Copyright 2012 by T.G. Miko
Lieutenant Commander George “Pug” Ironhorse IV rubbed the jagged line on the back of his hand. He had obtained the scar two months ago while strangling a Taliban fighter. It was only fair. The insurgent had kept trying to stab him with a rusty screwdriver. After checking the time on his watch’s orange dial, he looked up, and spied Mehmet Gul out of the corner of his eye. He glanced past the Turkish naval captain at the hastily assembled group of inspectors that crowded the deck of Gul’s patrol boat—a motley crew of Turkish, Russian, and American military officers in dress uniforms, along with a group of Turkish and American enlisted men in fatigues. The American sailors wore unmarked CDU fatigues without ranks or insignia, except for an eagle gripping a trident. They were members of U.S. Navy SEAL Team 8 who had hastily been deployed from Afghanistan 24 hours earlier. Their tan desert fatigues contrasted with the green Turkish coast.
Despite having been called into action so suddenly, Pug and his team were trained and ready for the procedure that they were about to perform. They had practiced it in the Oakland Bay ship graveyard, where they did practice drills on decommissioned Merchant Marine ships.