The Mason Pierce blog contains brief episodes from Agent Mason Pierce's career as a US Air Force Special Forces operative before he joins the CIA and his early years with the Central Intelligence Agency. These precede the as of yet unpublished book Mason Pierce: Assassination.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Installment 4- Valiance

As he rushed to the armory, Mason could hear the rattle of machine gun fire, muffled through the thick walls. Throwing on his combat gear, the room shook as a mortar sailed into the ground outside. Desperate to get away, he reached out and snagged the first gun he saw--a P90. He shoved the clip in and rushed out of the room. Outside, several soldiers were crouched behind a sandbag wall.

"What's the situation?" Mason shouted over the constant machine gun bursts.

"We're under fire from some insurgents--probably Al Qaeda. Very uncharacteristic. I'll bet whoever the defector was is behind it."

"Almost certainly."

The Corporal nodded, then called out, "Ready? Three! Two! One! Go!"

At the signal, all nine men, including Mason, jumped over the sandbag barrier. The air filled with the sound of nine automatic weapons firing simultaneously. One soldier took a bullet to the stomach and collapsed. A bullet passed clean through a second one's left arm, but he kept running. They diverged into two groups and dashed towards two bunkers located near the front of the base. The man with the wounded arm slumped against the bunker's wall, teeth gritted and eyes clamped shut with pain. Another soldier pulled some gauze from his pack and wrapped it tightly around the wound.

"We gotta get you back to the infirmary."

"Don't bother. I'll be fine," he replied through gasps of pain, "Just get the sons of bitches."

The soldier look skeptical, then laughed, shrugged, and peered around the bunker to commence firing. Their attackers were visible in their scopes. They had ironically holed themselves up in a ditch originally dug for the defense of the base. Mason found one in his sights and fired a bullet which wedged itself between the insurgent's eyes. Then Mason gasped--several insurgents leaped from the ditch and charged forwards towards the low wall at the bases's entrance. They were followed by even more. This was an oddity indeed, considering  the large amount of people involved. Whenever the base had been under fire before, which had only occurred twice before, the group of marauders had consisted of only five to ten men--there were easily twenty here. Also unusual was the fact that they were utilizing mortars--usually one firearms were used.

As they ran towards the wall, Mason picked off three of the men, but three more still reached their destination. They were now just no more than forty feet from Mason and the other men. Once the insurgents had reached the wall, they quickly ducked down behind it. Again, it was ironic for the very men they were fighting to be taking shelter behind a wall decorated with the insignia of the 1st Infantry and the 82nd Airborne, with an American flag behind it, gently flapping in the desert breeze. Realizing that he would have a clearer shot from the bunker at his right, Mason fired a wide arc of bullets forwards, forcing the insurgents in the ditch to duck down. The he ran. After a few steps of sprinting, Mason dropped down and somersaulted into safety. Bullets flashed into the ground where he had just been. He took a deep breath, then resumed shooting.

Then Mason saw the image of an arm briefly flash above the wall before again vanishing. He knew instinctually that a grenade had been thrown in his direction. He saw the small projectile sail through the air above his head. It was thrown at an angle so that it quickly crashed into the ground next to the bunker where Mason had originally been--occupied only by the wounded soldier and the one who had applied the bandages.  The former was in no position to deal with it and the latter did not notice until it had hit the ground. Mason leaped into the air, took two steps, then leaped again towards the grenade. One, two, three bullets flicked into his side. Not thinking about the pain, Mason grabbed the grenade, its fuse nearly depleted, and threw it into the air, rolling backwards in the process. The grenade exploded in midair, about twenty feet off the ground. The explosion, along with the shrapnel of the fragmentation grenade, expanded rapidly outward. The last thing Mason remembered was a deep pain as a shard of metal sank deep into his back.

August 23, 2006- CIA Headquarters, McLean, Virginia
Two men sat at a table in the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Service. The room was actually quite large. In fact, it was the committee boardroom for the National Clandestine Service, or the NCS. However, this particular meeting required only three men. The third was just entering.

"Ah, Boseman. Glad to see you're doing well. How's the arm?" said a man known only as Smith.

Boseman glanced down at his arm. "It should be fine in a month or so. The bullet messed it up pretty badly. It's funny, you know. Most people would rather break their left arm than right, and here I break my left, but I'm left-handed." He laughed.

