Книга Army of Devils. Содержание - 18

The agent shook his head.

"And did the agency, I mean, the Central Intelligence Agency give you any calls this morning?"

"Are you kidding? The CIA would never call us. We're only law enforcement. They're above all laws."

With a quick salute, Blancanales thanked the agent. Lyons leaned out the side door as the rotors revved to lift off. "Tell your people we're on our way!"


Stepping onto the skid, Lyons shouted directly into the agent's ear. "Tell your follow cars we're on our way!"

Then the asphalt fell away. Standing on the skid, Lyons looked down at the rooftops and lights of downtown San Diego. Blancanales buckled on his safety harness and extended a hand to his partner.

Inside, Lyons jerked the side door closed. He shouted to his partners over the noise of the rotors and fuselage vibration, "Odds are, those Harvard boys are escorting the truck to a plane."

"Use the intercom," Gadgets shouted back.

Lyons pointed forward to the pilots. Gadgets and Blancanales nodded. They leaned close to Lyons.

"This could not be a Langley game," Gadgets told his partners. "The 'crazy dust'. The gangs. The M-16 from Vietnam. That theater for hate movies. Please tell me I'm crazy even to think this is a CIA game. Please."

"Maybe they could be Russians," Blancanales suggested.

"With the Cuban Commies cooperating to break it up?" Gadgets countered. "That doesn't help me at all. I want to believe those freaked-out right-wingers in Washington wouldn't want to start a war between black people and white people."

"Maybe it's a propaganda operation that got out of control," Blancanales said. "To make the Cubans and the Libyans and Russians look like psycho terrorists."

"Forget that talk!" Lyons told them. "There's two hundred kilos of 'crazy dust' in that truck. Towers said just one sniff of the stuff turns those punks into psycho killers. Two hundred kilos would make an army of psycho killers. An army from hell, ripping our country apart. We're stopping the truck before they load the drug on a plane. If we wipe out a CIA operation, that's their problem."

His partners nodded. Resolved, they suited up for the fight. They put on their blood-crusted battle armor and loaded their weapons. For the three men of Able Team, the questions of responsibility for the terror and the weapons and the drug became meaningless. Whether the conspiracy originated in the Kremlin or Tripoli or within a secret clique of extremists within the United States government, their mission remained the same: protect the people of the United States.


Three sets of taillights streaked along the desert road. In the distance, across an expanse of empty desert, a cluster of lights and parallel lines of lights marked the location of the airfield. To the east, the horizon paled with the early false dawn of summer.

Lyons sat at the helicopter's left side door. He had taken the twenty-inch barrel from the bullet-smashed Atchisson and replaced the short barrel of his own Atchisson. With his weapon loaded with a magazine of one-ounce armor-piercing slugs, he waited.

Blancanales sat at the right side door with his M-16/M-203 over-and-under assault rifle-grenade launcher. He had loaded the grenade launcher with a high-explosive 40mm shell. A bandolier of high-explosive and phosphorous grenades crossed his black Kevlar-and-steel battle armor.

Gadgets stayed in the center, where he could pass ammunition and weapons to either side and also man the scrambled radio to the truck carrying the drugs. With the radio's power on, he, too, waited.

"Hit the lights," Lyons said into the intercom.

The pilot switched on the helicopter's xenon spotlight. Sudden noon illuminated the two-lane road. Exactly as the DEA report had described, Able Team saw a white Dodge leading the truck. A pickup truck followed.

"Tell the follow cars to fall back," Lyons said next.

Breaking in on the radio frequency of the cars that trailed the drug convoy, the pilot advised the officers of the interception. Lyons looked back. Far behind, he saw a set of headlights pull to the side of the road.

"Wizard… tell the scum what's happening."

Gadgets flipped up the transmit switch. "You in the truck. Stop. We are prepared to destroy if you continue. Stop or die."

He flicked off the transmit. As he waited for an answer, he called out to his partners, "Is that straight talk? Did I tell them?"

An electronically resynthesized voice answered. "Whoever you are, you are interfering in the operations of the United States government. You are hereby directed to desist from your pursuit and communication, under penalty of law."

"You got identification?" Gadgets asked.

"If we must present identification, we will arrest you."

"How do I know I'm not talking to a wetback with a Harvard accent?"

Lyons and Blancanales laughed at Gadgets's jive. Then slugs hammered the underside of the Huey. The pilot wrenched the controls to the side.

The sudden banking threw Lyons against his safety harness. Hanging against the straps, he saw the lights of Tijuana and San Diego fall away. The turquoise of the eastern horizon appeared as the pilot righted the troopship. Gadgets's voice came on the intercom. "There's the answer. War."

Lyons spoke into the intercom. "Pilot, take us in on their right side. Quick flyby."

"What do you intend to do, sir?"

"Stop them."

"They fired at us. I don't know if I'm authorized to risk any further damage to National Guard equipment..."

"Pilot," Lyons interrupted with a question. "Were you trained for combat?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well, here it is. Take us in."

"You've got the authorization?"

"Most definitely," Blancanales answered. "You got the message from Washington, correct?"

"Stop the talk!" Lyons shouted. "Take us in!"

"But, sir, you want me to attack civilian vehicles?"

"Flyboy, if you don't want to do it, get out..."

Banking again, the Huey swept down on the road. At a hundred ten miles an hour, the chopper gained on the speeding vehicles. Muzzle-flash sparked from the back window of the pickup.

As Lyons sighted on the pickup, the helicopter leaped in altitude, climbing to two hundred feet. Lyons yelled into his intercom, "What is your problem?"

"I'm sorry, sir. But my superiors will prosecute me."

Lyons turned to Gadgets. "Put a pistol to the back of his head." As Gadgets went forward with his Beretta 93-R in his hand, Lyons spoke again to the pilot.

"You are now at pistol point, pilot. Your superiors can't hold you responsible for your actions."

A laugh answered. "Yes, sir. I'm no longer responsible. You should have taken me hostage sooner. Here we go."

The helicopter dropped. It skimmed the desert brush. Lyons sighted on the pickup. A shadow inside pointed a rifle out the side window.

Lyons put a slug through the passenger door The truck veered across the road, then swerved straight. Lyons hit the cab again. The driver stomped on the brakes, the pickup skidding sideways. Lyons pivoted in his seat to fire once more, but the helicopter left the truck far behind.

Autofire flashed from the white Dodge sedan. Slugs slammed the aluminum of the Huey. Lyons saw rifles firing from the passenger window. He sighted on the car and fired one slug, then another. The rifle fire stopped. He spoke into the intercom. "Pilot, other side of the road. Politician, high explosive into the truck's cab."

"Cargo truck or pickup?" asked Blancanales as the helicopter gained altitude.


A streak of fire flashed past the helicopter. The pilot threw the Huey into a violent turn. Leaning against his safety harness, Lyons looked back.

The pickup truck accelerated to close the distance with the cargo truck. In the graying light, he saw a form in the back of the pickup.

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