Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 102
Medic Carnot handed over a plastic bag.
“What is it?”
“Drugs?” Pieff’s eyes became huge. Why were drugs coming out of here?
“Jenkem? You mean the Jenkem that’s made from fermented human waste?”
“Yes, exactly that Jenkem. It’s pretty pathetic to call it a drug, but its hallucinogenic properties are phenomenal. It’s a powder, so you don’t have to take a capsule orally, and it doesn’t require injection with needles. You can easily just wrap it up in a plastic bag and inhale it through the nose, and it’s highly addictive.”
“So you’re saying that the assassins drugged the sleeping men with Jenkem to make them defenseless before they killed them?”
“That’s what I suspect.”
“Nigimi Ddugural!” Pieff trembled.
The face of Valboir, who had been listening, also darkened. Their men had been drunk off of a drug of fermented human waste then put on the cutting board to get their heads chopped off!
The world seemed to be crashing down around them.
“Valboir, didn’t you lay out land mines in front of the military camp?”
“We laid out plenty.”
“What about the guards?”
“I’ve already checked. We’re guarding the place tightly. Muhammad and Brown were attacked by the invaders.”
“How did they manage to get through?”
“We were attacked from the back.”
“No way. This was the same situation we discussed last night., it would take them over a day to pass through the gorge, even with the proper climbing equipment. Ah, how did this happen?!”
Pieff was struck by a headache. He moaned while grabbing his head with both his hands. He had said it with his own mouth that another attack was unlikely, meaning they didn’t need to worry about placing defenses there. Now, he wanted to rip his own mouth apart.
The gorge behind Uldi Hamarl was the place where Black Mamba had taken down 22 of Musta’s special forces. Pieff couldn’t even have dreamed that FROLINAT would have used the caves that the mountain goats entered and exited.
“Captain, we have to retreat. The enemy getting into headquarters is a threat in itself. The damage to us will be great.” Valboir suggested they retreat.
“We can’t. We’re the Deuxieme Rep. We can’t show our backs to those pathetic fools like cowards.”
‘You fool, who are you calling pathetic when they got past the guards without leaving a trace?’ Valboir screamed silently to himself.
“They’re despicable. They will stop at nothing. You’ve seen it with your own eyes! We have to give up.”
“Lieutenant Paul turned the tides at Sahel with just eleven men.”
“This isn’t Paul, it’s Black Mamba.”
“…” Pieff was at a loss for words.
It had been four days since he had run out of headquarters with 50 men from his company. They hadn’t been able to battle them properly once but still ended up utterly defeated. He had already lost another eleven men.
“Valboir, you’re saying that the Legion Etranger team is destroying these punks all over Sahel.”
“Because they have Black Mamba. I bet all my money that if Black Mamba was on our side, we wouldn’t have had to sacrifice a single person.”
“I agree with your logic but…”
“Captain, we’re in a more dangerous situation currently than the Legion Etranger team. We have to retreat.”
“And after we retreat?”
“We’ll call in the helicopters and tanks to bulldoze over them.”
“Is your head a mere accessory? Do you want to be the one to pull the trigger on starting World War III?”
Valboir knew that the lieutenant was stupid, but he hadn’t thought that he would be so dense as to be ignorant of the government and politics. Frustrated, Pieff scolded Valboir and sent away his men.
Everyone’s expressions looked to be full of fear. After waking up, they found their comrades’ necks gaping open like fish gills, yet the enemy had not left a trace of their presence. They couldn’t help but be afraid. Men were more afraid of knife wounds than gun wounds. This fear was primarily due to the visuals.
Pieff shook his head.
If he retreated in this manner, his name would forever be dirtied by the Deuxieme Rep. He would also have to say goodbye to any sort of promotion.
“For the time being, we’ll finish heading to the top. We can’t just retreat without even catching a glimpse of the Legion Etranger team’s tail.”
“You can make a decision after reporting to the captain.” Pieff glared at Valboir with red eyes.
Valboir didn’t avert his gaze.
“Nigimi Ddugural, Centienne!” Pieff called the communications officer.
After spitting out curses, he was reminded of Black Mamba. He regretted the absence of his petit kenarung. A god-like sniper and a man with impossibly phenomenal skills, if he had Black Mamba, he wouldn’t have ended up in this embarrassing situation in the first place.
