Action adventure stories are my favourite, I love reading them, and recently I discovered I love writing them!
From the Author
In the last part of the story, the team had just arrived at the village where a group of Swedish aid workers are being held hostage. Their instructions are that they're doing a 'recce' for a much larger force that's coming to rescue the hostages.
But things never go totally to plan do they, let's see what happens this week shall we?
From last time (or near enough)
"Our target is the compound north of the village" Jacko whispered, they were in a ‘defensive position just south of the village, far enough apart to provide good protection, but close enough that they could hear each other. "we need an observation post" he stopped momentarily knowing Smithy would want to pick his own, from this point on Smithy as the team spotter-sniper would be coordinating them.
The Kurds had been told that the target was Tel Afar, the command centre for ISIS in Iraq, but the real target was a little way away from there. Five miles East of Tel Afar was the little place called Tel Reem, ten miles west of the Tigris, and totally deserted.
“The minaret on the Mosque” Smithy whispered in reply, “in the centre I know, but it’s a good observation point, three sixty vision from there, even into the compound, ” they all glanced in that direction.
"Sounds good" Jacko replied, "the villagers upped and legged it when these clowns showed up, but watch out for stray or wild animals" he didn't really need to tell these men how to do their jobs, but the tension was such that they were all on edge.
"The Dawn prayers will be in about an hour and a half" Jacko went on, "they'll get word of the heliborne assault about then, we can expect a bug out anytime after that" he looked around the team.
"If you had two companies of hairy arsed paras and maniacal Gurkhas coming after you, you'd bloody well run too" Mac chipped in as everyone stifled a nervous laugh, that was the rest of the info MI6 had made sure was passed on so that ISIS would hear about it. No one in their right mind tangles with the British Parachute Regiment and the Gurkhas have a reputation that is the stuff of legend, they don't bother with taking prisoners.
" That'll keep the ragheads busy over there" Joey pointed on the general direction West, "keep 'em off our backs"
“Wait a minute” Joey butted in, he needed to ask a question, “But isn’t the brief to observe and wait for the assault tonight?” that was the briefing they’d been given.
“Yeah” Jacko replied, “that’s what the idiots back in Whitehall think” he paused for a moment, “and that’s what we’ve been told to do, but come on guys, you really think they’re going to wait around once a bunch of hairy arsed Paras to show up?” he stopped to let that sink in, “I want us to be ready for if they try and bug out”
“You mean we go regardless of what London says then?” Mac was the one asked, “We;; screw London, I dinnae think we’ve a problem with that” it was clear they’d already realised the real situation, that London was trying to ‘look good’ while letting the Swedes pay the price, that wasn’t going to happen.
"That's a general idea" Jacko threw in the reply, "everyone knows what to do, let's get on with it" he turned and started to rise.
The ‘Chinese Parliament’ (called that after the idea of a Parliament in China, where everyone is from the same party, but still discusses the issues) broke up as each one started preparing their part, it was going to be an interesting night!
Smithy cautiously headed towards the minaret attached to the mosque, 'with any luck there'll be an internal staircase' he thought, tradition had it the muezzin had to climb the stairs to give the prayer call, loudspeakers and the like were invented long after the tradition was started, and it didn't even seem as if the village had any electricity supply, at least none that was working.
The minaret was in the middle of the village, right next to the road that ran from the compound to the north of the village, it went straight through and joined up with the main road just two kilometres or a mile and a half south of where he was.
The top of the minaret had a doorway that led out onto a small balcony that wrapped itself around the structure, there were no loudspeakers attached there, that told Smithy everything here was done without electricity, in other words, the Imam would stand there to give the call to prayer.
He had the perfect vantage point. Pressing the small button on his throat mic transmitter he began his strep. "Scorpion three in position looks like we have six mobiles being prepped, all American made 4x4s, two with heavy hardware, " he started doing a three-sixty search of the surroundings, something, or rather someone was coming in from the East, and it didn't look good, "three, looks like we've got company arriving, six more vehicles, unknown type, range two miles"
Going behind the scenes, with the 'Reaper' Squadron.(Flying a drone)
Ayn Al Asad Airbase, Erbil, Iraq.
"Shit" the officer in charge or 'CO' ripped the headset off and threw it against the wall, "that's all we bloody well need, a bunch of bloody ragheads turning up" spinning around to face the nearest computer operator he bellowed, "find that bloody convoy!"
There were seven in the room, four computer operators, four RAF personnel officially manning the stations operating the drones doing the reconnaissance work for the Kurds and Iraqis, though they weren’t actually flying the machines, that was being done somewhere else, there was also one signals person manning the communications along with the CO that made six, and one civilian, or at least that’s what everyone presumed he was, he was the only one wearing ‘civvies’ after all.
"Got it sir" one of the operators, a young female blonde Air force pilot officer shouted out half in triumph and the other half due to nerves, this was her first time on the console, she had control of the cameras at least, even if she wasn’t actually flying the thing.
"Ordinance?" The CO asked. He was RAF and a wing commander, about the equivalent rank of a lieutenant colonel with the Army. He looked around the room wanting an update in what weapons systems the 'Reapers' were carrying.
“Reaper one camera to pilot” the young officer tried contacting her pilot, she had no idea where he was, and normally you didn’t call them, but she tried anyway, “I’ve picked up multiple hostiles on the ground, do you have ordinance for dealing with them?”
“Reaper pilot negative” the voice sounded as if they were only a few yards away, in reality, they were three thousand miles away, probably in Britain, “Our screens show only air to air”
"None sir" she turned and faced the squadron leader, she continued nervously, "we're only rigged for recce" the boss already knew it, but frustration and some panic was beginning to set in, especially if they had anti-aircraft weaponry, they could end up losing a very expensive bit of kit, Reaper drones aren’t cheap.
Abort, abort, abort!
"What about airstrikes?" he looked over at the comms officer, she shook her head.
"Nothing in the area sir" she was the only military person in the room who wasn't RAF, she was Army, the insignia on the uniform indicated Royal Signals, "too great a risk of friendly fire sir"
He looked frustrated, they had a column of 'heaven knows what' bearing down on the rescue mission and all hell about to break loose with no way of stopping it, "ABORT THE MISSION" he shouted at the comms sergeant, "send the abort code, DO IT NOW!"
"No" Chambers shouted and lunged for the console, but before he could intervene the message was sent. Rounding on the officer in charge he let fly, "Wing commander Burke, have you any idea what you've just done?"
"I just saved those men's lives" the wing commander began to reply.
"You just screwed the British government and signed the death warrants of those aid workers!" Chambers was in no mood to be nice, "not to mention putting your entire team in jeopardy"
"I just saved my people" Burke retorted without turning round, looking directly at the radio operator he went on, "take a look at that convoy" he pointed to the big screen, it showed the recent arrivals, "third and fifth vehicles, see anything familiar?"
Chambers stopped for a moment, the two vehicles looked like Humvees, but with strange boxes on the roof of each, "they look like anti-tank missiles" he wasn't sure.
"Try again" Burke replied, "vehicle-mounted stingers, better known as anti-aircraft missiles, you think I'm sending helicopters anywhere near them you can think again!" He turned to the radio operator, "I'm not risking the loss of my aircraft, give the abort code."
And we halt there.
YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS! I can almost hear people shouting at the screen, but think about it, the Reaper Drones cost almost as much as a real fighter!
But can they really leave a bunch of civilians at the mercy of a group like ISIS?
Well governments sometimes have to, but as for Scorpion one? what do you think?
See you next time.