The stench of the hotel made me gag as I entered. It wasn't Moscow or London, that was for sure. As I made my way down the roach infested hallway and paused at the Room labeled 23. Hinges busted, door knob barley attached, there was no way in hell I was going to sleep in this rat house. Instead I headed for the stairs and jogged the three stories up to the roof. When I opened the door, a steady hum of people, animals, and cars greeted my ears. There was a small 3 foot tall brick guard around the hotel roof giving me cover from the street and surrounding buildings.
I dropped my duffel bag and opened it, checking the contents. A small smile creased my face as I recognized my favorite weapons. A Barrett M98B sniper rifle with scope, bi-pod, and silencer; a Barrett Rec7 assault rifle with silencer and ACOG sight; and lastly a Mk23 mod 0 pistol with a silencer. Looking further a few more pieces of equipment caught my eye. A few MM-1 claymores, a KB1213 combat knife, a Leupold rangefinder plus wind speed meter, a notepad, and finally boxes and boxes of ammunition. Thomas didn't skimp out on anything I told him to get. Taking a moment to survey the area, I made a quick sketch on the notepad. It wasn't a master piece but it was rough enough for me to check the ranges of near by locations. After noting the ranges I packed up my gear and checked my phone. A small map appeared and displayed Ghosts position. His plane was currently over the Bay of Bengal headed past the southern tip of India.
That gave me approximately 9 hours to set up a perch and recon the surrounding area. I quickly dialed a non-descript number and waited for someone to answer. Three rings later a familiar voice came over the line.
"This line secure?" I asked before speaking further, there was a pause on the other end of the line before the voice spoke again.
"Yes, go ahead." It was the CIA spook who had met me at the airport.
"What do you know about a Gregory Fishner?" Again another pause and a few hushed whispers on the other end of the line. Some papers rustled before the spook replied.
"We know he is connected with a local named Ahamad Salim. Salim is in the business of buying and selling information. For the right price he could give you intel on Fishner. We don't have any other information." I rubbed my temples at the american's ignorance. Before he could say another word I ended the call and pocketed the phone. I had work to do. With the proper defensive precautions taken, I kicked out a small hole in the brick guard. This allowed me a nice sniping spot with full view of the main street in both directions while leaving ample cover. The sun was beginning to fall in the sky meaning I had only a couple of hours to find Salim and get my information without being spotted. Being a Russian white male in Mogadishu would not help my situation at all, I'd have to blend in if I wanted to survive for more than 5 minutes. After retrieving a keffiyeh (arabic headdress) from my bag, I wrapped around my head and dirt plastered face. As an added precaution I pulled on a long sleeve shirt over my arms and covered my hands in sand to darken my skin color.
I was headed down a packed street, filled with sweaty people and trigger happy gun merchants. Before me was the market district, one of the most dangerous places in Somalia if not the world. Every now and then a loud clatter of an AK-47 echoed through the streets. Nobody seemed the slightest bit disturbed at the nose, chaos was the only form of order in this city. Soldiers guarded the streets, occasionally grabbing innocent bystanders and shaking them down for money. If worse came to worse I had my silenced pistol strapped to the outside of my thigh hidden by a false pocket covering. It took another twenty minutes to work my through the dirty streets and crowds to reach Salim's two story home. Guards stood posted out front brandishing their weapons at anyone who even looked towards them. Luckily I wouldn't have that problem. I approached them as they stared me down, it was like being watched by two very pissed off tigers. One held out his hand and yelled at me.
"What are you here for?" without a word I tossed them a roll of rubber-banded american 100's. The guards looked between each other and moved allowing me inside. Moving through the first story room I placed small devices on a few of the walls. Most of the inner guard was either high or sleeping (probably after a night of heavy drinking). A small child holding a rifle approached me, his eyes flicking wildly around the room.
"You," he called pointing at me "what are you here for?" I glanced at the child, he looked to be about 7 years old.
"Salim," I said in a sharp tone. The child narrowed his eyes but hurried off into another room. Before he could return with Salim I scaled the stairs to the second story and placed more listening devices. Footsteps echoes in a nearby hallway, I had to get out, now! Looking around I noticed a nearby window, in a desperate move I jumped. Luckily for me the ground below was dirt, adding a slight comfort from the fall. It jarred me for a moment but I quickly stood dusted myself off and headed back to the hotel. That had been too close and Ghost hadn't even landed here yet.
The few hours of sleep I got on the hotels rooftop weren't the most comfortable, but I wasn't about to complain. My phone had woken me in the early morning. Ghost was here and he was headed into the city. From my niche on the roof I monitored his position. He was headed right to Salim's house, maybe he wasn't as dim as I thought. Finally his position was right at Salim's house, I plugged in a ear bud and waited for the Mic's to pic up his conversation.
"So, I'm assuming you need to know something?" an African voice chimed. Right on cue Ghost responded.
"Yeah, I'm looking for Gregory Fishner." Way to be discreet, I thought to myself. After a bit of negotiating over the informations price Salim spoke up again.
"He lives by the Former Somali National Theatre. As for what he does, that's anyones guess. If you were to meet him, however, be sure that you aren't wasting his time. His children will chop you up." I pulled the ear bug and rested against the rooftop's brick guard. Ghost was on the trail now all I had to do was wait.