Sorry for posting late ER issues traveling issues and i lost track of the days. Jack
It was a long restless night; Lorrie was called twice from Morton to make special flights to get members of the OPS team.
I was called once from the Doppler tower at AF479 at 2 AM, “Ma-am, we were told to call you with any activity. A small twin engine plane just landed at the airfield at La Jarita – we were ordered to watch it for you,” the caller said.
“Thank you sir, appreciate the call very much,” I replied.
I went back to the command center and looked at La Jarita with the State Department’s infrared. I watched drug dealers transferring bricks of cocaine from the plane to a pickup and the payoff. They used the headlights from four vehicles to light up the runway when the plane took off.
I turned the screen off and went back to bed. In two hours it would time to get up again. Marcy was possessive and wanted to cuddle, almost squeezing the breath out of me.
I dreaded crawling out of bed but it was morning with plenty to do. I started by calling Greg Archer telling him not to come pick me up today. Then I called Ben to tell him the same thing; he was in charge.
By noon all the equipment was ready and loaded. The C5s were fueled. We were waiting on the last of the men who were going to make it. We were ten men short of a full team. Vicky and I were both going in the field; sand, rocks and hot sticky heat again, only this time in Central America.
We said our tearful goodbyes in Lorrie’s office and then settled in for the 1800 mile flight to Texas. We would arrive in time to be able to unload and be ready to move out at dusk.
Standard operating procedure is for everyone to try to sleep. Even though there were VIP bunks over the cockpit, Vicky and I napped in our seats like the rest of the men.
While the unloading process was going on Vicky, Andy and I rode to the mini control tower to talk with the controller on duty. What I really wanted was all the phone numbers I could get in case of an emergency; I left with several.
We were in our gear and in the vehicles driving away from AF479s southern security fence when my satellite phone rang.
“We need to send an expert with you to verify the components,” Frank said.
“You’re too late, the mission has already started; we are in the field crossing into Mexico,” I replied.
I had the same concerns about identifying the parts but there was a solution.
What I knew that Frank did not know was Robert had found detailed color photographs of every component of the W87 warhead, even down to the mil spec part numbers stamped on them on the dark web. I had them all loaded on my phone. I also had two radiation detectors one I had borrowed from the customs officers at Morton and the other from the UPS depot that was leasing one of the hangars.
Other than an occasional fox, jack rabbit and armadillo, the infrared cameras found nothing. I was surprised that the ATVs made the trip without needing refueling. We had ten gallons in two five gallon cans in the back of each one.
At daylight we were stopped a mile from the airfield. Four scout teams made the trek to the airfield on foot to do a recon. While we waited Vicky and I both were on the phone looking at text and emails. One of those was to call Robert.
“They have exchanged satellite phone numbers; the buyer wants confirmation the seller is at the site and waiting before the plane lands. I am monitoring both. They have set a time to meet at the airfield as you suspected they would; they agreed on noon,” Robert said.
“The Alvan’s departure time from Tampico has been changed; it’s leaving at midnight,” Robert said.
Noon would give us plenty of time to get into place and the vehicles covered.
At 1100 vehicles started showing up in groups of three or four; some of them carried four or more armed men. By 1130 there were over 100 armed men waiting for the meeting. We were out numbered.
A few minutes later my lookouts indicated that there were four pickups coming fast from the direction of Laredo.
Robert called to tell me there had been calls on the satellite phone. The plane was 20 minutes out and the parts very close.
The four pickups drove to the end of the strip close to where we were located. There was a warm greeting among thieves; too warm for comfort. The group walked to where the Prince’s plane had been burned, looking at the remains.
We waited listening to the growing sounds of an aircraft. It was soon in sight as it circled over the runway with its landing gear down. A few minutes later it was coming to a stop where the pickups were parked. It was a Cessna twin engine 414.
The big new camera drone was sent first away so it would not be seen and then it was sent high – 1500 feet – so it would appear to be no more than a speck and moved directly over the assembled group.
The expensive camera package worked perfectly. It took a half an hour before any real action started. There were three plus the pilot that exited the plane. Two of them were armed.
The canvases were pulled back on the pickups and boxes were opened and inspected. The things I saw looked like the pictures that Robert had loaded for me.
The buyers must have been happy, because they moved over to plane and began opening the wing lockers and unloading boxes from the cabin. Some were obviously drugs – probably heroin – and there were a lot of packages and cash.
The gun drone operators had been given explicit instructions “Do not hit the vehicles carrying the bomb components, the seller and the buyer; everything else was fair game.” The rest of the instructions were simple, “Kill them all.”
I nodded to Andy and picked up my sniper rifle. Andy was not going to let me or Vicky get close to the action but we could pick off a few hiding around the vehicles.
“Go, Go, Go!”
At the last “go” I pulled the trigger on my first target,
Moments later the drones made their first pass, guns blazing.
The fire fight lasted twenty minutes before the drones were called off. The only ones left alive were huddled around the pickup and the plane who decided it was time for a white flag. The plane was not going anywhere; the pilot was the first one I put down.
As soon as the dust settled we were all on the site, single gunshots one after another told me that the team was finishing off the wounded. None of my men – including me – wanted to be shot in the back by someone thought to be dead who wasn’t. We did not have any way to care for them; the humane thing was to end their misery quickly.
I looked in the back of the pickups; things there matched the pictures I had on my phone. I opened one of the two decent wooden boxes to see the plutonium ball nestled in Styrofoam. The detector said it was the real deal. I quickly closed and latched it.
In the other truck I opened another latched box to see the implosion section. The device when activated mixed the components to start the big bang.
Even though I had ordered the trucks not to be shot, stray and bouncing bullets had finished them; tires were flat and radiators leaking. Andy sent for our trucks to transfer the parts to.
I ordered Andy to load all the drugs as well. The DEA would be happy to run tests on them to see where it came from before they destroyed the junk, and of course there would be a press conference.
I turned my attention to the four men who were still standing with their hands tie – strapped as all the support equipment was loaded back up. My men searched the seller’s trucks for anything of intelligence value.
I took a picture of the seller, his license and passport and sent it to Ben.
Next I started with the first bodyguard; he had no identification on him. “What is your name?” I asked.
He answered me in Persian – being a smart-ass – thinking I could not understand, “Screw off you whoring bitch! I’m telling you nothing.”
“Wrong answer asshole,” I replied in Persian and pulled the trigger, putting a 40 caliber round between the eyes.
I turned my attention to the second body guard. I didn’t even get to ask the question.
“I will tell anything you want, everything; please don’t shoot me.”
The three were tie strapped more securely and tied in the back of one of the pickups. It was not going to be a smooth ride back for them.
All the weapons were picked up and placed in the automobiles, doused and set on fire; the same thing happened to the plane. Everything was burning as we drove towards AF479.
Vicky was sitting beside me in one of the Humvees. “Are you OK?” I asked.
“Yep, good to go,” she replied.
“How many?” I asked.
She held up five fingers and smiled.
“You know you are not supposed to enjoy doing this,” I said.
“I don’t, it is just something that had to be done and I’m going to do my part,” she replied.
My phone rang; I looked at the caller ID and let it ring. I leaned back and tried to nap.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.