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Evil Has Its Own Agenda

By   /  June 8, 2024  /  9 Comments

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I Still Play By My Rules

Thomas Calabrese -Naval Air Station, Sigonella in Sicily, Italy is often called ‘The Hub of the Med’ because 23 countries keep squadrons, Special Forces and various support units on this base.

Alexandra Papadopoulous was a fighter pilot with the 335th Squadron of the Greek Air Force. She exuded sensuality, strength and was ice cool on the surface, but a fire simmered beneath that flawless bronze skin. Her kind of Mediterranean femininity translated in bold, beguiling and beautiful.

Rocco ‘Rocky’ Papasano was a Navy Seal. He stood six foot three inches tall and was lean a muscular 215 pounds. His father was of Sicilian descent and his mother’s family emigrated from Rome during the Depression. Of all the places that Rocky served during his illustrious career in Special Forces, Sigonella was his favorite by far. He had distant relatives on the island and felt comfortable being in the land of his ancestors.

Some call it destiny or fate, others say it’s when the stars are in alignment. It was late afternoon and Alexandra had just finished a routine flight with her squadron and decided to get some exercise at the base fitness center. She was going full throttle the heavy bag with punches and kicks when Rocky came in with his two of his buddies. Rocky saw Alexandra and commented, “I’ll catch up to you, later.”

Steve Olson saw what Rocky was looking at and smiled, “See you when I see you.”

 After five minutes of intense exercise, Alexandra stopped, put her hands on her hips and took several deep breaths. Rocky called to her, “That was a tough fight, but I give you a split decision,” and tossed a clean towel to the beautiful woman to wipe her face. When she was done, Alexandra started to toss it back, Rocky said, “Keep it.”

            “Only a split decision?” Alexandra flashed a friendly smile, “If you think you could do better, please go ahead?”

            “I’ll give it a try,” Rocky smiled and put on a pair of training gloves. He started off slowly as he warmed up. The punches increased in intensity and force and before long the heavy bag bounced from left to right as Rocky circled it. After throwing a several dozen punches, he finished off with a flurry of kicks. Rocky took several deep breaths and in a few seconds his body was back to normal.

Alexandra surmised, “Special Forces?”

            “I will not confirm or deny that,” Rocky said.

            “I’ll see you around,” Alexandra walked off and Rocky could not take his eyes off her. Steve Olson came up and commented, “You may be fighting above your weight class.”

            “There’s no doubt about that,” Rocky smiled.

            “How much is it worth to you to know who she is?” Steve asked.

            “How much is it worth to you to stay alive?” Rocky quipped.

            “I get your point, she is Major Alexandra Papadopoulous, 335th Squadron, Greek Air Force.”

            “How would you know that?”

            “I came in one evening to work out and I heard a couple Italians talking to the attendant at the front desk about her. The attendant gave them her name and unit and with a warning that she didn’t like to be bothered while she was working out.  I stood back and watched as she brought one guy to his knees with a textbook small joint manipulation move when he placed his hand on her shoulder and she bent his fingers back,” Steve said.

            “Thanks for the Intel…I owe you,” Rocky said.

Two days later, Rocky was waiting in the hangar when Alexandra arrived. She recognized the man from the fitness center, “Are you stalking me?”

            “Rocco Papasano, United States Navy, we weren’t properly introduced, “Rocky turned to walk away.

            “That’s it…an introduction and quick retreat?” Alexandra commented.

            “Yeah, unless you want something else,” Rocky said.

The two warriors made eye contact and neither one wanted to look away. Finally Alexandra said, “Do you know where A Putia Do Calabrisi is?”

            “I do,” Rocky said.

            “1900 hours,” Alexandra said and walked off.

Rocky was standing outside the Italian Eatery and looked at his watch. It was 1858 hours when Alexandra walked up, “Are you hungry?”

            “I can eat,” Rocky replied.

There was a line of local people waiting to get in and Alexandra sighed, “It looks like we’ve got a wait. It will be worth it, they got amazing authentic food and not many tourists come here.”

Rocky called to one of the waiters, “Antonio!”

The waiter walked over and led the couple to a table. Alexandra was impressed, “You’re full of surprises.”

            “A distant relative owned the place,” Rocky confessed.

