Here then are some more chapters from my new International Thriller...Murmansk! Hope you enjoy this week's offering! New posts every Friday!
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Murmansk is part of The Adventures Of Gabriel Celtic series.
Leaning to the side, she could just make out Perthra’s rune attached to it, right above where the baby’s head would soon be.
December 18, 2000
Patrick McGruder had convinced me of the viability of his theory…mostly. At least it was a place to start.
And it was the most we have had to work with since Ya Su had been taken!
Cringing at the thought, I elected to awaken Abby, knowing she would want to get started right away on any theory.
Thankfully, her short time asleep had seemed to energize her beyond what I had thought possible. Reaching forward, she had pulled her cup of coffee toward her as she listened to McGruder once again explain his theory.
Her eyes then lit up as she recognized the possibilities, a small smile forming on her lips.
“So their location must be close to
Stockholm!” she exclaimed.
“That would be my theory,” McGruder nodded, “No more than fifty miles in my estimation.”
“We need a map,” she stated suddenly, rolling toward the computer on her chair. McGruder quickly moved aside as Abby slid in front of the keyboard.
“I’ll start waking everybody up,” I mentioned as I rose from the table.
“One more thing,” Abby said as her eyes rose to meet mine, a true smile now on her lips.
“We’re gonna need a shitload of coffee!”
A half hour later, the conference room resembled a war room from a WWII movie.
Abby had been busily creating a map of our target area around
Stockholm out of multiple sheets of paper, taping them to the wall one at a time as they came off the printer.
Josh had taken the seat next to Abby, looking tired from his shift at guard duty but also exhibiting a noticeable spark in his eyes as he watched Abby’s determined preparations.
McGruder and Beth Montoya were at one end of the conference table discussing something, while May and Raven sat quietly beside them on the side of the table, sipping their coffee and listening to the conversation. Preacher had taken over guard duty. He said he would pop in when he finished his first round…after he barricaded the doors to slow anyone down that might show up during or strategy session. Snake had gone with him to speed up the process.
Up to this point, it had been my job to rouse everybody awake and to keep the coffee flowing…a job I was quite capable at.
Refilling everybody’s cups once more, I had made yet another pot of coffee before taking my own cup into the room and sitting down beside May.
Her hand immediately found mine under the table, squeezing it while glancing at me with twinkling eyes.
Everywhere in the room that I looked I could see excitement building, an emotion that had been severely lacking up to this point.
Abby had just finished creating a circle around
Stockholm on the map with a pencil and string. Stepping back, she took in her work with satisfaction before turning to face the rest of us.
“Ok,” she started, “Is everyone up to speed on our current theory?”
Noticing Snake and Preacher enter the room and take their seats, I thought it might be a good idea to go over it one more time with everyone in the room at the same time.
“Why don’t we repeat it once more so everyone hears the same version?”
Patrick volunteered to repeat it, and for the next five minutes everyone in the room quietly listened as point by point, he again spelled out his theory…ending with the thought that the real meeting would probably be elsewhere…hopefully within our fifty mile limit.
When he was done, all eyes turned toward the map…which was then followed by absolute silence!
I think the same realization hit us all at once…
How in the hell were we supposed to gain access to a conclave of world leaders?
“How the hell are we supposed to get into this shindig,” I finally voiced the question on everyone’s tongues.
“Patrick and I were discussing that a few minutes ago,” Beth Montoya offered. “We believe that we could get one or two people in as part of the press corps.”
“I have some contacts that could easily get us valid-looking press passes,” McGruder offered, “Although they would probably have to be configured to represent a news outlet from a third world country.”
Vietnam?” Abby asked with a grin, “I might be able to pull that off.”
Snickers were heard around the table before I proffered the next question.
“What about passports?”
Silence followed my question before I spoke again. “They took Preacher’s and mine,” I continued, “And probably Abby’s as well.”
Abby nodded in reply.
“We’re probably all on various watch lists by this time anyway,” I added, “At least Noon and the Brotherhood know of our existence.”
“We were tracked when we entered the country too,” Snake added quickly, “But I was never sure if it was just my past catching up with me or some other reason.”
“I think we can safely assume that by now our movements are being monitored by the Brotherhood…at least any that involves showing our identification such as flying or crossing international borders.”
“I think we’re safe here at least,” Snake proffered then, “I’m not sure how they would be able to find us here…not easily anyway.”
“Unfortunately, here ain’t where we need to be,” Preacher added somewhat sourly.
“I’ll get working on obtaining new passports for everyone,” McGruder finally responded, “And a press pass for Abby at least.”
“Put me on that list too Patrick,” Beth added seriously, “I probably have more covert experience than anyone here.”
No one challenged her assertion.
“Done,” McGruder nodded. “Quality papers quickly done will be a challenge though. I’d better get started on it right away.”
That said, Patrick turned to leave the room, pushing off with his crutches while pulling a cell phone out of his pocket as he moved.
“Assuming we can all get to
Sweden,” I started, “And that Abby and Beth can get in to the summit as reporters…that still leaves us with a lot of things to consider in my mind.”
