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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014





So while I was doing my Let's Read Wingman thread, I looked up some more of Mack Maloney's books and remember Superhawks. It was another series he did shortly after 9/11, apparently as his own way of making grief money off the attack. The first book was published July 11th, 2004, and is part of the Ringo school of slightly disturbingly racist caricatures.

quote:

Call it all-American pride. Call it vengeance. The Ocean Voyager is on course. A thirty-thousand-ton undercover assault warship set loose in the Middle East. For Colonel Ryder Long of the U.S. Air Force, fighting to win is in his blood. The same could be said for Bobby Murphy-real identity unknown-a shadowy military genius and super spy programmed for revenge. The crew: Superhawks, a crack secret op team bound by a single war cry: "Remember the Twin Towers!"

Their target is Abdul Kazeel, a notorious madman with connections throughout the Persian Gulf. Infamous in the terrorist underworld and top mission planner for Al Qaeda, he's planning a new attack on America with a destructive force that threatens the future of the free world. Only the Superhawks can stop this enemy dead in his desert tracks as they declare their own war in full explosive fury and enforce world peace through any means necessary.

I read a single Superhawks novel when I was in high school, not long after the first one came out. I didn't find it as interesting as the incredibly wacky Wingman series so I didn't bother reading any further, but as an adult I've now come back to think about it and I've noticed how horrifically insensitive the book is. It doesn't have nearly as much rape as Ringo, but the protagonists are terrorists who car bomb weddings in the name of freedom.

I plan on running this thread concurrently with Wingman. It's not going to be as long as the other as only a few books were released in the series, but I think for fans of the threads on John Ringo books you'll quickly find some kinship between Ringo and Mack when he starts talking about something other than communists.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 20:04 on Jan 19, 2017

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Basticle
Sep 12, 2011




Pretty sure I skimmed one of these laying on the pile of magazines while I was getting my oil changed last month.

mlmp08
Jul 11, 2004


Nap Ghost

Colonel Ryder Long

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

Tom Santos was scared. He’d flown B-52s over North Vietnam. He’d seen entire squadrons shot down around him. He’d seen friends plunging to their deaths, 20,000 feet below. All of it terrifying. But nothing compared to this.

The doctor’s office was cold and sterile. The yellow walls were devoid of anything but diplomas and awards. This guy had been referred to Santos as being the best in the business, that business being oncology. But he was having doubts. The diplomas looked too small and the awards too large, as if the guy had printed them up himself. He’d been waiting here, alone, for 35 minutes. This after the nurse had told him the doctor would see him “in just a few.”

Ginny, his wife of 28 years, mother to his six kids, was down in the lobby, seven floors below. The torture of waiting for the results of the test he’d taken a week ago had exacted a toll on him, so Santos had asked her to wait downstairs. He didn’t want her to see just how scared he was.

The door finally opened and the doctor walked in. He had a blue file with him and his eyes were downcast. He sat behind his desk, directly across from Santos, but didn’t speak. He spent the next five minutes going over every paper in the file. Santos could barely breathe. He stared down at his hands, resting on his knees. His knuckles were pure white. His fingernails were digging into the flesh on his palms. Finally, the doctor closed the file, looked up, and smiled faintly. That’s when Santos knew.…

“It is not good news,” the doctor said, with all the emotion of ordering a sandwich. “I’m afraid the problem has spread.” Santos didn’t hear much after that.

Terms like “near-complete metastasized” and “fifth stage” floated in one ear and out the other. The words “six weeks to six months” lingered a bit longer. It was impossible for him to know just how long he sat there, cold and stiff, in the hard plastic chair, eyes shut, heart pounding, his knuckles drained of blood. Somehow an envelope stuffed with brochures for chemotherapy treatment wound up on his lap. So did his insurance form. When he looked up again, the doctor was gone.

Santos collapses on a bench outside the doctor's office. He and his wife got married right out of high school. How is he ever going to tell her?

quote:

“Colonel Santos?” a very unlikely-sounding voice asked. “Are you Tom Santos?”

Santos finally looked up and saw a very beautiful young woman sitting next to him. She couldn’t have been more than 20. She was blond, big eyes, big mouth, absolutely stunning. Her skirt was short, her blouse opened several buttons too low. An angel, Santos thought. So soon?

“Who are you?” he asked her. “Do you work for my insurance company?”

“I’m a friend of a friend,” was her reply. She pulled a briefcase up to her lap and opened it. Inside was every personnel folder Santos had accumulated over his career in the Air Force. Several documents had TOP SECRET written in after his name. Others were bound with pieces of red tape. One clear plastic folder contained his old security badge, the one he’d been issued right after 9/11. She took a file out from the top sleeve. It was a duplicate of the report the doctor had just read to Santos.

“What’s going on here?” Santos demanded.

“I’m showing you these things so that you will believe what I am about to tell you comes right from the top—”

“Tell me what?”

“That, by presidential decree, you have been ordered to take part in a highly classified combat operation.…”

Santos looked back at her coldly. Was this the most poorly timed practical joke of all time? “What are you talking about? I was just told that I’m dying, for Christ’s sake. You’ve got the report right there.”

She brushed the hair back from her eyes. “Our mutual friend knows about your medical issues,” she said. “He might be in a position to help.”

She hands him a pill bottle with "Bobby Murphy" scrawled on the cap, filled with several dozen incredibly bright yellow pills. She says to take one every morning, then as many as he needs during the day for his pain or depression. He's to tell nobody else about them.

The action shifts two days later to western Beirut. It's a neighborhood nicknamed The Rat's Nest, a maze of narrow alleys home to many old mujaheddin who fought the Soviets. A massive wedding ceremony is taking place at the el-Sabri function hall for the daughter of Muhammad Ayman Qatad, supreme leader of the Al-Hajiri jihad of Al-Qaeda.

quote:

He’d accumulated a fortune by running a string of bank-theft and money-laundering operations from Lebanon to New Jersey. The people in his organization, Algerians mostly, were experts at counterfeiting credit cards and manipulating ATM machines. They stole as much as $25,000 a week from money machines in Great Britain and France. The cash was laundered by a web of Islamic charities also under his control and then deposited in secret bank accounts to be used as needed.

In this way, Qatad had supplied funds for suicide operations on the West Bank and in Gaza. He’d sent mujahideen to fight in Chechnya. He’d paid for the boat and motor used in the bombing of the USS Cole. He’d provided airline tickets for the bombers of the U.S. embassy in Kenya.

His greatest accomplishment however, at least in his eyes and those of his followers, was helping to bankroll the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. He’d provided nearly $200,000 to those operations alone. Blood money, down to the last drop.

Qatad has his bodyguards stationed everywhere, roughing up the locals who get too close. A "who's-who of the Islamic underworld" arrives for the wedding, decked out in keffiyehs and beards. The wedding ceremony is purely ceremonial, without any music or applause; the bride isn't even smiling. The newlyweds each take a piece of fruit offered to them on a date palm, and then kiss.

One second later, a 120 pounds of Semtex hidden in the pastry truck outside explodes.

quote:

The explosion was so powerful, the shock wave broke windows two miles away. At the instant of detonation the swarm of roofing nails went flying off in all directions, their tips ignited by the superheated pesticide, perforating everything within the wedding hall. In the same moment, a great wash of fire raced through the building, sucking up oxygen and vaporizing anything not made of stone. In seconds, a crimson cloud was rising above West Beirut.

When the smoke cleared, the wedding hall was simply gone. An immense crater now filled the space where the five-story building had stood. The hole was already awash in sewage, pouring out of pipes broken in the blast. Bodies were everywhere. Fifty-two people had been crowded inside the hall. Now, just a handful of survivors emerged from the rubble. They looked like wounded ghosts, bleeding and covered with plaster, stumbling out onto the debris-strewn street.

An eerie silence descended on the area. A deathly quiet, except for the crackle of flames. Then came the sirens. And suddenly the streets were filled with armed men again. All of Qatad’s bodyguards had been killed in the blast—these soldiers were the local militiamen hired to watch the periphery of the wedding celebration. Through the smoke, many Kalashnikovs could be seen, moving around frantically, barrels in the air. Pushing the stunned survivors out of the way, the militiamen were looking, up, down, this way and that—but looking for what?

The militiamen catch two men standing in a nearby alley, holding a car battery and a plunger. As they raise their guns to fire, another car bomb right explodes right next to them and the men begin running down the alley. They run through the Wheel, a circular marketplace, and into a dead end alleyway. Are they caught this time?

Nope. There's a Black Hawk hovering at the end of the alley, a massive American flag hanging from its fuselage, and lifting the two bombers up with ropes.

quote:

None of this seemed right to the militiamen, but they started shooting at the helicopter anyway. This was a big mistake. A gunner at the side door of the aircraft returned their fire with a high-powered automatic weapon. It tore through one group of militiamen, reducing them to pieces. More armed fighters arrived on the scene. They, too, began firing at the helicopter, one with a .50-caliber assault gun.

But suddenly another helicopter appeared above the alley. This one was bristling with weapons. It fired two rockets directly into a second group of armed men, killing them all instantly. Chaos now ensued. The noise was deafening. Explosions, the sound of gunfire, the surviving militiamen trying to shout to one another over the racket.

Another dozen gunmen arrived, their large open truck screeching to a halt at the end of the alley. They were armed with rocket-propelled grenades. One fired his weapon at the helicopter retrieving the bombers. The RPG shell missed high, exploding in the street one block over from the alley. Another RPG went off. This one went right through the rear cabin of the helicopter and out the other side, without exploding, an extraordinary piece of luck for those on board. A third RPG was fired, this one at the helicopter that had unleashed the rocket barrage. Aimed way too low, the grenade smashed into an empty apartment building a half-block away. The structure went up like a box of matches.

