Don Prince was in his office talking on the phone to a highly placed bureaucrat in the FBI Office in Spokane. When the man was younger, just starting out as a lawyer for the government, he had gotten deeply involved in a get rich quick scheme and had embezzled funds from the local office of the GSA. He had gone to Don Prince who was a friend when he was in college, thinking he could trust him, he told Prince what had happened and begged him for help. Don Prince came through and loaned him $250,000 and told him he understood and to not worry about paying him back until he could afford it. That was ten years ago, now, Don Prince was calling in the lawyer’s marker. Up until the man received Prince's call, he was blissfully unaware of the kind of person he was dealing with, he soon found out. The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover always prized their sterling reputation first; solving cases was of a lesser priority to them. J. Edgar always stressed to his department heads that under no circumstances will the FBI or he ever be embarrassed because of a mistake by one of his agents. While J. Edgar has been dead and buried for over thirty years, his decree regarding the FBI not being embarrassed was still held by whoever the current director was. Thus . . . let's call him Mr. Smith . . . . Mr. Smith couldn't afford any hint of scandal being associated with his name, no matter how long ago it happened. So when Don Prince called him in his corner office of the Federal Building in downtown Spokane and reminded him of the $250,000 that he was still in the process of paying back, he readily agreed to sidetrack the report of a fourteen year old boy that was kidnapped in Moreland.
Prince sat behind his desk, a just opened liter bottle of Makers Mark sour mash bourbon sitting in front of him while he drank some of it from cut crystal glass. After staring at the bottle thinking about the situation his idiot sons had gotten him into, he made the decision that would affect many and cause much pain and suffering. Picking up the phone he speed dialed a long distance number with an international area code. The phone rang twice before it was answered;"You got those men I asked you to put on standby? . . . . . . Okay, here's the deal, there's five males ages 14 to 25 in my cabin south of Toppenish Ridge. I want them dead and the cabin torched, I mean burnt completely to the ground. . . . . . . I don't care if it starts a forest fire, in fact if it doesn't, I want your men to start one. . . . . . . . . . . Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I don't care, I want as little evidence remaining as possible, tell your guys that I'll double what I promised them if they can make it look like an accident. . . . . . . Fine, I'll give you an extra ten percent per kilo on the next shipment. . . . . . . I won't be contacting you for awhile, and I don't want any calls from you either." Prince hung up and thought about his two boys who were about to die, sighed and thought: "Fuck em, I'm young enough to have more, besides that's all that dumb bitch I'm married to is good for, that and spending my money."
17:30 AT THE BATEMAN COMPOUND
Earlier that afternoon they had received a call from Greg Bailey telling the Gunny to call Major Hobson. The Gunny thanked him and hung up and punched in the number Chief Bailey had given him. The phone was answered on the first ring;"Special Air Operations, Sergeant Matthews speaking sir,"
"Sergeant Matthews, this is Master Gunnery Sergeant Mcnaughten calling for Major Hobson." The Gunny said using his best D.I. voice
Sergeant Matthews replied;"Please standby."
Thirty seconds later Major Hobson came on the line;"Good evening Gunny, we developed some more information from a low level pass we made on the back to McCord this morning. We did another flyby on the last track we flew this morning and detected a fifth person in the second cabin. The reason he didn't show up on the first pass was, and this is just conjecture now, that he's in the basement of the structure. We got a pretty good read on the person, it appears that he was lying on his side and looked to have his hands bound behind him. I wanted to let you have this, but I didn't have your number and I couldn't reach Greg.
"Major," the Gunny said;"don't sweat it sir, we're getting ready to launch one of our guys to do a walk about in the area, this new info will cut down his need to recon three different places. Thank you very much for all of your help sir."
"No problem Gunny, if you need us, give us a call, I presume you have ground/air communications?" The Major asked.
