In April, 2013 spies inform Gerry of a series of meetings between U MAMA executives and senior members of a major South American drug cartel. Efforts are spent to find out what’s going on. After two months of dedicated work by some very good agents the picture forms. U MAMA are offering their resources to the drug cartel to smuggle their drugs into the USA if the cartel will supply U MAMA with trained troops. They’ve an operation planned that needs twenty thousand mercenaries, and U MAMA can’t hire enough trained troops. They’ve hired some top mercenaries to train troops and lead them, but they can’t get the general troops. An agreement is soon reached, and the cartel is setting up a training facility in South America as well as supplying the twenty thousand mercenaries. U MAMA will pay the troops wages, and they’ll supply the weapons and ammunition as well as transport them to the target.
From the spies Gerry knows where they intend to construct the training camp. He also finds out part of the price demanded from the cartel is a list of all the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) spies within their organisations. Gerry is a little quicker off the mark, and he gets the list first. While his people are seeking the agents in South America others are busy moving their families to safety. The DEA isn’t told about any of this, for security reasons. Of the one hundred and fifty-seven agents Gerry’s people get all their families to safe havens, and one hundred and fifty-three of the agents are retrieved safely. In most cases they make it look like the agent was killed. This is done in the hope the cartel won’t continue to chase their families. The four agents they couldn’t reach in time are tortured and killed by the cartel. The one good thing to come out of their deaths is the DEA had already gotten word to them to try and find out why the other DEA agents have gone missing, and why their families have vanished. The agents tell this to the cartel’s people during their torture. The cartel and U MAMA check into everything. They reach the conclusion someone else is after the agents, and has killed them and their families before they can get to them. This makes them happy. Believing the people are dead already they stop looking for them. They also believe no US government agents are spying on them now.
Meanwhile the agents are telling everything they know to Gerry’s people, because they’re happy to find their families and themselves safe. They’re very angry when told they’ve been handed over to the cartels as part of a deal by a major consortium of US companies with strong ties to the US government. They all take an extended holiday in Berant for their safety.
Gerry’s people are on the ground at the training facility before they start building. They’re able to closely examine the defences and security features, and to add some extras of their own during the construction. The facility is listed on the government maps as a government army special training camp. The camp is big enough to house twelve thousand people at once. The intent is to train them in two groups, and to use them as two divisions when in the field. The cartel will use the first group of troops between when they’re trained and when they’re needed for the U MAMA operation.
The main camp facilities are made of concrete and corrugated iron. In the centre is the radio shed with a very large, tall antenna built above it. There’s a strong ladder attached to the antenna, and a lookout room is constructed about three quarters of the way up it. This is about one hundred and twenty metres above the camp. The lookout is manned by a five person unit assigned from the camp personnel, and there are radar units on the sides of the tower. It takes about six months to construct the camp. Further down the valley is a major processing plant for the main leader of the cartel. He sees no reason why he can’t use the camp as extra security for his other drug operations.
Gerry has difficulty in getting agents inside the cartel operations, but the Gophers do manage to get some information about the cartel’s off-shore bank accounts. When they can they withdraw funds from the accounts. Also, their shipments are intercepted and destroyed as often as possible. In most cases they wait for delivery to be made, and make it look like the buyers double crossed the cartel. Gerry’s people end up with the money while the buyers get the drugs, and the cartel’s people are dead. This leads to many clients suffering terminal injuries courtesy of the cartel’s enforcement people. Since the attacks can be expected Gerry’s people are able to notify the local police, so many of the cartel’s local enforcers end up dead or arrested. Thus adding more fuel to their flames of anger. This process also reduces the client base for the cartel’s drugs by removing a number of the wholesalers. At the same time the cartel and U MAMA are busy recruiting mercenaries and people to be trained to become mercenaries.
