Guest  

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.

Pages: [1]
Topic: herman hughes (new book)
robinkiser/hermanhughes
Member
Posts: 1

Reputation: 0
herman hughes (new book)
on: March 27, 2013, 06:35

thank you for your quick answer eric, much appreciated. here is the first half of the book by my dad


LONG MERCHANT'S OF DEATH


HERMAN L. HUGHES


LONG MERCHANT'S OF DEATH

HAVE NO FEAR THEY SIT BEHIND DESKS

IN COMFORTABLE CHAIRS

THEIR CLOSE GUARDED LIVES

ARE NEVER SEEN

IT IS ALWAYS MORE MONEY

DIRTY OR CLEAN


The master sergeant sitting in the general's outer office is a tall man. Well over six feet,

broad shoulders and not announce of unnecessary fat. Even in repose he seems to be at attention. His hair is black set off by very blue eyes. His face seems to be built for smiling, but he seldom uses it. His uniform's military creases are knife sharp. On his chest are many ribbons and medals. All the awards do not seem to fit his face. His facial features are that of a young man. The receptionist keeps looking over at him, curious why would anyone leave a soldier like him waiting. Finally from the General's office a voice came over the intercom.

"Would you please send in Sergeant Denny?" The receptionist said to Denny, "You may go in now Sergeant, the General is waiting."As she held open the door, she thought why would this Sergeant wait for anyone. Waiting just didn't seem to be any part of him.

"Sit down Sergeant. Let's get right down to it. I am not airing my dirty laundry, but we should clean the air first. My son does not reflect me. He is a product of his mother. I take no blame. He should never of been in military service in the first place. I don't hold you accountable for anything that happened, except getting him out. And for that his mother thanks you. He is out of the hospital, at home and doing fairly well. I see you got your old rank back and this time I made sure it is permanent. Now, let's get down to why you are here. What I have to say must be kept in complete confidence. In any war, going as far back as the Egyptians, there has been one form or another of black marketing.It goes along with a mess kit and weapon. It isn't right, but as long as there is free enterprise and two men or more, you are going to have it. My problem begins right here in Pusan and ripples clear up to the front lines. It's not just one man, but a group. It is a complete organized ring. I know you can't start policing up single individuals, that's the MP's job. I want you and your team to cut off the head of the dragon. Did I mention that is what they call themselves.

I manage to get bits and pieces trickling down. Most of it is probably what they want me to know. Being a well organized ring, they are dangerous. About all I can honestly tell you is their headquarters are here in Pusan. Our warehouses down by the waterfront is their flow operations.

This isn't just enlisted men. This goes right up to high ranking officials. The only advise I can give you is to start in town at the warehouses and work out from there. Outside of picking up the little man, I don't even trust my own MP's. That is how bad it is Sergeant. It is one hell of a big job. Do you think you and your team can do it?"

"All I can say right this moment General, with what we know, we are going to try. First off Sir, you have to bust me back to Staff and make it loud. My being here, there has to be a reason. Sound loud and mean. Second, have your MP's put me in the stockade for a few days. Third, contact Hawk, my second in command and have him get me out. Once again Sir, don't trust anyone, starting with your receptionist."

It didn't take long before two burly MP's were ousting Denny off to a military detention area. After they cuffed him, they weren't any too gentle either, leaving a few nightstick bruises. When the jeep stopped inside the compound, they manhandled him out onto the ground. Out of the guard shack strutted a large Sergeant. In a voice that sounded like it came out of the bottom of a barrel, he addressed the two MP's.

"Well, well, what do we have here? Anyone I should know? Don't just stand there, give me the arresting report and take off." Leaving Denny on the ground, the Sergeant reads the report.

Bending down, he helps Denny up. "I'll say one thing Lad, when you pick a fight, you really pick a fight. No less than a General and our Boss on top of that. Come on, let's get you a cell and see what kind of exercise we can have for you."

After the clang of the cell door, Denny plopped down on the cot that was bolted to the wall. Only a mattress, no pillow or sheets, but that was to be expected. A peephole in the door and a small window high up the wall and a drain hole in the middle of the floor. It wasn't home, but Denny figured he can handle this for a few days. Just then the peephole slides open and a fire hose is thrust through. Then another is poked through the window. Before Denny could wonder what was happening, he is hit by two streams of water.Rolling into a ball, Denny tries to protect himself but the pressure is too great. He tries to hide under the cot, but the pressure is too strong and rolls him back out. It seems to go on forever, barely able to breathe, than the water is turned off.

As comfortable as he can, being soaking wet, Denny crashes on the cot. Finally getting some sort of comfort, he starts to breathe easy again.. Then it starts all over again, only this time it lasts longer. When it was over, Denny didn't even lay on the cot, but stayed where he was. He could see out the window that the sun started to go down. During the night, they hosed him down two more times, then it stopped.

In the morning, the guard came with a dry change of uniform and towel. He is lead into a large room where other prisoners are eating. There are six long rows of tables that stretch from wall to wall with a walkway through the middle. Spotted around the side are MP Guards. There are three small windows close to the ceiling on the inside wall only. Below the windows, in the middle of the wall, are two steel doors leading to a Quadrangle where the prisoners would walk in single file around the courtyard for one hour. That is the only exercise the prisoners were allowed to have. Then all prisoners were marched back to their cell.

On my sixth day I am called in from the exercise yard to report to the main guard room. I hadn't figured Hawk would come this soon. On the plus side, I was glad he has. "There is someone in the interrogation room that wants to talk to you. You have five minutes, no more. So make the best of them." I was a little confused about what the guard said until I opened the door. It isn't Hawk, but the General's blond receptionist.

"Come in Sergeant. You look a little surprise, were you expecting someone else?"

"Lady, I wasn't expecting anybody, least of all you. What are you now, a messenger girl"

"Not exactly Sergeant. The General sent me to give you a choice. Considering what transpired between the two of you, I feel he is being quite fair. You take a B.C.D.(bad conduct discharge) or spend the next three years in prison."

"Lady, what kind of a deal is this? I'm screwed either way."

"Sergeant, no matter what, it's the best deal you are going to get."

"Do I have any time to think about it?"

"Yes Sergeant, about three more minutes."

"Your General seems to have it all figured out. If I accept, what happens and when?"

"What happens Sergeant? Is in a couple of days you will receive your B.C.D. and released. When you walk out of this prison, from that time on, you are on your own. You forfeit all pay and allowances. The only thing you keep is what is on your back. Now what do I tell the General?" Rising from his seat, Denny walks to the door where the guard waits. Not turning around, he speaks to the door, "Tell the General he wins. I'll take a B.C.D." saying that, Denny walks out.

Outside the prison door, Denny doesn't move. Standing on the steps, he looks up the street, then down. As if trying to make a decision on which way to move.

He then starts down the street, walking slow and deliberate, in no obvious hurry. When you have nothing but the clothes on your back, there is no reason to hurry. Then Denny changes his

mind and starts walking up the street toward the cemetery. Entering the gate, he stops and waits. Out of the shadows walks a large man. Holding out his hand, Denny smiles.

"It's good to see you Hawk. Where shall we talk?" Hawk is a large man, a mirror image of Denny. Only where Denny is fair, Hawk is dark. Both men are broad shouldered and narrow at the waist. Where Denny has short blonde hair and is clean shaven, Hawk has cole black hair and a satanic looking goatee.

"One question Hawk. Why a cemetery?"