"Yes sir." The Gunny responded;"Unit one uses 47.7 MHz. for voice communication, unfortunately, our encrypted communications are none standard single use requiring a key contained in the single use CD we generate on our Cray when we practice OpSec (Operational Security)."
"Okay, we'll be practicing combat insertions and lift offs at the Moreland Airport tonight starting at 01:00 through 07:00. We'll guard 47.7 MHz. starting 00:01 tonight and continue to do so until at least 07:30 local tomorrow." The Major said.
"Thank you sir, I hope to see you sometime early tomorrow morning." The Gunny then hung up and thought for a moment before heading to the lounge and repeating what the Major had said.
It was decided that Keener would do a walkby of the cabin east of the primary target to ensure there wouldn't be any surprises. Keener didn't have a problem with the extra walk, he'd been involved in operations that had gone south on him because of letting things slide. He and the Gunny had gone over the maps and the CD with the Air force telemetry data on it and didn't think it would add more than twenty to thirty minutes to the first part of the operation. Besides reconing the two cabins Keener would set up the jump beacon in a fairly large meadow approximately a kilometer from the main target. The beacon would be activated five minutes before the jumpers exited the aircraft and then Keener would provide area security until everyone was down and ready to advance on whichever cabin was identified as the main target.
As the day advanced, the team makeup was finalized. The only problem that was encountered was with Mitch, he wanted to go, but his father refused to talk about it. George Babcock was afraid. Not for himself, but for his oldest boy, he knew he was capable of doing what was required, but all he could think of was that he had almost lost Mitch twice. Once in the car accident that was caused by his mother driving drunk which resulted in him loosing his leg. The second time in another traffic accident where James Bateman lost an arm and a leg because a truck driver was driving after going for thirty-six hours without sleep.
Mitch and his father had gone to the conference room to argue about him going. It came down to a confrontation between father and son. Mitch was adamant about going. George was equally adamant about him not going. Finally Mitch told his father;"Dad, everytime you were deployed you told us you had no choice, it was your job and you had to go."
George tried to interrupt;"That's not fair s . . . . . ."
Mitch didn't give his father a chance to continue;"That's what you always told Shane and me, 'It's not fair, but it is my job and I have to go.' Well it's my turn now, I know I'm only fourteen, I know I only have one real leg and I know that I gotta go on this jump or I'll never be able to look at myself in the mirror again. I'm going and the only way you'll stop me is to lock me up somewhere, if you do that, then I'll never speak to you again as long as I live."
George Babcock looked at his son and realized how much he had changed since he had moved from the coast to Moreland. He seemed to be a lot older than his fourteen years and for the first time he realized how much he had matured physically. He thought to himself;"If he dies I'll never be able to forgive myself, if he never forgives me because I didn't let him go, I might as well be dead." These thoughts and several others flashed through his head as he stood there staring into his son's eyes. He had no choice. With a gentle sigh he nodded his head;"All right son, you've given me no choice, if Matt will let you go, I won't stop you. BUT. But you have to promise me you'll follow orders and think before you do anything, alright?"
Mitch's eye's glazed over and moisture threatened to start falling from his eyes as he moved forward and grasped his father in a bear hug;"I love you dad, thanks for trusting me, and I promise dad, I'll follow orders."
George realized for the first time that his fourteen year old son was almost as tall as he was, in the five months they had been in Moreland; Mitch had grown three inches in height and put on ten pounds.
20:53, 350 METERS UP THE SOUTH SIDE OF TOPPENISH RIDGE
Toppenish Ridge was approximately 1,200 meters high; the meadow that had been selected for Keener's insertion was 350 meters from the base of the ridge, on an angle of forty degrees. Keener kicked the fast line out the door of the H-13 and then hooked the quick disconnect friction slider to it that was attached to a body harness specifically designed for fast lining. Turning to Jeff, he gave him thumbs up and was gone, his slide took him down to ground in less than three seconds. Activating the quick disconnect he was free of the fast line. Moving quickly down hill twenty or so feet from the dangling fast line and crouched down. He spoke into his hands free mic;"Clear." Over his headset, he heard;"Roger, good luck."
