Terror and Corruption: Marque and Reprisal is Out!

Terror and Corruption: Marque and Reprisal is Out!

Surface To Air “Kev! Up!” Wade had pivoted, bringing his MCX up as the second helo made a pass at the stern. Bullets smacked into steel and fiberglass around them, and both Blackhearts ducked, Curtis throwing himself flat just below the lip of the helipad. He rolled over onto his back as the bird went by, wrenching the EVOLYS around and sending a burst at the receding aircraft’s tail. He couldn’t tell whether he’d hit it or not. Levering himself to his feet, he hauled the EVOLYS up and searched for the helo. It was nose down, making tracks fast, banking off to the west, far astern of the yacht. I still might be able to hit it. He shifted to the aft rail, bracing the machinegun and tracking in on the fleeing helicopter. He squeezed off a burst, but his range was off. Red tracers arced just beneath the bird, which jinked hard to avoid the fire and dove even closer to the water, turning away from the Dream Empire and banking violently from side to side to avoid the gunfire. He fired one more burst, but between the helicopter’s motion, the widening range, and the yacht’s own rolling

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 3

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 3

Joe Flanagan scanned the water carefully, considering the angles. There was a good spot just upstream, where a sizeable boulder lay just beneath the surface, visible only as a slightly more noticeable stirring of the water. He saw another spot closer to the bank, though, where a fallen tree and a partially collapsed overhang had formed a sheltered pool. He stayed where he was, motionless, quiet, set back from the bank so that he wouldn’t cast a shadow on the water, and watched for a while. After a few minutes, he circled around toward the pool formed by the fallen tree. Crouching down by a pine, he watched the water carefully for a few more minutes, before finally casting into the end of the pool. It took a couple of casts, but finally the line tautened and the tip of the rod bent. He flicked upward, setting the hook, and then started to work the fish in toward the bank. Even as he reeled in his catch, he heard the crunch of gravel under tires, the sound of a motor stopping, and then a door being shut. Despite the battering his hearing had taken over years of gunfire and helicopters,

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 2

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 2

“Dad? Looks like Uncle Hector’s here.” John Brannigan looked up from the table. Hank, leaner and shorter than his father by several inches, was peering out the door at the driveway, noticeably staying out of the light, off to one side, where a newcomer shouldn’t be able to see him. The boy had been an officer, but he’d learned. He should have, given the fact that his old man had been something of an infantry legend. Still. He’d learned even more since he’d left the Marine Corps and become a member of the secretive mercenary team that called itself Brannigan’s Blackhearts. Brannigan shut the ledger in front of him with a faint frown and got up to step around the table and move to the other window. Sure enough, that was Hector Chavez’s car pulling up the driveway. “That’s weird. Usually he calls ahead.” “Maybe the cell signal’s not working up here again.” “Wouldn’t that be a shame,” Brannigan growled. The only reason he had the infernal device in the first place was because of the Blackhearts. Otherwise, he would have been perfectly happy to go completely off grid up here. Thrusting his .45 into the back of his waistband,

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 1

Marque and Reprisal Chapter 1

The attack was swift and completely unexpected. Carl Hild hardly noticed the roll of the deck beneath his feet as he headed below, toward his cabin. He was still miserable. I never should have taken this gig. The money wasn’t bad. The job itself, though… Hild had been to just about every port in the world over the last twenty years. He’d sailed with all kinds of crews, from the good, to the bad, to the incompetent and depraved. None of them quite matched this nightmare. Not that the crew itself was bad. Even the captain, drunk though he was, knew his business and generally treated his subordinates fairly. Even the route wasn’t bad. No, it was the client. The Tonka Canyon wasn’t the biggest oceangoing cargo ship out there, and her cargoes often only just about broke even. This time, though, the container at the forefront of the hold was supposed to pay for the whole voyage by itself, and that was leaving aside the other stuff they’d taken on to fill the rest of the hold. It just didn’t feel worth it. The container had come with its own security detail and supervisor. And that was where the

The Guns of Marque and Reprisal

The Guns of Marque and Reprisal

Returning to the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series once more, it’s time for the traditional guns post. There’s slightly less variety this time around, but it’s a more contained sort of story, too. Once the Blackhearts get aboard the ship they’ve been hired to protect from an advanced group of pirates, they get issued weapons by the client. That means all the same primaries, namely SIG MCX Virtus carbines in 5.56×45. The sidearms are all issued, as well. The client’s security coordinator goes for the basics, with Glock 19s. Initially, that’s all they get, to Kevin Curtis’s fury. However, once things start to get kinetic, it turns out that the client was slightly more prepared for the well-equipped, well-trained pirates than it appeared. With money to burn, too. Curtis and Bianco both end up wielding FN EVOLYS ultralight machineguns, also in 5.56. The pirates are a little more black market. Their primary weapons are South African Vektor R4s in 5.56. For machineguns, they have a few Vektor Mini-SS 5.56 belt-feds, presumably from the same shipment the R4s came from. Pistols are a little bit more eclectic among the pirates. We don’t necessarily get to see many of them, but the pirate chief, Cain,

