Deep Cover - Brian Garfield - ebook

Deep Cover ebook

Brian Garfield

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Opis

A Soviet spymaster launches an audacious plan against the American Military. The KGB calls it Amergrad. Buried deep in Siberia, just a few hundred miles from the Chinese border, it's the most tightly guarded secret in the Soviet Union. Away from the frigid tundra, behind wall after wall of barbed-wire fence, is a perfectly ordinary small American city. It has gas stations, diners, movie theaters, and more cars than all of Leningrad. The residents speak English at all times, observing every custom of American life until it becomes second nature. When they graduate, they move to Tucson. Two decades later, Tucson is the center of the American military-industrial complex, and graduates of Amergrad are in positions of power at every level. These perfect Soviet spies hold the keys to the American nuclear array, and their mission is about to begin.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Epilogue

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

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About the Book

A Soviet spymaster launches an audacious plan against the American Military.

The KGB calls it Amergrad. Buried deep in Siberia, just a few hundred miles from the Chinese border, it’s the most tightly guarded secret in the Soviet Union. Away from the frigid tundra, behind wall after wall of barbed-wire fence, is a perfectly ordinary small American city. It has gas stations, diners, movie theaters, and more cars than all of Leningrad. The residents speak English at all times, observing every custom of American life until it becomes second nature. When they graduate, they move to Tucson.

Two decades later, Tucson is the center of the American military-industrial complex, and graduates of Amergrad are in positions of power at every level. These perfect Soviet spies hold the keys to the American nuclear array, and their mission is about to begin.

About the Author

The author of more than seventy books, Brian Garfield (b. 1939) is one of the country’s most prolific writes of thrillers, westerns and other genre fiction. Raised in Arizona, Garfield found success at an early age, publishing his first novel when he was only eighteen. After time in the Army, a few years touring with a jazz band, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona, he settled into writing full time.

Deep Cover

Brian Garfield

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2011 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1971 by Brian Garfield

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Mumtaz Mustafa

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-089-2

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

For Shan and Z M

Man is a pliable animal, a being who getsaccustomed to everything.

FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKYThe House of the Dead

War is such a terrible, such an atrocious, thing,that no man has the right to assumethe responsibility of beginning it.

LEO TOLSTOYWar and Peace

And nothing can we call our own but death;And that small model of the barren earth,Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground,And tell sad stories of the death of kings.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEAREKing Richard II

Prologue

September 1954

The file on Viktor Rykov was open on the desk and Yashin did not look up from it when Grigorenko came in. The general entered the office with outstretched arms and the grumbling voice of a Russian bear: “Comrade Secretary—always a pleasure to see you,” and Yashin let him stand there with his hands out over the desk. Finally he looked up and the smile on Grigorenko’s face had gone rigid, so that it no longer concealed the deceit of his courteous greeting.

Yashin removed his rimless glasses. “Be seated, General.” His pointing arm was serpentine. Behind the pane at his right a summer drizzle misted the turreted onions of St. Basil’s and the heavy towers of the Kremlin. Yashin reached for the cord and drew the blind. “Well then, Oleg.”

Grigorenko waited politely.

“It appears Rykov has a plan to offset the American superiority in strategic weapons.”

“Rykov always has a plan,” the general said.

“You don’t trust him, do you?”

“Not always.”

Yashin said, “He insists he knows precisely how many years ahead of us the Americans are in long-range bombers and guided missiles and nuclear capacity. I forget his exact figures.”

“Is Rykov a scientist now?”

The lamps pushed at the gloom without dispelling it. The siren of an emergency vehicle brayed faintly from some indeterminate direction and Yashin watched the general’s broad face. A year ago Lavrenti Beria had been executed, and Grigorenko had expected to get Beria’s job, but Marshal Zhukov had blocked him and Grigorenko was still Second Secretary, GRU (Air).

Yashin said, “Your wife is well?”

“Oh yes. Thank you.”

“Your sons in the Air Forces?”

“Both very fit. Igor is in China, training pilots.”

“Yes, I know.” Yashin liked to change the subject swiftly and see how neatly balance was regained: “Rykov’s newest scheme has come to the attention of Nikita Khrushchev. Without the express endorsement of Rykov’s immediate superiors.” He watched the general shift mental gears.

