Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 362

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The “Fist of Justice” was named by an enraged Mitterrand. The name was assigned with the intention of bringing down those inhumane and ignorant kidnappers. The cabinet and military didn’t doubt that the “Fist of Justice” would heal their wounded pride. With Chad and Syria back in their hands, the cabinet was full of confidence.

Major Max Burg from the GIGN strike team led the Fist of Justice’s first operation. He sent some from his team to Lake Albert and led the main team to Mambasa, located in the center of the Ituri Rainforest. Major Burg was confident. To save time, he divided the team into two—one to rescue the hostages and another to clean up the hostage base. Little did he know, he would have to pay a high price for his overconfidence.

Before they could even reach Buliisa Kissimo Temple, the team got ambushed in Wanseko. They were ambushed by a herd of hippos lurking in the river. Hippos were known as herbivores, but they’re violent animals that consumed meat too.

All 50 members of the rescue team were ambushed by angry hippos while they were crossing the river in boats. Hippos were territorial and sensitive animals. Creatures that invaded their territory were punished ruthlessly. Their 50-centimeter long teeth tore the rubber boats apart like pieces of paper and ripped apart their bodies into two.

A feast of human flesh took place when a group of crocodiles joined in. Even the members, who managed to escape to land, couldn’t avoid the attack. Hippos could run up to 40 kilometers per hour. A nine-millimeter parabellum couldn’t incapacitate the hippos with 70-millimeter thick skin. The three-ton tanks that took their bullets trampled and tore them apart. Unfortunately, the GIGN and RAPAS terror strike team didn’t get to meet the kidnappers as their blood was scattered across an unknown river.

The main team that entered Mambasa was also unfortunate. The infamous eastern Congo Rainforest didn’t welcome them. The humid heat of 35 degrees Celsius left them exhausted, and the endless attacks from the poisonous insects and vipers caused central fatigue. Their combat power rapidly decreased because they were persistently followed by a group of monkeys in the daytime and mosquitoes and vampire bats constantly hung around them at nighttime.

20 days into the operation, only half of their team of 150 members maintained combat power. Major Max Burg was a concrete jungle expert, so he was nothing but a petit bleu in the devil’s forest. The foreigners, who broke down, sent out an emergency distress signal. They were far from wielding the “Fist of Justice” as they couldn’t even enter the ring.

The French cabinet was shocked over the destruction of their rescue team. The Ministry of Defense dispatched the second round of reinforcements—120 members of the second support team and a medical team. While the medical team set up their camp in Bunia, the strike team bravely broke through the forest on the west bank of Lake Albert.

The surviving 125 members of the first rescue team and 120 members of the second support team met in Djugu, 70 kilometers north of Bunia. Alongside the neighboring villages of Fataki, Gokwa, and Linga, Djugu was a village that survived on catching fish and gathering shells in Lake Albert.

The happiness they felt from the reunion was brief. The French Army was attacked by a group of madmen at dawn. They were an unidentified armed group dressed in strange clothes. There was a b*stard who wore an animal’s skull like a hat, a b*stard with feathers plastered all over his body, a b*stard wearing a white-laced wedding dress, and a b*stard with a woman’s red underwear on his head.

The attackers’ weapons were average. Most held bows and arrows, and the few guns they had were of old models. The French Army managed to get rid of their enemies with their superior guns, but that’s when their nightmare began.

They shot poisonous arrows from within the forest, wooden spears fell from tall trees at high speed due to gravitational acceleration, and they even blew some weird horn, causing elephants to rush at them. Some even threw poisonous snakes.

The French Army’s energy depleted little by little. Unable to withstand the teasing attacks, they chased after the attackers. However, the attackers disappeared without a trace, and all kinds of haphazard booby traps greeted them. The madmen were tenacious. The rescue team retreating to Bunia were endlessly pursued and killed.

By the time the French Army arrived in Bunia, only 78 of the 245 members were alive. Even those who survived were run ragged to the point that half of them couldn’t fight. Major Burg, who led the first rescue team, died from an arrow shot to the back of his neck. The madmen retreated only after they were attacked by mortars and grenade launchers. Colonel Monfran paid a high price for overlooking the local geography and culture.

