War Dogs: Dark Paradigm Magazine #4

Dark Paradigm Magazine #4 for Patreons is now out.

This issue features Dark Ops: War Dogs. Here’s the blurb:

As Ghost 13 begin to operate inside Iran, ex-SEALS Captain, Kurt Coleman comes up against an adversary that jolts him back to his first G13 op on the Syrian border. That experience left a bitter taste but the high-risk close combat missions are only just beginning.

Also, another two chapters from Red Horse, our upcoming thriller.

Here’s an extract from War Dogs.

HAS22 Air Base, Iraq.

Coleman headed across to operations HQ as a huge C-5 transport plane roared along the runway behind him. He turned to watch it as it managed to lift its incredible weight off the ground, slowly gaining altitude. Another beast heading back to the motherland.

He turned and continued walking through the lines of large wooden huts, interspersed with camouflage netting hanging overhead. A group of soldiers were sitting around a crate, playing cards and casually trading insults.

When Coleman got inside past security, Natan Helms was standing in the corner, talking quietly into his phone. A large table dominated the room. Maps of the Middle East zones and monitors flashing the latest mission details covered every side of the interior walls.

To the left side of the hut, there were a few leather armchairs arranged with a low table in the middle, all on top of an elaborate rug, like some kind of whiskey drinking club. No doubt the booze itself was stashed nearby. Coleman marveled at the fact the big dicks had no qualms in shipping out all this shit to the middle of nowhere as if it was the dying days of the Roman empire.

Coleman headed towards the table and caught movement in his peripheral vision. He looked and saw an imposing figure dressed in standard US army uniform. As he took in the high cheekbones, the cropped blonde hair close to the skull, the recognition dawned on him. The figure stepped towards him away from a large oak desk.

Stark.

What the hell is he doing here?

Coleman felt the vivacity of anger, then quickly masked it, swallowing the feeling and returning to a neutral composure. The images of their recent past were incisive, instantly taking him back to the parched deserts of a previous operation. He tightened his fist slightly and felt his body muscles slacken.

“Captain Coleman,” Stark said, his voice flat and unemotional as if he was stating a fact rather than an address.

“Colonel Stark. Sir,” Coleman replied in a similar deadpan tone, raising his hand to his forehead in salute, wondering why Stark was dressed in standard US army uniform.

“Do you know why you’re here?” asked the Colonel.

“No, not yet. I’m guessing I’m about to find out—”

“Captain Coleman.”

Coleman looked over at Helms who had finished up his call.
Helms walked over.

“Colonel Stark. You’ve worked with the Captain before I believe?” Helms asked casually, his eyes surveying Coleman.

Helms knew damned well.

“Good job, by the way—in Diego Garcia,” Helms added, with a thin smile.

Coleman nodded but said nothing.

Helms gestured to the operations table. “Let’s sit down and get straight to business, shall we? Colonel Stark will be leading this one.”

Coleman kept his face impassive, the obedient soldier, but he was far from happy about working with Stark again. But then there was a lot of shit to crawl through in this job. It’s what he signed up for. Always plenty to bitch about when the dice didn’t roll your way.

Colonel Stark connected his military grade laptop to the screen on the wall. A map appeared that Coleman recognized as northern Iran. Stark began to speak, reeling off the times, locations and plans as if reading out the shipping forecast.

As the detail emerged it looked like Coleman and his team were about to spend a long time in the field in extremely dangerous situations. They would be inside hostile territory, making their own way, appearing in a variety of different guises. And as standard, capture was not an option. Denial of their operations would be automatic.

Just what Coleman thrived off.

The downside was Stark would be there.