out into the rain.
As she did, Harvath turned and shot the rebel commander twice in the head. No loose ends.
He inserted a fresh magazine and led Decker back the way he had come, keeping a very careful lookout for trip wires.
There was also the issue of at least seven, and possibly more, heavily armed rebel soldiers remaining.
The six back in the encampment, if still sleeping, were of no importance to him. It was the seventh rebel, the one who had controlled the toll stop and had led Decker away that he was concerned with. He was a huge loose end and could be a big problem for CARE now and in the future. If they let him live, the FRPI rebels wouldn’t stop until they had exacted their revenge.
They were nearly even with the encampment when Harvath’s earpiece crackled to life.
“The rebels know you’re there,” Ash radioed. “You need to get the hell out of there.”
Harvath was about to ask how the Brits knew, but then remembered that Jambo was monitoring the communications.
“Turn the vehicles around and move them half a click back,” Harvath said. “If anybody wants to get to you, they’ll be forced to come straight down the road.”
“That goes for you too,” Ash reminded him.
“Maybe not,” said Harvath. “Hurry up. We’ll get there as soon as we can.”
Signing off, he picked up the pace. As they neared the antipersonnel trap he had seen earlier, he slowed back down. Because he hadn’t been able to mark its position, it took him a few moments to find it. Once he did, he held the pin in place while Decker clipped the cord that functioned as the trip wire.
He thought about tossing the grenade into the tent that acted as the rebels’ supply depot, but as quickly as the idea had entered his mind, he dismissed it. There was no telling how many rebels were converging on them. He only had one grenade. He would need to make it count.
Skirting the encampment, he could see the previously sleeping rebels pouring out of their tent. He had the thickness of the jungle and the darkness on his side, so he stopped just long enough to take two shots. Both rounds found their marks and two more rebels lay dead.
By the time their comrades noticed, Harvath and Decker were already on the move. That didn’t stop the soldiers from firing wildly into the jungle where they thought their attackers had been.
It was chaos, which was the state Harvath wanted to put the enemy in. The more confused, the more unsure, the more stressed they were, the better it was for him. People who were off balance had trouble thinking and usually screwed up.
It was why, in his SEAL training, he had been deprived of sleep and stressed to the breaking point. Never allow failure to become an option. Adapt and overcome.
When they finally stepped out of the underbrush and rejoined the path that led to the road, Harvath could hear the rebels coming. He and Decker didn’t have a big enough lead. They needed to open up a wider gap.
At the first chemlight marker, he told Decker to keep going. Snatching up one of the AK-47s he had cached, he turned and fired in the rebels’ direction.
When he had emptied the first of the duct-taped magazines, he flipped it, and inserted the fresh one. He laid rounds right up the path again, and then swung the weapon from side to side, hoping to spray anyone who had tried to jump out of the way. Once he had run the weapon dry, he took off after Decker.
The move bought them an additional twenty seconds of a head start. He did the same thing at the next secreted AK-47 and the one after that, never knowing if he had succeeded in taking out any of the men giving him chase. Run the weapon dry and move. Run the next weapon dry and move. That was his picket line.
While the dense jungle provided concealment, the path didn’t offer much in the way of cover. As they neared the last AK-47, Harvath had a decision to make.
They would be about fifty meters from the road. It would be incredibly slow going trying to