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    C James
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Changing Lanes - 50. Refuge and Allies


Chapter 50: Refuge and Allies


 



 

The eruption of Cumbre Vieja continued unabated. The massive cloud of ash and volcanic gasses boiled into the stratosphere, but the airport was still in clear air. The fading southerly breeze was just barely enough to keep the ash cloud to the north. It would continue to do so, but not for a great deal longer. Then, the ashfall would resume at the airport, closing off any chance of escape for Flight Three, if the aircraft was still on the ground.

 

 

At the press center, north of the greatest devastation, one reporter’s mind was not on the eruption itself, until the news swept through the news center that it had likely been triggered by a nuclear blast in the La Cumbre tunnel. Phil Breslin, the reporter with whom Helen had shared the recording of her conversation with Deputy Undersecretary Graeme, realized that his story, which he’d thought was ready to release, had far more to tell. He dialed Helen’s number and was told by Barbra – who was well aware that they needed the reporter and his story – that Helen could be reached on a different phone, and gave him the number.

General Bradson, at the controls of Flight Two as it neared La Palma airport, handed Helen his phone and said with a bemused smile, “It’s for you, and you’ll want to take this call.”

Phil Breslin didn’t waste time on niceties. He asked, “Did you detonate a nuclear bomb? The wire services are claiming that the eruption was triggered by a nuclear explosion and you had the only nukes on the island that I know of–”

Helen cut the reporter off by saying, “I’ll talk to you about that when we’re back on the ground. Short version: Jerry Clump showed up on the island and things got kind of frantic. It might interest you to know that he’s dead, as of about ten minutes ago, and we’re about to land in his plane. I think it’s better if we meet in person, for a lot of reasons. Can you get to the airport?”

Phil swallowed once, his mind racing as he blurted out, “No, I don’t think that’s possible… but I’ll do it. I’ll get there.”

“Bring a camera and a recorder,” Helen said unnecessarily, and then added, “Be careful, and if you can’t make it, turn back. I’ll get word to you somehow.”

Phil hung up, already planning his trip. Snatching up a map, he looked at the road around the north end of the island, and from there, south to the airport. His heart sank; his only possible route would take him directly through the worst of the ash plume, which he felt sure would make the road impassable. As if that wasn’t enough, he also suspected, incorrectly, that the ash plume was radioactive. Wracking his brains, he tried to think of some way, any way, to make the trip, but without a boat or a capable vehicle, he couldn’t think of anything. Cursing fate, he called Helen to let her know that he couldn’t get to the airport, and she assured him that she’d be in touch again in the next few hours.

 

 

General Bradson aligned Flight Two with the runway and shut down the engines. He’d considered leaving them on, but although they had no plans to use Flight Two again, he saw no reason to wreck perfectly good engines. He also preferred to keep his options open, and there had been something nagging at the back of his mind.

The General performed a textbook dead-stick landing, raising a cloud of ash as Flight Two rolled to a stop. He used the last of its momentum to steer onto a taxiway, clearing the main runway for use by Flight Three.

General Bradson stood up and stretched. Smiling at Felecia, he said, “We’ve done it again, and stopped old Frankenstein permanently. Now all we have to do is get off this damn island and then take care of our other problem.”

Brian bounded aboard as soon as the ramp was lowered. Racing into the flight deck, he gave his father a hug before standing at attention to report, “The team I sent punched the tickets of the stragglers in the terminal, so I had the people at the hotel load up onto the livestock transport, and move to the terminal. I have a perimeter set up, and so far, the airport appears secure.”

“Well done,” Felecia said, nodding with approval.

“Good job, son,” General Bradson said, and then added, “We need to hurry, that ash won’t hold off forever. First, we have to move the two bombs over to Flight Three, and then we’ll get everyone aboard, wet down the runway, and take off. This bird still has a damaged starter on one engine, and I’d rather not try a three-engine takeoff. We’ll be taking off heavy, max load on fuel, plus some auxiliary bladders. Get some men topping ‘em up right away, I’ll explain as we go.”