"Well, if you haven't already noticed, It's on top of a hill. Good visibility on three sides. Lots of objects to cause eye distraction and the back gate can only be approached from down a small rise. And it is covered by our friend, Tag. When I heard from you, I managed to appropriate him. Right now he is sitting down somewhere in the middle of a road and the only weapon I believe he is carrying is a knife. So tell me what is this all about?"

Starting with the General and ending up with secretary, Denny covers everything very thoroughly, leaving out nothing."I know black marketing goes back thousands of years, but I didn't realize it was a problem. All wars have them.

After Denny is finished, both men just sit there and look out over the city. "Denny, this looks like an open end proposition. No matter what you do, you will be the loser. If you win, the black marketeers will be down on you and if you lose, those in the know will be down on you and what you say, it goes clear to the top. But no matter what your decisions are, I'm here to back them and so is the kid."

"There is no cause to discuss this any further Hawk, until we have more facts. But I can tell you one thing, too many of our boys on the line have had too little ammunition and very little food because of the black market. First thing, above all else, we are going to need a base of operations. This is too big for the three of us, so we are going to have to look for new recruits. Do you remember Doc Adams? We could use him as a go between from us and the General. Nobody should think twice about that as he was the one that took care of his son. And maybe Salazar, if he is still around. Oh, and as I was saying earlier, we need to get out of the middle of everything and get into cover, any suggestions?"

"Funny you should ask, but yes I do as a matter of fact. Turn around and look up the hill behind the cemetery. Do you see a really old Victorian house? Well that used to, many years ago, belong to a Methodist missionary. During some uprising, he was buried in his cemetery and so sits the house. The ideal headquarters. Let's pick up Tag and start getting things rolling. With all this black marketing, we shouldn't have any trouble getting what we need."

As the days passed, the three men are able to form up their organization. The inside of the house is beginning to look like a command post, drawing little interest from the outside world.

"Denny, this isn't our usual type of work. Tell me why?"

"We're being flexible Hawk. It's a sort of favor for the General. Did I mention if I don't succeed, there is no way back for me. For all intents and purposes I am committed. Except for the General, I am a B.C.D. soldier. So the only way for me, is to succeed. On that note, let's forge ahead."

"Whatever Denny, but I still say this is a job for the MP's."

With everything on the outside, the old house looks normal. Broken shutters, fallen masonry and weeds. On the inside, the windows were blacked out and most rooms secured. Everything was moved during the darkest of night and a different path each time. Sitting around a table, the three men are discussing the situation.

"Men, we have to start digging into our assignment. Awhile back Hawk, you said this is a job for the MP's. You are basically right, except that they are on the list of not to be trusted."

"I don't know Denny, I'm not a spy on police. I'm a soldier. I know my job and I do it well, but to dig up a bunch of bad guys because they're selling stuff, I don't know."

"I am committed Hawk, but I can understand your position also. We haven't been separated in years, but again, I quite understand. So, no hard feelings and maybe sometime we will connect again. Will you be taking Tag with you?"

"No Denny, I don't believe so. You definitely need him. That is right Tag, you will be staying?" Shaking hands, Hawk walked out the door alone.

"I guess it's just you and myself Tag, so we're going to have to recruit more people that we trust. I can handle that. For your first assignment, I want you to cover the waterfront and those long, old Japanese warehouses. Army Quartermaster are now using them. It seems like a good place to start. Right off the ship, into the warehouse. It's like a big department store, a super Five and Dime." Being the second man to walk out the door that night, Denny didn't have time to ruminate, there is too much to be done.

Tag, standing on a cement wall, looking across the shimmering water of the harbor felt a slight tug on the back of his uniform. Turning around, he saw a Korean boy who could not of been no more than twelve years old. His clothes are filthy and torn. His feet are bare and he looks like he has never taken a bath. "Hey Joe, you want a short time, very pretty and young? No girl, maybe you want a watch? Nice watch, tells good time. Please Joe, I no mama, no papa, no per diem. I am hungry. How about beer, I can get you cold beer."

"How can you get me beer," asks Tag. "You just said you don't have any money."

"Last storm, a big thing with many stacks of beer turned over. I dive down and bring up a box."

"How much a box, Chesi?"

"For you, six thousand Whan."

"I'll wait right here. Get me a box." Sitting down on the cement wall, Tag continued looking out over the harbor. Finally the Korean came up with a box of beer. Standing up, Tag took the box. Turning, Tag is surprised to see two MP's standing directly in front of him. Both MP's look like they came from the same mold. Both are very large, broad shouldered, thick through the waist, all muscle. Steel helmets pulled low over their eyes, square chinned and a slit for a mouth. Both men are caring a nightstick, only one keeps slapping his hand with it.

"Well, what do we have here? What's in the box Mac? Asks the MP as he emphasizes each word with a slap in the palm of his hand with his nightstick. Both MP's move slightly apart.Tag notices everything going on around him, but is a disadvantage. Unable to do anything. These movements, he has seen before.

"It's just beer. I just bought it from this Korean," Tag says, pointing over his shoulder.

"What Korean? I don't see any Korean. You better put the box down and step back. Do it now! Look here Kelly, there is a box on the ground. Maybe we should take it in and see what"s in it. You know, check it out when we have more time."

"Hey guys, it's just beer. I paid six thousand Whan for it. Come on, have a heart!"

"Consider this Mac, if this is yours, you're only out two bucks. Let me ask you something. What the hell are you doing here? Aren't you aware this area is off limits?"

"I'm new here and I didn't see any off limits sign."

"Well punk, let me tell you something. This whole area is off limits and don't let me catch you around here again!" Slapping the palm of his hand with his nightstick as if to emphasize each word. Then he takes his baton and hit Tag in the kidneys. "That's just to let you know we mean business." Turning around, the two MP's move along the railroad tracks .They're so sure of themselves, they don't even look back.

Sitting on the ground, it took Tag awhile to get over the pain. "Hey Joe." Turning around, Tag doesn't see anyone. "Down here, behind the wall."

"What happened to you, you little freak? Why did you bug out?

"Hey Joe, those are bad people. I don't want to be caught by them. They hurt, maybe kill I don't know. Maybe so I think. You're lucky they didn't hurt you."

"What do you mean, didn't hurt? What's your idea about getting hit in the kidneys with a nightstick?

"Oh, that's nothing Joe. Sometimes they break bones."

"Tell me, what is your name?"

"My Mamason calls me, Kim"

"Well Kim, what's with this place? How come they don't want anyone around? It's just a warehouse."

"That's it Joe, most everything that comes from big boat goes into the long building."

"Come on Kim, let's get out of here. I have a deal. Would you like to work for me? No Korean money, G.I. money. Say, ten dollars a week. You keep an eye on what goes on around this area. If anything strange, you ba bo, let me know. I'll tell you how you can find me. O.K?

"Pretty O.K. Joe, but fifteen would be better."

Walking away, Tag thinks," Life has got to get better.I'm beginning to see what Hawk meant. This is not my kind of life. I'm just going to have to speak to Denny."

As daylight slid into evening, darkness settled over the city. Lights started flickering all through the town. As if looking for someone, an American is checking any likely spots. The American is rather nondescript. Brown hair, medium height, caring a medical bag across his chest. Each time , he apologized and moves on to another location. Finally he doesn't come out. "I've been looking for you Eli. How have you been? I see you're still helping people."

A large man rises from where he is sitting on the floor."Hey Doc, hello. I can't do an awful lot, but I do what I can." Rising, the man never seems to quit rising. Grabbing the smaller man's hand with his ham like size hand, he starts to pump the smaller man's hand. He moves slow and smiles a lot, but his eyes show intelligence."I haven't seen you Doc since we were out on patrol."

