Toxic Terrain

Toxic Terrain
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The badlands of North Dakota become a war zone when a former Pentagon researcher stumbles across a Chinese terrorist plot to unleash deadly prions into the country's largest supply of cattle feed. With America's food chain and the lives of millions in jeopardy, Mack Bolan knows he must shut down the organization–and it has to happen fast.But with the local authorities on the enemy's payroll, and an army of mercenaries tracking his every move, there's no safe place for Bolan. Heavy fire power alone will not win this fight–Bolan must rely on his battle instincts if he's going to prevent tragedy. The Executioner will risk everything to succeed…because if he fails, the United States may never recover.


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Bolan awoke to find himself lying on an operating table

A pair of green eyes peered at him from over a hospital face mask. Kristen Kemp sewed the last stitches into his shoulder and said, “You’ve lost a lot of blood.”

“Where are we?” he asked.

“In my clinic.”

Bolan sat up and tried to collect his thoughts. “How long was I out?” he asked.

“About an hour,” she said.

Bolan remained silent, contemplating the likelihood that they’d been followed.

Kemp put her hands on Bolan’s shoulders and tried to get him to lie back down. “You should rest.”

“We’re not safe here,” Bolan said.

“Grassy Butte has two hundred and fifty people, and I know every last one of them. No one’s going to harm us here,” she said as she covered his wounds with sterile bandages.

“Whatever you thought you knew about this place changed the moment we got shot at yesterday,” he told her. “Something big is going on here—and it’s damned dangerous.”

Before Kemp could respond, Bolan saw the shadow of a man holding what could only be a gun outlined in the window. He grabbed Kemp’s shoulders and flipped her over him, as automatic gunfire tore through the walls of the clinic.

Hurling himself on top of her, Bolan had just one more question. “Where are my weapons?”

The Executioner>®

Toxic Terrain

Don Pendleton’s

Hesitation and half measures lose all in war.

—Napoleon Bonaparte

1769–1821 Napoleon I: Maxims of War

A threat against America is a threat against me—and I will not hesitate to take out all conspirators, with swiftness and finality.

—Mack Bolan


Nothing less than a war could have fashioned the destiny of the man called Mack Bolan. Bolan earned the Executioner title in the jungle hell of Vietnam.

But this soldier also wore another name—Sergeant Mercy. He was so tagged because of the compassion he showed to wounded comrades-in-arms and Vietnamese civilians.

Mack Bolan’s second tour of duty ended prematurely when he was given emergency leave to return home and bury his family, victims of the Mob. Then he declared a one-man war against the Mafia.

He confronted the Families head-on from coast to coast, and soon a hope of victory began to appear. But Bolan had broken society’s every rule. That same society started gunning for this elusive warrior—to no avail.

So Bolan was offered amnesty to work within the system against terrorism. This time, as an employee of Uncle Sam, Bolan became Colonel John Phoenix. With a command center at Stony Man Farm in Virginia, he and his new allies—Able Team and Phoenix Force—waged relentless war on a new adversary: the KGB.

But when his one true love, April Rose, died at the hands of the Soviet terror machine, Bolan severed all ties with Establishment authority.

Now, after a lengthy lone-wolf struggle and much soul-searching, the Executioner has agreed to enter an “arm’s-length” alliance with his government once more, reserving the right to pursue personal missions in his Everlasting War.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10


Grassy Butte, North Dakota

Pam Bowman stared down at the dead Hereford calf at her feet and said, “This is not good.”

“It most certainly is not,” the man standing next to her confirmed.

He would know, Bowman thought. Though he was just the McKenzie County extension agent, Roger Grevoy had earned both an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, and had at one time been considered among the world’s top researchers studying the pathology of communicable diseases. Grevoy had never discussed how he’d gone from holding a high-powered research job with the Pentagon to being a lowly county extension agent, but Bowman suspected it had something to do with the meetings he went to in the basement of the local Catholic church every Wednesday night. Whatever the reason, she was damned glad to have his help.

“Is it what I think it is?” Bowman asked.

“I won’t have the test results until tomorrow,” Grevoy said, “but it looks like it might be. I’ve seen it before. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Mad cow disease.”

“How’s that possible?” Bowman asked. “This calf can’t be but four months old. It takes years for an animal to die from BSE.”

“I know. I think we’re dealing with something we’ve never seen before. And it’s extremely bad.”

“We’d better start riding back to the truck if we’re going to get out of here before sunset,” Bowman said.

Grevoy packed his tissue samples in the dry-ice packs in his saddlebag and the pair mounted their horses. They had ridden nearly an hour to get to the infected herd and had about fifty minutes before the sun set. They had good horses, but even a healthy, strong horse would have a difficult time negotiating the North Dakota Badlands in the dark.

They hadn’t ridden fifteen minutes before they heard the “whoop-whoop-whoop” of helicopter blades breaking the near silence that usually blanketed the rough country. On rare occasions one of the oil companies with wells in the Badlands would fly a helicopter out to a drill site, but not often because the bizarre rugged terrain of the area, with its deep crevasses and gullies carved out of the soft bentonite clay soil, offered few places to land a helicopter. Bowman’s grandfather had once described the Badlands as “mountains that go down into the earth instead of up out of it.”

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