The warhead landed fifteen feet to the left of the Sentinel with a deadly concussive blast. Pieces of asphalt, chunks of soil, and shards of shrapnel were propelled into the air in every direction.
Built to withstand a direct hit the Land Rover shuddered violently as the shock wave pushed the 5,000-pound vehicle to the right and managed to lift it six inches off the ground. No small feat. The impact jostled both Troy and Sam around the cab like rag dolls, but miraculously Troy kept his hands firmly wrapped around the leather steering wheel. With the two right wheels slipping off the edge of the driveway he struggled and pulled the wheel sharply to the left aligning all four wheels back on solid footing.
Troy wasn’t about to find out what damage a direct hit might inflict on the armored vehicle as he saw the guard re-load another warhead. He knew what must be done.
Aware it would be close, Troy felt sure if they didn’t get out before the gate shut both he and Sam didn’t stand a chance of surviving. Besides, failure wasn’t an option. Not now. Not ever.
Straightening out the vehicle he accelerated while at the same time his left hand reached over and hit the automatic window button which lowered the driver’s side window. Next, he reached down and removed the Glock 22 wedged between his right thigh and the smooth leather seat. In one fluid motion, he racked the weapon. Without question, the shot would be virtually impossible and he would have to do it with his left hand. That made little difference since Troy trained extensively and happened to be an expert marksman with both hands. Plus, when the pressure boiled over to a point where most people faltered, Troy didn’t. Ever.
The speedometer on the Sentinel registered 85 MPH as Troy rested his left hand on the driver’s side mirror. It took all of his strength to hold the weapon steady as the resistance from the wind fought his attempt to keep his hand in place. Fortunately, the smooth pavement of the driveway and high-end suspension of the vehicle didn’t add to the difficulty.
They were less than 50 feet from the guardhouse and the second warhead clicked in place as the man who held it took deadly aim at the vehicle barreling down on him.
Troy’s first two shots went far to the left as they ricocheted off the side of the building. Moving his hand ever so slightly Troy let the next volley fly as he unloaded the clip in rapid succession. The fifth and sixth rounds struck directly in the man’s forehead. As the back of his head exploded the signal from his brain to his fingertips registered and he depressed the trigger on the RPG-7 launcher. While falling backward the warhead launched with a burst of crimson against the blackness of the night sky. Fortunately, the ordnance shot up in the air with no real threat to Troy or Sam.
The gate closed more than half way as the Land Rover approached and continued to gain speed. The speedometer registered triple digits as it approached the gate. Troy felt sure it would be close, too close for comfort. With a metallic screech, the three-inch cylinder shaped tips of the gate scraped viciously against the side of the Sentinel as it passed between the guard house and the gate.
Once through Sam looked at Troy, her eyes were wide as saucers, “Dammit that was close,” she yelled.
“You think?” he replied as his eyes stared forward and he pressed hard on the brake pedal to keep from losing control. They had reached the spot where the driveway turned sharp and entered the thick woods. As he handed Sam the Glock he said. “I’m out, see if you can find any more mags.”
Her eyes darted around the interior cab as she searched for ammo. Then she saw it. “Phone, I got a phone,” she said and held up the smartphone that the driver wedged between the seat and center console.
“Call Digger,” replied Troy, “Right now!”
Next to his keyboard, turned with the screen facing downward the cell phone vibrated. Digger flipped it over but didn’t recognize the number, the caller ID simply said, Accra, Ghana.
“You gonna answer that?” asked Jesús with a curious expression displayed on his face.
Digger shrugged, “It’s not one of our numbers.”
“Answer it,” replied Sarge from the front seat.
With a heavy sigh, he clicked the speakerphone button and Digger answered with one word, “Speak!”
“Where the hell are you guys?”
“Sam?” questioned Digger who sat up straight in an instant as he gripped the armrests on his chair.
“No, it’s Beyonce. Who do you think would be calling right now dickhead?”
