Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 29
“We got intel that their remaining men are planning to invade here. If we get them on our tail, it will get tiresome. Release the poison.”
The captain winked and left.
The war ended cleanly. The corpses and firearms were buried and left marked. The bloodstains were covered with sand.
Whatever word you use to describe war, it is always dirty. Africa was in disarray from internal conflicts, and not even a bullet-sized shred of human sanctity was left.
“I’m sorry. I’ve caused trouble.”
At Black Mamba’s apology, Chartres glanced over at Jang Shin. Jang Shin stared blankly out in front of him.
“The real troublemaker is there. You only collided with your ego; they were eaten by the fear of war.”
“Is there a way to fix that?”
“Well, it is a problem that they themselves have to deal with.”
“Getting hit usually brings them back to their senses.”
Humans are animals of experience. When he had gotten a thrashing from his teacher at Mt. Chung Saeng, how relieved he had been! It looks like Jang Shin, who had nothing to do with it will be taking the brunt of the hit.
Black Mamba started to hit the unassuming Jang Shin. It was a move he had learned from Chui Do Shik called Muchisibaria. Muchisibaria’s trademark was hitting the same place repetitively in a rhythmic pattern.
If you stimulate one place and then stimulate it again once the initial sensation is gone, it amplifies its intensity. Plus the one on the receiving end knows that the pain will last longer. It was a torture technique developed by Higashi Hongan-Ji 600 years ago.
“Wang Ba Dan!”
Jang Shin screamed and flinched as he was attacked for no reason. He tried to stop Black Mamba, but it was no use. Even the eight-pole master was like a child in front of Black Mamba.
Every time he got hit, Jang Shin experienced hellish pain. Emil and Mark tried to get him to stop, but they were immediately thrown off. The other comrades did not even attempt to stop him.
“Damn it, stop hitting me!”
Jang Shin yelled at him. Only then did Black Mamba stop, but he screamed in Jang Shin’s ear in response.
“You punk, what are you going to do about it?”
Jang Shin’s pupils dilated and locked. He glared at Black Mamba. His swollen face looked a mess.
“Oh shit, alright. You were meaning to beat me to death weren’t you?”
Black Mamba smiled.
“If you think it’s not fair, then come at me.”
“Damn, I don’t like it, but I don’t want to die yet.”
Bellman brought over the first aid kit. Black Mamba winced.
“It may be a bit rough, but the treatment isn’t bad.”
Jang Shin yelled angrily at Bellman.
According to The captain’s standards, the three rookies had to follow through with a rite of passage. Emil did not even endure psychological stress initially. Emil was telling his comrades about Black Mamba’s sniper skills so adamantly that he was spitting.
Chartres claimed it was due to racial differences. He claimed that white men who ate meat were less prone to feel guilt about murdering. It was a weak argument.
Ombuti stayed around Black Mamba after the fighting had ended. This merchant’s intuition came from his experience as an intelligence agent.
Musta’s squadron commander Pahali was coming this way, 10 kilometers from Uldi Hamarl. Commander Pahali had sent ahead 5 bikes, but only had 40 soldiers at his disposal. The other two units were the same.
Chad’s government, army, and the rebels all followed the lead of the French army. The hierarchy was arranged in this order: platoon, company, battalion, regiment, brigade, division, and corps. Of the 11 warlords, the Habib army was the only one formatted as a brigade.
The French army had differentiation of leader status between each hierarchy. The general was the two-star of the brigade, the division leader was three-star, the corps commander was four-star, and the captain was five-star.
The four-star commander and the five-star captain were treated no differently than the division leader or brigade general unless it was a formal setting. It was all done through appointments anyways. Officially, the highest-rank was held the three-star division leader. Legion Etranger had one of those division leaders.
FROLINAT was different from the other armies that had serious status inflation; it had a well-organized leadership in its hierarchy. Lieutenant Pahali had 120 men under him and had complete control over them. It was just that two-thirds of these men had to undergo retraining, and so, currently, he was short-staffed.
The loud motorcycle was brought to a stop.
“Kibimbi, don’t you hear gunshots?”
