Â Â Â Â Â With such a bang the war got off for Conrad it very quickly turned into a war of boredom. After the repulsion of soviet forces near New York, Conrad's patchwork 4th Army, which consisted now of four armor divisions, five infantry divisions and two armored infantry divisions, had spent the last week dissecting Long Island for any thing else that could be of assistance. Conrad hadn't told anyone about the documents he stole"¦err found yet. He had planned to let everyone know at a meeting of the president and top brass, which now included himself, in Canada on a strategy to fight the Russians. The conference was scheduled to be a few days earlier, but because of the dire situation in Texas and California it had to be postponed because the commanders needed to be present at the battlefield.
"Well I'm off Harrison, sure you don't want to come along." Conrad asked picking up his bag and some folders.
"No, thanks, sir. I think im better off here, besides I don't like to ride in the jeep for long distances." Harrison replied.
"Suit yourself. We'll be back tomorrow around noon." Conrad saluted Harrison and then walked out the door of 4th Army HQ located a few miles outside of downtown New York City. Conrad had barely made it to his jeep when he heard a familiar voice.
"That wouldn't be Adrain Conrad wearing a uniform would it. I know he'd rather die that wear a BDU." After a moment of hesitation he turned around and saw someone he hadn't seen in some time, David Toms, Conrad and he used to be the best agents in Russia till Toms was reassigned in Turkey, primarily due to he and Conrad's tendency to cause "unnecessary trouble".
"David Toms ...I'll be dammed. I thought you were living the high life in Turkey?" Conrad finally spoke.
"I'll tell you White Bishop (White Bishop was Conrad's codename in Russia.) there are some unbelievably fine looking women in Istanbul. Why don't we ditch this war and we can go there today and never worry about anything ever again, sound good?" Toms asked.
"Oh only if I wasn't married." Conrad responded sarcastically.
"You were always a one woman man, why?" David asked. A smirk was Conrad's reply.
"I'm headed up to Canada to talk with the pencil pushers about this war. Wanna tag along, for old times sake I could use someone who actually knows something."
"I thought they banned us from working together."
"Who said anything about working together." Conrad responded with a wink.
"God damn. I love the way your mind works Ad. Okay, ill do it, but I get to drive, we have a lot to catch up on."
"I wouldn't have it any other way." Conrad then switching the conversation to his driver. "Driver!"
"Yes, sir" the driver responded.
"Your driving services will no longer be needed, report to Harrison, he'll give you something to do." Conrad informed the driver.
"But I was told to drive you the meeting." the driver pleaded.
"Well, now your staying here. Mr. Toms and I will be attending the meeting. If it makes you feel any better you can drive Harrison where ever he needs."
"Okay, sir. I'll see you tomorrow." They exchanged salutes and Conrad and Mr. Toms hopped into the jeep and they were just about to drive off when Mr. Toms noticed something.
"What the hell are those?" pointing to the stars on Conrad's shoulders.
"What is what?" Conrad playing dumb.
"Those stars, since when did you become one of them (as "one of them" he meant a pencil pushing bureaucrat)"
"Hey, don't get anything in your head I'm still the Conrad that you knew in Russia. Just I happen to have a couple of stars on my shoulders."
"We'll see." As they sped off to the north and a eight hour drive ahead.
* Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *
The eight hours it was supposedly to take to Canada, took just six, due to Mr. Tom driving on average 25 miles over the speed limit. They had been pulled over twice though, each time they waived their CIA badges and the cops magically dissapeared disappeared in the direction they came from. They arrived at their intended destination and having extra time they stopped for lunch.
"Do you have anything less...Turkish?" Conrad asked.
"What you don't like my clothes."
"You look like a Gypsy"
"You still have no taste in clothes Adrian. What do you suggest I wear?"
"I don't know a suit, a uniform, anything other than that."
"Lucky for you I happen to have this dead-lifeless monkey outfit." Mr. Toms disappeared for a few moments then reappeared wearing a black suit."
"Yes, now look at this. The whole goddamn soviet war plans complete with numbers and figures."
"Where did you get these, Adrian?"
"Those are courtesy of the Russian Navy."
"That was you last Thursday...Amazing, you are the Conrad I know."
"So, you heard about that?"
"That's the only thing that we've been talking about down in Norfolk. Three Russian ships, one of them the latest in soviet technology blown to pieces. News like that doesn't go unnoticed."
"The problem is that I need these clowns to think that they are legit, I can't tell them how I got them. I was hoping you could take care of that."
"So what's my story, Adrian?" Conrad paused for a moment as this question he had not thought about.