"Hello, Larson," he said to a thin man with graying hair seated near Smith. Larson nodded and cracked a smile.

"Well," said Smith, "What's your assessment? It sounded favorable when you spoke to me over the phone, but I'd like to hear more."

"The guy's perfect. Hell, I owe my life to him. An Al Qaeda gunman chucked a grenade over to my position. Pierce leaped over to it, taking three bullets, and threw the thing in the air. It almost killed him, too. A fragment missed his spine by just two inches. It would have at least paralyzed him."

Larson shook his head, impressed, Smith furrowed his brow.

"Well, I'm glad to see he's a hero, but it's going to take more than that. How does he fight? He's not the only brave man in the military. I'm looking for a man to carry out covert operations that will more than likely involve combat. He could be sent on missions that cause governments to fall or make troublesome criminals disappear."

"I can tell you I wouldn't want to tussle with him, that's for sure. He knows at least two different martial arts, not to mention his skill in standard combat. He's an amazing shot, and he's agile. I saw him execute this amazing roll to doge a slew of bullets. Hell, he used to be in the Air Force, he can fly planes, helicopters, the guy won't have any trouble making a getaway."

Smith joined in Larson's nodding. "What do you think?" he asked him.

Larson laughed, "I think we've got a keeper. Don't let some other agency suck him in."

"My thought exactly." He turned to speak to both other men, "We have a mission for him. If he succeeds, he's going to be our star agent."

"Right into Clandestine?"

"No, we'll put him on reconnaissance missions for a few years, then we'll move him up. I have big plans for him. We could really use somebody like him. The world today requires us to take more drastic measures, and Mason Pierce is going to be our greatest weapon."

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hello, minuscule fanbase! I'm taking the liberty to mention a couple new items for the book and blog. As per the suggestion of a reader, we are in the process of creating a Mason Pierce Facebook page, which will hopefully be up by the end of this weekend. In addition, I have added a "Share on Facebook/Twitter" button to the sidebar to allow you to quickly notify others of this blog.

Remember, the whole point of this blog is to publicize us to give us a better chance of getting published (by the way, if you haven't seen, I've posted Chapter One of Mason Pierce on the blog for your viewing pleasure). We're very glad that a few people are in fact reading the blog and enjoying it, but other than one fellow in Naperville, Illinois (thank you very much, Sir or Ma'am), all visits have been centralized around Derek's and my hometowns, and the visitors are probably people I see every day and can talk to myself. So please, if you like what you're reading on this blog, share it on Facebook, tell your friends by mouth, or use the handy little email button at the bottom of each post. 

There should hopefully be another installment posted by the end of this weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Installment 3- Treachery

August 20, 2006- Iraqi Desert
Mason came to face-down in the desert sand. He felt disoriented and was not entirely sure of what happened. However, when he looked up to see the grizzly image of the Delta Force agent's broken body with a leg and most of his arm blasted off from the explosion which had knocked Mason senseless, he was quickly reminded of the events which had transpired. He reached for an M4 Carbine which had been dropped by one of the dead agents and pulled himself into a prone position. The mountain where the caves were located was out of range, but the telescopic scope provided him a good view of it. There was nobody there, now. They had likely relocated. They were not Mason's biggest problem right now, however--it was the fact that he was stuck in the Iraqi desert with his communications equipment rendered useless by the blast. Finding himself very thirsty from having baked in the desert sun, Mason opened his canteen and took a few swigs of water. He sighed and collapsed back onto the ground.

A low humming sounded in the distance. Mason immediately shot up, rifle in hand. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw what was causing it. A Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter was slowly easing its throttle down to land. Mason rushed forwards as a battlefield medic and several soldiers hopped out to meet him.

"What happened?" shouted a sergeant over the roar of the rotor blades.

"There was a bomb," said Mason, still in shock, "They knew we were coming. Everyone's dead."

The sergeant nodded. "We'll make sure there are not more explosives, then we'll recover the bodies." Then he took notice of what Mason had said. "You say they knew you were coming?"

Mason nodded plaintively. "Yeah. Somebody gave us away." The sergeant swore.

"You just come with us--we'll patch you up. Then we'll need to get to the bottom of this."

