April 1st, 1991
"One of the biggest bastards on the planet in a little town like this... Huh. Why are we killing him, again?"
"Please tell me you're joking. I know we didn't get much school, Jair, but you've gotta be-" the woman across from him began, the resulting wrinkles on her sepia-brown skin barely visible beneath the lenses of her full-face helmet.
Jair's hand went up, flat-palmed, signalling her to stop.
"Sarcasm", he said simply, shaking his head. "He's the king of bastards, the way I see it, the Neo-Nazi fuck. I know why we're here - to make an example."
"And show the Americans that there's a new player on the block," Jônatas - the man immediately to his right among another five - said, not so much as bothering to glance up from the rifle his eyes were boring a hole into.
"I know why I'm here!" Samara shouted over the noise of the helicopter's rotors, turning away from Jair.
"I'm talking about the government! The brass!" Jônatas snapped back, stopping to briefly glance out one of the helicopter's door windows. "I mean, think about it, right? All the shit that's going on, it's a great way to confuse the Americans, split their attention, distract them..."
"...So they want ways to do that that aren't going to cause problems for us! I mean, Terre'Blanche is a known war criminal. 'Africans should be exterminated or enslaved' kind of war criminal. The Butcher of Transvaal! Even the Americans aren't stupid enough to throw a fit about him getting killed, even if they do find out." He continued, animatedly waving his right hand about, a few more of the twenty heads around them turning to listen in to the conversation.
"So we kill him, the Americans either do nothing, so we know we can do whatever we want here, they dedicate resources to the area that then aren't going somewhere else..."
"...Or they side with a Neo-Nazi," Samara nodded in understanding, her grip on the butt of her rifle tightening.
"Exactly," he replied, Jair staring directly at him. "And, well, we get to kill a Nazi. Everybody wins."
"One minute!" A voice announced over the intercom as the two side doors of the helicopter swung open, a pair of personnel - one next to Jair - working to fix thick, weighted ropes in place.
"And we get some nice family photos out of it," Jair said, gesturing to another man, toward the front end of the helicopter's cargo bay, a Canon camera in a pouch at his hip opposite his sidearm.
"You think they'll know we're coming? Samara asked, posing the question to nobody in particular. Jair shrugged.
"Probably not. With the new antiradar missiles the SAIC is running, not to mention the jets we sold them, they'll be lucky if they even see us."
"Thirty seconds! Up, up, up!"
Jônatas nodded, jumping to his feet, and Jair followed soon afterward, then Samara, then, one by one, everyone else inside the helicopter. "These French helicopters are pretty quiet, too. I mean, figuratively - the pilot told me they've got tiny radar profiles. If they knew we were here..."
"We'd be dead by now," Samara said, and all three of them nodded together, while Jair struggled to flex his hands in the thick leather gloves around them.
Jair leaned, glancing out the open door, wind whipping past his face. Past the formation of slate-grey helicopters to either side of his, a handful of a distance away, were the dim lights of Ventersdorp, and a fenced-off compound a few hundred meters away in the kiddle of the town.
Closer and closer, the helicopters rocketed toward the compound. Now, it was practically under his feet - just as he heard the telltale, muted crack of a suppressed gunshot ring out, then another - helicopter snipers taking their pick of the compound's sentires, he imagined, and still no visible sign of anyone else waking up in the compound.
The roof of the largest building in the compound was beneath his feet now, gloved hands tightly clutching at the rope dangling from the helicopter.
If their intelligence was right, Terre'blanche wasn't far.
A pat on his back sent Jair sliding down the robe, the friction of the rope he was clinging to tangible even beneath thick leather gloves. The flat, green roof approached rapidly, so fast that Jair didn't even have time to think before his boots hit the ground and he shuffled away, yanking away at his outermost gloves as he watched the remaining seventeen follow, sliding down the four ropes one by one... But only for a moment.
Time, unfortunately, was of the essence. Jair had a Nazi to kill.
Only briefly glancing over his shoulder to make sure his comrades-in-arms were following him, Jair shouldered his rifle, moving up to the side of the door nearest him - rooftop access - and pressed a large, handheld millimeter wave scanner against it, watching the small display on its body for any sign of movement behind the door.