Digger couldn’t help but laugh out loud, Sam might be the most sarcastic woman he had ever met. She could dish it out and take it with the best of them. “We’re five miles south of Ami’s compound on the N2. Where are you?” he asked.
“Coming your way and coming in hot. Be ready for us.”
“Roger that. The Colonel is here now. We are in a white box truck and black Mercedes on the side of the road. You can’t miss us.”
As requested Sam handed Troy the phone. “We need to ditch this Land Rover and move to the next phase.”
“Copy that Cap. As soon as you give me that flash drive I can upload its content to the shared server and the analysts can get to work on breaking the decryption and start pouring over the contents.”
“We’ll be at your location in two minutes,” answered Troy as he disconnected the phone.
The Colonel, Harry, and the Jackal climbed into the white box van halfway through the call.
“Thoughts?” the Colonel asked the team.
“Leave the Land Rover here. Chances are it might have a tracker. We can’t risk them following us. Plus, Ami will send a team after it,” answered Digger.
With a nod, the Colonel said, “Agreed.”
Five minutes later a five-pound block of M112 exploded inside the Land Rover rendering the fortress-like vehicle into a heaping mess of flames and debris scattered across the roadway and onto the grass embankment.
Sam handed Digger the flash drive who immediately put it into his USB drive and started the upload to the server. “It’s go time,” he said.
“You getting a good upload signal from a moving van?” questioned Troy.
“Yes sir,” answered Digger.
“Good job you two,” added Sarge.
Troy and Sam looked at each other and smiled. “It was a close call,” answered Sam.
The two vehicles carrying the Omega Group moved their way quickly down the N2 to a home just outside Accra where Ami kept Naseefa for the past several months. They would hit the vehicle he traveled in before it pulled into the gated home.
Ami’s fist slammed hard onto the top of the cherry desk. “What did they get?”
Nobody in the room said a word. A deadly silence permeated the office as soon as they all stepped inside.
“The Lapointe’s, what did they steal from me?” he asked once more. Everybody present knew he wouldn’t ask a third time.
The chief of security stood across the desk. At six foot two and close to two-hundred and forty pounds he could stand up to most men. But not now, not with Ami in this livid state. With the rage erupting from his boss he lowered his head, afraid to make eye contact, “We have no way of knowing sir.”
“Excuse me?” hissed Ami.
“They got into our surveillance system somehow and looped the video from the hallway and down here for at least twenty minutes. I know it was the Lapointe’s but what they did down here I’m not sure at this time.”
The anger stretched across Ami’s face as he shook his head back and forth.
The security chief continued, “We must assume they targeted your laptop and have everything …”
As he spoke the last few words and before the man could finish the sentence, Ami reached into the top center drawer, pulled out the .357 Magnum, cocked it then pulled the trigger in one quick motion. He split the man’s head in two as he fired the hollow point round at his head from point-blank range. The sound was deafening and in the closed room could have ruptured everyone’s eardrums. It took a couple minutes before anyone could hear a thing. Even when they could the ringing sound overpowered all others.
Ami lowered his head and placed the gun at the side of his body while everyone recovered from the sound. He then raised the gun and pointed it to the man who stood just to the right of the lifeless, still twitching, corpse. “You just got promoted,” he said loudly as he clicked back the hammer with his thumb, “Don’t fail me like your boss. Get me some damn answers as to what they stole and who they really were. Phillipe and Madeline Lapointe would not be capable of pulling off anything like this. They must have been imposters and damn good ones to make it past my security protocols.”
Sweat poured from the man’s brow and he nodded feverishly as he picked up the laptop and left the room, “I’m on it,” the man replied over his shoulder in a broken voice.
Ami placed the steel weapon on the desk and looked at the person to his left. A perplexed look upon his face. “The American’s?” the man asked.
The rage within Ami seethed from his pores. “Obviously,” he answered, “CIA most likely, but I wouldn’t rule out MI6, FSB, ISI, or even Mossad.”
“But if it’s the American’s I thought you have an arrangement with the CIA?”