August 21- FOB Sykes
When Mason awoke the next morning, an soldier was standing by his bed. He jerked his head to tell Mason to get going. After quickly throwing on a black shirt and camo pants, Mason followed the man outside. It was blisteringly hot--hotter than it had been in the past week, and Mason soon began to sweat. The blast of cool air from a fan in the briefing room relieved him as he entered. Seated at the table were several men Mason did not know, save for MSgt. Hank Daley, Mason's section commander. Mason stood at attention at the doorway.

"At ease, Pierce, and take a seat," said Daley, "We were just waiting for you."

"Yes, sir," Mason replied, pulling himself a chair.

"These are David Carter and Patricia Nelson from the CIA. Mr. Carter is from the Directorate of Intelligence, and Nelson is from Military Affairs. Coincidentally, they arrived yesterday to investigate a certain Pvt. First Class Adam Lissenger, who they have suspected is collaborating with Al Qaeda. However, Mr. Lissenger has since disappeared, confirming their suspicions. However, we're still going to need to track this man down, so I've approved a mission to extract him. We'd like you to come along."

"Well, Sir, I can say I'd be gl--"

A Private rushed into the room as a siren blared. "Sir, the base is under attack!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Installment 2- Tragedy

August 20, 2006- Iraqi Desert
The ride in the Humvee was surprisingly comfortable. Despite this, however, Mason could not relax. This would be his first time going solo--previously, he had always just been an assistant accompanying a more experienced Combat Control Team Member. This time, however, Mason was on his own, and the lives of all the Delta Force agents lay in his hands. He felt guilty--while the Delta Force operatives would be risking their necks, he would be observing everything from a safe distance. The operatives were required to rush into the compound after it had been hit with the missile in the event that those inside did not surrender. Mason did not speak a word the entire trip. He felt as if he were in a trance. Never had he envisioned that his first solo mission would be this mentally taxing. He had been anxiously awaiting the day when he would be that man that everybody was counting on--he now realized how foolish he had been.

At last they arrived at their desired position. However, it was hard to tell what position this was, exactly. They seemed to be just in the middle of the desert, surrounded by nothing but dirt, insects, and the occasional shrub. While all but two of the agents suited up for the hike towards the mountain compound (two operatives had been selected to stay behind with Mason in the event that he needed any assistance). Mason quickly went to work unpacking his radio, which was neatly packed into a durable plastic case, and within a few minutes had a microcosmic air traffic control station set up. Once he had ensured that everything was working properly, he dialed the frequency to that of the fighter pilot's and spoke the call sign into the radio.

"Yankee Seven Three, this is Air Force CCT controller Pierce, Sierra Three Niner, operating with Operation Pursuit Delta Force Squadron B Assault, please state position."

The A-10 pilot's voice crackled over the radio, "Roger that, Pierce. Location is seventeen nautical miles out, 250 knots at 5,000 feet and descending. Heading is 280 degrees."

"Roger that. Descend and maintain 3,000. I will instruct you further once visual contact has been made."

It was not long before a small grey speck appeared in the sky. Mason looked at the approaching fighter and then at the mountain which contained the compound. He did a few calculations in his head and then once again spoke into the radio.

"Descend to 400 feet above ground level, approximately 2,000. Slow speed to 220 knots and assume a bearing of 275 degrees. Wait for instructions to fire."

"Roger. Descend to 400 above ground. Maintain 220 knots and 275 degrees."

"Papa Three, readback correct."

The distant whine of the A-10's dual jet engines grew louder and eventually became a loud roar as the attack aircraft passed over Mason's and the Delta Force Operators' heads.

"Arm weapon, fire at approximately one nautical mile from target." said Mason.

"Arming missile. Fire at one nautical mile."

Mason's hand-held shortwave radio suddenly cracked on. He heard the frantic voice of one of the Delta Force agents, but the static was concealing the words. All that was coming through was garbled giberish.

"Azzzrmmt ... frrrzzt... wwwllllmmn... zzzt...rrrrrlsggg..."

"What? Tune your radio. I can't understand you," said Mason. He looked at the Thunderbolt--it was nearly within firing distance. The radio transmission could be an urgent order concerning the aircraft, and Mason could potentially need to immediately order the pilot to abort. On the other hand, if it was just a simple progress update, he could set back and even ruin the operation. Just when he had to make the critical decision, however, the static subsided, allowing him to perceive what the operator was saying. Unfortunately, he did not like what he heard.