"That's one reason Eli I came to look you up. First, is there anything I can do to help you?"

"I appreciate that Doc, but I'm doing real good. These people are O.K. They just need a little help. They've been through hard times."

"Let's get down to why I'm really here. Do remember Sergeant Denny? Not waiting for an obvious answer,"He needs us."

"If you say so Doc, give me a couple of minutes and I'll be ready."

"Hey Doc, I've been here before. What's with the cemetery?"

"It's not the cemetery that we are headed for Eli, it's what's on the other side. To be specific that old house."

"Walking around town, I've seen that house many times. Nobody lives there Doc, Its always dark."

"That's the beauty of it Eli, just follow me." Sitting at an old green military table in the dark, lit only by a coleman lantern, sits Sergeant Denny, absorbed in papers spread out in front of him. Come in gentlemen, pull up a chair. It's good to see you two again. I know you're in the dark Eli, but you Doc, did the General brief you on our assignment?"

"Yes he did Sergeant Denny. I'm to be the go between because of my association with his son. It makes reporting to him normal. But all things considered, this isn't why I'm in the service. I'm a Medic. Couldn't you find someone else to do it?"

"Not on such short notice Doc and what we're doing might save a lot of lives on the front line. This black marketing is so big, it's rippling clear up to the troops in combat. No food, ammo, medical supplies, warm clothing, the black marketeers are selling these supplies so our men are dying for lack of them. The last time I talked to Tag, he is having second thoughts. This is a volunteer operation, I won't hold it against you if you want to drop out. I won't stop you. Hawk has already left, but I am committed. So, it's up to you weather you stay or leave.

"You put it that way Sergeant, I'll stay," says the Doc sincerely.

"Sergeant, I'm with you too," replied Eli.

"That's another thing men, there's no need to call me Sergeant anymore. I received a B.C.D. to get in this position. So you see, I have to go through with this or I'll never be reinstated into the service. Enough said for that. We'll just have to use what we have. Doc, you're our go-between and medicine man. Eli, you're good with people. Continue what you are doing, also when needed, help the Doc. And Tag, Tag is a rover. He is everywhere and never where you expect him to be. I also have been thinking about one more man if he is available. Do either of you remember a soldier from the patrol called, Salazar?" Both men acknowledged. "At times he was a handful, but…. he thinks well on his feet and he is quick."

"Now the issue at hand. I'm sure this is a new experience for all of us, so we're going to have to wing it. I have been going over a lot of documents and reports.The strange thing is, any report the local MP's make are very hazy. This is such a large operation, we are going to have start somewhere. This harbor being the main off-loading center, along with these large warehouses seems like a likely place to start. So we shall center on this area and work out. Before you two take off, would you mind hanging around for a few minutes. I'm expecting Tag any minute. If you want to crap out while you're waiting, I appropriated a few cots."

Time seemed to drag by. Then the men heard faint steps in the next room. Just inside the door, Tag stopped and looked around, "Is this all you got Denny?" Then he sat down in the middle of the room. Recognizing the move, Denny asks him," Does this mean you are going to stay?"

"Sergeant Denny I was thinking of resigning, but after looking at this pitiful group, I have no choice. Now for a little bit of information. You know the deep drains that run between the street and sidewalks? Well, yesterday they found a dead G.I. in one of them. It was one of the big warehouse workers."

"Yes Tag, I heard that also. They said he was beaten over ninety percent of his body."

"Denny, do you mean like this?" Pulling up his shirt, Tag exposed a long black and blue welt across his kidneys."

"That's right Tag, what happened to you?"

"I was beaten with a MP's baton. What do you want to bet that the warehouse worker was also beaten with a nightstick?"

"Small, but that's something to start with. Tag, take a cot and get some rest.Tomorrow continue what you've been doing. The something goes for you Doc and Eli. Only Doc, first thing in the morning go see the General on some pretext and see if you can find Salazar? What I will be doing in the morning is try to locate an old friend of mine from Hawaii. He was wounded but he should be O.K. now. My friend, Victor and Salazar should fill out our team. Then I'm off to see if I can find some kind of employment in or around the docks or related to the MP's."

Before the sun came up, everyone exited the house.

The hospital at this time of the morning is quiet, so Denny has no trouble finding his old friend. Instead of in bed, the patient is sitting in a chair by a window, eating his breakfast. Looking up at the newcomer, he breaks into a big grin. "I'll be damned if it isn't Denny. Where the hell is your shadow Hawk?"

"First, let's talk about you. How you been, you old Buda Head, you doing O.K.?"

"As a matter of fact I am. I am just gold bricking. The doctor said I could leave. I just figured a few days lounging around won't hurt anyone. You know me, I'm from the lazy land of pineapples, sun and surfboards. Did you come by to shoot the breeze or you got a nasty job. Right now my dance card is open."

"I hate to ask you Vic. I don't know what we're getting into. It's not one of our usual jobs. You asked about Hawk? He didn't like it, so opted out. But it's very important." Denny then proceeded to tell Vic the whole operation. When he finished, both men just sat and looked at each other. Finally, Denny spoke."So if you don't want in Vic, I will understand. Even Tag was thinking of backing out."

"You know what Denny, you are one hell of a salesman. I haven't even drove the car and you've talked me out of buying it. So, it's a dirty job and we don't know where to start. Let's go for it! Give me time to get dressed and pick-up my war bag."

Later as they were walking down a narrow street, Denny tells Vic about the old house. "We have a base camp Vic, but unless I have no choice, I don't like to approach it in the day time." A little after sunset, the two men start up the hill through the cemetery.

"Well Denny, I'll say one thing about you, you know how to live in style and a lot of class."

It's a thick fog drifting in from the harbor. One of those fogs that even a flashlight can hardly penetrate. Tag has been here before, only this time he won't get caught napping. For the past two days, Tag has been familiarizing every object that moves or stands still until he knew every inch of the area. Now dressed i an old pair of sweat pants and shirt, he moved soundlessly across the ground. Korean tennis shoes that laced up the back made it possible to move so much as a whisper.

Moving across a flat field of short grass and rocks, he moves to the corner of the first warehouse. Let's see, there are three continuos buildings, one half size and then a small building that serves as an office. Another room that houses small objects. On the other end a room where they take the korean workers when they catch them stealing of any infraction. I'll check the office first, just to make sure no one is still here.

There's no lights on and all doors are secured. The only thing left is roving guards. If this is just warehouses, why such high security. A couple of soldiers should be sufficient, not all these MP's. Tag could hear footsteps coming from the other end of the warehouse. Assuming it's the MP guards, Tag moves close to the warehouse wall, sits down on the ground and holds his breath. As the two Mp's drew closer,, Tag can hear their muffled voices.

"I don't see why the Sarge want's us to patrol in the fog. Nobody in their right mind would be out tonight. Hell, even a dogface can handle tonight's patrolling. Let's get some coffee at the shake and warm up. A couple of minutes won't hurt and what the Sarge doesn't know, tough shit."

With just the fog to keep Tag company, everything settled back into silence. He waited a couple of minutes, then Tag made his move. The Mp's patrol only around the middle warehouse, ignoring all the other buildings.So, if anything is happening, that seems like a good place to start.

