Somewhere in West Germany, 1976
Live by Chance
When they came for him, they came for the kill...
Not only were they the only people in the bit of German forest that he had been sent to; but they resembled bouncers in bars and brothels...Small world...
The two thugs leered, pulled out large knives, then slowly moved towards him as they listened to his pleading with smiling faces,
'Who are you? What are you doing? You're not going to hurt me, are you??? Please...'
No doubt they enjoyed the look of fear on Freitag's face before they slowly sliced and diced him a hundred ways, like one of those miracle vegetable slicing machines they'd sell on American local television stations.
'Look, I'll give you money!'
Freitag produced a bunch of Deutschmark notes and showed them to them, his assailant's mouths smiled and laughed, but their eyes showed curiosity and greed.
'I've got more! Look!'
He threw the notes in the first assailant's face who was blinded long enough for Freitag to pull his stiletto from beneath his sleeve and expertly thrust the blade between the bones of the man's rib cage into his heart...He was dead before the highly trained Freitag pulled his blade out and the man hit the ground.
Freitag's face of fear was a fraud and a lure; but his opponent had definitely lost his earlier self-confidence...He wildly thrust his knife at Freitag's chest. Freitag sidestepped with an Aikido foot movement and performed the Jim Bowie Technique where his downward stab connected with his opponent's wrist holding his knife, making him drop his weapon.
The assailant was trained as well. He ignored his bleeding wrist and attempted to punch Freitag. Freitag dodged the blow, then powerfully shot his free hand into and over the assailant's throat as he hooked his leg behind the assailant's leg and took him to the ground. The assailant's last memory on Earth was when Freitag landed on his chest with his knee, and whilst still squeezing one hand over his assailant's throat, he thrust the blade of his stiletto diagonally upwards into his assailant's right eye through to his brain and twisted it...
Create by Circumstance
No one knew when the team was started, it just was...it had always been under one form or another.
Freitag's real life The Dirty Dozen consisting of two officers and ten sergeants didn't merely investigate communist cells who were deemed actively hostile against the United States Army Europe, or USAREUR for short...they'd find the enemy, fix the enemy, face the enemy, fight the enemy and finish the enemy.
He had never admired a group of men more than his team, for they were The Cool and the Crazy professional killer Rat Pack of USAREUR. Like the Alley Oop song that they sang, they were indeed mean motor scooters and bad go-getters. As always, he was the youngest in his group.
His entry into his team was an experiment; his highly experienced peers immediately accepted him as one of them after he was viewed strangling a student communist future saboteur in Luxembourg. It seemed the thing to do at the time, and they noticed and appreciated it.
With the end of the Vietnam Conflict, new blood was sought as many of the team's members were retiring. There had been a couple of highly selected individuals who completed the Army's Special Forces and other training but hadn't actual close-range combat experience. They seemed to have the qualities desired for the work, but with one necessary exception...When the time came for them to kill at extreme close-quarters on their first supervised assignment, they either froze, or they couldn't bring themselves to do their target in. Hence, a young inexperienced straight-leg infantryman who was witnessed to have instantly killed correctly with his bare hands was selected. Those who thought that they were merely going to administer euthanasia to unarmed targets were excluded from the start.
None of them killed by mistake. Had they done so, they would literally disappear. Sent to the cornfield was their term; the phrase came from an episode of The Twilight Zone, which as one of them told him, was the perfect definition of the team's world. One of them called themselves the 'T-Team'. It was as good a name as any...
Learn by Necessity
The first thing that Sergeant Charles 'Freitag' Miller learned in his training course was that the Green Beret was a hat, not the man who wore it.
Like his father, his instructor emphasised the lesson by hitting him on his head.
Freitag had always thought the Green Berets were an invention of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his media blitz in JFK's Democratic Party controlled mass communications industry. Like the Duncan Yo-Yo Man, the Mercury Seven Astronauts and the Peace Corps, the Green Berets were his childhood heroes encouraged by the New Frontier, as they didn't exist in his parent's time. He avidly read Jungle War Stories and Tales of the Green Beret comic books and as a birthday present received a Mattel Guerrilla Fighter bright green beret, camouflaged poncho, plastic Ka-Bar knife with sheath and a camouflage painted Dick Tracy Tommy Gun that was the envy of his neighbourhood as it fired caps automatically. He was an adherent of the mid-1960s Cult of the Green Beret, buying Robin Moore's book and Barry Sadler's record, then seeing and re-seeing John Wayne's action packed film.