“Apparently not anymore,” answered Ami.
“What do you want to do?” asked the man as he flexed his jaw trying to get the ringing in his ears to abate.
“Call the airport,” answered Ami, “Get my plane ready. We need to complete the transaction for the nuke immediately.”
“And what about the guests upstairs?”
“What about them?” answered Ami as his eyes narrowed.
“It will look odd if their host suddenly disappears with one of the guests without explanation.”
“I’ll come up with something,” retorted Ami, “I always do.”
“As you wish,” answered his subordinate.
“And I want to take the helo to the airport, not a convoy.”
“Of course,” answered the man as he reached for the phone on the desk to call for the helicopter and also instruct the plane to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Naseefa made his way down the stairs towards the basement. Ami summoned him which meant a problem occurred. As he reached the bottom step, the sound of a large caliber weapon discharged at the end of the hall. The sound ricocheted through the hall even though the door from where the sound came appeared closed. He froze in an instant as fear encompassed him. Afraid to move, his legs resisted the movement forward. His legs won out, and his mind relented as he didn’t move for almost three minutes.
Then the door opened fully and a man who worked for the head of surveillance moved down the hall towards him with a panicked look on his face. Blood splatter and what appeared to be pieces of dark matted hair and gray matter permeated the man’s white dress shirt, face, and neck. Naseefa tried to ask what happened but the man never stopped his hurried pace and simply shook his head then muttered, “You don’t want to go in there.” Before Naseefa could protest, the man took the stairs two steps at a time and disappeared.
A couple minutes later Ami emerged from the room followed by two other men. A red crimson burned within his eyes. His very soul appeared on fire. He stopped as he reached Naseefa who stood like a statue, paralyzed by fear.
“Do you have what you need?” asked Ami in a perturbed tone.
“For what?” questioned Naseefa unsure what the shorter man meant.
“To retrieve the weapon, dammit.”
Naseefa shook his head, “Like I told you I need a bag from the house where I’ve been staying. I thought we would depart in the morning.”
“The plans have changed,” answered Ami’s whose eyes narrowed and pierced at him. “Go get it,” said Ami.
“Now? What about the rest of the night?”
Ami ignored the question. “I’m sending two security teams with you, they will escort you to the house. Get what you need and we will rendezvous at the airport. I’m going to inform the buyer right now of our altered plans. Do you understand?” It happened to be a rhetorical question.
He didn’t understand and had no clue what had occurred with the security snafu a few minutes earlier nor the gunshot that followed downstairs. But he couldn’t question Ami again, not if he wanted to see another dawn. Saying the only sensible thing he could Naseefa shook his head, “I’ll leave right now.”
Ami didn’t wait for his response, he bounded up the stairs and left Naseefa standing alone, with only his thoughts and a slight ringing sound in his left ear.
“We’ve got movement,” said Digger as the red circular dot suddenly came to life on his monitor and moved towards the N2 and away from Ami’s compound.
The entire team had crammed into the back of the white box van. To say they were like sardines in a can would be an understatement.
“And how pray tell did you get a tracker on the vehicle used by Naseefa?” asked Troy as he slapped Digger on the shoulder.
A wide grin spread across Digger’s face, “Slid it on the undercarriage of his vehicle. Very dangerous mission Cap. I could have been run over!”
“While it was moving?” asked Troy whose expression revealed he seemed impressed.
“Please,” cut in the Jackal, “You’re talking about super nerd here,” as he pushed the back of Digger’s head forward in a playful motion, “Not Jason Bourne!”
“So where really happened?”
“Stuck it on the vehicle at a Starbucks in Accra,” interjected Jesús. “Can you believe that?”
“You’re kidding,” replied Sam as she shook her head.
“Dude ordered a White Chocolate Mocha,” added Sarge, “Sissy!”
“Hey! I like those,” deadpanned the Jackal.
“Like I said,” responded Sarge.
“What’s the security detail look like that transported Naseefa back and forth?” asked Troy as he changed the subject.