“Rykov would have ways of doing that,” the general said.

“Evidently Secretary Khrushchev approves. I understand they’ve cleared Rykov to proceed with his scheme.”

“What about Comrade Malenkov?”

“I think as time goes on it won’t matter what Malenkov thinks,” Yashin said.

“… I see.”

“Rykov has hundreds of people in training.”

“I know how his programs work. It’s the pattern of his old China scheme. What is it this time, Japan?”

“America.” Yashin watched the general absorb it. “Rykov’s whimsy is to call his training camp Amergrad.” His praying-mantis body curled over the desk. “That’s what Rykov wants to do—another deep-cover scheme.”

“His schemes have worked before, you know.”

“Never on this scale.”

Grigorenko looked uncomfortable. “It hasn’t been tried on this scale. Hundreds of people, you said.”

“You’re defending the man?”

“I don’t trust him. I said that. But you must admire his successes. He made it work in China.”

“He used Chinese agents. Born in China. He has no American-born agents for this one—where would he get them?”

Grigorenko spoke reluctantly. “Rykov is thorough. I’ve never faulted his attention to security.”

“He’s persuaded Khrushchev he can account for every detail. But what of it? Hundreds of men and women party to the secret—any one of them can destroy it.”

“I’d need to know more about it,” Grigorenko said. “One must assume he’s screened all of them exhaustively.”

Yashin was patient. “Rykov would have us all believe he knows as much about strategy as Clausewitz. What do you think will happen if he’s left alone to his Machiavellian intriguing?”

“I suppose the risk is high.”

“Indeed.” Yashin reached for his meerschaum; he did not light it. “Dangerous to the Party and dangerous to Mother Russia, n’est-ce pas?”

“Quite possibly so, Comrade.”

Yashin pushed the Rykov file across the desk. “He’s arrogant. He’s convinced he has the only way of doing things. You worked with him against the Germans early in the war—more than once you disagreed with him on tactics; you were superior to him both in rank and in the chain of command but every time there was a dispute Rykov managed to get the ear of someone with the authority to force you to go along with Rykov. More than once his schemes failed, but he was never reprimanded—he has a talent for covering his tracks, he always has a sacrificial goat nearby to take the blame.” The pipe lifted like a pistol. “But this time if he fails we all suffer and if he succeeds it could undermine your position and mine as well.”

“Could it?”

The general had to be played with care. “If the Politburo keeps digging holes in our funds so they can finance Rykov’s expensive schemes, our performance will suffer and of course Rykov will be able to suggest that our responsibilities be combined under his command.”

The general answered slowly. “I suppose that could be the case.”

Then Yashin brought out his heavy artillery: “You know of course that it was Rykov who blocked your hopes to take Beria’s place.” And watched the general’s face change.

When the Zis limousine stopped at the platform Viktor Rykov leaned forward in the back seat to bring the depot clock into view.

From the end-of-track station the rails glittered along the south Russian steppes toward Dzhezkazghan. The weather-beaten building might have been an isolated Siberian Railway stop. Southeast, two thousand kilometers across the Kirghiz, lay China: six hundred years ago Genghiz Khan’s Mongols had drummed across these steppes, invading without warning, and one day the new Mongols of Mao’s China might attempt it again.

The woman in gray uniform got out from behind the wheel and came round to open his door. Viktor Rykov’s boots crunched the cinders as he dismounted and went up the wooden steps. His eyes swept the platform quickly. Two soldiers marched sentry paths, rifles across their shoulders; no one else was in sight except the dispatcher in his window by the turnstile.

The advancing train was less than a kilometer away and Rykov could feel its rumble through the soles of his boots. A long plume of coal smoke trailed back from the engine.

Andrei Bizenkev spoke behind him and Rykov turned with a quick snap of his thick shoulders. Andrei had emerged from the dispatcher’s office. His face was young, Slavic-broad. “I was afraid you’d be late.”

“A flock of goats on the road. There are always delays in this rancid country.”

