Tower

TOWER

by Stephen Francis Montagna

PROLOGUE

WASHINGTON DC, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13th, 1998 0710 HOURS EST
The young President of the United States, Albert Cole, was visiting the Pentagon. He was being accompanied by General John White, who was the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and also the commander of the so called JSOC (United States Joint Special Operations Command), the president was followed closely by the well respected CIA Director, John Raincloud, the National Security Director, Norman P. Griffin, and Secretary of Defense, Jerry R. Levenhagen. Others who were also at the Pentagon meeting as well, were the always troublesome and argumentative civilian advisor Raymond P. Manning, the Secretary of the Army, Dominick (Bulldog) Tomasello, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Harold B. Clifton and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Luther (Nails) Claiborne. He was busy with pushing the totally disabled Secretary of State, Maria Hernandez around in her wheelchair while they were observing all the evidence that was presently being displayed before them.

General John White was leading the way for some of America’s most powerful and influential politicians, while explaining to the president and the others with him, what they were viewing resting on the tables. The president clutched in his arms a thick stack of BBTSRs (Blue Border, Top Secret Reports) explaining everything that had been located by the recently formed MNRRF (Multi National Rapid Response Force) troops that was sent into Iran, in order to destroy the nuclear processing and production plant in the sands of Iranshahr, during the Operation Sand Storm mission of a few weeks before. Secretary Jerry Levenhagen, stepped suddenly forward and he made a quick motion of his hand, informing the president he was requesting permission to speak to the well respected general at the moment.

General White paused and he looked at the Secretary, and he nodded his head at him politely. President Cole remarked. “Jerry, you seem to have something on your mind, what is it sir?” “Yes Sir Mister President Sir, I most certainly do at that sir.” The secretary replied politely. “Please ask the General anything you might want cleared up for yourself at this time Jerry.”

“Thank you Mister President Sir. General White Sir, I’m at a complete loss as to understand how come the Iranian army had never challenged any of your outstanding troops until they got into the complex center on them sir.” The secretary asked with some concern in his tone.

General White smiled pleasantly as he replied to the concerned looking Secretary of Defense. “Iran had no reason to expect an attack on their secret installation, Secretary Levenhagen Sir. As far as they were concerned, we weren’t even aware of this secluded complex’s existence at the time we hit it sir. This lack of concern for the security had opened it up to our attack sir. We also enjoyed the services of an undercover operative working inside of Iran sir, ever since the attack on our Embassy. Armed with this new information that was supplied by this operative.

“The agent was able to enlist the services of a number of the Persian Nomads who were unhappy with the present Iranian government running the country sir, and they assisted us in the preparation for, and then the carrying out of our attack, along with the complete destruction of the said complex sir. With the combination of these forces, and the agent and Persians, my troopers arrived at the complex undetected sir. With combined forces of ground troops, aircraft, and support units, we carried out our operation successfully, with very few causalities to our forces might I add, Mister Secretary Sir. The specialized troops brought out all the evidence you see exhibited here before you today.” The general waved his hand over to the tables littered with equipment and machinery, and then he added to his words. “We were luck enough to get this evidence out of the Iranian action in one piece, but this was because they weren’t expecting us. On the other hand, if they were, the outcome would have had a rather different conclusion sir.”

All eyes of the visitors immediately went back to the tables with the items lying on them.

Laid out on tables before them in the NOR (Nuclear Operations Room) at the Pentagon building, was a fully disassembled Russian constructed MIRV, (Multiple Independent Targetable Re-entry Vehicle) that was sold to the Iranian government by the Russian rebel Naval Admiral, Yevgeny Proushinsky. Each of the items was clearly marked as to what it was. The deadly plutonium core of the weapon of mass destruction was removed, and the general explained the firing mechanism of the lethal warhead. A fully assembled second warhead was resting at the end of the table; its plutonium core was removed, in order to avoid any possible contamination or accident. Also resting on the table were copies of blueprints, further explaining the construction of the warheads and the delivery systems for the weapons. The long range, submarine launched, SS-N-23 ballistic missile, was capable of carrying ten separate MRIVs.

General John White droned unceasingly on over the hundreds of captured Iranian items and reports, displaying all the particulars while actually moving some of the items around on the large table for better viewing. The president drew in his breath, knowing in his mind the Iranian technicians were just a few days away from developing their own warheads of mass destruction and the delivery systems needed to get the weapons to their targets.

