Volatile Agent [Secure]
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by Don Pendleton
Description: Terminal Velocity.... Mack Bolan undertakes a rapid-deployment rescue operation in West Africa, where a C.I.A. asset possessing crucial U.S. intelligence is trapped and dying. For years, the agent has played the counterintelligence game for profit. Now, holed up in a grimy hotel in the middle of a bloodbath, her last hope is making his way to her across the civil war-torn Ivory Coast. Bolan's point of insertion is the center of hell, where monsoon rains and wholesale slaughter conspire to shorten his mission and his life. Warlords, mercenaries and local police collide in genocidal fury, leaving the Executioner little choice in his punishing assault. He cuts a swathe of fury and retribution to his target, prepared to die but never to quit.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Gold Eagle,
eBookwise Release Date: January 2008
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [328 KB]
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Mack Bolan reached under the dashboard of the Lincoln Navigator and worked the slide on the Beretta 93-R. The smooth action made a metallic snap as it maneuvered a 9 mm Parabellum round into the pistol chamber. The MX12 sound suppressor was a squat black cylinder on the end of the threaded muzzle. Bolan moved the fire-selector switch to the semiautomatic position and then slid the Beretta into place behind his back under his navy blue windbreaker.
Bolan sat up and looked through the tinted windows of the SUV, watching his prey nervously pacing in front of the men's bathroom in the city park. The man's name was Raphael Pucuro and he was a Confidential Informant for the DEA. Bolan narrowed his eyes and brought the man into focus, scanning the figure for every detail.
The park was almost deserted at the late hour. Halogen street lamps created halos of yellow light in staggered pools. Across the park a group of teenagers shouted and laughed as they played on the basketball courts. An elderly couple walked a black Labrador retriever along a paved path. On the far side of the recreation area several vehicles sat parked and silent, forming a wall between the grass and the street.
Pucuro was tall, as tall as Bolan, but whipcord thin with the nervous habits and shaking hands of an addict. His hair was swept straight back from a pockmarked face. The CI had made a marginalized living working as a drug mule between Colombia and the United States, giving up tips on his competitors to stay out of prison.
Bolan considered what he knew about how Pucuro made the big time. As part of his dealings, he had been given a cell phone by his DEA handlers, one they were constantly locked into. He'd gotten lazy over the digital signal and sealed his fate. Pucuro had arranged for six ex-special operations soldiers working as security contractors to meet in Bogotá with members of Colombia's FARC terrorist group to arrange an information buy on behalf of American interests.
The meet had been a setup, and the Americans were machine-gunned in their car at a stoplight outside their hotel. DEA control had listened in as Pucuro had arranged payment. What they overheard had shocked them into alerting the Department of Homeland Security and from there Hal Brognola had quietly inserted himself into the situation.
In return for his help in setting up the private contractors Pucuro received a memory stick containing a communications list of all telephone numbers used by field administrators in the Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services for Venezuela. For strike two, instead of going to his DEA handlers, Pucuro tried to cut a deal with Chinese intelligence instead.
Brognola wanted the memory stick with those numbers, and the betrayed American operators cried out for justice. Bolan had been called in. If the CI wasn't willing to cooperate, he had sealed his own fate. The Executioner shadowed the man to the secluded park and was about to instigate an interception one step ahead of the Chinese retrieval team. Despite his crimes, Pucuro was a treasure vault of information and a live capture had been requested.
Bolan opened the door to the SUV and stepped out into the night. He wore blue jeans and hiking boots with his windbreaker. The dome light to the Navigator had been disabled, and he closed the door softly while Pucuro's back was turned. Bolan put his head down and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket as he set off across the grass.
The Executioner angled his approach across the corner of the athletic fields to keep the squat brick restroom building between himself and Pucuro. Bolan covered the ground quickly, looking casual but moving with purpose, like a man in a hurry to get to the bathroom. He reached the back wall of the structure and scanned the scene. On the street two men got out of a black sedan in the parking lot to his right. When he looked, Bolan saw nothing between himself and the basketball-playing teenagers on the left. He rounded the corner of the building.
Pucuro looked up, startled at Bolan's sudden appearance. His hand fell in a telltale sign toward the inside pocket of his thigh-length leather jacket. The big American held up his empty hands and smiled.
"Easy, friend," Bolan said in Spanish. "I just want to give you some money."
Pucuro's eyes flickered over Bolan's shoulder, and the Executioner knew the snitch was looking toward the two men approaching from the street. Pucuro looked back at Bolan. His hand darted back inside his jacket, and Bolan caught a glimpse of a nylon shoulder sling. The Executioner sprang into motion.
Bolan surged forward, sweeping up his left arm and catching the startled snitch high on his chest. His fist grasped Pucuro's jacket tightly while the elbow slammed into the other man's shoulder. Bolan drove the slighter man back behind the L-shaped concrete wall serving as a divider between public view and the open door to the men's bathroom.
"Don't be stupid," Bolan growled. "Let me help you come in."
Pucuro squawked in protest and stumbled back on his heels under Bolan's onslaught. His right hand emerged from his jacket around the butt of a black automatic pistol. Bolan's right hand emerged from his jacket pocket even as Pucuro's tried to claw his own weapon free. The Liquid Silver gravity knife opened as Bolan flicked his wrist.
The big American brought his arm up fast and hard, shoving the blade into Pucuro's solar plexus and penetrating the diaphragm. Pucuro gasped and air rushed from his lungs. Blood spilled out sticky and hot across Bolan's knuckles.
Bolan shoved Pucuro. The man bounced off the wall, and the soldier spun him into the open bathroom door. Pucuro's pistol, a compact Glock 19, hung loose in his hands. Bolan's fist lashed out again. The knife slid home under Pucuro's chin and more blood spilled, splattering the floor. The Glock dropped to the concrete with a clatter.
Copyright © 2008 by Worldwide Library.