The troop lorry came rutting down the road and stopped by the platform a hundred meters away. The driver got out on the running board and straightened his cap and waited without moving. Andrei turned to Rykov: “I’d like to bundle the bastards right back on the train and send them back with boot prints on their asses.”

“They haven’t destroyed me yet. They’ve tried before.” Rykov spoke Russian with a strong Georgian accent. He was a superb linguist; he had a colloquial command of eight languages and his thick harsh Russian was deliberate, a reminder of roots necessary to a man made rootless by history. Stalin’s accent.

“Andrei.”

“Yes?”

“We don’t want our guests denouncing us for lax discipline. Observe the proper formalities of address with me while they’re here.”

“Da, Tovarich.” The crooked smile of complicity did not fit quite right on the wide young face.

The train slid in with a hissing scrape of brake shoes. The engine driver had been briefed: normally the train would stop its goods wagons nearest the platform, leaving the passengers to walk a hundred meters on cinders, but today the first-class carriage halted directly opposite the station turnstile. Andrei straightened his tunic, and Rykov watched the carriage doors swing open and decant a handful of soldiers who ranged themselves along the platform. A young Red Army ensign walked around very stiffly barking commands at them, and Andrei said peevishly, “The whole absurd performance is guaranteed to attract attention.”

“Whose attention? There’s no one.”

“Just the same. The Army’s got no subtlety. No sense of security.”

“Perhaps it wasn’t the Army’s idea. Men like our friend Yashin see an assassin beneath every stone. Never mind—let them have their games.”

The soldiers moved clear of the carriage doorway and a cadaverous figure appeared: Yashin stepped onto the platform incuriously, not smiling when his glance fell on Rykov. His face was gaunt and scored and his spidery fingers held a gnarled pipe, unlit.

Yashin was followed immediately by Colonel General Oleg Grigorenko who was in mufti. The two visitors walked forward in a lockstep, the general exactly one pace to the rear, as befitted his subordinate status to that of the Comintern First Secretary.

At the turnstile Yashin, with ritualistic formality, flashed his internal passport past the dispatcher’s window and allowed Rykov to submit to his orthodox bear hug of greeting. Rykov could smell the pipe tobacco on Yashin’s coat before he turned to grip the general’s shoulders and repeat the meaningless pantomime. Afterward Rykov led his visitors down to the car. “Your bodyguard detail will ride behind us in the lorry. With your consent they’ll be quartered in truckers’ barracks just outside the kolkhoz. You understand we can’t permit them inside.”

He saw with satisfaction that he had provoked Yashin but the First Secretary’s face did not change expression, except for the eyes, and Yashin turned without comment and stooped to enter the car. Grigorenko followed and Andrei came down the steps to get in after Rykov; Rykov caught the dry glint in Andrei’s young eyes when he settled on one of the jump seats and smiled at the visitors.

The engine popped and began to growl. The Zis left the graded cinders and began to rattle when it struck the stony ruts of the dirt road. General Grigorenko reached for the strap loop. Andrei made casual talk about the sparse landmarks out here in the bear’s corners and Grigorenko made a few monosyllabic responses in a voice heavy as coal lumps rattling down a metal chute; neither Yashin nor Rykov spoke at all. Rykov used the time to measure his guests—for confirmation, not discovery: he was quite certain he already knew their intentions.

Fyodor Yashin’s hawked features were arresting and elegant: he was a striking figure, heads turned when he came into a room, and his success in the Party was due in part to the physical accident of his appearance. He had the genius of a Rasputin and his vigilant silences could be more disquieting than the harsh brutality of a Malenkov or the sly sarcasms of a Vishinsky. He spoke euphonious Leningrad Russian and wore expertly fitted suits that had not come from stock. A silk shirt and a preference for first-class rail passage in the classless state: vanity was a weakness that could betray a man, and Rykov considered ways of making use of Yashin’s.

By contrast General Grigorenko wore an old suit, double-breasted, with dark pinstripes and baggy cuffs; it bulged where his shoulders had begun to thicken. On his lapel he wore the Order of the Red Star. Clearly he was uncomfortable in civilian clothes: he had an imposing beefy presence, the stiff erect carriage that went with the habit of command. He had a remarkably cubic skull and his pale facial hair was all but invisible against the skin, so that when he cocked his eyebrows the expression showed mainly in the changed shape of his eyes.

