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Drugs, Guns & Gold- Afghani Black

A fictional account of a fall from grace in the
poppy fields
Things were damn near placid in the mountains these days, probably because once the CIA told the
warlords the poppies could bloom all the locals got busy making money. SFC Dirk "Throatslitter" (I am just
playin' with the names) Thorskillen couldn't believe he was still in Afghanistan, the action was over a
couple of years ago and all they were doing now was babysitting.

They had two warlords in their AO and neither one was interested in much beyond how much sticky icky
they could haul down out of the mountains and trade for fat satchels of gold and hundred dollar bills. Dirk
had no real feelings about the good or bad of this and he found that was the best way to deal with shit he
couldn't change. His team was tasked with maintaining cordial relations with the various tough guys and
that required a goodly amount of driving to the compounds of local poobahs for tea and flat bread.
Unsurprisingly quite a few of these folks played fast and loose with restrictions on booze and drugs and
occasionally these soirees got very interesting.

Today they were headed to the eyrie of Dirk's personal favorite Akhnard ben Akhnard. It wasn't AK that he
favored, it was his chef de securite' a reprobate Frenchman who called himself Jean Valjean. He was a
former Legionaire and having survived some serious nastiness he was now quite a hedonist. Dirk was Sr.
Weapons on his team so Valjean was his counterpart and he was expected to befriend him and build
rapport, which was not something he considered a chore. Valjean had every form of pleasure dome-like
entertainment available and an overnight there was a welcome reward for all his time spent looking at
broken rocks. The best part was the always changing melange of the world's most gorgeous women, who
he knew were waiting, to say nothing of the top shelf booze and the chance to "chase the dragon".  

Akhnard was the bigger of the local poobahs and there was a huge amount of loot in play regarding the
cultivation, processing and sale of the opium he controlled. As his enforcer Valjean enjoyed considerable
power and discretion, consequently when hanging out with him Dirk was privy to much of the inner
workings as Valjean has accepted him as a kindred soul. He often vented or bragged about the
machinations of all with stakes in the potent flowers blooming in the meadows. Even though the official
policy was to condemn the poppy trade, actual policy involved exactly what was happening here, watching
and befriending the drug warlords. This was the only way to have peaceful elections and so the deals with
these men were struck, and now Dirk was trying to figure out what part he played in this whole charade.

"Hey Jean" he asked "How much longer do you think Washington is going to let you fuckers keep doing
this shit?"

Jean smiled and told him "Poppies have grown here for thousands of years and somehow your little man
from Texas will change the natural order? If your cowboy is so powerful why does he send 10 of you to
pretend to control tens of thousands who have repelled every attempted occupation? No Dirk you will stay
until you cause more trouble than they wish and then" the classic Gallic shrug.

Dirk couldn't stomach the idea that his two+ years on the ground in this shithole were going to add up to
nothing more than a divorce and a growing taste for the commodity causing the whole uproar in the first
place. "So are you ever gonna' cash out and head somewhere civilized?" Dirk inquired. Jean grinned more
widely and spun around in a circle that encompassed the finest accoutrements of the modern world "I
have all the trappings of civilization without those cursed sheep cluttering it up, no my friend I will die here
fucking the finest women God or Allah has created, old and never sated."

Dirk didn't have anywhere near that rosy a worldview, matter of fact as far as he was concerned his life
was fucked up like polio. His treacherous evil, whore of an ex-wife actually managed to turn the act of
adultery into a money maker as he now had to pay the bloodless cunt alimony. For fuck's sake, he
thought, I'm paying for someone else's pussy. How the fuck does that work? And now he had no house, no
bitch wife, no real fuckin' reason to care and that's what made the dragon so good. The dragon just let
him float away and all this bullshit rolled off him like water off a duck's butt.

He went over to the side bar and opened up a wooden chest to reveal a dazzling array of opium smoking
devices. He grabbed a simple brass pipe and then fished out a wax paper ball which when opened
revealed a big, black ball of the magic. Dirk cut a little chunk off and stuck it in the pipe then he fixed a
glass of Kentucky bourbon before flopping on the big couch by the window. He loved to feel the first
vapors of dragon's breath curl through his whole existence while looking out at some of the most
forbidding terrain on earth. It let him understand why Jean wanted to stay, but he still had to figure out how
to unfuck his own world.

