Authors: Buck Sanders
“You must have thought we weren’t prepared for your short-lived adventure, eh, Slayton?”
Baal approached Wilma first, resting the edge of his gun barrel on her neck. She jerked away from him, and three guards shoved
her roughly back into place. “Beautiful young thing,” he said, eyeing her half-unbuttoned shirt. One of her breasts received
a brief caress. “I’ll be seeing more of you later.”
“Getting your jollies?” Slayton taunted.
Baal stepped to Orial and lamented, “You murdered a fine man, Slayton. Very young.” He touched his hand to Orial’s cheek—she
flinched. “If he were your son, Slayton, wouldn’t you think someone should pay for doing such a thing?”
Slayton didn’t answer. Baal pressed the gun against Orial’s chest and fired. She yelped in pain and surprise as blood and
tissue exploded out her backside. The water caught Orial’s body, enveloping her, pulling her into the muddy depths.
“Now we’re even, Slayton.”
T-MAN #1: A Clear and Present Danger
T-MAN #2: Star of Egypt
T-MAN #3: Trail of the Twisted Cross
T-MAN #4: The Starshine Connection
T-MAN #5: The Bayou Brigade
WARNER BOOKS EDITION
Copyright © 1982 by Warner Books, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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New York, NY 10017
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First eBook Edition: September 2009
The rain had stopped nearly an hour ago; the streets of Seoul were bathed in steamy wisps. A humid southern wind rattled tin
cups tied on the end of a signboard post.
The killer stirred in his hiding place. A taxicab approached, brakes squealing up to the driveway entrance. A Korean national,
dignified, solemn, alone, paid the driver and headed up the walkway toward a stately wooden house.
Passing the hedge, ten paces away, the killer crept silently toward an intersection in the path.
The cabbie logged his fare and drove off.
Blood spattered the cobblestone sidewalk as the Korean ambassador knelt down in a quiet panic, gurgling and clutching his
throat. Someone had moved behind the hedge, there had been the telling flash of a switchblade, icy steel had pressed in to
his neck and then a liquid spray had boiled down his shirt, hot as the night air.
The killer stood back satisfied with a cool, professional job. He laughed softly, wiping blood from the knife. He towed the
lifeless body into the shrubs and rummaged through coat and pants pockets. Empty.
He stood up, extracted a small cannister from his long coat and discharged an amber fluid onto the corpse, topping it with
a lit match. A single ravenous flame shot five feet into the air—the body will be consumed in minutes.
The killer walked two blocks and ducked into a waiting car.
“We must be at the airport by ten-thirty,” said the driver, in English.
“Do you have the money?” The blue-eyed killer removed his mask and rubbed a thick strand of bushy hair.
The car was already being driven at top speed, dodging slower cars and flitting through narrow side streets. “The money will
be waiting for you at the airport. Take this key, locker fourteen,” the driver answered.
The killer snatched it away, snarling, “You bastards aren’t going to hold out on me again!”
“I’m only here to take you to the terminal.” The car swerved to avoid a toppled garbage can. The driver shrugged his shoulders.
“I know nothing about your money.”
Looking at his watch, the killer leaned forward to check the front seat. “Is that for me?” he said, noticing a gray folder
and assorted papers.
“Yes.” The driver tossed the package to waiting hands.
There were the usual incidentals: new passport, forged I.D., pages of detailed briefing, a few photos. No money.
Slowing at a traffic light, the driver glanced in the rear view mirror. His passenger had arranged the documents in a separate
file folder perched on the seat and was blacking his hair with polish. “Turn around, idiot, the signal is green,” he said
to the driver.
The killer removed a small kit from his coat and began applying makeup to his chin and eyes, highlighting the lean, Germanic
features. He then popped contact lenses in, turning the blue eyes hazel. The airport luggage terminal loomed in the distance,
next to the larger passenger area.
“Let me off at the corner,” the killer said.
Walking past the security station inside the entrance, the killer spied a row of telephone booths and a concession stand further
down the corridor. He stood silently at the third phone for several minutes.
“You are Karl Baal?” A man dressed in an ash gray two-piece suit extended his hand. The offer was ignored.
Baal did not look at the man. “You have my ticket and the money?”
Two-piece shook his head. “Plans have changed considerably. You will be going to New Orleans directly from San Francisco.”
Baal contained his surprise. “I have not read the new instructions. The driver just gave them to me.”
“Donati will meet you in Louisiana.”
An airport security guard rounded the corner. Baal and Two-piece started walking toward the ticket counter. Baal leaned over
a drinking fountain while the other man talked.
“There’s trouble in Washington. Parfrey won’t deliver the goods. You may have to fly there.”
Baal smirked. “I would have thought things were planned better than this. Next you will tell me the assassination is off?”
“Nonsense. We’ll be in time for the Presidential address. There have been complications, that’s all.”
“Has my money become the victim of these complications?” Baal straightened up, glaring at Two-piece.
“It’s in the locker.” The man pivoted as an announcement blared over the loudspeaker.
“That’s my flight,” said Baal. “You will tell your superiors that I’m not pleased with their hesitation. This operation will
not proceed unless my requirements are met.”
there. Now go.” Two-piece wandered back in the direction of the front entrance.
Baal walked glibly toward the dark-skinned Oriental woman at the counter.
“Will you please hurry?” he said. “I believe I am late for my flight.”
