Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 67

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“Colonel Philip, Team Ratel has shown amazing mental prowess on the battlefield. They’ve survived 20 days. Why can’t they survive another three? Let’s put faith in your subordinates.” Colonel Tanshe said hatefully.
Philip turned and stared at Colonel Philip with a faraway gaze. He wished to slice off Tanshe’s thick-lipped mouth that was saying this nonsense.
“Team Ratel has fought six large-scale battles alone. They’ve killed over 700 northern foot soldiers. The squadron has managed to wipe out two battalions, and they’re still engaged in mud fights with the hyenas right now. That FROLINAT committee member’s frothing at the mouth…”
Philip, whose emotions overran his words, gathered his breath.
The participants on either side of the table began to whisper. It was shocking to hear the numbers of FROLINAT soldiers the mercenaries had wiped out despite being outnumbered by 700. The participants began to talk over each other trying to confirm the information from Bonipas.
“Keep listening. The third army led by Habib is known as the best and most evil of the FROLINAT armies. I’ve received reports that Team Ratel managed to wipe out half of that army, including their command post.”
“Wow, if that report is true, this is the beginning of a new legend in Legion Etranger. Congratulations, Colonel Philip.”
Strategic Advisor Peron began to clap his hands. Following his lead, the other participants began to clap.
Philip smacked the table.
“This is not a congratulatory matter. You all should know the Muslim tradition of returning what is given with a bloody vengeance. The FROLINAT has scattered a human wall around its Kichi Kichi and New Delhi borders to regain their wounded pride. It’s like throwing a net on them only to smash them from behind with a hammer. Thousands are armed with Soviet weapons blocking their southern route. A strand of mercenaries has been shoved on top of a large anvil. A hammer is descending. And you think they’ll survive?”
“A mercenary isn’t Superman or Rambo. They’re holding on thanks to Black Mamba, but they, too, are humans who die when shot. You guys have thrown my subordinates to the piranhas and are forbidding me to send even a rescue boat. Three days and they’re dead.”
Bonipas raised his hand.
“That’s the thing. The plan has gone smoothly thanks to Team Ratel shaking FROLINAT around. They’ve already shown their talents. If they withstand another three days, the plan will succeed perfectly. Our country will gain an immense advantage, and Team Ratel will become legends.” Bonipas spoke these cold-hearted words easily.
Philip reached for his handgun and ran his hand over its grip.
“I should shoot him.”
It was an impossible reality, but he truly wanted to shoot that evil Bonipas to death.
“Bonipas, you should go preach your words in front of an elementary school’s graduating class. The mercenaries are also someone’s husband, father, and son. Would you be able to say that when your son is dying somewhere in the Sahel?”
At Philip’s direct words, Bonipas cleared his throat and closed his mouth.
“Commander, did you know about this?” Philip asked Lieutenant General Dimanche.
“Yes, I did.”
Dimanche was unable to hide his conflicted frown.
“How could you give a one-way ticket to your subordinates? This event sets a precedent for Legion Etranger.”
“It was a plan decided for national gains. In the end, I have nothing to excuse myself from, to you or the members that were thrown in hell.”
He had kept his silence on the point of national advantage, but this was something to be morally criticized. After being questioned by his subordinate his face turned red.
Philip’s anger drained out of him at his commander’s apology.
“Bonipas, which team secured Makumbo?”
“The GCP secured him. Currently, they should have escaped Ongur and passed Nedehli. The routes there are empty thanks to the Team Ratel.”
“I see. They still haven’t escaped FROLINAT’s nets. That’s why you needed two days. You’re trying to get Team Ratel to mess things up even more, dead or alive, to move that advantageous card more easily. Doesn’t matter if the mercenaries die. They’re not even French so a piece of metal would do; some bribery of their families would do. Hahaha!”
Philip let out an empty laugh.
“I’m one of many who looks forward to Team Ratel’s return. I didn’t know they would crush the FROLINAT forces so severely. This is a time when France’s influence is being measured by how settled Chad becomes. Team Ratel is this mission’s vital part. Since things have already turned out this way, they can hold out for three, or two days longer. The mercenaries aren’t our countrymen either, anyways, don’t you agree?”
Minister Bonipas had rolled around in the informational fields for 30 years. He didn’t even blink when Philip shouted or acted out. Instead, he countered him with a factual tone.
Philip smashed the table with his fist and jumped to his feet.
“What? They’re French soldiers and my subordinates!”
“They’re mercenaries after money and foreigners.”
Bonipas countered, word for word.
They were soldiers invested in for situations just like these. They weren’t Frenchmen. The reason behind fattening a pig was to send it up to the feasting table. The Department of Defence had approved the backdoor operation. Nothing was going to change just because one of Legion Etranger’s colonels rampaged about. Inside, Bonipas laughed at Philip.
“Bonipas, do you know what kind of place the Sahel is? You must have only seen it on paper, at your desk. The strategic region that Team Ratel is in, north of the Bodélé flatlands, alternates 30 degrees between day and night. During the day, they suffer from dehydration, and during the night, they die from the cold. In the day, they are accosted by mosquitoes and, at night, accosted by sandstorms. A man like you who only schemes behind his desk wouldn’t survive two days. My children have fought crazily against the FROLINAT for 20 days these conditions. By now, they should be dead. I am going to send that helicopter and bring them back.”
“Philip, Napoleon once said to never intervene during an enemy’s mistake. FROLINAT is barking up the wrong tree. The plan is in its finishing stages. If Team Ratel gives us another 48 hours, our country will be able to gain a political and military initiative. We’d be able to spread France’s influence across Chad and eastern Africa without requiring any more blood to be spilled. Stop being stubborn. If you continue doing so, there will be no choice but to place you in a holding cell.” Peron took Bonipas’ side.