The two bombers had been reeled into the helicopter by this time and the aircraft began moving away. Still, the remaining militiamen persisted. They were astonished that these were Americans doing this, astonished that it was happening so fast. But no matter. Shooting down one of the U.S. helicopters was now their priority. So every man with a gun opened fire on the second helicopter. It took some serious hits along the fuselage and up near the tail. It began to stagger; a trail of smoke appeared. A cheer went up from those below. Suddenly half the neighborhood was shooting at it.

That’s when the Harrier jump jet arrived.

It came out of nowhere as jump jets were known to do. It immediately opened up with its cannon, raking the alleyway from one end to the other. The militiamen went scrambling for their lives. Firing at helicopters with rifles was one thing; battling a jet fighter was quite another. The Harrier climbed, turned, and came back down again, cannon blazing once more. Another stream of explosions ran down the alley, tearing up the pavement and covering just about all the fleeing militiamen in concrete and burning rubble. This gave the second chopper enough time to safely move away.

Only then did the Harrier leave the scene.

Five hours later, a Mercedes 500 SE is tearing rear end down the streets. In the back is Abdul Abu Qatad, brother of the now deceased Muhammad, with his sweaty bodyguard laying down on top of them. They've been driving in circles for hours; Abdul and his young homosexual lover had arrived late to the wedding, and his boyfriend was killed by the shrapnel from the pastry truck bomb. Abdul has been trying to call anyone from their organization for hours, but nobody is picking up. The car finally gets stopped at a nondescript apartment building on the edge of East Beirut, his safe house.

quote:

Abdul stepped inside. Downstairs was only one room, small and dark, no running water, no electricity. It also smelled of sewage. But Abdul didn’t care. The apartment was in such an obscure part of the city, no one would ever suspect he would flee here. Even his closest associates knew nothing about it. Nor did his wife or children. At last he would be safe. He took another sniff of the air. What was that other strange smell? And that dripping sound? He retrieved his Bic lighter, located a candle, and lit it. Then he turned around.

They heard his screams out on the street. The entire squad of security men started for the door, but the chief bodyguard stopped them with a shout. He pulled a pistol from his belt. Only he would go in—at first. He walked through the front door and found Abdul doubled over, vomit covering his shoes.

Hanging above him was a body. It was a young man; his throat had been cut. The corpse was upside down and strung from the ceiling in such a way that Abdul must have looked right into the eyes upon discovering it. The man’s pockets had been stuffed with wedding pastries. A pool of blood and crumbs had collected on the floor below. The bodyguard stared into those dead eyes and then vomited himself.

The body was that of Abdul’s youngest son, Hamiz. But how could this be? Hamiz was in Jedda, studying at a madrassa under an assumed name. Who could have done this? And who could have known about this place and hung his body here?

Something had also been stuffed into the dead boy’s mouth. The bodyguard retrieved it with shaking hands. It was a playing card. On one side was the ace of spades, except it was colored in red, white, and blue. On the other was a photograph of the World Trade Center in flames. Scrawled below the Twin Towers were the words: We will never forget.

Welcome to Superhawks. The good guys just car bombed a wedding and strung up a teenager in the name of 9/11.

Two days later, at the Olympic Hotel in Mogadishu (where the infamous battle depicted in Black Hawk Down took place), Islamic terrorists are being trained and selling drugs through the hotel to finance their operations. Two Black Hawks arrive in the dead of night and unload on the hotel with miniguns, rocket pods, TOW missiles, and whatever weapons the soldiers aboard are carrying. Everyone inside is killed.

quote:

The Blackhawks finally did depart, only to be followed by a jet fighter suddenly streaking low over the neighborhood. Its noisy arrival jolted many thousands from their sleep. The fighter—a Harrier jump jet—did not drop any bombs. Instead, it swooped down on the mob of gunmen and dusted them with a light green powder.

This was barium sulfate and pepper acid—superitching powder. Once on the skin, it was near impossible to get off. It would plague the victim with incessant itching and bloody rashes for up to a year. The jet made two passes; then it, too, disappeared over the horizon.

An angry mob hacks the Muslim fighters to death in retribution, and the Olympic Hotel burns to the ground.

A day later in the port city of Aden in Yemen, we come to Hamini Musheed. He's a high powered lawyer who uses the Islamic Relief Fund to launder money for funding Al-Qaeda and hid the terrorists who attacked the USS Cole. He's too connected for the US government to ever get him in trouble.

quote:

He’d just sat down to his morning yogurt and tea when there came a knock on his office door. His two secretaries were missing this morning—both had sent messages that they’d be late. Musheed was a large man, weighing more than 350 pounds. It took a lot for him to get up and answer the door himself. So he called out that it was open.

Two men came in. Non-Arabs, very white. Musheed knew immediately they must be Americans. They were wearing civilian clothes: jeans, T-shirts, and ball caps. They were also wearing black combat boots. Highly polished. The two men were carrying bags that Musheed would never have recognized: they were baseball-bat sleeves.

The two stepped into his office and calmly shut the door. Musheed asked them what they wanted. They didn’t respond. Musheed was pinned behind his desk; he couldn’t move. The men reached into the bags and came out with two M-16s equipped with silencers.

They both fired twice. Two tap shots each. Four bullets right through Musheed’s head. He hit the desk with a crash, landing facedown in his bowl of yogurt.

The two men packed up their weapons and departed. They were out of the city by the time Musheed’s office help arrived 10 minutes later. Twenty minutes after that, they were out of Yemen altogether.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




Ew.

Gorgonzola Cheese
Feb 20, 2007
Gorgonzola's revenge!

Super.
Itching.
Powder.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


If you have such super-human operators that can tracks down terrorists anywhere anyhow and violate any airspace without reprecussions, how did they not prevent 9/11? There will be a lot of making GBS threads on weak willed dems and libruls?

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 3 begins the next day in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, in a gigantic Saudi prince's palace. 116 rooms on 6 floors with an indoor garden, a zoo, an aviary, two Olympic swimming pools, and a tiny prayer mat on a little patch of sand near the edge of the indoor garden. It's one of seven palaces owned by Prince Ali Muhammad al-Saud (there's a quip that he hasn't even set foot in 3 of his own palaces and just has them).

In the back, the Evening of Favors is going on. I can't find any reference to this practice actually existing so I assume Mack just made it up for the book. Anyways, a huge circus-like Arabian tent is erected behind the palace for ordinary Saudis to make requests for the prince. They're mostly asking for help with passports, money for tuition or a doctor, or assistance with burial. On this Evening, the prince is 2 hours late for a crowd of 3000 people.

quote:

These were troubling days for Prince Ali, if anyone worth $20 billion could be troubled.

He was a fabulously wealthy man; a direct bloodline to the House of Saud was all it took. By King’s decree, Ali got a percentage of every large construction contract signed within the Kingdom. He also owned the Pan Arabic Oil Exchange, which handled about 10 percent of the unrefined crude leaving the Persian Gulf. Through this, combined with his accountants’ daily manipulation of bond prices and metals futures and plain old currency fraud, Ali saw about $4 million flow into his coffers every day.

He was 40 years old and while not a handsome man, he didn’t have to be. He had 22 wives, all of them gorgeous. Two had been Miss America finalists, one had been Miss World. He also owned a fleet of U.S. and British sports cars, two Gulfstream jets, and a yacht the size of a destroyer.

But like the recently vaporized Muhammad Qatad and the Yemeni lawyer named Musheed, the Prince was also a moneyman for Al Qaeda. Many of those Islamic charities that Qatad and Musheed had been funneling money to ran right through the offices at the Pan Arabic Oil Exchange in downtown Riyadh. There the donations were mingled with Ali’s own money, then secretly distributed to the jihad cells worldwide. Two thousand people worked at Pan Arabic; almost a third were somehow involved in financing Muslim terrorists. The Prince’s wealth and power were rooted in the Saudi business establishment, something the extremists claimed they wanted to tear down.

Why then would he be involved in the backdoor financing of the terrorists? What did he share with the mujahideen hiding in the caves of the Pershawar or the sleeper agents living in the squalor of Manila, East London, or Jersey City?

Actually, very little. There was the obligation of every Muslim to help promote Islam, of course. There was also the respect he received from those holy fighters in the mountains and in the U.S. slums; they had been led to believe that Ali was spending millions of his own money on them. Then there was the dream of the Caliphate, the uniting of the entire Muslim world under a single entity. And the fact that if men in his position within the Royal Family didn’t help the terrorists, the martyrs would soon be blowing up their planes, their ships, their houses.

But the real reason was simpler: Prince Ali detested Americans. He detested their lifestyles, their attitudes, the colors of their skin. He detested their freedoms, their diversity, and the way their women walked. He detested McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Kodak, and Coke and the way Americans always seemed to have something on their minds and were never shy about spitting it out. He hated their ruggedness, their TV shows, their blond hair, and their big blue eyes. He hated them.

The Prince could really work himself up over this, too. There was a lot of anger inside him: strange, because he derived more than half his fortune from products purchased directly by Americans. The oil he sold today would be refined and pumped into American gas tanks in three weeks. He was rich because of America. The irony did not bother him.

But if Prince Ali ever decided to lie down on an analyst’s couch, something he would never do, a not-so-surprising deeper truth would come out: that like many of his countrymen, rich or not, he hated Americans simply because he was not one of them.

As with any good racist post-9/11 book, the Muslim villains have no legitimate grievances against Western imperialism. They're just jealous of Americans and HATE ARE FREEDOM.

The prince is meeting with his brothers in law and cousins about the attacks. Some suspect that they were really Israeli operations under a false flag, but Ali is certain that only Americans would have that equipment and would have left a World Trade Center calling card. They think it's impossible for Americans to keep a secret and can't believe that they didn't read about the plans in the New York Times two weeks ago!

