Excerpt, CHAPTER 9: INSTRUMENT RANGE
Bolan’s warwagon for the New Orleans operation was something new and special–a uniquely outfitted and beautifully integrated GMC motor home, a sleek low-profile 26-footer designed with the sportsman in mind. Bolan was no sportsman; for this warrior, the fabulous new vehicle represented a comfortably appointed mobile command post, a field headquarters, an armory, and electronics surveillance unit, all in one–it was base camp.
Most of the cost–about $100,000 of easy-come, easy-go Mafia-donated warchest funds–had been spent for special equipment and installation.
The electronics were courtesy of the space program and incorporated the most sophisticated developments of space-age science. A moonlighting NASA engineer provided the labor and materials for the basic radio gear. A technical genius from a local electronics firm did the rest, even to designing, building, and installing the computerlike selection an switching gear; highly sensitive directional audio pickup equipment; concealed or disguised antennae; optic marvels; a console for synchronizing, storing; sorting, editing; time-phasing, and even re-recording collected intelligence. He even had a mobile telephone and a simple radar unit.
The NASA engineer admiringly dubbed the completed project a “terran module” comparing it favorably with the best thing yet developed in lunar modules.
Bolan liked it, though he was a bit awed by the electronic capabilities of his new war wagon. It would have blown Gadgets Schwarz’s electronic mind. What it all meant for Mack Bolan, in gross, was a wider range for his war effort. The gear in that van, of course, was entirely dependent on the military capabilities of the man it supported. He could “scan through” a neighborhood with the audio pickups operating and perhaps learn a thing or two about the enemy. He could probe for vehicles and unusual concealed masses of metal with the radar device. He could cruise within line-of-sight of planted radio bugs and trigger a quick-pulse collection without even stopping the vehicle–then unscramble, time-pulse, and play back the recording without leaving the driver’s seat. But all these capabilities merely widened the scope for the warrior. They did not fight the battles.
Other special installations in the new warwagon provided the direct military support. There was a foldaway light-table for mapping and plotting battle lines, assault and withdrawal routes, and other tactical considerations. He had a fully equipped weapons lab and armory with concealed storage for munitions, explosives, tactical gadgets. In that lab he could build, modify, or repair all types of personal weapons as well as explosive devices.
Large picture windows along the sides were made of one-way glass, thus affording Bolan plenty of visibility, while effectively shielding the interior from curious eyes.
Stock features on the vehicle include a 455-cubic-inch Toronado engine. Slightly modified. Front traction with automatic transmission freed the rear tandem wheels from axles and conventional suspension–there were air bags instead of springs, adjustable from dashboard controls to raise or lower each side separately and compensate for uneven ground conditions. For animal comforts there was a galley, shower and toilet, and bunk space in the rear.
Completely self-contained, she was a warwagon in every sense and a long-needed complement to Bolan’s war effort. Hopefully she would deserve the man through many campaigns, but the sleek module would have been well worth the money if she carried him through just this one.
Bolan was thinking, in fact, that she was worth it for the present task alone. He was parked at the lakeshore within view of the Lanza place–door open, a dummy fishing pole that was actually a mobile radio antenna clipped casually to the front bumper, Bolan himself seated in the comfortably padded high-backed console-type driver’s seat and eyeing a reflecting plate installed at his right knee, part of the long-range optics capability.
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One can only wonder what Don Pendleton would have done with a warwagon if he had created it with today’s high technology of the 21st century instead of almost forty years ago when most of the technology was just evolving. I’m sure that it would have been an awesome war vehicle for Mack Bolan to fight his Mafia war, much the same as Bolan’s “terran module” was for that time period.
I’ve includedillustrations of Bolan’s high tech war wagonfrom the 1977 The Executioner’s War Book, which has become a collector’s item.
The Executioner, New Orleans Knockout by Don Pendleton
Copyright 2016 by Linda Pendleton, All Right Reserved.