If you enjoy James Rollins, Jack DuBrul, or Andy McDermott, you’ll love this one!
May 22, 2012 – Kirtland Air Force base, New Mexico
As soon as they reached the door to the building General Jones saw that the Special Forces Security Team had everything under control. Troops were stationed at strategic positions with missile launchers and heavy machine guns. Others were no doubt hidden from the sight of the occupants of the airship.
As he stood in the doorway waiting for a sign from the airship, four more airships landed and settled in a row just beyond the first one. Communications had been scrambled so no advance warning was received about the airship or its occupants. The ships were all circular, adhering to the flying saucer description, about twenty yards wide and three yards in thickness.
An opening appeared in the aircraft and a short ramp extended to the asphalt of the parking lot. A man appeared wearing civilian clothing. Behind him another man followed, dressed in the camouflage uniform of a US Navy SEAL. General Jones watched as additional personnel exited the craft. The commander of the Security detachment talked briefly with the man in civilian attire then escorted him to where General Jones was standing.
“Lieutenant Colonel Chester Schmidt, US Army retired.” Chester saluted the general.
“Where in hell have you been Chester?” General Jones smiled, grabbing Chester’s hand instead of returning his salute. “We’ve been worried about you and the rest of Doctor Stiehl’s people. We were hoping like hell that you weren’t caught at McMurdo.’
“A long story sir.” Chester grinned and turned to SEAL Lieutenant Garnier. “Have the airships deploy to the areas around the base we selected.” Turning back to the General he continued. “With your permission General, we have some devices in each of those ships that will help to shield your Base complex from missile and artillery strikes.”
General Jones ordered the Special Forces Security Commander to assist Lieutenant Garnier then pointed the way inside the building. Chester and his Team followed him to a large conference room that was already overflowing with military command personnel.
General Jones went to the lectern and called the room to attention. “I would like to introduce Colonel Schmidt and the members of his Team. If you will be so kind as to give us a rundown on how things appear from your standpoint, we would certainly appreciate it.”
Chester went to the podium and replaced the General. He surveyed the sea of faces in the audience. He had never been much for public speaking, but he did have a lot of information that needed to be passed on.
“A little less than two months ago, my friend and old Special Forces Team Leader, Doctor Monday Stiehl, called me to see if I was interested in finding some hidden Nazi gold. I assembled a Team from our old unit and we flew to Germany. After finally solving the puzzle, we found the gold, but Doctor Stiehl’s fiancée was abducted by a mercenary leader, French Colonel Jean Dorbec, and taken to Argentina.”
Chester paused to collect his thoughts.
“While in Argentina, we learned that a world-wide organization called, The Brotherhood, was planning on replacing the world governments, using technology they received from a hidden advanced civilization called, the Arianni. We also discovered that Doctor Stiehl’s fiancée is the granddaughter of Adolph Hitler and she was eventually taken to a hidden Nazi base beneath Antarctica. The New Nazis also had a plan to move the Earth’s crust, using technology they stole from the Arianni after World War II. While he was in New Mexico, Doctor Stiehl called General Jones, our old Special Forces Commander, and appraised him of the situation. Doctor Stiehl’s brother, Huck, flew to Washington and went into detail with the General on everything that was known up to that time.
“Since then my Team and I have been back to the past to prevent an assassination plot on Jesus Christ. In the interim, the Nazis launched their Earth Crust Displacement program. We defeated The Brotherhood’s plan and we are now allied with the Arianni, whose ships we just landed in. We have learned that the Nazi machine that is causing the displacement is thirty miles beneath Antarctica and a team under General Dorbec will try to find and destroy it. Unfortunately, we have another problem. One of the Nazi mercenaries by the name of Mueller stole a Nazi time ship and returned to the World War II era. His plans are to make sure that Nazi Germany wins the war. Doctor Stiehl and another team will be going after him as soon as possible.”
“What about this advanced civilization, the Arianni?” General Jones asked. “Are they in a position to help us?”
“Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, they gave up killing thousands of years ago and are incapable of it now. The best they have to offer is some advanced technology, such as those ships and the defensive shield we have just placed around this base.”
“We’re blind here,” General Jones stated. “The US electronic warfare apparatus have disrupted all communications channels. We have no radio, satellite interfacing, or any other means of outside contact. We have no idea what is happening beyond this base.”
“The Geek can fix that General,” Chester replied. “He has the technology available to override those electronic countermeasures.”
“What have you heard Chester?” General Jones was using his name instead of his rank for a reason, most likely to show the other officers that he had complete personal confidence in Chester.