“You’ve got a plan, I can tell,” Felecia said with a relieved grin. She’d been wondering where they could go after taking off, but the General’s comments about fuel meant that he had a destination in mind.

 

 

Helen, Eric, and Brandon walked down the ramp, and made their way towards the terminal building, slogging through the ash.

Jansen and Chase raced from the terminal. A few yards from the main door, Chase pulled Brandon into a relieved hug. Jansen hesitated, and Eric guessed at his uncertainty. He replied by pulling Jansen into a tight hug. Jansen and Chase both gave voice to the same thought at the same time, “Are you fucking insane?”

Helen answered the question in a dry tone, “Yes, they both are. There can be no doubt. They came within a hair of getting themselves killed. Come on; let’s get inside and out of this damn ash.”

Felecia, a few paces behind, chimed in to add, “They took a hell of a risk, but they also gave us the opportunity to take down old Frankenstein, once and for all, before he could get away with nukes.”

 

 

In the terminal, General Bradson made a few quick phone calls in order to see if his idea would work, then he pulled Helen aside for a quick discussion. “I have to make this fast, but here’s the short version; we need somewhere to go. I have a few contacts from my Air Force days so I made some calls. They need to check with the Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister, but the two men I spoke to are general officers and they were sure we’d be very welcome, under the circumstances…” General Bradson hurried through a brief explanation and then waited for Helen’s response.

Helen had serious reservations, but no better ideas. Reluctantly, she agreed. “I don’t like it, not without a top-level approval, but we can’t stay here and where the hell else can we go? The U.S. Government wants to throw us all in prison, so we’re fairly low on options.”

 

 

In a race against the clock – they knew all too well that a shift in the wind would trap them on the ground – Flight Three was turned, fueled, and prepared for takeoff. The two nuclear warheads were moved with the aid of the truck and secured in the cargo bay. Then, the passengers were loaded aboard.

Eric, sitting with Jansen in the cargo bay, noticed his mother, arm in arm with François, coming his way.

“You’re quite mad. You know that, of course?” Jane asked, arching an eyebrow. Thanks to Brian keeping them posted, the entire wedding party knew of Eric’s mission to Flight Two.

Jansen slugged Eric lightly in the arm. “Yeah, he is, and I’m still mad at him.”

Eric looked downcast as he replied, “I thought Jim and Linda were probably still alive. I had to do something. I just had to. I know it was nuts, but I couldn’t just sit by and do nothing.”

Chase, sitting a few yards away, gave Brandon a one-armed hug at the mention of Jim’s name, and said, “I’m still pissed at you for going, but I guess I understand.”

“Thanks. I’m sorry for what I put you through, I really am,” Brandon replied, still grieving for his oldest friend.

Eric glanced at Brandon, and then told Jane, François, and Jansen in a low, solemn voice, “Felecia found out where Jim and Linda’s bodies are. I wish we had time to do right by them, but she said she’d either get the authorities to recover them when everything settles down, or she’d come back and do it herself. Brandon and I talked on the plane; we’re going to give them a biker funeral.”

The conversations were interrupted by General Bradson’s voice coming over the intercom, “We’re almost ready for takeoff. Felecia’s men are just about done wetting down the runway with the fire trucks. As soon as they are aboard, we’ll raise the ramp and be on our way. Strap in, this might be a little bumpy.”

After disengaging the intercom, General Bradson turned and told Felecia, who was sitting in the navigator’s station, “Make sure Horst does a head count of your returning men so we know everyone is on board.”

Felecia chuckled. “Go teach your grandmother to suck eggs, Walter. I’ve already told Horst to do just that.”