Blood Debt Is Live

Blood Debt Is Live

No Going Back He looked up at the towers, just in time to see one of the ballistic windows on the eastern corner tower slide open. He didn’t think. He just reacted. The only reason for one of those windows to open would be that they’d been spotted, and were about to take fire. Snapping his rifle to his shoulder, he leaned around Bianco’s shoulder, put the faint, red chevron in the ACOG, still illuminated despite the fact that the optic was so old that the tritium had to be half depleted already, on that dark rectangle in the top of the tower, flipping the weapon to “semi” and squeezing the trigger as soon as the chevron settled. The M4 thundered in the otherwise quiet night, spitting flame in the dark as Bianco flinched away from the muzzle blast. Wade leaned into the rifle, dumping four more rounds into the opening even as Kirk opened fire on the other tower, if only to cover Wade’s back. They were committed, now. *** Mercenaries strike a hidden base… …But it’s a trap. Now they have only one hope – Brannigan’s Blackhearts When Mitchell Price’s black bag team hit a mysterious former Soviet

Blood Debt Chapter 3

Blood Debt Chapter 3

I need to get up. Joe Flanagan looked up at the sunlight streaming through the window with some bemusement. With rare exceptions, he was usually up a good hour before the sun, this time of year. But as he turned to see Rachel—now Rachel Flanagan—lying next to him, breathing softly, he took a deep breath and settled back on the pillow. It’s not every day that a man has his honeymoon, and while there were chores that still had to happen that day, he was going to relax a little. After a while, though, he started to get restless, and carefully slipped out from under the covers, swinging his feet down to the floor before quietly getting dressed and padding into the kitchen, starting the water boiling for coffee. He turned as movement caught his eye, to see Rachel, wrapped in her bathrobe, her hair disheveled but lovely, smiling at him from the doorway. “You’re not quite as sneaky as you think, hon.” While Flanagan was ordinarily something of a stoic, his wife drew a grin. She’d had that effect on him ever since Kevin Curtis had introduced them, unwittingly setting events in motion that had led to this point.

Blood Debt Chapter 2

Blood Debt Chapter 2

Dan Tackett heard the phone vibrating on the workbench, even over the faint strains of Charley Crockett coming from the small speaker on the shelf above, but he ignored it. One thing at a time. He wasn’t going to leave the job half-finished just to answer the phone. He finished tightening down the housing and stepped back from the bike appreciatively. Hondas weren’t his favorite to work on, but he was good at it, and he had to admit that this Shadow Phantom was a nice-looking bike. Looking around the shop, he nodded. It never quite ceased to amaze him, even after five years, how much he’d managed to build. He knew he couldn’t have done it without Mitchell Price’s payoff after the Anambas mission had gone horribly awry, but all the same, there’d been a time when he’d wondered if he’d ever be good for anything but packing a gun in dangerous and far distant places. It had been that wonder, as he’d been working a dead-end job and trying to maintain the lifestyle he’d had before his first wife had died, that had led him to that ill-fated contract. After the hell he’d gone through on those islands,

Blood Debt Chapter 1

Blood Debt Chapter 1

Vernon White was just glad that they were in the truck and heading up into the mountains. It promised to be a rough ride, as the old, Soviet Ural truck had clearly seen better days, but at least he and the rest of the team were in the covered bed and out of sight. Max, Travis, and especially Sam, lean and crooked as he looked, blended in with the Russians in Kyrgyzstan far better than a tall, muscled, bald-headed black man. Bishkek had been bad enough. Kochkor had been far worse. Even the rest of the team had caught stares there. The Kyrgyz themselves weren’t Russian, and all the MMPR Special Projects team were either too pale or too dark. He looked around the inside of the truck bed. Max hadn’t changed much since their first mission together, in that ill-advised trip into the Anambas in the South China Sea. He never tanned, instead turning bright red for a few days before returning to a “lighter shade of pale.” He’d always been hefty, and that hadn’t changed, no matter some of the austere environments that Mitchell Price’s special tasks had taken them to. Sam hadn’t changed much, either, except to

The Guns of Blood Debt

The Guns of Blood Debt

Dan Tackett, the main character of Kill Yuan, returns in Blood Debt, the tenth Brannigan’s Blackhearts novel. It’s a tighter, more localized fight this time, but there are still some interesting guns that will be used by friend and foe alike. As the story opens, Mitchell Price’s Special Purpose team is closing in on their target, armed with Gilboa M43 carbines. Price decided on these rifles for the ergonomics of the AR/M4 platform, while still maintaining the capability to rearm with 7.62x39mm, which is common enough in Central Asia. They are confronted by shooters in unfamiliar camouflage, carrying B+T APC 300 carbines. The Advanced Police Carbine is a Swiss design, ambidextrous, and can take B+T’s ROTEX suppressor. The APC does come in 5.56, but the APC 300 is optimized for .300 Blackout. Boyd, the Humanity Front’s main hatchet man in Kyrgyzstan, is a professional, but he’s not as into exotic guns as Flint was. He picked the APC 300s for his team because the Front doesn’t want the appearance of a standardized military force. But his sidearm is pretty standard: a Glock 17 9mm. When Brannigan’s Blackhearts get on the ground, they can’t be that choosy. Their contact has access to a