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To give you a flavour of my book Global Raider here is a short description and extract from the opening of Chapter 1.

Extracts will continue every Tuesday and Friday.

CHAPTER ONE

Sweat trickled on Seb’s face. In the still night a fly buzzed, stopped, buzzed again then settled on the barrel of his AK74 rifle. Lying in a hollow scooped from the desert floor, he squinted through his night optic sight, drawing a line of vision over the ambush square, waiting on the enemy, waiting on advanced warning from the UAV twelve miles in the sky.

Since hitting the dropping zone at 2300 hours and burying his parachutes, Seb had felt his adrenalin slowly gain in pressure to feed tension over fear.   Fear would come later, when it was done and over. For now he blocked all negatives from his mental preparation. The Combined Agency Taskforce, CAT taught all or nothing and the eight-man ambush team from the Anti-terrorist Warfare wing would expect nothing less of him. He just prayed the outcome would not demand a cold blooded execution. This he knew was his trial for acceptance amongst the elite. These guys were ex-SAS, 9 Para, SBS, Airborne and Commandos, the very finest of British Special Forces; except ambush via US ground control in America and an unmanned aerial vehicle somewhere amidst the stars was untried. Tucked in his hole, Seb knew he was central to the operation’s success, his orders deciding whether he and others of the CAT team lived or died. Tension in his body sparked every muscle and nerve which in turn pumped his sweat into the desert heat.

He brushed at another fly and heard Jock Anderson flick away the same irritation in the adjacent scoop, heard him puff when one settled on his lips. Seb considered him the babyminder but it did not detract from responsibility. Young he might be, but Seb was still the commanding officer. If he messed up, no one would forgive him. The outcome was a steel flask of anthrax en route to London, courtesy of one very dangerous al-Qaeda agent.

From the slit of the sand covered hole he looked up to a star scattered heaven, the crystal air allowing vision thirty metres into the hot, velvet night. To his right lay undulating desert, to his left sand rock hills rose in stark silhouette, the tops shimmered by moonlight. On the lower slopes he had set the team’s RV point and a two-man comms post manning the radio link to base. The team link was through UHF sets. More important was Seb’s own link by satellite-com direct to Global Hawk ground control. Somewhere high above, an unmanned aerial vehicle watched over them like a guardian angel.

Again Jock shuffled his solid bulk, farted and set the flies buzzing.

“What the fuck you been eating?” Seb put a forearm to his nose, glad of the disturbance and the ease of tension.

“Beans.” Jock turned his big square face and grinned. “I always eat beans before an op. Gives more velocity when I run.”

Seb lifted his head and noticed all the flies had deserted. “You’re more lethal than the bloody anthrax.”

“In Al Razi’s face, evil bastard.” Jock laid the crook of his arm over the butt of a Barrett M82A1 sniper rifle, its .50 round capable of piercing an engine block.

“You think the Yanks are up there?” Jock asked.

“Somewhere.” Seb rested chin to forearm and stared at a million stars. “They’ve been watching these guys by satellite for months. The stupid prats are still using mobiles. They’re watching them now. Technology, that’s what wins wars. When it works,” he added in after thought.

“Still takes squaddies on the ground, some poor bastards to sort out the mess.”

“For now. But it will change.”

“We’ll be dead by then.”

“Hope not.” Seb looked back to where a sand track wound its way around the hill at a hundred metres distance. He knew that four miles on the other side an al-Qaeda training camp held three hundred men. Somewhere over the track four of his own team lay waiting, each huddled in a scoop from the desert floor, each listening for his command to open fire. During the protracted silence the earpiece of Seb’s sat-link whispered warning.

“Global Hawk to Desert Snatch. Convoy preparing to leave compound. Three vehicles, estimated enemy strength, eighteen. ETA, ten minutes.”

Seb listened to the American voice of the UAV ground control, someone in a far distant place who watched this patch of desert through darkness and space.

“Roger that.” Seb switched mikes and spoke to his team over UHF. “Eighteen players, three vehicles, ETA ten minutes. Pete, Mike, you take lead vehicle. Dave, Rich, end vehicle. Jock and I will do middle. Everyone to mop up runners. Barretts to stop vehicles,” Seb paused. “Priority is the flask, probably in the central vehicle. Try not to cause fire. We don’t want it red hot or broken. Some poor sod has to carry it.”

“Guess who?” Jock grinned.

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