As Keener watched, the spidery form of the Hiller lifted higher and turned to the north, staying low to the ground, but heading for the top of the ridge by following the terrain. Once Jeff Morton crested the ridge, he would turn and head back to the compound. Keener remained crouched where he was for the next fifteen minutes, hardly moving, listening as the sounds of the forest and the meadow started up again after being silenced by the giant predator that had flown into its midst. After insuring that he was alone, he pulled out his GPS and got a bearing to the first cabin he was to recon. Replacing it in the pouch that was attached to his LBE harness, he pulled out his compass and took a bearing with it, as most military men were, he always had a backup. A GPS was great, but whenever possible he used a compass to insure it was working properly, in an area with high terrain features such as he was in, a GPS sometimes locked up. He replaced the compass in his pocket and headed off towards the first landmark he had sighted on, he had to make continuous checks with his compass to insure he was moving in the right direction. With the light gathering optics he was using, he had no problem making his way through the heavy brush that littered the old growth forest he was moving through. After being on the move for close to an hour, Keener stopped for a short break; crouching down with his back to a large tree he made a visual sweep of the immediate area to make sure he was alone. With his left hand, he held his 60 by the barrel shroud just forward of the action while he pulled a water bottle from its carry position on his LBE. After drinking the contents of the one liter bottle (Gatorade), he replaced it in its holder. Once again he surveyed the area around him and moved out quietly towards his first target. 22:00, THE SARTEN RANCH 30 MILES SOUTH OF TOPPENISH RIDGE
Benny Martine had a bad feeling about this job, he was going to do it, but he didn't have to like it. His boss, Tunio Gartimereze, was paying him big bucks to take care of five men and boys, and that was the problem, Tunio never before paid him the amount of money he was getting for this hit. Tunio had contacted him the day before and told him of the job and that he and his men would be transported from Sonoyta, Mexico to a ranch in southern Washington. Benny and three of his men were driven across the border in three different vehicles and delivered to a straight stretch of Arizona Highway 85 just south of Why, Arizona. At 10:35 PM the previous night a Lear 35A made a low pass over their section of the highway, with the flaps out and the wheels down, the aircraft slowed to just above its stall speed. After making the pass, the small aircraft lined up on the two-lane highway from the north and landed, coming to a stop alongside the area where the men were hiding in the brush. Within seconds of the plane stopping the door opened and Martine and his three men ran to the aircraft and boarded it. As soon as the door was secured, the pilot advanced the throttles and released the brakes; the Lear seemed to leap forward and shortly was airborne. The 1,500 mile flight to the Yakima Air Terminal, McAllister Field in Yakima took a little over three and a half hours. When they arrived; a black Chevy Yukon with a driver was waiting for them. An hour and a half later they were in single level ranch house in the middle of nowhere. For the twenty hours Benny and his men spent in the ranch house all that was accomplished was the check out of the weapons that were supplied by his boss. Whatever the local situation was, it was going to be up close and personal when the dance started. The only weapons they had been provided with were three pistol grip Mossberg pump shotguns, an H & K MP5 9mm sub-machinegun, four Berretta 92FS 9mm pistols and four Tanto styled K-Bar knives. The shotguns each came with a nylon sling and a 25 round box of .00 Buckshot, three fifteen round magazines were provided for each of the pistols and three 32 round magazines for the MP-5. There was also five 50 round boxes of 9mm hollow points. With the weapons, ammunition and the knives was a short letter of instructions that basically told Benny to wait inside the house and be ready to move out on a half hour warning. By 20:00, all four of the men were ready to get the job done and get back to Mexico. All of them just wanted the job to be over with.