He hit the pipe and that wonderful rush that is so fleeting caught him up and swept him off like a bliss
zephyr. Why can't the fucking real world feel like this he wondered? If God made the world suck, but also
made it feel this good, then what the fuck was he thinking? He took another hit and just let it flow because
you could never make sense of that shit anyhow. He flew like a raptor lazily sweeping across the meadows
of poppies and in his eagle's perspective all he could see was gold. All that gold just lying there and he
was fiddle fucking around pretending America wasn't just letting it happen. Enough of this shit he thought,
why can't I have something worthwhile? Why don't I deserve some reward beyond the chance to grind my
body and soul down to dust?

"You got your own million dollars Jean?" Dirk queried. "I mean I know you said you are staying in
Shangri-La, but you know this shit could all blow up and I know you have a go to Hell plan."

Jean sharpened his eyes but laughed heartily, "Oh Ho, a million dollars, I think all Americans are fixated on
this. I must be a millionaire. Why can't you take the good life and not go so overboard? It is the ruin of
more than the salvation. C'mon I think a blow job is in order, yes?"

Dirk couldn't argue with that so the ladies were summoned. They were both new to him and while one was
the classic bubble-headed California bleach blonde favored by Jean the other was so much more his
flavor. Bright green eyes and a cafe au lait complexion carried on a full, curvy body left him thinking about
a dusky goddess, and then he tried to remember the Doors lyric, which was made tougher as she swayed
across the room with a wicked side to side, oh yeah "pluck that dusky jewel" yeah that sounds good.
"C'mere baby" he beckoned and she draped herself across him. "What language do you speak?" "I speak
English" she offered. He asked "Colombian?" She smiled and said yes. He offered her the pipe and she
took a lungful, exhaled and looked him dead in the eyes " I think you are a special man, so tonight I take
care of you. You just lay back and feel good. I am Esmerelda and I was born to make a man reach his full
potency, I will make the boolsheet go away."

Throatslitter was obviously not his real name, but the nickname TS stuck after Dirk had seen enough
videos of terrorist rat fuckers cutting the heads off innocent victims. "I swear to God if we capture more
than one of the fuckers I'm slitting the throat of one of them, period. I simply just do not give a fuck what
the Geneva God Damn Convention has to say. These cocksuckers need to know we ain't playin'." This
was greeted with the usual derision any heart felt sentiment received in a Special Forces team room
"Yeah you go get 'em Throatslitter, yehaaw dirka dirka muhammad jihad".

The poppies would be ready for milking in about three weeks and Dirk was trying to figure out how he
could turn this whole goat rope into gold for him. Obviously he had to step somewhere in the process but
he wasn't sure where, he couldn't sell the shit because he was the only opium smoker he knew. He figured
he had to move a chunk of it and get rid of it in bulk, but to where and sell to who? Fuck he couldn't even
come up with a good way to break the law and make money, this was bullshit.

"Jean will you play straight with me?" he asked.

"Why do I already know where this is going?" Jean replied.

"What are you fuckin' talking about?" Dirk asked.

"Your million dollars my friend, that is what you ask me, where is my million dollars Jean? How can I get my
million dollars? Oh Dirk you know I have come to love you as a comrade, but you are such a goddamn
American. You must have it all and all at once. Please tell me you will stop now and quit dreaming of drugs
and million dollars. It is a step off a cliff my friend, you don't need that." Jean informed.

"Dude I don't know what you see, but from inside here my world looks like six miles of squashed dogshit. I
got nothing, no wife, no house, no money what the fuck do you figure I should be so fuckin' copacetic
about?" Dirk wanted to know.

"All the complaints you have are the biggest problems of the married man, a wife to constantly complain
about him, a house to give her chores for you to perform, and money for her to waste on vanities. You are
free yet you complain about your lack of shackles, please I beg of you my friend reconsider, you are a
member of the most elite force on earth you will do more than this trifle." Jean said.

