“If you listen to me, you’ll stay alive,” Fortress said sternly as he glared at Miguel Camarena’s interpreter. “You’ll always be on my right-hand side. I’ll go fi…you don’t seem to be translating this into Mexican?”
The interpreter shrugged and turned to the elderly man and began speaking. Fortress wanted to listen in via telepathy, but it wasn’t worth it because even though he was psychic, it didn’t translate it into English. He could pick up ideas but that was it. Which is why he preferred Stateside jobs, but they were rare because while the US military were good clients, they were always late in paying their bills. The South American’s, Russians, Japanese and Arabs all had the cash on hand often in giant piles, but the language barrier.
Miguel’s rosy cheeks erupted into a fat smile, showing off his silver teeth which is why he was known as the Vampiro Plata or Silver Vampire. Fortress looked at the interpreter. “I hope you’re not yanking my chain, Pablo.”
“Oh no señor,” he replied. “I have relayed your instructions.”
“I haven’t finished yet!” Fortress snapped, jamming a large ebony finger into Pablo’s sternum. “Mr Camarena will always be on my right-hand side. I go first through doors and into rooms. When I say go, we go. No questions, no complaints. He’ll stay alive if he listens to me.”
“Are you finished?” Pablo asked derisively.
Fortress wanted to use his telekinesis to snap the sarcastic aide’s neck. Or at the very least knock his teeth out with a punch or kick him square in the balls. “I don’t like you.”
Pablo scowled and turned to Miguel and began gibbering. Fortress picked up the words perro negro, which was something he knew. Black Dog. Meaning that Pablo was just a racist Mexican prick and he wasn’t translating the instructions properly which meant that once they got to Guadalajara it wasn’t going to be the walk in the park he expected. Pablo finished his translation and Miguel stood up.
“I hope I was clear,” Fortress said to Pablo. “I’m a pretty black and white kind of guy. Or is that negro, my Mexican is minimal.”
Pablo patted the big man on his shoulder. “All good. And si amigo, negro means black.”
Fortress watched Pablo follow his boss. As he exited the room, Fortress reached out with his telekinesis and yanked Pablo’s foot out from under him causing him to collapse and fall down the stairs.
“All good?” He asked as he followed up behind.
Bagram Airforce Base, Afghanistan
Army surgeon Captain Alan Morgan marched down a corridor holding a stainless steel tray in a hazmat bag, escorted along by two MP’s who were perfectly in sync. The trio stopped at the door of Lieutenant General Frank M Bagenhack and the closest MP rapped on the door. The MP’s then took up guard positions either side of the door.
“Enter!” Came the muffled voice from inside. Morgan entered the office that was in a dire need of a tidy. Sitting at a cluttered desk was the Lieutenant General typing away on a computer.
“Seems all I do these days is answer emails,” Frank commented. “What is it Alan?”
Morgan placed the dish on the table and took off the bag.
“It’s a bullet?” Frank scoffed. “I’ve seen bullets before.”
“That’s a 7.62mm automatic round fired from an AK-47.”
“Standard issue of Al-Qaeda, remnants from the Soviet invasion in the eighties,” Frank resumed typing. “This a history lesson or is there point, Alan?”
“It’s a depleted uranium round,” Captain Morgan stated and then added. “Sir.”
Frank looked at the bullet, the army surgeon, back at the bullet and then rubbed his eye as he tried to process the information. “What?”
“I just removed that round from the forehead of a Sergeant from that raid on Takur Ghar.”
“Al-Qaeda doesn’t have the technology or even the contacts to get their hands on these rounds!” Frank said.
“Or what’s the other scenario? That someone on our side shot him on purpose?” Frank argued.
“I’m just the surgeon, Frank. You need to work this out, I just sew them up and send them back out,” Morgan bagged the bullet back up.
“What was the soldiers name? I’ll get a burial detail to his next of kin.”
Captain Morgan shook his head. “The sergeant is alive. He’s in quarantine due to the uranium but he’s in an induced coma recovering from his injuries.”
“How?” The Lieutenant General was actually stunned by the news.
“Bullet penetrated his helmet and embedded in his skull, right here,” Morgan tapped the centre of his forehead to illustrate. “Sheer dumb luck is my official medical opinion. He’s lucky to be alive. He’ll be out of it for a while and god knows what complications will arise from the uranium that close to his brain, possible loss of faculties and such, but that will be a bridge to cross when we wake him up.”
“This doesn’t leave this room,” Frank said beckoning for the bullet tray. “And I mean it Alan! This conversation stays here.”
“I don’t think you understand, Captain. Are we clear?”
“Sir, yes sir!”