23:00 TARGET ONE
Keener's navigation of the forest was right on the money, he stopped at the edge of the clearing surrounding the most eastern cabin, crouching down, he watched the cabin for any sign of movement or noise. After observing the cabin for five minutes, he carefully made his way to the nearest window and looked inside. There was a night light glowing on the south side of the room and the one bed in the room was occupied by what looked like a teenage girl of maybe fourteen or fifteen. Moving to the next window, he was able to see a boy about twelve years old lying on his back on the couch in the main room. Turning around, Keener moved directly west away from the cabin. When he was once again in the woods he spoke into his microphone;"GhostRyder Base, GhostRyder Base, this is Walker One, over." After waiting for ten seconds, he repeated his call;" GhostRyder Base, GhostRyder Base, this is Walker One, over."
Just as he was about to try for the third time he heard; “Walker One, Walker One, this is GhostRyder Base, over."
Speaking softly he said;"GhostRyder Base, Walker One, target one is a negative, I repeat, target one is a negative, over."
The response was what he had expected;"GhostRyder Base copies target one is a negative, proceed to target two, GhostRyder Base, out."
Keener didn't say anything more, after checking his compass, he moved off quickly in the direction of the primary target. Moving quietly he made the two-mile hike in just over thirty minutes. Coming upon the cabin from the east side, he immediately saw the white van with the 'Prince Lumber Co.' sign on the passenger door, and parked along-side the van was an older CJ model Jeep. Keener moved to the front of the vehicles and one at a time, placed his hand on the hoods of each, neither of them had been driven for several hours. Placing his 60 on the ground, he pulled his K-Bar from its sheath and cut the valve stems of all four tires on each vehicle, all that could be heard was a soft, almost sibilant hiss as the tires slowly deflated. Moving quietly around the cabin, Keener determined that the only window that was not shuttered was one in the foundation on the west side of the structure. Setting his 60 on the ground once again, he looked in the window, if it hadn't been for the night optics he wore he never would have seen Jacky tied to the post in the center of the basement. Studying Jacky closely he thought he might be dead, then he saw the boy lift his head off his chest and shudder, while he watched, the large fourteen year old boy vomited down the front of his MarCams into his lap. Jacky seemed to shudder again and his head dropped forward again.
Keener grabbed his 60 and moved quickly and quietly away from the cabin, he made the decision to move away instead of trying to bust his way into the cabin. He probably could take whoever was holding Jacky captive, but if he failed, he would be dead and Jacky would probably die shortly after him. Keener moved to the clearing that had been designated as the 'Drop Zone.' Once there, he set his 60 down and removed his ruck. Opening it, he pulled the beacon out and moved to the center of the clearing and positioned it, pressing the 'Press to Test' button on the side of the device he got a steady green light indicating the batteries and circuitry were good. Moving back to his 60, for the first time since he was in Iraq, he chambered a live round for use not against a paper target, but against an enemy that he would gladly kill.
23:45, THE BATEMAN COMPOUND COMMUNICATIONS ROOM
Matt and the Gunny were sitting in the Com room talking quietly about the upcoming jump when the radio came alive;"GhostRyder Base, GhostRyder Base, this is Walker One, over."
"Walker One, GhostRyder Base, go ahead." Matt answered into the microphone.
"GhostRyder Base, GhostRyder Base, this is Walker One, Target acquired, I say again Target acquired."
"Walker One, GhostRyder Base, roger your last, what is target's condition, over?"
"GhostRyder Base, Walker One, target is alive, but needs immediate medical attention. Walker One observed target secured to vertical floor support and he was vomiting at the time of sighting. Walker One was unable to affect rescue due to access problems, Walker one was unable to eyeball other occupants of cabin or how they were armed, over."
"Walker One, GhostRyder Base, set up insertion beacon and remain in DZ until told to activate beacon, then return to cabin and observe area, do not, I repeat do not attempt rescue of Target, confirm, over"
"GhostRyder Base, GhostRyder Base, Walker One, insertion beacon is in place but not activated, all vehicles at the cabin have been immobilized, Walker One understands no rescue attempt without backup. Walker One will remain in vicinity of DZ until told to activate beacon, then return to cabin, over."
