|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Here's A Sneak Peak At "RESIST" The Techno-Thriller I've Got In The Works
I Hear Any Lauging And I'm Gonna Kick Butts!
Major Joseph Aloysius Smith leaned against the side of the C-130 as it banked over the terrain below. What he was seeing was greasy smoke rising from several fires. These billowing clouds obscured large swaths of the sear brown terrain. He cleared his throat to activate his intercom mike and said, “Boogey, wake up.”
There was a voice in his headset, “I’m not asleep.”
“Good. Take a look below.” He glanced toward the front of the cargo compartment as he pointed outside.
A compact black soldier stood up by the forward troop door and peered out its port. “Looks like Iraqi Freedom all over again.” The voice said inside Smith’s headset.
“They’re trying to beat reconnaissance aircraft out of any possible targets.”
“Drones any good in that shit?”
“Maybe the latest generation, they’re small, fast ground huggers… inexpensive and expendable.” There was a laugh in the headset. “What’s so funny?”
“You just described us!” The laughing grew louder.
Smith shook his head. If there was one thing he could count on from Sergeant Boogieman it was his wry sense of the absurd. That he was right was another story. Private military corporations were increasingly pervasive on the map of global conflict. Despite the high salaries they commanded individually, they were still cheaper than the service members of any particularly active international player. Tie that in with the fact that they were recruited from the elite units of industrialized or emerging nations and signed on knowing they were giving up the protection of whatever government had originally trained them for - as it was termed, “high risk/short duration” assignments, and their appeal as force multipliers was formidable.
Smith concentrated on the scene below. He’d memorized the details on the map in his right cargo pocket and was busy matching his mental image to the physical reality on the ground. The prevailing wind was out of the west and the smoke drifted from about a third of the way inside the city towards where the river should be. An occasional glint of silver through the smoke showed him where the water course lay.
The voice was back in his ear. It was serious now, with a business-like Congolese accent. “The bridges look like they’re still intact. We want the one furthest south, correct.”
“Roger that. Furthest from the insurgent zone so it’ll be the best route into the main urban hub.”
“I thought I saw one or two small craft but there’s nothing like commercial barges.”
“It’s the climate shift. Rain patterns have moved way north. River level is too low for large traffic. A lot of the cargo traffic’s overland now.”
“Wasn’t that river the main artery through here?”
“Yes, until they dredged all the way down to bedrock and couldn’t maintain a channel deep enough for even the shallowest draft haulers.”
“I read history books about this. The whole region was cotton plantations and slaves, no?”
“That was a long time ago, Boogey. The whole area turned over to grain crops. At least until the warming took over.”
There was a sudden flashing of lights and a warning buzzer sounded throughout the compartment. In his headset, a new voice spoke in a clipped and commanding tone, “Smith, we’re being painted by ‘Triple A’ radar. Tell your men to sit down and hold on, things are going to get a tad erratic.”
There was a swift rise to the engine noise and the aircraft banked suddenly to port. Smith and Boogieman were both pressed deep into the seat webbing. Around them men grunted and braced their feet wider against the deck. The aircraft pitched quickly in the opposite direction and there was the sound of the decoy flares being ejected behind them to confuse heat seeking devices. Smith could just get his head around enough to see out his port. Coming through the smoke below were two trails of missile exhaust climbing hard after them.
They banked back the other way and as they did Smith caught a familiar sight. Shining in the lowering sun was the Gateway Arch rising above their new area of operation, St. Louis, Missouri.
Accepting short fiction to 1200 words, poetry to 25 lines, and carefully crafted essays for the Your Work/Your Love page. Nope, still no pay, just glorious exposure! You can send your work to me via e-mail at email@example.com. Authors retain all rights. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog. There are gadgets for that on the right side of this page. I love the company and it helps with the search engine ranking. Comments, critiques, and questions are always answered in as timely a manner as I can manage between my day job, writing, studies, blah, blah, blah. There's a form at the bottom of the page for your use.
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Dane F. Baylis