Starfish Prime (Blackfox Chronicles Book 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

STARFISH PRIME

By T.S. O’Neil

             

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations for reviews. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet, without the publisher's permission and is a violation of International copyright law and subjects the violator to severe fines and/or imprisonment.

 

Starfish Prime 

Copyright © 2014 by T.S. O’Neil

Cover by T.S. O’Neil Ebook edition: 

ISBN-13:978-1494483999

ISBN-10:1494483998 

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any rese
mblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental. 

             

 

Dedication

This book is dedicated to the Special Operations Service Me
mbers from all branches of service. We can sleep safely in our beds every night because they stand ever vigilant. 

 

Acknowledgement

Thanks as always to my beautiful wife, Suzanne O’Neil, for proofreading and creative feedback. Honey, I couldn’t do it without you. To my very dedicated editors, Erica Ellis and Noel Brockett; thanks for translating my grammatically challenged writings into a readable manuscript. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to my very dear friends, Ken and T
onya Kelley, for generating lots of great feedback, beta reading and giving me the idea for the antagonist in my next book. Finally, I would like to thank the fine folks at the Nations Online Project for allowing me to use their map of Venezuela in this book. Check them out at
http://www.nationsonline.org/

 

Table of Contents

 

The AO: Venezuela

Carabobo Launch Site Map

Chapter One – Triple G

Chapter Two - Commander’s Run

Chapter Three - Bocagrande

Chapter Four - Deployment Hot

Chapter Five - Club Naval

Chapter Six - Bartolomé de Las Casas

Chapter Seven - El Grocero

Chapter Eight - FUOPS

Chapter Nine - Getting Wet

Chapter Ten - Drug Deal

Chapter Eleven - Come to Jesus

Chapter Twelve - Sorry Charlie

Chapter Thirteen - LNO

Chapter Fourteen - Puerto Ayacucho

Chapter Fifteen - Logistics

Chapter Sixteen - Practice Jump

Chapter Seventeen – Operations Brief

Chapter Eighteen - Smoking Lamp

Chapter Nineteen - The Perfect Host

Chapter Twenty - Casa Particular

Chapter Twenty-one - Starfish Prime

Chapter Twenty-two - Going Hot

Chapter Twenty-three - Aftermath

Chapter Twenty–four - Lip Slip

Chapter Twenty-five - Southbound

Chapter Twenty-six - Blue Submarine

Chapter Twenty-seven - Valle Verde

Chapter Twenty-eight - Claustrophobia

Chapter Twenty-nine - Port of Spain

Chapter Thirty - Caño Manamo

Chapter Thirty-one - A Faustian Choice

Chapter Thirty-two - Number Three

Chapter Thirty-three - Victor Seven Two

Chapter Thirty-four - Un-ass the AO

Chapter Thirty-five - Black Hat

Chapter Thirty-six - Lurch

Chapter Thirty-seven - Ayatollah

Chapter Thirty-eight - Hacking the Pump

Chapter Thirty-nine - Calle Pachingon

Chapter Forty - Cry Havoc

Chapter Forty-one - The Ayatollah’s Guests

Chapter Forty-two - Gate Pass

Chapter Forty-three - Doctor Char

Chapter Forty-four - Dodge

Chapter Forty-five - Stal’s End

Chapter Forty-six - CQB

Chapter Forty-seven - End Game

Chapter Forty-eight - Bonaire

Glossary

About the Author

Chapter One – Triple G
 

 

Wendover, Utah

 

Lindy Ray
Boylin wore a dark brown duster: a long coat made of waterproof oilskin that was originally used by sheepherders and cattle men in Australia, but was recently popularized by the nihilistic set, an ever growing class of losers that exhibited an extreme sense of skepticism of established American values.

His corpulent body was hot and uncomfortable, but that didn’t matter right now, as there were more important things in the mix. He wore a black leather skullcap and ear buds that ran to an MP3 player that played violent rap music at skull splitting decibels. A song called “Apathy” reverberated in his head as he purposefully waddled toward his meeting with destiny. The cap made his head sweat, but fuck it, it would all be over in a short while. 

He had finally had enough of the soul sucking cruelty from the same cast of characters. The cocksuckers―the jocks and their groupies―had upped the ante on him. It was no longer limited to just making fun of his clothing, black eye shadow and nail polish, and he gravely vowed that he would take no more. 

It was late afternoon on Wednesday and Lindy shuffled along Wendover Boulevard in the waning light of the late afternoon sun. He had told Ralphie to meet him outside the west entrance of the mall and ordered the younger, smaller teenager to, “Bring it with you.”

Ralphie Nunus looked up to Lindy. Hell, he looked up to almost everyone, as he was only four foot, eleven inches without the heavy black high heeled boots he wore. With them, he gained three inches in height, but as the other teenagers quickly learned, the slightest tip would cause him to lose his balance and fall. If that wasn’t bad enough, seventeen year old Ralphie already sported a rapidly retreating hairline. 