"Walker One, GhostRyder Base out." Matt said
Matt turned to the Gunny;"Get them suited up, I figure we got about an hour to and hour and a half before we're airborne."
The Gunny nodded his head and left to sound General Quarters. Matt turned back to the microphone, set the band width to 47.7 MHz and started calling;"Snoopy 09, Snoopy 09, GhostRyder Base, over."
DAY THREE, 00:15 BATEMAN COMPOUND COMMUNICATIONS ROOM
As Matt released the transmit button on the microphone once again, he started to worry, if Snoopy 09 didn't answer soon, they'd have to try to move on the cabin in vehicles. That was the last thing Matt wanted to do, there was every likelihood that Captain Eagletooth was watching the roads into the reservation and would stop them before they could close on the cabin. Just as he was about to try again he heard;"GhostRyder Base, GhostRyder Base, this Snoop 09, over."
Hitting the transmit key, he responded;"Snoopy 09, this GhostRyder Base, go ahead, over."
"GhostRyder Base, Snoopy 09 is at angels 20 at 250 knots, turning to 125 in five, over."
"Snoopy 09, this is GhostRyder 6, we are at GhostRyder Base and need a lift from home base (Moreland Airport) on 224 at angels 25 at 01:30, over."
"Ah roger your last GhostRyder 6, Snoopy 09 copies last, wait."
"GhostRyder 6, Snoopy 09, how many require lift, I say again, how many require lift? Over."
"Snoopy 09, GhostRyder 6, thirteen, I say again one three, over."
GhostRyder 6, Snoopy 09, see you at 01:30 at north end of home base, Snoopy 09 out."
While Matt was talking to Snoopy 09, the Gunny had come in and listened to the conversation. When Matt had finished he asked;"Matt I really want to go in on this, I know we already talked about it, but I need to go with you."
Matt shook his head;"Sorry Gunny, but I need you to lead the ground element; I know George will be there, but I need you to do this for me. I don't want to have to worry about what's happening on the ground while Steve and I are herding these boys down from 20,000 feet. Please, please do this for me."
The Gunny sighed;"Alright, but we ever have to do this again, you're staying on the ground and I'll be doing the jumping. Deal?"
The smile on Matt's face faded as he ordered the Gunny;"Assemble the troops Gunnery Sergeant."
The Gunny came to attention;"Aye, aye sir." Turning to the building announcing system he hit the transmit key and ordered;"Jumpers, Ground Team and support personnel muster in the Cavern, that is, Jumpers, Ground Team and support personnel muster in the Cavern."
Within five minutes the Unit One boys and men who were involved in the operation had assembled in the Cavern. Broken into the three sub-groups, Jumpers, the Ground Reserve Force used to seal off the cabin from the highway and the support personnel. The support personnel were mainly adults, added to older teenage Squadies with driver’s licenses who would operate the vehicles and provide logistical support for the other groups. Everyone was wearing MarCams. This was the third time the plan was gone over in the last eight hours, with the exception the adults and one or two of the boys, everyone had worked together on several different exercises. The only unusual aspect of the operation was the sniper. Instead of using his Barrett .50 caliber rifle, he would be using an accuratized Springfield Armory M1-A1 (civilian version of the M14) with an NVWS-6 Low Light Amplification Telescopic sight. The rifle used a much smaller, lighter round (7.62 X 55 mm cartridge, with a 150 grain bullet), which they wouldn't have to worry about going through the front wall and taking out a good guy when it exited the building through the back wall. This was a really good idea since two of the jumpers would be stationed behind the cabin to insure nobody left that way once the shooting started.
The briefing lasted only ten minutes, reserve force and the logistic teams were getting ready to move out, as it would take them an hour and a half to make it to their staging point. Terry English had been able to scrape up three 'low boy' flat bed trailers and a sixty-foot box trailer. The four tractor-trailer rigs would transport the Unit’s wheeled vehicles to a point on the reservation where they could be unloaded and used in the assault on the cabin, if necessary.