"Abort mizzzflllll! fzzztt... has woman zzrrt... hostage... gun... blrrrrizzztt... -peat, abort missile!"

After quickly yelling "Roger" into the walkie-talkie, Mason immediately dropped it and grabbed for the ATC radio.

"Abort! They have at least one hostage! Abort firing sequence! Abort! Abort!"

"Roger. Aborting firing." Mason breathed a sigh of relief. One of his greatest fears on this mission had been having women and children die along with the Al Qaeda members, and that potential tragedy had been averted. However, just as he began to relax, it dawned on him that if a man was standing outside holding a gun to a hostage's head, the Delta Force operators' presence was known. Mason reached for his walkie-talkie and wheeled around to the direction of the operators...

Right on cue, the ground where the operators were standing erupted into a great cloud of dust and flame.  Several were immediately blown to smithereens while the remaining were flung dead across the sand. "Get down and move!" Mason sharply barked to the two operatives standing with him as gunfire rang out. A bullet blasted through the chest of one, killing him instantly, but Mason and the other quickly jumped down and began to crawl away.

They did not get very far before a second, closer explosion sent a cloud of Iraqi desert sand drifting over them. The pair quickly realized that the situation was simply too dangerous to attempt to crawl from and both simultaneously jumped up and broke into a run. However, they did not get more than two steps forwards when a third explosion, this one very nearby occurred. Mason was knocked nearly senseless from the heat and force of the blast and was thrown through the air. He felt himself hit the ground and then saw his vision quietly fade away as he drifted into unconsciousness.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Installment 1- Briefing

August 19, 2006- Iraq
Mason was glad to be out of the small, hot briefing room. The sweltering Iraqi sun had raised the outside temperature to one hundred ten degrees Fahrenheit, and the two fans in the room hadn't done much to help. The room had been filled with dust and sand and the odor of the sweat of 16 US Army Special Forces Delta Force insurgents. In addition, none of them seemed to particularly like Mason. He was the youngest in the group (though only by a year), and not part of their close-knit circle.

"Hey, runt!" called a sergeant whose name Mason did not know, "Ready to head out tomorrow? Thermometer's gonna be going off the scale. Should be around one twenty, and the jeep's A/C broke. And we don't get millions of dollars to fix our rides." He was referring to the high-maintenance fighter jets which Mason used to fly.

Mason just glared. The truth was the men were just jealous of him. They were used to being the best of the best, and they felt threatened by this twenty-four-year-old airman who had been placed among them, even if all but one of them outranked him. Of course, rank and skill are totally different things. Mason Pierce was a member of the elite United States Air Force Combat Control Team--one of the most highly trained divisions of the military. Not only did he have to have the skills to be a master of ground combat, but he had to be able to set up airfields and drop zones behind enemy lines and then direct aircraft to them. The sergeant had a point, however. While Mason was trained to endure anything the elements might throw at him, he had yet to experience the Iraqi desert for a reasonable length of time.

As the sun set over Forward Operating Base Sykes, Mason retired to his quarters to get some rest and prepare for the next day's mission. They would be driving nearly twenty miles to a series of low mountains just past the town of Zambar to the location of an underground Al Qaeda base, led by Asad Ibn Gabir, a man they had been chasing across the desert for some months now. Due to the base's high security and the fact that its exact location was not known, Mason had been brought along to vector a Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II which would take out the entire area with a surface-to-air missile to attempt to bring out those hiding inside. If they did not emerge, the Delta Force team would scourge the mountainside until the entrance was found. By comparison to other operations, a simple mission. Unfortunately, things never turn out the way you want them to.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Hey, there. Welcome to the Mason Pierce blog--you can see what it's about at the top of the page, I don't feel like re-typing it (funny, we can write a novel but not a quick little description). Anyway, Derek Zeoli and I (Bram Osterhout, who wrote this post) are, as all authors are, are struggling to succeed in the writing industry (well, succeed is a strong word), but we lack that great publicizer: connections. To make up for our deficiency in that area, we are writing this blog to whet your palette for our writing and shamelessly promote ourselves in the process. So, enjoy! We should have a new post (or more) each week, so check periodically for a new installment.