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» The General - Chapter 6

     The boat ride out took a bit longer than Conrad had expected primarily because the intelligence data from air reconnaissance must have relay their position back at the wrong time or the soviet fleet had moved since then and the increasing fog, either way Conrad plan to spend the night wandering the Atlantic Ocean in a small motor boat. The situation became more desperate as another half an hour had went by after they got to where the fleet was supposed to be, as they were about to turn around and head back, they spotted a faint light through the thick fog they had found the soviet fleet. They continued towards the light for a few more minutes then they turned off the engine and started to paddle as not to alert the Russians prematurely.
"How are we going to find the right ship in all of that mess, sir?" Franks asked. Conrad hesitated a moment pondering the question.
"It's quite simple. You see it' that one over there." Conrad pointing to what seemed to the other men as an arbitrary ship.
"Are you sure, sir?" Franks asked.
"I'm positive, its standard soviet fleet formation, the flagship is always located at the rear." Conrad responded. "Well, how do you know about soviet naval doctrine, sir?" Conrad paused and then gave a slight chuckle. "Because I wrote it." Conrad replied as a huge grin reached across his face. At this point the two men accompanying were completely perplexed, not know what exactly to think of the General. How could he know that? and what did he mean by "I wrote it"? where questions that seeming both flashed through their heads. However, they didn't seem to give much thought to it as at least he had some idea of what he was doing which was better than aimlessly stumbling around a huge soviet fleet.

     They carefully paddled around the search lights originating from the a few patrol vessels on security and slipped next to their destination, a huge soviet dreadnought. The Hades class which was the most recent soviet model that had only being commissioned earlier in the year it potentially could be devastating to shore targets and allied shipping, the former which had been proven true earlier in the day. Despite the power it possessed it had a severe defect that was overlooked by the designers, while outside had great armor, the design of the engine had the fuel lines running particularly close to the cruise missile storage room, if a well placed charge could be put in the right spot the subsequent explosion would turn the ship into nothing more than shrapnel. It was pure chance that Conrad knew this as with the monthly reports of soviet weapon capabilities he received, but rarely read, he mistook that folder with the folder of communiqué intercepts that he was suppose to translate and by the time he realized his mistake he had already read the entire specifications about the new Hades class vessel. They maneuvered to the stem of the ship and tied off on to the anchor as not to drift away. Conrad gave the men some last minute instructions before ascending the ladder that was on the side of the ship.

