Firestorm [A Mack Bolan: The Executioner Novel] [Secure]
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by Don Pendleton
Description: BLOWBACK: Mack Bolan's mission takes him to Bogota, Colombia, where an American corporation has been practicing bad business for nearly two decades. If it's a weapons contract, classified materials or soldiers for hire, the company will deal--all with the blessing of the CIA. But now, certain high-ranking individuals are playing by their own rules, stepping outside of their operating field into a whole new ball game: selling America's secrets to hostile nations. The members of a CIA investigating team are all dead, except one hostage. U.S. officials, from the Oval Office down, are anxious. The Executioner's objective is to reel in an operation spinning out of control ... by any means necessary.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Gold Eagle,
eBookwise Release Date: December 2007
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [373 KB]
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Mack Bolan was seated at the conference table in Stony Man Farm's War Room. The soldier was freshly showered and clad in blue jeans, a flannel shirt and black sneakers. Even within the secure confines of the Farm, America's ultra-secret counterterrorism center, he wore his sound-suppressed Beretta 93-R in a leather shoulder rig. His eyes felt gritty and sore from lack of sleep.
Hal Brognola sat across the table from him, a laptop positioned before him. The director of the Justice Department's Sensitive Operations Group snatched the unlit cigar from his mouth. His forehead creased with concern, he rolled the cigar between his index finger and thumb, studied it while Bolan waited for him to speak. The Executioner set his coffee on the table.
"You look old," Bolan said finally.
Brognola snapped his head up as though he'd suddenly sat on a thumbtack. He glared at Bolan. After a couple of seconds, his dark expression melted and a grin tugged at the corners of his lips. "It's the company I keep," he said.
"Speaking of which, it's five a.m. It's Sunday. You're wearing Saturday's suit and tie. Hell, it may be Friday's clothes for all I know. You need a shave. And probably a shower, though I'm not going to get close enough to find out."
"In other words, why'd I drag your ass of bed at this hour?"
"Something like that."
"Fair enough," Brognola said.
A folder rested on the table at the big Fed's right elbow. He pinned it beneath one of his big hands and thrust it at Bolan. The soldier opened it and began to examine its contents. A picture of a woman was held to the left side of the folder by a paper clip. Blond hair framed an oval-shaped face. Her complexion was dusky, her eyes dark, lips full. "She is?"
"Maria Serrano," Brognola replied. "CIA agent. She holds double majors in forensic accounting and international business. And, from what I understand, she's one hell of an undercover operative."
Bolan nodded and leafed through the papers in the folder, skimming them. It contained a few government memos—from the CIA, National Security Agency and the State Department—as well as documents he recognized as presidential daily briefings and classified executive orders signed by the President detailing the kidnapping and murder of several CIA operatives.
Brognola continued, "Six months ago, the NSA picked up some noise from an American company's operation in Bogotá, Colombia. The various bits of chatter indicated someone in Garrison Industries executive suites was breaking arms embargoes with Iran and China, along with some nonstate groups. Specifically, the company was shipping high-resolution camera components we use in our satellite program. They kept listening but took no immediate action. And, the more they heard, the more concerned they became. Two months ago, they discovered that the company was acting as an intermediary between a Chinese group that produces cylinders and other parts used in centrifuges and a group in Iran."
"For the country's nuclear program," Bolan said. He closed the folder and set it on the tabletop. He'd have plenty of time to look at it later.
"Right," Brognola said. "As far as the satellite components go, the Iranians say they want satellites to track weather and such. Needless to say, we don't believe them. And we don't like the notion of them having aerial-surveillance capabilities. The consensus is that the longer we can keep them blind from space, the better off we are."
"Sure," Bolan said.
While he took a sip of coffee, the door leading into the conference room swung open. Bolan cast a glance in that direction and saw Barbara Price enter. Stony Man's mission controller held several file folders in one arm and a closed laptop in the other.
She flashed Bolan a warm smile, which he returned. The two often spent time together when Bolan was at the Farm. He'd left her room only minutes before the meeting, after he'd received Brognola's page, to get cleaned up and change clothes.
She leaned against the door, holding it open for Aaron "The Bear" Kurtzman, the head of the counterterrorism facility's cyberteam. The computer expert guided his wheelchair into the room and exchanged greetings with the other two men.
On the arm of his wheelchair, he balanced a carafe that Bolan assumed contained coffee. Kurtzman buzzed up to the table, set the carafe on the tabletop and pushed it toward Bolan.
"Top off your cup," Kurtzman said, nodding at Bolan's coffee.
For several seconds, the soldier stared at the carafe. Finally he unscrewed the cap and poured some of the steaming liquid into his cup. The coffee's color looked like dirty motor oil mixed with black shoe polish.
Price moved around the room, distributing folders to everyone. When she finished, Brognola, anxious to continue the briefing, waved her to her seat. In the meantime, the big Fed poured himself some coffee.
"Initially, the NSA wasn't sure what to make of the deals. Garrison's people had a history of being approached by unsavory people. Occasionally, it cut deals, but did so at our behest, as a way for us to gather intelligence on various countries and terrorist groups. But it never passed along any cutting-edge technology or items related to nuclear proliferation."
"Back up," Bolan said. "These guys have sold weapons to our enemies before? And did so with government consent?"
"Most Garrison employees have no idea that this goes on. But, yes, they do exactly that. They have a few agents who essentially work as hard as they can to hook up with the bad guys. Word gets around, usually through some cutouts. Pretty soon, the bad guys come to them. They fork over bribes, ask for stuff they're banned from having. The Garrison people nod their heads, and go along with the gag."
Copyright © 2007 by Worldwide Library.