Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 71

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The violent sandstorm was gradually calming.
This weather was unique to Djourab Erg. The winds changed rapidly. A sudden storm was prone to send objects flying hundreds of meters away and those winds that raged as though they could blow away camels would suddenly change into a gentle breeze.
“Now, let’s begin.”
Burimer conducted.
The entire team worked to scatter the landmines against the trip wires and installed claymore mines.
Mouris planned the distance and direction, while Burimer marked down each one’s buried location on a status plate with a red pen.
They had to collect their mines when they moved. That collection task was tedious. There was a supply issue, but the Mitterrand government had taken the lead in creating a compromising ban on mines, so they had to collect them to avoid national criticism.
It was a bothersome and difficult task, but no one complained because it was better than dying from a FROLINAT’s bayonet while sleeping.
Aside from Black Mamba, the entire team was bound to die when they faced several of them in close-range combat. A strange human, like Black Mamba who fought a hundred-on-one, only existed in movies.
“Mouris, how many sets of claymores did you install?”
“I set up 8 in total around the 300-meter front, at a distance of 15 meters each.”
“And the mines?”
“I placed doubles of 50 sets around 400 and 350 meters.”
The captain decided that the front 400 meters would be their first line of defense. Mouris directed the team to bury FM6a mines around the defense line.
The FM6a mine was created by France’s GIAT and based on the American M16a2 antipersonnel mine. It was the same mine, but the FM6a weighed only 500 grams, a peanut compared to the 4.1-kilogram M16a2.
As a defensive weapon, the FM6a was concentrated for resistance rather than an attack mechanism. More explosions meant more casualties.
The FM6a, loyal to its purpose was one of the few effective French-made weapons that the captain acknowledged
The team buried the mines and began digging trenches.
Even Black Mamba joined in when they began to dig trenches. The shoveling skills that he had practiced since he was seven had been recognized even on the bridge. Black Mamba was not the most confident in sniping but in using the ax and shovel.
His strong physique and long experience shone its light in the midst of slaving away.
Pat— Whisk— Pat— Whisk—
His actions of sticking the shovel into the sand and removing it flowed like water. While two of this team managed to dig one trench, he, alone, dug two.
His physique was 18 times the human average. As he whisked the shovel around with frightening power and speed, his teammates watched him from afar.
“Is he even human?” Mouris murmured to himself with a pinched expression.
“Would that be possible if I raised a hundred stray dogs?” Bellman also whispered.
“What are you guys doing? Organize the trenches that Black Mamba dug and connect them with pathways. Should I kick your *ss?” Mike scolded his teammates.
The captain’s expression was extremely dark.
The camp was set below the tall stone so it would have fewer temperature fluctuations and higher moisture, but his anxiousness was fanned by the gathering of unusual factors.
“Burimer, do you think I made another mistake?”
“Don’t concern yourself. Whether you did or didn’t, there wasn’t a choice. We cannot leave Chartres with his high fever out in direct sunlight or heat waves.”
Burimer cut off the captain’s worries.
His darkness lifted slightly.
Higher terrain was naturally advantageous for defense, but they had set up camp in lower terrain for Chartres and worry started to swell.
“Burimer, I don’t feel good about this.”
“Is it because of the caravan we saw during the day?”
“I should have shot it.”
“Why did you stop Black Mamba?”
“I don’t know!”
“Was it because of the woman?”
The captain cleared his throat without replying. In the caravan of five camels and six people, there had been a young woman mixed in.
He had stopped Black Mamba who had pulled out his Glock. The moment he looked at the woman’s eyes, he had recalled his dead wife.
“Captain, you’re making a mistake.”
Black Mamba had warned him, but he had dismissed it. The moment those clear eyes had invaded his heart, the captain had been unable to kill them.
“Don’t worry too much. There isn’t any evidence that they’re informants after all.” Burimer reassured me.
“No, Black Mamba isn’t someone who kills randomly. There is a reason why he pulled out his gun.”
“It’s something that already happened. It’s nothing new when there’s a battle every time our eyes open. We have Black Mamba. We just need to fortify our defenses.”
The captain recalled the way Black Mamba’s eyes had glinted when he told him that he was making a mistake.
“That damned bastard! He’s threatening an officer on a whim just because his fist is strong. How am I supposed to survive military life scared of a foot soldier?”
The captain rambled on about things that stupid Korean veterans said daily. It seemed as though, whether one was Asian or Western, military uniforms made them all the same.
The bastard who had threatened his officer on a whim was next to Chartres.
If muscle stiffness increased, the body twisted on itself. Pain was pain, but the danger of being injured also increased. Chartres’ neck and face muscles had diminished immensely. He wasn’t able to drink water properly anymore.
They were in the wild. If he didn’t consume enough water, that became a scientific death in and of itself.
“Damn, this is acute tetanus for sure.”
Tetanus’ dormant state was around 3 to 20 days. The piece of grenade stuck in his body had begun to cause a reaction.
“Those f*ckeres! They should have used a cleaner grenade.”
“You bastard, why are you being an idiot when I’m already frustrated? Go light the fire.”
Bellman chased out Emil who was talking this nonsensical stuff.
“Ke. Kegh.”
The sound of Chartres’ voice splitting rang in the air.
“F*ck, I need to feed him water. If he continues, he’s going to bite his tongue.”
Bellman, turning anxious, soaked the bandages and made Chartres’ hold them with his mouth. It was the only thing he could do in the middle of a desert.
“Are there no medicines for him?” Mike asked worriedly.
