Tales of the Mongrel
By Ralph Arata
Trouble South of the Border
Wind is a ferocious thing when it whips at the human body at 110 mph – like a knife pin pricking every square inch of skin. Invisible, quiet but deadly and with gravity tugging the Neutralizer toward earth from his high altitude free fall the risk-spiral was at full double jeopardy!
Ralph Arata a.k.a. the Neutralizer was on a mission to intercept and destroy a drug and arms consortium led by the vicious and barbaric Mendoza Mexican drug cartel. The soldier was sent into action by the head US Justice Department’s top Fed, Dino “Gadgets” Perez. Dino was an ex-Navy Seal and electronics expert with a long time association within the “Farm”….a super secret complex hidden in the West Allegheny Mountains. Its mission was to do the dirty black ops work no one else wanted to do and to ensure executive deniability for the US President.
The soldier’s original plan was to drive his race prepared 1972 MGB to Chihuahua to meet his Mexican contact but the car had seen too much action from the soldier’s last mission and so its creator, Tom “the Doctor” Josefek could not give the vehicle a full clean bill of health.
As the Neutralizer saw the ground race toward him he pulled his para-sail and suddenly the free fall took a violent hard stop. The chute’s wing expanded and the soldier settled into a soft glide back to planet earth. The touch was also soft, a-kin to stepping from a bottom stair to a main floor. He collapsed and hid the parachute, grabbed his war bag and waited. The soldier had Unax K-400 night vision technology but only his night adjusted eyes were needed. He waited. Then, 90 yards to the northeast the signal came. One flash followed by 2 shorts ones….his contact!! Arata rushed at full jog to the position.
Darkness….all was still. Even with all of the soldier’s covert night seek and destroy missions in Afghanistan he saw no life signs. “Ola senior”, came a quiet call from behind. The solder turned silent but quick and saw nothing. Then quietly a slender figure moved forward. As if standing there all the time and hidden by expert night camouflage fatigues not to mention a smaller stature. The dark figure was a woman! Her height was impressive…..perhaps a hint under 5’ 11’ with a head, shoulders and mid section wrap in very thick, long black hair. The soldier’s own 6’ 2” frame still gave him the advantage but if looks could kill – this soldier would bet his bottom dollar that this Mexican could do just that.
“We must hurry senior”! “Time is short”!! With that she turned on her heel and ran into the undergrowth with the Neutralizer following close behind. Her pace was quick and after a ¼ mile came to a small clearing and there waited a smallish, well driven car. The Neutralizer simply had to laugh as he closed the passenger door of a 1970 black MGB that had seen some better days. “Does something humor you senior?” The soldier turned his ice-blue eyes toward his contact and said, “We haven’t properly met.” The name is Arata, Ralph Arata.” “Oh and I have a car similar to this one.” Dark Spanish eyes gazed back. “I am Aura and my brother Fernando is the leader of our group.” “We have supplied your Justice people with in-tell on the Mendoza’s for some time.” “We go!” “The Mendoza operation is 7 miles to the south.” With that the MG spun its tires and they were off. The soldier could tell right away this MGB had something extra under its sun-bleached bonnet. “My brother is also very, very good mechanic”, Aura said.
The “B” cut the narrow roads leading into Chihuahua and they stopped just short of the warehouse district. With the “B” left behind they walked to a small building where they met up with Aura’s brother Fernando who stood eye to eye with the Neutralizer - it appeared height ran in the family. He stood and eyed the American up and down, seemed satisfied and without any greeting or word he led both his sister and the big American forward. A soft probe to the Mendoza operation!
(Continued on page 13)