Pieff had found out how bad of a curse “nigimi ddugural” was from Koreans he had met recently. He had insulted them first by calling them “petit kenarung,” so he couldn’t really blame them. He had just laughed. From then on, “nigimi ddugural” became Pieff’s trademark curse word.
After ending the communication with headquarters, Pieff regained back his confidence. “Valboir, Captain has left me in charge of leading all operations.”
Valboir shook his head and stepped back.
Since Black Mamba was part of his platoon, there was no one who knew of Black Mamba’s skills better than him. Black Mamba’s shooting skills were not only the best, but he also had the ability to seek out the opposition with surprising accuracy.
The Legion Etranger team had been saved at FROLINAT headquarters thanks to Black Mamba. The commander believed in the battle skills of the Deuxieme Rep, but this was an overestimation.
Valboir had been a part of the war for seven years. There wasn’t anything left to analyze in this battle. The special task team that was stuck in this net was slowly dissolving like salt thrown in water.
‘Damn, if we had the Legion Etranger team, their survival rate would have shot up to ten times as big it is now.’
General Valboir looked down sadly at his dead men. Their necks were gaping open like open mouths. He sensed that his end would be just as gruesome.
“Valboir, there may be more men that were drugged with Jenkem. Check it out, then we’ll organize the troops. We’ll leave in two hours.”
Pieff had made his second mistake.
While he was taking his time organizing, FROLINAT had been ripped to pieces. FROLINAT didn’t have up-to-date communication equipment, but they had their own ways of communicating.
The Legion Etranger team stung like a bee and swept through their forces like the wind. FROLINAT hadn’t been able to catch even the shadow of the Legion Etranger team. The DGSE had intentionally dropped information about them but since they were unable to receive it, they were unable to even catch a glimpse of the badger’s tail. It was the 24th day of Operation Raccoon.
While the Legion Etranger team had been obliterating Ahmud’s troops at Djourab Erg, the rescue team had been digging themselves into a hole at Uldi Harmarl. The reason these two teams had missed each other was that the DGSE had messed with the information.
If Lieutenant Paul had reported Chartres’s communication of their location at Djourab Erg, they wouldn’t have had to sacrifice their team members for no reason.
The rescue team had started from Uldi Harmarl and headed in the direction of Amju via Cortaro. If Pieff had gone right instead of left to Djourab Erg, they would have been able to meet up with the Legion Etranger team.
The moment they believed that both sides would find happiness, both sides had fallen suddenly into a situation that warranted despair. A black and white picture was much closer to reality than the colorful nature of fairytales. Because humans were unable to see past situations right in front of their eyes, reality became a fun-filled hell.
In a risky operation, the lower-ranking men were the first to die. Interestingly enough, those who had died on the Legion Etranger team were veterans. Sergeant Mark, Chartres, Miguel, Morris, and Burimer had all died. The only veterans left were Sergeant Mike and the medic, Sergeant Bell Man.
On the other hand, the three rookies had survived without a scratch.
It was an unbelievable situation in which the veterans died and the rookies stayed alive. It meant that Black Mamba had unknowingly protected his friend Jang Shin and his partner Emil. No, if Black Mamba hadn’t had a cheat key, his team would have already been decimated.
After losing Burimer in Paya, the captain’s leading style changed. He only moved after listening to the opinions of his team members or receiving advice from Black Mamba. The fact that Sergeant Burimer was no longer with him and that Mike, who had been promoted to second in command, wasn’t as skilled contributed to his decision to do so.
“We’re in a serious predicament. The enemy is chasing after us like a pack of dogs, our vehicles are broken, our stamina has reached rock bottom, and we have no source of transportation. Any of you have any ideas?”
Bell Man raised his hand. “Captain, let’s return to Tibesti. Even though Tibesti has difficult terrain, we should be able to handle it. Let’s go into the mountains and wait for the rescue team there.”
Bell Man was considering the barren route to the north.
“What do you think of Bell Man’s suggestion? Ombuti, you would know best.”
