Near the Belarusian Power Plant
Astravets, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus
10:00 (07:00 GMT)
Blake made it to the power plant in record time. The diplomatic plates on the Mercedes afforded him the luxury of driving at high speeds without the fear of being pulled over by the corrupt police. They wouldn’t dare stop or detain someone this high up in the government for fear of losing their job, or their life. Besides, attempting to extort money from the driver in lieu of a ticket would be pointless.
He sped past the turn-off for the power plant. About a kilometer later, he veered the car off the road into a patch of trees. The distinctive ring of his phone filled the car as he placed it into park.
“Blake, this is President Pennington. I’ve got some help coming your way. It’s a group of Marines that were out on maneuvers in the North Sea.”
“From the Ronald Reagan?”
“Well, do you want the bad news, the good news, or the other bad news first?” she asked.
Blake shook his head and sighed. Tall grass crunched as he stepped out of the car and rested his elbows on the roof. “Give me the bad news first.”
“Well, as you guessed, they’re on the Reagan, so they’re pretty far away. It’s going to take some time to get there.”
“What’s the good news?”
“They’re on a much faster plane. They’re scheduled to jump in just under three hours and land in the field across from where you’re parked.”
Blake looked up to the sky and said, “You’ve got a satellite on me, don’t you?”
“Indeed we do, Mr. MacKay, so don’t pick your nose.”
Blake heard laughter over the phone.
“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind if I have to take a piss.”
The president chuckled. “Very good. Oh—Mr. MacKay. Do not approach that power plant until your backup arrives. I know that you would probably like to do some recognizance, but stay back. We can give you intel later from the sat feed as you’re going in with your team. Do we understand one another?”
“We’ll keep a watch on you. Check in if your situation changes.”
“Madam President, wait. You said you had bad news twice. Was there something else you needed to tell me?”
“Right. Thanks for reminding me. In all of our efforts to figure out how to diffuse this situation, we forgot about the obvious. Calling the president’s office and letting them know what the situation is.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“Their independence day is like Christmas over here. Everything is shut down. No one is answering any damn phones. I guess what I’m saying Blake, is that you may be met with some resistance. With the Belarusian government not knowing what’s going on and the current state of affairs with our diplomatic relations with them, it will look like an American invasion. You’ll need to be very diplomatic.”
Blake waited until the president disconnected the call. The next few moments, he spent camouflaging the car with branches. Once he was satisfied, he opened the back door and lied down to try and rest while he waited. It was pointless, though. His mind split it’s time between trying to diffuse impending attack and wondering about Adriana. The next few hours were going to be difficult.