“What! You’ll arrest me?”
“It’s for the country.” Major General Montang added.
“Philip, the strategy has already begun, and it’s nearing success. It may be painful, but national priorities come first. Colonel, you’ll be a general someday, no?” Commander Dimanche supported Bonipas.
Philip fell back into his chair. There was nothing he could do against the united front of all the participants. And, in the midst of all that, his ears had opened up to the word “General.” He wished to smash in his own head.
He wondered since when had he been so gullible.
“Then, what are we meant to do about them?”
Philip, drained of all his strength, spoke in a murmur.
“We should immediately process their medal of honor and give them their due rewards.”
Commander Tanshe spoke as though the mercenaries were already dead.
“What’s the point of receiving a medal of honor after dying? How can I face covering their corpses with the tri-colored flag, when they’ve been manipulated to their deaths?”
Colonel Philip stopped talking and looked at Colonel Tanshe.
“Let’s exchange our positions. Imagine the airborne’s Team Jesepe has become the bait and is being torn apart by the FROLINAT. Would you be able to abandon them, commander?”
“I’m sorry.”
At the sudden attack, Colonel Tanshe lowered his head. Their cause was with the national advantage, but there was nothing to gain out of engaging a verbal fight with Philip.
Philip’s rage died down rapidly.
The plan had already entered its last stages. All responsible parties used national initiatives as their shield. If he kept going against them, the atmosphere would turn into an accusation of doubting his loyalty towards his own country.
The back door operation had also been approved by his immediate commander, Dimanche. As the plan had been put forth by both the Department of Defence and the DGSE, his point of view was no more significant than a coffee mug, even if he raged about. His head ached at the thought of being locked up from further disagreements and several other complicated thoughts.
Philip glared at Bonipas.
“Bonipas, you planned this dirty plan, didn’t you?”
“Yes. It was to fool the Soviet’s and Libya’s plans and to make holes in the FROLINAT’s nets. Although, Team Ratel did rip through an entire part instead of making holes. I’ve kept you out for the sake of security. I am very sorry.”
Bonipas’ apology didn’t sound like an apology. Philip didn’t want to hear the soulless apology. Bonipas was too much like a snake; anything he said wasn’t believable.
“Hm, and the bastard called Major Geofrey and turned over the information to FROLINAT.”
“That didn’t happen. All information was leaked by that stupid staff mercenary Etang.” Bonipas confirmed.
“You f*cking bastard!”
Philip launched from his seat and swung a fist at Bonipas’s face.
Bonipas had been punched in his chin and fell over with his chair. He was a man who didn’t reveal his thoughts. In Philip’s eyes, even his fall looked like an intended slapstick comedy routine.
“You bastard, what f*cking security. You just wanted to take everything without me. Do whatever you want.”
Colonel Philip kicked open the doors of the conference room and walked out.
“Ha! Philip’s a gentleman, but it seems as though he’s thoroughly pissed off.”
Bonipas smiled as he rubbed his chin.
It was a beneficial trade, to dissolve the situation with a punch. Philip was angered, but he was still a high ranking colonel. He could tell the importance of this mission.
“Since Minister Bonipas has taken the punch for the team, today’s meal will be on me. I may have been the humiliating sight, being punched by my subordinate if it hadn’t been for you! Hahahaha!”
Dimanche looked at Minister Bonipas and laughed freely.
“Well, I’m a professional at playing the evil role after all. I’m glad it’s been resolved this way. I was prepared to sweat through the meeting. Hahaha!” Bonipas smiled bitterly.
“Who would have thought Team Ratel would do so well? The Canem and Borkou FROLINATs are hanging around Team Ratel. Whatever anyone says, Team Jesepe has managed to procure Makumbo without having to shoot a single bullet thanks to them. The mercenaries do deserve a Légion d’honneur. But who is this Black Mamba fellow?”
At advisor Peron’s question, Bonipas began to reply.
“He received a call name from the Department of Defence. His details are classified information. He’s a god-level sniper who knows the ancient martial arts of East Asia and is capable of clearing a small military unit within a minute. He wiped out an entire platoon of Deuxieme Rep’s snipers, alone, in a mock-battle. His close combat is also impressive. I’ve heard that he managed to down a crazed bull with a single punch in Corsica. Not all of the stories are believable, but he is a special mercenary.”
“Ha, I can’t believe it. If that’s true, it would be a loss to have his bones buried in the Sahel! Tsk tsk.” Advisor Peron clicked his tongue.
“It’s unfortunate, regarding Black Mamba, but Chad is more important.”
Bonipas returned his words, emotionless.
He prioritized everything on the national level. An individual’s life was nothing to him. Of course, his own life was an exception.
“Minister Bonipas, are you certain that Team Jesepe will arrive in N’Djamena in two days?” Advisor Peron asked.
“Three days is plenty; two is a tight fit. Thanks to Team Ratel causing chaos, not even the Soviet or Libyan intelligence departments know of Team Jesepe’s existence. All eyes are on the Team Ratel. Jesepe will be able to extract Makumbo out safely.”
“Good! Mercenaries have no point in existing if they don’t do their due worth.”
Advisor Peron was satisfied. This mission had been put forth in collaboration with both the Department of Defence and the intelligence department. Thanks to Team Ratel, there was going to be a significant personnel selection record added to his resume. A smile automatically escaped him.
“This is good news. The Soviets would swim around the wrong waters, and Libya would have to vomit out Chad and the entire four northern regions. It’s a perfect political and military victory. Let us cheer for France and the mercenaries.”
The Major General offered a toast.
“For France!”
“For the mercenaries!”
All the participants raised their wine glasses.
The information about the mercenaries dying in the Sahel had long left their heads.
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