Terry English felt out of place wearing the MarCams he had been given, even more so because he was also issued a Kevlar 'Fritz' style helmet. While never serving in the military, he had lot of experience handling heavy equipment and could operate all of the equipment the Unit used. When he was asked to help with the operation, he quickly agreed, thanking God that it was Jacky that had been kidnapped rather than his son Tyler.
Earlier that day, the low-boy trailers had been loaded with four HUMVE's, an LAV and a FAV; all the vehicles on the flat beds were covered with canvas tarpaulins to disguise them. Two more FAV's had been tied down in the box trailer, and ramps secured to the interior sides of the trailer for rapid loading and unloading. The four tractor-trailers units exited the Bateman compound at 00:55 and headed towards the staging point. The reserve and logistical teams rode in the vehicles secured on the flat beds or in the box trailer. Doctor Davidson rode in the front of the box trailer, with all the medical supplies he anticipated needing, but prayed that he wouldn't have to make use of. Soon the small convoy was moving along at 55 miles per hour on its way to be part of the rescue team for Jacky.
While the trucks were in route the thirteen members of the jump team had suited up and climbed into eight different vehicles and headed to the Moreland Airport. After arriving at the airport, the boys and men grabbed their jump and equipment bags then moved to the end of the ramp to await their transportation. While they were waiting, Matt pulled Jap away from the group and said;"You're our team sniper, I'm depending on you to keep the assault force safe. I'm also depending on you not to lose your head the first time you get one of those assholes in your sights. I want as many of them alive as possible, so promise me Jap, and I need to hear you say it, promise me that you won't splatter their brains all over the countryside the first time you get a clear shot. Promise me Jap or you aren't going."
Jap looked Matt in the eyes and nodded.
Matt shook his head;"No Jap, that won't do, say the words and mean them or you don't go."
Jap once again looked the man in the eyes and said;"Matt, I promise I won't kill anyone unless I have to, to save one of our guys, I promise you on Jacky's life."
Matt looked at the boy for a few more seconds and nodded;"Thank you Jap, go ahead and join the rest of the team."
As Jap was heading back to the group, a Sheriff’s police car turned the corner with its emergency lights on and pulled to a halt alongside the rest of the vehicles. The lights went out and the engine was shut down. When the door opened and Tommy Martin climbed out, Matt let the pent up breath out he had been holding. Tommy was dressed in hunter’s camouflage and had his Sheriffs gun belt around his waist and his Deputy Sheriff’s badge pinned to his chest. While Matt watched, the man opened the trunk and removed a jump bag very similar to the ones the jumpers carried. After closing the trunk, he walked over to Matt and gave him a rather sloppy salute;"Hi there captain, nice night for a jump ain't it?"
Matt took a second or two to figure out what Tommy had just said, then he shook his head;"Nope, no way, un-un, there ain't no way you can go with us."
With a shit eating grin on his face Tommy said;"Yeah there is, I'm the lawfully constituted police contingent of this jump, besides I got a search warrant for three different cabins in Toppenish, signed by a federal judge. This way, if Eagletooth or his bandits try to stop us I can fend him off, you really need me for this."
Matt tried to tell him the problems with him going with them, about the jump, the altitude they would jump from and the terrain they would be jumping into. Tommy just grinned at him and let him talk until Matt finally ran out of reasons for him not going. Tommy answered his objections one by one, concluding with;"And to your final reason why I can't go, I am a certified jumper, I been jumping for the last three years. I've been doing HALO jumps for a year and a half and I'm good at it, I even have a MC-5 Tactical RAM-AIR Parachute and a Scott bottle for high altitude jumps."