More worryingly, there's been no international news on the attacks at all. They've been reported as gas line explosions or civil unrest despite the brazen daylight attacks. They think it's just because Al-Qaeda would be the only group to know enough about the victims' ties to connect the dots.

We cut over to Genoa, Italy. One of the newest cruise ships in the Mediterranean, the Sea Princess, is preparing to launch with 18 tour groups from all over Europe and the United States.

quote:

At 1,100 feet long, the Sea Princess was also one of the largest. It had 15 passenger decks, 1,700 cabins, 12 restaurants, four swimming pools, four health clubs, four casinos, a movie theater, a golf range, a skeet range, two nightclubs, two dozen bars, and a bowling alley. It could carry nearly 3,400 passengers.

By noon, the ship was 80 percent full. The passenger list was almost exclusively American, with many elderly Jewish couples onboard. It was soon learned that a plane carrying French tourists had been mysteriously delayed at Orly. They would not be boarding the Sea Princess in Genoa after all. Still, including the crew, there was nearly 4,000 people onboard.

The cruise liner went out with the tide around 1:00 P.M. Its itinerary included a sail of the Aegean lower islands, a stop in Cyprus, and then on to Israel.

As it left the harbor, two seagoing yachts began shadowing it. One was riding very low in the water.

Some of the crew notice the yachts following the cruise ship as it sails down the Italian coast to Greece, but the captain isn't informed until 11:45 PM when the Sea Princess is moving into the Kythira Strait (or as Mack calls it, the "straits of Kithira"). The yachts are only 500 feet off the stern. Word spreads quickly and the passengers start gathering on the stern, filming the yachts with video cameras. They can see men in ski masks on the boats loading boxes wrapped in electrical wire and tape onto a rubber dinghy.

Suddenly, the rubber boat is dropped from the yacht and begins tearing rear end straight for the cruise ship. Everyone panics and the captain tries to speed up, but there's a limit to how fast the ship can go...

quote:

But suddenly there came another terrific roar, mechanical and powerful. A jet fighter flew out of the night an instant later. It was painted black and had a long spit of flame trailing behind it. Flying very low, it went by the ship and then rocketed over the speeding rubber boat at tremendous speed, not 15 feet above the water. Whether by fright or confusion, this caused the two men on the suicide boat to kill their engine. Big mistake. Momentum carried them forward another 50 feet or so before they went dead in the water. Then the jet fighter appeared again. This time it was hovering right above them.

Few people on the cruise ship realized they were looking at a Harrier jump jet. It seemed able to do impossible things. But while the strange plane was attracting so much attention, almost no one noticed that another aircraft, this one a black helicopter, had emerged from the darkness and had slipped down next to the rubber boat.

A sniper with a night scope was hanging out of the helicopter’s side door. He raised his weapon at the two masked men and pulled his trigger twice. Two perfect head shots. Two dead terrorists. Both toppled overboard.

A second helicopter arrives and three men rappel down from it to the rubber boat. They hook it up to the helicopter, which lifts it out of the water and flies away with their prize. A communications expert on the snipers' chopper is listening in on the radio traffic as the terrorists aboard the yachts frantically report back to base that their attack on the Sea Princess has been thwarted. Right after allowing the yachts to report that they had failed, the helicopter opens up with its minigun on the first yacht and blows away everyone on deck. The bullets ignite the fuel tank, sending the boat up in a fireball.

quote:

The second yacht had killed its engines by this time. The men aboard knew what was to come, knew it was senseless to run. Illuminated by a powerful light beamed from the cruise liner’s mast, the three men tore off their ski masks—they were Arabs—and, one after another, dived overboard.

The helicopter fired three rockets into the yacht and it went up in three simultaneous explosions. The helicopter flew through the wreckage cloud and, using its own powerful searchlight, found the three terrorists in the water. It came down to just about sea level, almost as if it were going to rescue the floundering men. But the helicopter crew was not in the business of showing mercy. The marksman with the night-scope rifle took up his position again. The pleas from the terrorists could be heard all the way back on the Sea Princess, but they were in vain.

One by one the man with the rifle picked them off. The cruise ship passengers cheered as each one was hit. It took five shots in all, as one man tried his best to stay underwater. But soon enough, he was shot, too.

The only noise now was the incredibly soft whirring of the helicopter’s rotor blades. The incident seemed to play out over a lifetime for those who witnessed it. Yet it took only two minutes from beginning to end. The cruise passengers were awestruck. They had been saved at the last possible moment from certain death—but by whom? Certainly not the Greek military.

When the spotlight on the ship’s mast finally caught the American flag emblazoned on the side of the helicopter, they had their answer. One man on the aft railing let out a great cheer. Then came another. And another. In seconds, all of the passengers on the lower railings were cheering. Hundreds of seniors, pumping their fists in the air. Then those on the upper railings began cheering, too.

Soon the entire ship was chanting: “USA! USA!” The helicopter went over the top of the ship, fast and low. The cheering grew. The Harrier reappeared and roared over seconds later. The cheering got even louder. In fact, the passengers were still cheering 30 minutes later when a Greek patrol boat finally arrived to escort them to the nearest port.

In all the excitement, few noticed the rusty containership Ocean Voyager passing close by in the night.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




Boy is this ever embarrassingly puerile.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Sperglord Actual posted:

Boy is this ever embarrassingly puerile.

At least we're not up to them killing American convenience store owners yet because Muslim clerks are secretly terrorists! Pretty sure that happens in a later book.

quote:

The Harrier put itself into hover mode. Automatically … no buttons pushed, no levers thrown. All was ready for landing. The ship below was pitching wildly, the wind and rain growing fierce. But he was lining up his approach just right. And he was feeling good. The cannon on his airplane was empty. All his missiles had been fired, too. He’d played the Wings of Death game again last night and had loved every second of it.

He was descending now, a large platform of gleaming metal his landing place. It was surrounded by a perfect circle of sailors, wearing dress blue uniforms and holding incandescent flares above their heads. They were not getting wet, though. The wind didn’t seem to be blowing on them. He eased the Harrier down farther. Twenty feet to go. The sea spray grew vicious, but his descent was unnaturally smooth. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.

At 15 feet his headphones exploded with chatter. Something was wrong. He was supposed to be doing this in total radio silence, but the voices in his head were shouting, Look at the front of the ship! Someone is standing up there! It was the absolute worst thing to do, but he took his eyes off the controls and looked to the bow. And there she was … on the railing so far away, smiling and dry, wearing the same red dress, beckoning him to join her. If only he could.

When he looked back down again, the ship and sailors were gone. There was nothing below but the sea. He hastily went to full-power ascent throttle, but instead of going up, he was going down. He hit the water, full force. The sea rushed into his cockpit, soaking him. He tried to unfasten his safety harness, but the snaps had rusted shut already. He was trapped. And sinking like a stone.…

Colonel Ryder Long wakes up with a start, cracking his head on the bunk overhead aboard the Ocean Voyager.

He checks the time. 0730 hours, 90 minutes after he fell asleep. The ship's foghorn is going off and it's rolling hard enough to throw his shaving kit to the floor, so he gives up any attempt at sleeping and wakes himself up. His breakfast is a Marlboro cigarette and two amphetamine pills to combat seasickness.

quote:

If homeliness and rust were the perfect disguise, the Ocean Voyager would have been invisible. It looked like a typical containership. Eight hundred feet long, 105 feet wide, with a 60-foot drop from the top deck to the bottom of the cargo bay, it weighed 30,000 tons. When it was first built by Maersk back in 1981, its top speed was barely 15 knots. There had been no need for glamour in the ship’s original design and its builders had stuck to the plan.

The deck was a nightmare of winches and tie-offs and thick rope strung tight everywhere. There were dozens of things to trip over, crack a knee on, or get crushed by, especially up near the bow. The recessed deckhouse offered a great view … of the smokestacks, the ladders, and the railings and, of course, all those containers on deck. They stretched out in front of an observer like a railroad yard somehow lost at sea. Flat and boxy and dirt-dog ugly, the ship looked no different from hundreds of container carriers plying the world’s oceans; dozens could be found at any time in the Mediterranean, or the Indian Ocean or the Persian Gulf.

But Ocean Voyager was not a containership. Not really. Officially, it was an Air-Land Assault Ship/Special.

A warship. In disguise.

The Ocean Voyager is the secret home for the team that's been killing all the terrorists lately. It has two aircraft elevators, one on each side of the deckhouse, that could lift the helicopters and Harrier to and from the cargo bay below. All of the attacks had been committed from the disguised vessel, confusing the hell out of Prince Ali and his cohorts. The ship has its own naval warfare section, including logistics and intelligence, allowing it to act as an independent cell anywhere in the world.

The containers on the deck hide the supplies to keep everyone going, color-coded to indicate their contents and with fake shipping company names painted on them. Eight containers with red stripes on their doors bolted to the sides, aft, and front hide CIWS turrets for defense. Everything is controlled from a control center hidden in the first level of the deckhouse and the engines have been replaced with the engines of an F-14 fighter to speed it up...somehow.

And at the very bottom of the ship is the White Rooms. The Spooks who work here have the technology to intercept almost any email, fax, telegram, wire cable, or phone call in the world. There are facilities for creating DVDs, VHS tapes, and all sorts of documents and even rooms for replicating newspapers and magazines, faking TV broadcasts, and sending pirate radio signals. The Dirty Tricks section is for conjuring up anything from superitching powder to a nuclear bomb.

Nobody really knows whose idea the Ocean Voyager was. The closest anyone can come is the name "Bobby Murphy" scrawled as a stamp of approval on almost everything in the ship. Captain Wayne Brigham, nicknamed "Captain Bingo", claims that his own CO met Bobby Murphy. The rumors say he's an insane genius and government superspy who doesn't even know which organization he works for any more, married but with a cadre of beautiful prostitutes all around the world to satisfy him on his missions. The story behind the Ocean Voyager is that Murphy personally pleaded with the President over 30 minutes and was given a blank check with no oversight to hunt down everyone involved with 9/11.

