Spear Garden

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Chapter 54

Near the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant

13:35 (10:35 GMT)

July 3rd

The Marines landed in the field, across the road from Blake just as the president had said. Blake ran through the tall grass to greet them and found the man in charge, Captain, Greg Olsky. The Captain approached him. He extended his hand and said, “Mr. Mackay, Greg Olsky. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been told by the president herself to do whatever you say.”

Blake shook his hand and said, “Thank you Captain. The power plant is just about one klick down that road. You can see the tops of the cooling towers just over those trees.”

“Right, we all got a good bird’s eye view coming down. We’ve been briefed, but if you think there may be something to add, I’m all ears.”

“Our mission is to apprehend the prime minister. He is the one behind the planned attack. We need to assume that the Belarusian Government doesn’t know anything about this yet. So, to the KGB and other soldiers that are guarding the prime minister, it’s going to look like we’re attacking them. We’re going to be met with resistance.”

“The rules of engagement?”

“Don’t fire unless I give the order.”

“Roger that.” The Captain turned around toward one of his men. “Yo, Taco! Bring me that thumper.”

A short, but stout young man, with a green stripe across his uniform that said ‘Hernandez’ sprinted forward and handed the Captain an M16 with an M203 grenade launcher attached to the bottom.

“I didn’t know what kind of fire power you had with you, so we brought you this. Will that work?”

Blake accepted the weapon, loaded a round in the chamber and said, “Yep, that’ll do. Do you have any spare mags?”

The Captain handed Blake three additional magazines.

“Thanks. Oh—and one final thing.”

“Yes, sir?”

“If the situation arises that we are fired upon and we have to return fire, try not to mortally wound them.”

“Understood. I know that the president is still trying to reach someone within the government to let them know about the situation.”

Blake nodded and then waved them on to move as fast as they could to get to the plant.

After a short run, they came around the corner where they saw the power plant. Cars were parked everywhere; busses and news vans were also lined up outside the plant’s main gate. Blake took out his binoculars and saw KGB and other military personnel standing near the front entrance of the plant. A band played the national anthem and there was the sound of people cheering. The Captain came up behind Blake.

“Mr. MacKay. What would be wrong with just walking casually up there and telling those men what’s going on?”

Blake glanced at his watch. “It’s almost fourteen hundred. Let me see if I can get the president on the line first and see if she’s made any progress.”

As he reached in his pocket, his phone rang.

“MacKay.”

“Blake, President Pennington. I’ve been in touch with the Belarusian Government. They’re allowing us to use the EMP and they’re working on getting President Solonovich out of there as we speak.”

“Who did you speak with?” he asked.

“First Deputy Prime Minister, Aleksandr Roshenko.”

Blake paused a moment. Could Aleksandr really be trusted? Blake remembered how Aleksandr rescued him and then saved his life by taking out the guard back at the prime minister’s house. Had he been a willing player in this plot in the beginning or had he been drawn in unwillingly? Regardless, Blake needed to tell the president this.

“Madam President.” There was dead silence on the phone. “Madam President, are you there?”

Blake turned to his wrist and saw that it was fourteen hundred.

“Mr. MacKay. Is everything all right?” the captain asked.

“The line went dead. I don’t have a signal.”

The captain reached into his upper pocket and pulled out his phone. “Yeah, I don’t have a signal either. Do you think it’s the plant blocking our signal?”

“No. We were going to stop the weapon by sending out a small EMP burst in the city. The spread was wide enough to probably take out a few cell relay towers. I’ve got a sat phone back in the car, but it’s too late to go and get it. Do you have one?”

“Negative.”

“Fuck. Alright Captain, spread the word. Weapons down. Follow my move.”

Blake and the Marines marched straight for the front gates of the power plant and hoped that the guards would listen to reason and that Aleksandr Roshenko really was on their side.

They got less than one hundred meters from the front gate when the KGB and other guards opened fire.

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