In reality, the United States Army's Special Forces had been created in the 1950s in a total lack of any media coverage. American soldiers who had been born and raised in European nations found themselves training Eastern European Resistance teams to hinder the Soviet Bloc. Some of his new comrades confided that their World War III missions were to form strongholds inside radiation-infested areas of the Soviet Union or to be infiltrated into enemy areas with backpack nuclear weapons. Freitag and a platoon from his infantry battalion had actually guarded the top-secret installation where those atomic devices were stored under the guise of 'munitions'.
The cult ended not only because the Democrats and their machine had turned against the war with the election of Republican President Nixon, but the Army high command smeared the Special Forces and their close-up one-to-one man-to-man or woman counterinsurgency and espionage operations.
The second lesson Freitag learned was that not every dead thing is really dead, and what isn't dead goes underground; now he was being trained in that type of work by those Special Forces Men.
Freitag had a multitude of on-the-job training instructors on a one-on-one basis as well as his team training sessions. Unlike the rest of the Army, the new man was welcomed and immediately became part of the team. Though you often worked independently you were never Our Man Flint who wasn't one of the team, though all the team admired James Coburn's character as a role model of perfection, not a spoof.
All of them were different, all of them were fascinating. Two had been in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, another faced charges along with his commanding officer but when their civilian attorney wanted to call high ranking generals, politicians and the head of the national intelligence agency in to testify, all charges were dropped; for civilian legal expertise nearly always quashed an Army Kangaroo Court Martial.
There were the ones with foreign accents who had enlisted in the US Army to obtain quick citizenship and spent the majority of their military careers in Europe; some had experience in other foreign armies, one was a Marine. They were truly America's Foreign Legion.
They had non-regulation haircuts and didn't wear uniforms. There was a photo in an office of one them finally receiving the high decoration that he had been recommended for his exploits in Vietnam years ago. The recipient was longhaired and unshaven, the General who pinned his decoration on his Army green uniform and his flunky aides were clearly grimacing in disgust.
In addition to their physical fitness training, much of their schooling would suit a Mike Hammer type private eye; some of the team and their instructors had worked as private investigators between enlistments, one had been a policeman, one had been a Federal Sky Marshal.
The third thing that Freitag learned was that today's fact had once been yesterday's conspiracy, and many of today's conspiracies were 'true scoop', hence 'the Establishment's' overpowering desire to discredit 'conspiracy theorists'. A paranoid would feel justified when they saw the flowcharts of various well-known people connected to things that were officially denied by the government and the mainstream media.
In his training he had achieved a phenomenal level of physical fitness, mental alertness, self-confidence and instantaneous reflex reactions that he never thought would have been possible. He also wasn't troubled by what his goody two-shoes bleeding heart high school psychology teacher called 'morality'. Killing, common sense and intelligence went together; if you didn't have the latter two, you couldn't be trusted to properly do the former.
It wasn't all Shits and Giggles...
Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape training put him through the wringer. He'd be sent on a Mystery Date, wearing a hood whilst his well-disciplined, for he couldn't recognise their laughter, comrades beat the shit out of him or put him through a variety of horrible situations. It was the only time in the team for Sadistics; prolonging things was never allowed, except for playing Truth or Consequences field interrogations. As with sex, it was like the marching song, 'Get in, get out, stop messing about, yo ho, yo ho, yo ho!'
Army lore said the Eleventh Commandment and the Final General Order was 'Don't get caught'; SERE courses proved that beyond any reasonable doubt. They underwent a course in Suicide Etiquette with Major King, who they called 'Fearless Leader' after The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, proudly informing his men that they'd be taught by the best...
'Your teacher's a Jap, and they oughta know!'
Everyone looked at each other nodding their heads with a feeling of pride and admiration.
The fourth thing he had learned was that though he had to instinctively remember his training, and like a good chess player, think several moves ahead, he could only live in the now. Like Tony Martin sang, There's No Tomorrow...
Laugh by Emotion
One of the Army's mottos was, You'll find sympathy in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. In the team, the obscene S word ,'sorry' was another, was replaced by humour. Laughter was the best medicine.
