Countdown, Part Eight

Continued from Part Seven

Sitting on his bunk, Snyder swallowed the last bite of his grits.

Kendell looked down at her watch. “Only ten more minutes until my relief gets here.”

Where was Colonel Morgan? They didn’t have much time. 

The door opened.

Colonel Morgan entered with Colonel Dread walking behind him.

Snyder and Kendell stood at attention.

Dread said, “Sergeant, open the door.”

Kendell unlocked the cell. Snyder came out. Morgan asked, “What did you learn?”

“I’ve figured out who is behind end-game. Dr. Toyota Rawlings has surreptiti-ously set up a compound in the Lolo Na-tional Forest.”

Dread frowned. “Where? “

“That’s the problem. She blindfolded the builder and his crew. In his personal diary, he figured, based on how far they’d driven, they were in the Lolo National Forest, though not close to the main road.”

“Did you check satellite images?”

Snyder laughed. Incompetent had been an understatement. “Sir, to avoid causing the wild life undue stress at the thought of a man-made object being stationed in space above them, we can’t get close enough to the wilderness to get a decent shot of the terrorists hiding there. Best I can tell, the camp is within a five mile radius, somewhere deep within the forest.”

“I’ll talk to Colonel Briggs. He’ll locate and launch a full scale attack on the compound.”

A full scale war would definitely upset the wildlife and get them all court-martialed. “Sir, Dr. Rawlings prepared that place for a full scale onslaught. A response that’s too large will lead to us getting bogged down while she gets away, or sends her doomsday message by remote.”

“What would you suggest?”

“A small strike force. It’ll be harder for her to detect and easier to hide from the eco-nuts.” Donovan’s allegiance there was a serious flaw, but no hero could be perfect.

Morgan tapped his chin. “I believe four would be about right. I’ll have a copter ready in fifteen to take us to Missoula. You three, be there in full battle gear, including body armor.”

Dread cleared his throat. “Sir, I have important meeting and such a delicate situation necessitates an Army Intelligence operation and Army Intelligence choosing the personnel, and I would hardly think it appropriate—”

Morgan frowned. “If Army Intelli-gence had wanted to take the lead, you shouldn’t have had your head stuck in a rule book. We don’t have time for a bunch of briefings. Everyone here already under-stands what’s going on. I say that’s good enough. I’ll call Colonel Briggs, let ‘em know we’re coming. He’ll get us a good ve-hicle. Oh, and Snyder, I want the personnel files of everyone on this mission.”

Colonel Morgan headed upstairs with Colonel Dread.

Sergeant Kendell unlocked Snyder’s cell. “Is Morgan always like that?”

“Nah, from the reports I’ve read, he can get kind of pushy.”

Continued Next Thursday

Subscribe to Laser & Sword by Email to get the next part and all the rest of our free offerings delivered to you. To find out what happens sooner, visit theLaser and Sword Online store and download Issue 1 for free or purchase the Annual Editioncontaining 11 action packed stories