The Plot Thickens
In late 2013 Gerry’s people haven’t been able to find out the intended target. But they’ve also found out U MAMA has a deal with a lot of the larger multi-state bike gangs across the US. They’ll come together as a large group for a few special raids on U MAMA’s behalf. U MAMA will supply cutting edge weapons which the gangs will be allowed to keep. They’ll also be allowed to keep any cash etc. they find on the raids. The gangs are to gather in the desert near the White Sands military base. The exact location isn’t known yet. They also find out U MAMA is organising medium range troop transports for the same month as the gang members are to gather in April, 2014.
In early February, 2014 Gerry decides he can’t afford to wait any longer. He hires some cruise ships and cargo ships. The Foresters, four companies of the Shields, and three companies of the Blackbirds embark on the ships with full kit and outfitted for war. Their vehicles and extra ammunition are stored on the transports. They sail for South America. Gerry flies to South America in early March.
Time to Act
The main cartel facilities they need to eliminate are in northern Colombia, they’re not near the training facility which is in western Colombia, on the edge of the cartel’s area of control. Gerry arrives in South America at the same time as his troops. He immediately goes to speak with the President of Colombia, and several of his senior aides. He puts forward all the information he has. He also seeks authority to attack and eliminate the training camp along with the main bases of the four leading cartel members. He spends weeks trying to convince them to let him attack the cartel. All to no avail.
Some of the senior advisers are honest, and have confirmed his information. Some are in the pay of the cartel, and are telling them of what he proposes. Gerry has only a few aces left. They don’t know his troops are already in the next country, and they don’t know he already has two companies of the Shields in the city, or he deployed his main attack force planned for use against the training camp last month. He sends the signal to initiate the attack.
Three weeks after arriving Gerry is on his way to another meeting with the President when his car is attacked in the middle of Bogota, the capital city. The government security detail is killed by gunmen from the cartel, and the car is stopped.
When the car and escort enters a major plaza type intersection near the Presidential Palace gunfire erupts from several sources. The four motorcycle military police are killed, so are the two soldiers in the front of Gerry’s car, and the four soldiers in the following vehicle. The killers move in, expecting to drag Gerry from the car and kill him.
Gerry leaps out of the car on the traffic side with a combat knife in each hand. Charging at the three members of the kill team closing in from a nearby stopped van he deftly slices across the arms of the front two. They drop their weapons, and they pull their arms back. Swinging his arms back and up he slices through their throats, severing both their arteries. Blood gushes forth. The third man fires into Gerry’s chest at point blank range with an Uzi sub-machine-gun, and it has no effect. With one quick movement Gerry slices the man’s throat open, and the man drops to the road, dying. Bending down Gerry slips one knife into its scabbard while he picks up one of the dropped Uzis, and turns toward the front of the vehicle. Two more members of the kill team run around the front of the vehicle just in time to be knocked back with three 9 mm rounds in their chests when Gerry gives them each a short burst. Diving to the side he rolls over, and fires two short bursts at the two assassins coming from killing the soldiers in the following car. Both collect a trio of 9 mm chest renovators. Like the other two they collapse in great pain while they die. Looking toward the car Gerry can see one killer half in the far door aiming an Uzi at him. Gerry fires at the killer, discharging two rounds before the weapon locks open on an empty magazine. But that’s enough, because the rounds remove the top of killer’s skull, and create a fatal aiming error for the killer’s rounds. The floor of the car receives a good burst of 9 mm mayhem from him while he dies, and they do no real damage to anything or anyone else.
Leaping to his feet Gerry sees another killer taking aim at him over the roof of the car. Before the man can fire a large hand comes down on this weapon, interfering with its action while another slides a short knife into the killer’s throat. Gerry’s own security people are on the scene, he has them spread out along the travel route when he moves.
The sound of sirens announces the approach of the city police. Gerry’s people fade into the crowds. The police arrive, to find one live target, ten dead soldiers, and fourteen dead killers. And no one saw a damn thing in a crowded plaza full of people - what a surprise!
After taking his statement the police escort Gerry to the Presidential Palace for his delayed meeting. During the trip Gerry says a short prayer of thanks for quality body armour and would be killers who don’t use very high velocity weapons.
