Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 111

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“Mike, they know that we’re the attackers by now, right?”
“If they’re not chickenheads. They would have realized by the bullets.”
Bell Man had a different opinion.
“No way! There would be even more chaos. They wouldn’t have been expecting a surprise attack.”
“True, but they should have noticed Black Mamba by now.”
“Or run around with tears in their eyes now that Habib has been kidnapped.”
Ombuti stepped up.
“No. FROLINAT’s councilmen are not comrades in arms but co-operate out of necessity. The armies would fight amongst themselves. Now that Habib is out of the way, whoever takes the 3rd army is the victor. FROLINAT will be blinded by the meat in front of their eyes, and soon collapse.”
Ombuti was certain of his opinion. He had fought against the FROLINAT for two years and spent three years as an informant. He was the most well-educated person within the FROLINAT and FAP structure. In his mind, he could picture what was in store for FROLINAT.
“The hammer and anvil tactic will fail if there’s an internal conflict. I still can’t guess whether that guy Black Mamba is a tiger or a fox. By the way, it’s going to be hard to get to Tanga.”
The captain looked at the camels which were herded in the shade of a rock. They had to reach Tanga and retrieve their supplies no matter what. Even he was getting a headache thinking about the prospect of riding a camel, despite having ridden a horse before.
He had been able to avoid the b*stards by pretending to be a Bedouin, something he hadn’t imagined he would be in his life. But there was no guarantee that his luck would continue. If they clashed with the FROLINAT without any bullets, the results would be too fearful to imagine.
“Ombuti, how about going to Trident Rock?”
“We need to ride 220 kilometers past Chicha and then onto Boruku.”
“Hell! Travel another 220 kilometers on those stubborn beasts’ backs? It’ll drive me crazy!” Mike shouted.
Even Jang Shin and Emil gave a deep frown.
“We don’t have to use the road, so the distance would decrease a little bit.”
These words didn’t reassure the three mercenaries who were sick from riding the camels.
Trident Rock, in which they’d hidden their supplies, was 10 kilometers north-east of Tanga oasis. 220 kilometers wasn’t that far, but the transportation sucked. The three who were camel-sick sighed repeatedly.
“Mike, did you check the supplies?”
“We have 1000 standard bullets for three Degtyarevs, 700 bullets for two Minimis, 15 rifle grenades, 40 hand grenades, 2 claymores, 10 sets of mines, but we’re out of 5.56-millimeter bullets. We’ve abandoned the pamus except two for the rifle grenades. We’ve enough AK47 bullets. There’s six stolen RPG launchers, 30 portable warheads, and three hit shells.”
“What a state. And the Dragunov?”
“We have five of those, but there are only two cases of bullets.”
Two boxes of 7.62-millimeter bullets meant 400 rounds. If the Dragunovs became unusable, there would be a huge hole in their capability. A sniper team equipped with guns and no bullets. It would be a truly sad state of affairs.
“That’s devastating, give all the 7.62-millimeter bullets to Black Mamba. Jang Shin and Mike, you grab the RPG’s. As for the warheads, put together a P7. Emil will carry on using his warhead. Bell Man, take the Degtyarev just in case. Take good care of the rifle grenades. It sucks, but we need to use them if things become desperate. Everyone check your pistols.”
“It’s a pity the Degtyarev bullets and AK bullets are not interchangeable. We have got a mountain of 39’s.”
Mike looked at the pile of AK 39 bullets with frustration.
They were the same 7.62-millimeter bullets, but the Dragunov and AK bullets weren’t compatible. The Dragunov used 7.62 mm 54R bullets, while the AK used 7.62 -millimeter 39 bullets. There was a difference in the length of their casings, one a sniper’s bullet and the other an assault bullet.
“This is bad. Even Black Mamba would have a maximum range of 300 meters with an AK. How many did you get?”
“Only ten, since there wasn’t a vehicle. I’ve 30,000 bullets left.”
The captain glanced at the luggage on the camels.
“It’s not a horse, so I’m worried about the weight distributions. Take 10,000. There’s too much stuff.”
“Understood. If we don’t have enough I’ll borrow from the others.” Mike said without arguing.
5.56 millimeter Nato bullets were 12 grams, but a 7.62-millimeter bullet weighed 22 grams. With 30,000 of those, the bullets alone would weigh 600 kilograms. The box and casing weights were on top of that. It was a huge burden to carry across a long distance on a camel’s back. The US changed from 7.62-millimeter to 5.56-millimeter during the Vietnam war for exactly this reason.
“Jang Shin, what about the food?”
“We’ve just eaten the last of our C-ration. There are ten kilograms of camel palm dates and ten liters of Arrack. There are 30 liters of drinking water.”
“It’s good to hear there’s some Arrack left. Ombuti, how long can we survive on camel date palms alone?”
“They are perfect as rations. 200 grams a day would easily be enough nutrients.”
Camel date palm was the main food of the Bedouin and Tubu tribes. It was an exemplary food full of vitamins, carbs, protein, and sugar. It was often used as an accompanying dish to high-quality wines in Europe.
“That’s your opinion.” The captain said as he turned to look at Jang Shin.
Jang Shin immediately started calculating. There were eight people including Habib, which meant they could sustain themselves for five days on one 10 kilogram bag of camel date palms. Five days was more than enough for them to get to Tanga.
“There’s also the beetles and scorpions that Jang Shin has gathered.”
The captain smiled. It was a relief that Mike had finally bonded with the team.
“Ha! Jang Shin’s dishes are extremely edible. Still, that fly fry mixed with mosquitoes’ heads and spider soup was going too far!”
“I’m expecting medinensis spaghetti from him at this point.”
Bell Man raised both of his arms to mimic the length of the medinensis worm.
“Ugh!” The captain mock vomited.