Murphy handpicked every single person on the ship from the best of the best in the US military to give the highest security clearance in the world. All orders are given verbally without any oversight from the rest of the government; their only communication with the rest of the government is through a porn site chatroom online, which is received by a top secret NSA computer site in the typical suburban neighborhood of Blueberry Park in New Jersey. They operate without any kind of restrictions, even Constitutional ones. The Superhawks can do literally anything they want.

Ryder Long got involved after serving in the Air Force for 20 years. He was one of the first Top Gun pilots and a test pilot for the early VTOL version of the F-35, then became a test pilot for Boeing. His wife Maureen was killed in the September 11th attacks, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175. Unable to accept his wife's death, he jumped at the chance when he received a call from Lieutenant Moon (an old black ops buddy) offering him a chance at revenge.

Overall, everything is set up to make the Superhawks the most super special forces in the world. They have unlimited budget, geniuses and the best soldiers and pilots in the universe who can do literally anything the plot demands, zero oversight or laws restricting their actions, and their targets are the most despicable terrorists in the world.

Back in the present, Ryder takes a shower and heads to the quiet mess hall. Everyone is given steak, a baked potato, and hot bread as a reward for their successful mission in Genoa. He sits down with Colonel Martinez, the movie star handsome officer runs their unorthodox training sessions to get their aircraft in and out of the rocking container ship as fast and smooth as possible.

quote:

“What do you want?” Martinez asked him.

“To kill mooks,” Ryder replied without hesitation.

“No, I mean for your steak,” Martinez said. “It’s from Japan. Kobe beef. Most expensive in the world. Murphy sent it to us.”

Ryder just shrugged. “They got A-1 here?”

Martinez motioned to someone in the galley. A coffee cup full of steak sauce appeared. Ryder dumped it all over his meal.

“Good work last night,” Martinez told him. “I just saw the mission tapes. Can you believe all those old dudes videotaping the whole thing?” Ryder looked back at him strangely. This was already the longest conversation he’d ever had with the Delta officer.

“We’ll be playing on four thousand VCRs back in the states inside a week,” Ryder finally replied with his first bite. “Not to mention all the news shows. I thought the idea was to stay secret.”

Martinez waved his concerns away. “That’s all been taken care of,” he said mysteriously. “How’s the cow?”

“It’s excellent,” Ryder replied honestly. “I’m glad Murphy is so concerned about our appetites.”

“Keep that happy feeling then,” Martinez told him. “Because today is your lucky day.”

“It is? Why?”

“You’re getting a wingman. Murphy’s decided two jump jets are better than one.” Ryder was mildly shocked. He’d just assumed he’d be the lone fixed-wing in the unit.

“Can the air techs really handle two Harriers? Keeping mine in shape seems to be a full-time job already.”

Martinez laughed. “Hey, they’re Marines—they’re supposed to be able to handle anything.”

Ryder took another huge bite of steak. “Do you know the new guy’s name? Or have we already fraternized for too long?”

“We probably have—but I’ll tell you anyway,” Martinez said. “His name is Gerry Phelan. I don’t know his age, origin, or rank. He’s just out of the Marines’ hot school for Harrier training, though I understand he’s actually in the Navy Reserve.”

Ryder thought about this for a moment, then went back to his steak. The ship started rolling again. “That’s great,” he said dryly. “If you’ve got to be on the water, you can never have too many Navy guys around.”

Ryder heads back up to the deck for another smoke. He feels old, his hair graying. He's picky about wingmen, especially after losing his buddy JT Woods on a super top secret mission 15 years ago.

A bell on the bridge rings, indicating the impending arrival of the second Harrier. There's a mention that instead of radio, everyone uses satellite phones built into their flight suits (the mic and speaker in the helmet and the keypad in the knee of their suit) with shipping-related code words for security.

The Harrier, just like his own, has been painted in black and gray radar-absorbent paint and had all the edges sanded down to round off anything that could send back a radar signal. The pilot lands perfectly smooth and jumps out, and he looks to be a teenager.

quote:

They met at the edge of the pancake. He was short, as many fighter pilots were. Maybe five-seven on a good day. He took off his crash helmet to reveal a cross-cropped surfer dude haircut. He also had a pair of Walkman-type earphones wrapped around his neck. The wire led into his left-side breast pocket, where a mini-CD player was located.

Ryder introduced himself and they shook hands. Phelan was a lieutenant, Ryder was a colonel, but there was no need to salute here. It sounded like a line from a movie, but Ryder just had to ask him. “How did you learn how to fly like that?”

Phelan smiled—it was a Pepsodent smile. “Well, the Navy paid for it, but the Marines were the ones who taught me, sir.…” There was that word again.

Ryder pointed to the earphones. “And you listen to music in the cockpit, Lieutenant?”

Phelan was looking around, taking in his new surroundings. “Had to do the jump in radio silence, sir,” he said plainly. “So why not?” Ryder started to say something—but stopped. What was there to say, really?

The kid came across not so much cocky as supremely self-confident, in that rookie sort of way. Typical of the Top Gun, Navy jock, Tailhook crowd.

He reminded him of someone, though. His mannerisms, the attitude. But try as he might, Ryder just couldn’t remember who.

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


Could you please C&P the part about a shipping freighter's engine being replaced with a jet engine?

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



PJOmega posted:

Could you please C&P the part about a shipping freighter's engine being replaced with a jet engine?

quote:

Its original Mitsu engines had been torn out and replaced by four GE Fl10-400 gas turbines, the same engines that powered the Navy’s F-14 Tomcat fighter. If they ever had to push it, these powerhouses could get the ship up to an astounding 40 knots or more.

Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

benny with the good hair



where...does the exhaust go?

also i thought modern supercargo ships were already powered by gas turbines oh god what's happening

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




That's not how boats work goddammit.

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


Inspector_666 posted:

where...does the exhaust go?

also i thought modern supercargo ships were already powered by gas turbines oh god what's happening

I spent a few minutes looking things up. If it was made in 1981 it's a Maersk L-Class, which the internet refuses to give any information on. If I wasn't doing bedrest I'd wander over to the library to see if there's any resources to be had there.

All that said, I have all of the doubts that our illustrious author did anything but compare the horsepower between the two.

The idea of any shipping container vessel going 40 knots is hilarious though. Unlike the rest of this book, which, well puerile was a very good word.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mack doesn't give a poo poo. His mind just broke after 9/11, and now, a super secret club of real men Republicans is going to eat steak, gently caress sexy hookers while cheating on their presumably sexy wives and kill everyone that's not purebreak, whiter than white, blonde hair, blue-eyed American! USA USA USA

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



JcDent posted:

Mack doesn't give a poo poo. His mind just broke after 9/11, and now, a super secret club of real men Republicans is going to eat steak, gently caress sexy hookers while cheating on their presumably sexy wives and kill everyone that's not purebreak, whiter than white, blonde hair, blue-eyed American! USA USA USA

It's okay for them to cheat as long as their wives died in 9/11 though.

One thing I didn't post is that Martinez carries around a picture of a little girl with a black ribbon around it. GEE I WONDER WHO IT IS

Inspector_666
Oct 7, 2003

benny with the good hair


JcDent posted:

Mack doesn't give a poo poo. His mind just broke after 9/11, and now, a super secret club of real men Republicans is going to eat steak, gently caress sexy hookers while cheating on their presumably sexy wives and kill everyone that's not purebreak, whiter than white, blonde hair, blue-eyed American! USA USA USA

They ruin the steak first, though.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




TBH this is making me want to write more Shark Puncher.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Inspector_666 posted:

They ruin the steak first, though.

Oh God why did you remind me that Long slathered A1 (from a coffee cup!) all over Kobe beef.

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


chitoryu12 posted:

Oh God why did you remind me that Long slathered A1 (from a coffee cup!) all over Kobe beef.

*Cue crying bald eagle*

Syrian Lannister
Aug 25, 2007

Oh, did I kill him too?
I've been a very busy little man.




Sugartime Jones

I think I played this as a Top Secret module with friends in highschool.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



PJOmega posted:

*Cue crying rising sun*

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Who here's ready for child murder?

At 2350 hours, Ryder Long and Gerry Phelan take off in their Harriers for a late night refueling. Because of the ridiculous amount of fuel their stealth jets go through, the Ocean Voyager makes pre-arranged meets with KC-10 Extender tanker aircraft to refuel both the planes and drop tanks to be drained into auxiliary tanks on the ship.

As they fly into the air, they come within 500 feet of being brained by an Italian airliner that didn't see the stealth jets. Then they noticed a haboob, a giant sandstorm, approaching their rendezvous point. They'll need to get this done quickly. Ryder refuels, then lets Phelan in.

quote:

Phelan went up and in and hosed the duck. But then the Extender started shaking, and Phelan started shaking with it. The windspeed at 20,000 feet had suddenly doubled. Phelan was smart enough to break off contact and then reinsert once the big tanker settled down. But the turbulence came again, not once, but twice.

Ryder was riding right alongside Phelan, but there was little he could do except watch his wingman bounce all over the sky, a long nasty stream of fuel spurting from the Extender’s boom. Phelan kept his cool, though. He finally hooked a fourth time and hung on long enough to take a full gulp. Then he flashed his lights once and disengaged. The tanker immediately banked south, its ordeal over, and disappeared into the clouds, intent on escaping the worst of the haboob. Ryder and Phelan turned north.