General White moved a few paces further down the table, and he showed a number of clear photos of four destroyed, Russian built nuclear reactors. The Iranians converted the reactors into breeder reactors solely for the production of weapons grade plutonium with the help of some Russian technicians, who deserted to the Persian nation in search of better pay and living conditions for themselves. The general took the time to display the different pictures covering the destroyed development plant, and the destruction of the two major naval bases inside Iran. One stationed at Bander Beheshi, with four destroyed nuclear powered submarines. The pictures clearly displayed the total destruction of the Persian port facility, including the submarine pens that were still under construction. The next photos displayed the total destruction of the naval port stationed at Bandar-e-Abbas, which had originally housed the submarines bought from Russia in early 1993. This Iranian port was attacked because it was Iran’s major military port at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman, geared to create havoc when Iran decided to close the Persian Gulf waters to all civilian shipping. Like Iran did during the war with Iraq in the late eighties.

The only civilian who went along on the special operations mission into Iran, was Doctor Joel Russbinder, and he stood behind the table waiting silently, just in case General White was asked a question by one of the visitors that he couldn’t answer properly for them. The nuclear research doctor’s right arm was resting comfortably in a sling, and he was still in some considerable pain from the bullet that had struck his body armor, when he had accompanied the MNRRF on their latest mission into Iran. He went along so he could help identify all the evidence and also the papers that they were to remove from the Iranian complex as evidence of what they were doing. As the president and his entourage followed the general down the length of the table, they examined the evidence. The president suddenly noticed the doctor, and he nodded pleasantly at him. When he realized his arm was hanging in a sling, his eyes instantly narrowed and he turned to General White and snorted at him. “Why is the Doctor’s arm in that bandage sir?”

Before the general could explain about the wound, the doctor spoke up for himself. “Mister President Sir, it’s not the General’s fault at all that I was slightly wounded on this mission sir. I was injured due to my own stupidity and ignorance I’m afraid to admit sir. I was warned well in advance by the troops not to take anything for granted while on the ground for this mission, Mister President Sir. But I got so deeply involved in what I was doing, checking out all the files, and working on removing the hard drives from the computers and collecting evidence; I completely failed to notice an enemy soldier moving around until he got a shot off at me sir.”

“You were wounded Doctor Russbinder Sir! Arrr… I was very foolish to allow you to go along on that damn mission in the first place sir. I should have had my head examined before I ever allowed your superiors to talk me into that blunder. Doctor Russbinder Sir, were you badly wounded during the operation sir? Despite what you might believe in your own mind sir, it is the General’s fault you were wounded on this mission sir. Now don’t go and get me wrong here Doctor, I truly appreciate you sticking up for him, but the outcome can’t be changed by mere words sir. Every one of his men should have been destroyed before you were injured, sir. Arrr… never mind this for now, I’ll speak to the General over this matter later on. Is that understood General White Sir? I want you in my office at exactly three-thirty this afternoon, and we’ll discuss this situation a little further sir. I repeat Doctor Russbinder, were you badly injured sir?”

“Thank God, not at all Mister President Sir. Though I must confess I thought I was dying when the bullet hit my body armor sir. I was stunned to find out the body armor stopped the bullet from penetrating the protective plating sir. I have received two broken ribs, and a heavy bruise in the center of my chest from the most memorable incident, Mister President Sir.”

“Is that why you’re wearing the damn sling for your arm Doctor Russbinder Sir?” The rather upset and young American President asked the doctor as he held him in his gaze for the moment.

“Yes Sir Mister President, it makes the pain more bearable for me to endure at this time sir.” The now smiling doctor replied very politely to the concerned looking President Cole this time.

“How long will it be before you’re back to normal Doctor Russbinder Sir?” The president allowed all his weight to rest on one leg, as he waited for the doctor to reply to his last question.

“I should be fine within the next two weeks or so Mister President. Give or take a few days I would believe sir. Why do you ask that question of me sir? It seems like you might have a little something more that’s on your mind at the present time sir. Am I correct Mister President Sir?”

“It’s strange you ask me such a question at this time sir, for I do have something on my mind Doctor Russbinder. I’m afraid we’ll be needing your services once again as a constant that is continually involved with the MNRRF, and, giving the physical condition you’re presently in Doctor. I believe you’re a natural for the chore at hand sir.”

“But Mister President, I already have a job for myself sir. I wouldn’t want to leave my present position at the institute, unless I’m really forced to do so sir. I have many unfinished projects still resting on the table for me to finish them sir, and to be quite frank with you Mister President Sir, I was doing quite well at the institute as well sir. My name was placed right at the top of a few major projects that I would give my left eye to be involved with sir.” The doctor suddenly stopped speaking, as he now just stared back at the concerned looking American leader.

