Stiff, sore, and with stern warnings from the doctors not to “push things,” Gaz and I were finally able to get back to work. Our superiors had begrudgingly delivered the weapons and transportation we demanded, and we wanted to make sure they knew that we were putting it all to good use. We knew going up against the cartel would be more difficult than ever, particularly as the national military seemed to have thrown in their lot alongside. What we needed was a distraction – more than just an exploding helicopter tumbling down a mountain this time – something that could really drive a wedge between the two powerful groups.

That isn’t to say that Gaz and I spent all of our newly-granted “free time” drawing up designs and thinking of creative places we could strike from. On the contrary, she and I both do our best thinking on the road, so to speak, and so much of our eventual plan came to us while we were shooting at convoys, carrying goods the rebels would appreciate having instead, taking down road-side guard stations, and generally announcing our presence to an unsuspecting hostile force. We were making up for the time lost recuperating, and we went to work with gusto, making full use of the upgraded weapons at our disposal.

While causing some chaos near a Unidad base, Gaz picked up radio chatter that the military was transporting a “special prisoner” out of the line of fire. Her Spanish is much better than mine, so I took her word for it. She got into position to take out all of the ground transports – amazing what a .50 caliber round will do to a cheap engine – and I moved in to say hello to the prison transport. Unfortunately for us the military had been upgrading some of their hardware while we were away, and the transport van had enough armour to stop Gaz’ shots. They were able to take the prisoner away, but not before I got a good look at his tattoos – he was a member of the cartel, and possibly a high-ranking one at that.

If the military were keeping a cartel leader in chains, that could be the leverage we needed to turn the two organizations against each other, making the rest of our South American stay that much easier. We cleaned up the rest of the military base mess and radioed up the chain – with any luck our superiors could get us more information on this mysterious prisoner and where they might be holding him.

Sometimes, a great plan lands right in your lap.