Okay that's the end of chapter 6 because Mack got bored, I guess. On to the next one! Two hours later, southern Sicily.

quote:

The huge explosion rocked the tiny village of Sardarno just after midnight. The village police chief was thrown from his bed by the force of the blast. He landed in the far corner of the bedroom, a dresser smashing against the wall next to him. His wife, all 327 pounds of her, was also hurled to the floor, their modest bed stand collapsing on top of her. Every window in their house blew out instantly; their kitchen ceiling came crashing down. Outside, half their flock of pet geese died on the spot—of heart attacks. All this in just a few seconds, and the ground was still shaking.

The chief—his name was Roberto Tino—thought it was the end of the world. Anything less wouldn’t have sounded so loud. He slowly got to his feet, stepped over his wife, and retrieved his eyeglasses. He pulled the torn curtains from the bedroom’s broken window and looked out.

The night sky was on fire. A red-and-orange spire of flame was rising out of the west. Tino wiped his glasses clean and then realized the flames were coming from the top of Monte Fidelo, the tallest peak in a line of remote hills outside Sardarno. Monte Fidelo was nearly 2,000 feet high—and four miles away from Tino’s farmhouse. Yet the glow was so intense, his roosters were crowing. It was that bright outside.

Tino finally had gone to help his wife when the telephone rang. Stepping over her again, he picked it up to hear the very anxious voice of the village mayor on the other end. The mayor was 91 years old but still a pistol. Tino couldn’t believe he’d been able to dial his phone number so fast.

Tino and the mayor discuss what happened, trying to figure out if the volcano is erupting. Tino protests the idea of investigating, as the Carabinieri had ordered everyone to stay away from the volcano recently, but orders are orders. He grabs his rifle (loaded with birdshot???), puts on his boots, and heads out to his Toyota jeep without bothering to wake up his still-sleeping wife.

Tino knows a bit more than he let on with the mayor: he knows that the villa on Monte Fidelo was leased by 16 Middle Eastern men who claimed to be physicians and religious students. They were suspected of ties to terrorism by the local police, but Tino was ordered to let the Carabinieri take care of things and not get mixed up in it.

Tino discovers that no eruption has occurred. The villa just below the peak of the mountain is completely gone, blown away by a massive explosion. Flames and sparks are shooting from the cellar, and the grotesque remains of 6 men are left horribly burned nearby. Tino keeps several awakened villagers away from the site, ignoring their mentions of silent low-flying helicopters. One of them, an army veteran, says that the wreckage looks like a massive explosion occurred over the villa and literally flattened it.

quote:

There was only one clue. It came with a strange discovery made by another villager who had driven up to the scene but had parked lower on the hill. Walking through the abandoned vineyard, he came upon something very puzzling.

Those up near the burning house heard him shouting and made their way to his location. They found him studying the wreckage not of a car or truck or even an aircraft, but of an outboard motor, the type typically used on a large speedboat.

It was embedded in a bramble of old vines and was still too hot to touch. Obviously, it had been thrown here as a result of the blast. But this didn’t make sense. The Fidelo was nearly a half-mile high; the villa was at its summit. The only means of land access was by four-wheel drive, and the road was so steep it was impossible to tow anything up. Plus the nearest deep water was a mile away—and a long way down.

How then did a speedboat motor get way up here?

We cut to Ben Annaba, a small village oasis about 15 miles from the port of El Kala, Algeria. The village is the headquarters of the Holy Islamic Army of God, one of the smallest branches of Al Qaeda. Using motorcycles and SUVs, they travel across Algeria to butcher whole villages in the name of Allah. Bobby Murphy somehow got video of the inside of the place and sent it to the Ocean Voyager's White Rooms in bits and pieces through the secure porn chatroom (I can't believe I'm typing that phrase). Murphy also sent a drawing in near photographic detail of the grounds, allowing them to identify the ammo dump and the House of Martyrs where visiting Al Qaeda members and their families stay.

Once the Black Hawks are safely over land for their visit to Monte Fidelo, Phelan heads off to guard the Ocean Voyager while Ryder takes his Harrier to Algeria. Screeching in at treetop level, he drops a 1000 pound bomb straight through the front door of the House of Martyrs. Mack just seems to "forget" the mention that the families of Al Qaeda members also stayed in that building and Ryder probably just vaporized some women and children as well. That's okay, because it doesn't count if you don't see it!

quote:

All hell broke loose inside the camp. Suddenly people were running everywhere. And lights were coming on all over the village, not a smart thing to do when someone was bombing you at night. Heart pounding, Ryder went up and back and over. He boosted the FLIR screen. All he could see now was the flare from the huge fire he’d just started, with many thermal ghosts running through the flames.

He located the second target—the No Smoking house—and locked it into his weapons delivery computer. He left the FLIR hot this time, allowing him to stay on target despite the thickening smoke. Many people were running near the No Smoking house, but no one was running out of it. So Murphy had been right; this was the Holy Army’s ammo locker.

Ryder prepped the second bomb drop. He put his speed at 245 knots, a fast approach guaranteed to knock some socks off. He queried the weapons release system; it came back as green and ready. He was now 10 seconds from target.

He checked his airspeed again and then looked back down at the FLIR screen. Something had changed.… Now there were heat images pouring out of the No Smoking house. But they weren’t adults. The images were too small. They were kids, dozens of them. They were scrambling out the door, climbing out the windows; they were even coming out of the roof. Ryder froze. Why were kids sleeping in an ammo locker?

The bomb went off his wing and slammed into the building a second later.

Ryder buzzes the camp, his cannon strafing SUVs and motorcycles. He takes out the water tank and pump to make sure they'll dehydrate if they don't get help, too. How is he going to cope with killing kids, though?

quote:

He sucked in some oxygen, hoping it would settle him down. It did. He surprised himself by not plunging immediately into a deep black depression, back to the blackest part of his soul, though the image of the building just before the bomb hit would probably be burned onto his retinas forever. He swallowed a pep pill and gulped some more O. This was war. He had to remember that. And in just five minutes he’d put more hurt on the Army of God than the Algerian government had in 15 years. This wasn’t a screwup. This was another good night’s work.

But kids? What were they doing there? And how many did he actually kill? Another deep gulp of oxygen. From his lungs to his brain, he calmed down again. The dark landscape streaked by below him. The Med was in sight up ahead. Those kids never knew what hit them—and that was a blessing.

How much warning did the passengers onboard the 9/11 planes have? At some point, they all knew they were going to die. How long did Maureen have to sit there, terrified that this would be her last day? gently caress them, Ryder thought, surprising himself again. What would those kids have grown up to be anyway? What airplanes would they be snatching in 10 years? What ships would they be trying to sink? Or would they just walk into Macy’s with a belt full of explosives wrapped around their waists someday?

gently caress them.… It was better to rid the world of them now.

Surprisingly easily!

As Ryder is flying back, the Ocean Voyager communicates to him in coded terms, speaking of thunderstorms and "your brother getting pulled over by the cops". Phelan is in trouble.

Ryder and Martinez quickly discuss the situation in code, and Phelan isn't picking up his phone. His position is 45 miles off the coast of Tunisia, but Ryder parks his jet in a hover and can't find anything.

quote:

As Ryder was talking to Martinez, his cell phone got a beep. Someone else was calling him. Ryder pushed the talk button.

It was Phelan. He said just four words: “Look out behind you.”

In the next second the sky around Ryder’s aircraft lit up bright as day. The blue-orange flash told the tale: someone was firing a 23mm cannon at him. He peeled right and let the bottom drop out from under him. He yanked back on his throttle and lowered his variable jets. In a jump jet, this was like stepping on the brakes. His forward thrust was immediately directed downward; Ryder heard everything but the screech. The aircraft shooting at him roared by a moment later.

The plane is an Su-24 Fencer in Libyan Air Force markings.



Ryder and Phelan are now stuck in a dogfight with two planes, and neither of them have air-to-air missiles to shoot back. Ryder and Phelan dive, and Ryder catches sight of the second plane: a MiG-25 Foxbat in Sudanese Air Force markings (the real Sudan does not have MiG-25s). Even more strangely, Ryder spots a convoy of cargo ships traveling in a tight convoy below. He grabs a camera from his cockpit and quickly snaps a few shots before they disappear.

As the two Middle Eastern fighters streak toward them, Phelan and Ryder both open up with their cannons. The planes break off the attack to avoid the stream of tracers, and the Harriers boot to full power and zoom off.

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


quote:

wife, all 327 pounds of her

Ignoring the conscience clear kid killing due to it being so obviously abhorrent. It's just all so infantile, "pee pee doo doo bad people."

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




Yes. Yes, it is.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


You guys probably don't read the Wingman thread. It's full of stuff about the Enemy being this entirely incompetent beast that's cruel, smelly and stupid.

If we're talking about this book, the gay terrorist was not there for some statement about diversity among terrorists.

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


JcDent posted:

You guys probably don't read the Wingman thread. It's full of stuff about the Enemy being this entirely incompetent beast that's cruel, smelly and stupid.

If we're talking about this book, the gay terrorist was not there for some statement about diversity among terrorists.

Nah, we're reading Wingman. It at least is juvenile, bog standard conservative pulp.

Then again, I got there from the Ringo thread, so...

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Who hasn't?

By the way, this book has some serious issues with ears and radars, with nobody hearing (or seeing) American helos flying over a ME city, and Harrier somehow stealthing out of a passenger jet's radar... and eventually not seeing two migs right on top of it.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



JcDent posted:

Who hasn't?

By the way, this book has some serious issues with ears and radars, with nobody hearing (or seeing) American helos flying over a ME city, and Harrier somehow stealthing out of a passenger jet's radar... and eventually not seeing two migs right on top of it.

There's some exposition later about how the Black Hawks are modified stealth helicopters that are super quiet.

I think that's why the book is called Superhawks: that's their helicopter codename.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



The story returns to Tom Santos, he of the cancer from the beginning of the book. He's packed 3 bags and is leaving at 10:00 AM for his top secret mission, of which he's not allowed to tell anyone. His wife Ginny has gotten his pre-chemo medication, but he hasn't needed to take it.

quote:

That’s what he was involved in, the stranger in the Walgreens explained to him. Top-secret. Level Five security. The details of the operation would be given to him only on a need-to-know basis.