The couple spoke sparingly during their meal, but it was obvious they were evaluating one another. When the bill came, Rocky reached for it, but Alexandra grabbed it “I invited you, I’m paying.”

Rocky knew better than to argue and pulled his hand away. They sat quietly and sipped their wine. While walking back to the base, Alexandra commented, “You’re not the most talkative man I’ve ever met.”

            “You don’t say much either,” Rocky added. “My dad told me that a lot of people talk when they have nothing to say.”

            “Obviously you listened to him.”

After returning to base and Rocky and Alexandra looked at each other. Rocky asked, “Again?”

            “I’d like that.”

They went back to their perspective quarters with thoughts of each other spinning around inside their heads. Rocky and Alexandra couldn’t help but think about the possibilities.

When Rocky wasn’t training with his unit and NATO forces and Alexandra wasn’t flying with her squadron, they could usually be found together. It didn’t matter to either one of them what they were doing as long as they were together.

After several weeks, things were still going well for the couple. Alexandra and Rocky were watching the sunset from the top of Mount Etna. Alexandra leaned over and kissed Rocky, “Thanks.”

            “For what?”

            “Being you,” Alexandra smiled.

Rocky responded thoughtfully, obviously embarrassed by the compliment “I don’t how to respond to that?”

            “Just say, you’re welcome.”

            “Another thing my dad used to tell me was, in most cases it is up to others to judge your quality, but it is entirely up to you to assess your own happiness,” Rocky said.

            “What is your assessment so far?” Alexandra asked coyly.

            “Never been happier,” Rocky smiled.

            “I almost forgot to tell you, I need to be away for a few days.”

            “Duty?” Rocky asked.

            “Family…my Uncle Nico is having a birthday party for my Aunt Athena. He is combining it with a family reunion,” Alexandra explained.

            “I’ll miss you.”

            “I’d invite you, but my Uncle Nico is a hard man who crosses back and forth between his legitimate and illegitimate businesses with regularity.  He has made his share of enemies so he’s extremely cautious around strangers. When he has a party, he makes out the guest list and there are no additions,” Alexandra said.

            “As long as you have a good time, that’s the most important thing to me,” Rocky said.

            “What’s on your schedule for next few days?”

            “Nothing too exciting, skydiving and scuba diving…usual Seal stuff, “Rocky shrugged.

Alexandra arrived the Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel on the Athens Rivera. She saw several of her cousins in the lobby and exchanged pleasantries. Her parents and brother and sister were due to arrive later in the day.

There was a formal dinner in the main ballroom that evening for the entire family so Alexandra decided to go up to her suite to have to time to herself. She called Rocky on her cellphone as she stood on the balcony.

            “Everything alright?” Rocky asked.

            “Made it safely, how are you doing?”

            “No problems,” Rocky noticed one of his teammates waving to him, “I hate to cut you short, but we’re ready to take off.”

            “Talk to you soon,” Alexandra said.

            “I’ll count on it,” Rocky said.

When Rocky got to the plane, Steve Olson asked, “Was that the Greek Goddess?”

            “Yeah,” Rocky replied.

            “Hold on tight…she’s a keeper.”

            “If I hold on too tight, I’ll probably lose her. First rule, You don’t put chains on a free spirit, women like Alex are meant to soar with the angels,” Rocky philosophized, “I’m just hoping I don’t crash and burn or get a serious case of altitude sickness. ”

The Navy Seals boarded the C-17 Globemaster transport plane and headed into the skies to practice a high altitude low opening parachuting.

Nico Papadopoulous was a wealthy shipping magnate and he spared no expense entertaining his family with unlimited food, drink and entertainment. It wasn’t as if Alexandra was anti-social, but after spending time with her immediate family and making small talk for what seemed like hours, she was ready to get back to Sigonella  and her F-16 Falcon and Rocky and not necessarily in that order.

It was ten o’clock at night and the stars were glistening on a black canvas. Alexandra was off by herself, enjoying the solitude and letting her thoughts drift where they wanted. While walking down a cobblestone path by the edge of the cliff that overlooked the Aegean Sea, she took out her cellphone and called Rocky. He answered on the first ring, “I was just thinking about you…how are things?”

            “It was good to see my family and my uncle always does a good job with his get-togethers, but I’m ready to return to my routine.”