“Save you left eye Doctor, it’s probably glass anyhow sir. I understand how you must feel Doctor Russbinder Sir. But I have already taken the liberty of speaking with your superiors over at the institute, and I have informed them that you shall not be returning to the institute for the time being sir. Before you start off on me sir. I understand you’re rather upset about my kind of shanghaiing you from the institute like this, Doctor Russbinder Sir.” The president announced with a huge grin on his lips as he raised his hand in order to stem the doctor’s further complaint, and then he added to his words. “Please sir, allow me to say if you join the MNRRF unit on your own volition sir, a raise will be issued and a place in the JCOS will be filled to personally…”

“Mister President, I believe you mean the JSOC sir.” General White corrected him this time.

“Huh? What was that you said, General White?” The president snorted at the general.

“Mister President, you mentioned the JCOS, it’s JSCO.” White tried a smile that fell like a rock in the room.

President Cole didn’t respond to the well respected general’s correction of his last words to the doctor, instead, the president returned his attention to the doctor and he offered him in a calm tone of voice. “You have heard my General, Doctor Russbinder. I’m offering you a position of prominence that you’ll never be able to attain while working for the institute sir. All you have to do is agree to be a part of my JC, oh… whatever the hell the damn thing is called, and I’ll carve a place out in it especially for you Doctor. I’ll also give you five other doctors for you personal, more if needed to work with by you Doctor. Your picks, a nice office and also unlimited funds to work with yearly as well sir. Well, what do you say to the offer I gave you Doctor?” The president stretched out his hand while waiting for the doctor to shake it.

Doctor Joel Russbinder thought for a long moment as he suddenly grasped the president’s hand in his. A weak and very unassuming smile followed the quick, but rather firm hand shake.

“Outstanding Doctor Russbinder, I’m so pleased to have you aboard with us now sir. I’ll give you a full week to yourself, in order for you to clear out your office at the institute sir, and to also attend to any of the loose ends that you might have to take care of, and then you’ll move yourself over to the Pentagon and your new office there, Doctor Russbinder Sir. The General here, will make an office available for you there, and help make your transition over to the Pentagon a little easier for you to endure and carry out sir. Doctor Russbinder Sir, I’m afraid you might have to be rather quick on your feet for the next few weeks. I’m allowing the General to organize his MNRRF for some further action in the near future sir. You’ll be hitting the ground running here I’m afraid, Doctor Russbinder Sir.”

“Mister President, what will the next action be involving sir?” The doctor asked the president.

“Doctor Russbinder Sir, it has come to my attention a number of days ago that Libya’s presently working on a pair of state of the art chemical weapons processing and developing plants secretly constructed in the desert of their country sir. I’ll not allow the Libyans to produce any of this damn crap before I react to their latest threat against the fricking world, Doctor Russbinder Sir. That’s why I have the General’s special units still stationed in the Middle East sir. In order to avoid having to drag them all the way back here to the States, only to be forced to turn them around once again, and then have them shipped right back out to the Middle East, in order to prepare them for the next assault against any of these nuts who dream of world domination with weapons of mass destruction, Doctor Russbinder Sir. Do you know anything about these god damn chemical weapons that I am speaking of here, Doctor Russbinder Sir?” The president suddenly asked of the good doctor with concern in his tone.

“I know something of these most disgusting weapons sir. They kill in very horrible ways, Mister President Sir.” Doctor Russbinder said in a very concerned tone in his voice to the man.

“Good, that’s all you have to know about the damn things for the time being Doctor Russbinder Sir, and that’s all you’re going to find out from me about this next mission for now sir. Keep this problem in the back of your mind at all times when you’re picking out the Doctors you think you’ll need for your personal staff at the Pentagon sir. Pick a young Doc or two who has worked in this chemical field for at least a few years now Doctor Russbinder Sir. Try to find only young men or women while you’re at it as well, and pick only Doctors who are in the very best of physical health, and hopefully not married also Doctor Russbinder Sir.”

“Why is that Mister President Sir?” The doctor asked as he stared back at the president again.

“Because Doctor Russbinder, they might find themselves running all over the damn world behind some of my elite soldiers like you have just done on this last mission, Doctor Russbinder Sir. While they’re trying to keep the blasted planet from blowing itself apart on its self, that’s why Doctor Russbinder Sir.” The President of the United States suddenly smiled back at the deeply concerned looking young doctor for a long moment. The president was waiting for another reply from the now stunned looking doctor who seemed very nervous and slightly upset all of a sudden.

DEDICATION

This novel is proudly dedicated to the women warriors of our armed forces. The female soldier is absolutely indispensable to the strength of our military services. But when our women soldiers finish their duty and they return to the United States suffering from the same type of physical or metal injuries their male counterparts are suffering from, these great women warriors are face with a new war. Coping with a medical system that takes in no consideration for a female soldier because the system is specially tailored for helping male warriors.

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