“They’re bad-asses,” answered the Jackal, “No push-overs to be sure.”
“Wouldn’t expect Ami to employ a bunch of rent-a-cops,” said Troy.
The red circle on the screen moved onto the N2 headed southwest toward their position. The tracker also could pick up audio which allowed them to run a voice recognition software. Two minutes later it confirmed Naseefa presence in the vehicle. Digger clicked away on his keyboard and brought up the satellite feed.
“Two vehicle convoy, Naseefa appears to be in the second vehicle,” said Digger.
“How long do we have?” asked the Colonel as he pointed to the screen.
“Eleven minutes,” came the reply.
“Then let’s go over the plan one more time,” instructed the Colonel who stood near the rear door.
Two-dozen exquisite women moved through the banquet hall serving drinks and hors d’oeuvres to those gathered in the room. Ami was no fool, he knew besides a man’s god being his belly another way to keep a man satiated occurred through the lust of his eyes. The women present served both functions quite nicely.
Before stepping outside the room and making his way downstairs Ami addressed the concerned group after the events that occurred in front of his compound. He assured them he had a minor security issue, but that there was no need for concern. And like that, the women emerged as did the booze and food. Within a few minutes of him being gone the party began in earnest.
Most of them did not even notice when he returned. Ami slipped into the room with a purpose. He went straight to the back-right corner where a man stood surrounded by four oversized burly guards. The man had an olive complexion and an expertly styled black goatee. Unlike many men in his culture, this man wore no robe. The Ermenegildo Zegna suit he wore spoke of style and sophistication. The fact that it cost over $22,000 USD let others know the man had money to burn. Ami didn’t ask why he wanted to buy the nuke. After all, it really wasn’t any of his business. The man had deep pockets due to an abundance of family wealth. He easily won the bid.
Ami approached the man and leaned in close. The bodyguards took a step back.
“We need to leave shortly,” said Ami in a whispered tone into the man’s ear.
“That was not part of the agreement.”
“Things changed,” answered Ami.
The man’s brow furrowed, “Am I to think this security issue was more than you let on?”
Ami flat out lied to the man as he stared at him. “Not at all, like I said it was a minor incident. However, I leave nothing to chance and out of an abundance of caution I’ve decided we leave tonight to retrieve the device. We should be there by the time the dawn breaks.”
The man eyed Ami cautiously and said nothing for several seconds. “As you wish,” he relented. “You have my money already, and I expect to receive exactly what I paid for.”
“And you shall have just that. My jet will take us to it,” answered Ami with a warm smile, “Just as I promised.”
“Do I have time for one more drink?”
With eyebrows raised and a devious smile, Ami asked, “What would your father say about such vices?”
Ami motioned and one of the attractive, scantily clad women brought over a tray which contained an assortment of drinks. Ami grabbed one as did the well-dressed man. The woman had long legs and wore a black strapless cocktail dress with an extremely low neckline. Her ample cleavage left little to the imagination. Both men enjoyed the view.
“My father would say Allah allows the faithful to indulge from time to time,” as he raised the glass up in the air.
“I like the way your father and also your god thinks, Rahman,” said Ami as he touched his glass to the one held by Rahman Salek.
“As do I,” answered Rahman.
The warm burn of the alcohol felt good as it passed down Ami’s dry throat and it started to lower his blood pressure which climbed dangerously high after the incident downstairs.
“One minute out,” said Digger into his comms.
“Hit em’,” said Cap from the other vehicle, “And hit em’ hard.”
The road which led to where Naseefa stayed veered off the N2 about two miles outside Accra. Warehouses primarily lined one side of the road, all of them owned by Ami to store his illicit trade. At the end of the road stood the house Naseefa called home the past several months. Modest by most standards the three-story home sat on two acres and gave him plenty of space.
An eight-foot-high wooden fence bordered the left side of the road from where it came off the N2 all the way to the home a quarter mile away. Fifty feet before the entrance to the gated home a driveway on the right side led to the last warehouse. The two vehicles parked side by side in the driveway waited. With everything in place, the Omega Group needed to execute the plan. Having a little bit of luck on their side wouldn’t hurt either.
