Dear readers, tonight with me is an ex special forces officer, trying to detonate a few nuclear devices.

You’ve read that correctly. He’s trying to detonate them, in an act of terror. Once again, we are visited by a novel’s antagonist.

A current member of FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), he is here to tell us of his life as a mercenary, his motives, and of his ISIS connections.

Tell us a little about where you’re from and growing up.

I grew up in a small town in Northeast Oklahoma. Played sports in high school and worked on a farm in the summers much like the other boys. I chased the girls and always had a date on the weekends. Looking back, the jocks got the good-looking girls. I did like to tinker with old cars. Got an old jeep one year. It was all in pieces and I spent a winter putting it back together. It ran like a top when I got it finished. It was indestructible! I always found time to go hunting and fishing.

In school I had a teacher, mentor actually, that was a Green Beret in the US Army Reserves. I looked up to him. He inspired me to be a Green Beret. He was hard on the boys and kept us out of trouble.

After high school, I went on to college in Oklahoma and into the Army as soon as I graduated. I became a Special Forces Officer.

Any cherished memories?

I have several. I will always remember my mentor from school. I did have a very close friend growing up. We had talked about going into the military. He enlisted in the US Marines and I went to college. He was killed in combat about a year or so later and I was devastated.

The proudest day of my life was the day I became a Green Beret. That was years ago and I’m on to other things now.

You’ve given your business title as Military Advisor. How did you get into this line of work?

Yeah, advisor or consultant, your choice. That seems to be a bit more palatable these days and doesn’t raise eyebrows as much as mercenary does.

My Army training is how I got into this line of work. I’m an expert in small unit tactics, guerrilla warfare, explosives, and on and on. When I left the Army, I had all these skills and experience. I knew of several corporations that hired ex-service members for their skills. I did a short stint with one. The money was Ok. I discovered the FARC was looking for an advisor. I had met Franco Trujillo when he was a Panamanian policeman then later, heard he joined the FARC, so I contacted him. He offered me a better deal and I took him up on it. He pays me well and I have a number of perks.

What is life really like in your line of work?

Well, if you’re good, it’s not bad. The pay is good and I get to travel a bit. If you’re not good, you’re dead. I spend a lot of time in the jungle and move around frequently. The accommodations in the jungle are primitive. I do go to Panama City, Caracas, Bogotá, and Rio de Janeiro on occasion, which makes up for living like a rat in the jungle. Occasionally, Franco will send me somewhere to flange up a deal or to make a few extra bucks. He loaned me to ISIS for that job in the US.

I’m glad you brought that up. You’re an American and you contracted with ISIS to attack the American heartland with a weapon of mass destruction. You didn’t have any qualms or remorse?

No, why should I? I’m in it for the money. I’ve done the patriotism thing and it doesn’t pay much. I don’t consider myself an American anymore. They taught me to kill bad guys then threw me out of the Army for doing just that. ISIS paid me well to do a job. I was the only one who could pull it off.

You were thrown out of the Army? What happened?

The government gave us these incoherent Rules of Engagement. They were causing a lot of soldiers to get shot up and killed. I didn’t want to be one. Those ragheads were trying to kill us and I killed them first. Max Kenworth said I got carried away in Afghanistan and reprimanded me. He convinced the leadership in the command I was ruthless and out of control, a loose cannon, if I remember correctly.

The women in this one village in Afghanistan were providing us information. Then one evening, they told us we were going to be attacked later that night. A group of men approached our compound and, relying on what the women said, I wasn’t going to take a chance on getting killed. I gave the order to fire ’em up. The Army court-martialed me. They said the men didn’t fire on us first and could have been peaceful. They didn’t provoke us. Hell, they even had one of the women that told us of the pending attack testify against me. I believe she was just trying to get back at her husband. What the hell, either that night or another, they would’ve tried to kill us.

You’ve worked with many notorious and ruthless people. What was the scariest situation you’ve been in?

The scariest? Almost everyone I deal with is scary. The FARC, the cartels, ISIS, you name ’em. Most are harden criminals, drug dealers, fanatics, or simply just crazy. It was pretty dicey on that mission for ISIS in the US. Kenworth was no slouch. He doesn’t know how close he came to getting me. Once I got out of the US, the CIA was on my ass. They’re pretty good, ya know. The CIA is another story.

You’re pretty ruthless yourself. Why?

It’s called survival. I trust no one. Like I said before, if you’re not good you’re dead and I’m damn good. In my world, if you show any sign of weakness you’re out. The word travels fast among the bad dudes.

How did you manage to escape on your mission in the US?

The Army spent a fortune in training me. I put all that training to good use. When I discovered Kenworth was leading the effort against me, I didn’t leave anything to chance and made a lot of preparations. I’ll keep the exact details to myself. I didn’t appreciate them locking up Maurine.

Tell us about Maurine? Are you still together?

Maurine Rowen, a beautiful woman—smart, loyal, and full of confidence. I like the finer things and she is fine! I owe her a lot. She saved my ass in Las Vegas. Yeah, we’re still together. She takes care of me and I take care of her.

Abu Bakr al-Muhaymin was the ISIS member you worked with in the US. You didn’t care too much for him, did you?

No, I didn’t. He wanted to party too much and he was in love with Candy, a bleached-blond prostitute from Las Vegas. I had to keep a tight rein on him and didn’t trust him. I put up with him only because he kept Nabi Ulmalhamah al-Aqrab informed. Al-Aqrab was supposed to be on the inner circle of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. I had to keep al-Aqrab pleased so I could get paid.

You seem fearless. What scares you?

A lot of things. I learned a long time ago to control my fear. The Muslim fanatics for one scare me. Probably Kenworth would be another. He is a formidable foe.

What’s your favorite pastime?

Maurine, good bourbon, and a nice cigar. The beach makes all that perfect.

What does the future hold for you? Will we see you again?

It’s possible. I am kinda like the wind, everywhere, and nowhere. If you have a problem that needs my attention, get in touch with Patrick. He knows how to contact me. Bring money, lots of money. You might need to be a little patient as I’m having a problem with the CIA. I understand a number of people do want to see me again. Patrick has talked to me about it a couple of times. It’s possible you will see me again, but there will be no advance notice.

Patrick Parker received his bachelor’s degree in management and his master’s degree in international relations. He joined the US Army and spent five years in Italy. After retiring from the military, Parker spent an additional fifteen years in the defense industry. Now retired again, Parker enjoys writing, scuba diving, sailing, and going to the beach. He lives in Texas. Parker is also the author of War Merchant (whose protagonist we recently interviewed) and Treasures of the Fourth Reich.

You can find Bart Madison on the pages of Six Minutes Early.

Join us next week to meet a young woman from the penal colony planet Sisyphus, obsessed with reaching adulthood. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter, or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.