Before Rocky could reply, he heard the sound of distinctive sound of gunshots in the background, “What’s going on?”

            “I don’t know,” Alexandra replied then saw four armed men with masks running in her direction and quickly concealed herself behind a bush. The gunfire increased in intensity and she saw several hotel employees get shot as they tried to escape. “The hotel is under attack!”

Suddenly, the phone call disconnected and the screen showed No Service. Rocky tried calling back several times, but couldn’t get through. He tried calling the hotel and he couldn’t reach them either.

Inside the main ballroom, the leader of a terrorist group warned a frantic group of people, “Cooperate and you might make it out of here alive!”

Another terrorist reported, “All communication has been severed and cellphone service is blocked.”

Another terrorist reported, “We are going room by room looking for people.”

The leader ordered, “I want the grounds secured, nobody gets in or out…kill anybody who resists!”

The leader walked over to Nico and stated, “My employer wants you!”

            “Let everybody go, it’s me you want,” Nico pleaded.

The leader hit Nico across the face with his gun, opening up a deep gash on his cheek, “Nobody leaves.”

Several of the terrorists opened up large nylon bags, took out dozens of zipties and began binding the wrists and ankles of guests and employees. Alexandra needed more Intel so she cautiously moved back to the hotel and watched through a window for several minutes. She was able to get three important pieces of information, a rough estimate of the number of terrorists, who the leader was and what kind of weapons they were carrying. Alexandra looked to her left and saw a single terrorist walking in her direction. She looked around for something to use for a weapon and found a five pound decorative stone in a flower garden. When the man passed her position, Alexandra stepped out and crushed his skull with a powerful blow. She pulled the man behind the bush and covered him with foliage. Alexandra took his pistol, rifle, ammunition, radio dark shirt and black mask. She slipped the shirt over hers and put the mask on.

In the dark and from a distance, Alexandra could pass for one of the intruders. She found a place on the cliff where she could descend to the beach. She kept walking until she finally had cellphone reception then called Rocky and explained the situation to him.

Rocky did not hesitate, “I can be there in two hours…shut your phone off to conserve power. I’ll call you back in 90 minutes, 0030 hours, confirm.”

            “Confirmed,” Alexandra responded.

            “Stay safe,” Rocky said and disconnected that call and made another, “Code Red, I’m sending you the coordinates.”

Voice on the other end, “How many operators?”

            “Forty should do it,” Rocky suggested.

Two seaplanes landed off the coast about a mile from where the hotel was located. The planes move toward shore and twenty men from each aircraft got out with their equipment. Alexandra rushed up to meet Rocky and he responded, “These men are former Special Operators, they’re going to help us out.”

            “Thanks for coming on short notice,” Alexandra smiled.

            “We’re always ready to go…especially for one of our own.” 

Rocky turned to the man next to him, “We’ll divide the force…you take the perimeter guards, I’ll handle the insertion.”

            “Roger that,” The man said.

Rocky turned to Alexandra, “I’ll call you when it’s over.”

            “That’s my family in there.”

            “Stay right on my hip,” Rocky ordered.

            “Affirmative,” Alexandra responded, “Just like we were glued.”

When the men were in position, Rocky received a radio call, “We’re ready.”

            “Go!”

Accurate shots from snipers took out all the terrorists guarding the exterior of the hotel.

            “You’re clear.”

Rocky, Alexandra and the rest of the Special Operators entered through the service entrance and moved through the kitchen. Rocky gave hand signals to his men and they instinctively knew what he meant and they spread out. When everybody was in position, Alexandra pointed to the man in charge who was standing by the podium and whispered, “That’s the leader.”

Rocky radioed his team, “The man by the podium is mine…repeat, the man by the podium is mine. On my count, three, two, one…fire.” Ten men went down and the leader of the group escaped through an open door, followed closely by Rocky. He ran down the hallway, firing back at Rocky who weaved back and forth to make himself a more difficult target to hit. After running through the grounds and attempting to scale a fence. Rocky fired several shot that hit near the man, “That’s enough exercise. Drop to the ground or I’ll drop you.”

The Leader released his grip on the fence, dropped to the ground and turned around.

            “Take the mask off,” Rocky ordered.