General Bradson smiled at the good-natured jab, and then told his copilot, “We’re near max takeoff weight due to the extra fuel, so it’ll take us a while to build up speed in this ash. I think we’ll need ever inch of this runway. When we begin our roll, I need you to keep your eye on the engine gauges. If any of them so much as twitch, let me know immediately. If this occurs before we are two-thirds of the way down the runway, call for an abort. After that point, just let me know and we’ll try to deal with it in the air.”

General Bradson had serious concerns; the plan to wet the runway would probably work, but there was a chance that the engines could still ingest some ash. Losing one engine was, he felt, survivable. Losing two or more would not be. Once they were two-thirds of the way down the runway, they would be moving too fast to stop. Past that point was what pilots called the black zone; a multi-engine failure would be fatal.

Once Felecia’s men were back aboard, General Bradson took a deep breath, and began start-up procedures. The engines lit off smoothly, and he stood on the brakes as he advanced the throttles all the way to the stops.

General Bradson released the brakes, and Flight Three began to roll, churning forward through the layer of wet ash, which had a consistency similar to thick mud. Slowly, Flight Three accelerated, and as it gained speed, its large, fat balloon tires began to roll on top of the dense ash instead of plowing through it.

“Engine state?” General Bradson asked, as they neared the halfway point.

“Engines nominal,” replied the sweating copilot.

As the C-130 neared rotation speed, General Bradson checked the engines one last time and pulled back on the yoke, easing the C-130 into ground effect. He retracted the landing gear while still in ground effect, trying to gain every ounce of speed that he could. At one hundred knots, he pulled further back on the yoke, and the C-130 lumbered into the afternoon sky.

Barely a hundred feet off the ground, General Bradson fed in some left aileron, and the C-130 began a turn to the left. “I’m going to stay low and head east, right along the edge of the ashfall. That should shield us from any satellite observation. Once we near the African coast, I’ll climb and blend into an air route. Keep an eye on the engine gauges; we’ve got one hell of a long way to go, over three thousand miles.”

“That’s nearly a thousand miles past our range limit, even with the fuel bladders,” the copilot replied, puzzled. He knew that General Bradson was incapable of making such a huge and obvious mistake, but he had not yet been told the plan.

Smiling, General Bradson winked and then replied, “We’re going to rendezvous with a tanker over the Med. It’s been a while since I’ve done an air-to-air refuel, but I think I still remember how. It’ll be a tough one, because it’ll be dark by then.”

The copilot arched an enquiring eyebrow, but the General was not willing to explain further. Instead, he said, “Copilot’s airplane. I’m heading aft for a while, to make some calls and get some rest.”

General Bradson found the only privacy he could – in the aircraft’s tiny bathroom – and phoned his old contacts again, receiving some very welcome news: they had approval.

Flight Three flew on, tracing the southern edge of the eastbound ash cloud for three hundred miles, and then climbing to ten thousand feet as they crossed the coast of Morocco. The General had selected his waypoints with care to avoid radar coverage, and Flight Three maintained a heading of east by northeast, crossing into northern Algeria, and then overlying Tunisia before emerging over the Mediterranean, two hundred miles west of Malta.

After another hundred miles, General Bradson checked his navigation screen and eyed the fuel gauges. They still had enough fuel to make Malta, barely, but that was all. He made a phone call to confirm, and received the welcome reply. “We have you in sight, closing in from above and astern.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, General Bradson thumbed the intercom. “Don’t be alarmed, but you’re about to hear some odd noises. We’re going to do an air-to-air refueling.” Then, to Felecia and the copilot, he said, “It’ll be either a KC-130H or a KC-135, and the latter is a jet, basically a tanker version of the Boeing 707. I’m hoping it’s the former, because when a KC-135 flies as slow as our max refuel speed, it can get a little bumpy.”

Eric, peering out of the window in the side door, saw it first; a black mass obscuring the stars as it moved forward, above and to port of Flight Three.

