PRIMAL Nemesis (Book 2 in the Redemption Trilogy, A PRIMAL Action Thriller Book 6) (The PRIMAL Series), страница 1
Book 2 in the Redemption Trilogy
BOOKS BY JACK SILKSTONE
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Text copyright © 2015 Jack Silkstone
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.
Published by Jack Silkstone
FROM THE AUTHOR
Inside this ebook you’ll find hyperlinks for various weapons, equipment, and organizations. They link to the ‘PRIMAL intel database’ a website where I’ve provided more detail and assessment on these items of interest. All that’s needed for access is to ‘Join PRIMAL’ with your email when the pop-up request appears. The email list is used solely to inform fans of upcoming stories.
PRIMAL Nemesis is dedicated to Jess.
Antonio gripped the flagpole with both hands and waved it furiously. The bandana obscuring his face hid a broad grin. In the last few minutes the ranks of the university demonstrators had swelled from hundreds to thousands. There was now a sea of brightly colored flags swaying as the army of students surged toward Altamira Square. Calls for free elections, less corruption, and more security filled the air as they surged forward as one. There was energy around them that gave Antonio hope. Hope that they could force change on a government bloated with corruption and nepotism. Hope that they could make a real difference.
He passed the flag to a supporter and fished his smartphone from a pocket in his jeans. The Twitter message he’d sent from an anonymous account had been retweeted over four thousand times. Word had spread and more and more demonstrators were joining the revolution.
The twenty-year-old student was one of a handful organizing the demonstrations. A leader in the secretive Movimiento Estudiantil, or Student Movement, his job was to use social media to rally thousands of students to key points around the city. They were always one step ahead of the police, the military, and the colectivo gangs. Of the three the colectivo politically motivated militias were by far the most dangerous. Lacking the discipline of the government agencies, they had already badly beaten dozens of young demonstrators. But even they couldn't stop what had been started. The revolution had gained too much momentum. The government would be forced to listen.
“Antonio, Antonio.” One of the other protest organizers, Camilla his girlfriend, tugged his sleeve. The petite brunette held up her phone. “The police are rallying at the square.”
“OK.” He checked his own device. Numerous tweets warning of an imminent police response were filling his news feed. The colectivos were also starting to gather their forces. It was time for the leadership of the Movimiento to disappear. The demonstration would continue without them. He sent a message to the other leaders. They would meet tonight to plan the next round of demonstrations and evaluate their tactics.
He took his girlfriend by the hand and led her out of the crowd and down a side street.
“I feel terrible leaving them,” she said once they were clear of the turmoil.
He pulled the bandana from his face. “We can’t risk being arrested. Who’ll organize the demonstrations if we're captured?”
“True.” She remained quiet as they walked down the street heading back to where they had left their bicycles.
Antonio unchained them. “We’ll meet tonight at your place. The others will be there as well.” He leaned across and kissed her. “We’re doing the right thing, you’ll see. Go home and study. Venezuela needs doctors.” He mounted his bike and rode in the direction of his house.
The noise of the demonstration grew softer as he cycled away, replaced by the wail of sirens as a column of police cars raced past him. He suppressed a grin. By the time the police arrived most of the demonstrators would have already left. Only the hardliners would remain, those looking for a fight.
He pulled his bicycle up in front of his house and checked his messages as he climbed the stairs to the small residence. He had confirmation that all five of the Movimiento leaders would be at tonight's meeting. That was good news because they would have a guest attending, a member of the Voluntad Popular Party. The big players were starting to take notice of their growing influence.
“Boss, you might want to check this out.” Pete, the team's intel specialist was sitting in front of an array of screens in the corner of an old sugar warehouse.
James 'Jimmy' Scott, the leader of ‘Team 1’, hauled himself off a tattered couch and ambled over to the makeshift intel center. It was 2000 hours on a Friday night and his five Ground Effects Services contractors hadn't seen any action for over a week. “You got something useful this time fucktard?” he said as he stuck his Tom Selleck-inspired mustache over Pete's shoulder.
The geek had half a dozen windows open across the three screens. He knew it all went over Jimmy’s head. The former DEVGRU operator was a door-kicker through and through. “I've been monitoring about fifty different accounts across Twitter and Facebook. These kids are smart; they keep closing them down and opening new ones just before each riot. But they haven't been smart enough to switch devices. They're using the same IP and IMSI addresses.”
Jimmy shrugged. “That sounds great, dweeb. What the fuck does it mean?”
“It means I can find them once we get the bird in the air.”
“OK, so let's get it up.” He turned and yelled across the warehouse. “Hank, job’s on!”
