ou did good old man.  We'll be gone by the time she returns with help in the morning, but you'll be here with the rest of your crew, but your big bird won't.

The King knew his own men would be here before dawn and they would be taking the big bird.  "Quite a nice gift" he thought to himself.  "We'll lay a trap, take out the incoming team, take their arms . . . "  The King could already feel the honor bestowed upon him by one of the Kings of Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime, Beau had monitored the exchange between the two planes and knew Amy wouldn't be too far away.  Andrea was right above him close enough to hear the wind through his sail and see him physically.  She had a feeling she would be answering a few stiff questions come time for them to debrief.  Well, she would worry about that when the time came.

Suddenly they heard a short burst of rifle fire and saw the muzzle flash.  A light cross wind was blowing them somewhat away from the direction from which the fire was seem.  Hopefully they were downwind far enough that the sound of their sails would not be heard by whoever was doing the shooting.

Beau had it figured right about the single three burst shot being an execution.  He was hoping it wasn't Harry.  Obviously there had been some kind of fight to cause the Transport to be busted up on the ground.  Although listening closely he could hear no sounds of human origin and figured their group had been overwhelmed by just a small force . . . or, possibly the prisoners.

He was also right about one of the remaining Islam militants being Firoz Ahmed, the PIG King.  Beau knew the reputation and knew the outcome of the whole group unless he was executed forthwith.  This "King" was not a king at all, but a murderous islamic thug who relished the thought of dying so he could be in Paradise with his beloved prophet.

Beau quietly landed on his feet with Andrea coming in so close her sail covered him before he could get loose of his own.  Within thirty seconds another soft landing and then a "oof" as someone mis-stepped and went down.  The sound of an AR ripped the sky as the bullets from its muzzle kicked up dust all around them  One of the shots had the sickening sound of a stick hitting a rotten watermelon as the soul of one of their own comrades was released from his mortal body.

Beau and Andrea were flat on the ground moving nothing but their eyes.  The voice of a man heavy with the Spanish brogue ordered two others to "fan out and kill them where they lay."

Beau had a little .22 Ruger with a muzzle guard which acted almost as a silencer, its intention was mostly to stop the muzzle flash.  He located the man who ordered the others not ten feet away from him against the backdrop of the light colored mountain.  The man was looking all around and turned his side toward Beau and Andrea.  The Ruger spoke and the man crumpled to the ground.

Not fifty feet away a voice called out "Ricardo, where you at man?  What was that sound?   Felipe stayed to guard the plane."

"You fool, shut your mouth" another said hushedly.  Too late.  An AR searched for and located the responder, and another located and took out Ricardo.  That made a total three of the moslem defenders who'd already died.

So, there were definitely four or more men.  From where had they come?  Were they on a mission and came back on the LMA squad?  Beau knew three were down and out of the fight, and there was another with the plane and the other who'd just responded.  All were still.  The first to move would die.  That left at least two.

Suddenly the sound of gunfire again, the flash from three rifles spoke in answer to the offender.  The offender died and so did another one of the LMA's.  Another rifle spoke less than twenty seconds later and another one of their guards grunted and sat down hard, then expelling his last breath, fell over on his side.

The count of the men holding the C130 had now been cut down by five.  But there were others yet.  Beau was working desperately to get a count figured out.

Ten minutes passed - nothing.  A half-hour, then an hour, then two.  Four hours later the sky in the east was beginning to lighten.  Beau touched Andreas shoulder and motioned to the bushes to her left.  Instantly she began easing toward cover.  Just a few seconds after she was secure from view, a boot appeared just a few feet to the north of Beau.

"You have done well Senor" said the Mexican in his maladjusted English.  You have managed to come into our camp with four men and down five of us to your two.  But you shall be dealt with before breakfast.  You have my word on that.  Stand up!"

Thankful for the chance to look around, he spotted his two men beside four of theirs.  Another voice came from behind his captor and said "bring him over here with the other one.  You stand guard on these two while I go get the boss."

The rifle spoke from the bushes as the speaker named Ricardo turned his back.  He fell only a couple of seconds before Felipe had his head blown off.  Andreas aim was dead on and Beau hit the ground again.  His earpiece keyed telling him that the other five were safe, one wounded slightly, two down.

Beau keyed his mike and said negative captain.  Two wounded here, four down and two dead.  He was hoping the disinformation would throw the ones obviously inside the plane off their count.  The first voice came back with "copy that."

Getting his bearings he saw the plane about three hundred feet away and to the north.  No obvious signs of damage to the exterior of the plane, but there was no doubt there had been a ruckus on the inside.  It might not even fly without extensive repairs.  One thing for sure, Beau was not leaving here without that plane!

Beau was close enough to Andrea to whisper lightly.  "You are hidden very well and it's very doubtful you will be discovered.  We're going to see if we can reconnoiter the plane.  You keep our backs."  He looked at Andrea and she signed thumbs up.

The brush was fairly thick on the sides of the runway which had been cleared for a makeshift runway. On the other side of the runway the ground was torn up by the equipment used to bury the dead.  But Harry wouldn't be buried here.  Like all the others of the LMA, Harry would be going home.

Regrouping and in a line of about five yards apart, the men started inching toward the big plane.  Within twenty yards of the plane they found the remains of Harry Sprinter.  His right leg had dried blood on it probably close to a day old.  The blood spots on his torso were still fresh, barely coagulated.  He had sure proved up game on the radio, never mentioning anything of his leg wounds while still giving several clues.

What a distinct honor and privilege it was to serve with the likes of Harry Sprinter.  He gave a salute to the old man and moved on.  They were observing the huge bird from the back left quadrant.  A couple of men had gained almost the wing when they stopped and motioned to Beau.  Hand sign told Beau four captives one guard.

Beau gave the signal to take the guard out and within two seconds the AR spoke and the guard was thrown sideways spewing blood as he fell and rolled over.  Within ten seconds he stopped gasping.  Andreas' aim was deadly.

Suddenly a yell went up then cheers from the four below the wing who were shackled closely together.  They had detonation cord threaded around their necks and it wouldn't take much to set it off.  Beau was leery of the situation.  Was there another guard sitting out there somewhere somewhere like Andrea was right now?  If so, they probably had a bead on Andrea as well.

They didn't move for a few minutes as they surveyed the situation.

Within five minutes one of Beaus men had made his way to the planes' rear door, then motioned he could see nothing.  He was heading inside.  A second man got up and they sprinted across the way, up the ramp of the back door.  Cautiously the plane was cleared and the ok sign was given.

One of the prisoners was speaking "he was the last one.  He has the detonator to this det cord in his top pocket."  Bear reached up and removed the detonator, flipped open the switch cover and the prisoners started yelling.  All but one.  "Why isn't he yelling" Beau asked, motioning to the man with the long hair.

"He's a deaf mute" the answer came back.  Beau looked into the eyes of the man and saw death there.  He'd never seen gray eyes before - but he'd heard of a man who had grey eyes.  A murderous tyrant of a man who went by the name of King.

One of the 72 virgins of moslem paradise
One of the moslem 72 virgins of Paradise
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter V