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Chicago Wipe-Out

Chicago Wipe-Out Chicago Wipe-Out Chicago Wipe-Out

Mack Bolan faces the battle of his life as he invades the nerve-center of the Mafias powerful U.S. Operations.

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When again we encountered Bolan, The Executioner, he was in England and searching out a homeward path. His search, however, quickly became Assault On Soho, and Bolan discovered that, "... I am living in an invisible domain of violence that follows me wherever I go." He also found that all pathways home were crossed with extreme jeopardy, and swinging Londontown very quickly began to throb to the Executioner's battlecry. Diverse forces were closing in on Bolan in England, and he learned the hard way that the Mafia held no monopoly over evil.

Nevertheless he overcame the coalition of underground power in London and dealt another mortal blow to a cancerous tentacle of Mafia influence, but not without taking on a new appreciation of fear, and disgust for this spreading menace.

He returned to New York with the personal commitment to "bust this kingdom of evil if I can live that long." But New York turned into a nightmare and an orgy of bloodletting that shook even this combat veteran to the very depths of his being. (The Executioner: Nightmare in New York.)

It was here that he encountered the master plan of Cosa di tutti Cosa, or the total domination of American life by underworld interests. In his own unique way, Bolan postponed the realization of that master plan even while accepting the fact that he could never, by himself, totally destroy the Mafia. It was a war of impossible dimensions which one man alone could never hope to win. Thus began the new phase of the Bolan Wars, the war of frustration. If he could not cut out the heart of this cancer, he would at least sever an arm here and there, keep them off balance, and keep hacking at them until the world awakened to the reality of this many-tentacled giant bent on devouring it.

Thus also, Chicago. If New York had been a nightmare, then Chicago must surely be the grim awakening, the model city for The Thing of All Things, Cosa di tutti Cosa, theThing already come to pass. For Mack Bolan, Chicago was the inevitable next scene of confrontation with the mob. Certainly he was knowledgeable regarding that triumvirate of power described by bestselling author Ovid Demaris in hb masterful work on Chicago, Captive City:

"Today it is nearly impossible to differentiate among the partners — the businessman is a politician, the politician is a gangster, and the gangster is a businessman."

So what sort of man is it who single-handedly challenges such a power combine? Is he indeed the same naive soldier who returned from the battlefront of Vietnam to bury his own beloved dead — and then to avenge their deaths? Could anysensitive and normally intelligent man undergo the gory violence and continual jeopardy of the Bolan Wars without also undergoing a radical alteration to his personality? It would seem not. Bolan had been growing into his own destiny-1 — certainly into a deeper understanding of the dimensions of his conflict — and most probably into a finer appreciation of the reasonsfor this war.

Shortly before his entry into Chicago, he penned this thought in his personal journal: "... it's going to be a wipe-out... them or me. I have lost the ability to judge the value of all this. But I'm convinced that it matters, somewhere, which side wins. It matters to the universe. I consign my fate to the needs of the universe."

A man's character ishis fate. The same could be said of a city, or of a nation.

But what sortof man would willingly and alone walk into The Chicago Wipe-Out!

Whatever else he might be, Mack Bolan, The Executioner, is that sort of man.


The challenge

In a matter of seconds, Bolan knew, the Chicago War would be on. The face in his crosshairs was the one he had been patiently awaiting for two hours on this crisp winter afternoon beside Lake Michigan. Faces had come and gone through the hairs of the 20-power, but this was the one he had wanted. Once it might have been handsome, or at least it might have possessed a potential for comeliness. Now it showed the indelible tracings of an inner rot, of power and greed too long unrestrained — a face that had seen death and brutality and atrocity far too many times to remain comely in the mirror of humanity — and, yes, this was a face to launch the War for Chicago.

For a second The Executionerhesitated. Some deep uneasiness over this hit was gnawing for a quick mental review of the situation. Two days of patient and cautious recon had failed to produce any intelligence which would dissuade him from making the strike at this particular time and place. The big lakeshore estate was reasonably secluded. There was no evidence of a hardset defense — the staff of this Mafia jointappeared both modest and relaxed — a small force of hardmen. Bolan had counted only four identifiable gunbearers — one at the gate in front, one acting as a doorman, the other two alternating on relief. The inside crew was made up of a cook, a bartender and a waiter. The guests seemed to bring their female companions with them; there was no whore-corpsin residence. The two-story joint had six bedrooms on the upper level. The lower level was taken over by the kitchen and dining room, lounge, game room, and a large library that probably served as a conference room.

Bolan could find no reason for his uneasiness. His own position had been carefully selected and was as good a drop as he could reasonably expect to find. He was comfortably situated in the garage apartment of an adjoining estate which had been closed for the winter. He had the wind at his back and a bird's-eye, unrestricted view of the target area. His line of withdrawal provided several acceptable alternate routes of retreat, and he would be firing along a three hundred-meter range — well beyond any effective retort from handguns.

So why the uneasiness? Simple fear, maybe. Or an instinctive recognition of... what? Bolan shook away the feeling. The flash review had crowded his mind for only an instant and the long-awaited image of evil was still crowding the vision field of the sniperscope. The target was standing beside the vehicle from which he had just emerged, his face thrust aggressively into the raw wind slanting in from the lake, and he was evidently giving some instructions to his driver. His woman had already gone inside — a luscious blonde in a fur coat who displayed a wiggle that promised everything.

The intense magnification of these big scopes created a distortion of reality; Aurielli's face seemed to be just hanging there — discarnate, a blob of humanity that had somehow managed to insinuate itself in the lens. And, yeah, a war was waiting. Last minute fears or not, the moment had arrived.

Bolan sighed, and his finger knew no compunction as it caressed the trigger of the big Weatherby. The high-powered rifle thundered into the recoil as the .460 Magnum missile tore along the one-second course. Bolan grimaced and rode the recoil, his eye flaring into the scope in the effort to maintain target continuity as the image disintegrated in a frothy implosion of blood and bone and tissue — and Louis Aurielli, Mafia underboss, suddenly ceased to exist in the space-time world.

The bolt-action moved swiftly and smoothly as the Weatherby immediately swung a few degrees left and the long barrel elevated an inch or two to acquire the next target. The dumbly-dismayed visage of Aurielli's pretty-boy bodyguard, one Adonis Sallavecci, hung there for a frozen instant in the framework of doom as it contemplated the inexplicable behavior of a disintegrating boss. The sound-wave bearing the rustling report of that first round reached the target area at about the same instant that the second Magnum mushroomed into Sallavecci's once-pretty face, and another target was fragmented and flung beyond the vision field of the sniperscope.

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