A Navy SEAL and a beautiful aide doctor navigate hostile territory in their attempt to rescue a kidnapped doctor and discover what is killing entire villages in the Horn of Africa.
When his SEAL team’s mission fails in the Horn of Africa, Declan O’Shea is separated from his team. Rescued by a group of women and hidden until he recuperates, Irish’s main goal is to make it back alive to his team.
As a doctor with Doctors without Borders, Claire Boyette puts her life at risk rescuing the American SEAL. When her partner is kidnapped and the village they’re hiding in is ransacked, she’s forced to go on the run, relying on the sexy SEAL to keep her alive.
Navigating through hostile territory, Irish and Claire, seek to reunite with Irish’s SEAL team, search for the kidnapped doctor and discover the source of what’s killing the entire population of villages in the Horn of Africa.
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“It’s fucking Grand Central Station in Samada tonight,” Declan O’Shea muttered into his radio. On point for this mission, he studied the small village in semi-arid, southwestern Somalia. Either Intel had it wrong or the al-Shabaab leader, Emir Fuad Hassan Umar, had called a meeting of all his leaders, or he had beefed up his security in the past twenty-four hours.
“I count fifteen bogeys on the south corner.” Swede had moved into position on the southern end of the village.
“Same on the north,” Fish reported. “Tight perimeter as well. No one sleeping, yet.”
“Over twenty stationed outside our target structure,” Irish said from his location thirty yards from one of the grass huts on the east end of the village. He hugged the shadows, his night vision goggles pushed up on his helmet, unnecessary with the full moon lighting the sky like daytime. Not conducive to a surprise attack on the emir.
Orders were orders. Over two hours ago, the eighteen-man team had fast-roped from the two Black Hawk helicopters several miles from the target. They’d moved in on foot, carrying the explosives and weapons they needed.
SEAL Team 10 had been tasked to decapitate the head of a growing al-Shabaab faction led by a murderous former member of the Somali Islamic Courts Union who’d wiped out entire villages of people. In one village, he and his men had gone through, hut by hut, and killed the men, raped the women and slaughtered the children. When they were through pillaging, they burned the structures to the ground. In other villages, he’d wiped out the entire population and strewn their corpses for the scavenger birds.
A freelance news reporter happened upon the scene shortly after. The pictures he’d sent back to be printed in the US and the UK newspapers had shocked the westerners. But not until the rebels raided a small women’s college in a suburb of Mogadishu, kidnapped all the females and sold them into slavery, did the U.S. administration take action.
Langley did their magic with satellite images, and SEAL Team 10 got the alert to stand ready to deploy.
They hadn’t known their destination until they boarded the C-130 aircraft bound for a joint forces post in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. They landed in Camp Lemonnier at night, were secreted into an operations building where they slept through the day and prepared for the mission to be conducted the following night. After a thorough briefing by intelligence officers, they loaded helicopters from the U.S. Army’s 160th Special Operations Regiment, otherwise known as the Night Stalkers—the aviation unit known for its ability to fly helicopters fast, at low altitudes and under extremely hostile conditions. They had more balls than all the other pilots in the military and were the SEAL team’s life line.
Intel had estimated thirty terrorists, not the fifty Irish counted with Fish’s and Swede’s numbers combined. Those were the figures they could see on the outside of the main building. The emir could have called a meeting of all of his subordinate leaders, and they could be gathered inside the building, plotting their next murderous raid.
The SEAL team was highly outnumbered, and the rebels were well armed, each carrying a semi-automatic rifle with thirty-round banana magazines and spares.
“Count on fifty to seventy rebels. Your call, Gator,” Irish spoke softly into his mic.
The leader of their team Remy “Gator” LaDue’s voice crackled through Irish’s headset. “They have to sleep sometime.”
That was the team’s cue to wait and watch.
Irish got comfortable, tucked into a bush, his face blackened with camouflage paint, alert but conserving energy for the battle to come.
Slowly, the rebels settled in for the night, many of them lying in the dirt, weapons clutched in their hands.
An hour went by before the door to the target structure made of straw, sticks and mud opened, and men poured out. Ten loaded into nearby trucks and left, others collapsed onto the ground and talked for a few minutes before lying down to sleep. The village grew quiet.