Both of the teens were the result of illegitimate conception. Lindy’s mother, Linda, was a cocktail waitress at the Wendover Casino. 

Lindy was the product of an early morning tryst with a particularly heavy tipper. Linda hadn’t even given a lot of thought to a name for the child; she just took her name, dropped the “A” and added a “Y.” The fact that she had given her son a particularly feminine sounding name totally escaped her at the time. 

Ralphie had an even darker genesis―his mother had been addicted to both heroin and
oxycontin and Ralphie was the product of a late night trick turned to support his mom’s drug habit.  An abortion would have taken valuable drug money away from his mom’s pocket; so she continued to use and turn tricks right up until the moment Ralphie was born―two months premature.

“Shit, some perverts actually pay extra to bang a pregnant whore,” he heard her say once. She had eventually straightened out enough to get hooked up with an ex-con biker who occasio
nally found work as a motorcycle mechanic. 

She didn’t turn tricks anymore (unless you counted the times the mechanic lent her out to his associates), and she mainly co
nfined her drugging to vodka with the occasional line of cocaine thrown in. 

Ralphie took the mechanic’s forty five caliber Colt pistol— fearing Lindy’s wrath should he show up empty handed. The mechanic also had four loaded magazines and Ralphie took them all. 

The scene in the hall of Wendover High still reverberated in Ralphie’s mind. He felt his face warm to a crimson hue as he thought about it. One of the jocks tripped Ralphie; Lindy had tried to come to his aid—only to be stunned with a right cross that Lindy never saw coming. To add insult to injury, the jock, Trey Donaldson, had followed that with a punch to the gut, which caused Lindy to double over and throw up all over Ralphie and the floor.

The hallway echoed first in laughter and then disgust when Lindy hurled. Although neither had actually thrown a punch, Ralphie and Lindy were both summarily suspended. Donaldson slipped away amongst the throng of teenagers fleeing the odor. 

They knew Donaldson would be at the mall. He worked there at a sports shop, selling athletic equipment, called Cleats or some such shit. They had seen him there one day―working the counter like he was a real adult. If they couldn’t get him, Ralphie suspected that Lindy would settle for anyone who got in his way.  He waited by the entrance to the mall facing the four lane boulevard, avoiding eye contact and smoking nervously. 

Ralphie wore the same type of duster jacket, a spiked dog collar around his neck, and a pair of black tinted steampunk su
nglasses. He saw Lindy cross the street in front and laboriously strut across the parking lot toward him. Lindy’s duster seemed heavily weighted down, and Ralphie suspected that he had brought all of his pistols: the forty caliber Glock, the nine millimeter Smith and Wesson model fifty-nine he had purchased under the table, and the AMT Back-up he had taken from his mom’s underwear drawer. She had bought the small pistol a few years ago after one of her customers started stalking her. Luckily, she had him barred from the casino and that seemed to be the end of it. 

Ralphie took one last drag off his cigarette, a Parliament, and flicked it to the curb, drawing a cold stare from a young father escorting his toddler towards the door. The man looked about to say something, but the hulking appearance of Lindy passing by caused an immediate reevaluation of the situation. Instead, he quickly picked up his son, gave the punks a wide berth, and e
ntered the mall.

“You bring it?” 

“Yeah, sure, just like you told me,” said Ralphie, reaching into his pocket to draw it out. 

“Not here.”

Lindy cautioned as he leaned closer to whisper, “We hit the bathroom by Cleats, grab a stall, lock and load, and wait outside the store for the cocksucker to show up. Then, we rock and roll!”

Lindy smiled a leering, toothy grin that struck Ralphie as

particularly evil. He didn’t want to be here, but he was afraid to back out. Lindy strode purposefully toward the door, threw it open and beckoned for Ralphie to follow.

The bigger teen put his arm paternally around Ralphie and said, “It’s OK, Ralphie― the sign says firearms are not a
llowed―it will be like shooting fish in a barrel!” He laughed and ushered the smaller teen through the door. 

Ralphie felt the coolness of the air conditioned interior waft over his face and he shivered. If he ran, he suspected that Lindy would shoot him in the back, so he continued walking as if in a trance, toward what he felt was a fatal inevitability. 

***

Captain Kyle Christiansen was a Marine with the Second Marine Special Operations Battalion, having just returned from a six month deployment in the
Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand Province as part of the Special Operations Task Force–West. This meant he was operating in arguably one of Afghanistan's most war torn regions. It’s hard to pick a loser in a country filled with violent shitholes, but Nahr-e Saraj could be equated with living in the worst gang infested neighborhood in Chicago, in terms of violent shootings. 

After graduating high school, he attended Brigham Young University and received a degree in Information Systems, co
mpleting the requisite course of study in roughly half the time. During the summer, he attended the Missionary Language School and received certifications in Spanish and several indigenous languages including Quechua, the largest surviving indigenous language in the Americas, spoken by between 8 and 12 million speakers. 