Uganda around the east of Lake Albert had plenty of Christians and Islamic followers, but there were Vodou followers around the west bank of Congo. In Congo, Vodouism was strongly influenced by Ntaganda and cannibalism was prevalent. Their group was a dangerous one. They believed that eating a white man’s heart and liver would keep them alive even after getting shot and stabbed.

They attacked like madmen because they wanted the hearts and livers of white men. In the end, only the Black and Arab people in the team survived. Realizing that their attackers were Vodou followers who only consumed the organs of white men, the surviving members praised themselves for being Black, and some even became anorexic.

The “Fist of Justice” plan ended in vain with nothing gained. Their soldiers died in the jungle without a chance to swing their fists. They lost 320 members from their strike team without catching the hide or hair of the kidnappers. Meanwhile, the 44 survivors of the team were riddled with severe PTSD symptoms. They gained nothing out of it. No, there was one thing. They learned that the Ituri Rainforest was the devil itself.

The third rescue team consisted of two GIGN teams and a company of Airborne Brigade engineers. Lt. Colonel Garf, an old commander with a lot of experience in jungle combat, was assigned. The venture’s result was included in the report in Germaine’s hands. 75 people died, 12 were severely injured, 18 suffered from minor injuries, and eight were missing.

A total of 468 people were dispatched three times in rescue teams. Of them all, 50 percent and exactly 230 members died by the attacks of poisonous insects and animals, the hostile environment, or diseases. All 167 of them who died in battle were also meaningless. They all died in vain after clashing with an unknown armed group.

There hadn’t been any cases with many losses in modern warfare. That wasn’t the 18th century where bagpipes were blown and people stiffly approached each other, uncertain where flints would land. Still, the Ituri Rainforest’s hostile environment caused so many deaths. Although the level of medical care was sufficient on the battlefield, there wasn’t enough time to treat the wounded in a comfortable environment. The injured ended up dying because they were infected, poisoned, or attacked by predators.

In particular, the loss of three GIGN teams and GCP members who specialized in rescuing hostages was painful. The Ministry of Interior’s Military Police Department had 38 groups of 420 GIGN members and operated five separate strike teams. There were 12 to each team.

They successfully carried out a school bus hostage rescue operation in Djibouti in 1976, a suppression operation at the Mecca mosque in Saudi Arabia in 1979, and an operation to suppress the attackers at Orly Airport in Paris in 1983. Recently, they also managed to defend the De Gaulle airport and Opéra Bastille against terrorism with Black Mamba’s report.

The GIGN strike teams exercised dual command authority. In the case of domestic terrorism, the Ministry of Interior held operational control, but when dispatched abroad, the Ministry of Defense held operational control. In conclusion, the Ministry of Defense already wasted three of the five strike teams.

That was a period when the trust between the French citizens and high-ranking officials of the GIGN, who erased the remnants of the ANO and RAF, was at its peak. Germaine became someone to kill. Commander Allen Majif of the Gendarmerie[1] and Commissioner General Brais Ordo jumped around in anger. It made sense. A neighboring old man had taken their precious children and returned them as corpses, after all.

“Menace cancre Germaine! Hehehe,” Germaine laughed bitterly as he mocked himself.

His eyes felt a stabbing pain at the words printed across the Le Monde, placed in a corner of his table.

[Idiot Germaine makes his third mistake. He shoved France’s pride into the gutter, buried 403 precious French sons, and wasted six months.]

At the bottom was a three-page spread and random analysis written by so-called professionals about the failed operation.

“They’re not wrong. Charlie Hebdo popped my neck right out and shoved it between their asses. Le Monde is a gentleman compared to them. Still, what can I do? I did as much as I could. Do you want me to send Clemenceau? I couldn’t even take a break,” Germaine complained.

There were enemies everywhere. After destroying Ruman, their military and diplomatic achievements were forgotten. It wasn’t only the press that tore him apart. Jack Lang from the Ministry of Culture criticized him, calling him a stupid bleu petit (a foolish idiot) on several media channels. It suggested that he sacrificed the hostages because he couldn’t deal with the kidnappers properly.