"Well you do work for naval intelligence don't you? So you could be the one that got them last Thursday and blown up the ships, as well.."
"Well I do some work for them, but mostly free-lance now, but I couldn't take credit for something you did Adrian."
"It's not up to you now is it? Besides this is more important that who blew up what. It's about winning this war."
"Dammit your right Adrian, your always right."
"Come on, lets get to the meeting." They then got up paid their bill and sped out of the parking lot to their destination a few short miles away.
* Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *
"I'd like to begin by thanking Generals Parker and Smith for making their long journey from California and Texas respectively and for their valor and courage against the Soviet attack." President Dugan began.
"Yes, congratulations for giving up all of Texas and California a most wonderful job." Conrad whispered to Mr. Toms who was seated next to him. It got a chuckle. As the meeting continued it was obvious that Conrad was merely a spectator as plans and strategy about the western and southern theaters were discussed. The meeting continued on and on and on for nearly two hours with out so much of a word uttered about Conrad's situation as most of the brass with the exception of Carville who was not present know nothing about Conrad except that his name was on the attendance list. Mr. Toms had fallen asleep, but very inconspicuously, and been that way for almost twenty minutes and Conrad was on the verge of sleeping having been in the same position with holding up his head for nearly forty minutes.
"Well thank you all for coming, Godspeed on your return and good hunting. I have to get back to Washington, where my presence is needed to keep some semblance of order." Dugan concluded the meeting.
"I must protest, Mr. President." Conrad said standing up as everyone was preparing to leave. Mr. Toms woke up trying to make it seem as he had been paying attention the whole time.
"And who exactly are you?" the President responded.
"General Conrad, sir. 4th Army Commander, New York."
"Oh, yes the colonel from the CIA. What is it." the President treated him like an inferior as Conrad was the only general promoted on the Russian invasion that got his own army, the others were assigned either to Parker's California 8th Army or Smith's 1st Army now in southern Oklahoma.
"I think it best that you not go back to Washington, sir?"
"Please, General the war is far away from there, the threat is very minimal." Dugan responded almost laughing.
"That's where your wrong, sir. I have recently acquired soviet war plans that locate Washington as the next soviet target, also from the same documents they give exact troop and targets for their upcoming offensives.
"And do you have these documents or are they illusions? and if so how exactly did you get them? I doubt the soviets would be handing out their war plans to the enemy."
"That's where my associate Mr. Toms, Naval Intelligence, will explain everything." He then motioned for Toms to pass around the original documents along with their English translations.
"Sir, with all due respect I must be getting back my army. We are fighting a war unlike some people." Parker stood up, taking a cheap shot at Conrad.
"Well maybe if you didn't bitch about how few divisions you have under your command for the past hour I would be done by now. Besides a lieutenant can order people to retreat. It doesn't take a general to do that." The room was on the verge of explosion, Conrad the newcomer versus the Parker and the old-boys club which for the exception of Toms and Conrad everyone was a member of.
"Please, may I continue?" Toms interjected. And hesitantly Dugan granted him fifteen minutes for his presentation and Parker reluctantly sat down and for the duration of the presentation some ten minutes Parker checked his watch no less than twenty times. After Toms was done, Parker flew out of the room as fast as he could barely taking enough time for protocol. Conrad then asked permission to position his army as to be able to intercept it on its path to Washington, he was denied, the reason being that the content of the information was not deemed creditable enough to take a risk. The meeting then was officially concluded and every one went their separate ways. However, Conrad caught up to General Smith before he got to his staff car.
"What is it Conrad."
"Gen. Smith, I think it to be in your best interests to act on this information." Smith was the more receptive and open to Conrad's findings and Conrad hoped he could get him to listen.
"You heard what the President said"
"He wouldn't know the difference between a tank and a plane. This stuff is legit, Mr. Toms I trust with my life, I know him this is real."
"I'm sorry. I can't."
"Just take the damn folder and use it and if I'm right, then I'm right and if I'm wrong you can tell Parker how horrible and I am and I'll be ruined for ever." Smith thought about Conrad's proposition for a minute.
"Alright, I'll look at it and then make my decision."
"Thanks, your doing the right thing." The saluted each other and went their separate ways. Conrad met back up with Toms at his jeep.
"So how'd it go, Adrian?" Toms asked.
"I think I convinced Smith to act on it."
"What about Washington?"
"Ah...they can kiss my ass. Besides, since when have I been one to follow orders? And what they don't know won't hurt them." Conrad replied with a wink. "Come on let's blow this joint." And so they got back in their jeep and headed back to New York and the 4th Army.