Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 60
His sensitive ears picked up an intrusive sound. It was the sound of the ground being pressed on and swept across.
‘Is it a human’s footstep?’
Black Mamba heard the sound of footsteps 500 meters away like thunderclaps. Compared to the weight he felt, the sound was too small. From his senses, it was most likely a large animal, but the sound was more like a rodent’s. Yet, his instincts told him it was a human’s.
The numbers increased. The Sahel was a place with a low number of animals. There were no herds that ran around like the southern parts of Africa. Even the hyenas survived each to their own. There were no other animals except humans who roamed in numbers during nighttime.
‘Were they specially trained?’
Black Mamba began to count their footsteps for 30 seconds. The average speed count of a human was 1.5~2 paces per second. By figuring out the number of footsteps within a second, the number of humans could be approximated. Of course, this was only possible for trained snipers. There were five in total.
Following that, another two teams appeared.
There were 15 people in total. They had appeared without a sound. It was as though they had sprouted from the ground.
He was surprised. It wasn’t 500 meters, but rather 100 meters inward.
It was his mistake to judge them according to an average standard.
A moment later, the footsteps passed the place where Black Mamba was concealed. It was then that he realized the reason behind his miscalculation. They were all barefoot. They walked with their bare feet as though they were sliding across the ground without lifting it off. He had seen such footsteps before. It was the footsteps of the Lumumba tribe’s hunters.
There was one bastard with a Strela-2 strung across him, another with a box of two missiles, and three bastards with a mini machine gun. They were all barefoot. The three with the mini machine gun worked as front covers in protection of the missile launcher.
Their intentions were obvious. They planned to down the helicopter and, while doing so, decimate the special forces awaiting contact by the point. That also indicated a possibility of back-ups later on.
A chill ran down his spine. The Captain’s worries had turned into reality. Regardless of the bait, this proved that there was a high officer in the headquarters leaking real-time information to the FROLINATs.
‘Do they think we’ve rescued Makumbo?’
He questioned it, but there was nothing to confirm.
Black Mamba lowered the volume of his headset to the lowest setting and knocked on it twice. A reply came immediately. He knocked once, loudly, and after a turn of silence knocked five times gently. It meant that there were 15 enemies. Then, he scratched the headset with his nail. It was a signal indicating a surface-to-air missile.
The Captain, after receiving Black Mamba’s signals, silently assigned battle stations. Teams had come in pursuit of the helicopter. It was proof that information was being leaked constantly. That also meant more soldiers would come for the Ratel team.
A moment later, the Captain received another signal from Black Mamba. This time, it was five long scratches. It meant 50.
The Captain swallowed his sigh.
He had wished otherwise, but it had happened. He had shoved the badger’s head into the crocodile’s mouth. He had shoved his subordinates into a field where ten lives couldn’t save one of them.
Black Mamba frowned.
The footsteps continued.
‘What the hell? There’s nothing to have here, so why do they keep coming!’
Another group was caught on his senses. There was a weight to their footsteps. It was the heavy weapons team. The footsteps continued. Strangely, they moved in fives or tens per unit.
‘Ha!’ The Captain breathed in.
Black Mamba had sent another signal. It was five long scratches and five short scratches. It meant that there was another 55 members added. One hundred and twenty in total had gathered at Er Ekdim.
If they fought against them at their current strength no one would survive. The chances of surviving in the Zambezi river where the alligators crawled was higher than surviving in the battle against them.
The Captain gave up on fighting.
He was frustrated, but there was no chance against the guerrillas who had prepared themselves to the extreme. He had no choice but to believe in Black Mamba at this point.
– Black, we’re going under.
– Got it. Leave it to me.
Black Mamba’s answer was always short and to the point.
The group, which had entered the valley, scattered without a sound. They were well-trained.
The natives who lived in the Sahel region rarely took off their shoes. If the FROLINATs had taken off their shoes in order to invade the valley in stealth, they had to be truly skilled.
In the Borkou capital of northern Chad, Er Ekdim became covered in silent blood lust.
At 0052, he could hear the motor of the helicopter from afar.
It was on the dot.
‘An Aérospatiale Gazelle? Did they take ground attacks into consideration? It would be hard to arm due to the cruising range.’
He could tell it was the SA-342 Gazelle of the French’s main helicopters by the sound of the rotors. It had a ridiculous booster at the back of its head.
Unlike its comic exterior, the Gazelle boasted a cruising range of 700km. From N’Djamena’s headquarters to Tanga at a direct line, the distance was exactly 700km. It would have attached two extra fuel tanks just in case.
Gazelle was an attack helicopter developed by the Aérospatiale in 1969. Aside from the pilot, one other person could board and be greatly agile.
The Strela-2 was a first-generation target missile that used a non-delay fuse. Fifteen seconds after its launch, it self-destructed. If the Gazelle could distract the missile with its player, such as rollbacks and hooking of high-difficulty maneuvers, it had a high chance of surviving.
Soon, the black dot could be seen against the moonlight. It increased in size quickly.
Black Mamba felt his insides rot in nervousness. There were many teams equipped with the Strela-2 like vipers after a helicopter. They were specially trained forces. They were bastards who didn’t wear shoes just to decrease the sound of their footsteps.
‘Damn, the Captain said no attacks whatsoever…what to do?’
He could see the missile team spread out into a fan position and ready the launchers as clear as day.
Black Mamba fought against his conflicts as he placed his finger on the Dragunov’s trigger. The Captain’s words had been persuasive. That was why he couldn’t pull the trigger rashly.
It was a weak missile, but if several attacked at once, the Gazelle could be declared as good as dead.