Forty-five minutes later, Gator’s voice came through, “Let’s do this.”
Irish crawled out of the bush, flexed his muscles and moved forward, shifting his finger to the trigger of his specially modified M4A1. His muscles bunched, his control tight on every movement. Surprise was as much a weapon as the rifle in his hands.
Ten yards before he reached the first perimeter guard hunkered against the side of a hut constructed of sticks, with a grass, thatched roof, Irish paused. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled. Something wasn’t right. The ground around him was too clean, too clear. He dropped to his haunches and scanned the area. A thin glint of light alerted him to something shiny stretched between two bushes.
“Fuck! The perimeter is wired—” he said into his mic.
As the words left his mouth, a loud explosion ripped through the silence and shook the earth, spitting dirt and rubble into the air.
Irish flattened against the ground, his pulse slamming through his veins. The trip wire hung inches from his nose. The explosion had gone off to the south where Swede, Big Bird, Gator and Sting Ray were. Someone had tripped the wire.
Every rebel in the village leaped to his feet shouting, guns at the ready. The door to the target structure burst open, and more men ran out into the yard.
“Plan Bravo!” Gator called into Irish’s headset.
Irish, Tuck and everyone else opened fire on the rebels in the village, taking out as many as they could to provide cover while Hank and Dustman carried out their part of Plan Bravo. Positioned twenty feet on either side of Irish, the two SEALs, half-hidden in the brush, came to their knees and fired off two high-explosive grenades from the M203A1 grenade launchers attached to their rifles, aiming for the hut at the center of the village. One landed short, the other hit. Both exploded with a bright flash.
Half of the team pulled back, heading for the helicopter pick-up point. Their communications man would have put in a call to the waiting Night Stalkers. The helicopters would be in position when the SEALs reached the appointed landing zone.
They just had to get there.
Irish, Tuck, Swede and Fish would be the last to bug out, providing cover fire for the others.
“Gator was hit,” Big Bird said into Irish’s headset. “I’ve got him.”
“Get out of here,” Tuck said. “We’ve got your six.”
Irish eased away from the village, firing as he went. The chaos of going from sound asleep to fully alert was wearing off the rebels. In full-defense mode, they fired back, strafing the darkness surrounding the village in hope of hitting their attackers.
Hunkering low to the ground, Irish ran, doing his best to hug the shadows of trees and bushes. With the moon shining brightly, the SEALs could see the enemy, but the enemy could see the SEALs as well, especially when they were on the move.
Less than a mile away, the thumping sound of rotors whipping the air gave Irish incentive to pick up the pace. His teammates sounded off as they boarded the helicopters.
After one chopper filled, it left the ground and headed north toward Djibouti.
Irish could see the outline of the other chopper, the blades stirring dust in the air, whipping leaves and grass like an impatient child ready to leave.
“Come on, Irish,” Tuck urged.
The words, barely audible over the pounding of his pulse against his eardrums, gave Irish incentive to pick up the pace. Rifle fire erupted behind him, the thunk of bullets hitting the dirt around him was even more compelling. He gave up zigzagging to avoid catching a bullet and ran full out, leaping aboard the helicopter.
He hadn’t even gotten in when the aircraft left the ground, rising up into the air. Tuck grabbed him by his gear and dragged him all the way in the fuselage. Irish sat up and turned toward the open door. Even though he was inside, he wasn’t safe yet. The door gunners on both sides fired onto the rebels below.
When the chopper was only fifty feet off the ground, a flash of light below made Irish’s blood run cold.
The door gunner barely had time to yell, “Incoming!” when the helicopter gave a violent lurch and spun to the left, tilting precariously, losing altitude at an alarming pace. The pilot attempted to compensate and the craft lurched to the right before it hit the ground.
Irish slid across the floor, scrambling for purchase, his hands finding none. He tumbled out the open door, bounced off the skid and fell twenty feet, landing on his back in a pile of rubble of what had once been a hut. Stunned, with the breath knocked out of his lungs and his vision blurring, Irish watched as the helicopter pitched back to the left, flew another half mile, shuddered and crashed to the ground.
His heart banging against his ribs, Irish tried to rise. Pain shot through the back of his head, and he collapsed. Like a candle’s flame in the wind, the moonlight snuffed out.