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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Stivers Dick

«Rain of Doom», Dick Stivers


Pulling the tab on a can of orange soda, Gadgets Schwarz watched the glass towers of Miami reflect the red dawn. As the Air Force jet climbed and took a southwest course, he inspected the gray landscape. Patterns of lights marked towns. Lines of lights — blue-white streetlights and amber headlights — defined roads. He saw Route 41 to the north. Then the jet left the suburbs and roads behind for the forest and grasslands of the Everglades.

"Forget the sight-seeing," said Jack Grimaldi, coming from the pilot's cabin. "Tonight you got reservations on a fast boat to the People's Republic of Nicaragua. There'll be lots of friends for you to meet, a beach party, fireworks."

"What are you talking about?" Gadgets asked. A veteran of the Green Berets and the electronics specialist for Able Team, he eyed the stack of folders carried by the man behind Grimaldi.

"It'll be a surprise party for an Iranian. This is George. He'll tell you what goes."

Gray-haired, overweight, in his forties, George looked like the stereotypical officer of the bureaucracy. Decades of worry had lined his face, which was unshaven this morning; his gray suit was years out of style. He passed a folder of maps and photocopies and photos to Gadgets.

Rosario Blancanales, an American of Puerto Rican heritage and another veteran of the Green Berets, shook hands with the bureaucrat. "It's a pleasure to meet you, George. Looks like we woke you up early today."

"I haven't slept for days," George said, handing Blancanales a folder.

"So what's going on?" Gadgets persisted.

"Just a minute. George'll brief you," Grimaldi answered.

Carl Lyons, the blond ex-Los Angeles Police Department detective, was lying on a couch at the back of the plane. He did not move as Grimaldi and George approached.

Grimaldi reached down to shake Lyons, but Lyons's hand closed around the other man's wrist first.

"Let me sleep," said the ex-detective, not opening his eyes.

"Get with it, hotshot. No time to dream. You got studying to do before Nicaragua."

Lyons rose instantly. Releasing Grimaldi's arm, he took the folder George offered. He looked at the first page, an eight-by-ten black-and-white print.

"Who's this guy?" Lyons asked.

"An Iranian. Colonel Ali Dastgerdi of the Syrian army," George answered. He closed the plastic window shades as he returned to the front of the plane, then dimmed the interior lights and hit a switch. A screen automatically rolled down as a projector's fan whirred.

"But if he's Iranian," Blancanales asked, pointing to the grainy black-and-white photo in his folder, "why is he with the Syrians?"

"That's one of the questions we want to ask him," George replied as he pressed a button. "This is Dastgerdi."

Several slides of the Iranian flashed on the screen in succession. In two, he appeared in the uniform of the Syrian army. In others, he wore civilian clothes.

"He was the commander of Aziz Rouhani, an Iranian you already know."

On the screen appeared the bearded, thick-featured face of an Iranian peasant staring at the camera, his face deathly white against the black of his beard.

"Hey, there he is!" Gadgets laughed. "How's he getting along since the Ironman did the double zap on him?"

"Not well. Not well at all."

Gadgets and Lyons laughed.

"What's the joke?" Grimaldi asked. "You jokers fucked up in Mexico. Now you got to go..."

"Fucked up?" Gadgets asked, incredulous. "We left those losers in flames, burning! Nothing left but ashes."

Weeks before, Able Team had pursued a gang of Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Beirut to Mexico City. There, Able joined forces with elite antiterrorist commandos of the Mexican army to confront a Soviet conspiracy promising peace, but plotting death not only to Able Team but, inexplicably, also to the Iranian terrorists. Outmaneuvering and destroying the KGB agents and Mexican gangsters, Able Team raced north to encircle and destroy the Iranians and their trucks of Soviet rockets.

"Yes, you wiped them out," George agreed. "But we think they were only a decoy."

"What?" Blancanales demanded. "I can't believe that! They had rockets. They had planes and trucks. They..."

"And those black-nationalist freaks," Lyons added.

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