Pahali’s sensitive ears picked up the gunshots.
“I hear it. Don’t you think it’s Musta detecting Makumbo?”
Kibimbi who was trying to listen intently replied.
Pahali frowned. Makumbo was a traitor. The entire northern army had been ordered to kill him. Pahali’s questioning tone sent anger surging through him.
“There’s no reason for Makumbo to be loitering around these parts,” Kibimbi hurriedly added
Kibimbi was as quick-witted as Emil.
“Quit talking nonsense, and send two bikes for surveillance. They may be meeting with France’s special forces.”
Pahali was level-headed. He sent a messenger to request two more reconnaissance units. If they were able to defeat Lieutenant Musta, it would be great, but no one could be sure of the result. If he attacked prematurely, he could end up losing all his men. Losing troops would result in uneasiness.
If Lieutenant Musta admits defeat, it will be a favorable result. Pahali was a company commander. If Habib loses their trust in Musta, it will come back to him as an opportunity. Pahali didn’t rush and waited patiently with his troops for the right timing.
Behind Uldi Hamarl was a deep valley. The mountains rising on both sides were steep as if cut with an ax. To cross through the valley, they would have to put up their lives as collateral.
The back of Black Mamba’s head kept tingling. It might have been intuition, but if the enemy attacked from behind, that would be detrimental.
“Ombuti, is there a path from behind the gorge by which they can reach us?”
“From my memory of it, no. It is too deep and dangerous for people to cross. They can only come through the front or from the sides.”
Ombuti searched his memory to think of all possible paths and answered confidently.
“Do you really think that?”
Black Mamba felt anxious even after Ombuti’s reply. He trusted the strategy of the experienced captain and Ombuti, who had survived stepping on a mine, but his instincts kept sending him warning signals. This was not a situation for merely judgment and solution, it was a time to trust gut feelings.
When Hannibal lead the Carthage army into the Alps and through the Pyrénées mountain range, no one had expected it. When they received intel that Napoleon was crossing the Alps, the Austrian and English army had laughed and called the intelligence agent crazy, but there was nothing that couldn’t be done when humans put their minds to it.
To get to the cantonment, the enemy would have to pass through their defenses on either the right or left side. Captain Paul put his troops on alert on both sides. However, he left the back empty and exposed.
“Captain, we should watch the back.”
“No, The gorge will block the backside. The charging forces will be coming from this direction. Black should be positioned in the front.”
Paul rejected it immediately.
“It doesn’t feel right. If we get attacked from the back, we will be done for.”
“Is it your gut feeling again?”
The captain was lost in thought. Black Mamba’s intuition was not mere intuition. He couldn’t understand it, but if that’s what he thought, then he couldn’t easily ignore it. Based on his judgment, there was no reason to guard the back. There were going to be hundreds of guerrilla soldiers attacking them from the front. Without Black Mamba’s efficient attacks, it would be hard to defend against them all. On the other hand, if they were attacked from the back, then they would all be destroyed.
Night in the desert was frightfully quiet. If Musta’s troops had not heard the sounds of battle, then they were most certainly deaf. This place was surrounded by FROLINAT. It was very possible that the guerrilla troops, who were accustomed to this terrain, would attack from behind.
“And if they don’t come from the back?”
“Isn’t that better?”
He observed Black Mamba’s blank expression. The captain wanted to hit his lips, ashamed at having uttered such an obvious statement.
“Fine, we will ignore the possibility of an attack from the back and ask for reinforcements for the front.”
The captain trusted Black Mamba’s war instincts. He risked the possibility of losing his men and left the back to be guarded by Black Mamba.
The red sunset covered the darkened sky. He— hehehe— The crazy laughter of the hyenas echoed. Emil concentrated so hard as he stared into his night-vision goggles that he felt his eyeballs would fall out.
Black Mamba had said there was a high chance the enemy would approach this way. If he predicted it, then the enemy would definitely show up. Black Mamba’s war experience was not one to ignore. His omniscience was as powerful as his attack skills. Sometimes he thought that he could even predict the future. This was such a time.
Emil yelled to himself in his head. When the eyebrow-shaped crescent moon was high above them, they saw the silhouette of several AN/PVS-5s through their night vision goggles. As expected, Black Mamba’s prediction was correct. The troops were armed with AK47s and PKMs. Emil saw through his night vision lens the troops climbing up through the mountain. They had no way of knowing how they had crossed the gorge.
Tap— Tap— Tap— With his magazine, he hit the rock three times. No doubt Black Mamba had seen them from 10 meters away, but he did as he was trained to do and signaled him.
Black Mamba had already prioritized his targets. The stars and crescent moon gave enough light for him to see his targets. With his scope, he estimated they were about 1300 meters away.
They were wearing camouflage and had their heads and faces wrapped in turbans. He could see more and more guerrilla troops approaching. Through the scope, they looked like rice cakes floating in red bean porridge.
Black Mamba hit the rock twice to signal that he understood, then got rid of the scope. The PSO-1M2 scope used on Dragonov did not function as well as the ones used on other guns. The magnifying power was four-times weaker. He had requested a better functioning scope from the army research group, but there was no telling when he would receive it.
The Soviet scope had a small range, so it was hard to decipher the exact number of troops. The magnifying power was so weak that you couldn’t tell whether the person was holding a pickaxe or a gun from 500 yards away.
“Shit, these Soviet items are useless.”
Black Mamba shoved the scope into his backpack. There were clouds in the sky that made it difficult to see with his vision.
Emil swallowed his scream. Right next to him, Black Mamba’s head popped up suddenly. Highly anxious, he almost pulled the trigger on him.
He was a ridiculous partner. Only until he hit his shoulder did he realize he was there. If he had been the enemy, his neck would have already been skewered by a sword. Angry, Emil clenched his fist and shook it. Black Mamba smiled and was handed Emil’s night vision glasses.
The 2.5 generation AN/PVS-5 night vision goggles were phenomenal. The usually used PSO-1M2 scope with four-times magnification was no match for it. It was enough to clearly see the faces of each guerrilla.
The guerrilla troops climbing up the valley were agile. They were able to use the grooves of the rocks to move stealthily without being seen. There was not a single child soldier among them. This troop was formed with the most experienced members of the special forces.
“Emil, they are going for a diversion tactic. The special task forces are the real ones.”
“How did they cross the gorge?”
“You can ask the dead ones later. We’re going to get hit on the back of our heads at this point.”
Black Mamba scolded Emil. It didn’t matter how they had crossed the gorge as long as they showed up in attacking range right now. The clear-cut reasoning to gain survival took precedence over the question of how.
“How many are there?”
“I can’t be certain. Over 20.”
“What? We would have been hit severely in the back of our heads.”
Emil broke out in goosebumps. What would have happened if Black Mamba hadn’t been stubborn and positioned himself there as a backup? Just thinking about it sent chills up his spine.
“Emil, bring them in 500 meters.”
“Okay, I will have to start attacking for now.”
Black Mamba handed Emil the night vision goggles then hid. He hid his gun deep between two rocks. The Dragunov had an especially bright flashpoint. It decreased his range of sight, but it was better than having his position exposed.
Once the wind subsided, the clouds masked the sky overhead.
He muttered to himself and looked through his scope. Under the hazy starlit sky, it was better to get help from machinery. Once placed on the scope, his range of vision decreased and caused him frustration.
Bang— Bang— The Dragunov’s unique gunshot sound rang consecutively. It was the legendary double kill. The strong impact exploded the two heads of the guerilla soldiers and sent them flying. Green liquid splashed in his scope.
Emil was able to get one of his targets with a point shot. Emil was a skilled sniper who used a machine gun like a pistol. The machine gun he was using was not the M249 licensed from the US but one from Belgium. The unlicensed brand was much more accurate compared to the licensed version.
“That punk is good!”
Black Mamba exclaimed. The machine gun was not an attack weapon; it was a way to overpower the enemy. It was hard to shoot at targets outside the 500-meter range, so it proved how great his partner’s skills were.