Almost certainly Grigorenko had been told it was Rykov who had kept him from taking Beria’s post. Rykov knew the persuasions Yashin must have used: The choice was between you and Tolubchev. Khrushchev consulted Rykov, and Rykov put Tolubchev’s name forward, obviously because Rykov knows he can manipulate Tolubchev. When Tolubchev is gone Rykov will take his place. As a matter of fact it was all true except that no one had ever seriously considered Grigorenko for the post. Even Marshal Zhukov, who had always favored the military, had not endorsed Grigorenko. If you sought a captain for your chess team you did not seek him among those who did not understand the moves of the game. Grigorenko was a satisfactory bureaucrat but when it came to strategy and decision his mind was rudimentary.

It was natural that Yashin and Grigorenko would try to put Rykov away: that was why they were here today, he was certain. The fact-finding visit was only a smoke screen. Yashin and Grigorenko needed to be able to demonstrate that they had taken the trouble to examine Amergrad on the ground, which was something no other high officials had done. Once they returned to the Kremlin they would be in a position to spread any lies they chose and there would be no one to dispute them. Between Grigorenko’s GRU network and Yashin’s control of sixty Communist Parties the two men carried enough weight to persuade the shaky ministerial cabinet to abandon the Amergrad project and put Viktor Rykov on the shelf—give him a listless series of outpost appointments until retirement.

… Following leisurely, the troop lorry was a faint heavy shape through the limousine’s dust. Rykov lit a brown cigarette and reflected on his choice of weapons. The Zis climbed a steady slope and from the summit they overlooked a surprising green valley locked away from the world, a bowl ringed by thick tall trees.

“The forest hides us from the casual eyes of nomadic herders. We have nine hundred square kilometers inside the security wall. There is only the one gate and we patrol the wall with guards and dog squads, but there’s also an electronic detection net. You can’t get within two hundred meters without tripping off an alarm.”

“You’re always thorough,” General Grigorenko conceded.

Fyodor Yashin said, “No one denies the months of routine and the endless careful planning. But the complexity of it—a secret isn’t a secret when more than one person knows it. If two people know, it’s going to be known by others, sooner or later, and if it’s known by hundreds in the first place, you can’t keep it secret for any time at all.”

The road took them down through the trees past a wooden sentry watchtower. Yashin said, “It ought to make a superb detention camp.” They were baiting him but Rykov did not rise to it.

At the roadblock they had to step out of the car and hand their papers to a sergeant while a soldier searched the car. Grigorenko muttered an oath and Rykov said, “An inconvenience, but I can hardly make exceptions to my own standing orders, can I.” Finally the sergeant clicked his heels and let them pass.

Grigorenko spoke irritably:

“Don’t you think your precautions are excessive?”

“We don’t want anyone coming inside who’s likely to forget himself and speak Russian to the Illegals.”

“They’ve heard Russian before. They are Russians.”

“That’s what we’re teaching them to forget.”

Yashin’s eyes flicked him. “And what if they forget too well?”

The wall was twelve feet high and crested by electrified barbed wire. The Zis stopped by a barracks and the woman driver opened the door for them. “We change cars here,” Rykov said. “Your luggage will be brought along.” He took them past the checkpoint, through the gate. Between the outer and inner walls they showed papers to a guard in an olive-drab American uniform with an Eisenhower jacket. A yellow Chevrolet waited, tended by a man in denim jacket and a greasy yellow cap; the car had an Arizona license plate and a “Tucson Yellow Taxi” decal on the door. Rykov put the visitors in the back seat and climbed into the front beside Andrei, twisted around with his left arm across the back of the seat and said, “I’ll have to remind you, please, not to speak to anyone we see along the way.”

Yashin said, “My objective is to interview some of your people. You know that.”

“We’ve got to keep you separated from them. You’ll conduct your interviews through soundproofed glass. There’ll be simultaneous interpreters—you’ll see the men and women you’re talking to, but they won’t hear your voice. Do you speak English?”

