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Authors: Leo J. Maloney

Black Skies

BOOK: Black Skies
Highest Praise for Leo J. Maloney and His Thrillers
“Smart, savvy, and told with the pace and nuance that only a former spook could bring to the page,
Black Skies
is a tour de force novel of twenty-first-century espionage and a great geopolitical thriller. Maloney is the new master of the modern spy game, and this is first-rate storytelling.”
—Mark Sullivan

Black Skies
is rough, tough, and entertaining. Leo J. Maloney
has written a ripping story.”
—Meg Gardiner
“Leo Maloney has done it again. Real life often overshadows fiction and
Silent Assassin
is both: a terrifyingly thrilling story of a man on a clandestine mission to save us all from a madman hell bent on murder, written by a man who knows that world all too well.”
—Michele McPhee
“From the bloody, ripped-from-the-headlines opening sequence,
Silent Assassin
grabs you and doesn’t let go.
Silent Assassin
has everything a thriller reader wants—nasty villains, twists and turns, and a hero—Cobra—who just plain kicks ass.”

Ben Coes
“Dan Morgan, a former Black Ops agent, is called out of
retirement and back into a secretive world of politics and
deceit to stop a madman.”

The Stoneham Independent
“Leo J. Maloney is the new voice to be reckoned with.
Termination Orders
rings with the authenticity that can only
come from an insider. This is one outstanding thriller!”

John Gilstrap
“Taut, tense, and terrifying! You’ll cross your fingers it’s
fiction—in this high-powered, action-packed thriller, Leo
Maloney proves he clearly knows his stuff.”

Hank Phillippi Ryan
“A new must-read action thriller that features a double-crossing
CIA and Congress, vengeful foreign agents, a corporate drug
ring, the Taliban, and narco-terrorists . . . a you-are-there
account of torture, assassination, and double-agents,
where ‘nothing is as it seems.’ ”

Jon Renaud
“Leo J. Maloney is a real-life Jason Bourne.”

Josh Zwylen
Wicked Local Stoneham
“A masterly blend of Black Ops intrigue, cleverly interwoven with imaginative sequences of fiction. The reader must guess which accounts are real and which are merely storytelling.”

Chris Treece
The Chris Treece Show
“A deep-ops story presented in an epic style that takes fact mixed
with a bit of fiction to create a spy thriller that takes the reader
deep into secret spy missions.”

Cy Hilterman
Best Sellers World
“For fans of spy thrillers seeking a bit of realism mixed into
their novels,
Termination Orders
will prove to be an excellent
and recommended pick.”

