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Authors: Keith Douglass

Direct Action

BOOK: Direct Action
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… expended in training saved Blake Murdock’s life. He didn’t think about it; he just fired until his man went down and then shifted to another target. First everyone with a weapon, then everyone standing, then everyone moving. The M-4 magazine ran out just as a screaming face loomed in front of him. The M-16 took a magazine change faster than any other weapon in the world, but there wasn’t enough time. Murdock’s left finger was on the trigger of the M203 grenade launcher, and he yanked it. The recoil banged against his shoulder and the figure in front of him went down with twenty buckshot in his chest from the 40mm M576 multipurpose round. So close was the range that the shot group was the size of a fist, and the plastic pellet cup and cap were blown right into the wound.

Murdock stood panting, smoke curling from the end of his suppressor, the room reeking of burnt gunpowder, dead bodies all over the place.

Direct Action

Don’t miss these other explosive


By Keith Douglass















If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”


A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author


Berkley edition / January 1997

All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1997 by The Berkley Publishing Group.

SEAL TEAM SEVEN logo illustration by Michael Racz.

This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, by mimeograph or any other means, without permission. For information address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
200 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016.

The Putnam Berkley World Wide Web site address is

ISBN: 978-1-101-55879-9


Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, 200 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016.

BERKLEY and the “B” design
are trademarks belonging to Berkley Publishing Corporation.


10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

“I don’t think they play at all fairly,” Alice began in a rather complaining tone, “and they don’t seem to have any rules in particular; at least, if there are, nobody attends to them—and you’ve no idea how confusing it is.…”

Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland

Table of Contents

1: Friday, August 18

2: Friday, August 18

3: Friday, August 18

4: Monday, September 4

5: Monday, September 4

6: Monday, September 4

7: Monday, September 4

8: Tuesday, September 5

9: Tuesday, September 5

10: Wednesday, September 6

11: Monday, September 11

12: Monday, September 18

13: Monday, September 19—Tuesday, November 7

14: Friday, November 10

15: Saturday, November 11

16: Saturday, November 11

17: Saturday, November 11

18: Saturday, November 11

19: Saturday, November 11

20: Saturday, November 11

21: Saturday, November 11

22: Saturday, November 11

23: Saturday, November 11

24: Saturday, November 11

25: Saturday, November 11

26: Saturday, November 11

27: Saturday, November 11

28: Saturday, November 11

29: Saturday, November 11

30: Saturday, November 11

31: Saturday, November 11

32: Saturday, November 11

33: Saturday, November 11

34: Saturday, November 11

35: Saturday, November 11

36: Saturday, November 11

37: Saturday, November 11

38: Saturday, November 11

39: Saturday, November 11

40: Saturday, November 11

41: Saturday, November 11

42: Saturday, November 11

43: Saturday, November 11

44: Saturday, November 11

45: Saturday, November 11

46: Saturday, November 11

47: Saturday, November 11

48: Saturday, November 11

49: Saturday, November 11

50: Saturday, November 11

51: Tuesday, November 14—Wednesday, November 15

52: Epilogue

Friday, August 18

0205 hours

The Red Sea harbor of Port Sudan

Islamic Republic of the Sudan

When Lieutenant Blake Murdock made up his mind to be a Navy SEAL, back when he was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, he knew he’d be spending a lot of time in the ocean. But it never occurred to him that he’d ever have to swim through raw sewage. Unfortunately, the cold hard reality was that the world’s ports and harbors were prime SEAL hunting grounds, and in most of them waste was treated by flushing it into the ocean.

Swimming toward the entrance to the harbor of Port Sudan, Murdock put the thought of whatever he might be sharing the water with right out of his mind. It was the only way; you just made sure all your immunizations were up to date. And with each kick of his fins Murdock was keenly aware of the gamma globulin shot that felt like a golf ball wedged in his right ass cheek.

Being a SEAL was living proof that you could get used to anything. If you couldn’t, you never made it out of the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course, or BUD/S for short. If
you looked like the fastidious type, the instructors found a nice big pile of dog shit for you to roll around in during morning PT, and allowed you to wear it on your fatigues for the rest of the day. You didn’t have to like it, they would explain, never kindly; you just had to do it. If not, you could always quit.

