The Empty Quarter (A USAF Pararescue Thriller)
David L. Robbins
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Every member of the Special Ops US Air Force pararescue jumpers, the PJs, swears by the motto “That Others May Live.” A top-secret mission to save a kidnapped Saudi princess will put that oath to the ultimate test.
With a force of armed men, a former mujahideen chases across the desert of Yemen to recover his Saudi wife, kidnapped by her powerful father, a prince of the Kingdom. The kidnapping turns violent, she is badly wounded, and the PJs are dropped into the vast sere badlands to rescue the princess and a young American diplomat swept up in the plot. The mission becomes a minute-by-minute race between the pursuing husband’s band of tribal allies and the PJs rushing to the rescue, as the princess’s life seeps away.
The Empty Quarter is a pulse-quickening tour de force featuring the tactics and men of modern combat search-and-rescue and the complex politics of today’s Arabian peninsula. It’s a moving tale of desperate love and sacrifice set in the wastes of the Rub’ al Khali, the world’s largest and harshest sand desert.
mean the man you shot?” “The man I did not kill, Sergeant.” Berko lumbered past. He bore the zipped-up corpse across one shoulder. “You’re still a murderer.” The Saudi faced off with LB, a head taller. “Yes I am. You seem to want to judge me.” “Oh yeah.” “Have you killed, Sergeant?” “It was never murder.” “Of course. Always in uniform. Always under orders.” “That’s right.” “There is a man on the desert road fifty miles south who would argue otherwise,
mattered which of you was in the water.” “No.” LB chimed in. “It’s how we train.” “To drown?” “To never quit. Ever.” Torres threw an unmasked look of concern at Wally, then caught herself. She hid behind her hand, caressing her own forehead. She spoke before lowering the hand. “Fine.” Torres walked away from the pool with long strides. Wally called after her. “Fine what?” The major tore the top sheet from her clipboard. She crumpled it and left it on
of the second GAARV to drive it on top. LB asked to do this for them and was almost run out of the room. For the next hour, the riggers packed more crush board around the wheels, axles, machine guns, steering column, head- and taillights. Anything that might suffer from a hard landing or get tangled in the huge G-12 cargo chute’s lines. The chute container itself was attached to a release mechanism that would detach the silk once on the ground, to stop the canopy from dragging the load away.
his ammo, carbine, radios, parachute, bootlaces. The lieutenant’s smile came quickly, then fled at the same pace. His hands fluttered over his equipment. LB pushed the young CRO’s arms down. “Stop it.” He ran a quick check over the kid’s gear; everything was in place. “You’re good, sir.” Berko puffed his cheeks and seemed to settle. LB had done this for every pararescueman on the team at one time or another, and many others over the years. Told them they were good, then leaped
speed of the car and the pain in his arm stopped him. “There’s no mission. It’s finished. She’s not going to make it.” Khalil’s head bobbed down. He leaned forward, pale and sweaty. He drew his mouth close to Josh’s ear, to be sure he was heard. “Then save her.” “How?” The reek of all their blood, even flowing out the open windows, was growing overpowering. “Be a soldier.” Khalil eased back, leaving Josh alone to figure out how to do that. Pull the car over and