“That will be impossible. It’s easy to go into Tibesti but difficult to come back out. If you think that place is similar to Mont Blanc, you’ll be in deep trouble. Compared to Tibesti, Mont Blanc is like heaven. Tibesti is a mountain range located inside the Sahara Desert. It’s a rugged plateau that spans 3,415 miles from Emikushi out to Libya. The temperature range can fluctuate up to 122 degrees at times. Unless you’re a native who has lived there, it will be difficult to cope,” Ombuti objected stubbornly. If they went into the Tibesti mountains, FROLINAT wouldn’t be the worst of their problems. The rough paths and terrifying weather conditions could kill the mercenaries.
“The temperature difference is 122 degrees?! It might be better if we were on Mars or the moon,” exclaimed Jang Shin. Ombuti knew the weather and roads the best as a native there. He agreed with them in silence. The team members had been devastated by the 77-degree Fahrenheit temperature difference they had experienced in Sahel. They all shuddered at the thought.
Black Mamba was surprised, too.
A temperature range of 122 degrees meant that within a day, one would experience the strange phenomena of being in both the hottest day of summer and the coldest night of winter.
‘Do we have to turn on the air conditioner during the day and the heater at night? This isn’t Earth, this is Mars.’
It was surprising to find that humans lived in a place like this. In Korea, even the 50-degree temperature change between winter and fall caused many to catch colds. One hundred and twenty-two degrees wasn’t even imaginable.
“I’m sick of running away. I say we either let ourselves be destroyed or destroy FROLINAT and see it through to the end.”
Everyone nodded at Mike’s words.
“I also don’t want to die while running away. I’d rather die fighting.”
“That’s right. If I’m going to be shot, then I’d rather be shot in the heart. If I get shot in the back, I’ll be too embarrassed to die,” Jang Shin added to Emil’s comment.
“Black Mamba, what do you think?”
“A Korean predator attacks when chased. A passive defense will only lead to sacrifice,” concluded the captain.
“We’ve all come to an agreement. We’re the Deuxieme Rep. Even if I become a sacrifice, we will charge at them head-on.”
Black Mamba raised his hand. “Wait. We will return to Paya. We’ll obliterate the head of the Habib. If we get rid of him, then the northern army will fall into confusion. Using that as a distraction, we’ll rip through the net and head south. We’ll replenish our supplies and vehicles at Trident Rock. Then, we’ll blow up the poor punks with the explosives we stocked up on and return to N’Djamena. At Le Meridien Chari, we’ll take hot showers. We’ll call in women and sleep for three days. We will rest in peace for a month at the hotel.”
“Whoa!” The mercenaries cheered loudly. Just listening to the description felt refreshing.
“Let’s go! Let’s hurry and end this and shatter the heads of those headquarter punks.”
“Let’s throw a grenade into Philip’s room.”
“Let’s stab the necks of those DGSE punks.”
“No. Let’s first have some fun with the ladies of Le Meridien Chari.”
Le Meridien Chari was a hotel in N’Djamena. The luxurious hotel suite was usually meant for foreign visitors, costing 60 dollars a night. It was five times more expensive than the normal cost of living for a family of four in Chad.
“If we’re short on money, I’ll lend it to you,” added the captain.
“Yeah, right!” The mercenaries booed.
“If we were going to borrow money, we would always borrow it from Black Mamba. Black Mamba will gain tens of thousands of francs as a reward from this battle.”
“Right, we could all receive Black Mamba’s reward money and live in Corsica. He’ll at least help set up a cafe for a friend.”
On account of Black Mamba’s speech, the depressing atmosphere changed drastically. Strength returned to the mercenaries as they all started to talk.
The captain raised his hand. “That’s a good idea. They won’t be expecting us to hit Habib anyways.”
The captain had been backed into the corner by his repetitive passive decisions. This time, he had a determined resolve. “Let’s head to Paya. If we chop off its head, it will flail around aimlessly for a while.”
Ombuti agreed the most fervently. He glanced over at Black Mamba, who was smiling widely. Only then did he realize that his assertion to find the Habib hideout wasn’t something he had just blurted out without considering.
‘Thank you, Wakil. I am forever your servant.’ Ombuti’s eyes flashed with worry. It was the only expression that Black Mamba feared.
A giant bomb fell upon the once great atmosphere.
“Our vehicle has disappeared!”