Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 66
Military police weren’t along the command lines or communication lines.
They were military order officers with nothing to do. Since they were deployed at Chad, there was even less work. It was a boring position which required heading out to the city in N’Djamena and escorting drunk or handful mercenaries back sometimes.
Charcosi was impressed by the Ratel team’s strength, which had swept through the rough Sahel. Twelve badgers running through the vast lands…wasn’t it a just movie title! The spy bastards were those who had tried to sweep his role models to death. Blood boiled in rage.
Charcosi moved the military police like lightning.
From the command lines to staff lines, he arrested everyone, including 11th airborne brigade’s head strategist Captain Roland Manuel, who was placed in solitary confinement. Captain Manuel even suffered injuries.
The officers and military police of Legion Etranger were known to be rough.
They had no choice to become rough since they had to drag in rough mercenaries. Captain Manuel had his skull cracked and crushed under metal sticks when he resisted. It was a common sight in Legion Etranger.
The mole search wasn’t hard.
The tough investigators of the military police force managed to find those listed suspicious within the day. Geofrey, who had made fun of the investigators, had three of his teeth broken. The military police members, who had graduated as enlisted officers, spoke with their fists and metal bats.
There were accused as suspects.
There was First Lieutenant Etang, who they predicted had been bribed at Libya, alongside Major Geofrey of Operations from the 11th airborne brigade and strategy commander Manuel of the 11th airborne brigade. Although there wasn’t any certain evidence on Manuel, his frequent visits to Geofrey’s caused suspicions.
Philip was out of his mind. He immediately reported the situation to the 11th airborne brigade and requested an explanation from the DGSE.
In the DGSE headquarters of Marseille, things were tense.
“Hey, Miguel. The situation’s turned worse.”
Minister Bonipas pulled out his Gauloise and bit down.
White smoke covered the table.
“Do you want one?”
“No, thank you.”
Manager Miguel immediately declined. He, too, was an avid smoker, but he didn’t enjoy the dry, sour feeling it left in his mouth. The Gauloise, which smelled of fish oil and women’s privates combined, was something he detested. To think he would smoke such things, Serpent was truly a man with strange tastes.
“The cigarette prices rose too much. F****** damned taxes.”
Bonipas whined away. France was indeed famous for its high cigarette prices. Naturally, cigarette smuggling rose as a trend, and all sorts of cigarettes from all over the world were sold.
In the end, Miguel pulled out his documents. The 11th airborne brigade’s Operations Major Geofrey was, in fact, the DGSE’s main operations team member. He was Miguel’s immediate subordinate.
“How should we deal with Geofrey?”
“Isn’t he your subordinate?”
It was always like this. Bonipas never revealed his true thoughts. That was why he was nicknamed ‘serpent’. He was telling him to put in a hit-man and, either by assassination or rescue, do whatever he wanted. Of course, using either of the methods would gain criticism, and the criticism was his alone.
“We can’t kill someone who works his due.”
“You don’t think Geofrey would open his mouth, would you?”
“Not if they inject him a truth serum.”
“Philip wouldn’t do that barbaric thing, he acts too much like a gentleman.”
“It’s an unfortunate loss of money…to think that Etang bastard hadn’t been there when the communications line was open.”
Manager Miguel clicked his tongue.
The Twarga who had bribed Etang in the casino was a DGSE member. In the end, Etang had been fooled by an imaginary person.
Miguel found the situation even more unfortunate the more he thought of it.
The Ratel team disappears from the Sahel and the Commando team enters N’Djamena with the rescued Makumbo. Etang is arrested for intentional information leaks. They hand Etang to the enraged Philip, and DGSE retreats from the scene.
What a plan it was, from beginning to end!
It was a plan they had fit around Etang, with all the pieces in place. Their tail was hard to cut now that everything had been upturned.
“It’s a fight with their eyes covered, but the back door plan can’t be revealed.”
“The media would tear us apart.”
“The media isn’t the problem. The problem is that Mitterrand’s political policy is about moral politics.”
“I understand. I’ll push this case as something we didn’t know.”
“If you keep sticking out that duck’s feet, it’ll end sooner or later.”