“Only in self-defense.” Yashin did not smile at his little joke.

Rykov said, “The Illegals you’ll meet here are the survivors. We’ve screened out nine out of ten before they get this far. You understand we can’t afford the slightest slip at this stage. Once they come here from the primary training centers they need speak only a single word of Russian, even in their sleep, and they’re given the sack. I must ask you to humor my regulations.”

The taxi took them through the woods on a four-lane stretch of highway divided centrally by a grass strip. Large yellow signs in English announced PAVEMENT NARROWS—EXPRESSWAY ENDS 1000 FEET, and they bumped past a row of flaming oilpots onto a temporary macadam surface full of chuckholes. They turned abruptly into a district of warehouses and automobile junkyards and repair shops, a utility plant, another patch of woods and a street of pleasant small houses with trees arching the sidewalks. A man stood in a driveway washing down a Buick with a garden hose, and a cocker spaniel cavorted on the sloping lawn. The house was all on one level and had large picture windows. They passed a small U.S. POST OFFICE van and a slow-cruising police car with a red dome light and came to an intersection with filling stations—Mobil, Texaco, Union 76—on three of its four corners. The traffic signal suspended on cables above the middle of the intersection turned from yellow to red and Rykov got out of the car to pick up a newspaper from the unattended corner stand. He left a five-cent piece beside the iron weight that kept the newspapers from blowing away and returned to the car before the traffic light had turned. “The Tucson Daily Star. We get it through Tass. It’s about ten days late, but that hardly matters. Yesterday we developed the major news stories from it and designed our radio and television broadcasts around it.”

Traffic in a wide street sucked them into its flow. The curbs were lined with parking meters. Rykov pointed out Regan’s Drugs, the movie theater, Woolworth’s, John’s Men’s Shop, a beauty salon, real-estate and insurance offices. A red light halted them beside an open-fronted lunch counter and Johnnie Ray was singing “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” on the jukebox. They went on past a Safeway Market with an enormous asphalt car park and General Grigorenko said, “You don’t see as many motorcars on the streets of Leningrad. What was the cost of this?”

Rykov pointed off to the left. “The nursery school. We allow Illegals with children into the program if the children are younger than eighteen months. They’re raised in English.”

Yashin’s wintry expression never changed. “One might suspect the Americans grow enough of their own.”

The taxi slid to the curb by a big Spanish stucco edifice, FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING engraved in concrete above the entrance. Rykov preceded them through the revolving door and saw the general give the device a narrow look full of nervous distrust. Yashin gave the surroundings no more attention than he would have paid a Moscow worker’s flat. Andrei trotted to the elevator bank and inserted a key and the car took them to the fifth floor.

“Your quarters are at the rear. We’ll try to anticipate your needs but you’ll have to regard yourselves as confined in quarantine.”

“I’m sure it’s all quite necessary,” Yashin said.

Rykov took them into his office and closed the door. Andrei arranged chairs, and from the way General Grigorenko’s eyes followed Andrei around the room it was evident Grigorenko didn’t like his being there, but if Yashin could bring a witness Rykov was entitled to the same privilege according to the rules of protocol. Rykov pressed a button under the lip of his desk and sat back. “We can begin right away if you like.”

“By all means,” said Yashin.

An old man brought in a large tray and set it down and left the room. Chilled glasses of vodka, dishes of smoked whitefish on bread, and sour pickles. Andrei passed them around.

Rykov settled his elbows on the desk and steepled his fingers. “You’ll want a general briefing, but first let’s clear the air. When you return to the Kremlin there will be nothing to prevent you from remembering a great many ugly things that did not happen here. You might try to persuade the Politburo that my operation here is slipshod and worthless, nothing but a danger to the Soviet Union and a grave drain on her resources. When men in your position make such statements, rebuttals from men in my position mean little.”

Yashin murmured, “You forget your superior. What about Tolubchev?”

“Naturally his assurances would be discounted because ultimately the responsibility for Amergrad is his. He authorized it and he has no choice but to defend it. Who would believe him?”

The narrow face did not change. “You have a lively imagination.”

“Have I.”

“What do you want, Comrade—my assurances of support?”