"Yeah maybe I can do a tour in Iraq after this, Woo Hoo!" Dirk lamented. " Fuck this shit man, just fuck it."

Mid next morning Dirk crawled over Esmerelda and threw on a robe before heading downstairs for some
chow. Since Valjean hired and fired all the staff Akhnard had a French-Moroccan chef and the food
rivaled the drugs and pussy for quality. "How 'bout an Omelette du fromage avec cous cous Ibrahim?" He
asked the chef. "My pleasure monsieur" was the reply and Dirk ran off a cup of the wicked strong brew
they served cutting it liberally with cream and sugar. He sat at a big table in front of another window and
the magnificence of the vista stunned him as always, the mountains were the most savagely natural thing
he had ever laid eyes on. His head was pounding from the opium and bourbon, but he had work to do
today so the dragon had to stay in the cave, but a little hash would make his head feel much better. He
opened a drawer  and pulled out a box which opened to reveal a pipe and a ball of black hash, he pinched
a piece off and was soon contentedly exhaling a swell of murky smoke that immediately changed his
owwww to ahhhh. Ibrahim dropped off a plate with his breakfast and he was spearing his first mouthful
when Akhnard and his Operations Chief Mustafa walked in.

"Mr. Dirk, we are always happy when my favorite American comes to visit, has my hospitality met your
approval?" Akhnard smoothly inquired. He was an Oxford educated sociopath and Dirk always felt a quick
chill whenever AK scrutinized him.

"Pasha my visits to your paradise are the highlights of my time here in Afghanistan" Dirk drolled "I only
wish there were more issues requiring my presence here".

"Ha, I do love talking with you Mr. Dirk. You always sound like a young Richard Burton off on a
swashbuckling adventure, you do my old heart good. What are you and Valjean up to today?" AK asked.

"We are heading up the pass to take a look at whether we need some kind of surveillance  on the trail to
Tajikistan. Too many bad guys traveling up and down it so we gotta' put people or a device up there." Dirk
answered.

"Yes, that is an avenue we cannot permit the Russian jihadis access to, I would favor a solar device as I
would not want to add another manned outpost, but I defer to you and Jean if men must sit on the rocks"
Akhnard informed.

As he and Mustafa entered the meeting room adjoining, Akhnard closed the door and said
"That one has been showing some healthy greed according to Valjean, asking about how he can
supplement his retirement, Jean said he covets the usual million dollars."

Mustafa snorted and wondered "Why do you place such a premium on owning one of these westerners?
We don't need their help and they poke their noses already in too many places it were better off they
ignored."

"I know you have no use for the Americans but you underestimate their usefullness as tools. They are the
only people who can stop us from taking our product to market, if we own one of them he can tell us what
they plot. Let your prejudices rest my brother I have no love for the infidels but what Allah provides we
must use, no?" Akhnard said.

Akhnard knew from where he spoke because he already owned one other American, a mid-level
functionary at the US Embassy who worked in the counter-narcotics division. Americans are so funny
about their sexual perversions Akhnard thought. The poor soul at the Embassy found himself on the team
for something as simple as buggering a twelve year old boy, in a country where that is not particularly
uncommon. But the pictures proved overwhelming when shown to him and he has been quite useful in
knowing the strategy and tactics the Americans would use regarding his and his competitor's operations.
That reminded him that with harvest and processing looming it was time to meet with young Mr. Cruise and
see what the future holds.

Mustafa's phone rang and after a quick conversation he told Akhnard "I will go to Bagram, the chemists
have completed their work and I will pay them and bring the reserve back here."

"Is this the new Black?" Akhnard inquired.

"Yes" was the terse reply.

"Excellent" Akhnard opined "The price goes up by half and it costs us less to process, even you must love
it now that the Russians too have caught the silliness of the westerners eh Mustafa?"

"I love them to death, you know that my brother" Mustafa answered "

Part 2 Jean & Dirk go up a mountain