“You’re not gonna like it sir.” Chester shrugged and for the next few minutes described the attacks on Fort Hood, Whitman AFB, and the USS Stennis. “The rest of the military have been ordered to… take your rogue command out.”
General Jones glanced around the room at the shocked faces of his leaders. Many had friends at Fort Hood and Whitman AFB. “If we surrender, the Nazis have won,” he finally stated. “If we fight, many of you may die at the hands of your fellow Americans. Either way it’s a no win situation.”
Chester could see the general’s shoulders sagging. The old warrior had finally met a situation that was beyond his control, but his eyes remained bright and burned with intensity. He suddenly squared his shoulders and continued.
“You say Weps can override those electronic countermeasures?” He asked.
Chester nodded his head.
“You also say those airships have deployed a defensive shield around us?”
Chester nodded again.
“How long will the defensive shield hold?”
“If we only use them during an assault, they should stand up for several days, depending on the amount of energy needed to counter the assaults.”
“Ms. MacKenzy, nice to see you again.” The General abruptly changed the subject. “As soon as we get communications back I want you and whomever you choose to start pounding the media with everything you have. We must make them see the truth before it’s too late. In the meantime gentlemen, I suggest you prepare your commands for an invasion.”
General Jones motioned for Chester and his Team to remain in the briefing room along with his immediate staff. As soon as everyone cleared out, he talked to them in a quiet tone of voice.
“When communication has been reestablished, we will send one word to each identified member of the Brotherhood. That word is thunderbolt.”
They looked at him with puzzled expressions. Instead of answering, the General turned to a Special Forces Major standing to his left.
“Thunderbolt is a black ops,” the major, named O’Brien, answered. “We have previously informed these people to relinquish their leadership roles or they will be assassinated. We advised them that if they receive the one word message, thunderbolt, they have twelve hours to comply or a Special Forces team will find and kill them no matter where they are or how well protected they may be.”
“Can we do that?” Megan asked.
“Each person already has a team assigned to them and each team is already in place,” O’Brien replied. “The answer to your question is yes! Our Special Ops people are very good at what they do. Some may not live to appreciate their victory, but, they will do their jobs.”
“That will throw the country into chaos,” Chester stated.
The General shrugged and glanced at the Team. “The country is already in chaos, Chester. Those bastards have us at each other’s throats, and so long as those Brotherhood traitors are in positions of power, it can only get worse.”
Chester nodded his head in understanding. “Do you know where they are holding our families General?”
“We know exactly where they are but we have been reluctant to rescue them. We don’t relish the idea of killing fellow Americans who are simply doing their duty as they see it. Unfortunately, as soon as we send the message, thunderbolt, their lives may be forfeited. You have my permission to take your Team and see what you can do.”
Chester glanced into the sharp eyes of his one time mentor. His thoughts were in turmoil. He wanted to remain and assist in the defense of the base, but at the same time, everything he was striving to save was being held captive by the enemy.
“Major O’Brien here can give you the details on where they are and a layout of the area and building complex. We’ve had a team in place for over a week and you may also use them in planning your rescue attempt.”
“Thank you sir,” Chester replied. “I’ll take Oddball, Lieutenant Garnier, The Geek, and the four SEALS I brought with me and link up with that team. Ms. MacKenzy and Lt. Beartalker will remain here to assist.”Less than an hour later, The Geek had Arianni communications technology spliced into the command and control center. None of American electronic warfare jamming could penetrate or disable the system. The General now had complete access to all incoming information and could send outgoing communications. The system also prevented outside sources from eavesdropping on his internal or external communications by providing an impenetrable scrambler.
General Jones met Chester and his team at the ramp of the Arianni airship. “I’ll give you two hours to complete your mission Chester. After that I’m sending out the black ops message. We can’t afford to wait any longer. The sooner these people know we mean business, the sooner we can regain control of our country.”
Almost before the General completed his sentence, a staff messenger ran up and got his attention.
“We have incoming aircraft,” the young Lieutenant crisply stated. “Operations is certain they’re hostile. ETA fifteen minutes.”
“Tell Operations we will raise the defense shield in ten minutes,” General Jones replied. “In the meantime, while the shield is down, you better skedadle Chester.”
Chester started to salute the General, but the General reached for his hand instead. In less than four minutes, the Arianni air ship climbed to several hundred feet, then disappeared so rapidly General Jones was not certain if it was due to incredible speed or a time warp.
When he returned to his Operations Center it was fully manned and operational. All monitor screens were working and displayed scores of incoming aircraft coming toward the base from two directions. Another screen picked up attack helicopters flying at low level and coming in from a third direction. Ground radar indicated no movement of advancing armor or mechanized infantry.