“Only your assurances of an open skepticism. I never ask the impossible.”

“Show us what you have to offer. Then we’ll see.”

“In a moment. It remains to be said that the state security files are at my disposal at all times.”

Yashin didn’t stir. It was Grigorenko who stiffened. “You’re threatening us with blackmail?”

“You? Hardly.”

“Never mind,” Yashin said. He appeared remote, detached. He understood well enough. The government was unsteady, the post-Stalin purges had stripped the top levels of functionaries, and those who remained were a meager cadre intent on training a new generation to fill the bureaucracy’s vacancies. Yashin and his comrades could not afford the loss of further Party executives. Yet Rykov’s threat was explicit: destroy Rykov and you risk destroying men whose services are vital to the Soviet Union. The ammunition waited in his NKVD files.

He was offering Yashin a simple trade and making it clear he was not asking for support, only indifference.

Yashin lit his pipe. He had not conceded yet. “We’ll see,” he said again. “You may proceed.”

Rykov sat back. “Andrei?”

Andrei clasped his hands behind him and assumed a gentle ex cathedra manner. “The first group of trainees is to matriculate in three weeks’ time. They’ll be seeded in at discreet intervals over a period of eighteen or twenty months. These agents may not be called on to act for many years, and in the meantime their whole concern will be to behave like Americans. That’s why their training here has to be exhaustive, and incidentally expensive. Once in place they will have no contact with active Soviet field agents. Their instructions will come from Moscow—directly, without the use of established rezidentsii or safe-houses.

“When and if a Moscow Control is sent out to activate them, he’ll have to make contact without the use of any ritualistic devices like codes and countersigns—they can’t be expected to remember obscure passwords over a span of ten or twenty years.

“When contact is made the procedure will be simple. Control will address the agent by his real name, his Russian name, and he’ll supply the names of both the agent’s parents. In turn the agent will give him the full names of all four of his grandparents. Any enemy agent who gets deep enough into things to learn those names and their proper use will know so much about us that nothing would add to the damage already done.

“No agent is to take into his confidence anyone outside his own immediate cell, even if it’s someone he thinks he met here at Amergrad. If he’s not a member of the same cell he’s to be treated as if he’s a real American. The only communication between cells will be between cell leaders and of course agents and leaders will know only what they need to know for the execution of their own missions.”

Andrei shifted his stance and his voice changed slightly. “They’re going to be seeded into a place called Tucson, in the Southwestern desert. Population around fifty thousand. Industries, at the moment, cattle, copper mining, tourism. The town provides services and transport for the surrounding agricultural and mineral districts.”

“Cowboy country,” Grigorenko said. “Why?”

“Our analyses indicate Tucson will become an important defense center within a few years. It’s in the same part of the country as the aircraft and missile plants in California and Utah, it’s not far from the Alamogordo test range, the nuclear laboratories at Los Alamos, and the Nevada nuclear testing sites. It’s four hundred miles inland from the nearest coastline, which makes it invulnerable to naval air attack, and the weather and topography encourage year-round aircraft and missile operations. The Army has a sophisticated artillery and electronics testing facility nearby at Fort Huachuca and in Tucson itself there are two Air Force bases—Davis Monthan, part of the Strategic Air Command, and Marana, a pilot-training field. We feel Tucson will become a vitally important base for intercontinental bombers and long-range rockets armed with nuclear warheads, as well as a center for research and weapons factories.”

Yashin said, “Of course that’s an opinion. You can’t be absolutely certain it will develop that way.”

He was talking to Rykov, and Rykov answered him: “We deal with probabilities, indications, suggestions.”

“Circumstantial evidence.”

“Yes. When you’ve got enough of it and it all points in the same direction, you can be fairly sure you’re on the right track. But absolute certainty? No. That’s beyond our power.”

“Then you’re committing the Soviet government to a course of action based on guesswork.” Yashin’s face shifted toward Andrei. “You may proceed.”

Color flooded Andrei’s face. “As I said, our Illegals will be seeded into Tucson on a steady basis. The infiltration will continue into 1956, by which time we expect to have seeded nearly three hundred highly trained Amergrad agents into the city.”