Helen, at the General’s request, had told no one, not even the members of Instinct, of their hoped-for destination. That secret lasted for a few seconds more, until the rendezvousing KC-130H tanker, which had been flying blacked out, turned on its lights.

Eric blinked, staring at the olive-colored aircraft’s camouflage pattern, and then, as the tanker eased forward, its brightly illuminated tail came into view. “Whose flag is that?” Eric asked, pointing at the small three-striped national emblem painted on the tail, its colors a simple light blue over white over light blue.

Brandon, who was looking over Eric’s shoulder, shrugged. François eased forward to look, and then replied, “That’s an Israeli flag, and that gives me a good guess as to our destination.”

The night refueling, using the tanker’s probe and drogue system of a trailed hose, was a demanding maneuver for the pilots of both aircraft. U.S. fighters use a flying-boom system, and the General, a former fighter pilot, had never used a probe and drogue before, a fact he had kept to himself. It wasn’t really relevant, he knew, Flight Three’s drogue ­– which looked like a small basket on a pole, protruding from just above the cockpit – had been removed before the aircraft had been sold as military surplus. What they had in mind was far more challenging and risky.

“Open the side door and prepare to receive the probe,” General Bradson ordered over the intercom. He knew he had to do this right; the side door was just forward of the wing and its churning propellers. If he overshot, the fuel line would be destroyed, along with at least one engine. The KC-130H above had only a single probe-and-drogue pod, so he had one chance, and one chance only.

Horst pulled the side door in, and the roaring slipstream churned into the cargo bay. With a cargo hook in hand, Horst waited.

The Israeli aircraft began trailing out the fuel line and calling out estimated distances, which the copilot of Flight Three relayed to Horst via the intercom.

Luck was on their side, and Horst snagged the fuel line on his first try. That news reached the flight deck and General Bradson told the tanker, “We have capture. Reel out fifty more feet.”

In the cargo bay, Horst and some of his men wrestled the fuel line inside, and two men heaved in the slack as it came. Horst connected the line to the first of the fuel bladders by stuffing the probe into the top access hatch and then packing the gap with some towels. He reported that he was ready, and as the fuel began to flow, the long process began. It would take over an hour to complete.

Once the fuel bladder was partially filled, the transfer pump was engaged, moving the fuel to the C-130’s internal tanks. The single-speed transfer pump was toggled on and off to keep pace with the flow from the tanker into the fuel bladder, and eventually, Flight Three had received almost a full load of fuel.

With profound relief, General Bradson watched the Israeli tanker pull away as it reeled in its refueling line. Flight Three now had enough fuel aboard to reach its destination: Nevatim Airbase, in the heart of Israel’s Negev desert.

General Bradson checked his course and position, and then told Felecia, “We’re about four hours from landing. Better let your men know that the Israelis have promised us all amnesty or safe-conduct, whichever we individually prefer.”

 

 

 

Flight Three droned on through the night, approaching Israel from the west. An hour before they landed, a flight of six Israeli F-15s took station, two off Flight Three’s starboard wing, and the other four more taking high cover. General Bradson knew the reason for the fighters off his wingtip; although the four on high cover, a few thousand feet above, were there for defense; the close-in escorting pair would have the primary mission of blowing Flight Three out of the sky if ordered to do so. It was a reasonable precaution, given Flight Three's nuclear cargo.

Flight Three touched down safely at Nevatim Airbase. Following instructions, General Bradson taxied into the mouth of a waiting hanger before shutting down. Even as the engines started their spin-down, the hanger door rolled closed behind them.

General Bradson looked out the cockpit window, seeing three men in dress uniforms, accompanied by a squad of black-clad combat troops. The General hit the button to lower the main cargo bay door as he said, “Let’s go meet our hosts.”

Followed by Felecia and Helen, General Bradson left the flight deck of Flight Three for what he suspected would be the last time. He glanced back, at the controls, remembering the mission to Iran, and gave the C-130’s cockpit doorframe an affectionate pat as he walked past. ‘You served us well, old girl,’ he thought, before turning his mind to the challenges ahead.