Midwest Book Reviews
J. M
Termination Orders
Silent Assassin
Black Skies
J. M
Kensington Publishing Corp.
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
Table of Contents
Highest Praise for Leo J. Maloney and His Thrillers
J. M
Title Page
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55
Chapter 56
Chapter 57
Chapter 58
Chapter 59
Chapter 60
Chapter 61
Chapter 62
Chapter 63
Chapter 64
Chapter 65
Chapter 66
Chapter 67
Chapter 68
Chapter 69
Copyright Page
. R
who has spent timeless hours listening to me running
ideas by him . . .
, L
who is always there to listen to me, and to support me in every way
possible. Without her support and encouragement, I don’t think I
would have ever finished my first novel. I love you, Lynn.
Chapter 1
May 23
Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan
he Night Stalker Black Hawk flew low over a sea of darkness that reached up in jagged peaks along the horizon into a leaden sky. The sleek black chariot of death flew completely dark, keeping radio silence even here in the middle of nowhere in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Alberto Medina’s muscles were tense with anticipation.
The Pakistani government was on board with the op, so radar detection and antiaircraft missiles from the local military weren’t among their concerns. But there were still the Martyr’s Brigade and the Pakistani Taliban to worry about. The countryside was riddled with them. They were known to stock surface-to-air missiles and wouldn’t think twice about trying to bring down a Black Hawk helicopter if they saw it coming.
Since talking without radio over the scream of the engine was a nonstarter, Medina and the rest of SEAL Team Six Gold Squadron sat in silence cheek by jowl in the cabin, one in each seat and two on the floor along with their two Belgian Malinois, Boomer and Roscoe, wearing their harnesses.
Not that there was anything to say. This was hardly their first time around the block. Medina had lost count of how many operations they had run together in the past five years. It had been a whirlwind tour through Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, whose physical and mental demands left Medina used to living at the edge of his tether.
This was different, though. They had taken out countless militants and low-ranking members of terrorist groups, but today they were going to decapitate the Martyr’s Brigade. Today, they were going after Haider Raza, code-named Phage for this operation. He was a young man, Medina had seen in his file, just over thirty with a strong nose and the intense glare of the true believer. Under his leadership, the Martyr’s Brigade had killed untold numbers of civilians in Pakistan, and Raza had, according to intelligence reports, masterminded a series of suicide bombings that had killed dozens in France, England, and Germany. All that was before the bombing of the US Embassy in Islamabad a month before.
In the wordless roar in the chopper, Medina’s mind wandered to an image of Michelle, her smooth brown skin, her dark eyes, that beautiful long neck made vivid by the heightened senses that came with the adrenaline rush of the mission. He had promised her that he’d leave after this tour of duty, and that woman deserved to have a man by her side. He had already let her down once, he thought with a sting of shame. He’d signed on for another two years out of duty and camaraderie—the bond of the Navy SEALs was not one easily broken.
Medina shook those thoughts out of his head and clutched his HK MP5, as if to anchor himself. He focused on the mission, going over in his head the carefully choreographed attack that they had planned in under twenty-four hours after the intel had come in. He pictured the floor plan of the compound, his positions as they would move in. He remembered the contours of the faces of the people suspected to be in there, one by one, until he formed the picture of Haider Raza clearly in his mind.
If he was lucky, Medina would be the one to gun him down.
“Five minutes to target,” the pilot said over the radio. Medina felt energy surge through his body, his muscles twitching in anticipation. He chambered a round into his MP5, and heard the others doing likewise with their weapons. O’Connor knelt by the still-closed door of the chopper, ready to throw out the rope when they reached their target, the four-tube night-vision goggles raised above his helmet.
“Stand by to deploy,” said Moody through their communicators. Medina checked his watch, clicking on its built-in light. It was just shy of 3
He felt it in his stomach as the chopper slowed down its horizontal movement, then began to descend. Shortly thereafter, the aircraft drew to a standstill in the air. Medina slipped on his heavy gloves, flexing his hands to accommodate them to the leather. They had worn in nicely by now, and didn’t make his movements quite so stiff. It was a small comfort.
“Go, go, go!”
Sykes opened the door, letting a rush of air into the chopper. He unrolled the fast-rope off the edge and went over first, tethered to Roscoe, and O’Connor went next with Boomer. Medina pulled his night-vision goggles over his eyes, and the interior of the chopper was revealed from the darkness in shades of green. Each member of the nine-man team followed the two down in turn. Medina climbed down last, leaving the standard ten feet between himself and the man below him. Cool air blasted him as he emerged from the chopper door, holding on to the thick braided rope with his gloved hands and thighs.
Faint and irregular lights spread out on the town below, bright green spots in a green landscape. His hands grew hot from the friction with the rope, and his MP5 swung gently against his back for the few seconds he was in the air, and then his heavy boots connected with the hard, dusty ground of the complex backyard. His eyes followed the outline of the outer wall that encircled them, by now intimately familiar to him from satellite and aerial drone pictures.
He ran after the rest of the team for cover, where the wall shadowed the moonlight, pulling off his fast-rope gloves as he did. King, Sykes, and Hinton, their demolition team, had already run ahead to plant the C4 on the hinges of the back door and of the iron security gate. Medina and the remaining five stood by, guns against their shoulders, ready to move in, taking cover against the blast.
In a flash and a puff of smoke, the gate broke loose from its hinges and crashed onto the concrete in front of it.
Three men fanned out into the downstairs floor and secured the outside while the demolition team moved on. Medina led the other three in a charge upstairs, where they expected to find Raza. He would have been alerted to the noise by now, but with any luck he wouldn’t be able to arm himself fast enough.
“Outside clear,” came a voice through the communicator.
“Ground floor clear,” came another.
Something’s not right.
The house was supposed to be occupied. The misgiving had barely registered in his mind when he kicked open the door to the room reported to be Raza’s bedroom. Raza was not there. Instead, he saw a young man with a short beard and wild fear in his eyes. He was wearing a
shalwar khameez,
under which Medina recognized the familiar bulk of the suicide bomber’s vest. In a split second, too surprised to act, his eyes followed the man’s arm to his hand, where he was holding a detonator.
Hands trembling, the young man pushed the button.
Medina never heard the blast that took out his entire team. His last thought, barely formed, was of Michelle, of that lovely spot where her neck met her hair.
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