With a large sound, the light of the explosions flared into the air. It was 200 meters from where he hid.
Orange flares lit streaks across the night sky. Following this, three more orange lights shot up into the air. The surface-to-air missile teams hadn’t been three, but four. Another team had been waiting 1km away.
‘It’s the end, poor soul, leave your regrets behind and be happy in the afterlife! May luck be on your side!’ Black Mamba silently prayed for the pilot’s life.
Even if the Strela was weak, four had been shot simultaneously. As for the Gazelle in the situation, there was nowhere to turn.
A grand firework came to view 500 meters up in the air. It was the flare which had been raised from the back of the Gazelle. The 100 aluminum pieces which had been heated red made even the stars lose their shine.
The flare was made out of magnesium, a hulk of heated metal. It worked as targets to lure missiles away from the helicopter, creating a similar wavelength as the helicopter’s.
The Gazelle, which released the flare, began to descend rapidly.
The first missile jumped into the flare and exploded. The helicopter, which had been increasing its height, descended as if it was falling.
The second missile swept past the Gazelle’s nose and flew further away.
The Gazelle threw down rockets onto the ground without holding back. It attempted to rise in the air directly once more. It was a well-tuned defense, but it was impossible to avoid all four missiles. The third missile landed and attached itself to the first frame of the tail rotor.
The bullet, which was brought with strong kinetic energy, pierced through the metal without the sound of an explosion. The entire power source of the lower frame was crushed. The lights of the helicopter went out as one.
From the navigation system to the chain gun, everything became useless. There was nothing to be fixed. The last missile was sucked into the engine.
The Valley trembled.
The helicopter, which was now a burning flame, crashed down into the valley.
Black Mamba stared at the flabbergasting sight before him with his mouth open.
The rotor blade began to increase in size. It was a 10.5-meter rotor blade which had detached itself from the body. The sound of it cutting through the air resounded on the ground.
Black Mamba rolled further into the cliff in surprise.
The crash echoed. The rotor had embedded itself into the cliff like a dart would have.
‘Phew, I was nearly f*****.’
Black Mamba broke out in cold sweat.
If the rotor had moved at least a meter inward, he would have become a tuna on the cutting board. He began to understand the saying of how one’s life was up to the heavens.
Another large sound erupted.
It was the sound of the helicopter’s body crashing into the face of the cliff.
The sound of the helicopter descending the cliff as it scratched its surface was frightening.
With another loud crashing sound, a thick banging resounded. It was the sound of the helicopter crashing into the earth, and its spare fuels erupting in flames in the next second.
The valley lit up instantaneously. The poor pilot was burned to death without even attempting to escape. He was stuck in the metal frame.
“What, how, no way!” Exclamations poured out of Jang Shin’s mouth.
The mercenaries looked on at the ending of the Gizelle with gritted teeth.
Mike placed his scope on his Dragunov.
“Mike, do you have a death wish? Go back in your hole,” The Captain warned.
The mercenaries froze at the Captain’s cold judgment. The Captain’s intentions were clear. He had held them back in case they were blamed for the scene. The helicopter had crashed in their meeting point because of the enemy’s missiles. It was indisputable evidence. The team members who understood the Captain’s intentions silenced their harsh breathing and went back into concealment. The situation was now in Black Mamba’s hands.
Black Mamba’s face had stiffened.
A strong fire began to rush up from his chest. Although he had never seen the pilot and their nationalities were different, they were fellow mercenaries. His comrade had burned to death trapped inside a metal cage right before his eyes. Chartres’ move had also crossed the Stynx.
He silently raised his Dragunov.
There was no way the bastards who gained the information would leave peacefully. He, too, had no intention of letting the enemies live peacefully.
The half-moon that hung in the sky glinted elegantly. Its moonlight was too beautiful for murder. He took off his thick night goggles and shoved it in his haversack.
Black Mamba’s pupils grew larger. The light which had reflected off the goggle’s surface glinted in blue light. The green world turned black and white. It was a human’s eyes that stood equally against an owl’s.
Two hundred meters was right before him. He could see the guerrillas who had shot down the Gazelle packing up their launcher as clearly.
“Hehe, I can’t let you walk away that easily, no.”
Black Mamba created a chilling smile. He clicked a 30cm silencer onto his Dragunov. Although it was large, its silencing effect was as worse as the Pamus’s silencer. It was just like an object made by those stupid Russians. He didn’t use it often as he didn’t like it.
Since the battle at Uldi Hamarl, he had used a 3600J bullet all the time. Depleted uranium only strained his gun. In real battles, there were no chances to use such a bullet. As expected, reality and theory were vastly different.
Black Mamba began to aim for the outside members so as to not alert the enemy. The first sacrifice was team four, the furthest team in their position.
Distance 820m, wind north, north-east, speed 2.8m/s, temp 12C began to pass his brain instantly.
Tap tap tap! Tap tap!
It was the three-in-a-row sniping only Black Mamba was capable of.
If the technique had to be named, it was a three-tap. He carried a sniping gun, not a handgun. To cause a three-tap with such a piece of equipment, only Black Mamba, who possessed strong and minute muscles and senses sharper than the tip of needles, could do so.
The heads of three sentries with their machine guns blew away.
Blue color splashed across his scope. The soldier who was packing up fell with blood spurting out of his chest, and the retriever gathering bullet shells had his head slipped off.
The bullet immediately entered the second target. It was a missile team around 500 meters from him. There was no forgiveness from the Dragunov. He captured the third team in cold blood. In 48 seconds, he managed to down all three of the teams, 15 people in total.