We started on the road well out of sight of the village. Then we just walked into town and hoped no one noticed.
My new found ability to read and speak Spanish was a great help. I didn’t sound like a native, but I managed to find the local bike repair shop. It was after noon when I found myself in front of the middle aged bicycle mechanic.
“Good afternoon Sir,” I said respectfully. “My friend and I came in on the bus and hour ago.” Yes I had checked the bus schedule when we passed the bus pickup point. “We would like to rent or purchase two bicycle so that we might tour the area. I understand there is a very famous monastery several miles from town,” I said. I doubt that he cared about anything except our ability to pay.
He obviously recognized my accent. “Five U.S. Dollars each,” he said and nothing more.
“Is that to purchase or rent during our week’s stay?” I asked.
“You buy them now. Then you donate them when you leave.” he said.
“Fair enough,” I said. Even though most of my money was in large bills, I had a couple of hundred dollars in smaller bills. “Two five dollar bills,” I said as I handed them to him.
“Take any of those bikes outside,” he agreed.
Eve and I had no need for gears, so I picked two of the smaller, simple coaster BMX type bikes. Eve and I rode away from the town after we checked out the police station. The local police were paramilitary, but there appeared to be only two of them. They did have a jeep type thing made by Toyota.
Eve kept watch while I broke off the tube which held the radiator cap and put it in my pocket to be disposed of a mile or so away.. It was a little more than ten miles to the site of the hit. I didn’t think a car without a working radiator would make it that far. Of course it might, so I had to keep that in mind.
Eve and I began to pedal the two bikes out of town on the road away from the hacienda first. We rode back to the spot where we had left our packs. I slung the pack over my back with the leg of an old pair of jeans concealing the .22 mag rifle complete with ten power scope, which I had tied to the pack.
We had taken an hour to walk around the town a little. The information we gained and the map we were able to pull up from the satellite photos, helped us avoid the main drag through town. We skirted the edge but were soon back on the road headed to the hit. It was an hour of leisurely ridding to the turn off onto the private road leading to the hacienda.
“This is where we turn off,” I said to Eve. I didn’t really need to say it out loud. We could communicate quite well by whatever it was that sent those silent messages.
Eve didn’t answer. She just pulled into the road. After about five minutes, I sent her a silent message to pull into the jungle. We would walk the last mile, I decided.
It took us about thirty minutes to reach the clearing around the house. The house was stucco or adobe or whatever they used to cover the exterior of houses down there.
I cranked up the magnification on the sensor that replaced my eyesight. There were some benefits to being born again. I could see that there was a gatehouse with one security guard at the entrance. The house had very strong looking doors and reasonably solid windows. At first glance the weakest spot seemed to be the big window in the front.
We skirted the house to look at it from the rear. The minor ambassador had a pool out back and sliding doors going to it. Those were definitely the weak spot, except that if it were me, I would have the doors leading from that room into the house reinforced. An intruder could get into that room maybe, but no farther. That was just to obvious an entrance not to be secured.
While we waited to see what the routine of the household was, I knew I needed to come up with a different plan. We saw the second outside man walking around the perimeter. When he reached the gatehouse, he stopped to talk to the guard there for several minutes before the gatehouse guard did the next walking tour of the outside.
One thing about me, and Eve as well, we had great patience. I lay in the spot watching the gate, while Eve lay in the spot watching the swimming pool entrance. We lay there for hours without any movement at all, which no human could have done. In our case the sunlight charged our power packs, while we used very little power.
It was 8PM when two men came out to relieve the two guards on duty outside. I knew there were supposed to be four security men, so that accounted for them all. I saw all four of them standing at the front gate smoking and talking for several minutes. Could it really be that simple. Wait for the next shift change and just shoot them all right there forty or so feet from the front door.
If I could do that there would be only the Ambassador, his wife, two teenage children and two kids under twelve left to deal with. I had no problem dispatching anyone of them, man woman or child, who pointed so much as a pencil at me or Eve. Murdering people who had surrendered was a different thing.
Well in the case of the Ambassador, it wouldn’t be an issue. In the case of his wife, she knew what he did there was no doubt of that, so she was pretty much a justified kill. The teenagers for sure, if they resisted, cold blooded murder was a different thing. Still, I had to remember they would be obligated to avenge the killings of their parents by the code of that kind of family. I supposed that under some thinking that made them all justified as well.
The younger ones I would have to give some additional thought to at the time. I knew what Burke wanted, but I wasn’t sure I could do it. If I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t allow Eve to do it either.
I slipped back to open my pack. I found a box of .22 mag ammunition that I did not put in the pack. It had to be what Deacon put in and swore I would love. I opened the box took out a round and examined it carefully. It looked a lot like a hollow point that had been filled with red wax, but I knew better.
It was a hollow point alright, or as least it started life as a hollow point. Then the hole was most likely enlarged. It was likely filled with something very nasty. My guess was something explosive as opposed to something poisonous.
Poisons were good for protracted jungle warfare alright. The shot would at a minimum injure the victim. Then the poison would disable him and would also tied up the resources of the enemy, while they cared for him.
So yes a small caliber hollow point was a fine jungle weapon, but this wasn’t a protracted engagement. This one was a quick in and out. Meant to be mean, nasty and wet, so the round would most likely explode on impact. I good sniper weapons system, but not so much for infighting. Eve had a very lethal Chopped down AK47. Most likely, if worse came to worse, she could finish anyone I missed at the gate. It seemed likely that anyone I missed would head for the rear of the building to take cover.
As I removed the ammunition from the pack I noticed something else Deacon had slipped inside. There was a piece of metal which upon closer inspection proved to be a policeman’s badge. Obviously something he wished left behind. I had a feeling the true professionals would have vetoed that as too big a risk. Still it was a warrior’s touch.
Eve and I waited through the night. We watched with both light enhancing software and inferred imaging while the guards move about, and the people in the house lived their life without knowing that they were under a death sentence.