By the time he'd finished, four of his squadmates were already beside and behind him - and with a muffled grunt, he brought his leg up and drove his heel into the door just beneath the keyhole, smashing the thin wooden door open, leaving him in yet more darkness.
Sliding infrared goggles over his face that bathed his vision in green light, he fast-walked down the stairs, moving past the first landing, yet more of his comrades heading into the door he left behind to the telltale snap of suppressed gunfire.
He finally paused at the second landing, glancing through the small window at the door.
A face - no, two. Three?
Stepping back to the side of the door, he held up his hand to stop, quietly testing the door handle...
It didn't stop.
Flinging the door open, he fired a burst down the hallway, another flying past his shoulder - and he say the first bodies drop, the first barely managing to start shouting curses in Afrikaans before three sharp cracks sounded and a large hole opened in his neck.
"Second hallway. Take a left where the first hallway bends, then take your first right, then it's the fifth door on the left, right on the northwest corner of the building." He reminded himself, paying no attention to the soldiers filtering in behind his group, checking the doors behind him, the chopchopchop noise of whirling helicopter blades still audible outside as yet more came in to land, gunfire becoming more and more frequent, behind, above, and below him.
Reaching a fork in the hallway, Jair quietly peaked past it, catching sight of another pale-skinned militaman. Quickly popping around the corner with his finger on the trigger, he gave it a quick squeeze - and down the man went, writhing on the ground until Jair ended his life with another pull of the trigger, the barrel of his gun mere inches from his head. His body went limp as blood and brains oozed from his burst-open skull, and Jair moved on without another thought, turning right down another hallway.
Fifth door on the left, northwest corner, he reminded himself, practically sprinting down the third, much shorter hallway, past more closed doors. It took only a handful of seconds to reach the end, and, once again, he pressed himself to the side of the thin wooden door, backing up a handful of steps.
Ambrósio - the fifth assigned to their squad - knelt down at the door, sliding a small, black strip beneath it, a small box in his upon which were two buttons. One red, one green, and a small red switch on top. A brief glance and a nod passed between them as Ambrósio, a handful of inches shorter than Jair, stepped away from the door, flipping the red switch.
He we go, he thought - then a click and a loud, nearly ear-piercing bang, muffled by his ear protection. Stepping forward to the sound of a deep, slurred voice cursing in Afrikaans, he jammed his heel into a thin wooden door, and down it went.
Eugene Terrblanche, half-dressed out of bed, barely had the chance to turn to see Jair's dark-skinned face befpre his rifle went up and three bullets cut open his throat.
April 2nd, 1991
The call came to Adriaan's station fourty minutes after midnight.
Five helicopters moving toward Ventersdorp that'd somehow managed to slip past the ANP's radar networks, landing at the HNP compound in the middle of the town.
So late at night, and on such short notice, the SADF Army colonel hadn't much time to organize a response - but he had enough to smash together a group of one hundred-somethibg militiamen and stuff them onto tent-backed SAMIL 20s, onto an hour-long drive toward Ventersdorp in the dead of night.
Their drive through Ventersdorp, for the most part, was uneventful. A few people stared out at the convoy from the windows of their poorly lit houses, some with broken roofs or crumbling walls - but most, it seemed, were perfectly content to keep their curtains drawn and their lights off, leaving the town as something more like a ghost town than anything inhabited.
It was eerie, he thought, as the convoy rolled up to a large, green-roofed fenced off building - Terreblanche's compound, up to a busted-open gate.
The very moment the trucks stopped, the militamen, wielding battered R1s older than most of them were.
Adriaan followed with a sharp grunt as he dismounted, sauntering toward the gate as troops rushed toward the building, not a single helicopter in sight, clustering about the door, quietly muttering about something in hushed whispers.
The first hint he had that something was wrong was one of the younger men stumbling away and emptying the contents of his lunch onto the ground, then another, and another, and as he got closer, he finally saw why.
Tying together the handles on the large double-doors ahead of him was a rope dripping with blood, and hanging from that by its hair was the head of a chubby, grey-haired old man, his sockets empty aside from a mess of blood, gore, and ravaged muscle, a note nailed to his upper lip, in fluent, penciled Afrikaans.
"A gift from friends of Africa"