Two dark forms swam their way to shore.
Taking a knee in the gentle waves they carefully inspected the shoreline with their Night Optical Devices. A row of bungalows was laid out in front of them, some with lights on inside, others blacked out. Everything appeared normal, so they turned around and used a red-lens flashlight to signal the Zodiac rubber rafts that bobbed up and down in the ocean out past the breakers in the night.
With the all-clear signal confirmed, the mercenaries on the Zodiacs began paddling to shore. The Zodiacs came in with PKM machine gunners posted at the nose of each boat to pull frontal security. Three Zodiacs in total came to shore, the PKM gunners immediately jumping off and running up the beach before settling into firing positions with the Russian-made machine guns resting on their bipods.
The other mercenaries dismounted and pulled the Zodiacs up onto the beach. Samruk International’s senior Non-Commissioned Officer, Sergeant Major Korgan, oversaw the entire operation. This platoon had seen their Platoon Sergeant killed by an IED in Mexico. Not that they needed the supervision. Their movements were smooth and rehearsed.
Two Squads moved up to the primary objective. Frank, the senior Samruk operative on the ground indicated the target house with an infrared laser that the other mercenaries could see through the green tint of their night vision.
The Kazakh mercenaries noted the sliding glass door. It had been left unlocked, so the point man simply slid the door open and slipped inside. The other mercenaries followed him in. Other squads were moving out to clear the other bungalows that Deckard had indicated as belonging to Liquid Sky.
Frank and Sergeant Major Koran were standing on the back deck in the middle of an impressive array of bench presses, free weights, kettlebells, and other exercise equipment when the first shot rang out from inside. Then another. Then another. A half dozen gunshots then blasted all at the same time before everything went quiet.
Inside, they found four security guards bleeding out on the floor. Three looked to be locals from Mauritius. The fourth was an import, probably a Brit. All had been armed. The Kazakh mercenaries had efficiently eliminated each threat.
Frank rushed over to his old friend who was tied to a chair in the center of the room.
“C’mon, c’mon,” he said urgently as he patted the side of his head.
He could barely recognize Aghassi after the beating he had taken. Finally, Aghassi coughed himself awake. He looked at Frank through bloodshot eyes.
“We’re here to get you home,” Frank told him. They went way back to when they had served in ISA together. In fact, it was Frank who recommended that Deckard hire Aghassi to work with them at Samruk International.
Aghassi nodded but was unable to talk.
He was banged up good but would live.
Sergeant Major Korgan motioned over one of the Kazakhs who carried breaching equipment. Using a pair of bolt cutters, he cut through the chain on the handcuffs and Frank slashed through the duct tape holding his feet together with his knife.
The men would make a search of the bungalow, conducting a sensitive site exploitation sweep for anything of intelligence value that could be used to help them take down Liquid Sky.
The Kazakhs had reported in to Sergeant Major Korgan by radio that they had secured each objective and were beginning their search. A medic came forward to get an IV into Aghassi so they could start pushing fluids into his system.
Everything was going exactly according to plan, which should have tipped them off.
That was about when one of the Kazakhs searching Bill’s office upstairs stepped on a pressure plate. The explosion killed the Samruk mercenary instantly and destroyed everything in the office along with it.
With the office now in flames, the sea winds quickly helped the fire spread.
“Landslide, landslide,” Frank called over the radio net. It was the codeword to evacuate the objective immediately and return to their last rally point.
They had hit a boobytrap and if the local authorities had not been called due to the sound of their gunshots, they certainly would be after the explosion.
As silently as they had arrived, the Samruk International mercenaries flowed back outside, filed down the beach, and slid the Zodiacs back into the ocean. Aghassi was packaged up inside a field stretcher, the medic now pushing pain killers into him through the IV. He was loaded into the center of one of the Zodiacs.
The red flashes of fire trucks could be seen approaching, the sound of the sirens carrying on the wind as the mercenaries disappeared into the dark waters, heading back to their mothership.