Since Kyle proved an apt pupil, he also studied the lesser known language of Yanomami, spoken by a group native to the high jungle plains of Venezuela. Kyle spent the year after gradu
ation living among the Yanomami in a rural community along the Oronoco River in southwestern Venezuela. 

He built PCs in his spare time and supported himself throughout college by selling them to fellow students. Half a dozen high tech companies, including Apple and Dell offered him a job, but he had other ideas. 

Frustrated by the potential to live out the rest of his life as just another IT executive in a multinational tech company, Kyle applied to be an Officer Candidate at the Marine Corps Officer Candidate Course (OCC). He graduated at the top of his class and obtained a Military Occupational Specialty as a Communications Officer―basically the same role he hoped to escape by joining the Corps. After Advanced Training and one boring assignment supervising a staff of IT Specialists at Camp Pendleton, Kyle sat through a recruiting session for MARSOC at the base theater. 

Normally, they would not be interested in computer geeks, but even the knuckle draggers of MARSOC occasionally needed to use computers.
Too bad they had yet to make a “punch to operate” keyboard
, he thought after seeing some of these snake eaters up close. 

Capt. Christiansen had orders assigning him temporarily to the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), a two star billet under the US Special Operations Command. They had kept him in the dark about the mission, but that wasn’t un
usual. 

Everything in the military was on a need to know basis, even though he had a Top Secret/Special Compartmented Information clearance with a mandatory lifestyle and Counter Intelligence Polygraph. The lie detector tests meant he was supposed to live a relatively clean and sober existence as part of the government’s risk management strategy. 

Kyle was also a devout Mormon, which meant he was equally religious and patriotic―with the additional benefit of living a temperate life. In short, his lifestyle made the need for a polygraph wholly superfluous. 

Kyle, however, was not without his guilty pleasures―it would be too much of a reach to call them vices. On occasion, he indulged his weakness for movies and attended the cinema. He liked history and had a particular fascination with American Ind
ians, as they were believed by the Mormons to be a lost tribe of Israel. 

The movie
Pathfinder
was opening nationwide and Kyle thought it might be an interesting film. It involved two of his favorite historical groups: American Indians and Vikings. He figured he would kill the evening with a cheeseburger, milkshake and a movie. 

It was Wednesday afternoon and he had just graduated from the HAHO Course conducted by the Airborne Mobile Training Team (AMTT), a MARSOC Team that supported the line batta
lions by providing on the road parachute training from basic static line, up to and including high altitude jumps. They had pulled him from a choice assignment as the Executive Officer, or XO, with the Marine Special Operations School at Camp Lejeune and rushed him to the High Altitude High Opening (HAHO) course so he could “strap hang” with a bunch of Marines from the 3rd Battalion and learn the ins and outs of high altitude parachuting. 

HAHO jumps are primarily used to clandestinely insert Sp
ecial Operations Forces into hostile territory. Opening the canopy at a high altitude allowed the jumper to navigate over large stretches of terrain of forty miles or more while remaining relatively hidden from casual observation of the night sky. The only problem was the lack of oxygen at high altitude. The jumper would need to use bottled oxygen to compensate. 

The course was only designed to give him a basic unde
rstanding of the skill that he was curtly informed he would need to master for his follow on mission. He was also told there might be some time squeezed in during mission prep to allow for a few practice jumps. Kyle hoped he could sufficiently master the requisite skill so as not to hinder the success of the mission or be a burden to his teammates. 

Kyle was ready for whatever the future and MARSOC held for him and he had just one more night to spend in Utah as a de
dicated aviation asset would transport him directly to MARSOC Headquarters the following morning. 

The cab dropped him off at the west entrance to the

Wendover Galleria, directly across from the Multiplex Cinema.

The movie didn’t start until six forty, so Kyle headed to the mall’s food court for a burger and shake. He bought a Big Mac with extra cheese and a chocolate shake at Mickey Ds and settled down at a brushed aluminum table to wolf it down. The burger disappeared in four bites and he turned his attention to the shake. 

It was then that he looked up through the atrium and spied two teenagers wearing ankle length oilskin coats, milling around nervously and talking in hushed tones. Both had their hands thrust deeply into the pockets of their dusters, which seemed to indicate they were both holding something in their hands. The combination of over four years of rigorous training in Recon and then MARSOC’s Individual training Course and two combat tours told him that something was seriously wrong. He got up and started to head to the escalator directly in front of him and heard the unmistakable sound of a pistol round firing and echoing throughout the hallway. 

Kyle broke into a run at full speed, reaching the escalator and taking the stairs four at a time, ordering others in front of him out of the way with a loud and stern command of, “MOVE!” 

He reached the top of the escalator and immediately sought cover behind the landing. A guardrail of tempered glass holding large rectangles of polished steel surrounded the atrium. The metal rectangles would partially shield him from observation until he reached the corner and then he would be exposed. He would have to hope the shooters were otherwise occupied. 

He high crawled to the corner of the atrium and peeked around the corner. He was shocked by what he saw; at least ten patrons cowered on the tile floor as the two teenagers fired ra
ndomly at those fleeing the scene. 

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