“I understand. I feel as though Black Mamba’s a loss.”
Bonipas closed his eyes.
He recalled the Korean with sharp features and kind eyes.
He was a human with a tremendous physique despite his looks. He had thought of the mercenary as his most useful card in the pile.
“A talented individual cannot compare to Chad. If we leave Chad under our rule, we can expand our influence through Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon, Senegal, Gabon, and the Congo.”
“That’s true.” Miguel nodded his head.
The Habre government was the indisputable representative of Africa’s new countries and their acquainted administrative. If the Habre government collapsed, France’s power over the entire southern regions of Africa, which had once been their colony, would waver.
The immediate quelling of Chad’s situation was connected to the French-African resource collaboration plans. They couldn’t steal from those lands as they had done when it was a colony, but there was an infinite amount of natural resources they could buy cheaply. The uranium in Gabon and underground resources in Congo, especially, was the blood and flesh of France.
Bonipas lowered his voice.
“What are the possibilities of the mercenary team returning?”
“100 percent impossible.”
Bonipas narrowed his eyes even more and stared.
“Habib lost his rationality. He isn’t even taking Makumbo into consideration. Or perhaps he thinks that the mercenary team has taken him. Anyways, he’s blocking the returning southern paths with his full military force. Even if they’re talented fighters, they won’t be able to stand against a wave offensive with a handful of members.”
“That mercenary team has Black Mamba. That’s not an easy prey.”
“Sahel is nothing like the nice shores. They have to fight against the environment and weather. Their battle capacity would be shot about now.”
Miguel was certain. He found it amazing that the mercenary team was still alive.
“There’s nothing called a hundred percent to people like us. What happened to the thing in your previous report?”
Bonipas lowered his voice even more.
“If they don’t receive their supplies, the only place they can make contact is at Paya. I’ve already prepared it in Paya.”
“It’s trouble for us is if they return.”
“I’ll make sure they won’t talk.”
Their meaningful conversation without subject nor object passed back and forth.
DGSE’s dirty operations weren’t a thing of the past. They used even the most high ranking officials in their operations. Sometimes, people like lieutenant officer Etang became used in the middle, unknowingly. The result was their own destruction.
Etang admitted that he released the details of the plan and the Ratel team’s whereabouts to an individual named Twarga. Major Geofrey continued to deny the accusation that he was a spy. DGSE didn’t admit or deny the accusations, like always.
The 11th airborne brigade relocated the Operations head, Manuel. Their excuse was to treat him for injuries. The 11th airborne brigade was a higher controlling power above Legion Etranger. Philip, who was left to suck on his fingers, gritted his teeth in anger.
Philip, who finished his first round of investigations, immediately requested the Ratel team’s retreat from the Command Post. The headquarters in Aubagne immediately reported the retreat request to the 11th airborne brigade, who had the strategic power. Everything had happened within the day Philip received his report from First Lieutenant Paul.
“What! Continue the plan?”
Colonel Philip doubted his own ears.
To continue a plan in which information had already been leaked? If this was a joke, it wasn’t even funny.
Chief of Operations Lt. Colonel Louis handed over the written paper with a sour expression.
– Legion Etranger’s Deuxieme Rep. First Lieutenant Jean-Paul and 11 others are requested to continue the operation. The operation will dissolve 72 hours from the time of this issue.
“Louis, what, what is this? Is what I just read even French?”
Lt. Colonel Louis nodded his head with an anguished face.
The retreat of their planned team, which they had thought would be approved immediately, had been denied. There wasn’t even a reason listed in the refusal of request the 11th airborne brigade had sent back.
“Aggggh, these f****** bastards. These bastards! I should shove them up the as***** of a b***! Dissolved after 72 hours! Are they retreating everyone’s corpses or what?”
Lt. Colonel Louis watched Philip jump up and down with a dark expression.
“Colonel, I find their 72 hours operations maintaining request suspicious.”
“What’s suspicious about that? They’re asking them to open up a way for the others who are running away with the raccoon in their arms.”
