Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 99

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“I suspected this but… after hearing Ombuti, I’m sure now. It is definitely a mafia contractor. I’m sure, Captain, that you have someone in mind.”
The captain’s face grew dark.
A double contract was when someone placed a price on both teams, whether they were on the opposing side or the same. Whether the operation failed or succeeded, the team that was involved would eventually have to be erased to get rid of the evidence. There was a saying that once the rabbit was caught, the dog used to catch the rabbit was also no longer needed. It was a betrayal used most often by the mafia.
“Even if the DGSE is known for playing dirty, it’ll be hard for them to create a double contract without the military’s agreement.” The captain tried to deny their suspicions. To agree with Bell Man would be a big hit to his pride as captain.
“The French army has a strong sense of itself. A rooster takes care of its own flock and pecks at those that listen to it well. Anyone from the outside is discriminated against. Many have already assumed that Legion Etranger is disposable.”
Bell Man stopped sharing his opinion and stared at the captain. Bell Man was originally a CIA agent in charge of East Africa, though nobody was aware of this fact. Although it wasn’t revealed, he knew the story behind the curtain like the back of his hand.
“There was an implicit deal?”
“At the very least, the DGSE closed their eyes toward the situation. The government army and the intelligence agency were able to get Makumbo and the political initiative on their side thanks to us. They will be celebrating their victory. Men aren’t like the oecophylla smaragdina that Black Mamba talked about. If the Legion Etranger team starts blabbing about what has been happening, there will be a lot of people that will be in trouble.”
“Is that why they sent a hitman?”
“They probably didn’t even think to make a double contract before they sent us on the backdoor operation. They probably assumed that after a couple of battles, we’d naturally end up buried in the desert, but our operations succeeded, and we continued to survive, so their outlook started to change.”
“Are you saying that because it’s difficult for them to shut us up, it would be easier for them to bury us in the desert?”
“We were stabbed in the back from both sides. The DGSE must enjoy dirty operations as much as the CIA. To kick them in the butt, we have to survive and return safely.”
‘We’re like badgers thrown into a pool of alligators. On top of that, there are piranhas and an enormous wild cat mixed in with them. How cruel.’
The captain felt as if all the energy had escaped from his body. The piranha was the hitman who had snuck into the hotel in the Paya. The enormous wild cat was obviously Ocelot. Even without Bell Man pointing it out, he was certain that this was a double contract being used to chop off the lizard’s tail.
They had succeeded in the backdoor operation because they had Black Mamba, so the double contract had failed. As a result, the mercenaries had been able to stay alive in a situation where they surely should have been killed. The truth was always ugly. The captain didn’t wish to say the ugly truth from his own mouth.
“They’ve made a big mistake. The incentives that Chad has gained may sound great, but Black Mamba’s worth is much greater. Their stupid bird brains miscalculated. Let’s imagine Black Mamba as the enemy: being alive would be a nightmare.”
The captain’s lips slowly curved upwards.
“I want to see how headquarters will react once we return with Black Mamba.”
“Oh ho, you mean that monster? Do you think we can control him?”
To his comrades, he was a guardian angel, but to the enemy, Black Mamba was a nightmare come to life. Seeing him face Ocelot made them all realize that truth with ease.
“Even if the rest of us end up buried in the desert, Black Mamba will make it back. Without getting revenge on the dirty traitors, he wouldn’t be able to close his eyes in peace,” said Bell Man strongly, unlike his usual self.
“But how can he? How much could an individual do to take on an entire organization? Even Le Monde won’t write an article that will flush the country down the toilet.”
“That’s why we must sacrifice ourselves so that Black Mamba will definitely be able to return home.”
“Ah shut up! Why are a bunch of old farts blabbing like teenage girls?!”
Black Mamba opened his eyes.
“Did we wake you?”
“No. I was just thinking about who would hire Ocelot. He even pointed out that there would be eight mercenaries. That means he already knew that Miguel and Morris were dead. Who’s the punk watching us and acting like we’re pieces on a chessboard?”
“It doesn’t even surprise me anymore. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the Soviets sent a nuclear missile flying at us.”
Bell Man shook his head at the captain’s words. “To be stupidly brave is one thing, but laziness is dangerous. There may be many eyes watching, but there’s only one person who could have hired him. Black Mamba, it’s like you’ve heard.”
“France has some nerve using their tax dollars to send a hitman after a military team in the middle of an operation. I should have known.”
At Black Mamba’s criticism, the captain’s face soured.
“It’s not the military. They wouldn’t be so corrupt as to use both a backdoor and a double contract. There’s a high chance that it’s the DGSE. The DGSE could have easily found out our position by planting a sleeper.”
The captain’s words weren’t confident.
“Whether it’s the military or the intelligence agency, or Mitterrand himself, it doesn’t matter. Anybody who stepped foot on this operation will have to accept the consequences handed out according to my calculations.”
Black Mamba’s words were both cold and heavy.
The captain and Bell Man both trembled. They could see flying heads in the air and chopped-off limbs falling to the ground clearly in their mind’s eyes. Black Mamba wasn’t anti-government, but he had shown allergic reactions to those who abused their power. He didn’t care whether they were the minister, commander, or chief.
“Don’t worry, I won’t go galivanting on my own like a lunatic.”
“Hm!” The captain smiled bitterly as Black Mamba read his mind.
Even if they were filthy, it was still his country. If Black Mamba decided he wanted to have it his way, who could possibly stop him? He was secretly worried for a moment.
“How are you feeling?”
“It’s bearable. I’ll recover soon.”
“Be careful. You have 43 cuts alone. While I was stitching you up, I found that seven of them were still open. Broken bones are more of a problem than the cuts though. Be careful for the time being. Ooh! I’m still shaking.” Bell Man shuddered. He could still see the pastry-like cuts and hear the crunching of ribs as Black Mamba pulled them out manually with his own hands.