“Like how to follow them when and if they leave,” Abby replied with a nod, turning once again to face the map.”
“And how do we break in to a secret hideout full of presidents and potentates?” Snake questioned.
“We don’t,” Preacher responded quickly, “We wait until they leave. It’d be crazy to try and infiltrate someplace with that amount of security in place.”
Abby gasped, causing everyone to turn toward her.
“That would mean we would need to wait another day or two to save Ya Su.”
The pain in her voice caused every person in the room to squirm.
“But how could we find the location before the meeting?” Raven asked quietly, “It’s apparently been a secret for centuries.”
“Nothing is ever completely secret,” May added suddenly. “Someone has seen it…or been there before for some odd reason…an electrician or a plumber. They have phone lines going in and out for communication…someone has to work on them.”
“And people talk,” she added knowingly. “Even those sworn to secrecy. A word here or there over a drink, a discussion on a web site concerning conspiracy theories…”
Abby looked sadly at the computer. “That’s going to take a lot of time on the internet…and we only have this one computer. It’d take six to eight hours to get to
Murmansk and back to buy some more.”
“Then we get more locally,” Snake responded suddenly, turning toward Raven and May. “You remember the hotel in Pechenga? They had four or five computers off of one end of the lobby!”
“You think they’d sell us some of them?” I asked.
“I think we could ask nicely,” he responded as one side of his mouth curled up in a demented smile, “and then we steal them if they don’t.”
Sometimes the almost constant darkness of the arctic was advantageous.
Two hours later, Snake and Raven entered the hotel arm-in-arm from the dark parking lot and walked briskly toward the counter.
The single board attendant at the counter barely looked up when they entered.
“We’d like to buy your computers,” Snake said suddenly in Russian.
The dark-haired girl behind the counter finally raised her head at these words, surprise showing on her face.
“I’m sorry sir,” she responded with a fake smile, “I am relatively sure that the owner would not agree to sell them. They are brand new…and we waited several months to get them here.”
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist,” Raven replied in English, a gracious smile on her lips as she pulled out an automatic pistol, “We’re in a bit of a hurry.”
As Snake laid a pile of cash on the counter, three other people entered the lobby behind them and headed for the computers.
“You got this?” Snake asked as he turned to help the others gather the equipment.
“We’re fine here honey,” Raven replied, smiling as she looked at her watch.
“One minute!” she called out so that the others could also hear.
Snake rushed across the lobby, joining Josh, Preacher and Abby in unplugging the desktop units and stacking them on a two wheeled cart that Josh had rolled in. Once the processors were all on the cart, they stacked one of the monitors on top of them before Josh started toward the door while the rest of them each picked up one of the heavy screens and followed him out.
Backing away from the counter, Raven waved at the girl before holstering the gun and turning toward the door.
More afraid of losing her job than getting shot, the girl picked up her cell phone after a few moments and made her way toward the front door.
Stepping outside, she started dialing in the number for the local police as a taxi cab squealed out of the lot and quickly sped off on the motorway.
Ten minutes later, we slowly approached the flashing lights of the police car ahead.
As we drove by the car that the police had pulled over, Nick looked over at us with a huge grin from where he had been pushed to the hood of his car by the police.
I couldn’t help but smile back as we passed. Good Old Nick had immediately volunteered to be our diversion when I had called him.
“More spy shit is good!” he had exclaimed happily.
Because he knew he would be searched, he didn’t want to be carrying the offered cash with him, so we had agreed to transferring money into his bank account instead.
“He seems like a good man to know,” Snake observed as we passed.
“The best!” I agreed. “He’ll keep the police busy for quite awhile with his antics.”
“Maybe we should take him along when we head to
Sweden,” Snake continued thoughtfully, “We’ll probably need a good diversion or two there too.”
For the next several minutes…I gave his suggestion some serious thought.
December 19, 2000
Within an hour of returning to the warehouse, Abby had all five of the new computers set up and connected to the outside world.
Surprised that she could get them all connected to the internet, she explained that the warehouse had what we in the
US called a T-1 line, and that she had also stolen something called a hub or a switch or something along with the computers.
I nodded dumbly and smiled. The internet and its workings were a complete mystery to me, and would probably stay that way for the rest of my life. I was just glad that Abby had something to focus on.
It was decided that each computer operator would concentrate on a singular search parameter, exploring that to the fullest while everybody else concentrated on a different one.
“I’ll look into any conspiracy theories concerning the G8 conference,” McGruder started as he re-entered the room, his braces clicking as he moved. “I’m sure I’m not the only one that has noticed the strange circumstances surrounding this meeting.”
“By the way,” he added after taking a seat in front of one of the terminals, “There will be a photographer here in the next hour to collect pictures for the passports and such.”
Glancing around the room, McGruder looked each and every one of us over before speaking again. “Not to sound overly critical, but pretty much all of us could probably use a shower before then.”
“Oh God, I’ll start,” Raven replied immediately. “I feel like it’s been a week since I’ve even brushed my teeth!”