In the cargo bay, Helen took an awkward seat on one of the two nuclear warheads, staking out her claim by her presence.

General Bradson and Felecia stood at the top of the cargo bay ramp, and a voice called out from below, “Permission to come aboard?”

General Bradson smiled, recognizing the voice of one of his old Red Flag friends. “Good to see you again Eli. Come on up.”

Eli, a Colonel in the Israeli Air Force, led the way up the ramp, followed by two other men, one dressed as a brigadier general, and the other as a soldier in combat gear. Neither was actually in the military. The man dressed as a soldier, who was actually a nuclear technician, followed his orders and ignored the formalities, making a beeline for the bombs. His instructions were to make certain that they were not rigged to detonate. Helen hesitated, and then moved to allow him access, knowing she wasn’t in a position to object.

Eli warmly shook the hands of General Bradson and Felecia, and then introduced the other two men. “General Bradson, this is…” he let his voice trail off, unsure how to introduce the other man.

“Levi Gold, General,” the other man said, adding with a casual shrug, “I’m not actually a military officer; I’m with the Mossad, head of the directorate that deals with Iranian matters. I’ve also been appointed by my government to be your host while you are here, and that includes being empowered to deal with the two presents you have brought to us,” he said, with a nod towards the nuclear warheads, which were a dozen feet away.

Helen eyed the technician, who was still inspecting the warheads, and then she coughed for attention, and said, “I’d very much like to discuss getting these,” she patted the nuclear warhead, “off my hands, but my boys and I are out a great deal of money…”

Levi exchanged a glance with the other two Israelis, and then replied, “Before we discuss that matter, I’d like to get the rest of your party on their way to some accommodations. You’ve all had a long and harrowing experience. We’ve reserved the entire floor of a hotel in Be’er Sheva, just a few miles from here, for your party, and we have a bus waiting outside.”

Nodding, Helen replied, “I’m sure that a meal and a bed would be very welcome. However, Jon, Eric, Chase, and Brandon share ownership with me, so they need to be part of any discussions.”

The wedding party, including Keith, along with Felecia, her men, and Brian, were ushered aboard two buses. Jansen hesitated, but Eric reassured him by saying, “I’ll join you soon, I promise.”

Jansen wasn’t happy about being parted from Eric, but he replied, “Make sure you do. No more crazy stuff, okay?” Upon receiving Eric’s smile of agreement, Jansen joined the others heading for the two buses.

Once those leaving had cleared out of the C-130, Helen patted a bomb and asked, “Are you still willing to buy them for the money we’re out? I was led to believe that you would be.”

The technician nodded to Levi, indicating that the bombs were safe, and then left the aircraft.

Levi returned his attention to Helen and shook his head adamantly while reaching into his pocket. “I’m afraid you have been misinformed, ma’am… May I call you Helen? This issue is… problematic for us. Israel has never admitted to possessing nuclear weapons. Were we to purchase those, which you are known to possess, we would become an admitted nuclear power. That would be politically difficult, and my government instructed me that under no circumstances am I, or any other Israeli official, to take legal ownership of those warheads.” Helen was about to ask General Bradson what was going on, but Levi’s grin made it clear that he had something in mind. Levi handed her the piece of paper from his pocket. “That is a check, drawn on the Bank of Israel, for thirty-five million American dollars. It is yours if you will agree to allow us to fully inspect your nuclear warheads, in order for us to learn what we can of the Iranian nuclear program’s state and level of advancement. We would need to take the devices, temporarily, to a nearby facility. After we have learned whatever the bombs can teach us, we will return them to you, in a few days at most, with our profound thanks. Does this sound agreeable to you?”

Helen stared at Levi for a moment, before turning to tell General Bradson, “I really would prefer to be rid of these damn things.”