An oil-stained operator turned from under the bonnet of one of the team's vehicles. The self-trained mechanic was constantly working on the battered van they used to move discreetly around Caracas. Their black SUVs rarely left the warehouse. Hank was also responsible for maintaining and preparing their helicopter drone for flight.
Pete uploaded the individual device identifiers into the drone as Jimmy and Hank disappeared through the doors at the back of the warehouse. Located on the outskirts of Caracas, the facility served as the team's forward operating base as well as a hangar for the drone. They had made it as comfortable as they could, partitioning off an area to sleep, and arranging three moth-eaten couches around a television. One corner of the dusty floor space had been converted into a makeshift gym with kettle bells, an Olympic bar, rowing machine, and rings hanging from an exposed rafter.
The communications data for the targets had finished uploading by the time the roar of a helicopter engine emanated throughout the high-ceilinged building. A minute later the noise faded into the distance. Jimmy strode into the room and switched on the television. Hank went back to working on the van.
“Do we get anything other than goddamn soccer on this thing?” Jimmy tossed the remote on the equipment case that served as a coffee table.
“I can hook something up after I finish here,” said Pete as
“Focus on the intel shit dick-wad.” Jimmy jumped off the couch and made his way across to the gym.
Pete glanced across as the team leader stripped off his shirt revealing heavily-muscled shoulders with intricate tattoos running down to thick forearms. He dragged an empty crate across to the rings so he could reach them. At five-foot-five, he was the shortest of the six contractors. Something none of them dared to heckle him about.
Jimmy grunted as he grasped the rings and hauled his compact frame toward the ceiling. Pete as focused back on his screens. He was the only non-shooter and as a result was treated as a second-class citizen. He didn't mind though, as he knew that he was getting paid significantly more than Jimmy and any of the operators. GES valued his skills.
Two of his screens now displayed the feed from the million-dollar Schiebel Camcopter 100 that flew above the city in the darkness. He kept the aircraft under a thousand feet and monitored its flight path. A pulsing icon indicated its progress along the route. A small box in the bottom of the screen showed the view from the helicopter's forward-looking infrared camera. Except for a handful of passenger jets in the vicinity of the airport, the night sky over the Venezuelan capital was empty. Since he'd already entered the details of the phones he was targeting, all he needed to do was fly the aircraft in search patterns until the onboard systems located one of them. Depending on how large the search pattern was it could take hours or it could take minutes.
He glanced back at the gym. Jimmy was doing some kind of hardcore circuit that involved pull-ups, burpees, and swinging a kettle bell around his head. Fucking operators, he thought. A tone sounded and one of the screens flashed a warning. A cluster of red dots had appeared on the map. “Boss, I've got a hit! Three of the handsets just pinged in the same location.”
Jimmy dropped from the rings and swaggered over. He leaned forward, dripping sweat on the keyboard. “How far is that?”
Pete grimaced, wiped the sweat with his sleeve, and plotted a route on the map. “Five minutes or so.”
“Hell yeah, let's hit it.” He turned away from the screen, cupped his hand to his mouth, and yelled, “Gear up, boys, we're rolling!”
The Movimiento leaders had agreed to meet in Antonio's girlfriend's ground floor apartment. Located in an affluent suburb, it was nicer than the other options that included a dormitory and his tiny flat. When they arrived he greeted the other four leaders and directed them to the living room where Camilla had laid out drinks and snacks.
One of the students filled a glass with water. “When are we expecting the Voluntad representative?”
Antonio checked the time on his phone. “Any minute now.”
“We should think about making these meetings earlier.” The young man yawned. “I've been studying all day and need some sleep.”
They made small talk, discussing the day's successful demonstration and the pending exam period. All five were students from the Central University of Venezuela, in their early twenties, altruistic, and focused on forcing change on the government.
There was a knock on the door and the room fell silent. Antonio opened it a crack.
“Is this the Movimiento?” a woman's voice asked.
“Yes it is, please come in.” He opened the door.
The visitor was middle-aged, curvaceous, and dressed in a gray pencil skirt, heels, white blouse, and a jacket. Her features were soft and she had full lips that broke into a bright smile as she entered the room.
The rest of the group rose as Antonio introduced the guest. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce Caitlin Bracho from the Voluntad Party.”
After the formalities were complete he invited her to speak.
“First of all, I want to thank Antonio for inviting me here today. Secondly, I want to thank you all for your ongoing work. Without your support, our own cause would be so much more difficult, if not impossible.”