Running back the way the Mp's just came from, Tag looks for any kind of a door. Going mostly by feel, sliding his hand along the wall, the surface is a rough plaster. After almost sanding his fingers raw, he meets no wall. "This has to be an opening. I'm only about half way down the building, but why no door? Damn, I should of brought a flashlight or at least some matches. What to do? I can't stand here all night. Damn I hate dark holes! " Moving around the end of the wall, Tag heads straight into the void. A few feet in, he bumps into a desk, or at least that is what it feels like. Finding the top, he carefully runs his hand over the top. His hand moves over pencils, an eraser and lots of paper, and then what feels like a flashlight. After a little experimenting, he finds the slide switch.Pushing it on, everything is bathed in a bright beam.

Quickly shutting it off, Tag stands still for a few seconds listening for any outside noises. "This is easy, I'm on the inside. Somehow the door is left open, now what?" Putting his hand over the end and choking out most of the light, Tag starts to move down the middle of the warehouse. On both sides are stuff on pallets stacked high, almost to the ceiling. Moving further away from the door so he can let in more light, he starts to look at what is on the pallets. It's medicine, ammunition, food, and warm clothing. All the things you would find in a warehouse. But for some reason this doesn't feel like an ordinary warehouse. Then he tears voices coming from outside. Quickly scrambling up the pallets to the top, Tag lays down and waits.

The voices are in the doorway. "Andy, did you leave this door open?"

"Hold it Bill, I think we might have us a visitor. Flip on the lights and let's take a look."

Instantly the inside of the warehouse was flooded in bright screaming light, bursting through dark, fuzzy eyes blurring everything.

"See anything Bill? I can't see a damn thing after being out in the dark. Wait a minute, I hear something down at the far end where they keep the food.

"Who the hell would steal this food? Even the Koreans will hardly eat C-rations."

"It's not C-rations you jerk! they don't keep that crap in this warehouse. This is real food."

"Well, rats will eat anything, they're not choosey. But if it's the two-legged rats, I know how to take care of them.

Before the two men got to the end of the warehouse, a Korean stepped out from between rows of steep pallet with his hands held up high.

"Well look what we have here Bill. Hey Gook, anymore of you in here?" With a dumb look on his face, he points up to where Tag is hiding.

"Why is he looking up there and pointing? You don't suppose there is someone up there?"

"Nah, he's just pointing up to his ancestors. He figures that's where he's going and he ain't far from that. Getting caught in here is not the smartest thing he has ever done. Shake him down Bill and see what he has on himself."

"Come on Andy, I hate to touch these Gooks. All they have on are rags and they stink."

"O.K. Bill, I'll tell you what, take him up to the shake. I have to post a guard on the door here, find the Sarge and I'll be right there. Don't get lost in the fog."

After the lights go out and the door slides close, Tag let's out his breath not realizing he was holding it. Working his way down the tall stack of boxes on the pallet Tag works his way, by feel, to the door. Afraid that if he turned his flashlight that it might be seen through the cracks around the door. Very slowly he slid open the door. No one made any response, he slid it far enough to squeeze through. As he was sliding the door closed, he heard voices coming down the roadway between the warehouses. Not waiting, Tag took off in the opposite direction.

Draping his wet shirt over the back of a chair and shaking the damp fog out of his hair, Tag went to the center of the room and sat down on the floor."Hi Doc, where is Denny?"

"He left and didn't say where he was going, but i figure he should be along soon. I think I hear him now." Through the opening door walked Denny caring some packages.

"Here men, I figured you might be hungry." Putting the food packages on the table, Denny takes off his coat and drapes it over the back of a chair. "Dig in men. While you're eating, I have somethings to tell you. How was your evening Tag?"

Denny wasn't aware of what he is doing, but the whole time Tag is reporting on his evening, he is sitting on the edge of his chair. When Tag is finished, Denny lets out a mouthful of air and sits back in his chair."That confirms what I felt along. We still have our work out for us. Being a bad situation, the warehouse is still only a holding depot. They're just small fry. What we want is the big brass. Black marketing has been around since the dawn of time. They will always survive, they're like cockroaches. If we can cut off the head, it will at least slow them down. Now back to present matters."

"Hey Sergeant Denny," said Tag."Don't get me wrong but let's wind this up soon. I would like to go back on the line where it'e safe."

"Dully noted Tag. Anybody have anything they want to say?"

Hearing steps coming down the hall, everyone looks at the door to see who would be coming through it. A very large Asian man is standing in the opening. Rising, Denny walks over to greet the newcomer. "Vic, I would like you to meet the team. The one on the cot is Doc.. The big soldier next to him is Eli. The one standing in the shadows is Salazar. And last but not least, the little guy on the floor is Tag. You two know each other."

"Denny, let me ask you something? Don't you know anybody small?" And that Vic, is coming from a man sitting in the middle of a room on the floor. When they took away his weapons, they took half of his brains.

"Sergeant Denny, may I speak?""

"Sure Salazar, you're part of the team."

"I've been sitting here listening to all of you speak. Now, this is the area where everything comes in from the ships, but I don't think this is their central operations.. At least it wouldn't be if I were running this operation."

"You sound like you've done this before."

"Nothing as big as this Sergeant, but basically all operations are similar. This area is just a holding area. Same with Soul. Anywhere there is a seaport. If I were going to have my operation center, it would be a long way from your supplies. And most of al, I wouldn't have any contact except with those very close and trustworthy. What you have to do, or should do is look for high ranking officers, important Koreans gathered unusual places."

"Are you referring to American officers and South Koreans," asked Doc?

"No, I mean any military officers and any Koreans, North or South. If you're open to suggestions, throw in the Chinese and Japanese too."

Looking around, Sergeant Denny asks,"Are there anymore input?"

"As a matter of fact, yes."

"Go ahead Vic, shoot."

"Where did you ever manage to collect this band of Rogues?"

"It's a long story Vic. These people are all good men, We connected on a long patrol."

"I'll bite Denny. What the hell is a long patrol?"

"It's an operation that you are not sure of returning from. We were the lucky ones. A lot weren't so lucky. Back to the main issue at hand. We've been doing a lot of talking, now we have to start getting results. Here is what we're going to do. What could be better than going into the Black Marketing? One thing we have going for us is, we have all their resources. We need a few things and we're in business."

It is so quiet in the room, you can hear the wood growing old. Finally the Doc finds his senses. "Denny, you are serious!"

"That's right Doc, we're going to beat them at their own game. And this should make you feel good, some of the Black Marketing products are medicine."

Procuring a vehicle is not difficult. Procuring the right vehicle can be a little difficult but can be managed. There are many ambulances in the far east theater, but a new mudle with a large box took some getting. An ambulance in a war zone is not uncommon. There is very little interest, but a six-by troop carrier loaded with boxes would be asking for an uncommon interest. That is why the team had to have an ambulance with a large box, big enough to haul a load, but not be obvious. Denny didn't want to steal a lot, just make it look like they had.


"Doc ,what I want you to do is call on the General and tell him we are going to hit a warehouse tonight. Tag, you stay here and handle any messages that might come in. I'll give you our itinerary before we leave tonight. Salazar, you and Eli will come with me."

"Sergeant Denny, I don't understand. If we go to the warehouse and steal, aren't we just as bad as the Black Marketeers?"

"Yes Eli, except for one thing. We will be returning what we steal. On second thought Eli, you stay and help the Doc with whatever he does. Vic, will you take Eli's place?"

As the evening wears on, the men's nerves start to get edgy. Finally, it is time for the three men to leave. Passing through the cemetery and down the road toward town where they have concealed the ambulance, the men look up and see the evening stars shining in the evening sky. Not like a few nights back, tonight there is no fog to conceal them, they are exposed to any prying eyes. After zig-zagging through the town, the ambulance and it's three passengers finally arrive at the south end of the old warehouses down by the waterfront. It's no trouble driving without headlights, what with the rising of the moon. It's as if it were daylight.