Pressuring the President
Entering the President’s office Gerry says, “Now will you see how urgent this is, Mister President. No one but you and your closest aides knew I was here, and only a few of the army people knew the travel route. Yet the cartel knew my route, and how important it is to stop me. Your own people can’t handle this, because all of their security is too compromised to do it properly. They’ll only slip away again.”
The President replies, “I understand what you’re saying, but I still see no need to allow other people’s troops to operate in my country.”
Gerry responds, “I’m sorry to have to say this, but you must allow foreign troops to operate if you want the drug cartels stopped. Also, there’s something I’ve been keeping back, because I’d been waiting for it to be confirmed. The word came through last night.” The President looks at him while he wonders what can be worse than a drug cartel having the latest in high technology combat weapons. He continues, “One of the companies involved in this deal with the cartels makes Tactical Nuclear Weapons. We have very good reason to believe some backpack bombs are in the camps of the cartels.”
The President swings around while saying, “What. They have nuclear weapons and you didn’t mention it to me.”
Gerry replies, “I knew one of the companies involved made them, and I know the company’s inventory is short some. But I have no evidence they’ve handed any to the cartels. Last night one of my field agents reported seeing such a bomb at the camp.” All this is true. The agent reported seeing the bomb there, because he put it there, and it’s due to go off soon. He continues, “It was only a possibility they may have some. But last night’s report makes it clear there’s some in their camp.”
The President is livid with rage, and three of his aides go very pale. Going to his phone the President calls the US Ambassador, and asks if the US satellite surveillance system can detect Nuclear Weapons deployed in the field. He’s told no, but it will immediately report the use of them.
Gerry and the President engage in some very heated discussions. About thirty minutes later the radio activated timer on the class three TNW hidden in the mercenary camp’s radio shed’s antenna tower detonates. The blast has a five kilometre radius. The camp, all the mercenaries in it, all the instructors, and all the brand new military equipment is destroyed in the blast. The blast shock wave is just large enough to reach a cocaine processing centre, and knock down all the buildings to cause the processing labs to catch fire. Many of the centre’s staff are injured in the blast. Some of the mercenaries who are out on security and training patrols are far enough away to survive the initial blast. About half are close enough to pick up a lethal dose of radiation.
Within five minutes of the blast the information on its detection is passed to the US Ambassador, and given to the Colombian President. His nation has just entered the nuclear age, and he’s not happy about it, not at all.
Turning on Gerry he asks, “How many do they have?”
Gerry replies, “I don’t know if they have any. The one at the camp may have been in the control of the cartel, or in the control of the U MAMA coordinators, or in anyone’s control. I’ve no evidence any have been given to them. The company is missing over thirty of the devices, and one of my agents saw one in the camp last night. Those two facts I’m sure about.” All truth, no lies, just not all of the truth.
The President stares at him for a moment, and asks, “So, you can’t say if they have any more?”
He replies, “No, I can’t. As I said, I’ve no proven knowledge they’ve any. Just a possibility they may have some.”
Cursing, the President writes out an authority to allow Gerry to conduct limited operations against the drug cartel in the northern and western jungles of Colombia. He says, “How soon can you get your people here to get started.”
A smiling Gerry replies, “I can get moving into the jungle with my advance people within the week.”
The President nods, and Gerry is dismissed. Leaving the Presidential Palace, just after midday, Gerry gives some hand signs to some of his people waiting outside. A new motorcade takes him back to the house he’s renting. They arrive without incident.
Ready, Steady, Gone
Unknown to the Colombians the main force has landed in the territory of their neighbour, Panama. Organised through the embassy by Gerry in February. The main force is already in the jungle near their targets, and are awaiting the orders to strike, after having travelled from a port in Panama that’s close to Columbia. The cartel’s spies watch Gerry very closely while he makes a number of phone calls, and he has a number of meetings. It looks like he’s preparing to move out with a small personal security force. They figure he intends to scout out the land.
The cartel has lost a lot of people at the training camp, but nothing decisive. They still have lots of gunmen at their compounds and near the capital. They organise a force to stop and destroy Gerry’s people when they drive off into the jungle.
