At the hospital where Timoka was supposedly healing, a small Special Forces division, infiltrated the hospital and liberated the Russian general from his recovery. He was quickly escorted out the window and to a nearby jeep where he was taken to CIA safe house in West Virginia, there Conrad was waiting. "Well General, we have held up our end of the bargain, it is time for you to honor yours." Conrad began. "Of course. I don't know the specifics; however, I do know that Vladimir plans to hit Chicago next, using St. Louis as a launching point." Timoka said. "That's not likely considering that St. Louis is firmly in our hands, from where the Soviets are positioned now Kansas City seems the more logical avenue." Conrad replied. "Yes, it would seem that way, but two new Soviet armies are coming on-line in Mexico and should be in the field in the next week or so." "But, what about St. Louis. It would take a week to build enough supplies to launch against Chicago." "That won't be necessary, General, the Soviets have all the supplies they need in St. Louis already. American supplies that is." "Why would we just give our stuff to the Reds?" "How did we attack you with so much surprise? Its a toy we are calling the Psychic Beacon. It controls the minds of all people in the afflicted area. The St. Louis Psychic Beacon was built before the war in secret. They are only waiting for the right time to activate it." Conrad knew all about the Russians psychic experiments due to his in the Kremlin, but was shocked at its progress. Still he tried to conceal his knowledge of it. "So, you want me to believe that a mind-control device is ready to take over the minds of our forces in St. Louis in order to launch an attack on Chicago?" "Da, Comrade." Conrad played the actor perfectly, shaking his head as if trying to swallow what he had just heard and after a few moments of pondering he finally spoke. "I can't guarantee you anything, but I'll look into it." Conrad said hesitantly and then began to walk out the door. "One more thing, General. I have heard rumors that there is a portable nuclear warhead in Vladimir's possession, however, I regret that I was unable to confirm this and don't know what he'd use it for." Conrad acknowledged it and turned again for the door. "General, where am I to go now?" "Oh yeah. I hope you don't mind collection weather data in Greenland." Conrad said as an after thought. "Of course not, it should be just like home...cold." Timoka said a bit disappointed, but still satisfied.
* Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *Â Â Â *
"There you are, sir. I've been looking all over for you." Harrison said in relief as Conrad entered 4th Army HQ in Baltimore from his excursion to West Virginia.
"What do you mean, Harrison?" Conrad asked.
"You're supposed to be down at the Baltimore Pier right about...now for some sort of ceremony." Harrison replied.
"Ceremony? I know nothing of this."
"Well apparently it was thrown together at the last minute. All I know is that you are supposed to be there and in your class-A."
"Ahh...too bad, my class-A's are still in New York. I guess I'll have to go like this, I always enjoy bringing the dress code down a notch anyways."
"Sorry, sir. They arrived last night after you left." Conrad just glazed at Harrison and then proceeded to get changed.
After taking less than five minutes to change, Conrad was in his jeep and on his way to the "ceremony" or whatever it was. He arrived late, as was usual for him, and the festivities had already begun. Apparently the President was giving some sort of motivational speech as Conrad was getting out of his jeep and approaching the seating area, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible.
"Ah there he is." The President said stopping his speech.
Shit. Conrad thought he hated being made a spectacle of and he was now the focal point of attention. "Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce the newest Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army...General Adrian Conrad." Conrad was stunned, moments earlier he thought he'd be punished, however, it was quite the opposite...a promotion. Conrad acknowledged the crowd then made his way up to where the President was standing, taking his set of two stars off on the way. Conrad saluted the President, shook his hand and then the President pinned six stars on him, three on each shoulder. Conrad smiled towards the crowd then gave a short two minute impromptu speech. At the conclusion of his speech he informed the crowd that he had important business to attend to and wouldn't be able to stay, much to the crowd's dismay. He retired to his jeep that now adorned a pair of flags with three stars, instead of two.
Conrad entered 4th Army HQ receiving a wide array of congratulations from the staff on his promotion, his staff had actually known about it and did a good job keeping from the general, as he had no idea about it. After a few minutes of polite thanking Conrad managed to slip into the sanctity of his office. "Quite a disappearing act, General. Your desk looks pretty clean for someone who had a lot of work to do." A familiar voice said from behind his chair. "I'm not in this war to enhance my political status, because I have no political status to enhance." Conrad replied annoyed. "But, you didn't come here to lecture me on that did you, Helmsy?" "What happened to 'Sir'?" Helmsy asked. "If my knowledge of rank is up to par, I do believe that I now out rank you." Conrad replied. "That you do, however, I still am your superior." "When I'm working for the CIA. Yes, you are however, I am working for the Army now." "That's what I am here to talk about." Conrad's ears perked up. "I think you know what I'm talking about, don't you?" "Bear Trap!" "Quite right. We've decided that our position is manageable enough to demobilize 4th Army and begin shipping it over to Germany. But before we can do that we must complete Bear Trap first." "Well when do I leave?" "We're having you go to Montreal for a staff meeting, then were going to send you on the first plane to London, where you'll receive the mission details." "What about my mission?" "For security purposes, we haven't informed our European allies yet, in fact the only people who know about it are those directly involved. Your assignment is over there on your desk, and I assume you remember how to properly dispose of that when you are done, correct?" "Sure thing." Conrad replied picking up and reading the file. "So, what do you think, Conrad?" After a moment of scanning Conrad spoke: "Yleana, I want Yleana." "You know that's not possible. She's our best link into the Red's upper command, we can't risk losing that." Helmsy replied. "Either, we both go or I don't go at all." "We just don't have to time to get the proper papers." "Bullshit, it doesn't have to be anything fancy we have plenty of access to Russian papers and over a week to get them ready. I have to have someone I can trust and I can think of no other person." "Aren't you worried she'll shoot you in the back?" Conrad hesitated before responding. "That was a long time ago, and besides she's a professional. It won't be an issue. I doubt she even remembers me." "If you say so." Helmsy conceeded. "I'll make the necessary arrangements and pack your bags you'll leave tomorrow morning at 0600." "One more thing. Did you get my latest intel?" "Conrad, how you manage to get your slimy hands on what you do, will never cease to amaze me. I'll make sure it gets put to good use." "See you in Europe, Helmsy." Conrad said as Helmsy was about to leave.