“I’ve injected him with pentobarbital and penicillin. But they aren’t effective since his immunity was compromised too much.”
Bellman’s expression darkened the more Chartres’ breaths roughened. He called for Black Mamba.
“Black, we need to call a helicopter.”
“It’s already been requested.”
“Is it coming?”
Bellman was anxious to the point his hand seemed to poke out of his throat.
“I’ll check.”
“Hurry. He needs immediate aid.”
“I got it.”
The reply came from 10 meters beyond.
Unfortunately, the captain and Black Mamba didn’t know what decision they had come to in the Aubagne Headquarters conference. The Department of Defence and the DGSE had already deemed the mercenaries deployed and had stopped caring.
Colonel Philip was held responsible by the higher-ups and had to hand over Team Ratel’s strategic rights to the Airborne regiment. He had pushed a rescue team into the Sahel on his own and wrote a false report.
The information that had been delivered to Philip was faked or cut off. The captain’s helicopter request was dismissed by the operation commander’s hands. The helicopter hadn’t even been sent.
“Captain, where is the helicopter?”
When Black Mamba shouted, the entire ground shook.
The captain who had been checking over the defense formation frowned.
“They said they’re heading out in two hours. Considering the flight time, they would be arriving in five. Is Chartres’ condition critical?”
“Bellman said it’s acute tetanus. He has to be sent to the emergency room immediately.”
The captain’s face crumpled like a devil’s. Unable to overcome his emotions he threw his Famas to the ground.
“Sh*t, these f*ckers! Dirty bastards!”
The captain exploded in anger towards an uncertain target. His insides were boiling, but he didn’t know who to curse at.
He found his calm after a few heaves of his shoulders. The team would be in danger if its leader was shaken by emotions.
“Black, the team’s safety is foremost. Leave Chartres to Bellman, and go check the outer defense lines.”
“It’s an order. Black. Your place isn’t next to Chartres. There are eight other comrades that you need to protect. Don’t forget that this place is a Fond Rouge (Red Ground).”
Black Mamba immediately snapped to attention.
His team leader was right. This wasn’t the time to whine, swept away by emotions. It was time to decide and move critically.
“You didn’t forget my words either, right?”
At Black Mamba’s eerie tone, the captain flinched.
The warning to prepare himself when something went wrong with Chartres swept across his mind. He had also been warned when he left the helicopter to be shot down at Er Ekdim valley.
“Chartres, do not die. If you die, I’ll be beaten up by some inhuman guy. F*cking bastard. He’s threatening me at every turn.”
The captain truly wished for Chartres’ well being as he looked at Black Mamba’s as he drifted further beyond.
Thinking about his position, an officer who was trying his best not to be beaten up by an airman, he sighed. He had long lost his composure, but if anyone saw how Mike had been beaten up, even Commander Dimanche would have saved his hide.
“F*ck, I shouldn’t have stopped Black Mamba.”
The captain’s expression wavered nervously. The thought of the six locals who had passed by on the camels refused to leave his mind. He had made a decision based on his emotions, unlike a leader.
Black Mamba’s words berating him for making a mistake kept ringing around his ears.
He couldn’t kill unarmed locals based on suspicions, but Black Mamba wasn’t the type to say random things.
“Even if it wasn’t them, there’s plenty of sentries lying around Borkou.”
The captain reassured himself. Black Mamba had managed to kill three teams, a total of 15 people, during the move today.
The captain was still anxious.
His battle instincts kept sending a red signal.
“Black, how do you feel?”
“You can appear freely too: Those like you I’ve never hated. Of all the spirits who deny, it’s you, The jester, who’s most lightly weighted. Man’s energies all too soon seek the level; he quickly desires unbroken slumber, so I gave him you to join the number, to move, and work, and play the devil.”
The first verse of Faust rolled out of Black Mamba’s mouth.
“You damned bastard!”
It was a leisurely speech, but despite its serenity, it meant that the enemy was coming. It simultaneously mocked him, the irony of a Korean bastard reciting Faust.
The captain gathered the team and gave another warning.
“My instincts tell me something bad’s about to happen. Their activities have suddenly increased. We need to prepare for the worst. Have as many hand grenades on you. Don’t light any fires, and make sure everyone’s on guard. It seems like Black angered Habib thoroughly.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Black Mamba, you’re in charge of the rear. Their signature move is attacking at both sides. Ombuti, since there’s a lack of members, help Jang Shin, like last time.”
“Burimer, are there any more grenade launchers?”
“If you’re talking about the ASG17, there’s around 40 left.”
“You take care of that like last time. It may be humiliating, but he’s the best at it.”
“Yes, sir.”
Black Mamba elbowed the captain.
“Captain, you don’t have to be nervous. If some deniable spirits come, we can just beat them up. The team has to rest to regain their battle capabilities. I’ll guard. Have everyone take a good rest.”
“Mm, Black, your condition has to be in top shape.”
“Don’t worry. I know my body well.”
Black Mamba pointed at the faraway rock.
“I can look out up to eight kilometers. There’s no problem.”
The captain looked at Black Mamba and the rock then nodded his head.
“Black will be on guard duty today. Everyone dismissed.”
Everyone’s expressions changed into delight. Black Mamba was a human radar. If he was on guard duty, they could sleep without worries. The entire team on guard duty wouldn’t match one Black Mamba.
The mercenaries watched Black Mamba scale the cliff. It was vertical, around 100 meters high. His left and right sides moved in sync like a lizard as he scaled the rock and disappeared in the blink of an eye.
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