Across the city one of Gerry’s officers is sending his orders via a satellite mobile phone to the Swords and Shields in the Colombian jungles. They move out to get closer to the targets.
Just after 1:00 a.m. the next morning platoon strength units of the Shields enter the house compounds of several senior cartel bosses. They’re quick and quiet while they take out the guards. Moving through the compounds they kill the armed guards, and take the rest prisoner. They’re followed in by a half company of the Foresters. With the compound secured they make a search for money, records, valuables, and drugs. Everything is recorded, with the drugs being set to be destroyed by explosives while the valuables and records are removed. Elsewhere in the Colombian jungle forces of one or two platoons infiltrate other camps where the drugs are being collected or processed. In each case they kill the armed gunmen and set explosives to destroy the equipment and drugs. The general workers are herded away under guard then released when at a safe distance.
Each of the main family compounds have some helicopters capable of flying to the capital city. These are loaded with the members of the cartel leaders’ families, records, and valuables. All other prisoners are taken a safe distance into the jungle. The Swords and Shields withdraw.
Just after dawn eighteen helicopters take to the air from seven major compounds. About fifteen minutes after they take off the compounds are rocked by a series of large explosions. Every building and piece of equipment in them is destroyed. At another thirty-seven compounds more explosions destroy everything that’s there.
An hour later a wave of one hundred and twenty attack helicopters sweeps over the jungle from the north-west. They target and destroy the collection and processing labs in another sixty-seven locations. The helicopters also drop chemicals over large areas of the jungle where the raw materials are grown. The chemicals will only react with the mature or almost mature target plants; because these are not broad spectrum biological agents, but very carefully targeted ones to minimise harm to the rest of the plants. Only the specific plants producing the drugs will be destroyed, one chemical agent per drug plant, since each biological agent is different. By 10:00 a.m. all of the attack helicopters are back at their launch bases in Panama, and the troops are halfway back to the border as well. The top seven members of the drug cartel have lost most of their available product and means of production for some years, as well as most of their most vicious soldiers. A severe blow to their operations.
By 10:30 a.m. the drug cartel leaders, who are all in the capital to keep an eye on things, become aware there are problems at all their main compounds and many of their other facilities. They can’t reach anyone in their production area by phone or radio.
At 11:30 a.m. eighteen helicopters land in the open grounds behind the house Gerry is renting at the edge of the city. The house, like all those around it, has large grounds that run back into the fields and to the edge of the jungle. The valuables and records are loaded into vans, and the people are escorted into his house. These events are noticed by the cartel spies, and reported to their bosses. Gerry apologises to the ladies and children of the drug bosses, and explains why they’ve been kidnapped. He uses some of the captured records to convince them of their husbands’ and fathers’ guilt. He explains they’ll soon be released unharmed, because he has no intention of hurting them.
The drug bosses know Gerry has only twenty security personnel on the grounds with him. So they organise an assault force of fifty gunmen to retrieve their families and possessions. However, the houses on each side of Gerry are rented by him, and each has a half company of the Shields in them.
The gunmen drive up in trucks and vans. One van drives direct at the gate, and knocks the gates wide open, only to plunge nose first into a canvas covered trench across the driveway. The following vehicle slams into the back of the first. Both are soon riddled by automatic weapons fire from the prepared defensive positions inside the grounds. A grenade is thrown, it slides under the second vehicle, and explodes. Both vehicles shake from the blast, and the first van bursts into flames, soon followed by the second. When their fuel tanks ignite a few screams are heard, but not for long. The rest of the attackers are quick to exit their vehicles to charge through the open gates. About three metres into the property the ground falls away from under the leaders, and they fall two metres to land on sharpened stakes, they scream while they start dying. Those just behind them jump over the visible trap, to find it’s wider with two sections of canvas covers, and they fall to be impaled too. Many more are fast cut down by well-aimed rifle fire from the defenders. Several try climbing over the wall, only to be shot by snipers in the top floor of the house. One of the remaining team leaders, and two of his team, withdraw to a van, and drive off. The rest are dead or dying.