Considering what he would do in America, this killer was remarkably calm. He’d spent the better part of a year training for
this mission, dodging bullets and soaking up advanced technology in weapons systems, working with dozens of terrorist operatives
now similarly dispatched around the globe. A smile spread across his face while he settled into a first-class seat. The world
would soon know of his mission. He pictured himself as a divine archangel who would rescue the oppressed and serve as a messenger
of doom for the imperialist bullies. There would be such chaos.
He was happy. A long flight ahead gave him time to rest, to envision dreamily the long-planned overthrow of the American government.
“Move it, asshole!” Alvarez didn’t wish to alert anyone to their presence, but his three accomplices were lagging behind.
Their target lay three hundred yards ahead, and, since this maneuver was timed to the split second, a sense of panic tinged
They were running now, past the iron railing which led directly to a parking lot, up a mild incline, and over an embankment
landscaped with shrubs.
An overhead light shone on the building’s east wall. The men scurried past the shadow’s edge, protected from sight by their
black commando outfits. A path led to a clearing beside a utility road marked with a sign, “U.S. government vehicles only.”
Alvarez went ahead to the side of the building. He opened a fuse terminal which was raised inches above the ground and cut
two wires, knocking out all lights on the south wall. He doubled back to the other men, who were lined up near a path to the
south entrance. Hess, a wiry ex-athlete, followed Alvarez into the vacant building. Moore and Arribal waited behind.
It was midnight.
Alvarez and Hess broke all speed records getting inside. A railing near the base of the first marble pillar was the lookout
point. Hess could see across the parking area to the traffic circle, nearly a quarter mile distant. Inside, the darkness was
complete; if anybody came near, they would not be detected easily. The interior was empty but for carved stone statues rising
twenty feet from the floor, illuminated’ somewhat by quartz floodlights dotting the external walkways.
Alvarez removed three large containers from his pouch. He punched a button on his wristwatch and began timing fifteen minutes.
“Toss me the bag,” he whispered to Hess.
The bag, insulated with foam, bounced off the pink marble wall and into Alvarez’ arms.
Hess unwrapped a forebrace and rope from the packsack hooked to his belt. Anchoring the rope around the pillar, he tied the
forebrace into position, looping the untied section of rope under his butt. Attached to the brace, he could balance on the
railing with little difficulty, allowing him to concentrate on his view of the perimeter.
Lowering one small container to the floor, Alvarez decided to set the timers for detonation first. As this explosion would
last forty-five seconds, he calibrated the electronic fuses to allow one bomb a twenty-second head start. The twenty-second
lapse would allow that bomb to discharge a highly concentrated chemical spray prior to exploding.
He pulled a walkie-talkie from the sack. “Durkin, three-zero, do you read, over.”
A static buzz, then, “Yes, are you setting up? Over.”
“We are go, repeat, go. You must set up your transmission. I need a signal.” Alvarez brought out a black box with four switches
mounted near an LED crystal display. A numeral sequence flashed on-854. Alvarez placed the box on the floor. “We have a signal,”
Outside, Moore was assembling a small radio receiver to be placed in one of the bushes. Arribal followed a path into the building,
unrolling light-gauge wire from a spool and connecting one end to a junction box.
“Don’t drop it,” he said, handing the unit to Alvarez.
“Go outside, be quiet, and wait,” replied the demolitions expert.
The three other men knew Alvarez as a genius with exposives. He’d worked twenty years as the head of bomb disposal for the
Brazilian government, later escaping the country in the face of charges of corruption. Fleeing south, he joined the
the Argentinian terrorist clique. While he had masterminded a scheme in which he simultaneously blew up several foreign embassies
in Buenos Aires,
leaders decided Alvarez was too ambitious; they arranged an “accidental death.” But the auto carrying a gun-laden execution
squad exploded as it approached Alvarez’s home. Escaping to the Orient, he secured work as a mercenary in Thailand before-receiving
his current assignment. In his own words, all that mattered was “an ample fee, and no questions are asked.”
“Where’s that friggin’ Alvarez?” Moore panted. Scanning the far side of the building, Moore spotted a police motorcycle traveling
through the parking lot. “Fucking cops!” he said.
Hess shimmied down the pillar, carefully rolling up the brace and other gear. “Hey, man,” he whispered loudly to Alvarez,
“The pigs are here. Let’s move.”
“Come on!” Moore was scampering around in circles like a confused rabbit.
Alvarez bent down, attaching the final wire to the fuse terminal. Scooping up the tools, electronics, and a collapsible semiautomatic
Rapidfire, Alvarez trailed behind the others, sprinting to a waiting car idling near the traffic circle. Before the cop was
ten feet from his cycle, the guerrilla band was gone, leaving no trace.
Patrolman Sid Vance was four minutes early on tonight’s routine tour of the Monumental Core, which swept from the Capitol
Building along Constitution Avenue westward to the Potomac River. Ascending the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he detected
a faint chemical scent. He dismissed it as exhaust fumes. During his perfunctory trip through the marble corridors and hallway,
past the regal Ionic columns, he failed to notice the explosive package positioned two feet from the interior of the east
wall. It was swathed in gauze, and placed less than ten paces away from the statue of Abraham Lincoln.
Treasury agent Benjamin Justin Slayton was flat on his back again.
This time, though, he was not backstroking his way up a river in the African Congo, where he had just logged four long weeks
searching—and locating—the kidnapped, teen-aged daughter of a government official. Half asleep, he fantasized the rescued
girl now .looming above him, thanking him profusely for risking life and limb to steal her away from a band of Mau-Mau insurrectionists.
She would do
to thank him, she said, bouncing eagerly on his mid-section, her firm, teen-aged breasts joggling merrily.