“Gonna hit us with air strikes first,” Major O’Brien stated. “Looks like they really mean business. There are bombers coming in high from the West, fighters coming in from the North, and helicopters surging in from the East. We have a total of sixty-five bogies.”
“Any sign of long range artillery or cruise missiles?” General Jones asked, looking at the patterns of incoming aircraft.
“None indicated sir.”
“Shields up!” General Jones commanded. He glanced around the operations room. “If the shields don’t work, be prepared to head for the air shelters.” He looked at the Geek. “If the shields do work, what’s the scenario?”
“According to the museum curator, the dude who gave us these devices, any object trying to penetrate the shield will be absorbed. Any energy released, such as an explosion, will be absorbed and help to recharge the shield’s power.”
“Ariana’s dad,” the Geek smiled. “They don’t have a military and these weapons and other goodies come from their ancient history museums.”
General Jones rolled his eyes then returned his attention to the monitor screens.
“Sir!” a communications officer yelled. “Countermeasures are down and you have incoming traffic.”
“Put it on the speaker,” General Jones replied.
“This is Unites States Air Force Colonel Joe Kendricks, commanding the assault wing. Are you there Jones?” The Colonel had intentionally left off his rank.
“We’re here,” General Jones replied. “Coming to pay us a social call?”
“Jones, you have three minutes to surrender your rogue command. If you do not do so I have orders to commence bombing operations.”
“This is ‘General’ Jones. Your orders are unlawful Colonel. The person in the White House and the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs are traitors. They are affiliated with an organization whose sole purpose is to destroy our country. They are also working with the new Nazi regime, which just attacked Fort Hood, Whitman AFB, and the USS Stennis. My command is innocent of that assault. We have no plans to take over the government, we simply want to preserve it.”
“That is a no go General. I have my orders and they are from lawfully appointed sources.”
General Jones noticed that the Colonel had used his rank instead of simply his name. “I am concerned about collateral damage, Colonel. The City of Albuquerque lies along the northern and western boundaries of this base. No matter how good your pilots are, they may inadvertently strike civilian areas.’
“Last chance General,” Colonel Kendricks curtly replied.
“Save some ordnance for the real enemy,’ General Jones sighed. “God help us, we’re going to need it.’
“Your code word is green.” Colonel Kendricks addressed the assault force. Within seconds bombs were falling towards Kirtland Air Force Base. Wave after wave of bombers dropped their ordnance then moved out of the way for others to follow.”
Tactical Reconnaissance officer, Captain James Allen, made a low pass over the Base. “No damage Colonel,” he reported. “Our bombs are striking some kind of shield and desolving. Most have not even detonated and the few that did, the explosion was absorbed by the shield.”
Colonel Kendricks gave the command for the fighters to go in. Dozens of fighter planes roared over the target, dropped their ordnance, and quickly resumed their support positions among the flight wing. Once again, their bombs and missiles had no effect.
“No penetration Colonel,” Captain Allen again reported. “We can’t even see a shield or any obstruction. The only way we can tell something is there is a wide circular convex area about six miles across where the smoke fails to enter.”
Colonel Kendricks gave the command for the attack helicopters to engage.
“General Jones contacting Colonel Kendricks.” Kendricks was frustrated and did not want to answer. He finally decided it might be in his best interest. If his ordnance could not penetrate into the Base, perhaps General Jones’ counterattack could get out.
“I advise you not to send in the helicopters, Colonel. You’ve already seen that your ordnance has no effect against our defensive shield, what makes you think their ordnance will?”
“No good General.”
“We’ve been lucky so far,” General Jones stated. “There are no civilian casualties that we know of. Withdraw your assault before we’re both sorry. Who knows what may happen if one of your helicopters strikes the shield.”
“Continue the assault,’ Colonel Kendricks ordered.
Dozens of attack helicopters moved in and released their rockets. The rockets flew true and straight for the base. Shortly before they made their final dive, every one of them struck the shield and disintegrated. The advance wing of the helicopter assault force moved forward to close with the target. Within minutes, two helicopters hit the shield and exploded into fierce balls of fire.
“Pull back! Pull back!” Colonel Kendricks yelled, as another helicopter followed the first two and exploded. “Abort the mission,” he commanded.
“A wise choice Colonel,” General Jones answered. “The next time we meet I sincerely hope we are on the same team.’
He received no reply from Colonel Kendricks.
General Jones glanced around the noisy operations center, a huge grin on his face. He was elated, but saddened at the loss of three helicopter crews. “Round one goes to our team. We’ve got to do everything we can to make sure there is no round two.”