The man also handed him another bottle of the bright yellow pills. They tasted like candy, but they were helping, Santos was convinced of that Take as many as needed, this label said, and he’d been following those instructions. Anytime he felt a twinge, he’d pop a pill and the twinge would go away. Simple as that. Was this some secret government cure for his kind of cancer? A reward for the service he was about to provide for them? Santos really didn’t know, and on a certain level, he didn’t care to know. He was willing to keep an open mind about the whole matter. The bottle of yellow pills was never very far from his reach.

At precisely 10:00 AM, a five-year-old Impala pulls up and two men in ill-fitting suits step out. They flash IDs and begin taking his bags to the car before his wife gets home, and Santos doesn't want to leave without saying goodbye.

quote:

But just then, Ginny pulled into the driveway. She saw the men, the car, and the packed bags. The men looked like police officers. Santos met her halfway across the lawn. “Tom? What’s going on?”

He suddenly found it hard to speak. “I have to go away, just for a while,” he told her.

“Go away? Go away where?”

“I’m not sure,” he said. “It’s a government thing. Something they want me to do.”

Ginny looked at him like never before. Her eyes said it all. She thought he was losing his mind. “Tom—you can’t go anywhere,” she said. “You’re sick—”

He held up his hand, cutting her off. “Correction,” he said. “I used to be sick.…”

She was frightened now. “Tom, let’s go in the house, please.” But he leaned forward, kissed her quickly, and started to walk away. She dropped her grocery bundle. The contents spilled out on the grass. Santos climbed into the backseat of the car with the second man and began to drive away.

Ginny was just one breath away from hysterics. She looked down at her feet and saw Tom’s prescription, just refilled. She picked it up and screamed after him: “Your medication!”

He rolled down the window, waved, and yelled back: “I don’t need it. Not anymore!”

We cut to Manama, capital of Bahrain. Six Gulfstream jets land at a private airfield outside the city and offload Prince Ali Muhammad Al-Saud's gang of 16 fellow wealthy Saudis and family members, all of whom are funding Al Qaeda. Their destination is a private club near the airport, shaped like a futuristic Bedouin tent.

quote:

This place was gigantic, with huge curved windows, very low Aladdin-style lights, and gold fixtures everywhere. Many satin pillows were strewn about the floor. A dozen servants were stationed at various places around the room, Filipinos all of them. A case of champagne was waiting on ice.

The six men rolled out their prayer mats and, led by Prince Ali, quickly recited their evening prayers, even though they were several hours too late and none of them had the faintest idea whether they were facing Mecca or not. This done, the club manager was signaled. He clapped his hands softly and a side door to the room opened.

A line of girls appeared. Clad in negligees and bathing suits, they were paraded before the six men as they lounged on their pillows and drank Dom Perignon. Every girl was blond and busty. They were mostly German and Czech, with a few Russians thrown in. There were 30 in all. The oldest one was 20. Each man picked two, except the Prince, who took three. The rest were dismissed. Those girls selected were led to another room and told to wait.

The men got around to ordering their late-night dinner. All six chose the beef l’orange with french fries, and chocolate cake for dessert. Then they gathered their pillows together and had a serious conversation.

They were worried. The mysterious, and undoubtably (sic) U.S. unit had struck again, breaking up the Sea Princess operation, killing every member of the Genoa cell, and then bombing the Party of God headquarters—all in just 48 hours. And this just days after the attacks in Lebanon and Somalia and the assassination of their rotund Yemeni brother, Hamini Musheed.

“The Crazy Americans are not going away,” Farouk began. “And this could be very bad for us. They have got under my skin. I think about them constantly.”

“They knew exactly when our friends in Genoa were going to hit the liner,” Khalis Abu, the-brother-in-law, said. “You might say they just got lucky. But I ask you, have you ever known the Americans to be that lucky?” The others shook their heads no.

“I tell you, brothers, they are listening in on us,” Khalis went on. “From our lips to their ears.…”

Ali raised his hand, as if to slap him across his face. “No!” the prince screamed. “They would not dare. We are too important for that. I am too important for that.…”

Ali has friends in the US military and tried subtly bringing up the attacks with them, but none of them knew what he was talking about. Either they're lying to his face or they know as little as he does. He goes through two bottles of champagne and a dozen shots of sake, but nothing takes his mind off the Crazy Americans. He finally staggers back to his room just before 1:00 AM in a foul mood.

quote:

The Prince was the first of the six to leave the next morning. He encountered a floor manager as he was going out the back door. Ali told the man to take care of the mess in his private bedroom. The manager went to the suite and found two of the three girls who had spent the night with the Prince cowering in the corner of the bathroom, crying and in shock.

On the king-size bed lay the third girl. She’d been beaten to death.

The manager just shook his head. “Not again …” he whispered.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


The enemy is a pee pee doo doo head.
- Mack

PJOmega
May 5, 2009


It's always weird seeing how hard people cracked after 9/11. I've spent my adult life in post-attack world so seeing before and after is so interesting.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

“It’s fruit.…”

Ryder leaned over the technician’s shoulder and studied the blue-tinted TV screen. It looked a little fuzzy without his reading glasses. “Fruit?” he asked. “Are you sure?”

“One hundred percent.… Looks like lemons, oranges. Watermelons.…”

Ryder was at the bottom of Ocean Voyager, inside one of the White Rooms. It wasn’t so much a room as a long, narrow chamber, the same size as the containers up on deck. Inside was definitely white, though, and spotless. It looked like the control room of a TV studio or something at Cape Canaveral. There were dozens of video monitors hanging off the walls and ceiling. Jammed in between them were banks of shortwave radios, satellite receivers, fiber-optic lines, faxes, and computer screens. Most of the TV monitors and PC screens were displaying not satellite imagery or IR read-outs but pornography. Streaming videos, Web sites, chat lines, Triple-X rated, all of it.

See it turns out that just like the Superhawks, the terrorists also use porn sites to communicate. So the White Rooms are constantly playing 24/7 porn in the hopes of catching a terrorist speaking in code or something.

Gil Bates (lol), the Head Spook, is working on a 3D photo analysis of the convoy Ryder and Phelan saw during their encounter with the Arab fighters. The 20-year-old genius (completed with spiked hair, a goatee, and earrings) used some technobabble regarding heat signatures and color spectrums from a spectro-magnetic image to determine that the shipping containers aboard were just full of fruit. How do they do this with infrared film? Who the gently caress knows! Either way, the ships are just hauling fruit and were sailing in their close convoy because of safety after a squall. Bates keeps it on record, but as far as anyone can see it was just a normal convoy.

Martinez calls Ryder and tells him to grab Phelan and meet him on the fantail up on deck. He finds Phelan writing a letter (even though there's no way to send mail off the ship) listening to music, surrounded by a pile of CDs.

quote:

The young pilot finally saw him. He took off his headgear and Ryder told him they were wanted up on the tail. Phelan asked what it was about. Ryder said he didn’t have a clue. Phelan quietly put his letter away, closed his CD player, and grabbed his hat.

While he waited, Ryder’s eyes floated down to a framed picture Phelan had attached to his cabin wall. It was a photo of a beautiful woman, blond, sweet eyes, shy smile, great body, taken on a beach somewhere.

Unconsciously Ryder said: “Nice rack. Is this your girlfriend?”

Phelan looked at Ryder, then at the photo, and then back at Ryder again. He was clearly appalled. “Dude,” he said. “That’s my mother.…”

The Harrier duo finds Martinez up on deck at sunset as the ship heads east back toward the Suez Canal.

quote:

There were no salutes as the two pilots approached. Ryder simply asked him: “What’s up?”

Martinez gave them both the once-over. “Can you two keep your mouths shut?”

“Of course,” Ryder told him. “I’ve done nothing but,” Phelan added.

Martinez never stopped smiling. “OK—but this is really top-secret, right?” He was standing over a metal grate. It covered a steel tub sunk about three feet into the deck. This was the aft line locker. It was used to store extra bull rings and rope, the products of the spiderweb crisscrossing the cargo deck.

Martinez lifted the grate with his foot. There was no rope or rings inside. Instead the tub was filled with ice and cans of Budweiser.

“Wow!” Phelan cried. Ryder was caught speechless. He hadn’t had a beer in nearly three months. “There’s been beer onboard?” he finally exploded. “All this time?” It really was a beautiful sight. Ice cold. The red-and-white cans gleaming in the glorious sunset.

“Where did it come from, Colonel?” Phelan asked anxiously.

“The Spooks,” Martinez replied. “They found it this morning at the back of one of their supply containers.” Ryder did a quick count. He could see at least four dozen cans chilling down. There were 42 people on the boat. That was one can per man, with a few left over.…

But Martinez saw what he was doing and just shook his head. “They found more than a hundred cases,” he revealed. “All of them wrapped in long-term cool-paks.”

“Wow …” Phelan said again, this time in a whisper.

“The Spooks gave a bunch to the Marines,” Martinez went on, proudly, like a miner who’d just struck gold. “And the Marines gave a bunch to me.”

From behind them came the unmistakable sound of one of the ship’s forklifts. The propane-fired engines gave off a very distinctive hiss. One was heading in their direction along the rail, carrying two men and a metal toolbox on its fork. This box was also filled with beer; two cases, still wrapped in coolpaks. Riding on the little truck were Red Curry and Ron Gallant, the U.S. Air Force Special Operations pilots. They were the guys who drove the Blackhawks. Both were captains.

Curry was an odd duck. He was from Staten Island, real New York Giants country, yet he was a die-hard fan of the Oakland Raiders, a team located a continent away. He was never seen without his black-and-silver ball cap and matching T-shirt, appropriate, as he had the face of a linebacker. He was early thirties, married, with three kids, rugged, and stocky. He always seemed on the verge of throwing a punch at somebody, anybody. The last angry man syndrome.

