Yellow flames were still licking out of the top of the burn barrel as they loaded up into the back of the janga truck. 

Bill, Ramon, Rick, and the two other team members had kitted up.  Deckard had been listening to them banter back and forth about who would get more kills on this mission and picked up the names of the final two team members, they were Zach and Paul.  With Deckard now filling the void left by Henderson, a void created by Nikita’s sniper rifle in Pakistan, they had a six man assault element.

A young kid, maybe eighteen or nineteen, had been warming chai tea over a small fire in the courtyard.  Bill spoke to him and the kid responded in broken English.  He would be their indigenous driver for the mission.  It was a simple but ingenious infiltration method.  With a local driving the janga truck, the Americans would be hiding in a secret compartment in the back.  The Trojan Horse was alive and well.

After a few words with Bill, the Afghan went and opened the gate, then fired up the truck.  The hidden compartment was a large metal box that had bags of rice thrown on top of it to give the truck the appearance of hauling a full load.  The door to the compartment was disguised to look like the side of a crate.  The Liquid Sky members took turns searching each other over to make sure none of them unwittingly brought any non-local items.  The video games and Maxim magazines had to go into the burn barrel before they left.  Once out on patrol, they had to be completely sterile.

Deckard handed Rick his alias passport and other false documents.  The former SEAL Team Six operator tossed them in the burn barrel and then patted him down just to make sure he didn’t have anything squirreled away.  He didn’t.  If Deckard died on this mission it was unlikely that Pat and the others back at Samruk International would ever discover what had happened to him.  They had no idea where he was or what he was doing.  His body would be quickly buried by the locals who would not want to be discovered with a body, especially a white one by other Afghans or Coalition Forces.

Deckard climbed into the janga truck with the team, and then Bill got inside and shut the door behind him.  They would leave the compound unattended.  The operations center had been sterilized and they would not be reoccupying their forward staging area after the mission.

Bill talked into his radio, “Check the bug light.”

The driver hit a button under the dashboard, and a red light flickered on and off inside the hidden compartment.  It was a non-vocal warning in case something was wrong.  From inside their hiding place, the team had zero situational awareness of what was going on around them and would be relying on the driver for a heads up.