Beth, who had been observing the group while McGruder spoke, offered some additional pointers.
“Ladies, pull your hair back in a pony tail for the picture, and don’t wear any makeup. Everybody needs to exhibit a neutral look on their faces…not mad, not happy. If we do later need to hide, a smile is an excellent bit of camouflage when someone isn’t looking for it. Add puffing up your hair and a pair of sunglasses and no one that has seen your passport photo would recognize you.
Everybody nodded with understanding before Raven made her way to the only bathroom.
“Good ideas Beth,” Abby said as she picked up a marker and wrote G8 Conference on the wall. Below that she wrote:
“What other search parameters should we be looking for?” she asked the room then, “We need three more.”
“How about secret organizations,” May responded quickly, “Or Secret societies?
“Famous conspiracy theories,” Snake spoke up then, “I’ll take that one if you don’t mind.”
“Awesome!” Abby responded while adding to the list:
Famous Conspiracy Theories
“We need one more,” Abby stated while staring at the list. Turning to face the room, she raised her eyebrows questioningly, “Anybody?”
“World Domination,” Preacher spoke quietly from the corner of the room.
All eyes turned toward his voice, a frigidness seeming to have entered the room.
Nodding finally, Abby turned around and quietly added the final search parameter:
December 19, 2000
Noon had been able to keep Severus “busy” for a couple of hours.
Her excitement at the possibility of entering the Clan had brought out all of Noon’s accumulated sexual secrets…forcing her lover to finally, and regrettably, plead for his own surrender.
Still edgy from her own unrequited lust, she nevertheless agreed to awaken him in a few hours for a scheduled meeting before hurriedly leaving the room.
She felt like a Cheetah in heat as she wandered the halls, looking for someone or something to quench the lust that now reeled through her.
It wasn’t that she was worried about using another man to help curb her pent-up sexual frustration; commitment to a single man was not in her psychological makeup.
But self preservation was, and the walls had eyes in this place. She doubted that she could bed another man without Severus finding out about it.
And within Severus, was the key to her future!
Pinching her leg through her robe in an attempt to focus on something else, her eyes suddenly locked on to a set of ancient, double doors with Die Bruderschaft’s rune carved into them.
Still edgy and past caring what anyone would think, Noon walked determinedly toward the doors and pulled them open, entering the sacred meeting room of the Clan.
Stopping within, she let her eyes acclimate to the nearly dark chambers before moving forward through the entry portal. Entering the main room, Noon moved to the center of the room before stopping and closing her eyes. Breathing deeply, she could almost feel the power emanating from within the room.
Opening her eyes again, she started turning slowly, taking in the whole of the chambers.
The portal entry was on one end of the room, spilling out into a massive space. At least twenty five meters long and half that wide, there were Romanesque marble columns every few meters around the whole of the room reaching to the high ceiling.
Between each column was a chair, six to a side, with an additional one on the far end.
Noon smiled at her mind’s description, for they were more like thrones than mere chairs. High-backed and clad in gold, each one featured a colorful cushion with ample padding for the aged members’ bony asses. Walking to the nearest one, Noon laid her hand on the cushion, letting her fingers caress the soft, brocade material.
Noting that each chair’s upholstery was a different color, she decided that they must be the color associated with each individual clan. As if confirming this, her eyes moved up the high, straight back of the throne in front of her, coming to rest on an individual rune. Glancing down the room, she confirmed that each one had a different rune on their respective, ornate tops.
Reverently pulling back her hand, she turned and walked to the end of the chamber until she stood in front of Severus’ chair. Standing still for a few moments, she then turned and sat on the throne, electricity moving up her spine as she came to rest on the cushion.
Closing her eyes, she leaned back into the throne, amazed to find it quite comfortable.
“I could get used to this,” she proclaimed in a whisper as she once again opened her eyes. Noticing something out of the corner of her vision, she moved her head to her left and stared at what sat next to Severus’ throne.
“So the little bitch will soon find her place next to Severus,” she hissed quietly.
Was she too to be invited to the meeting?
Anger built within her until, in her mind the baby was suddenly wriggling within the bassinet.
Leaning back once again, she closed her eyes and thought of the baby laying next to her, the ancient clan members huddling around the bed, trying to get a glimpse of her.
Pawing at her with their arthritis-stricken hands.
Cooing over her like a bunch of retarded children.
Next she felt the cool hilt of the knife in her hand, the familiar sound as it slipped out of its oiled sheath.
Raising her hand into the air, the Clan members parted in fear at her approach. Standing over the infant, she sneered at the false goddess that the imbeciles had created before plunging the knife deftly toward her chest.
As the point of the knife entered, Severus entered her!
Shocked, Noon opened her eyes, finding that her hand was not on the hilt of the knife as she had imagined, but instead in the folds of cloth between her legs.
Closing her eyes again slowly, she moaned as she slid farther down in the chair, giving Severus unfettered access to her as he determinedly took her on his own throne.
Screams of ecstasy soon filled the room, and with each outburst Noon’s frustrations melted further away.
Copyright 2015 J.T. Lewis
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