Digger watched the satellite feed and also the surveillance camera he placed along the roadside intently. His pointer finger hovered over the detonator button as he waited for the right second to unleash hell at the lead vehicle of the convoy. “Ten seconds,” he said so that everyone could know the time had arrived.
The two-vehicle convoy pulled off the N2 and made their way down the narrow, dark road. Naseefa sat in the rear passenger seat. His mind wandered as he thought about the events of the night and also what would occur shortly. He had a sneaking suspicion once he handed over the second nuke his usefulness to Ami would be no more. Death seemed likely. He questioned Ami who assured him they made a deal and he would uphold his end once the weapon found its way into the hands of the new owner. Naseefa doubted his sincerity. His mind turned to his son and daughter. It had been a long time since they spoke. His prayer to Allah was that if the warm embrace of death came for him that night his family would reap the rewards of all the hard work. His last will and testament directed his two children to inherit the vast fortune the two weapons of mass destruction brought. After all, he did it for them, the money meant very little to him.
The man to Naseefa’s left watched with a keen eye as the older man glanced out the window. He thought of the last words Ami spoke to him before they walked outside. Pulling one of his most trusted guards close Ami whispered If something were to happen tonight and someone came for Naseefa he cannot be taken alive under any circumstances. His secrets must die with him. The man assured Ami he understood. Truth be told he didn’t care for Naseefa. He believed men like him got rich by being in the right place at the right time, not because of any special skill set or particular intellectual superiority. Yes, he thought to himself, I hope someone does come for him. I would take great pleasure in spilling his filthy Iraqi blood.
The lead vehicle was sixty feet from the gate and slowed when the five tightly grouped claymore mines mounted on the wooden fence discharged simultaneously. The force of the explosion, less than five feet from the left side of the armored Land Rover, rocked the vehicle. Traveling at 1,200 meters per second the 3,500 steel balls measuring 1/8 inch peppered the side of the vehicle. Fracturing the two drivers side windows the force of the explosions blew both windows into the cab of the vehicle while at the same time the shock wave slammed the vehicle with tremendous force causing it to lurch to the right and tip over onto its side killing two of the four guards instantly.
Less than ten feet behind, the driver of the second vehicle barely had time to reach for the brake pedal when the explosion occurred. It did no good since at the same time the armored Mercedes SUV driven by the Jackal slammed into the side of the vehicle jostling the three security guards and Naseefa. The strike hit the passenger side door just ahead of where Naseefa sat.
The next few minutes were a blur for the Iraqi. An intense gunfight erupted all around as the Omega Group surrounded the vehicle and lay down a tremendous amount of suppressing fire.
With the lead vehicle on its side Sarge, Harry, the Jackal, and Sam approached ready to fire. There was only one way of escape for whoever survived the blast inside the Land Rover, through the two destroyed windows on the driver’s side. The Omegas tossed four grenades into the open windows and took cover. Three seconds later with four back-to-back explosions, no doubt remained that the inhabitants were all dead. The four teammates converged on the second Land Rover and joined the others.
The men tasked with guarding Naseefa in the second vehicle didn’t stand much of a chance.
However, one of them almost took out Sam. The passenger forced his crumpled door open, rolled out of the vehicle, raised his weapon and took dead aim at Sam as she approached. The Jackal saw his movements and shoved her out of the way just as the round whizzed past her head. The subsonic round traveled close enough to be felt as it nearly grazed her cheek. With his rifle raised the Jackal drilled the shooter with a three-round burst to the bridge of his nose.
Sam knew what occurred and gave a subtle nod to the Jackal who grinned and winked in reply.
As the man who sat across from Naseefa stepped outside, he immediately realized his folly as the other two men from the front of the vehicle were dead within seconds. Still standing in the doorway two rounds struck him in the back. Both slugs hit him between the shoulder blades and the light in his eyes dimmed. Falling forward, he had one last conscious thought. Complete his mission and make Ami proud.