Just before they arrive at the warehouse, Denny stops the ambulance. "Salazar drop off and secure the perimeter. We'll be somewhere in the middle warehouse." Putting the ambulance in gear, Denny moved into the warehouse compound. Driving down the warehouse alley, Denny arrives at a large sliding door.

"Vic, if I remember what Tag said, this should be what we're looking for. One large sliding door in the middle of the warehouse. Take care of the padlock and I'll back the ambulance in."

"Denny, I have one question. Do you have any idea what we are doing?"

After Vic slides the large doors open, Denny starts backing the ambulance into the dark bowels of the warehouse. once he was in, Denny turned off the ignition. Denny starts to get out, then turns to Vic. "Let's load up and then we'll worry, O.K.?"

"Alright Boss, no more questions, but what are we stealing or can I ask?"

"Yes, you may ask.We are going, as you put it, steal medical supplies. They take less room and look more important. A little looks like more. Shall we start loading. Tag said, there down at the end of the south walkway. Keep an ear out for Salazar. He should be here anytime.Twenty minutes later with both men working, the ambulance is loaded. "Loaded Boss. You couldn't get a bottle of aspirin in here even if you shook them out of the bottle. Looking at this load Denny, do you realize we have enough crap here to start a drug store ."

"Come on Vic, get in the cab and let's get the hell out of here." Pulling away from the large sliding door, they spot Salazar clean down to the end of the warehouse, running towards them. Running along side the ambulance, Salazar manages to catch up and jump on the running board. "Hang on Sal and where the hell have you been? We could of used you back there, fortunately everything turned out O.K." Passing through the North gate of the compound, Denny brings the truck to a stop.

"O.K. Sal, get in. While we're at it, where are the obvious guards? What did you do to them?"

Closing the door, Salazar turned to Denny,"Come on Denny, all I told them, was not to be around." Seeing the uneasiness, Vic breaks the tension."Now that we're all loaded Denny, what now?"

"Back there, something is wrong. I can't figure it out. Why weren't we confronted by guards. If not by the MP's, there should of been soldiers. The stuff in those warehouses is priceless. There are people that would pay a lot of money for it. I guess it's our own good luck though. Let's get out of here. We'll keep going North and see what happens. About fifty miles North of here is an old monastery. It's off the beaten path. It's a way nobody uses anymore. We can stash our loot until we can return it."

About two miles out of town, Denny can see a roadblock ahead. The road is barricaded and moving up fast behind them, from the span of the headlights, is a very large vehicle. "Well guys, it looks like everything is coming to a head a little sooner than I figured." Slowing down, Denny stops a few feet from the barricade. Two MP's, one on each side, move up to the doors. One American, one Korean."Step out of the vehicle, hands in plain sight." As Denny and his two passengers get out of the truck, Denny notices a third MP going to the back. "O.K. you guys, let's go to the back of your vehicle and open it up. Let's see what you have." Just then Denny notices another person standing in the shadows with a camera. As Denny swung the back doors open, the MP that is doing all the talking, motions for Denny to stand in the opening of the doors. "Hey Mex, take your Gook friend and move over to the side of the road. We don't need you yet. Now Denny, that is your name isn't it? Take a box down and hold it where the label can be seen. More pictures are taken and then the guard tells Denny to put the box back in the ambulance. With the doors closed, Denny and his men are herded back to the front of the vehicle. As they reach the driver's side Denny stops.

"What the hell is happening here! What gives you the right to shake us down! How do you know my name?"

The guard in the front turns around and looks at Denny. "Shut up and speak only when asked." With that he hits Denny in the stomach."Like I said, no talking. Laddie, be a good boy and stay right where you are.You are about to be regaled by someone of importance."

"Shut your big fat mouth Murphy. You've already said too much."

Just then another vehicle pulls up behind the ambulance. This one sounded more like an automobile. Then all is quiet. The sound of footsteps and then the soft, quiet voice of an educated man."The guard is right Sergeant Denny, please sit where you are until I am finished. First of all, let me tell you I know all about you and General Jones. You are involved in something greater than you could ever conceive. It reaches out into other countries. It even reaches into some of your own country's highest offices. Why do you think the people back in your own country care what is happening. Why do you think, when they get a General over here who wanted to win, he's fired. He was removed from the army, while your elected officials turned their heads. You have a man in one of your country's highest position doing nothing but posturing and saying cliché's. I am sorry for you. You are a good soldier. Being a captain in the Philippines and now a highly decorated Master Sergeant, I can do nothing for you, the die is cast.You are now a court's martial soldier. The truck and all the supplies shall be returned. Your house on the cemetery hill has been cleaned out, all evidence removed. Your doctor friend and his large aid have been returned to their previous assignments. Sergeant Denny, you should of listened to your old friend Hawk and not of gotten yourself involved. Now on parting, let me leave you with a few words of wisdom. I am sure that in time you can look around, you being a man of countless talents, and can come up with my identity. That shouldn't be too difficult, but the possibilities are not in your favor. First, I am not that important a person. Second, if you did manage to uncover my identity, you would not live long after."

A few hours later in a very plush library with highly polished rosewood paneling and bookshelves filled with thousands of books, a lot of first additions, sat the man of the shadows. "Did you have a busy night Sir?" said a tall, rather cadaverous man dressed all in black.

"Yes Kim. I finally met our most extraordinary man. I am just now going over his military record."

"Do you think you can turn him Sir?"

"No Kim, I feel that would be impossible.Especially after going over his record."

"Then you will have him expunged?"

"No Kim, I will not. At least not yet."

"That is so then. What will the Major feel? He is very adamant about the Sergeant's demise."

"Kim, I am not submissive to the Major, nor are we on the same level. Until I am ready to make a decision, the General will stay away.. He has no power over this house. So Kim, if you will let me finish my brandy, then we will discuss what has happened tonight."

After all the vehicles leave, the three men just sit by the side of the road saying nothing. Finally Denny stands up and dusts his clothes off."Men, I am sorry I got you in this mess. I, myself am going back to the house. I know it's a futile gesture, but I have to start somewhere. I am not holding either one of you to any prior obligations. If you have any sense, you'll take off."

Rising, Vic walks over to Denny. "You telling me you don't want me around Denny?"It's going to take more than threats and a few goons to tell me what to do.

"What about you Salazar, you in or out?"

The last to rise, Salazar just stands and looks down at the road. When he speaks, there is a smile on his face."I have one thing to say, If we're to get back to the house before daylight, we had better get started."

When they arrived at the house, they found it just as the shadow man had said. Everything has been removed and any evidence of them ever being there has been removed. Looking around Salazar shook his head."I'll say one thing for these guys, they're thorough."

"Guys, something good has come out of all this. We now have some idea of what we're up against."

"Yes we do Denny, the whole damn world."

"Yes, but don't you see, no matter how many there are of them, they can only get so many around us, no more. So that evens the score. And what is easier to find, a whole lot of people or a few? It's easy for us to see them coming, but it's harder for them to see us few."

"I'll say one thing Denny, you have this budda-head sold, but then I was never too bright. Did anyone ever tell you that you are a great seller of bullshit. You should go into politics."

"No thanks Vic, I'll leave that up to the money mongers! First thing, we'll keep an eye on this place, but we won't use it. We are going to have to chance everything and it looks like it's just the three of us."

"Hey wait a minute, don't I count?" Just then a small figure drops down from a hole in the attic. Moving to the center of the room, Tag sits down on the floor.

"Tag, I'm not even going to ask how you pulled that off, I'm just glad you are here."