As he always regarded This Man's Army as the world's largest mental institution, his peers were the Jack Nicholsons from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest issued a licence to kill by the United States Government. The comparison was quite apt as they prided themselves on 'driving the psychiatrist nuts' during their mental health screenings.
It was obvious that they had been their school's class clowns, then the funnymen of their rifle squads and A-Teams. They had a great esprit de corps, were a fun bunch and provided a lot of laughs. When he was one on one with his peers they were fascinating intelligent and world-wise conversationalists and comedians. In a pack they acted like The Dead End Kids and his wise guy high school peers. Unlike them, they appreciated beauty and craftsmanship, and only destroyed things when they had to.
When Fearless Leader would shout,
'How are we gonna give it to 'em?'
The class would shout the Good and Plenty! Good and Plenty! Good and Plenty! candy jingle.
They loved to sing. Their choruses of Sit Down, Your Rockin' the Boat and Heartaches by the Number filled the air in the classroom at apropos occasions. When Fearless Leader or Mr. Knight admitted that a mistake had been made, they'd sing Duck and Cover complete with duck noises and whistles; no other unit in the United States Army could get away with that...
He had never seen, nor would he ever see any group of men who loved their jobs as much as they did.
Though no one had any time for commies, especially for those West of the Wall, there was never any hatred towards them. It was rather like the 'Mornin' Sam, Mornin' Ralph' cartoons of the wolf and sheepdog trying to kill each other, but only after the work whistle blew.
The wakes of those of the team killed in action were like comedy roasts; the entire night was one of laughter and humorous memories.
Love by Choice
Mr. Knight briefed the team that due to a mixture of surveillance and reports from infiltrators in an anti-NATO student revolutionary group, the word was that there was going to be an assassination of a NATO general by an expert sniper. The sniper was believed to be a German national whose name was known to very few people; they were now amongst those few. Though his name was only known to some, his location was known to none.
One of the theories was that his sister would know where he was, therefore Freitag would play the good, or sensitive, loving cop. Otherwise as the bad, or incapable of any sensitivity, hating cop he would, as the last resort, play an extreme Truth or Consequences game with her to find him. In her case, an extreme pop quiz, torture to the layman, which was a Daffy Duck Trick...a great trick but you could only do it once...
He had quickly won her confidence. Their meeting was arranged when his buddy Wildschwein snatched her purse on the street. She viewed him shouting in his best Canadian accent and pursuing his friend. He followed him around the corner where he came back to her with her purse and an untrue exciting story. Alternative Integrity, his peers called it.
They were together.
As every World War II and Korean War veteran had told him, once he enlisted in This Man's Army it would be an unforgettable learning experience. He lived with and learned from people no one else would have ever even seen or known they existed unless they rode public transport or viewed a chain gang of prisoners at work. As a result, he saw women in a new light, for losing your virginity was as much a mental as a physical act.
He knew those from the Southern and rural parts of the nation who told him how when they turned 18 or came home from Basic Combat Training their own fathers didn't only take them to a bar for their first legal alcoholic drink, but to a brothel to learn about, and how to treat, the opposite sex.
His comrades-in-arms in America's first line of clandestine offence were eager to pop his cherry, though he had accomplished that before at a Bavarian brothel on R&R. He was fascinated by their stories that all the tales their mothers and others had told them about the sanctity of women were memorably disproved at Ping-Pong Nights in Bangkok bars or when one of them saw his own high school homecoming queen working the streets,
'Did Her Majesty give you a discount?'
'No, the other way 'round. I left her a big tip!'
'She bit your end off and spit it out?'
They had more respect for actual prostitutes then women who prostituted themselves to get a wedding ring and a lifetime meal ticket.
Though the Vietnam Vets told him stories about their own amazing experiences in the sexual Disneyland that was Asia, they told him that Australians were the wildest, as they would go with their mates two on one on a woman; they drew the line at that.
Like the act of killing that had as many names as the Eskimos had for snow, or Australians had for vomit, so sex was put on the level of a fun, but necessary experience.
In addition to sexual activity training, he had Psychology 101 courses taught by the team's female psychiatrist in women's emotional 'needs'; how to identify them, how to satisfy them, how to keep a straight face and not break out laughing at them. The key words were intense self-confidence, awareness, quick initiative, and back to self-confidence. Like the act of killing, if you actually cared, you were done for...
