Targets of Opportunity

Targets of Opportunity

by Michael Z. Williamson

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Targets of Opportunity by Michael Z. Williamson

The second book in the series revolving around one of the most fascinating professions within the armed forces––the sniper. This time the shooters head to Romania to stop a dangerous terrorist cell before it's too late.

Master snipers Kyle Monroe and his partner Wade got more than they bargained for on their last adventure––an assignment to knock out a powerful terrorist leader in Pakistan. Their new assignment takes them to Romania, a new land with all–too–familiar enemies. Although the men are still haunted by the team–mates they lost in Pakistan, duty comes first, and it's time to put the past behind them, strap on their rifles and go take out some bad guys.

Military snipers are the best in the world at what they do––precision shooting without getting caught. But the skill required to shoot a man from a mile away becomes useless in the densely packed streets of the city that used to be the home of the historical Count Dracula. Finding themselves alone in the dark, foreboding tunnels beneath the notorious Count's former castle, their nerves of steel face the ultimate test. And as they get closer to the men responsible for plotting massive terrorist attacks against the U.S., Kyle and Wade realize that the true evil isn't in crypts or legends, but in the man who can plot the deaths of innocents, and the only solution is a bullet between the eyes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060565251
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/01/2005
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Michael Z. Williamson served for five years in the United States Air Force and five years in the Army National Guard, and has spent eight years in the Air National Guard. He is a competitive shooter who also collects and builds firearms and enjoys recreational parachuting. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

First Chapter

Targets of Opportunity

Chapter One

Sergeant First Class Kyle Monroe was doing the one thing everyone in the U.S. Army had to do: paperwork. Napoleon had said that an army moved on its stomach, but the twenty-first–century U.S. Army moved on piles of paper and computer files, liberally lubricated with red tape.

Kyle was an instructor at the U.S. Army Sniper School. At the moment, no class was in session. That didn't stop the paperwork. Nothing stopped the paperwork. It was an enemy more pervasive, insidious, and overwhelming than the Nazis, the Communists, Muslim terrorists, and the IRS combined. At least, that was Kyle's opinion.

His phone rang, and he was glad for the distraction. "U.S. Army Sniper School, Sergeant First Class Monroe, this is not a secure line, how may I help you, sir or ma'am?" The official phrase rolled off his tongue without conscious thought. Because to think about a line that long just to say hello was ridiculous.

"Sergeant Monroe, I'm wondering if we might discuss another assignment?" said the gravelly, powerful voice at the other end. Kyle recognized it at once. General Robash.

"I suppose we might, sir," he said, stalling for a moment to think. The last "assignment" had been a temporary one, a month of sheer hell in the highlands of Pakistan. The end result, however, had been a dead al Qaeda leader, a Bronze Star with Combat V, a Purple Heart, and a sharp reduction in terrorist activity in Europe.

And, Kyle recalled, a very pretty young local woman who'd hired on as their translator, gruesomely killed by a burst of machine-gun fire. That, added to the death of his spotter in Bosnia before that, was a heavy burden on his soul.

The general interrupted his musing with, "Good, let me give you the basics. We can talk more if you say yes."

"Go ahead, sir," he prompted.

"Romania. We've got someone staging through there with explosives for Europe, and it's causing sheer hell for the NATO forces in Yugoslavia, er, Bosnia-Herzegovina, or Macedonia ... all over that Government of the Month Club, whatever the hell they're calling it now." Robash was joking slightly, Kyle could tell from his tone. The general was very familiar with that area and its geography and politics. He had a Ph.D. in international relations, after all.

"What's the game plan, sir?" he asked.

"Similar to last time. You and Wade" -- that would be Staff Sergeant Wade Curtis, his spotter for the last mission -- "with whatever gear you deem necessary. We'll insert you quietly, the CIA will furnish you with intel as to these assholes' whereabouts, and you eliminate the problem with a well-placed bullet or two. Or fifty. Whatever it takes, as long as civilian casualties are minimized."

Kyle thought for a moment. Romania was far better than the wastelands of the Afghan/Pakistan border, he thought. Europe had plenty of water, food he would be partially familiar with, phones, and -- language trouble aside -- the alphabets would have to be easier to work with than translating Pashto.

Still ... "I'd like to consider it, sir. Can I let you know tomorrow?"

"Sure. I'll have an outline emailed to you. Will be coming through secure in about thirty minutes."

"Yes, sir. I'll be back with you ASAP."

"Rangers Lead the Way, Kyle." It was a friendly greeting and farewell from one Ranger to another.

"Roger that, sir," he said, and hung up.

Kyle finished his day's paperwork and drove home automatically. He didn't even notice the trip until he found himself opening his apartment door. Another assignment performing as what amounted to a role as an assassin. He had no moral qualms about shooting terrorists, but he didn't want to encourage the idea that he was a hired gun. Hollywood glamour aside, there were too many agencies with too many agendas for that to be a safe job. Sooner or later the odds would catch up with him.

He unlaced his boots and grabbed a Sprite from the fridge without taking off his shirt. At one time he'd been a light drinker. Then he'd lost his spotter and become a heavy drinker. Then he'd been a very light drinker after returning from Pakistan. Gradually, he'd stopped altogether. Heavy drinking made him morose and depressed, light drinking didn't do much of anything. There was no point in wasting money for the flavor of cheap beer, and expensive beer was not something he'd ever learned to appreciate. So he stuck to soft drinks.

He sprawled back in his recliner. It and a good used loveseat that didn't match were the only casual furniture in the room. He had a small desk and computer against the wall, with an office chair. If he ever invited more than three people over, he'd need to get some cheap plastic seats.

The TV was in front of him, but he left it off. Right now he needed to think, and TV and thinking didn't go together.

He stared at a place on the wall above it. On a cherrywood rack he'd built in the post hobby shop hung a World War I British Lee-Enfield rifle ...

Targets of Opportunity. Copyright � by Michael Williamson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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