"Oh and Denny, just for the record, as I was taking off for the attic, Doc said no matter what was coming off, he would get back to us as soon as he could."

"Men, that is what separates us from them. It takes more than threats to put us out of business. We have been given a job to do and by god we're going to do it! Now since they know who we are and those we want are faceless, we should stay flexible, no permanent instillation, keep moving. Let's split up and meet at the old south gate in twelve hours. Is everyone familiar with the location? When you get there, if it doesn't look kosher, abort and try in twelve hours later. I have somethings I want to pick up so I'll see you then."

"You going to get us weapons Sarge?"

"Sal what we"re up against, I'm afraid weapons won't do us much good. But if it will make you feel better, I'll see what I can do. Our best weapon is going to be able to out think them, to improvise and stay in the shadows."

No sooner had the houseboy Kim left, than he returned. "I am sorry to disturb you Sir, but that person you were talking about, he is here.

"Good evening Major, won't you come in." Not rising to greet the man, Mr. Hampton continued to drink his brandy.

"Good evening to you Mr. Hampton. I came to collect any information you might have on last night's enterprise. Is everything satisfactory?"

"Whatever you may think Major, you're out of your jurisdiction. All this is above and beyond your realm. Outside of what happened last night, what is it you want?"

"I want one Sergeant Denny. He is mine. I have been looking for him for a long time. What I have done for you, you owe me that."

"Major, we don't owe you anything. You have been paid well. For the time being, if anything happens to the Sergeant and can be traced back to you, then you will be terminated. Are there any questions?"

"I don't need this!" Turning, the Major stormed out. The last thing he heard coming from the library was a soft chuckle.

"I just saw the Major leave Sir. Is everything alright?"

"Kim, everything is very alright."

"Sunrise is beginning to arrive Sir. Do you wish your breakfast?"

There aren't too many good running cars in Korea, especially new ones with powerful engines. So when Denny is aware of one coming up behind him, he quickly steps into a small incense store. Just in time to see a large foreign car pass by driven by a cadaverous looking Asian. Thankful to get out of the small shop with the over powering incense odors, Denny stands close to the shop front and observes the move on down the bumpy street. "That's a bit of luck. To think I could of spent days running down that car and poof, there it is, served to me on a silver plater. Thank you shadow man," Denny thinks aloud.

Waiting until the car is a block away, Denny starts his slow moving vehicle. Keeping up with the foreign car is no trouble. With the potholed streets, the auto can't move too fast. After making numerous stops, the auto starts back through town to the outskirts where the appearance of homes start improving. Finally in front of one grated estate, the auto turns into the drive, pulls up to the gate and sounds the horn. Stepping out of the gatehouse, the guard checks through an open window, the occupant in the rear of the auto and waves them through. Moving closer, Denny can see the name on the gate, then moves on.

"Well, well Mr. Hampton, I would expect no less of you. Now we both know each other. It isn't much, but now we have something to start with."

Later approaching the designated rendezvous, Denny starts to check it out when a voice from behind him asks,"Where you been Boss?" Not needing to turn around Denny fires back,"Damn Tag, I wish you wouldn't do that. Are the rest of the guys here?" No answer needed, as the rest of the team steps out of the shadows. After relating what had happened, everyone started to talk at once.

"At ease you guys. You sound like a bunch of recruits. Now, one at a time."

"I know one thing for sure Denny, we better conclude our business here soon. The sun doesn't wait for anyone and it's going to pop up soon."

"One thing I'm sure of," said Denny. "This has all been too easy. He is playing with me. He drives all over town that he knows i"m in, then he goes home.

Tomorrow we'll meet at the North gate, same arrangement as before. He has given me an invitation. I need to do this myself."

"O.K. Boss, but what if he tries to kill you?"

"He isn't going to kill me. He's already had that chance on the road. For some reason he wants me to come to him. I'll be O.K. I'll see you in twelve hours."

Walking up to the gate, the guard didn't even try to stop him. He just let him pass through the pedestrian gate. Walking up to the massive double doors, but before he even got a chance to use the giant door knocker, the door swung open. Stepping into the large foyer, a cadaverous looking man appears and walks past Denny to show him the way. Passing through a spacious living room, the house boy opens a hand carved door and motions for him to enter.

"Good evening Sergeant Denny, come in." Entering the room, the door closes behind him. It is a man's room with lots of leather furniture and beautiful wood.

Sitting in a Brocaded bat winged chair in front of a huge fireplace, sits a distinguished middle aged man. Impeccable clothed and not a hair out of place.

"Please sit down"

"I think I'll stand," said Denny as he kept looking around.

"As you wish Sergeant. That is your prerogative. I assume by now you probably have it all figured out. I have been going over your service records." Showing Denny he holds up the paperwork."I am what might be referred to as a gatekeeper. I check on people who are doing what they should and shouldn't be doing. In your case, you shouldn't."

Your records show you are a highly decorated soldier with an exemplary war record. So, why aren't you doing what you're an expert at?"

"Let me ask you a question. Are you in anyway connected with the military?"

"Sergeant Denny, I am much higher than your military. Being a liaison, you meet people on all levels of society and power, but getting back to you. From the first time I met you, I knew you were no quitter. So, we're going to have to work with this. Wether you believe it or not, I am not your enemy. I will tell you though, if it comes to you or my lifestyle, you will have to go. So, let's hope that doesn't happen. Now, I won't be anything that is detrimental to what I am enjoying, but I will try to point you in the right direction. Now to answer your earlier question, yes I was in a military service along time ago. Not by the way in yours. I am a white Russian, let's let it go at that. Now my esprit de corps is money. If that sounds mercenary, that is the way it is. I have no apologies. I have one word for you, Seoul. Now if you don't mind, Kim will show you out." With that, Mr. Hampton went back to reading his book. The session is over.

Walking through the pedestrian gate, Denny caught movement out of the corner of his eye. Turning to get a better look, the street is empty. It's a narrow street with tall walls an both sides. Narrow sidewalks with shallow gutters. Very little trees so the areas are open. "Come on Denny, you're growing paranoia. You're beginning to see things that aren't there. It wouldn't be Hampton and my team have no reason to hide from me." He thinks to himself. Looking around one more time, Denny started down the street moving close to a wall. At the old North gate, the whole teams present. After explaining what happened at Hampton's house, Denny sets up situations.

"Sal, they know who you are, but hang around the waterfront just the same. Don't do anything suggestive, but just you being there will drive them nuts. Viv, you circulate. This is all low level stuff, but let's work both ends. As for myself and Tag, we're going to take the train to Seoul. We'll see you in a week or less. Now, let's go back to the old south gate. Let's make it one o'clock each morning until we connect again. That's all men. See you in a week or less."

Waiting in the Pusan train station, Denny has a strange sensation he is being watched. But each time he looks around he doesn't see anything out of the ordinary. It isn't a large building. Having been built in the nineteen-thirties, everything is painted a mustard yellow. Tall ceilings and benches on a park bench slat style with wrought iron metal armrests that separate each individual seat. With three rows of these seats, there are only five men seated with three more walking around and two more waiting on the depot platform."Tag, I have an uncomfortable feeling at the back of my neck. Have you noticed anyone unduly interested in our presence?"

"Sorry Boss, most of these guys look like troops going to the front line. You know, combat packs, rifles, that sort of thing."

"Forget it Tag, It's probably my imagination. Anyway, here comes our train."

