Russian Winter: CATU Book 2 Ch. 14-15byJoeBarnosky©
Interpol Safe House, Novosibirsk Russia
Spencer woke up alone. After looking around the safe house the only thing he finds was a note from Jennifer explaining she was meeting a contact and would return shortly.
After a shower, he waits for another half hour before deciding to get some information himself. He leaves his own note and heads out the door.
He finds an internet café a couple blocks away from the safe house. Using a secure network that CATU used, he contacts the office.
"Agent Ryan, how can I direct you?"
"This is Special Agent Reeds. I need to be patched to Director Cornelius," he replies.
"I'm sorry but he has left the office. Is there someone else I can connect you with?"
"Assistant Director Grines."
"One moment," the agent says.
After fifteen seconds, the screen changes. Mike Grines' face fills the screen.
"Reeds, are you safe?" he asks.
"For the moment yes. Sam's dead."
"I'm sorry." Grines pauses for a moment before speaking again. "What is your current situation?"
"I'm working with Major Maykov. So far we are not having any luck with tracking anyone down. I need you to contact Julius Claude from Interpol and have him get in contact with me."
"I'm sorry to tell you this Spencer, but Claude was found on a train decapitated."
"Son of a bitch," Spencer says under his breath.
"At the moment we can't send any assistance to you. NATO hasn't decided on the situation and our hands are tied. Doug needs resources that we just aren't able to get right now and Roger is missing."
"Roger?" Spencer reels back in shock. "How?"
"I spoke to his secretary. She said Director McMillan contacted us and requested Roger meet with him. Roger hasn't reported in and no one has seen him since he left."
"Damn it. Isn't there any good news?"
"We're not at war yet." Grines offers, but no laugh came from either of them. "All I can suggest at the moment is keeping on whatever leads you have. As soon as something becomes available we'll do what we can to help."
"I'll contact you when I have something then."
"Good luck Spencer and stay alive."
"I intend to."
He closes the link and sits at the computer for a few moments. He doesn't have much to go on and unless Jennifer finds something, he doesn't know what they were going to do. After a few minutes lost in thought, he decides to head back to the safe house When he gets back Jennifer is there waiting for him.
"Good news," she says as he walks through the door. As he walks through Spencer has an almost frail look on his face.
What is it?" she asks.
"Claude was found dead."
"I'm so sorry. I never worked with him, but he was a good agent," she replies.
"What have you got?" Spencer asks changing the subject. He had enough bad things happen in the past few days, he really didn't want to dwell on any of it.
"Not much. Two of the missing men you are looking for have been spotted in Morhotlong in Lesotho. Now getting into the country won't be easy, but through a contact in Vladivostok, we can get on a Russian sub that is headed for Cape Town. Once we are there we should be able to find local help to get to Lesotho."
"You think we'll be able to find local help?" he asks unsure of the possibility.
"Of course. Not all of the people in the country we're able to get out before they closed the borders. With the occupation of the Chinese army the people have been instructed to carry on with their normal lives."
"So when do we leave?"
"Now. It'll take us three hours to get there. The sub leaves in five. I'll get the jeep ready; we'll leave when you're ready." She kisses him before heading out the door. Spencer stands there momentarily before heading outside.
CATU spent the better part of the day searching for clues in the wreckage of the True Bliss Electric Plant. After giving an interview with the media, Doug's efforts were about to pay off. His phone rings breaking him away from the scene. "Wiltkins," he answers.
"Hello Mr. Wiltkins. This is Sheriff Croay of the American Falls Sheriff office in Idaho."
"How can I help you today sir?" Doug asks.
"I saw your report on the news and I believe we have one of your trucks in my city."
His interest rises at that moment. "How long?"
"The trucks rolled in thirty minutes ago. I figured I'd call you, since you're the guy in charge of finding these guys."
"How many men do you have available?" he inquires.
"I can spare fifty, but I can get a SWAT unit in here within a few hours," the sheriff replies.
"Good. Call them in. Let's make sure these are our guys. Put surveillance on them. As soon as they make the move to attack the plant, surround the plant, but don't move in until I get we get there."
"No problem, I've already got my men tailing them."
