He’s old, his body isn’t working like it used to, he can’t hear well, he’s got a layer of fat around the middle, and all he wants to do is relive the thrill one last time!
Mercenaries have little to do with God and country, and everything to do with money. There is no loyalty outside of the clan, they will go wherever their employer wants them, and often that employer was the US Department of Defense Intelligence. The Pentagon.
Off the books, they came through the back door and were given their orders. They didn’t work within the military, they were subcontractors, no rules, and the asset they were often called to protect was – oil. Black Gold. Off the books for the government meant off the books for them – tax free $$$$.
When the US entered the Middle East, it wasn’t about the people, or freedom, it was about oil. Constant skirmishes, conflicts, and war throughout the region risked that asset. Mercenaries were the death squads deployed to protect that asset at any cost.
Well trained, they came from ranks within the military, Green Berets, Seals, and Marines whose resume listed one skillset: “I know how to kill people”. It was the only skill their stint in the military had provided them, and finding a job in the common peoples world was not only impossible, it was undesirable, it was boring.
He trained his team personally. They were the best of the best. Their identities were wiped. Their souls had already been ripped from their skins in past wars, their values nonexistent, their morality deadened, but their instincts were their weapon of choice – pin point sharp! The Defense Intelligence Agency used them because they were a small unit, easily disguised, unreported, and their deeds not transparent. The mission could take weeks or sometimes months to accomplish. They were a tight team, each man an asset to be protected at all costs. The camaraderie was intense! If a man was lost, that was his fate. If a man was lost due to a team member’s negligence, that necessitated punishment.
This was a business and success was not optional.
He did lose a few mates, but to his credit no one ever went rogue. Death was an accepted business tactic or fate. When the mission was fait accompli, a private plane would escort them to neutral territory where they could indulge in lavish meals and whores.
It simply was their way of life. The alternative back home was grim. They could never fit in to a mundane lifestyle ever again.
Of course being a mercenary did come with one rather perverse destructive consequence: nightmares, night terrors! A window, albeit very small, still existed in their soul wherein guilt would raise it’s ugly spears. Sometimes it manifested in rage, often it found an easy access during sleep when the mind was not protected.
After his soul was ripped from him in Vietnam and subsequently Africa, a hole formed in his brain. Behind the hole demons taunted him. Sometimes they came out screaming, brandishing swords as they sought to destroy his remaining sanity. Often he would awake drenched in sweat, his hands bloodied from pounding the wall. There were exactly two things that kept these demons quarantined in their hole, another mission and Gin.
The Pentagon maintained a black book of these mercenaries so they could fly under the radar. Creative accounting called for $500 coffee mugs, $1500 goggles, and facilities built in the Middle East that never existed. But it got more complicated when the US government would hire mercenaries on behalf of an enemy country while accepting payment under the table. Everybody profited. But a leak, even a minor leak, could unravel what would be hailed as treason. Many of these organizations were eliminated to curb a possible leak as questions began to be raised.
January 2019, the Pentagon revealed unaccounted funds of $21 trillion. The media would have us believe it was all negligent accounting. These are military strategists, not opioid addicts, they likely know exactly where the money went, but feel no necessity to inform the public. It bought coups. It bought mercenaries. It bought oil. It bought countries. It bought politicians. It bought the media.
In a recent article by The Last Refuge, the author recounted how each agency within the government has its own media leak source: FBI – leaks to New York Times and NBC, CIA – leaks to Washington Post and ABC, and the State Department – leaks to CNN and CBS. Ultimately each faction substantiates the other providing a unified propaganda.
The Pentagon did NOT lose $21 trillion, rather, it spent the money on assets it can not and does not want to reveal.
During the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations the constant rupture of war and coups within the Middle East necessitated more mercenaries. They were deployed to Ukraine, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan, UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Niger, Algeria, etc… Ramping up the global insecurity was an agenda, but the US was not oil independent and we needed to secure the flow. When ISIS took control of oilfields, who did they sell the oil to in order to maintain their military?
Rote military personnel could not be counted on, they held to an accountability, they believed in God and country. Mercenaries had no politics, no values, they were a hired death squad.
There was no shortage of contracts and he found himself spending more time abroad than home. He had a wife, in fact he had had a few, but without a soul to love, they moved on. He understood. It wasn’t that he chose this as a career so much as it chose him. As a boy he didn’t run around declaring that when he grew up he wanted to be a mercenary. But it found him. It took his life blood. And he loved every second despite being blown up, despite losing his wives, despite having no interest in rearing his children.
And now, an old man, he dreams of one last mission – despite the fact that this one would most certainly be – a failure. But at least it would end the nightmares.