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Delta Two Zero

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Synopsis

Delta Two Zero (1992). Cyril Clunge's second major work based tenuously upon his own exploits within Special Forces. The story is set in the Northern English city of Bradford in 2008. MI5 have intelligence on a rogue Islamic cell operating out of a mosque. What MI5 don't know is that the terrorists plan an outrage that will see Britain plunged back in to the Dark Ages. Something simply had to be done. It was too dangerous for 'Box'. This was a job for the SAS.

Excerpt

Jimmy 'Slotter' Harris had arrived direct from the 'Stan. Wearing a burqha, he effortlessly glided through immigration at Leeds-Bradford Airport without as much as a cursory glance from the official at the desk. All that could be seen through the narrow slit was his steel-blue eyes, as Harris was deep under cover and on a mission of deadly importance. He went straight to baggage reclaim, where he awaited the 80 litre Cyclops Roc® bergen to appear on the carousel. After a few minutes, the dusty rucksack appeared and he easily hefted the burden upon his broad shoulders, a length of tanned forearm the only clue as to his identity.

He strode purposefully to the taxi rank, glanced at his Traser® watch and hailed a cab. Which quickly screeched to a halt. Harris was met by a blast of Arab music as he opened the door before hoisting his bergen on to the back seat. The Muslim driver gave him a quizzical look, but his suspicions were allayed when Harris spat out his destination in perfect, flawless Farsi. It was getting dark outside and a light rain was beginning to fall. After a short drive in to the city centre, the cab pulled in to a deserted lay by. Harris fumbled inside his Bergen, the driver assuming he was looking for his payment. It was a terrible assumption.

Harris pulled out his Gerber® multi-tool - the marlin spike already unfolded - and plunged it straight in to the driver's neck, severing his spinal chord. Death was instant. Harris was taking no chances. It would be a few hours before anyone discovered the lifeless corpse as it was Ramadan and the streets were deserted. Harris grabbed his bergen and exited the cab before making off down a dimly lit side street.

He heard it before he saw it. It was evening prayers and the muezzin's call to prayer shattered the evening tranquillity. It was his objective: codenamed 'Viper's Nest'. He made his way around the back of the marble, dome-topped edifice and found what he was looking for: a fire escape. Harris easily scaled the iron ladder to the building's roof. It was a cool evening, and it was a relief to cast off the constrictive garment that concealed his black assault rig.

Harris peered through a ventilation grill and saw the faithful way below. Perfect, he thought, a full house. Just as the Boss predicted. Harris reached in to his bergen and quickly buckled on his abseil harness before withdrawing the Heckler & Kock MP5SD3 - his favourite silenced weapon. He cast a quick glance at his Traser® watch. He was bang on target, and bang on time.

The Gerber® came in handy again, this time for removing the vent cover that would allow him access. No frame charge this time. Stealth was the key. 'Stealth And Surprise' he laughed inwardly. He pulled over the ski mask, looked again at his watch and readied himself for go.

At H Hour, Harris launched himself down the vent, the rope screaming through his figure eight. Caught like rats in a trap, the worshipping masses looked up in surprise and horror. A cry rang out. "AIEEEEE!" But it was too late for the traitorous filth, as Harris unleashed a maelstrom of nine millimetre. Harris hung suspended from the central dome like a black-clad wraith. Those that survived the initial onslaught scatted for cover. Some even tried to escape. Harris laughed. "Nobody's going anywhere!" he chortled to himself. The doors were locked. He'd locked them!

Two White Phosphorus grenades fell to the floor instantly turning the fleeing hordes in to screaming human torches. A quick magazine change and Harris felled even more of the unfaithful wretches. The sound of approaching sirens alerted Harris and he hastened the circus of death. He now had to make his escape and quick. He hit the timer on the satchel charge before dropping it in to the bloodied pile of humanity below and made his excuses. "Time to leave."

Harris quickly repacked his kit, just in time for the RV back on the roof with the Agusta 109 from H. He leapt in like a striking cobra, nodded to the grinning pilot and the helo lifted away, quickly becoming swallowed in the darkness. A bright flash illuminated the rain-soaked night sky. This was just the beginning.

Critique

Some say that Clunge was ahead of his time with this work. Some say it directly contributed to 9/11. Whatever the criticism, it's a tour de force and a Clunge classic.

Testemonials

Outrageous - Islamic Review

Nails - Combat & Survival

Who writes this dross? - Time Out

Blistering social comment - The Grauniad

'Ave it! - The Sun