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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Stivers Dick
 

«Royal Flush», Dick Stivers

"If gallantry gives way to anonymous refuge behind supersonic weapons, the days of personalized war are gone forever."

Ontario Lieutenant Governor John Black Aird

CLASSIFIED: TOPSECRET

OPERATIONAL: IMMEDIATE

FROM: US EMBASSY/LONDON

TO: BROGNOLA/STONYMAN OPS STICKER SENDS

RELIABLE SOURCE INDICATES TWO HUNDRED

KILOS HIGH GRADE COCAINE NOW IN TRANSIT X

DESTINATION=NYC

ARRIVAL = IMMINENT

SHIPMENT ABOARD PANAMA FREIGHTER

CANAL QUEEN X SHIPMENT BEING BROUGHT

IN BY JOHN MCELROY X MCELROY SHOULD

GIVE SOLID LEAD TO SHILLELAGH

END

Prologue

Two hundred kilos — roughly ten million dollars at wholesale levels. By the time it got to the streets it would be worth at least three times as much. The Drug Enforcement Agency would love to get that kind of a bust, and Stony Man's Hal Brognola was going to give it to them — with a string attached.

John McElroy was a leader in the Irish National Army of Liberation — NAL — an offshoot of the IRA. The organization specialized in terrorist attacks in England, always in large crowds. Their civilian body count was in the hundreds. In one attack, when the former Secretary for State for Northern Ireland was assassinated in a massive bomb blast in a crowded soccer stadium, a stampede of panicked spectators tried to flee the scene, doubling the number of dead.

In all, the NAL was responsible for killing and crippling more than three hundred people.

McElroy's primary function within the NAL was that of fund raiser. Increasingly, the terror-mongers in Ireland had had to resort to smuggling drugs and guns to fill their war chests.

He was an engaging man, according to intelligence files, and a talented organizer. These talents allowed McElroy to build one of the major drug-distribution rings in Britain, the profits from which went to finance NAL activities. The anticipated foray into the American market represented a major expansion of McElroy's activities.

"Sticker" was a gutsy guy named Leopold Turrin. Leo was Mack Bolan's closest friend and, along with Hal and April and Jack Grimaldi, his most valuable Stony Man ally independent of Able Team and Phoenix Force. At one time, during the initial struggle at Pittsfield, Bolan had sworn he would execute Leo Turrin, Mafia underboss with the "girls franchise" in western Massachusetts, blood nephew to Sergio Frenchi, the boss of the Berkshires. But Bolan had learned just in time that Leo "The Pussy" — Sticker — was an undercover federal agent, a soldier of the same side. Leo became a total convert to Bolan's cause, an invaluable insider. So began a lifetime commitment to advise and assist Mack Bolan and his men along their every brawling mile, a commitment that would be forged the stronger by the kind of betrayal and bereavement that could hit the Stony Man program at any time and expose them all to the highest winds of horror.

Officially, Leo was in London to advise the Criminal Investigation Department of Scotland Yard on a growing organized crime problem experienced in the United Kingdom. The request had come through channels for the best available help on the problem. Sticker was the best available.

To protect the undercover Fed, arrangements had been made to fly him to Britain on a military jet, pass him through customs and immigration with his face wrapped in bandages, and install him in a "gilded cage" — a secure area of the U.S. Embassy.

The unofficial reason for Leo being in London was Shillelagh. For some months now, indications of disturbing problems in the British counterterrorist efforts had filtered through to American intelligence. The agency responsible for the British efforts was COATUK — the Committee on Anti-Terrorism in the United Kingdom. The committee had representatives from CID, the Secretariat of State for Northern Ireland, MI5, and the SAS.

It appeared that the Irish terrorists also had a representative on COATUK — an infiltrator. The indications of the "Irish representative" were scattered. Considered as a whole, they pointed to a major systematic sabotage of counterterrorist efforts.

Because nothing was certain — including who could be trusted within COATUK — the Americans could say nothing to their British counterparts. With the request from CID for Sticker, a man who had served with the Special Forces in Vietnam and who knew what could happen when men faced rampant corruption, an opportunity was handed to Stony Man to check out Shillelagh.

Able Team had just returned, bloodied and exhausted, from Honduras in their continued pursuit of Central American fascists. They needed a change of scene, particularly Carl Lyons who made a statement on the guerilla wars: "I'm sick of killing teenagers." Senior specialist Rosario "Pol" Blancanales, electronics wizard Hermann "Gadgets" Schwarz and ex-LAPD hotshot Carl "Ironman" Lyons represented the final option wherever civilization was threatened, and it was impossibly tough work. A working visit to one of the sources of modern civilization might help to heal some wounds, even as it threatened to create new ones.

The image of modern Britain was cavalry guardsmen lying dismembered in the street, gore smearing their chromed breastplates in the shock-numbed aftermath of a terrorist bomb that settled like a pall on scenery once associated with pomp and circumstance. Innocent people by the score had been murdered in these episodes.

The men of Able Team were ready to do war. Events dictated that they fly into action far from the urban hunting grounds of Los Angeles and the hellgrounds of Central America. The siren had sounded and the specialists had heard that special call — they would be abroad tonight for sure…

But first New York, and the string attached to Hal's gift of two hundred kilos of coke.


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