“Sorry Helen, Levi has a point regarding Israel never admitting to possessing nuclear warheads. Look at the bright side; this way you get your money back, plus five million. I’m sure we can find something to do with them now that the money is no longer an issue. Maybe you need a matching pair of large paperweights for you office?” The General’s attempt at humor garnered a few awkward chuckles as it fell flat.

Eric, never one to let a joke die, said, “I say we keep ‘em. It might be handy to use one the next time the paparazzi start bugging us. Paparazzi have conventions, don't they?”

After shooting an irritated glare in Eric’s direction, Helen turned to face Levi, and as she tucked the check into her purse, she said in a gracious tone, “Thank you for doing this. I’d have preferred to be rid of the bombs, but you’ve solved our financial problem and you’ve given us refuge.”

Levi smiled and withdrew a contract from his pocket. “This is in English. Feel free to read it. It makes clear that the bombs remain your property. Amongst other things, this should prevent your government from charging you with nuclear proliferation and trafficking in nuclear weapons. Once it is signed, I’ll have the bombs transported to a nearby facility.”

“Most likely the Negev Nuclear Research Center, their main nuclear facility, about twenty miles south of here. That’s why they had us land at this base.” General Bradson said, ostensibly to Helen, but his words were intended for the Israelis, to let them know that he was familiar with their nuclear program. He had a hunch regarding why they were so eager to inspect the warheads, and hoped that they would accept the offer he’d made during the flight, via his friends.

Levi Gold replied with a bemused look. “We do intend to take the devices there. It is, as you say, a research facility,” he said, observing the official fiction. Israel’s policy was to neither confirm nor deny the purpose of the facility, even though it was widely known to be the center of the Israeli nuclear weapons program. The technicians in Machon 8, their primary experimental and research laboratory at the facility, were ready and waiting to examine the Iranian bombs, a project that had been given priority over all others.

Helen read over the contract, and then signed. She then, with a sigh of both relief and resignation, returned the contract to Levi. Helen had an additional reason to be thankful; only she had been named on the contract, which meant that Instinct should be safe from any repercussions.

Levi wasted no time; at his order, a winch-equipped truck was backed into the cargo bay, and the bombs were loaded aboard. He watched as the truck made its way down the ramp, and then he turned to tell Helen, “I have a car waiting to take you and your band to the hotel. We wish to make no secret of the fact that we are inspecting your bombs, so please, make a call to that reporter the General mentioned, and be sure to inform him of that detail. For the moment, for your own sake, we suggest that you refrain from mentioning that you retain ownership. We’ll meet again, in the morning, and let you know what we’re planning. For now, please enjoy our hospitality.”

General Bradson was pleased that he hadn’t needed to ask to stay behind. Once Helen and Instinct were taken to the waiting car by the other two Israelis, Levi Gold, alone in Flight Three with General Bradson, said, “If you need rest, we can wait until morning. However, it would be better for us all, I think, if we took care of our immediate business now. Less urgent is that some of our technicians and some of our strike command Air Force personal would like to debrief you, Felecia, and any of her men who saw the underground facility before she nuked it. We’ll get to that in the morning.”

General Bradson nodded. He’d expected that.

Ever the cool professional, Levi Gold casually added, “The matter that is most urgent is your offer regarding Iran. What you unearthed there was the greatest professional embarrassment of my career. We did not know they were so far along with their effort. It is only because of the unstable political situation in Iran, which we hope bears fruit, that we have held our own strike in abeyance, for now. Your attack on their refineries was inspired, for it has hurt them badly. They are desperate for petrol… gasoline, as you call it. The population is growing more restive and resentful by the day. The situation has been enhanced somewhat by the loss of two Venezuelan gasoline tankers, which were bound for Iran. The first one exploded and sank in the Red Sea three days ago, and today, another met a similar fate in the Indian Ocean. They were counting on that fuel and its loss was problematic for their dictatorship.”