Lt. Colonel Louis nodded his head. Not just anyone could be the Colonel of Deuxieme Rep. Even during his excitable rage, Philip had pinpointed the main issue of the order.
“F*** this 72 hours or whatever bulls***. Send a helicopter. It’s fine even if it gets tailed.”
“Colonel, going against orders is a precedence to prosecution.”
“Damn prosecution, I’ll do it.”
“The situation’s abnormal. The Department of Defence has banned helicopter operations. You might have to stand in martial court.”
“What? What the f*** are you talking about?”
Philip’s face turned redder than a pig’s liver.
“They said they’re banning low-flight air carriers as much as the FROLINAT has increased the numbers of portable air missiles…”
Philip collapsed into his chair.
He had tried to move a helicopter personally, but even that had been tied down by the Department of Defence’s orders. They had probably collaborated with the DGSE.
His conscience didn’t let him abandon his subordinates.
“I’m doing this my way. Send a written order to Robert. We’re sending a helicopter. Send an explosives company and a sniping company to the Sahel, and bring back the badger.”
“No. It’s not only you, Colonel. I’ll be forced to stand trial at martial court, too.”
“I’ll take everything. Go do it. Now.”
He replied in the affirmative, but Louis was conflicted. This wasn’t a situation he could do anything about.
Lt. Colonel Louis, after sighing continuously, issued a deployment order to the Aubagne headquarters in the end. This time, Lieutenant General Dimanche of Legion Etranger flew into a rage. Philip had forcibly gone against orders to stop the deployment.
The Department of Defence, running out of time, stepped forward.
The most important part of Makumbo’s rescue mission was the secrecy. The Ratel team had been deployed as a smokescreen as well as bait. If Philip continued to act as though he was crazy and shoved the airborne force into the Sahel, then it gave Libya and the Soviets a reason to interfere.
If the hole broken through by the Ratel team was blocked off, their rescue mission was bound to turn into flames. In the Department of Defence’s position, it was like throwing sand all over a prepared meal.
They couldn’t even dismiss Colonel Philip from his position.
If Philip began to act out with all his knowledge of the plan, several heads were going to fly.
Strategist Advisor Peron of the Department of Defence summoned a meeting of all those involved. It was the second day since Black Mamba finished his dire deathmatch in Er Ekim.
Blood flew in places where blood flowed, and tongues flew in places where words flew.
In the commanding meeting room of Aubagne’s Legion Etranger, six people sat around a shining mahogany table.
The faces of the participants were the responsible commanders of Legion Etranger, the Defence Department, and the Operations Department.
They were Lieutenant General Dimanche of Legion Etranger’s Command Post, Chief of Operations Major General Montagne, Chief of the 11th Airborne Brigade Colonel, Chief Minister of Foreign Operations Bonipas of DGSE, Strategist Advisor Peron of the Department of Defence, and Deuxieme Rep’s Regiment General, Colonel Philip. There was no one below Philip in rank within the participants.
Colonel Philip’s face was already burning red.
Strategist advisor Philip began to convince Colonel Philip with a complicated expression.
“Colonel, I understand that this has angered you, but this is a national priority. We cannot deploy Deuxieme Rep. It would mean the loss of all initiatives we have at hand.”
Philip shouted in response, “Stop that. What national priority! I’ve become the world’s biggest fool who has shoved his own subordinates into the lion’s mouth. My subordinates died without knowing a single thing! Do you think this makes sense? Since when did France turn into an unrealistic, pathetic country?”
Bonipas, the strategy minister of DGSE, stepped forward.
“Philip, calm down. In three days, Makumbo will arrive at N’Djamena. Then you can move the entire Legion Etranger. No, I’ll even move the airborne brigade. Right now Team Ratel has to shake up the FROLINAT even more.”
Philip made a fist and shook it.
“Will there be anyone alive in three days? Are you not satisfied with the meaningless blood which has been spent until now, to ask for more? You’re not satisfied using my subordinates as a back-door operations’ bait, wanting them to die out in that f****** desert? I’m going to hurl. I can deal with you making a fool out of me, but I will not stand by and watch my subordinates be sacrificed!” Philip shouted.
He took off his hat and slammed it on the table.