Yes, BUD/S was a sure cure for whatever fears had a hold of you. Like anyone with a fair imagination, it would have been understandable for Murdock to be a little nervous about the fact that the reefs of the Red Sea teemed with large numbers of some of the most aggressive shark species in the world, and that they liked to feed at night. But during BUD/S, one leg of a five-mile night surface swim had taken him right through a barking and splashing rookery of
seals—the buffet table of the great white shark. After that he didn’t waste any more time thinking about sharks, especially ones he couldn’t see.

And Murdock had his hands full just doing his job. He was swimming fifteen feet below the surface of the water, concentrating on the attack board he held before him. The attack board was how SEALs found their way through the seas: a piece of molded plastic with two hand grips, mounting a large bubble compass in the center with a digital combination depth gauge/watch above it. Although all the instruments were luminous, sometimes the nighttime darkness of the sea swallowed their faint light, so the board also had a tubular plastic holder for a Cyalume chemical light stick. Twisting a knob opened a lengthwise slit in the holder, allowing Murdock to regulate the amount of light that was cast onto the board.

Murdock had been following a compass bearing and keeping the time, since he knew exactly how long it took him to swim a hundred meters. Tied to him by a six-foot-long buddy line was Electrician’s Mate Second Class William Higgins, the squad radio operator, known as the Professor to the rest of the 3rd Platoon, SEAL Team Seven, because he enjoyed reading the kinds of books that had been rammed down their throats in school. Lightly grasping Murdock’s elbow as he swam beside
him, Higgins was counting each kick of his fins as a backup to Murdock’s navigation, knowing exactly how many kicks it took them to travel a hundred meters.

Murdock and Higgins were each wearing the Enhanced Draeger LAR-V underwater breathing apparatus. It was a pure oxygen rebreather that recycled exhaled air and left no telltale trail of bubbles. The LAR-V had been in the SEAL inventory for years, but the new enhanced model had a larger oxygen bottle with thirty percent greater capacity for long swims. The Draegers were worn on their chests; their weapons were strapped across their backs.

Since the SEALs were planning on leaving the water, they swam in the new three-Color desert camouflage uniform, tan and pale green with streaks of pink. Sage-green fire-resistant Nomex flight gloves protected their hands. Their swim fins were strapped over regular-issue jungle boots.

Nearing the end of one compass leg, Murdock paused to employ his last and most accurate navigation aid. It was a plastic box the size of a cellular phone: a MUGR, or Miniature Underwater GPS Receiver, known to the SEALs as Mugger. He unreeled the tiny floating wire antenna and sent it off to the surface. When it got there, the set picked up signals from the closest four Global Positioning Satellites and told him within ten feet exactly where he was on the earth. The Mugger could also be programmed to navigate an entire route. All you had to do was follow the arrow on the screen. A lot of SEALs liked to use it exclusively, but Murdock only allowed 3rd Platoon to use theirs to back up their navigation. He hated the idea of trailing the antenna on the surface, even though it was nearly invisible. Besides, something might go wrong with the set. Satellites might not be in line, the batteries might go dead, anything. The Mugger provided peace of mind, and saved him from having to periodically surface and stick his face mask out of the water to check his bearings, what SEALs called making a peek.

Murdock was right where he was supposed to be, so he went back to the attack board, took up a new compass heading, gave Higgins a squeeze on the arm, and resumed the swim.

The water was pitch black. Murdock couldn’t see a thing except the dim glow of the attack board. Without the steady pressure on his elbow he’d never have known Higgins was right beside him. The other fourteen SEALs of 3rd platoon, seven other swim pairs, were also in the water, but Murdock and Higgins wouldn’t see any of them until they reached the target.

Murdock knew they were now inside the harbor, though there were no propeller sounds or any other indications of that. The docks and cargo handling facilities were on the coastal spit of land to his right. The harbor channel ran both left and right from the Red Sea entrance, curving around a central peninsula that was the city of Port Sudan. And that was where Murdock, Higgins, and the rest of 3rd Platoon were headed. The waterfront.

BOOK: Direct Action
7.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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