Before Matt could respond, the sound of a large aircraft could be heard; Matt and Tommy, along with the rest of the air assault jumpers turned their heads to look for the source of the sound. As with the previous night, all that could be seen was the giant outline of the big aircraft as it made it a combat insertion landing. The giant aircraft lumbered towards them, but instead of stopping as it had the night before, it continued to move past the group of men and boys. When the aircraft was past them and stopped, the rear loading ramp thudded to the runway and the aircraft Crew Chief walked to the end of the ramp and motioned them to come forward and board the plane. Picking up their jump and equipment bags the men and boys trotted up the ramp and into the crowed confines of the monstrous aircraft. As the last of the boys and men came aboard, the loading ramp at the rear of the aircraft started to close as Snoopy 09 started to pivot around to line up with the runway. The Crew Chief got everyone seated in the red nylon strap seats attached to the starboard side (right side) of the cargo bay. The boys tried to look at everything at once, the 105mm and the 40mm cannon as well as the GAU12/U 25mm Gatling gun. The fine weaponry seemed to mesmerize the boys. Being boys, the hardware on the port side of the aircraft drew most of their interest, while a few of them wondered what was behind the doors to the aircraft’s modularized electronics suite on the starboard bulkhead.
After everyone was strapped in and the Crew Chief checked to insure he had a green light on the door closure panel he contacted the flight deck;"Aircraft Commander, this is the Crew Chief, aircraft ready for launch."
Moving to his seat and strapping in he heard;"Aircraft Commander to all stations Snoopy 09 is rolling."
With that, Snoopy 09 surged forward, a very short time later the nose of the aircraft lifted off the runway and then seconds later the rest of the giant plane followed. To confuse anyone watching, Snoopy 09 continued heading south and within ten minutes was orbiting over northern Oregon, at 6,500 meters (22,500 feet) at a speed of 230 knots. The time was 01:43.
Once the aircraft leveled off, the Unit One men and boys unstrapped and started donning their equipment, time was running out.
01:10 THE SARTEN RANCH
The first ring of the phone woke Benny from his dozing, picking up the handset he said;"This is 063." He listened for thirty seconds and then hung up. Standing up he called out to his men;"Let's go men, the jobs on, we must hurry."
01:30 THE PRINCE CABIN
Keener had been watching the cabin since he made his report to Matt, there having been no movement from in or around the cabin; he decided to make a quick check on Jacky. Leaving his M60 in his hide he crept up on the basement window and looked in, it didn't appear that Jacky had moved at all. Taking a chance, he tapped lightly on the window, there was still no movement, this time he tapped a little harder and he saw Jacky's head move a little towards the sound of the tapping. Quickly he backed off and made his way back to his hide, feeling better in the knowledge that Jacky was still alive.
At 01:50 as he was entering his hide, he heard in his headset;"Walker One, Walker One, this is GhostRyder Six, over." Keener's heart rate accelerated as he answered;"GhostRyder Six, Walker One, go ahead, over."
"Walker One, GhostRyder Six, egress in ten, over."
"GhostRyder Six, Walker One, roger your last, egress in ten, out" With that he moved from his hide and headed for the clearing to activate the beacon, glad that things were about to happen.
02:05 6,500 METERS (22,500 FEET), 20 MILES SOUTH OF TOPPENISH RIDGE
The cargo bay of Snoopy 09 had been depressurized and the rear ramp had been lowered until it was in line with the cargo bay deck, the men and boys of Unit One were wearing their PARIS Rigs and Tommy was in his MC-5 Tactical Ram Air Parachutes. Their Gear bags were strapped to their legs and they were wearing M3T helmets and were breathing from five-minute Scott supplied air bottles. When the Crew Chief who was acting as the Jump Master saw the jump light go from red to green, he slapped matt on the ass and Matt moved quickly to the end of the ramp and disappeared into the black Washington night sky. The remaining fourteen jumpers quickly followed, as soon as the last went off the ramp the Crew Chief activated the door closure switch, silently wishing the men and boys God’s Speed.