This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Only the scorpions sensed death approaching and raised up their poisonous stings in protection. Six black shadows descended from the night sky. There was a rapid clobbering of shoes and a soft hissing of parachutes folded. Six men moved silently across the stony ground.
Two hours before daybreak, the group reached the crossroads and pulled night vision goggles over their eyes. The windows of the house looked like the hollow eye sockets of a skull against the lighter background of the still warm walls. The light reflecting from the windshield of the minivan parked in front of the house was particularly uninviting.
They had thought of everything except that their targets would use the minivan to cover the front door to the house. They stood still for a moment, waiting. Nothing moved inside. The commander pointed to the smallest man in the group and gestured, “Go round the house and inspect the van.”
Two other men took covering positions behind the corners of the adjacent buildings, their machine guns aimed at the windows. The rest watched as their comrade circled the house from left to right, rounding the far corner with his hand raised: “Everything is OK.”
Without uttering a word, the commander gestured his confirmation of “Plan A”, which they agreed upon back on the plane: “I go first, you two follow me. Make sure they don’t escape from the side and back windows.”
Later the six men would ask themselves what had betrayed their presence to the drug smugglers besieged in the house. A second before they crashed through the door and stormed inside, the windows suddenly lit by the tiny flames of fierce shooting. Bullets splintered the door, the windows of the minivan shattered.
Still, the defenders in the house were helpless against the intelligence which invisible eyes traced them from the southern province of Helmand, across Ghor and Sar-e-Pol to the capital of Balkh, bringing these legendary commandos to their doorstep. While the drug smugglers were shooting rounds of fire into the front door, a fleeting shadow appeared at the only window on the eastern side of the house. Standing on the shoulders of two of his comrades, the smallest member of the group shot three instant double-tapping rounds. Three of the surrounded men collapsed on the earthen floor, but the other two did not notice them. Encouraged by the total silence behind the door, they assumed they had killed the attackers, and rushed out. Both were dead even before their bodies hit the minivan and slumped over one another.
The commander stooped and pulled a small canvas bag from the clenched fist of one of the smugglers. Something rattled inside. He was curious as to the reason for taking the lives of five strangers and risking their own.
He was disappointed because the night vision goggles proved to be useless, although the greenish image was clear as a crystal. The angular pictographs on the ancient clay tablet he was holding between his thumb and forefinger meant nothing to him.
Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...
Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.
Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.
Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...
Kelsey Miller: Page turner set in a gritty future. Loads of flavor and depth that makes the pages fly by until like me you are at the end of the book wanting more!The world is developed to the point it begs more stories set in this harsh reality. More adventures from Daryl and thr crew.
Chevonne Prinsloo: I loved this book.. I didn't want to stop reading it! just my kind of book... I really love how the plot of the story carries along. I hope there are more books to follow after this one! I like the way she describes how Rogue is feeling and the way she shows the emotions going through Rogu. I als...
Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...