“Black Mamba, just focus on getting better. Our lives are in your hands, but what was the identity of that monster? He said something about being a mutant.”
“He’s similar to me. If he had been trained in martial arts, I would have lost. It’s probably better not to mention him.”
Mu Ssang avoided the subject. He thought explaining the details would be a hassle, and all he really wanted to do now was rest.
“We’ve already decided to do that. Who would believe us, even if we told them? Slicing through a person’s neck with a whip, avoiding bullets, he’s the type of person who could only be seen if he jumped through a Hollywood movie screen.”
“I’m more surprised by the person who’s using our team like this than that monster who came after us. Wherever you go, people must be all the same. If the old farts hadn’t sent a hitman, then I would have just ended it with a few beatings…”
“How embarrassing. As a leader and a French general, I apologize.”
“Why is another victim apologizing? Captain, all you need to do is worry about your remaining family members.”
“True.” The captain turned his head, embarrassed.
He was ashamed and still drowning within the organization’s set guidelines. The Korean was planning on how he should take care of the family members of his dead comrade. He was dreading defeat and wondering if he could make it back alive, while the Korean was setting plans for the future after they returned safely.
“Black Mamba, are there raccoons and badgers in Korea, too?”
“Yes. Although they’re a bit different from the ones here.”
Black Mamba had his eyes half-closed and was meditating while he answered blandly. He understood the captain’s wish to change the subject.
“Are raccoons more expensive than badgers?”
“Raccoons are used exclusively for training. Badgers are more expensive, as they’re sold for medicinal purposes.”
“Damn, Pieff named this team wrong. The badger was used as bait to catch the raccoon, after all. Why are we the ones who have to deal with this?” the captain muttered sadly, unlike his usual self.
“The organization is the real monster. An individual is slowly sucked into the organization until he becomes one with the organization. He eventually believes that the organization’s motives are for the greater good and persuades himself that the means justify the ends. As Chartres once said, he turned into an old monster. Do you think they can even remember the puppets they had at their disposal for their own means?” Black Mamba said without much interest.
“What about our comrades that died in vain?! Those damned jerks!”
The captain pounded the windshield with his fist.
His men had no direct conflict with FROLINAT. They only killed and were killed because they were ordered to. Their previous order had been all a sham, a scam. Thinking about his dead men made his blood boil.
“Captain, you’re the one who said that soldiers had no right to live normal lives. We’re soldiers, and we have a duty to finish our given task. It’s not a problem.”
The captain stared at Black Mamba in disbelief.
At some point, this guy’s words and actions had changed. He showed no signs of being shaken, seemed calm in demeanor, and his voice never changed tone. He was so level headed that it was almost scary.
“Black Mamba, aren’t you angry?”
“Captain, we’re soldiers. The foreign mercenaries were the first to be used as a bulletproof shield. If you’ve eaten, then you have to pay the price of the meal. There are some who pay for the meal without eating it. There are also some who flip the table and ask for payment for the meal. There’s no one that would be happy to find out that they were betrayed. For the time being, what’s important is that we stay alive.”
The captain replied, “Now that it’s over, I can see the obvious result, but why did I make those absurd decisions? I’ve sacrificed my men for no gain whatsoever. What could someone stupid like me possibly be able to do?”
“Captain, in Korea, there is a popular saying: ‘I knew that would happen.’ When a coup d’etat gains power and a president that rains bullets on his civilians is voted into office, that’s when this phrase is commonly said. Once you know the result of a certain action, all of the reasons and causes connect to make the result look obvious. Those that believe that they knew this would happen always beat their chest in regret. Simply put, it’s hindsight bias. To say it in more words, it’s the assumption that you are more adept at predicting the future than is actually possible. After finding out the result, your brain tricks you into thinking that you could have already anticipated this to happen. It’s a psychological illusion. Captain, you did the best you could’ve done in the given situation. That’s good enough. You and I are both imperfect humans. What you have to do now is not worry about your past mistakes, but plan for the future. We have to concentrate on the situations that are to come.”
The captain stared at Black Mamba for a long time.
Even though Black Mamba was younger than him, having been a monk, he seemed to have tasted the sweetness and bitterness of life more than he had. What kind of life had he led? The sudden wave of curiosity pushed back his depression.
“You’re right. We have to return alive for us to beat them or shoot them to death. From now on, you’re excused from all tasks. Move your things, and don’t even help out with little things like preparing meals. You will only concentrate on building up your condition and your part in the upcoming battles. Understand?!”
They suspected they had been double-crossed, but they had no evidence. The mercenaries didn’t continue to dote on a suspicion that had no hard evidence, because all it did was hurt their pride and kill their morale.
A straight line on a map from Paya to N’Djamena headquarters was 552 miles. The straight path was 552 miles, but the actual path that needed to be traveled in secret, no one knew how long it was. They could tell their path would be a bloody trail. The captain anticipated that they would have to travel around 1,100 miles. His heart became as muddled as the thick dust that rose up from the pickup truck.
The pickup veered forward the rest of the course. It was full force ahead.
‘Huh!’ Black Mamba, who had been lost in thought, quickly grabbed the wheel and turned it. The pickup just barely swerved around a fallen acacia tree.
“Oh dear, I fell asleep. Wakil, I’m sorry.” Ombuti hung his head in embarrassment. This wasn’t normal for Ombuti, whose home was the desert. His decreased stamina and lack of sleep had caused him to drive while half asleep.
“Ombuti, I’ll drive. Get some sleep.”
“Black Mamba, are you an idiot? Have you already forgotten what I told you?” the captain retorted angrily.
“Narrow-minded punk!” Black Mamba cursed the captain under his breath.
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