The group exchanged smiles as she continued. “Every time the students of Caracas, your friends, your supporters, head to the streets and protest, we send a clear message to the government. A message of intolerance when it comes to crime, corruption, and inequality.” Her voice rose in intensity. She spoke with a rhythm, like a beating drum calling the tribes to war. “My party needs people like you to continue your work. To be the resistance, to fight the fight, and let Maduro and his cronies know we will not let them continue to rape this country and grow fat while others starve.”
“We will fight,” declared Antonio, his hand clenched in a fist.
“We will fight!” echoed the other members of the group.
The sound of a heavy thud against the front door startled Antonio and he jumped to his feet. Wood splintered as the lock gave way and the door burst open.
His girlfriend screamed as a hulking brute wearing a balaclava burst into the house. He brandished an extendable baton in a raised hand and wore a pistol on his hip. More men charged in behind him.
“Run, it's the colectivo!” he screamed as he tried to slam the living room door. The baton flashed down on his shoulder, smashing his collarbone. He screamed in agony and hunched over on the ground trying to protect his face.
Through a haze of tears he watched as the intruders savagely beat everyone, including the political representative. The searing pain in his shoulder pulsed and he vomited as his girlfriend was dragged from the living room by her hair. She screamed hysterically until a gloved hand clamped over her mouth. Her assailant was short but powerful. She didn’t stand a chance. Antonio staggered to his feet and managed to snag a handful of the thug’s shirt, tearing the fabric. The last thing he saw before someone smashed the back of his head was the intricate tattoo emblazoned on the man's forearm; a dragon clutching a trident.
Charles King lifted a glass of champagne from the waiter's tray and raised it to his lips. He sipped as his wife chatted to someone whose name he should probably have remembered. They were attending a gala hosted by his boss, Jordan Pollard. The former US Army Brigade commander turned investment banker was the majority shareholder in the security company King ran, Ground Effects Services.
He sighed and ran a hand over his shaved head. He hated these events and thought they were a veritable smorgasbord of self-absorbed assholes who only attended because Pollard’s wife Caroline spared no expense on food, alcohol, or entertainment.
The phone in his pocket vibrated and he subtly tried to check it. His wife shot him a frown. He shrugged and answered the call. It was Jimmy, the GES Team Leader in Venezuela. Listening, he walked to a quiet corner of the ballroom. After a few seconds, he replied, “I'll get back to you.” He left his glass on a table and moved across to where Pollard was talking to an elderly couple.
Well into his sixties, his boss still cut a lean figure in his tuxedo. With his wavy gray hair and chiseled jaw, many women still found him attractive. Charming and engaging, he was ever the perfect host. Not many knew how utterly ruthless the man was.
He waited for a break in conversation before speaking. “Sir, do you have a moment?”
Pollard fixed him with cold gray eyes before turning back to the couple. “If you will excuse me.” He tipped his head for King to follow and strode between his guests, through a door, into an empty corridor.
“Having a good time, Charles?”
“Liar. You hate these things as much as I do. But, we do what we must to keep our women-folk happy.” The joviality in his voice dissolved. “Now, is this about the debacle in Mexico? Tell me you've tracked the bastards down.”
“No sir, we're still working on that. We've got a very strong lead on Objective Red Sox.”
“The German, Wilhelm or something?”
“Yes, the intel team is now set up in our facility. We'll find him in no time.” He glanced down the corridor, co
“Do they have a name?”
“Yes, it's Caitlin Bracho.”
Pollard walked away and made a phone call. The conversation lasted thirty seconds before he pocketed the device and turned back. “Have her disposed of.”
“Sir, don’t you think that’s a little extreme? I mean, she’s a politician. They can intimidate her, release her, and create the required effect.”
Pollard fixed him with a stare. “Are you getting cold feet, Charles?”
“No, sir, I just think it’s unnecessary and risky.”
“Don’t get all self-righteous on me. What do you think your boy down in Mexico was doing? Handing out candy?”
“These aren’t dirt farmers, she’s a political leader. There could be blowback.”
“Just make it happen.”
He clenched his jaw. “Yes, sir.”
“Good. Your boys are doing solid work down there.” The corner of his mouth curled back in a snarl. “But they would want to be after your utter failure in Mexico.”
“Pershing will find the men responsible for destroying the mine.”
“He’d better, or he's done.” The man's hard features softened. “Well, I guess we should get back to the gala.”
“I need to call my man back.”
He punched the message into his phone and sent it to Jimmy.
“Did you get a chance to try the lobster rolls?” Pollard asked when he was done.
“I did, they're amazing. Caroline always puts on the best spreads.”
“That she does. I'll talk to you tomorrow, Charles.”
“Yes, sir.” King walked across to where his own wife was finishing her conversation.