his had been the only shooting mission on which Sharon had accompanied him.  On prior missions he simply forbade it, but this time he argued against her unchangeable will.  There was no way she would be left behind wondering about him and his safety.  She had done that already many times, and she wanted no more of it.

But she hadn't realized the danger she had placed on William as he took much smaller and fewer chances fearing for her safety.  But she had persevered and, she had proven herself on various other occasions with other groups.  There was no doubt she had nerves of steel.  As she slipped into the drivers side of the jimmy, the massive explosion from the direction of the embassy informed them the time to go was now.

With that, he reached for the timer of the bomb in their own vehicle and set it at two minutes.  They had to be through the gauntlet and out of the truck with some distance before it went off to prevent them being blown to bits.  If his plan worked, they'd take out a whole bunch of moslem militant dogs.

Within seconds several cars had appeared on the empty street hell-bent for leather heading in the direction from which they had just come.  "Good" thought William.  "Just that many fewer guns at the gauntlet.

William nodded to Sharon and she pulled out onto the street heading out.  They were a hundred feet into the block where the roadblock was placed when William's first shot took out the man behind the sights of the rifle off which the sun reflected.  He yelled at Sharon to "stomp it!" and flipped the bomb timer switch to "on."

They hit the remaining part of the gauntlet running wide open.  Hopefully some of the men hiding on both sides of the street would be taken out in the crossfire of their own men as they fired wildly at the pickup hurtling through their block.

About the only advantage William and Sharon had was the element of surprise.  It caught the most of them lounging around, unready for battle.  Too, the guards were watching the road in the other direction.

Another thing that was in their best interest was the men at the road block itself were on their side of the road block, thinking to take cover from the enemy supposedly coming from the other direction.  Now remember, it had been less than three seconds since the first shot, and they'd been casually talking amongst themselves when William and Sharon approached it screaming sixty mph in second gear.

Their rifles were slung from the shoulders down their backs.  William sprayed the men in front of the road block downing several of them before they hit it.  The stack of pallets scattered as if blown away like a bomb as they blasted through it.

Still running full out, tach redlined, engine screaming though William had dumped in an extra four cans of extra heavy oil called STP that looked like honey.  The lttle pickup was taking a thrashing and quite quickly bullet ridden, her breathing ragged and smoking out tailpipe, she would soon succumb as a result of so many hits.

The gas tank had been hit and was streaming gasoline, parts of the exhaust system had been destroyed - the sound deafening.  The radiator was spewing out its last bits of moisture as the engine superheated.  The engine froze just as they hit the first curve in the road heading straight toward the huge plane.  Within a hundred feet of the plane the road turned once again to the right toward the mountain.

There was no doubt in Sharons' mind that there would be some vehicles chasing them.  She was sure praying the men on the plane were watching their back.

c130-w-jatos

The plane carrying the bobtail and the pickup in which they were riding had arrived during the darkest part of the morning.  Ginger had put the big bird down with room to spare in the hard pan field.  They would use Jatos (jet fired rockets) with which to gain altitude and get off the ground in the short runway area.

To throw the searchers off the trail of the huge monolith of a plane when it landed earlier, it had carried a little six foot rocket packed with explosives and napalm which would be fired just prior to touch down.  That rocket would travel another mile and explode into a firey then crash thus leading away the men who would surely come looking for the plane.  And it had worked perfectly.

Immediately upon landing a camo mesh was placed on the big bird, a guard perimeter had been set up.  Some had also taken up positions near the road up which Sharon and William would coming fast.  They had followed the scene in their minds as they heard the embassy bomb go off, heard the fire of the men set up at the gauntlet.  So they knew William and Sharon would have pickups full of diaper headed pigs screaming after them.

Within minutes of hearing the bomb they had all the camo net yanked from the plane and Ginger was cranking the huge turbo-prop engines.

They heard the pickup screaming toward them, heard the screaming of the mains before the engine froze up locking the rear wheels throwing it into a slide to the left.  Sharon controlled it as much as she could by whipping the front wheels to the left in the direction in which they were sliding.  It kept the pickup from sliding into a spin but it was still sliding sideways.  The front and rear wheels hit the embankment on Sharons' side at the same time, the right side coming off the ground for a second, then slamming down hard.

Within a few seconds the protectors of the huge bird heard what they thought was the secondary bomb located in the pickup, but with the amount of black smoke rolling soon realized it was a fuel fire.  Had they gotten out of the pickup?  Were they alive?

Several of the men who'd been guarding the plane tore through the brush toward the origin of the smoke to assist those who'd positioned themselves close to the road.  Doc Wilson had come along on this mission and he had instructed the men to take along a couple of litters upon which to carry Sharon and William, alive or dead.

He and LaDasha had already prepped the makeshift hospital on the plane before the huge bomb went off.  Through the vibrations of the huge engines, smoke, and the thunder of the big 50 with which Beau was keeping the ragheads down they waited for their sure to be patients.

A couple men in turbans appeared on the scene from nowhere - rushing up the side of the road opposite the burning pickup.  Just as suddenly they were knocked back as Beau dropped them.  They'd located the persons lying outside of the pickup on the opposite side of the road and one was pointing a rifle toward them, while the other was on a walkie talkie.  Neither of those two goat lovers would live to see their prizes stolen away.

Sharon had dragged Williams bulk away from the pickup over a berm and into a little tail ditch.  Upon the explosion of the fuel tank she was knocked uncounscious and blown down right beside William.

But the first two ragheads who'd pulled up while Sharon was pulling William out of the truck through the driver door were now laying on the ground immediately beside the truck.  Their bodies were torn apart by the huge projectiles of the big 50.  They were very dead.  And they would be mistaken for William and Sharon after the fire that was already blazing hot in the pickup.

The prize for the two bodies out of the pickup and those of the 130 would be great as well.  But the crew from the 130 had other plans.  Plus they knew there was a bomb in the pickup and thereby had to act fast because that time was already winding down to mere seconds.  Sharon had broadsided the bank within a hundred feet of the big bird which was to take them out of there to safety.

At a glance of the road toward town Beau could see three pickups packed with diaper-heads sliding to a stop close to William and Sharons' pickup.  It was easy to see Sharon and William were out of the fight.   Beau kept the the diaperheads hunkered down behind cover with the huge hot lead.  They'd momentarily forgotten about the two unconscious people about be stolen from under their noses.

Beaus' men quickly located and placed Sharon and William onto stretchers and were running with everything they had toward the plane.  Doc Wilson was running beside Williams litter with his hand over the wound on his chest.  Blood was frothing from his mouth which was an indication a lung had been punctured.

Within the time the men were rushing toward the plane Ginger had the engines wrapped up tight, props feathered and ready to engage as the men ran up the gang plank.  The C130 was rolling before they planted the litters and locked them.  Beau was still spraying all the vehicles from that big .50 and now two more were burning.

Beau relinqueshed the big .50 to one of the guys just in before the ramps were raised and headed toward the front of the plane.  He jumped into his seat and strapped in just time to fire the rocket assist take off system which quickly hurled the big bird into the air away from the embassy homeward bound to Texas.

Two more men had been wounded in that daring rescue.  Doc had already guessed one of the men would not make it.  But he and his assistants worked on him to the end.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Chapter III