PMF/ PSC Fiction

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Tibbins, May 15, 2013.

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  1. I’ve recently published a thriller on Kindle that you might be interested in. Please follow the link below for ‘Contract for Liberty’.

    I’m doing this in partnership with Combat Stress and will be providing them with 20% of the royalties. This varies depending on the outlet and royalty rate, but is generally around 25p on a £2 amazon sale.

    I’ll post the first chapter lower down in the thread. Appreciate that the book isn’t going to be for everyone, but grateful if you could try and check out the website for Combat Stress, as they do some really good work for ex-forces personnel

    Also, they have other authors supporting them, so you might find something more to your reading tastes at this link

  2. Oliver Stanton had only been in the country for an hour and already that bastard Landers was trying to kill him. His old friend and enemy had found him in the back end of nowhere, ready and willing to do him harm.
    The trouble started at the airstrip. All sweaty and clammy after his long trip, the last thing Stanton needed was the corrupt and bovine border officials taking their time processing him, studying his passport for longer than necessary and holding him up with needless questions. Then his baggage miraculously disappeared, more delays, it was all too convenient. He could do without his clothes and travel accessories, but not without the pistol required in a dangerous country like this – concealed from the piercing gaze of the X-ray machines and made of a composite material undetectable to the metal scanners.
    Stanton instinctively sensed that something was wrong and danger was coming; he cut his losses and hailed a taxi to exit the airstrip at the earliest opportunity. It wasn’t long before he noticed he was being tailed. Defenceless, he now found himself being hounded through the narrow streets and chaos of Khali-bad City. Two unmarked vehicles followed, bulletproof SUVs, the hallmarks of a private military firm. Stanton could make out the unmistakable outline of Landers sitting inside one of them.

    Like a horse tempted by a carrot, Stanton’s taxi driver was encouraged to outpace Landers and his hired thugs with a flurry of dollars and the promise of more on safe delivery. The ante was upped but the steed flagged under the pressure of shunts from the pursuing SUVs. An overtly presented firearm nearly stopped the taxi driver dead from fear. From the passenger’s seat, Stanton pressed down onthe driver’s leg operating the accelerator to keep the driver going along. He knew it was harsh for this innocent to be caught up in all this, but there werethings of greater importance – he needed to stay free and alive, he was pivotal to the fate of this country, the Islamic Republic of Dakkastan.
    The taxi driver was at one with the streets of his native city, accelerating andavoiding the surrounding traffic with controlled recklessness. As they started to pull away from their pursuers, a shot was fired in desperation and frustration.“Too danger, too danger,” screamed the taxi driver, realising dollars were not reward enough.
    The foot hovered over the brake, but the menacing eyes of Stanton temporarily presented a greater threat. Stanton fumbled with the touch screen of his palm-sized e-tool to bring up the translator app. It was difficult to operate while being thrown around, his head striking the roof as the suspension failed to deal with potholes. At least the pursuers faced the same, the gunmen hanging out of the SUV windows couldn’t zero the taxi for a clean shot. Through the electronic voice of the e-tool, Stanton explained they were in this together now, convincing the driver that he would also be killed if they stopped.
    It worked, the taxi went faster, breaking only to cut through side streets or squeeze through narrow alleyways. The lead pursuing SUV accelerated overzealously to catch up – skidding while taking a hairpin turn too quickly and crashing. The exposed half of a gunman was crushed against a hard stone wall. Part of Stanton wished it had been Landers.
    “We need to get across the river then we shall lose them over there,” spoke the e-tool in a dreary and emotionless monotone, failing to translate the excitement and fear in the taxi driver’s voice. Stanton nodded, accepting better judgement in an unfamiliar city. It had all happened so fast, he hadn’t expected this reception, how could they have known that he was coming to Dakkastan and to this backwater of all places? How much did this private militaryfirm (PMF), the modern incarnation of the mercenary, know about what he was here to do?

