The Death List by Jack Dillon
March 1, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Tuesday’s Sampler features an excerpt from The Death List, a thriller by Jack Dillon.
A deal between a hacker and a terrorist goes badly wrong and Special Intelligence Section Six is brought in to help Special Branch. This opens a can of worms no one was prepared for.
A list of names of covert operatives is stolen and the race to find both it and the thief is on before those names go public. Jack Cross is brought back to help Mike Flynn of SI6 to take point in the operation. A mysterious group lurk in the shadows pulling the strings of the puppets in play.
The action rages from Crete to London and on up to Scotland.
Will SI6 prevail or will those names become a Death List?
“Target in sight,” Jack Cross said into his throat mic as he peered into the scope of his L129A1 Sharpshooter sniper rifle.
He didn’t need a spotter for this shot; he was only one hundred and fifty yards out and could quite easily make it from there.
“Okay Jack, take it easy, this is too quiet for me. There should be others around,” Mike Flynn replied from across the way.
“I like quiet; I’ll take quiet from time to time. I know what you mean though, this is too easy, there should be…”
Before he could finish that sentence all hell broke loose.
Bullets suddenly peppered the rooftop where he was lying from somewhere beneath him, kicking up clouds of dust and shattered pumice.
“Jack, keep your head down!” Mike shouted.
“That thought had occurred to me,” Jack replied as he hunkered down behind the lip of the roof.
Another continuous burst of automatic weapons’ fire raked the lip of the roof where Jack lay. He was pinned down.
“A little help here!” Jack said through the comm. Until there was a lull in the firing, he could neither return fire nor make a dash for it.
“Working on it,” Mike said, his voice sounding laboured in Jack’s ear.
Jack knew that Mike was several yards away from his position overlooking the street, and it would take him several minutes before he was in any position to help. He just had to wait and survive.
A spatter of gunfire down below alerted him to Mike’s presence. The gunfire that had raked the rooftop had stopped. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, Jack held his L1921A1 up to his shoulder ready to fire.
Staring down the scope he saw three gunmen pinned down behind a row of cars across the street. They were taking fire from somewhere down the street; Mike had arrived.
Taking a quick aim he fired three rapid shots. Each 7.62mm round struck the head of each gunman in turn knocking their heads back in a splash of blood and gore.
Jack scanned the rest of the street keeping an eye out for any other hostiles.
Where is everyone? he thought.
The street was deserted; it was like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie. All that was required was a mob of lumbering zombies to complete the scene.
“Let’s get out of here, Jack,” Mike said through the radio.
Before either of them could move, gunfire raked the street in front of where Mike was standing. Jack saw his friend dive to the side to avoid getting hit.
Jack brought his rifle around to where the gunfire originated and fired a couple of rounds. For a second the firing ceased, giving Mike time to get to his feet and sprint for cover.
An open-top jeep came skidding around the corner almost tipping the occupants out of the passenger area. In the back stood a tall man in military fatigues behind a 50cal machine gun mounted on a tripod.
Jack saw the man’s shoulders shudder as he fired the weapon, sending a hail of large calibre bullets down the street towards Mike.
Jack quickly placed the crosshairs of his scope on the centre of the driver’s head and fired. The 7.62mm shell struck the side of the man’s head knocking him sideways splattering the passenger with his blood and brains before slumping forward.
The jeep careened over out of control to crash into the side of one of the buildings.
Jack ran to the back of the roof where a fire escape led to the ground. He met Mike at the rear of the building and they ran to where they had parked their ride.
They drove on in silence, each lost in thoughts of what had gone wrong and what they would report to their boss.
They soon reached the clearing where they had left the chopper. This was supposed to have been a quick in and out op, but it had rapidly gone tits up. Several goons were dead and their target had been a no-show.
As they took off Jack said, “This is it Mike, I’m done.”
“Not again Jack, you say that after every op,” Mike replied looking out the window. He didn’t even bother looking at his friend, he’d heard this too many times before to give it any notice.
“I mean it this time, if I don’t quit then Melissa and me are through. I can’t keep putting her through this; her not knowing if I’ll come back every time I leave home is killing her. This one was too close Mike; things went wrong from the start and could’ve been a whole lot worse.”
“But they weren’t because we’re damn good at what we do.”
“You’re missing the point here, where was the target? We were supposed to make the hit on Escobar, one of the largest drug lords in the business. According to intel from MI6 he should’ve been there. Our intel was wrong and we were very nearly screwed because of it, and no one would’ve known until it was too late because of the nature of what we do.”
“I see your point, but we knew the risks when we signed on. It’s part of the job and in this job shit invariably happens.”
“Well maybe I’m fed up of getting covered in it.”
“If you quit what will you do buddy, eh? You’re not the nine to five type and you know it.”
“I’m going to have to learn then. When we get back I’m handing in my notice.”
Jack saw Mike look at him and he knew what he was thinking, because he was thinking it too. His job wasn’t the type you could just quit. He had to try though, his family deserved better.
He turned and looked out the window trying to picture what the future had in store.