Bleu petit was a rude name with several meanings including newbie, lackey, ignorant, and more. Germaine couldn’t refute those insults despite the humiliation. Even at the National Emergency Security Conference, harsh criticisms were hurled at him. There wasn’t a single person who pitied Germaine.

To be frank, Germaine was in a position where he deserved those criticisms. Time was wasted, and the situation worsened because of the old oecophylla smaragdina’s pride. The rescue teams were destroyed, and the hostages’ chances of survival dropped to zero, as he puttered around mentioning France’s pride. Every time his name appeared in the media, the “incompetent” tag accompanied it.

Pride didn’t help resolve the situation in any way. France’s honor fell into a ditch, and the hostage rescue operations went haywire. Germaine’s own position became unclear. That all happened while Mu Ssang closed his ears in Korea.

Germaine rubbed his poor face. Excess oil was smeared. In the past six months, he hadn’t been able to leave the office on time.

While everyone left for a warm resort, he was torn to shreds by the president, ministers, and media. The person who made him even more tired was his old wife. His wife’s complaints about their delayed vacation grew worse by the day. Dealing with his old wife’s complaints was as difficult as pleasing a young lady.

“Should I call Black Mamba?” Germaine mumbled to himself.

He knew it well himself. To avoid the hyenas, he had to call Black Mamba now. The person who’d sign off his vacation report wasn’t Mitterrand but Black Mamba.

With tired eyes, he picked up a summary on the Ituri Rainforest that came with the report.

Germaine, who killed 100s of subordinates but still complained about vacation and not being able to leave work on time, was inevitably an oecophylla smaragdina.

[Forêt de L’Ituri] [2]

Vegetation: A combination of tropical rainforests, equatorial ecological zone swamp forests, mixed forests, Mbau forests, and secondary forests. It’s a lush evergreen forest dominated by limbali, a type of legume tree. Breathing is difficult due to the humidity and high carbon dioxide saturation. The trees are between six meters to 50 meters high, forming a canopy that blocks the sky and the sun. Many parasitic plants block the sunlight, so the greenery is black.

Location: Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, 0°3N latitude, 27°30E longitude, boundaries unclear.

Area: Between 34,000 to 54,000 square kilometers.

Terrain: The northwest is relatively flat. It is more rugged toward the south and southeast with deeper valleys, cliffs, and swamps. Water is supplied by the Ituri River and the Epulu River, a tributary of the Ituri River, and the Epulu River’s vast watershed forms the center of the forest. Inselbergs[3] and clearings called edos are formed along the waterway, including swamp forests.

Rainfall: Between 2,000 millimeters to 4,000 millimeters annually and can reach up to 6,000 millimeters depending on the region.

Soil: Mbau forests and humid semi-evergreen forests dominated by Pleistocene soil. The average thickness of humus soil is one meter, and it is fertile.

Inhabitants: 156 mammal species (okapis, elephants, water buffalos, leopards, wild boars, hippos, etc.), 17 primate species (chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, etc.), 329 bird species (grey ibis, long-tailed hawks, Nahan’s francolins, etc.), 75 reptile species (black mambas, crocodiles, etc.), and dozens of poisonous insect species (leeches, army ants, wasps, centipedes…)

Locals: Bantu tribe, Pygmy tribe (Isolated, unfriendly, belligerent, and self-sufficient.)

Economics: The region’s contribution to Zaire’s national economy is extremely low.

While it was said that the Great Ituri Rainforest was first explored by an American explorer, Stanley, in the late 19th century, he did nothing but pass through and escaped to Lake Albert. Of the 70 expedition members that he led, 47 lost their lives in the Ituri Rainforest.

Ituri Rainforest had the highest level of vegetation density on Earth. The forest was dark even in broad daylight because its large canopy blocked the sunlight. Parasitic plants and shrubs were intertwined on the surface, holding back one’s steps.

The natives feared the Ituri Rainforest and called it the Black Forest. Black Bantu people farmed on the edges of the Ituri Rainforest and did not enter the forest. The main inhabitants of the Ituri Rainforest were the Pygmy tribe. They have lived in the Ituri Rainforest for 1,000s of years.

[1] Military army.

[2] The Great Ituri Rainforest.

[3] Isolated hills standing above well-developed plains and appear not unlike an island rising from the sea.
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