Though perception and perseverance, he had won her confidence. She was his Judas Goat, and nothing else but. She was his taxicab to his target, for she invited him to visit his parent's home as it was her Mother's birthday; there may be a chance that her brother was there.
He was able to string her along because her overwhelming need was for him to give her a child...
* * *
Unlike farmers in North America who lived on their land, the frugal German Bauern saw no advantage for erecting buildings on arable farmland. They lived in a small village with their limited aromatic livestock also in barns in the village. Her parents were typical courteous Germans, her recently arrived brother seemed familiar to him...where had he seen him before? Oh yeah, Augustus Gloop in the Willy Wonka movie...
She loved the forest and insisted on the pair of them making love in any wooded area she could find after they first met. It was as if she was a part of the land for she was a pagan satyress. She not only went in for natural things and homeopathy, but she insisted that when their child came, she would give birth in the forest...Not only did she talk to the trees...she said they answered back...
Unlike families where children and parents were at odds with each other, her family were close; she would accept many traditional things and they would accept New Age things. Her parents explained to him that the only good to have come out of the War were the Germans rediscovering the effectiveness of the natural world out of necessity.
Her brother and her believed in an interesting but illogical ecological rural communism, sort of a Witches and Woodcutters of the World Unite, but they were backed by the Soviet Bloc and did their bidding...
When brother and sister invited him out for a shoot; he played Canadian leftie delivering anti-firearm and anti-hunting diatribes, but allowed himself to be talked into watching them when she laughed and sneered,
'You are a baby and a coward! Ve vill be eating fffenison! Iff you do not help, you vill not eat!'
He suspected that they might have discovered who he really was and this might be a chance to get rid of him in an 'accident'. As all he had on him with his stiletto, he vowed to keep close to them.
In West Germany, hunters don't stalk large game. They sit in a high stand, sort of a tree house and shoot from there, as you were legally only allowed to hunt an animal on your designated piece of land. They were keen on obeying the hunting regulations, but had no qualm about assassinating a NATO general? Squarehead Krauts...Like shooting a housebreaker in the US, if your victim wasn't immediately dead and staggered off to die outside your area, you could face minor charges or fines and you'd lose the meat. Ergo, like a housebreaker in the US who died outside your home, you had to drag their remains back in to your turf in order be as legal as a beagle.
Who dared wins, fortune favoured the brave...He not only had the satisfaction that his cover wasn't broken, but he had his viewpoint changed. When Bambi showed up, both of them fired with their ancient Mauser Karabiner 98K rifles with standard iron sights.
The brother not only missed, but it was obvious that all he knew about a rifle was how the bolt and trigger worked. The sister stopped the deer on the run with a single well-placed shot; Bambi instantly died within their designated area. Freitag thought that she would have impressed his range instructor with her stance, properly holding the weapon, leading her target, controlled breathing, squeezing the trigger and a bit of follow through.
Her smile was ecstatic.
She was a professional...not only a crack shot, but she followed Teutonic tradition and placed a clump of grass in the deer's mouth as a final last bite. Neither of the Siegfried siblings had buck fever...
He asked about her amazing shooting ability, and had it confirmed that she was a champion markswoman of local renown. Her brother would sometimes spot for her. It appeared that the Secret Squirrel Surveillance Team was trying to follow him, but ignoring her...Deadlier Than the Male wasn't just the name of a fun Bulldog Drummond movie or its great Walker Brothers title song...
Freitag played girlie girl during the dressing of the game, it seemed easier to do when he did it in a Canadian accent.
* * *
All good things come to an end, it's just a matter of when, and if you're prepared for it. It doesn't matter why it's so...it's what you do...when you know...your time is through...
Her behaviour had started to slightly change soon after her brother arrived; his poker playing teammates had trained him in subtle changes of eye contact and body language. He was on the alert...
One day the look in her eye gave her away when she told him,
'Please! You must help us! Ve haff to go to the town to pick up zum food for tomorrow. Go back to our high stand, my brother left his binoculars there!'
Sure he did.
* * *
He covered his failed assailants with foliage as best he could. The deceased had been so confident that they carried their identification in their wallets with them.