    The taxi forced its way through the moving obstacles of trucks, tuc-tucs and horse-drawn carts ambling over the bridge. The remaining SUV was far behind and Stanton was confident his taxi had dropped out of view in the dense bustle of the traffic.
    Across the river, they immediately cut off the main road and Stanton scanned the horizon through the rear window for any sight of his predators. The threat seemed to have passed and he decided that he would get out soon and head off on foot. Not used to being hunted, he tried to remember the basics of the escape and evasion training learned years ago, to mask his trail and blend into the surroundings.
    Wheels screamed, smearing dirty rubber on the dusty road. Pain whipped through Stanton’s neck as his whole body jerked forward, the seat belt cutting deep into his collarbone amid the wailing of the brakes.
    The taxi finished its emergency stop, a 4x4 had pulled out sideways blocking the way.
    PMF thugs poured out, brandishing weapons, Landers’ SUV came up from behind to block any egress. The taxi driver yelled frantically in his native tongue – the e-tool hadn’t a hope of translating. Stanton didn’t stop to think how it had happened, he was unbuckled and out of the passenger door in a flash, running straight down a nearby alleyway.
    The scarcity of time could not permit guilt, Stanton had been surrounded and there was nothing he could have done. Maybe they would be merciful, the driver was an innocent who hadn’t done anything wrong.
    As Stanton reached the end of the alleyway, the sounds of gunshots echoed down the narrow walls daubed with defiant graffiti, followed immediately by the tinkle of a windshield shattering. The taxi driver wasn’t the first Dakkan casualty of the day, he would join the 17 protesters shot dead by government security forces that morning over in the Dakkan capital of Maarmala.

    Stanton didn’t know where he was heading, but he was getting there as fast as his lungs and legs would allow him. He had ahead start on his pursuers who had now begun to chase on foot and he weaved in and out of side streets to throw them off his scent. Each time they stopped to fire a shot, they lost a vital few paces on their prey.
    The city, streaming by, seemed to be going about its business with little care for the rebellion erupting in Dakkastan; the locals had even less attention for the sweating and frenzied figure of Stanton as he fled through their streets to join it. To an outsider like Stanton, violence and murder appeared to be an accepted everyday occurrence for these people, something they had become hardened to, even accustomed to. For many Dakkans, this was an accurate assessment.
    Stanton’s thick legs pounded the ground. At six-foot-two he had the physique of a rugby player, an inside centre while playing for his house and, later, his regiment. The years of mandatory physical training were paying off, although in his early forties, he was conditioned to run faster and further than most men of half his age.
    Most men.
    Stantonwas outpacing his pursuers except one – a sprightly youngster sent ahead of the other PMF contractors to slow him down, who mimicked a bygone Maori warrior attemptingto fell fleeing opponents for the following pack to finish off. This youngster was a proverbial racing snake, his wiry long legs striding out further and faster than Stanton’s. The ground between them closed by the second.
    It had now been a minute since he had left the taxi and Stanton could no longersprint, his lungs burned and metallic traces of blood tainted his throat. The lead he had attained was evaporating along with the chances of losing his enemies through the backstreets. Stanton looked back to see the wiry pursuer coming tightly around the corner of the street, pistol already raised to fire. Silenced, it barely made a noise as Stanton felt the heat of a round pass him by and take a nick out of the wall – his legs were involuntarily encouraged to a higher tempo.

    Fifty seconds later, the concentration of people was growing as was the frequency of commercial properties and small stalls. Stanton had a vague sense that he was near the bazaar quarter, hopefully he could melt into the crowds and make his getaway. He just had to hold on until he got there, keep up the pace in his tiring body. Stanton glanced over his shoulder at the pursuer, the youth moved like a 400-metre runner, teeth bared in what looked like a mocking grin, head and back set upright with no signs of fatigue. Stanton then looked straight ahead before seeing his own front foot slide at an angle. He slipped forehead first to the ground, sprawling through the canals of blood that had seeped from the backof a butcher’s shop. Stanton fixed his eyes on the hanging carcass of a sheep, a dead expression of retribution – unfair, he didn’t even like lamb.

    Stanton was up and running as soon as he could, but his right leg was numb. He tried but was unable to make it move any quicker. Stanton knew he couldn’t get away now, he couldn’t outrun them with a dead leg. It would be over before it started, history was littered with failed revolutionaries and he was about to join their ranks. He limped to another alleyway. All he could think about was how the pursuer had held his pistol to shoot him, Stanton knew he would soon be in its deadly sights.
    Resigned, Stanton rested his head against the wall and waited. He hoped it wouldn’t take too long.
  3. Could do with a few more sales on this, so I'm bumping the thread.

    Once you get into it, you won't put it down.

    Action can get a little OTT at times, but it gets back down to realism with juniors wasting money on Subarus, brawling when pissed, stealing from stores, moaning about seniors, whoring and worsening terms & conditions.

    It's dirt cheap at the moment. Also have it available on smashwords, Google books and kindle now.

    Still giving 20% of my royalties to combat stress (when I actually sell any).