The coach is like something out of a wild west story. Short backed seats made out of slats. Each seat facing the other with soot everywhere. The two men sit down, facing each other next to the isle. A few soldiers came in and sat down randomly. Any conversation is kept to a minimum. After awhile, there is complete silence. Denny tries to go to sleep, but with the jerking of the train and soot, he gives up.Time slips by and finally they arrive at their destination. With a sigh of relief the two men step down from the coach and brush the sindders from their clothing.

"Well Denny, here we are. Now what do we do? It's not like we have a place to go."

"Tag, why don't you go sit down in the middle of a street somewhere and give me time to think."

"Instead, why don't I go and check out any friendly warehouse areas. Then i'll sit down." With that Tag started off.

"Hey Tag, where will I find you?"

"Don't worry Denny, I'll find you," then he was gone.

"Well, here I am," thinks Denny to himself. "Seoul is a pretty big city, but I don't think Hampton wanted me to see the sights or slums. That leaves only the Aristocratic neighborhoods. Now, how do I find them. I imagine it will be where the least bad smells are."Afraid to draw attention to himself by asking questions, Denny starts walking in concentric circles, working from the depot out. The less attention he draws to himself the longer he can remain anonymous. A large Caucasian walking the winding, narrow streets and stay anonymous is very difficult. All this is time consuming, but for Denny there is no alternative.

Just as Denny is turning a corner, a shot rings out. A bullet breaks the air next to his shoulder. Stepping back out of harms way Denny smiles."This is more like it. Now I know I'm getting close."

"Hey Denny, duck in here." Looking around, Denny sees a small shop with a hand poking through the curtains. Ducking in, Denny sits down to a small table where already Tag is drinking Saki and eating some kind of dried fish.

"Tag, I don't know how you eat that stuff."

"Glad to see you too Denny. I'm hungry, that's why. Oh, by the way, did you get shot? I figured if there is any shooting going on, you will be near. Did you find out anything, I did. Didn't anyone tell you are too big to be walking around in a small people's world?"

"Come on Tag, let's get out of here before we're boxed in."

Stepping through the curtain, two more shots just barely missed Denny. Jerking Denny back inside, Tag grabs him by the arm," Come on Boss we we have to get out of here before the MP's arrive. In case you have forgotten, next to the North Koreans, you're the most wanted person around here. Let's see if there is a backdoor."

"Damn Tag these guys are good." Starting for the back of the store Papasan comes running after them. "What the hell Tag? Is he one of them also?"

"No Sarge, you didn't pay for the food."

Throwing some paper money at papasan Denny and Tag head for the back.

"What if there isn't a backdoor?"

"Come on Tag, improvise. We'll make one."

There is a backdoor, but not much of a backyard. Hundreds of years of history are all over

the place.

"Denny we have a problem here. You better come up with a good idea real soon.

"Tag as long as the MP's haven't arrived let's go out the way we came in, the front door.

I have feeling that sniper could of had me anytime. He isn't after you so I will go out first. The shots came from the right so I"ll go out to the left, then you follow. Ready? Here I go."

Dashing out, Denny faked to the right then dashed to the left. Tag was right on Denny's

heels. Everything is quiet, no shots, no sirens. Denny stops up short.

"Tag we've been had. All that crap was just a warning." Just then a shot rang out and

clipped denny in the left arm knocking him to the ground.

"Stay down Denny. I've had enough of this. Stay here, I'll be right back."

Before Denny could say anything, Tag was gone. Getting as much concealment as possible, Denny works at stopping the flow of blood. After a few feeble tries, Denny managed to stop the flow. Starting to get up Denny hears somebody shuffling down toward him. Backing into the shadows, he waits.

"Hey Denny, you still around here? Did you manage to stop the bleeding? The guy with

the rifle isn't going to be so lucky."

"Denny I realize North and South Koreans are basically the same, but the guy up there

laying dead is a North Korean. The most obvious is his rifle, made in mother Russia, some of his clothes and I found a few documents. Plus his coin of the realm is North Korean. Boss you are

really pissing a lot of people off."

"Denny do you think that guy in Pusan set you up? You know, a clean kill outside of his home court."

"I don't know Tag. It just doesn't feel right. Talking about right, he has a houseboy. Now this is a different situation. When he was in the room with me he looked like he wanted to put me under, just to keep his hand in."

With sunlight turning into dusk, the small shops along the street start to flicker with candle

light.

"Come on Tag, show me what you found that they don't want us to see."

"Stay back in the shadows Denny. I want you to see something. Down at the end of the

street. Do you see that building? It's different and doesn't blend in with anything around it. Before I went looking for you I watched the front door, or I thought that's what it is. I didn't want to get too close. What I did notice is, going in that door in a short time is a whole lot of white-collars. And if you

haven't noticed we don't have a whole lot of those over here, there is no call for them. Now if you don't

think that is strange, look close. Why are there two guards at the front door and a high electric fence

around the rest? Plus, what are those big buildings in the rear?"

"I'll tell you what Tag. In a few minutes it's going to be dark and if I remember my Astronomy, there will be no moon tonight. Tag, let's get a little closer and see what we can see."

As darkness settles in, the two men cautiously move closer. As night settles in, strategically placed lighting illuminates every inch of the grounds around the large house and buildings.

"There's something else you didn't mention Tag. There are no trees vegetation or houses

around this installation. This looks more like a prison. You know what Tag? The only way in is through

the front door."

"Are you crazy Denny? That would be suicide!"

"Tag, even if we had the whole team we could not break into that Fort-Knox. And if we

did manage to break in, they wouldn't tell us anything. So my old buddy let's go up into town and see if we can find me a decent white suit, find a place to spend the night and tomorrow see what I can find out."

As Denny approached the white building he could see the two guards are a lot more than soldiers, they are a close resemblance to mercenaries. Hard features and no weapons in sight. Walking up the steps Denny smiles and gives a wave off salute.

"Good day Gentlemen. I have a feeling I am being expected. My name is Denny."

In a heavy silence one of the guards opens one of the large two doors and steps aside.

As he walks through the door, another guard emerges through a small door and signals for Denny to follow him. Walking down a long hall the guard stops in front of a door, knocks, waits for an answer and then opens a door leading into a well lighted room. Upon entering the guard closed the door and left.

Sitting behind a very large desk is a small man immaculately dressed in a very expensive white suit topped off with a dark maroon tie. His hands are clasped before him and are well manicured. A stereotype of the man called Hampton in Pusan.

"Come in Mr. Denny, please sit down. I would call you Sargent, but it seems you have lost

rank."

"I came here for answers and it looks like you have them. Aren't you afraid that I might

have a weapon? At no time did your men pat me down. You don't seem concerned."

"Oh you could shoot me Mr. Denny and you might even do so with the guards. What would you profit by that? You are looking for answers and with any luck I might provide them. I ask you again, will you please sit down. Now down to business. You are looking for, what is the term,

Black Marketers? That is such a singular word. we are a more comprehensive organization, more like

government of our own. We have many satellites, mostly in larger cities in countries where they can

be more affected. For obvious reasons we try to stay obscure. We control people, mostly high ranking

politicians and big money makers."

"Speaking of satellites, we lost one of our operatives in Pusan. I believe you knew him

briefly, a Mr. Hampton. He met with a bad auto accident, but no matter we will find someone to replace him. We are all expendable. And you my friend have been declared, how shall I say it, beyond

the law. Your General has been neutralized. Oh and by the way, I said a Mr. Hampton was killed. Well

someone said they saw a white man go in his house just before his accident. So my young friend it

looks like most of your time will be spent trying to stay ahead of the law. Ours or anyone else's. So

you see, you just know who your friends are. Now if there are no more questions."