“Why do I suspect that they ran into torpedoes?” General Bradson asked, with a knowing smile.

Levi shrugged, painting an innocent expression on his face as he replied, “We do have some Dolphin-class subs that might possibly have been in the areas of the explosions, but coincidences happen.”

“Bullshit,” General Bradson replied with a grin. “I do hope that more such ‘coincidences’ occur.”

Levi’s expression had become dour. “That might be unlikely. Due to the two incidents, Iran has been unable to find tanker operators willing to contract for the journey, and they own none of their own. However, they might have a way out. Your government has been making noises regarding offering tankers a naval escort, citing freedom of the seas, and also in a naive-at-best effort to curry favor with the Iranian regime. That would preclude us from taking action against the tankers in most cases. Our problem is the same as yours; a self-deluded clique within your government has staked out a position based on its radical policies. Having done so, they now find themselves unable to back down without humiliating themselves. Therefore, they are acting to prevent your plan from working and are quite content to allow Iran to become a nuclear power. We do not share that view, and we will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.”

General Bradson nodded, scratching his chin thoughtfully. This was the reason he’d chosen Israel as a destination; common causes make for allies, and he was in desperate need of allies at the moment. “You’re damn close to launching a full-scale strike on Iran, aren’t you? My read on this is that the only reason you have not yet done so is that you want to give the rebellion that’s brewing over there a chance, because if it succeeds, that could solve the issue permanently.”

“I can neither conform nor deny that, General, but I can say that we would much prefer the uprising to succeed. We cannot, under any circumstance, allow that fanatical dictatorship to become a nuclear power. They make no secret of their wish to wipe us off the map, and deterrence only works against the sane. Once we understood the nature of the underground facilities you discovered, we have since found more. A conventional-weapons strike may prove insufficient.” Levi paused, letting the obvious implication hang in the air for a moment before adding, “Therefore, your gasoline gambit is the best hope.”

That, too, came as no surprise to General Bradson. The logistics for the Israelis, given the range and geography, and faced with vast, deep underground complexes, meant that a nuclear strike could be the only viable option. “So, either my plan works or there will be a full-scale Israeli nuclear strike against Iran. Don’t bother answering, I know you can’t. The problem, as I see it, is that the best solution is being blocked by this radical clique of ideologues in the U.S. Government.”

Levi nodded, wondering if the General would balk when he realized the magnitude of the situation. “Getting rid of the foot soldiers will do little good. I trust that you know how widely the problem extends?”

General Bradson didn’t know for sure, but he had long suspected, and by the manner of his question, it was evident that Levi knew for certain. General Bradson chewed on his lip for a moment, already aware of what he was about to be asked to commit to. Deciding to cut to the chase, the General replied, “I do, and I think there’s a way to take them down. Part of it is already in place.”

“We cannot help overtly,” Levi said.

In a cold, determined tone, General Bradson replied, “Leave it to me. If the Mossad can provide me with a few phone numbers back in the ‘States, I think I can wrap this thing up in twenty-four hours. If that fails, I am ready and able to carry out the strike plan I proposed.”





 

© 2009 C James

Please let me know what you think; good, bad, or indifferent.

Please give me feedback, and please don’t be shy if you want to criticize! The feedback thread for this story is in my Forum. Please stop by and say "Hi!"

 



 



Many thanks to my editor EMoe for editing and for his support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions.

Special thanks to Graeme, for beta-reading and advice.

A big "thank you" to to Bondwriter for final Zeta-reading and advice , and to Captain Rick and Talonrider for Beta reading and advice . Special thanks to MikeL for advice

I hereby dedicate this story to my friend Wildone, who has suffered a horrific accident, but due to his strength, perseverance, and courage has pulled through and is recovering. I wish you a continued speedy recovery, Wildone.
Any remaining errors are mine alone.


Copyright © 2009 C James; All Rights Reserved.
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