"Good and thank you for your call. See you in a few hours." Doug hangs up the phone and rushes out of the truck. "Let's get it packed up and moved out!" he yells.
Whitmire ran up. "We got a lead?"
"Sheriff's Department in American Falls has spotted one of our trucks. We're going to catch them in the act."
Cooke and Patmore had a pretty comfortable cabin near the mines. They were given a little more freedom than they had before. Neither man was sure why, but assumed it was because of all the men from Black Dragon keeping an eye on them or the fact they couldn't get out of the country without running into a Chinese soldier.
Either way it didn't matter. Both men decided if they couldn't defy their captures they may a well join them. As long as they did as asked and showed their loyalty, they hoped to be spared and on the winning side when this all ended.
"Major Demurer is expecting us to be finished by tomorrow," Patmore says, handing Cooke a glass of whiskey.
"That shouldn't be a problem. How is it at the base?" Cooke asks.
Patmore was taken to the base on Madagascar earlier that day to ensure everything would be operational when the final phase of the pipes was completed.
"Everything is ready to go online there and the pipeline is completely sealed, ready to go," he replies.
"Tomorrow, we just have to place to last of the explosives and put in the pipe and we'll be finished."
"Then it's off to Antarctica," Patmore says grim faced.
"As much as I hate the cold, a change of scenery will do some good," Cooke says before downing the glass.
Patmore pours more whiskey in the glasses. The men raise the glasses for a toast.
"To a job well done," Patmore says.
Washington D.C., Channel 3 News Station
Good evening. I'm Jerry Strut"
"And I'm Susan Pellt."
"The top story tonight is the explosion of a small cottage near Fairfax City earlier today. The conditions that lead to the apparent explosion are still unknown at this time. There has been one body recovered from the blaze with another man, his identity being withheld, found outside with a bullet wound. The man was taken to the D.C. Medical Hospital and is said to be making a recovery."
Susan Pellt began the next segment.
"In other news, the newly reformed CATU is still on the hunt for the terrorists responsible for the attacks on power plants throughout the northwest. In an earlier interview, the Tactical Field Supervisor for CATU, Doug Wiltkins, revealed the terrorists are driving trucks with a Floyd's Movers logo. If these trucks are seen, it is advised you contact the CATU office with further details."
"Thank you, Susan. We now go live to Jessica Thomas outside the NATO building. Jessica."
Thankyou Jerry. Susan. I'm standing outside the NATO building where the members of NATO have been in session for the better part of the day. In a radical decision NATO has decided to not advocate any attack against the Russian/Chinese Coalition. President McKinsey has ordered a stand down of American forces and has ordered them to return back to the bases they were stationed at.
In a pledge before the committee, the President announced any forces in the region tied to this conflict will be pulled out until NATO decides on a different course of action. This is Jessica Thomas, reporting live from NATO."
The trip to Vladivostok went without hindrance. Spencer and Jennifer met with her contact and were helped with getting on board of the sub. The plan was to remain hidden until they docked, when the same contact would help get them off unnoticed.
After waiting for a couple hours, the sub finally begins its journey to Cape Town. They were told the trip would only be a few hours. This particular sub was a new prototype the Russians had built, using a new design that allowed the currents to pass through the sub at various points allowed less resistance and a smoother ride.
The power was ran from hydrogen fuel cells, which allowed a near unlimited power source and silence. The entire sub was built using titanium, allowing for a strong hull and lighter weight.
The trip seemed like it was going to be an easy one until they were soon discovered, not by accident though.
Hiding in an empty storage area, Spencer and Jennifer wait patiently, deciding to catch up on some much needed sleep. They aren't asleep long before the door is opened and three crewmen order them out.
"Vstante, vy idete s nami," one of the men say. "Get up, you're coming with us."
Spencer and Jennifer look at each other. "Looks like your contact ratted you out," Spencer says.
"Davaite peremeshat eto," the same man says waving a gun at them. "Let's move it."
"Pozhalista ne strelyaite," Jennifer replie. "Please don't shoot."
As the two get up, Jennifer throws a wink at Spencer. Getting the hint, both spring into action. Jennifer falsely trips and falls into two of the men.
"Budita ee," the leader grunts. "Get her up."