He raised the MP5, took aim at Naseefa’s head and squeezed the trigger just as a third round struck him in the back of the head and sent him into the pitch darkness of eternity.
The final bullet to the back of the head changed the trajectory of the weapon and instead of the round spewing out and striking Naseefa in the temple the round entered about seven inches lower into his neck.
With the final man down Troy lurched open the rear passenger side door. That’s when he saw the dilemma. Naseefa slumped forward as a steady stream of blood squirted out of his jugular in a stream and covered the seat back in front of him.
“Oh hell!” Troy screamed. “Harry get over here!”
Harry rushed to his side, pulled a cloth from his pocket, and applied pressure to the wound. “This ain’t good, Cap. Not good at all!”
“Can you save him?” Troy asked.
Harry pulled the cloth off as blood once more squirted into the air as he examined the entrance and exit wound. As he reapplied pressure, he then turned his head and looked at Troy, “No, I can only delay the inevitable. He can’t be saved, not out here in the field, and he’ll be dead before we can get to any facility that might be able to help.”
Troy swore viciously out loud, a rarity for him, but then he thought for a moment. Next, he reached for the phone in his pocket, “Keep him alive and keep him conscious as long as you can. We need intel from him and only one person can help us get that now.”
The person on the other end answered. Troy told him succinctly what he needed.
“But he’s fast sleep,” came the reply.
“Then wake his ass up,” replied Troy in a gruff tone, “You have two minutes to have him on the phone, and I want him on Facetime!”
“Sir, yes, sir,” came the reply.
For two minutes Harry did the best he could to keep Naseefa alive and conscious. Unfortunately, it would be a losing battle after a few more minutes passed.
Naseefa’s eyes rolled back in his head once more, but Troy wouldn’t let him go, not yet. He smacked his cheek hard enough to bring him back. Naseefa looked forward. His first thought was that he must have passed into paradise, but it wasn’t Allah who greeted him on the other side. No, another more familiar face looked back at him, albeit from a pixilated source.
“Jalal! My son!”
“Father!” exclaimed Jalal.
“He doesn’t have long,” interrupted Troy, “I did the best I could to live up to my end of the bargain Jalal, but Ami’s men had a kill order for him.”
“I understand,” replied Jalal who reluctantly believed all along there would be no happy ending for his family.
“Father,” said Jalal, “These men need the location of the weapon.”
Naseefa shook his head slightly in protest, “I can’t …” he replied.
“You must,” answered Jalal, “My freedom depends on it!”
Tears started to freely flow down the father’s face as he stared at his firstborn child. Troy’s voice made him turn slightly away from the screen and into the blue eyes of the rough man who stood beside him and held the iPhone.
“Here’s the deal,” Troy said to Naseefa, “You give up the location of the remaining nuke and Jalal goes free. Your family will be safe including your daughter. You have my word on that.”
“He is a man of honor,” interjected Jalal from the screen before him.
“Your son and daughter can even keep the money from the two weapon sales. All of it!” said Troy forcefully.
From the opposite side of the vehicle standing in the doorway, the Colonel glared unhappily as Troy uttered the last few words.
The reply from Naseefa occurred instantly, “It’s in Babylon. Under the ancient city of Babylon, actually.”
Troy already had the schematic in hand and pushed it before Naseefa, “Here?”
“Yes, how did you get that?”
Ignoring the question he asked, “Are there any booby traps or anything I need to me made aware of?”
“You’ll need the combo for the safe vault, it’s impenetrable without it.”
“Give it to me,” said Troy.
Naseefa rattled off the number he knew by heart which Troy memorized. “There is also a biometric component, the system will only open with my handprint.” Naseefa pointed at the schematic, “There’s a secret entrance here to the left of the Ishtar gate. The third stone block from the end will reveal a hidden shaft.”
“Understood,” answered Troy. “Does Ami have the code to enter the vault?”