Gallant on the other hand was real cool. He looked like he’d fallen off a brochure for the Air Force Academy. Tall, rock-jawed, clean-cut, blemish-free. Except for the throwback 1950s-style glasses, he was a real Clark Kent type, as restrained as Curry was volatile. He had an air of hipster sophistication, too. His hero was Miles Davis, not Al Davis.

The Marines are down in the locker room with even more beer, blasting Metallica from their section. I love how much these guys are lionizing Budweiser, though; you'd think if Bobby Murphy or whoever was going to slip these guys beer, he'd make it something good like that Kobe beef he got everyone instead of lovely American adjunct lager. Maybe he heard about how Ryder ruined his steak and thought better than to spend money on them.

Mack takes the time to remind us of how his stalwart heroes are perfect in every way:

quote:

Phelan spoke up. “Excuse me, but moving around all this beer—is it really authorized?”

The Air Force pilots laughed at him. So did Martinez. “What makes you think anything we’re doing out here is authorized?” Curry asked him. “poo poo, man, if we were any blacker we’d be picking cotton.”

Phelan is mostly afraid because they're all under orders to avoid any fraternization, and yet the beer hidden in the supplies suggests that they're supposed to start having a good time together. Martinez postulates that the order may have been a test to see if they could keep it up; Ryder doesn't give a poo poo and grabs up the Bud.

quote:

Sometime after 9:00 P.M., Gallant asked Curry what seemed to be a simple question: “How did they contact you to join up?”

They’d burned their way through a case of beer by this time and were already deep into a second. Ryder let the others talk. He spent much of the time looking up at the stars and imagining they were moving into elaborate celestial formations over his head.

“They called me in the middle of the night,” Curry replied. “I’ll never forget it. It was the day they found my brother.”

“Found him?” Martinez asked. “Found him where?”

“In the rubble of the World Trade Center,” Curry replied simply. “He was a lieutenant in FDNY. He was one of the first guys to go in. He just never came out.” He raised his beer to the sky. “For you, Jamie.…”

“But wait a minute,” Gallant stopped him in midsip. “Your brother was killed on Nine-Eleven?” Curry nodded.

“We’ve been flying together six weeks—why didn’t you ever tell me that?” Gallant asked him sternly.

“Because we weren’t supposed to talk to each other, remember?” Curry answered. “Besides, what’s the big deal?”

Gallant’s reply was totally unexpected. “Because my brother was killed that day, too,” he said. “He was a commodities trader. He worked in the North Tower.”

Martinez dropped his half-finished beer. The can rolled away, spurting foam all over the deck. He ripped the badge from over his shirt pocket. The one with the picture of the pretty girl inside. He held it up for them to see. “This is my daughter,” he said, his voice filling with emotion. “She was on the plane that hit the Pentagon!”

Absolute stunned silence from the others. How strange was this? Ryder quickly told them of Maureen’s death. But this left them even more perplexed. They turned to Phelan.

“My dad was killed aboard the Cole,” he said quietly. “He was a CPO, a fill-in … on the ship for less than a week.” Phelan angrily whipped his beer can off the end of the boat. It seemed to fly for a mile before it hit the water. “They told me he was getting coffee when it happened,” he said. “A lousy cup of coffee.…”

They all just stared at one another, dumbfounded. “We’ve all lost someone to the mooks?” Gallant asked with no little astonishment. “Could that be? Really?”

Each man repeated his story. Each confirmed that he’d lost someone close because of Al Qaeda. “This is giving me the creeps,” Curry said. “Unless it’s some weird coincidence.”

“It’s no coincidence,” Martinez said. “Someone wanted to get a bunch of psychologically pissed off guys together, guys who wouldn’t sneeze at some of the stuff they want us to do. And we’re it.”

“Man, someone did a good job picking out us Indians,” Curry said.

Gallant replied: “Yeah, someone named ‘Bobby Murphy.’”

The group spends another hour draining another case of beer and talking about the loved ones they've lost. This section actually isn't too bad, albeit only two paragraphs long, and I'd have honestly preferred it if Mack went on longer about actual human things instead of just fantasizing about superheroes tearing the limbs off Muslims while frothing at the mouth for revenge.

For an instant as Ryder finishes his story, the moon breaks through the clouds. The sky turns deep red, then back to normal.

quote:

What the hell was that? Do they have Saint Elmo’s Fire in the Med? Ryder thought. Or was it just that someone up on the deckhouse was fooling around with the ship’s searchlight and had locked them in its intense beam for a drunken moment or two? He couldn’t tell.

But then just as suddenly, Martinez stuck his right hand out, fist balled, and held it there, strong and steady, in front of them. Way off in the distance, thunder crashed. Lightning lit up a faraway cloud. Phelan was the first to catch on. He touched Martinez’s fist with his own, tapping it twice and leaving it on top of his. Then Curry joined in, two taps, then adding his fist to the pile. Gallant followed. Ryder completed the ritual by laying his fist on top of them all.

Then they all drained their beers with their free hands and quite spontaneously let out a great, “Whoop!,” something between an Apache war cry and a drunken coyote call. Then they exchanged high fives all round.

Then Ryder asked: “What does this mean exactly?” He was really lit. They all were.

“It means we are now familia,” Martinez said, in an exaggerated Latin accent. “Brothers. We now fight as one.…”

“We’re family, all right!” Curry yelled. “Family—as in the Mafia.…” He tapped each one of them twice on the head, draining yet another beer at the same time. “Yeah, we’re the new Mafia, baby …” he went on. “And those ragheads better watch out for us.…”

The night goes on. Delta plays poker, the Marines play Metallica, and the Spooks play actual porn on their screens. Around 2:00 AM the Navy guys fire up some grills and begin cooking breakfast. With the order to avoid fraternization gone, the Ocean Voyager takes on a new and jovial atmosphere.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Just a bunch of bros riding around the med, drinking beer and killing hadjis.

Next up: Murphy fills the ship with hot nympho hookers

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Are you ready to get even more racist? Because that's the direction we're spiraling down toward.

quote:

The ship entered the Suez Canal and traveled all night. It was Ocean Voyager’s third passage in two weeks. They were in radio contact with various people connected with the canal, many employed by the Egyptian government. Most of these communications were handled by Captain Bingo. He’d perfected a nondefinable Middle Eastern accent. The aim was to blend in as one of many. They stayed clear of military ships, paid attention, and followed procedures. And people left them alone.

The crew has a new mission, and they're sending the Black Hawks to do it. Here we finally get our explanation behind the name: the specially modified Black Hawks the team uses are called Superhawks because they're badass Black Hawks that are 8 feet longer and 6 feet wider than normal, with every surface sanded smooth and painted in radar-absorbing paint and with metal cowlings dampening heat emissions. The engines are somehow modified to be almost completely silent, too.

There are two helicopters, Eight Ball and Torch. Eight Ball is a gunship with a minigun in the nose, a .50 cal in each door, twin 5-inch rocket tubes, and a Mk. 19 grenade launcher on the right side of the troop bay. Torch is a transport for 16 Delta Force commandos, still armed with rocket launchers and a single door .50 cal. Each also carries a big American flag under the front seat to display at appropriate times.

quote:

Once the helicopters were properly heated up, a line of Delta troopers appeared from a nearby hatch. They hurried across the pancake, in single file and climbed aboard the Torch ship with practiced haste. The Marine techs were holding green fluorescent glow sticks to help light the way. The lights gave the proceedings an eerie feel.

Once Delta was in place, the Marine techs loaded the strange cargo the Torch chopper would also be carrying this night: four metal cages, each holding a twenty-pound pig.

If you're a sensitive soul, your eyes might start widening a little as you imagine what's about to occur.

We get a little description of US Army Sergeant Dave Hunn, the squad leader of the first team. 6'3, 225 pounds, goatee, tan, beady eyes, and less than 2% body fat.

quote:

He was wearing the standard Delta ops uniform: a Nomex flight suit, a black Fritz helmet with headphones and a sat-cell phone attached, a pair of shatter-proof goggles, armored shorts to protect his groin, GORE-TEX boots, and a Kevlar vest. He was carrying an M16A2-CAR-15 specialized assault rifle, the black ops version of the standard M16. It had a collapsible stock, a shorter barrel, held a 30-round magazine, and was equipped with a silencer. The rifle could also carry an M203 40mm grenade launcher under its barrel and any number of special ops gadgets on the top, from low-light and thermal-imaging systems to laser pointers.

Everyone in the squad was equipped with one. Hunn’s team also worked with bayonets attached to their weapons. Few things could demoralize an enemy faster than to see nine inches of razor steel coming at them.

I don't think Mack has done thorough research. Among the other equipment, two guys have "muzzle-mounted grenade launchers" (not sure if they're M203s or actual rifle grenade launchers since Mack gets so much wrong), two have sacks full of incendiary grenades and Tasers, one has a Mossberg semi-auto shotgun, and two are carrying a super special half-size TOW launcher.

Hunn is from Queens, so of course his youngest sister died in the Twin Towers on her way to a job interview. His mind broke, but luckily he was given the chance to take revenge on some Muslims!

quote:

Time went on, and it was tough. But then he was given the opportunity to volunteer for this unorthodox program. It promised few regs, lots of action, and no PC bullshit. The two civilians in bad suits who came down to see him that warm night at Fort Bragg couldn’t have been more blunt. “Want to kill some sand monkeys?” they’d asked him. Hunn jumped at the chance.

I want to see what would happen if Mack Maloney actually met a Muslim. Also everyone is wearing a shoulder patch that says We Will Never Forget over an image of the Twin Towers with an American flag background, plus NYPD and FDNY logos.