Grigorenko sat up. “Three hundred agents to spy on one town?”

“Spy on it? No. We’re not concerned with cloak-and-dagger charades. Our people are under orders to do nothing which could jeopardize their cover. Even if they see a chance to obtain secret information—even if they think it’s vitally important—they’re not to touch it. In fact if they discover a Soviet agent spying on secret activities they have orders to do their patriotic duty as Americans by turning the spy in to the American authorities.”

“Absurd,” Grigorenko said. “Madness.” He turned his face toward Yashin.

Yashin said only, “Go on.”

Flexor muscles contracted Andrei’s hands but he went on gamely, his smile fixed and meaningless, and Rykov let him handle it by himself because Andrei would never learn how if someone was always there supporting him.

“We’ve projected a heavy multiplication of military installations in Tucson over the next twelve years. The purpose of the Rykov plan is to have our agents in place before the installations are even built—the Americans won’t suspect people who are already entrenched important members of the community.”

“Important members?” Grigorenko lifted his hand and turned it over. “Overnight?”

“People come from everywhere to the Southwest. For their health, retirement, a lazy bourgeois life. Our Illegals will be part of the stream.”

“You said ‘entrenched.’ You can’t just walk in and overthrow the power structure.”

Andrei twitched but he did not look at Rykov. “It’s a transient city. There’s no traditional hierarchy—very few old families, no settled political structures taken for granted. We expect the population of Tucson to double in six years and that will give us an immigration of new voters who weren’t there before and therefore can’t be counted on to support old-time politicians. In American municipal politics the party labels have no meaning, all the candidates spout the same capitalist rubbish, but individual faces come and go constantly and our people will have no difficulty insinuating themselves into both major parties in five or six years.”

Yashin stirred. “You talk as if you intend to take over the entire city.”

“Yes, quite. Not only the city, but the Air Force bases, the aircraft plants, and the guided-missile installations—as they are built. They’ll all be looking for personnel, particularly administrators and engineers with military experience. That’s why we’ve recruited quite a few of our people from the Red Air Forces. We’ll be in control of the entire war machine in that sector of the United States—our people will be established in every echelon from military officers and plant executives all the way down to flight-line mechanics and factory janitors. When the final stage of the Rykov plan takes effect we’ll own the Tucson military complex as if it were a Russian air base on the outskirts of Moscow.”

Chapter One

March 197-

The red scrambler operational telephone was always in the corner of his vision. Smith turned the page of the specifications manual and shifted his buttocks on the hard seat of his chair and checked his watch again to remind himself that boredom was finite: his shift in the subterranean doomsday room would end and presently he would return to sunshine above ground. Smith had an earnest young face and an AFBSD patch on his Air Force uniform. Smith, Arthur, NMI, First Lieutenant USAF, 036754991.

The windowless room was sealed like an orbital capsule and the sterile console panel glittered with screens, toggles, dials, buttons—all the self-conscious set-decoration of computer technology. Antiseptic air whispered from ducts in the thick walls and there was a subliminal rumble of life-support machinery; the recirculation systems were designed to keep Smith alive long enough to do his job after the atmosphere above ground had been rendered poisonous by CBW or nuclear attack.

There was a big pane of reinforced bulletproof glass to his right and beyond it was a mirror duplicate of his cell occupied by Lieutenant Haas, Martin G., who had a bald spot and a mild case of facial acne. Omnidirectional microphones fed into cross-circuited PA systems so the two men could talk with each other but couldn’t reach each other physically. Around their necks on dogtag chains hung magnet-coded keys; to unleash the power of Silo Six, both lieutenants had to set their controls identically, insert their keys and simultaneously turn them. It was thought, or at least hoped, that this duplication would prevent Unauthorized Implementation, which was a euphemism for what happened when a man went off his nut and decided to set the world on fire by himself. No one man could launch the birds. The firing locks were separated by twenty feet and impregnable glass and the initial contact had to be made simultaneously (half-second leeway), so that even if one man somehow neutralized the other and obtained both sets of keys, he couldn’t lock down one key and walk over and turn the other one. There was no way around it: it took at least two people to destroy the world.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!