Easy money.

An artillery shell slammed into one of the adobe buildings across the compound. The defenders within, who had been returning fire with small arms, went out as a fine mist.

Easy money. That’s what Campbell had said.

The first line of skirmishers arrived, disembarking from a BMP. Most of them were killed or wounded, but there was far less, and far less accurate, fire from the rebel positions than there had been moments ago.

Easy money. A tottering autocratic regime, enthusiastic rebels rising up all over the country. Only a few firefights and then cash and poontang from grateful locals.

A second BMP–or, rather, a Chinese-made copy bought and paid for not three weeks ago–disgorged its squad. Bull raked them with heavy machine gun fire, but these weren’t the militia they’d fought earlier. They were disciplined, organized, took cover, laid suppressing fire. Polymer helmets, gas masks, and Chinese kevlar.

Easy money.