The team's destination is Ubal-Sharif, a small village at the base of the Hejaz Mountains in Saudi Arabia.

quote:

There was an apartment located near the center of the village, three rooms in the back of a tea shop. No plumbing, no stove, and just one outlet for electricity, which worked infrequently. Five men were jammed into the front room of the flat, all of them sitting on the bare dirt floor. It was 5:00 A.M., but these individuals never slept at night. They could barely sleep during the day.

Two were playing runes. Another was watching an American dance show on an ancient TV. A fourth was cleaning his Kalashnikov assault rifle. The fifth was trying to get his cell phone to work. They were surrounded by boxes of fruit and extension cords, all feeding into the lone electrical socket.

The five men were members of Al-Habazz Jihad, a Saudi terrorist group considered among the most fanatical within Al Qaeda. Members of Al-Habazz carried the money for the 9/11 attacks out of banks in the Middle East and to banks in Europe. They also bought all the tickets for the 9/11 hijackers when they first flew to the United States. The group had a reputation for being smart, loyal, and ruthless.

The men here are awaiting a CD for Al Qaeda's Next Big Thing, the rumored terrorist attack meant to dwarf 9/11. According to a coded phone call the fifth man makes, the CD has been sent out that morning and should be arriving any minute. He tells the rest of the group "The day of falling sparrows is almost upon us..."

At this moment, Dave Hunn bursts through the door and shoots out the light bulb with his silenced CAR-15 (inexplicably loaded with tracer rounds like all the guns in Mack's books) before body slamming the two men playing runes, allowing the rest of the squad to flood in. The guy cleaning his AK tries aiming the unloaded gun and gets a buttstock to the face, knocking his teeth out. Corporal Zangrelli tases the man in front of the TV, and the whole group just starts tasing and beating the crap out of everyone before duct taping their mouths and tying their hands behind their backs.

Hunn hits the flash button on his satellite phone twice, expecting another two clicks back to indicate that they're clear to extract.

quote:

Instead, Gallant came on the phone. Trouble was approaching.

“You got a deuce-and-a-half truck, nearing in your location,” Gallant reported. “It’s a military vehicle. Approximately two dozen mooks hanging off the back. They are armed.”

“drat it,” Hunn cursed. “Who the hell are they?” He could almost hear the copter pilot shrug.

“I don’t know,” Gallant replied. “The Saudi Army maybe?”

“Do those guys even have a loving army?” Hunn cursed again.

“They do now,” Gallant said. “Because a pair of APCs just came over the hill, too. They’ll be at your location in about thirty seconds.”

Hunn is not a clever man.

He closes the shutters and peeks out a crack in them. Torch and Eight Ball are silently hovering about a block away, and sunrise will be hitting in just 20 minutes. Hunn figures the troops moving in are friendly to the terrorists, which makes them enemies.

The troop truck (in Saudi National Guard markings) parks in front of the apartment and an officer climbs out the back. Mack tells the audience that he has five CDs hidden in his baseball cap, just to clear the air and make sure none of us find what's about to happen offensive.

quote:

When the door opened, he found himself staring at the muzzle of Hunn’s 16A2-CAR-15, clicked to its shotgun mode. The officer put his hands to his face. Hunn pulled the trigger.

The man’s skull blew apart, hat and all. He fell backward into the street. At the same moment, the TOW team on the roof fired a missile into the middle of the troop truck. It went up like a can of gas. The soldiers began jumping or falling off, some on fire, some not. Two Team started mowing them down.

The APCs arrived. They came to a halt about a half-block away. One crew believed the gunfire that had blown up the truck had come not from above but from farther down the street. They opened up with tracer fire that went whipping right by the apartment where the Americans were holed up. The crew of the second APC wasn’t so dumb. They turned their weapons directly on the small apartment and opened fire. Instantly the apartment’s walls were blown away by huge 5.61 cannon shells.

With an earsplitting roar, the Harrier zooms overhead and annihilates the first APC with a laser-guided bomb. The second Harrier literally cuts the second APC in half with cannon fire, where it hangs for a moment before exploding like a Zaku bisected by a beam sword. The building narrowly avoids collapse from the nearby explosions and shrapnel, and the team grabs up their prisoners and runs.

As Delta runs out the back door, Hunn pops one of his amphetamine pills and they launch incendiary bombs and grenades back into the building just in case, causing explosions so powerful that the cement of the courtyard they ran into ruptures under their feet. Torch has already picked up the rooftop squad and lowers fast ropes into the courtyard to haul in the Arab prisoners, while Hunn fires another grenade toward the buildings to suppress incoming fire.

I think it's been too many paragraphs without a war crime.

quote:

Hunn’s pep pill kicked in at that moment. The noise and the confusion suddenly doubled. He was still in the courtyard and pieces of debris from the apartment explosion were falling on his head. Fire and dust were everywhere. He could hardly breathe. Was this anything like the day the towers crashed? Could it be about one-millionth the horror?

He began screaming. A door opened off to his right. A middle-aged man, holding either a gun or a cane, emerged. Hunn emptied a half a clip into him. Another explosion went off to his left. Hunn screamed again, firing his weapon into the flames and smoke. The Eight Ball gunship came overhead, minigun going nonstop. The squad’s incendiary guys were now off the ground, with the Big Fifty guys just latching onto the ropes.

Hunn’s whole squad had made it up. Now it was his turn. He slid out onto the main street; the fast rope was just ten feet away. He was about to latch on when he heard a screech.

An old, broken-down bus had pulled up not 15 feet behind him. The driver’s face showed pure fright—he couldn’t believe he’d just blundered into the gun battle. Hunn could see the bus was loaded with Arab men. But were they civilians or more terrorist types?

He didn’t wait to find out. He fired two grenades into the vehicle. They went through the windshield and exploded halfway up the aisle. Then he began spraying the bus mercilessly with his rifle on full auto. Someone began yelling in his headphones. It sounded like: “Everyone is out! Time to go!” Hunn kept firing. The bus burst into flames, filling the morning air with screams. “Right now! We got to go!”

Hunn never stopped shooting. Even as he connected to the fast rope, he was raking the bus from one end to the other.

The next night, a FedEx truck pulls up in front of a green stucco house on the edge of the UAE village of Al-Ruyah. The driver is also the village plumber, and he hands the occupant an overnight envelope containing nothing but a VHS tape. About 30 seconds into the tape, the recipient jumps in his Fiat and drives full speed to Jubai, where his cousin is the police chief. He takes possession of the tape, warning his cousin not to tell anyone. The chief then takes the tape to Zoobu, a high-ranking Al Qaeda member in another small village near the coast. Zoobu hands the chief $100 and takes the tape; he was the member who spoke on the phone with the guys in Ubal-Sharif the day before to let them know the CD was coming.

The tape begins with a minute of static before it cuts to a closeup of the Al-Habazz operative Zoobu had spoken with yesterday. It pans by all of them, showing that they've had their mouths taped. They're on the edge of a tall cliff at daybreak, over the smoking ruins of Ubal-Sharif.

quote:

The camera zoomed in again and focused on the face of the oldest of the group, the man who’d been cleaning the Kalashnikov. A wanted poster showing his picture was thrust into the camera frame. It gave a long list of his crimes and in large print identified him as a friend of Al Qaeda.

The camera lingered on him for a long moment and then—pop! pop! Two buttons of blood suddenly formed on his brow, one right between his eyes. He fell backward out of camera range. Zoobu was shocked. Someone had just pumped two bullets into the man’s head.

The camera became shaky but then settled on the youngest man in the group, one of the runes players. A wanted poster detailing his offenses came into view, then again, two loud pops—and the younger man joined the older, dying and bleeding on the ground. Two more of the men were executed in the same gruesome manner.

The camera shut off for a moment. When the tape resumed, some time had passed. A large hole had been dug in the soft earth of the cliff. The four dead terrorists had been thrown into it. The pigs’ squealing became most unnerving.

Four American soldiers then walked into the frame, faces covered, bayonets in hand. They were each holding one of the pigs. One by one, they proceeded to cut the pigs’ throats in the most disturbing fashion. Bleeding profusely, the pigs were thrown into the grave with the four dead terrorists.

Zoobu nearly threw up. Burying a pig with a Muslim was a sign of infinite disgrace. According to the Koran, it guaranteed that man would never see Paradise. This grisly segment ended with the sound of two more loud pops.

When the next scene began it showed the only prisoner not yet buried. Zoobu’s cell-phone friend. His body lay crumpled near the now–covered over unmarked grave, two bullet holes in his forehead. His cell phone had been stuffed into his mouth—sideways. Flies were already landing on his body.

“Praise Allah,” Zoobu whispered. “But these Americans have gone crazy.…”

But for him, the worst was yet to come. Just before the tape ran out, one of the American soldiers wrote something on a piece of paper and held it up to the lens.

This time Zoobu did throw up. The message read: You’re next.…

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Did Mack lose anyone in 9/11, or was his mind just obliterated by the fact that the US military, perfect and immortal, could let that happen?

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

BORN TO DIE
HAIG IS A FUCK
Kill Em All 1917
I am trench man
410,757,864,530 SHELLS FIRED




I'm not sure I want to know.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mack is a loving idiot about guns (we already know that he doesn't understand that there are limits to the stuff you can put in planes and still have them fly).

There's no such thing as M16A2-CAR-15. CAR-15 is a carbine version of the M-16, as far as I understand it. There is a carbine version of M16A2 called M16A2 Commando, but I don't think operators were using those in WoT.

What they most definitely weren't using are rifle grenade launchers. Grenade launchers have replaced any need for those since you don't need to jam a loving grenade into your rifle to fire one.

Mack is a loving idiot.

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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I'm wondering how he set his gun to "shotgun mode" without any mention of an underbarrel shotgun and seemingly having an M203 fitted instead.

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