     Conrad poked his head above deck to see if anyone was near when the coast was clear he tossed his bag up on the deck and then climbed on to it himself. He then put his bag where it was less conspicuous, began to brush off his uniform, adjusted his hat, and took out a cigarette and just before he light it the sentry came by. "What are you doing over there?" the sentry asked. "Excuse me?" Conrad said turning around. "Oh, my mistake, Comrade Major." he said promptly coming to attention. "No, no, no you were only doing your job, soldier, besides if I were you I'd be suspicious of me as well." The sentry laughed at that. "Cigarette?" Conrad offered to the sentry. "Oh, thank you, Comrade Major. I will smoke it later, I don't have a light." Conrad produced a lighter from his pocket and light the cigarette that the soldier was holding in his hand, then he light his own and took a long drags of it. "So tell me, why are you out here in the middle Atlantic Ocean? Don't you have some pretty young wife that needs your attention?" What he really meant was Shouldn't you be home making children.
"Yes, of course, I do we have a quaint little farm house a few hundred miles east of the Urals. They came about three months ago looking for anyone that was fit for military service. My wife didn't want me to go, but I promised her that I'd come back and the we could have as many children as she wanted. Besides I wanted to get back at these American bastards for their crimes against Mother Russia...What about you, Comrade Major? Do you have anyone?"
"There was one, once, but that was a long time ago. She told me to decide between this and her and well her I stand before you. It was for the better anyways, she was a class-A whore. Tell me how did you get so lucky as to be assigned to the flag[ship]?
"Well my father was something of a legend in the Eurasian War, so somehow by way of someone recognizing my name I got put here. And I am sure grateful of it, with any luck my ill be back in no time at all, comrade." Conrad finished his cigarette, which he despised but found it necessary in his line of work, and flicked it over the edge of the ship.
"I do feel a great sorrow for your wife." "Why, Comrade Major?" "Because, she's about become a widow." Before the sentry could react Conrad had inserted his knife into the soldiers throat, and while coughing on his own blood that was erupting from the wound, Conrad opened a door to a storage compartment and put the body in it. He then wiped off his hands and knife with the uniform pants before closing the hatch and acted as if nothing had ever happened. He entered the ship its self and while he had not personally been in a Hades class ship before, if he knew ship design like he knew where to find the main office where the papers were most likely to be. After a few minute walk through a labyrinth of corridors and rooms he found his destination, which was conveniently marked. Conrad then checked to make sure no one was looking before he very carefully opened the door, but it was locked and Conrad didn't have a key, so an alternate method of entry was needed. He began to examine the ventilation of the surrounding system as if to try to find anyway into the office. He then heard some stirring about in the room he was trying to get into, as the noise got louder and the door began to turn Conrad quickly slipped into an alcove adjacent to the door. The door opened and out came two Russian brass, from Conrad's perspective what appeared to be one Army and one Naval officer, very high ranked at that, he now had an opportunity, the two men began to walk away and as the door was about to swing shut Conrad barely managed to stick his left foot in the crack to prevent it from shutting, a shot of pain surged through his body as the door had be shut with some thrust, he the quickly shrugged off any thought of the yelping and quickly went inside slamming the door behind him. One of officers that had just left the room stopped and turned around at the sound of the slamming door. He hadn't thought he'd shut it that hard, but after a moment of hesitation he shrugged his shoulders and gave it no more thought. Inside Conrad's foot was still reeling from the pain it had endured just moments ago, as be began searching the cluttered desk and drawers, after a few minutes of he found nothing of any importance. He then plopped down on the chair attached to the desk and subsequently spun around in it. He sat in the chair thinking and scanning the room for anything that would solve his problem. He then noticed a picture on the wall, it caught Conrad's attention he got up and walked over to it. He then examined the edges and ripped it off the wall in a single violent stroke, it revealed a secret compartment. He opened this revealing another compartment that was seemed to be protected by some sort of fingerprint identification device. He grabbed a something from his pocket, a metallic device with a LCD screen display, he placed it against the screen and punched a few buttons and after few seconds of electronic sounds the door popped open.
"Bingo!" Conrad exclaimed as he pulled out some folders and other papers, taking the ones that he needed. Kinky, he though as he came across a porn mag, which he pulled out and flipped through the pages before placing back as he found it he then, shut the second door, then outer door and then replaced the picture, except he left it upside down...a calling card, not that it would matter he'd be long gone before anyone found out was missing. He took the documents and put them in a plastic bag and put it in his coat, he then exited the room and retraced his path back out to the deck of the ship where he whistled to the two men below and tossed them the plastic bag.
"Okay, sir let's get out of here. Before they figure out what happened." one of them said.
"Not just yet, I have one more thing to do." Conrad responded. "Hold on 10 more minutes, if I'm not back you get out of here and that back to Harrison ASAP. Don't worry about me ill make it, the most important thing is that those documents make it to the right people."
"But, sir."
"10 minutes." Conrad interrupted and then walked off picking up the bag he had left earlier.
"Shit, Paul what are we going to do we can't leave him?" Kawaslski asked.
"Orders are orders." Franks responded.

     Conrad had ditched his Russian uniform for a black special-ops outfit. He traversed his way into the depths of the ship avoiding patrols and security cameras till he reached the engine room where he took some explosives out of his bag and began placing them strategically around the room. He was almost finished when he was discovered.
"Stop, what you are doing and turn around slowly." Conrad tossed the charge on the ground and then stopped. "Turn around!" the soldier ordered. Conrad hesitated for a moment then as he was turning around took his knife and threw it, landing in the forehead of the Russian soldier. Conrad quickly completed the task that had been interrupted. Just then another Russian soldier discovered his fallen comrade, he pulled his rifle and offered a few shots in Conrad's direction, though they were blocked by a console that Conrad had ducked behind.

*    *   *   *   *   *

"Where is he Paul, its been 9 minutes." "I don't know Drew, he'll make it don't worry." They then heard some conversations in Russian above, the voices grew louder and several lights began peering over the light. "Shhh...I think they heard us." As they readied their weapons. The soldiers came nearer and nearer as the two men held their breath. There was silence for what seemed like an eternity, then as quickly as they had come the group began to turn around and leave, both men breathed a big sigh of relief. However, they were not out of the water yet, as the waves had just picked up clanging their boat against the much larger soviet ship, which immediately attracted the attention of the group. Only the deafening sound of the alarm saved them.

