When nobody else can do the job, it’s Zombie time.
The world thinks they are dead. America’s enemies wish it was true.
They are the rough men and women ready to commit violence on our behalf. They are the Nameless members of Task Force Zombie.
America’s enemies in the War on Terror don’t respect borders and don’t play by any rules. The SEALs, Delta Force, MARSOC, and USAF Special Operations Command comprise our front line against those who want to spill the blood of the innocent. But after the Benghazi Embassy attack, a notorious Austrian arms dealer who sold the terrorists American Stingers takes refuge in Egypt and there is nothing the U.S. military can do about it. Sending in conventional special forces would be an act of war.
That’s when they get the call. Somebody high up in the American government wants that Austrian arms dealer dead, to cover up their own complicity in the sale of the Stingers. Whoever it is wants the Zombies to kill him… but never to make it home again.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+.
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My series The Last Brigade has attracted many readers who want to know more about the origin stories of the characters, one of whom is Green Ghost. This tells that tale and, I hope, adds depth to the reader enjoyment of both these prequels, and The Last Brigade itself.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
General Nick Angriff is the embodiment of what I think of as the ultimate American hero. He sprang fully formed in my mind after a long gestation period. Green Ghost, code name for a top-level member of Delta Force, evolved over a longer period of time, and represents the sacrifices made by all of the men and women who sacrifice to protect freedom.
“The right individual, in the right place at the right time, can change the course of human history.”
– Lieutenant General Nicholas T. Angriff
Camp Zippo, 5 miles west of Yoboki, Djibouti
0712 hours, July 12, 2012
Without realizing he was doing it, Major General Norm Fleming rose up and rolled his buttocks from side to side. The muscles in his lower back ached from sinking into the worn-out couch. For the third or fourth time, he scooted forward to the edge, elbows on knees and hands clasped as he stared at the wall.
The clarity of the one-hundred-inch flat screen monitor mounted there was enough to count the hairs on the rats that scurried for cover as the running man’s footfalls scuffed the concrete alley, where they’d been gnawing through a pile of garbage. The three high-ranking officers in the room saw this because a UAV circled Mogadishu at 2,000 feet, its long-range, high-definition camera focused on a man sprinting through back alleys with eight or ten others in close pursuit. Hurdling over a spilled crate of rotting tomatoes without breaking stride, he ducked as bullets tore into one of the alley’s cinder block walls.
White robes flapped behind his pursuers, all of whom ran after him carrying what looked like AK-47s. That made following them among the knots of peddlers and tent covers lining the alley easy, since most men wore jeans and t-shirts. But instead of either white or jeans, the running man wore the mottled green, dark brown, and pinkish khaki camouflage uniform of Spetnatz, with a black knit toboggan covering his face. All three people in the room recognized the rifle he carried in one hand as the Russian AKM, a modernized version of the AK-47, with a grenade launcher attached.
“What’s his name?” Nick Angriff said. Fleming wasn’t fooled by the dispassion in his voice. He knew his friend too well, but even had he not, the words didn’t match the obvious worry in Angriff’s taut features, or the involuntary clenching and unclencing of his hands.
Fleming turned to the third person in the room, a short, heavy-set major named Kamiya Jones, who stood beside them. She sensed him looking at her and flicked her eyes from the screen to his face. Fleming’s lifted left eyebrow showed they awaited the answer to Angriff’s question.
“Green Ghost, sir,” Jones said, trying to sound confident. Fleming assumed her nervousness came from having Nick the A drop in to watch the op happening live. That was enough to make anybody nervous. “That’s all we know, per your instructions. All secrecy protocols have been followed to the letter.”
Various shades of brown danced across Angriff’s eyeballs as reflections from the screen played across them like a movie screen. He stared at the monitor with a fixation close to hypnosis. “He’s good. Fast and agile. I hope to God he survives.”
“He got his target.”
“You thought he’d abort.”
“But he didn’t. That either makes him dedicated or stupid. I’m praying it’s the first one.”
“Even if nobody gets out, the HVT was worth it.”
“I hate that kind of math. We’re already down three First Team operatives, not to mention three damned heroic Americans.”
Fleming half-smiled and nodded at the archaic sounding plaudit. Most politicians, civilian or military, no longer used terms like heroic, considering it too politically incorrect in an era when you couldn’t call a terrorist a terrorist, but had to call them insurgents instead. But Nick Angriff didn’t give a damn what about anybody else thought about his patriots; to him, a hero was a hero, a patriot was a patriot, and a terrorist was a terrorist.
The running man turned down a street filled with food vendor carts and milling crowds of women wearing burkhas, shopping for the evening meal. Four men followed him into the mass of humanity. Puffs of smoke trailed from the muzzles of their AK-47s, and the people on the street running for cover showed the watchers that they were shooting at the man they chased. A stocky woman clad head to toe in black fell to the ground and didn’t move.
At the other end of the short street, two more white-robed men knelt and opened up, catching the lone gunmen in a deadly crossfire. Like most such militias, their aim was indiscriminate. Fire discipline to them meant shoot and keep shooting until you run out of ammo.
“Damn,” Angriff said. “They’ve got him trapped.”
“The QRT can’t go in without compromising our role in this one.”
Angriff exhaled through his nostrils in the way that told Fleming he was upset. “I know.”
“And we can’t use drones for the same reason.”
“I wrote the ROEs for this mission, remember?”
As they watched, two more women toppled when strays ripped into the crowd. The stream of bullets hit the paving stones and alley walls around Green Ghost as he kept running straight at the two men. At the moment they converged on him, he made an impossible leap sidewise, tucked the AKM into his chest, and dove forward. Landing on his right shoulder, he rolled into a kneeling position, brought the rifle up, and hosed both men with a long burst. Red splotches appeared all over the white robes and they were dead before they fell.
Fleming felt his mouth hanging open at what should have been an impossible feat, and saw both Angriff and Major Jones doing the same. Such acrobatics belonged at the Olympics, or in Las Vegas.
The four men fifty feet behind now had a clear field of fire, but by the time they’d retargeted on him, he was gone behind a food stall. Two children cowered in the shadows near the alley wall, with their dead mother lying at their feet.
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