Spencer takes advantage of the two men being distracted and springs for the third, catching him off guard. His elbow lands square in the man's face. The man crumples to the ground without a sound. Spencer picks up the gun the man dropped and turns to bat one of the others.
When he spins around Jennifer is already pushing past him. He looks down at the two men she dispatched. Blood pooled around them from the stab in the stomach of one and the slit throat of the other.
"Come on, they know were here. If we can get to the captain, we may get control of the sub."
Spencer isn't too sure about the odds, but he figures it is better than not trying. They run down the corridor through to the next section, stopping when the sound of footfalls are heard.
"Quick, in here," Jennifer says. She opens a door and he runs in closing it just before a group of soldiers run past.
"We need a plan. As soon as they find the crew we left behind, they'll search door to door for us," Spencer states.
"If I remember how these new subs are designed, the captain's quarters should be near the bridge, on level up."
"A level up?" Spencer questions not quite sure he heard right.
"C'mon," she says ignoring the question. They exit the room; shouts can be heard from the area they just left. "Go ahead, I'll stall these guys here," Jennifer says running toward the shouts.
Spencer does as she says and runs the opposite way. After a few seconds Spencer decides to head back and help Jennifer. When he arrives Jennifer is slicing the throat of the last crew member. The rest of the men are in a pile on the floor all dead or slowly bleeding to death. "I figured you may need help, but I guess you took care of it."
"I told you to go ahead!" she yells still full of adrenaline.
"Hey," he says holding his hands up.
"Sorry, let's go."
Spencer looks back at the bodies once more before he turns and follows her. He didn't like the enemy any more than the next guy, but he preferred to only kill another human if his life was threatened.
As they make their way to the next deck, they are only attacked a few times. Each time Jennifer dispatched them with quick and bloody strikes.
They reach the upper deck; Jennifer wastes no time and is already heading for the captain's quarters. They are not met by any opposition on the way to the door. Jennifer looks at Spencer. "Keep a lookout."
Before he has a chance to reply, she has the door open and is heading through it. The room is empty, which isn't a surprise for her. She figures if he wasn't the brave captain type, he'd be here. This captain was the brave type.
When she exits the room she gets a shock she doesn't expect. The corridor is lined with crew, all armed with guns, aimed at the door. The captain has Spencer in a choke hold with his gun pointed at his head.
"Sdacha ili ego zhzn zakanchivayutsya zdes," he commands. "Surrender or his life ends here."
Knowing there isn't any chance to save either of their lives, she surrenders.
Strandonreturns to his office shortly after the explosion at the cottage. When he settles into his office ready to begin planting the evidence, he is called in for a meeting with the President.
That was all he needed now, was a delay. But he could not justify ignoring a summoning by the President, not if he intended to keep his position as liaison with the White House.
When he arrives, Secret Service is there to greet him. They search him then escort him to the President's office. Two of the men stay in the room with the other two right outside the door.
"Have a seat Donald," McKinsey says getting up from behind his desk.
"No disrespect sir, but its late and I still have a few things I need to take care of tonight."
"I'm afraid that won't be happening," McKinsey replies.
"What is this about?" Strandon asks already knowing.
"Director Cornelius, if you are not aware has survived an attack that he claims was made by you."
"I don't understand. I've only met the man once, I haven't had any contact with him since then," Strandon explains.
"As much as I'd like to believe you, but after Cornelius was questioned, his statement was verified to be accurate. Since the cottage belonged to your parents and Director McMillan's disappearance last night, that leaves only your whereabouts," the President says accusingly.
"I don't have time for this," Strandon says and begins to walk toward to exit. Both the men guarding the door come forward and grab Strandon.
"I'm sorry Donald, but you are being placed under arrest for the murder of Frank McMillan and attempted murder of Roger Cornelius."
"No! You can't!" Strandon screams.
He fights against the two men holding him. His struggles cause the men to lose their grips on him. He knees one in the groin and punches the other before bolting for the door.
The door swings open with the two men outside rushing in. Strandon is struck with an elbow that causes him to fly backward landing slightly dazed on the ground. Both men have their guns already out and now aimed at Strandon.
"I'll have to ask that you cooperate now, sir," the agent says.
Strandon holds up his hands, realizing it is useless to try and escape.