The medinensis was a blood-sucking parasite that was found commonly in Africa and India. Although it looked like a horsehair worm, it reached up to two meters in length. It emerged from a human’s skin once it was time to lay its eggs.
The captain had once seen a medinensis break out of a local girl’s thigh when he was stationed in Guinea. He had been repulsed by the sight of it. Even the captain found it hard to shake off the fear of this worm, in spite of experiencing some terrible things as a veteran.
“Be careful everyone. I’m more scared of that guy’s cooking than I am of Black Mamba. You don’t know when you’d go mad or be poisoned.”
The mercenaries laughed at Bell Man’s whining. They were revolutionary mercenaries and enjoyed the little leisure they had to it’s full.
“Captain, we need to partner up again.”
The captain nodded at Mike’s words.
Half of their team had already been sacrificed. The only one with a living partner was Black Mamba.
“Aside from Black Mamba and Emil, Mike and Jang Shin, Bell Man and I will be together.”
“It’s easy to partner up, d*mn it.”
The atmosphere turned moody. The sacrifice of their comrades, which they had cast from their minds, suddenly returned to haunt them.
‘What? Did I say something wrong again!’
Mike glanced at Black Mamba for approval.
“Captain, which route are we going to take?” Ombuti asked in order to change the subject, having noticed the change of mood.
“Guide us by the fastest route. All I can think of is beating those who’ve betrayed us, and those who’ve stabbed us in the back, to death.”
“Hehe, you can leave those b*stards to Black Mamba. I, on the other hand, am missing the smell of the ladies’ skin at Le Meridian. I want to roll around for three days and two nights with three of them. Of course, I’ll get my partner to pay.”
Emil was truly about to go mad. Battle made the male hormones go haywire. For someone like him, who couldn’t easily control his hormones, it was necessary to adopt a different type of torture.
“To the call girls of Le Meridian!”
“To Emil’s p*nis!”
Everyone joined in with Black Mamba’s toast.
“Water is going to be a problem. Ombuti, how are the camels?”
“They’ll be fine without water for three days. There will be forests and water once we enter Bodele. I’ll take care of the camels.”
“That’s a relief. Let’s go.”
Kikali’s unit was of medium-size with two BTR152’s, five Soviet trucks, 30 bikes, and 80 camels. The entire force had 220 members, while 20 of which were constantly out on scouting duty. Kikali, who had learned from Ahmud’s and Musta’s deaths, had now focused his forces on reconnaissance.
10 members of Pieff’s rescue team had become prisoners. The only able-bodied of them were Pieff, First Lieutenant Valboir, Sergeant Centienne, staff sergeants Bronin and Maxim, five in total. The other five were injured.
Lieutenant Colonel Kikali’s method of treating prisoners was somewhat benevolent.
He simply isolated the commanders Pieff and Valboir and provided the others with an emergency tent.
Thanks to this, the medic, Sergeant Bronin, was able to take care of the injured. Pieff and Valboir weren’t treated badly other than the leather binds on their hands. For Pieff, who had always seen the FROLINAT as a violent organization, it was an unexpected situation.
The Kikali unit moved out from the rock region, in the direction of Paya.
A camel was faster than a vehicle. The camels, which moved in two lines, were like in a scene from a movie. If they had seen the three members of the Ratel team dragged around by their camels, they would have cried in frustration.
By the time the sun rose to the middle of the sky the soldiers at the front were waving their red flag to indicate they had found water.
The camel riders spread out in a semi-circle. A camp was set up directly with the Wadi as the background and a kettle prepared.
Pieff and Valboir were offered a pan of something that wasn’t bread or rice cake, and a wooden cup of a sweet liquid that accompanied it.
“Valboir, what is this?”
“Its an ugali made of cassava powder. You need to tear it apart with your hands and dip it in the palm paste.”
Valboir ripped apart the ugali and dipped it in the sauce. Pieff had worked in Algeria for a brief period of time but wasn’t used to Africa. He was recalled after failing his mission.
“There’s no taste. But I should eat since I’m hungry.”
The two men, who were famished, ate the ugali. It looked like a pancake made in a hurry. The worst kind of death amongst deaths was starvation. That was because starvation was a form of inescapable pain. Even Pieff, who had table etiquette, forgot about his fork and hurriedly used his hands.
“Are they mad?”
Pieff frowned as he sucked his fingers.
It wasn’t because of the bad food. Guerrillas were swarming up to him like ants. He thought they were simply curious, but he soon realized it wasn’t that.
“Kanma, Kanma!”
“Ra-astati-u an Usattica!”
“Alluh, harikun!”
The guerrillas shouted as they fired into the air. One group was turning around and around, slapping their rears. It looked like a re-inaction of a crowd of fans greeting a famous actor.
Pieff was confused.
He was only a professional soldier. He wasn’t Jean Gavin or Alain Delon. He couldn’t understand what the crazed guerrillas were doing. Although the locals of Chad probably wouldn’t recognize a French actor in any case.
“Valboir, what are they saying?”
“They’re saying they’ve caught a devil.”
Valboir had been stationed in Djibouti for five years. He could make basic conversation.
“A devil?”
“Yes. Kanma, or Reuhur, is the devil that southern Africans fear. It also means a human possessed by a devil.”
“Are they treating us like devils because we’re a different race? Damn those b*stards. Those barbarians haven’t even heard of the Geneva Convention.”
Valboir stopped Pieff who was huffing and puffing.
“Commander, they may look like beggars but they are full of pride. You’ll be attacked if you call them b*stards. They’re asking for the judgment of Allah.”
“Allah’s judgment?”
“For burning someone alive.”
Pieff’s mouth closed like a clam. He didn’t look at the guerrillas and instead chewed away at his ugali. The idea of being burned alive made his heart shrivel.
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