Hansel and Gretel as he called them, obviously didn't have the time, expertise or the proverbial stomach to kill him themselves. He realised that his lover was an Earth Mother who emulated the black widow or the praying mantis in favour of getting single mother's benefits and sympathies without legal or emotional upsets. Breaking Up is Hard to Do really wasn't. It was probably that reason instead of his making an error in his cover or outside information coming to her. As far as her mission, she was a pro, and to a pro it's mission accomplishment first, the welfare of your subordinates last. For whatever reason, she no longer wanted him around...
He was trained that in every bad situation there's a small bit of good, if you can find it.
With his cover blown, he now had the chance to run to the nearest telephone in the small town to contact Wildschwein to brief him on the situation, inform him of the location of the bodies and obtain the latest news.
The news was that the General would be passing through their area. His team would try and locate where Hansel and Gretel would be when they made their assassination bid.
They would expect him to disappear, but would they be waiting for confirmation by their assassins that they had accomplished their mission, and if they hadn't would they abort the assassination? He was to wait for the team to join him at a designated location.
Friendship by Temperament
'I'm with you!'
Doing his impression of Stan Ross, the comedian whose entire career involved only speaking those three words and nothing else but, Wildschwein had thoughtfully brought a thermos of coffee, a sufficient amount of tasty sandwiches and chocolate, a change of clothes, communication gear and a variety of weapons, ranging from his sniper rifle to sound suppressed Ingram sub-machine guns. Two more teammates, Braunbär and Bierliebhauber would do surveillance on Hansel and Gretel. Another pair from the team picked up the litter of the assailant's bodies for removal, examination, investigation and disposal.
After they left, the 'Wild Man' reflected in his Tennessee accent,
'You know the difference between Germany and Vietnam I can't get over, Fry? It's not the climate or the temperature, it's not the vegetation, and it's not the people...it's the quiet. In Vietnam the smallest noice would sound as loud as thunder directly overhead, here it's like the forest absorbs every noise.'
Germany outside the cities was quiet. When he went on field exercises as an 'aggressor' guerilla with others from his old headquarters platoon, those from the big cities were totally unnerved and spooked by the quiet. As Freitag was a loner and Wildschwein a country boy, they preferred the quiet. Perhaps that's why they were each other's buddy? They were opposites in everything else.
Fry and the Wild Man first worked together when the former spotted for the latter when he was to do some long-range removal of a couple enemy targets. They spent nearly eight hours together inside a rooftop without speaking a word to each other and urinating in empty Coke cans whilst laying on their side. After the Wild Man scored his three kills with Betsy, his Remington M40 sniper rifle, a weapon he had used in Vietnam, they got the hell out of Dodge and drove to a place where Wildschwein could strip and clean the love of his life with the same eagerness someone else would have if they were finally able to defecate.
Once Betsy was cleaned and packed away and they drove 'home', Wildschwein told Freitag his life story; his verbal dysentery was no doubt the equivalent of smoking after sex. Usually, Freitag defined logorrhoea as diarrhoea of the mouth balanced with constipation of the brain, Wild Man spoke very little, but when he did, he said a lot; everyone else he knew before his team were the opposite. After he was briefed before that mission, one of the team clandestinely told him that Wildschwein had a temperament, but not a personality; assassination was his only form of self-expression, but he was a true artiste at his trade. Freitag was the only person that he opened up to...
Kill by Profession
The next morning Braunbär's surveillance had been successful. His partner Bierliebhauber had identified where Hansel and Gretel would be, in a make shift high stand not far from a back road where they could park their vehicle for a getaway. The two B's would act as backup exterminators if something went wrong and their targets were able to make it to their getaway vehicle.
Wildschwein set up a makeshift well concealed sniper post and prepared Betsy who wore a sticker on her stock of a dancing Snoopy reading HAPPINESS IS A CONFIRMED KILL. Like Freitag, he was the only other non-Special Forces qualified man in the team; his Marine Corps sniper Vietnam experience, and later a SWAT team spoke for itself. He would take out the Germans once the General's car came down the country road. Freitag would act as spotter.
'It's COMMIE sssssseeethen'
Freitag responded to his buddy's Daffy Duck impression with his Elmer Fudd laugh.
'I've got Ol' Betsy's sights trained on her. Have a look.'
Gretel was literally in his sights; she was by her newish looking state of the art sniper rifle. Hansel was spotting. In assignations as well as assassinations, three was a crowd.