Naseefa shook his head back and forth. With a voice that lost most it’s forcefulness he replied, “I think that is the only reason he let me live this long.”
Harry, who had been standing to the side monitoring Naseefa’s vitals all along nudged Troy, “His pulse is dropping fast Cap, he has seconds or a minute at most before he’ll lose consciousness.”
Troy nodded and put his hand upon Naseefa’s shoulder. “Talk with your son,” he said, “Say your goodbyes.”
As the father and son openly wept and expressed their love for one another a tear formed in the corner of Troy’s eye as he stood there holding the phone. Troy would move heaven and earth to have one more conversation with his dad. The chance to say a final goodbye. Even if it only lasted a few seconds.
A minute later Naseefa’s speech slowed and finally his body gave up the fight as he slumped forward.
Troy spoke a few words to Jalal and assured him the release he so desperately wanted would happen shortly. Jalal thanked him for trying and expressed his gratitude for the chance to say goodbye.
“Your mouth just cashed a check your bank account can’t clear,” proclaimed the Colonel harshly as the call ended.
“It’s Ami’s money, after all, we will deal with him soon enough. I did what I had to do to get the necessary intel.”
“The IT geeks may have cracked Ami’s system and got us the same info.”
“Not likely, and certainly not in time,” countered Troy, “The was the fastest way! And besides, I made a promise to Jalal.”
“That’s blood money you just promised.”
“Naseefa sold two nuclear weapons to the highest bidder, God only knows what will be done with them.”
Troy looked hard at the Colonel. “Sir, I’m not in any way justifying what Naseefa was willing to do. However, let’s be honest with each other. The United States is the one responsible for providing Saddam biological and nuclear weapons. So, in some degree, the blood is on us as to whatever happens to them. Naseefa might very well be a bad guy with selfish intentions, but that’s not my problem now. That’s for the man upstairs to deal with, and Naseefa’s with him now.”
“We might have to agree to disagree this time son.”
“It is what it is,” replied Troy with a shrug.
“Very well,” he said, “What’s next?”
“The airport. We need to get to Iraq as quickly as possible. Ami may already be on his way. I’m pretty sure our paths are on a collision course and we need to reach that weapon before he does.”
“But he won’t be able to access the vault without the access code and biometric identifier.”
“Do you really want to take the chance that he can’t, sir? Anyway, I know from personal experience any vault can be opened with the right tools. Trust me on that, I have firsthand experience. And I damn well believe Ami will make sure he’ll have whatever he needs to access that vault.”
“But what do we still need?” asked the Colonel as he looked back at Naseefa.
Troy looked at the Colonel then down to the lifeless body of Naseefa. “We’ll need that hand, sir.”
“Someone grab a machete from the back of the Mercedes,” instructed the Colonel.
“Who wants to do the deed?” asked Troy.
He got no volunteers.
“Fine,” responded Troy, “Hand it to me,” he said pointing to the razor-sharp blade.
“Literally,” said the Jackal in a sarcastic tone.
“Double-time it,” responded the Colonel.
“You heard the man,” hollered Troy to the rest of the team, “Let’s move out Omega’s!”
Troy raised the machete and brought it down with one quick motion…
“Helo is on the ground,” said the man as he approached Ami.
“And the team in Accra?”
“Still no word. The tracker says the two vehicles are just outside the gate but nobody is answering inside the two vehicles or at the house.”
“That means they failed, Naseefa has either been taken alive or killed.”
“What now? Don’t we need him to enter the vault?”
“It would make our task easier,” answered Ami, “But it’s still possible without him.”
“How do we get in?”
“Bring the Hilti drills.”
“All of them! And also, the other equipment we discussed. We will get in one way or the other.”
Rahman Salek watched the discussion between both men from the shadows. His face displayed a concerned curiosity. He approached Ami when the other man left, “Another problem?”
Ami replied with a warm smile, “I’m not a man that deals in problems Rahman, I’m the man that delivers solutions.”
Up Next ... Part VIII