15:50 (12:50 GMT)
His temples throbbed and darkness crept around the edges of the notebook. Anger had that effect on him. “Stop the car! I need to drive.”
“What is it?”
Adriana stopped the car and they switched places. Before he made the tires kick up gravel in a wild turn back to the border of Belarus, Blake removed the battery from his phone.
“There are numbers that I found in Shorets’ book. Remember a few days ago you were asking me about some bank accounts you found in your father’s journal? I said that they were numbers to a bank account in Zurich.”
Adriana nodded. “Yes.”
“I found several more Zurich bank accounts in Shorets’ book.”
“So? What does that matter? I am sure that there are thousands of people with Swiss bank accounts; especially people like the prime minister. What are you getting at?”
Blake drove intently, like a rally driver looking ahead and anticipating his next move well before he got there. “Two of the bank account numbers were the same numbers that I saw in your father’s journal back in Cuba.”
Adriana’s brow was still furrowed.
Blake said, “There were three letters next to the account. I think they are initials to someone’s name and they weren’t the initials for Zahmir al Hamwi or those of your father. I haven’t told you this yet, but the president told me that President Solonovich was assassinated anyway. I think there is more to this than what we know.”
“Ok, so what are we going to do?”
“We’re going to Zurich.”
Blake abandoned the plan to go back to the power plant. He figured that the marines and others would get the information about what happened in Minsk eventually. They were still wearing the clothes and scars from their long night in captivity so they drove back to the hotel to get cleaned up and back on the road.
As he pulled out on to the main highway, he told her, “We’re going to have to drive the whole way.”
“To Zurich? Why? How far is it?”
“Probably close to two thousand kilometers. I think I’m going to be in a bit of hot water for disobeying a direct order, and if we get on the plane or train, there is a very good chance that I will be forced to go back to Washington. I can’t take that chance.”
“Then why not take a commercial plane?” she asked.
“Because you, my dear, don’t have a real or even a fake passport with you. Even if you did have your real passport, they know you’re here with me, and as soon as your passport was scanned, it would be flagged and that will be the end our trip. All of my fake ID’s were made by them so…” At that moment Blake thought about an old friend he could call in a favor. “I might have an idea.”
On their way back to Minsk, Blake had stopped for fuel. He picked up a half dozen pre-paid cell phones. With one of the new phones, Blake made a call.
“Who are you calling?”
Blake held up his index finger. “One minute.”
Matt Sharp was an ex-Navy Seal that Blake had been on several missions with in Afghanistan, Nigeria, The Congo and a few other places they couldn’t identify. It was the kind of relationship that just clicked whenever they met. Although they would only see each other once or twice every other year, they still remained in touch.
After Matt retired from the military, he set up a private sector business that did dirty jobs for the DOD and the CIA when the government truly had to be hands off. All their funding came from hidden slush funds, disguised pet projects and seized assets from the terrorists that they took out. In his dealings, Matt had made contacts literally all over the world that could provide services of about anything imaginable. Creating perfect fake identifications was one such service.
“Blake Mackay. How’s my brother from another mother?”
“Not good right now, I’m afraid. I’m in a bit of a jam and need some help.”
“Where the hell you calling from? Was that a Belarus country-code I saw on the caller ID?”
“Yeah. Can you help me? I’m in kind of a hurry.”
“What can I do for you, buddy?”
“Is this line still secure?”
“You know it, Brother.”
“I need to get to Zurich in a hurry. Do you have anyone nearby that can get me four fake passports? I need two for me and two for a female.”
Matt snickered. “Female huh? Is she hot?”
“Dude! Not now.”
“Did you give her a little pickle tickle?”
Normally Blake would play along with his buddy. Today was not one of those days.
“Can you fucking help me or not?”
Matt laughed out loud. “Of course you did.” After he stopped laughing he got serious. “Yeah, I can help. Can you get to Kiev?”
“Yeah, we’ve got a car. We’re actually driving now.”
“Great! Get yourself to Kiev. I’ve got a guy there that produces the best fakes I’ve ever seen. Even better than what we can do. I mean they are flawless.”
“Can I trust him?”
“Sorry I asked. Give me the address?”
Blake wrote it down.
“Can you give your contact a heads up that we’re coming?”
Blake ended the call. He removed the battery and SIM card from the phone. As he did, he quoted a slogan that he heard from an accident attorney’s television commercial he saw when he was in Atlanta. “One call, that’s all.” He rolled down the window and tossed the phone out.
At the first opportunity, Blake turned for Kiev. At their present location, it was four hundred and fifty three kilometers to Kiev. They made it in less than four hours.
By the time they got there, it was nearing 23:00 hours. Blake drove by the address that Matt had given him, but it was dark and closed up. Ironically, it was a printing shop: similar to a Kinko’s or Office Max back in the States. They found a small bed & breakfast that still had its lights on and got a room for the night.