Wildschwein unexpectedly spoke from his heart,
'Fry, though it's not your weapon, you're the one who found, fixed, faced and fought her flunkies and...', he made sexual intercourse hand gestures, '...her, would you feel better if you finished her yourself?'
He seldom swore, the team said he was a devout Christian in one of those Kill a Commie for Christ religions. His best friend had paid him the highest compliment he could give.
'Thank you Wild Man, that's very kind of you...yes, I would.'
They switched places.
As Braunbär kept up the audio commentary, Wildschwein switched his view to the road where the General's car would be coming down, it would slow around a bend.
His warning order matched the eager look on Gretel's happy face as she sighted her target with her weapon...
Freitag fired when he saw Gretel take a breath as she had prior to her killing the deer.
It was a perfect headshot, her brother was stunned by her brain, blood and bone shrapnel that now decorated his face. He had just heard the sound of the shot when Freitag chambered a second hollow point round, then put it in Augustus Gloop's forehead.
'Back in the SWAT team we had to have 5.56mm rifles as one time the target's bone fragments killed their hostage when we used 7.62mm...'
The team were more than friends; they were each other's brother as well as father and Jiminy Cricket. One of them explained things by the ancient example where Freitag easily broke a single stick, but he was unable to break a team of sticks tied together. Each pair of partners knew the other one better than they knew themselves...
The Wild Man put his hand on Fry's shoulder, the two secret soldiers looked each other in the eyes. He raised his eyebrow to let Freitag know he was listening to what he had to say. Freitag repeated the old army axiom about women,
'Find 'em, fool 'em...'
'If you don't forget 'em, you're...', he repeated his hand gestures.
He spoke into his radio,
'Bierliebhauber, This is Wildschwein. Over.'
'Bierliebhauber here! Over.'
'Bierliebhauber, can you recover two pieces of dead meat and take them off in their dead meatmobile? Over.'
He wished he was there with Bierliebhauber to put the final piece of grass in her mouth for her last bite...
Though one of the rules was You kill 'em, you bury 'em, in this case, the team had a garbage disposal support unit called The Magic Undertakers who would ensure Hansel and Gretel would be found as Crispy Critters within their burnt car that had been in a terrible road accident...
Family by Default
Upon his return, Freitag had an intense, but comfortable debriefing where he was kept away from his peers. The final bit was a session with the team's psychiatrist and occasional instructor. The team loved Vietnam veteran Major Jillian Schaefer as their team mascot; her feelings towards them were mutual, but nothing more.
He rejoined his team during one of their classes. Their genuinely warm greetings made him feel at home and back with his family, more so than his own real family, as he had nothing in common with the latter. As The Man said, the family that slays together stays together...
Unknown to him, his team had intensively discussed his antics as if they were a ladies sewing circle. He had not only defeated two men in a knife fight, but he also literally blew the head off the woman he impregnated, ergo, his unborn son or daughter as well. As an extra added attraction he did the same for his de facto brother-in-law. When 'the kid' killed, he killed close...in both meanings of the word...
'What did the shrink say?', asked Number Two, their Executive Officer.
Freitag acted shy and embarrassed.
'She told me I was cute.'
Everyone dropped their smiles and gave him shocked and questioning expressions, for Major Schaefer seemed immune to the team's he-man charms. This was the first time she broke her non-fraternisation professionalism with them.
'Acute psychopath!', quipped Freitag as he broke his false shyness.
Their laughter brought down the house.
'Awwww, you're not that cute!', Löwe cracked, that set off the laughter again.
Freitag took his seat and caught up with his class. The team was back together.
Leave by Regret
Super Top, his Sergeant Major mentor confided that he truly feared finally leaving Neverland and going back to civilian life with his wife and family. He explained, again in a reversal of everything that he had previously learned, that combat veterans had mental and emotional problems, not because of what they did in the military, but because they could no longer legally do what they had done when they were in wartime and weren't with their brothers-in-arms who understood them.
No non-veteran wanted to know or believe the truth...
Author Notes: I am the author of three Extra Dimensional/Ultraterrestial military science fiction novels MERCENARY EXOTIQUE, OPERATION CHUPACABRA and WORK IN OTHER WORLDS FROM YOUR OWN HOME! as well as two travel books THE MAN FROM WAUKEGAN and TWO AUSTRALIANS IN SCOTLAND (all from Lulu.com). I live happily ever after with my wife in paradise (coastal Kiama, NSW Australia).