The Leader complied then said, “Rocco Papasano…how are you, Pappy? How long has it been, three years? ”

            “Jackal, I thought you were still doing assassinations for the CIA,” Rocky said.

            “I work for the Globalists now, the pay and benefits are a hell of a lot better,” Jackal said, “There’s no future in being a patriot or a public servant. Men like you are a vanishing breed, Pappy.”

            “That’s what I’ve been told,” Rocky shrugged.

            “How did you find out about this? This could not have been a sanctioned mission.”

            “What makes you say that?” Rocky asked.

            “Because the current Presidential administration is part of the Globalist Cabal and they would never have approved it. Your days of fighting for the greater good are rapidly coming to an end. It’s about power, keeping it and getting more of it. I want to be part of the one per cent elite that live like kings, not the other ninety nine per cent who struggle to exist like paupers.”

            “Your ambitions always exceeded your abilities,” Rocky commented.

            “And your blind loyalty to the country always exceeded your grasp of the inevitable,” Jackal said, “Let me go and I’ll put five million dollars in an offshore account for you…what the hell, for old time sakes, I’ll make it ten. You’ll never make that kind of money as a door-kicker.”

Before he could answer, Alexandra came rushing up and asked, “You alright?” and hugged Rocky.

Suddenly, Jackal realized something and laughed, “This wasn’t a sanctioned mission…it was personal to you. Now it makes total sense. I hit a target that your girlfriend was at and she called you…that’s why you’re here.  Isn’t love grand, it almost brings tears to my eyes.”

            “You always did talk too much,” Rocky said.

Jackal stated the inevitable, “You bring me in the front door and I’ll be walking out the back door. You know that’s true, you’ll probably get court martialed for your trouble.”

            “What’s he talking about?” Alexandra asked.

            “He’s saying that the people who sent him here are powerful enough to keep him out of jail,” Rocky sighed,

            “Exactamundo,..I have full immunity,” Jackal laughed.

            “The wise thing to do would be to let you go,” Rocky said.

            “And the profitable one,” Jackal said.

Rocky turned to Alexandra and said, “He’s right, let’s go.”

Jackal had no qualms about going back on his deal and when he saw an opening, he decided to take it. Jackal reached behind his back to pull out a pistol that he had in his waistband, but Rocky was prepared for a double-cross. The Navy Seal spun around and threw his knife with deadly accuracy. The blade went through the Jackal’s forehead and stuck in his brain.

Rocky and Alexandra looked at the dead man lying before them and Rocky philosophized, “Evil has his own agenda, it might be their game, but I still play by my rules. I guess this is as good a time as any for you to introduce me to your family.”

            “It would be my pleasure,” Alexandra smiled.

The End

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9 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    Sicily…an enchanting, mythological island. A gorgeous, Greek aviatrix and a Navy SEAL of Italian descent…an explosive combination of testosterone! One knew there would be all sorts of action. Enter the Jackal! Any relation to Carlos? The two men argued over each others’ abilities…in the end, Carlos lost the bet! Score one for the Good Guy! And to the winner belongs the spoils!
    Sigonella is a great base with a spectacular view of Monte Aetna! I’ve spent a fair bit of time there over the year

  2. Jeremy says:

    I really enjoyed the story. Great background for an action adventure story. Strong man strong woman…great romantic combination.

  3. bob wolf says:

    another good one by tom

    worthy of a movie I’d pay to see

  4. John Michels says:

    wow!!!! Fantastic story Tom in the top 10

  5. Tony says:

    What a dynastic Sunday Story in the Vista Press by Mr. Thomas Calabrese. It is a story that should be a script for a movie or a television show. It contained just about everything required for a great movie. Italy, for a setting to begin with, a beautiful Mediterranean and accomplished young lady of Greek ethnicity that is a F-16 Fighter Pilot. A Navy and athletic trained Seal. That comes to the rescue of his Greek Goddess. Very nice story Mr. Calabrese. I think you should offer this one to one someone in the movie industry to be made into a movie.

  6. Clyde says:

    One of my favorites.

  7. Jon Gregory Nielsen says:

    Tom “Terrific”…

    I can’t say it better than Tony did above. M-O-V-I-E time !

  8. Skip says:

    I had time to read this week and last week’s this afternoon and loved ’em! Keep up the excellent work!

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