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Belly of the Dragon

Confrontations between nations, which were previously seen as wars on open battlefields, changed dramatically during the Twentieth Century. With “volunteer” units appearing to aid the participants on both sides of the fray. These units varied from the AEF in England prior to the US entry into World War II, and the Flying Tigers fighting the Japanese in China, to the Chinese divisions aiding the North Koreans during the Korean war. Suddenly the line between nations at war and those at peace became blurred, and at times indistinguishable. The true nature of the conflict was contained in the diplomat’s pouch. Such confrontations required brilliant and unorthodox solutions to eliminate the threat from hostile governments. While this is a work of fiction, set in the 1951 Korean conflict, it illustrates the lengths to which governments will go to find acceptable resolutions.

Belly Of The Dragon is about military personnel “detached” to the CIA and trained as agents. These “civilians” are to destroy a military objective, a jet engine factory deep in the heart of China. The real story emerges after the successful destruction of the target. Two men, of the nine who started, are alive. One, now suffering from a severe head wound, becomes part time brutishly insane, part time childish coward. Strong hatred on one side and deep resentment on the other seethes under the surface as the two must temporarily put aside their differences in order to survive the five hundred-mile trek to the coast. Both are wounded and sick, tall white men in a country of small yellow people. Stolen trucks, stolen motorcycles, and stolen boats are their modes of travel, always accompanied by their fear. Living off the land, they travel by night, in darkened vehicles on unknown roads and trails. Unable to steal enough food, even unable to keep themselves clean.

Raiding a herbalist’s shop in a small village, they find, by smell, medicine they remember having used as a child. Caught in the act by the “herbalist”, they struggle, and accidentally set fire to the village, which burns like tinder bringing all the villagers out of their houses threatening to block their escape.

Capture is inevitable, and a river patrol comes upon them as they sleep. Beaten and humiliated, they are being transported to the patrol headquarters, but luck and savage resistance allows them to overpower their captors and steal the boat. An early October winter storm adds to their peril, as the temperature plummets and blinding snow and freezing rain obscures their passage.

Their wounds have become worse to the point that neither is able to go on, and the will to live or fight is fast ebbing away. Recklessly, John forces the boat forward, in spite of the weather, and his actions lead to a crash on the rocks of mighty rapids. The boat is destroyed, and they are stranded on the rocks far from the shore. One is trapped inside the boat rubble. The other decides to leave him, assuming he is dead, but what if he is only wounded, the Marine code of honor won’t allow him to walk away. Finally, they are assisted by people who have been mistreated by the “New Government of the People.” But it is still a long way to the coast and rescue, too far to make it by the time the pick-up team arrives, unless the wounded man is left behind. “Who would ever know?”

But, it may be a moot point. In Washington, the President, who knows the mission has been successful, begins to hope that there are no survivors. Survivors could become an embarrassment to the administration, if word of the raid into neutral territory, is discovered by the UN or the opposing political party. Director Dolly of the CIA, points out, that if the President wishes there were no survivors, such a thing can be arranged. Although the thought is distasteful, the President takes the first steps to that end.

The sub commander and the mission commander plot to protect themselves and the “team,” in hopes of blocking the implementation of the President’s plan.

But these raiders are men with unique talents; can the country do without their skills?

The conclusion of this fast paced attention grabber will leave you saddened but wiser in the ways of the human spirit and with a new understanding of the term loyalty.

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Vengeance of the Rain God

John Adams was just a con man until he was wrongly accused and convicted of bloody murder. When given the chance to escape, he takes it and goes on the run. He hitches a ride with a northbound trucker and leaves the southern coast, headed for Ohio. Once there, he finds an opportunity he never could have expected.

He easily assumes the identity of a deceased private investigator, Marcus Phoenix. The set up is perfect for John to dig deeper into his own criminal case and find the real culprit, but he’s soon distracted by a beautiful widow who suspects her husband’s death—ruled suicide—was actually murder. What can he do but give the lovely lady a hand?

Of course being a phony detective and con man doesn’t make playing with local authorities much fun as John constantly worries he’ll be found out as a fake. He’s even more concerned when he realizes the grieving wife is actually a mafia princess. Apparently, no one’s telling the truth in Toledo, and all the lies could get John killed.

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