They walked down the hall in silence, the weight of the broadcast still hung heavy on the two men. He shut the door behind him and sat down across from the governor.
"How did it feel, killing me that is?"
"It felt rather strange, staring at you and all."
"It'll buy me a lot of time, get Was.h.i.+ngton off my back. I'm sure by now they know I'm the one that's responsible for the secession."
"You're not responsible Reese, they are."
"I know, but tell that to them."
The governor leaned back in his chair and contemplated the future during the lull in the conversation. He retrieved the bottle of scotch and poured it into two gla.s.ses.
"What you did in Afghanistan, do you think it's repeatable on the border?"
"With the right people, most definitely."
"I believe I have the right people, they just need someone who has the experience. I've been here a long time, Reese; talked to a lot of community leaders across the border over my years. They despise these cartels and their do-nothing government as much as we do. We started out with a conventional war down there, but I don't think we can win it like that. If we do, we'll lose a lot of lives in the process. That's why I need you."
"Tell me about how you've been fighting them so far."
"Well, we bombed Matamoros."
"That's going to complicate the situation tremendously."
"Get some rest; I know you haven't slept in days. You can strategize later."
"I'll go get my stuff together; I can sleep on the way."
i i Barrett stared down into the vast expanse of nothing in front of him. The distant sounds of a flock of sheep could be heard somewhere beyond the horizon. The valley below them was blanketed with yellow and white wildflowers, and dotted with p.r.i.c.kly pears. The occasional Mexican-olive and mesquite tree towered over the barren surroundings.
He climbed out of the Humvee and walked to the front. He leaned against the hood and continued to survey the South Texas plains. Barrett watched a family of Mexican prairie dogs scamper to and fro, searching for an evening meal.
"What're you looking at amigo?"
"I don't know, maybe a year, maybe more."
"No lo entiendo, amigo."
"Alex, do you know where we can get some horses?"
"We'll probably need about twenty, maybe more; I don't know yet."
"For what motivo, amigo?
"We're going south; how far, I don't know. For how long, I don't know. We need smart, sure-footed, long-distance horses."
"Is no problem, amigo; I can get. You know, eh, how do you say, Araloosa?"
"No, Araloosa. Is what you want; I can get."
"I need one more thing; I need a translator, someone who can speak to the locals and explain that we mean well."
"S, I can get that to."
"No, I mean-"
Alejandro laughed at his friend's nervous response and replied, "I will go; desde luego."
Barrett chuckled at the humor and smile
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