Messengers of Death: The Counterstrike Files-Part 3


contd. from part-II

“MAY DAY!! MAY DAY!! , WE ARE GOIN’ DOWN” The pilot’s voice was feverish. He was surely cursing himself for signing up for this mission which was doomed from the beginning itself. From low ammo, to killed secret operatives, nothing was going right for us. The helicopter was fast losing altitude. We were going to be dead even before we set foot on land………………………..maybe that was what fate had chosen for all of us….maybe this was our end……

7 November, Dept. of Defence, the Pentagon, Washington, USA

4:00 pm

Tiny beads of sweat cramped themselves beneath the stress marks on Maria Shriver’s forehead as she raced towards the Director’s office. At 35, she was too young to be the Head of The Covert Operations Wing (COW), but perseverance and intelligence beyond her age had propelled her to the post that was earlier dominated only by cigar smoking, fat ass Vietnam veterans. She had been called on board after Ezra Kramer, the erstwhile Head of COW, relinquished his post following allegations of graft and corruption.

Maria glanced just once towards the secretary who was busy doing some paperwork over her desk, and made her way towards the Director’s office.

“Hold it, right there Miss…You can’t go in now” .The Secretary was now looking towards Maria. Before she could say anything else, Maria produced her ID card from her pocket.

“I have to see the Director right now….It’s Urgent”. Maria was getting impatient and angry with each passing moment.

“I am sorry, Miss Shriver. The Director is in an important meeting. I can’t let you through no matter how important it is”.

Maria’s was not in a mood to have any more of the bullshit. She fumed- “Listen here lady, I don’t know if they gave you this job because of that tight ass of yours or because of that sluttish smile; but what I know is that five of our best soldiers are behind enemy lines, fighting for their lives half way round the globe; and if even one of them dies out there just because a nincompoop like you didn’t let me through, I am going to make sure that this is the last time you’ll be seen around here.”

That was enough. The assistant never uttered a word again nor moved . Maria walked towards the office with a sigh. She knew that the poor assistant was just doing her job, what she was told to do. But there were things that were far more important than her right now.

Maria stepped into the Director’s chamber. “Sir, we have a situation in Peru. We’ve lost all contact with one of our covert teams during the course of a mission there. Both the transport and escort helicopters have been destroyed by enemy fire. Some of our best men were aboard, sir.”

The Director, James Conklin, was a wrinkled, portly man in his mid-fifties. A veteran of the twin wars of America with Iran, he had devoted a good part of his life to Counter-Intelligence. From eliminating KGB agents within the agency to assassinating key figures in the Palestinian terrorist group-Hezbollah, he had done it all in his time.

Conklin looked once towards Maria and shifted his gaze to the report that was lying in front of him on the table. It was marked ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ in broad letters.

“We already know that Maria. These two gentlemen were telling me just that a moment ago”

Maria hadn’t seen the two people sitting in front of the Director till then. But once she looked at them, she could recognise them very well. The one with the crooked nose and the big moustache was Philip Liddell, the head of IMI, the internal intelligence wing within the army, which worked independently. The other one, with the pockmarked face , was Stavros Hunt, the Deputy Director of Intelligence for C.I.A.

“So, Maria, why don’t you grab a seat and tell us what the hell was our specialized unit of covert operatives doing in Peru?”….


Next: death lurks in every corner…..