"Yes," pleads Denny. "What is all this about?"

"Why Mr. Denny haven't you already figured it out? It's all about money and power. So

if you don't mind, you can let yourself out. I have a lot of work to do. Good bye Mr. Denny."

Sitting on the floor at a low table Denny and Tag discuss, while they eat their Korean food, what happened at the big white house.

"Denny you mean to tell me they let you walk in, tell you all about their operation and

then let you walk away?"

Taking a bite of food, Denny shakes his head and swallowed.

"That's about it Tag except for one thing. They have me so deep in circumstantial evidence that my hands are tied and any law enforcement agency that might come along will be glad to pick me up. Remember that guy I went to see in the big house in Pusan? Well they had him killed

without any remorse. Tag these people are really hard core and like he said, they are everywhere.

And they seem to know what we're doing before we actually do it. We are going to have to beat them at their own game."

"This is bigger than booze and comodaties. I've been thinking about those Guards and that house boy at the first house. They're not there to keep people out. They weren't interested in me.

Their job is to keep the head resident in."

"Tag in reference to this situation, do you remember in our combat training we were specially trained to think as a unit or on our own. I don't think they have the qualities. They work as cells. Each cell has a keeper and the next and so on. And this goes on until the very top. Who that is,

is what we must find out. From the top down these people are not committed to any one principle.

Their only loyalty is to power. If we can put chinks in their chain of command, they will start to tumble.

We shall do this on a military level, something we are familiar with. We have regimentation and that is what civilians lack. They do not work as a unit and that is where we excel."

"Major, you are not in North Korean Country now. I know Hampton, the keeper of the

Pusan house and I know all about his house boy.The keeps death was not sanctioned Cho. You went above and beyond the limits of your control level. This is unconscionable . For your actions, you have much to answer for. As you are aware we are all expendable, especially in your case. I can do no more than make my report to Control. You will have to wait for procedures and whatever decision they

deem necessary. For the time being we do not want anymore violence."

"Listen I didn't kill the keep, his houseboy did."

"Cho I am aware who killed whom. But above everything, you were the motivating force.

We are aware the houseboy is directly in your employ. More accurately, he is in your military command. Do not underestimate our organization. We use you because of your North Korean contacts. When you prove hazardous to the organization you won't be necessary. So take my warning

and go undercover. Wait until we contact you. That is all. You are dismissed."

"We're heading back to Pusan Tag. It looks like that is where everything originates."

The train ride back to Pusan was uneventful. No one seemed to notice two extra men returning from combat. Detraining, Denny doesn't notice two Koreans getting of the other end. Walking up town from the train depot Denny quickly ducks into a small alley and drags Tag with him.

Almost pulling him off his feet.

"Sorry Tag, but we are being followed."

"You mean those two Koreans that got off the same time we did?"

"Tag you could of said something like there are two Koreans from the train following us.

Here is what we're going to do. I"ll take off up the street. I think it's dark enough. They can't tell it's just one person. You wait here and take them out. See if you can snatch one alive. I'll give you three minutes." Saying that Denny walked up the street.

Returning after three minutes Denny could see Tag sitting in the middle of the street.

"What happened Tag? Did they get away?"

"Sargent Denny you know better then that. They're back in the alley. Good little Koreans."

"You have them tied up?"

"Sargent Denny you know better.But before they were dispatched on their way I found

out a couple of things. First, they are or rather were North Korean soldiers, but what is stranger than

that, they were in Major Cho Luc's command. How do you figure that?"

"I figure Tag that anyplace there is a buck to be made, that is where he will be. He has no

loyalties. Come on Tag, get out of the middle of the street. We'll find a place to hole up for a few hours."

Just before sunrise the two men are sitting in a tea house, just off the main thoroughfare.

The shop is small but surprisingly clean. Colorfully decorated with cheesecloth curtains across the front and incense burning everywhere.

"Every time I open my mouth for a bite of rice cake I get a lung full of incense."

"Be thankful Tag. It keeps away bad spirits, insects and any outdoor aromas. Doc should be here soon. He said he would check in here twice a day until we hooked up."

Making small chit-chat until Doc arrived so they wouldn't have to repeat themselves,

time went by slowly.

"Tag I have known you a long time, but you never mention your past. Am I out of line or putting my nose where I don't belong?"

"No. As a child I was always around fishing boats. My whole family still are. Before I was

born my family came from Italy. You probably heard of it, Solarno. Life was hard there so my family came to America. New York wasn't any better so they moved once more and came to California. My

father started with one fishing boat, but fishing is very competitive. An older and bigger fleet tried to run him out. To make a long story short my father called in some family and friends. Now he is the biggest and only fleet in town. He didn't want me to be a fisherman so he sent me to UCLA. I came

out with a 4.0 average. The second war was started. The Army had me go to O.C.S. but I didn't like it.

So I quit and landed in special training school for hand to hand combat and sniper training. I went to the Philippines and met you."

Just then Doc and Eli ducked into the shop. After bringing everyone up to the present,

they started making future operations.

"We can't stop world black-marketing, but we can try to stop it here. Get things back on track and start getting the necessary supplies to the front where it is needed. I'm afraid from here on,

things will be getting dangerous."

"Denny I thought we were in dangerous, going for suicidal."

"Men, Tag could be right. So anyone not fully dedicated has my best wishes to back out, no hard feelings."

For a few minutes no said anything."Alright men it's settled, we stay for the final act."

"First off, has anyone heard from Salazar? No? Maybe later."

"What we are going to do is cut the head of the snake off. That means we're going to start right here in Pusan where all things seem to happen at the waterfront. We can't have an all out frontal attack, so we'll go back to Gorilla tactics. We can't trust the police and M.P. system, so we'll hit and run. Any questions?"

"Alright then, what we're going to do is create a strike team. It seems like being a M.P. is the order of the day. I don't mean all M.P."s are crooked, but we will work on the assumption that the few we came in contact are.So we are going to appropriate two jeeps and that will be your job Tag.

And acquire M.P. paraphernalia, you know pistols, arm bands, the whole nine yards. What do you think Doc? Can you handle it?"

"I guess I can. It's a little out of my line. How soon will you need them and how many?"

"Four complete sets would be great Doc. Two men to a jeep. With two jeeps and four men

we are going to give the feeling of a whole squad. Hit and run, hit and run. When we get setup we'll workout our tactics.While you men are on your details I will try and find us a place to headquarter."

"Eli what your mission will be is to find Salazar. The last time I had contact with him I told him to hang around the waterfront, start there."

The next morning as Denny is having a cup of tea, Salazar literally drops in and sits on the floor. He orders a cup of tea and rice cakes and waits for Denny to speak.

"Salazar here is what I want you to do, but first what did you find out at the waterfront?"

"A lot of stuff is coming in but I was limited with my actions and couldn't travel to far, but I don't think it went into the warehouses."

"Okay that is what I started to say. I want you to go back in the service and get a pass

to work in the warehouse. Try and find out where all the stuff is going and how much stuff in the warehouses is moved and where."

"Thanks a lot Denny. Are you sure that's all you want?"


"


i am sorry it is a bit jumbled as i used my mac but i am sure you will get the gist of it thanks again,

robin kiser


Eric
Administrator
Posts: 13

Reputation: 0
Re: herman hughes (new book)
on: April 8, 2013, 11:47

Editing and reviewing work now!


Thank you!


CEO Vose Street Media, LLC

Pages: [1]
WP Forum Server by ForumPress | Lucid Crew
Version: 1.8.2 ; Page loaded in: 0.148 seconds.