     Conrad's position had gone from bad to worse as several other automatic toting soldiers joined the first one and had him pinned behind a console that was a few meters away from his bag where his weapons where at. The soldiers began to close in when Conrad suddenly remembered he had a back-up weapon, a 9mm, strapped to his leg. He unstrapped it and readied it as the soldiers moved in, he stood up and with four quick shots he dropped all four of them. He collected himself went over to his bag and swapped his 9mm for a two HK-5's, his favorite. The trip back up to deck of the ship was a firefight, he used no less than 8 grenades and 5 clips, to clear rooms and corridors and some two dozen Russians. Things seemed to calm down as there were quite frankly hardly any Russians left to fight, at least in the ship.

*    *   *   *   *   *

"What's going on up there Paul?" "I don't know, sounds like a war up there." Franks responded as the sound of machine gun fire echoed throughout the night sky. The loud roar turned to silence. Had unthinkable happened? The horror of the thought shot through their heads. Meanwhile up on deck, a group of soldiers had congregated and there was a heated discussion amongst them. The door to the deck flung open and after a minute of continuous fire the group were now lying on the deck in a heap of blood and bullet shells.

"Come on Paul, let's get outta here." And just as the words left his mouth seemingly out of thin air Conrad's bag landed in the boat with a clang.
"According to my watch you should be 10 minutes closer to land. What the hell are you doing here?" Conrad asked from above.
"Sorry, sir, couldn't just leave you here." responded Franks. Conrad then lept off the deck and landed in the water with a splashed and moments later resurfaced and joined the other two men in the boat.
"Now where you two come in. I need you to shoot anything that moves so we can get home in one piece." The two men acknowledged as Conrad started the engine and began to motor off.

     Two smaller patrol boats had joined the chase of Conrad, joining the soviet dreadnought.
"Sir, I think that they're gaining on us." questioned Kawalski.
"Sir, were not going to out run them." Franks added. Conrad just ignored them and the two men went back to picking off soldier by soldier as shells splashed all around. The shells began to get closer and closer as the boat was being rocked by the waves they caused. "Sir.." Franks said panicky. Just then a huge explosion disintegrated the ship and cause the two ships next to it to catch fire and explode as well. "You were saying something?" Conrad said with a sneer. The chase ended as the boat disappeared in the fog and the soviets were now more concerned with saving lives than hunting the perpetrators.

*    *   *   *   *   *

"Harrison..Harrison." a junior officer said trying to wake up the Captain.
"Uh..What. I'm up. I'm up." Harrison said jumping from his nap with a crushing headache that stemmed from the bottle of whiskey that he had single handedly finished off the previous night.
"It's Washington, they want an update on the situation." Harrison starred and the phone for a moment and then hesitantly grabbed it.
"Yes, this is...uh...Harrison speaking." he stuttered into the phone.
"This is General Carville speaking. Where is Conrad, shouldn't he be there."
"Um..well that's kind of what I need to talk to you about, sir. Last night he um...was.." Just as he was going to spit you the bad news a bag landed on the desk where minutes earlier Harrison's head had been resting. Harrison's eyes followed the bag to a man and then to the man's face and then uttered a sigh of relief could have been heard from halfway around the world.
"What was that, I didn't quite get what you said?" Carville asked.
"Oh...nothing, sir. Just that Harrison had gone on a tour of Long Island and should be back any minute, sir." Harrison said making up a lie as quick as possible.
"Good, have him radio me as soon as he gets back. Carville out." Harrison gave the phone back to the officer that handed it to him.
"You look like you've seen a ghost, Harrison." Conrad asked.
"I thought you were a goner, sir."
"Ye of little faith. The operation went off with out some much as a snag, the Ruskies never knew we where there." Conrad lied.
"That's good to hear sir." Harrison then remembered something and grabbed an envelope from his jacket pocket and a lighter from his desk and set the envelope ablaze.
"What was that?" Conrad asked.
"Nothing...Nothing at all." Harrison replied.

» Chapter Seven

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