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So You’ve Been Taken Prisoner by a Billionaire Colombian Drug Lord

“We’re going to get you out of this alive and make Mendoza pay. But you’ve got to follow my directions to the letter—because Mendoza’s got Jenny, your wife.” DAN WEAVER presents a field guide by Delta Force Col. Tom Smits.

Step One: Get Your Head Straight

Sure, Sgt. Taylor’s dead and you were standing right next to him when it happened. That’s a good reason to be a little messed up right now. But remember one thing, Soldier: It was Mendoza who killed him. Not you. How could you have known Mendoza had a machine gun mounted in the back of that Chevy Blazer? It’s not like you’ve ever been to a Colombian coca plantation before, am I right? Sure I am. So clear all that out of your head—the chopper crash, Jenny, Taylor—everything. The only thing on your mind should be Mendoza. If it helps to create a mental montage of your pain, fears, dark memories, etc., then go ahead. But make it quick—you’ve got a job to do.

Step Two: See That Steak Knife the Guard Left on the Table?

Lucky for you, the guards eat their meals in the same room you’re being held in. And even though you’re tied to a wooden post with your hands behind your back, all you’ve got to do is reach out with your foot and nudge the leg of the table a little bit and the knife will fall to the ground. Once that happens, you can lower yourself to the ground and grab the knife with your hands. Cutting the rope behind your back may be a bit tricky at first, but stick with it and soon enough you’ll be free.

Once you’re done, don’t get all excited and immediately run out of the hut looking for Mendoza. For chrissakes, you don’t even have a machine gun yet! So, what are you forgetting? That’s right: the two guards. They’re just outside the hut, playing cards. Go back over to the post, put your hands behind your back like you’re still tied, then double over and start groaning like you’re in excruciating pain. Once the guards come in to see what’s going on—and this is where your black belt in karate comes in handy—take out each guy with a single punch, kick, or head butt, but DON’T smash any chairs over anyone’s head. That’s too loud…for now.

Step Three: Disguise Yourself and Create a Diversion

After you’ve taken care of the guards, use the communications center in the corner to radio Gen. Chesterfield and tell him you’ve got a plan, dammit, but you need backup. Now figure out which guard’s physical dimensions most closely match your own. It’s the guy on the left, the one with the mustache. Change into his uniform, grab his machine gun, and peer outside the hut.

To the right you’ll see a stack of oil drums, 300 yards away. Shoot one of them and… KA-POW! The whole stack will go sky high and take out the munitions shack behind it. Now dart out there—your uniform will fool them into thinking you’re one of them. Mendoza’s men will be scrambling all over the place in a panic; now’s your chance to make your way to Mendoza’s mansion on the other side of the plantation.

Step Four: Make Mendoza Pay

Getting inside Mendoza’s heavily fortified mansion is easy, even though there are guys with machine guns and grenades on the roof and balconies and two watchtowers on the road leading up to the mansion.

As soon as you’re in view of the watchtowers, use your machine gun to take out the guards manning them. If you aim right, they’ll fall over the railings, down to the ground. Grab their grenade belts and continue up the road to the mansion. Because now your disguise is now longer fooling anyone, the guards on the roof and balconies are going to start shooting at you. Run up the road and pitch grenades at them. You won’t have to get them all, because Chesterfield and his choppers just showed up to clear you a path.

When you burst inside Mendoza’s place, you’ll find he’s got Jenny in front of him with a knife to her throat and coke all over his face. Stay calm. He’ll tell you to set your gun down—and slowly. Do as he says. Now, remember the steak knife? Sure you do. As you crouch to put the gun on the ground, grab the knife from inside your boot and take your shot. When the knife hits him in the shoulder he’ll let go of Jenny, stumble backward, and fall into his croc pit.

Now go to your wife, Soldier. It’s time to head home.

Also by Col. Smits: Karate in Tight Jeans: A Delta Force How-To and Defuse a Nuclear Device in Five Minutes: It’s a Piece of Yellow Cake!

Dan Weaver lives in California and is the founding editor of Rouse Magazine, where mohawks are preferred to mullets. More by Dan Weaver